Sister-in-law calls husband only at work


#1

I would like some input on this situation. My husband's sister has decided over the past few years to call my husband only at work(he is self-employed). She never calls at our home. His mother does the same thing now and never calls our home.

My gut tells me that they don't want to call the house because I am here and for some reason that is a problem. I don't understand why they should think it's ok to bother him at work anyway unless it is an emergency.

In the past the sister has tried very hard to compete with me about who knows more about my husband and when we do get together(not very often anymore) she wants to go on endlessly about their history together before I met him. At first I didn't mind listening to her recount to her brother all of their childhood memories but when the pattern continued I started to think she was doing this as a way to exclude me from the conversation. To me this is all very weird because I have two brother and though, I may mention a childhood memory once in a while, I have moved on in my relationship with my brothers in that the memories now include their families as part of their history.

I actually told my husband that his sister acts more like a jealous girlfriend than a sister.

Should I ask my husband to have sis and mom call him at our home?


#2

Only if you really want to talk to them! lol

My dh's family only calls to talk to him. After almost 20 years, I just accept it. Some families have a hard time letting a new person into the fold :shrug: I don't quite understand it myself, but I hold no grudges.

Leave it to your husband to ask them to call him at home. If it bothers him that they call him at work, he should say so. If you want to talk to them personally, give them a call, but otherwise I wouldn't push the issue. JMHO


#3

It is generally best to let adults manage their own relationships whenever possible. Your husband will be relieved if you don't take the bait in the false little competition you suspect is going on. Let your husband decide who may and may not bother him at work. Don't get involved unless he asks you to, and be careful about it, even then. If he complains to you, then tell him: You can decide who is allowed to bother you at work. If you quit conversing with them when they call, and just tell them that they can call you at home later if they want to talk, then they'll get the message. After that, if he continues to complain, you can just say, "I understand your frustration, but other than telling them not to call you at work, I don't know what I'd do about it." Do not offer to intervene, but rather encourage him and show confidence that he can find his own best way to handle them, whether or not they are immediately compliant.

Likewise, if you have issues that have to do with you, deal with them directly, if you can. Use your husband for moral support, but be willing to manage your own relationships, including your relationships with your MIL and SIL.

If your husband neglects you in favor of someone else or allows others to treat you in an impolite way--accepts invitations in which against polite convention you are rudely excluded, for instance--that is a matter between your husband and you, not between you and someone else. Deal with that directly with your husband.


#4

Yeah, it kinda sounds like you have a jealous SIL, and perhaps. MIL.

And I wouldn't even bother having dh tell them to call at home. Let him do it. If it bothers him he should do it. If it doesn't bother him... then be glad you don't have to interact. If it somehow comes down the pike you did this... there WILL be hell to pay.

I come from the world where MIL calls to see if I'll be here when she's coming. Well, that was before kids. Now she HAS to talk to me. I ignore that she's been rude to since the start, and as long as she and FIL behave with the kids... they can see them.

Now... I'll tell you, I'm a smart A** from the gate. You should know that. Because if my SIL started in on how much better she knows DH as if a competition is happening, I might very well ask her some horrifying questions about his prefrences for sex... Now if she has some answers... you've got bigger problems than you think! :eek: But otherwise, It really doesn't matter who knew him first. 'Cause you're not interested in being his sister... you're his wife... only room for you in his bed... you know???

MomaMary... My inlaws do the same thing... the barely say hi if I answer the phone... EXCEPT now... again... you can almost hear the pain in their voices when they ask to come see the kids... Luckily they like the kids..


#5

[quote="faithfully, post:4, topic:230320"]
MomaMary... My inlaws do the same thing... the barely say hi if I answer the phone... EXCEPT now... again... you can almost hear the pain in their voices when they ask to come see the kids... Luckily they like the kids..

[/quote]

As least they come to see the kids! In ten years they have visited our home twice. It was seperate visits where only one came at a time. The goofy thing is that when there is a family gathering they'll take one tid bit of news from us and tell EVERYone this little tid bit as if they know what is going on in our life. It's kind of funny ... I can laugh after 20 years of it. lol My oldest is going to college next year and I wonder if they will ever see him again.


