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Thread: Sister in law is making me look bad

  1. #21
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    verytime she does something rude she hugs him and buries her face in his chest and will not let go for ages. He is very loving and would never pull away, but I feel that by him hugging her back he is sending the message that this behavior is okay.
    Your husband is an enabler and you really should sit down with him and ask him to back off when she cries to get her own way or when she hides in the folds of his arms when you don't cater to her every whim.

    The interpersonal relating with this child is counter productive to her being a mature and emotionally healthy spouse for the man that she one day meets and marries. Your husband is contributing to her immaturity and is not allowing her to learn how to self-sooth. His codding of her contributes to her obvious immaturity. Further... allowing both the mother and the daughter to steal is just bizarre. Why would all of you allow that? If she's stealing from you then she probably is also stealing from her friends (if she actually has any) and that won't be so easiy overlooked as what you guys do when you also enable her to steal without consequence.

  2. #22
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    You’re not going to change her, so focus on your own response to her until time and exhaustion move her beyond this phase. I’d remain immune to noticing her behavior and let the chips fall. She felt humiliated by your taking the vac away, so either she’ll nurse that forever at her own expense, or she’ll grow tired of making a punishment show of it. Either way, I’d stop investing in the outcome and just pretend not to notice whatever she does. She wouldn’t get any mileage out of it with me.

  3. #23
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    I don't get it. Surely her family is aware of her childishness. I don't know how this could reflect badly on you. So what if she gives you the silent treatment? Speak to others. The only way you can "lose" this game is if you make it the big deal that she is. People gravitate toward less drama. I'd let it go. If she's crying over not vacuuming someone else's house, she's got issues much deeper than whether she hugs her brother making the difference, or even a dent. He reminds her to address you when it's you who put in the money or effort, so it seems he's keen to hold her to some level of respect for you. Unfortunately, he can't just bust her lip open and hope that'll wisen her up.

    If her family by and large chooses the path of least resistance, then you and your husband are a blip. You won't change her even with the firmest stance. If letting her be a brat insofar as her simply choosing not to talk to you gets the family through the gathering without a blowup, and you're otherwise reasonably comfortable with most the other people, just focus your energy on the more positive things going on.

  4. #24
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Take your cue from the rest of the family and ignore her crazy. That is the right way to deal with dramatic people. If they try to pull you into drama and you don't respond, they'll give up and find a more willing target because it takes two to tango.

    Your husband is standing up for you as much as he can without causing a war by pointing out to her persistently that she should thank you for whatever. That's really all he can do. He cannot force her to grow up, mature, stop acting like a drama queen, etc.

    Basically, you can't control what she does, but you can't control how you react. Stop trying to be her pal, stop bending over for her, stop doing favors for her, and just be the adult in the room along with the rest of the family. Be nice and civil to her, but that's about it. Socialize and chat with others.

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  6. #25
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    I can't wait to see/read about the drama that will ensue if the Op stops doing things for this girl... and I'll wager that her husband won't have her back if she stops doing favours.

  7. #26
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ThatwasThen
    I can't wait to see/read about the drama that will ensue if the Op stops doing things for this girl... and I'll wager that her husband won't have her back if she stops doing favours.
    I hope the OP is smart enough not to refuse directly, but rather stop volunteering, stop trying to ingratiate herself with this child and just become vaguely unavailable. As in "Oh gosh I would just looooove to take you to the mall, but I have this work thing. It's suuuuch a bummer. Well, talk to ya later."

  8. #27
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    viv19, Unfortunately, your story is as old as time regarding SIL (sister-in-law), MIL (mother-in-law), BIL (brother-in-law), FIL (father-in-law) or ILs (in-laws) in general. Welcome to the club! I've been married for a long time so I know exactly what you're referring to!

    Both your SIL and MIL are thieves.

    When two little things went missing and you did nothing about it, this means, you're giving free passes to the thief to continue stealing from you. Granted, you can't accuse a person of being a thief without evidence and proof so you're hosed there. However, you could've enforced boundaries by no longer inviting your in-laws to your home. Instead, meet elsewhere. You needn't explain nor make excuses to them either. Never let anything "slide" otherwise the wound in the relationship continues to fester. You can't fix the relationship. However, at least you can set some new rules for yourself. Change the dynamics.

    So what if your SIL keeps contact with your husband's ex? It's not right but you have no control over what other people do so you work around every uncomfortable situation. I wouldn't approve either. Then again, there's a lot we don't approve yet people do them anyway. You just have to learn how to navigate yourself more shrewdly. Don't get hurt. Get smart! Outsmart them at their own game!

    Forget about prom dress shopping. Learn to distance yourself from weird people, period. There are no ands, ifs or buts about this. Stop ingratiating yourself to your SIL and in-laws in general. Back off! That's what I do.

    The more you try to be nice, the more you'll get hurt because your overtures will continue to be ignored and never reciprocated. You'll be forever snubbed so quit kissing their rear ends in order to be liked and accepted by your in-laws. Leave them alone.

