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Help dealing with sister in law

mjpatzwamjpatzwa member
First Comment First Anniversary
edited March 2014 in Family Matters
I've been having trouble with my sister in law that started before I even married her brother. Her family worships the ground she walks on and she has a very "entitled" personality-- she has been given everything in life-- including the clothes she still wears and her family vacations. Well, it started when we first got engaged. My husband and I each decided we wanted to include our siblings in the wedding party. It was a lot easier for him because he and my brother are actually friends. Well, not so much for me. His sister makes no effort. Well, we asked her together and she made a comment about possibly being pregnant during the wedding. The wedding was 7 months away at that point, and I made it clear that I don't mind having a pregnant bridesmaid, but having one with a newborn wouldn't work. She insisted she wasn't pregnant at the time during "the ask" and that she would be able to participate and contribute to the prewedding events. WELL, she was totally pregnant (liar!).

At the wedding her boobs were popping out of her dress, she didn't show up to any of the prewedding events, and she made the entire day about her and the new baby (who was three months old by that time). She even insisted on bringing the child to her hair appointment saying she couldn't even be away an hour....um yes you can-- she has an able bodied father. They also insisted on staying at our house and we never even got a thank you-- it was our wedding!! As you can imagine, I'm livid and clearly hold grudges despite my best efforts. This is the perfect example of her behavior, though.

Anyways, I've been trying my best to really be a part of her children's lives, but she makes absolutely no effort to make that possible. We have NEVER been allowed to hold the baby-- even after we made a special trip up (drove 8 hours in one day) to see her. I sent her an email the other day to ask about the kids birthday parties because they are two weeks apart and they sandwich the fourth of july. She replied that we weren't invited to the 5 year old's party and that the baby's party will take place after her birthday ON MY BIRTHDAY. We are certainly not cancelling our plans for my birthday to drive up four hours and back four hours for a one year old. I'm so upset. I'm at a loss. I'm trying my best to be a good aunt, but she is making it impossible-- and I honestly cannot stand to be around her-- but I do it for the kids. UGH.

Am I insane? Is there a better way to approach this? I just really dislike her and despite my best efforts, it's not getting any better. UGH.

Answers

  • Let go of the wedding stuff. I can't imagine why you would be upset about her boobs popping out of her dress. She had no way to know her dress (which she purchased months before) wouldn't fit properly. Feeling anything but bad for her is just ridiculous. If you really would have excluded her from your wedding because she was pregnant...umm yeah. Between that and you being upset that she brought her baby...well, she doesn't sound like the spoiled brat here. 

    I understand you wanted your pretty, pretty princess day and you had it. Focusing on her and her behavior is your problem.

    Beyond that, stop trying to be a part of her life and her kids. They live 4 hours away. If you see them, you see them. If you don't, you don't. You seem to be the only one who thinks this is a big deal.

    As far as SIL being spoiled...it's none of your business. Let it go. 

    As to how you should approach this in the future, if you get a birthday invitation, determine if you can attend or not. Let your H take the lead here. It's not up to you to orchestrate your social interactions with your IL's. That's his job. 
    VORdaisy662Tofumonkey
  • edited March 2014
    She sounds a little nutty. And woefully childish herself.

    I don't think there is anything you can do.

    It would have been easier to let her be an usherette or a female groomsman --- all she needed to do was wear a black dress and show up on the day of, and sit on the groom's side with the ushers/groomsman....but the horse is way out of the barn. (economically more feasible for her and all she would have to do is show up on the day of and "follow the lead of the groomsmen.")

    And what do you mean "one with a newborn wouldn't work"? Work schmerk ---- someone can watch the little one while she partakes in being in the wedding.

