I’m getting married soon. I’ve been with my fiancé through years of our education and career-building. We’re deeply in love.
Everything would be beautiful if it weren’t for the unreasonable demands of his sister-in-law. She resents our success.
When we bought a small house, she bad-mouthed me as a “gold-digger” even though I paid the bigger share!
She criticizes every aspect of our wedding plans. She’s pushed for her extended family’s presence… including the children of her second cousin!
She’s ruining my excitement for the wedding day. What can I do about her?
Concentrate on yourself and your groom.
Whatever accommodations you’ve agreed to so far, no more.
If she wants more guests, say there’s no more room. Period.
Find some de-stressors for yourself – massages, time alone with your groom, not answering her every phone call, text, etc.
She’s jealous. There may be little you can do to change that.
However, she’s going to be your SIL for a long time.
If she has a talent or interest from which you can give her a task that allows her a moment to shine, it might ease her own stressful envy.
I’m writing from another country. I’m married with two kids.
We live with my in-laws, one has dementia.
Neither my husband nor his sister, who lives nearby, has arranged for their elderly parents’ care.
His mom only bathes on Sundays and smells horribly. His dad has never liked to bathe. He has all his faculties but is physically weak.
I clean the house and cook. My husband’s responsible for their laundry but it hardly gets done.
I have financial responsibility for the kids. My husband’s in a lot of debt and can barely contribute.
His dad spends his and his wife's pensions on women in the neighbourhood who take advantage of him. He and I pay the bills. My husband pays none.
I’ve decided to emigrate to Canada so my kids and I can have a better life, but I won't take my husband.
He thinks I’m being selfish, and abandoning my family.
I’ve mostly succeeded in clearing my own debt. I’ve even secretly prostituted myself a few times to a gentleman who’d give me money to help out.
I’m not proud of it, but I feel like I’m drowning with a dead-beat man. I need to move on.
Should I emigrate?
Silly or Selfish?
There’s nothing silly OR selfish about the desperation you feel. You’re the only true support of yourself and your children, and locked into helping his neglected parents.
Emigration is rarely quick or easy. You need to learn what’s required by your country of choice, or any other place that might work out.
Then there’s a time factor of getting documents ready, how much finances are needed, securing required official interviews, etc.
Meanwhile, you need to better manage your current life.
Prostituting puts you in a precarious position with this man. Unless he has true affection for you, and won’t undermine your efforts to keep you around, you can’t trust his hold on you.
Also, learn what social services are available, if any, to help your in-laws with personal hygiene and house-cleaning.
Then focus on your main goal, which is responsibility for your own future and that of your children.
If the emigration attempt doesn’t work out, separating from this husband and family may be a more reachable way to move on.
It’s closer towards independence instead of being exploited.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman fed up that her husband’s “a slob” (April 28):
Reader – “Has she considered her husband may have executive function problems?
“It's not always possible for people to just organize or tidy their space or their schedules. Merely asking him to be neater may be something he simply cannot do.
“Counselling is a great first step, and there are coaches available to teach these skills.
“My husband keeps a very organized schedule to get everything done, garbage day, dishes done, laundry day, car maintenance.
“It's the only way he can stay on top of things. He isn't great at this, either.
“I feel for her, as I’m hyper-organized. But my husband loves to stack his items and declare them organized.
“My kids need to see everything they own. Walls are my friend.
“Mom of two with Autism, married to a man with Autism, none with great executive function skills.”
Tip of the day:
Don’t let another’s jealousy cast shadows on your wedding. Be firm but mindful of any ways to be kind.