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Need advice for SIL

Long story short..I'm recently married but have been with my DH for 3 1/2 years. His family has been great with the exception of his sister. Over the years she's made several subtle but very mean comments to me that I've tried hard to overlook. I'm not a phony person but have been with her for my DH's sake. During our wedding planning she decided to 'vent' to us in many hateful emails detailing everything that she dislikes about us. She mentioned in that email that she's had a hard time getting to know me b/c she is holding a grudge from his last relationship. His ex borrowed money for airfare and never paid it back. She let me know that she now holds me accountable for the debt since I'm married to her brother. I asked her repeatedly to put this on hold til after our wedding. Well, nothing of that has come up yet but at Christmas we made plans to have dinner at her house. When we spoke to her she mentioned to us to come between 3 or 4 pm. She failed to mention she told everyone else 2 pm. Of course, when we get there everyone is agitated with us. Then as we open presents, she lets everyone know that she made a calendar for her mom with personal pictures in it. She mentions that she customized the dates to reflect everyone's birthday but mine. Claiming she didn't know it (which is untrue) and that it wasn't that important.

I sucked it up and acted normal but mentioned to my DH that I am no longer going to subject myself to hours of humiliation and put downs by my SIL. I told him he could continue to celebrate with them but that as long as she was present, I would not be. Is that wrong? I am confused about what to do. Again, there's many other hateful things she's done but too many to mention.

Please help!

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Re: Need advice for SIL

  • She's holding you accountable for a previous girlfriend's debt?*jaw drops*

    No, I don't think it's wrong of you to want to limit contact with her at all. What did your DH say when you told him this?

     

  • Your SIL sounds like a nut job.  I think your DH needs to have a conversation with his sister about her behavior.  He should have already spoken up to her about her behavior towards you, but since he hasn't, he needs to now. If he is unwilling to do that, you have bigger problems. 
  • She sounds like a peach. What did your DH say to all this?
  • I can't get over someone holding you accountable for a debt you had nothing to do with?! And that your hunny has agreed to let that go.... I think you have every right to feel comfortable on holidays or other family get togethers. If not attending is your best way (which also would be mine) then perfect. Your husband should talk to her possibly, and discuss her rudeness. If that goes nowhere, then so be it.
  • No you are not wrong, that is one of the reasons why I don't want anything to do with my in laws...
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Ditto, what has your DH or his family done to keep her in line?   I'd call out one of my siblings out if they were rude to my DH.   I'd call out one of my siblings if they were rude to any other IL too. 

    I wouldn't have been able to help it, but I would have had such fun at your SIL's expense.    When his family was agitated, I would have sweetly asked, "SIL, why did you have us come at 4:00 but tell everyone else 2:00?"   "Why did you not call us to come earlier when we were the only ones missing?"   And finally, with the birthday thing, I would have sweetly said, "Well, how nice of you to share your opinion that my birthday isn't important!"    

    Putting her on the spot would have been awesome. 

  • He called her out on the debt issue but she screamed, threw a fit, and hung up on him.

     We discussed the decision I made to no longer be a part of family gatherings if she's present and he's ok with that. Though he is non-confrontational and doesn't want to address her behavior because she'll resort to putting him down. So he'd rather not confront her. I told him that he needs to. I'd love to share my thoughts with her but I really think it's his place and he needs to establish boundaries. The whole family caters to her. She's 33 with 2 kids and one on the way and acts more childlike than them. I don't understand and am at a loss at how to communicate to him how I feel. I try to be respectful of his family and his relationship with them but I don't know how much more I can take!

  • [brakes screeching]

    you're accountable for his ex's debt? ?bullshit.

    i need to know where your DH stands before i can form a proper reply.?

    <img width=100 src="http://tinyurl.com/6q2woyb">
    <a href="http://www.wanlifetolive.com">[the bliz-og]</a>
  • I love your reply to that! I should have done that had I been quick on my feet. It just took me by surprise at how low she was willing to go! I was stunned and embarrassed and couldn't think. My head filled with steam!!! LOL
  • Your SIL needs professional help - wow. She's hateful. You have every right to want to avoid her.

