What to do?

Kieran83

Active Member
Hi Folks,

*** WARNING, this might be long and boring to read. Grab yourself a coffee first ***

I wondered if anyone had experienced the following situation or had advice on what to do?

I am married to a beautiful wife and have a wonderful daughter with another on the way. My wife suffers with Fibromyalgia ( a condition which effects the nervous system causing pain around the body ) and depression as a result. We have been married for 3 years and together for nearly 9 which is great.

My problem is her family. Specifically her sister.

When I first met my wife, and her sister it was quite obvious to me (a fairly confident person who generally dusts myself off and gets on with things) that my wife was in an 'abusive' sibling relationship with her sister.
I witnessed her belittling my wife, shouting at her, screaming at her when she wanted something, stamping her feet like a spoiled child who didnt get her way and would never listen to reason. At the time, my wife worked in a manual job whereas her sister worked for a large office based firm and was quite successful. She used this as ' I'm better than you' card most of the time and seemed to think she was the apple of her parents eye and of the mutual friends she and my wife shared.

I discovered that my wife felt undervalued, downtrodden and generally meek and through the early parts of our relationship whilst away from her sister she flourished. She found her confidence and began to come out of her shell and began to feel more empowered when dealing with her.
To begin with I didnt deal with her sister. I left her alone and felt that she would soon find her own way in life and a partner who would either calm her down or balance out whatever was wrong with her.

We had our daughter 5 years later and all was good at the time. The sister however became increasingly attached to our daughter and seemed (in my opinion) to show an unhealthy attachment to her. She would constantly want to be with her, spend huge amounts of money on her in the form of clothes and toys and would often become abusive when we couldn't allow her to look after her due to other commitments.

The sister was then diagnosed with depression and went through a time of having several jobs which she couldn't keep. The abuse and constant arguments between she and my wife were happening weekly and we took the decision to remove her from our lives to see how things went.
Initially things were good but soon turned to my wife feeling guilt and remorse for taking these steps who eventually was back in contact with the sister. It was soon found out that the sister said she wanted to take her life and so we decided to include her in our lives again to prevent her from doing anything like that.

Shortly after this the sister moved to our town to be 'closer' to us much to my annoyance. Things were ok but not great as she was up and down with her depression. On one afternoon, following an argument over something trivial the sister showed up at our door unannounced. She came into the house and became verbally abusive towards my wife and I. I asked her leave to which she refused and repeatedly said that she wanted to talk to my wife. My wife by this point was a mess and was nearing melt down. I politely asked the sister to leave but she refused. By this point I had had enough and told her I would call the police because of her refusal to leave and her general aggressive and abusive behavior. She left.

Now, I work for a certain uniformed emergency service and at the time of this was in my uniform getting ready for work. Following the sister leaving the house she called my work and made a complaint about me saying that I had been threatening and aggressive towards her and that because I was in my uniform I was being oppressive.

The complaint came to nothing eventually but she never apologized for potentially causing damage to my career.

My wife by now had returned to being meek and had totally lost her confidence. She was now back to recurring depression which has left me picking up the pieces.

I cant do right for doing wrong and feel like I am trapped in this endless cycle. I have asked my wife to remove her sister from our lives but she wont do it because she feels bound by her family ties. We cant include the sister as a functioning member of our family because of her reactions, behaviors and erratic responses when she doesn't get what she wants.

I cant keep going round in what feels like a revolving door and treading on eggshells around the sister. I have to be there to support my wife and stick up for her but I get criticized by the sister for being 'intimidating' even though she will happily off load her problems in whichever manner she sees fit.

I know that if you have read to this point you're probably thinking "Yeah, what is he doing to be called intimidating". All I can say is that I dont shout, swear or become physical. I stand there and generally take whatever she throws at me but I dont stand for abuse towards my wife and will withdraw from the situation and drive away. It has even come to the point where I record the our conversations either on video or audio in case she makes another complaint about me.

I am at a loss of what to do for the best.

Any help would be gratefully received.

