To ask for help on how to handle toxic SIL?!(14 Posts)
I could do with some advice on how to handle a potentially crappy situation tomorrow.
Backstory – & some examples….DH has always had a very turbulent relationship with his sister, she likes to control him & be involved in every part of his life. She has been very ‘involved’ or tried to be in all of his past relationships, adding the girlfriend on social media & wanting to befriend all of their friends etc. She is a very, very nosey person and loves all the local gossip & always has a tale to tell about so and so’s brothers, uncles, husbands dog etc. She is also clearly the MIL favourite child, and SIL thrives off this whereas DH is more laid back and likes to see his family when it suits him/us – this has caused huge issues in the past where SIL has ‘slagged’ us off to MIL & caused ructions. SIL has 2 children who MIL clearly favours, and admits she favours them, to our DD and DH children from his previous marriage. I have posted plenty about my MIL before so won’t go into that as well
DH’s ex Wife had so much grief from SIL & MIL that she has a Harassment Order against her prohibiting her/them from going within 100m of her house due to SIL past behaviour. Whenever we saw SIL she would pester DH kids for information on their Mum and bad mouth her in front of them which I put a stop too. Last year we had a huge falling our over Father’s Day, we invited the Fathers round for lunch which then sparked a huge backlash from MIL & SIL that they hadn’t been invited and that we clearly favour the company of FIL & his wife (MIL & FIL divorced 25+ years ago) – DH explained that as it was Father’s Day we had invited them as on Mothers day we treated the Mothers?!
Since then we haven’t seen SIL or BIL & there have been numerous texts, calls leaving abusive VM, emails to personal and work accounts slating us, stating untrue facts and threatening Solicitor action if we reply?! She is crazy – you cannot reason with her & I called her and said it was all getting silly & shall we come round and sort – every day/time I suggested was not convenient. But of course she reported back to MIL that we weren’t trying at all?! We didn’t speak to MIL for around 5 months due to lies being told by SIL & DH telling his Mum to wake up and smell the coffee!
So – we have the issue of tomorrow. We have a family funeral to attend – Uncle of DH – DH was close to the Uncle & would often go to football/pub together etc. with FIL as well, I met him a handful of times. SIL has not seen him for 20+ years but that is her choice, whatever. I am dreading seeing her and her husband at the funeral as it could go 1 of two ways – 1. she will either act all normal and fake in front of the relatives and overly friendly & try come and see & hold and be all over DD who she hasn’t seen in 10 months now and didn’t send a birthday or Christmas card to her (despite us not involving kids and sending hers stuff as normal!)
2. Be a complete B9tch to me and DH – and make us feel & try make us look like the bad party. DH doesn’t give a flying one & will just tell her not to bother as she has had plenty of opportunity but I am more sensitive than him lol!
Now I know it’s not the time and place for a confrontation and out of respect for DH family of course I am not going to say anything to her. So can the lovely MNetters advise me how to deal with her?! Any could one-liners to say to her if she comes over trying to be all nice and to get hold of DD (Who won’t recognise her anyway!) Thanks!
If its a burial tell her quietly to keep her distance or she will find herself joining the deceased - and smile and walk away.
Do not engage at all.
And go nc. Block all ways to contact you.
You could just be quite weird.
You: 'Gosh I wouldn't have recognised you. Your hair is so different - sort of bigger, all over' (with a kind of distracted half-smile).
SIL: 'Blah fakey come to me DD'
You: (QUICKLY SHARLY turning away) 'Oh I wouldn't! Not sure that she doesn't have a nasty virus that's been going round. Let me take her away so you don't get infected then you can tell me all about that hair, if you can stand still for two minutes without starting an argument (big smile) Did I tell you I'm thinking of starting art classes, and maybe trying parkour?'
(walk off with DD and not come back)
Just tell her that DD is having an off day and is clingy around people she doesn’t really know.
I wouldn’t go in there prepared for anything though. If SIL does try something simply walk away. Do not allow yourself to get suckered in at a funeral
Don't make eye contact or engage in any way. Stay beside each other and with other people so she can't get you alone.
If, despite all that, she is confrontational then leave immediately.
There isn't any other way to handle this.
Keep away from her, if necessary politely acknowledge her but then move away and ignore any further interaction. Make sure you, dh and dd stick together as a group, don't sit or stand near SIL, don't rise to any tactics she may employ, stay dignified and aloof.
Why are there no people like this in my life?
I would have such a lot of fun winding her up
I always pretend they are a stranger you've never met and wouldn't necessarily speak too - plenty of occasions this happens
Gnome don't look - walk away
Stand with people she won't want to be with ... don't look at her. If she tries to act either of the ways you have described, just stare her in the eyes then turn and walk away. if she says anything, just look right at her and 'sshhh' ... eerily effective! Then go NC - completely. You may have to stop buying for her DC in order to completely cut yourselves off.
Some great ideas here and will defo use them!
Me & FIL wife (so step MIL?!) are full planning on sitting together as SIL hates her and wont go near her so fingers crossed that will work.
Ignore as much as you possibly can.
Any hint of trouble you say, in front of everyone, ‘this is x s funeral - it’s not appropriate to do this, we are here to pay our respects.’
If she still kicks up a fuss, leave early and have a quiet word with the nearest relatives of the deceased along the lines of you’re so sorry SIL is kicking off and you of course don’t want to put any more stress on them at this time so you will leave, so as to prevent any further hurt.
Hope it goes ok. Dignified heads on and behave impeccably
Ohhh and I thought my ex sil was a cow! I agree stay away from her at the funeral be seen to acknowledge her (so no one can blame you) then just quietly keep your distance. Don’t rise to anything and you will get through the day without drama.
Update for you all.
MIL & SIL completeley blanked DH at the service (I only atteneded wake with DD).
At the wake SIL & her husband walked in & saud hello to FIL who was say with us at our table and looked at FIL wife and said Hi through gritted teeth. She had DD on her lap and SIL didnt even cast a glance at DD.
Says it all really........
I was prepared to say hello to them both and be civil, however she wouldnt look my way or catch my eye so I guess that is that!
Thanks for all your help & advice!
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