    One question, why don't you just tell her that you aren't going to pay her for the ex's debt? Surely she can't get more pissed and treat you worse than she already does. If asking her to postpone talking about the debt is typical of how you deal with her, I think you should definitely take a firmer stance. Maybe if you stand up to her she won't push you around as much.

    What have you got to lose?

  • image GEMINI3607:

     She mentioned in that email that she's had a hard time getting to know me b/c she is holding a grudge from his last relationship. His ex borrowed money for airfare and never paid it back. She let me know that she now holds me accountable for the debt since I'm married to her brother.

    Just when think you've read just about everything on The Nest, you get a humdinger like this.

    image Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers
  • If she mentions the ex's debt again, I would say in my most sugary sweet voice, "Why SIL, that's a shame that DH's ex girlfriend didn't pay you back. Maybe she will some day, since she is the one who borrowed the money."

    That's all I would ever say, to continually remind the nutjob that some else borrowed money from her, that that someone else is who she should be hitting up for the cash.

    As for the rest, take pp's advice and sweetly call her out every time she tries to throw you and your DH under the bus. Never ever stoop to her level and say anything mean or get into an argument with her. You can't argue with nutjobs. They are not rational. Just a sugary-voiced, "SIL, I can't imagine why you would say something/do something like that."

    And trust me. The rest of the family knows she's nuts.

  • image GEMINI3607:

    He called her out on the debt issue but she screamed, threw a fit, and hung up on him.

     We discussed the decision I made to no longer be a part of family gatherings if she's present and he's ok with that. Though he is non-confrontational and doesn't want to address her behavior because she'll resort to putting him down. So he'd rather not confront her. I told him that he needs to. I'd love to share my thoughts with her but I really think it's his place and he needs to establish boundaries. The whole family caters to her. She's 33 with 2 kids and one on the way and acts more childlike than them. I don't understand and am at a loss at how to communicate to him how I feel. I try to be respectful of his family and his relationship with them but I don't know how much more I can take!

    So basically she's getting her way?  She dislikes you (because she's a freaking nutjob) and now you won't be at any family events so she's won.  I think your dh needs to put his foot down and y'all need to present a united front.  Will your dh defend any bashing of you when you aren't present?

    By the way, the reason it took me so long to reply (I opened this thread when there were no replies) is because I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.

  • Did I understand you correctly that you will not attend his family functions as long as she is there, but your DH would attend those functions?  I understand your anger, but isn't that exactly what your SIL wants?  And is it possible she will be telling her side of the story and painting you as the villain at those functions? 

    I question why your DH thinks this is an acceptable solution.  If it were my family treating DH poorly, DH and I would not be attending several family functions, at least until some sort of conversation took place.  Just my two cents! 

  • He's willing to not go to stand by me but is concerned that he won't get to see his nephews. I am sympathetic because I love those boys but I can't sacrifice my health (oh yes, stressing is causing hair loss and weight gain) to be around them. They are beautiful children but they are already picking up bits from her and commenting on us by calling us babies. She mentioned the debt issue in front of them, I'm guessing, and called us whiny babies b/c we didn't think it was appropriate to get into all this during our wedding planning. I'm assuming though without proof she's talked in front of them but they have mirrored comments to us that she'd said to us previously.

     I've tried to tell him there needs to be some discussion with her even if nothing changes. I personally feel that she needs to be accountable for her behavior but he'd rather not argue with her. Though I will say there have been times that I've called her names (to him only) when she's pulled her antics. I'm so open with how I feel that it's killing me not to tell her off. I usually stand up for myself but now I find I'm catering to her b/c I KNOW I'll look evil. I truly think that is what she's counting on.

     His solution for not seeing his family on NYD is that he's working. I would love to have commented myself but it would only create big waves. She's daddy's lil girl and I think mom is scared to upset her.

  • BTW-Congrats on your pregnancy!

