“[Am I The Jerk] For Telling My SIL I Will Disown Her If She Gets Pregnant”
Most people would agree that threatening to disown one’s family member is the last measure to be taken when nothing else has worked. An ultimatum of the sort was exactly the one this Redditor gave to her brother’s wife when she heard her talk about getting pregnant. This woman shared her experience living with her brother’s family, asking people online if such a step was appropriate in this situation.
More info: Reddit
A woman lives with her brother’s family and has a strong opinion about them having another child
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She appreciated the couple helping her; however, she threatened to disown her SIL if she gets pregnant
Image credits: Alexandru Panoiu (not the actual photo)
Image credits: Quazie (not the actual photo)
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The woman pays 2/3 of utilities, takes care of the household and her niece, in addition to working full-time
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SIL refuses to cook or help around the house and only interacts with her 6 Y.O. daughter when she has to
A woman moved in with her brother’s family during a difficult period when she was down on her luck and unemployed. She explains that she is incredibly thankful they helped her out. In the beginning, it was about her moving in while she was unemployed and helping around the house “until she was on her feet”. However, the family decided to extend the agreement even after the woman started working.
This meant that now she was working 45 hours a week, doing almost all the household work at home, including looking after her brother’s 6-year-old daughter, and paying around two-thirds of the utilities. Of course, living with her brother’s family was voluntary, and despite sometimes arguing about the household work, they were getting along.
The relationship changed when the couple shared their plans of having another child, to which the woman had very strong objections and threatened to disown her brother’s wife in addition to making other members of the extended family do the same. However, disowning her brother was not in her plans.
She gives her reasons for doing so, the main being that her sister-in-law can barely take care of herself as she sleeps most of the day, does not clean, does not cook, and doesn’t take care of the child she already has. She only interacts with her 6-year-old daughter if she has to. Finally, her SIL lost custody of her 11-year-old son from a previous marriage, who said she abused him, and she did not fight to get him back.
The woman’s brother told her he has an appointment to discuss vasectomy reversal so he and his wife can have a baby
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The woman told them if they had a baby she would disown her SIL and would make sure the rest of the family does the same
Having these aspects in mind and the family being in a difficult financial situation, this woman claimed they were out of their minds to think of having another child. She asked the couple who was going to take care of a baby when she and her brother work full-time and his wife refuses to contribute even with simple chores.
This led to her brother’s wife locking herself in the bathroom and crying, while her brother threatened to kick her out. However, the woman answered that her brother cannot afford to kick her out, as she pays a big part of the bills and helps as a nanny and housekeeper.
In her article, Amy Morin listed the most common reasons why people cut ties with their family members, which included sexual, physical, or emotional abuse or neglect, poor parenting, betrayal, drug abuse, disagreement, and physical or mental health problems.
Kristina Scharp explained for The Conversation that family estrangement occurs when at least one family member distances themselves from another family member because of a negative relationship or because they understand the relationship to be negative.
She suggests that estrangement is not a particular event or outcome, but an ongoing process that varies in degree. For this reason, according to Scharp, it is more accurate to describe people as more estranged or less estranged, rather than estranged or not.
Estrangement is voluntary and intentional and is often based on ongoing issues. The decision to keep some distance between family members usually has a long history of conflict and negative experiences rather than being a sudden decision. However, sudden decisions of this sort occur as well.
Finally, Scharp noted that while estrangement is stressful, it can be a healthy solution to an unhealthy environment that can help a person’s emotional and physical health.