RANT! I Can't stand my FSIL

posted 3 years ago in Family
Post # 3
1734 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1998

Lots of issues to address here.

Your boyfriend needs to learn how to handle his sister – that includes not blaming others for his decisions. It could simply be a slip of the tongue or habit in his case (does the entire family have a way of not addressing things with her head-on?), but practice makes perfect. Ask him how he’d feel if you used him as an excuse with your family, and how he thinks that might affect their opinion of him. FSIL is getting the same experience with you – she’s thinking you’re holding her brother back from his family. 

I would give serious consideration to moving forward in marriage if he’s not going to address this dynamic. Why enter a family where your husband will increasingly make you everyone else’s enemy?

Though I can’t say for sure, I get the impression your sister-in-law is younger. Does she have any other friends? It must have been a double whammy when both her brother and one of her friends started dating – she ended up losing time with two people she cares about. 

She’s attention seeking, for sure – but is this a cry for help? Do either of you spend time with her outside of each other? I understand that can be annoying given her current behavior, but MAYBE it would reduce that obnoxiousness…

There’s a lot of passive-aggression going on here. I would invite her out to lunch one day, offer to pay. And I’d say, “Hi, Caroline. I feel like we’ve been on the wrong foot lately. How are you doing?” This could give her an opening to share what’s going on – or maybe she’ll continue being passive-aggressive and hide it. You can then launch into: 

“I just feel like there’s tension between us. I want you to know I care about you, you’re (insert compliments here), blahblibbity.”

Showing her a time out with no animosity could be what you both need. Keep in mind that she may unleash what’s been bothering her – and in that case, a prepared, “I felt like something is wrong. What can I do to help?” can do wonders.

You’re right in that you stand to have a lot of problems here – losing a friendship and boyfriend, the two of them having a worse relationship with each other. Don’t let that happen. She is acting the way she is for some reason – see if you can’t uncover why that is.

Post # 4
1147 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@Peaceoutboyscout:  I don’t envy your situation because I know how it feels. SIL & I do not get along at all (but we were not friends before DH & I got together.) DH & his sister were raised to be eachothers “best friend” and neither of them had many close friendships outside of the family growing up. Fast forward to adult hood and SIL moves out of the country as DH moves along in his career. For a short time they lived together in Washington state (until she moved out of the country & his job transfered him back to California). She’d been gone for 2+ years when DH & I started dating. They had a family trip planned for his parents 30th anniversary where they went to London for a few days then down to Africa for a safari. DH would take time every couple of days to send me an email or catch me on facebook chat and we’d catch up on happenings since he’d been gone. (It was a 4 week trip). SIL got so upset that her brother wasn’t paying enough attention to her & was spending all of his time “with me” that she literally cried to her parents about it (she was 27 at the time). Since we couldn’t meet in person right away I tried to connect with her on FB but she denied my friend request because we couldn’t make a real connection & become friends online, it had to happen through letters, phone calls and face to face time spent together. (These were her rules to me on how to become her friend.) DH & I have tried really hard to make a connection with her, but she’s so resistent to the dynamic of their relationship changing. She still only wants to spend time with him, as in if she comes and visits and wants a guarantee that he’ll plan “special alone time with her” and basically kick me out of the house or leave me behind so she can have him to herself. I don’t mind them doing things together without me but I hate that it’s always a condition of her visits, “I’ll come visit but when I’m there I want alone time with my brother.” I would NEVER dream of telling my SIL to get lost so I could spend alone time with MY brother so I don’t know why she thinks its okay. If she flys into town I’ll send DH to pick her up and they’ll grab lunch together or something but then we do things as a family while she’s here. We’re a package deal and represent ourselves as such. 

In your case since FSIL has an established relationship with you it might be a good time to reconnect with her. Maybe even a fun afternoon at the spa or getting pedicures or something. But doing something together to make sure you two don’t lose what you have. 

As for your SO, time to have a serious talk with him. He can NOT continue to make you out to be the bad guy. It’s not fair to you and is setting the groundwork for some serious issues in the future. If he doesn’t want to do something with his sister he needs to say, “nope can’t /won’t/don’t want to.” He needs to do his best to protect you and make sure he’s not giving his family a negative impression of the person you are. 

Post # 5
964 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014


Like PPs said, the first thing is to talk to your FI – and not in an immature, nagging way. Tell him you feel thrown under the bus when he uses you as an excuse for not seeing her. Tell him that his relationship with her is less fragile than yours is with her. She’ll always be his sister but she may not always be your friend.

“I feel like she knows when she is making me uncomfortable and thrives off that  energy.”

This is important…stop giving her so much power. When people get under our skin it’s often times our hang up. Do you feel a bit jealous of the attention she’s good at getting? Do you feel that people still see you as three hs friends rather than you and him as a mature couple? Do you want to be considered as more important than his sister (which is fine, wives should be)? Figure out exactly what it is that bothers you and don’t let her trigger you anymore

Post # 7
4819 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I’m sorry but as the sister who went through this… I went from friend to acquaitence through I didn’t like her dating my brother and thus we were no longer friends… she was now “my brothers gf”.

Post # 8
305 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014


that sucks 🙁

My co-workersSIL punched her in the face on her wedding day :S

SIL’s some people get crappy ones

Post # 9
4827 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY

She’s probably resentful because her friend is dating her brother. People get weird about that.

Post # 11
57 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

Might I suggest that the BIGGER problem is your fiance lieing about you not allowing him to spend time with her? I’d say get a handle on THAT before you worry about anything or anyone else.

Post # 12
2209 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@Ms Tee-Off:  +1

Seems like your SO is the cause of this growing resentment between you two.  He needs to man up and stop making excuses that make YOU look bad to his sister.

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