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.

rockerwife rockerwife
31-35, F
9 Responses Feb 25, 2011

also, you are mixing a bunch of things and putting them on Tina. The weakened economy, how you feel bad about being a STHM, your projections of what SHE might think of you are all from you, not her. I doubt Tina thinks or cares half as much for your approval as you do for hers, and that's probably what really drives you up the wall. The fact that you a GROWN WOMAN, MOM AND WIFE, have been trying for over 10 yrs to get a s-i-l's "stamp of approval" tells me that you have some serious self-confidence/esteem issues with your current place in life and that you project your problems onto others. If it wasn't the aloof, s-i-l Tina, it would be someone else. You are just making her a scapegoat for your insecurities.

it seems like this is mostly in your head. Yeah, she doesn't sound like the the best s-i-l ever but from what you're saying she simply doesn't respond to your "ovetures" at friendship, which seem double-loaded to me. Just because you are trying to be friends with her in your way doesn't mean she's obligated to respond. She probably senses your dislike and thinks that your maneuvers at being friendly are ulterior, fake and petty. Just from reading this, that's what I would think if you were my s-i-l.

As for your reasons of why you think she doesn't like, incredibly made up in your head! I mean, do you have ANY concrete proof for this!? Until you do, drop the assumption. I'm not saying your s-i-l isn't a ***** or a boor, but if she's anything like me, she probably doesn't trust you because underneath all that "niceness" and "reaching out" she senses that in reality, YOU don't like her.

I have an s-i-l like you and frankly, it's not that I don't like her. I simply don't trust her. I see all her attempts at friendship as being a way to obligate me to her little world of petty-ness. She treats the rest of my s-i-l's like accessories and frankly, her attitude toward me is pitch perfect like your attitude toward Tina.

My partner is exactly the same, defends her all the time... And because of this, we are no longer together. Very sad situation.

Best thing I ever did was to " unfriend" my s-I-l on Facebook. After putting up with YEARS of the most selfish, self centered, manipulative, lazy person I have ever known, I had enough! <br />
We were out to dinner one night with my in laws and my mother in law tattled on her, my SIL was going onto my Facebook wall trying to find something/anything to cause a problem with, she tried to back track and get out of it, a little to late. That night I "unfriended" her and 3 months later i have yet to hear anything about it. Do I care, NO because the problem is hers not mine and I don't need this toxic person around me or my children. I could tell you stories that would make you cringe, But it's honestly not worth carrying it around with me and letting it consume my life. And if by chance something does get said, then I may unleash!

you are so very lucky she dsnt live close to you, i would ignore her back dont send a xmas card dont involve yourself with anything to do with her and she will hate you even more but you know what,, you have your pride and dignity and know that you are the more mature person that has a life of their own!

OMG, i just saw u as me in some odd years. Seriously, my hubby and have been together for 4 yrs. We have no kids, and I always imagined how this thing will play out w. me and his sister. She's exactly ur SIL. She's just ignores me, when I was trying to be nice to her for the past few yrs. Or u can sense that she's looking down on u or something. But luckily for me, when I was trying to mend things, cuz i was like.. okay this cant be forever, she rejected coffee with me, and just wrote me an angry email. My husbands first response was he didnt want to get into it. Im no sissy.. so even if i was nice to her in the beginning, after that, i was like... okay i had enough. If anything.. i should be writing an angry email. Why in the wrld is this grl writing me this? Not to mention, if u read the content, she had NOTHING to be mad about it. She was dwelling into my relationship with my husband. She even said stuff like she didnt like how he pays for things for me. WTH? Meanwhile, she has a bf who buys her everything, and she even said, thats okay. But not with me. I actually deleted her as a facebook friend... then off to block her. I know she's doesnt care right now. But TRUST me... when i have babies she's gunna wanna add me as a friend... or somehow regret she never amend things with me. <br />
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I think u should stand up for urself. DONT care what other ppl have to say. Being a stay at home mom is a reallly TOUGH job, its a full time job that doesnt even pay for over time. So seriously... take pride in what u do. In the meantime, don't be ashame to set boundaries. And u dont have to be so kinda anymore. Uve done it for sooo long, its unneccesary now. U have a loving husband, good kids and a great supportive family. Who cares about her? U can go ahead and delete and block her from ur facebook, so she doesnt snoop around. And seriously.. stand ur ground.. after she confronts u, things get better. Yea u guys will have a very horrid relationship, but at very least, she would stay out of ur life.. or sight. My SIL stays outa my way since that email confrontation. And the rest of the family, is at terms with it. They say they dont want to be involve... thats how i get out of having to go to some stupid family gatherings as well. My SIL is a christian by the way, such a hypocrite. Ofcourse, she doesnt even really goes to church... but she acts all innocent and sweet... when trying to break a family up is always sinful.

