April 3, 2019 at 1:57 am #839641
I feel like this is going to be super long but I want to get as many details into the story aspossible.
Myself and my MIL and SIL had great relationships (or so I thought) until about 2 months ago. My SIL had said something about needing a break from her baby (10mo) so I offered to take her out to get a mani/pedi when I got paid. She was over the moon and thanked me. I get paid once a month on the 15th, so we set it up for then. The 15th (tuesday) rolls around and my money is not on my card, so I text my SIL and let her know and schedule for Thursday just to be sure the money was there.
Thursday morning comes and I wake up feeling very awful, so much so I end up going to an urgent care facility. They tested me for the flu and I knew when the doctor came back in the room wearing a mask it was positive. He prescribed Tamiflu and sent me home. I again text my SIL to let her know we would probably have to postpone until the next week and that I had just been diagnosed with the flu (my money was also not in my account but at that point I did not relay that info, even if I had the money, I could not go due to being sick.) All she said was “ok”, not I hope you feel better or I’m sorry you’re sick or anything just ok. So I sensed she was bothered for some reason but at this point all I wanna do is sleep.
I literally slept for 3 days. Saturday evening comes and I’m up and about a little more that day, I walk upstairs and my heart starts beating rapidly like I just ran a mile and I am having trouble catching my breath, so my husband rushed me to the ER. Due to the flu, no spleen, and being dehydrated, my heart was having to work too hard to help heal my body. My heart rate was in the 160’s just standing up. Anyways they get me stable and send me home Sunday, and I’ve been put on restrictions. So I just rest for the rest of the day.
I wake Monday morning to a post that one of my SIL friends tagged me in on Facebook about her being such a good friend and taking her to get her nails done….I didn’t think much of it instantly other than well okay my SIL is mad at me. Let me try and contact her. I removed myself from being tagged in the picture and before I could message my SIL her friend sent me a DM. She basically called me a liar and said that I was not sick and I was lying about not getting my money, and that my SIL doesnt need me and they got each other. I basically answered back telling her I wasnt entertaining the conversation. She continued to message me, so my Husband took over (the friend is actually my SIL cousin but not my husbands) and he told her that I was not lying etc but she just wanted to argue, so I ended up blocking her. I then clicked on my SIL profile pic to send her a DM (I know,this day and age no one calls, although we should) she had blocked me…I was shocked. I looked at my husband and told him so he pulls her up and she has blocked him as well. So he decides to call his Mom (his sister lives there) she tells him she doesn’t know what is really going on but she will call the friend. She later text my Husband and said the friend didnt answer.
I messaged my MIL (again, mind you we were extremely close, or so I thought). I messaged her the text I had been sent by the friend and she said “this all sucks”. I agreed and said that obviously my SIL had mentioned to her friend about what was going on otherwise she wouldn’t know. She she was talking about me. So I sent her documentation from my dr and the hospital and my bank statement just to show I was NOT lying. I was doing so hoping that it would resolve the situation and maybe she would apologize and we could move on, boy was I wrong. My SIL messages me from my MIL account stating she still doesn’t believe me (I guess I forged a prescription box and medical documents in her eyes) and that her brother and I are not relevant in her or her daughters life anyways. She stated we did not care about her or her daughter and that she doesn’t do drama and that is why she blocked us. All this while inserting haha and lol, very childish.
I am obviously upset and I probably should have waited to reply but I did not. I brought up all the time we have done for her and her daughter, how I’ve fed her when I had no money to fed myself, how I bought diapers and formula and etc for my niece and I did it because I loved them and until that day I had never mentioned anything I had done, I didnt do it to be recognized or whatever, I did it because I love them and wanted to make sure they had all they need. She also stated that we never came to see her baby (not true, we came AT LEAST every other weekend and I would go some days while my husband worked) I told her that it was not everyone else’s responsibility to drive to her to get to know her daughter. That yes we should come over and vice versa (they never did) I asked her when was the last time any of them had been over, Christmas? Before that it was the 4th of July. People we live 5 mins away from each other.
I believe this statement is what my MIL because I used the term “any of you”, but it was true of her also. So my MIL loses her shit says that I am always the problem everywhere they go, that I think I’m never wrong, that I control her son and she is pissed for me dragging her into this………..! Soooooooo that triggered me and I didn’t say a ton but told her I have NEVER done anything to her and asked where this attack was coming from. I asked her how long she was holding onto something I did in the past and used this incident to lash out at me, she never did answer that. She just said I dragged her into this. If you guys remember correctly my husband was the first to call her and she offered to try to see what was going on. (Btw I did finally get my money on the 25th, the date had changed and I was unaware). I told her that I could not believe their actions, and they were playing victim in a situation they created. I then blocked her because she immediately stated she was going to contact my husbands ex wife and speak with her, anytime she is mad at my husband she gets buddy buddy with the ex wife and cause a hard time for my husband. But runs her in the ground when she can to other people. My husband hasn’t spoke to her since and neither have I. She has sent him a few messages and she said she will not apologize and that she did nothing wrong. She stated the friend shouldnt have done what she did but her and my SIL didn’t do anything wrong. (She has always favored my SIL over my husband since they were children, my husband also stopped talking to them in the past (before I was even in the picture) for similar dramatic issues. He didnt speak with them for several years and only started 2 years ago when his Father passed away. (His mother and father have not been together since he was a child).)
