cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
Lucy ([personal profile] cereta) wrote in [community profile] agonyaunt2017-05-30 06:45 pm
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Annie's Mailbox: Sister-in-law is flat-out *mean* to LW

Dear Annie: My sister-in-law, "Kate," has a son who is a year older than mine. For my husband's sake, every time Kate comes to town, I tell her she's welcome to stay with us.

Kate doesn't always behave herself. I try to blow off her offensive comments, but it's hard. My husband says, "My sister is stupid. Don't let her get to you." But her last visit was the final straw. She asked whether my 2-year-old son is "normal" because he has a big head. Annie, he looks like his father, who is tall and broad-shouldered. So is my brother, who played high school sports. She asked this repeatedly, and each time, I calmly told her that his pediatrician says he's perfectly fine. Then she had the gall to ask my husband whether our son was actually his.

Kate also will make nasty remarks such as, "Did you serve bad bacon? It tastes funny," or "You don't wash your floor. It's sticky."

I'd love to tell Kate exactly how I feel about her rude comments, but I know the consequences won't be worth it. I already ignore her phone calls and reply only by text. I'm tired of crying to my husband over Kate's nasty behavior. I can tell that he is getting irritated with me. What do I do? -- Ready To Explode in N.D.

Dear Ready: First, stop complaining to your husband. It's tiresome and accomplishes nothing positive. Instead, learn better ways to handle Kate. When she complains about your sticky floors, reply, "Oh, I'm so sorry. Here's a mop." If she dislikes the food, smile and tell her, "Sorry I can't make what you like. Feel free to do the cooking." When she insults your son's size, nicely say, "He's so athletic looking, like his father and uncle." The trick is to remain wonderfully polite, sweet and perfectly innocent while you drive her nuts. It might help to understand that Kate says these things because she is jealous. We feel sorry for her.
watersword: Keira Knightley, in Pride and Prejudice (2007), turning her head away from the viewer, the word "elizabeth" written near (Default)

[personal profile] watersword 2017-05-31 12:00 am (UTC)(link)
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[personal profile] minoanmiss 2017-05-31 06:13 am (UTC)(link)
SO MUCH THIS. God, I want to find LW and hug her and tell her your advice.
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[personal profile] ayebydan 2017-05-31 05:05 pm (UTC)(link)
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[personal profile] neotoma 2017-05-31 11:42 am (UTC)(link)
No no, this woman needs Captain Awkward's advice about setting boundaries, because this advice is terrible.

1. Stop inviting Kate until she stops making offensive comments. Tell her why she's not invited anymore, and what she can do to amend her behavior to be invited again.
2. Make it crystal clear to husband that he needs to back his wife up, and if he wants any relationship with his sister, it's *his* responsibility to manage it.
eleanorjane: The one, the only, Harley Quinn. (Default)

[personal profile] eleanorjane 2017-05-31 11:50 am (UTC)(link)
Yes yes, yes, yes. This times a million.
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[personal profile] jadelennox 2017-06-01 02:20 pm (UTC)(link)
I was thinking exactly this! I was writing CA's real response in my head. Husband needs to back LW up, or she should consider DTMFA.