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Switch to Forum Live View I need advice about my sister-in-law
8 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2010 - 6:23PM #1
Posts: 531

The nightmare continues... I posted about my SIL (sister-in-law) a yr ago.


Since that time, my sil moved back in, got kicked out again. Played  the game of bounce from one hospital after another. Had her dirt bag friends steal my husbands xbox (a yule gift from me!) A variety of just utter madness. She has been diagnosed as ODD. I have my own opinion of what is wrong with her, but its not my place to express it.


She is now in a sober house. She had some trouble but nothing too serious. However she doesn't seem to have learned a damn thing and still doesn't take any responsibility for her actions or behavior. She is very distant from her family when she comes over. She is far from the same person we use to know and love. I care for her but I really don't want to deal with her until she comes clean about a lot of things she did. As you can imagine this has put a strain on my relationship with my husband. He is not the same and I see the stress in him. His father has aged considerably and I worry about his health. His mother is trying to keep it together. My SIL also has caused other issues dividing the family up.


Pretty much the family sees her every week or other week, plus holidays and special occasions like birthdays. I saw her on easter and she didn't say much. Some of her old friends showed up to the families house (they have know the family for a long time and came to see them, more than her since her behavior has effected their lives too.) There wasn't any hostility in the air, but she was very quiet and distant. After a while she started to complain she wanted to go home. So her mother just took her, while most of the guest remained.


There are lot of conflicts I have with this girl. I do love her and care for her, but right now, she is not a person I like. She contacted me on my facebook, asking to befriend me. I don't want to friend her, but I"m concern if I don't she might use it as an excuse to misbehave and bring more grief to my family. If I agree, I feel like I'm letting her believe that I'm not mad her (she isn't too bright) and that I'll let all the crap she has done to those I love and to myself as forgiven and in her mind justifiable.


Am I being too sensitive? I don't want this girl effecting my life. My husband and I are trying to recover from all the damaged she caused (no we haven't recovered emotionally.) I don't know what to do. She is soo unpredictable. I worry that since we had a very friendly conversation with her old friends she has grown apart from and that I befriended them today on facebook, she might take rejection hard. In the same notion, I wouldn't put it past her to try and use my new relationship with theses young adults, as a way for her to weasel back into their lives. Which isn't right for theses kids who she had hurt and stabbed in the back. I feel damned if I do and damned if I don't.  I feel so confused!

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8 years ago  ::  Apr 06, 2010 - 9:20AM #2
Posts: 2,179

You could friend her, and then Hide her so you don't have to see her status updates... plus I think you can limit what some people see.  Look under the privacy settings.


I know what you mean about not wanting to friend her, sometimes some space is a very good thing... but I also know what you mean by her getting hurt feelings... so thats why I suggest you friend her, but then hide her.

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8 years ago  ::  Apr 06, 2010 - 9:57AM #3
Tolerant Sis
Posts: 4,201

It seems to me that this is a little girl (and I use that term advisedly) who desperately needs a good friend.

I am not suggesting you take her in, or help her materially, but it sounds like she is making strides toward recovery and you and your husband should put the past behind you and support that.  Think about what the end goal is for both of you.  You want your SIL to become a fully functioning adult that you can have a decent relationship with, who isn't going to fall apart and become dependent on you.  Right?

At some point in her recovery she is going to be tasked with making a list of all the people she has harmed, and find ways to make amends to them.  At that point, it is time to help her figure out how she has injured you and ways she can make amends to you.  Right now, the process is precarious, and is one you want to champion.

So yes, friend the kid on Facebook.  Take her out for a cup of coffee from time to time.  Tell her you are very pleased that she is doing so well, and bite your tongue when you find yourself wanting to chastise her for anything.  All animals, and humans are animals, respond better to positive reinforcement than negative reinforcement.  You will be doing her, yourselves, and any future people she comes into contact with a great service.

Good luck.

First amendment fan since 1793.
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8 years ago  ::  Apr 09, 2010 - 11:52AM #4
Posts: 21,730

weather or not to friend her on Facebook is the least of the concerns. What is the worst she can do on Facebook? 


I would be a sister to her but I would set strong boundaries.  You can't be around a person like that and be afraid they are going to get angry or cry.  Just know that she is a drama-mama, she is going to freak out regularly and it i s your job to call her on it. 

She says something hurtful to you or someone else in the family - you say "wow that was hurtful, I don't thinkn I can be around you at the moment.  It is time for you to leave"  And if she crys or throws a fit, just say we can try this again at another time but for now nobody can be around you. 

Yes to treat her to small things, coffee or a sandwich, maybe even a movie if she is really behaving herself.  Recognize it when she has it together and is doing well. 

Listen, whatever her problems are, addiction, mental illness, being an asshole - whatever they are it will do her NO GOOD if you tolerate her bad behavior.  You don't have to "punish" her but there are natural consequences - there is a difference.  Her life is going to continue to be difficult and problematic as long as she continues this behavior.  So don't tolerate it.

It also will do her no good if you tolerate her bad behavior and it builds up resentment and she is allowed to ruin her relationship with you or your relationship with your husband and his family. 

So be blunt, be direct, be calm, be firm, don't be emotional and whenever possible be positive.

This is great practise for having your own kids someday. 

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