16 answers

How Do I Deal with a Jealous and Envious Sister and Sister-n-law

Well, to make a long story short, my sister and I have not been getting along. Six months ago we got into it because I finally got tired of her remarks like "why do you have to keep accompanying your boyfriend to the bathroom?" (this was during a camping trip) and "Now are you going to wash his A...?" (this was because I accompanied my boyfriend to the shower) Well, a month ago my sister started calling me again and not to be rude I talked to her, but she didn't mention what had happened on our camping trip. We were together again at our mom's house and I continued to carry normal conversation. I had also decided to attend our mom's yearly Christmas Eve party knowing that my sister and sister-n-law (whom pulls her ignoring act and hates you all of a sudden but you never know why---probably because you walked the wrong way, I don't know)would be there who hated each other before but now suddenly are the best of friends. Anyways, I chose to sit quietly and mind my own business because I already felt very uncomfortable and out of place. Anyone who wanted to talk I talked with joyfully. After unwrapping our gifts my sister asked how we (my boyfriend and I) liked ours. I told her it was exactly what I needed and "thank you."
Well, I guess the evening was not to my sister's liking because she called two days later to fight. She wanted to know why I didn't thank her for the gift, why did I not talk to her that night (which I did...I was not ignoring her), and why did I say in my bible study that the only reason we had our fight at the camping trip was because she was not SAVED. Let me explain the last one a little more. You see my sister-n-law never attends the same bible study (we are Christians) that I do and when she had shown up, I was a little weary. So, like every week at bible study, I pray for my sister and for her healing with any issues she may be dealing or not dealing with and that may the Lord help her in her troubles. Anything we say in our small groups is confidential and is not to be repeated outside that room and my sister-n-law turned a prayer into gossip! (May the Lord help her...)
So, my question is how do I deal with my family. Both my sister and sister-n-law are dependent on their husbands for everything and don't seem to have hobbies or interests of their own. My sister has an eating disorder and is very unhappy in her marriage. I am already changing churches and have told my mom that I won't attend any more family functions. Any advice girls?

What can I do next?

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I have a similar issue with my mother, and recently a friend of mine told me a saying and it has changed the way I think tremendously.
"It is what it is, nothing more and nothing less."
I know it sounds corny but honestly you cant change the way anyone else thinks or acts you just need to take a step back and think "It is what it is." If you and the sister or sister in law start to get into it just step back and say "I have to go now we will talk again later." And realize nobody gets along ALL THE TIME. Just chose to walk away (or hang up) when you feel the stress levels starting to rise.
Best of luck and Happy New year!

1 mom found this helpful

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I have a similar issue with my mother, and recently a friend of mine told me a saying and it has changed the way I think tremendously.
"It is what it is, nothing more and nothing less."
I know it sounds corny but honestly you cant change the way anyone else thinks or acts you just need to take a step back and think "It is what it is." If you and the sister or sister in law start to get into it just step back and say "I have to go now we will talk again later." And realize nobody gets along ALL THE TIME. Just chose to walk away (or hang up) when you feel the stress levels starting to rise.
Best of luck and Happy New year!

1 mom found this helpful

D.,
I didnt realize you and I could possibly have the same sister-in-law. The only difference is you have mine on a good day. I know this wont help but my sister-in-law is no longer a part of anything anymore as my husband got tired of her as well. My advice is to just plain refuse to be around her ever. I have been married for 18 years and that girl has been a thorn in my side for about 9 of those! She is just plain crazy and loves a problem so she can cry and get attention from her father (he passed away 2 years ago) Now she does her own thing but has a very hard time understanding why no one wants to be around her. Seriously let it go and just stay away from her at all cost! Your family will understand if they know how bad she makes things for you.

C.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi D.,
Jesus said to love God first and love your neighbor second. Loving God, really loving him will take us places that are often difficult. You have been given a very difficult assignment, and that is to love your sister, and her sister-in-law. You can't love her with your own natural love, but will have to get alone with God for that kind of love. Notice I said "get alone", this is not something that will be transferred to you through a small group Bible study unless you are willing to be honest with your own "stuff". Some of that stuff might be feeling that you are better than your sister. Why,look at all you've accomplished, supporting your family, getting a BA without asking for help,volunteering in the community, singing at church, it sounds like you've really got it all together. But Jesus said that it ALL boils down to Love. Going to church does not make you a christian. The sign that you really are is christian is your love for one another. Sharing your "prayers" for your sister in front of her sister-in-law, uncovering her despair and pain does not seem like a loving thing. You mentioned that you prayed these things every week, "like every week at bible study, I pray for my sister and for her healing with any issues she may be dealing or not dealing with and that may the Lord help her in her troubles".

