(Closed) Crazy and un-empathetic SIL

posted 1 month ago in Relationships
Post # 2
801 posts
Busy bee

mrsintravert :  

“how the heck am I supposed to deal with her?”

You ignore her when she is like this, and you stubbornly refuse to acknowledge, let alone give into, unreasonable requests.

People like this are self-centred and they are bullies about it. They are SO much worse when you give into them or try to placate or pacify them. They know deep down they are being unreasonable, and when you give in to them, they lose all respect for you, which makes them push the envelope even more.

It’s a vicious cycle, and it comes from very low self-esteem. Unless people are dancing attendance upon them, they feel unloved and unworthy. It’s terribly sad really – you should have compassion for her, but the last thing you should do is try to accommodate her requests or to understand them or reason with her. I can see you have fallen into that trap, because you are trying to justify your own decisions and actions, when you have no need to do so.

It does take strength and backbone from your side, but you have to figure out how to speak your truth to her in a kind but firm way and then stick by it. Ignore her tantrums. I can assure that when she figures out she will not get any mileage out of you, she will stop all of this or move on.

I wouldn’t even reply to texts asking about the things you said she’s asked about. Her attitude would make me involve her less in my life, not more.

Post # 3
328 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2020

It sounds like you guys come from very different places culturally and have different expectations of family members. For example, I’m an extreme introvert, but I do like to hear what’s going on in my family (including SO’s family) members’ lives. In the same situation as your SIL, I would’ve wanted to hear it from you, but even just a text would have made me happy. On the other hand, I don’t think it’s rude to decide what time we’re going to dinner. We’re all a little different and it sounds like, on top of things, your SIL is really sensitive. She also probably really wants to feel like part of the family and feel liked, so when she irrationally feels snubbed, she handles it poorly and acts dramatically. Maybe she envisioned being good friends with you, but clearly doesn’t have the social skills or dedication to do the work to build a relationship with you and is now bitter. I’m sorry she’s making you feel so badly. I think it might help to see it as her being insecure and not handling it well and just be the bigger person and cut her a little slack – or at least just accept she is the way she is. Sorry you have to deal with this!

Post # 4
286 posts
Helper bee

1. I would be upset if my SIL couldnt go to effort of texting me or her brother to let them know they had gotten engaged.

2. I, like your SIL, would also be selective in who is minding my child, regardless of who is paying.

3. The dinner example is a bit strange. Surely you check with her what time suits yo go to dinner if you have plans to eat together, or you tell her what time you are eating at and INVITE her to join you if it suits, not TELL her she is eating 


The rest is…..  I just dont know…🤷‍♀️

Post # 5
8580 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

mrsintravert :  

l have to agree with 

pocahontas28 :  above, in that not telling her you got engaged  is potentially hurtful to anyone with a halfway normal relationship with their sibling . I got too confused over the babysitting stuff to know what to think sorry. And as for the dinner thing, asking someone what time suits them is, you know, just normally polite. Even if you are inviting them to dinner at your house, it reasonable to say ‘we are thinking to eat at 7’ or whatever and to be a bit mindful of people’s schedules. 

idk OP, it all sounds a bit storm in a teacup ish to me, and mostly brought about by your own insistence on your introverted nature being the guideline for everybody to abide by. She may not be the best sil in the world, but nothing you have detailed makes her ‘crazy’. And, speaking of empathy, as you were, where is yours for her, if you really think she’s ‘crazy’. 

Post # 6
139 posts
Blushing bee

“True introverts do not care so much about others telling you what is going on in their lives, especially if you don’t even make it a point to hang out with them!” – This is not at all true. An introvert is defined as, a person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things. That does not mean they don’t care about others or their relationship with others.


I agree with a PP that I would have been upset that her/your brother was not told of the engagement via text etc. If it is a sibling you are close enough have a “normal” relationship with they should have been told. I’m not one for having to call cousins/aunts that you wouldn’t normally call but someone in your more immediate family that you are in communication with is a bit different.

