Marriage Missions International

Dealing with Sibling In Laws and Extended Family

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“How can a Christian who is married, deal graciously with siblings and sibling in laws, who are causing problems in their marriage?”

That is the question we’d like to pose to you.

We receive quite a few letters each year from those who are married who are running into difficulties in dealing with sibling in laws, and sisters and brothers. Sometimes these siblings are too vocal or mean-spirited in what they say and do. They can be vindictive in how they act towards the spouse of their sibling and cause trouble.

Others stay to visit too long so the spouse feels imposed upon and worn out.

Other siblings expect financial support from their older male sibling and expect him to physically help them repeatedly at the sacrifice of his own family.

There are various situations that can come in to play. But in each case the one spouse is “at odds” with the other spouse because of the bond that siblings have had with each other through the years.

To help you with this issue, we found a few online articles that may give you some insight. We encourage you to pray and glean through the information —applying what you can use and disregarding the rest. Please click onto the links provided below to read.

Posted on the web site of the ministry of Todayschristianwoman.com:

FAMILY FEUDS

From Todayschristianwoman.com “He said, ‘She wouldn’t let me be myself.’ She said ‘He didn’t fit in with my family.’”:

IN LAW CONFLICT: He Said … She Said

From the ministry of Focus on the Family here is some advice to consider when you spend time together in family gatherings and holiday situations:

HOLIDAYS AND THE IN-LAWS

— ALSO —

PEACE ON EARTH?


And here’s a New Life Ministries Youtube video you might find helpful. It deals with this subject where Dr Steve Arterburn, Dr Jill Hubbard, and Rev. Milan Yerkovich answer the question, “How do we handle a controlling sister in law who thinks she’s mom”:

Above all, keep in mind what is written in 1 Peter 3:8-17:

All of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, ‘Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer,but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.’

“Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.’ But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

We want to know what wise and godly (Biblically-based) advice you would give to those who are dealing with sibling in laws and/or extended family who are causing problems in their marriage. If you have additional tips you can share to help others in this area of marriage, or you want to share requests for prayer and/or ask others for advice, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

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Comments

89 Responses to “Dealing with Sibling In Laws and Extended Family”
  1. Diane says:

    (USA)  My husband and I have been married almost 30 years. I find it most hurtful that his family is always excluding spouses in family matters. Recently my father in law took ill and eventually died and that wedge to block spouses entered the picture once again. They went so far as to look down their noses to me and shout “this is a family matter”. This superior dictatorship is most abrasive.

    My husband ignores me when this happens and shuts me out. I was brought up to be supportive during heartache, conflict and pain so I get very hurt when my spouse family acts this way. Seems to me that all the spouses can’t be considered when actually it would be beneficial. My spouse’s family goes to the extreme of printing out an agenda of points to discuss, pass out pencils and conduct a board of directors meeting or a meeting of the minds so to speak. Is this normal?

    My family designated the eldest in the family on matters and in open conversation, matters were presented to the entire family to discuss. Many problems were resolved around the dinner table or on the back porch with refreshments. Hugs, kisses and approval usually followed and all family members were together and bonding. I think creating barriers causes deep hurt feelings, especially when someone passes away and emptiness already exists. I would think it would be a time to bond and give strength to each other.

    Please comment because maybe I’m living in a bubble, like my husband suggested and I’m all wet…

  2. Marlene says:

    (SOUTH AFRICA)  My biggest problem is my brother in law. He is 31 & we still very young only 28, same age. He is staying with us indirectley & my husband does know about the stay but he never explains anything to me. He’s like the second wife to him. If he is around he does the shopping & everything with him as if I’m not available & I’m his second choice. That’s only if his brother doesn’t want to go, then I’m the second best.

    I feel as if I will just keep my mouth shut & look, but it hurts so bad, & the worst part is that his brother is washing his clothes almost every day. In this costly life, the soap doesn’t even last for the whole month. I mean really, I’ve got 2 sons & am expecting the third born. How am I going to manage?

    If he cooks then he cooks whatever it is that he’s cooking, then finishes it. Then when we come back from work we must start from scratch. He is in the house the whole day & hes not working. That’s the worst part. We are always happy when we don’t have anyone living with us. But once his siblings come, things change from good to bad. They are always right & I’m wrong. If I say anything… I sometimes become hopeless with our relationship. How must I solve this? How do I deal with this?

