Need advice to handel a trouble maker


My husband has a large family. We get along well with most of his siblings but his youngest brother who is the “black sheep” of the family has done a lot to** earn back **the trust and friendship of the family after an unsavvory lifestyle. His wife, well she is another story. She seems to think it is ok to make up things and pass it off as truth. I let a lot of things slide cause the rest of the family is fully aware of her behaivor. My husband does not like to spend time with his brother or his brothers family because of his wife. It is ashame too since their kids are the same age as our kids. Any how I let a lot of things slide so my hubby does not stop me from allowing the cousins to play together. But here is what she did tonight and I need to vent but I can’t tell my husband cause he will flip (he is almost looking for an excuse to avoid them).
so here is what happened… we made plans to go to my husbands older sisters pool tommorow. (she’ll be at work but lets us use her pool anyhow). the plans were for 11:30AM. I live closest to her house so I offered to pick up a pizza pie for lunch for everyone. the 3rd person, my 26 year old unemployed neice also planned to join us. My SIL texted our neice and told her to bring money for her share of the pizza. My neice called to confirm the pool date and asked about paying her share of the lunch. I said, don’t worry about it, don’t bring money I won’t take it from you or SIL its on me. Then I called SIL to confirm , she then said she would stop at the bank to get some cash to pay me for her share of the pizza. I said, I would not take money from her or our niece , it’s my treat. SIL then made a big deal out of it, saying thats not right everyone should pay their share then suddenly her hubby said something in the background and she said, I gotta go, I’ll call u later. a little while later my neice called saying that SIL called her insisting that I want everyone to pay for their share of the pizza and that I made a big deal of it. (fyi…some family members think that this neice is being way to catered too, she is living with family rent free, but still spends $on lavish things and is currently collecting unemployment, but she is goining on legitimite interviews). any how, none of this matters. what anoys me is that SIL called neice and flat out told her something **I NEVER SAID.
** I told neice I said no such thing, and we should drop it and not make a big deal out of it. She was fine with it.
Should I confront SIL or just drop it???
I know I should just drop it but she does things like this all the time and causes many problems between family members. It is so frustrating.


I hate to say this, but I know some family members like this…The best thing to do to keep peace is let it go and maybe keep your distance…I had to do that with my SIL b/c she’s trouble…I tried to help her so many times but it was pointless, she never changed…


Maybe your SIL just wanted your neice to pay “her fair share” and lied to try and get her to. I have a family member that does that all the time, otherwise a very Christian lady but in her mind a ‘little white lie’ gets people to do things ‘right.’ (Her definition of right)


Just a thought…your niece likley knows your SIL better than you do. I’m sure this isn’t the first thing like this she’s had to deal with. She’s living under a painful shadow…and perhaps a good part of why she’s still unemployed…or appears to spend her money foolishly. I knew a girl in college who’s mother expected her to buy extravagant things unless she wanted to face verbal torture, but then guilted the poor girl to death after she bought them. :frowning: From the sounds of it, that niece is going on interviews, trying to get up and out I’m guessing this is the case. A truly spoiled or coddled child wouldn’t be seriously interviewing for jobs, but procrastinating, luffing around and screwing up interviews.

Don’t use SIL as mediator. Your niece is a big girl, have her give you her cell number…that goes for whomever else SIL could get in between.

SIL is a trouble maker and you gave her ample opportunity to test her skills. The kids seem grown, there is no reason to involved SIL.


I have a fact generator like that in my family. Doesn’t matter what you say to her, she will put the words she wants in your mouth. Doesn’t matter that you didn’t say it, she said it for you and that’s all that counts (to her).

Based on my experiences with her, I think you are wasting your time confronting her over a share of pizza money. If she’s like my fact generator, she’ll deny it. “That’s NOT what I said!” and then you’ll hear another story where the details fog at just the right points and it must be that the OTHER person misinterpreted them. In short, she will not “get it” and make any changes as a result, and you will end up being blamed for whatever tale of victimization she’ll make up next because you confronted her.

