Are you guys ready for THE LONGEST QUESTION EVER? Seriously, it’s 2785 words. I wrote university essays that were shorter. I was going to edit it… but my answer would have lost it’s edge unless you could see the anger.
Make yourself a cup of coffee, and settle in. It’s a longie, but it’s a goodie.
I have a sister n law from hell!!!! Firstly, I will start by saying that I am the kind of person that gets along with everyone, until you cross me.
My brother is 8 years older than me. We have always had a pretty good relationship. I would say when I was around 13 years old (that would make him 21) I met his then girlfriend. She was pretty rude when we (my older sister and I) first met her. Now let me take you back…
I was born in NY, I moved to GA when I was 11 with my parents and my older sister (2 years older) and we used to visit my brother in NY every year from then on. So when we came to NY to visit him one year, she was there and very stand-offish. Us being kids, we saw the rudeness but never paid it any mind.
I came back to visit him again in NY and while I was out with my mom, the then girlfriend and my brother got into an argument. My sister and a friend of ours that came from GA to see NY for the first time witnessed the then gf jump on my brother and start scratching up his face and punching him, then she tells my sister that she is going to call the cops to have him arrested. My brother left the house, when the cops came, she told my sister to tell the cops that he was beating her up, but my sister never saw that, she saw the opposite.
When my sister acknowledged that that didn’t happen, she had told the cops she didn’t want my sister staying there, so the cops told my sister to leave. My sister and our friend was sitting in the lobby for hours with their luggage. To top it off, she calls my cousin and tells her that we brought a girl out here that is trying to have sex with my brother.
She has called my mother a crackheaded bitch and my mother is the sweetest person ever. My mother never talks bad or down about anyone, and my mom never touched a drug in her life…The gfe never apologized for anything she said either. We got over that situation and years later they ended up getting married (justice of peace) and our family knew nothing about it.
She kept her last name, she said she didn’t care for our last name…they ended up having a daughter in 2001 I would say around 2006 I called my brother and asked him if it was alright if I could come to school out there in NY (because in GA they don’t have a makeup artist school, just based on makeup, you have to take up cosmetology, which I was not interested in), he naturally said he will have to speak it over with his wife. I agreed.
He called me a week later and he stated that they both agreed that it will be fine. I asked him if he was sure, he said yes. So I packed up my car and my sister helped me drive up there (13-14 hours). I kept my stuff in a luggage because they only had 2 bedrooms, one for them and one for my niece. I was told to stay in the living room, so I kept all my clothing in a closet in a luggage. My sister got a ride back with one of her friends that was up there the next day.
I already pre-registered over the phone, so I had to come up to the school the following week. The 1 or 2 days I was there, SEEMED pretty good. I did the dishes, I made sure there wasn’t a mess, she loaned me a nice purse, it seemed ok. 3 or 4 days later, my brother comes to me and says, you can’t stay here anymore. Naturally, I thought this was a joke, so I laughed. When I looked at his face, I knew he was dead serious.
He said, you can’t stay here anymore, the wife doesn’t want you here, so I don’t want to cause any arguments with her, I’m sorry but you have to go. I was shocked and heart broken, I didn’t understand what it was that I did. I had no money to get my own apartment and it was a really bad situation. I ended up sleeping in the car a few nights and staying with friends every now and then, going from house to house.
Needless to say, I did not get to go to school. I end up finding a job and staying with a friend of the family for a few months. So while I’m staying at a friend of the family house, my friend says to me that my purse is lovely. I told her it was my sis n law’s, she loaned it to me, it was so much going on that I forgot to give it back. I said, to my friend, the next time I see her or my brother, I will give it back.
To make that long story short, my friend and sis n law were talking on the phone and my friend says to her, I love the purse that you loaned. She tells my friend that I stole it and she never authorized me to borrow it, then later on after she goes around telling people that I stole from her, she retracts and says, oh yea, I did lend it to her, I must have forgot.
I lost it after that, I told my brother her behavior is unacceptable and I’m ready to whoop her ass!!! My brother threatens me and says I better not touch her. REALLY!?! After she defamed my name and he even asked me about it…
I cut them both off, for a while, as I was a very forgiven person.
