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Old October 29th, 2009, 08:16 AM
dendah dendah is offline
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How to get along with SIL's

Hi Ladies
Does anyone have some kind of a formula on how to get along with sisters-in-law. My husband's family is big and his bigger sister is like the main provider for the family, reason being she is the only one who went to college as a result, she is the only one with a stable good income. Now somehow she controls mom (MIL) in turn controls everybody. There is another one, that one is unemployed 22 yrs and the last born. I used to like her but from the day she commanded me to do something according to her way, I just took step back. Her mom is very protective over her saying she knows what she says and she is a straight talker!! I don't oppose that but not in my family.


Now the situation is very awkward! When I was at my DH home, they were very sarcastic, it wasn't nice the whole mood around me and them. I approached MIL and asked if we can talk cause I was convinced they are fighting her battles!

Just for the background, my MIL, my DH and I do not follow same religion and she doesn't like that, especailly that my DH has become strong in our Religion now that we together.Secondly after we got married, we moved to about 6 hrs away from them cause we were trying to avoid problems. She cried tears, she still is today saying he expected my DH to look after his siblings (last one is 22 yrs) and not move this far, so it breaks her heart to see him staying this far. One day she screams saying, she hates what took her son so far from her. I just kept quite!

Now my DH is on my side by all means! After I spoke to my MIL about sisters asking her to advice me on how to handle them. She said it's all my imaginations, though I wasn't happy but I kept quite! But my DH spoke to all of them and explained what I mean to him and they must try to accept me just for his sake. Now we were there 3 weeks ago, they've never phoned! My DH shares a bday with his older sister, so he asked me if I can phone her (my poor DH, trying to push the relationship). I phoned and put her on the speaker, she acted like she doesn't hear me and I was using my husband's phone with his number showing!!! So she couldn't have known it was me speaking cause she saw his brother's number on her phone, I just keep on playing along responding to whatver irrelevant thing she was saying. Then my husband took the phone over, instead of answering him she was asking who I was. So funny!!!!!!!!!!!! I mean really!!!!!

Now my DH has got a job from 2 yrs of unemployement, I am sure he would like to share the news with his mom, but he is scared of hurting me. Since they've shown it so clearly to him that they don't like me! I feel so bad I wish I can mend things so it become easy for him. I know there were close with his family before we got married. Cause the sisters were running the show through mom without anyone interefering even with his money.His brothers are okay, they loved me like their own, the problem is sisters and mom! Sisters are not married they are at home fulltime! I can't let them intefer in our lives as they please, I guess that's my biggest sin and I don't jump for family gathering each time they call us! When my DD was born the younger sister smsed my DH the name of a the baby and told us " this is what she gonna be called, when she is visiting " I was very annoyed, they didn't even bother to ask us about the name we gave the baby. When we were there, she (SIL) called her by that name and my DH discipled her very harshly, they ended up shouting at each other. The whole time my DH was busy disciplining them, it was too draining for him hence we decided to sit them down and try to talk sense, but I still feel, there is no change!

Will this ever pass though!!! and we become a normally family. I feel for my DH though I am not much of a family person but he is!!!! MIL is trying to pretend but it seems her daughters controls her. Now I can't even talk to MIL cause they are the ones with phones, I suggested we buy her a phone but my DH said she has done it so many times his siblings will take it! MIL is not that bad on her own!!! Just put her with her daughters!!! But I try to understand that, the older one has financial power hence she can't challenge her (That's my thinking)!! But she will loose her sons for good if this continues!! Cause they don't have financial power! My DH is the only one married, the two eldest brothers have already moved out of the house! She is left with 2 powerful daughters and 2 younger sons! One of the younger sons have got a jod and he is already thinking of moving out. Sometimes I do feel guilty that my DH was the peacemaker at home, he was always sober an speak sense all the time. I do feel what MIL is crying about but DH had to grow and become a man of his house. It's not his fault that their father died when there were young. I always hope MIL will accept our move oneday! Esp now, my DH has developed himself, he's got career unlike when he was still stuck at home playing father to his siblings!

I'm just worried about sisters cause I really don't understand what is their problem!!!
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Old October 29th, 2009, 01:16 PM
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Cremebrulee Cremebrulee is offline
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Re: How to get along with SIL's

Hi There
I'm sorry to hear your having these problems...but think you were very wise that you moved away. I don't get how some parents/inlaws take it upon themselves to try and run the lives of their children? I don't and I'm sorry you married into a family like this.

The only advice I have to give is this..."Choose your fights wisely" Whoever it was that said that was very wise...from my experience, if I had ignored a lot of stuff and not huffed and puffed about it, things might be different today...so what I'm saying is...seperate the small stuff from the large stuff and let it roll off, b/c if you don't, the sisters and mother will gang up on you. And just maybe that's what they're trying to do...push your buttons?

2nd. I would also say, don't allow yourself to be a doormat...there were times when I admitted I was wrong when I wasn't just so we could forget it and move on...and it didn't work. I've heard it said, bullies do not like weakness...so, again, choose your fights wisely.

3rd. I was glad to hear your hubby stands up for you...good for him...and it sounds to me like he is a fair man and doesn't compromise his beliefs just to keep peace....which says, you have a stong man.

