Post # 1
Hello! I used this site extensively for my planning, but I think this is my first post. I was hoping someone could shed some light on my situation as I really am at my wit’s end!
I met my husband at my friend’s wedding (she is married to my husband’s brother). For so long they were trying to get us together and when we eventually did get together we were blissfully happy, we still are. The problem is that my husband and his brother are American, and me and my friend are English. My friend has been in the US the last couple of years, and I emigrated this year. Suddenly, as soon as we got together, my friend totally changed.
At first she was very open about it. Her and her husband were having a tough time and it was always ‘oh we’re thinking that we need to be more like you two’. I’ve known her for 10 years and she has always copied me, much to my annoyance. It would be everything from haircuts to career choices. This is so bizarre to me, as she has been spoilt rotten her entire life, and I’ve had quite a difficult background. What has she got to be jealous of?! Now, almost two years on, she is totally cold towards me and really competitive. Of course, she is now my SIL and I can’t just avoid her.
She didn’t help one scrap with the wedding, despite being the Maid/Matron of Honor, and would constantly compare my choices with her own wedding. She was so jealous with everything: our scenery, our little handmade details, even the fact that our inlaws got on well with my parents… literally everything! She upset me on my actual wedding day by suddenly befriending one of my closest friends and taking her away on ‘secret chats’ and the like. It’s so petty and I don’t want all this part of my life.
Now at any family occasion she is incredibly competitive with my in-laws’ attention, she wanders round the whole time with a scowl in my direction, apart from when you speak to her and she’s full of fake sugary sweetness. She has always been very keen on being seen to be the ‘hottest English girl’ but now she appears to be competing with intelligence, too. Suddenly she is an expert in my areas of expertise despite that fact that she has no experience of it. Her and her husband are now chasing corporate glory and everything is about money and investments and stocks. My husband and I have no interest in this life, but unfortunately it’s like they are trying to lord it over us as though we should care.
I’m so sorry about the length of this post! I didn’t intend it to be so long! Has anyone else been in this situation?
Post # 3
- Wedding: April 2012 - St. Philip Catholic Church/Arcadia Brewing Co.
Oh boy what a doozy! I can’t say I have much advise other than to just smile and nod. Don’t share things with her you are afraid she will copy and if you have to be around her just be polite.
There is not much you can do to change her actions, only they way you react to them.
Best of luck! Sorry you have to deal with this!
Post # 4
@aardvark: Thanks aardvark! I just hate the tension so much, the sad thing is I genuinely dislike her now and have nothing to say to her. What’s worse, I’m sure my inlaws will notice the atmosphere too, and of course I’m the new addition so it’s going to be my fault that things have changed!
Post # 5
@beebea: People like that tend to be pretty noticeable….you say that your in-laws get on well with you and your family, so I don’t think they will be quick to think “oh yeah it is TOTALLY beebea’s fault!” Your SIL probably thinks that she is doing a good job of hiding her true colors, but well, you see through it, I assume your husband does as well, and in all likelihood your in-laws probably can see that she is the scowling one if you’re being nice to her. With people like that, they WANT to see you get upset, so if you keep your cool, my guess is that overtime she will cut back a little (not like she will return to being your best friend, but when she doesn’t get satisfaction of seeing you squirm she will just not try as hard). Keep on being happy, but don’t share details of your life with her, that will only fuel her.
Post # 6
It sounds like she’s insecure and feels threatened by you, for whatever reason. I was actually shocked that my own sister did this at our wedding, and I finally figured out that it was because our mom helped me more with the details and planning of my day instead of hers (we got married 8 years apart).
So who knows where all this anger is coming from, but try your best to ignore it. Somehow find your way out of converstations and confrontations that inevitably turn into a competition. Once she eventually learns that you aren’t interested in competing, hopefully she’ll cool off.
Post # 7
Thanks bearlove, my husbands family are pretty astute and wise so you’re right, I’m sure they’re aware of the situation. They do like her too though (she’s always overly enthusiastic and complimentary, or at least used to be) so I bet they’re just kind of sad at how things are.
@MissEdamame: I think you’re totally right. She did basically say a few months ago that she was threatened by me, but I didn’t know what to do with that information. I’ve tried various tactics from not speaking up much in group conversations and letting her take the spotlight, to downplaying good things in my life, to ‘confiding’ in her about something. Yet still she wanders around like a sulky 8 year old. Great advice about avoiding conversations where she will compete, I’ll try that. Even if it means not talking about anything I’m interested in!