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My sister wants her husband's late wife's parents to send gifts, I said 'get therapy.'

My sister wants her husband's late wife's parents to send gifts, I said 'get therapy.'


My sister (40F) has unrealistic expectations of her husband (42M) and in-laws and calls me an AH for suggesting she goes to therapy.

Complete_Jicama_9896 writes:

My sister, Norah, married Aidan five years ago. Aidan was a widower with two kids when they met. His daughter is now 14, and his son is now 13. Norah and Aidan had their daughter five months ago.

Aidan and his late wife were childhood sweethearts, and their families were very close friends. This did not change after his late wife's death. They often get together to celebrate holidays or just to spend time together. Norah was made aware of this when she started dating Aidan.

She was also told that it would never change. Aidan said the families have become almost like one big family over the years, and they would never exclude the others.

Norah confided in me when she married Aidan that it was awkward seeing photos of his late wife at different in-laws' houses. Aidan's parents have a couple from when Aidan and his late wife were kids and some from when they were married and had the kids.

Aidan's sister has childhood photos and adult photos of her and her late sister-in-law because they were best friends as kids. Norah said it felt like a message they were sending to her. I said they clearly loved Aidan's late wife, and it was likely nothing to do with her. But some people keep photos of late loved ones up, and some others will take them down.

I suggested to her then that she should speak to a therapist because they were unlikely to remove traces of Aidan's late wife from their homes and lives, and she might need some professional help learning to accept that.

She mentioned a few times over the five-year marriage that she felt like Aidan's in-laws (late wife's parents) did not embrace her as much as Aidan's family did and how much it bothered her. She brought up a lot that the kids always referred to her as a stepmother and shot her down hard when she suggested they could call her mom.

It was after Norah's daughter was born that she left me shocked. She and Aidan decorated the baby's room very late (last month, actually), and I had wondered why because she was looking at all the inspiration boards while pregnant.

It was two weeks ago when she came over and started complaining that Aidan's in-laws had gifted the nursery decorations for their grandchildren, and she had held out waiting for them to do the same with her daughter's. She then complained that they were not treating her daughter like their grandchild and how they shouldn't all be one big happy family if that does not include her and her daughter fully.

She said if they want to stick around, they should treat her daughter the very same as they did/do their grandchildren. She said it must be their lack of treating her the same that has her stepkids saying she's a half-sister and not just saying she's a sister.

It was after this I suggested my sister needed therapy because her expectations were so unrealistic that she had left me stunned. My sister said I should be on her side, and telling her she needs therapy is saying she's wrong. AITA?

Here are some of the top comments from the post:

NottheNSA94 says:

Wait wait wait.... Did I read that right? His in-law's, like his late wife's parents? Your sister wants HIS LATE WIFE'S PARENTS to pay for HER child!? While she can feel her feelings (not about being called step mom), especially being married for five years, but that is too far! And to make it out like blackmail, hell no.

And hell no they don't need to embrace her as much as they embrace THEIR OWN DAUGHTER. wtf is wrong with her for that. You are NTA (Not the A%#hole), she definitely is after that last bit. sa

General_Relative2838 says:

NTA. Your BIL’s first wife didn’t leave because she no longer loved her husband and family. She died. To expect her husband’s first wife’s parents and children to treat her as a replacement is so unrealistic it’s mind boggling.

It sounds like the former in-laws welcomed her into their home. Your sister’s pushiness is also more likely to push the kids away. They have to come to your sister on their terms. I hope the kids are allowed to have pictures of their mother in their house. Her expectations are bound to make her and everyone around her unhappy.

Inallea says:

NTA. She can't expect the parents of the deceased's wife to decorate her child's bedroom. That is insane. Also, it probably never crossed their mind because they would think that Norah's family would like to do that and they don't want to take away things from Norah's family.

What do you think? Should OP agree with their sister that her husband's in-laws should've gifted them something for their upcoming child, or is he right to suggest her expectations are unrealistic?

Sources: Reddit
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