Advice Needed

beezy_junkerMarch 9, 2011

OK, this is a convoluted situation. My husband�s niece and her husband had been out of touch with all of her extended family ever since they got married. They reached out last year and invited us all into their lives. Not sure of the whole story but something went on with her parents that caused an estrangement. After being invited into their lives, my husband and I spent a wonderful year getting to know them and babysitting their two young children. Three months ago, they dropped back out of touch. Finally the nephew-in-law called last night and let me know that while they valued our relationship, their 3.5 year old daughter had expressed a dislike to spending time with us. She was not able to verbalize any reason for this. Because of her feelings, they have decided to step back and allow her to dictate the limits on our involvement. I am very confident in the knowledge that neither my husband nor I did anything on purpose to warrant this reaction from her and I feel that the cause was simply that we were being associated with parental separation (only seeing the children for babysitting). I am very confused as to exactly what I am supposed to be feeling. Anybody that would like to take a stab at the situation, please feel free.

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"I am very confused as to exactly what I am supposed to be feeling."

Not quite sure what you mean by that. I think anyone would "feel" more than a little slighted by these strange people. First they drop away from everyone, then reach out and make nice, then disappear again excusing their weird behavior as being dictated by their 3-year-old. But, "they valued our relationship..."...they said. Pretty strange. And I think that bit about the youngster's statement is far from the whole story. Of course I don't know but it certainly sounds suspect to me.

I suspect there's more stuff going on here than you're being allowed to know. Their lives; their kids; their in control; you're outside of it. Surely doesn't lead to feelings of closeness. If you want to remain open, I think that's fine but I doubt this is the end of the strangeness. Perhaps a little distance will be best for everyone right now. They're young parents. They could well lighten up as time passes. In the mean time, nothing to be done. Strange or not, they are who they are.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 11:59AM
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Thanks for the reply. I did feel slighted, but then questioned whether or not I was being overly sensitive. I guess I just needed validation for my feelings.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 3:49PM
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I can understand your feelings about this situation.

I have children and I don't think they ever dictated who I was friends with, so it is a strange and somewhat hurful thing to say to you. You are family, after all.

I would just let it be. If they are being silly, then let them, their loss, not to have you in their lives.

Family, and people, in general do dumb things, I try to just shrug it off when things like that happen to me.

After all nobody can be as wonderful, as me !

Be assured that you have acted in the best manner to these peole and remain that way.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 8:59PM
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