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Dealing with SIL- Tips/Tactics(27 Posts)
SIL is older than DP by several years (over 30). She has never really like me, we are VERY different. I have always tried to be civil & freely admit I've cocked up a few times.
However, her behaviour around PIL & OH is appalling, to the point where my friends who have met her can not stand her. She is incredibly self centred & attention seeking. She get's "ill" at a speed of knots, especially if she is asked to help i.e clear dinner table, clear Xmas wrapping paper up. She moans incessantly over food, critiques people's cooking, expects entire meals to be changed to suit her various "intolerances", passes comment on calorie content of other peoples meals.
If she is not center of attention or conversation she will rudely interrupt or give wildly varying "opinions" on things, some of which she is very much entitled to, some of which she has no clue about ie someones job role and gets really patronising.
The entire world is against her, men she meets are always drop outs/troublemakers. Her rent is too high, her income too low, her car isn't as good as anybody elses- thus we shouldn't have nice cars until she can afford one. She sponges off her parents frequently, NEVER puts her hand in her pocket/offers to drive to gatherings.
I have recently had to put up with her for several days & have just had enough. Within 5 minutes of arriving she attacked DP over money he owed her- a paltry sum. I gave it to her to shut her up with a "here, now shut up about it". She sat on her arse moaning that our pet was looking at her/near her & she's "allergic". She then complained the restaurant we were going to didn't sound nice, she didn't like the menu. Then the afternoon activity we planned didn't suit her, she'd brought the wrong shoes. Then my OH phone was better than hers. Then she wanted a drink but wanted it making FOR her & when MIL suggested she do it herself- good GOD NO.
I don't know how to deal with her as I am at the limit of tearing her head off. If we are at PIL house I will bite my tongue, but for her to come in to my house & act like a 3 year old is not on. OH is very down after the visit as even he was cringing at her behaviour & it really spoilt the time we had with PIL, who we don't get to see that often. I have said I want nothing more to do with her, but I will NOT stop him from going to visit/going out with his family. She is also not welcome in my house going forward which I don't think is unreasonable.
well non of it is an issue as long as your DH agrees with you.
If he doesn't then you'll have problems.
I was going to say that you test her like a naughty child and enforce your house rules. So you just calmly say "SIL you can behave however you like elsewhere but in my home you do not treat people this way behave so rudely"
If she kicks off then you just say ok well you're free to leave.
Howrver if she's left then just don't have her back and if asked about just say because she was so rude last time I'm not willing to put up with it.
End of story and no debating it
Thank you both- Mimi- problem with that is she never ever drives (can drive but prefers to be taxiid) so if she leaves then one or both of PIL have to go too (unless I leave her locked in the garden heehee)
It's so awkward as having PIL is enjoyable, if it's just them it's great, but she then whinges she hasn't seen her brother in X period of time & it's not fair & they cave & bring her (& they drive/pay for hotel/B & B)!!
Wonderful irony re: her moan about the small debt, she's been to tourist attractions <30miles from us TWICE in the past 2 months & never mentioned it or popped in to see "her darling brother".
It makes me sad to see OH so down about it. Early in the relationship he asked me to try with her, I have ( & he acknowledges I have) but she just ruins everything :-(.
Trying to work out how you have a 30 year age gap in siblings. Presumably your PiL's were really young when they had her. Or is she a half/ step sibling? Maybe that would explain her obvious insecurity and need for attention.
Difficult. You obviously get on very well with PIL and she is attaching herself onto their visits, which they allow as she pesters them to the point they feel they have no choice. So if you forbid her from visiting it is likely to put your PILs in an awkward spot - and I can see you'd not want to do that as you like them and enjoy their company.
Is there any way of PILs visiting and her not knowing about it?
Otherwise, if you have to put up with her for the sake of PILs then I'd be inclined to tell her, politely but firmly, to stop moaning about everything. If she doesn't like the restaurant she is free not to come, but this is where the rest of you are going. If she is allergic to your pet then she doesn't have to visit. If she's brought the wrong shoes then she can stay behind.
I also would be inclined to say straight out that as nothing seems to suit her maybe she'd be happier not coming again and that her incessant complaining is making the visit unpleasant for everyone else! (But I'm a mouthy cow when I want to be and sometimes you just have to tell it like it is.)
Apologies Tinkly, its not a 30year age gap. She is over the age of 30.
RatherBeRiding- I am normally super gobby but I have spoken to OH about this before. He thinks PIL are well aware SIL is obnoxious and are embarrassed by it, but have no clue how to deal with it as she's now a grown woman.
I don't want to cause a big scene in public (which WOULD be the response to me telling her to button it- she had a shit fit at her dad in a restaurant about a year ago for ordering red wine without asking her would it upset her stomach), but in my own house I am quite happy to tell her do one. If they visited on the quiet, IF she found out there would be absolute hell to pay. I think I might ramp up Nootcats shedding ability, that might put her off.
