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Sabotaging Sister In Law

Dear Sugar
My sister-in-law got drunk about two years ago and laid into my husband about me in front of our whole family. She went into everything I had ever done that she perceived as a slight to her and her family.

Her parents apparently agree since they have sided with her. Now, I feel extremely uncomfortable around my husband's family. I apologized to her at the time of the fight, but she has refused to apologize for her actions. She claims that we make her get that angry and it was time to get these issues out in the open.

She has a history of this type of behavior with her other brother and sister-in-law. DearSugar, how can we handle future family get togethers? We are ignored and made to feel 2nd rate. Ganged Up On Gwen

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Ganged Up On Gwen
The most important thing that you can do is to keep a unified front between you and your husband around the family. If they see that they can even slightly come between you two, they’ll try and tear you guys apart. You can’t let that happen.

Can you divide and conquer? It’s not fair to have a forum for everyone to gang up on you. Set up a time to talk to your husband’s parents first since they matter most. They only want their son to be happy, so you’ve got a chance to make things right with them.

Listen to what they have to say and apologize if you can understand their perspective and see how something that you’ve done may have offended them. If not, then just explain your intentions and try and figure out a way that you can all move forward as a loving family.

Next, talk to your sister in law. If she feels that it’s necessary to get into all of the details, explain to her that she's hurt you too. Instead of focusing on the past, you would just like to move on and figure out a way to have a civilized family relationship.

Be firm about the fact that you are not going anywhere so you must find a resolution. Tell her that all this is doing is just hurting your husband and her brother.

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e.b e.b 9 years
I really feel for you. I don't get along with my in-laws as much as I'd like to and it's really unfortunate. Since your husband's sister has a history of being a bitch to her brother's wives, it seems like the real issue lies with her and not you. It sounds to me like she has a case of insecurity and jealousy. I mean what are the odds that both of her sister-in-laws are bad people? Maybe she feels threatened by the new females in the family and is trying to find confidence by undermining the two of you. She sounds like a really unhappy person who can't help but spread the hate around. So try to find some comfort in that. Feel sorry for her. It's obviously still affecting you since you bring it up two years after the fact, so I think you need to address it with your husband. You two are a team. He needs to be on your side and with you on this one 100%, even if they are his "blood".... You are the woman he chose to spend the rest of his life with so he needs to back you up in your time of need. When I had to deal with a similar incident I spoke with my husband and let him know where I was coming from. He dealt with his mom and sister individually and told them their behavior was unacceptable ...that if they didn't start accepting me they'd not only be losing a daughter-in-law/sister-in-law, but a son/brother as well. It really hit home with them and since then they've really tried to open up and include me in the "family". If you let your husband deal with the in-laws they will take it more seriously, and hopefully get the point. Until then set your boundaries (you and your husband), don't go to every event that they are at/ that they invite you to . Go to only the ones that are completely necessary. There is no need to put yourself in a situation that makes you feel badly about yourself, and is uncomfortable.
GolferGirl GolferGirl 9 years
This kinda happened to me. My guy didn't stick up for me. I shoulda taken the hint and dumped him then. Instead he cheated on me and then left me. Get out now while you can. Family can have a HUGE influence on him IF he's weak.
ethiopian_princess ethiopian_princess 9 years
i hope your husband is sticking up for you on this issue. after all, they are his blood relatives and it's much easier for him to force the issue than for you. frankly, i wouldn't respond to this drunken b----. she clearly has major issues with drinking, anger and being an adult if she finds the need to get p--s drunk to address a problem. your in-laws are putting you in a bad situation. frankly, if they don't want to address issues as they arise (inevitable in any family), they should keep it to themselves. i'm not a huge fan of my sister-in-law, but i'd never put her in such a position. why? frankly, it's not even worth the stress of sitting down and talking about it. i know i'd be a bully if i did such a thing to her and because i make the choice not to address things as they come up, i also have to accept whatever it is and move on. bottom line: set up boundaries. if they won't respect you, make it very clear that you're unwilling to spend time with people who treat you like this.
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