#6

[quote="MomaMary8, post:2, topic:230320"]
Only if you really want to talk to them! lol

My dh's family only calls to talk to him. After almost 20 years, I just accept it. Some families have a hard time letting a new person into the fold :shrug: I don't quite understand it myself, but I hold no grudges.

/QUOT
20 years is a long time to not be let into the fold. God bless you for your patience. For me it's 30 years and my patience has run out. Maybe it's my empty nest syndome before I was too busy raising our family to pay much mind to it. But I would like them to realize he has a wife and that I'm not going anywhere. Maybe if they were respectful, polite and dare I say, warm and welcoming toward me they might see their son/ brother more often.

I realize that I can't force them to accept me but don't I have the right to not allow something I find a bit sneaky on their part to keep happening?

[/quote]


#7

[quote="m_crane, post:6, topic:230320"]

It hurts your feelings doesn't it? What could you have possible done to be so allinated. Oh, yeah... took their bouncing baby boy... (Did you ever watch the movie Cinderella with Drew Berrymore? There's a scene between her and the step mother... "all I ever wanted was for you to be my mother!" It's really heart breaking!)

I've known my inlaws for 25 years. married 15. They do NOT think of me as one of the family. They know they can't kick me to the curb. But I get they'd really like to!

And I LOVE my DH grandmother. But I watched her do this to his aunt. This is LEARNED behavior!!! I was so saddened to watch that! It was B-A-D.

Gonna be blunt: If you try to press this issue, you look like a control freak. They win because they got under your skin and they didn't even have to be in your space. They KNOW what they are doing.

Your job... act like you don't care! You can let them know that you're aware they call him, and that's great. "Oh, I thought DH would have told you that when you talked last the other day..." ... Or when you see them next... "I'm so glad you find time in the day to talk with DH. I hadn't heard from you in such a long time I thought you were dead. I had to ask if DH had heard from you ... It's been ages... So what's new?" (did I mention my personality?) Not like you expected your husband to turn out to be a bum, and never talk to his family. And GREAT that it doesn't encroach on your time with him...;)
[/quote]

[/quote]


#8

Hello. Pardon me for saying this, but everyone here is very polite! These women are family for heaven's sakes! Just call them ---- and FREQUENTLY! :) Seriously! Blab their poor ears off about your husband and the kids, and everything else under the sun! When your sister-in-law starts telling you stories about your husband, just say, "Oh, yes, isn't he still cute!?" Then, turn the conversation to the latest episode of a soap opera, a news item, etc. Something you know she likes. Family is family, and accepting each other's shortcomings is part of it!


#9

[quote="faithfully, post:4, topic:230320"]
Yeah, it kinda sounds like you have a jealous SIL, and perhaps. MIL.

Now... I'll tell you, I'm a smart A** from the gate. You should know that. Because if my SIL started in on how much better she knows DH as if a competition is happening, I might very well ask her some horrifying questions about his prefrences for sex...

[/quote]

:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:
I thought it! -just couldn't bring myself to say it.
Thanks for your smart retort. You really made me feel better about this.


#10

[quote="NiceMimi, post:8, topic:230320"]
Hello. Pardon me for saying this, but everyone here is very polite! These women are family for heaven's sakes! Just call them ---- and FREQUENTLY! :) Seriously! Blab their poor ears off about your husband and the kids, and everything else under the sun! When your sister-in-law starts telling you stories about your husband, just say, "Oh, yes, isn't he still cute!?" Then, turn the conversation to the latest episode of a soap opera, a news item, etc. Something you know she likes. Family is family, and accepting each other's shortcomings is part of it!

[/quote]

There is merit to acting like you have NO IDEA they take issue with you...


#11

[quote="faithfully, post:10, topic:230320"]
There is merit to acting like you have NO IDEA they take issue with you...

[/quote]

Something about heaping coals on the heads of your enemies???

:D


#12

[quote="NiceMimi, post:8, topic:230320"]
Hello. Pardon me for saying this, but everyone here is very polite! These women are family for heaven's sakes! Just call them ---- and FREQUENTLY! :) Seriously! Blab their poor ears off about your husband and the kids, and everything else under the sun! When your sister-in-law starts telling you stories about your husband, just say, "Oh, yes, isn't he still cute!?" Then, turn the conversation to the latest episode of a soap opera, a news item, etc. Something you know she likes. Family is family, and accepting each other's shortcomings is part of it!