Thanks,

Kieran
 

Kailash

Well-known Member
it's a complicated one! sorry not sure how much feedback i could give, but feel for you :(
i take it the sister is not married, has no children? does she have a partner?
seems she needs something else in her life to focus on rather than your family
 

TayWax

Distinguished Member
I don't want to derail the thread too much but my wife had been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia but is currently under investigation for a couple of other things but I know how living with somebody with a chronic pain condition can be incredibly tough in itself. My mother in law has a particularly negative impact on my wife but thankfully she has started to see through the crap. But it still effects her, and my understanding is things like this can actually impact on the health side of things for your wife. I don't really have any real advice, it's a difficult situation but I hope that it resolves itself in a positive manner for you and your wife (and children)
 

Suave

Distinguished Member
Hi,

My initial thought is to take the bull by the horns & get a restraining order against your SIL - no contact, no calls, no emails etc & that she has to maintain a certain distance from your family, work places & home. Yes, your wife will be upset initially but you have pretty much stated that she is in a fragile, inconsistent & damaged mental state with an underlying framework of guilt, blackmail & pain so she is hardly in a position to make rational & logical decisions.

If you let things carry on the way they are, then it potentially makes your wife's health & even longevity at risk & you will really regret matters if anything like this happens due the actions of your SIL - surely you know that no matter what happens in future, her attitude & behaviour is NOT going to change - that is a undeniable constant & all the avenues you have tried & endured so far have not worked. The reasons for this are probably that she knows exactly how to play & manipulate things to her favour each & every time as she knows that you will give in - this has to stop so take the power & control away from her & take command of the situation for the sake of your wife, children, marriage, future & sanity.

With your SIL away from your lives, you can start the process of healing & rebuilding & in that your wife may very well be then able to see & accept you made the right decision & may even thank you for it - she will probably be in a far better position physically, emotionally & mentally then due to the SIL not being able to destroy her at a whim.

You have your kids to consider also - I know this kind of attitude your SIL has & she will not stop no matter what - that includes involving your kids in her shenanigans - what you wrote about her getting close to your little girl, to me, gives off some very clear warning signs - I would even seek professional advice so that everything is documented & your concerns are on record. She has already infected your wife & marriage - do NOT let her infect your kids no matter how sweetly she may seem to do it. If it was me, I would refuse to let her have anything but the very minimal amount of contact with the kids & even then, ONLY in your presence so she cannot play with their delicate & innocent minds.

Also, make a complete a dossier as you can, highlithing how things have transpired form the outset to currently & present that to your lawyers & even the social services - again, so that everything is a matter of record. Once anything that might affect the well being of kids is involved, they have to take things seriously.

I would also suggest counselling for you & your wife not only to help the both of you get stronger & closer so to speak, but this will also allow your wife to express herself freely without fear of recrimination from your SIL to a professional & whom may reinforce the correct set of actions & behaviours she needs to do for her well being. Again, this will also be a matter of record in your favour should your SIL make any more untrue & nasty accusations - what if next time, she accuses of your molesting her or your daughter? What if one day, your wife's mental fragility gives way & she does something tragic like take an overdose?

You clearly love your wife & family - fight for them by taking control & putting the power back in your hands otherwise nothing is going to change - you sound like a real awesome guy & deserve to some some framing peace & happiness in your life.

I know this will sound really crazy after all you have written but under NO circumstances ever get physical or sexual with the SIL otherwise you will be screwed big time - I have known some women like her & they are masters of manipulation - everything, & I mean everything they touch turns to hell - Take out the Restraining Order.

For what it is worth, I have a SIL like yours & she single handidly destroyed my family beyond repair - this went on for decades & more more she got away with, the more damage it did but everyone kept giving her a chance because she was a woman, family honour & dignity, community standing, the kids etc, etc, etc. It even cost my father a very early, sad & extremely painful death so I am speaking from a similar perspective.

Suave.
 

Kieran83

Active Member
it's a complicated one! sorry not sure how much feedback i could give, but feel for you :(
i take it the sister is not married, has no children? does she have a partner?
seems she needs something else in her life to focus on rather than your family
Thanks or your respinse Kailash. No, she's not married nor children or a partner. After many attempts at getting together with someone it generally never works and she moves on.