Let’s fast forward to 2010 I got a nice job and I have always wanted to take my entire family on a trip. So for my parents 39th anniversary I decided to get a lovely condo rental for my family and my brothers’ family. So I paid for EVERYTHING, For my parents, my sister and her child, and my brother his wife and their now 2 children.
I paid for the condo which was a couple grand, food, a lovely ocean view dinner, the condo was on the beach, it was absolutely gorgeous, I even paid for a beautiful boat ride, plus took them out for drinks. So this was a pretty hefty amount of money I was spending.
The sis in law loved me while I was spending all this money. In the back of my mind, I was still hurt about what happened, but I was trying to look forward. We had a wonderful time… My entire family said thank you for everything…
She (sis n law) never did, once.
2013 my parents, sister and I made a huge decision and move. We decided since my brother and his family moved to Tampa, I think we should all move to Tampa, so my sister can raise her son with my brother’s children. Plus, my parents are getting old in age. We should be around each other more.
I can say, we (the family) have been here 4 months. My brother and his family live less than 15 min away from us. I barely see my brother or the kids. I have to ask to get the kids, when I do ask, the sis n law always has an excuse. Oh the baby is sleeping and my niece hair is being washed…Always an excuse.
My brother is not allowed to go anywhere with my sister and I. If I do anything with the kids, it has to be in the household and we can’t take the kids anywhere. Yet, her mother and cousins come over and take the kids, no question. When we (my mother and I ) came to the house one time, my niece who is now 12 acts so uncomfortable around us. We feel like aliens, you can tell its definitely a strain there.
I remember my mom brought my niece some clothes and the sis n law threw them away. So the daughter is pretty much acting like her mother unfortunately. When my sis n laws mother came over, my niece was so excited and screaming “grandma grandma” and kissing and hugging her. My mom felt so bad because she never had the chance to prove she loves her the same and she has been trying, but the sis n law won’t allow it. I felt a way too.
As long as I known the kids, we never get that type of excitement out of them.
PRESENT October 2013– My brother and his wife had a huge argument, we (my sister, parents, nephew and I) were in Orlando for my sisters’ son 12th birthday. We invited them to go, but it was a no of course. The sis n law is calling me telling me that my brother is drunk and she doesn’t want him drunk. My brother calls me on the other line and says to me that she attacked him again because he was drinking a few beers and he is upset because he has scratches all over his face and neck. I told him that one of them needs to leave the house. They both were acting stubborn about it.
My mom got on her phone and was talking to my brother, the sis in law grabs the phone and starts screaming on the phone. My mom said that both of you guys need to get help. She snapped on my mother and cursed her out.
To make this a long story short, my sis n law ended up calling the cops again, the cops threatened to take her to jail and not my brother because he was the one bleeding and scratched up. But of course, my brother did not want to press charges, he said he will leave for a while. The sis n law is sending us all text messages about how messed up my parents are, and that they didn’t help her. My brother is 39 years old, what can my parents actually do?
They tried to talk to him and she kept screaming and grabbing the phone. She ended up cutting us all off, deleting us from face book and bad mouthing my family.
I had it, I told my brother I’m done with her and I want NOTHING to do with her ever again, my sister felt the same. My parents are more forgiven, but as for me, I’m done, it is waaaayyy too much she has done to me in the past and now this.
My brothers’ bday is in December, so my sister and I planned to take him to a nice condo off the beach in miami and then the next evening take him to a night cruise, the cruise goes to the Bahamas, it has a club on the boat and casino’s. The best part of it was that I had invited friends of the family that we grew up with and his favorite guy and girl cousins. I knew he would love this and be surprised. I told him that we were set to leave on the evening of the 6th and he will return on the 8th.
Only thing, I did not invite his wife and I was set on not inviting her. I told him to tell her that we (his sisters) are planning a birthday surprise for him and he won’t be home those days. Since she initiated cutting us off, and she knew that we know that she did, it should not be a surprise that we would not invite her. He agreed!
