When this woman tells her SIL the truth about her late SIL, she asks Reddit:
My brother met his late wife, Emer, when they were both 12. I was 14. Emer and I became really amazing friends and she and my brother ended up dating by the time they were 14 and were together until her death just after her 28th birthday. They had two boys together who were 5 and 7 when Emer died.
Two years after Emer died my brother met his current wife Laura. They dated for two years and got married 18 months ago. The boys are now 11 and 13. The boys aren't really crazy about Laura.
They are respectful but she wants a more motherly relationship with them and they're not interested in that with her. My brother was sorta upset about their lack of interest in a closer relationship with Laura and we were talking about it recently and I brought up our own complicated relationship with our dad and his second wife.
The background there is my brother and I are both adoptees. Our mom was the woman who adopted us at our births with our dad. She died when we were 6 and 8. Our dad pushed for us to call his second wife mom. His wife pushed for the same. The fact we were adopted was used as a reason why we should be able to accept his wife as our mom.
Because we weren't biologically related to our mom. Neither of us ever saw her as anything else and dad decided we should have no contact with each other if we didn't accept his wife and her kids as our mom and siblings.
Emer knew how bad things were with our dad and his second wife and she often heard my brother vent about how bad dad was for never understan ding that him falling in love with someone else enough for them to be his wife didn't mean we would feel the same way about the same woman for her to be our new mom.
When Emer knew she was dying she told my brother to remember that if he found someone and their boys didn't want her to be more than his wife. She also wrote him a letter and touched on it there. He had me read the letter to him after Emer passed.
Talking this all through with my brother helped him to realize he was doing what our dad had done. He said he somewhat understood dad a little, in that the hope was there, but he never wanted to do to his boys what dad did to us.
He and Laura spoke. Then a couple of days ago my brother and Laura were at my house and she was trying to tell him that Emer would have wanted the boys to have a second mom and it's what all parents want. They would want someone doing that for their kids. My brother told her he knew that wasn't true.
She asked if he really believed that and said he might have picked it up wrong. I told her she couldn't speak for Emer. I reminded her that I was present when Emer said it and I read the letter to my brother.
She told me I should be backing her up and if I love Emer so much I would agree that she would want that. My brother told her I knew Emer. She said that didn't mean I had to accuse her so harshly.She told me I wasn't helping anyone by interfering. AITA?
NTA. She can be acting like a mother to those boys without forcing them to call her such. There is a huge difference in that, it sounds almost as if she is working on the premise "If they start calling me mom, they will start believing I am one". Instead of "If I act like they are my kids, they might start seeing me as their parent".
Also, not to forget, even with biological parents 11-13 is the start of teenage years and it isn't specifically good period during which kids feel very fond of their parents ;) It is more strenuous and rebellious time even when you are blood-related.
NTA. Laura needs to make like Elsa and let it go. The more she tries to force herself on her stepsons as their "new mom" the more they're going to resent and pull away from her. You're not interfering, you're backing up your brother and advocating for exactly what Emer, your best friend and your nephews' mom, repeatedly asked for.
Sorry. YTA If she had specifically asked for your input it’d be one thing but because you have your own feelings and grief (including your own baggage about your past situation) you inserted yourself.
I have made this mistake myself in the past but I firmly believe people should stay out of the middle of a problem between a couple. With a couple of exceptions, obviously. That being said, I hope she doesn’t continue to pressure the kids and let’s the relationship grow at its own pace.