How to tell my sister she hurt me by not inviting me..

My sister and I live about an hour away. Her son and daughter-in-law (my only nephew) live in Missouri. I haven't seen my nephew and his wife in over 2 years. They are in town this week staying with my sister. My sister NEVER invited me up to visit. I was able to see my nephew and his wife because they visited my mom yesterday (who lives an hour from me in the other direction) and I went there.

My sister is rather self-absorbed but I never thought she wouldn't ask me to come to dinner or something. I want to say something to her along the lines of "why didn't you ask me over" but I don't want to start anything. Or should I chalk it up to that's just how she is?

I talk to my sister once a week and see her maybe once every two months when she visits my mom. So we get along but aren't particularly close. Even so, I can't imagine why she would think I wouldn't want to see my nephew.
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I'm glad you DID find a way to see them but I'm sorry it wasn't through their momma!

To Me... I think it definitely shows that you two aren't particularly close as you said because in my family and my husbands... we would have just called and said "so what day can I come by..." :lol: ...if not day(s)!!! ...and if nothing was said by us, they would have assumed we were busy and nothing else.

Despite her probably not saying anything to you because she wanted them to herself (going by the self-absorbed part) ...I bet any way you casually mention it, she will say she is sorry and next time invite you over.

However, making this any sort of serious topic or something more than a casual "by the way" ...then she will definitely hold a grudge like talking about you to her husband and others. IMO, you'll still have the same result of her saying sorry and wanting to invite you next time, but... she will be feeling things differently on the inside.

Those are just my thoughts!! :D
Well....you already answered your own question...she didn't think!

If I had a friend or family member visiting that people close by would want to see...I'd have a little bbq or something....but that is me. When my cousin and I were living together, two single moms, we agreed that there would be times we'd hurt one another's feelings. We both realized that sometimes that happens and as long as we realized that it was something we'd never do intentionally...then...we'd shrug it off.

Only you know your sister well enough to know if it was just thoughtless or....


But remember this is coming from a gal who had HER sister unfriend her on facebook...soooo...whaddya I know? lol
Im sorry your hurting over this Paula :(

Ok, so this is just my perspective (me being a highly un-social and therefore not super socially conscientious person :wink: ) but, it could be that since your nephew is an adult, your sister may have assumed he would set up a visits with his other relatives on his own. My adult niece is home from out of state right now, and while I did call around and make sure everyone I could think of knew she was coming, I didn't feel it was necessary to set up anything for her (I'm more in your sister's position than yours, as her mother is...um...not really in the picture :( ). One of her half-siblings did arrange a welcome home/birthday party, but other than that Ms. Alicia has been making her own visiting plans.

I don't know what your relationship with your sis is, but I doubt this was meant as a snub. Different families each have their own "culture" though, and mine is pretty casual and big on independence... so, I could be way off base.

I hope you enjoyed your nephew's visit anyway! :D Alicia is staying with us (with her 16 month old son, Alex 8O 8O 8O) next week. Right now they are at my parent's house, and a phone call to my father yesterday filled me with apprehension...dogs...diaper pail...need I say more? :twitch: At least their 3 dogs all have short hair! :lol:
ravenmoonart wrote:
I hope you enjoyed your nephew's visit anyway! :D Alicia is staying with us (with her 16 month old son, Alex 8O 8O 8O) next week. Right now they are at my parent's house, and a phone call to my father yesterday filled me with apprehension...dogs...diaper pail...need I say more? :twitch: At least their 3 dogs all have short hair! :lol:



:lol: I wish I as there!!! Would have made for the perfect play date. You'll have so much fun. ...by fun, I mean... always being on watch of what Alex will grab next. ;)
It gets even a bit weirder. My sister left me a message. Her husband's sister (who I've known since they were married 40 years ago) is having everyone over Saturday and told my sister to invite me. I can't go because I have other plans. But how odd that my own sister doesn't bother to invite me, her husband's relatives do! And I know in my sister's eyes this is hunky dory. I'm invited but she didn't have to do it.