    Or she could have demurred and decided not to be in the wedding, being she just had a kiddo and it's not economically feasible, being they are a growing family.
    mjpatzwa
  • mjpatzwa said:
    I've been having trouble with my sister in law that started before I even married her brother. Her family worships the ground she walks on and she has a very "entitled" personality-- she has been given everything in life-- including the clothes she still wears and her family vacations. Well, it started when we first got engaged. My husband and I each decided we wanted to include our siblings in the wedding party. It was a lot easier for him because he and my brother are actually friends. Well, not so much for me. His sister makes no effort

    What do you mean by that?  Unless your SIL was rude to you, the only effort an inlaw has is to be polite and open to their families spouses.  Asking her to be in your WP was totally your choice and a nice one at that, but your expectations were your own as well.  And just because she did not meet them, does not mean that she is in the wrong. 

    Well, we asked her together and she made a comment about possibly being pregnant during the wedding. The wedding was 7 months away at that point, and I made it clear that I don't mind having a pregnant bridesmaid, but having one with a newborn wouldn't work.

    Not sure what this means?  You do know that all the BM does is walk up the aisle, stand there, and then walk down the aisle.  A few pictures afterward and MAYBE a dance and your done.  EVERYTHING ELSE that you read about or see in the movies has been made up buy the wedding industry to make more money or as props to make books/movies more interesting (be it a plot device or visual prettiness). So having her baby by no means will interrupt your wedding any more than anyone of your other guests bringing a baby.  

    So unless you were going to have a child free wedding (which is totally your right) the fact that you even brought it up at the time of asking seems odd. 

     She insisted she wasn't pregnant at the time during "the ask" and that she would be able to participate and contribute to the prewedding events. WELL, she was totally pregnant (liar!). 

    Um...sure she lied, but she was at the 6 month mark when you asked 7 months out of the wedding date (doing math in my head, if the baby was 3 months old at the wedding and a pregnancy runs 40 weeks or 10 months), did YOU ever wonder WHY she had not told her family or friend that she was pregnant yet - you know given that she had passed the first trimester mark?  

    To me, that is an indicator that there was/is something going on in her life that you and your DH, her bother, doesn't know.  And I may be reaching, but I have never met a first time mother who did not tell the world she was pregnant by the 6 month unless there were past/current issues with pregnancies.  If this is true, shame on you for not recognizing this.    

    At the wedding her boobs were popping out of her dress, 

    So what?  You are now LOOKING for something to be pissy about.  

    she didn't show up to any of the prewedding events, 

    Outside of the fact that she just had a baby and, you know probably couldn't go*, other than showing up to the wedding, your WP is not obliged to participate in anything other than to show up.  The original point of a Brides Maid was to confuse the evil spirits at the wedding.  You do not need that at a wedding shower or bachelorette party. 

    * (ask your self this, what if she DID try to go and brought along her new born, how would you have felt - given you got pissy about the fact that she brought her newborn to your wedding?), 

    and she made the entire day about her and the new baby (who was three months old by that time). 

    So your saying that there wasn't a single person paying attention to you the entire wedding or reception?  That even when YOU were not interacting with your guests in a one-on-one manner, all eyes and conversations were to be about you?  God forbid the extended family or friends (on BOTH SIDES) caught up. 

    She even insisted on bringing the child to her hair appointment saying she couldn't even be away an hour....um yes you can-- she has an able bodied father. 

    What did she need to be childless for?  How did having the baby there affect the stylist doing YOUR hair and YOUR makeup?

    As for her husband, maybe he had other things to do that morning.

    They also insisted on staying at our house and we never even got a thank you-- it was our wedding!!As you can imagine, I'm livid and clearly hold grudges despite my best efforts. This is the perfect example of her behavior, though.

    Yes, your SIL and her husband were rude for not thanking you for your hospitality.  But if these are the "perfect" examples of her poor behavior, then you really need to reassess your baselines for judgements.  

    Anyways, I've been trying my best to really be a part of her children's lives, but she makes absolutely no effort to make that possible. We have NEVER been allowed to hold the baby-- even after we made a special trip up (drove 8 hours in one day) to see her. I sent her an email the other day to ask about the kids birthday parties because they are two weeks apart and they sandwich the fourth of july. 

