Sister-in-law Problems

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  anita 11 months, 1 week ago.

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    My sister-in-law already hates me and has sent me vulgar messages to stop our relationship the day that she found out me and my boyfriend travel together without getting married but I didn’t because he is a really nice guy and we don’t have any conflicts between each other. His parents kind of like me and get along quite well with me. She made a big drama when they came to visit my parents for the first time for lunch even in front of her parents, and my parents were really upset about the situation because it was a very disrespectful behaviour. She was looking at her phone the whole time making faces and never spoke to me or anyone and it was very obvious that she is pissed and upset. And everyone felt so uncomfortable and they even left early right after lunch. She is so spoilt, entitled and bossy and has conservative thinking.

    The problem is my in-laws don’t admit that her behaviour is unacceptable they think she is still young and that’s because she loves her brother. Things are getting tougher as we are planning to get married this December. I am a Buddhist and my Boyfriend is a Catholic. At first, they asked me to convert to a Catholic saying that it is not good to receive the full wedding mass at the Church. And I unwillingly agreed because I simply didn’t want to make an issue. And I agreed to take her as one of my bride’s maids although she has never spoken to me yet. Both I and my boyfriend thought she will be alright after a while but her attitude has never changed. Her parents always defend her and once asked me not to take bridesmaids at all for the weeing because they are not sure if she will get along with my relations during the wedding, but I really want to take my best friends as my maids. I’m really scared to take her because of her attitude, she really hates me and I hate her 100 times more, but I always smile and keep quiet because I don’t want to create an ugly situation.

    How do I go about this? Should I keep quiet and take her as the bridesmaid? Please help me if anyone has a solution or any opinion.

    Thank you so much!



    Hi Sheryl, I’m sorry you are going through this, it’s a difficult situation no doubt.

    I’ve experienced in-law problems myself, so know first hand how hard it can be to resolve them.  Here are my thoughts on your situation based on what you have said:

    Your SIL is probably feeling anxious, jealous, and possibly resentful.  It’s difficult to tell from your post, but it sounds as if she has very firm conservative beliefs, and the fact that you and your boyfriend travel together unmarried upsets her, as well as the fact that you are not Catholic.  You don’t say how old she is so it’s difficult for me to determine if age is a consideration in her behavior.  Does she simply lack the maturity to handle her emotions better?  If she’s young (teens or younger) then there is hope that she will ‘grow up’ over time.  If she is older then I think you may have a much bigger problem.

    Your MIL and FIL are allowing the behavior to continue, which makes me wonder if they kind of agree with her but don’t want to be the bad guys to their son…or maybe they just don’t see how destructive her behavior really is.  It sounds like she rules the roost a little. Either way, you are not likely to get much (if any) support from them.  So that leaves your boyfriend.  Have you had a truly honest conversation with him about how his sister’s behavior is making you feel? If not, then that’s where you have to start, because, to be totally honest with you, if he’s not on board and on your side and willing to step in and deal with his family, your marriage will suffer.  Maybe not right away, but over time it will cause resentment, anger, and hurt that can’t be easily forgotten (I say this from my own experience).

    If he’s not willing to talk to his sister then I think you need to seriously consider whether you want to marry into that family.  Please understand this, because I wish I had known this before I got married – you are not just marrying the man, you are marrying into the whole family.  It’s a truly sobering thought.  Some people make it work by moving as far away from the troublesome family members as they can, but that’s obviously not an option for everyone.

    If you do decide to go ahead with the marriage, my advice to you would be to stand your ground and don’t let your SIL or her parents dictate your behavior.  Make choices that are right for you, that way you are not going to feel as hurt in the future because you made sacrifices which amounted to nothing.  And if your boyfriend is mature enough, and truly loves you, he will understand your choices, even though it complicates things with his family.  Hopefully he can see (and acknowledges to you) how badly his sister is behaving. He may not have the courage to stand up to her if he’s been raised a certain way, but he should not expect you to allow yourself to be treated as a door mat.

    I wish you well, and hope things resolve so that you can have a beautiful wedding and marriage!



    Dear Decima,

    Thank you so much for taking your precious time to be a listener. It is so kind of you and really appreciate your words.

    My SIL is actually 21 years old so I feel like it’s not her age but the personality as you said.  Yes, it creates a lot of doubt in my mind how I am going to deal with it in the future. My boyfriend actually has not been much supportive over this issue. Even after all this drama of his own sister, he has never spoken to her personally and always asks his mother to speak to her and always expects me to forget about what happened.

    I feel like I’m trapped in this situation as I have no one to talk about it. I don’t want to tell my parents because they are the type who will get worked up easily. And since our wedding dates are fixed I dont dare to complain about it because I feel like its too late to make a decision and seems like the only option is to put up with it knowingly our marriage will suffer because of this.