    Yes, I usually have the humdingers. I have an ex-coworker that has serious IL issues but always tells me my SIL takes the cake! Definitely not the contest I want to win. I was hoping for lotto winnings not IL stories! Big Smile

  • So he'd rather be comfortable and not stand up to his sister than defend his wife?  Nice guy.
  • Honey, you have a huge DH problem, he is picking his nutjob sister over you. By going to family events without you he is telling her and the family that they are more important than your marriage. YOu say he is afraid that he wont see his nephews if he stands up to her, well is he not afraid of the impact that this is having on your health and wellbeing.
  • You're right. I guess I kind of already knew that. I have tried to talk to him over the years but it's now to a point I'm almost hysterical when I do because I'm so hurt and angry. His sister seems to run the show in that family. I don't know why..she really doesn't have anything going for her personality wise. She is phony with everyone she knows. We hear her talk about friends and family behind their backs. I can't say much because, I too, am saying this about her. I have told her ever so calmly in the heat of all of her hateful emails during our wedding planning that I think these things of her. Just not to this extent.
  • You really need to refocus your anger.  Your SIL is a lunatic who treats you rudely - that is most likely not going to change.  You need to be angry at your husband for allowing his family to treat you like this, putting his comfort above yours, and for putting his family before you.
  • If your husband doesn't get to see his nephews it isn't his fault, it's his sister's fault. After reading all your additional posts I think that you and your husband are acting like doormats. Shame on both of you, in fact shame on the whole family for letting his sister call the shots.

    Your husband is more scared of pissing off his sister than he is of screwing up his relationship with you - double dog shame on him. Neither of you can see your way out of this because you refuse to do so, not because it's impossible.

  • image ENGLISHTRISH:
    Honey, you have a huge DH problem, he is picking his nutjob sister over you. By going to family events without you he is telling her and the family that they are more important than your marriage. YOu say he is afraid that he wont see his nephews if he stands up to her, well is he not afraid of the impact that this is having on your health and wellbeing.

    Thats really true.... I didnt see it that way until now... My DH has friends whose wives act this way with me, snobby and blatantly rude and i choose just not to go hang out with them. I didnt think about him just staying home with me instead of leaving me home alone, lol. Hes getting a talking too, hahaha.

    Of course if it was a family issue it would be much more serious. Im sure his nephews want to see him too. I would think for her childrens sake, she might straighten up and fly right. Your DH needs to have a real adult convo with her, maybe indicate that if she doesnt act right he wont be seeing her or her boys until she is ready to do so.  If my brother acted like that i couldnt imagine being nice to him about it. He'd probably get a thump on the head.

  • You married a wuss... tell him to man up and start standing up for you.

  • You are right. And we will be having a discussion tonight. Let's hope it goes well. Oy...I'll post the results tomorrow.
  • image GEMINI3607:

    He called her out on the debt issue but she screamed, threw a fit, and hung up on him.

    ?We discussed the decision I made to no longer be a part of family gatherings if she's present and he's ok with that. Though he is non-confrontational and doesn't want to address her behavior because she'll resort to putting him down. So he'd rather not confront her. I told him that he needs to.?

    Can I share my thoughts on being "non-confrontational"? ?I'm starting to get a red-flag that goes up everytime I hear someone describe themselves this way. ?If you knew me IRL, I'm very quiet, I enjoy having little or no drama in my life, I like to be a good hostess/ guest and not stir up arguments for arguments' sake. ?But if someone insulted me, my family, my friends, my spouse- I would put them in their place, pack up my family, and leave, and I would absolutely expect an apology before I'd think of putting myself and my husband in a social situation with that person again. ?I'm not hurling cuss words. ?I'm not sitting poised and ready to pounce on the first possible opportunity to call someone out. ?I'm probably not even raising my voice. ?I'm not engaging in a fight. ?I'm simply requiring that the people around me treat me and my loved ones with respect. ? There is nothing overdramatic or rude about holding others to the expectation of basic standards of civility. ?