    Since your SIL doesn't exercise discretion and continues contact with your husband's ex, just carry yourself with class, ignore and be a good person while living your own life. Don't bother investing yourself into your SIL or in-laws. Let them do what they do and you do what you do with getting busy with your own life.

    Regarding the vacuum incident, let it drop. You've already made it clear that while you appreciated your SIL's efforts to help clean your home, you politely declined her help. She accepted your apology, your MIL and BIL were gracious. It's over.

    At age 19, yes, your SIL is still a child and immature. She hasn't experienced life yet with so many different types of people on this Earth. She will be a different person years from now because life teaches a person what types of behavior are tolerable, intolerable, acceptable and unacceptable. She will eventually learn the hard way. Give it lots of time. It will take many years or decades for her to grow up.

    Your SIL is rude. Let her be rude. You can't control her. If she doesn't acknowledge your presence, just follow her cue. Act natural. If she doesn't say "hello," expect the worst and carry on. She'll come around someday as long as you act natural. Or, if she continues to snub you, just go about your own business and give her what she wants by ignoring her. What goes around comes around. Don't bother with "hello" and "good-bye" hugs to her. If she declines from engaging in niceties and pleasantries, respect her wishes and don't do it. Back off. Simply leave her alone.

    If your in-laws come over, lock your bedroom doors so certain items won't go missing. Place all valuables in your locked bedroom. If items continue to go missing, you are inviting your in-laws into your home at your own risk.

    Don't go out of your way to include your SIL in your life anymore. Again, back off. Stop trying so hard only to be rebuffed. Don't give her the time of day. Put on the brakes regarding over the top kindness. Your SIL is an ungrateful, spoiled brat. I have a SIL and MIL like that, too. I'm civil but not anymore than that towards them. Take notes from me.

    My husband was thanked for gifts from my in-laws yet I was never thanked. Never mind it was my hard earned cash, too. The gravy train stopped over here. Don't go overboard with any gestures. The less you do, the less you'll get hurt. Also, don't expect anything from others otherwise you'll be forever disappointed.

    Respect is a two way street. Whenever you don't receive respect from others, you're the one who has to make changes by doing far less than before. Millions of people do an about face and do absolutely nil which is highly effective.

    If you must continue ties with your ILs, do the bare minimum which is what I do. In the past, I invited my in-laws for home cooked meals in my home at least once a month throughout the year. I put a screeching halt to that. They have major "mouth problems." They say inappropriate, disrespectful, obnoxiously rude comments. I remain civil, however I no longer knock myself out for them. I've since scaled back on gift giving. We no longer do major gift giving for birthdays and holidays for everyone and their brother. I put a stop to that. We send greeting cards in the postal mail which suffices. It's easier and saves my wallet. We still get together for Thanksgiving, Christmas and rare occasions such as a summer graduation party, for example. During the rest of the year, we don't bother each other.

    Btw, my mother always financially supported her widowed MIL yet her MIL never thanked her for monthly money sent overseas. Instead, my grandmother ONLY thanked my father profusely. My mother was relieved when her MIL died! You see? What you're experiencing is quite universal.

    I'm not close to my ILs yet I'm civil, do the bare minimum and basically leave them be.

    You can't change people. All you can do is change and control your life by enforcing healthy boundaries forever. Bad behaviors are real deal breakers. It's your job to change the trajectory. You steer the ship and you're in control from now on. From now on, you make sure everyone plays by your rules (boundaries) and from now on, you're in the driver's seat.

    Get tough. Remain strong. This is what I do and it works. You'll be proud of yourself. Never let anyone get the best of you.

  9. #28
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DancingFool
    I hope the OP is smart enough not to refuse directly, but rather stop volunteering, stop trying to ingratiate herself with this child and just become vaguely unavailable. As in "Oh gosh I would just looooove to take you to the mall, but I have this work thing. It's suuuuch a bummer. Well, talk to ya later."
    It would be interesting to hear what her hubby would say if she didn't accommodate his little princess of a sister.

  10. #29
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    Originally Posted by j.man
    I don't get it. Surely her family is aware of her childishness. I don't know how this could reflect badly on you. So what if she gives you the silent treatment? Speak to others. The only way you can "lose" this game is if you make it the big deal that she is. People gravitate toward less drama. I'd let it go. If she's crying over not vacuuming someone else's house, she's got issues much deeper than whether she hugs her brother making the difference, or even a dent. He reminds her to address you when it's you who put in the money or effort, so it seems he's keen to hold her to some level of respect for you. Unfortunately, he can't just bust her lip open and hope that'll wisen her up.

    If her family by and large chooses the path of least resistance, then you and your husband are a blip. You won't change her even with the firmest stance. If letting her be a brat insofar as her simply choosing not to talk to you gets the family through the gathering without a blowup, and you're otherwise reasonably comfortable with most the other people, just focus your energy on the more positive things going on.
    You're right, I'm taking this too personal as if I could actually change her or do somethng about it and I simply can't and have better things to do. As other have said, she is not my daughter or even my blood relative. Thanks!