About two days ago, my brother asked me to watch their son, because his wife and daughter is going out of town and he has to work that evening. Of course I’ll watch my nephew….So he calls me back tonight and says to me, “I need you to watch your nephew but plans changed. I am going to just do a double shift, so I need you to come to the house while my wife is there, say hello and be cordial”. This opened up a can of damn worms!!!!!
I will watch my nephew, but there is no way in hell that I am saying hello and pretending that everything is fine, when it is not. He said to me, that he had to prep her for me to come there and she finally agreed that she will be cordial…WHY?!!??? I did nothing wrong to her EVER!!
That made matters worse and we got into a bit of a screaming match on the phone. It led me to say to him that I’m not mad at him, I just don’t like that bitch and this is not just about what happened a few days ago, this is something that has been on-going. He tells me that I need to get over it.
These words that he was choosing were making me even more angrier. I lashed out and said exactly what I felt “FUCK HER, I HATE THAT BITCH, I REALLY FEEL LIKE BEATING HER ASS NOW”. He says to me “you try that, then Imma have to do something to you”.
He said that to me again. This time it hit me where it hurt. Now I’m not a crier, but I was in tears. I could not believe that he would say this to me yet again. My heart just shattered and I’m done. I loved my brother and looked up to him my entire 32 years of life. For him to say this to me as an adult, really hit home. I never wished my brother harm, I never wanted to see him locked up and I damn sure don’t make up horrible stories about him.
I have always wished him the best, even with his dragon lady wife. He sent me a text, not saying sorry but saying that he doesn’t like to hear me cry. I’m at this point of my life that Loyalty mean everything to me, and he nor she is loyal to me at all. It is more horrific things she has said about my brother to my family and her family and friends, that I would feel ashamed to even put on here.
But I feel betrayed and I want nothing more to do with none of them. I called off his birthday trip already and I’m looking into moving else where once my lease is up. What do you think?
It is too many years of this, this has been on going since I was a teenager. I think it is time to hang it up once and for all. I’ve done nothing to deserve this treatment and I swear I haven’t left out a thing about myself. I have never disrespected her or came out of my face to her. I have always respected people my entire life and bit my tongue my entire life.
I don’t feel as an adult that I should have to portray myself as a fake person by going there and acting as if everything is ok, when in my heart I know it’s not. I tried to tell him it is too soon, the wounds is still raw. I even tried to tell him that I will come there and call my niece and have her bring my nephew out to the car. My nephew and I will drive around and go to a park until they are ready to go. My brother said no.
I said, fine, then I will send our mom there first and then I will come there when they leave, he told me no about that too. I feel like he is used to me sucking up to her and he wants me to be the first to apologize to her as if I did something to her. I swear before God that I will not do this, I will no longer do anything that they want me to do, I will no longer be the one that apologizes for something I did not do. He really made me feel like I did something to her.
That is why I no longer want to be apart of his and his family lives. His daughter is already distant as hell. She doesn’t want to be around us if my brother isn’t present. And my nephew is too young with extreme behavioral problems. So honestly, I don’t feel like I’m going to miss anything. Any advice?
Oh, lots of advice. Buckle up.
I’m going to start by saying I’m the kind of person who can’t bear the kind of people who describe themselves as “the kind of person that gets along with everyone, until you cross me.”
Because what it actually means is: “When I first meet you I’ll be really nice to you. But I’m just sitting here, watching, waiting for you to mess up, and then I’ll deliver my wrath upon you, and you will never forget it (and even if you try to forget it, I WON’T). Oh, and in case you wonder how not to cross me, the formula a secret, and you will likely be banished for doing something you didn’t even know what on the naughty list”.
Seriously, you are the kind of person who is nice ‘until you cross me’? OMG, dramatic much?
People, if you have a list of ‘enemies’ in life, you need to take a long hard look at yourself. We all fall out with people occasionally, but if you don’t just move on, get on with your life, and find people to fill it with whom like and whose company you enjoy instead, you’ve got problems.
Your question is so long, I’m going to have to take it in stages. Because it got so complicated seeing who was doing what to whom, we’re going to keep score. Yay! It’s like sport but better!