  3. Ruth says:

    (USA)  My sister is 15 years younger than me. I was so happy when she was born and we were close until I became an adult and she became a teenager. I had moved away from home. I believe what happened is that my father talked about me in a dishonorable way. He loved me when I was home but when I got married, he started taking it upon himself to discuss what I did wrong. He discussed this with everyone and they believed him.

    I found out 40 years later after his death how this had changed their mind about me. I thought if it was not true that it would be okay but today, they believe what he said was correct. I believe this has caused problems with most of my siblings and especially my sister and brother.

    My father came from an abusive family where his father drank and ran the family away from home. He always felt he had a right to do that also. The only problems is my mother came from a family where women had rights so it did not go over well. She would fight back. Things calmed down as we grew up but he always talked about people and what he thought they should do.

    How can I correct the problems with my sister and brother after they have had this in their mind for so long? Should I just leave the family and move to another location or should I try to make amends? I have a family now and do not want this to be a part of our family. Please give me advice on how to handle the stress between my sister and myself.

  4. Maggie says:

    (U.S.)  My situation is not as bad as most of the people posting on here, but I don’t know what to do. My husband and I have been married for a little over a year now, but have been together for over five years. I knew they were close, especially after their parents got divorced, but I am just starting to realize how much they depend on each other.

    A couple of months ago my sister-in-law made a comment that her and my husband would always be closer than my husband and I, and that she will always come first. I didn’t tell my husband that because I knew he would take up for her. On our anniversary we went out to dinner. He was texting/talking to her the ENTIRE time. I had tried to confront him about it, but he just blew it off. I know it’s not that big of deal, but it hurt me and he never understood why.

    My sister-in-law has never had to pay for her own bills. She recently just got divorced. I guess her husband was paying for pretty much everything, including her truck payment. She admitted to my husband that she had to borrow money from their dad because she had gotten into a bind. Later that week my husband attempted to wire her money, I know because he asked me how to set up online banking, and he was being secreative. The next day we had to stop by an atm and he got out a large amount of cash and stuffed it into his wallet. He will not tell me he gave her money. I don’t know if this is a one time thing, or how much he’s done it or going to do it.

    I love her, she’s my sister-in-law. I feel bad thinking I should come before his family, but that is how I was raised. God, then children and spouse, then family and friends. How can I know that when the time comes and my husband and I have children, he will put us before her?

    • Laurie says:

      (USA) Honey, I think your problem IS as bad as the rest of us. SIL says she is number one??? Who even has the nerve to say such a thing. And your husband texting her on your night out with him? I pray for you that things get better.

  5. JoJo says:

    (UNITED STATES)  I’m having a problem with my sister in law (husband’s brother’s wife). She shouted at me on a social networking site for all my friends to see. A friend jumped in and commented to her, sticking up for me, and the problem just got worse. My sis in law, in her mind, thinks I “let” my friend insult her & I was completely unaware to what transpired until the next day.

    I called her a coward which I know, that was not appropriate cause now I’m being held accountable. And keep in mind I am a Christian woman, but I was hurt that she did not apologize like my friend who stuck up for me requested her to do. I thought things would just move on.

    A few days later, the SIL emailed me and I apologized. Yet it wasn’t enough because I used a negative word in that email. One of the hundred family birthday parties is coming up in two weeks. I know my SIL has bitterness towards me because I did NOT stick up for her and “allowed” everything to happen. Is it safe for me to go to this birthday after all that’s happened? Or would it be better to just avoid problems and not show up to the birthday party? Advice is greatly appreciated.

  6. Ellie says:

    (AUSTRALIAN)  I am the in law in this conversation. My younger sister is about to get married, and on some level I am very, very happy for her. But, we have been so close for so many years, that I am finding the whole thing really really difficult to deal with. We are only 18 months apart, both in our late 30′s. I am single and have never had a serious relationship. Neither had she before her current fiancé.

    Neither of us had ever brought a boyfriend home or introduced one to each other. We have been sisters, flatmates and best friends. She and I have been everything to each other up until now, but now I feel incredibly sidelined. She is doing things with her partner that I have been trying to get her to do for years, like going to sporting events, but she always refused saying she wasn’t interested. Apparently though, if he’s interested, she’s willing to try it out.

    I can’t get used to being number 2 in her life. I don’t have anyone else, so it’s very very difficult for me. Please bear that in mind when you’re making sweeping statements about ‘family first, extended family second’. As far as I am concerned, she is my family. I have known her for her whole life. She is the person I am most closely related to. He isn’t.