  11. #30
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    Originally Posted by Cherylyn
    viv19, Unfortunately, your story is as old as time regarding SIL (sister-in-law), MIL (mother-in-law), BIL (brother-in-law), FIL (father-in-law) or ILs (in-laws) in general. Welcome to the club! I've been married for a long time so I know exactly what you're referring to!

    Both your SIL and MIL are thieves.

    When two little things went missing and you did nothing about it, this means, you're giving free passes to the thief to continue stealing from you. Granted, you can't accuse a person of being a thief without evidence and proof so you're hosed there. However, you could've enforced boundaries by no longer inviting your in-laws to your home. Instead, meet elsewhere. You needn't explain nor make excuses to them either. Never let anything "slide" otherwise the wound in the relationship continues to fester. You can't fix the relationship. However, at least you can set some new rules for yourself. Change the dynamics.

    So what if your SIL keeps contact with your husband's ex? It's not right but you have no control over what other people do so you work around every uncomfortable situation. I wouldn't approve either. Then again, there's a lot we don't approve yet people do them anyway. You just have to learn how to navigate yourself more shrewdly. Don't get hurt. Get smart! Outsmart them at their own game!

    Forget about prom dress shopping. Learn to distance yourself from weird people, period. There are no ands, ifs or buts about this. Stop ingratiating yourself to your SIL and in-laws in general. Back off! That's what I do.

    The more you try to be nice, the more you'll get hurt because your overtures will continue to be ignored and never reciprocated. You'll be forever snubbed so quit kissing their rear ends in order to be liked and accepted by your in-laws. Leave them alone.

    Since your SIL doesn't exercise discretion and continues contact with your husband's ex, just carry yourself with class, ignore and be a good person while living your own life. Don't bother investing yourself into your SIL or in-laws. Let them do what they do and you do what you do with getting busy with your own life.

    Regarding the vacuum incident, let it drop. You've already made it clear that while you appreciated your SIL's efforts to help clean your home, you politely declined her help. She accepted your apology, your MIL and BIL were gracious. It's over.

    At age 19, yes, your SIL is still a child and immature. She hasn't experienced life yet with so many different types of people on this Earth. She will be a different person years from now because life teaches a person what types of behavior are tolerable, intolerable, acceptable and unacceptable. She will eventually learn the hard way. Give it lots of time. It will take many years or decades for her to grow up.

    Your SIL is rude. Let her be rude. You can't control her. If she doesn't acknowledge your presence, just follow her cue. Act natural. If she doesn't say "hello," expect the worst and carry on. She'll come around someday as long as you act natural. Or, if she continues to snub you, just go about your own business and give her what she wants by ignoring her. What goes around comes around. Don't bother with "hello" and "good-bye" hugs to her. If she declines from engaging in niceties and pleasantries, respect her wishes and don't do it. Back off. Simply leave her alone.

    If your in-laws come over, lock your bedroom doors so certain items won't go missing. Place all valuables in your locked bedroom. If items continue to go missing, you are inviting your in-laws into your home at your own risk.

    Don't go out of your way to include your SIL in your life anymore. Again, back off. Stop trying so hard only to be rebuffed. Don't give her the time of day. Put on the brakes regarding over the top kindness. Your SIL is an ungrateful, spoiled brat. I have a SIL and MIL like that, too. I'm civil but not anymore than that towards them. Take notes from me.

    My husband was thanked for gifts from my in-laws yet I was never thanked. Never mind it was my hard earned cash, too. The gravy train stopped over here. Don't go overboard with any gestures. The less you do, the less you'll get hurt. Also, don't expect anything from others otherwise you'll be forever disappointed.

    Respect is a two way street. Whenever you don't receive respect from others, you're the one who has to make changes by doing far less than before. Millions of people do an about face and do absolutely nil which is highly effective.

    If you must continue ties with your ILs, do the bare minimum which is what I do. In the past, I invited my in-laws for home cooked meals in my home at least once a month throughout the year. I put a screeching halt to that. They have major "mouth problems." They say inappropriate, disrespectful, obnoxiously rude comments. I remain civil, however I no longer knock myself out for them. I've since scaled back on gift giving. We no longer do major gift giving for birthdays and holidays for everyone and their brother. I put a stop to that. We send greeting cards in the postal mail which suffices. It's easier and saves my wallet. We still get together for Thanksgiving, Christmas and rare occasions such as a summer graduation party, for example. During the rest of the year, we don't bother each other.

    Btw, my mother always financially supported her widowed MIL yet her MIL never thanked her for monthly money sent overseas. Instead, my grandmother ONLY thanked my father profusely. My mother was relieved when her MIL died! You see? What you're experiencing is quite universal.

    I'm not close to my ILs yet I'm civil, do the bare minimum and basically leave them be.

    You can't change people. All you can do is change and control your life by enforcing healthy boundaries forever. Bad behaviors are real deal breakers. It's your job to change the trajectory. You steer the ship and you're in control from now on. From now on, you make sure everyone plays by your rules (boundaries) and from now on, you're in the driver's seat.

    Get tough. Remain strong. This is what I do and it works. You'll be proud of yourself. Never let anyone get the best of you.

    Thank you for sharing yor experience. We can't change people and that is that. I will be following your advice and staying as far as possible!

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