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  1. #1
    savshen is offline New ILite
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    Default Problems with relationship with parents, brother and sister-in-law

    Hi everyone!
    This is my first post on IndusLadies, although I have read a lot of stuff here. You are a great bunch and I have found comfort in reading issues/solutions here.

    Well, today I need some insight into some issues that I have and need to get your thoughts.
    I know not all people think alike. But I am just trying to make things work better for me and my family, with a better understanding of things.

    Here's my story:
    I am married and have a lovely little daughter. My husband and I love each other and are happy.
    I am blessed with the best parents that I could have imagined. They brought me up with a lot of love and care and have been my strength during my toughest phases in life. They are very simple and the most unselfish people you can think of. I have been extremely close to them and share the most special relationship and have thanked my stars always to be blessed with such great parents!
    I have a younger brother who I adore and have had a wonderful relationship with all these years.He is happily married too.

    My brother and his wife live with my parents.
    My parents are extremely adjusting and have left no stone unturned to make my SIL feel at home and have always treated her as a daughter.

    I have had serious trouble with my in-laws and because of this my marriage suffered a great deal for a few years. But with God's grace and everyone's efforts, my marriage is going great now and my relatonship with my in-laws is good too. My parents were my backbone during those tough years and my life wouldnt be the same without them in every sense.

    I have always been a non-controversial person. The goody-two-shoes, the girl-next-door kinda person who everyone adores. (Well my inlaws didnt think so, but still ). No fights/sourness as such generally.

    But lately I am having trouble dealing with my sister-in-law.
    My sister-in-law is a shrewd person. I have no qualms or insecurities about anything as such. So I have no reason to compete with her.. But she does.

    The thing is she is very mean to me!

    I know that once a man is married, his priority is his wife. I absolutely understand and believe this and have never interfered in my brother's life. I have tried being there for them, laugh and talk and never overstep the boundaries.

    Since they live with my parents and I go to visit my parents atleast once a week (sometimes more), there are lotsa interactions and with time she is getting meaner. She always pokes fun at me. She is not comfortable with my being close to my parents. She has commented on that. She takes liberties with me (I am very formal and value courtesies). She competes with me. I try and be gracious with her -say thank her for gifts, appreciate her for thins etc. But she never reciprocates. I know they are all simple things, but a lot of such things add up over time, dont u think?

    There are so many subtle things that happen all the time. Basically you know for sure when someone doesnt like you. All interactions are laced with that bitter feeling. So that happens a lot!
    I never paid much attention for a while and would never ever give back thinking it is silly, but over time, things are affecting me. I feel unwelcome at my parents' place these days because of her.

    My brother absolutely wouldnt understand this. I get the drift that he absolutely doesnt want to hear anything about his wife. I have never complained or anything, but such topics are out of limits. So I cant talk to him to clear the air as such. And ofcourse our relationship is not so close these days.

    I didnt want to bring this up with my parents initially. They treat us alike and infact show more affection towards thinking she shouldnt mistake them and I would anyway understand. Having seen me suffer as a daughter-in-law , they want to be the best in-laws to my SIL.

    She is bad to my parents at times. And my brother sides with her and gets back at my parents. But my parents have tried to keep their cool and the matters have never escalated as such.

    So these days at times that I have felt bad I tried talking to my parents about it. But they have dismissed me saying I shouldnt bother about it since it would affect all relations. I know that. They feel as they get older, it is my brother who would have to take care of them and hence no matter what they need to be on good terms with my SIL. So they feel I should adjust and not take things to heart. They said they cannot help me!

    Also they feel they never want to take any help from me and my husband in future too (firstly the Indian society dictates that and another thing is because of my past troubled marriage/inlaw relations).

    I understand that and ofcourse dont want to get them in trouble. But when we grew up my brother and I were treated equally and just because I am married and 'sent-away' doesnt mean I cannot be there for them or help them.

    So it is kinda complex!

    Firstly I feel as my parents are aging, they are getting dependent on my brother and SIL and are slowly drifting away from me. Since they are so important to me, this pains me a great deal!
    And this is compounded by my bad relations with my SIL.

    So I dont know what to do.
    Should I continue to let my SIL treat me bad? If I object to that, I lose my parents in a way, ie if I stay away from my SIL, I need to stay away from my parents too!!!
    This is just not fair, dont u think??

    I dont want my parents to suffer in any way. I dont want my brother's relationship with his wife or my parents get affected.
    So what do I do?

    I look forwrad to hearing from you!

    Thanks!!