I don’t think you should have had to ask about using your own dad, that is really bizarre to me? If anything your dad should have spoken to her about it but no one needed to get her permission? Her response your your communication afterwards is extremely off and immature too.

Yeah, I think you are massively wrong here Bee, I need to know who is looking after my child. If you are inviting someone to look after my child, which is what you did when you organized a babysitter without her, I would be furious with you. I would without a doubt be judgmental on who to hire… it is my child! 

Once again your Dad should have shut her down… The yelling comment is very weird and I definitely see why you struggle with this woman.

I understand why you are upset but your brother chose this woman and is free to leave her if he wanted to. I think we just need to find what works best for you. Can you comfortably ignore her antics or do you feel like you need to discuss issues with her/your brother? Does a comfortable distance work well? 

Post # 7
5774 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

It sounds like you were equally to blame in all these situations.

No she doesn’t think the world revolves around her because she wants plans to be a discussion not a demand. If you’re inviting people over to your house you can set the time but if you are making plans to go out to eat it is actually rude to just say “we are eating at 6”. Surely that means you think the world revolves around *you*?

If her and your brother’s agreement with your dad was for him to retire and provide their childcare then I do think you should have had a conversation with your brother and SIL if you expected your dad to babysit for a week. It does concern them since he is already looking after their child and it is rude to go straight to your dad and not run it past them. 

There is also nothing wrong with her wanting to be involved in your picking someone to help your dad out when he is looking after her child as well as yours.

Its also weird to not tell your brother or SIL that you are engaged, that has nothing to do with introvert vs extrovert. You don’t necessarily owe people information but I can understand how she would feel left out of the family. 

Post # 7
41 posts
  • Wedding: May 2014

Apart from the dinner time thing, I think you SIL has legitimate grievances. Nothing you have written in your post makes me think that you care or have any respect for your SIL.

I would be upset if someone in my immediate family didn’t tell me of their engagement themselves. 

I also wonder if your dislike of your SIL has clouded your objectivity and empathy. Of course your dad adding your baby to babysit on top of hers is something that should be agreed upon altogether. It shouldn’t be sprung upon her, just because your dad agreed. And I would certainly be selective about who is around my baby regarding the helper. 


I totally see why she thinks she is the last to know. And maybe with that mindset, it’s easy to get upset about what time dinner is, because once again, she is not consulted and is just told what is happening. 

Post # 9
4607 posts
Honey bee

I think you need to stop using introversion as an excuse for being anti-social.

Introverts prefer smaller groups, can feel drained by group situations and re-energize with alone time as opposed to extroverts who feel energized around people.  But you can be an introvert and still like people and want people in your life.  Introversion has nothing to do about whether or not you care about people or want them to know things, so I’m not sure why you feel the need judge whether she is a “true introvert” like the two of you are at the introvert equivalent of a dick-measuring contest.  I’m not saying she is likely the easiest person to get along with, but honestly, you mostly sound like you just don’t like her and are BEC about her at this point that you use your introversion as a crutch and an excuse to not have a conversation with her like a normal human being or care about someone else.  You want her empathy, just without all that pesky establishing a relationship all the other rest of the time or ever having to think about her or give her consideration.  That’s not introversion – that’s just being kind of a dick.

Post # 10
949 posts
Busy bee

Oh yikes…there’s definitely missteps from both sides, here. As some Bees have pointed out, it would be good of you to put some more effort into being a bit more considerate of others. I’m introverted as well, so other than telling my parents in person, I just sent a group text to the rest of our family and announced the news on SM for everyone else. Maybe some people think even that’s tacky, but that doesn’t really matter…at the end of the day, yes, getting engaged is big news which people really want know about (therefore, it’s considerate to let them know), but it’s also a completely personal matter which people aren’t owed an explanation about (and therefore, it shouldn’t matter how they’re told). 