So, D., what would Jesus do? How would Jesus love her? She's in an unhappy marriage, has an eating disorder, and doesn't have any concept of how much she is loved and adored by Father God. She is striking out in her pain. Where is Jesus in this picture? I know he wants to love her into wholeness. When you find out how loved and treasured you are by Father God, what joy and delight He takes in you, you will have enough love to help you love her the way she really needs to be loved. My prayer is that you find a church where the love of God and from God is overflowing and you can be drenched and saturated so much that her hurtful words can have no impact on you.

Dear D.,

The holidays can be so hard with family! Seems like you are moving ahead with your life, and you hit the nail on the head regarding their being jealous. Being cheerful is so important. Don't let them get you off course! Frankly, you already are dealing with it, but do you feel uncomfortable?

Sounds like they are unhappy and followers in their lives, so is might be threatening and hard for them to let you be happy and independent. They are projecting their sadness and frustration on you. They are acting childish and insecure for whatever reason.

Compassion and love go a long way, and you can't let them take you off your course.

When people were jealous of me in school and doing stupid things to try to "get my goat" my mom said to never stoop to their level or get pulled into their stuff. It was hard, but I did it and pretty soon (amazingly soon, actually) they stopped bothering me. And, things like that soon slipped off my back because I learned to be neutral toward them. I didn't do anything to antagonize them, or to criticize them.

With family it can be a little different, but if you can stay neutral and not emotional, you will keep yourself clear and happy. Then you can carry on with what you need to do in your life. You might even have to make active decisions about what to say around people who know them, even in bible study! Not everyone can keep confidences, I am so sorry to say.

Probably the best thing to do is send them love through prayer, but stay neutral! Try really hard not to be swayed emotionally by the conversations and accusations. Anytime you are offered a dish of negative or critical talk, just say "no thank you" on the inner and be cheerful yourself.

It saddens me to hear that you have decided to not attend any family functions and switch churches. As Christians we are the light to the world. You could be a wonderful example of Christ's love to your sister and sisiter-in-law. When we are living God's Will, Satan is going to use all things and situations (& relationships) to get us to do what he wants us to do. Remember your commit to God and be His tool for the ones that aren't as strong in their relationship with God as you are. Listen for His guidance. I will be praying for you. In Christ, T. M.

Well, I have had my own trouble with family and have been hurt a few times. Here is my honest true advise. Family is really important and you need to embrace people for who the are not what you hope them to be. Running away and judging them is something I tried and i was the only lonely one then.

I am not saying go against your values, I am saying lower you expectations of others and raise your boundries and that way people can be exactly who they are and you get to decide how they effect you. You sound very independent so this may be easy for you, but not particiapating in your family and running away is sad. Who benefits and it keeps the wounds open. Go for it and then everybody is a winner.

Remember to live each day like it was your last...I am sure none ofthis would matter then

hi D. -
wow, family rifts can be so complicated and difficult. i can tell you from experience that this type of dynamic can only be helped by using communication with others, compassion for others, ownership of our own part (it takes two, etc) and love and time. not going to family functions is NOT the answer (you punish everyone in the family for what?!?), love and communication are. you didn't sound so compassionate about the struggles your sisters are going through...someone has to be a hero - can it be you? we are all able to offer our strengths at different times in our lives, and your sisters sound like they could use positive guidance/mentoring. perhaps loving, open and honest communication from you would help them - and you! speculation can be dangerous, too (for example, assuming what someone means with a look or an attitude - our imagination usually ALWAYS blows things out of proportion).
anyhow, good luck and make sure that you're taking responsibility for what you bring to the table and aren't finding yourself pointing your finger at others...remember to communicate and love, not alienate and separate.
peace!

Please don't take this the wrong way - but you need to learn to accept them for who they are. There is nothing wrong with how they are living their lives - You are an achiever always striving for more - they are content to be dependent - - - not one is better or worse than the others. You might deep down be a little jealous that you don't have someone you can be dependent on besides yourself.... I think it is a mistake to turn your back on your family - your son should have the right to know his family - the good, the bad and the ugly...

My mother did what you are proposing and it cost me my cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles - I understand and respect why my mother did it - they were always harping on her and insulting her - - - but I do wish she could have found a way to love them and not let their words hurt her....

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