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What to do about SIL

(9 Posts)
notquitethebradybunch Fri 10-Jul-09 16:36:50

Sorry, have name-changed for this as don't want her tracing me on MN, just in case.

So, at the moment, there is a lot of tension between myself and SIL. We used to get on, but over the last few years it's gradually gotten worse and worse and worse, and now we barely speak.
SIL comes from a very difficult background; one of her parents died when she was very young, and the other parent remarried within a year, to a person who did not particularly like the existing DCs. There were rumours of the step parent beating them, or at the least treating them really horribly (they had to ask if they wanted a glass of water, etc.). Then, parent and step-parent produced a half-sibling who was given EVERYTHING, TV in bedroom, own bedroom and so on. SIL had to go to work as soon as she finished school and was never even given the option of further study (though she had messed about a lot at school anyway). She married DB, her family moved away, she and DB moved as well and have done very well for themselves. She's studying now, they have a lovely house, two lovely children etc. etc. But, she and DB (though mostly she) have really taken a dislike to me. I went to university (worked my a*se off the whole time), got a good job (again, through sheer hard work) nad have a relatively alright life (there are problems, but hey, that's life). Just after I finished university and moved to a new city, they sent me a REALLY horrible email, saying that I should stop mentioning having a degree, I should stop showing off so much (I don't really) etc. etc. They're always complaining (not to me directly, but to other SIL) that I went to uni and they didn't (DB dropped out). Her nickname for me is a distortion of my name, so it sounds like a swear word, whenever I see them, they're always making fun of me and talking me down. They repeatedly invite me over, but last time I went, they spent the whole night talking about themselves like "Oh, and we're going to go skiing in blah blah next year" "We're going to get an extension on the house". You never get a chance to talk about anything else. We have differing views on religion, but instead of having discussions, they just fire question after question, and then mock any answers I give.

I really don't have the strength to deal with her. She's tried poisoning my relationship with her DCs (if I don't come around she'll tell them that I don't love them). But, she is family. I love her DCs to pieces but barely get to see them. When I have tried to organise family events, they complain, don't turn up, or want to rearrange everything so it suits them (regardless of other people's needs).

WWYD?

notquitethebradybunch Fri 10-Jul-09 16:37:00

Sorry it's so long

notquitethebradybunch Fri 10-Jul-09 16:37:36

Sorry it's so long

deste Fri 10-Jul-09 17:17:48

I dont think I would bother to be honest. I think I would take a back seat but let them know in a letter or email the reasons.

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 10-Jul-09 18:40:28

Message withdrawn

Lizzylou Fri 10-Jul-09 18:53:59

Ignore them, try and see their DC at other occasions and if they ask why you have backed off, tell them it's because of how they treat you.
This is your own brother, have you ever had a good relationship with him or is it down to his wife?
Poor you, sounds horrible.

notquitethebradybunch Fri 10-Jul-09 19:05:37

My DB and I used to have a good relationship, but that was years ago before he was married. Because of the issues with her family, they now always present themselves as a united front (they jokingly refer to themselves as "Team [Surname]").
A lot of the comments they make are to my other siblings and their spouses (they meet up every now and then, but hardly ever invite me). The others have basically told them to get over themselves and stop it.
SIL is incredibly jealous of her half-sibling (the one who was given everything), but I am much closer, geographically, and hence easier to pick on. I wish with all my heart that she'd deal with all the issues arising from her own family, rather than trying to destroy mine. They are very nasty about my parents, and can be very stingy towards them. For e.g., we tend to get combined presents for DF, but they would only be willing to contribute £10 (on behalf of four of them), but spend lots of money on themselves. Fine, spend money on yourselves; it's your earnings and your choice, but extend some of that generosity to the man who raised you/welcomed you into the family.

BottySpottom Fri 10-Jul-09 19:15:31

She sounds dreadful. Mine's a bit like that. I have just had to withdraw and have an arm's length relationship. Very very sad as I was close to brother growing up, but she was causing so much stress if was affecting my immediate family.

scrimble Fri 10-Jul-09 20:28:21

Poor you. She really does sound awful. Ever since my DB got married, things have never been quite right between them and me and I never know how I'm going to be treated by them. So you have my sympathies. These things tend to hang over one like a dark cloud. They never go away...always there...nagging worries. Life's too short, but it's hard to shrug these things off.

All I can say is that you should continue to hold your head high. Even if they don't know how to behave, at least you do.

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