Category Archives: In-Laws

3 Tips to Handle a Difficult Sister in Law…and Improve Your Relationship

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Picture the scene. After years of struggle you have finally found Mr. Right.

Life is bliss.

You are now Mrs. Right.

But now as if all was going too well and things in your life were just too good to be true, along comes a dark cloud.

This dark cloud has a name and its name is – Sister in Law.

For most people getting married is a whole new world of excitement and a tremendously happy time. However for some people the whole experience can be filled with anxiety and tension because of a difficult sister in law.

The tension between a new bride and a Sister in Law is a common problem that many people seem to encounter. Whether it comes down to a clash of personality types or something more fundamental there is always a way to improve a troubled relationship with a difficult Sister in Law.

Here are 3 proven tips that will help build bridges between you and your new Sister in Law.

Remember that she was here first

The most common reason for tension between a new wife and your partner’s sister is the readjustment that is needed after a wedding. Most families have set orders and established hierarchies that have been in place for many years. Your introduction into the family has upset that natural order and changed the family dynamic.

Very often your new sister in law will feel anxious and even threatened that you will take her place and force her down the family order.

Whilst you know this is not the case you must not assume that she will know this.

Do your best to consider her feelings and if you can have a quiet word to reassure her that her place in the family order is secure and she really shouldn’t worry.

Never forget an important date

Often time’s tension can be caused by simple misunderstandings such as forgetting an important family anniversary or milestone. Your sister in law might take offence at something you forgot to do and the worst part is that you would not even know what you had done.

When you join a new family through marriage make sure you make a note of all important family events and occasions on a calendar or diary.

Doing this will ensure that you are never caught out at the last minute or even worst case – totally forget about something that will cause your new family to be annoyed at you.

As an extra bonus tip – never ever forget about your sister in law’s birthday.

Communicate on her level

In life sometimes we just have to accept that we will not get along with everyone. Sometimes we will find people that we just do not like, or indeed that just do not like us.

If that is the case with your sister in law then the best that you can hope for is establish some kind of level of mutual respect.

You will have to accept that you will never be best friends but you do have to find some way to at least communicate in a way that is respectful of each other.

Remember the common ground you have is the man you married and love. Even if you cannot stand his sister, out of respect for your partner you should try to forge some sort of respectful relationship.

To do this you must take a step back and try and find a common ground with your sister in law.

Even if you have nothing in common you should be able to find something to talk about that does not involve arguing or fighting.

If you can make the effort it is highly likely that she too will make the effort. Even if you both have to do this through gritted teeth it is definitely a better option than spending time and energy fighting with someone who is so important to your husband.

How to Woo Your New In-Laws

Chances are you’ll already know your in-laws quite well before you tie the knot. But after the wedding, the rules change. You’re part of the family now and no matter if you met on eHarmony or at university, you need to work a little bit harder to get in your in-law’s good books. Here are a few dos and don’ts to help the process along…

Do ask your partner for help

Your partner should be a constant source of tips for pleasing their parents – so make sure you use this to full advantage! This way you’ll cause delight with every gift and cook exactly the right food when they come to stay.

Do organise trips together

Going away on joint holidays is a great way to get to know your in-laws. Just a week away will see you bonding and getting to know each other a lot better.

Do be helpful

Make sure to be as useful as you possibly can be, especially when it comes to any kind of domestic chores. Offer to do the washing up, for example. See where help is needed and jump up eagerly every time you spot an opportunity. This is a very simple but effective way to gain approval.

Do listen

Make sure to listen to all the concerns of your in-laws and try your best to help with them. It’s great to position yourself as someone they can confide in.

Don’t disregard house rules

If staying in your in-laws’ house, make sure you stick to their rules. That could be using a napkin at the table, or taking off your shoes at the entrance to the house. Disregarding these rules would be unwise and disrespectful.


Don’t forget to return the favor

Remember the favours paid to you by your in-laws and ensure you pay them back. This could be anything from a visit to an extravagant present to an invitation to dinner.

Don’t reveal inappropriate facts

Keep it clean. Don’t drop in inappropriate trivia such as your favourite sexual position. There are some things you just shouldn’t discuss with inlaws, no matter how well you know them.

With all of these tips to your armoury the inlaws should be putty in your hands, whether you met your partner not long ago on an online dating site in Leeds or have known them since you were a child.

Gotta Go, Gotta Leave

This has been probably one of the most stressful 2 months in a long time. From family members passing away to my grandpa being in and out of the hospital, and add in drama in the running group. I could enjoy a little getaway. But I don’t think that’s enough. I think it’s time for hubby and I to get back out on our own, as soon as humanly possible.

My grandparents have been pretty difficult to deal with lately, but especially my grandpa. Let me make it perfectly clear: he’s not sick. He’s been having a few issues and has had a few procedures. So none of these hospital trips have been life or death situations. He’s been completely milking it and acting absolutely ridiculous, and it’s taking a toll on all of us. My grandma is grouchy because my grandpa insists he stay with her at the hospital every single night (not comfortable). My mom is stressed because despite having to work 12 hours/day, my grandpa insists that she come to the hospital to look at him for hours on end. And I’m irritated because despite the fact that I’m married and have to work pretty much overtime on my relationship since we’re not under the same roof, my grandpa still insists I come visit him (again, he’s not sick). I’m getting pretty fed up.

So this sparked a discussion with my mom. From the actions of my grandparents and even my in laws, we came to the conclusion that neither couple truly respects the fact that Tej and I are married. Both couples will demand their either he or I do something for them, without asking if we’re busy or have other things planned, especially with each other. We feel more obligated to them than we do to each other. We’ve put each other on the backburner to do tasks for either his parents or my grandparents, simply because they don’t factor in that we’re responsible for someone else (each other). It’s really putting a negative strain on our already strained relationship, and that’s the last thing we need.

As grateful as we are to our families for allowing us to live back at home rent free, I’m beginning to think it’s doing more harm than good. Yeah, maybe it was the easiest financial decision, but is it worth our marriage? Not in my opinion. So I think it’s time to go. It’s time to get back on our own, by any means necessary. Although I’m a temp at my job, from the words of other employees, a lot of permanent people started off as temps and were awarded a permanent position in about a year’s time. Plus, our agency never gave us an end date. The position was/is “long term”, which gives me a bit of added confidence. Hubby hasn’t found anything yet, but I’m going to speak it into existence. He will find something and we will be fine.

Is moving back out on our own without having things completely solid a risk? You better believe it. There’s risk that things won’t work out and we’ll be right back at square one. But I think this is a risk worth taking. This situation we’re in is not positive by any stretch of the imagination, and I think it’s doing more harm than good to our marriage. We tried; we moved back in March and August is coming to a close. It’s just not something we like so it’s time to start looking for places to restart our lives.

What do you think? Think we should wait a while longer or think the risk is worth taking?