19 answers

Rude Sister-In-Law

When my husband and I started dating we would take my daughter (who was 5 at the time) to play with his niece (who was 4). Right from the get go she was very rude to me and my child. It started with the kids going into my nieces room and tearing out toys to play with. Yes, they emptied the toy box. I made my daughter clean up her mess and my husband and I helped too but the whole time his sister was rolling her eyes and making comments about how her daughter "never acts like that" insinuating that it was completely my child's fault even though my daughter was very honest about what she did and did not do. At another play date my daughter slapped my niece. Now, I'm not trying to say my daughter is completely innocent, but my niece was allowed to get away with anything and never has to worry about being punished. She gets in my daughters face and screams at her, grabs her, slaps at her and neither one of her parents will say anything past "no, ma'am". While my daughter can be hyper (ADHD) she is extremely sensitive to other people and doesn't normally hit so I do think she was defending herself. My nieces father heard the slap and instead of telling me so I can punish my child he started getting on her right in front of me. At first my daughter lied and said she didn't do it (I don't blame her, somebody she didn't even know at the time was laying her out) but before long admitted she did and hasn't done it since. A couple months later my husband was out with my sister and law (me and my daughter were not present) and she said that we "need to punish" my daughter and that she "has a problem lying to our faces". Neither my husband or I could figure out what the hell she was talking about! While my sister in law does invite my daughter to my nieces birthday parties she won't associate with us at any other time. She will only talk to my husband on the phone. She hardly said a word to me at our wedding. The month before our wedding all she could do was try to steal the attention by dying her hair black and wearing gothic makeup and constantly facebooking every tiny bit of info about her life then as soon as the wedding was over she stopped. My niece (now 5) and my daughter (now 7) don't play together. She won't let us take her off and she has never arranged one playdate. The few times we've gone out as couples all they do is complain. How do I deal with this? I would like to have at least a civil relationship.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all of the support and advice. For the most part I've stopped associating with my SIL. She is my husband's sister. I guess after such a terrible relationship with my ex's family (my MIL and SIL wanted nothing to do with me or even my daughter-their blood!) I was hoping for a better relationship with my in-laws this time around. Certainly clear that's not going to happen! My husband has started to see how his sister is acting and no longer pushes for the kids to have a relationship, something he was really hoping for. For him it really stung when he asked if he could take his niece to the amusement park since we were taking my daughter and 2 nieces and he was told no and she listed 3 failed excuses. You all are right. I need to stop trying and just be happy with my wonderful husband and daughter.

Featured Answers

It sounds like she has made this easy for you and is limiting her contact with you. Whoo hoo! Just what you need. Do not feel obligated to hang out with them. Go to the nieces bday party but stay only a short time. Why are you going on a couples date with them if you guys don't like them and don't have a good time? Find some other friends and move on. It looks like she is doing the same. Good luck!!!

Updated

It sounds like she has made this easy for you and is limiting her contact with you. Whoo hoo! Just what you need. Do not feel obligated to hang out with them. Go to the nieces bday party but stay only a short time. Why are you going on a couples date with them if you guys don't like them and don't have a good time? Find some other friends and move on. It looks like she is doing the same. Good luck!!!

2 moms found this helpful

Just be cordial and friendly when you are all around. You are different people who raise their children differently. It sucks, but honestly, it isn't that bad compared to many nightmare in-law stories I've heard.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

make your life happy & forget about her. Continue to gather as a family, but -seriously - as your daughter hits teen years, she'll want to bring a friend along anyway!

Keep that as your focus: your daughter's happiness....& that's all that matters. Don't think about what's missing in your life due to your SIL...fill your life without her.

4 moms found this helpful

I'd avoid her as much as possible. Let your husband deal with her. Why push play dates? Sounds like agony anyway.

4 moms found this helpful

She sounds toxic to your well being. I'd totally limit time spent with her. Family getogethers only... definitely no one on one time, can't see the point in it. Even the girls don't get on well, so I don't see the need to encourage the relationship. When the girls get older and if they choose to hang out, cross that bridge then.