My sister has also not invited my mom to her house in 5 years. I guess I'm finding out how she really feels about us.
Paula O. wrote:

My sister has also not invited my mom to her house in 5 years. I guess I'm finding out how she really feels about us.


Oh wow... yeah, I think it's starting to sound a lot more like what you said rather than "forgetfulness" ...esp if that's the impression it's leaving on you. :(
I wuz gonna say that I have had a similar situation, but the five year thing pronably changes my opinion of the matter.

Many times over the years my dad never let me know when his brother and sister in law (my uncle and aunt of course) were in town. It would have been nice to visit with them once in a while when I didn't just happen to learn of their presence. Used to tick me off no end.
Paula I am sorry that you got your feelings hurt.

My suggestion is that you cut your sister out of the equation in the future.

To start that I would send your nephew a note or call him NOW. Tell him that you really enjoy seeing him when he is in town and that is was so good to visit with him. Make it conversational and very light. Do not mention your sister at all. Finish by saying "Call me the next time you are in town and I will take you out to dinner".

This way you are establishing a relationship with him that is independent of your sister.

Good luck.


BTW - my two boys grew up with Tim's brother's two girls. They were all within three years of each other and we got together to bowl every year before school would start and every New Years Eve. My oldest Brian and their oldest Julie were particularly close being the same age. My niece can be a little odd at times and I think sometimes the parent's dropped the ball on the etiquette of attending family functions when it came to the girls. We would call them everytime Brian came in town the first two and half years Brian was in town - all four times! Anyway during the Christmas break this past year, we made plans around everyone's schedules to meet with them at a late Sunday morning brunch in their neighborhood. When we got there they told us the girls didn't feel like getting up to meet with us. 8O It was eleven o'clock for goodness sake and they both have to go to jobs earlier than that. :evil: We decided as soon as we were back in the car that the was the last time we were going to make arrangements to meet with them. It is not like me kids don't have plenty of other people wanting to spend time with them. We were trying to be kind and not cut them out.
My sister visits my mom, but never asks my mom to her house. But she looooves to talk about all the redecorating she did and I know Mom would like to see it. Her excuse for not asking my mom: Mom doesn't drive so how would she get there?

I don't think it's intentional; I think it's more along the lines of "not bothering to think about you." But just because it's not intentional doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.

Judi, I think you are right. I have to forge an independent relationship with my nephew and my niece.

I have to find a place for my sister in my life. I think it's on the shelf in the basement alongside my brother......
I have a thoughtless sister too. My suggestion, leave it. Your comments will not change your sister or the situation for the better. As mentioned earlier, your nephew is an adult, start a relationship with him.
Paula O. wrote:
I think it's on the shelf in the basement alongside my brother......


It could be worse ........

My 50 year old brother is living in my basement right now....... hopefully only for three weeks. :twitch:


Of course he is getting on my nerves although I think he is trying to be accomodating. :lmt:


The thing that is driving me most nuts is he is constantly saying "I miss my dog". :headbang:

Well I refuse to crack on that one.
His dog is staying with someone else and I intend to keep it that way.
He did not ask if he could bring it over at Thanksgiving and it marked the dining room chair and floor. :evil:
He did the same thing at my other brother's house at Christmas - except it marked twice over there, one on an unopened Christmas gift. :evil: :evil:

I just keep greeting those comments with silence. 8)

Do you think I can hold out for two more weeks?
Paula, I have the reverse problem. I live 7 1/2 hours away from my family by car. I TRY to drive out once a year and fly out once around Christmas. My family is HUGE. I have 9 siblings, plus nieces, nephews, sister/brother-in-laws, and of course friends that still live in Michigan.

I try my best to see everyone when I'm there... but it never fails that when I get home one of my sibs is irritated because I didn't go over their house. Why they couldn't just ALL meet at my parents house is beyond me.
Families are soooo weird.

My Mom and Dad met because my Dad's sister was my Mom's best friend at school.
Now Dad's sister lives overseas but when she comes home to visit her other sisters fight over who she will stay with and who will go out with her so my Mom hardly gets to see her. Mom is quite sad about that but doesnt want to cause hassles and she knows she will make it harder for my Aunty if she tries to force the issue.

