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Sister in law bitching - coping strategies

(40 Posts)
atrcts Fri 26-Apr-13 21:12:39

My sister in law (hubby's only sibling) has been consistently bitching about me behind my back. It all started when I refused to allow her to arrange our wedding and she freaked out because she couldn't invite her friends over our own. We were paying for all of the wedding ourselves and hubby said he would have given in for a peaceful life, but I felt it was wrong to be brow-beaten like that and that we should stand up for ourselves.
I was made out to be controlling because of this, and ever since then I've been accused of henpecking and nagging and generally being the sort of wife who controls her husband a hard time of it. When he gets wind of it, rather than defend me, he begins to believe what he is told and then mistakes any little request of help that I make of him, to be me domineering.

This had left me feeling unable to ask him to help me when I can't do things during my pregnancy, for example, due to bleeding I've been advised not to Hoover or mop, and so I use a robot Hoover and ask hubby to mop the floor once a week. You'd think I asked for his right arm hmm
I was told I am anaemic and need to take iron tablets for 3 months and was quite tired and short of breath, so asked hubby to drop off our toddler at nursery but he argues the toss even though he had no appointments on that day himself. And so on and so on.

I know I need to find ways to sort this out with my husband, especially in light of the fact I will be having a C Section very soon, but my biggest problem is how to best deal with the bitchy sister in law.

Do I confront her? I don't think it will change anything, apart from offending the people who told me that they can see she is totally wrong about me!

Do I refuse to see her anymore and risk causing a rift in the family?

Do I pretend I don't know and just keep her at arms length, having as little as possible to do with her, without making it too obvious?

Any inspiration would be gratefully received as I have dealt with bitches before but never "on the inside" so to speak, and am not sure how best to proceed!

Loulybelle Sat 27-Apr-13 18:01:34

Atrcts, when the new baby is born and when your healed, disappear out for along as a new born allows it, and see how he copes.

AThingInYourLife Sat 27-Apr-13 17:48:53

"sweetiepie it wasn't like this before the wedding"

That doesn't mean it had anything to do with his sister.

Becoming a wanker after the knot is tied (or the wife is pregnant, or the baby has arrived) is textbook.

He just didn't feel he needed to make an effort any more.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 27-Apr-13 14:55:26

flowers atrcts for getting back to me about that. It was niggling. Good for them to stick up for you.

atrcts Sat 27-Apr-13 14:37:45

Thanks Pilgit for the validation that my job is as stressy/important as his! I don't know how to get him I see that though, especially as he often jokes about going to work for a rest as its easier than coping with a toddler all day.

atrcts Sat 27-Apr-13 14:35:10

MrsTerry - the source is trustworthy, a family member who is very nice but lives away so always gets the "his wife gives him such a hard life" comments. When this family member told me it was to say that it would not be tolerated anymore and would now be argued against, because this family member has got to know them themself and can see that I am not like that at all. I trust this source implicitly because they are straight talking and open to me.

sweetiepie it wasn't like this before the wedding and I fully get what youre saying about the unhealthiness of going into something thinking you can change a person. That was not the case.

I appreciate the idea that I discuss things post CS with Hubby present, I will try to get that one organised as Ivan see that might help.

Pilgit Sat 27-Apr-13 10:09:32

I would strongly recommend couples counselling now. It is not just when things are really broken but can be really good to prevent problems getting to the point of insurmountable resentment. Normal partners do not 'help' with the housework and childcare. They recognise that the housework and childcare is a joint responsibility. Just because one person stays home to do the bulk of it and the other works outside the home does not make the person at home constantly on duty. View it as you both have 9-5 jobs and then oh look, there are still chores that need doing - so how are these going to be split? I'd definately get the midwife on board to lay it on with a trowel - my MIL had a hysterectomy recently (and more taken out - didn't get full details, but horrid) and she wasn't allowed to lift things for about 8 weeks. FIL did all the housework, cooking lifting etc - she wasn't allowed to carry more than a cup of tea. She got getter quickly and that was in part due to his attentive care. A normal caring man will do this. You will have major abdominal surgery and then a baby to look after as well (not to mention the toddler) He needs to be made to realise just how debilitating this could be for you and how your need is not controlling him, it is simply what you do for the person you love.