    She replied that we weren't invited to the 5 year old's party and that the baby's party will take place after her birthday ON MY BIRTHDAY. We are certainly not cancelling our plans for my birthday to drive up four hours and back four hours for a one year old. I'm so upset. I'm at a loss. I'm trying my best to be a good aunt, but she is making it impossible-- and I honestly cannot stand to be around her-- but I do it for the kids. UGH. 

    I get that you are hurt at being excluded from the 5yo party.  But honestly, I would did not invite my siblings to my 5yo's party.  It was a kids party.  And given you live 8 hours (round trip) away, I can totally see them not calculating you two into their plans.

    As for the baby's birthday party.  I can see her dilemma as well.  She is having two separate parties for her two separate children and she needs to hold them on a weekend around a major holiday.  And now she is ALSO not allowed to hold it on her grown adult sister-in-laws birthday either.  And that is NOT even thinking about the fact that her other set of inlaws might have some conflicts as well.  She just purposefully chose to host the party on her married into the family sister-in-law to spite her. 

    Can you see how silly you sound here? 

    Am I insane? Is there a better way to approach this? I just really dislike her and despite my best efforts, it's not getting any better. UGH.

    Honestly, you have reached the BEC stage with her.  So my suggestion would be to drop the rope with her, so to speak.  Let your Brother deal with his family (which he should have done regarding the 5yo birthday party).  The less you invest, the lower and more realistic your expectations will be and the less angry you will be when she doesn't meet them. 
    [IMG]http://i633.photobucket.com/albums/uu52/Iluminespics/IMG_4759.jpg[/IMG]
    TofumonkeySillygirl45
  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper

    So, where has the OP gone?  Why won't she come back and play?

  • She's busy at a consultation for breast augmentation. She will not be shown up again!

    ...I just couldn't help it. It was the first thing that popped into my head.
    VOR
  • couldn't she just have a baby to get bigger boobs?

    Seriously you guys. Babies solve EVERYTHING!
    image

    Chronically hilarious - you'll split your stitches!
    I wrote a book! Bucket list CHECK!
    chiualover
  • couldn't she just have a baby to get bigger boobs?

    Seriously you guys. Babies solve EVERYTHING!
    Well, that IS true...


  • couldn't she just have a baby to get bigger boobs?

    Seriously you guys. Babies solve EVERYTHING!

    Well, that IS true...

    This thread delivering the funny today lol
    cloudymeatballs
  • mjpatzwamjpatzwa member
    First Comment First Anniversary
    edited March 2014
    Thanks everyone for the responses..if anything it's made me realize how trivial this is. I need to let it go and just realize that she is going to be who she is whether I like her or not.

    However, given some of these responses-- I would like to clarify a few things:
    - Me talking to her about not having a newborn was actually me being concerned about her stress level-- being a bridesmaid at the wedding we had actually required some time because it was very DIY. I didn't want her to worry about spreading that time with a newborn who needed her. We did have a child free wedding, but a breastfeeding baby needed to be included. 

    - Her making the entire day about herself wasn't a statement about me wanting a "pretty pretty princess wedding," it was more about the fact that if she had been honest up front or had gracefully let me know she couldn't partake in the activities then it would've made some of the strains that she put on the day go away-- like insisting on bringing a 3 month old, screaming child to "a child free morning" and " bridal portraits." 

    - With regards to the dress-- I let each of the girls pick out their own dresses in a particular color scheme-- and asked that if they are busty (which, even I am) that they make sure that the dress doesn't emphasize that-- and that they were a privacy panel if needed. Did she do that? No. Did she flinch when I offered one to her? Nope. She refused. We even paid for her dress.

    - For my husband, I think I've taken on the role of trying to mend the relationship between he and his sister. I'm really close with my family and he's not as close with his-- and I don't want to make it any worse, so i'm trying to go above and beyond and make sure we can contribute and "be there." His sister unfortunately has been this way her entire life...it's really hard to explain..but he shares these same frustrations. 