Maybe its a genetic thing :? to top it off my sister decided to get married in New York last year. Her now sister in law and a best friend were witnesses. The sister in law emailed my Mom and I and asked us to write a few words for her to read at the ceremony. She also asked us to ask my brothers to write something too and for us to email them to her. None of us got invites though. I admit my Mom definitely wouldnt have gone and almost certainly the rest of us wouldnt have either but it would have been nice to be invited. Based on previous experiences we werent wanted anyway.

We havent said anything its not worth it. I also have to own up to the fact that I eloped but I didnt tell anyone before the event and certainly didnt get my witness to ask my family for anything.
Paula, I'm sorry your sister is so clueless. I think connecting with your nephew on your own is the way to go.

Family dynamics are soooooooooo complicated! Wow, after reading things on this forum, I realized that my family's just slightly nuts. 8)

SheepieMommy, I can't believe how RUDE those girls were, that they couldn't be bothered to get out of bed for a prearranged brunch. I would have gone BALLISTIC, and paid them a little "wake-up" visit. :twisted: And stay strong! No brother's dog in your house! (Hopefully, that will encourage your bro to move on more quickly. If you let his dog stay, no telling when he'll leave!)

Laurie and Oscar
My way of handling that with my sisters would be to make a joke about it. I'm close to them but one I talk to at least once a day, sometimes for well over an hour. It really makes me feel sad for others when they aren't close with their sisters. However, if Judi has any room left on her basement shelf I would put my brother on it :evil:
The weird thing is that my sister and I were close until about a year ago. Then she started to get distant from the family. By distant I mean we'll talk on the phone but the only time I see her is when we visit my mom. And she talks to my mom a few times a week but acts so put out when she visits, like it's such an ordeal to drive an hour and a half to see her 89 year old mother. Last summer I suggested that she and I go visit her daughter in New Mexico (we did that a few years ago and had a blast). Nope. She said she didn't think that would be a good idea.

I guess she just doesn't want to be involved with her mother and siblings. That's fine, but that means I won't be communicating with her.

These are the times I wish I were an only child.
This sounds familiar. My sister and I have always been close. About 10 months ago, she started acting like she didn't want to talk when I called. She and her husband and kids lived across the field, and it got to the place where I didn't even feel comfortable waving if I saw her. She wouldn't call Mom and Dad either. At holidays, she almost seemed snotty-- like she couldn't stand to be with us for any length of time. All the talking in the world was met with "Nothing is wrong". She seemed fine with her kids and husband--- it was just extended family that was getting the cold shoulder. At Christmas she seemed tense, and again, I tried to talk. It was two weeks later that we learned she was leaving her husband, and she and the kids were moving in town. She and Eric had known this for months, and they were trying to act normal, until it was time to tell the kids, and then the family. It had been a long time coming, and to tell you the truth, we were ALL shocked that she finally had the courage to do it. Could your sister and her husband be having issues? Or something going on with her that she hasn' shared? A reason she doesn't want you at her house?? Just a thought...


After my Sister told us what was going on, and didn't have to carry the secret anymore, she became the same old Sister that I knew. And, she and the kids ( and the Ex- who is still our neighbor) are all getting along great :)
A lot of people here have given you excellent, mature advice. I wish I would/could be that mature...I'd probably just make sure to make a sarcastic remark next time I spoke to her, and then if she responded at all, just twirl my hair and say "just kidding." And then roll my eyes and walk away.

Wouldn't change a thing, but I'd feel better. Petty I know. But one thing that drives me nuts is when people behave badly and no one calls them on it. I know it won't change anything but I hate that they just go happily on their way.

My MIL does things like that, and if I say one word everyone in hubby's family jumps to say "that's just her..." Well, if you want HER to change, you have to at least try.

Having said that, you should take the moral high road...don't listen to me. It's just my snarkiness rearing its ugly head.
Tracie, you said exactly how I feel! She called me last night and said "I'm so glad you got to see David at Mom's." I replied "I am too, because I knew that was the only way I could see him." That apparently wasn't blunt enough, but she knows I'm p!ssed about something. Next week or the week after, when I am done crying, I am going to say to her "I don't think you realize how much you hurt me by not inviting me to see David and Gina." And trust me, I have responses to all her excuses and have practiced them!

