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Inlaws as Difficult as Step Family

AVR1962's picture

I have to gripe.....husband and I have been together 22 years. I had a falling out with my inlaws 6 years ago. Basically, sister-in-law jumped to the defense of SSs, feeling I was favoring my bio daughters. It was a rather tragic situation, one that split the family completely. Slowly over the years the cousins have started talking gain nd everyone seems to be geting ovr what happened and wants to move on.

Here my issue....sister-in-law that instigated this, made me very obviously unwelcomed in a social situation with family, the very person who said all these terrible things about me and made me out as the problem is the strength in the family. Anything she says, goes and everyone follows and believes, I tink it's because everyone find it easier to please her that go up against her. She put people down and then chuckles. She jokes with people in a competitive way to top the next person's joke. I cannot stand her.

I got an email from her this weekend.....back track just a wee bit.....father-in-law had been wanting to take all his kid and their spouses on a cruise a year ago. Sister-in-law was put in charge of making all plans. I have had nothing to do with the family since the incident and had no intentions on going on this cruise. I had many years ago when all the caos in the family broke out, apologized for hurting the family, no reply and no apology on their part so I left it lone. Husband had been trying to convince to go on this cruise. Knowing I wasn't welcome I told my husband to have his ister include on all the emails about the cruise, he asked her to, she could not include me which basically spoke louder than words. We neither one went on the cruise.

Back to the email I received this weekend from hteful sister-in-law who claims o be a wonderful, loving Christian.....the email is titled, "Reaching out." (puke) She then writes that he wants to start fresh. Okay, so my apology yars ao wasn't good, it wasn't accepted, she hated me so much she couldn't include on the mails for the cruise, she did and said everything she did and now that SHE decides she has a ounce of goodness in her I am supposed to just at the chance of being her friend? Get this, she has even requested me as "friend" on FaceBook. What a gem!

Whatever they decide is fine but oh no, I cannot. Forget that!

I did reply to her request and I told her I accepted her offer. I did this mostly for what it looks like to the family but I have no intentions to reconnect to hr or anyone else in te family.

godess-clueless's picture

If your DH requested that she send You the information and she did not then I would consider that as not being invited. I deal with the same thing when it comes to DH family. They call him on his cell to have christmas holiday with them and he goes out of state to visit. They always include their mom who lives in the same apartment building.He does not see any problem with having these family functions with a wife he divorced over 30 yrs. ago. My attitude is that when they make these arrangements and he goes without me it is meant to look innocent on his and their part. We were separated for a short time a few yrs. ago so it is only since then that these invitations to anything started. He has daughters who had no problem calling my cell at least 20 times the day he went in for heart stents. They do not know my number when they make these arrangements though. The voicemails started at6am and continued until 5pm. since cell phones must be off at the hospital I did not return the calls untill I returned home that evening. The point is that is is common courtesy to send you the information. she did not. It is a passive agressive way of leaving you out and making it look unintentional over sight.

distorted reality's picture

You've heard that old saying... 'keep your friends close and your enemies closer'? LOL.

Seriously, I have a sister who is like this. She stirs up tons of sh*t knowing that I will not put up with it and the minute I open my mouth to protest her BS behavior... I'm the bad seed. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, she will invite me to some family function (usually via another family member) and act like she is the one extending the olive branch. It's really a win-win situation for her. If I don't accept, it is me who is creating an issue. If I do accept, I am forced to keep my mouth shut, no matter what kind of NEW sh*t she stirs (and she always does) or else I end up looking like the a$$hole again. At first, I would go and make sure I was on my best behavior. (Even if she pushed every button trying to get me revved up.) It ended up just making me miserable. Now, I don't bother at all. Life is too short and I'm not spending one second of it dealing with her and her toxic behavior. I have a good relationship with my other family members but, I refuse to have any relationship with her. Actually it has been great training, especially when it comes to dealing with my SO's psycho ex-beast, lol.

Your SIL is doing the same thing. What you have to decide is whether or not you can play her game. Unless you're disordered, probably not. You can't reason with a disordered mind. This is why no amount of holding your tongue, or letting go of her irritating tendencies, will work. It only works if you're the doormat type and even then it will eventually bother you enough to create bigger issues somewhere down the line. Going along to get along can be a horrible situation.

Hang in there! Smile

anabihibik's picture

This is pretty much how my sister is. After a year of not talking to her and finally standing up for myself, my parents begged me to try again. Why can't they beg her? Because she can't function like a normal person and behave with any respect for anyone else. So, I did try, and she started bringing up stuff from the past that didn't even happen the way she says it did. I reconfirmed with our brother to make sure I wasn't nuts, and I'm not. I told my parents I am done. I will no longer take the brunt of her abusive behavior. That's exactly what it is. Abuse. And, I'm waaaaaay happier not dealing with it.

distorted reality's picture

Good for you and don't you dare feel guilty either. Life is too short to waste time on emotional vampires.

Best wishes! Smile

AVR1962's picture

Distorted so described the situation perfectly as it is. Yeah, tough and no matter what I do I will be wrong. She wears her power badge with the family which is quite sick to watch. If I say anything to my husband about her, he just says, "Oh, that's the way she is."

distorted reality's picture

LMAO @ 'Oh, that's the way she is.'

Does anyone understand that SHE IS THAT WAY B/C THEY HAVE ALLOWED THAT BEHAVIOR? No consequences to HER actions. She doesn't have to be that way, she chooses to be that way. When will people realize that their silence (in situations like these) equals their acceptance. (rhetorical)

Well, if you refuse to play her game then I guess she'll pick up her toys and go play elsewhere, right? Guess, she'll have to find someone else to bully. With these kinds of people, you really need to keep strong and unwavering boundaries. You must never let her step even an inch over the line or chaos will reign.

