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  1. #1
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    Default Dilemma

    My family (my father and two sisters) dynamics are estranged to say the least. However I have four nieces and a nephew and my inner moral compass is saying they haven’t done anything wrong so I should buy them a Christmas and birthday present as every year I have done so, however that is not returned with my three children- once in a blue moon will they receive something. Never once from their grandfather. Unless I drive to them they don’t see them, never ask how they are.

    What would you do;
    1: continue to buy birthday and Christmas presents as always
    2: don’t buy anything.

    I’m so conflicted with what to do as I love them as if they were my own but on the other hand feel so disconnected from them.

  2. #2
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    i wouldn’t bother is my short answer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by turquoisecoast View Post
    i wouldn’t bother is my short answer.
    That’s what I’m leaning towards if they can’t make the effort then why should I.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emma1217 View Post
    That’s what I’m leaning towards if they can’t make the effort then why should I.
    Because you love them and want to build a direct relationship with them.

    Eta by "them" I mean the kids.
    Last edited by Kalina; 24-11-2020 at 22:03.

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  6. #5
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    I'm doing something similar. My nephews have gotten to an age where they'll contact me to say thanks at least. I don't expect anything in return because that would need to be initiated by their parents.

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  8. #6
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    I have a sister that I haven't been in contact with for many years and a niece that sadly I have not met. I always buy her a birthday and Christmas present but my sister also buys for my two children so a little different to your situation. I would like to think this would continue even if my sister stopped buying for my children. I would still see myself as her aunty and my children as her cousins that love her and would love nothing more than to have her be part of our lives. Maybe not now but maybe when she is old enough to make that decision for herself.
    Last edited by emena; 24-11-2020 at 22:27.

  9. #7
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    I was like you but stopped.
    I would send birthday, Xmas and even Easter every year to my nieces, nephews and great nephews. My kids never even got a text message, not even a FACEBOOK message to me to even wish them a happy birthday. I kept going because it's not about me getting thanks ( the only confirmation we'd get that things were received was if we tracked a parcel and it said delivered).

    However, when my (at the time, turning 6) eldest just wanted a card in the mail from his cousins, and it never came, He would check the mail daily for weeks and be heartbroken each day there was nothing.
    Eventually he gave up looking, after shedding many tears.
    He didn't want a gift, just a simple $1 card, and no one could do that.... His birthday wasn't hard to remember, the day before my nieces!!!
    I gave up after that. They still haven't sent my kids anything years later so 🤷‍♀️
    Oh, and as if having 1 child the day before my niece was easy to remember, my 2nd was born on my mums birthday, which is also the day before my niece and nephews birthday... mum would get phone calls, messages, gifts, but not my son. Again, 15 seconds of their day to even Facebook a "happy birthday ds2" was too much...

    My motto after this year is I'll treat others how I would like to be treated, but relationships with family, I'll put in equal effort to them. If they don't try, I'm not going to either and I'm not going to let it bother me.
    Last edited by EnchantedGrace; 25-11-2020 at 16:24.

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    dh has a very distant relationship with his brother. from a practical perspective, it’s non existent. his wife is something else, has caused trouble within the family for years. we’ve tried and tried and just given up after the way she treated dd and i at dh’s 40th last year. to protect my own mental health and emotional well-being, i just can’t do it. and ultimately it’s his brother, if he’s happy with a non-relationship, who am i really to push it. i wouldn’t want him pushing his opinions about the relationship i choose with my family onto me, so i stand back and let him choose his. for me personally, i’m not engaging wit toxic people for the sake of sending a christmas gift. it’s just not worth it. and sending a gift once or twice a year does not a relationship make.

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    I gave up awhile ago talking to my dad and sisters, I guess I was living with hope that maybe they’d do the same as me. Clearly that is not going to happen, I feel sad, but ultimately there is nothing I can do to change the way that it is. My sister did ask months ago, if I was going to go there for Christmas Day I said no way, nearly3 hours of driving one way them being there an hour or so, getting insulted because my kids don’t act a certain way. instead I decided I’m going to go to the waterfalls which is about 20 minutes up the road, take the kids and depending on the weather go in the water, just have a peaceful Christmas.

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    We stopped buying for our niece and nephew who live interstate a few years ago as gifts were not reciprocated (and on a few occasions my SIL would forget to acknowledge they'd received what we sent).

    There was no discussion or hard feelings involved, I just thought why bother when they don't?!

    If we see them in person we do buy for them though.

    In your situation I'd probably stop buying for them.

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