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Sisters-in-laws

(21 Posts)
lovelife Tue 22-Sep-09 17:18:56

Having read the mother-in-law threads, I am somewhat tentatively dipping my toe in the water with a sister-in-law thread.....anyone having to cope with a controlling sister-in-law who is quite jealous of the sibling relationship? It has got to the point where I hardly ever see one of my brothers. Anyone else in a similar situation and how do they deal with it? Think my brother is seen as a sperm donor/open wallet....ouch, that sounds so harsh, but she is so narcissistic......

DuelingFanjo Tue 22-Sep-09 17:20:56

you seem to really dislike her if you think she is treating him as a sperm donor/open wallet.

Could it be that he actually really loves her, and she loves him and you are the one who is being controling?

norksinmywaistband Tue 22-Sep-09 17:47:10

I have a SIL like this, never see my brother anymore, he rarely comes to family dos' or even for Xmas as she only wants to spend time with her family.
When we do get together all the siblings get daggers from her.
But they are obviously in love have been together for 15 years and TBH it is sad that I have "lost my brother, but I know he is happy and thats the main thing

RubysReturn Tue 22-Sep-09 17:50:51

Oh interesting.
DH is twin and my SIL has never forgiven me for marrying him. She tended to rely on him as a partner whenever she was single - I 'spoiled' this.

She pretty much has not spoken to me for 18 years.

I suspect she may be a little passive aggresive now as she 'forgot' DH birthday. As I mentioned, they are twins!

tryingherbest Tue 22-Sep-09 20:22:23

Erm well your db is married to her - his choice her choice.

My sil (dh's sister) is a complete bitch. OK when we'ere spending money on her -0 not complaiuning when she's taken all the money their dad left her and dh - you say one word and she's hysterical.

I don't stop my dh from seeing her - to a greater degree he's under her thumb (ie he lets her get away with murder and taking him to the cleaners), do I have a go when she's referring to me as 'English mother' hell no - but I'm a woman of infinite patience.

If a man wants to see his sister - good on him - if sister thinks that post marriage their sibling relationship will be like before (like my sil) well, hell no.

Wife comes before blood relations.

Tinkerisdead Tue 22-Sep-09 20:30:32

I have a very strained relationship with my SIL (DH's sister). As others have said above, before me, Dh and SIL with mutual friends etc. SIl got married had a baby and DH met me. Since then she has been venomous to me, his mother openly says I am perfect for him, we get on fabulously. But SIl is a complete bitch, she was horrendous at my wedding, drunk, crying, shouting, tried to pour a drink over me and her own baby.

She has come to parties here, not spoken to me and then shouted thanks for me' dinner over the fence after leaving. The prize winner was telling me that i'd die in childbirth along with my baby.

I find it quite sad really to be honest, Im sure she has a jaded opinion of me having stolen her brother. We are quite comfortable financially and im a SAHM and so im sure that she thinks im bleeding him dry. She has used the comments that i'm only with him to have a baby.

But I know my Dh worships me, he loves my DD without question. I can see that my SIl feels that she has somehow "lost" her brother but I cant see how she cant respect that he is happy, in love and his life has changed. And quite rightly he puts me before anyone else blood or not.

springlamb Tue 22-Sep-09 20:37:31

Our relationship with dh's SIL really makes us both sad. We never see them and we have racked our brains for nearly ten years to find ways of fostering a relationship with them. But she blocks it at every turn. DH has talked to his brother who agrees it's not a great situation but he cannot seem to do anything about it. She just doesn't like us, that's all there is to it, and since last year when we were blocked from attending their first baby's first birthday, we have just accepted it.
We have wondered if it's the following reasons:
- her feeling insecure that she came along when my BIL was 35, I had known them since teens (can't help it if I was at his 18th and she wasn't, I make a point of not discussing those days);
- BIL had had a long term (10yrs) girlfriend whom everybody loved, does SIL feel we resent her breaking that up (but we've made it clear all along that although X was a great girl she wasn't right for BIL);
- they had trouble conceiving, we didn't (but our birth experiences weren't exactly fabulous, ds had an awful time and is disabled so we have had stuff to cope with too).
Oh blardy hell, this thread is opening it all up again! Let sleeping dogs lie!

AntdamnTheDM Tue 22-Sep-09 20:42:40

DP has two Sisters. I get on brilliantly with one of them and not so brilliantly with the other.

The one i do get on well with, is happy that her brother has found someone to be with, and she and her hubby come round often for a meal etc and we go round to theirs. I was even her bridesmaid at her wedding a year ago.

Other sister, however, is a different kettle of fish. She looks on her friends as if they are her family, and will basically do anything to please them. Which usually includes putting them before members of her own family. She is quite spiteful and two faced about other family members. She likes to be the centre of attention - Having a bigger wedding than her sister, being the first in the family to have a child born in wedlock (our ds wasn't, but he was the first grandchild in the family - which pissed her off no end. Not that we had a DS just to piss her off mind you) etc etc. Everything seems to be a competition for her.

