My husband of 18 years, who was divorced before we met, has two daughters. I have a son. We were strongly rejected by his sister, though I initially tried to keep a relationship.
His parents eventually accepted us and I had a good relationship with them.
His sister’s been very mean to me and my son, even to humiliating me. But my husband wouldn’t stand up for me, saying I should defend myself.
I argue that, as he’s family, he should be putting his sister in her place, making her acknowledge that he sees what she does.
At my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary, with almost 150 guests, she’d created a photo video that excluded my son and me, but included my husband and his ex-wife.
The photographer there was instructed not to take pictures of me and my son. My husband did nothing.
She always finds a way to irritate/upset me so I can argue with my husband.
My mother in-law passed away. At the florist to choose flowers for the funeral, his sister refused to allow flowers sent by my mother.
She insisted that the only flowers allowed were from the family. My husband didn’t say anything.
During the funeral she again put photos of everyone but my son and me.
Then, during the funeral, my husband acted as if he were a single person, doing everything his sister told him, leaving me apart from the family, left on the side with my son and his fiancé.
When everyone was gone but my husband’s closest family, I had my son drive me home.
I’d loved my mother-law and tried to be there as much as possible, but also had to avoid my sister-in-law.
I can’t understand why my husband’s afraid to insist that it’s unacceptable for me or my son to be humiliated publicly, when he should be my partner and my support.
I’ve decided to stop attending any of his family’s future functions. I can’t reconcile that my husband just walks away when I need him most.
He says, “that’s my sister and you shouldn’t pay attention to her,” but why? So he just lets her hurt me as if nothing’s happened?
She humiliated my son many times when he was small and my husband didn’t do anything then either.
I know he’s a good man, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to trust that he’ll be there for me.
How can I make him understand that he needs to speak up and be there for his wife?
Frustrated and Deeply Hurt
You say he’s a “good man,” but he’s not good to you. Your son is grown and will soon respond as he wishes, likely by avoiding this rude, hostile woman completely.
But you’re left with a huge unresolved issue in your marriage: Your husband is weak when it comes to his sister.
He believes you must handle this on your own, but that’s cowardice on his part and/or he fears his sister will turn on him.
Do NOT accept this demeaning, upsetting, and disrespectful treatment from either of them any longer.
Do NOT see her or acknowledge her. Invite his father over without her, and visit/meet him somewhere when she’s not around.
If your husband objects, tell him that he allowed his sister’s behaviour to divide you, when he could’ve supported you years ago.
His reaction will affect whether your commitment to your marriage can survive this breach.
My sister was married to a man who had signs of mental illness. They’d verbally and physically abused each other, both repeatedly threatened divorce.
Their very rocky marriage ended when he committed suicide.
Her second child was rebellious, she’d fight for everything. My sister tried to keep her happy, to make up for the domestic fights she’d witnessed and unhappiness in their life.
Now 22, my niece is still unmotivated to work or study. Yet she wants the newest cell phone model, car, etc. She’s been verbally abusive to my sister to get what she wants, refusing therapy or medication.
How can we fix this? I fear she’ll become bolder and more aggressive toward my sister.
Your sister must deliver a choice: Her daughter either gets counselling or there’ll only be basic support funds, no extras.
If she refuses, then she must visibly pursue studies or work to warrant living at home.
Tip of the day:
A true partner speaks up in support of you when his/her family purposefully behaves meanly towards you.