I'm married a few years to a man I really love and admire, and usually feel confident in his love for me except for this one reoccurring situation, which really hurts!
He's older than me (over 15 years), and so are all his family (sister being the most relevant in this case), and we also come from different cultures (he's African, I'm European).
My own family are all in another country and are also not that close emotionally with each other or with me.
I really admire how close his family is, and see it as far more healthy/functional than my own, and so actively encourage my husband's relationship with them, as well as attend and support family gatherings myself.
However, his sister seems to have me in her sights for some reason.
She has been somewhat domineering and aggressive to me on other occasions, but what has really upset me has been our last meal together which I will describe briefly:
-She gave a lot of unwanted advice about how we should arrange our affairs (eg. childcare for our coming baby). I said something along the lines of "oh its alright, we've pretty much got our plans figured out." She seemed to take offence and proceeded to tell me that I had a lot to learn, and should realise my place to listen to those older than me.
-She said that I would never have a happy marriage if I did not respect his family and their views, and that I should realise I am only his wife and not his blood, and that in her eyes I might come and go.
-She said I should realise that the whole family could turn their backs on me if I 'disrespected' them, and again that I have a lot of learning to do.
All of this seemed to come out of nowhere, but the message I got was that she felt 'the family' had more of a say over how things are done with our child, and that as I was younger than her I should take a back seat and shut up!
Now, I have no problem standing up to her myself, and just politely reminding her that we'll be discussing it between us (me and my husband), and that we are the parents.
But what really hurt is that my husband just sat silently and listened to her saying all these things, and never once said anything himself. He thinks its better to just keep quiet and then do what we want anyway.
I would never let a member of my family speak to him the way she spoke to me, I would get angry and stop them if they did... whereas he just doesn't seem to care.
I don't want to cause problems between him and his family, but I feel like she attacked me and he just watched it happen.