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Dear Wendy

Anyone going on awesome dates?

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  • #903673 Reply
    Dear WendyDear Wendy
    Keymaster

    Hey, Ver, you didn’t ask for advice so forgive me for offering this, but: what if you just didn’t have a relationship with your SIL? Like, what if you mostly ignore her, let your husband be the one to deal with her, use covid as an excuse to avoid her for at least the remainder of the year, be civil when you have to see her at family events in the future, but otherwise have nothing to do with her? You really, really don’t have to have a relationship with all extended family members. It’s perfectly fine to just peace out. Maybe one day you’ll both have kids who will be cousins and that might be an opportunity for deeper engagement – or not! – but until then, I don’t see any reason to have much to do with her. I’d skip her wedding and tell her now – well, let your husband tell her – that you aren’t going to go because you don’t feel at all comfortable committing to a destination wedding when we’re in the middle of a pandemic with no end in sight. let her have her meltdown about your absence now, who cares. you don’t have to see her or deal with it. You seriously have THE PERFECT excuse to simply not see her. Tell your husband to deal with it and just turn it all off in your mind. It doesn’t have to exist. No one is making you deal with her or have a relationship and since having anything to do with her causes stirs up negative feelings, stop. Just stop doing it. Problem solved!

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by Dear WendyDear Wendy.
    #903691 Reply
    veritek33veritek33
    Participant

    Hey Wendy I appreciate you chiming in. I’ve sorta considered that. To be honest everything I’ve done has been for my in laws and my husband. I love them and I don’t want to disappoint them. My husband loves his sister but their relationship is complicated.

    His parents want to spend more time with us, which I absolutely support since my husband spends so much time with my family, but since she lives with them still – she’s always around.

    I did suggest to my husband that we tell his parents we’d like to spend time with them without her being present because I’d be able to relax so much more. She goes to work and then goes back to their house and then her fiancée comes over. She’s always around.

    They are part of the problem pushing us to be friends or at least friendly because they want one big happy family and It’s just not gonna happen. I guess I don’t know how to explain to my in laws that I want to keep the great relationship with them while also keeping at arms length from their daughter who they naturally love and are probably defensive of.

    #903802 Reply
    Dear WendyDear Wendy
    Keymaster

    Ok, her living With them makes it harder but what if you don’t always see your in-laws when your husband does? Like, just stay home sometimes when he goes over. When my FIL was still alive, drew would go over and have dinner with him every week, but I only accompanied him maybe at the most once a month and sometimes less than that. It wasn’t that I didn’t love my FIL; we had a good relationship and we’re mutually very fond of each other. But he was drew’s dad, their relationship preceded me by many, many years. They didn’t need me around every time they got together, and I enjoyed having a little time to myself on those nights drew was with his dad. And, as amazing as I am (ha), I’m sure my FIL appreciated having his son to himself sometimes. It was good when I came along, and good when I didn’t. And in your case, maybe it’s not so good when you go along – through no fault of your own – simply bc of the tension between you and the SIL. Also, can you invite them to your place where you can be comfortable and not worry about the SIL? Also, is covid not a concern? Can that not be used as a temporary excuse to avoid so many get-togethers?

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by Dear WendyDear Wendy.
    #903840 Reply
    veritek33veritek33
    Participant

    That’s a good idea Wendy. Luckily we’ve actually only seen the in-laws maybe three times since our wedding ceremony in March? Mother’s day at their house, once for dinner when they were passing through town, and most recently when we invited them for a bbq at the end of June.

    Covid IS a concern and they also live 1.5 hours away so that makes it harder to see them/easier to avoid them I suppose? I know he visited them when I was on my bachelorette weekend in January but I’m sure he could do more of that. I’ve been encouraging him to see them more, but I think he’s sort of avoiding visiting because of his sister too. He wants to spend time with his parents but not with her.

    I think I’m definitely sitting out the next visit if and when it happens.

    #903848 Reply
    Dear WendyDear Wendy
    Keymaster

    Oh, ok, it sounded like you were seeing them and her more often. Since you haven’t seen them much, how do you know about all the drama – the screaming match she had with her parents, how she “keeps saying at least veritek got the wedding she wanted’”? Is it your husband who’s telling you? Tell him to stop. Tell him that the best way to keep peace and keep
    You happy is for you to know as little as possible about the crazy shit she does and says. Be on a must-know basis with information about her, meaning you only want info about her that you need in order to make a decision about your own behavior (like when And where her wedding will eventually be). Everything else, including what she says about you, is just gossip and there’s no reason for it to be repeated to you. If she’s not saying it to your face, you don’t want or need to hear it. And if you aren’t heating about her and you aren’t seeing her very much, she doesn’t need to take up so much space in your head. If she IS saying nasty stuff to your face, that’s enough reason to skip the wedding and any event that would put you in her presence.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by Dear WendyDear Wendy.
    #903855 Reply
    veritek33veritek33
    Participant

    The comment about me getting to have a wedding was made in my home when they came for the bbq in June and she saw our wedding album on the coffee table. “At least you got your wedding” I believe was the exact phrasing when she picked up our album too look at it and I said “oh, you found our pandemic wedding album.”

