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My husband hates my sister

Well it was all my fault when I told my husband, as part of my new honesty campaign, that my sister said some unfavorable stuff about us to our cousin.  But meanwhile, after thinking about it, instead of nailing my sister on it, I told her that we both needed to start marketing each other better - and that I've said crap about her too - and listed all of the things I typically say (honesty policy). 

 She thought it was a mature outlook and we agreed to only say nice things about each other to other people from here on.  Very healthy. 

However, my hubby never got over it.  So now she's not allowed over when he's home.  Plus, we have a four month old so sis wants to be more involved.  Hubby? wants her explicitly less involved. 

Now my hubby wants to run off to his mother's in Maine for Baby's First Christmas, which will break my sister's heart to no be included (she'll have nowhwere to go). (and his mother is one we just found last year - he was adopted and she is biological - so we have a good relationship, but it's not like it's "home" for him) 

How can I fix this?  I've tried asking my husband to give her the same break that I did... and then if she breeches it... then he's justified.  But he won't budge.  I mean he will. not. budge.  My sis and I are finally on the same page.  But he doesn't ever want to see her again.  I kind of feel like he's being immature and I'm on her side.  But then everyone else says, "You have to be on your husband's side."  Argh!


Re: My husband hates my sister

  • What did she say about the two of you, and what exactly is this new honesty campaign of yours?
  • Why exactly are you so much into everyone else's business?
  • I also would be interested to hear more about this honesty campaign, and what exactly your sister said.  I also find your perception of not saying nasty things about each other as a marketing campaign to be a little strange.  It makes you sound emotionally cold, like you're making an effort to be nicer to her only as a show for other people, not because you love her and want to make amends for past wrongdoings.

    Also, I think it's kind of crappy that you're so dismissive of your husband's desire to see his biological mom for the holidays.  Just because it isn't "home" doesn't mean it's not important to him.  He's had a lifetime of Christmases without her- maybe he would like that to be different.  I'm not saying what you want to do doesn't matter, just that going to visit his mom shouldn't be taken off the table.

  • Your Dh is entitled to his opinion. When your sister ran her mouth, she was disrespectful to two people. You forgave her, and that's great. She should be thankful for that. However, your DH has the right to his own opinions, and if he chooses not to forgive her (yet) that's his choice and your sister will have to live with the consequences of her actions. However, your DH does not have the right to cut your sister out of your daughters life and should not stand in the way of that relationship, nor should he badmouth your sister in front of your daughter (if it ever comes to that.)

    Christmas is not just one day. You can celebrate with sister on another day.

    Best of luck as all of these relationships grow and heal.

    Break cycle BFP on 11/6/12 after 17 cycles and a failed IUI - TTC/BFP details in bio
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  • 1. Stop trolling

    2.  The decision to not say bad things is a good one and very mature.  People vent about others, especially people they are close to because they have the comfort of knowing it will most likely not be a permanent state.  Just to blow off steam and move forward with the relationship.   Who hasn't vented about their sister driving them crazy.  Outsiders take the conversation at face value and will hold a grudge about small indiscretions in the long run.  Case in point the husband....

    3.  The husband seems like he takes things pretty personally.  Anyone who would not support me fostering a non destructive relationship with a loved one would most likely not stay in my life for an extended period of time.  Positivity and forgiveness breeds the same.  

    4.  The point isn't that she doesn't want to visit the mom it's that her sister would be alone.  She is opening her family to a woman her husband has know for a year while he is shutting out a woman who has most likely been there for her support for many moments throughout her life.  

    5.  He does not choose who is a part of your life.  If there is no compromise there is no relationship, just depends on how long it takes for you to realize it.  


  • Thanks everyone!  I appreciate your input even if you're mean to me -- good honesty. :)

    The details are that she said my hubby is verbally abusive and I'm not a natural mother (she denied this one but I kind of believe she said it).  When I asked if she would apologize to my husband, she said that she couldn't do that because she believes it is true. 

    Now, my hubby and I go to therapy (preventative - we're not in marriage trouble) so I put it on the table in last session (waited for therapist to be present).  When I told the therapist my sis wouldn't apologize, he asked what I thought.  I agreed that he is "borderline."  He's really just very short tempered, but he doesn't degrade me at all.  He just snaps easily.  But don't go overboard on this -- he's a really wonderful guy -- very loving and funny.  Just ... impatient.  So she sees these little snaps and then went blabbing to the family. 