My mother called me last night because she knew I was upset and doesn't want a rift between me and my sister. I told I will eventually get over this but not for some time. Plus I'm tired of always being the better person and that's why I don't like my brothers and sister. I always have to rise above their behavior.
This reminds me of a conversation I just had with a student. He idolizes another child who treats everyone, including my student, horribly. On Monday this other student mocked him in front of his friends, chanting, "Ha ha. You don't have a Dad." It devastated my student. Of course...and it outraged me.

As a teacher I'm always supposed to smooth the waters and tell them all to get along. I could NOT do it, and told my principal formally. (He agreed. I love him!)

I consoled my student and had a talk with him (again) about picking friends, and how forgiveness is great, but not when it puts you right back in the same situation. I told him I would not be sitting down with them and encouraging an apology as I did NOT want to be part of getting them back together so that my young man could be hurt again.

The principal spoke with the other child, but nothing was done to put them back together. By the last day of school my student was not angry, but communicated to me that he would not be friends with this child anymore. I know it's not PC, but I'm so proud of him.

Sometimes you really do have to stand up, and you need to be forceful. Someone who treats you badly may not notice until you cross that line (even just a little) with them.
Just a couple of thoughts (and from my perspective, usually I'm the bad brother/son who neglects my family :oops: ). Echoing a couple of earlier suggestions, these nieces and nephews are adults now, contact them directly, tell them you would like to see them and make plans with them. Your sister does not need to be involved. You've also mentioned how your mother has not visited your sister in a few years, but your sister makes a point of mentioning her nice redecorating etc. Next time something like that comes up in conversation with your sister, why don't you suggest you pick up your mother and visit your sister together? It may not be fair that you have to instigate things and do the heavy-lifting, but sadly that's family.

From the sound of it, it doesn't sound like your sister doesn't enjoy the company, she just doesn't enjoy/is incapable of doing the planning etc.
Maybe your nephew is trying to find time to visit his old friends. I know that because it was so hard to spend enough time with my parents (divorced) and other family members, I simply didn't have time to try to keep up with my friends in the area, something I deeply regret.

I was the kid who moved away.

When I came back to visit family, with husband and child(ren) in tow, all of my time was spent bouncing between my parents, who were divorced. My very favorite aunt, whose children were like siblings to me, always used to say: Tgir's in town: let's everybody get together for something at my place--and it was just a potluck family get together, which was wonderful: she included both my parents, my cousins, my grandparents on that side of the family, my siblings and their families. It was wonderful and made me feel as though people were really actually glad I came home. BTW, this is something that NONE of my siblings or parents ever did, on any scale, even after my aunt passed away. And quite often, this was the only time in a week long visit that I saw my sisters, even when I did my best to time my visits so we could spend time together. They were always 'busy.' Visits were usually about a week long, and our time was divided between sleeping at one parents' home or the other--as evenly as possible, respecting everybody's schedules, etc. Because of the efforts we made to spend as much time as possible with my relatives, I went years and years without seeing any of my friends who still lived in the area.


Because my husband and I lived far from both sets of parents/siblings, we divided any vacation time up between families as evenly and fairly as possible. His family was easier: his parents were still married to each other and there was not very much extended family in the area, so we could focus our time on his family, and for some years, his old friends who still lived in the area.

Normally, I would say: of course, family comes first. But in truth, my family has pretty much ignored and abandoned me since our parents died. It's actually been quite ugly. Which makes it even worse that I neglected some good friendships to try to maintain a relationship with siblings who honestly couldn't be bothered to say, skip a soccer practice or shopping trip or....nap or whatever. They haven't bothered to send graduation announcements or to let me know that one sister had separated from her husband or... who knows what else? I don't: they simply don't tell me. I tried to ask what I had done and basically, I was told I had done nothing wrong, that I was a horrible person for asking and long story short: they simply never thought about it at all.

