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Thread: Do I say anything to my soon to be sister-in-law? or let it be?

  1. #11
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    Jack,

    First of all, congratulations on the impending nuptials.

    I've been married for a long time. I have several sisters-in-law (SIL) and brothers-in-law (BIL). I've learned from Day 1 to stay out of other people's affairs. You need to really mind your own business with all due respect. Other people are grown adults and you need to let them live their own lives including whatever comes their way including their mistakes and poor choices. Their lives have nothing to do with yours whatsoever. You can have compassion and pray for them from afar but you really need to stay out of it. Know where to draw the line. I say, "Let it be."

    In the past, I was in hero mode and tried so hard to rescue people (or waifs) whether it was my friend, cousin, sister and neighbor. Their marriages are made in hell, a neighbor's husband is an alcoholic, there are incurable character defects, mental illness, physical health woes and it ran the gamut. I burned out and "helping" them impacted my marriage and family life negatively. I have enough troubles of my own. I refuse to take on other people's problems.

    Other people's problems should NOT become your project.

    Even though your intentions are good and sincere, I've learned that you really need to focus on your life, job, your life with your fiancee and future marriage. Someday, concentrate on your children and family life. Focus on your own responsibilities. In other words, know how to enforce healthy boundaries with others for your own sanity's sake. Focus your time, energy, attention and resources on you, your fiancee, future wife, relationship and marriage. Don't care nor bother with extraneous conditions in other people's lives. They need to handle and cope with their own problems. It's NOT your problem. It's NEVER your problems.

    No, don't inject yourself into a conversation regarding your soon to be SIL. Whenever you're with her family, remain silent and learn to keep your mouth shut. Her welfare is her business, NOT yours. I commend you for your conscience. I was once you. However, I've since changed. You need to always remember to be practical with your life. Save rescuing and being in hero mode for storybooks and the movies because that's fantasy and unrealistic. Apply reality, logic and practicality to your everyday life.

    The downside to getting involved in other people's business is that eventually you will engage in arguing with them or the people whom they know. Sometimes, your involvement will end up endangering your life or some people will take legal action against you. It's too risky. Play it safe and be smart. Trust me, I've been there and it's such a tangled hot mess that you'll regret ever getting involved in their personal lives in the first place. It takes a long time to recover from exiting a wasted, negative, bitter, unnecessary feud with them. Don't do it. Take care of your own life always. Many times, an ugly situation ends up in semi-estrangement or complete estrangement as what happened to me when my intentions were initially sincere and good. In hindsight, I should've tread more lightly yet I didn't listen to my better judgment at the time. I harbor a lot of regrets to this day.

    I have a lot of in-laws on both sides of my family tree. I'm polite, well mannered, poised, exercise discretion, respectful, "practice good diplomacy" (my mother's wise words) and kind to all of them with strong enforced and infused boundaries with them.

    Just because you have future in-laws and you're considered "family," it doesn't mean that you intervene in their lives. Stay in your lane. You mean well but don't meddle. If you do, you'll live to regret it because their problems suddenly become YOUR problems and endless angst. I've already traveled down this road before and take it from me, mind your own business. Never take on other people's stress. They're grown adults and completely responsible for their own lives, NOT you. The safest thing for you to do is to be an acquaintance at best because this type of relationship is most enduring. There are no blips this way and you will lead a stress-free life. Become an astute and shrewd person because this mindset will protect you.

  2. #12
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Take a time out and go hang out outside when people are gossiping or going on and on (in-laws are over etc). You can choose to be a part of it or not a part of it. Your wife should be there for her sister and offering support with limits. Like the others are saying, it's best to stay out of it as much as possible and offer your support to your wife.

    You can be a listening ear and know when to tune in and tune out. Being a good listener does not always mean you need to take action. You can also let your wife know when you're starting to feel tired and need to eat, have a drink or just stretch and step out of the room. You don't need to be rude to her or appear uncaring after a long session about her sister. Just excuse yourself for a few minutes and ask her if she'd like to do something else too. Most people take the hint and can sense that their partner has reached their limits. Conversations are always two-ways. Your wife should be compassionate to you too and your cues.

    Don't encourage or egg each other on getting worked up about someone else's personal affairs. It doesn't look good and it feels worse.

    Let her know you're there for her (your wife) but don't get too involved. I'd also encourage your wife not to become too emotionally involved in the ongoings. Both of you need to work on listening without absorbing all that energy.

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