    So is it a serious accusation?  Yes.  But now the therapist is trying to work on Dave's temper so the fight with sis is back burnered as far as having my therapist's help on the issue.  And we only see the therapist every 3 wks or so... so meanwhile tick tock on the holidays.  Oh and this weekend?  It's my mother's birthday and we can't all go out to dinner together because my husband refuses to do so with sis and so mom said to just forget the whole thing.  Ugh.

    Where's mom in all this?  She's caught in the middle like me... unsure how to handle.  But she *may* go to TX for Christmas this year to spend with my neice (her first grandchild) since it will be her last child-hood Christmas (entering pre-teen) and my son is too young to know the difference.  If she goes to TX, then hubby wants to go to Maine with his mother.  More on this a few paragraphs below...

    My marketing/honesty campaign makes me sound cold and emotionally detached?  That's may be true.  I've been called that before.  What can I say?  Thanks?  The honesty campaign is for my sister mostly. She can be a little difficult -- a know it all, very narcisstic.  So when she gets that way I just call her out on it instead of rolling my eyes and calling her narcisstic behind her back.  Instead... by the likes of, "Please don't tell me how pretty you are. You're not supposed to say those things out loud. They sound conceited."  Simple stuff.  And by the way?  She Loves it!

    But asking to market each other better was just a way of saying it...  When I had my talk with her about what I had heard she said, I told her that I didn't feel right reprimanding her for it since I had said unfavorable things about her, too.  And then I told her I think she's narcistic and a know-it-all, and a bully.  I told her that, since this whole thing began with a call to my cousin, that we need to be more careful about what we say about each other.  If we're giving each other bad reps in the family, then we should start "marketing" each other better.  Also, the honesty policy has put these kinds of things right on the table, so now she knows what I think of her and I know what she thinks of me.... and we work on fixing those perceptions, or fixing the behavior, whichever may be the truest.

    And thanks to "barrett1993" who said: The point isn't that she doesn't want to visit the mom it's that her sister would be alone.  She is opening her family to a woman her husband has know for a year while he is shutting out a woman who has most likely been there for her support for many moments throughout her life.  EXACTLY!  And I don't mind going to his mother's for Christmas - would be really great actually.  I just don't want for my sister to feel shut out.... on purpose as it would be.  And she's already considered inviting herself to Maine if this happens, and THAT? will not happen as far as my husband's concerned. So double whammy on her and it's mean. 

    I agree that if my husband doesn't want to see her (or isn't ready), then I need to stand by him.  So she's been coming over to see the baby while we're at work (she works from home - sales - so her time is flexible).  He never said she couldn't spend time with our son.  And then I've been meeting her out to shop/eat, etc.  And he said that he appreciates us doing these things around his schedule and not involving him or her coming over when he's home. 

    I just feel awful that I've finally got my sis and I at a good, honest point.  There's been NO more negativity.  We've been really healthy. But now he refuses to give her a chance.  And come the holidays... ugh, she is going to CRY -- I can see it now.  Plus she just got laid off so is a little fragile.  She is SO into this baby (never had her own) and she absolutely Loves the holidays.  And if my mother does Not go to TX, then he still won't allow her over for dinner/breakfast, etc.  What, mom and I would bring baby to Sis on Christmas?.. and then my husband is left at home alone.   It would be a real shame if we can't get it together.


  • I'm going to go against the grain and say that I think you are really in the wrong here.

    I'm trying to think of how I would fee if my BIL called me verbally abusive toward my husband and refused to apologize because he believes it is true. Um, ouch? 

    I don't blame your husband one bit for not wanting to be around your sister, and I can't believe how much you are siding with your sister on this one. Your family is important, but not as much as your own family unit - your husband and child. Seriously. Your solution is to leave your husband at home alone on Christmas and take the baby over to your mother's because "your sister loves the holidays"??? Are you kidding?

    And why do you have to spend Christmas with her or your family? What's wrong with spending it with his family in Maine and for the love of god, why the hell would your sister even THINK of going with you for that?!?!?