My siblings always told me it was 'too far' for them to drive to see me. However, it wasn't too far for me to visit them (or try to) even though I had more children. The real kicker came when they decided to come to Minnesota to see the Mall of America yet didn't have time to see me, except for about an hour. Mall of America is at least 120 miles further to go than my house. They said they 'might' stop back to visit on their way home, but they weren't sure which day they were coming through and I kept getting phone calls every few hours, updating me on their indecision. NO invitation to join them, just letting me know over the course of a couple of days that they weren't sure they'd have time to see me. They did stop for about an hour on the way home. Last I saw of any of them and at this point: the last I intend to see of any of them.

All of this makes me sadder than I can say. While things have not turned out well for me with regards to my sisters, I do urge you to do your best not to take offense at this perceived snub: her son may just asked for quiet time at home with his parents, may have wanted to catch up with friends or maybe there is something else going on.
Both my parents are deceased and my brother is too. My sister who lives 3 hours away has been distant and committed evil talk against me to other family members including my grown daughters who still have a relationship with her. I had to come to the conclusion that I'm can choose if I want someone in my life who is toxic and hateful or if I want peace. I want peace. My sister also removed me from her facebook after combing the friends I had first. She calls my daughters and says mean things about me in a sarcastic kind of way and it takes my girls so much energy to get rid of her on the phone and facebook sometimes.

I also think she has Borderline Personality Disorder which runs in the family as my mother had this. Very sad, but sometimes having healthy boundaries is the only thing you can do with toxic family members.

Can't pick your family, but you can pick your friends!
Paula, I'm so sorry for your pain in dealing with this. Sadly, after reading all the responses, I guess its more common than not. Our family is sorely dysfunctional, and I weeded out the toxic members one by one over the years, including my sister somewhere in Judi's basement.
Does your sister Ever invite anyone to her home? Did your nephew just arrive there and assume to stay with his own mother, or was it planned? As someone suggested, perhaps an illness onset rather than heartless omission? If she isn't becoming more antisocial or reclusive, don't let it happen twice...tell her.
I appreciate the recent replies, but this happened a year ago to the date (so this is the first anniversary!). A few weeks after this happened, I told my sister "I don't think you realized how hurt I was that you didn't invite me to your house to see Dave and Gina." Her response was "I figured you'd see him at Mom's." I truly think she had no idea how upset I was.

A lot has happened in this past year, and Dave and Gina will be town in a few weeks and rest assured, my sister told me 3 weeks ago when they will be in and what day did I want to come up and visit?

So she has learned. And I learned that the best way to deal with hurtful things is to be honest.
Paula O. wrote:
I learned that the best way to deal with hurtful things is to be honest.
I'm so glad that has worked out for you!!! Let me tell you our story about telling the truth that has unfolded since this topic started.

My Dad has not visited my house in at least the last 15 years except as a stopover on the way to my brother's house. I'm pretty much halfway between the two. I'm only an hour away. He only goes to my brother's house when there is a grandchild event (birthday, graduation, etc.). He expects to come to my house and I'll drive him to my brother's house, stay exactly as long as he stays and drive him back.

Frequently he will want to stay overnight at our house, and then be fed in the morning before he goes on his way. Sometimes he tells us in advance, sometimes he just tells us that it's getting late he thinks he will stay.

When I fell ill, he never visited, not once. After two years I called him on it. I said "I've been sick for two years, where have you been? Don't you think I'd like to have some company? You haven't come in two years!" He still never came to visit.

Finally the last time he told us he was staying, I very calmly told him how Joan and I felt. I explained we feel that he is treating us like a bed and breakfast. We'd love for him to come to visit but just not as a surprise and we'd like to see him to come and visit US.

He told us that he would never impose himself on us again, he was humiliated and insulted. He stayed overnight though, and left in the morning without having breakfast.

That was maybe a year ago and he has gone to their house once since. It was the weekend I was ill and unable to attend his birthday and the NEOESR picnic. He didn't ask to stay or for help in getting to my brothers from us, he asked his granddaughter to pick him up and take him the whole way.

