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You Asked: What's Up With Them?

You Asked: What's Up With Them?

Dear Sugar,
My soon to be brother-in-law has a girlfriend who I absolutely cannot stand. The first day I met her was at a BBQ I had. I tried being friendly and talking to her but she didn't say one word to me. She ended up sitting on the other side of the yard away from everyone. They started dating in June and still to this day, I do not think she has ever said one word to me — not even when she visited me in the hospital after I had my baby! She is rude and I can't stand rude people.

My soon to be brother-in-law used to be so much fun and would always come over and spend time with us but ever since he's been with her, he's become a total jerk. He never comes to visit us, never calls and when we do see him, he isn't the same. He has ditched us on numerous occasions and he didn't even go to my son's baptism. I have been so hurt and although this may sound stupid, I don't know what to do. Please help!
— Over Her Helen

To see Dear Sugar's answer

Dear Over Her Helen,

Unfortunately, your brother-in-law is a part of your family now so since he isn't going anywhere, you're going to have to find a way to make nice with him and his girlfriend. When people are shy and quiet, it can come off as rude even though that isn't their intention. Since you've only known her for six months, perhaps she just needs a little more time to warm up to you before she feels comfortable being herself.

When you first start dating someone, it's normal to want to be with that person as often as possible so that could be why he's been missing in action. Have you or your husband brought his new behavior to his attention? He could be so in his own world that he's completely oblivious to how he's affecting you both. It's not stupid to be upset by this, in fact it's only natural to feel hurt when someone constantly ditches you so if you can't get to the bottom of this on your own, ask your husband to talk to him man to man — there could be something bigger going on that you're unaware of. Hang in there Helen, I'm sure after a good heart to heart, you'll be able to work this out. Good luck.