    Is your sister severely disabled? Why is how she spends Christmas even a concern of yours? If she is alone on Christmas that is her own choosing - why not spend it with her mother? Or friends? Or her own family?

    I really feel bad for your husband in this. You don't have his back at all. She said an awful thing about him (why did you think it was a good idea to even tell him that?!?!) and refuses to apologize, which means that she still thinks such an awful thing of him. And you want him to forgive her and pretend that things are fine and spend super happy hallmark card style holidays together? 



    Chronically hilarious - you'll split your stitches!
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  • Who was mean to you?

    She is opening her family to a woman her husband has know for a year while he is shutting out a woman who has most likely been there for her support for many moments throughout her life.

    I guess I'm just confused, since you spend a lot of time describing your sister as a narcissistic bully- those are pretty strong words that give me the impression that she hasn't been very supportive.  And since I don't know your husband personally, I can't make the call on whether he actually is verbally abusive, but I don't see how you could expect him to give her a chance when she has specifically said she stands by her comment and won't apologize to him for it.  If he's not verbally abusive, then yeah, that's pretty awful of her and he shouldn't be expected to have a relationship with her.  If she is right to be concerned (and with what you've shared about his temper, I might give some serious consideration to her assessment), then you are focusing on the wrong thing entirely.

    At any rate, there's a lot going on here which your preventative therapist is probably in a better position to help you sort out than strangers on the internet, so I guess I would advise you to continue with that?

  • Dear Tofumonkey,

     Thank you!  You're helping me see the light here.  I do want to have his back.  I guess you just have to have lived my family's history to understand why I'm worried about my sister.  But you are 100% correct that my husband should come first, especially given the weight of the comment she said. 

    I don't believe she has anywhere else to go for the holidays -- and I suppose that's her own doing because she has trouble with relationships.  I don't know why I feel so badly for her -- I just do. 

    So maybe the answer is that we should just go to Maine and that way I don't have to even worry about the day's logistics -- we're just gone.  But I will still worry about her.  Can't explain it. First time ever I cared this much about her -- maybe because I know she's making an effort to change.  Unfortunatly just a little too late.  And to answer your question as to why would I think of telling him that she said those things??... yeah.... Biggest. Mistake. Ever!  Lesson learned.

  • Well, I think that you are feeling unnecessarily stressed about how she spends her holiday and how she feels during the holiday period and that it's causing you to accommodate her at the expense of your own family's holiday. Seriously, Christmas should not be this stressful.

    I've got a BIL that lives by himself and we worry that if MIL comes to visit during a holiday that he'll be spending it on his own. We had to realize that was his choice, though, and his issue to sort out, not ours.

    I kind of feel like you are putting the blame on your husband that your family can't have nice get togethers, meals or holidays together when this isn't his doing, it's your sister's. And then you turn around and deal with that by excessively trying to accommodate your sister - planning your Christmas around her, her spending time with your child while you and your husband are at work... it just seems... off.


    Chronically hilarious - you'll split your stitches!
    I wrote a book! Bucket list CHECK!
  • I don't understand why your DH not wanting to see your sister means that YOU had to miss your mothers b-day.  On that - I feel you're in the wrong.  I get that you want to stand behind him, but when that means missing your MOM's b-day because of your sister- that's wrong.  He didn't have to go, but you should have.

    On this aspect, I feel your DH is giving your sister WAY too much power here.  I get it that he doesn't like her and doesn't really want to be around her.  But he can find better ways to manage that than this leading to BOTH of you missing your mom's b-day.  All this is accomplishing is hurting even more people. 

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • Dear East Coast Bride.

    BTW, I love your handle - East coast rules!   So... no one missed her birthday - it hasn't happened yet (Saturday).  And I do intend on going to dinner with her.  But it's my mother who said, "If we can't all go, then forget the whole thing."  Which, we're ignoring that and my sis and I are going to take her out anyway.  My husband usually dislikes going to out to eat anyway and would much rather be at home with the baby than in a restaurant.  But I wish we could all go, and evidently so does mother.  It's just an additional complication and I suspect we'll have many of these.