She has been single for some time now which I suspect she has resigned herself to that fact. I'm of the opinion though that she needs to find someone to balance her out but how long that will be I don't know.

Time shall tell I guess.
 

Kieran83

Active Member
I don't want to derail the thread too much but my wife had been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia but is currently under investigation for a couple of other things but I know how living with somebody with a chronic pain condition can be incredibly tough in itself. My mother in law has a particularly negative impact on my wife but thankfully she has started to see through the crap. But it still effects her, and my understanding is things like this can actually impact on the health side of things for your wife. I don't really have any real advice, it's a difficult situation but I hope that it resolves itself in a positive manner for you and your wife (and children)
Thanks Tay.

You are correct. Stress and anxiety only exacerbates the fibro condition which is clearly not good in my situation. Fortunately we've turned to remedies such as massage and other pain relief to combat this.

I feel for your current situation. Fibro is a horrific condition for which there are no permanent remedies but you'll both learn how to deal with it and what makes it worse/better.

Drop me a pm if you have any questions.

Kieran
 

SteveCritten

Distinguished Member
You have to convince her to cut all ties. My wife did this with her sister 5 years ago and our lives have been so much better. She still crosses our path occasionally as she lives in the same small town and she is completely dilussional and still speaks to her mother (my MIL). It's funny the crazy lies we hear 2nd hand. She has caused so much stress to all around her because of her selfish ways and luckily we don't have to deal with it anymore. Also she has no desire to be back in our lives despite saying to her mother she feels ostracised. My advice would be to do the same, if she uses the I will commit suicide again then get your wife to say she will allow her back into her life if she gets help and improves her attitude whether medication or councilling.
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
Hi,

My initial thought is to take the bull by the horns & get a restraining order against your SIL - no contact, no calls, no emails etc & that she has to maintain a certain distance from your family, work places & home. Yes, your wife will be upset initially but you have pretty much stated that she is in a fragile, inconsistent & damaged mental state with an underlying framework of guilt, blackmail & pain so she is hardly in a position to make rational & logical decisions.

If you let things carry on the way they are, then it potentially makes your wife's health & even longevity at risk & you will really regret matters if anything like this happens due the actions of your SIL - surely you know that no matter what happens in future, her attitude & behaviour is NOT going to change - that is a undeniable constant & all the avenues you have tried & endured so far have not worked. The reasons for this are probably that she knows exactly how to play & manipulate things to her favour each & every time as she knows that you will give in - this has to stop so take the power & control away from her & take command of the situation for the sake of your wife, children, marriage, future & sanity.

With your SIL away from your lives, you can start the process of healing & rebuilding & in that your wife may very well be then able to see & accept you made the right decision & may even thank you for it - she will probably be in a far better position physically, emotionally & mentally then due to the SIL not being able to destroy her at a whim.

You have your kids to consider also - I know this kind of attitude your SIL has & she will not stop no matter what - that includes involving your kids in her shenanigans - what you wrote about her getting close to your little girl, to me, gives off some very clear warning signs - I would even seek professional advice so that everything is documented & your concerns are on record. She has already infected your wife & marriage - do NOT let her infect your kids no matter how sweetly she may seem to do it. If it was me, I would refuse to let her have anything but the very minimal amount of contact with the kids & even then, ONLY in your presence so she cannot play with their delicate & innocent minds.

Also, make a complete a dossier as you can, highlithing how things have transpired form the outset to currently & present that to your lawyers & even the social services - again, so that everything is a matter of record. Once anything that might affect the well being of kids is involved, they have to take things seriously.

I would also suggest counselling for you & your wife not only to help the both of you get stronger & closer so to speak, but this will also allow your wife to express herself freely without fear of recrimination from your SIL to a professional & whom may reinforce the correct set of actions & behaviours she needs to do for her well being. Again, this will also be a matter of record in your favour should your SIL make any more untrue & nasty accusations - what if next time, she accuses of your molesting her or your daughter? What if one day, your wife's mental fragility gives way & she does something tragic like take an overdose?