    So, for those of you with rude comments-- there you go.
  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    mjpatzwa said:
    being a bridesmaid at the wedding we had actually required some time because it was very DIY.

    - For my husband, I think I've taken on the role of trying to mend the relationship between he and his sister. I'm really close with my family and he's not as close with his-- and I don't want to make it any worse, so i'm trying to go above and beyond and make sure we can contribute and "be there." His sister unfortunately has been this way her entire life...it's really hard to explain..but he shares these same frustrations. 
    On the first point - not winning any points there. YOUR decision to have a DIY wedding still doesn't require anyone else but YOU and YOUR DH to do the DIY. 

    On the 2nd point... dude, just stop.  It's not your role as his wife to coddle and fix HIS relationships w/ HIS family.  It really isn't.  If he's frustrated, then he can work on it.  And quite honestly- SHE might actually resent you trying to place yourself between her and your DH. 

    Your DH is a grown man - he can either work on his relationship OR you can both start accepting that she is who she is.  Not every set of siblings out there are close.  Stop trying to force an issue where clearly she isn't going to meet you 1/2 way.

    You won't make it any worse if you just step back and stop trying to be involved.
    Sillygirl45Tofumonkey
  • Your last paragraph is nicely put. Not sure what BEC stands for...but I think I get it. The pregnancy part is the part that I want to clarify-- this is her second child and she has had dream pregnancies (well, I mean--- as far as the normal uncomfortableness goes ;)). 
  • Her boobs were popping out of her dress ?  That bitch.  She obviously should have thought about the impact her post partum boobs would have on your day. 

    __ Please see my added on comment. kthx.


  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    mjpatzwa said:
    Not sure what BEC stands for...but I think I get it.
    Bitch eating crackers.  That means that basically ANYTHING and EVERYTHING a person does, no matter how mundane or innocent, is going to annoy you and piss you off. 
  • mjpatzwa said:
    Thanks everyone for the responses..if anything it's made me realize how trivial this is. I need to let it go and just realize that she is going to be who she is whether I like her or not.

    However, given some of these responses-- I would like to clarify a few things:
    - Me talking to her about not having a newborn was actually me being concerned about her stress level-- being a bridesmaid at the wedding we had actually required some time because it was very DIY. I didn't want her to worry about spreading that time with a newborn who needed her. We did have a child free wedding, but a breastfeeding baby needed to be included. 

    Honey, you totally lost me here.  Your choice for DIY weddings is all YOURS.  It is no one else's job to ensure that your crafiness gets fulfilled, especially when NON of the accoutrements at a wedding or reception have anything to do with the purpose/point of the wedding to begin with.  

    I know that you think that I am being mean, but honestly it seems to me that your have these very skewed expectations of her and when she doesn't meet them (or unbiased internet strangers point that out to you) she is somehow being mean.  

    But if you step back and recognize that your expectations are too high and you lower them, then you won't get pissed when people do not reach them. 

    - Her making the entire day about herself wasn't a statement about me wanting a "pretty pretty princess wedding," it was more about the fact that if she had been honest up front or had gracefully let me know she couldn't partake in the activities then it would've made some of the strains that she put on the day go away-- like insisting on bringing a 3 month old, screaming child to "a child free morning" and " bridal portraits." 

    - With regards to the dress-- I let each of the girls pick out their own dresses in a particular color scheme-- and asked that if they are busty (which, even I am) that they make sure that the dress doesn't emphasize that-- and that they were a privacy panel if needed. Did she do that? No. Did she flinch when I offered one to her? Nope. She refused. We even paid for her dress.

    Honestly, this is both a judgment call.  Exactly what is emphasizing.  To a menonite, its showing the clavicle and anything tight.  To me, its showing the areola.  To others it could be showing the line between breasts.  In the end, even IF she was dressed as a two-bit whore, the only person that would look bad was/is her.  


