Problematic sister-in-law coming to visit


I have a problem. My sister-in-law who lives in Madrid (300 miles from where I live) is coming for the weekend to visit, and I dont know how best to handle this. She's 30, unamarried and extremely unfriendly, despite the fact that I have helped her out with loans (which have never been paid back) for her failed businesses. Shes on drugs for depression and has once tried to commit suicide. As my wife´s little sister, she has caused lots of previous worry, but I feel it would be unchristian not to help, despite the fact that she never says thanks.

Anyway, I just saw a comment of hers in facebook, where she said she was going through hell looking having to share the metro with all these happy clappy christians on their way to World Youth Day which is now going on in Madrid. It made me so angry. Ever since she read the Da Vinci code she made herself into an expert onto the evils of made-up patriarchal religion. Unfortunately I wont get much support from my wife as she doesnt go to church and actually turned on my S-i-L onto that infernal Dan Browne garbage. Since then my Sister-in-law however has been going through hell, though it seems to have led her further from the right path. She curses, spits obsensities, screams and in full flight looks like she is possesed. I dont know if she was into the occult apart from using a Ouiji board, but my mother-in-law, who is a widow, has a partner who practices "white magic" and they lived together. Really between the two of them, they are like headless chickens. Totally off course with regards to the faith anyway,
Now gradually, and due to the fact that she has been hurt by them, my wife is turning away from her mother and her sister. This is good and it helps our relationships. She is also slowly being encouraged by me to be a better catholic.
However we are not there yet, and now my wife is excited by this up and coming visit. I really find it hard to feel happy about this person, although I would like to help. I should pray of course. What if she is really possessed? I could never say that to my wife (she doesnt believe in hell for example). I know I should be as gentle as a lamb, but its tough.

Any advice on how to handle this?


[quote="kildare, post:1, topic:252523"]
Any advice on how to handle this?


get her a hotel room

warn your wife that the minute SIL starts exhibiting abnormal behavior in front of you or the children you will call a doctor, and the minute she becomes a safety threat to you or the children you will call the police.

You don't say if you have children but if so, by no means should she stay in your home.


Hello Kildare,

Thank you for sharing this story it sounds like a very stressful situation. Please be assured of my prayers.

Although most of your post contained details about your sister-in-law, it seems that putting the focus on her is not useful at this time. In my opinion your problem is with your wife and with your marriage. Having a sister-in-law that is rude and annoying visit for a weekend is very unpleasant...however having a wife that does not attend Mass and reads Dan Brown's books and won't support you is a serious problem. Would your wife ask her to leave if she got out of hand? I would hope so but from what you describe she might not and other then physically forcing your sister-in-law out you might be stuck.

It seems you are aware of this problem and have been working on your marriage trying to encourage your wife in the faith. This is really all you can do. Take care.


Thanks for your comments and ideas and most of all for the offers of prayers.
We have a small daughter who gets on well with my SIL. When she visited last year, I wanted to take the child to mass but seeing that the two ladies were not she protested. My SIL actually said that she should go with her father, but I felt the subcontext was that it was because she was still small and as of yet unelightened.
Nowdays I just go to mass on my own principally because I cant control my wife or my daughter. I've decided that she will have to go after the communion, which we have decided she will do.
My SIL is not always foaming at the mouth, principally because we avoid testy issues and basically just try to be nice and charitable. You are right about my wife Monicad. Perhaps my SIL is just the edge of a typically dysfnctional secular modern european family, or perhaps she has that "possessed thing" going on. For the latter there is only prayer and patience I guess. I dare not lose my temper (which is my failing and biggest weak point).


It sounds as though SIL has some pretty serious mental disorders going on. I had a SIL who suffered from Bi-Polar disorder and behaved somewhat like you describe though not so extreme. I wonder if she has been properly diagnosed and treated…But that’s another subject altogether.

As for the visit, there is little you can do except to be charitable, get past it and move on.
I do agree with some of the other comments. If SIL has the potential to become violent, have phone numbers handy to the appropriate authorities etc.
As for personal home situation, it appears you already have your hands full. It does sound as though your wife is beginning to come around, so be patient and loving, pray regularly and live the faith in love for her and your daughter.



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