Talk

Advanced search

AIBU...to not like DP's sister?

(250 Posts)
Shopaholic84 Wed 23-Mar-16 14:14:01

DP and I have been together almost 5 years, we live together and got engaged last year. Very happy. All good.

This weekend his parents and sister and her husband are coming to stay for the whole bank holiday weekend and I am dreading it, mainly because of his sister.

It's really hard for me to say why, as it isn't like she's outwardly nasty. However, she is just incredibly self absorbed, she literally makes no effort to enquire about ANYONE else or their life. Just sits there and waits to be asked about hers and then happily sits, talking about herself.

It became apparent very quickly when I first met her and the rest of his family that she is absolutely adored and fawned over 24/7. She is the centre of the family's universe and everyone else is expected to make her the centre of theirs too.

I have known this woman for 5 years and I can honestly say that in that time she has barely spoken to me. She knows absolutely nothing about me nor is she interested. Which is fine, I don't expect people to have an avid interest in me or my life, however, I'm also not particularly interested in her or her life but when we're left alone in a room together or see each other at a family gathering/meal etc, it would be a bit awkward if we didn't speak. So, I make conversation with her, chat about anything and everything really, but mostly I ask her Q's about her DD, or her job, how's the house renovating going etc etc. Just general, everyday polite chit chat. Because, you know, that's what most 'normal' human beings do don't they?!

It's really difficult to explain, but events have been cancelled before, events that are quite big and have taken months of planning, because she's 'tired' and doesn't want to attend. So instead of just going ahead without her, the whole thing gets cancelled. Because the world doesn't turn unless she's there, when in actual fact, she doesn't really add much at all, just sits there murmuring 'hmm' 'umm' at conversations, until it (inevitably) turns to focus on her and then you can't shut her up.

18 months ago, DP got a promotion at work and we had to move a couple of hours drive away. This has kinda made things worse between her and I as instead of just seeing her for a couple of hours, I have to see her for a whole weekend or more. I find it exhausting.

SIL has invited herself down to stay 8 times in the last 18 months. This will be the 9th time and I really am dreading it.

For a start the mess- honestly, every single room is strewn with clothes, hers, her husbands and DDs. Their DD is now 2 and very cute, but obviously with small children/ toddlers comes mess. The kitchen walls and floor are covered in food after every meal. There is dirty nappys left in the kitchen bin (vom) that we don't know about until they start smelling. Last time they came SIL let DD play with play dough.....all over a cream carpet. Go figure. SIL asks for multiple cups of tea/ waters/ juices all day and afterwards, the rooms are strewn with dirty cups, mugs and glasses.

I wouldn't mind about any of the above if it was a guest that was occasional, I. E a TRUE guest. I enjoy looking after guests, but really, after all this time she can't even stick a cup in the dishwasher after it's been used?! I'm not her maid, but that's exactly how I feel.

I get married in September, my MOH is yet to receive an RSVP to my hen. SIL has barely spoken to me about the wedding. She has always treated me with such disdain, like I'm not a permanent fixture. I could understand it if pre me, DP was a player and had a different girl every week, but he only had a few other girl friends before me and they only lasted a year or so. He certainly didn't live with or propose to any of them.

I have 2 brothers, I haven't always been fond of their girlfriends, however you'd never have known, as whether I liked them or not I was still polite and friendly and made conversation where I could.

I guess it's been 5 years and most of the time, especially since we've moved away, I don't really give her a second thought. DP talks about her and tells me what she's been up to etc a lot and I just make the right noises. It is easy for me to just forget about her. But on weeks like this, where I am due to be in her company for 3-4 days at a time, I just feel really resentful and exhausted at the prospect of having to 'entertain' her as a guest. Why should I make the effort to make her welcome in my home when she can barely bring herself to acknowledge me? Well, in fact that's all she does.

It's strange, because we're actually very similar people. There is only 2 years age difference between us, we're both sociable types with lots of friends (sorry that sounds bleurgh I know!) we like the same music, both like to have a drink and a laugh. Yet, she's just never been arsed about getting to know me, at first it made me feel like crap, now it just makes me feel angry and resentful that I have to be all sweetness and light to her.

So.....WIBU to feign an illness and hide in the bedroom all weekend to avoid her and having to listen to no doubt everyone sitting there discussing only her and what she's been doing and what she feels for hours on end?! (Mostly joking about the feigning illness part!)

Has anyone else got a SIL that makes no effort or practically blanks them for no apparent reason? If so, how do you deal with it?

ctjoy103 Wed 23-Mar-16 14:18:28

Yanbu she sounds extremely self absorbed no doubt encouraged by her family, how does your dp feel about her ways?
I think it would be rude to feign an illness as it only looks bad on you and does nothing about her.
Instead treat her like she does you? Don't ask questions about her life, don't initiate conversations. Be polite to her but don't make an effort iyswim.

curren Wed 23-Mar-16 14:21:07

Well I don't get on with my brothers wife. She is quite similar. Self absorbed, cancels attending things at last minute for no reason, said she thinks working mums are evil and disgusting (I am a working mum) and tried to stop my mum spending any time with me if she wasn't present.

