dreading xmas because of my mean sister in law

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hiphop
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dreading xmas because of my mean sister in law

Postby hiphop » Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:54 pm

Unlike many of my close friends who love to visit their extended families I am filled with dread. Along with my husband's other brother and family we will be hosted some 200 miles up North for a 'festive' forty eight hours.

My dread is rooted in the fact that every time we get together I am subject to some sort of personal attack. My sister in law is an attractive, confident, successful woman who on the face of it seems to have and live an enviable life.

I guess I am the opposite I gave up work once I started a family and am very much more boho in style and outlook.

For whatever reason I can never seem to do or say the right thing which I find very upsetting especially as no one ever seems to come to my defence. In addition she seems to go out of her way to have little 'in jokes' with her other sister in law.

I put up with it all as my husband obviously loves to see his family and my children love to see their cousins.

Am I being pathetic? I would love to get some thoughts on how best to cope or deal with her? Has anyone else been in my shoes?

Thankyou very much.


 
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chorister
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Re: dreading xmas because of my mean sister in law

Postby chorister » Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:19 pm

Very, very difficult. Try talking to your husband - whatever anyone else may or may not do you are entitled to expect him to take your side. Good luck, and if the worst comes worst take comfort from your children enjoying it. Good luck.
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HDM
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Re: dreading xmas because of my mean sister in law

Postby HDM » Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:44 am

I think that your SIL has probably got some issues and one of them may very well be jealousy of you 
Who knows what goes on inside her head but what other reason can there be? Maybe she is jealous that you live down South ( we know there still exists the inverted snobbery of North vs South) 

Maybe her marriage isn't so good and she sees your relationship as the one she wants (or maybe you married the brother she wanted!!) 

Maybe she is jealous of your effortless boho style and wants to look like you 

Definitely talk to you husband and explain how her actions make you feel and that you expect his support - Perhaps he could talk to his brother. But be strong and assertive about him backing you up.

Remember you can't change other people's behaviours but you can change how you react to it.

Last resort, drink all the Christmas sherry, get pissed and tell her exactly what you think

Bonne courage!! 
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NoodleFan
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Re: dreading xmas because of my mean sister in law

Postby NoodleFan » Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:14 am

Sounds like typical bullying to me, which probably means that HDM is right and your SIL has some serious issues.

Is she your husband’s sister or wife of brother? Sounds like she is the sister and the other SIL is married to her other brother but just checking.
Obvs if it is that way your husband will know if she’s prone to being a bit of a b**** (if you can ask him in a subtle way...). Does he support you when she says things or does he not notice?
Do you get on with the other SIL when the horrible one isn’t around?

How miserable that you have to go through this every year :( I don’t imagine you’re the only one in this situation by a long shot though, so hopefully someone will offer some good advice instead of lots of questions like I have!

Best of luck x
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SydneyMummy
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Re: dreading xmas because of my mean sister in law

Postby SydneyMummy » Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:43 am

This is an awful situation to be in. Sorry to hear that you're going through this and no, you're not being pathetic. xx

Your husband needs to have your back so talk to him and let him know how this woman makes you feel and that as much as you want your children to have a lovely Christmas with their cousins, you cannot continue to be treated this way by your sister-in-law. Do it sooner rather than later though, so that your husband has plenty of time to get to grips with what is expected of him - to stand up for you. Be clear in what you say and give him examples of her comments and behaviour.

Have you ever tried responding to her jibes? If not, perhaps respond in a very jovial and non-confrontational way. Or perhaps try catching her on her own and letting her know that her remarks are out of order. She sounds like a bully.

Is your mother-in-law someone you could confide in to see if she can help combat the snide comments when they're made?

@chorister is right - you can't change other people's behaviour but you can change how you react to it so if all else fails, get drunk and tell her exactly what you think.

No one should be treated this way and especially not at Christmas.

