Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

DH's difficult relationship with sister [sorry, bit long]

(9 Posts)
CoffeeMum Mon 31-Dec-12 07:56:54

DH's younger sister has always been a bit tricky since early adulthood - she behaves in a fairly entitled way, messes up and never faces consequences, is fairly selfish but is never picked up on it. Due to family history, MIL and FIL have tended to enable her, and pander to her as they had a rough time when she was a teenager, so I suppose they wanted to look after her, even though it's backfired a bit, and made her this way. Her behaviour has escalated since she got together with her DP who behaves pretty appallingly [but that's a whole other story!] He seems to have brough out the worst of her selfishness as he is very selfish himself.

Basically, DH now feels his relationship with his sister is at an all-time low, and he feels very angry with the way she [and her DP] treat him, and the rest of the family. They behaved very badly to PIL about six months ago, and PIL did actually confront them, but DH's sister threw a huge strop and wouldn't speak to them, swore at them etc.

Really, DH now feels that if he continues to be civil to his sister it will be for the sake of PIL, as a family feud between their children would upset them, as there are several other family feuds in the family. However, seeing his sister behave in this way is really eating away at him [he's a very decent guy and finds it hard to see someone treating his family like this]. Sometimes he talks about confronting her about everything she's done. However, from her behaviour six months ago, it's unlikely she's going to take any of it on board, and she'll probably just have a tantrum and disengage, and PIL would be sad.

We don't see them often, probably 2-3 times a year, with PIL, and it's tense, though all are polite outwardly. I tend to think that we should just go with the flow, nod and smile when we see them, be civil, keep the peace and save our sanity.

But really - can DH really stand by for the rest of his life and let this bad behaviour go? It really gets under his skin. Any advice about how to handle this situation would be appreciated, because quite honestly, his ranting about it, while completely understandable, is starting to get to me.

What to do?! Thanks for listening to this, sorry it's a bit long blush

yohohoho Mon 31-Dec-12 08:07:24

He either needs to confront her or let it go.

dh doesn't like his sister. Neither do. You could be describing her in your OP. We rarely see them so when we hear or see tales of her selfishness dh just lets it go as though he was told she went for a walk.

if he can't let it go he needs to do something.

CoffeeMum Mon 31-Dec-12 08:18:46

Thanks yohohoho - sorry to hear about your situation, and I completely agree with your advice. But has your DH really managed to let it go? How long did it take him to get to that point? Did he do anything specific, or was it a case of just changing his state of mind? What made him decide not to confront his sister?

Sorry to bombard you with questions. I think i'm just keen to get this family issue sorted now, one way or the other. Maybe it's a New Year, New Start thing!

yohohoho Mon 31-Dec-12 08:53:01

yes he has really let it go. He is completely neutral when it comes to her.

There were a few big instances that tipped him over the edge. The main was that I fell pg and she did 3 months later. She told dh she wanted to get pg because she didn't their parents only having his GC as a GC. She then decides she wanted to marry the father (before the baby was born) and ran up such huge bills for the wedding, that their parents ended up re mortgaging to get her out of debt before the baby came. They couldn't keep up with the payments and had to sell their home.
she didn't even really want to get married. Within a year she had an affair and moved back their mum and dads.

Dh knows his mum would be upset if he told his sister what he thinks. So he decided to just it go. and if she takes his mum and dad for ride, then so be it.

Strangely, since dh has done the parents have become tougher. There was a brief period where pile were not speaking to her earlier this year.

CoffeeMum Mon 31-Dec-12 08:57:28

Christ, that sounds like awful behaviour sad, your poor DH and PIL, no wonder your DH has washed his hands of her. I'm glad to hear that he has made his peace with the situation. I really hope my DH can do the same. I think the key will have to be that we don't even discuss SIL's bad behaviour because that's when he starts to get angry about the situation. Somehow he needs to detach, like your DH has managed to do. I really hope he can do it.

Thanks for your advice smile All the best to you and your family

Mrsrudolphduvall Mon 31-Dec-12 08:58:17

Dh has this situation with his eldest sister (and a couple of brothers tbh)

He confronted her one day, told her that he couldn't avoid her totally, but that he would ignore her completely when he saw her at FILS house (only about twice a year)
He had a long conversation with his FIL about her, how she had disrupted their family for years, how rude she was and lacks basic social skills.

CoffeeMum Mon 31-Dec-12 09:23:27

Thanks mrsrudolph - okay, so what was the fallout? How did his sister react? What did FIL think? How does it go when he ignores her at family gatherings? - isn't it hideously tense for everyone, or does it go okay?

Thank you for sharing your experience too smile It's horrible for everyone involved, but there is comfort in knowing DH isn't the only one going through this situation.

Mrsrudolphduvall Mon 31-Dec-12 09:26:17

We only get together once a year, and she busies herself in the kitchen.

FIL agreed with dh about her behaviour which had been supported by his wife (now dead)
Dh feels so much better that he has been honest...

CoffeeMum Mon 31-Dec-12 09:29:51

Hmmm, glad you've reached a resolution, and I know DH does have a real urge to call his sister on her behaviour...but I just can't see his sister taking any criticism in the way your DH's sister seems to have done. There would be tantrums.... sad That's the problem, he couldn't quietly say it, and reach a truce with sister, there would be fallout. Happy it's worked out as well as it could have done for your DH though. Thanks for your reply, useful hearing about what others have done, helps me work through my thoughts.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now