  • O.k. - I misunderstood.  I thought you meant that because your DH refused to go, you didn't go, and therefore it was cancelled.  But now I understand better, and I would actually say to your mom that she shouldn't give your DH so much power. :)  He doesn't want to go?  Then so be it - she gets to spend time w/ her 2 DD's. 
    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • I guess you have learned your lesson, but, I would never tell my husband if my sister said something bad about him. Same goes for complaining to family about my husband. The problem is you get over it and make up, but they don't.

    I also don't care for people who run around telling others what people say about them. If your cousin was so concerned about what your sister said she should have stuck up for you with her and then kept her mouth shut. Rarely does anything good come from telling others negative things people have said about them. Everyone vents, has a bad day, gets jealous etc... Who knows why she said it. You said your husband snaps easily, maybe she is truly worried for you and afraid to talk to you about it. You've made alot of excuses for his temper just in this post, I can see why she wouldn't feel she could speak with you directly about it.

    That being said, I am concerned your DH is so defensive. While what she said was out of line his reaction makes me think he may know it's possibly true. Obviously he knows he has anger issues, that's not her fault. He needs to stop focusing on her and worry about his own problems and how to handle his reactions better. Good luck with the counciling. 

    I can understand him not wanting her at your house when he is there, especially if you get to see plenty of her when he isn't around. Missing family get togethers is going too far though. If he didn't want to go to her birthday party I could understand, but not going to your mothers is just silly. If he wants you to support him he has to support you too. That means putting on his big boy pants and setting his feelings aside in the interest of celebrating your mothers birthday. 
  • I don't know why I thought it was a cousin, either way, I'm sure you get what I mean.
  • My only suggestion is to tell both your DH and your sister that this rift is causing you pain and you wish they would at least be civil to each other- for your sake and for your child's sake, if for no other reason. They don't have to be besties, but both of them will be in your life for (hopefully) a long time- they can certainly learn how to play nice and not put you in the middle. (Even if you played your own part in causing all of this.) Perhaps they can talk things out on their own and come to a resolution.

    If this is a pipe dream, at least you will have learned what not to do for the future. 

    ETA: And apologize to both of them for your role in this whole thing!

    TTC # 1 since May 2010
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  • I have to tell you I totally get where you are coming from!  I have been going through a similar situation myself, my sister and her husband have turned against me and my husband when we got engaged.

    I had asked my sister to be my maid of honor which she begrudgingly excepted and then back out projecting all kinds of falsehoods onto my fianc? and I. She blamed me for things I had no control over, then accused my fianc? of terrible things.  I calmly told her that her interpretations of things was totally different then reality and she flipped.  I tried not to let her get me down even though inside I was broken hearted.  She then turned everything around on me but said despite of everything she was willing to be the better person and still be one of my bridesmaids.  What did I do you ask, well I let her get away with her behaviour and be a part of the wedding of course!

     My now husband was so and is still very frustrated and upset with my sister and her actions. He only went along along with the whole thing because I asked him to.  Meanwhile her and her husband behaved so terribly (it's too long of a story to post here) I was dumbfounded. To be quite honest she ruined my wedding, which is what I think she wanted to do in the first place.

    She and I have always had a very unique relationship which mostly consists of her being jealous & hurting me and me forgiving her regardless.  She is my older sister and my only sister and i've always looked up to her and loved her and I have allowed this behavior for far too long. 

    I would back up your husband.  Go to Maine to be with his family.  Let her think about what she did and let her know that her actions have consequences.  You need to make a stand and you vowed to your husband to be there for him for better or for worse.  He is your family now and he should come first, it's unfortunate that everyone can't get along but these things happen. I only wish I could have followed my own advice.  Hopefully it will get better between all of you but I really think you need to take a stand against her to show her she can't continue behaving this way.

    Good Luck! 

  • I understand about having sister issues like this - I've had a similar situation and my hubby is the same way. What you have to remember is your husband comes first no matter what; the day you said "I do" made him your priority over anyone else. You reconciled with your sister and that's admirable, but that doesn't mean your hubby reconciled with her. If you want peaceful relations between the two they'll have to talk between them even if you're present as a referee.

    Your sister is a grown woman and if you choose to support your hubby and spend time with his biological mother then your sis can handle that. Explain the situation to her (honesty is the best policy) and if she is on board with your honesty campaign then she will understand your side and accept it.

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