AIBU to not invite my SIL for Christmas?

(26 Posts)
PriestessKahlo Fri 26-Nov-21 22:19:33

This is a long one, but a genuine question- so buckle up if you're up for the ride!
My SIL has been problematic for a long time. She is about 10 years older than myself and my husband.
At first I took her sudden arrivals and long stays at my house ( before we got married) as a cultural thing. She would also bring boyfriends without pre-warning us and expect them to stay too.
She has a very varied love life and often splits with one partner and is straight on to another. She often meets them online but also has photos of my children online. I asked her to make her profile private or take the photos down and she said that they were her nephews and she would do what she liked with the photos.
I started to realise that she had mental health issues because she would also periodically lose or walk out of her job and or accommodation. Anyway- she is very hard to get to know, I'd describe myself as a gregarious, friendly person but I haven't ever broken my SIL's surface. She was on her own one Christmas so we invited her to one of my family's houses for Xmas day. When we went back to my parent's house where we were all staying, a man turned up out of the blue and I heard her telling him that he could stay. This man turned out to be her new boyfriend and they sat and talked to my parents and drank several bottles of wine between them both. They were both incredibly rude and kept asking for more things- even asking for more wine when they were on their way to bed, my mother told my SIL that she was being rude but my SIL took the wine into her bedroom anyway. The next morning my elderly father wouldn't get put of bed as he was so angry and upset, but my husband said nothing to his sister.
She is always making underhand comments designed to alienate me from her family and I knew she didn't like me. One Christmas she was coming along with my FIL for Xmas day. She text me on Xmas eve asking if she could bring her new boyfriend and he would stay too ( we only had 2 bedrooms, and 2 kids). I apologised and said no, saying we hadn't enough room. She seemed annoyed by this, saying he was her life partner.
A few hours later I began receiving a stream of abusive unsolicited texts from her. She said things like I didn't deserve her brother, and I was a deluded bitch etc. I didn't reply, my husband told me to ignore her and went to bed!
The next day my SIL rang my husband crying, I heard him telling her it was OK and not to worry about it. I was angry with my husband for not at least saying something about the way she had behaved towards me. My husband stated that he was afraid his sister would take her own life. Our Christmas day consisted of my husband and I being uncomfortable with each other.
There are too many other incidents to mention but these are the ones that stick in my mind. I haven't spoken to my SIL since that Christmas but my im-laws beg me and my husband to "make things right" - even to apologise to her, and to invite her to ours every Christmas, as she is lonely and on her own.
We've refused every Christmas so far but I would be fine spending Christmas with her somewhere else. The question is, am I being selfish and unreasonable? My husband and his family would love things to be sorted and for us all to be together at Christmas.(Their house is too small for us to have Christmas there.)The inlaws love to guilt trip me about it in any way possible. I would really appreciate your honest answers.
Oh- 1 more important thing- she brought the Xmas boyfriend to our wedding (despite having split up with him by then and knowing how I felt towards him). We'd just been officially married when he cornered me and said, " You've lost some weight! When I saw you from the back walking down the aisle, even I thought- I'd give her one!" ....He was in nearly every one of our wedding photos.

OP’s posts: |
cakecakecheese Fri 26-Nov-21 22:23:14

Seriously? How is this even a question? Of course it's not unreasonable to not want anything to do with someone who has been so nasty towards you. Your husband needs to do something, he really should have your back and it sounds like he doesn't.

RaisinRainbow Fri 26-Nov-21 22:27:10

Keep your sanity, keep your distance.

GemGemma Fri 26-Nov-21 22:31:20

I think you have made every effort you could have with her. & every time she has trampled your boundaries & ruined events for you & others. Yes we must mind & be kind to people who may struggle but NOT if that leads to a situation where you are basically abused & then expected to be silent. I can understand from your dh & his family, they want to support her but they have never held a boundary with her and let her away with obnoxious behaviours to keep the peace, which is pretty toxic. Now they want you to sacrifice your boundaries & self respect to facilitate an unstable person who seems to only care about herself. So personally no, I don't think should host her and I don't think you should feel bad about it.

