Relationships

SIL Drama

I have been with my fiancee for over 2 years now and we have been engaged for 6 months. 3 months after we got engaged his younger sister also got engaged. I knew this would be complicated, as most family lives out of town and as she is the definition of princess she would be having the big wedding that everyone attended where as my fiancee and I would have the smaller intimate affair. Now his sister and I have always got along. There has never been an issue between us, she asked me to teach her how to drive, we've been to Bridal Expo's together and many nights out and long conversations. 

About a month ago, when we were comparing guest lists she noticed that my fiancee and I were not inviting the entire side of his family - excluding some of the cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. My fiancee and I had decided on a small wedding - approx 60 people, and my family was approx 10 people - his was over 40. We agreed - with his parent's consent - to only invite the close extended family. His sister said nothing at the time when we were comparing guest lists, but that night my fiancee got his ear full (via text) from his sister. She basically was livid that we were cutting any of his family and said I should cut my family so his distant cousins (and their kids) could attend. This attack went on to include if we had the reception somewhere cheaper we could invite more people (we had decided to have the reception at the hotel where we had met), that what I was spending on center-pieces was ridiculous, and that I was spending all of his parent's hard earned money (they hadn't given us any money for the wedding, but had offered to help if needed). 

It's a month later. I have tried on 5 separate occasions to speak with his sister. I want to clear the air. See where this came from. Hopefully mend what ever has happened. In the mean time his parents are acting like we better cancel our wedding because it's upsetting his sister. Now don't get me wrong, I want to resolve this issue, but I'm not willing to concede. She refuses to speak to me, be in the same room as me, nor will she acknowledge that there is an issue. My fiancee and his sister have never had a good relationship, they are the epitome of sibling rivalry. I am an only child, so I really don't understand when my fiancee tells me that his sister doesn't like him, therefore I am guilty by association.

I don't know what to do. My fiancee and I have stopped going to family dinners, declined attending events where she will be and with my fiancees birthday coming up, we have not invited her to our house for the event. I feel like everyone is blaming me for the family tension. His mom continues to cry because the family is starting to be split up. I feel if I really cancel my wedding, that I may make the sister and his mom happy, but I will resent them all.

I feel I could resolve this if we could talk - I've tried emails multiple times, and she is twisting everything I say to make her look like the victim. I feel this is straining my relationship with my fiancee because friends/work, etc ask when's the wedding or how is wedding planning going and I honestly don't have an answer - everything is in limbo right now and I am seriously losing sleep!

Any advice out there?? I really need it. 

Re: SIL Drama

  • Oh good God. Stop trying with her. She sounds immature and I'm sure she's used to throwing temper tantrums to get her way. Stop playing into her game. Your DH isn't close to her, and you were until she didn't get her way. You aren't going to be close to her. Let her be a child and back off

     However, if you all want to go to his parents house, then GO. it's ridiculous tha you all give her so much power. She won't talk to you?  So what? Talk to those people who will talk to you!  Is it really that hard?

     She knows she has all the power. Take it away. 

    And as far as your weddi g goes - no, do NOT cancel your wedding over her. That's beyond ridiculous and your DH needs to tell his parents this!

    Im stunned at how much power you give this girl.  

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  • Elope.

    That'll really piss her off.

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  • This is a crash-course in his family dynamics.  His sister gets upset, his parents get upset because his sister is upset and therefore they do not have a happy family, and everyone puts pressure on whoever is upsetting Sister to make her happy so they can go back to having peaceful family dinners and getting along.  

    See this not just as a sister problem, but a whole-family problem- it's his parents, too.  They do have a choice between crying to you over how sad they are that the whole family can't be happy anymore and maybe you should just cancel the wedding, or telling his sister to mind her own business, keep her nose out of your wedding decisions, behave herself at family functions around you or stay home herself, and to realize what an affect her behavior is having on the entire family and their son, who is about to get married and shouldn't have to put up with her nonsense.  His parents are absolutely choosing to put their daughter's tantrum over their son, and I'm willing to bet that dynamic has gone on for quite a while and plays a great deal into why there is so much sibling rivalry.

    So- wedding aside, how is this going to play out in your married life? This is the first, biggest conversation to have with your fiance.  It sounds like you've already decided- as a couple- to attempt to deal with the main issue directly but not to socialize with her until she's done with the dramatics.  Ask your fiance- how has he dealt with stuff like this before? What was the aftermath? What worked best, and what didn't? How does he approach his parents on this issue- does he see his parents' role in the problem, or is he only upset with his sister? 

    Have a solid plan for how you will deal with this dynamic as a couple- what both of you will say when she flips out, what both of you will say when his parents pressure you to give in, what things you will and won't put up with as a couple.  And then keep planning your wedding and living your life, and dealing with his family the way you both agreed to.  


