relationship with my sister in law

by Sue

Hi Catherine,

This is my second article I am writing on your site which I really like.

Where to start?

I am married for 5 years now. My husband is not
From England just like me. His sister came to
England and stayed with us for one year as she
started studying. First everything went well but
I realised she didn’t take things for granted. I came To England and had to build up my life from scratch and when she came everything was already set up so was easier.

Any way after one year our relationship became worse and she moved to a student accommodation.
After she moved out things calmed down a bit which
I started having arguments with my husband
because of the tension in the house already too.

Now she living on her own for two years and has
a big circle of friends (all from the same country
she is from). I tried to make friends with her
again and asked her to go shopping on my days off
or to the cinema. Never less, our relationship never really recovered completely as we never
really talked about our issues which I usually do
in my family. She thinks I am jellies of her because she has more friends than I do.

My husband still sees her as he won’t ignore her
just because of our issues. At the moment we
pretend nothing has happened but as we have some
of the same friends I still see her which brings everything back to me and I get confused not always sometimes I am strong and it won’t effect me but sometimes it does.

Just recently I wanted to visit her and after a few text messages she admitted she did not know who I am which made it clear for me that she deleted my number. If I would have told my husband this, she would make excuses again such as oh she lost all her numbers etc. and he would believe it so I stopped telling him.

Since then I never contacted her again. I stopped talking about this issue with my husband as he is between two chairs and usually thinks she is right as she might excuse situations better than me or he thinks I am over reacting which you do in such an unclear “relationship”. Each party interprets things harder than they are.

She lives in the same town like us so I still see her but at the moment I wish I could just get on with life and don’t need to see her as this does not come to any conclusion.

I don’t know what she is up to and she does not know what I am up too or at least I don’t ask my husband which she might but I don’t know.

What do you suggest me doing?

Kind regards

Comments for relationship with my sister in law

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Oct 09, 2010
Expected for Thankgiving at Sister-inlaw's house
by: Anonymous

This is the first time in our married life of 33 years that we have been invited to her house for Thanksgiving. Early in our marriage when my mother in law and father in law were alive, they came for Thanksgiving and we all ate together-- even my mother was invited. Over the years, I spoke with her less and less. I asked a mutual friend how I could make it better and was told that we were just too different and to give it up. She rarely visited our home when she was in town, we always had to go to the folks house to see her and her family. Now that the folks are gone, I know that my husband wants a relationship with his sister (it has been 6 mos since we heard from her) and she call with newsy chat and he returned her call and told me that they wanted us to come down for Thanksgiving. I just called my mother to tell her that we will have dinner with her either the Sunday or Wednesday before Thanksgving. We promised my husband would still make his famous pumpkin pie. I am very nervous and uncomfortable about traveling there and possibly staying at their house for 2 days. I do not know what I will even talk about. My husband tells me to just be myself, but I am not sure that is a good idea. I should have more in common with her, but I do not . When she called, she did not ask to speak to me at all and neither did her husband or son. She does not agree with some of opinions, I am told, but I do not know which ones. My husband says to forget the past and start fresh. How do I do that?

Jun 20, 2009
sister in law
by: S.S.

Dear Catherine,

Thank you for taking the time replying to me.
Many of your ideas are right. At the beginning I
Blamed myself for our bad relationship and
Tried to fix it but when I realized it just does
Not work out between us I stopped blaming
Myself and carried on as normal.
We still see each other but not as frequently
As we used to and when we see each other there
Is sometimes a silent moment when nobody
Says anything. We both pretend nothing has
Happened which did bother me in the beginning
Also as I thought if we speak about everything
Things might get better.

Perhaps you are right, that it does not always
Mean because you are part of a family that you
Have to get on well with each other.

Now I am much more relaxed about this
Subject and just carry on with my life, career and
So on. Before it would bother me much more
Especially after seeing her as there are many other
Parts which I do not agree but I made it to be not
My business any more and this made life easier
For me. She has to carry on with her life and I am
With mine. She still depends on the financial support
From her older brother and did not do much
To change this situation which was one part that
Bothered me. But now I don?t care any more.

Thank you for your time
Kind regads

Jun 08, 2009
what's your intention behind fixing the relationship?
by: Catherine,

Hi S.S.,

What part of it bothers you the most? Is it because you don't have a good relationship or do you feel guilty that things went wrong or do you just feel like you "should" have a good relationship? It's important to know your true intentions behind fixing the relationship.

It sounds like you did try to smooth things over. Perhaps you two are just so different that you won't ever be good friends together. Or, she may be at a stage in her life where hanging out with her friends is more important than family anyway. Would that bother you? She may also be wanting to prove that she can do it all on her own as well and doesn't need help from family.

It's good that your husband still has contact with her though. Then, you don't have to feel bad that your husband doesn't see her. He still sees her and it won't matter if you don't both see her together.

When you do see her, can you treat her just like you would anyone else? Be polite and friendly but leave out any expectations that you're going to become a super close family. You may find that with time it smooths itself out. Or you may find that you're okay with being able to just be cordial to her but not having any more than that with her. There's no obligation for you to have a really close relationship with her. I know it would be nice but it's not always possible.

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