Of course he hasn't visited either and while this worked out in the worst possible outcome other than him cutting off all contact, the result is better than us feeling put out when he uses us as his hoteliers. Not only were we the ones being put out, we were the only ones who were agonizing about it. Now we just don't have that worry.
I wanted to put this in my previous post, but forgot. I've been in therapy for a few years and one thing that has stuck with me is "the power is not in the answer, but in the asking." Which to me means you are stronger for asking the question/making your feelings known. It doesn't matter how the person responds. The important thing is telling how you feel.
Ron,

I grew up in the same county as all of my family. I can count on one hand the number of times grandparents from either my mom's side or my dad's side actually came to visit--and almost all of those were when we were hosting Thanksgiving. We visited them nearly every week. My mom's mom and stepfather owned an apple orchard and during apple season, we were there, helping out every single Sunday. As a child, I pretty much just understood that my grandparents, especially my dad's dad, were not very comfortable away from home. Once, my dad's father drove to our house when he knew my dad would be at work, got out of his truck and handed me the tail of a fox he had killed (they kept chickens). He was really proud of the beautiful tail and frankly, it might have brought a bounty and money he could have well used. But he gave it to me, and then got into his truck and drove home.

What was really unforgivable to me was that my mother had a serious stroke at the age of 42. My older sister was in college, my younger sister and I were in high school; our youngest sister was still in elementary school. My grandmother did call every single day while my mother was in the hospital (hospital plus rehab were > 6 months) but only actually came to our house one single time, with her daughter in law. They came by, unannounced, stayed about 15 minutes, offered no help nor even brought so much as casserole or plate of cookies. About an hour later, my grandmother called me to tell me my aunt had noticed a cobweb in the corner of the kitchen, on the ceiling and thought I should know but didn't want to embarrass me by telling me to my face, so she asked my grandmother to call me. (I was the oldest at home and had gone from being a 17 year old hs senior to basically a middle aged woman, with 2 young kids --my sisters, a job--school, a sick mother to take care of--literally in the space of a day)

The total distance from my grandmother's house to our house? Maybe 6 or 7 miles. I am sure they only stopped by because they came to our town to buy groceries. Which I am sure they did about once a week, but never, ever, ever stopped by to check on us, never offered any help, and when my mother was home, never came to check on her or to visit. My grandmother did call multiple times a day, as she always did. Believe it or not, my grandmother and mother (her daugter) were very close. Just not close enough to actually: help. Now, my grandmother's health was not so great around then, but my Aunt was hale and hearty. My mother's brothers were even worse, if you can imagine. Two of them visited her exactly one time during her prolonged hospital stay, one of the many times we thought she would die any moment. The third lived far away and out of state and truly lacked the funds to visit or even call long distance. They never came to see her after she was home and one time stopped by on a Saturday morning, years later, to visit when all 3 brothers were in town, then went out to breakfast, leaving their sister behind, never offering to take her with. Mom was disabled, but mobile, without a walker, even at that point, and while she was changed and 'different' she was more than capable of going out to eat. Heck, she flew to visit me (by this point, I had married and moved far away) unaccompanied. She couldn't drive, but she could get around anywhere she could walk.

More than a year ago, I tried contacting my younger sister, to try to mend whatever the cause of the rift between us. Basically I asked what I had done. What I got in reply was: a lot of name calling, no real answers, except that it basically never occurred to any of my sisters to visit or really do much to keep in touch. Although they had been invited many times, they visited only a handful of times and were always 'busy' when I was back in our home town.

About 4 months ago, my computer crashed, taking with it many photos that I had stored there, the only images of some. I tried contacting my youngest sister whom I knew had some of those pictures, including pictures I had taken at her house the day of my mother's funeral. These are the last photos I have of my father, who died less than 3 months later, and all of his grandchildren. Eventually, she bothered to reply, said she didn't know what photos I was talking about, although I gave her dates of when I would have emailed them to her --and I know I did---I still have part of an email conversation from all those years ago where I talk about them, and she promised me then--6 years ago--to send photos she had of our parents. Never happened. She also never sent me photos this time when I asked her. Begged her, to tell the truth. Luckily, I found some digital copies of many, but not all of them.

That's my family.
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