[/quote]

I tried this approach a few times in the past, really I have. I know this may be hard to believe but they really don't want to chat with me (unless there's is some gossip to be had)
As a matter of fact just yesterday the MIL called me. It was my 50th birthday. I was suprised but happy and began to chat a little. She actually cut me off and said she didn't want to keep me. I got the feeling she felt obligated to call. I am grateful that she called but I wish it was she really wanted to talk to me. She sends me a card on my birthday "to someone special" Don't they sell daughter-in-law cards? Again, I'm grateful but I'd like to be acknowleged as her daughter-in-law just once, Her phone call yesterday is partly why this is on my mind again.

I just feel so exhausted tryng to communicate with them in a loving way. They gossip behind my back, judge me, ignore me, act jealous and suspicious toward me. It's exhausting, Why can't we just get along?


#13

[quote="m_crane, post:12, topic:230320"]
I tried this approach a few times in the past, really I have. I know this may be hard to believe but they really don't want to chat with me (unless there's is some gossip to be had)
As a matter of fact just yesterday the MIL called me. It was my 50th birthday. I was suprised but happy and began to chat a little. She actually cut me off and said she didn't want to keep me. I got the feeling she felt obligated to call. I am grateful that she called but I wish it was she really wanted to talk to me. She sends me a card on my birthday "to someone special" Don't they sell daughter-in-law cards? Again, I'm grateful but I'd like to be acknowleged as her daughter-in-law just once, Her phone call yesterday is partly why this is on my mind again.

I just feel so exhausted tryng to communicate with them in a loving way. They gossip behind my back, judge me, ignore me, act jealous and suspicious toward me. It's exhausting, Why can't we just get along?

[/quote]

Are you my twin?? did we marry in the same family? ?? this sounds all toooooo familiar.

I did the make nice, I did the pretend I don't notice and keep chatting, I did the reaching out, I waited for other sister-in-laws to enter the family thinking I'd have a kinship with them...nope, nadda, nothing. I'm still the outcast. My gaurd is always up when I am around them.

If I dwell on it, it hurts. If my hubbie brings up the idea of us making more of an effort to seem them more often because they're getting older, it really hurts. I remain open to a normal relationship, but it takes two to tango. Just because they are getting older and won't be on the earth for many more years, doesn't mean our relationship magically repairs itself.

I keep them in my prayers, and I ask the saints to pray for me! I have found that I cannot chat with them too much. Anything I say is turned into gossip. If you walk into a conversation that is about you a couple of times, you learn quickly to keep your mouth shut. I am friendly as I would be to anyone in my parish or in my neighborhood. I love them as God shows us how to love, but I am not family.

Now that your kids are grown m crane, I bet it feels more empty as there really isn't any reason for them to talk to you. I'm starting to see this happen with my oldest. He is developing an independent relationship with my in-laws. When he tells me about them, it's hard not to be sad. I have to let him enjoy that part of his family, but I do NOT hide what they have done to me. He's noticed how little I talk to anyone when at the in-laws, and now he knows why, but I try not to keep him away from them. He can make his own judgements.


#14

[quote="m_crane, post:12, topic:230320"]
. She sends me a card on my birthday "to someone special" Don't they sell daughter-in-law cards?

[/quote]

At least you get cards. I can't tell you the last time I got a birthday card from my in-laws, and we have been married for 19 years.


#15

M crane and Moma Mary, we must be triplets! I have been married 17 years and go through this same stuff and worse. My m-i-l hasn't seeny my kids in over a year. She refuses to come here. And I haven't been to her in longer than that. I have been verbally abused and insulted and gossiped about so much, I just couldn't take it anymore. I have tried EVERYTHING: being nice, ignoring the insults, staying away, etc. Nothing worked, I finally talked to a priest about it. I explained what has gone on and asked did I have to just smile and take it. He said, no, you don't. If someone is mean and nasty and insults you all the time you don't have to subject yourself or your kids to that. If your husband wants to visit them, encourage him to do so, But you don't have to be involved. WOW! I wish I had asked that question 17 years ago!! I pray for them, I am nice and polite, but I keep my distance. I don't let them bother me anymore. My husband has finally seen the light about how they are and he no longer pushes the issue of us visiting. He goes there when he wants to, They call every now and then and we chat politely. They are no longer causing problems because we are on the same page now. Life is good! And, hey, if they call only him, LUCKY ME! I don't have time for drama anyway!