As other Bees also related, it does make sense that your SIL may be uncomfortable with hired help around her child who she’s never met before. You were coming from a good place, but you may not have considered how hiring help would effect her/her child. And sure, it’s also considerate to ask someone when they’re available for dinner, but I think some Bees have been focusing too much on a poor example of her entitled behavior. All this is to say, whether you’ve been less considerate than you could/should be, it’s NO excuse for her to be acting the way she does. Holding grudges? Judging you for not sharing every bit of personal news? Flipping out on you? Not okay in the slightest. 

I’m shocked that no one else seems to be as horrified as I am that your SIL is trying to dictate another adult’s choices, specifically the whole thing with your father. Your father knows what he can handle, he’s a grown man. Even if he retired specifically to babysit for your SIL, that doesn’t mean he’s their slave…and it’s ridiculous if she thinks she should have the power to refuse him the chance to care for his other child(ren) and new grandbaby…while yes, your dad agreeing to babysit your baby affects his time spent with hers, there are strings attached when you use family as your free babysitting service…it’s selfish and unrealistic to expect dibs. If she had an issue with your father babysitting for you, she should have taken that to him so he could make a decision himself and respond to her on his own. I’d be furious if my child needed help but didn’t ask me because someone went behind my back and bullied them not to. 

Anyway!…I think it would be helpful to work on improving yourself in ways to be more considerate, regardless, but it likely won’t cure your SIL’s unhinged entitlement (because yes, expecting everyone to get your permission for a choice that belongs to someone else, and demanding someone else’s personal info, is entitled)…that’s something you’re just going to have to ignore when it gets out of hand. Diffuse arguments as best you can. Living with family often means learning how to tolerate them, to grin and bear it. While I don’t think you owe her any explanations or details on your personal life, you *could* still consider being the bigger person and just start telling her things…if spending 30 seconds to shoot her a quick text about some personal event is what it takes to keep the peace, it might be worth choking down the slice of humble pie…but that’s up to you. It wouldn’t be wrong to just distance yourself, either. 

Post # 11
8282 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Do they pay your dad for babysitting? I have family members that retired to take care of grandkids but it’s not for free; they still are able to make a little side income to supplement retirement and its substantially cheaper for the parents compared to a nanny or daycare center. Win win all around. So if that’s the case I can understand how she’d be pissed that you were just assuming you could tack on your kid and then hire a rando to help him out. If you are hiring someone anyways then what’s the point of your dad even being involved? 

Post # 12
870 posts
Busy bee

 mrsintravert :  I’m going to agree with the previous posters. Most of her responses are not unreasonable. More likely you are the crazy and unempathetic SIL in this situation. 

It isn’t unreasonable for her to be upset to find out through a cousin that the individual who is taking care of her child is planning on watching another child. Even if your father thinks he can watch two at the same time, it is ultimately her choice whether she wants her child’s caretaker’s attention divided. Springing it on her last minute means she doesn’t have time to make her own arrangements. Furthermore there are also logistical concerns. It’s incredibly selfish of you to think your own irrationality and superstition gives your permission to inconvenience others.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if you are an unreliable narrator.

Post # 13
6847 posts
Busy Beekeeper

While some of it sounds a bit off, such as having to choose dinner time (?!), I can understand her being hurt that she (and your brother) had to find out that you were engaged through the grapevine.

I can also understand her interest in who the supplemental caregiver is as he/she is spending the day with her child as well as yours. I would absolutely expect some conversation and veto power over that person no matter who is paying. What are this person’s qualifications? Did you conduct a background check, etc.? 

Post # 15
4998 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

LilliV :  good point. My parents babysit our daughter quite often and we always make sure to pay them. They don’t want the money but we force them to take it because we would easily be paying 2k a month if it weren’t for them. $20-40 a day is peanuts compared to daycare costs! 

OP it’s lovely of your father to want to watch the babies but I’d definitely consider paying him something for his time and care. 

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