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To wish I didn't hate my SIL?

(85 Posts)
ThreadWorms Mon 31-Dec-12 00:00:27

I have NCed for this as I don't want to be outed. I also realise that I will probably get flamed for this but here goes...

I really can't stand my SIL, I would even go as far as to say I hate her. Not even for a good reason. It's making life difficult because I never want to go to family events. If I know I will be seeing her I get what I can only describe as a 'fight or flight' reaction. Even the mention of her name makes my stomach knot. I realise this is only serving to make my life miserable and is a pointless waste of energy. So how do I get over it or do I have a point?

She is my DP's brother's DP. I suppose she can be nice but I have stopped noticing her good points because she is so fucking competitive.

Everything she does or has is 'better' than what I have. If she can't be better, she has things so much worse.

According to her, she has the better brother, he is better looking, much nicer, kinder, thoughtful, helpful, etc. Her DC are more advanced, taller, more clever, better behaved, etc. Her house is bigger, nicer, better than ours. She is obsessed with money, and I have an update on how much her DCs have in their savings account every time I see her. It makes me feel inadequate as the balance is several times what I have amassed for my DCs.

She is also very critical of the way I do things. She has a way of sneering at my choices, particularly my parenting choices. But then she can be perfectly lovely in the next breath so then I think I am imagining things.

She just makes me feel so shit about myself. I can't blame her entirely as I suffer from low self esteem and her comments only reinforce my self doubt. I am ashamed to admit that I am jealous of her.

So how do I get over it and stop playing into her competitive games as I invariably can't win anyway? I don't feel the same competitiveness or jealousy with other people, even when they have things or lifestyles I aspire to but then they don't tend to ram it down my throat either. How do I look beyond this and forge a better relationship with my SIL?

ThreadWorms Mon 31-Dec-12 10:07:34

mummy that sounds genious! Yes DP finds her quite intolerable but being a bloke he doesn't always notice her more subtle and stealth insults. He gets fed up of me talking about her and gets annoyed with me when I don't want to go round to SIL's etc. I will rope him in anyway grin.

Groovee Mon 31-Dec-12 10:12:35

I could have written this post about 5 years ago. As a result we no longer speak to them. Dh told his brother that he didn't like his wife and well it sort of deteriorated from there.

TBH we don't need them in our lives the way they needed us. And to be honest MIL has shown who she has sided with that I don't tend to have much to do with her either.

But I feel much better without her in my life.

MrsFlibble Mon 31-Dec-12 10:14:19

I have a friend like this, out of our little trio, i moved out first, got engaged first, had a baby first, the other friend, has a long term relationship, and learnt how to drive first.

The third friend, at 28 still lives at home, no boyfriend, doesnt drive, so this leads her to try and boost about what she has, and put what we have down.

Its insecurity, people who pick at others and boost are very insecure, and you should just ignore it.

gimmecakeandcandy Mon 31-Dec-12 10:21:46

Right - this is the ONLY two things you need to do

1. Laugh at her
2. Do a pity face at her

Seriously - these two actions will get right up her tits. Don't ever engage in her tit for tat conversations. Just laugh and do your 'you poor thing! Face. She wants you to bite and engage in tit for tat so don't ever do it! Just laugh and leave her to it. Don't engage in conversations with her. This will PISS her off massively - this is all you need to do. Please try this and you'll see how good it is and come tell us all about it!

CailinDana Mon 31-Dec-12 11:20:09

In reality your SIL is a bore who talks about herself far too much. The fact that she makes you feel bad is your problem because you are putting too much significance on what she says. On some level you believe you are inferior to her, which isn't her fault.

