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Thread: My Sister-In-Law is Getting On My Nerves HELP

  1. #1

    My Sister-In-Law is Getting On My Nerves HELP

    I usually don't complain about family members. But, I truly need advice with this situation. I have a sister-in-law who is truly obnoxious and proud of it. She takes pride in hurting other people's feelings. When confronted about her attitude toward others, she will just shrug her shoulders and say "Oh well, they will get over it." She really doesn't care if she hurts someone's feelings. My problem with her is that my 13 month old daughter is a little delayed on physical activities. My daughter isn't walking yet and only says aboout 2-3 words. Well, this sister-in-law of mine is always comparing my baby to her friend's baby who is well advanced. She is always making it sound like my baby is stupid. For privacy sake, I will call her friend's baby "Jake". She will say something to me like "Jake didn't have any problems with walking. In fact, he is almost running now." It really hurts my feelings. I need suport and encouragement from family right now - not insults. I have prayed about how to handle this. But, it is getting to the point where I dread family get togethers because I know that every time I am around her she will say something negative about my baby. HELP.

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    Re: My Sister-In-Law is Getting On My Nerves HELP

    Then you say "that's nice for Jake, but if you only come here to compare your niece to other people's kids, then don't come."

    Also, if her comments make you feel bad about your child, that's something you have to settle within yourself, as a mother. I don't care what people say about my children. I know who, and what they are, and I love and accept them unconditionally. People's stupid comments are on them, not me and my family. Your sister-in-law is only making herself sound ignorant, honestly.

  3. #3

    Re: My Sister-In-Law is Getting On My Nerves HELP

    Well, the problem with saying "don't come here" is that all of our family get togethers are at my mother-in-law's house. It is not my house. So, I can't say not to come. I don't have that right. And I know that what she says about my baby isn't true. And I know that my baby will be fine. But, it still hurts to hear her say mean things about my daughter. She is not only a nuissance to me - but to everyone in my family. We all dread seeing her pull into the driveway. I know that is not a very nice Christian thing to say. But, it is a challenge when she spends every waking moment trying to think of ways to hurt people's feelings. Last Christmas, my other sister-in-law (the nice one) bought her (the obnoxious sister-in-law) a very lovely sweater. And when she opened it, she said "Well, I hope you kept the receipt for this because this is hideous! I would never wear this!" She says horrible things like that all of the time. I think that my mother-in-law puts up with her attitude because of fear of not being able to see her 5 year-old grandson again if she makes her mad.

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    Re: My Sister-In-Law is Getting On My Nerves HELP

    How come nobody in your family has the guts to draw boundaries for this lady who obviously is either unwilling or unable to draw them for herself?

    You have one woman manipulating an entire family with her threats and anger issues. Again, those are on her, not you. She is responsible for her own behavior before God.

    And if it's not your house, you're right, you can't say she can't come. But you can say that you don't appreciate her comment and that she needs to change the subject or your conversation with her is over, and you will not talk about these things nor listen to her comments any further. Then be willing to follow through, and the next time she says something (because she is going to push it and test you), you get up and walk away. End of conversation.

    She's only doing this because people let her and because she can. She has massive boundary issues, and nobody is willing to stand up and draw boundaries for her. The things she says are childish and petty. Don't get your feelings hurt over such pettiness, because it's not even worth it, honestly. Be the adult that she's obviously unable or unwilling to be.

    P.S. You can't control other people's relationship with her, nor their reaction. That's on them. You can only control yours. Decide what kind of relationship you wish to have with this lady, and take steps accordingly.

  5. #5

    Re: My Sister-In-Law is Getting On My Nerves HELP

    Several of us have tried talking with her and telling her that she has no right to hurt other people's feelings. We have even went so far as to talk to her husband about it (who is nothing like her). He just says "I try telling her not to say mean things. She just won't listen." And then he will lower his head toward the ground and look so sad. My nice sister-in-law had a big argument with her once over things she said. It was so bad that the mean sister-in-law wouldn't come around any of us for about 6 weeks. When that happened, my mother-in-law was so sad because she was unable to see her grandson (the mean sister-in-law's son). But, what my mother-in-law doesn't realize is that if something is not done, there are many of us (many of her children and grandchildren) who will be avoiding attending these get togethers. I love my mother-in-law dearly. She is a very sweet lady. But, I have to also look out for my baby and my sanity.

  6. #6

    Re: My Sister-In-Law is Getting On My Nerves HELP

    Suddenly I'm having flashbacks of my grandmother always mentioning my cousins, at MY house, whenever we praise our children's accomplishments. It's so frustrating.

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    Re: My Sister-In-Law is Getting On My Nerves HELP

    See, the thing is, you are taking up other people's offenses. That's on them, not you. As long as you continue getting offended on behalf of others, things are not going to change for you. You can only deal with your own offenses. What is she saying that is offensive to you, and why is it offensive? This lady is feeding on offending people, and their reaction to her statements. It's all a big game to her. She gets to control everything, so why would she want to stop? She's got everyone dancing to her music, and has for a long time.