Join The Conversation
yes-jess yes-jess 9 years
Two weeks late, but anyway...I have social anxiety disorder, my boyfriend is very outgoing and has lots of very outgoing first, I was painfully shy around his friends and it took me a long time to get comfortable enough to talk to them at parties and such because they were so close and had known each other for years. I'm sure a few of them probably thought I was stuck up, but eventually, they pulled me in their group. Maybe she is just overwhelmed by such a socially put-together person like yourself...I know I would be intimidated in a situation like that. Sometimes I tend to avoid them completely if the anxiety is too strong (I know, bad Jess). When I moved in with my boyfriend, he naturally started staying in more than when he was single, it turns out he went out a lot because he didn't really have much to go home to before, so it probably looks like I don't let him go out (and that's not true, he goes out if he feels like it). There's always two sides to every story...
pink_magnetism pink_magnetism 9 years
It's hard to advise on this one. Do you speak to her one on one and she doesn't say anything to you, or have you been trying to talk to her in a group and she hasn't added anything to the conversation? She could be shy, or unsure how to fit in with her boyfriend's family. She could be being rude because she doesn't like you, or think she has anything in common with the family. No matter if she's rude or shy, she is still your brother in law's girlfriend. You can invite them as a couple to family events-whether they come or not is up to them. Juast be nice to her whenever you see her, and don't worry about whether she likes you or not.
Ella4 Ella4 9 years
I had the same situation with my brother and his new wife. He really changed after he met her, making really sly spiteful comments about people and a couple of times when we'd made arrangements to go visit them and we got there and they'd gone out. After a while I got so pissed about it I told them I thought they were being really rude and what was going on and now he doesn't speak to me at all. So if you are going to approach them about it, and you're not prepared to lose contact altogether be very careful how you do it. Try to be very non threatening about it rather than saying you've been doing this maybe approach from the maybe we got off to the wrong start here and what are some things we can all do to make the relationship better.
lemassabielle lemassabielle 9 years
I would say she is shy but to not even say hi is beyond rude. I'm such a shy person but around my boyfriends family I at least say hi! and say a little something. The fact that she didn't even bother to do that makes me believe she just simply might not like you. It sounds harsh but some people just don't bother to give people a chance and write them off. It might be bold but next time you see her simply ask "Why are you do distant around us? You really don't need to be," because she might just feel scared to include herself. It will also give her a chance to explain and she might not feel threatened. The brother in laws attitude kind of worries me. It makes me feel like he might be abusive? I'm probably wrong though.
remedios remedios 9 years
If she hasn't said one word to you, how do you know she's rude?
trixiefire trixiefire 9 years
If it bothers you so much that she wont speak to you when you say something to her, then do it more often. Look her directly in the eyes and speak loudly to her in a group of people so that others are exposed to it, too. She'll be forced to interact. Make it impossible for other people to ignore her behavior. That may force her to make a change. Im saying this in the vein of, if she's just doing it because she's a snob. However if she's just shy, have some compassion. She doesnt HAVE to be like all you people and jump right into a conversation. Try to draw her out by being quietly friendly. Find out something about her, an interest or hobby, and find a way to spur a conversation out of her with it.
Jinx Jinx 9 years
She could be shy, and sometimes meeting someone's family at a bbq or something like that is really overwhelming. I know I wouldn't want to meet my family at a gathering! :rotfl:
tmenotte tmenotte 9 years
Wow a lot of people are being pretty harsh! I understand where you are coming from. Unfortunately my family is kind of in the same situation with my brother and his fiance. They have been together a couple of years now but they make absolutely no effort to actually include themselves in our family. He has missed so much even though we have invited them to so many functions(even my wedding)! The only thing you can really do is try talking to him or them together. See if there is anything you need to air out. Maybe she is intimidated by you or your family. You could also try sending her an invite to do something with just you girls? If this does not work then you can at lest rest easy knowing you tried and that is what counts! He or she will come around in their own time. Good luck!
omgmonster omgmonster 9 years
Eh so she doesn't feel comfortable enough to start a conversation or be around people...what's the big deal? She's not a bad person, unless she do or say something that offends you...other than that, if she wants to be alone, leave her alone. Some people are like that, not everyone is talkative and not everyone feels comfortable around people.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
I do have a REALLY hard time believing the "not one word" claim. I'd like a clarification - seriously, you greet her when she comes in and she just looks blankly at you and doesn't reply? I also agree that this sounds like a control issue. Your "soon to be brother-in-law" is a grown-up, apparently, and can take responsibility for his own changes. Blaming it on her is pretty silly.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
I don't like alot of people, so i definitely wouldn't even have to try hard not to hang out with them, it's an automatic you know? Despite having a kid, you seem to have enough time on your hands to gripe about something insignificant as this. Again, maybe it's because if i dont care for you, i wont be dealing with you and your presence. Focus on your self and you're life instead of someone else's.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
Possibly she lacks social skills. Leave her alone, and don't take it so personally. Her behavior says more about her than about you. Also, back off of your soon-to-be BIL. Similar to his girlfriend, his behavior says more about him than about you. Stop feeling hurt. Have you considered you're expecting too much from you BIL and his girlfriend? You seem to have a warped sense of entitlement of how people should socialize with you or say to you. You seem sort of needy to me. Sorry if I'm harsh. You did ask for advice.
moddivorce moddivorce 9 years
It's a bit of a worry that you care so much about 1. what your soon to be brother-in-law is doing and 2. what his girlfriend is like. It sounds like you either have a crush on him or you're a control freak or so insecure, you need everyone to love you and fawn over me crazy, but I don't think many soon to be brother-in-laws would go to the hospital after a birth - ick factor comes to mind. I say get over yourself.