With that being said the MIL has contacted all the family and turned some of them against me, with the exception of a few. My husbands other sister and a few cousins have supported me but his aunts and a few other cousins have been attacking me as well. I ended up deleting my social media accounts it was so bad. Anyways I’m to the point where I do not think it is fair for me to have to put myself in a situation to be treated like that again.
I have told my husband that if he would like to have a relationship with his Mother and sister then I am okay with that, I just dont want one with her or my SIL, especially not at the moment. He has chosen not to, but I am being blamed for this WHOLE situation. Like from the very beginning like I orchestrated this or something. And this is pretty hard to deal with seeing as up until this point we had no issues and I was THE BEST SIL AND DIL EVER they would say. This is affecting my mental health in a negative way and I’m not sure what steps to take from here if any.
April 3, 2019 at 5:28 am #839652
- This topic was modified 3 weeks ago by Dear Wendy.
Hindsight is 20/20, but what if you had just not done anything about the friend’s post about getting her nails done? Then there’d be a post on FB about your SIL and her friend going out for manis and pedis, and…?
You could have simply ignored it and then later followed up *with your SIL* and apologized sincerely and given her a gift certificate for a mani/pedi or something (for next month). To kill her with kindness.
Instead you walked directly into the friend’s social media trap, and for heaven’s sake I’m an old woman and I see it a mile away. And you blew up the situation and allowed everyone to beat on you, and brought out your medical records, which was never going to be effective because they didn’t want to believe you, they just wanted to beat on you. And it just made you look weak.
And worse, you created a situation where your MIL felt emboldened to dig up all the ways you pissed her off in the past and sling them at you. And you can’t win a fight with a MIL. Never go head to head with one.
So this is pretty bad at this point. I would probably wait at least a couple weeks for things to calm down, and then call the SIL and say you’re so sorry for how everything went down and you don’t want things to be this way, and you love her and her daughter, and you and your husband want to be in their lives. And offer a make-up gesture and ask to get together.April 3, 2019 at 5:53 am #839655
I agree that you totally took the bait but even if you did apologize, the next one is waiting in the wings. Even if they “forgave” you – they would likely pull this again.
These people are pretty toxic. To rally the family and friends for not being available for babysitting so the SIL can have a break – it’s not like she needed to go to work. Or take care of a loan application. Or go to the hospital. She wanted a break, which is important but it’s not “rally the family to get out the pitchforks” important.
Keep these folks at arms length. Let your husband deal with them 98% of the time. Your job is to attend family functions to which you are invited and smile and nod.April 3, 2019 at 6:08 am #839657
Wow, that’s a lot of drama over a mani/pedi that had to be postponed!! I think you made some mistakes here – the biggest of which was walking into that social media bait and engaging in a fight online. That never goes well. The next one was engaging other people in the fight, like your MIL. She never should have been included. And I guess the first mistake was maybe not being more apologetic when you had to postpone the mani/pedi? Maybe you were apologetic, but all you say here is: “The 15th (tuesday) rolls around and my money is not on my card, so I text my SIL and let her know and schedule for Thursday just to be sure the money was there.” There’s a difference between “letting her know” and saying something like “I’m really sorry to have to re-schedule. I know how much you need a break and I was looking forward to giving you that and spending time with you.” That softens the blow a lot and makes your intention much more genuine, you know? You could have also even offered to do something for her that didn’t require money, like babysit (since her needing a break from her baby was what prompted the whole mani-pedi thing in the first place), but you didn’t. Live and learn!
The lesson here is: when you offer to do something kind for someone who needs some kindness, try your very best to extend the kindness as quickly as you can. If the original kind gesture you planned to make isn’t possible (because you didn’t get paid on time, for example), offer a different kind gesture for the same time, in addition to re-scheduling the original gesture for when you CAN do it. Basically, give the person a choice: “I can’t do this kind thing for you today, but I can do it a week from today. Or, if you prefer, I can do this other kind thing for you today. It isn’t what we originally planned, but it would give you a break today when you thought you were going to get one.”April 3, 2019 at 6:34 am #839658
Yeah, Wendy has a good point about the initial reschedule. If someone is dying for a break and is looking forward to a treat, it requires more of an apology, and I like her idea of offering a choice.April 3, 2019 at 7:00 am #839659
I agree that you walked right into a social media trap. I think there were probably a lot of different ways to respond and contact your SIL that would have been less combative, but it also sort of sounds like she really wanted to have a go at you, regardless. I do think engaging with her, and throwing everything you’ve ever done for her in her face did not help diffuse the situation. You fanned the flames.