We're moving house quite soon & PIL have offered to help, even though they'd need to drive 4hr+ to get to us. She mentioned she might tag along & OH without even thinking said "are you fuck as like, you wont lift a finger". I was inwardly cheering but then his mum told him off for being rude ;-(
I'd be careful though OP. There seems to be a dynamic here that has not faded upon adulthood. The parents are enablers in that they indulge her and chances of them actually stepping up now are probably quite slim. They may seem long suffering and passive but people like your SIL thrive for a reason. If the PIL had issue with it they would have dealt with her themselves.
You run the risk of alienating yourself if you try to actively separate the PIL from the SIL during visits.
Best you can hope for is to agree a united front with your DH and politely deal with her rudeness when it impacts you. So if she is complaining in general or making life difficult for PIL not your place to put her right but if she is complaining about your home or something you've arranged etc then you can politely stick up for yourself. That way she knows she can't try it on with you and you remain on high ground.
"She mentioned she might tag along & OH without even thinking said "are you fuck as like, you wont lift a finger". I was inwardly cheering but then his mum told him off for being rude ;-("
^ there is the problem, right there ^
Your DH was told off by MIL, thereby allowing SIL to carry on with her idiotic behaviour. Perhaps PIL need to stop pussyfooting around her as she needs to know that this behaviour has consequences. What consequences were there for her outburst over the red wine ordering?
Who wants someone behaving like that around?
TheDayIsBroke- no consequence re: wine other than offering to get her a glass of something different :-( I know they enable her, and it really is cringeworthy to see them do it, as FIL especially is not a soft touch at all.
She did receive a fairly hefty bollocking after she behaved appallingly badly at a different relatives house one Easter (treated host like a skivvy, turned up VERY late, left meal table halfway through to take phone call for nearly 1hr). She apologised & we had a temporary improvement- maybe 4 weeks, but soon reverted to default mode.
Because I'm a nosey 'hole. What sort of debt are we talking about?
She sounds hard work.
My BIL went on and on and on about the £3 I owed him for a week once 🙄
(Should add that he's a 30something professional but a miserable tight bugger who will count out exactly how much he needs to put in or if he owes someone, always rounds it down)
The only way you deal with her is to stop enabling her. You all do it - even you.
STOP pretending it's ok and pandering to her. So what if she kicks off? Tell her that kind of behaviour is NOT acceptable. she either acts like an adult or you won't engage with her.
Invite your pil or take them up on their offer - and make sure all parties know that it's JUST your pil.
It's their choice whether they accept that ore not - if they don't then it just means they don't get to see you.
Make it clear YOU are in control of what your boundaries are.
If you want to enjoy seeing your pil without sil 'tagging' along - you can...and you don't need to apologise/explain yourself.
Invite your sil for a different date - on her own. She either makes the effort to travel down herself or she doesn't.
Tell her you won't tolerate her tagging along with pil anymore as it doesn't work for you.
Stop ignoring her behaviour and take the risk of her falling out with you - small price to pay for what you have to go through with her.
SIL sounds utterly vile. She needs to be pulled up on each and every bit of poor behaviour. She is not a child, but an adult. Shameful behaviour and attitude!
All I can offer you is .
Glueandstick <£10. She is also a degree educated professional with a unique job that requires a rather unusual (& pretty cool) skill set. She earns a good wage for where she lives but is incredibly stingy & would NEVER offer to pay even for a coffee. What made it worse re: debt was she owes me quite a lot of money (nearer £100) for various bits, seeing as we are counting. OH is going to let dust settle & then point out she may wish to use his now -paid-debt to pay her-outstanding-debt.
If she owes you why didn't you say anything? Or go to give her the money then take it back and say you will knock it off her debt.
sounds like people pander to her too much...
We should introduce them. And then NEVER EVER HAVE ANY CONTACT. It would be a fantastically awful car crash to watch.
I have no idea how to deal with her except to treat her as a stranger and not interact too much.
God she sounds just like my sil. Had a couple of glasses of wine tonight so will be back to elaborate in the morning. Annoyingly tho, the last time -14 years ago...we tried to say saomething about her behaviour, it spiralled and pil stuck up for her and made my dh who is a brilliant son cry. Cunts!
I reckon PIL are enablers, can't really how she could have turned out that way otherwise. So be very diplomatic with them.
Sounds like your oh is in your side. Just because oil enable her does not mean you have to.
Try putting foot down in a calm way and worst that can happen us she goes nuts and refuses to visit you again. That's a win in my book.
Sorry I can't be more useful. Had a few drinks tonight. She sounds like the type of spoilt princess that really gets my goat.
The only thing you can really do in such situations is a combination of limited contact and firm but polite boundaries on behaviour when contact is unavoidable. By the latter I mean things like saying "Please don't talk to me like that", "I have asked you not to speak to me like that, you persist so I am going to disengage"(then walk away).
Anything else, whilst temporarily satisfying, is likely 1) not to be effective 2) have potential to backfire badly
I have been known to say to my mother (who sounds very much like your sil) ... " I don't let my children act /treat me that way so I'm certainly not going to accept it from you" - lots of pouting ensues - so I follow up with "and no pouting / sulking because that just shows the children that sort of self indulgent tantrum is acceptable when it is not" "now how about a cup of tea and a game of scrabble?"
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