red4bonez red4bonez 9 years
aw thats not nice. maybe shes shy. I mean if she was sitting away from everyone did anyone even go there and try talking to her? maybe she feels like she doesnt belong. I think you should confront him and talk to him tell him that you miss him and that his new gf changed him. just talk to him and give him a chance to explain. maybe hes being mean and acting like a jerk because noone wants to accpet his new gf. you never know what is going on in her head or in his head if you dont talk. so i say talk to him and to her and show them that you are accepting and give it time you know? good luck
bfly1133 bfly1133 9 years
It is hard to fully assess this situation because we don't know the other side of the story. There are million reasons for this woman's behavior, including being rude or being shy, and I can't say for sure what it is. Helk, she could even be clueless. But I do have a few words of wisdom to add. (It might be long.) Please don't assume your brother-in-law's behavior is because of this woman. My BIL changed a lot when he met his now wife....but it had nothing to do with her. It was all him. This is a grown adult who makes his own decisions. When I met my husband and then became close to his brother, I envisioned being super close to the woman my BIL would marry. But you know what, I am not close to his wife. Not yet anyway. We are very different people who share little in common at the moment. We are polite to each other, but I think we may have had only three conversations in about two and a half years. So how do you handle this situation? You accept it, stay respectful, and live your life. Resentment and anger will never help. You don't have to like these two, but you do have to be polite. He's your family and she might be one day. Life is too short to let them bother you. Focus on your family instead. And who knows, by staying open to the possibilities and staying nice you may one day have a very special relationsip with both of them.
JessBear JessBear 9 years
How many words have you said to HER? I mean, I seriously doubt that if you walked right up to her and said, "Hi! How's your week been going?" that she would just stare at you, mute. So I'm going to bet that you've been just as silent with her. And since you're already a comfortable part of this family, it's YOUR job to make her feel welcome. Sometimes when the silence has gone on for this long, it's almost impossible to break the ice, so step up! Next time you have a get together, ask your b-i-l what her favorite food is, then make it. Then you have an opening for discussion that makes her feel welcome. Go over and say hi to her with baby in tow. Babies can do wonders for making someone feel at home. Ask her, "Say, Bob never told me how you two met. How'd he manage to snag someone so out of his league?" Compliment her shoes, then ask her if she'd like to go shoe shopping sometime (or, you know, something less stereotypical). And if the above convesation starters don't blossom into a full blown conversation, don't assume she's a bitch. Keep trying, and in another six months, well, you'll at know whether she really is bitchy, or just shy.
blondewithbangs blondewithbangs 9 years
I have the same problem right now. She is NOT shy, she is rude. Why couldnt she simply say "congrats on the new baby?" or "hi, how are you" when she sees you? I hate how people try to make excuses for rude behavior by calling someone shy. She isnt a 7 yr old girl, she is a grown woman who needs to learn to act like an adult. I can be uncomfortable in new situations with lots of people but i am still gracious and friendly. Have you straight out asked her whats up with her behavior? Next time she walks into a room and hides away without greeting you just loudly say "hello, jane" She'll get the hint.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
Not if "soon to be" means she herself isn't married yet, but soon will be. Then it would be her fiance's brother.
Papaya Papaya 9 years
Wait...if he's your brother in-law, wouldn't his girlfriend be your sister? o_O
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I have a sister in law that i cannot stand, and she doesnt like me either, we have "niceties" and never openly fight but we both know its useless to try and play "sisters" I only see her on holidays, and we stay on the other side of the room.
hotstuff hotstuff 9 years
I personally wouldn't give a damn if she was being shy or rude. If your a grown ass woman you know to speak and at least say hi when spoken to. 2 yr old babies know this. I would just leave them be. Let your brother inlaw enjoy his miserable existence with his new chick. There isn't really anything you can do about this and I sure as hell wouldn't be breaking my back to make a grown woman, who comes to MY HOUSE and who should know better, say hi to me! Don't get upset over the brother not coming over anymore...its his choice. When you have events just invite the brother he can come if he feels like and bring her if he feels. But I definitely wouldn't be tolerating whatever her problem is in MY HOUSE. I don't see why you need to invite her to events when she clearly couldn't be bothered. I wouldn't give her the time of day. She can't say hi...well neither can I . Ignore her just like she ignores you! Why make yourself miserable for someone so disrespectful!
getstinko getstinko 9 years
what does she know of you? what does she owe you? suppose she is shy? Many people who are younger and not at the same life stage don't care about kids, pregnancy all of that - it's totally alien to them. also new relationships are about getting close to the person you are with - you cleave and you leave. ditching your son's baptism is ignorant, but still it could be that your brother in law is in his world and doesn't have a perspective on why that would be so important to you.
Marci Marci 9 years
The reality of life is that things change; people change; and sometimes people couple with someone who changes them and we just don't like. There isn't a thing we can do when that happens.
erratic-assassin erratic-assassin 9 years
it's family...just accept it and be happy whenever your bro-in-law shows up. And if he brings her along, just smile and say hi. Be the better adult. do you REALLY wanna talk to her?
pinkroxmysox82 pinkroxmysox82 9 years
She actually might be jealous of you. You have a kid, a great husband and a great life. You're going to have to accept her into your life. Have you done anything that might of made her mad? And if she declines the invitation, I guess that comes to show that she is rude. All people are different. She's that kind of person that you're going to have to live with and accept her as family. You have to be the good person in this case. She already refused being the good person, so now you are and make her feel good. Make her feel like she can accept you and trust you. She'll want to have someone to talk to and have a friend to be there. be that friend. I'm a Christian and can go to God. God has helped me and he does the best . He chooses the best option. He knows you. He knows everything about you. Why not let him guide your life. Best prayers and wishes Pinkroxmysox82
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