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SIL has now said she can't spend xmas around us
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gloriousgolden · 04/12/2021 22:43

My husband and SIL (his sister) have a strained relationship and have since childhood. I have always got on very well with her but she has a competitive edge which is draining after a while. She always said we would have weddings/children around the same time but it just didn't work out that way.

We have two children, 4&1years old and they have been trying for their first since June after their wedding in May.

It was agreed ages ago (aug?) that we would host SIL & husband, M&FIL and my parents and siblings, the in laws house is only a mile from us and my family will stay over.

My SIL has messaged tonight and said she can't see us over xmas, it's too hard whilst they're TTC and she can't have our "good fortune rubbed in her face." She's also said she would prefer her parents also decline so they can spend it together.

I haven't responded yet, I completely resonate with not wanting to spend xmas with babies when that is what you are yearning for.

But in between my two children, I suffered an ectopic where I lost a tube, two early losses and a 16wk loss. She knows this, she watched me go through the entire fucking thing. The comment on good fortune has gone around and around my tiny head all evening and I'm pissed off about it, I feel as though she's worded it like that deliberately to hit a chord. I know I do have very good fortune to have two healthy children and I'm so grateful but fuck, the youngest was hard won and I feel as though she's poked the best a bit.

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Mix56 · 29/12/2021 08:19

Have I understood?
Why oh why did PIL do Xmas with her when FIL is almost certain to become seriously ill when he catches covid from her?
Its like he is risking his life to pander to her incredible selfishness & manipulations. She'll be wailing at his graveside, "oh beloved Daddy,"
This has seriously gone too far. I would be livid,
& they of course now have to isolate.

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RandomMess · 28/12/2021 14:29

It's most likely plain simple irrational jealousy.

It doesn't matter that she has chosen to move away and has a great life.

She is most likely jealous that you both have a good loving and involved life with HER parents and you have provided them with DGC.

She will be jealous that they love their DGC, it should all be about her don't ya know?

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middleeasternpromise · 28/12/2021 13:55

I don't think it is as simple to assume her behaviour is borne out of resentment about unequal inheritance - it may be, but if you really want to get to the bottom of it - this is perhaps the chance for the family to enter into an honest conversation about what is going on. What ever the reasons for what SIL does, she wont be the only contributor to the overall events, everyone in the family will have a part in the dynamics being played out. For example, why is it your DH role to 'take her to task' and not her mother or father? - and if her actions are always minimized, who is it that minimizes them? A person cannot minimize on their own without others acquiescing and agreeing.

I am not condoning anything your SIL has done only suggesting that everyone has taken a position in the situation and if this is now something that needs to change then everyone has to play a part. You sound like you take quite a mediator role in things generally, I wonder what would happen if you weren't so diplomatic and shared your feelings about things perhaps if you shared with her the effect of her comments about your children, the way you experienced her actions about the getting together as well as the issues with the virus - it might allow her to reflect on what she is doing and how it could be affecting family relationships.

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Justilou1 · 28/12/2021 00:34

You’re right… it’s probably just some childish attention/jealousy bullshit she’s never grown out of and the parents have created a dynamic that have spun out of their own control/awareness too. Family dynamics are weird enough from the inside.

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LonelySock · 27/12/2021 19:55

I'd feel inclined to report it tbh. There's an online form to report breaches. I'd be inclined to. Not sure I'd dare to though, but I'd think about it.

To think she is a barrister and deliberately broke the law is awful. She has endangered your FIL 😔 There should be some consequences of this but I probably wouldn't want her to lose her job, however much of a selfish cow she is.

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whynotwhatknot · 27/12/2021 19:24

What a selfish cow endangering her parents like that to get one over you pathetic and nasty


think i would have had a phone call with test and trace about people not isolating

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Imdreamingofapeacefulxmas · 27/12/2021 17:01

So in terms of the farm your not cap in hand at all.

You have a strong position.
So there is no need to pander at all to sil or subject dh to his parents behaviour.

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gloriousgolden · 27/12/2021 16:49

@LaChanticleer well I've managed to maintain a good relationship with my brother (who will inherit my parents farm) and his wife and I'll have a lot less than 8 cottages and a house in Pimlico as a consolation prize.