    I think there's gotten to be an "excuse" of saying "Oh, I'm not confrontational," and using that as a reason to let other people get trashed while Mr. Nonconfrontational sits and cowers. ?It's a handy excuse. ?It makes it sound like, "Oh, Mr. Gemini is such a sweet guy he just can't bear anyone to be upset, so he can't possibly say anything no matter how awfully someone's acting, he's just TOO nice." ?That's not being sweet, and it's not being nice. ?Best case scenario, it's cowardly, because he gets to play the nice guy card while the people he loves get trashed and he hides in a corner. ?I won't even say that by his silence he's choosing his sister over you- he's choosing himself over everyone. ?Call him on it. ??

    And, if he truly cannot see a difference between stirring up unnecessary drama and setting necessary limits, I highly recommend a communication in relationships class or counseling. ?I took one class in college about "fighting fair" for a leadership seminar, and I can't tell you how many ways that short class has helped me really look at MY role in arguments instead of ducking and covering under the pretense of being too nice. ?

  • If your DH does not stand up to her or not go to her house when you don't..then you have a huge problem. He needs to be on your side with this since you are his wife. I would seriously question my DH if he acted like this.
  • Everybody knows that your SIL is treating you badly.  They are ALL wrong for allowing it to happen in front of them.  I would never in 1 million years let a guest in my home be insulted (if, for example, I was your MIL) by anyone also in the home.

    But your DH is the worst offender.  He needs to grow a set of ba!!s and tell his family that as long as SIL treats you badly, NEITHER of you will be attending family parties.  If he doesn't get to see his nephews as a result - that is HIS SISTERS choice. 

    DH was given a choice of having a relationship with his sister (who trashed the both of us and was rude to my newborn) and not seeing his adorable niece and nephew, or giving them up and demanding respect for the both of us.  He chose US.  Now his sis is begging him to have a relationship, but he is through with her.  It is heartbreaking b/c of course the children didn't choose the situation, but you don't get to be the sacrificial lamb for your SIL.

    I agree 100% with the poster who talked about "non-confrontational" people and what douche bags they are!  Re-read that post!

    As for YOUR relationship with his sister - I would stop reading her emails.  Refuse to talk about the debt ("I don't know why you are bringing this up with me - have you talked to Miss ExGirlfriend about it?  You didn't loan ME the money, and I"m not paying it back").  She's trying to blackmail you.  Don't pick up the phone when she calls.  Let your dh be 100% responsible for her.  If he has to deal with her directly, maybe he will get fed up.

    Oh, and if YOU are not going to any family functions, you can bet that your baby isn't going, either!  So even if DH is a pu$$y, you do have that ammo in your arsenal.  I would not invite SIL to any showers or christenings you have either.  You should make it clear that treating you with respect is expected by anybody who wants a relationship with YOUR child.  Lets see how important "relationship with a niece/nephew" is to your SIL.  I'm betting it won't be if you stand your ground, and she'll have nothing to do with her brother's child.

  • ...and called us whiny babies b/c we didn't think it was appropriate to get into all this during our wedding planning.

    Don't be afraid to fight back.  The next time she calls you a whiny baby, call her a nasty cvnt. 

    She's a bully, and when you DO stand up for yourself, she'll probably back down. 

  • Amen ladies!!!! Mrs Ginger has got it!

  • image GEMINI3607:

    He called her out on the debt issue but she screamed, threw a fit, and hung up on him.

    ?We discussed the decision I made to no longer be a part of family gatherings if she's present and he's ok with that. Though he is non-confrontational and doesn't want to address her behavior because she'll resort to putting him down. So he'd rather not confront her. I told him that he needs to. I'd love to share my thoughts with her but I really think it's his place and he needs to establish boundaries. The whole family caters to her. She's 33 with 2 kids and one on the way and acts more childlike than them. I don't understand and am at a loss at how to communicate to him how I feel. I try to be respectful of his family and his relationship with them but I don't know how much more I can take!

    He doesn't want to confront her when he knows she'll put him down but it's OK for you to be put down and disrespected by her? It's not about what he does or does not want to do, it's about doing the right thing and making sure his wife is treated with respect. Whether she likes it or not, you are a part of the family.?

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