Sister-n-law issue


Hi, I could really use some advise on how to deal with my new sister-n-law. Her & my brother-n-law have been together for about 6 years. She has always been very sweet & thoughtful, buying our kids cards, books,gifts, ect. & seemed very interested in them. Well, they were just married a few months ago & it was a big, beautuful Catholic wedding. My husband & kids were all in the wedding party. The problems started before the Bridal Shower. She never hardly talked to me & wouldn’t let me help do anything with the wedding. I helped host the shower & she never sent a Thank you! She has treated my Mother-n-law this way as well. She didn’t let her feel apart of what was going on & really cut us all out. I am thinking that her being so sweet & nice was a big act to get married to my husbands brother. I know it seems silly, but I am very upset over all this because family is very important to us. After the wedding she hardly spoke to us & we never received any Thank you cards nor did anyone on his side of the family. Am I making a big deal out of nothing? She is educated ( a teacher) & had a beautiful expensive wedding so I know that she knows to send Thank you’s. It is not so much for me, but my parents, sisters all sent very nice gifts.
What really topped things off was when my kid had their First Communion & they were asked to be there as their Godparents. It was a very special occasion & we had a lot of family here. They all traveled from out of town, well they showed up late to Mass & spent that night, but left before we all got up. How weird is that? She has made it very clear to me that she is not interested in having a relationship with any of us & I feel hurt & very mislead, because she was so nice & seemed to love our kids & want to be apart of our family. We have been encouraging my brother-n-law to marry her for years. I hope we weren’t wrong about her & that she didn’t just put on a big show. Should I be so offended? :shrug:


I know it doesn’t seem fair, but I think brides usually look towards her side of the family to help out. If my brother gets married, I wouldn’t even expect to me a bridesmaid.

After the wedding she hardly spoke to us & we never received any Thank you cards nor did anyone on his side of the family. Am I making a big deal out of nothing?

Are his hands broken. :slight_smile: Did her side receive thank you’s. Maybe it was a general faux-pas. Besides I don’t think one to expect them

She has made it very clear to me that she is not interested in having a relationship with any of us

She actually said that? Or is that how you feel. If she said that, why would you make her a Godparent


I was asked to be in the wedding, but had to decline due to health problems. I didn’t expect to be asked. She didn’t let her own Mother or family help out or know what was going on. They were hurt as well. It was strange to all of us, but it was their wedding. I just wanted to be helpful in anyway.
I totally agree that my brother-n-law should have been writing the Thank you cards as well. His Mom even asked & he said he has been too busy. She was embarrassed because of all her friends & coworkers that attended have not received a note of thanks. Maybe it is just a southern thing to send out Thank you cards. I’m not sure. The wedding was back in February.
She never said that she didn’t want a relationship it is how I am taking it. She has not called or returned any phone calls since the wedding. It isn’t like I am expecting to be best friends, but I do wish we could be close. My brother-n-law is their Godfather from their baptism & I would love to have her be their GodMother when it is time for Confirmation. That is why I wanted them both to be their for their First Communion. She is not yet their true Godmother.
I guess I just wanted to vent & see if anyone else has had anyone do a complete turn around after getting married. It is so strange to me.


Seriously Kiki, I think perhaps you are being a little bit sensitive. I got married 2 yrs ago and I did everything myself and some people did get offended, but I didn’t want to burden them. My new MIL doesn’t drive, and truthfully, I didn’t know until the last minute whether she was even coming or not. My mom came in from out of town… a week before, I finally got confirmation she was coming. So, if you don’t want everything to fall apart, you end up doing it yourself. I did all the flowers myself… altar arrangements, boutonnières, bouquets, everything… I altered the bridesmaid dresses, shopped for the shoes, etc… all the details without help. After the wedding, my mom asked about thank-you notes. I admit, they took me a while to get done, but a couple of months later she said nobody in her area got one. I told her I wrote them myself and they were sent out… and actually I ended up in an argument. On dh and my first anniversary, I pulled out a special wedding gift that I had stored away, and there they were, the stamped addressed thank-you cards that I did a year ago. I thought dh had mailed them and he had no clue… boy was I embarrassed!!!

Things aren’t always how they seem…


I am reminded of the TV show Everybody Loves Raymond. One episode dealt with the fact that one of Meri’s sons, Robert had just returned from their honymoon with his new wife Amy. Well the mother was carrying on for most of the show about how Amy should get out those thank you cards. I mean to tell you this women made a big to do about it, so much so that the new bride was compelled to write out the notes out of guilt and worry. Unfortunately the only thing we can gleen from this is that for whatever the reason may be your sister in law never got around to sending the cards for one of two reasons, she may be the selfish uncaring type who does put up fronts, or she just doesn’t care enough about the rest of you to be considerate in the first place. I know a little about this for the reason that I have four sister in laws, and one of them does not like me. She never did. As a matter of fact she hates all men for two reasons. The first is the fact that she’s divorced from a man who did not treat her good, and second is because she has some mental issues. So when we see each other we “pretend” to like each other for the sake of the rest of the family. Maybe this is one cross you must accept. No matter what you do, your sister in law and you and or the rest of your family will never really get along, except for family gatherings and the holidays. Good luck and God bless you.:slight_smile:


Sounds like it is as much a brother issue as a sister-in-law issue.