  2. #2
    maya69's Avatar
    maya69 is offline Junior ILite
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    Default Re: Problems with relationship with parents, brother and sister-in-law

    I can only give you some perspective from the sil side as I am in same situation as your sil. So maybe you can get an idea what she might be feeling. See, my in laws live with me for about 10yrs. My elder bil (Dh's brother) and family live not too far. my bil and gang keep dropping in (to see his parents) at times when all I want to do is kick of my shoes and veg out. Or I might be helping DD with homework or what not. But when bil and cosis come by unexpectedly I am also expected to sit and chat, make tea etc. I adore my bil and cosis, yet part of me is pissed that I can't call my own shots in my own home cuz of my in laws. My mil will ask them to stay for dinner when i never planned etc and if this happened 2 times a week I'd be bit upset and no longer enjoy their visit. I actually would love to spend time with bil/cosis alone but always in laws are there!

    Probably your sil might be feeling the same no matter how nice you are. How about asking your parents to your house for a change and give her break. Not sure if that will mend the bad vibes with sil but it it's a good start.


  3. #3
    monita is offline Gold ILite
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    Default Re: Problems with relationship with parents, brother and sister-in-law

    Savshen,
    I think your parents are being wise. They are following the age old Indian tradition of the son taking care of parents and as you said they know they will be dependent on your brother. The tradition also dictates that DDs are outsiders after wedding. So, you are just a visitor in their home. Probably, that's how your SIL sees it and nobody likes frequent uninvited visitors.

    In every JFs, there are some small rifts between family members. My suggestion would be let your parents handle their own affairs and limit your visits to their home. If you really want to spend more time with your parents, call them to your home. I doubt they will come to your home because of your past problems with your ILs. I think you should be more focussed on your family.


  4. #4
    kAlyaniShAnti's Avatar
    kAlyaniShAnti is offline Gold ILite
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    Default Re: Problems with relationship with parents, brother and sister-in-law


    Dear Sav,
    From your post what I feel is there are two things which are affecting you. One is your SIL being not the way as per your expectations and secondly a sense of insecurity that you are becoming distanced from your parents after your brother's marriage.

    Let me tell you one thing, your parents are absolutely affectionate towards you (this you yourself have told) and whatever be the matter it will never change. There may be physical distance between them and you, but your well being is always there in their mind. They are doing exactly what is appropriate. SInce your brother and SIL stay with your parents, they have to have a cordial and homely relationships with each other and your parents have been taking a key role in that. It is so great and nice of them.

    Every person is different, you know, so is your SIL from you. Let her be the way she is. She may not be acting the way you do to the seniors of the family. It may be hurtful to you, but there is hardly any thing you can do about it, until her acts (if any) are insulting and hurting for your parents and directly to you.

    Let them be the way they are. Over time things will get better, I am sure.

    There is nothing to worry in your case, Dear. Relax.


    "He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how" - Viktor Frankl
    "Be modest, be humble, be simple" - Amy Chua


    Lower Bound of ExpectationDurga Puja 2012

  5. #5
    Soumedh's Avatar
    Soumedh is offline Senior ILite
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    Default Re: Problems with relationship with parents, brother and sister-in-law

    Hi,
    Welcome to IL family dear.You are a sweet person and smart too.
    Your parents are right in this situation all the time they are together not you.Hence they are not escalating the issues and keeping all relations cordial.
    Ignore your SIL's nonsense comments and attitude towards you.Just bear it only for sake of your parents because you visit there only for them.keep interactions with your SIL to minimum.
    if your parents are comfortable with your brother and your SIL wats your worry?
    Dont think too much and worry on little things.Take it easy.Everything will be alright.
    Dont get insecure about your relations with your parents or your brother.You are their dear daughter and will remain always.
    Take care.
    Regards


  6. #6
    billybob is offline Silver ILite
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    Default Re: Problems with relationship with parents, brother and sister-in-law

    Problem is with your parents way of thinking not your SIL, blame your parents they expect to live with their son and DIL. Every woman, at least those I know, wants to live with her own family husband and her offspring, she is being forced to live with your parents how ever good they are she does not have privacy especially during early phase of marital life on the top of it your visits are additional burden. yes daughters are viewed outsiders in traditional families you cannot have it both ways.


  7. #7
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    asuitablegirl is offline Platinum ILite
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    Default Re: Problems with relationship with parents, brother and sister-in-law

    You say your sil is mean, but she is actually very nice to agree to live in joint family. Now adays, many women want their own space to live seperately with their husband and children. In an ideal world, you would have had a sil who likes you. Even my sil hates me, so I know what you are going through. I know what it feels like to have everyone else in the world like you EXCEPT for that one mean person.... the sil. But unfortunately we don't live in an ideal world.