You clearly love your wife & family - fight for them by taking control & putting the power back in your hands otherwise nothing is going to change - you sound like a real awesome guy & deserve to some some framing peace & happiness in your life.

I know this will sound really crazy after all you have written but under NO circumstances ever get physical or sexual with the SIL otherwise you will be screwed big time - I have known some women like her & they are masters of manipulation - everything, & I mean everything they touch turns to hell - Take out the Restraining Order.

For what it is worth, I have a SIL like yours & she single handidly destroyed my family beyond repair - this went on for decades & more more she got away with, the more damage it did but everyone kept giving her a chance because she was a woman, family honour & dignity, community standing, the kids etc, etc, etc. It even cost my father a very early, sad & extremely painful death so I am speaking from a similar perspective.

Suave.
Drastic but if everything else has failed then your family comes first.
 

Kieran83

Active Member
Thanks for the replies guys. Suave, your reply is everything I have wanted to do but I guess been too apprehensive. I think, to an extent I have been pushed back by the situation. My stance years ago would have been to take the bull by the horns and simply tell her to eff off but for fear of causing damage to my relationship with my wife and her parents i've been prevented from doing so.

I think all of your responses have been what I've already been thinking about the situation. The problem is trying to persuade my wife and her parents seeing it from the perspective of someone independent who has never met my SIL and has no connection. But thats the problem isnt it? Family. Blood is thicker than water and all that.

I'm an only child and the way I see it is vastly different to a family that have lived it for nearly 30 years. My idea of cutting her out and walking away from her is brilliant in theory but the emotional attachment that her parents and she have is something I haven't experienced. Don't worry, I'm not backing out of my stance just justifying why this likely to be a long, drawn out affair.

I've considered a Restraining order in the past however I think its probably a bit premature currently and best used once she'd been cut out completely to prevent her from considering trying further contact once all family members were on board with the idea.

Thanks for your suggestions guys.

Kieran
 

phillyd1981

Well-known Member
Paraphrases moving a long way out of the area will drastically cut the amount of contact and agro sh*tty sister can cause.
 

Kieran83

Active Member
Paraphrases moving a long way out of the area will drastically cut the amount of contact and agro sh*tty sister can cause.
I think that's a long way off but certainly an option. To be honest, the thought of jettessing the SIL into space would probably be a cheaper more long term goal of mine.
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
My family was in a similar situation. We cut ties with that family member and all our lives are better. It is hard to do but sometimes has to be done
 

AdrianMills

Well-known Member
Yes, cut ties immediately. You and your wife have to think of your children first and foremost and the last thing you need in your life is a mad woman.

FWIW I completely cut ties with my sister about 5 years ago and have no regrets. It sounds harsh but good riddance to bad rubbish - blood only goes so far.
 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
I agree with the others.

Cut ties and involve the police.

I'm in a somewhat similar situation with my mother in law. She has a mean streak a mile long, coupled with some manner of mental health issues. The whole family have cut ties with her a number of years ago.

She has already made false allegations against you to your employer, there is nothing stopping her from making those allegations (or worse) to the police. So you need to get in there first. Make a statement to them and let them follow up. At the very least you are making them aware that she is an issue which should hopefully undermine any mud she could sling at you in the future.

What are your wife's thoughts towards her? Does she recognise the seriousness of this woman's behaviour?
 

Desmo

Distinguished Member
It's very easy for us to sit here and say cut ties....but cut ties.

Some things in life just aren't worth the hassle, family or not.
 

sergiup

Distinguished Member
I have to agree with the others here - cut ties. I know it's complicated and hard, but it sounds genuinely poisonous, and it sounds like you've given fixing it a fair go, right?

Have a sit down with your wife in a safe, comforting environment/situation (maybe not at home, maybe somewhere that you only have good/happy memories of) and remind / show her how much better she was when her sister wasn't being such major negative influence - you do seem to have a period where this was the case, which is great because it's a genuine, personal example. Discuss how this is affecting your kids and how it could affect them in future - sounds like the oldest is still very young, so at the moment it's still possible to leave her with no lasting negative effects.

