I need advice from an outside party
I will try to be concise, but there’s so much involved. 🤦♀️
Last November, around this time, we flew to Charleston to see my husband’s family. His sister threw us a beautiful gender reveal party for our child. Seriously, it was amazing and over the top. We had Thanksgiving, and all was well. His sister made a special stuffing (as she and I don’t eat pork). It was made with ground turkey which I don’t eat, but it was so thoughtful of her that I ate it anyway and picked around the meat.
We had plans to Black Friday shop. We were supposed to meet at her house around 11:00. She was running behind (as always), and asked us to come at noon. I had a small snack, because I was hungry and pregnant. My husband had a decent sized breakfast, even though he knew they were making brunch. He said she should have been on schedule. 🤦♀️
We arrive, she has a beautiful spread. Special bagels and donuts. Lots of beverages, and the most delicious French toast I have ever eaten. Haha. She is very much a people-pleaser. She had clearly gone out of her way to make brunch special, and I could acknowledge that. My husband refused to eat. He said he was full. I can agree, this is pretty rude. I felt bad. I ate my fair share though!
Then, he and his sister discuss politics. He is a libertarian and she is very, very liberal. They are both incredibly strong-willed. Her husband and I just sat there and let the discussion occur. Her son was playing in the corner. They had had a similar discussion the night prior, and it hadn’t escalated or anything.
This escalated. They both got super defensive and my husband accidentally dropped a curse word. His sister FLIPPED out. She yelled at him not to speak like that. He said she had been offensive. She said “SAY IT AGAIN! SAY IT AGAIN!” Yelling at him, instigating him. So, of course...he freaking says it again. Now she says we have to leave. She is screaming at him and egging him on. I take her son into his bedroom and tell him to play in there for a few minutes because I felt he didn’t need to see all this.
She yelled at us, saying we didn’t say goodbye to her son. She grabbed him from his room and chased us at the door yelling at us for not saying a proper goodbye. Screaming. I felt so awkward.
We left, and things started to calm down. Then she started texting ME! I hadn’t even been involved! She was saying terrible things. She said we were monsters and she felt sorry for our unborn child. She said we traumatized her son. Just a laundry list of crazy, very horrendous things. I blocked her, because she was upsetting me and she wouldn’t calm down. I had attempted to validate her feelings and she just got crazier.
I was very hurt. As a therapist and child welfare worker, the things she said were terrible to me. My husband texted her and asked her to please stop texting me.
The rest of our trip was terrible. She would call his dad and try to complain about us. She would refer to me as “that girl” and say I was all these terrible things. She even said I was ungrateful because I didn’t eat more of her stuffing? 🤦♀️ I was so grateful for all she had done for us, and thanked her time and time again. Yet she threw it in our faces.
She had bothered us after we returned home, asking if we were still buying her son the gift she had ASSIGNED us to get him. If not, her dad would have to buy it. It’s so stupid on so many levels, but we bought the damn gift.
We hadn’t talked since and had blocked her.
Fast forward. A year later. We have both unblocked her, but have never reached out. She texted my husband this morning, asking us to split the cost of a Ring doorbell for their parents. She hadn’t reached out at all, but of course she reaches out to ask us to help with a gift...again.
I feel torn. I don’t want this relationship to be strained forever. However, she has apologizing to do (as well as my husband and he knows it).
What do we do? Agree to pay for half and then go back to ignoring her? Do we just forget it all and keep her at a distance? Do we demand an apology (and provide one)?
It should be noted she recently told another sibling she thought we had reported her for not paying her student loan debt. We definitely did not do that. That would take effort and time and I’ll intention. She just finally got caught. 🤷🏼♀️