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(6 Posts)
Topsy44 Wed 30-Dec-15 15:44:28

I will try and make this as short as I can but really could go on and on!

My elderly parents and I have had numerous problems with my SIL over the years. I think at the crux of it she has some sort of personality disorder but neither she nor my brother can see it. She has moments of being normal but then moments out of the blue of pure aggression. Think Lady C and that is pretty much her.

When my dd was about 15 months old, after a lot of trying to keep the peace with my SIL, myself and my DH and my SIL came to a mutual agreement that we wouldn't speak any more as she was just getting too difficult to deal with. It was a bit more heated than that but you get the jist! My DH sadly passed away 17 months ago and all was forgotten and we got back on speaking terms.

However, I have just spent an awful Xmas with her where she was aggressive and rude to me, my parents and shouted at my 3 1/2 year old for frankly just being a 3 1/2 year old. She doesn't speak to any of her own family as they had enough of her quite a few years ago and she has alienated quite a few of her neighbours. My brother seems to turn a blind eye to all of it and takes her side for an easy life or at least that's how it seems. They have 3 dcs of their own.

We feel like we can't retaliate or stand up for ourselves as if we did it would just result in a massive argument and we wouldn't get to see my brother or his children ever again. But if we just take it, like we have, we end up feeling like we have been totally bullied and she is just able to get away with treating us like dirt.

It's a really awful time for me as it is as I'm grieving for my DH while trying to look after our lively 3 1/2 year old dd. I feel like I don't have the energy to sort out her issues but at the same time I think if things don't get sorted the situation will only get worse. I love my brother and his children dearly but it's making it virtually impossible for me to see them as I can't stand being round my SIL.

What would you do? Any advice would be greatly appreciated?

OurBlanche Wed 30-Dec-15 15:53:55

That last paragraph. Summon up the courage and send it to your DB. Add that you will understand if he does not reply, she is his wife, he loves her. However you need to let him know how bad her behaviour has affected you, especially at this sad time in your life.

Tell your parents that you have done so, they may need to be prepared. Should she contact you you only have one response, something like:

I am grieving, I am alone, you need to find someone else to take you anger out on

No other response, just repeat it. And, if your brother seems to join in, add I love you but to the beginning.

She is, as you know, an unhappy and angry woman. You have every right to tell her to shut the fuck up and to butt out!

Good luck xx

Topsy44 Wed 30-Dec-15 19:25:42

Thank you so much for your advice and you are so right. I know she is really unhappy and crazily angry about something. I just wish my lovely brother could see that she has mental health issues and that's why she behaves like she does not because that is 'just her personality'. I don't think she will ever get help for her issues as she doesn't believe she has any and the only person that could try and talk to her is my brother which I'm pretty sure he would never do as (a) he is scared of her and (b) just can't see it.

I will take a deep breath and try and dig deep for some courage in the New Year and follow your advice. It's just scary to think of the repercussions and my brother is fiercely loyal to SIL even if he knows she is in the wrong plus the fear factor too of what she might do. I have witnessed her smacking her dcs before and there is her unresolved anger behind it which is horrible to see.

The sad thing is I know she doesn't mean any of it and if she could get some kind of counselling then she could be a changed person but I can't see it ever happening.

Thank you again, it was so good to get your reply to confirm everything I was thinking.

OurBlanche Thu 31-Dec-15 09:46:28

I'm glad it helped. I am only 'good' at it because I have had 30 years of wishing I had been more firm and clear when my PoisonousSIL started isolating me and making me the scapegoat of DHs family sad

That fear factor is what keeps most of us polite people pleasers firmly in our place. We can imagine, only too well, what the outcome might be and then act as though it is our job to prevent that, to our own detriment.

The 'thought correction' is that the shouty person is causing the fall out and really should be taking responsibility for it. It is hard, but once you start it becomes easier.

Have good New Year weekend, don't let her actions spoil it for you smile

QuiteLikely5 Thu 31-Dec-15 09:56:07

Can't you call your db and explain some of what you have above?

I suspect he might agree with you but say there isn't much he can do about it.

Your other option is to stand up against her when she is attacking you. Do this by asking calmly can we leave the room and discuss this please?

Or just leave the room.

I would probably lose my temper with her though. You seem to have tolerated a lot over the years from her.

Alternatively arrange to visit your family when she is t there?

Hissy Thu 31-Dec-15 10:51:25

Did you TELL her not to shout at your child?

If nothing else, she can and should be told to back off your child.

Speak up

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