appletarts Sat 27-Apr-13 09:55:39

Sorry but your husband is a whinging entitled man child and his sister is a whinging entitled little girl, wonder what their parents are like? Bet similar. I think you've married into a family who are less than supportive of other peoples needs. Hire help for post-c and charge the bill to his account. Problem solved.

happyfreeconfused Sat 27-Apr-13 08:25:00

Your sister-in-law doesn't live with you and control what your husband does/doesn't do around the house or to support you! My ex used to hate me asking him to help me or do little jobs. In the end I gave up asking, he would watch me struggling and still not help. It's a horrible way to live and I am much happier on my own.

AThingInYourLife Sat 27-Apr-13 08:07:45

A man who treats paternity leave as "an ordinary day off" is a failure as a father and as a husband.

Even if you weren't having a section, just fucking off and leaving you with the baby when he has time off to help you is crappy behaviour.

The thing about you being controlling is, and always was, bullshit.

It's his way of controlling you.

Of making sure you know that marriage to him means you do all the work and he does as he pleases.

Of making sure you know you can expect nothing of him but he can expect everything of you.

Look at your lives - who is constrained by parenthood? Whose life is limited by children and domesticity?

Answer: it is you, it is your life

It is absolutely fucking shameful that your mother is going to have to come and care for you when your husband is off after your baby is born.

No decent man could live with himself for so obviously failing to live up to his responsibilities.

He is useless and unkind.

Your life would be better without him.

Deepgreensea Sat 27-Apr-13 06:40:04

Interesting how your thread has moved on from your original heading.

I actually disagree slightly with the other comments. This is purely because I have been in a situation identical to yours. My (now ex) dp was totally influenced by his manipulating and twisted family. Like your dh, my dp wouldn't stand up to them as he wanted to 'keep the peace'.

Yes it was his choice to feel it would keep the peace with them - but it caused endless tension and resentment in our house/family. When you have a dp with no balls to fend for you, it does cause issues.

My ex MIL and SIL would never ring dp at our house. They would only call him on his mobile while he was working. This is because they had the chance to manipulate/brainwash him even more. Having them in his ear naturally ate away at him and sunk him into a horrible person.

We are now separated. I couldn't live with his selfish/unsupportive ways any longer. He resented doing any 'chores' or 'babysitting' (!!!!!) I asked of him. He was a arrogant teenager to live with.

He is better now we live apart. But maybe that is because I feel better about him? When I see him, I don't feel any concern for his family. They aren't part of the equation any more.

I can only suggest you work at resolving this now. Please believe me it will only get worse. I have been there and I am in a much happier place now, x

sweetiepie1979 Sat 27-Apr-13 06:33:39

Sorry about above threads something wrong with phone.

I think that's a great idea about taking him along to midwife app to have her explain the situation post birth.
I'm so sad to read your situation and also agree that counciling sounds necessary at this stage. He should naturally want to do these things for you to allow you to rest and be healthy. Your carrying his baby! He is acting like a teenager and you need to ask yourself if he was like this. Before you got married if he was then maybe you thought you could change him and that's not healthy your proems will continue. I'm glad to hear your mum is coming up for the birth to help out. I wish you all the very best and hope things work out for you.

sweetiepie1979 Sat 27-Apr-13 06:25:41


sweetiepie1979 Sat 27-Apr-13 06:25:10


Boys2mam Sat 27-Apr-13 06:18:24

Just wondered if you could manufactor an appointment which your DH must attend with you and your midwife where she mentions the help you need currently/after the birth? They can be pretty persuasive if they know the circumstances.

plinkyplonks Sat 27-Apr-13 06:01:48

Hmm, you husband needs to realise that although his family came first... he is now part of his own family with you. His priority should be you and he should be standing up for you against his family.

Lavenderhoney Sat 27-Apr-13 05:03:02

It's quite immediate though, the current issue of you being heavily pregnant and having to do everything? Are you thinking of carrying on as is, and hoping counselling will fix it and make him see what is wrong?