#16

[quote="EasterJoy, post:3, topic:230320"]
It is generally best to let adults manage their own relationships whenever possible. Your husband will be relieved if you don't take the bait in the false little competition you suspect is going on. Let your husband decide who may and may not bother him at work. Don't get involved unless he asks you to, and be careful about it, even then. If he complains to you, then tell him: You can decide who is allowed to bother you at work. If you quit conversing with them when they call, and just tell them that they can call you at home later if they want to talk, then they'll get the message. After that, if he continues to complain, you can just say, "I understand your frustration, but other than telling them not to call you at work, I don't know what I'd do about it." Do not offer to intervene, but rather encourage him and show confidence that he can find his own best way to handle them, whether or not they are immediately compliant.

Likewise, if you have issues that have to do with you, deal with them directly, if you can. Use your husband for moral support, but be willing to manage your own relationships, including your relationships with your MIL and SIL.

If your husband neglects you in favor of someone else or allows others to treat you in an impolite way--accepts invitations in which against polite convention you are rudely excluded, for instance--that is a matter between your husband and you, not between you and someone else. Deal with that directly with your husband.

[/quote]

I 100% agree with this sage advice.


#17

As a matter of fact just yesterday the MIL called me. It was my 50th birthday. I was suprised but happy and began to chat a little. She actually cut me off and said she didn't want to keep me. I got the feeling she felt obligated to call. I am grateful that she called but I wish it was she really *wanted to talk to me. She sends me a card on my birthday "to someone special" Don't they sell daughter-in-law cards? Again, I'm grateful but I'd like to be acknowleged as her daughter-in-law just once, Her phone call yesterday is partly why this is on my mind again.

I just feel so exhausted tryng to communicate with them in a loving way. They gossip behind my back, judge me, ignore me, act jealous and suspicious toward me. It's exhausting, Why can't we just get along?*

I wouldn't worry too much about what they say behind your back. What counts is that you continue to treat them in the loving Christian way that you have. I do know of women in your shoes, and they have continued being loving and there for their in-laws. In the end, the in-laws are the ones who look bad as these women have continued to behave in a loving manner. It has taken years, but many have eventually been won over.

I do want to say that I think that your mother-in-law does seem to be making efforts to be kind to you, so something is going on in her heart. I would call her back, and shower her with thank-you's, love, and affection, and thank her for the beautiful card that she sent you. Can it be that they feel that they could never measure up to the high caliber person that you are? I've seen that happen where someone has been gossiped about, but it is because the gossiper feels that they (the gossiper) can never be "as good" as the person they gossip about. So, they gossip to bring you, to what they consider, down to their level.

Is it possible to have coffee with your mother-in-law in a neutral zone like a coffee shop? Maybe go window shopping? I see her card as some kind of effort on her part to bridge the gap. Maybe you can reach out, and start talking to her.......a lot......:)


#18

Many of you have gone through the same things with your own in-laws so you have a lot of good advice.

This is what I got so far...
Ignore the SIL and MIL snubs and just chat pleasantly.(smart advice)
Don't ask husband to ask SIL to call at home because I'll sound controlling.(I get it)
Try to find things to talk to MIL that she will enjoy so I can avoid her favorite subject, gossip!(good strategy)
Don't let husband be rude to me by allowing SIL to carry on with her conversations that leave me out.(this is a behavior that I should say something to my husband about)
Be kind and tolerant because they are family. (sage advice)

I also can relate to all of your stories... the snubs, the gossip, my kids forming independent relationships with In-laws and leaving me feeling even more left out.... my husband always pushing to include in-laws in our plans and not understanding that this sets me up for more trauma. The husband not seeing that I am gossiped about, picked apart and not included a member of the family.