Long term it would be worthwhile to work on your self esteem so that you don't take what others say as insults. Hanging out with her would actually be good training on that front - if over time you can just have a conversation and think "boring!" rather than comparing and competing then you know you're doing well smile

MummytoMog Mon 31-Dec-12 11:21:23

Oh no sad she sounds horrid. Lots of lovely advice from posters here, and I have none, but maybe I am that horrid sister in law sad my OH's brother's GF is beautiful, successful,talented, probably about to be famous, lives in a gorgeous flat that we could never afford near Hampstead Heath, had an unmedicated water birth etcetera. She's also incredibly nice and kind. I find myself turning into a horrid person around her, because I feel so inadequate, but it's not her fault at all, it's mine. I actually try not to talk to her too much because I find myself doing that competitive thing and I hate it sad

Willowme Mon 31-Dec-12 11:30:06

I have a sil like this too thread she tries to compete but even though I know it's just Jealousy it really gets on my nerves, I get the same thing as you when I see her where I can't even look her in the face she annoys me so much!

She's my DH's sister which doesn't help and we had our first DC's
within days of each other. The comparing never ends!

ThreadWorms Mon 31-Dec-12 12:24:37

mummytomog - you can't be my SIL as your SIL is definitely not me. I would be envious too envy.

Sorry to everyone who also have difficult and competitive relatives and friends. I know how draining it all is.

cailin I agree with you regarding the boating. I recognise that this is my problem and that is why I have come here for some advice on dealing with her as I do not enjoy feeling this way and hate myself for it. I really wish I could learn to like her.

However, the boasting aside, she definitely aims to put me down. When comparing our DPs she has said things like 'how do you put up with him, my DP would never do that, he's so much better' etc. She has poked fun at the fact that we have 3 DC saying she would only have a third if it was an accident knowing full well that our youngest was unplanned (but still very much wanted and loved). This probably sounds very childish but this is just a couple of her many, many comments that are designed to make me feel like crap about myself.

ThreadWorms Mon 31-Dec-12 12:27:53

Boating = boasting

ThreadWorms Mon 31-Dec-12 12:30:43

groovee I really hope it doesn't come to that for us. As much as I dislike her I would hate for my feelings towards her to cause rifts within the family. I can see the benefit of never having to deal with her again though wink.

GaramMasalaGirl Mon 31-Dec-12 12:42:01

worms you sound lovely and appear as though you have a great sense of humour -

I was eyeing up both brothers the other day and actually I think they're both as ugly as each other

I snorted coffee out of my nose! grin I agree with posters who say that you should fight this with to be worth a try.

StairsInTheNight Mon 31-Dec-12 12:45:03

You should definatly agree with her mad comments, but you must keep a straight face.

Mirror her comments right back to her.

Yes, yes you are right, your DP wouldn't do that. sad. I bet you are glad you picked the right brother! <bright genuine smile>

She will be confused.

Jux Mon 31-Dec-12 12:58:02

Rope the other sil in - the one you get on with - to play bingo.

Definitely agree with nasty sil on everything. You will find yourself enjoying it, particularly if you can build on it a bit as Stairs has suggested.

thixotropic Mon 31-Dec-12 12:58:56

We'll if she says anything like 'how do you out up with that' then you need the old mn classic 'that was rude, did you mean to be so rude?'

Otherwise, I think as posters have said, it's down to you how you feel. You need to move away from being drawn into competing (my god. They have more money in the account than me) and toward contempt/pity/indifference (how vulgar to discuss money / who gives a Fuck)

Oh. And next time. She compares her dp with yours, you simply must use that line about them both being ugly. Or at the very least say, well thank Fuck you feel like that, I'd have to kill you if you started lusting after my dp. I mean what a seriously fucking odd thing to say....

thixotropic Mon 31-Dec-12 13:00:59

Or just agree of course 'yes your dp is loads better looking, really sexy, can I have his number?'


Anniegetyourgun Mon 31-Dec-12 13:04:50

Practice this phrase in front of the mirror, with associated eyebrow lift: "That's nice, dear". Use it as an answer to EVERYTHING.

tangofan Mon 31-Dec-12 13:16:52

I totally feel for you OP. wine
I could have written that post myself, except my SIL from hell is actually my DH's sister so unfortunately I don't get to grind my axe half as much as I'd like and he tends to play it down and/or think I'm being oversensitive.
I was actually going to post my own AIBU along the lines of "to expect my SIL not to shove her wealthy lifestyle in my face constantly" today but found yours first - and read all the lovely replies(hope you don't mind sharing them!!)
I don't want to hijack your thread so maybe I could pm you at some point? I too have low self esteem and insecurities and I know how much it can wear you down, despite not wanting to let it get to you. I have had to deal with her a lot over xmas(and am seeing her again tonight sad)so I'm really struggling at the moment and it would be good to rant to someone who understands!