I could go into detail, but won't.

Personally I maintain a cool calm. Say hello and never ever get left in a room alone with. It's where we are alone she drops gems like 'your mum and dad must be so happy we had kids, your first borns grand children are so much more important than other grand children'

So essentially because my brother is mum and dads oldest, their kids are more important to my parents than mine.

If I get left alone I literally get up and walk out. Don't make excuses just leave the room.

As for them leaving your house a tip, either you or your dh needs to tell her and her dh straight . That's not acceptable and they won't be staying again.

BarbarianMum Wed 23-Mar-16 14:21:44

She doesn't sound great but

1. People cannot invite themselves to stay with you - either you or your dp must be agreeing. You can stop, or make visits less frequent.

2. It's his sister so leave the donkey work of hosting her to him. He can make up the guest room, do the cooking and provide most of the entertainment. You need only chat listen to her talk over meals, the rest of the time just be busy with other things/watch TV/go out/read a book.

If she won't make a big effort you don't need to either. Polite but distant.

WorraLiberty Wed 23-Mar-16 14:24:57

She obviously doesn't like you and the feeling is clearly mutual.

The difference between the two of you is, is that she won't be fake and pretend she does.

WRT the mess, of course you shouldn't be clearing up after her. Why do you?

You either need to have a word with her and her partner about clearing up after themselves, or tell your husband to be to clear up after his family.

cosmicglittergirl Wed 23-Mar-16 14:25:59

She must love staying with you, like having a built in maid. Can your DP not go and stay with her? 9 times in 18 months is a lot of visits. Or could you go and stay with friends when she's there? I often do family things separately from my DH and I actually like his family, I just don't want to spend all my free weekends sitting about a house making small talk.

Pinkheart5915 Wed 23-Mar-16 14:26:34

She doesn't sound great but she is still his sister, you say she's never been outwardly nasty so I'd jus be polite say hello and she'll be gone after the weekend anyway.

WorraLiberty Wed 23-Mar-16 14:27:04

Also, remember her husband is an adult too and should also be clearing up after himself and his daughter.

Shopaholic84 Wed 23-Mar-16 14:41:55

I'll try and answer everyone.

DP hasn't mentioned anything. When I first started seeing him I used to think he must realise and notice surely that it's me making all the conversation when I see her?

But he's never, ever said anything and neither have I. He, just like the rest of his family thinks she is the holy grail and always bangs on about her and even once about how 'lovely' she is. I couldn't bring myself to speak as I knew I'd say something so just stayed silent. Perhaps he has picked up on the fact that her and I aren't bosom buddies, I don't know. If he has, he's never said anything. I do think a lot of it is jealously with her. She's used to DP fawning over her, going out of his way to do things for her etc and I think she has felt threatened by me? But obviously I can't say that for sure.

Re her not liking me, that's fine. But then she really is a complete dick as I have never been anything but polite and friendly towards her in all these years. From day 1!

It's funny you should all say about me making myself scarce, I've done that before, a coupe of times intentionally and once unintentionally (I was on a hen weekend in Barcelona so wasn't around to see them- oops, shame!) The fuss her and her mother made because I wasn't around, sly little digs. Which is the ONLY time they've ever been anything other than 100% nice (well his mum anyway!) and then DP started to say things like 'Are you going to avoid my family again this weekend again then or are you actually going to be present and spend some time with us' so I stopped making myself scarce after that as it was obviously not going down well. However, yes, that would be my preferred thing to do and just join them in the evening for dinner or something for a couple of hours!

Re her inviting herself, yes, you're right DP has to agree to it, DP is DELIGHTED when she rings asking him if they can come and stay. She never asks if it's okay with me though and neither does he really, just agrees. DP does actually do quite a lot of contract work back where we used to live (where all his family are) so often gets back to see them once a month anyway so WHY she has to come down so often I don't know.

It just irritates me I think that DP hasn't ever noticed or mentioned the fact that it's me making all the effort to feign an interest in her and her life, with no reciprocation from her. You can't be that blind to someone surely?!

cosmicglittergirl Wed 23-Mar-16 14:49:16

You and DP have never discussed how you feel about her? I think that's really unusual. My DH knows exactly how I feel about all his family (positive and negative). Honestly, it would be a deal breaker for me to not have a totally open relationship, especially if my DP was 'making comments about spending time', that sounds controlling and a bad omen of what life will be like once you're married.

curren Wed 23-Mar-16 14:52:15

I don't want to be told I am over reacting. But do you not think you need to get this sorted before you get married?

Can you imagine her staying when you have kids? Your dh fawning over her and letting her do what she wants in your house?

Your in laws having a dig because you aren't there, and your dh allowing it?

No one should be coming and staying without it being run past you both. But he probably doesn't see the issue as you have never spoken up.

This is one of the things that really cause resentment in marriages.

cosmicglittergirl Wed 23-Mar-16 14:53:39

Curren ^^ has put that better than I could.