Thank you all for your kind, funny, and sad stories. You are all very wise.
I will pray for your in-law issues along with my own.

I


#19

[quote="m_crane, post:18, topic:230320"]
my husband always pushing to include in-laws in our plans and not understanding that this sets me up for more trauma. The husband not seeing that I am gossiped about, picked apart and not included a member of the family.

Thank you all for your kind, funny, and sad stories. You are all very wise.
I will pray for your in-law issues along with my own.

I

[/quote]

Up until you said this, I would agree that what you wrote is sometimes just life with the in-laws.

You husband needs to be able to see what they do. There is no reason for rose colored glasses for him, while you are being picked apart.

Something I did, so he would open his eyes, was to make sure that he was sitting next to me for ONE entire visit. Each time his mother cut me off, made a nasty remark or generally was mean to me, I bumped his leg with mine or tapped his leg with my hand. He wasn't allowed to say anything. I didn't want him to start defending them, just to see it from my point of view. After about an hour, he told me that he understood and I could stop. On the way home, he couldn't stop saying he was sorry.

It is really important that he doesn't say anything during the visit defending his family. I know that sounds weird, because of course he will want to. But if you take each instance and explain it, it doesn't carry as much weight as all of them together. And you are dealing with all of them together. Does that make sense? :shrug:


#20

I know it hurts to have in-laws like this. Believe me I know. A few things to remember....and it will help you!

  1. Your husband didn't pick his parents anymore than we did. He loves them unconditional......like we love our parents and our children.

  2. Before your husband came into your life....you lived just fine without your in laws. You can still do the same now. You didn't miss them before they were in your life did you?

  3. Some people just can't accept the fact their children do love more than just the "birth" family, in other words, he can love them and love you all at the same time....but some people just have a problem with understanding that.

  4. Some people just can't "move past" the past....When Johny was a little boy, when Johny dated so and so......when Johny rode his first bike......ect. They live in the past, how sad.....look at all they've missed.....pray for them........lots of love, good times and life has passed them by. You meanwhile........have lived life and enjoyed so much what they have missed!

  5. Accept what you can change, accept what you can't change.....and know the difference.

  6. Be happy for the man in your life, he's been a good husband, father, and son, (he loves his parents dispite their faults, that He knows and has learned he can't change.)

  7. Don't drag your son or children into the probelms between you and your inlaws. The way they may treat you, they won't treat him/them. It's just not the same to them, for some silly reason they see only "blood relation." Somewhere along the lines they didn't learn or know, when a man and woman marry they become "One".

  8. Never and I mean never ever put your husband in a spot where he feels he's in a corner and has to choose.... (not saying you would, but I've seen many woman do this, because of in laws and how they treated them the wife.)

  9. Always remember this....they weren't raised like you were, they may not be able, for whatever reason.....to see what they are doing is painful to you. Sometimes no matter how you explain it they just don't get it. So just pray about it...

  10. After all these years, and she sent you a card and called you. Yes I know the card said to "Someone Special" she sure was Right on the Money with that one......You are Someone Special!!!!!! That sure beats to a Daughter in law. You are Someone Special!!! Send her a nice note, tell her you like the card so much you're going to frame it........

  11. Or like someone else said, Maybe they see you as Way above them...and that you are unaproachable.....maybe they feel below you, maybe they don't know "How" to talk to you. Maybe they talk about the past.......because they are afraid you are too smart and they will feel like a fool in a "Normal" conversation with you. The past they feel "Safe" with talking about.

  12. Ask them out to dinner......do you have pictures of when your husband was growing up? If not make a small photo album of your children, then talk about how your children as they were growing up and now, look like your husband.......this would be a safe conversation and one you all could share in.....if the do feel below you, ten to one, this will be a great ice breaker......because they won't worry that they are going to look silly.

Meanwhile.........what do you have to loose in trying some of this.......you may just gain.....

But if nothing else you will feel like a million bucks for trying.........not to mention Jesus carried a bigger cross than we will ever have to......and no matter what Our Father will be looking down and seeing your heart and will smile at you for trying........Just know the Lord will be beside you no matter what happens. This is how I got through it..........knowing the Lord is with me.


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