When we get married and become part of a whole new family, we have nothing but the best of intentions in our hearts. We want to embrace the new culture and accept everyone as our family members. However, not all of us are lucky enough to get this feeling of acceptance and love reciprocated by our in-laws.
Your sister-in-law should be a friend and confidante, right? She is a fellow woman, whether married or single, and has probably faced similar life situations as you have. Why is it then that so many of us end up facing problems with her? Ego struggles, evil gossip, comparisons, and blame games! Sisters-in-law come in varying proportions of sugar, spice, and everything nice!
But there are a few types that are universal, which we can all identify with. But she refused. Some sisters-in-law just love complaining about you. Everything you do is found fault with and then gets transferred to the ears of your in-laws or even your husband. Solution: So, what do you do when your sister-in-law hates you? If your sister-in-law is the gossiping type who loves telling tales, it is best to not trust her with secrets.
Try and keep your interactions on personal matters as limited as possible. This applies to social media as well; best not to comment on her pictures if she keeps misconstruing them as interference! It can be the best solution you have to ensure peace at home.
Some sisters-in-law have annoying habits that never fail to exasperate you! Visiting at odd hours without calling first. Some of our sisters-in-law have really annoying habits that irritate and tire us out. But we cannot complain because she is part of the in-laws and criticising her would be seen as a sign of our bad behavior! Solution: As long as the habits are manageable, try and laugh them off, or, if she is younger than you, talk to her about them teasingly.
But if the habits are making your life difficult, tell her so in plain words. The controlling sister-in-law can be the most tiresome, as they expect you to abide by their rules and regulations, and can try to curb your independence.
She may interfere in your decisions, offer advice, and expect them to be followed to a T. It is a sweet and natural thing to do; of course, all of us miss our parents.
Solution: The best thing is to have a heart-to-heart with your in-laws about it. Explain to them that you have a responsibility toward your parents just as you have a responsibility toward your in-laws. They need to trust you to divide your time well and ensure that your duties are not compromised on.
What business is it of hers or anybody else? The details of your married life and personal life are yours alone. It is up to you whether or not you want to share them with anyone. But not answering these questions poses the risk that she may take offense or even complain to her parents.
Result: You will be up for catcalls and criticism at family functions and at the dinner table! Solution: How to get along with sister-in-law like this?
Or just pretend to be bashful, shy, or busy; she will get the hint eventually to not intrude into your privacy. Sometimes, it can be your parents-in-law who make this comparison to your face, which feels hurtful. While aiming to do better is healthy, getting competitive about everything is not at all healthy! Solution: Getting along with a sister-in-law like this can be tough. Just try and take the comparisons in your stride as long as they are meant as constructive feedback and not blatant criticism.
If it starts bothering you or is totally unfair, talk to your in-laws and your spouse about it. Tell them that you and your SIL have different strengths and weaknesses. Constant comparisons serve no purpose but to make you feel small. As the daughter-in-law, you consult your in-laws with every major decision.
You take part in all activities in the household. She keeps you out of major discussions and excludes you from important occasions. Solution: This is one of the most heart-breaking problems we can face. How to deal with sister-in-law issues like this? Please talk to your spouse about the situation and discuss your emotions openly, without making it seem as if you are blaming his parents and sister. It is his duty too to help you be accepted as an intrinsic part of his family.
If she goes out of her way to be rude and mean to you in most situations, you might be dealing with a jealous sister-in-law. This behaviour may vary, though; you might see her make cutting remarks to your face, but tone it down in front of others. The resultant tension caused can thus lead to a bad relationship with your sister-in-law.
Solution: The best way to deal with this problem is to be the bigger person. Smile at her, be cheerful and civil, and kill it with kindness. Negative reactions from your end can worsen the situation by unnecessarily bringing other family members into the problem.
By expressing any sort of frustration or anger, you will be giving her the reaction that she wants; instead, your unexplained kindness can confuse her. Once she sees that her attempts to bring you down are futile, she will be forced to give up! Phew, we really have a handful when dealing with difficult in-laws after marriage!
And then again, some of us are lucky to have sisters-in-law who become our best friends, shopping buddies, late-night phone conversation partners, and people we can trust completely!
If you are one of these lucky women, congratulations! But if sister-in-law problems have become a constant pressure point for you, try out the above solutions and see if the situation improves.
Confide in your husband and talk to him about how this is stressing you out, without being accusatory. When you have his support by your side, everything will become easier to deal with.