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To feel very hurt by SIL? (long)

(16 Posts)
aurynne Fri 28-Mar-14 08:20:16


My DH was first married to another woman. He loved his first DW dearly. However, the whole relationship was a nightmare. She cheated on him multiple times, in fact she is now married to last man she cheated on him with. She was also violent and abused my DH physically, to the extent that he would wake up the day after one of those episodes covered in bruises. When she got angry, or could not get her way, she would scream all insults and swearwords under the sun at him, and hit him with her hands and any object she could find. On one occasion he held her hands to prevent her from hitting him. She threatened to report HIM to the police for abuse if he did not let her go... just to go on hitting him.

My DH put up with this for years because he loved her, and because he would never raise his hand to a woman.

After many years of suffering, she cheated on him one last time with a co-worker and he made the painful decision to leave her. She is now married to this guy and has had a child with him.

I have only learned the full story (and I am sure there are still bits he has not told me) after a long time of small bits of information he was able to give me one at a time. This part of his life is very painful to him. His family know about the cheating, but I believe he has never told them about the abuse.

My DH and I met after he left his Ex-DW. He is the most gentle, sweet man. We have been together for 5 years and I love him dearly. We got married last year. Every time I think of him suffering the kind of abuse he suffered by someone he loved so much I seethe inside and my heart breaks for him. Fortunately, his Ex-DW and her current DH have emigrated to another country, so they are now too far away to cause him any more harm. Or that is what I believed.

Now let's move to the story...

I have a FB account that I only use for my studies, I must have about 10 "friends" on it which are mostly other students. My DH has no FB account himself. I have my SIL (my DH's sister) as a friend just so we can see our nephews' photos, that she posts occasionally. She does not use the account very often either.

Some days ago I had a look at her FB page to see if there were any new photos. And I got the shock of my life when, on the random selection of 9 "friends" that the home page displays, I saw my DH's ex-DW there, smiling at me with her DH.

I know it's none of my business who my SIL chooses to befriend on FB. I do not even know for how long she has had her as a FB friend, as I have never looked into her list of friends and I just saw her because she happened to appear on the random selection. There may be a legitimate reason why she is there.

But I am enraged. Why would anyone befriend the person who cheated repeatedly on her brother, and that is now married to the last guy she cheated on him with? Even more, now I feel "naked", that through my SIL's account she cabn see my account. i don't post any photos of me or my DH, but my SIL may do at some point. And I really don't want this woman to have any kind of information or access to our lives.

AIBU to feel like this? What the hell do I do? Do I just keep my mouth shut and try to ignore it? Would you say something to my SIL? I really am at a loss sad. But I am really hurt.

thebody Fri 28-Mar-14 08:29:00

yes totally understand although can't see what you can do other than simply ask your sil why she would want her as a fb friend.

you cant mention anything your dh has told you in confidence of course.

perhaps it would be easier to just defriend your sil and just email pics and news etc.

hope your dh has recovered from the abuse as much as is possible and you sound really lovely together.

ajandjjmum Fri 28-Mar-14 08:30:05

Unless your DH is prepared to be open about the abuse he suffered, his DSis probably sees no reason not to be 'friends' with this woman on FB. It's not a 'real' friendship after all.

If I were you I'd feel like telling her that you're hurt and why, but it has to be your DH's decision.

ReluctantCamper Fri 28-Mar-14 08:31:45

At a guess I'd say SIL is snooping on the EW by being facebook friends, as I really can't imagine genuinely giving a shit about anyone who had treated my brothers in the way you describe. However, you're quite within your rights not to want EW to see photos of you and your DC.

I have friends who are very strict that no photos of their kids must go on facebook, and I just know that if I have a pic of my DS with their DC in, I can't post it. Maybe you could make SIL aware that you have this rule?

WooWooOwl Fri 28-Mar-14 08:33:50

As you said, your SIL probably doesn't know the extent of what went on in that relationship, so being hurt that she has chosen to look at what her ex SIL posts on FB is probably coming from what you already feel, rather than from what your SIL has done.

Lots of people just use FB to have a nosey into each others lives, I don't think it's that big a deal that your SIL wants to see what someone who was once part of her family is up to now.

You can set any posts you make to be visible only to friends, rather than friends of friends. And you can block her, so that she won't even be able to see that you exist through your SILs account, not even if she looks on her list of friends.

Pumpkinpositive Fri 28-Mar-14 08:34:44

You can change your account settings so that the ex wife can't see any of your posts.

Did she get on well with ex sister in law? She may feel - not knowing about the abuse - that both her brother and ex wife are now happily settled with new partners, it's time to let bygones be bygones?