I did confront mine one day but I had to wait a long time for the situation to allow the right teachable moment, as they say. The fact generator came by my house “just to say hello” but 2 minutes in the door she couldn’t wait to tell us what another friend said about me. It was so ridiculous I couldn’t possibly believe it, so I asked, "Are you absolutely sure Dave said that? I mean this isn’t second-hand, this is YOU heard it from him, right?"
Oh, of course. That’s what he said.

I have Dave on speed dial. Before her eyebrows could bounce off the ceiling fan I had Dave on the phone, put it on speaker, and said, “Hi, Dave. I have (the fact generator) sitting here in my living room and she just told me you said X about me. I’m calling to see is it true?”

As Dave, calm as ever, was saying “You know me better than that. I’d never say something like that about my enemy let alone my friend…” the fact generator was over on my sofa having a near stroke.

I thanked Dave, hung up, and just looked at her and waited until she spoke. Well maybe he was talking about someone else but I thought he meant you. Yada yada yada. Now when she gives me a flash bulletin I just simply nod. She knows I don’t believe her, but she doesn’t spend much time trying to convince me anymore either, which is fine by me.

You can’t really change others, though we’d like to. They have to change on their own initiative. All you can really do for someone like that is not give them comfort when they go around spreading discontent and lies. Don’t react to the drama and it takes away their incentive to perform.


DOShea is right. (Wow DOShea talk about waiting for the right moment:thumbsup:):rolleyes: And at the same time try to limit your time and put some distance between you and SIL. I know you want the cousins to spend time with your kids but the kids may not need to be around an environment like that. Let everyone else deal with SIL. But for your sanity, you just keep doing what you are doing. You deserve a peace of mind. I mean think about it, who wants stuff like that around them all the time? It seems while others like SIL may not be aware of her behavior some people thrive on behaviors like that, which only hurts you spiritually. But on a spiritual note, this is a cross to bare. When you find you have to be around her, then offer it up to the Lord, as Fr.Corapi says. Bare your cross, Jesus will see you through.

Easier said then done, believe me I know, but we must try. I will pray for you.:gopray2:


WOW, I can not believe how many of you can relate. I guess our family is not alone in this struggle.
DOShea, your description of the “Fact generator” , well, I almost wonder if we are speaking about the same person.
Anyhow, thanks for the advice all, I know I should just keep the peace and continue to limit exposure (we do this already, limit exposure to her that is) but the few times a year we do interact with her tend to turn out this way. Why do some people think it is ok to behave this way? :shrug:



I was reading a book one day, I cannot recall the name of it, but the subject was about bringing more peace into our lives. In it, there was an anecdote about a person dealing with a fact generator like the ones in our lives (and probably most everybody’s). In it I found a piece of sold gold advice that I think might be helpful for you.

The anecdote was about a lady who had a friend (Alice) that she liked in most every way but one; Alice was a constant gossiper. So one day when they met up for lunch, as Alice began to tell her who was doing what to whom, she politely interrupted her to say, “Alice, I don’t want to ignore you, but I am really terrible about gossiping myself and I am trying really hard to turn away from that. So I don’t feel right sitting here talking about so-and-so. Can we please talk about something else?”

What she did is transfer “the blame,” if you will, onto herself and made it a matter of her accepting the responsibility for the whole conversation, as opposed to saying “Would YOU please stop gossiping!” In the anecdotal story, the friend stopped the gossip and they began talking about other things.

I’ve tried it and didn’t work quite the same way. The gossiping stopped but not much by way of conversation followed. That could just have been me, perhaps the way I reacted in my body language or something. But there is value in that approach because it doesn’t toss guilt and the person cannot go away feeling as though they were condemned by you for their actions. By making it a matter of you dealing with an issue, it is very difficult for any friend not to respect it.


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