    - For my husband, I think I've taken on the role of trying to mend the relationship between he and his sister. I'm really close with my family and he's not as close with his-- and I don't want to make it any worse, so i'm trying to go above and beyond and make sure we can contribute and "be there." His sister unfortunately has been this way her entire life...it's really hard to explain..but he shares these same frustrations. 

    Then let him work it out or NOT work it out  Just like I do not believe that marrying a man means I am marrying his family, i.e. forced to take on their family values, traditions, expectations, etc, it also means that I am not going to nurture the said family either.  

    You are again, creating YOUR expectations too high based on your family life.  And because she is not meeting them (something she has never done I might add), you are getting upset.  

    SO stop. 

    So, for those of you with rude comments-- there you go.
    Look, I am the queen of coming from two different worlds with my DH.  And I actually went into my marriage understanding and (the irony is not lost on me) expecting the differences to come into play.  

    It wasn't until I stopped with expectations OTHER THAN RESPECT,that my frustration levels dropped.  I got to the point that I was BEC with everything that they did, and forgot that different does not necessarily mean wrong.  

    I really think you need to step away from this woman and let your DH take the lead. 
    [IMG]http://i633.photobucket.com/albums/uu52/Iluminespics/IMG_4759.jpg[/IMG]
  • Actually helpful in a weird way. I think I just hate lowering expectations.
  • mjpatzwa said:
    Actually helpful in a weird way. I think I just hate lowering expectations.
    But it is not FAIR to the other person.  And that will actually create MORE friction.  And not just between you and his sister, but between you and your husband.  

    Look, I am not saying that she and they are not self-centered.  She is who she is.  But when you start picking at everything (I wish EastCoastBride were here) she does, the more "Boy who cried wolf" you become and it will push your husband away.  Because in the end, unless they are truly toxic, they are still his family.  

    And honestly, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  You know she is a bitch, so when you see bitchy actions you will point it out...even if the bitchy action was not one at all.  

    [IMG]http://i633.photobucket.com/albums/uu52/Iluminespics/IMG_4759.jpg[/IMG]
  • I feel that you put a lot of effort into being a good in law but she doesn't. So just stop. Stop trying to arrange to see her and her kids. Don't ask when the parties are. If she wants to be your friend then she will make effort too. If she doesn't then you don't need to think about her. Make your relationship equal. 
  • Weddings often seem to create a lot of hard feelings and drama. Shift your focus from your SIL and to the life you want to have with your DH.
    Anniversary Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • LeaZLeaZ member
    10 Comments 5 Love Its
    Your problems like your SIL may seem like big ones to you but trust me, it could be a whole lot worse.  My SIL has actually caused a lot of major problems in my marriage and we are currently separated (in part due to her intrusive, overbearing involvement in our marriage).

    My H's sister made it clear to me that I was not family (actually told me that weeks after our son was born...silly me for thinking that a marriage and a child meant "family"), came into the delivery room uninvited when my son was born and then told me that I am "crazy" for being upset about it, made rude comments about my mother and my brother's family within earshot of them while in my home, called and cursed me out because I told her that I would not take my newborn to her house unless she put her pit bull outside during our visit (after we had visited with the baby and she had refused), and has bad mouthed me to her entire family all because I did not invent a reason to leave the house within the first few weeks after giving birth to allow her to babysit and "bond with" my newborn son...she even tried to get my H to convince me to change our choice of godparents to her and her fiancé(whom she only knew for 8 months at the time) from my brother and sister-in-law (who have been married for 10 years and I consider her a sister to me) after he and I had already asked them to do it.

    The things you are complaining about are petty, and small and really shouldn't affect your marriage. Be civil to her, be kind to her children and consider yourself blessed that she is only a little self-centered and isn't actively setting out to hurt you or break up your marriage.
    catmiss9
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