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'I'm tired of my SIL. I plan to skip my brother's wedding because of her behavior.' UPDATED 3X

'I'm tired of my SIL. I plan to skip my brother's wedding because of her behavior.' UPDATED 3X


There's nothing quite like watching your sibling getting into a relationship with someone who stresses you out, and being forced to choose between grinning and nodding along or voicing your concerns.

In a popular post on the True Off My Chest subreddit, a woman shared her saga of weirdness with her SIL. She wrote:

"I'm tired of my SIL and I plan to skip my brother's wedding because of her weird behavior."

My (27F) brother (25M) is marrying Lina (24F) She doesn't have a family so my family tried to make her feel really included. I liked her the few times I saw her until she started to get weird. I live five hours away from my family because I worked as Rita's (98F) personal nurse so I lived with her and I'm studying another degree so I don't really have too much free time.

The first time I met Lina almost two years ago she came up to me saying that everyone in the family always talks about me or asks for me in every family reunion and she wanted to meet me, I make a little talk with her and then I went to talk with my aunts. The rest of the night whenever I was talking to a member of my family, Lina would get into the conversation even if it was private.

I assumed she was trying to fit in and include herself so I included her in the conversations even though I found it uncomfortable. After that she included herself all the time in any conversation I was having with anyone at any family gathering but I would include her in the conversations, the problem started when they announced their engagement.

They were going to announce it at a party but before they announced it I had to leave the place urgently because Rita had fallen out of the bathtub, my brother understood the urgency and he took me to a room just the two of us to still tell me the news of his engagement before I leave.

I congratulated and hugged him but Lina ruined our moment because she complained saying that the firstborn of the family (me) must be there but I just ignored her and my brother explained her that I had to leave.

I have been taking care of Rita since before I graduated and she always trusted in my skills as a nurse and she's even paying for my second degree which is a lot so she became a third grandmother to me and after falling in the bathroom she broke her hip and her health deteriorated greatly.

It's just me and her pregnant great-grandchild who takes care of her, my mother also comes to the hospital to help me sometimes because Rita doesn't like to be touched by the hospital nurses, she hates when strangers touches her for some traumas from her childhood.

A few months ago Lina went out with the women of the family to try on wedding dresses and one of my cousins told me that Lina kept complaining because I didn't went with them. Rita was sick and I was taking care of her, Lina knew that.

On my mother's birthday I invited her for a brunch, it was supposed to be a mother and daughter outing like we do every year but Lina insisted on coming, my mother felt uncomfortable but we included her in our brunch anyways.

I can tell a lot of situations like that where Lina pushed herself too hard to get close to me even if I was always kind with her, she even had an argument with a cousin because of that. I reached my limit yesterday, Rita passed away three days ago and not only am I really sad but also my parents and brother since everyone knew her and she was a great woman.

Rita wants us to bury her ashes in the cottage where she grew up, Rita's great-granddaughter surprised me with an arranged trip for the two of us to go and bury the ashes next week.

I told my family that and my mother said she wants to go too but Lina got totally mad and started to complain saying that we're going to a trip two days before the wedding (to be honest I totally forgot about it and I don't feel with the energy to go). My mother explained that we will only go to bury the ashes and come back literally the night before the wedding day and that everything is actually ready.

Lina continued complaining and I snapped when she told me that I care more about an old lady who wasn't my family and that I should care a lot more about her since she'll be my real family, my brother's wife and my nieces and nephews' mother and "The dead woman" wasn't even my blood.

I told Lina that Rita was like family to me and that she's not even a friend to me, that she's not relevant in my life and if it wasn't for my brother I wouldn't even try to get along with her, maybe I was mean but I was sad and angry. I left the place while Lina was trying to argue with me and she started to cry saying that she only wanted to be family for me.

I ALWAYS wanted to make her feel included but she crossed my boundaries and doesn't have empathy at all, she didn't even give me condolences when Rita passed away and kept talking about the wedding all day while I made calls to take care of the funeral.

Now I'm thinking that I don't even want to go to the wedding, I love my brother and he even chose my bridesmaid dress but I feel too bad to go and I'm even thinking of cutting off contact with Lina because her behavior is too weird and dense.

I'm just sad and I want to cry all day because I lost the woman I considered my guide for five years for her wisdom and I feel guilty for not wanting to go to my brother's wedding and make him feel sad but I just don't want to deal with Lina anymore because next time I see her I know I will surely fight with her if she makes another comment like that.

