Sister -inlaw issues
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The Family & Parenting Forums Family dynamics can be exactly that - dynamic! Post here about family related issues such as parenting, blended families, step-families, new relationships with children involved, family of origin issues, in-laws or sibling issues.

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Old 02-14-2010, 02:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Sister -inlaw issues

Well where do I start..
My brother has been married to my sister in law for 15 years and has 2 children ages 14 and 12. He is currently in Iraq as a contracted Fire Fighter (his choice) Our family has never really gotten along with her from the beginning and its not because of any fault of ours, she just doesnt like us, period. We have tried and tried over the years to get along with her but to no avail it just doesnt work. She is the kind of person that takes everything literally and harbors feelings forever, I mean for the rest of your life. She never lets things go always holds them inside. Most of the time its all about her family. Her parents spend tons of time with the kids as her mom babysits them while she is at work. Her family is far more important than ours. We have tried and tried to be involved, by calling and asking if the kids can come over and hang out, go out to dinner with us (including my parents and sister). Constantly trying but always get either ignored or "the kids" are to busy with their life. What..Your the parent the kids dont dictate how you run your life. This is the problem that has come up recently..My sister is getting married and wanted our niece and nephew to be included in the wedding, my sister has tried and tried over the last 2 weeks to contact them to take them to dinner to ask them to be in the wedding..She has called my sister in law numerous times, left messages, text and email..no replies. Finally she contacts my brother via email in Iraq and said "whats going on" I cant get ahold of anyone and know one call's back or even and email..this is his reply from his email to my sister..

Hey ***,

Just wanted you to know that I called and talked to ***** yesterday and asked her to reply to you. I know you need to know things for your wedding. She is a teenager and has a lot of "other" priorities. She is not about to give up time to hang out with her Aunt to talk about her wedding. It sounds cold, but, it would almost be like you hanging with Aunt **** when you were 14 and talking about her wedding. She does not feel close to you and it has a lot to do with part of growing up and not developing a relationship. It can't be forced. Now, she has attitude to go along with it. Depending on what she has to say, consider her as not wanting to be in the wedding. I am sorry that I am not home to help in this situation. It really sucks. I do not know that me being home would have changed it either. I can not force her to do something she may not want to do. As far as seeing the kids..... I have tried to explain that to. They are busy. I like them busy. Hopefully, it keeps their minds occupied while I am gone. There is barely any relationship with you, Mom & Dad with **** and that leaks to the kids. Most of what **** does is for me. When I am home it's different, because I can stop by Mom & Dad's once in awhile. It's just the way it is. There has been a lot of hurtful things said and done over the years. No resolution has stuck. Something has always happened to bring it back to..... this is the way it's gonna be.

Please do not text, email or call ***** phone during school hours. If she leaves her phone on (which she shouldn't!) and a teacher hears it ring, she will get a detention and loose her scholarship. She will email you tonight (I think?). She is just like her Mom.... a little stubborn. And now getting an attitude. She is feeling pressured. She should not. She is 14. She has enough pressure.

As for ****, it's between you two. She told me she blocked your number and on Facebook. She was totally over-whelmed last week with everything (Dad surgery, Pat's accident, bills, kids, etc.) and got text, calls and Facebook stuff all about what you needed. She had enough. Like I said, this is between you two. I understand you had some things you needed, but, it can not be all about you. Especially on this day.

This really sucks! I hate it. I have no solution. Just to pray about it. Please be considerate on whatever you hear from ****. If you do not hear from her in the next day or two, let me know. I explained, that if she would have answered earlier, maybe this wouldn't have built up so far.

You know I love you. I want you and Nick to be very happy and make a family of your own and you will learn ALL about stuff like this!

Email me back when you get a chance.

