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Toxic SIL or me being too sensitive?(18 Posts)
First time poster so please be gentle! DH and I have been together for 3 years (married 1). When we met I already had DD (now 7) and DS (now 6), we have since had our DD (1) and I am pregnant with DC4. I am just putting you in the picture, this may or may not be relevant.
When I first met DPIL I got on with DFIL really well, we would chat for ages, have a laugh, and he seemed genuinely interested in our lives. He is quite outgoing and so am I. He helped us move house, helped us with childcare when we had our DD, phoned regularly, helped us when we sold our old car etc. etc. So far so good.
DMIL is a different kettle of fish. She suffers from terrible confidence issues (so much so that she couldne even attend her childrens sports days), she cannot drive (and wont get a bus) so is completely dependant on FIL and SIL and DH for everything. E.g she cannot get shopping on her own. She has no friends, just one sister that will come and pick her up and take her shopping occasionally, although this sister is also bringing up her grandson (at the age of 68). She suffers constant headaches/migraine, back problems, plurasy and depression, so she is not a well lady. However, she would possibly benefit from fresh air/trips out as she seems to feel a lot better when she is out of the house and her mind is taken off of her problems.
The main problem, however, is with SIL. She has never had a good relationship with her dad and seeing him get on so well with me has given rise to terrible jealousy. She has tried every which way to undermine me and generally make my life difficult. She has told me lies about her parents (saying that DFIL used to hit DMIL and that she is too scared of him to leave) - I should re-iterate that there is no truth in this whatsoever. She used to 'go on' constanly about DH's ex-girlfriends (how much she liked them etc.) She told them that I had lied about my job (I am a teacher) to the point where DFIL phoned the school that I work in to check up on me! She left our wedding early (her daughter was a bridesmaid), although this wasnt a big problem as she sat there miserable all day anyway. She has made alegations that I tore up a wedding anniversary card that she sent to us - this is really not my style! She has told my PIL that I wouldnt let DH attend the hospital when his Nan died, again this is not true, my DH has a mind of his own and couldnt face seeing his nan die. The list goes on and on.
To get to the point, she has poisoned PIL against me. DMIL is very close to DSIL and has a tendancy to believe everything she says. DFIL came to our house (DMIL has never been to our new house) to apologise over the telephoning my workplace incident, when he told DSIL that things had been smoothed over she claimed that if PIL saw me again this would mean that they have no loyalty towards her (She is 42, btw)! Obviously this means that they cannot see DD or the new DC. DH could taken the children to see them but I feel that we should either come as a family or not at all. DMIL has not seen DD for about 6 months now. She (DMIL) misses DD greatly and is now not sleeping over this but feels that it would be disloyal to see us. Her health is suffering from the anxiety of wanting to see DGD and not upsetting her DD.
I am not sure what I am asking really. DH is not prepared to not see his parents so he sees them on his own. We argue constantly over this and are coming close to splitting up, I just dont know what to do for the best. I have not spoken to DFIL since he came to the house or DMIL since January although I still buy birthday presents/send card etc.
You are not being too sensitive, SIL is horrid. Someone needs to have serious words with her, not sure who though. What a nasty selfish woman she is.
Your DH needs to have a word with his sister. Obviously she's shit-stirring, forcing people to take sides and, at the moment - and for some bizarre reason I can't quite fathom, she's succeeding in splitting the family up. DH seeing his parents on his own is not helping matters.
Quite honestly, I would turn up at PIL's house this weekend with the children, as a family, and take a cake. They can't turn you away. Explain that you realise SIL won't like it but ...'we've missed you very much and isn't it about time this whole silly business stopped?'...
If SIL goes off on one, that's for them to square away.
she sounds like a mad bitch. do what cogitoergosometimes suggested
Your DH needs to sit SIL down and give her a severe talking to.
I think I would speak to DFIL and say you know he is in a tricky situation because it's his daughter but tit makes you so sad that they are missing out on their grandchildren and has he any suggestions on what you can all do to sort this?
BTW. If the MIL has severe anxiety-related mental health issues, might the SIL have some kind of undiagnosed paranoia or persecution complex going on as well? I say this not to excuse her behaviour but it might explain why the PILs are so prepared to take the bizarre stuff she does and says so seriously.... protecting the 'weak' member of the family etc.
Sorry but your marriage is never going to work if your dh does not put you first. Thats all.
OMG, she sounds like my stepdaughter, only slightly worse! She also tried to prevent anybody in the family to have a relationship with need due to jealousy. Until my DP, quite uncharacteristically, lost it and told her where to get off. She still doesn't like me, but now leaves her siblings in peace. As a side effect, they are far more likely now themselves to stand up to her, which makes for a much better family dynamic and she is becoming rapidly less presumptuous. I would still call her demanding, but it has improved.
Your DP and FIL need to make a stand, this is typical spoilt diva bullying behaviour!
I agree with cogito. You need to doorstep them (in a friendly way!)
Agree with cog although frankly you should also be having a word with your DH - you have every right to be livid that he enables his parents to behave so atrociously towards you
Your DH should
grow a backbone, tell his parents you are a family, you come as a package and from now in you'll be visiting them with him.
Then he needs to tell your SIL the same, along with the fact that she needs to grow the fuck up and stop her stupid games.
Out of interest, what did your in laws say to your SIL when she was proved a liar about where you work? I'd guess they said nothing and there's a long history of turning a blind eye to her atrocious behaviour.
Your DH needs to stand beside you on this or it could end up splitting you up.
Thank you so much for all of this advice. Sorry it's taken me so long to reply but I have been at work/collecting children etc. I think maybe cogito is right, we should all turn up at their house and try to clear the air that way. MsKay-not sure what was said to her (if anything). I am never party to any conversations that they have and whilst PIL relay all conversations to SIL nothing seems to be relayed to us, IYKWIM. I think one of the problems is that I didn't meet DH until he was 42, he had never been married before and was, seemingly, at SIL/PIL beck and call. Taking SIL for coffees to talk through her problems, taking FIL to football ever week and taking MIL to shows/shopping etc. the fact is that he no longer has the time nor money to commit to these things so regularly now.
Good advice from Cogito.
I guess since he was at the beck and call for so long, your DH has entrenched habits that will take some shaking. He needs to understand though, that by not putting you first, he risks splitting his own family. That is a high price to pay for misguided parental loyalty.
Yes I think uanbu and it is a problem with the SIL BUT it is very very likely that your FIL relationship with her at some time in her life has been toxic or lacking or even abusive, even if there is no sign of this now. And just because no other sibling (including your DH) has any idea about it, does not at all mean that she is not an emotionally damaged victim.
what catstail said.
I doubt FIL is the altogether the lovely jovial soul he appears to be, given the severity of his wife's and his daughter's issues, and patterns in dysfunctional families being what they are.
I wonder if you could win SIL over. She sounds sad and lonely and if at 42 life revolves around her sick mother and unloving father it's not great.
Does she live with PIL, is she on her own with her DCs? What are her DCs like.
Perhaps DH could make approaches to her that you and he would both like to have her as a close friend/ auntie to your DCs or something. Though I accept this won't go smoothly but maybe try for the sake of her and your DCs.
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