4 moms found this helpful

Just stop associating with them. If you husband wants to have a relationship with his sister fine, but there is no reason to subject yourself and your daughter to that.

My SIL didn't stay for pics at my wedding (kind glad), she wore tennis shoes and left after 30 minutes at the reception. At the dress rehearsal, she bailed the day of. When I was pregnant, all of a sudden she had a horrible disease. Luckily, this is the wife of my husband's brother, and no blood relation, and she has a 25 yo from a first marriage, so we don't have that issue with young kids. She also usually bails on any family event, but we never socialize unless it is a holiday and she mainly goes away for those.

The question is, would you even be concerned about playdates if she wasn't a relative? What if this was just another mother, wouldn't you just stop seeing them?

4 moms found this helpful

Be cordial and polite and love her any way. Loving someone inspite of themselves doesn't mean you let them run over you but loving them gives you an unobtainable upper hand. When you fast forward a life time of not being corrected by your parents versus a loving relationship with your parents where they discipline and correct your incorrect behavior you just end up in different places. A time may come where this child may end up in your home and you will have to deal with her. This is only one of the many reasons you stay polite and reserved.

Try not to be overly defensive. They haven't spent any time with your child recently so they don't know her and while it would have been wonderful to have these girls be buddies or even friends they are cousins by marriage and her mother and father seem like family just isn't that important. There is however more than one side to a story I would just brush the dust off. Be polite when necessary, never speak an unkind word about them because we all have our challenges and just get one with your life. If you have to have any further contact with her you may want to voice your concerns to your husband and let him deal with things if he is able but I really wouldn't pour any added energy in that direction. There are so many other things about life and living to deal with. She isn't even a drop in that bucket.

4 moms found this helpful

I recommend you read the book "The Disease to Please" by Harriet Braiker, PhD.

There is not going to be a happy ending where you EVER satisfy self-absorbed, 'their child does no wrong' kind of people. Regardless if they are family or not.

You hit the nail on the head already - just be CIVIL. Talk about the weather. Smile.

Your sweet daughter is the only one acting normally here. She's not pretending to get along. She plain and simple does not get along with such spoiled, snobby kids and should NEVER take ALL the blame for any situation, especially between children. There are always 3 sides to every story - hers, the kids and the truth. And it's probably not worth your time trying to investigate very single mishap.

So - limit your time with them. Especially limit your daughters time with them and invest both of your time in making real friends - not ones who steal the show..I know you're not kidding, but that behavior alone is a red flag.....Keep your distance safe.

3 moms found this helpful

My opinion I wouldn't have much to do with her. Let her live in her world and enjoy yours. When you have to be around each other, I would warn your daughter that if her cousin starts acting badly to get away from her. I do understand that your niece was getting in your daughter's face and acting all mean, however, as a parent I would have said something in front my my sister and brother-in-law if my child was hit. Just like I think when you saw your daughter being bullied by their daughter, I'd call her out on it. You already know they don't think their daughter does anything wrong so when she does, point it out, and have your daughter's back.
I'm sorry your SIL is the way she is, she's the only one to change and it doesn't look like that will happen. Keep being the bigger person!

2 moms found this helpful

It sounds like she has made this easy for you and is limiting her contact with you. Whoo hoo! Just what you need. Do not feel obligated to hang out with them. Go to the nieces bday party but stay only a short time. Why are you going on a couples date with them if you guys don't like them and don't have a good time? Find some other friends and move on. It looks like she is doing the same. Good luck!!!

Updated

It sounds like she has made this easy for you and is limiting her contact with you. Whoo hoo! Just what you need. Do not feel obligated to hang out with them. Go to the nieces bday party but stay only a short time. Why are you going on a couples date with them if you guys don't like them and don't have a good time? Find some other friends and move on. It looks like she is doing the same. Good luck!!!

2 moms found this helpful

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