If your sister-in-law is one member of your new “tribe” with whom you could not get along, the good news is – you don’t really have to get along with her. You can just be polite.
Learning how to get along can be very beneficial for family gatherings, your own relationship with your spouse, and your mental health, whether she has disrespected you in the past or you feel like you have nothing in common at all.
When you initially start dating someone, you might not consider the fact that if you decide to pursue a relationship with them, you won’t only be marrying them; you’ll also be marrying their family.
As new members of their extended family, think about their parents, siblings, close relatives, and friends.
They’ll probably be there to share in your joy at large and small events, and occasionally they’ll irritate you in unexpected ways.
Understand the Reasons Why You Don’t Like Your Husband’s Sister
If your husband’s sister throws you off balance so much, it is imperative that you understand why you feel that way around her and what you can do about it.
1. She Triggers The Worst In You
Sometimes other people annoy us even though we don’t know them at all.
They trigger something in us. Most often, that means we have projected some past negative experience onto that person, who is neither guilty nor obligated to then have to deal with the animosity we feel towards them.
That’s why when you look at your husband’s sister, ask yourself who she reminds you of, a mean girl from high school, a friend who let you down, a teacher who was mean to you, a colleague who doesn’t like you…?
If you can’t connect her with someone by appearance, then focus on the feeling her presence causes in you. With whom else did you feel the same way? When you identify exactly what kind of projection is involved, it will be much easier to separate what his sister is really doing from what you expect her to do. Maybe the problem is actually you.
2. She Is Too Critical Of You
If your husband’s sister has an overly critical attitude towards you, pay attention to whether she is like this towards you or everyone.
If she’s like that in general, understand that it’s her problem and has nothing to do with you.
If she is like that only towards you, then it is quite legitimate to confront her and ask what exactly bothers her about you.
No matter how confident and self-confident we are, constant criticism can devastate family relationships as a whole, so it is best to immediately set clear boundaries for such a person.
Only people who love and support you really have the right to criticize you, but they won’t do it destructively.
Criticism that comes from a person who doesn’t love and doesn’t know you can’t be constructive, and you should oppose it.
3. She Is So Great It Makes You Jealous
If your husband’s sister is extremely successful in some sense and if she threatens you, this first of all means that you need to work on your self-confidence.
What exactly are you afraid of that your husband will expect you to be so great, that you will never be so great, or that you just feel miserable next to her?
Maybe it will be difficult for you, but any of these three cases is not the fault of your husband’s sister.
You need to understand that your love and relationship with your husband do not depend on how successful you are but on who you are.
Focus on your virtues and successes and value them as they deserve.
Jealousy often indicates that people diminish their worth and successes without a realistic basis.
That’s why you need to see that there are certain areas of life in which you are also great and admit it to yourself.
4. She Seems To Be Closer To Your Husband Than You
If your husband’s closeness with his sister scares you, it may indicate that you carry a fear of abandonment.
People who believe deeply that they don’t deserve love often see a threat in relationships that don’t actually threaten them in any way.
Instead of seeing the closeness between your husband and his sister as a threat, try to look at it from a different angle – isn’t it wonderful that your husband is able to establish such a relationship with his family, and isn’t that actually good for the family that the two of you will start?
It can also be very healing for you to open up and talk to your husband about how you feel about his relationship with your sister.
5. She Doesn’t Respect Your Husband
Family relationships can be wonderful, but even then, they are not simple.
Relationships between brothers and sisters can be particularly complicated due to the difference in gender, age, and the treatment they receive from their parents.
If you are affected by how your husband is treated by his sister, the most important thing is to understand that you should talk about it with your husband first.
If you position yourself as his protector or lawyer, his sister may react with even greater disdain. Adults can and should talk to each other with respect.
Encourage your husband to have a serious conversation with his sister, such disrespect can affect your whole family, and you certainly don’t want that.
6. Your Husband Puts Her Ahead Of You
If what really irritates you is the way your husband treats your sister, and it seems to you that he always puts her first in relation to you, pay attention to what kind of relationship the two of them had growing up.
Maybe your husband is behaving according to a long-learned pattern, the instruction of his parents that he should always take care of his little sister.
This is certainly not a reason to accept such behavior as normal. You can explain to him how you feel about it and examine how much he is aware of how he behaves.
7. She Makes You Feel Bad About Yourself
There is something about her that makes you feel bad about yourself.
It is not something that she says or does. It is about who she is.
You feel like she is simply better.
If this sounds like you, you need to know that these kinds of feelings always stem from a lack of self-respect, an unrealistic self-image, and an overly critical inner voice.
What you need to do in this case is remove your focus from her to your unaddressed needs for respect, acceptance, and love.
8. She Is Too Noisy
She is just a know-it-all who is always full of advice for everyone around her, and you can’t stand it.
Noisy people are never popular and what they lack in life is true closeness with other people, which they compensate for by trying to invade their intimacy.
Setting boundaries with such a person may be very complicated, but that’s a necessity.
Nothing healthy can come out of trying to please a noisy person or from letting them get into your personal stuff.
So, the least disturbing way to deal with this may be to devise a strategy.
Set topics in your head that you’ll stick to when talking with your husband’s sister.
Think of an answer in advance when she makes an inappropriate comment or question, and avoids spending too much time with her.
You Don’t Have to Like Anyone
After all, you have the right to dislike someone for no particular reason.
Why would you have to like all the people on this planet? It’s completely normal and okay that you just don’t like her for whatever reason.
Your only obligation is to be kind in your relationship with her and nothing more.
You don’t have to become best friends because she’s your husband’s sister or because your families expect you to.
Choose Your Battles
If you’re fighting the impulse to constantly argue, fight, or have disputes with your sister-in-law, make the decision that you will pick your battles with her very carefully.
It won’t improve your relationship and can possibly make you more stressed out if you try to constantly be right or prove your position.
Whatever the reason why you can’t stand your sister-in-law, remember that what matters most is your relationship with your husband, not with your sister.
We are sure that after you define what triggers you about your sister-in-law, you’ll find it much easier to handle any behavior she may exhibit.