You have done your best. Don't try to be her friend she obviously does't want to be your friend., nor woould she be worthwhile as a friend. Continue to be the best wife and mother to you husband and kids. It is very rude of his family to call you uncomplimentary names and you must tell your husband how hurtful this is to you. He should really support you and ask them not to be so rude to his wife. If he can't / wont you need to be assertive and tell them that you found the remark offensive and ask them to keep their unsavoury comments to themselves. Perhaps say to them something along the lines that "I was brought up to respect others and if you don't have a nice thing to say about someone it's best to keep quiet.. Tell you husband before any interaction with his family that you intend to defend yourself if they start being rude to you, especially in your own home. If you are at their home it would probably be best to take your family and leave. Your husband needs to stand by you.<br />
I too have a bitchy SIL. It took me 30 years to disassociate from her completely as her toxic, rude, controlling, bossy, egotistical nasty, bitchy personality is unchangeable, and intolerable..<br />
Good luck and hopefully you will survive their taunts. You are obviously highly educated so maybe write a book about your ordeal and how you overcame the "possession " these people have had over your ability to have a harmonious life. Good luck!

Thanks cinthh8tr! Your words really helped me feel much better....I guess misery really does love company! It's just nice to see that I am not the only one going through this s-i-l drama. I feel bad for you. I do not know if I could handle being 1/2 mile away from my s-i-l. Mine is a good 1,200 miles away and there are times I feel like she is too close. <br />
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Like yours, my hubby also does not seem to care much about his sister either. Through the years I have often reminded him of her birthday or other special events, but he always blows her off and seems like she doesn't matter to him. I guess that's what frustrates me is that he acts like he doesn't really care about her, and they aren't really that close, but yet he still seems to want to "defend" her when I am upset about something. You are right, guys must just be different like that. I keep telling myself not to become so worked up over this miserable hag, but I crack in the moment. Thanks again! Your words were the uplift I needed.

I feel your pain. Your s-i-l sounds like a total b****. I have one of my own who truly makes me feel like she doesn't give a crap about me. She will go months w/out speaking to me and then work through my m-i-ll (her Mom) to see my children. Its like really?! you couldn't pick up the g.d. phone and call me to see the kids?! FU. I despise this woman with a passion. My husband, her baby brother, is very indifferent toward her and doesn't really give a rats *** whether he sees her or not. He also has no problem being estranged from her completely. Sometimes when I am venting he seems very dismissive and tells me he doesn't want to talk about it. I think that is just the way guys are. they are not as emotional as we are. You have to tell your husband exactly what you need him to do...listen to your feelings and not offer excuses for them. Try to follow your husbands lead and not get so worked up over this b. You are SO LUCKY she is so far away. Mine is 1/2 mile away. Don't take it personally-you sound very nice. She is the one with the problem. I wouldn't ditch your husband just change your attitude about the s-i-l (easier said than done). F. her. She sounds like she's just an unhappy person and probably jealous of you. Good luck!