ThreadWorms Mon 31-Dec-12 13:23:27

Thank you garam. I've never made anyone snort before <proud>.

I'm also loving these creative ways of dealing with SIL from everyone, so thank you all for that thanks.

I must say I'm feeling better after posting. I have realised for a while that I am letting my feelings towards SIL get out of hand and I am very grateful that I can post here and get some perspective on the situation.

The things that I have posted about seem very petty when written down. She is so far up BIL's arse it's almost comical. She orders him around in an attempt to prove what a good and hands on father he is to their DC. I suppose it's sad in a way as she is in complete denial when he fucks up. He once wrote their car off in a drink driving incident but told everyone that it was due to mechanical failure of the car. It's things like this that grate on me but that is just so pathetic I am embarrassed for myself as it shouldn't make any difference to me.

ThreadWorms Mon 31-Dec-12 13:29:15

tangofan - I have been surprised (and selfishly relieved) that so many others are dealing with people such as my SIL. I am very aware that I cannot voice my feelings towards SIL in RL as I know most people won't understand. I think unless you have dealt with a person like this then it is difficult to understand how much it can get to you.

I have been given some excellent advice that I fully intend to utilise so of course you may share wink. And absolutely, feel free to PM me. We should start a support group grin. Sending encouraging vibes to get you through the day with your SIL and a healthy dose of wine.

I hate confrontation but perhaps when she's in full boasting flow you could throw in a few " and yet you stay so humble(!)" Or "no false modesty here then eh?" and then laugh pleasantly. It would show her that you think she's boasting, hopefully embarrass her into to toning what she says down. She'd have to be pretty aggressive or nasty to really lay into you for it (if she chose that route, just feign ignorance like you meant what you said. She'll know exactly what you meant) most people would just feel a bit embarrassed and say something a bit self deprecating.

Ask her if her shit smells of roses too grin

HeathRobinson Mon 31-Dec-12 13:57:07

You could try going with -

Yes, you're so right
Yes, they're perfect, aren't they?
Yes, he's wonderful, isn't he?
You're absolutely right.

Etc etc. She'll know you're not taking her seriously.

atthewelles Mon 31-Dec-12 13:58:52

My cousin's wife is a bit like that. Always name dropping and showing off and trying to subtly put people down. Most people can't stand her and I have often wondered if she privately feels a bit inadequate and tries to cover it up this way. To be honest, she has nothing special to feel particularly smug about - her life is pretty normal, she had a very ordinary job before she got married and had a couple of children and so on. Yet she always seems to be bragging and preening, it's hard to understand.

ThreadWorms Mon 31-Dec-12 14:40:03

I know this is really mean but when the family gets together we all have a bit if a laugh about some of her more outlandish claims (she's partial to a few porky pies and embellishments). I never used to join in because I felt sorry for her but now I do because it gives us all a chance to vent without causing any real upset to anyone.

She also has a pretty ordinary life but her family has a little bit if money (not majorly wealthy or anything) and she talks about this quite a lot.

Another thing she does if she doesn't feel like she can 'better' you is to claim she's had it harder. I'll give her credit where credit is due, she's very skilful at turning a conversation to suit her intention.

I feel that I definitely have some weapons in my arsenal in dealing with her next time so I am already dreading time spent with her less.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Mon 31-Dec-12 14:46:55

If everyone is joining in at laughing at her outlandish claims then it must mean they have got her number.

forehead Mon 31-Dec-12 14:57:04

She is defo insecure. Knowing this means that you will be able to pity her , which in turn means that you will not allow her behaviour to affect you.
I am a bit suspicious about people who boast and am less likely to envy them.
You will find that the more modest a person is, the happier they are with their life.

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