Strained sibling relationship due to spouses not liking each other

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Jennifer 11 months, 1 week ago.

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    Seeking advice on family relationship. I'm trying to decide if I should work it out or let the relationship go.

    For several years, my brother's wife and my husband have not gotten along. At first, it was just a clash of personalities with no confrontations, just a lot of rude behavior from my SIL. My husband mentioned it to me but I didn't see it at first. My mother told me that my dad and SIL don't get along, something else I didn't see. About two years ago, we were visiting my brother and his family, and that was the first time I noticed my SIL's behavior towards my husband. I talked to my brother about it, he assured me my SIL liked my husband, and the rest of the trip was fine. The following summer, we were all at a family reunion and my SIL was being extremely rude to my husband in front of everyone. My husband confronted my SIL, he didn't handle the situation very well, and they had a big fight.

    My brother and I talked after this and we've made an effort to keep in touch, but I feel like the whole relationship is strained. I haven't forgiven my SIL for her behavior towards my husband, and I can tell my brother hasn't forgiven my husband for yelling at his wife. SIL and my husband have not spoken to each other since the fight. I've started to notice that my nephews act cold toward my husband, so I'm assuming my SIL and brother talk bad about my husband in front of their kids.

    The entire situation really drains me emotionally. I want to respect my husband, but I also only have one sibling and two nephews, and I want my two kids to know their cousins. My brother's family lives several states away, so at times it's easier not to make an effort to communicate.

    I'm trying to decide if I should work on accepting that my brother (and nephews) don't like my husband and continue having a relationship, try to work on the relationship to make it better (although I can't force someone to like someone else), or stop reaching out to my brother because it hurts me to see how he and his family treat my husband?

    Thanks for any advice!



    Dear Amy:

    I understand your desire to be in touch with your brother and nephews. But if your SIL is rude to your husband, and has been so repeatedly, and he is hurt by her, I believe, it is your responsibility to take his side, to support him.

    If you reach out to your brother (who supports his wife) and to his children (who understandably support their mother, not being able to apply an objective evaluation of the situation), then… who is supporting your husband? In effect, reaching out to them is supporting their mistreatment of your husband.

    The condition for people to be in your life, I believe, is that they respect you and your husband. It is up to people to live up to this reasonable condition, if they want your presence in their lives.




    Hi Amy,

    I had a similar situation with my SIL a while back because she use to cause a lot of problems for my family and I because we could never agree on things and would argue and fight a lot. My brother and I are very close and I love my family as well so I know the frustration of disliking someone because the way they act towards your loved ones hurts and disappointing. If anything I feel horrible for my brother for dealing with the war between his wife and our family for the past 7 years but I want you to know that it is possible to work things out and it starts with kindness. My brother was always in the middle because my SIL and us would always pressure him to pick sides and in the end he had to do what was right for his family.

    They have kids now and she has toned down a lot because my brother always resolved things by seeing both sides now. He argued with both his wife and us. He try to be understanding and never wanted to pick sides but instead try to see both of our point of views when it comes to problems. He will show how we felt as a family towards her and why and then he would show us how she felt and in the end both parties wanted to do what was right and what was best. If we really love our family and spouses then we must do whatever it takes to mend the relationships especially for the sake of the children. No child wants to grow up hating someone just because one of their parents does that's not how they should be raised. Instead set a good example and try work things out by doing what my brother did and show compassion, forgiveness, and find a solution to work things out.

    I'm not saying find faults in both parties but instead accept that arguing, yelling, and fighting does not resolve anything but only cause pain and suffering for both families. Try to talk to them indivually and try to find a resolution where both parties can come together and move on. No matter what issues happen, people will make mistakes and will disagree but what matters is that you can respect each other's decision and provide love and understanding. That's what will be best in the long run and for the kids otherwise they will think it's okay to hate and resent someone just because someone else thinks badly of them.

    I really hope that helps and that things will work out but just please show compassion and love for both and do what you think is best for you and your family. I'm sure both your husband and brother will be understanding if they both knew how much it hurts you to be going through this and if they really love you then they will work out their differences and for the sake of your families' happiness show them how to forgive and move on so the future of the kids can follow by example and grow up solving issues with love not hate.

    • This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by  Jennifer.
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