Good luck! xx
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Happy sunshine
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Re: dreading xmas because of my mean sister in law

Postby Happy sunshine » Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:52 am

Next time she makes a snide comment. Pause. Take a breathe. Look her in the eye and say calmly and matter of factly, with no resentment or malice “That’s a peculiar thing to say”. Whenever she does it pause, take a breathe and make a factual statement: “What an odd thing to say”, “That’s an unusual reaction”, etc etc. Don’t stoop to her level by showing any resentment. Just place it calmly in the room as an unequivocal statement that reveals her comment for what it is. Good luck and have a merry Christmas!
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adamgh
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Re: dreading xmas because of my mean sister in law

Postby adamgh » Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:00 am

Be nothing but nice to her and ignore the bullshit. You are in control of your response to her behaviour. Like with children! Maybe give her a self help book for Christmas ...
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Beancounter
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Re: dreading xmas because of my mean sister in law

Postby Beancounter » Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:54 am

HappySunshines suggestion good. It’s all very well pondering the reason why your SIL is a cow but you deserve respect and good manners. A variation on Happy Sunshine’s suggestion is Why would you say that? Good luck.
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hiphop
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Re: dreading xmas because of my mean sister in law

Postby hiphop » Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:02 am

thankyou all so much for taking time to reply. I think that you are all right. I need to speak to my husband in the first instance and let him know how hard I find staying with her.

Noodlefan it is my husband's sister that is the problem. He does often roll his eyes when she says outrageous things (just generally outrageous things not necessarily things directed at me) and I have asked him why no one ever challenges her. He just says that's 'just her way' 'she doesn't mean to offend'  she is the youngest of three and his mother doted on her as she was a girl. I guess she has just been used to behaving how she wanted.

Happy sunshine thank you for the tip on what to say. I like it, it's not offensive but may well stop her in her tracks

Have lovely Mondays everyone.

 
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NoodleFan
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Re: dreading xmas because of my mean sister in law

Postby NoodleFan » Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:50 am

Ah youngest child, only girl explains a lot...

Love the self-help book idea.

Just found “How To Stop Being A **** By Being Truthful With Yourself”...
Maybe if you all do Secret Santa... :)
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Lainie
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Re: dreading xmas because of my mean sister in law

Postby Lainie » Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:50 am

I agree with HDM, your sister in law is clearly not happy with her life. Maybe her snide comments are not really about you, but maybe you are the only one who she feels she can get away with bring nasty to.

How about
- listening to meditation during that vigil - this can have a real positive affect. Maybe find an app that offers short sessions say 5 mins and you could listen to them in the loo!

- how about smiling back and saying, I love my life, I’m lucky!

- do tell hubby and tell him about your strategies for getting through it. The more he know about what she is going, the more supportive he will be. He possibly won’t see it so don’t rely upon him noticing.
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Forgetmenot
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Re: dreading xmas because of my mean sister in law

Postby Forgetmenot » Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:56 pm

I have had a similar situation with my MIL and unfortunately when I mentioned it to my hubby, he either said he didn’t notice anything or I was being over sensitive.  I love Happy Sunshine’s suggestions of how to respond, I will definitely use these next time. 

I think the fact that if any family member behaves like this, suggests they are the ones who have the problem. It is a shame if no-one, including your husband does not stand up for you, but then she may have been like this for so long, that no-one even notices it anymore. Or it is done so subtly that it can be passed off as a joke, but lets be honest, we know that usually in these circumstances they are not jokes!

Please know that you have done nothing wrong, and standing up for yourself is the best way forward. Then, she will know that you will not stand for it. Often they rely on you not wanting to “make a fuss” and so will kept quiet. Saying something back, like “excuse me?”, “I beg your pardon?” or “what did you just say?” so that she has to repeat her nasty comment can highlight to others just what she is doing.  I do hope you manage to sort it out.
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hiphop
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Re: dreading xmas because of my mean sister in law

Postby hiphop » Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:10 pm

Thanks again everyone. Sorry you had a mean MIL Forgetmenot. I think asking her to repeat it is another very good way for me to check her and I will be speaking to my husband for sure.

x
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Pluto
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Re: dreading xmas because of my mean sister in law

Postby Pluto » Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:13 pm

Your message really rings a chord with me - I deeply sympathise as I have exactly the same problem.  I have very tricky relationships with 2 sister-in-laws (both live over 100 miles away too), and Christmas is sadly a time of year I dread as well.  One sil is very chippy and loves belittling me, and the other sil is a narcissist and the twin sister of my husband - being twins my husband and his sister are very close and he simply doesn't understand the issues that she causes - in the immortal words of Princess Di, there are 3 in the marriage so it's a bit crowded!  
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Sky1111
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Re: dreading xmas because of my mean sister in law

Postby Sky1111 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:37 pm

Totally agree with Happy Sunshine. I would add “Wow” followed by awkward silence .

This lady is trying to make you uncomfortable. People are happy to let it slide as they are not impacted by it. Let the silence / pause be your friend.
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