It's more serious than you think, it affects more than just her, and the long-term effect it could have on your marriage and the kids cannot be overstated. But you need to make your wife your partner in dealing with this, it sounds like she is capable of being happy, so just help her see things more objectively - women are often a lot more emotional than logical (go on, tell me off for saying that :D ).
 

THE_FORCE

Banned
@Kieran83 you sound like you have far more patience than I would ever have!

Seriously....tell the sister her fortune. She sounds like one psycho nutter and a potentially dangerous one at that. If anything, your wife probably wants to get rid also, so do it for her and take all blame.

She won't feel the guilt herself then and she'll thank you in the long run.

Life is far too short for crap like that. Ditch the bitch.
 

Apsilon

Senior Moderator
I agree with Sauve. Cut all ties and get a restraining order.

What you’ve just posted is not only affecting yourself and your wife - who already has to contend with depression and Fibromyalgia - but, it will also start affecting the kids and once that happens, your issues will multiplied immeasurably.

It’s a shame you’re so laid back because I would confront this head on and tell her in no uncertain terms to FO! My guess from reading it is that contrary to the sister feeling she is better than your wife, she is extremely insecure and this probably stems from either jealousy of her sisters life with yourself and the children or something else prior to that and I would guess that all these so called friends probably think the same. Either way she’s a bully and in my experience, people who are bullies or those who put themselves on a perch to denigrate others are nothing of the sort. If you front them up, they crumble – without exception! They prosper through control and/or fear of others and if your wife is constantly giving license to your sister by allowing her to do this, then the sister will continue to hold influence over her.

Which is why you need to stand up for her because it is clear that she can’t. You also need to do it sooner rather than later because if you don’t take some form of proactive action here, the relationship with your wife will become strained to breaking point. Yes, it will be hard for your wife because it’s her sister but, the fact she’s tried to distance herself once illustrates she knows there’s a problem.

Just out of curiosity, where do the rest of your wife’s family fit in all this and what do they think because you don't mention them (unless I've missed it)? You mention “specifically her sister”. What about her parents/other siblings etc?
 

shodan

Distinguished Member
I've posted on here many times about my in laws (or scum bag fudge-wits as I like to call them).
In short my missus is the best of the bunch. Beautiful, intelligent, compassionate, motivated and driven. They are a bunch of fat, lazy, deceitful, spiteful, self obsessed ****s.

Over the years I've worked to show my missus all her worth and the massive divide between her and her sisters and mum. She knows the truth of the situation and is fine most of time but when they get in contact and try to drag her into their pointless and self involved drama's, she allows herself to be drawn in, in the hope that this time things will be different.

She knows how I feel about them (as do they) but I'm not rude to them, I don't take their crap and I challenge their lies (which is why they don't like me).

Its been a long hard slog but we are getting there. Her father recently passed away (druggie ****) and they all came out of the woodwork vying to show who was the most upset, including the mum who divorced him 20 years ago, hadn't seen him for 10 years and hated his guts.

We still have a long road ahead of us but as they say - every day, in every way - getting stronger and stronger (or better and better).

So the bottom line, show her the way things REALLY are, tell the family their fortune, and stick to your guns and be prepared for some slips and after the battle, tighten the helmet straps. Carry on as you are and continue supporting your wife, but don't let that cow into your house! You need to help your wife take control and to empower herself and see that she is not second best, the sister is a needy, manipulative dick with low self esteem who rely's on being able to bully your wife. And we all know what happens to bullies when we stand up to them. They fade away..

Apologies if this is disjointed, I've wrote it about a matter important to me, but over about half hour with the kids interrupting me!
 

LeftyXXIII

Distinguished Member
As others have said, you've got to cut ties - if that accusation had resulted in the lost of your job, she would not have cared in the slightest. When you add your wife's health and your children into the mix, it's the only step you can take.

Life's too short.
 

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