The internet had a lot to say about it.

MariaInconnu wrote:

Is it possible that she has odd notions about what it means to be a good SIL? If she didn't have a family, it's possible she picked up ideas from fiction, and depending on author, fictional relationships can be downright odd. Ask her if she thinks she's being polite by inserting herself into private conversations, trying to be part of Every Single Thing, etc.

She may be doing her damndest to be good to you, and is being damned for it. But also, she needs her framework of "what is appropriate" adjusted, by you setting boundaries of what makes for a good relationship. She might even welcome explicit descriptions of what a healthy relationship looks like.

OP responded:

I think she has a weird vision of what a family should be, although what confuses me is that while she tries to force a good relationship with me, she doesn't mind talking badly about me behind my back so I don't really understand what she really wants.

She always emphasizes that I'm the firstborn so i should be in all the family stuff because it's my responsibility and I have no idea where she got that idea or concept from. At first I thought that, that she wants a family like the ones in the movies, but her behavior becomes hostile to me behind my back.

I don't know if she does that to other family members as well because the only person who tried to explain the boundaries in a serious way was my cousin and they ended up having a strong argument because Lina is too stubborn so I don't understand what she wants and I'm just tired.

Rich-Concentrate-200 wrote:

My deepest condolences goes out to you and your family. I am shocked with Lina's lack of empathy. Have you ever talked to your brother about how you felt?

OP responded:

Thank you for the condolences. My brother scolded her every time she made those kinds of comments, but I think we all have too much patience with her because it's her first time having a family. I think I will talk with him tomorrow about all of this.

Tasty_Doughnut_9226 wrote:

Definitely talk to him about how she's inserting herself into your relationships. It sounds like she either really wants to get along with you or she's jealous.

So sorry for your loss.

vtretiree23 wrote:

Hugs, I am so sorry for your loss. Your grief is fresh and Lina has been stomping your boundaries for a while. Go with your mom and her great granddaughter and take some time to process your grief. Speak with your brother before you go and give him a heads up that you may miss his wedding.

Once you bury her ashes and mourn privately then maybe reassess the wedding. It’s so soon that if you don’t go your brother should understand. But leave the door open and see how you are doing.

WillowDense4410 wrote:

This sounds like someone who doesn't intend to be difficult or mean, but has simply NEVER had the experience of a family before. Perhaps she needs things explained very directly, instead of assuming she understands social norms. Many women get a little self absorbed when it comes to their wedding. They don't understand their wedding is VERY important for them, but less important for others.

It doesn't make it ok. It means she may need someone to pull her aside and explain it to her gently and to highlight that the more she tries to force herself on you, the more she is alienating you. On average it takes 7 good experiences to outweigh each negative one (assuming they're not massive f*CK ups which take a LOT more work to recover from).

Lina needs to learn that building healthy long term relationships takes time, requires building trust and learning to know and accept each other for all your success and foibles.

You can't force a lifetime bond in a single day (at least without trauma and trauma bonds are not a good idea). It is entirely possible to explain the situation to Lina, that whilst you'd love her to have a wonderful wedding to your brother, you are going through significant grief due to the loss of someone you deeply cared about and valued.

Unfortunately grief can't be switched off like a light because it would be more convenient. Grief can be a reflection of the depths of love you held for someone. Perhaps Lina needs someone to model healthy boundaries and explain the basics of building relationships to her. It sounds like her heart is in the right place, she desperately WANTS a good relationship with you.

However she has the skills and ability of your average toddler and just doesn't know what is needed to turn that into a reality. Just tell her directly. Perhaps think of Lina like toddler learning to understand relationships. She needs guidance and direct feedback instead of punishment. It might save your sanity and your relationship with your family.

Right now, you desperately want (need and deserve) compassion. Perhaps show her a little too. Giving compassion (if you can muster it) goes a long way for modeling what you want from her. When she gets too much, step away, explain why you're stepping back and explain when you'll be back. You might find she responds to cool, calm, clear and consistent feedback.

OP responded:

She already had an argument with one of my cousins who tried to explain to her that I have a busy life and I can't go out too often to my parent's house but Lina just complained that I don't care about the family and started to talk ill about me to which my cousin got angry with her.

Also my mother who never liked physical contact asked Lina to please not hug her so much because it makes her uncomfortable. (Not even her children hug her because she gets tense) but Lina just doesn't listen and keeps hugging her making my mother feel anxious.