PriestessKahlo Fri 26-Nov-21 22:43:22

Thanks for reading my rambles and replying. The only thing is- she is officially diagnosed with a mental health condition but is in denial and won't tell anyone what it is. I feel sorry for her but also angry. Her family are really the only constants in her life.
@GemGemma, I totally agree with you about boundaries. I have actually spoken to them all about setting boundaries before; but they are all just so afraid of upsetting her.
My FIL says dramatic things like he just wants all his children together at Xmas before he dies- but he's another whole thread of stories.
My husband did eventually text her on boxing day and say he was sorry for how she was feeling but she can't speak to me in that way. He also told his parents she wasn't welcome this Christmas but they still blamed me and talked to me about it separately.
I feel bolstered- thanks for the support.

OP’s posts: |
GemGemma Sat 27-Nov-21 07:41:33

Well it sounds incredibly hard, it sounds like they can lay the guilt trips on good & thick. Its also like they use her MH as an excuse to not be strong with her & she has a power over them.... That is years upon years of dysfunction, which is not your doing & not your problem.

I have real problems in my own family because no one tells the truth! I can't stand a culture of 'pretend' everything is fine when it is anything but. If the dad wants all his children together, he can organise a day, not at your house, to make that happen.

Welcometothejingles Sat 27-Nov-21 08:30:34

Block her number on your phone, go low contact and let your dh deal with his sister.

If they insist on being together at Christmas then I'd suggest a restaurant because the management can throw her out if she kicks off. It doesn't take long for people like that, MH or no MH issues, to show their true colours.


iheartredsquirrels Sat 27-Nov-21 09:02:26

Not everyone with mh issues behaves like a complete arsehole. It seems that a big part of the problem is that everyone tiptoes around her and noone says no [apart from you and dh on ocassion].
Has she been diagnosed officially or is this another poor me offering looking for an excuse to misbehave.
She sounds pretty inxecure if she hooks up with randoms off the net. Suicide should be the least worry, if she was my dd i'd be more concerned about the next man she meets could be a potential killer.
As for your wedding day, that twat sounded absolutely vile.

billy1966 Sat 27-Nov-21 09:10:42

Stick to your decision.

Your husband's awful family do not deserve you making ANY effort.

Stop spending time with his family and stop being kind.

She is NOT your problem.

Let her family deal with them.

Tell your husband to have Christmas with her if he is so concerned.

Too many people have miserable Christmases entertaining awful people.

Stick to your position.

Otherwise you could be stuck with this awful woman when your in laws are dead.


FrenchBoule Sat 27-Nov-21 09:41:51

If your FIL wants his children together at Christmas he can have both of them,your wet lettuce of a husband and his deluded sister.

Mental health condition is not an excuse to be rude to people especially when pointed out(well done to your DM).

Tell your “D” H in no uncertain terms that his sister is not welcome in your house at Christmas anymore, if he doesn’t agree then leave them to it and go to your parents with your kids if you can.

How many Christmasses this selfish woman has ruined for you,your kids and your parents? How many more will she be allowed to ruin?

Please stand up for yourself OP.

If your husband is unwilling to consider your feelings then I would reconsider the relationship otherwise you’ll end up with this leech of a SIL till your retirementand beyond.

This is not a way to live.

Iloveacurry Sat 27-Nov-21 09:50:42

Why do your ILs say that you need to apologise? Surely she’s the one who needs to.

LampLighter414 Sat 27-Nov-21 09:54:55

Why don't your in laws host her?

Justcannotbearsed Sat 27-Nov-21 09:56:25

Stick to your decision. She isn’t your problem. And your husband and you need an honest talk with each other and united front.

Sceptre86 Sat 27-Nov-21 10:03:06

Why do you all have to spend Xmas together? You can spend it at your own home or with your side of the family. That would mean sil could go to her own parents for Xmas day and you could either visit Xmas eve or boxing day.

I appreciate it would be nice to all be together but that doesn't work for you and whether she has mental health issues or not is irrelevant, it is dangerous to allow someone you've never met, know nothing about to stay in your home and she can't be trusted not to invite 'boyfriends' over. I also wouldn't facilitate the life of anyone that was abusive towards me at my own expense. Yanbu, stand your ground.