    I will try my best to talk to my boyfriend again.

    Thank you very much again for sharing your thoughts.




    Dear Sheryl:

    As I see it you have two options: insist that his sister will not be your bridesmaid and insist that she will not be otherwise a part of your life and in so doing bringing the conflict to the surface (her passive-aggressive behavior, her family’s accommodation of her passive aggression, including your boyfriend’s) or

    proceed with the wedding with this thorn in your side, trying to enjoy the process with this annoying pain and irritation.

    The only way to get rid of this irritation would be to confront her and your boyfriend and settle this, probably by eliminating contact with her altogether.




    Hi Sheryl,

    They are lucky you converted to Catholicism and agreed to a Catholic wedding. (btw, there are Buddhist Catholics). When it comes to weddings, it’s supposed to be the bride’s wedding, after all.

    BUT! You HAVE to stand your ground. Invite your friends and relations to be other bridesmaids. So the sister gets upset. Reply, “And I’m OK with that”.

    It’s high time she grew up. You do not want some college aged girl to run your life or be the moral dictator. You may very well be the first (but not the last!) person to put her in her place. Peacefully and quietly, by doing your own thing, but putting her in her place nevertheless.

    The other thing you can do is to elope. Then you will be LEGALLY married (this will piss everyone off. But remember, you’re OK with that!). Then the Catholic wedding will be just a ceremony. This way the pressure’s off.

    You are putting everyone in their place NOW, otherwise it will be murder if you have children later on. Can you imagine.




    Miss Midnight

    Hi, Sherly:  This girl is 21 and needs a boot up her bottom – she’s worse than a teenager! I don’t believe your parents-in-law to be agreeing with her but she is their daughter, and they seem to feel they need to make excuses for her.  Not a healthy situation, as one day she’s going to learn that the wider world does not accept tantrum-throwing, rudeness and obvious displays of disrespect.  However, that’s her problem and her parents’ problem, not yours.  It is your wedding day, not your parents’, not your future parents-in-laws’ and certainly not this brat’s day.  Stand up and say no, she may not be a bridesmaid as she behaves too immaturely and you refuse to have a bridesmaid in the wedding party who refuses to even speak to you. Ask your MIL if she would have included such a person in her wedding party. Be firm; be polite. You probably will be the first person in this over-privileged brat’s life to put her in her place, and if she doesn’t like it, then as Inky has suggested, be okay with it.  There will be uproar – be okay with that too and stand firm.  Do you want the most special day of your life to be made miserable by this horrid little girl?  She is nothing to be scared of; she sounds like an out and out little bully who trades on people being scared of her behaviour so she’ll get what she wants.  Just see her for what she really is – a tantrum-throwing, squalling little brat. As Decima has suggested, have a heart to heart with your fiance about it; if you let this horrible child have her own way, your marriage will suffer later.  It sounds as if he’s scared of her too as he doesn’t want to directly confront her, but filters it through his mother and if he’s not supportive over this, will  he be supportive in other crises? Dos this mean that ANYONE can be rude to you while he urges you to ‘forget it’? I know whereof I speak, as after a year of living together, my husband’s sisters and mother began a campaign to get me out of the family and were bloody nasty and bitchy about it too. I put up with it and took it with a smile to keep the peace, which was a major mistake.  My husband made excuses for them and this caused arguments between us, but the day came when there was a serious uproar and he said to me, “Don’t worry, they’ll get used to the fact we’re together.”  I pointed out they’d had 17 years to get used to it and if the weren’t used to us being together by now, then they never would be. I would not attend any more family gatherings.  He could go if he wanted; they were his family and didn’t have to be mine, although I would’ve liked us all to get along. His mother and sisters were determined to make this impossible.  He did the last thing they expected – he turned his back on them.  And years later, we’re still together.  Don’t go through this.  Tell your fiance that this  brat behaves herself and shows some respect or stays out of your life. And don’t take her behavior personally – I believe she’d do the same to anyone in her brother’s life.  Good luck – and if all else fails, elope.




    Decima pointed out how you are marrying into the entire family.  Not a good sign that NOBODY including your fiance is sticking up for you or more importantly, not tolerating bad behavior.

    Your future life partner does not have your back.  Note that.  Do you want that as a husband?

    Your father-in-law and mother-in-law are blind to what is bad behavior.  This makes me wonder what sort of values have they taught to your fiance?

    If you want to be with someone for a lifetime then don’t rush into a marriage that has such red flags.  It is not just your finace’s sister’s behavior, it is the whole family.




    Thank you very much for all your comments, suggestions and encouragement. I spoke to my BF about it and he tried to understand the issue from my point of view and agreed to speak to his sister. I hope things will be fine soon.

    Really appreciate all the advises and your precious time.

    Thanks a lot.



    You are welcome, Sherly. Post again anytime.


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