We all have a lot of patience with her and we understand that she never had a family but there comes a point when patience runs out, she doesn't even listen to my brother, and I can't live stressed because of her.

Her behavior not only distances her from me but also from the rest of the family, and we no longer find a way to set a limit and have her understand that there are things that make us feel uncomfortable. We're all really gentle with her, I was too gentle with her but she just thinks about herself at this point.

Four days later, OP jumped on with an update.

First of all, I'm grateful to those who gave me good advice even though others left weird comments and hadn't even read the post before leaving a comment. I want to clarify again that I ALWAYS tried to make Lina feel welcome and I always understood that she never had a family, but do I deserve to be treated without empathy?

Why should I overflow with empathy for her when she never showed empathy for me? I'm grieving and can't even have peace right now because of her I also got comments saying that I should treat her like a toddler but that's just rude, she's a grown woman and should be treated like what she is, I think it would be insulting to treat her like a child.

I talked to my parents about everything and also to my brother's. In the conversation I discovered things that Lina did and said that are even more weird. My mother said that Lina often makes comments like "I'm more of a daughter to you than op since she never visits you and I come all the time" which makes my mother uncomfortable.

She also said that she explained a lot of times to Lina that she doesn't likes physical touch (not even us hug her because she gets anxious and tense) but Lina just keeps hugging her. My mother also said that Lina speaks very badly of me and Lina even said that I cried more because of Rita's death than I did because of my real grandfather's death, which is something really s#$tty to say.)

My father said that a year ago Lina approached him just to say "Your second daughter (referring to herself) knows you better than your first daughter haha" comparing the gifts we both gave him for father's day and he just laughed it off but he thought it was a weird comment to make, my father was the only one who always kinda disliked Lina so now I know why.

My younger brother also said that he heard many times how Lina complained about me not going to family gatherings although she also complained about that in my face a few times.

So it seems that we all shut down a lot of things because we wanted to understand her situation and make my brother happy, we live next to a poor neighborhood and we know a lot of other people in the same situation as Lina so we tried to make her feel included but I don't understand her behavior to me at all.

At this point I was crying most of all because I just don't want to deal with this after Rita's death and I felt bad for my brother, my brother hugged me and said he's sorry and started to tear up saying that it's difficult for him to deal with Lina's behavior too.

He told me that Lina was always making hateful comments towards Rita (she never met Rita and all of us in the family are sad about her departure because she was a great woman, the kindest woman who ever lived so it's really sick that she hates a old woman who's dead).

And every time my brother tried to explain to her that Rita was important to us, she just gave him a cold shoulder and didn't talked to him for the rest of the day but he's trying really hard to help her because she always wanted a family.

I told him that we want to be her family but we need to set boundaries because those comments hurts, my father told him that this is just pushing her away from everyone and he doesn't wants someone talking ill about his daughter.

My brother looked really tired, he actually looks really tired everyday since a few months ago but I want to think it's because of the wedding, I didn't told him that I was thinking in cutting contact with Lina because I didn't wanted at all to make him feel like he have to choose between her or me.

Instead, I told him that we need to set a hard boundaries with her so that in the future we can have a healthy coexistence and she can heal her mind because we have been too gentle so far, but the situation is already at its limit. I didn't talked with Lina at all so I suppose my brother talked with her really seriously.

The wedding is still on going and i will go just to show my support to my brother but at this point I just feel that he's making a wrong decisión because honestly I don't think Lina is a mentally stable person, actually she's not even a good person in my eyes anymore but I don't want to say something and be the jealous big sister who ruins his brother relationship so I will just stay in silence, letting everything flow.

I just want to go to the trip and have some of mental peace until the wedding day comes. I don't feel mentally well enough to argue right now or to feel even more guilty because of how I'm dealing with all of this, I just want to bury Rita's ashes with her great-granddaughter and my mother. Sorry for the really bad English, I write almost everything from the translator.

OP jumped on with a small update soon after.

EDIT: Yes, we tried to put boundaries a lot of times, it's not like we will hit her or be aggressive so she could understand but I'll admit we've all been too soft and understanding of her out of pity.

Lina just doesn't want to understand/listen the others complains even when someone talks seriously and the incident she had with me and my cousin only showed that when someone talks to her seriously she becomes the victim or gets madly angry.

Even what my brother said made it clear to us that she's just maybe never going to respect boundaries so it's better for me to just stop trying and just cut contact with her at least for this and next week until I feel better and ready to talk about this again.

She also added yet another update.