We have been invited to her house once I think, and this was so she could show off the expensive Aberdeen Angus steaks she had bought hmm

I know I probably sound very bitter towards her, but she made a year of my life very difficult by telling people things about me that were not true - just to look good to her friends. So i don't care.

lovelife Wed 23-Sep-09 14:28:54

Thanks for your feedback everyone. I think my sister in law sees me as female competition. I just find her very controlling. I have never made any demands on the relationship or on my brother at all - nothing. Yet she seems to expect everyone to be running around after her. To be honest I think she is very spoilt and has a need to micro-manage everyone around her. I have just backed off completely because I refuse to have my strings pulled like a puppet. Not quite sure how brother copes - I think he is sort of in denial. One of the strange aspects of their behaviour is that I find I even get treated with a lack of respect by their close friends. I am absolutely sure that it is because she has a need to bad-mouth his family. I suppose it is all her insecurities but it is so disrespectful.....so I have just left them all to it. But it makes me sad. I think my brother needs to be more assertive...

Conundrumish Wed 23-Sep-09 16:50:02

Lovelife - I could have written your posts word for word sad

ClaraJo Thu 24-Sep-09 15:05:10

My sisters are proving to be the SILs from hell to my partner. At the weekend I got two of them rounding on me screaming (no other word for it) all manner of abuse at me, calling ME selfish because my partner doesn't want to go to my family dos. Huh?! There is history - my parents have done and said things that have really hurt him, and rejected our hospitality on several occasions, whilst expecting us to accept theirs on their terms (micro-management, as someone said) so he has no wish to spend time with them. But he doesn't stop me spending time with them, if I want to. Trouble is, because they've hurt my partner so much, that's hurt me too. I go to (most of) these dos, but my opinion of my family has been coloured now because of their recent behaviour. It's a bit like the scales have fallen from my eyes, after years believing they could do no wrong. My sisters believe that because they are my birth family, that they (and my parents) should take precedence over my partner (we have a child together, and he is stepfather to the children from my marriage).

The only way I can account for what's happened is that the family felt like I was "back in the fold" while I was single (after a divorce from someone they hated). And because my partner refuses to join the fold, he is being accused of isolating me from my family. They honestly don't seem to think they've done anything wrong, and I just don't know how to handle it. I've tried to put my partner's point of view, but they pooh-pooh it, saying that he's the one in the wrong.

But this time I think they've gone too far, opened Pandora's box and said things that can never be unsaid, so I don't know whether things can ever be the same again.

2rebecca Thu 24-Sep-09 15:25:46

Mine both live some distance away and we get on fine. Mind you we've both lived apart from our sibs for some years before getting together so no-one felt anyone was taking anyone away from anyone.
I'll often go and see my sibs without my partner and vice versa just because we are busy and if I have a weekend free for a long trip to relly visit my husband often has something on.
I don't see why this should bother anyone and think it's strange some family members feel slighted if you don't go 2 by 2.

alison56 Fri 25-Sep-09 20:29:33

In reply to the OP.

My mother married a man who was very close to his sister.

My mother, I think, has narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). She also came from a dysfunctional family.

She hated his sister. She was jealous of the relationship. She even accused him of an incest with her.

Evidently, she couldn't handle (or imagine) the love that siblings might feel for each other.

In the end she used to refer to his sister as "The Bitch in Preston" and he used to visit her in secret to avoid the confrontation. They ended up divorced.

Charming, she is.

Other people are nicknamed "The Bastard" (my father), "The Dog" (her husband's ex girlfriend) and "The Dragon" (husband's ex wife).

Meh.

Some people are just dreadful.

Narketta Fri 25-Sep-09 20:38:24

My brother doesn't speak to me anymore because of SIL, They even snub my DC on their birthdays. Ok so brother and SIL hate me but my DC are innocent, TBH it really hurts me that things are the way they are.

freename Sat 26-Sep-09 11:16:34

Sorry lovelife but you sound like you're the one that has a problem and obviously your SIL has picked up on it and is avoiding contact with you because of it. What IL's need to remember is that your child or sibling does have a mind of his own and if he is going along with it, it is because he is in agreement of your treatment of his spouse. In normal relationships people don't have that much power over each other to cut off swathes of relatives. Usually there is a build up of intolerable behaviour over time.
You cannot accept that your brother chose this woman as a life partner and you portay him as this sorry little lamb who must remain a victim to her tyrannical ways. Bit simplistic and black and white don't you think?

freename Sat 26-Sep-09 11:18:37

Narketta what happened between you and your brother and SIL for them to snub your DC's?

Narketta Sat 26-Sep-09 21:54:00

Hi freename its a really long story and I suppose partially my fault because I should have kept my mouth shut.

My mum raised me and my 3 sibs alone and I and my sister have nothing but admiration and respect for her. Yes mum had faults but don't we all? and life was bloody tough for her like it is for most single parents.

But my brothers hold these 'faults' against mum, the brother that no longer speaks to me calls mum black and blue he hasn't got a good word to say about her.