Have you considered sending her a private, but direct note about the change you feel has occured in your relationship and level of communication?

Be solicitous and humble–perhaps even suggesting that if you have somehow offended her in any way that it certainly was not your intention to have done so. Reaffirm that you hope to have an open and warm relationship and look forward to hearing from her. This approach would prompt a reply from most folks.


I think you are completely overreacting. You’ve made up this entire story in your head, which is coloring all of your interactions with her.

Your BIL is just as responsible for those thank you’s as she is. It is impolite to not send them. Perhaps BIL’s mom could remind him of that.

As for SIL, they’ve only been married a few months, just wait and see-- give her the benefit of the doubt. And, if things don’t change, then ASK her. Don’t make up a bunch of stuff in your head and then walk around assuming what her motives are.


I agree, I think you are taking this too personally…getting married is stressful so maybe the change in her behavior reflects that.

First, you say she didn’t let you do anything, but it is HER wedding and if she doesn’t want help, she doesn’t have to offer. I got married about 18 months ago and am still angry over how everyone else thought that MY wedding was for them to decide. Everyone else wanted to do everything, pick everything, etc, etc, etc, when it was MY special day. I had to fight tooth-and-nail for what I wanted for a lot of things and am still mad about it :mad:.

It was very kind of you to do the bridal shower and I’ll admit that the thank-you’s should’ve been sent by now, but who am I to judge? It took me longer then 6 months (I’m not gonna say how long it took for me to get them done…rather embarrassing :blush:) so maybe she’s just really busy?? That’s how it was for my DH and I when we got married. So maybe those thank you’s are still on the way.

Some of her behavior does seem rude so I would confront her on that…just tell her your observations and how you feel. But I’m gonna give her the benefit of the doubt…they say the first year of marriage is the hardest and most stressful so maybe she’s not handling the stress well :shrug:


Imo, you shouldn’t jump to conclusions about the thank-you notes.

I never sent thank you notes when I got married. Not because I didn’t care or didn’t know better. I had the stationary ready and waiting along with the list of gifts I had received.

Why didn’t they get sent out? Because withing a few weeks of the wedding I was sicker than a dog with “morning sickness” that lasted all day and all night, and basically had me puking non-stop for 7 months. I was in and out of the hospital.

Not fun. By the time I was in any condition to write my name, much less a hundred thank you notes, I had lost the package of stationary along with the gift list.

I beat myself up over that for years. Yes, it’s embarrassing and yes, DH could have sat down and done it. But we had other problems going on at the time that prevented that from happening.

So, the moral of the story is…don’t jumped to judgements of people who fail to send out thank you notes. Sometimes life happens and it’s beyond our control.


It is unlikely that someone is genuinely nice and kind and then turns sour right after a wedding.

Either something happened to offend her or you are reading too much into her actions, not sure which since I don’t know all the details.

One observation that I can make is that (in my opinion) there is too much gossip going on about her. How is it that all these people know that no one got a thank you note? Is everyone calling everyone else and asking if they got one? I know people like this and it drives me nuts. I would never think to inquire about a thank you note…and I would never think as a friend to mention it to a woman (your mom) that her daughter never sent me a note. What is she supposed to do about it?

Try your best to make this work with her on whatever level that may be. She is your family now. If you are not best friends with her, that’s fine…just be polite and kind to her and compliment her and stop talking about her behind her back to family members would be my advice. Hang in there, I know this is probably hard for you. Pray for her most of all.


I’m also in the always think the best camp. Thank you notes - they are wonderful but, are becoing dinosaurs. Even Miss Manners gives a long time - a year I believe? to get out thank you notes. I’d let that one drop. People get busy, and things get missed.

For the rushing in late and leaving very early the next morning at the 1st Communion - sounds to me like they had a full schedule and other commitments, however, they KNEW this was important so they rushed to get to Mass, stayed the evening/night and had to rush back to meet other commitments. Someone who did not really care about the importance of the occasion or was selfish would have said “no, sorry, we cannot make it, we are too busy that weekend”. Sounds to me like they really made an effort to BE there for your kids. You might just sit down and send them a note saying how much it meant that they were there.

I have a new SIL too, and since the wedding, she is very busy - setting up a home and adjusting to married life.

Love her, and give her a bit of a break :slight_smile:


Be as kind to them as you can. How they behave is their responsibility. —KCT


I can understand your hurt feelings. But I think being a bride, as you probably remember, isn’t the easiest. It is hard to please all! I know I offended people at my wedding. It’s impossible not to.

Maybe she didn’t give thank-you cards to “family” because she figured it was obvious? Who knows.

Work on your relationship with her now. Maybe she is just overwhelmed with things and your relationship will get back to normal.

A really close friend of mine since gradeschool was invited to my wedding last year and I even invited her to the rehearsal dinner because she and her boyfriend flew across the country to be there. She got engaged a few months after our wedding and told me it would be in San Francisco and gave me the date. I was saving the date… but it came and went and I never got an invite. I thought it was very strange. Like maybe the invite got lost in the mail? I sent her a card of congratulations and a cheque. She sent me a link to that photo site to see the photos. It looked like a nice wedding, not a HUGE amount of people and mostly from her culture (Korean, I am European). So I figured my absence had something to do with that?

I never got a thank you card for the wedding gift. I still like her and all that, and I figure there is a very good reason for it all. To each their own on their weddings I suppose?


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