(Closed) Bossy In-Law!

posted 5 years ago in Family
Post # 3
1724 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1998

Your last line definitely resonates – OP, I envision you standing on the playground along with this sister-in-law while she instructs your children on how they *should* play before turning to you and instructing you on how you *should* parent.

In-laws are tricky business. My strategy is always: You handle your family, he handles his. In this case, I think that your husband needs to pull his brother aside to discuss some things. He doesn’t have to mention that you brought anything up. He can say, “I’ve noticed that Jill says things like (x), (y) and (z) when we talk to her. I’m sure she doesn’t mean it that way, but it can feel hurtful and condescending.” Depending on your brother-in-law, this conversation can sting or it can be an all-out war. He may or may not bring it up to his wife. If he’s fine with her treatment, he’s likely to see nothing wrong with the fact that she treats others that way too.

However, you also mention that there’s a big distance between all of you. OP, I think you’d do yourself many favors by making that distance even bigger. Answer their phone calls only when you have to and keep conversations brief. They’ll quickly come to the conclusion that you must always be in the kitchen, because a roast is always about ready to set the house on fire.

I have a patronizing sister-in-law too. I don’t talk to her on the phone. When I e-mail, I keep things with her brief and impersonal. I keep all conversations focused on her all the time. When I have children, I don’t have the desire to tell her much other than, “Oh, so-and-so’s fine and he’s in kindergarten this year.”

Unfortunately, it does mean sucking it up and dying inside when we visit or they visit, as there’s a great distance between us. But, that’s just the call of duty, I guess.

At the end of the day, you’re unlikely to change this woman. If she’s already self-righteous enough that she thinks she can tell grown adults what to do, she’s likely just to get furious and upset if her perfection is undermined – and who knows how that might come back at you?

Distance. As soon as she starts in on her crap, a, “Well, we need to get going,” should suffice.

Post # 5
7490 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

To qualify for hospice he would have 6 months or less to live.  Being signed on to hospice does not mean you are going to die tomorrow.  As long has your Darling Husband is ok- than you are fine.  Who is she to tell you what to do?

Post # 6
474 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@CookieCreamCakes:  You can also use the “I’ll speak to my husband about this”. If it is HIS family (i.e the sick grandfather) she has no right to tell you how to act (obviously). By saying you will speak with your husband it is a non-threatening reminder to “back off b*tch” haha

Post # 7
1724 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1998


@JessSeny:  Also good. I love how we have turned a serious situation into a case for the lulz.

I guess that’s the best way to handle it, though, or the desire to strangle this woman would likely overpower the senses. OP, I try to keep in mind that people who feel the compulsion to do this are often insecure themselves, so they project it out at other people and attempt to feel in control of someone or something.

Do your best to focus on that. In my case, I’ve found that thinking of my sister-in-law as a small child is helpful. It’s difficult, but it helps me empathize with her. I’d rather pity her than feel my blood pressure spike.


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