    Again, you can't control her relationship with your mother-in-law nor with other family members. Their relationship with this lady is on them, not you. You can only take control of her relationship with you. You have to decide within yourself what kind of relationship you want to have with her, and then act accordingly. As long as you let her control things, and you settle for merely reacting to her and waiting for the next offensive thing coming out of her mouth, nothing will change. Ever.

    Your mother-in-law is having the exact relationship with this woman she wants to have. Her decisions are on her, not you. Let her carry the weight of them. She may be a sweet lady, but her failure to show a backbone is her failure, not yours, and she is responsible for that. You make your own decisions and follow through on them.

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    Re: My Sister-In-Law is Getting On My Nerves HELP

    I'd ask her who turned her crank the wrong way that she feels she has to make others feel as though they have done something "wrong" or at least not good enough.

    Children develop in different ways and at different rates - but God is in control and loves them all. Adults, however, have the ability to act like the adults they are or the children they are using for comparisons.

    This woman sounds as though she is eaten alive with jealousy.

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    Re: My Sister-In-Law is Getting On My Nerves HELP

    Being the kind gentle soul that I am, after about the third time, this would be my response.

    "Lady, if I ever hear another unkind word about my baby come out of your mouth, I will shove my fist so far down you throat that you'll taste my deodorant. My baby is just fine; however, I notice that you've never got over your initial stupidity, and in fact, it has grown exponentially. NOW BACK OFF."

    But that's just me. I'm sure the other advice you have received is better, but there come a point to stop the drama.

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    Mom of four forgot to mention her baby girl does have a curved spine and might have to have surgery...though alot of baby outgrown this. We are all praying on that. There have been concerns about her not walking yet due to the curved spine. There is a prayer thread about her baby girl..which is how I know this.

    Sister-in-law more then likely knows this too..that this baby has a medical condition which makes her remarks that much more cruel.. No one should be 'picking on' a baby anyway. I realize the baby so far doesn't understand what is being said and the attacks are aimed at mom of four here. Its really sad that sister in laws husband can't control his own wife. Or lets her use their children as a way to make the rest of the family put up with her...that is just beyond low. Makes you wonder about the verbual abuse those poor kids are going through because of their mom. And dad standing by doing nothing. What a terrible shame!

    But mom of four...its really your husband's place to be putting a stop to this with her as the bible tells us the husband is to be the protector of his family. What has he done to try to help with this situation? Its his baby girl too being talked about.

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

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    Re: My Sister-In-Law is Getting On My Nerves HELP

    Quote Originally Posted by RabbiKnife View Post
    Being the kind gentle soul that I am, after about the third time, this would be my response.

    "Lady, if I ever hear another unkind word about my baby come out of your mouth, I will shove my fist so far down you throat that you'll taste my deodorant. My baby is just fine; however, I notice that you've never got over your initial stupidity, and in fact, it has grown exponentially. NOW BACK OFF."

    But that's just me. I'm sure the other advice you have received is better, but there come a point to stop the drama.
    We have some difficult people in our family and I have lost my temper with them on more then on occasions..and got into it with them big time. And you know what? It didn't do one bit of good... There is one family member if she came to some family gathering my sister wouldn't go. And my sister is much more vocal them I am.. Sometimes the only thing left to do is just don't go...sad as it is.

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

  12. #12

    Re: My Sister-In-Law is Getting On My Nerves HELP

    My sister-in-law who is so mean does not know about my daughter's scoliosis. I am trying to keep it a secret from all family members until we can get some straight answers from the specialist next week. I don't want to bring up the subject to people and then have them flood me with questions that I can not answer. I want answers for myself first. That way, I will better know what to tell people. But, my sister-in-law is naturally mean anyway. I could just imagine how differently she would treat my baby if she knew she had a problem with her spine. She is that mean natured. As for my husband, he has spoken to his brother (who is the husband of the mean sister-in-law) and it has done no good. It is as if his brother feels helpless in the situation. So, my husband and I just try to avoid contact with her as much as possible. Thank goodness she lives an hour away from us and we only see her when their is a family gathering. Otherwise, I could not tolerate it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mom_of_four View Post
    My sister-in-law who is so mean does not know about my daughter's scoliosis. I am trying to keep it a secret from all family members until we can get some straight answers from the specialist next week. I don't want to bring up the subject to people and then have them flood me with questions that I can not answer. I want answers for myself first. That way, I will better know what to tell people. But, my sister-in-law is naturally mean anyway. I could just imagine how differently she would treat my baby if she knew she had a problem with her spine. She is that mean natured. As for my husband, he has spoken to his brother (who is the husband of the mean sister-in-law) and it has done no good. It is as if his brother feels helpless in the situation. So, my husband and I just try to avoid contact with her as much as possible. Thank goodness she lives an hour away from us and we only see her when their is a family gathering. Otherwise, I could not tolerate it.
    Ok I see. Well it seems like you have two choices here...don't go to family gatherings anymore...or do what the bible says:

    Romans 12

    Behave Like a Christian

    9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

    14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

    17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore



    “ If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
    For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”



    21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


    From David Guzik's Commentaries on the Bible



    f. Do not avenge yourselves: The one who trusts in God will not think it necessary to avenge themselves. They will leave the issue of vengeance to God, and give place to wrath - giving no place to their own wrath, and a wide place to God's wrath.

    g. With this mind-set, we will do good to our enemies, looking for the most practical ways we can help them. This is the way we are not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

    i. Is the heaping coals of fire on his head something good in the eyes of our enemy or is it something bad? It most likely refers to a "burning conviction" that our kindness places on our enemy. Or, some think it refers to the practice of lending coals from a fire to help a neighbor start their own - an act of kindness that would be appreciated.

    ii. Nevertheless, we see that we can destroy our enemy by making him our friend.


    Now I realize this isn't easy at all..and you are going to have to pray and ask God to help you with this when you are around her (if you decide to be...you don't have to be..but I realize if you don't go to family get togethers you miss out on seeing the ones you like and care about). And you are going to have to pray FOR her too. I have heard of some amazing changes in not very nice people after they were prayed for over a period of time. And not the "Lord please make so and so be nice to everyone' kind of prayers..but what Jesus commands. "Lord bless this person. They seem very unhappy and take it out on others, comfort this person Lord..." etc..

    When she makes a remark about your daughter and compares her to this other boy you can say..."wow isn't that neat how God had made us all so different even in babies? Isn't it amazing how they can all develop at different rates yet by the time they are six they are all doing the same things? I just think that is so amazing."

    I am guessing on what age they all end up being at the same development level but it IS true. In the early years there is a vast difference in how they develop but by a certain age they are all doing the same things. No one is 'ahead' of anyone else. (its been awhile since I read up on early childhood development). Having a few little facts like this and turning around what she intends to be a hurtful remark into something positive and focusing on God might give her something to think about. Might shut her up for a while.

    You could throw out the Einstein one also..he didn't start talking until he was three or four. He was kicked out of public school the teaching thinking he was retarded and his mother home schooled him for some years before he went back to school again. Einstein was a bad speller..very forgetful yet he is the most well known genius of all time.

    These are just some ideas of course of some things you could say. I tend to handle insults with 'facts' and get very business like rather then letting my emotions take over...though I admit sometimes I fail at that and my emotional reaction gets the best of me.

    I am going to pray too for this difficult situation. I am very concerned about how she might be treating her own children too.

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

  14. #14

    Re: My Sister-In-Law is Getting On My Nerves HELP

    She has one child who is a 5 year-old boy. He started Kindergarten this year. He has only been going for two weeks and has already gotten into trouble for using curse words (which she taught him) and for not listening to the teacher. His behavior is not his fault. I feel so sorry for him. He is only imitating what he sees at home. And yes, she does treat him badly. When we have family get togethers, all she does is yell at him and call him a "brat" and threaten to slap him when he does the least little thing. She taught him to stick his tongue out at people. But, when he does it to her, she spanks him. Poor little boy.

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    Re: My Sister-In-Law is Getting On My Nerves HELP

    I'm sorry you have to go through this... especially as you're trying to focus on your child's health!

    I have a real pet peeve with adults who are allowed to get away with bad behavior because the people around them allow it. You're mother-in-law (and father in law?) should be the first ones to put their foot down since this happens in their house, regardless of the blackmail your sis-in-law is trying to pull. I love my parents and they love us and all their grand kids to death, but they would never, ever in a million years put up with us making such an ultimatum - if we even suggested it we'd be unceremoniously shown the door mighty quick.

    But that's not something you have control over. It's not up to you to change her behavior, but you don't have to be exposed to it either. Since your husband has already tried to address the situation with her husband without success, I would simply let you MIL know that, while she's welcome anytime to visit you and your daughter at your house, your family will no longer attend occasions this SIL attends as long as she continues her bad behavior.

    That's really the only control you have over the situation, but with what you're dealing with you and your husband need to focus on yourselves and your daughter, and if family functions are a heaping helping of negativity, then why put yourselves through that? I wouldn't. Eventually your daughter will be old enough to be affected, better to deal with this now.

    Who knows, maybe a move like that will encourage the family as a whole to stand up to her... a bully gets shut down real quick when the whole class refuses to be intimidated.

    You can't choose extended family but you can choose how much (or how little) time you spend with them.
    Last edited by canvasjockey; Aug 31st 2010 at 08:04 PM. Reason: spelling
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