  • How did your fiance respond to FSIL's tantrum, and how does he handle the guilt trips from his mom?
  • image renegade gaucho:
    How did your fiance respond to FSIL's tantrum, and how does he handle the guilt trips from his mom?
    THis is really what matters the most here - where does he stand?  Is the "do we cancel" due to HIM thinking you all need to cancel?  If so - read VAgal's post again.  Because if HE is 2nd guessing things because of all this - you may actually really want to think long and hard about marrying into this.  Because it will not stop.

    But if he's on the side of "screw 'em, we're not cancelling" and he's annoyed w/ his family - then there is a chance that you call can effectively deal w/ his family.

    It really all depends if you and yoru FI are on the same page or not.

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  • Who cares if she doesn't approve of your guest list? Why does she have any say in any of this? Why are you even concerned? Focus on planning your wedding the way you want to. I don't know why you'd skip out on family dinners because of this. It seems to me that you are also acting very immature here.  
  • image EastCoastBride:

    Oh good God. Stop trying with her. She sounds immature and I'm sure she's used to throwing temper tantrums to get her way. Stop playing into her game. Your DH isn't close to her, and you were until she didn't get her way. You aren't going to be close to her. Let her be a child and back off

     However, if you all want to go to his parents house, then GO. it's ridiculous tha you all give her so much power. She won't talk to you?  So what? Talk to those people who will talk to you!  Is it really that hard?

     She knows she has all the power. Take it away. 

    And as far as your weddi g goes - no, do NOT cancel your wedding over her. That's beyond ridiculous and your DH needs to tell his parents this!

    Im stunned at how much power you give this girl.  

    Pretty much all of this. You're not going to be friends with this chick. Accept that and life will be easier. Have your wedding the way you want to have your wedding and stop discussing it with SIL.

    In an ideal world, your IL's would tell the little tyrant to STFU and mind her own business - after all, she has her own wedding to plan. However, if they won't your DH should be prepared to let her know her temper tantrums aren't going to change anything.

    You've got a lifetime of dealing with your SIL in front of you. Don't be a pushover now - it will cost you for years.

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  • Your FI sister sounds like a crazy, spoiled brat, you need to ignore her. 

    Do you want to cancel your wedding and plans? If not, then go forward as planned. Honestly, you will have hard feelings towards this enitire family for a long time over this. It's beyond ridiculous and you should cut contact with your SIL. Next time MIL comes crying, very firmly tell her, yes it's a shame that SIL got so upset over OUR wedding guest list. We have no idea how to fix this for her as it is NONE of her business.

    Good God, I would be scared to have a baby in this family. What if SIL hates the name you choose? Or your child's gender? (I'm not kidding, she sounds unhinged a and so do your in laws) 

  • Have you and your FI discussed how you're both feeling about this situation? If I were you, I'd stop trying with FI's sister. If she wants to be immature, let her...I'm sure you have better things to do with your time. Secondly, do not cancel your wedding just because FI's parents and sister are upset. Do things as planned-invite who you and your FI want to the wedding and just enjoy planning your own wedding. You and your FI don't deserve to suffer just because his selfish sister isn't getting her way. 
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  • Your SIL sounds insane and entitled.

     Ignore her and all of it. This is ridiculous. 

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  • image EastCoastBride:

    Oh good God. Stop trying with her. She sounds immature and I'm sure she's used to throwing temper tantrums to get her way. Stop playing into her game. Your DH isn't close to her, and you were until she didn't get her way. You aren't going to be close to her. Let her be a child and back off

     However, if you all want to go to his parents house, then GO. it's ridiculous tha you all give her so much power. She won't talk to you?  So what? Talk to those people who will talk to you!  Is it really that hard?

     She knows she has all the power. Take it away. 

    And as far as your weddi g goes - no, do NOT cancel your wedding over her. That's beyond ridiculous and your DH needs to tell his parents this!

    Im stunned at how much power you give this girl.  

    This!

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  • My advise is a handwritten letter to his mother explaining how you feel.  That you are saddened by future SIL feelings, but that it is YOUR wedding and your decisions in no way speaks to how you feel about his family.  

     You can't make other people want to fix things.  If you want to fix things and are open to it, eventually if the other party is willing you can move forward.  But, until then don't distance yourself from the rest of the family... and it won't be easy, but don't talk badly about SIL because no matter what they are family and it will come back to bite you.  Just be civil, and if she chooses to not show up to family events because you are there, that is her choice.

    Go forward with your wedding, knowing that no matter how things are with your SIL it will be the perfect day because you are marrying the love of your life!

    Good Luck! I am sorry that this is happening to you right before your big day!
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