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Hi there,

I have recently married my wonderful boyfriend of 7 years. We have our ups and down, but we love each other and are happy together. I am from Denmark and he is from the UK

We have been travelling a lot since we met - and have lived abroad. Therefore, I have not gotten to know his family as closely as you would expect after 7 years. Now, we have moved back to the UK, and live in the same town as his parents and two sisters. We chose to live there exactly to be close to family, as I know no one else in the country.

I always felt I had a great relationship with his family. I get along well with his mother and older sister, we can have a laugh and a chat, although we are certainly very different, and they will probably never be my closest confidants. My husband also has a younger sister, who is nearly the exact same age as me. naturally, I expected that we could become friends, if not exactly BFFs. And it seemed for the longest time that we could - we don't have that much in common, but we did get along, go shopping etc together.

As we had just returned from a long trip, we were staying with his parents while buying a house. This worked OK. Then his sister had a terrible incident, where she had the house of her door kicked down in the middle of the night. She has two small children, so naturally she and her husband were terrified. The robbers threatened her husband. After that, they did not want to stay in their house, and so moved in with the parents as well. With all of us, the house was naturally very full, but we moved out of the bedroom we were in to let them have a room to themselves. I felt that hey, we are all family, so we should be able to talk about any issues that may occur etc.

My husband does not get along well with his sister, and he got more and more annoyed with her while we lived there. He feels she exploits his mother as she always leaves the children with her, and lets the mum clean up after them and her husband etc. I tend to stay out of this, as I feel it must be up to his mother to draw the line herself - she is a grown woman. However, my husband does not let things lie, and he and his sister both have tempers that can fly -so a lot of screaming matches occurred. Not with me ever, but between the two of them. She was always civil to me, even friendly, and so I tended to defend her to my husband. Then one day, he told me she had said to him that I was so annoying and messy for always leaving my contact lens case around the house, and that she did not like me. Thanks I thought, but decided to leave it as she must still be stressed from the robbery etc. She also accused us of eating her food from the fridge - often things we do not even like to eat. Once, she told my husband that we were not welcome in his parents house anymore, and we should stop stalling and buy a house already - trust me, we did not want to stay there any longer than we had to. And yet, she is the one with an empty house. I thought perhaps she should have offered we go and stay there while she decided what to do about it - but apparently, she believed that my husband would wreck her house (her own brother!). We have now bought a house four months ago, and moved out straight away. The place is still a building site though, so we come round the parents house to shower etc.

That is the background - now for the question. About three months ago, she started ignoring me completely. To be fair, I had not exactly been keen to speak to her after her telling my husband she does not like me. But now, not a word in several months - I thought OK then, leave me be, I can live with that. But the other day, my husband asked his mother what was up with his sister ignoring me. She told him that I had written on my facebook profile what their family are all evil clowns. I thought back, and realised that I had in fact written a quote from a Pink song several months back ('this used to be a fun house, now its full of evil clowns'). I do tend to use lyrics as my status updates a lot - dependent on what song I might have heard that day and so on. I did not mean this to refer to their family - if anything, my husband and I were arguing at the time, trying to adjust to a normal life routine again after all our travelling, so the lyrics reminded me of that more than anything. And I would never be passive aggressive enough to air my in-law problems on facebook.

I spoke to my mother-in-law, and told her this was nothing but a song lyric. I don't know if she believed me, she has been listening to her own daughter for months ranting about how I dare to bad mouth their family etc... I am more hurt than anything else - it is one thing for this sister, who apparently did not like me anyway according to herself, to treat me like this and jump to conclusions. What hurts me is that none of his family - his mother or his other sister - who have all been involved in this, none of them had enough respect for me to ask me about it - they just went on like nothing had happened. They treat me fine still, but now it feels fake to me, because I can't help but think what they may be saying behind my back.

The question is therefore: do I go along with how their whole family seems to prefer things, and just pretend nothing has happened? Or should I confront them about it? I don't feel like confronting the youngest sister - I feel that after all this (her comments about me to my husband, and her passive aggressive reaction to a facebook update) I do not want a relationship with her anyway. In fact, my natural reaction to all this is to pull away from his family and keep them at arms length. But this ends up making me quite lonely, as I do not have any friends or family in this country.

Hope you can give me some advice - I feel quite exhausted about it all at the moment.
 

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Let sleeping dogs lie. When people share space with each other, especially in artificial situations (like moving in after the house was invaded), they get on each other's nerves and say/do things they wouldn't do under normal circumstances. Don't dredge that stuff up now and make them explain everything they've ever done. If you're all getting along okay for now, leave it at that.

You might like Dale Carnegie's book How To Win Friends And Influence People, which has all sorts of useful advice for improving how you get along.

Also, find some clubs or organizations or something you can join, so that you can have different groups of people to hang out with. That'll help you have sort of an emotional anchor when things get stormy with the in-laws.
 

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Thanks for the reply. I think I will let it lie - but just to clarify; we are not 'getting along' at the moment. My sister in law has not spoken a single word to me in over three months.

Also, we have long since moved out of my in-laws house, and the whole silent treatment started well after we moved out of there. She is still staying there, and when I come to visit her parents I see her - but she refuses to speak to me. Walks out of the room when she sees me. I am really quite upset that she would see something on my facebook profile and immediately assume its a personal insult to her. I feel that if I do not address it, the whole family can go on thinking that I would write insults about them on facebook because that is what she has said about me. On the other hand, I do not want the hassle of confronting her, because at this point I have lost all respect for her due to her childish treatment of me.

