Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My sister (in law) and me

My sister in law is a year younger to me. She is very non interfering and easy to get along. When we got married, I didnt have any usual sister in law to bhabhi issues with her.

On the other hand, I had those problems big time with my brother's wife. Every time she visited and left, I had to listen to a long list of complaints from my brother. S did this, S did that, dont do this, dont do that, dont say that and on and on it went. And I would listen quietly and promise to implement them in the next interaction. On and on it went for a couple of years until my nephew arrived on the scene. I had no kids of my own and he was the first baby in our family. I went ga ga over him. I am his favorite aunt and I spoilt that kid to no limit. It also brought about a radical change in our relationship, my bhabhi started to love me. We are friends now. Both of us still have our quirks and things that irritate each other, I am sure of it, but we get along really well, look forward to each other's visits, miss each other if we havent talked/met in a while. It didnt happen overnight.

On the other hand, me and my sister in law started off great. And of late, I feel like our relationship is deteriorating. She doesnt call so often, or I am not around when she calls, P and her have long conversations, most times I am busy with the girls or not around. There used to be a time when I would call her regularly on my way home from work. We would chat like friends. Then she got married and moved a bit further away...

Then my in laws visited and it seems she was going thru the usual rough teething problems that any newly married couple goes through. The only difference was that my in laws would have hushed conversations in my house about her and as soon as I walked into the room, they would stop talking. It started to get a bit uncomfortable. My MIL finally confided in P about my sister in law's issues and they asked him not to include me in the conversations or be careful that I dont find out about it. I felt so bad. I didnt know that my in laws thought so little of me.

I have never wished ill for my sister in law, always had the best thoughts for her but my father in law told me on a couple of occasions, why did you say so and so to her, you should say so and so instead or dont say this to her, she needs this....When all I was doing was some good natured ribbing or general conversation. At that point of time, I think, I shut off. When she would call, I wasnt sure if I would be interupting any private conversation or if they wouldnt be able to talk freely if I was there so I would walk away. I am sure this must have led to further misunderstandings with my SIL thinking I have no enthusiasm to talk to her, I dont know.

I feel like we are drifting apart slowly. Lack of communication does that to people. When you do not voice your concerns or opinions clearly, everything is up for debate and each side can see things as they deem fit.

In law relationships are always so fragile, arent they. Add to it, my rocky relationship with my in laws, her parents; I dont know if she is unhappy that I have made her parents so unhappy. I dont know what she thinks. When we were going thru a really bad time with my in laws visit, where all of us were pretty much miserable, I asked P so many times to call her and to tell her about everything that was going on. I thought as a wife and as a daughter, she would be able to understand both of us. She would be able to help, to solve the ever increasing web of misunderstandings.

Now we have all reached this point of no return. My in laws are getting older and more stubborn, set in their ways. We have tremendous misunderstandings on both sides. We know that either party is not evil and has good wishes but for some reason cannot get along well for a long period of time under the same roof. I do not know how to clearly discuss issues with them. That is what I am used to. Calling up family and asking if they are mad and what are they mad at etc.

I dont have that clear communication with my birth mom and what is the result, am I close to her? My mother in law is another one, I cannot seem to talk to her and find out what she wants and what will make her happy? We no longer have that communication channel and both her kids will not help to soothe things or make them allright.

P's strategy is mostly to pretend nothing is wrong and go about your day as usual. His sister has a great virtue of non intereference and yet again sometimes I wish she would help us all get along.

P has only one sibling and I feel very sad that we are growing distant. I wish she would come visit, spend time with her nieces, R adores her so much. I wish we could chat on the phone like old friends. I wish I could tell her the issues I face with her parents and get her advice, after all she knows them better than I do. I wish she would tell me what her mother wants. I wish she would talk to her mother about me. I wish there would be this one person trying to bring everyone together.

For once I am lost. Many times I feel like writing her an email or calling her and talking to her about this. I had decided that I would tell her everything, have a heart to heart conversation when she visited by herself in the summer but that visit didnt happen. I do not even know if she would be open minded enough to listen or would she be automatically scornful of me for not getting along with her parents. What do I do?


  1. hi, u seem like a simple and sincere person to me, but ur sis in law may have changed after marriage. My experience of in laws tell me that trying to clarify issues with them always complicates it more. Just follow P's policy even though in ur heart feel differently, i think u should try to develop r/ship with ur sis in law on neutral grounds so that she does not have to chose b/ween u and her parents. Believe me she would side with her parents even if she thinks u r right,this is my experience,cheers

    1. I missed reading this! You are right Aneela, will try to implement :) Thanks!