Totalwasteofpaper Sat 27-Nov-21 10:05:10

This is no way to live and your children shouldn't be exposed to it.

You are right to minimise contact and I wouldn't bend on it or have her in your home ruining your children's Christmases

Your husband is firmly in the FOG (mostly fear and maybe a bit of obligation and guilt) so you need to be proactive and jostle him along.

In laws need to have her at Xmas she is their child and their "responsibility" you and your husband are responsible for your own kids kids they need to come first.
You do your own family thing at Christmas.

I would, if feeling generous, see them in the day over Xmas period so on the 27th or something you all drive over just for the day.
I would also do a stopover in a hotel if needed so no staying at keeps it short and sweet.
So for example leave boxing day evening drive 2-3 hours holiday Inn and then see them for lunch and afternoon then go home.

EnjoyingTheSilence Sat 27-Nov-21 10:12:51

If your PIL are so keen for everyone to get together, they need to tell their dd that she needs to apologise.

Yanbu, if she is lonely, it’s if her own doing. Your dh could have done something about this a while ago by not pandering to her too.

Do not invite her

BlowDryRat Sat 27-Nov-21 10:45:52

YANBU. Her having MH issues doesn't excuse her for behaving terribly.

mybroomstick Sat 27-Nov-21 10:47:20

If your FIL wants his children together at Christmas why doesn't he offer to host and cook?

caringcarer Sat 27-Nov-21 10:56:09

Your in-laws can host their rude daughter on Xmas day and you can host mil and fil on Boxing Day. Your toxic sil has ruined too many Xmas for you. Don't give in, insists she is not welcome at your house. If fil wants all children together on as day he could host at a hotel. Your in-laws sound a nightmare. So sorry you have not got a nice normal mil like I have.

DappyApple Sat 27-Nov-21 11:31:26

Stand your ground. If your Fil wants to pretend they’re the Walton’s, he can bleeding well host!
It’s easier for them to blame you, rather than accept what they already know and that is, sil is the one causing all the friction. I’d have been furious at the treatment of your parents after they kindly offered to host her at their house. Unforgivable!!

Don’t let them guilt trip you.

We have a situation in our family when one person is the cause of any fall outs due to shitty behaviour. Yet the person closest to her has his blinkers on and thinks those that have been treated badly should just forgive and forget as it was just a “silly argument” in his eyes.
He’s constantly trying to manipulate the situation and putting the onus and guilt onto the people that have been upset to put it right. Rather than the face fact it was the family member that caused it all in the first place!
She never accepts responsibility and genuinely believe she’s done nothing wrong. He doesn’t realise that he’s just pandering to her and that is actually what she wants. He’s playing right into her hands.

I won’t back down, ever!

esloquehay Sat 27-Nov-21 11:39:48

She sounds BPD-tastic. Stand your ground. Nope. Nein. Nunca!

GemGemma Sat 27-Nov-21 12:35:35


She sounds BPD-tastic. Stand your ground. Nope. Nein. Nunca!

What??? What is bpd tastic?? I think most people on this thread have agreed MH issues ongoing untreated & unacknowledged are not any reason to accept unacceptable behaviour. I have a family member with bpd who suffers alot, and works extremely hard to be well and mind herself. That is an obnoxious denigration of a condition that lots of people suffer from, and if you are so quick to bash it, you should learn a bit more about it. Totally ignorant!

Totalwasteofpaper Sat 27-Nov-21 12:44:55

Borderline personality disorder

I thought my MIL has this but then I read about HPD histrionic personality disorder which describes her almost perfectly confused right down to the weird overt flirting and touching switch she does despite being in her 60s

tallduckandhandsome Sat 27-Nov-21 14:40:14

Definitely don’t invite her.

And your PIL are bloody entitled making demands for who YOU have over for Christmas.

Let them have Xmas as the 3 of them.

esloquehay Sat 27-Nov-21 17:58:54

@GemGemma, I was diagnosed with BPD in 2007 and have had extensive DBT therapy for it. I no longer meet the diagnostic criteria.
From what little is described, it sounds very similar to peers with BPD who were untreated and unmanageable.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in