When my brother and SIL had their first child mum asked them what they would like as a gift (she bought the cot for my DS so asked them if they would like the same). They didn't want this but mum is really good at decorating and they asked her if she would decorate the nursery, she happily agreed to this and paid for everything.

After the nursery was decorated and my niece was born brother and SIL asked mum if she would help them finish decorating there kitchen, again mum agreed and paid for everything she and my stepdad sacrificed his days off work to finish there kitchen and everytime mum went round looking forward to a cuddle from her new grandchild SIL would take her out and not come back until mum and stepdad had gone.

Before the baby was born my brother and SIL had promised mum that she could babysit especially as SIL intended to go back to work. Mum has been asked to look after the baby once and this was on SIL birthday when no one else was available to have her as all of the usual babysitters were going out to celebrate with her. Whenever mum tries to see them they put her off she's seen them about 6 times in the year since the baby was born.

I finally snapped when..
Mum had phoned them to see if she could drop round with a birthday card and SIL told her that she was going back to bed because she'd had a rough night with the baby. So mum went round and just pushed the cards through the door.

But this was not the story that SIL told everyone else including my brother. They came to visit me, and SIL sat in my lounge with my brother calling my mum yet again among other things mum had apparently bought a hideous dress for their PFB that was only good for the bin, that mum was selfish and tight.shock

And then SIL said "And I don't know whats wrong with your mum but she didn't even bother to knock on the door when she brought the birthday card round"
It took a while to sink in but I looked at her and said "Well she didn't knock because you told her you were going back to bed with the baby because you had a rough night".

She went red from the neck up and looked shocked that I knew the truth, surely she must know that me and my mum speak!!

Anyway this is where I was stupid...I told mum what had been said and then mum phoned my brother to find out what was going on. I so should have kept my big gob shut but I was so bloody mad. There was a huge row where everyone pointed the finger at me, I became the black sheep of the family for a while. And my brother had the nerve to say that because I had PND that I was making up stories.angry

It probably all seems a bit petty but I'm hurt for mum and god only knows what my DC have supposed to have done to deserve being ignored, not much at 3.5 and 18mths.

Told you it was a long storygrin

mrsmika Mon 28-Sep-09 16:52:12

I agree with duelingfanjo and freename, it is apparent you do not like your sil and tbh to use the terms sperm donor and open wallet is pretty unpleasant.
'Could it be that he actually really loves her, and she loves him and you are the one who is being controling?' Sounds spot on.
You say that THEIR close friends treat you with a lack of respect, just because they are close friends with your brother and sil surely doesn't automatically make them yours too? Perhaps they aren't that interested in you because the friendship isn't with you, or maybe they have picked up on your dislike for sil and are keeping well away. Are you the only one with a problem or do your other brothers have a problem too. I think maybe you should look closer to home.

tryingherbest Mon 28-Sep-09 18:35:45

It can be hard for siblings when a partner comes along.

tbh with my horrible sil makes not difference that dh is with me, alone, or with anyone else - she is a horrible princess who is fine with everything as long as things go her way and if not - she's very horrid.She has the potential to get rioght into our marriage (mil is right ij the middle of ours already) - she has done it with others - cannot keep her nose out of other people's business.

Luckily there is distance between us and she's busy making mischief elsewhere. It oucld be worse my cousin made her sils life a misery and actually encouraged her brother to leave wife and went round to his house and packed his bags for him. Awful.

theressomethingaboutmarie Tue 29-Sep-09 08:57:13

It can be hard with SIL's. My husbands step-sister has been in his life from the start. She's 20 years older than him and since his own mum left many years ago, has parented him somewhat. When I came on the scene, 11 years ago, she didn't like it at all. I've done nothing but try try try with her but much of the time it gets thrown back in my face with snide comments (especially when SIL has had a drink). A few months before my husband and I got married, she took him aside at a family event and told him that marrying me was a mistake as I made him miserable.

We've been very very happily married for over 3 years now and have a wonderful 2 year old who is the light of our lives. I don't bow, like the rest of the family, to SIL's ways (she's very domineering) so she takes the opportunity to pick at me and my parenting wherever possible.

On the plus side, my other SIL (husbands other older sister) is simply heavenly so I focus on my super relationship with her instead.

Robeena Tue 29-Sep-09 13:38:34

I have to admit that I used to be able to say that I get on with all my inlaws (my husband one of 4), my sister got married and her inlaws were fantastic (her husband one of 6) my b-in-law's mum knits stuff for my kids all the time - love them all.

Then my brother got married. My s-in-law has proved to be someone from another planet. My brother's relationship with his wife is so dire that he couldn't even celebrate his 40th with his family, he has attended all the family birthdays/events on his own and makes excuses for her - she's goes on a lot of courses at weekends.....

My mother even invited her parents to a family function and she got angry with my mother and told my brother that my parents should not even talk to her family with out first asking her...she hasn't talked to her dad in 5 months...strange girl.

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