Help! Big problems with sister and brother-in-law

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Help! Big problems with sister and brother-in-law

Postby Juliet » Mon Jan 03, 2005 4:25 pm

Ok, my sister and I had been having been drifting apart since we both got married a few years ago. Before this we were good friends. I feel this has mostly been because of her husband, who can be very pompous and hard to get along with. I now have two children, she has none. She is a few years older than me. It started to ger alot worse about two years ago when I told her I was pregnant with my second child. She didnt congratulate me, but made a hurtful remark about my first child. She then started to avoid me. When we did see each other she would say hurtful and bitchy things. Her husband was even worse; he would not only be rude to me but would also do everything he could to wind up and upset my elder son and new baby. I found it hard to confront them so eventually I stopped contacting my sister and she did the same.

However, recently as it was still upsetting me and also our mother, with Christmas approaching I contacted my sister and tried to sort it out. We never got to the bottom of what had gone wrong (we both find it hard to talk about emotional things to each other), although I suspected that it may have be that I had my children and she didnt have any, beacuse I cant see any other reason she and her husband should be resentful of us (they both have good jobs, have a nice house, etc); although she's never said anything to make me think she would WANT children anyway.

So I contacted her, and it was really difficult but I told her all the things she had done to upset me and she said she was genuinely sorry and wanted us to get along. I was happy to try and we've got together a few times since and she's been fine, and has really tried to make it up to my two children.

I had not seen her husband through any of this, however, and saw him for the first time just before Christmas when we had arranged to go out for a Christmas drink. He was drunk when we got there and was rude to me and my husband, saying he didnt care less if we got on or not and that I was 'evil'! and he wouldnt be making any effort with me. But then at the end of the night he had said sorry, that he was drunk and that he didnt mean it. I let it go. My sister invited my family to hers for Boxing day and I hoped her husband would be ok with us then. However he wasnt. The whole day was horrible, he was really rude, wouldnt make any effort to speak to any of us, and ignored our children apart from speaking to my eldest son to tell him off for not flushing the loo! He sniggered at my mother or myself whenever we spoke and when my husband tried to talk to him he gave one word answers. We couldnt wait to leave. The sad thing was because of everything that had happened, my sister had made a big effort to make it a nice day - she cooked lovely food, made presents and prepared games for us and the children, but it was all spoilt by the horrible apmosphere her husband created.

The problem now is I dont know what to do. I havent contacted my sister since as I cannot face phoning their house and having to speak to her husband. I have thought of emailing her or phoning her at work but dont know what to say. I dont know how I can maintain a relationship with her if her husband hates us all so much. Do I say anything about it to her, or is that interfering in her marriage? I was so glad we were friends again and now its all going wrong again. I dont want to just give up; I have a very small (birth) family and dont want to lose the few members of it I have left!
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Postby Jo » Mon Jan 03, 2005 7:35 pm

I would deffinately keep in touch with her, via work if you have to. It sounds as though its her husband causing the problem, not her. She might actually need your support but be unable to say anything.

You could arrange to go for lunch, just the two of you - no kids, no husbands - this would enable you to rebuild your relationship without any outside interferance, especially if you go once a month or so.

My advice would be to ignore the way her husband has behaved, at least for now. Your sister is not responsible for her husbands behaviour and could be very embarrased by it.

If you try to meet regularly the conversation about the difficult issues may arise naturally, but don't focus on this, concentrate on your relationship with her first and ignore all the other stuff. Let it happen naturally.
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Postby shazmoo69 » Wed Jan 05, 2005 8:23 pm

I think you should just keep seeing your sister, and if her husband wants to sulk and act childish then let him do so. Its your sister who is your main priority now dont let him ruin your relationship again! and maybe it goes deeper with your sis and her husband than it seems, whens shes got her trust in you again and your relationship is solid like it once was, she will start openin up to you more. thats when you can help her if she really needs it! but for now i say have fun with your sis and let the husband sulk if he wants! =D>
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Postby saz » Mon Jan 10, 2005 12:09 am

I totally agree with Jo that you should keep up contact as best you can. It isn't the same but i have lost friends in this situation and must be much worse if it is your own sister.

It sounds like they have some serious problems in their lives and if it were me, my sister is probably the one person i would really want to support me. You know her better than anyone, and are on her side which is what she might need. Unfortunately it has led that his behaviour has impacted on your relationship, and that is a great shame. I have no idea what is going on in their marriage, but that sort of behaviour just sounds like someone is seriously unhappy. Drinking like that could be making him very rude and abusive, but it must be awful for your sister to live like that. Stay in touch and perhaps she will open up to you in time and you can get a better understanding of what is going on, and hopefully help her - but only if she wants it, and i wouldn't push the issue let her talk to you about it.

I would ignore him yes, and perhaps invite her out and not him. If he can't behave in a nice manner around your children then you are under no obligation to have him there. Good luck.
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