Help with SIL (sorry a little long!)


Hopefully I'll be able to get all the pertinant information written. I put a seperate thread down for prayers as well because I know I can't handle all of this without God's Help!
My Aunt or my Mum's SIL lives about 13 hours away from my parents (who also live about 3 hours from us). There has been nothing but problems between my Mum and my Dad's Sister-we'll call her "Bab's" (not her real name). Although some of the things she pulls makes my Mum very angry, I have no doubt she could handle it better if my Dad actually believed she had the ability to actually do something wrong. Seriously, she could burn down the house and my Dad would say "I'm sure she had a really good reason..." She has gone so far as to call my parent's psychiatrist/counselor to try to get him on her side. (Luckily, the counselor told her it was none of her affair and to mind her own business.)The counselfor also kind of gave it to my Dad for talking to his sister about the private sessions - of course my Dad stopped making any progress with that counselor/psychiatrist after "Bab's" cam crying about how she'd been put down by the evil shrink. My Mum was angry (nice word for what she was) - not only that she did it but because when it seemed he was going to fianally say something to her (he has never stood up for my Mum with her - that my Mum has known about anyway)- he then began kind of making excuses. It almost seems like he thinks it's normal to have his family treated badly - it's not my Mum - I truly believe and even my father has laughingly admitted that it isn't her - it would have been anyone that took he big brother away from her. Posessive (even though she's married) puts it lightly.

A little background (not that this makes any of this right). My Dad's father died at 17 (he was born in the 30's-gret depression era) - My Father's family was British but wound up staying in the states (they were actors between Broadway andthe stage in London). My Dad had worked really hard and was to go to Anapolis - but then his Father died and it became clear he had to take care of the family (sister and mother - but they wern't left destitute or anything) - and so he went to University in New York so he could take care of mother and sister (who were doing just fine modeling for B'Altman's and other stores -not wealthy but not bad) - and did ROTC while at University. He held down many jobs to give money to sister and mum. Then once commissioned he sent 1/2 his meager pay home AND payed for his sister's college (years later she would tell my Dad "who asked you to do that - I never did..." I won't go too much more into detail but you get the picture.

In the 70's he and my Mum got married. Honestly, except for B-day and holiday gifts, I don't really hear from my Aunt - unless my dad has gone out of town or she wants to know where he is because she can't find him. I do love my Aunt, I'm just not fond of her actions.

Last night, my Mum rang me about midnight which meant something was hugely amiss. My Aunt and husband called from a hotel and were in their city. My husband an I were to go up today to celebrate his birthday. My mom had told him to please not have them down - he said he didn't know but my Uncle never shows up anywhere without having made plans, etc. My Mum told him if he really didn't that he needed to tell them not to be present here. He spoke with them and all my Mum heard was "I'll meet you for breakfast in the morning..."

Everytime I'm around (even at my wedding) - my Aunt gets very posessive of my Dad. Generally I wind up in tears and my husband will not stand for comments that are underhanded when they have to do with he or I. I do not want to be caught in the middle of this - but at the same time, I want to celebrate with him but I feel almost certain that "past events are the best predictor of future events..." and that my husband and I will be leaving hastily. This may seem somewhat childish, but my Mum is ready to leave my Dad - especially if they show up at the house. I guess my Dad didn't believe my Mum when she said she'd leave if the Aunt ever showed up.
No matter what I do, it will be criticized. I did tell my Mum (as she said if they wern't gone she would leave) if she ever needed to stay here she was welcome at our home. I love my Mum and my Dad and I fear a seperation at the least. I'm not sure what else to do. I really believe with the way my Dad has been acting that he knew about this. I sent an e-mail last night saying that I loved both he and my mum and that I didn't want to get in the middle. My Mum had told me if it hadn't been dark last night she would have already left. If she stays I feel she will say things (as will my Dad) that they can't take back. They just recently retired and built a beutiful new house.

Any ideas? I'm already doing the Infant of Prague Novenasd - especially since you can do that one every hour for nine hours in emergency cases. I had already begun one with regards to finances and our house.

Along with prayers, I need guidance. An I doing right by not going? What else can I do?

