Family Matters
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Problem with Sister in Law's

Father's day was a few weeks ago, and my husband (we've been married almost 2 years) and I decided it would be fun to organize a dinner with the family for father's day.  It was to be my father in law, his wife (my stepmother in law), my two sister in laws (one older, one younger), my niece (younger sister in laws daughter) and younger sister in laws boyfriend (and niece's father).  Whew... hope you'll followed that!  Anyways, father in law doesn't really like sister in law's boyfriend, but we didn't want to really cause any problems, and sister in law would have thrown a major fit if he wasn't invited. 

To make a long story short, my older sister in law freaked when she found out who was invited.  She didn't understand why sister in laws boyfriend, stepmother in law, and myself were invited... since this was FATHER'S day (exactly how she put it) and it should only be the kids.  My husband told her she was crazy, that we cannot not invite his wife, and that I was his daughter in law, and that sister in laws boyfriend is the father of his granddaughter.  Older sister in law complained to my father in law and he gave in to her and called my husband and asked that I not attend.  At that point my husband told father in law that in that case neither one of us would attend.  I didn't necessarily agree with this, as I told my husband it would be easier for me just to not attend and not deal with his family craziness.  He said that if we gave in to them on this it would be opening up a pandora's box of crazy.

So now his older sister is not speaking to us... she's also mad because husband and I were supposed to pay for everybody at this dinner (of course... since it was out idea and we invited everybody) but as soon as we both backed out so did payment.  Apparently father in law ended up paying for his own dinner. :(

Is there anything I should do at this point to right things between my husband and his family?  He refuses to speak to them unless they call and apologize (which I'm pretty sure they won't).

Thanks everybody!

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Re: Problem with Sister in Law's

  • Stay out of it.

    Your DH is a good guy he has your back which is more than I can say for FIL and his wife. I have adult stepkids and if they had pulled this crap and my DH had gone along with it, there would have been a whole load of misery in my house.

  • Good for your husband! He doesn't know me, but sent a high five his way from me. He is absolutely right about the "pandora's box of crazy," (a phrase I am stealing, by the way).  You and your husband are, for family gathering purposes, a single unit. They can't not invite you to holiday celebrations.  

    Ultimately, since your husband is the one who put his foot down, let him decide when to relax and make peace with the family.  Frankly, I think he's in the right, and you both deserve an apology from them (whether it comes or not).

  • I wouldn't do a thing.  You are very blessed to have a DH who stands up for you.  He was right in declining to go when you were "uninvited". 

    Just let it go and eventually, everyone will come around.  If they don't, at least you won't have to deal with their drama.

    Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
  • I can't believe no one picked up the tab for FIL for dinner...wth!!!


  • Yay I think this is the first post I read about In-laws in which the OP's Husband actually has some balls!  Your husband did the right thing by backing out and not letting his familes messed up ideas mess with you and him. Of course you should be invited, of course your SIL's bf should be invited. Your SIL that caused the stink is being ridiculous, she sounds like a child not wanting to share her toy and she needs to grow up. Your FIL for not standing up to his daughter and instead disinviting you to something that you had initially planned with your husband is just as bad and so I'm kinda glad he had to pay for his own fathers day meal.

    Listen to your husband on this one, PLEASE do not apologize, you did nothing wrong.  I probably wouldn't say anything but I would definitely have your H talk to both your SIL AND your FIL and let them know that if they do not accept his wife into their family then they don't accept HIM either, they can't choose to just have one of you anymore, you're a team, you're married, you come in a pair now.

  • I completely agree with your husband.  His family was disrespecting you by uninviting you, and he's standing by your side. 

    Your SIL has unrealistic expectations to think that Father's Day only includes the kids.  You are FIL's daughter-in-law.  Completely rude on the SIL's part.  She cannot accept that the family was extended.

    However, if you knew that FIL did not like one of the boyfriends, you could have stayed away from trying to pull everyone together and instead planned a dinner just you, DH, FIL, and step-MIL maybe the night before Father's Day.  You had good intentions, but could have avoided the mess at the same time.  I'm glad, though, that your husband stood up for both of you.  That's how it should be!  :)

    As to what you should do now?  I am liking your DH's stance.  You might have an image of you all getting along together but maybe that's years down the road when his sister(s) grows up and stops acting like a brat. 

  • I agree with everyone else - stay out of it. Your husband absolutely did the right thing.
  • Hurray for your DH standing up.  I can't believe his sister thought she could dictate the event when she didn't do the inviting and was not paying. Your DH had every right to be upset and don't push him to back down. You need to be supportive.

    Having said that, if the Sis had initiated the idea originally and suggested an intimate dinner with just FIL and siblings as a change in pace, I think that would have been okay too. If my H's family had planned such a thing, I would not object to not being invited.  My H's family often has "everybody comes" events, so if a sibling suggested "just this time" to do it differently, I would not be hurt.  Some people get fixated on "we're a couple so we must both be invited", but I think there are occasions that rule can be loosened.  But I realize that is not the case here. 

  • image Samari270:

    I can't believe no one picked up the tab for FIL for dinner...wth!!!


    And I can't believe they expected someone else to cover their meal.  I agree with your husband, this was a stupid thing for her to stomp her feet over, why would you give in to such a childish demand?  I can't believe FIL didn't tell his daughter to grow up.

  • Looks like your hubby has your back! :)
  • WahooWahoo member
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    Wow!  Good for your DH!

    Your SIL is a twit!  So you're not going, but your H is still supposed to pick up the tab for everyone? 

    Next year, either throw a bbq at your own home, or arrange to take FIL and StepMIL out by yourselves.  To avoid drama, pick a day that isn't Sunday so that both SILs still have a chance to do things on their own.

    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
  • Ditto everyone- kudo's to your DH.  He handled this perfectly and at this point, you need to keep letting him handle it.

    And really, if everything is fixed, I think you all need to look at the dynamics anyhow of how everyone was expecting you all to pick up the tab.  That's another "pandoras box" I wouldn't want open or kept open.

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    ~Benjamin Franklin

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  • Thanks for the reassurance everyone! 


    I know there has been a lot of questions about the money... neither sister in law has a job (older sister in law lives with her mom, younger sister in law lives with her boyfriends family) and my husband has a good career while I'm still in school (I finish law school next year) we certainly have the money to afford a dinner whereas sister in laws don't.  I know it's not technically fair, but it's really the only way to get it done.  I would have preferred it just to be the 4 of us (father in law, step mother in law, husband, and myself) but that would have caused problems with the sisters as they would have insisted on being invited (father in law would have told them).  Plus, he wants them there because he wants to see his granddaughter.

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  • image april77056:

     I would have preferred it just to be the 4 of us (father in law, step mother in law, husband, and myself) but that would have caused problems with the sisters as they would have insisted on being invited (father in law would have told them).  Plus, he wants them there because he wants to see his granddaughter.

    1. If the sisters had insisted on being invited, your husband could tell them "That's fine, but we're only paying for dad and step-mom. Do you still want to come or do you want to schedule something separately with dad?"

    2. He can see his granddaughter another time during the day. Him wanting to see his granddaughter is not a reason for you to pay for the entire family to go out.

    It's fine if you WANT to pay for them all, but you should do it because you want to, not because you feel like you have to.

  • You should give your husband a big pat on the back for doing the right thing.

    A guest does not get to dictate who the host invites.  A guest, especialy the guest of honor, does not get to dis-invite the HOST.

    I'm glad your DH declined and took his check book with him.  Your SIL isn't speaking to you because she's a b!tch and doesn't like admitting she was wrong.  And she was most certainly wrong. 

    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • MYOB and let your H handle his family. You do NOT need to get wrapped up into this.
  • I agree with everyone else... you have a good guy who is totally right in this situation.  As for FIL having to pay for his own dinner - oh bloody well.  That's what happens when you're an idiot!  It was ridiculous of him to try and placate SIL and ask that you not come -- especially when you + husband were the ones hosting the whole thing / issuing invitations.
    Slowly but surely.
  • Laugh at them. Hahahah. That serves them right. The nerve of them! Maybe next time they'll grow-up and stop behaving childishly. And I whole-heartedly agree with your H., kudos to him! IMO, he's right. If they get away with it once they'll try to get away with it again. The nerve of them. I would just smile with glee everytime I saw them, secretly laughing at them. Big Smile

  • holy crapola! wow ur SIL is not so nice! I think that is the most childish thing one could do!
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  • So you were supposed to pay for a dinner that you planned, but weren't allowed to attend?  I'm with everyone else.  I would stay far, far away from your SIL.
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  • Let me get this straight. You and dh were hosting a dinner; a guest that you invited didn't like one of the hosts and some of the guests; and so threw such a fit that the guest of honor then tried to get you two to agree to the changes.

    Your dh then withdrew from hosting, entirely correctly; and the former guest of honor ended up paying for his own dinner  and he and the other former guests are now mad at YOU? And you want to go around and try to make nice with these pigs, after your dh stood up for you and your marriage?

    STOP. Your dh handled things perfectly; and he is entirely correct; until they apologize, things cannot be on a normal footing. This should be, and is, being handled by your dh.

  • image Lissa832:
    So you were supposed to pay for a dinner that you planned, but weren't allowed to attend?  I'm with everyone else.  I would stay far, far away from your SIL.

    My husband has the job, while I'm still in school, so while my husband and I see it as our money, his family on a few occasions have made knocks about it being his money.  For example, one time my sister in law (older) stopped by our apartment to borrow something from my husband.  I had just been out on a girls day shopping with friends and my sister in law made the comment to my husband (when I had left the room... I don't remember exactly what she said but it was something to the affect of:) "gosh, she's sure good at spending your money."  My husband laid in to her and told her to get the eff out and wouldn't let her borrow whatever it was she had come over to borrow because he said her disrespect of me, which in turn is disrespect of him, made him not want to do any favors for her.  It was something to that affect. 

    I'm very close to my family, even when they drive me crazy I just kinda ignore it.  But I know I'm pushing too hard to  make my husband have the same relationship with his family.  I just don't like animosity or bad feelings, especially when I feel that I was a part of that.  

    By the way, I've had to study that page that explains all these hieroglyphs I keep seeing.  I think I've got the hang of it... dh=husband, sil/mil is pretty self explanatory, and some others... lol.

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  • Wow!  Go your hubby!  Do NOT let him go.  
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