Do I Love Him More Than I Hate Her?I have been married for over ten years, most of them good. My husband, Dave, is a kind, loving, compassionate man. He has never said a cruel thing to me and truly is my best friend. My problem is his sister. She has never liked me. Why? I can only assume it is because.....1) I had a child prior to my relationship with "her baby brother," who he has since adopted and lovingly helped me raise. 2) She doesn't believe I am "pretty" enough or "thin" enough to be with her baby brother. 3) I believe she has racial biases against me as her family is Caucasian and I am not. 4) We were pregnant at the same time, she miscarried, I carried to term. 5) I went on to have three more children with her brother while her own husband denied her the chance to have more than one biological child of her own.
Thankfully, we are geographically blessed and rarely have to see my s-i-l as she lives on the other side of the country. My problem is the way my husband makes me feel when I am venting about her. Here's thing: For years, I wanted her to like me. I am really close to my own sisters and when I entered my own marriage I really wanted to develop a close relationship with her. She does not have sisters of her own and has a mostly estranged relationship with her own mother, which leads me to think she has no close female relationships . In trying to get her to "like me" I would send her nice notes out of the blue like "hey, Tina, how are you doing today?" stuff like that. For holiday/vacations I would share photos of her brother and our children and would always ask her to share pics of her children. I even went so far as to host a Tupperware party (she was selling because her family was going through a financial hiccup) on her behalf, which sold about $500 in merchandise. All of these nice gestures have been met with nothing.
Don't get me wrong, Tina is not rude; she says nothing hateful, she just ignores me. I know I shouldn't give her so much power, but her total indifference toward me hurts my feelings. When I try to talk to my husband about my hurt feelings, he ALWAYS tries to make an excuse for her. "Maybe Tina didn't get the message?" "Maybe Tina has been really busy?" "Maybe you are misunderstanding Tina?" Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah....
I think it is easier for Dave to just say nothing, which bugs the crap out of me. I have told him, I don't expect him to jump on his phone, call her and chew her out. No way! I want my husband to have a nice relationship with his sis. I never wanted to "take him away" from her. I had hoped we could all be close and function the way I do with my own siblings. In the moments when I am hurt because Tina disregarded me, all I want is for him to acknowledge my upset, without sounding like he is jumping to her defense. He makes me feel like he always takes her side. It drives me crazy! I have tried to calmly talk to him about my feelings, but I don't think he gets it. Compounding the problem is that other members of his family have said rude things to me in the past. In all instances, he says nothing. He always just seems to offer an excuse in their defense.
So, here I am nearly 14 years into this relationship. I recently joined FB and guess who one of the first people to "friend" me was? Yep....the s-i-l who has never wanted to be my friend. I strongly suspect she wanted a peek into my profile as my settings were set to private and for friends only. I waited two weeks to accept because I did not want to let her into my peaceful, social time, but I finally and reluctantly accepted her request. I figured that I was being too harsh and that maybe she might get to know me better in that new (FB) context. So, I accepted her request and have tried to be warm and friendly, but again NOTHING. I even said something to the fact that, "loving your brother came easy as he is such an incredible man", which she couldn't even "like". This whole thing is so juvenile.
The problem is that this whole Jr. High drama has taken its toll. I am so over it! I am tired of being nice. I don't want to be her friend. I don't want her family to visit my home next summer. I don't want to send her a Christmas card or a photo of my children ever again. I am so ready to be done with her uppity, "I am better than you" attitude. It shouldn't have to be so hard to fight for my husband's sibling relationship when his own sibling doesn't love him enough to accept me as his wife.
Moreover, I don't want to hear any more of his dad's snide remards. I especially do not want to hear his brother call me a loser and a mooch because I have been a stay-at-home mom for 8 years. Quite frankly, our personal life is none of their business and they have no right to make judgements because my husband and I wanted a more traditional (dad works, mom stay home) life when our children were little. We were happy, our kids were happy, and we made it work. I didn't exactly "waste" those years being a STHM either, I used that time to earn a bachelors and masters degree. Now, my children are older and I am trying to get back out into the work force.
Unfortunately, in this weakened economy, getting a job is not as easy as it once was. My situation, however, in no way makes me a loser or a mooch! I have been a good wife and mother to my family. I have always, always opened our home to his family if they wanted to visit. I have always taken extra care to clean before his parents arrive for a visit. Most important, I have never, ever used my children as a weapon I have never spoken an unkind word about the s-i-l in their presence and have always lovingly taught them that she is Aunt Tina.
I am fed up. I want out of this situation for my own sanity. I am tired of feeling bad about myself because I cannot get the "stamp of approval" from my s-i-l. I have allowed Tina's unacceptance of me turn me into a sad, insecure, semi self-loathing person. I deserve better than that! Unfortunately, to be out really means to walk away from my marriage because my husband is never going to "get it". Is she worth it? I need some advice here. What are your thoughts? Is a beautiful marriage worth the hurt, irritation, and loss of self-esteem? Could I please get some advice and/or words of wisdom from others who have a s-i-l that hates them. Thanks for listening.