Farming dynamics perhaps do appear outwardly sexist, granted. Realistically milking 450 cows in the Peak District is physically incredibly difficult and no way would I have wanted to take that on, I often feel sorry that my brother and his wife have that millstone around their neck.

My husband is an arable farmer, I do help him with some tasks but honestly the machinery on the farm is very technical and a lot of operating requires additional qualifications which I don't have. There is a raw strength involved with the sheep side of the business that I just cannot physically do. My SIL is incredibly intelligent, she has several degrees and is a barrister. In all the years I have known her I have never seen her doing any physical work - as far as I could possibly say, she is not interested in the farm.

I realise you are being objective but it's quite insulting to explain away this behaviour by suggesting she's had some birthright taken from her.

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Cameleongirl · 27/12/2021 14:42

@LaChanticleer. The OP said that there are other properties that the SIL will inherit instead of the farm.

I doubt she’s interested in farming, if she was, she’d be doing it. My cousin is a farmer, her older brother had no desire to take on the family farm.
This sounds like jealousy of the OP, pure and simple. Plus a hefty dose of selfishness.

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LaChanticleer · 27/12/2021 13:32

She won't inherit the farm and so I suppose the bitterness is borne out of that. But there is property locally and in london that she will inherit and given that she isn't interested in farming, she isn't hard done by.

I think that's HUGE drip feed, OP. While your SiL is behaving badly, there's a deep family dynamic here, and a bucketful of sexism, I suspect. It was probably assumed from the moment that they were born, that the son (your DH) would inherit the farm, and the daughter (your SiL) would marry well, and her husband look after her.

If she's grown up on the farm, and is now no longer seen as part of that family business, I think it must be very tough. You don't know, because you're not part of the (birth) family, just why your SiL decided she wasn't interested in arming. Sometimes children see the way things are and develop a response to protect themselves - her "not interested in farming" may well be that. Because she knew from childhood she was just a girl and therefore not part of the inheritance line. Not the material value, but the family profession. It's not the same being given other property.

And you are married into this family and there at the centre of the business, working with her father and making decisions. I can see why she would resent you.

None of it's nice, but it looks as though there are deep dynamics here that you need to stay out of. Her parents (your in-laws) just shrugging and putting up with it suggests a typical response - they know there's something amiss, and probably deep down suspect that part of it is about the farm & the family business. But they made those decisions, so it's on them. Possibly why they now take the crap from her that you're now judging.

So, another point of view, you might think about. Family inheritances are very complex things, perhaps far more emotionally than materially. And if you're an in-law, you're not really going to understand that from the inside.

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CurzonDax · 27/12/2021 12:51

Apologies, just seen amount of errors in my post above!
Am getting used to keypad on new tablet, but I hope my points still makes sense!

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billy1966 · 27/12/2021 11:50

I agree with @ESGdance don't become involved.

I would tell your family that your SIL put her parents at risk.

I would definitely gossip about that in a PA shocked/disbelieving way.

I would shame her quietly.

It takes a certain type of stupidity to accept someone carelessly putting your life at risk and you be accepting of this.

Your in laws being ok with her behaviour should be proof enough of their tolerance level for truly awful behaviour.

But I would definitely pass this information around.

She is a disgrace, but she is your in laws disgrace, so don't be involved.

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ESGdance · 27/12/2021 11:16

I agree to back away and keep dignified and silent - don’t do or suggest anything that will dig PIL out of the mess they have with their own daughter. Let them manage her directly in her full glory - anything helpful you do or say - somehow will be twisted and spun so you are the issue. Don’t get in their way.

Imagine her like a pantomime character - watch from the audience but don’t get drawn in to and tangled up in her unhinged controlling petulant narcissistic traits and the PIL enabling dynamic which are entrenched will have gone in for decades before you arrived on the scene. Just have clear calm boundaries - mostly about detaching from her dramas.

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RoisinD · 27/12/2021 10:55

@gloriousgolden full of admiration for the way you are handling this. I doubt I would show the restraint you have. Sad that your MIL is enabling her daughter's behaviour. As others have said pull back a little, keep everything professional. Set new boundaries.

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Fluffycloudland77 · 27/12/2021 10:34

There’s a lot of women out there who wanted to be only children isn’t there?

