But I Got Great Advice...

my SIL is subtle. she can hug my husband, as he stands arm-in-arm with me, and walk away, ignoring my presence. she can chat happily with him and never meet my eye. she'll crow about phoning my other SIL on her birthday, while i've never had one birthday phone call. her excuse? "well, i've never been told when your birthday is!" so in thirteen years, she never thought to ask. what she accomplishes with her subtle snubs is to make me feel like i have no value, like i'm not present, like i'm worthless. the trouble comes when i feel that my husband must agree with her, because he KNOWS i am upset, but steadfastly refuses to stand up and defend me. this comes, for me, from a childhood formed around a narcissistic mother who continually pointed out how little value i was to her. SO...this triggers years of self-esteem pain for me, and i rage at my husband. he's very, VERY uncomfortable with conflict and, when he has approached his sister on two occassions, he has ever-so-gently asked her to please just be nice. my own sister, concerned about my husband and i during a recent (short) separation (yes, my feelings of abandonment pushed us THAT far) came up with a technique for my husband...the next time his sister plays a little "power" game right in front of him, he has agreed to turn to me, right in the middle of her talking, and say loudly, "i'm so sorry honey, are you allright?" i figure this serves at least three purposes...

A...he doesn't have to confront her and hurt her feelings, cause as much as they are all cruel to us, ladies, our husbands DO still love their sisters, and we can never take that away from them, they will just resent us for that.

B...i am immediately consoled, loved, affirmed, my value to him loud and clear. i don't need to change HER bad behaviour, but he can change his reaction to one of complete and vocal and public support for me.

C...this reaction, out loud, immediately shames her for her behaviour, alerts the rest of the family that she's being an idiot and to watch out for her, and her brother is APOLOGISING to her enemy for her childish behaviour. i can see that this will shut her up soooo fast.

this can also be done when she hugs him and walks away from me...he just has to be a bit louder. i think this is a brilliant plan on every facet. i hope you all can try it out with your husbands. my sister is a brilliant woman, and i thank her from the bottoom of my heart. my husband was really, really happy to hear about this idea, and that i wanted to try it out, cause no one gets their feelings hurt, and that is what he has been trying to avoid, which in fact backfires every time casue my feelings got hurt by his inability to defend me.

good luck to you all!
jjd1 jjd1
1 Response Aug 7, 2010

"apheoniximmortal" commented on my post, quite critically and negatively, i thought. i actually do belive that the good advice i got IS good...it will shame my SIL into shutting up. yes, of course my husband saying it out loud in front of the family is a passive-aggressive confrontation, that is the point! and yes, both my husband and i have confronted her privately, more than once. and about the question, "who cares if your SIL doesn't hug you?" well...duh, i care. i don't care if you think it's stupid, I CARE. so you can post words like "pathetic" and "immature" about me all you like, dear, but you need to know you sound just like my SIL. :) i shan't be returning to a self-help site full of hypocrites. good luck, everyone, and don't let the apheoniximmortals of the world get you down.