I would probably speak to her about it if it's really bothering you.

aurynne Fri 28-Mar-14 08:41:27

SIL was very aware of the cheating, to the extent that they once had an explosive "fight" (verbal) and my SIL told her exactly what she thought of women who cheat on their DHs. This was the first time bmy DH found out he was being cheated on, and he decided to give her another chance. She also knows she cheated on him another time (the last one) and she is now married to the guy. Even if she knows nothing else, that would be enough for me to never want anything to do with her, if it was my brother.

My DH and I do not have DCs together, so not worried about children's photos. I don't have photos of us on FB. I just don't want to see her there, or for her to see my name there either. I don't want her to see any photo of my DH or I that SIL may post on her wall. I don't want to just defriend SIL without saying anything... however it is very delicate, what exactly do I say to her?

SIL and I get along quite well, we have not had any problems.

aurynne Fri 28-Mar-14 08:43:23

I also don't my DH seeing his Ex-DW on her sister's list of friends, if one day he is checking photos of his nephews on my computer sad

Chelvis Fri 28-Mar-14 08:52:24

I would block ExW then you won't be able to see her and she won't be able to see you at all, even on SIL's friends list. I would be hurt too, although maybe it's just to snoop and keep watch on her? It would be good to know if she was coming back to the UK for example.

BrownSauceSandwich Fri 28-Mar-14 08:54:27

Your husband has chosen not to tell his family the whole truth about his ex. He's taken the risk that they may choose to keep in touch with her. And for all we know, from her limited view into their lives, perhaps SIL felt there might have been mitigating circumstances for the cheating (I'm not saying there were).

Anyway, to tell them or not is absolutely your husband's choice to make... He's the injured party, not you. I agree with PP that you'd be sensible to make it clear to SIL that you don't want photos of your family shared with the ex, and you can tighten up your Facebook privacy settings, or just send the photos by email. But there's no point telling SIL to de friend the ex, seeing as you can't give her any reasons beyond what she already knows.

It's right and proper that you're angry for, and defensive of your husband. But the best thing to do for him is to support him so he can make his own decisions about how to respond to stuff like this. Don't think you're doing him a favour by dealing with his own sister on his behalf.

aurynne Fri 28-Mar-14 08:59:40

Thanks to all for your advice. BrownSauce, my DH has no idea of this, I haven't told him about her sister having her Ex-DW as a friend on FB. It is one of the things I would not want him to find out about.

Chelvis, we do not live in the UK. And to be honest, even if she was planning to come back I'd rather not know. I'd rather I didn't have to think about her at all, and I had not done for a long time until a couple of days ago. One of the reasons I feel so angry is precisely that seeing her there has forced me to think about her again.

susyot Fri 28-Mar-14 10:25:06

I'm sorry, I think you are being a little unreasonable. Your SIL stuck up for your husband but she doen't know about the abuse. The ex-wife was once part of her family, perhaps she doesn't mind the ex-wife viewing photos of her children, perhaps the SIL prefers to keep an eye on the ex-wife, in a know your enemy kind of way or perhaps if she doesn't actually use FB that much she has simply forgotten that the ex-wife is a FB friend. Its quite easy if you have lots of friends to never actually see them appear on your timeline.

I'm sorry that the picture of the ex has upset you so much but that is not the SIL's fault. Its not as if she has been sharing ex-wife status or photos with you. Your SIL made her feelings known at the time and possibly regards it all as water under the bridge now.

I would perhaps comment to her next time you see her that you were suprised to see the ex was one of her FB friends but otherwise follow the advice others have provided about FB privacy. Your anger is being misdirected at the SIL when it is really the ex-wife you are angry with.

Famzilla Fri 28-Mar-14 10:32:47

Just block the ex wife and then she won't be able to see your profile even exist, and you won't be able to see hers.

I can understand why it may be confusing, but I have tonnes of Facebook "friends" that aren't really friends in real life, just people I went to school with etc. I just don't really use it that much so it doesn't bother me. Also, try to remember that your SIL probably has no idea about the abuse he suffered. If you confronted her without telling her the full extent of exW behaviour I think it would appear very melodramatic. I would just follow your husbands lead and let him choose whether to say something.

toolonglurking Fri 28-Mar-14 11:52:17

You don't have to be friends with someone on facebook to block them. Just block her and then she won't have access your facebook.
Then, update ALL your privacy settings to 'friends only'.

Job done.

As for your SIL, say nothing, its up to her. Just be aware that there is a connection.

Vijac Fri 28-Mar-14 14:39:03

She probably was friends with her while they were married and just hasn't got around to de-friending her. I would ask, or get your dh to ask if she'd mind. I doubt she will. Just explain that it creeps you out that she could look at pics of your family.

aurynne Sat 29-Mar-14 00:08:08

Thank you very much, I really needed a cold-headed point of view. Somehow this matter does not appear that terrible in the light of day. I barely use FB and did not know you actually could block someone so that they can't see you... done now! I feel much better that I don't have to see her face when I am looking at my nephews' photos.

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