My husband’s older brother was indulged and later ended up in the modest family business because he’d played instead of studied and wasn’t capable of getting more lucrative jobs.
My husband earned a graduate degree in business and has been very financially successful.
Both brothers are married with kids (three each) and I try to keep the family together by hosting the main holiday events.
My question: Why does my sister-in-law (SIL) hate me? I know she can’t afford to do the hosting as easily as I can. And she doesn’t have enough room for us all.
The kids love getting together, the brothers joke about their childhood antics, their parents beam. Meanwhile, my SIL looks glum and avoids talking to me.
I want these gatherings to be joyful, but she casts a shadow. I pay the far greater part of the meals, and only ask her to bring the starters and a salad, so she feels a part of it.
What am I doing wrong?
Not the Bad Guy
Sounds like the whole situation feels “wrong” to her, because the brothers ended up in such different situations. Since finances are tighter for them and your lifestyles differ greatly, she’s having a hard time accepting this.
It’s unlikely her husband explains this difference the same way you did.
Meanwhile, try to improve things that only involve you two together. Try a casual “girlfriend” approach and invite her to something you can attend together – a movie, play, a concert. Tell her you have an extra ticket and thought she’d like to attend.
Just be two women together, not the hostess and guest. Worth a sincere try.
FEEDBACK Regarding the question why men’s profile photos on a dating site don’t resemble the guys who arrive for a first date (January 17):
Reader – “I’m a man who agrees with this woman about misleading profile photos.
“But women are no different than men in this matter. I stopped going online because of it.
“I was on a site and openly stated that I was not into large women, because I don’t want to hurt anyone's feelings.
“I arranged to meet a lady who stated that she weighed about 150 lbs, which I was okay with. But when she arrived she had to weigh at least 350 pounds!
“Did she think that I wouldn’t notice?”
Reader #2 – “My friend was on a paid date-site and almost ALL the females had exactly the same facial shape and hair style, everyone looking like a photo-shopped copy of the same person, just with different colour makeup and hair.
“Just imagine what chance other women, like me, have with those sex floozies around, even some willing to pay for it.”
Reader #3 –“Women are also disingenuous with their pictures online. So, how come they can lie about their appearance online and then say people should be more accepting of how they look? Like, we shouldn't fat-shame or shame women at all. But it seems the letter-writer didn’t mind doing it to men. (Ellie: she described her date as having a scruffy beard and two missing front teeth).
“I’m not rich but I make pretty good money at what I do. But, despite being a good-looking man, I wouldn't be able to get a woman to even speak to me, and that reflects the inflated ego in this letter. The letter-writer indicates that women aren’t that needy, but yet she’s actively seeking a man.”
Reader #4 – “She’s showing an inflated sense of self
and the idea that men are to blame for her poor dating choices. No matter which man she picks, it's never her responsibility.
“I also find it disrespectful that she bases her experience mostly on looks.
“From my experiences, it's usually women’s eagerness for social status factors which eventually fail the relationship. I've had women leave me for not being ambitious enough, despite my making enough money.
“I've also found that women won't even look at a man who has less of a career than she does.
“What women don't understand is how hard it is for a guy to date. Especially if he isn’t considered by women to be rich or good-looking.
“I think there are good men suffering from these issues I mention.
“I believe that women have unrealistic expectations and then think it's the men's fault when they aren't met.”
Tip of the day:
Differing finances among family members can cause problems. But friendship and thoughtfulness can ease the differences.