On Her Keeping Her Name
It’s entirely up to her what she calls herself, it’s none of your business. You also sound judgemental about it, which really gets my back up. a) IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU. b) Why are you shaming people for keeping their name? Join the 21st century, please.
Sure, she needn’t have said she ‘didn’t care’ for your last name. But even if she did say that, she was just TRYING to p*ss you off. Rise above it! Be a grown up!
Score: You 0
The Big Move
What, you really thought it would be a good idea to move in with them? You sound like you think you are justified to MOVE IN to their two bed apartment (which was already full) just because you asked, ‘Are you sure?’ and then did some dishes.
Did you consider at all that it was a lot to ask? That you might be putting your brother in a difficult situation when he doesn’t want to say no to his little sister and her big dreams, but at the same time (wife completely aside) who wants someone LIVING IN THEIR LOUNGE ROOM?
A few nights whilst you find your feet, sure. But did you actually expect to live with them throughout your course? If so, you are the one in the wrong here. That is too much to ask of ANYONE, let alone someone you are known not to get along with.
I don’t know (nor really care) whether she loaned it to you, or you stole it. I have to say, as I was reading your letter, I KNEW it wouldn’t end with, “So I returned her purse with a nice thank you card for the loan”. You lost it? Sure you did.
To me that means one of two things: 1) you borrowed something, and failed to look after it. Unacceptable. or 2) you didn’t want to give it back to her, so you kept it / gave it away / threw it in the trash. Unacceptable.
Did you ever properly apologise for losing it? Genuinely?
You should not have kept the purse once you moved out. You forgot to give it back, fine. At that point, you should not have continued to use it. You had fallen out, the purse was clearly another potential for problems, you should have wrapped it up, put it in a closet to keep it safe until you could return it.
“I’m ready to whoop her ass!!! My brother threatens me and says I better not touch her. REALLY!?!”
Yes, really. You had better not touch her. Or anyone else. It’s called common assault, and the law applies to you, and people you don’t like as well. WELCOME TO ADULTHOOD.
Her Defaming You
What? You really care about this stuff enough to go around telling people she was ‘defaming’ you? You’re not a professional who’s living relies on your reputation. The New York Times did not just jeopardise your livelihood. Your SIL made some stuff up about you. You are being way too dramatic about everything.
And your SIL probably is too, by the sounds of it (lord, your poor brother) so no-one’s getting any points for this round.
The Family Trip
What a lovely gesture! It’s nice to spoil your parents once you are able. Bravo.
Also, she SIL didn’t say thank you? Unacceptable.
However, you do nice things for people because you want to. You sound like you are relishing the opportunity to turn this into another way that she wronged you. Don’t be the person that holds grudges like these. It makes you angry, bitter, and it doesn’t achieve anything.
Did your parents enjoy it? Then mark the whole thing off as a huge success, and pat yourself on the back. The end.
The Second Big Move
I sensed trouble from the start, but whatever, you’re there now.
Now the trick is to get the hell out of their business.
As you said in your own words: “My brother is 39 years old, what can my parents actually do?”
Exactly. This the crux of the matter. He is 39 years old. So presumably you are now around 31.
WHY ARE YOU SO INVOLVED IN EACH OTHER’S BUSINESS? Step the hell back.
However, SIL did call you, and dragged you into it. I’ve given you a point for that. But next time, don’t be drawn in.
CALMLY say, ‘Sorry, I really don’t want to get involved in your marriage. I am happy to find a good couple’s counsellor if you would like, but I am not here to referee your relationship”.
Practise that line. Stick to it. FOREVER. (Unless you feel it necessary for someone’s protection to call the police. In which case, do that, but don’t get involved with all this on the phone arguing business. It will never do any good, and will likely make everyone more angry, and the situation more dangerous for all involved).
The Birthday Bash
Given the state of relations between you all, was a two day booze-cruise extravaganza really the way to go? You couldn’t just take him out for a nice dinner on his own?
This whole birthday thing smacks of you trying to wind the SIL up. Especially the clubs and casino part, when you know she has issues with his drinking. (and I’m not saying she’s right to have issues, I’m saying, you chose something you knew she wouldn’t like, and I think it was deliberate).