MINI UPDATE: My brother already KNOWS everything that Lina did, like I said in the post he's also tired of her behavior but we can't do anything about their relationship if he wants to stay, my father had a conversation with him a few hours ago to tell him that we're worried and if he wants to 'Thinking Better About the Wedding' but my brother said that he's fine, only tired and will continue with the wedding.

So yeah, we can't do anything but show my brother that we're with him and try to help him to open his eyes but people have to understand that we can't help him in an aggressive way saying that Lina is a b*tch or kicking her out of the family because that will only benefit her as she can take that opportunity to manipulate my brother by making herself the victim again.

Dealing with a person full of traumas and childhood problems is not easy at all, she does not know what basic limits are and now that she knows them she does not want to respect them but we can't be aggressive with her because she's not a mentally well person. Don't blame my brother if you don't understand what it's like to be in a toxic relationship, he's not to blame for anything and he's just a victim.

The internet had a lot to say in response to the updates.

-chelle- wrote:

Why is he still getting married to this woman considering this is how she treats his family. Just make sure to support your brother if he ever becomes sane enough to get a divorce.

OP responded:

For what he said she also treats him badly so I don't understand neither, maybe he's still too in love but the only thing I can do is show him my support. For now I just don't want to talk with Lina at all because I'm not in feeling well mentally

BrightAd306 wrote:

I do think your family might want to gently let him know that they’re worried about how he’s being treated. He might tell Lina and then they’ll shoot the messenger, though.

OP responded:

We did it, my mom asked him if it's a toxic relationship and he just kept quiet and said he just wants to help Lina.

He has the same behavior that friends of mine have had when they had toxic partners and I really know that when people are in ab*sive relationships, they are usually blinded by love and they don't want to believe reality, I feel fool for not noticing that behavior before but I wasn't around the family too much lately.

bayshorevgllc wrote:

I don’t understand why your family doesn’t tell Lina that her negative comments are not welcome. Your family needs to defend you and Rita and stress they do not tolerate disparaging comments. If she has nothing nice to say, there is the door. Bye, bye.

Your brother should really postpone the wedding and seek couple counseling. Lina’s behavior needs to be adjusted before she can be part of your family. Right now nobody likes her.

OP responded:

Like I said, we all had too much patience with her because of her hard childhood and we understand that a childhood like she had mess with your head but I didn't knew she was THIS messed.

We told her that those comments are wrong many times, even my brother, but she is not a person with whom you can really talk seriously because she does not listen or gets angry (she has fought strongly with one of my cousins who wanted to put clear limits on her behavior).

Our mistake was to not set hard boundaries on her out of pure pity, even I have let pass many of her comments just because I feel pity for her or because I don't want to hurt my brother, the same reason why my mother tries to not get angry when Lina hugs her

samse15 wrote:

OP, your family has played nice for the sake of your brother, I get that. But I think it has gotten to the point that you’re doing him a disservice. He’s going to end up MARRIED to this very mentally unwell woman and his family has just pretended that she’s great all along, so he never saw any previous signs that things weren’t as great from an outside perspective. And you all still continue to pretend. It’s not okay.

OP responded:

I don't keep pretending that everything is fine, we all talked to my brother that Lina's behavior has to stop, the only thing I didn't told him is that I plan to cut off contact with Lina to not make him feel pressured or feel like I'm manipulating him.

He KNOWS about her behavior and like I said in the two posts, he always tried to correct that behavior and is also tired of that but I can't do anything if he doesn't want to open his eyes now that he knows everything Lina did.

It's clear that he knows her behavior is wrong, even towards him but I can't force him to leave her if he doesn't want to see reality. It's not easy to leave an abusive relationships even if all the signs are there.

desert_dame wrote:

Grandma advice. Dear what she is trying to do is divide and conquer. Divide you from your family. And conquer by keeping them as her as the new daughter. All of you have realized this. You. Mom and dad. Just not your brother. What to do? Old fashioned etiquette rules.

Yes go to the wedding. Be distantly polite. Always distantly polite. How’s the weather question only. No invites to family dinners except for the big ones. Because all she’ll do is make everyone uncomfortable and unhappy especially you. Always tell your brother the family is there for him.

She has serious mental issues. It doesn’t matter what you do. It won’t change her bitter jealousy of you. So don’t try. Saying we have in English. Drop the rope which literally means drop the rope and let the boat(her) drift away. You don’t do anything more from now on than be distantly polite.

Sources: Reddit
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