God Bless

My Lord and My God,
My Love and My Life,
Don't leave me here all alone!
Cradle me in Your Arms,
Hold me in Your Heart,
Until You bring me Home!


deep breath time.

good thing you're praying to the Infant of Prague-- even as a tiny Baby, Jesus is LORD!!!!

deep breath again....

here goes:

number one: this has been going on for 40 years. your parents (or dad) has a therapist. these problems are NOT NEW. remember this. all this PRE-DATES you.

number two: much as you feel invested, these problems are NOT YOURS. your fahter's inability to be loyal to his immediate family-- his vocational family is sad. but it's between your mother and him. you cannot save their marriage, cannot make them avoid separation, cannot make him love mom more than sis, cannot do ANY of this for him or to him.

number three: you cant fix your mother. if, in 40 years of marriage she hasnt learned better ways to deal with dad's disloyalty, that's HER failure and disappointment. you'll not teach her anything new now-- only that you're ever willing to join her in her impotent responses.

number four---- you'll be criticized no matter what. criticism hasnt killed you yet and it won't kill you now. so choose what's best for YOU and YOUR HUSBAND and live with your decisions in the sight of GOD.

number five (and this is a personal opinion, this, based on the objective conclusions i already offered) **i'd stay the hack away this weekend. *there's NO celebrating gonna happen over there. go another day and bring mom and dad out to dinner. tell mom and dad their disfunctions are just too much work and aggrivation. but tell dad he's disloyal. tell SIL she's an intruder, an interloper-- perhaps *a binge intruder** but an intruder still. then i'd take my weekend (obviously free because you'd have been traveling, ) i'd shut off my cell phone, run off with my good husband and have a little fun.

if i've said all this a hundred times, then i'd skip the speech and start with shutting off my cell phone and go right into running off for fun with hubby.


Ihave a SIL who sound very much like your mother’s.

I started to notice something strange because when we where dating she would take my husband off into a corner to have a lengthy chat with him. I have two brothers and though we talk, it’s rare that we have private lengthy conversations.OK different strokes… but I also noticed she was very unwilling to chat with me. Though the years, I have tried to break the ice, meet her in the middle keep peace which was always met with a cold shoulder . Ok she just didn’t like me.

Once I invited her and MIL over for lunch. I had forgotten that I had to take my son to work 2 hours into our visit. For me it was awkward and but SIL offered to drop him at work (it was on her way home) I felt a little funny accepting, but I did. My son came home from work and told me that he over heard SIL say to MIL “What’s wrong with her?” I was extreemly hurt because I had tried to make it a good visit and aside from that awkward moment I coundn’t think of anything I could have done to elicit such a remark.

Do SILs overstep their boundries when it comes to relationships with their grown married siblings? I totally believe that they can be just as harmful to a marriage as a meddling MIL. Siblings have to let go just like parents do when their children marry. They have to respect their siblings new family and not compete with the spouse for the loyality of their sibling. Spouse should always be number one. To give equal loyalty to a meddling SIL is just a form of disrespect to spouse and marriage.

Stay away from a meddling Aunt who weakens your parent’s marriage.


I really like the advise of Monicatholic...

I have an MIL that didn't like me for a very long time. I think she tolerates me now because I have her ONLY grandchildren. And A SIL that can have serious mood swings. And she's NOT good at hiding them.

If you could have seen their behavior on our wedding day, you would have wanted to smack them both.

Ex: While standing freshly in my wedding gown, with my maid of honor/ best friend waiting to be called to the back of the church... my SIL came in the room for something. She turned... scanned me over, turned to my BFF, and announced how beautiful she looked. Then walked out of the room. It was so blatant, and my best friend had not witnessed this behavior (although had heard about it), and she turned to me... "yeah, you look awful."... and we laughed really hard. Because, seriously, I can't give space, time and attn. to that kind of behavior. It was so childish. (She was 22). And I had a LOVELY, very memorable wedding to say the least! I do think that still peeves them.. but whatever! Not my problem!

I've watched my Grandmother be an utter horror story in my parents marriage. All it taught me was how incredibly selfish she is, how my father needed to buck up, and how my mother should have slammed the door YEARS ago. I love my parents and my grandparents, but will not cater to any of their drama!


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit