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to be angry that standing up for myself is seen as me causing problems

(11 Posts)
weallfalldown Sun 18-Sep-11 23:15:03

Basically the situation is this...the first time I met my sister in law I thought she was a very friendly chatty person, didn't really have much in common but we got on fine. However, over time I have seen the 'real' her, she is dominating and spoilt and very used to getting her own way. I have lost count of the times she has upset people by making snide remarks or her favorite 'oops, didn't mean to say that' comments that seem to slip out at very calculated moments.
The annoying thing is people just seem to put up with it, some of her friends are actually scared to say things in case they upset her and once when we were out one of her friends (who was up at 6am for work the next day) said she was going to leave and go home without telling her in case she got pissed off.
Up until now I have let things go even though she has really upset me on occasions too. I know if we fall out it will be my partner and his brother (who have a good close relationship) that will suffer, but I really am at my limit now. I've missed the last 2 family meals with the in laws because I don't think I can hold my tongue anymore. Whats pissing me off big time is that the MIL who has also been on the receiving end of the SILs nasty comments seems to be of the opinion that I need to back down for the easy life. It feels like because she has always been a bitch that's OK but because I'm suddenly going to stand up for myself and not take it anymore I'm being unreasonable. So, AIBU?

mummymeister Sun 18-Sep-11 23:18:35

Yanbu but families are a minefield! You have to decide if it is worth causing the fall out that there will inevitably be if you say something back. If she says something directly about you or your partner/kids then you are justified in saying something back. However don't take on the role of crusader to defend everyone elses good name. tough when someone goes out of their way to be bitchy but MIL may see you as the outsider muscling in and SIL might be goading you.

CaymansBound Sun 18-Sep-11 23:21:53


I am just asking for advice on another AIBU thread about a not-dissimilar situation so am absolutely useless to you in terms of advice but you have my sympathy.

What kind of stuff does she say?

Am mulling over good tips I've read on here re bitchy friends etc e.g. pulling them up on it immediately with a very sweet yet public "Did you mean to be horrible/undermining/bitchy?" but doesn't really match what I'm dealing with (sulking).

MIL just wants one big happy family and now, because you have shown you are capable of appeasing, expects you to continue. It would quite piss me off that I was the one having to keep away from family events so I do think you are going to have to find a way to shield yourself and yet lay her nastiness bare without it being your problem.

worraliberty Sun 18-Sep-11 23:22:16

It's difficult to say without witnessing it because one person's 'catty comment' isn't always another's.

Also, some SILs seem to rival for 'top spot' in a family and that can be a nightmare for the PILs who just want both their son's wives to get along.

FabbyChic Sun 18-Sep-11 23:23:51

I'd not tolerate the behaviour and why should you?

If this was a child we were talking about the would be brought to task, and told about it.

Treat her no differently she acts like a petulant childish bitch, treat her like one.

LineRunner Sun 18-Sep-11 23:25:58

I guess there are some people who won't be 'stood up to' in the sense that if someone gainsays them then they go beserk. I have seen a couple of people like this in my time - tantrums, hysteria, shouting, locking themselves in a room - and it's not pleasant or acceptable but some families just seem to have to live with it.

However, if she's just an average shit, then I would smile brightly and tell her your thoughts.

But you might not get any medals for this from her other family members, especially if she is very high maintenance, even though they are partly responsible for the creation that is your SiL.

She's probably unhappy, anyway, living in a maelstrom of anxiety.

weallfalldown Sun 18-Sep-11 23:37:49

I really don't want to put my partners relationship with his brother under strain, its just eating away at me that she doesn't even consider that when she is making her nasty comments but I'd get blamed for causing problems if I pulled her up on it.
CaymansBound - a classic example of her bitchy work was when I went for my first post baby night out, she new I was feeling less than confident and decided this would be the ideal time to pint out a girl my partner had once slept with and tell me she was the local bike ( again with the -oops, I thought you already knew)

snippywoo2 Sun 18-Sep-11 23:43:44

I would take her to one side and have a word if what she says directly affects you and your immediate family and tell her you wont put up with her saying what she does full stop.
Anything that effects other people, her mother friends etc ,it is up to those people to stand up to her as they have made it plain they don't want you to rock the boat.
Tell your partner to get a back bone, if she's upsetting you it should be upsetting him and he should be confronting her for her behaviour.
Me I'd have put the bitch right the moment I met her, but that's just me smile

snippywoo2 Sun 18-Sep-11 23:51:40

a classic example of her bitchy work was when I went for my first post baby night out, she new I was feeling less than confident and decided this would be the ideal time to pint out a girl my partner had once slept with and tell me she was the local bike ( again with the -oops, I thought you already knew)

Where is your partner whilst all this crap is going on, whos more important you or his sister? If I'd have found out a member of my family had done this I'd have gone ape shit.

weallfalldown Sun 18-Sep-11 23:59:09

snippywoo2 - exactly! they all let her get away with it (although my partner was at home with the baby that particular time)

Groovee Mon 19-Sep-11 09:30:30

Are you talking about my husband's SIL? I now have no contact with any of her or her brood. PIL's have had enough but when they say something they get banned from seeing the children. The reason I cut contact was I wouldn't allow a friend to treat me like this so why should someone related by marriage be allowed away with it?

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