Posted by: lee | 2008/01/29

Am I holding a grudge too long?

Hi! I apologise for the length of this but I want to give you a lear picture:

When my husband and I started dating his sister (who is younger than him but a little older than me) decided I was not good enough and proceeded to wreak havoc with our lives, my husbands parents lives and everyone in between.

I have gone over it and over it and have not been able to pin point anything I did or said that would cause her to hate me and I think it comes more from jealousy and insecurity on her part.

Her behavior was really out of control - when she saw us out at functions or clubs she would scream across the room that I am a f******g b**** / sl**. When we visited his parents (he and his sister both lived at home with his parents at the time) she would walk right around the house and go in the back door because she didn't want to walk through the same room as me. She would not even sit at a table that I was sitting at.

I realised from the start that I had to give her no real reason to hold anything against me, so every time we saw her, out or at her parents house, I would greet her and smile. She never once responded, only looked right through me.

She constantly fought with my husband telling him to choose between his family and me. She even went so far as to leave him instructions - he must be home by 9pm every evening; he may only see me twice a week; I can only visit their house once a week and when I do he is not allowed to sit next to me or hold my hand (the list goes on).

He was 26 yrs old at the time, working and paying his way (rent to his parents, own living expenses etc)

Since then we have gotten married and her behavior has improved. She actually talks to me sometimes and things are definitely manageable (but she has never apologised to me or my husband).

I do not harbour any really bad feelings towards her. Judging by her behavior then and with regards to other things I think she is unbalanced and needs help, but it no longer impacts on our life so I can deal with her just fine.

My real problem is with his parents. Although they have been nothing but nice since we made it clear that we intended to get married, I can't get past the fact that they encouraged their daughter's evil behaviour. My husband is a very loving, gentle person and I feel so angry that they took advantage of that and took her side because he was easier to fight than her.

They made a huge fuss (at his sister's urging) because they assumed we were sleeping together, we were both grown up, working and supporting ourselves. What compounds my anger is the fact that soon after the fuss about us my husbands other sister started sleeping with her boyfriend when they were both 19, not working, qualified or able to support themselves and my in-laws didn't bat an eye, just put her on birth control and said nothing.

Although my husband won't talk about it often he is really hurt by his parents. He has huge respect for his father and feels like his father really let him down and does not support him. He will never say this to his father because he doesn't want to make more of the issue.

There are a lot of other factors but this post is already incredibly long. Basically, do you think I am wrong to still be so angry with his parents (the real trauma is 5 years in the past) for encouraging and supporting their daughter's clearly deranged behavior at the expense of their son?

Your advice and comments are greatly appreciated.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

What a comprehensively horrible, selfish, big-headed and controlling creature she has been. Presumably a major personality disorder, and as she is unlikely to recognize that she needs help, probably unhelpable. It sounds as though your patience may have achieved as much of an accomodation with her as may be achievable.
His parents may have had much longer experience than you did, of how hopeless it was ( at least without expert guidance _ to try to control this selfish monster. They may have given up, rather than actively supporting her horrid behaviour, as you saw it.
But the main reason why it is adviseable for you to give up your anger is that it does you harm, and doesnt improve the situation at all, and doesn't bother those who you might want to bother --- you're not a nasty person. If some sort of family therapy were possible in some sessions between you and your husband with his parents,that might possibly help, so long as the Wicked Witch of the West can be excluded !

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Britty | 2008/01/29

Dear Lee

I had the same problem with my inlaws however all the nasty "stuff" was done behind my back. I tolerated the nonsense for my husband's sake and some of it was horrific - only once did I rebel and told my husband who told his father who agreed, funny thing is his father was part of the nonsense!. But just short of 20 years marriage they have decided I am okay and are very loving towards me. I am glad because it makes life so much more pleasant but I am unable to fully trust them. If I had known it would have taken so long I doubt I would have stayed married.

Its been easy to forgive them because forgiving them makes me feel so much better about myself - in fact I think that all the benefits of forgiveness are for the forgiver. Good luck.

Reply to Britty
Posted by: H25 | 2008/01/29


Post your reply to CS as a new posting - or he wont see it and I am sure he will want to. Put in the same subject matter so that he knows who it is from and what it was about.

Reply to H25
Posted by: lee | 2008/01/29

Dear Cybershrink

Thank you for your response. I think you might be right about them giving up because they couldn't deal with her.

Maybe if they just acknowledged it I could move past it. In the meantime I will just be grateful that everything is pretty much fine now.

Wha tis that staing - God give me the strength to change the things that can be changed and the wisdom to accept the things I can't change...

Reply to lee
Posted by: lee | 2008/01/29

Dear Tsk

Thanks for the comments. I think you are right about addressing issues as they arise.

We are planning on starting a family now and I want his parents to be involved, but I can't seem to get past this resentment. Maybe I should just have iti out with them. The problem is that it is actually more of an issue between my husband and them, and I don't think I will ever get him to talk to them about it.

Reply to lee
Posted by: tsk | 2008/01/29

Often when we do not express our anger it build up over the years and will soon bubble over. Its hard with family as one cant always express one's anger or resentment.

I wish I could give you some advice. I have similar issues with my husbands family (and mine) and I still struggle to deal with the anger. I tried anger management etc and everthhing was ok until the little things crop up and send me back into the same cycle again.

I think the bottom line is that when things happen one should tell people that it hurts you there and then. Its easier to move on and you tend to also forgive easier.

Good luck and I hope you can sort out your issues before they consume you

Reply to tsk

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