Great your dm is coming to help you, but he should be helping as well.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 27-Apr-13 04:53:15

Just a thought. How do you know she is constantly bitching behind your back? Verifiable, trustworthy third party or DH (or another of his family members)? There isn't any 'my sister says you boss me round and nag me' is there? I'm just really suspicious that he is turning a molehill (the wedding list) into a mountain (a smear campaign).

DH has a friend who was always saying that DH needed more 'time off' to have fun and I was stopping him. It got back to me and I had a conversation when they both happened to be in the room. "So, I hear you think DH should have more time off?" "Yes, he never has time to come and watch the footie and drink beer". "Yes, that's because he has a regular thing ever month, goes out with the neighbours once a week, regularly sees other friends and does as he pleases. As do I. Did he mention any of these things to you?". "No". End of issue.

atrcts Sat 27-Apr-13 03:05:13

Loulybelle in answer to your question, he does know that a CS demands no lifting for a while after, and has organised time off work for this, but I can imagine I will be left too early alone in the house with toddler and newborn while he nips out as though it were a normal day off (so I've already covered that angle and asked my mum to help me out a bit too).

I have a sinking feeling that there will be an expectation of too much physical activity too soon, for example running up and down stairs as normal which isn't lifting but is also too much of a physical strain to continue normally for a little while after CS, that kind of thing. As I say it's a sinking suspicion and only based on pre-CS expectations so he might surprise me but then again I won't be wise to leave that one to chance.

atrcts Sat 27-Apr-13 02:51:52

All of what you say I can see - I know I've been far too tolerant for far too long. I really have to get serious with him about this, although I've mentioned it a few times I have tried to keep pleasant at the same time. Maybe that gives a mixed message of tolerance that I can't afford to give.

I will have a look into the options of counselling because I have a feeling a third party will be needed as a voice of reason, not least to give me confidence I am not being unreasonable and asking for the crown jewels!

Loulybelle Fri 26-Apr-13 23:28:30

also does he realise theres things you cant do in no way when in recovery after a c section.

Loulybelle Fri 26-Apr-13 23:21:48

So he doesnt believe in a 50/50 partnership then, i can be the first to put my foot up his arse, what a twat.

AThingInYourLife Fri 26-Apr-13 22:56:50

"I think he honestly feels I am unreasonable to ask him to do things for our toddler because I get on with it when he's at work, and so he can't see why I can't carry on with it all singlehandedly when he's not at work."

So he's demanding that you look after your toddler constantly without any breaks and you're the controlling one?


He's a manipulative shit.

BlackeyedSusan Fri 26-Apr-13 22:41:24

no. that thread was posted 2 days before I ltb after dv!

on the plus side. he pays for the children. he visits them and looks after them, under supervision.

your h is a grown man. he should be contributing to the household...not being asked like a prepubescent child.. there should be give and take where you can ask him to do stuff and him you. at present you are busy all the time growing his child.

he should also be a parent and do stuff to look after his children. they are his after all... that includes looking after the one still inside, after aall baby is not going to do so well if born early because you are trooping up and down to nursery say.

i had bleeding all the way through with ds which was very scary given the previous pregnancy did not stick.

atrcts Fri 26-Apr-13 22:34:22

athinginyourlife you make a very fair point.

atrcts Fri 26-Apr-13 22:32:32

He simply doesn't see why I can't 'man up' (my words, not his) and carry on doing all I have done, pregnant or not, anaemic or not. There's a certain element of denial being used - he doesn't think anything will really go wrong and that I am making a mountain out of a molehill.

In regard to the mopping, he disputes that it's necessary to do and thinks my standards of a weekly mop are too high. Actually truth is I'd prefer to do it more than once a week but I have dropped my standards and don't even try to go there! He tells me he doesn't intend to change our bedding either as he never used to do it that much before he met me and it "never killed anyone".

I think he honestly feels I am unreasonable to ask him to do things for our toddler because I get on with it when he's at work, and so he can't see why I can't carry on with it all singlehandedly when he's not at work.

It can be a bit of a game of "I'm more tired than you, so don't ask" type thing - also known as just being selfish I guess.

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