Love ya,
****


So that should give you a good indication how limited our contact with my brothers kids are and the situation with my sister in law..its really hard because our hands are tied and we are at a loss as how to handle the problem she has with us..this is just a snip of what goes on....So if you have an suggestions please let me know..
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Old 02-14-2010, 06:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sister -inlaw issues

This is going to be painful to read, but he chose her, she doesn't like you, and he went off to Iraq. She'd be just as happy if the lot of you dropped dead and left her alone forever. If he was home from Iraq, they'd come to the wedding because he'd insist on it. As it is, you should consider yourself lucky if they RSVP to the invitations.

Send them the relevant invitations. Don't count on them coming. She doesn't like you, and she's probably worked to make sure the kids don't like you either.

If I knew something to say that would make it better, I would. But I don't.
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Old 02-14-2010, 06:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sister -inlaw issues

Your so right..

My brother thinks nobody without kids understands a 14 year old and at the same time he expects us to understand the reactions of what apparently to him is his "normal" emotionally overwhelmed narcissistic 40 year old wife...

Here is someone that preaches to my sister that she will learn when she has a family...LEARN what ?...That its okay for your kids to reject family that has done absolutely nothing, but be kind to them?...My brother preaches that family is so important yet when it comes to his birth family he shows a complete lack of respect....He basically calls my sister a selfish attention ***** when all she was asking for was a niece to be in her wedding...My brother says that our niece does not feel close to my sister...GEE how did that happen...who lacked the effort in that developing situation??!?!?!?....HHHHHhmmmmm....Since when is having a niece in wedding asking so much...it seems every wedding has that...It must be one hell of a schedule those kids keep that a couple days several months into the future are booked up...Thankfully he is raising such well adjusted children that have learned how unimportant Aunt **** and her family is...I mean seriously...his message/solution is basically to say "deal with it and this is how its gonna be"...What an *******.

We have to face something...You can't make a blind person see...Its obvious my sister in law has some issues that after being exposed to and dealing with them for over 20 years has made her behavior seem to be the "normal" behavior to my brother...He now see's my sister as well as the rest of your families attitudes as the supposed "abnormal" one...Every family has issues....but it seems that in this instance whenever we present an olive branch its somehow taken as an attack and your hand gets bitten....Its been like that since I my brother has been married to her...I guess we are going to have give him the space and hope one day he has an actual human thought that will allow him to see what this truly means in the big picture...He currently suffers from not only tunnel vision, but NARROW tunnel vision in nearly every aspect of his life and thought...Its his loss.

But I thank you for your honesty...
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sister -inlaw issues

Meh. If either partner in a marriage does not want someone invited to the wedding, that person is not invited. End of story. The opposite is also true, nobody can force someone to attend a wedding they don't support.

If family members on either side start to exert pressure to make the groom/bride/guest change their mind, especially after it becomes clear that strong feelings are behind the decision not to invite/attend, further meddling is beyond unwelcome.

It is more like a power struggle, putting the relevant [future] spouse/guest in the position of having to choose their spouse/wedding over their own family/integrity. And once in that situation, the meddling party MUST lose the power struggle or else the entire future of the relationship will be in doubt.

In short, regardless of the details IMO, fidelity and loyalty between the spouses is infinitely more important than the egos of family members. Similarly, forcing guest attendance will breed further resentment amongst the family for no meaningful gain.
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sister -inlaw issues

You said:
She is the kind of person that takes everything literally and harbors feelings forever, I mean for the rest of your life. She never lets things go always holds them inside.

What things has your family said or done to/about her which you imply in your statement above? What grudges does she hold against your family? You are calling her a narcissist, nobody likes to be around those that think poorly of them. There is a book called toxic people that discusses "meddlers". You might want to pick up a copy. Also, I strongly agree with Chrysalis' last paragraph in her post. Loyalty between spouses is FAR more important than the egos of any family members.
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sister -inlaw issues

Also, your brother states:
"There has been a lot of hurtful things said and done over the years."

Yet you indicate that your family has done nothing to deserve her aloofness. Please elaborate on the hurtful things your brother is referring to.
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sister -inlaw issues

Zombie thread from two years ago...

C
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Old 03-24-2012, 05:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sister -inlaw issues

Perennial issue, though.
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