Your big mistake was bringing your MIL into it. And then you blocked her. That was maybe a little over the top.
Take a break for a few weeks and try to apologize. That should happen in person, not over text.
The next time someone is picking a fight over text, call them. Tone and intent gets lost in text.
At the end of the day, your SIL and MIL are over the top crazy dramatic. You know that, so don’t get in too deep with them anymore. Don’t take the bait. Don’t fight with them.April 3, 2019 at 7:59 am #839662
Hmmmm about the kind gesture stuff… (being apologetic about cancelling etc) it is great advice that would be effective in making people happy. Also I think that kind of attitude is important for some one who has been kind and generous with you in the past and who is stressed with a baby. It’s a nice way to act, for sure. But the LW has done so much and makes so much effort for her SIL, sure she could have been nicer to keep things smooth however for gods sake LW is living paycheck to paycheck with unreliable pay for some reason and got a horrible flu. She gave money for her SILs baby’s food and diapers in the past. To me that’s all you need to know to see that SIL is nuts, entitled and rude to say anything but “thank you” when LW offers help even if the help is cancelled. Who owes who over all? Having a baby/ living as a mom, was SILs choice and is her responsibility.
LW made strategic /”manners” errors in keeping things smooth with people who are very rude and erratic. But things will never stay smooth with these people no matter what she does. Her husband should get support deciding how to manage these relationships with his own mental health in mind and she should be on his side but not morally obligated to do anything extra. They don’t treat you as a friend or family should, LW.
My feeling is the LW going overboard with kindness is not helpful with the dynamic this family has (treating the husband of LW like crap.) it just makes them more emboldened to act entitled.April 3, 2019 at 8:10 am #839663
True, Amerre, but a critical life skill is to learn how to avoid and/or defuse these kinds of awful blowups by *not engaging.* I feel like there should be a book called The Gentle Art of Not Engaging.
All she really had to do was reschedule the nail appt and not walk into the friend’s social media snare. She took the bait by untagging herself, and the friend was watching like a predator ready to pounce.April 3, 2019 at 8:44 am #839666
“The Gentle Art of Not Engaging” sounds like my next Netflix binge. …Although, done right, that ought to be a really boring show!
LW, it sounds like it’s time to take a big step back from these people. Wait a couple of weeks and extend them an olive branch as outlined above, but going forward you should keep your distance and let your husband take the lead. It sounds like you are all pretty tangled up in one another’s lives; perhaps they are reading your generosity and efforts to perform as the “perfect” SIL/DIL as weakness/desperation/meddling. Now you know you don’t need to put in this performance because it’s not appreciated by these people.
Taking the social media bait was definitely a mistake – don’t do that again. Just scroll on by. Or, I guess you could have killed it with kindness by commenting on how sweet Friend was to take SIL out. But when in doubt, IGNORE is always your best bet.April 3, 2019 at 9:01 am #839671
Ah, The Gentle Art of Not Engaging. I have some people who could star in that show…but they err on the passive-aggressive side because although they don’t engage, they also hold a grudge and never say anything about what bugs them but silently retaliate.
Actually, Crucial Conversations is a great book to help you learn how to navigate difficult and emotionally tense conversations.
LW, you took the bait and you stirred the pot. When your MIL and SIL say that you *always* have to be right, do some reflection. What in this situation could you apologize for (sincerely)? You also threw some mud in this situation, you are not squeaky clean and blameless. I agree with Vathena’s suggestions for moving forward. Give it time, extend an apology and a kind gesture, decide with your husband how you wish to interact with them in the future.
And for Pete’s sake, when things get heated- DO NOT TEXT. PICK UP THE PHONE. Also, give it time.April 3, 2019 at 10:04 am #839682
It sounds like SIL and MIL did not start this and did nothing against LW, until after she had started an internet battle. The ‘offense’ that set her off was a social media post by a friend of SIL.April 3, 2019 at 11:04 am #839693
Blah blah bkah.?This sure is an awful lot of silly needless drama on ALL sides. Why you chose to blow this up so is beyond me. Why even react to a dimwitted passive agrressive social media post?
NEWSFLASH| Your SIL is clearly yet another dimwitted live at home loser who can’t figure out birth control much less how to parent. Fuck her. Seriously. She is garbage…
Honestly? I feel so for your poor husband. As he seems surrounded by deranged drama queens. Mother. Sister. And now wife. What a endless fucking headache.