4th. I would just fall back and let them play they're games...I know this sounds contradictive of what I said above, but there are always small petty stuff, and then some real big stuff, like the name of your child...that's a huge one. But the less you say, the better off you might be...except when it comes to your child's name, I would definately insist that my child's name be used. Sheesh, just that alone says they have no respect for your feelings, it's all about them.

5. When we're all done here, and others have given you advice, I would print this thread up and allow your hubby to read it...might also help to give him some ideas, and together you might be able to work this out. But, never, ever feel like you have to answer to them about anything, let alone your religion. There are things that are between you and your husband that are very personal, like your religion and they have no business thinking they can tell you how to live, or what you should believe in.

You are both grown adults and you have to live your lives, which best compliments the two of you, and no one else...so, if you can ignore a lot of this stuff...and forget it...not let it build up, perhaps after months, even years of this, they will loose interest and leave you alone?

I hope something here I've written helps....

Good luck
Creme
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Old October 30th, 2009, 03:19 PM
Seeking Sensibility Seeking Sensibility is offline
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Re: How to get along with SIL's

Dendah,

I would not be so quick as to place your mil as a Ďvictimí. She has her babies at home with her. She may have instilled in her children a certain amount of obligation to her. She may have discouraged her children to be individual thinkers and neglected to teach them the tools to leave the nest with confidence and resolve. If thatís the case, her children may feel little control of their own lives. I have noticed that when people lack accountability for their own lives, they feel a need to control other peopleís lives.

Your husband has chosen a different route. He grew into a responsible adult and chose to take charge of his own life and start a family with you. He sounds steadfast and true to his convictions. If I were you, Iíd relish that part of your life more than anything.

It sounds as though your mil is content with the situation. The only thing that would probably make it even better for her is if she had her other boy, your husband, home with her. Whose fault is that? Surely, itís yours. If thatís your crime, I'd gladly welcome a life sentence.

If your sil opts to substitute your daughterís name for another name, it seems only fitting that you address your sil by another name. Iíd let your husband choose the name. Thatís my first response. My second response would be to say itís rude and leave it alone. Your husband is your protector and it sounds like heís doing his job.

As long as your husband stays on-board with you, chances are the situation will evolve on its own and lead to less and less contact with your in-laws. This may seem sad to some, but your husband and daughter are your primary concernÖ.that makes you a family person.
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Old November 1st, 2009, 03:01 AM
dendah dendah is offline
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Re: How to get along with SIL's

This is putting me in a much better perspective Seeks!!! It all comes clear to me as you explain it, she has taken their individual right away from them. My wrongdoing was refusal to be obligated to her as well!

It's just the guilty feeling I have sometimes when I see DH drifting away from his widowed mom! Who always reminds them (her children) of how she suffered growing them up on her own w/out a father . In actual sense I am not supposed to feel guilty about anything, it's just that sometimes I can't help the feeling!!
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Old November 1st, 2009, 03:08 AM
dendah dendah is offline
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Re: How to get along with SIL's

Hi Creme

Yes!! I've also seen that it's not all fight that are worth fighting, but sometimes they can really push the wrong button. I am also waiting for that day when they will forget about us and let us completely live our lives!
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Old November 1st, 2009, 05:41 AM
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LadyLove LadyLove is offline
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Re: How to get along with SIL's

Dendah,

Sometimes, the best thing to do is to avoid the relatives who hurt you most. If you feel that your in-laws are being difficult with no sense of compromise or resolution then back away.

There is nothing wrong with focusing on your family. Your husband married you, not his mother so do not feel guilty about "pulling" him away since life changes when you are married. Once you are man and wife, you become each others top priority (plus your children). His widowed mother can get out and date if she really wanted to. She could keep busy socializing with women her own age. Maybe even get a part-time job (she doesn't work, right?). So do not feel bad about wanting to be a part of your husband's life. Its natural.

If the in-laws do not like you then avoid them. Invite MIL over for dinner one night and see if she gives you the chance that you deserve. If she wants to be part of BOTH you and your husband's lives then she will accept the invitation. If not, it will show you the interest that she has in your family.

I skimmed through your thread and can relate with the part of the in-laws not liking you because mine aren't a big fan of me. I have invited my MIL out for dinner at least two dozen times and she refused each of those invitations. She never said "I can't make it, maybe next week instead?" or anything like that. She would just reply "no" and leave it at that. She has no interest. Never has and never will.

I am sorry for what you are going through but try to focus on the good in your life. You dont need people like that around you.
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Old November 1st, 2009, 08:47 AM
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Re: How to get along with SIL's

Quote:
Originally Posted by dendah View Post
Hi Creme

Yes!! I've also seen that it's not all fight that are worth fighting, but sometimes they can really push the wrong button. I am also waiting for that day when they will forget about us and let us completely live our lives!

yanno, dendah, I have to agree with everyone's posts here...very wise...and while reading your reply to me, I thought of something...
Pehaps, they will eventually get the idea if you stay away, more then visit or have them visit you.

Sort of like a reward visit...if you visit them and they start in, leave...immediately tell them, while looking at your watch...well, we have to get going...and get up and simply leave, not in a rude way, but as a matter of fact way...you could sync this with your husband...and if they're behaving themselves, stay...it does work, and there are no harsh words exchanged...if they want you to stay longer, they might behave themselves...? Just a thought?
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