    I did not respond at the time. All else has been second hand from my husband – so yeah, I can certainly ask him to stop telling me recaps from his phone calls with them unless it directly impacts me. He can certainly limit what he tells me.

    #903868 Reply
    Dear WendyDear Wendy
    Keymaster

    Yeah, she sounds annoying for sure. Fortunately, it does sound like you don’t have to see her often and your husband doesn’t like her much either. Realistically, maybe you’ll have to deal with her 2-4 times a year in the future. My in-laws live an hour away and that’s really about as often as I see them (and I like them and we get along! And we all have kids who are cousins and love seeing each other, but life is busy, we all have other family to see and spend time with and that’s the way it goes). Drew will occasionally meet his brother halfway for dinner or they’ll go to a ballgame together, but my interaction with my in-laws is infrequent and there’s no reason your interaction with a SIL, whom your husband doesn’t even like and who will eventually not live with her parents anymore, can’t also be infrequent. And there’s no reason you need to hear about her between visits if it bothers you and stresses you out. Your husband should accommodate this request! It will make you happier and, by extension, he’ll be happier you.

    #903887 Reply
    avatarVathena
    Guest

    I agree with Wendy – and to go even a bit further, if it’s hard for your husband to compartmentalize his interactions with his family from you and not vent about the ridiculous stuff his sister says, he should check out some resources on boundary-setting with difficult family members. I know you said he just tunes her out and doesn’t notice her nastiness so much, but he must notice it a bit if he’s unable to keep himself from dumping it on you. So maybe if he finds it difficult to keep those comments to himself, he can start setting boundaries and keep from hearing so much of it in the first place.

    Also, yeah, I have 3 BILs who are all married and have kids, and some of the kids are married and have kids of their own, and everyone gets along well and enjoys spending time together (pre-pandemic) but I have almost zero interaction with any of my in-laws outside of a few visits per year. Like, maybe just some Facebook likes and a text every few months. I am continually surprised at the amount of entanglement that some LWs (not you specifically Veritek, but just generally on advice columns) have with their in-laws!

    #903916 Reply
    avataranonymousse
    Participant

    I do think most of this should be his responsibility.

    Like has he ever taken only her out for a drink and said, “Look, Crazy Sister- Veritek is my wife. I want you to have a good relationship and that means that I need you to treat her with respect. If you can’t be courteous and civil to her, I’m going to feel let down by you. I haven’t told her we’re having this conversation. It’s just between us, but please cut the shit.”???

    Agreed he’s not tuning it out if he tells you all the crazy shit she does and mean things she says.

    Again, sorry you’re dealing with this.

    #907538 Reply
    veritek33veritek33
    Participant

    Thank you Vathena and anonymousse. We had a long talk last night (husband and I) about how I’m just not going to allow her to take up negative space in my mind anymore. I made it very clear to my husband that when we get pregnant and have a child, I will not allow anyone to speak poorly to me or my child – and that if it helps him to wrap his head around it – imagine she was speaking or treating our child the way she speaks to and treats me. And it was like a lightbulb went off in his head. He got I finally.

    We agreed that even if we go to Disney for the whole week, I get at least one day to do what I want to do. I will be allowed to go visit my family down there, or hide in the hotel, or just avoid his family altogether if that’s what I want to do that day. And if at any point she becomes too much or is having a negative effect on my mental health, I get to remove myself from the situation or gathering and he will back me up.

    Hopefully we don’t stay the whole time and if we do, hopefully she’s too busy being in her Disney fantasy world that she just leaves me alone to drink by the pool.

    #907568 Reply
    avatarFyodor
    Guest

    Honestly, I wouldn’t stress about the vacation logistics. The odds that it’s going to be safe to have this kind of gathering by next April are I think pretty low. I would of course would love to be wrong.

    #907575 Reply
    veritek33veritek33
    Participant

    Fyodor – I also think you’re right. I just like to talk these things out with my husband so were’ on the same page. Maybe we are overprepared lol.

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