PommelandCantle Wed 23-Mar-16 14:54:23

oh dear. I am rather angry on your behalf, however, I think you need to sit down with your DP and TELL him how you feel and that you are not her maid. As his sister, she is welcome in your (joint) home, (Note the YOURS and not HIS) and as such you expect him to look after her beyond reasonable hostess duties. Either he will love waiting on his wonderful sister hand and foot, or tell her to suck eggs. His sister, his choice to slave after her.

We go and stay with my brother regularly and I wouldn't dream of allowing them to wait on us. Our being there creates extra work, therefore we help!

Topseyt Wed 23-Mar-16 14:54:54

I would certainly be very tempted to ask them to help clear up their mess and that of their DD.

That is taking the piss.

ouryve Wed 23-Mar-16 14:55:10

Well, the first bit about the lack of conversation, I'd have no issue with, as some people are just very shy, but the rest...!

Have to be brief, but:
You don't have to agree to her staying
You need a decent bathroom bin and to accept that she'll use it for nappies.
You need a dustbin in the house to dump all her mess in ;) (or more seriously, gather it up, but don't fold anything and put it all in one place, the same place, every time. All together. Clean or dirty.)

PommelandCantle Wed 23-Mar-16 14:55:38

I know this sounds a bit harsh, but basically you need to grow a pair and stand up for yourself.

Shopaholic84 Wed 23-Mar-16 14:56:11

I'd feel awful telling him I wasn't a fan of his sister. I think it would put him in an awkward position and I wouldn't want to do that. I've been polite and nice to her over the years because I love him and I wouldn't want to make him feel awkward re 2 people he loves.

I also don't think I would feel happy if he slagged off one of my brothers without good reason!

wheelofapps Wed 23-Mar-16 14:59:51

My H's sister is the 'golden child'.
She once ruined an entire day at a theme park with my two under 5's by 'having some grit in her contact lens' (ie they were getting more attention from grandparents than she was).
When we were showing our scan pics (after many years IVF and misc) she interrupted to show off her new sofa!
After I'd asked if I could have the flower girl / page boy outfits back when her kids had grown out of / stopped playing dress up in, (for me to put in a keepsake chest) she gave them to a charity shop. Then offered me £10 to 'make up for it'.
She's vile. Think Katie Holmes with the nice bits taken out grin
They don't / wont see it.
It's hard because if you want your H to 'see it' then his whole perception of his family will need to shift a bit.
Do you think he will manage that? Mine hasn't (so far) and it's incredibly wearing. Fortunately she doesn't visit. She is allergic to dogs. We got a dog wink

ElementaryMyDear Wed 23-Mar-16 15:04:49

I think you can tactfully ask if your DP has ever noticed the fact that his sister takes no interest in you and say that as a result you find it difficult making conversation with her. You can absolutely say that if she and her family come to stay again it must absolutely be on terms that either she and her husband clear up after themselves, or your DP does.

curren Wed 23-Mar-16 15:04:57

I'd feel awful telling him I wasn't a fan of his sister. I think it would put him in an awkward position and I wouldn't want to do that. I've been polite and nice to her over the years because I love him and I wouldn't want to make him feel awkward re 2 people he loves.

well if you are willing to talk to him about it. You need to suck it up. That's its. There are the only two choices. Talk to him and get it out in the open or put up with it.

You can't bank on him seeing the light .

I also don't think I would feel happy if he slagged off one of my brothers without good reason!

So it's not that bad then, if you don't think this is a good reason to speak to him.

You don't have to slag her off. You can tell him without doing that.

Especially the situation of her visiting as and when she wants without anyone asking you and especially the issue of her treating your home like pig sty. You tell her and her dh they need to tidy their stuff up and clean up after their child.

PommelandCantle Wed 23-Mar-16 15:06:09

You don't need to tell him aren't a fan of his sister. Just tell him you think there should be some ground rules. ie, you aren't going to wait on her. Nappies go in designated bin and there stuff stays in their room. You haven't married him yet - what are you going to be like in 5 years time or 20 years. Fix it now before you flip.

PommelandCantle Wed 23-Mar-16 15:08:10

Alternatively, document your weekend, invited yourselves to theirs in a couple of weeks time and treat her the same and see how she and your DP respond grin

MrsUniverse Wed 23-Mar-16 15:10:56

I hate my DP's sister. She has said and done so many vile things I can't even count. But luckily the family are well aware of her faults and my DP feels similarly. Unfortunately in your case this doesn't seem to be true, the best I can suggest is to stop pandering to her. You're not her maid or her entertainment, if you want to spend some time alone your partner should support you.

TooMuchRain Wed 23-Mar-16 15:11:43

I think you need to hand this over to your DP. Tell him you don't like the mess and if he doesn't feel like telling her to stick her own cups in the dishwasher he should be clearing up. Don't fill the silent spaces if you find it tiring, wait for someone else to do it.

MrsJorahMormont Wed 23-Mar-16 15:20:16

I really think you need to talk to your DP about this. I don't think I could marry someone so blind to their family member's faults or unsupportive of your attempts to deal with it. There's nothing wrong with making yourself scarce for part of the visit. It's perfectly normal.

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