Sticky birthday situation


Hello, CAF friends,

Next week is my sister-in-law’s birthday. To make a long story short, she and my brother have been having some major problems in their 18-year marriage, and last week he decided to go stay in one of his vacant rental units for awhile. Nothing is permanent at this point. I am wondering what to do about my SIL’s birthday. We never exchanged gifts, so that isn’t an issue, but I feel that I should at least send her a card. The thing is, she has done some really evil, vindictive things toward my brother over the last year, and if I didn’t think there was a chance of them reconciling, I’d skip the whole thing. But just in case they do get things worked out, I don’t want any ill-will between us. So I bought a low-key card with a dog on it (she’s a dog-lover), and I want to write a little note acknowledging that things have changed but without giving her the impression that I’m taking her side in this ordeal. And heaven knows this will not be a “happy” birthday for her. Any suggestions here? Thank you and God bless!


Maybe just a short and simple note saying that you’re thinking of her on her birthday and that you are praying for her and your brother?


Send the card. Just don’t try to put much in it. If I sent it, I’d limit it to “Thinking of you on your birthday, love, Burbs and the crew” and that’d be that.

Sorry you’re going through this.


If it were me, and only because I know my relationship with my family members, I would call my brother and talk it over with him. I would tell him I was thinking of her and her birthday and wanted to send a card. I have a sister who went through a divorce and it was hard, but even at their worst points they both knew we loved and supported them and their kids. Maybe it would be a good time to be an ear to listen to your brother about things.
Even if things were awful with your SIL, the fact that you support them as a family and want to work toward family peace is really wonderful. She is very lucky to have you as a SIL.


Thanks for your suggestions and kind words. :slight_smile: I think I’ll go with the “thinking of you and remembering you in my prayers” sort of thing, and leave it at that. Just this morning I talked with my mother, and she told me that they usually give my SIL some money along with her birthday card. Now **that’**s gonna be even more touchy! :o


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