I sometimes think that the whole home invasion issue is still making her act strange as well - but this happened 6 months ago now more or less - so maybe she is not really dealing with it? She does seem to be extremely high strung still, constantly screaming at her children and her parents or stomping out of rooms in a strop - I do not remember her being like this before the break in (she always had a temper, but now she borders on hysteria most days).

Again, thanks for the reply. Any outside input is invaluable in these situations, because I feel like I have lost all ability to look at things in a neutral way.
 

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monkyhands-
I can relate to your story. My husband has a very big family that gets along very well with eachother. My family is very dysfunctional and I do not talk to my family much, as they are very negative. I love my husband's family, but his sister is very sneaky and acts like a five year old.
My husband has a sister and a brother. His brother started dating his wife around the same time me and my husband did, so we spent allot of time together.Their mom is so amazing and loving. The sister seemed really loving and friendly too, until we decided to get married (his brother's wedding was a couple months before ours). Of course his sister was in both of our weddings, but she would start rumors between me and his brother's wife. It caused allot of problems between this girl and I and we finally sat down to talk and figured out it was the sister causing all the trouble.
She got mad because her mom remarried a man with four kids of his own.When her mom would do anything for his kids, she would pout like a child. If mom and stepdad did anything for us, sister would pout. She starts trouble for me and the other girl with other relatives, it's just crazy how immature she is.
The latest thing was her complaining to a cousin about me and the brother's wife hanging out together without her. Really? I don't care when I am not included in things, why should she?
I read a book about this and it is typical for females in a family to become territorial and start trouble out of jealousy. I decided to not communicate with her other than family events, no more one on one time - because I do not trust her anymore. It's sad, but until she grows up we will not be friends.
 

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I wish I had good advice to give you but I'm struggling with mine too. I'm actually not married yet but will be in Dec of this year. My fiance and I have been dating for 4 years and I have gotten to know his family rather well in that time. We live 1 hour away from one another so we take turns spending time with one anothers families. Over the years I have tried to be there for his sister, whom is 2 years younger than me, and be a friend to her. She has never really tried to create a relationship with me but I think it's mostly because she is very selfish and always wants attention. About a year ago my finace and I took a little time a part for a couple of months. During that time a few things mean things were said between him and I but we ended up getting over it and moving on. His family and mine forgot it ever happend and our relationships have been even better than before. Except mine and his siter. She's even meaner to me now then she was before and remains that way no matter how hard I try to be nice to her. I have bought her nice things, texted or fb her nice comments, and have reached out to her more than you could know. No matter what I do she is still awful. My fiance can't even seeing her anymore because of how she acts toward me and he sees how hard I'm trying. She just recently got married last year to a man who is a good 5 years older than she is and has found ways to pitch a fit to keep him and her own brother a part. I just don't understand her at all. How can someone be so mean? But she acts nice to me in front of people. How vague can someone be huh?

Any ways, here is my recent idea for this situation and maybe you can tweak it a little and see how it goes for ya'll. I no longer give her anything, I don't call, text, or fb her anymore. My fiance and I stay out of her new life. When I see her I am super sweet to her. The reason I do this is to have her family, whom she has been saying bad things about me to, see that I am trying to be very nice and there's nothing she can say or do to prove otherwise. If she wants to be a witch then I can do it too but better. I only pray she will grow up soon and we can be friends because I am marrying her brother. I've also heard of the whole jealous sibling thing and I've done everything not to get in the way of her and my fiance's relationship so I give up on that theory. I just started my new idea so we'll see how it goes. Wish me luck and please give me any advice that you may have and share any progress you have as well.
 

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I wish I had good advice to give you but I'm struggling with mine too. I'm actually not married yet but will be in Dec of this year. My fiance and I have been dating for 4 years and I have gotten to know his family rather well in that time. We live 1 hour away from one another so we take turns spending time with one anothers families. Over the years I have tried to be there for his sister, whom is 2 years younger than me, and be a friend to her. She has never really tried to create a relationship with me but I think it's mostly because she is very selfish and always wants attention. About a year ago my finace and I took a little time a part for a couple of months. During that time a few things mean things were said between him and I but we ended up getting over it and moving on. His family and mine forgot it ever happend and our relationships have been even better than before. Except mine and his siter. She's even meaner to me now then she was before and remains that way no matter how hard I try to be nice to her. I have bought her nice things, texted or fb her nice comments, and have reached out to her more than you could know. No matter what I do she is still awful. My fiance can't even seeing her anymore because of how she acts toward me and he sees how hard I'm trying. She just recently got married last year to a man who is a good 5 years older than she is and has found ways to pitch a fit to keep him and her own brother a part. I just don't understand her at all. How can someone be so mean? But she acts nice to me in front of people. How vague can someone be huh?

Any ways, here is my recent idea for this situation and maybe you can tweak it a little and see how it goes for ya'll. I no longer give her anything, I don't call, text, or fb her anymore. My fiance and I stay out of her new life. When I see her I am super sweet to her. The reason I do this is to have her family, whom she has been saying bad things about me to, see that I am trying to be very nice and there's nothing she can say or do to prove otherwise. If she wants to be a witch then I can do it too but better. I only pray she will grow up soon and we can be friends because I am marrying her brother. I've also heard of the whole jealous sibling thing and I've done everything not to get in the way of her and my fiance's relationship so I give up on that theory. I just started my new idea so we'll see how it goes. Wish me luck and please give me any advice that you may have and share any progress you have as well.

Personally I think it is very difficult for sisters-in-law to get along, because a lot of women are dealing with one big issue: JEALOUSY!

I seldom see sisters-in-law get along, either this reason or that reason.

If you can't get along with your sister-in-law, it is not surprising.

As long as your husband knows she is an unpleasant woman and he is on your side, that's all matters.
 
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