    Your parents are chosing to live that traditional way where son and dil become their life and daughter becomes an outsider. Don't blame your sil for the way you are feeling, your parents have decided on this setup. If your parents and brother lived seperately, then you and him would be on equal footing. Each of you would be valuable to your parents. But because they chose to depend on him the rest of their lives, they are naturally more inclined to favor him (and hence, his wife too).

    See it's not just your parents who are putting up with her, she is also putting up with them. In a situation where people have to live together, it's in everyones best interest not to stir up conflict. Try to ignore her and be happy that at least she is living with your parents and taking care of them. I'm a nice person, but even I would not want to live with my inlaws. So she must be nice in some way if she's willing to curtail her own freedom and happiness to live with your folks and support them. As for your brother supporting her, can you imagine how unbearable it would be for her to live in that house if even her own husband didn't support her? Your parents have each other in that house. If your brother sides with his parents just because they are his parents, then what happens to her? She will feel like it's 3 against 1. Probably your brother realizes what a sacrifice his wife is making for his sake. Also it is natural for a husband not to want to hear anything about his wife. My dh is the same way. As mentioned in another thread in this forum, my sil started complaining about me and my dh cut the phone.

    Continue to be a good daughter, a good wife, a good friend to your friends, a good sister, a good sil, a good dil.... and if anyone is bad to you, realize that the problem is probably somewhere in themself and they are just venting it out on you. At least that's what I try to tell myself when my sil is mean to me. Yes, you will still feel hurt and bad when someone is mean to you, but it helps to realize it may not be your fault.

    revjey likes this.

  8. #8
    flowerlady's Avatar
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    Default Re: Problems with relationship with parents, brother and sister-in-law

    Cut down your visits , your SIL will welcome you. There is absolutely no reason to visit parents twice a week or more. Go there only once in 15 days or on special occasions.
    Dont create problems for your parents in their old age. Wait to be invited for a change and things will improve.
    Your brother is right in siding with his wife your SIL , he is looking after his aged parents too. Would you welcome your husbands sis and family twice a week ????
    Every relationship has a limit which should not be crossed. Your SIL seems a nice lady , please take the hint and keep away from her household.


  9. #9
    Mahajanpragati's Avatar
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    Default Re: Problems with relationship with parents, brother and sister-in-law

    hi,
    i will go with the other posters who recommend cutting down the visits to once fortnight ............she needs her privicy which already short as she lives with inlaws & then she has to cope up with weekly visit from SIL who from all account is good but still is a SIL.

    and i guess your parents are also right in asking you not to create trouble for them as in such their relationship with the DIL seems okay & they don't want to end up taking sides suppose such situation arrives.

    pls,don't even think about discussing this issue with your brother as he will sure take side of his wife ( as any good husband should )and you will end up getting hurt.if he takes your side you will be the cause of rift between the couple & i guess you don't want to do that to the brother you love a lot.
    you seem a sensible person from your post & i guess deep inside your heart you know what is the real issue & that is why you have not got into argument with your SIL.think & act to the best interest of all.

    pragati


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Problems with relationship with parents, brother and sister-in-law

    Hi, Can't you simply ask her in a good natured friendly way if something about you or the family dynamic is bothering her? Rather than making all the assumptions, I find it best to be upfront and just ask.

    Also, brushing this under the rug, or not visiting them often is not a long term option - so you begin not visiting them, it only makes you feel more alienated from your parents, and you are going to feel resentful over time. And then if you reduce the frequency of your visits, over time visiting once a fortnight is also going to feel like a lot, what happens then? You obviously want to keep a closer relationship with them, so that's not going to work long term and you're going to end up unhappy. You could try reducing your visits and see if it helps, but it might not.

    As an aside, if frequent visiting is a problem, can you invite your parents over for a day or so? I know there have been problems with your IL's, so that might not be an option for you, but maybe, you need to get your DH in your corner and work out a solution so they can also visit you for an evening/afternoon, a weekend or so. It will give you all time together under your terms and your SIL will also get some time off. Or maybe take your parents out with you or something if that's feasible.

    Maybe you're already doing this, but have you tried to cultivate a relationship with her independent of your parents/brother? I mean take an interest in her out of context of her relationship with you beyond the "SIL, DIL" part? Its irksome if someone only cares about you in the context of their relationship because of someone else... KWIM?

    If I were you, I'd just ask her, and ask her not merely as a courtesy but like I really meant to resolve whatever the problem was.

    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. - Plato.

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