Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Oh Brother

I don't typically air my dirty laundry, but I'm fresh on the heels of a situation that requires venting. Where do I start . . .

My sister-in-law and I never got along. She's been married to my brother for 16 years, and she is the oil in my family's fresh water tank.

I don't know if she's immature or insecure or a little of both, but she likes to stir the pot. She's not blatantly nasty, but she'll stick in a dig or two whenever she gets the chance. Most of the time we're so taken aback by the comment that we're unprepared for what to say in response, so nothing ever really gets said.

My parents have tolerated my sil for the sake of my niece, their granddaughter. They have talked to my brother about her in the past, but he's been drinking her kool aid for so many years, whatever is said does not make an impact.

As some of you may know, it's hard to see each other for holidays after siblings get married. There are several families involved so it gets complicated. My brother lives about an hour away from me. My parents live about 10 minutes away from me. The times that we see my brother and sil for holidays on the actual holiday is basically zero. They are doing what she wants, either with her family or her friends or just by themselves. I've hosted many, many events to which they have responded "no" for whatever reason works at the time.

Now that you have a picture of her, here's the most recent situation that I think has finally broken the camel's back.

This past weekend was my 2 year old's birthday party. The day before the party, my brother called to say he would be stopping by, and that's literally what they did. They stopped by for 2 hours in between their weekend getaway beach club membership. Every Saturday they trek for an hour to sit at the beach club and then trek home. They do the same thing on Sunday. All. Summer. Long.

I was insulted that they "fit me in" to their schedule and didn't make my son's party the event they attended for the day. They go to the beach club every weekend for 3 months. They couldn't sacrifice a day? They left before the cake was served! Who does that?

It's been years of insults that have been overlooked but, for some reason, something clicked with me this weekend. I don't think I can invite them anymore. I'm tired of feeling 2nd rate. I'm tired of feeling insulted.

I know he's my brother and I have a niece who I love dearly, but it's always uncomfortable when my sil is around. I feel bad for my parents. They know we don't get along. They know there's always tension when we're together.

There's a lot more history involved, but I guess I'm struggling with cutting them off completely or continuing the charade. I'm leaning towards the cut. I don't need to feel this way anymore. I don't want to feel this way anymore. If it weren't for my parents, I probably wouldn't live in New Jersey and would be far enough away where they couldn't come to my kids' parties or holiday events anyway.

It makes me sad that this is the point we're at, but I have my own family to worry about now. If they're not going to participate in family events, it shouldn't make a difference whether they're invited or not. I'll still send holiday cards and gifts to my niece. Other than that, I think I'm done.


  1. It sucks when family members don't get along. You don't have to like or love everyone just because you're related. It's taken me a long time to get there. I found when I lowered my expectations I was much more satisfied. I quit investing so much emotion and energy and I was able to accept that the relationship was never going to be what I wanted it to be. Good luck with whatever you decide.

    BTW I'm following you back from Mom Says Aye.

  2. You do what you have to do in what works best for you. In laws can get sticky that's for sure.

  3. I can so relate. My half-sil has gone behind our backs and alienated us from our side of the family. She's even 'taken over' (and that's putting it mildly) over my dad's house. We've just about given up on everyone who believes her stories about us.

  4. New GFC follower via Mom Says Aye. You can follow me back at Thanks!

  5. geeze, we should talk. I've got a similar situation that has me all messed up today.....GRRRRR

  6. Sisters-in-law are such a PITA sometimes, yes?

    My advice, is to do what feels right for you and your family. Extend invites, but have no expectations. If they accept, maybe have a word with your brother about how it's only polite to be 100% there, and not just a fly by visit. Otherwise, don't come. If they take it the wrong way, well, nothing you can do about that.

    Family is tough, sigh.