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SIL, DH and me

(130 Posts)
odinsdaughter Thu 20-Nov-14 16:22:10

I don't really get on with SIL, and to be honest, I never have.

Its not that she's an awful person, or that i am, its just that I find her a bit bossy. I don't precisely know why she doesn't like me but I think the problem is she considers herself my social superior. Nothing about our feelings or opinions about each other has ever reached the other person's ears.

The problem is that DH is caught in the middle.

DH and I have argued over things she has done to me in the past. He doesn't like them, but he gets over them, whilst they just keep piling up in my mind.

One thing she particularly does, is call DH up to tell him to tell me not to do something, or to command me to do something. She will never deign to speak to me personally when she can pass a message through DH instead, even if its a direct reply to a message I left on her phone.

I also have a very strong suspicion that she's been putting the knife into me with MIL too.

Things have now deteriorated to the point where we only see SIL and BIL annually, usually for just three hours or so. Unfortunately, its that time of year again, where they realise that our two families not seen each other all year and its all "we must meet up before the year is over". DH usually sees her on his own once or twice a year, but not this year (because he was very hurt by a phone call she made to him complaining about me in the Spring - even though I had not seen her since December last year).

I always tell myself that i can get through 3 hours. But the truth is, it stresses me out beforehand and DH and I invariably fight about the situation either on the way there, or on the way back, or both.

I asked to be excused this year (any convenient lie would have done), so now we are not meeting them at all, as DH would not go with the DC on their own.

The thing is i can't imagine wanting to be around her next year either. or the one after that. However, I don't want DH to go years without seeing his sister.

I am worried that i am causing a family break up and that would be a terrible thing to do. However, I find it incredibly stressful to be around SIL. Often DH and I fight about it and it ends up with us both feeling bruised and battered, sometimes for weeks afterwards. I find it safer to not let her see any part of my life and I've no intention of ever contacting her again.

What would you do? Go see her and catch every passive-aggressive dig? Or take up smoking for occasion and start rolling my own in her sitting room with my muddy shoes on the sofa to prove her snobbery correct? Or tell DH that he on his own until she apologises to me personally for what she insinuated about me in that last call?

makeitabetterplace Thu 20-Nov-14 16:25:03

Suck it up, go. Play act the loveliest human in the world so you are absolutely, impeccably not in the wrong. Enjoy the role.

LegoCaltrops Thu 20-Nov-14 16:27:50

That sounds really hard. You say your DH occasionally sees her on his own. Can he not just continue doing this - obviously he sees how upset you are by the situation, and that it's SIL's fault (due to the phone call. Have you asked DH what he wants to do, long term?

Heels99 Thu 20-Nov-14 16:27:51

It's not you stopping dh from seeing his sister. He can see her whenever he wants, but you don't have to go. He can go on his own or take the children. It is his choice whether he does that or not. He makes his own decisions. He obviously doesn't want to see her that much!

You aren't going this year, rejoice in that, enjoy Xmas and leave this as dh issue do not take ownership of his relationship with his sister.

LegoCaltrops Thu 20-Nov-14 16:28:54

Or, what makeit said. Show SIL up.

Catsmamma Thu 20-Nov-14 16:29:11

Why won't he take the children on his own??...sounds like the perfect solution

especially if he is too spineless to tell his precious sister off and prefers to argue with you and cause marital disharmony for weeks rather than say she is behaving badly and she must cut it out.

NamesNick Thu 20-Nov-14 16:30:19

pretty crappy situation you have there OP and I feel for you.

for the sake of your relationship with dh then I see no harm in not spending time with her however you do know that this gives SIL further ammunition to use against you.

with regards dh relationship with his sister then it is up to him to conduct this and as the dc are his too, I would expect dp to include them in his plans.

I would question why my dh would allow this treatment of me?

she sounds vile, sorry

OhForFoxSakeYourPullingMyChain Thu 20-Nov-14 16:30:38

kill her [not literally!] with Kindness
laugh at all her jokes, smile from ear to ear,
be so nice it freaks her right out....
thats what I do, my husband finds it funny because he knows what I am doing........smile

Ohfourfoxache Thu 20-Nov-14 16:30:47

Fuck that, there is no way I'd go.

I'd also keep your DC as far away as possible - they do not deserve to be subjected to such behaviour.

Your DH is his own person. If he chooses to see her then so be it, but you don't have to put up with it.

BeCool Thu 20-Nov-14 16:31:52

You could make up a bingo card, and go along and play at being achingly 'naice' whilst getting as pissed as possible - ie make a game out of it as makeit suggested.