Hang tough! Smile

AVR1962's picture

StepAside.....that very thought went thru my head. This is 6 years later, we have not attended family functions and because the sisters didn't want to get involved (which they did anyway) over the kid situationt hat caused this whole blow-out in the first place they have not heard what all I have been dealing with, and quite honestly I don't think they care. When we decided not to do the cruise father-in-law called, asking me if he could ask me a question about my husband who roller coasters with drinking issues and the fmaily is very well aware of it, they are just never around him to know the full extent of his behavior. I didn't wan to get into it, made it brief enough to answer him without a total brush off but right then I figured they had talked about wondered what was going on. Oh, couldn't be anything they did. So yeah, I kind of think father-in-law said something to his daughter and I do believe this is an attempt to see their brother/son. What they don't know is I am not standing in his way. I have told him that it's okay to visit them without me and if he wants to build a relationship with them to feel free, and not to feel I need to be included but that's not the way he wants it.

LizzieA's picture

AVR, it was the kind of issue that sent me here. DH's family also has the Queen Bee sister and two others who follow along. She made our lives hell after we got married (so jealous she couldn't stand being around us anymore). Both of us stood up to her and she was cut off for a while. Then she started talking to DH occasionally. Now I am "sweetie" again (she is always drunk when she calls) but I will always keep her at arm's length. Still can't get over how a grown woman could take it upon herself to judge our marriage and call family and friends, even BM, to trash us for it. My other two SILs have finally accepted me (they live near BM and finally see her true colors) but again, I really don't care that much. We will never be close like I thought we'd be. The first time I met them, at a family party before the marriage, it was very friendly and SIL1 just watched grimly. Should have known then she would challenge my role in the family.

I agree with the other posters to eliminate or cut out toxic relationships.

AVR1962's picture

Yeah Lizzie, I got the very cold shoulder from Queen Bee sister-in-law as well. Then came all the jokes making fun of my husband and this and that person. She did not impress me from the start. We have never been close. It's always been like she was trying to take my husband away from me, like she was jealous or something. We are a military family getting ready to leave the country for an assignment and telling everyone good-bye. When it came her turn to tell her brother good-bye she kissed him and seriously hugged and would not let go for like 2 minutes which I took as a statement that she was trying to send to me. Husband and I talked about it later, he too thought it was weird. I actually went as far as to ask him if he and his sisters had been lovers at one point becuase of the way she was with him.

oneoffour's picture

Dear SIL.

A few years ago you were extremely rude and hurtful to me in front of your entire family.

You were asked to include me on a series of cruise planning emails. You chose not to do so.

I find your behaviour disturbing and problematic however in the interests of being a supportive wife I am accepting this apology as good hearted.

However, if the situation arises in the future where your meaness and rudeness shows it's ungle head I will not be playing happy families with you again.

I trust this apology is meant with the utmost good intentions and you have changed to a a more peaceful congenial way of life.

However time will tell. I cannot allow toxicity to be in my life from anyone.

I look forward to seeing you in the future.

And cc it to all the family so they can see you are accepting her apology (so she can't turn around in the future and say you ignored her)but she is basically on notice. Messing with you again will result in a permanent ampution.

But we all know that in the future 'something' will prevent you from attending anything.

AVR1962's picture

OneOfFour....perfectly worded and eventhough I didn't send that, that is exactly how I feel and being stung already there is no way on Earth I am heading back into a storm with blind-folds on, my eyes are very open. If she thinks she can play her games with me she has another one coming.

donna123's picture

Some of the most vicious behaviour on the planet is done by people who excuse their actions by asserting they are wonderful, loving Christians. Remember this: ”even the devil can quote scripture for his own ends.” Matthew.

She sounds like the kind of person who will never admit to or apologize for her horrendous treatment of you. I agree, she is attempting to give the optic that you were as much responsible for her bullying you as you were. Nonsense! It does not take two. Bullies do their dirty work all by themselves and then try to let themselves off the hook by pretending you deserved it.

SIL needs to extend a sincere apology to you. She needs to hold herself accountable for what she has done and not try to shift the blame onto you by saying some asinine thing like I am sorry you misunderstood me, or I am sorry your feelings were hurt. Such statements are NOT apologies and are in fact another insult.

Another good way to NOT apologize is to say I am sorry IF you got offended and I am sorry BUT you deserved it. The purpose of apologies is twofold 1) to restore your dignity that she tried her level best to swipe, and; 2) to make sure the behaviour doesn’t get repeated so you can begin to trust them.

I think it is the height of evil arrogance after all she has done to you, to feign reaching out by calling it a fresh start. Barf. Doesn’t sound like a fresh start to me, sounds like the same shit, different fly. Unless she is prepared to make a sincere apology ignore her.

As long as you know she hasn’t changed, she remains driven by self-interest only and she has no remorse, you could have some fun at her expense;) I doubt she will ever apologize. She doesn’t have enough insight.

But the best thing to do for your own emotional well-being is to steer clear of poisonous stupid, stupid people. If the blind few want to see you as being uncooperative in the face of this inept self-serving ploy…so be it.

Bottom line now is, what’s in it for you? If it isn’t something good for you, don’t take it.

AVR1962's picture

Thanks so much for all of the replies. You all knew exactly what I was deaing with and what I have been going thru and it feels so nice to have that support and not have fingers pointed at me. I seriously was feeling a little wacked, asking myself what was wrong with me. It's not a matter of me trying, that does not work with this person.....she wants power, she was control and I really do think she is jealous of me and so I am the target of her wicked tongue and her actions to "defend her family" as she put it, BS. She stepped into my family sitaution with my stepsons who lived with us and I raised, and she took over. Whose family was she defending? Christian my a**! Man, it feels good to vent this!!