Posted by: Jooles | 2005/07/20


I have a sister and mother-in law from hell. I've known my husband for more than 15 years and married only for 5 years. In all this time, every two years we have an incidence with these two ladies and every time, I put my pride in my pocket and patch things up. The beginning of last year, I was once again told my fortune by these two ladies -we were blamed for something we've never done or even said. Anyway, time passed and like always, I phoned my mother-in law and we resolved things.My sister in-law was treated like my own sister. I come from a big and close family and when we had get togethers she would always be invited, she and her daughter would come along on weekends and even have Christmas eve dinner with my family and they'd go home with a whole bunch of presents. Since this incidence last year, she avoids myself and my husband and when their family gets together she doesn't pitch or leaves before we come. My father passed aways about two weeks ago and she never even phoned my mother or my sisters who had nothing to do with her.....and that really hurt me.
Anyway, the least I see of her the better. But today is her birthday and my husband sends me an e-mail asking me if he should include my name when sending her a birthday wish? I was mad as hell and told him his fortune....I am so hurt that he can even consider asking me this, after everything that's happened. I wish they could all disappear.

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Our expert says:
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Surely your husband ought to be far more involved in sorting this out, and in persuading her relatives to be more civilized and less easy to take offense and to bear grudges ? Discuss this with him, peaceably, as he probably also finds this difficult and troubling. Keep to the high ground, and let HER remain the one who is clumsy and makes mistakes.

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Our users say:
Posted by: SG | 2005/07/20

Don't blame your husband,he is caught in between.Show you are a better person though and include your name in a birthday wish.You have nothing to lose.Show you are the better person.

Reply to SG
Posted by: CJ | 2005/07/20

How can you forget to phone a member of the family when their father passed away? That just does not cut it with me.

Your SIL is nothing but a stuck up bitch. But be the bigger person and phone her or send her an e-card for her birthday.

It is not your husbands fault he has a selfish sister.

Remeber, you can choose your friends but not your family.

Reply to CJ
Posted by: lerita | 2005/07/20

Blood is thicher than water. Don't shoot the middle man and that is your husband. it is difficult for him too to keep both sides of the coin happy. Have some quiet time with your husband tonight and tell him why you have exploded and he will understand. Then it is water under the bridge and you close this chapter. And yes you have to put your name next to his. Maybe she forgot to phone you on the death of your father and maybe she has other issues in her life that she never told you about.
Family issues is always a thin thread and is very fragile. Maybe try out what Orie says kep your distance for a while and with dignity

Reply to lerita
Posted by: lulu | 2005/07/20

Nothing wrong with including your name in the birthday wish. Instead of feeling you're the one who always "patches things up", see it in another light: You are the one who realises that it will make you just as petty as they are to indulge them in their petty squabbles.

You married into the family, not the family itself. As long as you and hubby agree on your actions, you shouldn't let them phase you.

Good luck!

Reply to lulu
Posted by: Orie | 2005/07/20

I dont agree with you Jemma. I dont see Jooles as low as her sister in law. from what I read here, she tried the best she can to swallow her pride for the sake of making peace in the family. I think she endured quite a lot. Remember that she has just undergone a very trying period in her life , death of her parent. she is really hurting and as she says at least the SIL ( sister in law) could have shown some sympathy and consideration for her and her family . And she failed to put her differences aside and offer condolences to this family. I think time for pretence is way over now. I completely agree with her deciison to rather distance herself from her. She need not send her a birthday wish if she that will not come from the depth of her heart. Jooles , I think you should go easy on your husband, he's in the middle of all this. He loves you as his wife but she is still his sister and he loves her too. he knows and acknowldeges the issues between the two of you and I think it was a right thing to ask you whether he should include your name or not .He does not know how you feel : you might have buried the hatchet and wanted to your name put on the birthday message or you would'nt even want anything to do with her birthday. I think it was a noble thing for him to ask you . Please dont shoot the middle man ! You should have told him politely wthout giving him his fortune that you are not in a position to be able to send any messages for her , so he must omit your name from the list . Case closed ! your SIL is such a cow, incidences such as death usually brings people closer together, people usually put their hatred aside but seemingly your SIL is as evil and low as she was many years ago. Jooles, I thin k you need to sit down and talk to your husband in a calm manner and tell him exactly how you feel and since this has been dragging on for years , tell him that you've decided to distance yourself from her. Dont let this cow destroy the relationship between you and your husband. I'm talking from experience , I've experienced it first hand, the soon I distanced myself from her the more peace I had in my life and my marriage. Luckily for me , I talked to my SIL and we talked frankly about how things are between the 2 of us and I proposed that we distance each other and she was ok with thatr decision. We meet when we meet ( ie Christmas , Easters) ect but we both agreed that we will be civilised individuals when we meet. We dont call each other and chat about sweet nothings , we talk only when we see each other and when there is a need for us to talk. My MIL was not happyt that I initiated the " distance " issue but I'm sure she now sees that its the best decision , bcoz we are no longer at each other's throats anymore . we both agreed that time will tell how our relationship goes . I have my pride, she has her own and neither of us want to swallow . But the arrangement is working well for me . For now focus on yourself, focus on building your strength after this sad incident in your life. It's only been two weeks , Jooles , stop worrying about this tweet ( SIL) and focus on your healing process. Rathe use your time celebrating your father;s life than pondering over this cow .Wishing you all the best

Reply to Orie
Posted by: Jemma | 2005/07/20

By reacting like this shows that you are just as low as she is. Why don't you show her that you are a better person than her and that you were brought up much better than her and phone her and wish her a happy birthday. By doing this does not mean that you forgive and forget, it only shows that you are a better person than she is and she will feel very bad.

Good luck.

Reply to Jemma

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