Or just accept you don't get on and you don't want to see her. Accept your DH is a grown up and can meet up with his sister without you - yes really he can! If your DH doesn't want to, accept he can make his own decisions and it's not you tearing a family apart, but a family not wanting to make the effort to spend time with each other as they don't like each other.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Thu 20-Nov-14 16:34:06

Why won't he go by himself?

odinsdaughter Thu 20-Nov-14 16:34:26

I did that last year. It was a buffet lunch at her house. I complimented her on her lovely home. I complimented her cooking. Offered to help in the kitchen (refused). I chatted to her husband as much as I could.

Then when she decided to clear the table, she noticed that i was still eating so she took my plate away and gave me the whole platter from the centre of the table with some remark about how nice it is to see someone who so obviously enjoys their food. (I am very overweight, as is she - and she's ultra sensitive about it i am told).

I was mortified and sat feeling upset, as I think she intended.

Bogeyface Thu 20-Nov-14 16:37:00

You dont want to go, you dont have to go so you are not going. Sorted.

He can go, he doesnt want to go, thats his decision. Sorted.

I know you dont want to be responsible for him not seeing and its ok, because you're not. You have said that you dont want to see her at the very least until you get an apology (hope you are patient, I dont see that happening anytime ever!) you have not said that he cant go. He has made the decision to not see her and that has nothing to do with you.

Mammanat222 Thu 20-Nov-14 16:37:40

What does she ring up DH and get him to tell you to do / not to do?

I'm intrigued.

For the sake of 3 hours a year I'd be inclined just to suck it up and deal with it. 3 hours a week, not so much shock

badbaldingballerina123 Thu 20-Nov-14 16:38:28

I've been in this position and I simply wouldn't go or have any further contact. Your Dh is an adult and can conduct his relationship with her on his own. If he doesn't want to go on his own or with the dcs then that's on him.

I disagree also that your Dh is in the middle. He has failed to support you and has enabled his horrible sister to treat you this way. I've noticed persistently both in my own experience and on these threads , that the person with the toxic relative is very keen to expose their spouse to these people. Often they'll refuse to visit on their own so the spouse feels responsible for the lack of contact.

If pushed they'll often whinge that it looks bad , or that there's a need to show a United front. I actually suspect that some of these people inadvertently use their spouse as a shield from their toxic relatives. If she's picking on you she's not picking on him.

Have you read the book toxic in laws ?

Katisha Thu 20-Nov-14 16:38:54

At the moment you are all enabling her. Can you not just ring her and have it out with her? "Why do you feel it necessary to be hurtful to and about me. Can we get to the bottom of this please? " Make or break.

Bogeyface Thu 20-Nov-14 16:39:01

And the buffet behaviour alone would have had me telling her to fuck off, never mind anything else she has done.

I think you are wrong btw....*Its not that she's an awful person* Oh I think she is!

Heels99 Thu 20-Nov-14 16:41:23

Agree with badbaldingballerina. Very good advice.

IAmNotAPrincessIAmAKahleesi Thu 20-Nov-14 16:42:31

Don't go

You aren't stopping him from seeing his sister, he's perfectly capable of managing his relationship with his sister himself

Why won't he go by himself? What's stopping him? If he can't be bothered to go why on earth should you?!

odinsdaughter Thu 20-Nov-14 16:42:45

I don't know why she always rings DH, never me. She just does, and I find it rude.

An example would be when i wanted to buy her son a shirt for Christmas and needed to know his clothes size. She rang DH to explain that she'd rather we got him something else.

Why DH can't see her on his own is another huge bone of contention between us. He always says why should he when she's such a lovely person and anyway it would be embarrassing to acknowledge by my absence that i have an issue with his sister. (This is what he says... i think neither reason holds water).

wreckingball Thu 20-Nov-14 16:45:22

She gave you the whole platter?
In front of everyone, what on earth did they say?
My Mum would've battered me senseless for doing something as nasty as that.
What a cunt.
Don't go back for more.

Whereisegg Thu 20-Nov-14 16:46:17

I would say I was no longer going to visit someone that was openly rude to me, and that I wouldn't be used as an excuse for him to not see his sister.
Repeat calmly as needed.

wreckingball Thu 20-Nov-14 16:47:02

Tell your DH that a 'lovely person' doesn't go around humiliating and upsetting people.

Only1scoop Thu 20-Nov-14 16:48:17

For the very little you have to be in her company I would personally just rise above and go be bright and breezy and the bigger person.

Bogeyface Thu 20-Nov-14 16:48:50

He always says why should he when she's such a lovely person and anyway it would be embarrassing to acknowledge by my absence that i have an issue with his sister.

How on earth does he claim she is such a lovely person?!

And as for being embarrassed, well thats his problem. She has treated you abominably if the platter incident is anything to go by and you have said "Enough!" you have drawn your line in the sane. What he does now is up to him and not your responsibility.

Anyway, perhaps its about time he grew a spine and said "Odin doesnt want to see you because you have been such a bitch to her, especially after last Xmas"

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