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CurzonDax · 27/12/2021 10:19

So your SiL is a known liar and your OiL still enable this?

I understand the joint farm business complicates things, but I'd be tempted to just keep things professional from now, and severely limit contact/go no contact for non-fiction things (easier said than done, I know when they are your DH parents and children's GPs).

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Justilou1 · 27/12/2021 08:01

@gloriousgolden - I’m so pleased that you know what you’re doing. I trusted my mother and was badly fucked over. I’m also sorry that you have to watch this stupidity at play and have to bite your tongue.

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gloriousgolden · 27/12/2021 00:28

@givethatbabyaname no, no offence taken, thank you for your post! It's difficult to explain the farming dynamic I think to someone who isn't used to them - we're so embedded we consider it the norm!

From the conversations we have had, SIL is completely unfazed by the positive PCR, she was apparently "shocked" when I offered in laws our granny annex to isolate in which is "ridiculous" as far as she's concerned.

But I can take a step back, even as well loved in laws I have that ability to at least take some step backwards. My poor DH now has to take battle with the selfish C U Next Tuesday to take her to task on why TF she's decided to be this shit.

And that's shit, because ultimately before the discussion begins, I know her actions will absolutely be minimised.

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Tandia · 26/12/2021 23:58

Is she at least isolating from your vulnerable in-laws? Does she realise the danger she is subjecting them to? The level of selfishness she has taken it to is a major step up from her previous 'it's all about me'. I really hope that they don't catch covid and I'm glad that you and your little ones have not been exposed.

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St0rmTr00per · 26/12/2021 23:39

Did they give their opinion or addressed her behaviour? ie lying about the test and putting them at risk.

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mangodreams · 26/12/2021 23:13

Oh my goodness what your SIL has done putting your PIL at risk is completely unforgivable. I just couldn't stay quiet in this situation. If I was your DH I would be straight on the phone to tell her what a selfish cow she is and ask her how could she risk their parents' lives like this. I just could not forgive a sibling for doing this.

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givethatbabyaname · 26/12/2021 22:36

OMG, I’m so sorry OP Blush I really didn’t mean to imply that about your DH, I just extrapolated from your last post. Oh cringe cringe cringe….so sorry BlushBlush

And thank you for answering. The whole farming family dynamic has cropped up on MN every now and then in the decade I’ve been on here. It’s fascinating to me, and so fraught with issues. I do see how you might have to be born into it to really understand it.

Anyhow, I do share SIL problems with you. I too have had the “well, you finally got what you wanted” thrown at me before (not this year). It was shockingly infantile. Unfortunately not much has improved in the intervening years…

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mugglenutmeg · 26/12/2021 22:26

Have I understood correctly...SIL lied and said she'd had a negative PCR test in order to ensure PIL's spent Christmas with her...but she has now admitted after they've had Christmas together that she was indeed positive after all?

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gloriousgolden · 26/12/2021 22:08

@givethatbabyaname my husband is no less educated than I am, just because he's farming doesn't make him a clampit, we met at uni, he's a chartered surveyor, farming at home was always the expectation I suppose.

She won't inherit the farm and so I suppose the bitterness is borne out of that. But there is property locally and in london that she will inherit and given that she isn't interested in farming, she isn't hard done by.

I'm well behaved. I have a good relationship with in laws but I don't tread on toes and I haven't ever tried to take her place. I quite often take MIL out with the children when I'm doing NT/garden centre tours as she enjoys them and so do the children, perhaps that has jarred with her. But she's away all week in her home, counties away, and I'm just trying to let the in laws have the relationship with our children that my parents enjoy.

I don't why it seems to be directed at me more than DH. Sadly her DH only has brothers so she can't relate to how she's making me feel.

I don't know whether she's left her positive DH at home, the lack of mentioning of him plus PIL shifty conversation this morning makes me wonder whether he might actually be there too - nothing would surprise me at this point. The only reason FIL has told us will be due to logistics of work as I do the farm accounts from their home office and some of the farm machinery is kept in their yard.

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LittleOwl153 · 26/12/2021 22:04

Would be interesting to see what test and trace had to say about the stupid SIL. Eho on earth travels all that distance simply to infect her elderly parents because she can't bear them having Christmas without her!!

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