New sis-in-law moves here but no contact

by Perplexed
(Phoenix)

My husband and his brother are as close as twin brothers. They both married a couple years ago 2 weeks apart mainly because his brother's bride lived in another country and she had been trying to get citizenship for 5 years so the brother moved there to marry his bride. It was two years before they had success. During that time the brother had to leave his bride for 2 weeks before he could return on his visa and he spent a lot of time with us visiting and we got along great. Now that he's returned with his wife to the country she has not acknowledged our text messages welcoming her to the country,or even messages passed to her husband to give her. Mind you, my husband knows her pretty well as his brother had dated this gal for a long time, many years and we have done much to try to help them with their paperwork for her citizenship and they have sent us gifts in the mail etc... Since they've returned they've not visited anyone in the family even once for months and we are a close family having big dinners together frequently not even the parents. We're trying not to be offended or hurt by it. The brother comes by my husband's work from time to time and allude to his wife not wntong him to talk about them but we have learned she is very stressed out about something. Still it seems to me that decorum would state at some point they should present themselves to the family or at least let us know what they need from us even if it's space. I believe it's her decision as she comes from a female dominant family and culture and there must be some hurt or offense be it by her spouse or perhaps the family but we haven't had much contact with them so I don't think it's that. Please help. What's the proper thing in this instance? I've even sent her a text mentioning that she's never answered any of my texts back - and we are on a shared phone plan with them!

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Welcoming Approach
by: Ms P Etiquette

Dear Perplexed,

Clearly, your sister-in-law is having a difficult time adjusting to life in a new country. Or she and her husband are experiencing problems. I suggest you try to help rather than point out her behavior to her. A hand written note is so much nicer than a text message, perhaps you can write to her explaining your desire to welcome her to the family and invite her to lunch with you as a welcome. ​That is entirely appropriate behavior. It is never good manners to make another feel guilty about their own behavior.

Good luck,

Ms. Practical Etiquette

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