Also, taking someone’s husband on a trip for two days when they’ve got two kids at home is not something you do without checking everyone is up for it. Your brother wanting to go isn’t enough – because he is the kid’s parents too – and by him going, she is on her own.
She’s probably handling it badly, but still, you were wrong to organise this.
On Seeing Your Niece and Nephew
“there is no way in hell that I am saying hello and pretending that everything is fine”.
Oh, you’ve really lost me now.
Why not? Why can’t you just say, ‘Hello x’. And then watch the kids. You are NOT doing your brother a favour if you are being THIS awkward about it. The poor fella just wants someone to watch his kids. And you are all, ‘Of course! As long as you jump through this hoop, and this hoop, and basically make it so complicated it’s easier just to pay someone’.
Seriously, it would not kill you to just be cordial. Ugh, how many times am I going to have to say this: GROW THE **** UP.
And, “I did nothing wrong to her EVER!!”. Um? If you really think this, YOU ARE DELUDED.
“we got into a bit of a screaming match on the phone”
You need to get ahold of yourself, and your temper. This is not the behaviour of reasonable adults. It is the behaviour of eternal-teenagers who love the drama. Grow up. (Ugh, I’m sick of myself too).
Why the hell are you all threatening each other with physical violence?
You have not respected people or bit your tongue your entire life. Are you kidding me? You’ve threatened your SIL with physical violence (OK, behind her back, but whatever, twice). That is neither respectful, nor biting your tongue.
But you really sound like you believe your own story. Do you honestly, honestly (I’m really genuinely interested now), think that you have been respectful and tongue-biting? Do you honestly feel you have done NOTHING to contribute to this mess?
Ugh, the ‘being fake’ excuse.
I see this used all the time as an excuse for people to be rude.
Being polite and civil to someone you don’t like IS NOT BEING FAKE. It is being polite and civil. It is being a grown-up. It is being a part of functioning, reasonable society.
You don’t have to pretend you like her when you don’t. You don’t have to buy her lavish birthday gifts. That would be being FAKE.
Turning up and saying a quick hello? That’s not fake, that’s adulthood.
All of this sending people out front, and picking up, and driving around, and getting so and so to collect them, IT’S RIDICULOUS. You want to see the kids, you suck it up and go to the house. You say a quick hello TO THEIR MOTHER.
“He really made me feel like I did something to her.”
Consider this. Properly. Could he make you feel like this if there wasn’t some grain of truth in it?
I’m not saying you’re totally in the wrong, or that she’s totally in the right. You both sound like over-dramatic pills. But you could be the one to take the high road, and get on with your life, and have a relationship with your niece and nephews. So why wouldn’t you?
Because you love to hold a grudge. That’s why.
Your nephew has behavioural problems. I am sorry to hear that.
But because of his problems you don’t feel like you’re “going to miss anything”.
Would you say the same if he had a physical disability? If he was in a wheelchair? If he had been born with one arm? No? I thought not.
You 0 (sorry, you just lost ‘em all)
I know what you are going to say. “It was just an expression! I didn’t mean it like that!”
But you’ve said it yourself: words mean something. They can cut deep. When your brother said something hurtful to you, even though it was in the heat of the moment, even though he probably didn’t mean it, your “heart just shattered”.
Imagine, for one second, the state his heart would be in if he heard you implying that his son is worthless because he is different.
That’s what you just did.
No, really. It is.
P.S. I’m pretty sure I have now joined the list of people who have ‘crossed you’. Are you mad? Really really mad? Want to get your facebook friends to come and say mean things in the comments? Take that anger, and channel it towards finding a therapist.
You are one angry lady, and it is not doing you, or the world, any good. I say this from a place of genuine concern. That anger will eat you up from the inside. You are only hurting yourself. You are not teaching anyone a lesson, or getting one up on anyone.
PPS I know what you are going to say to that: “But I was wronged!”. I know you were. We all have been. Some people very badly. Your reaction to it is disproportionate. You shouldn’t feel this much anger, and vitriol towards this woman. Seriously. You need to sort it out, FOR YOUR OWN SAKE.
photo credit: eschipul via photopin cc