    So for all of you who are resentful of your spouse’s sibling, remember that they may have a very, very close, longstanding and existing relationship. And for those of you who are in the position of juggling partner and sibling, I know it’s hard, but please remember that you’re in the position of having at least two people vying for your love and attention and both have needs…

    • Sonja says:

      (USA) I’ve been in both shoes. When my older sister married years ago I knew I lost her and I cried and cried. She told me get over it; I’m getting married now, you should be happy for me. But I liked her ex boyfriend and never clicked with her husband. I already knew what would happen once they got married, that I would be largely forgotten. That’s why I was so sad. And it did happen. I hardly got to see my sister anymore though she lived in the same town. She hardly invited me over or wanted to go shopping with me anything. I feel you, it’s very devastating. And also at the time I was single and she meant a lot to me.

      Now I am in the situation where my husband’s sister never accepted me and ignores me and tries to take my husband’s attention non stop. And I’m in this stressful situation.

      Both situations are not easy but after getting married and having these SIL issues I did realize that part of the problem with my BIL was that I didn’t give him enough of a chance. I didn’t accept or understand like I do now that once my sister got married her kids and husband were number one. I still don’t like my BIL on a personal level; we just don’t click, but I recognize that he’s a good father and a good husband and the way things are between me and my sister, that’s what she chose. The only reason now she calls me and invites me over is that I am a good aunt to their kids. She still never has time to do something one on one with me, its just auntie coming over.

      I guess my point is it is really, really hard but you have to accept it. You may go through some grieving feelings like I did. But after getting married myself, I see how important it is to make your spouse #1. There are so many stressors in a marriage. I see my part putting pressure on my sister when she got married. I wouldn’t want her marriage to be unhappy or unsuccessful. Who knows? The next guy could be worse, and BIL is a good father and husband though he’s been rude to me and controlling of my sister’s time. But at the same time she chose it that way.

      I actually can appreciate in a way the way my sister took her husband’s side over me because I wish my husband would do the same when it comes to his sister. And I didn’t do half the stressful things to them as a couple as my SIL has done. Be strong. You too will get married some day and have a clearer understanding of this then.

  7. Arafio says:

    (USA)  Well, basically my mother came to stay with my wife and I, from overseas. Her main goal of her visit was to rescue my younger brother from an alcohol abuse issue that he has been dealing with for a long time. His situation got so bad that he was evicted from his place and had to be admitted in a hospital for damage caused to his organs from alcohol abuse.

    Upon his release from the hospital my mother took it upon herself to bring my brother to stay with us. We live in a small two bedroom apt that is really not designed to hold all of us without having my private space with my wife. Now that my brother is doing much better and 40 days of sobriety, I do not see him trying to get a job or doing anything to getting out of here. I am hoping for them to leave my house asap. But I don’t see a quick way out of this. I get very stressed out and urge them to hurry and get a job and go on with their lives and out of mine. My mother does not want to agree with me and says I have no compassion. I know I have to be more understanding but my skin crawls everytime they see in and out of the guest room at all hours of the day.

    I never thought my relationship with my mother would come to almost a point of being enemies. Having disdain for my brother for bringing our family to this point because of his negligence and abuse, and my poor wife having to put up with them. I deep down love my family but I just can’t stand them and feel a lot of anger toward them.

    • Cindy Wright says:

      Araflo, You really need to take control of your home again. Your mother had and has her choices as to how to run her own home. And now that you are married, you have yours. You are not without “compassion” if you make the decision to return your apartment to a place of peace. Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated like that. Be your wife’s hero and the protector of the sanctity of your home. If you allow your brother and mother to keep living there, you are enabling poor behavior. What would motivate your brother to build a life of his own that is healthy, without you and your wife babysitting him, if you don’t stir the nest a bit (so it is uncomfortable)? If you allow this to continue, it could be a life-long dependency. THAT is less compassionate than causing him to grow up and take responsibility for himself.

      If your mother wants him to live with someone, then she should take him back to her home or find a place elsewhere for the two of them to live. That would be her choice. And where’s her compassion? If she makes the choice to keep babysitting your brother, then let her do that. Your choice is to live with your wife “in a considerate way,” as the Bible tells husbands to do, and make your home a haven for you and your wife –with them VISITING sometimes, but not living with you. This will take some real manning up on your part, for you to take control like this.

      I would give them a time limit deadline. Certainly, 3-4 months (giving an end date) is plenty of time for him to find a job and save up for a place of his own… or his mom can move in with him and help out there (if she wants to keep enabling him like that). I have no doubt that you will be told you are heartless and such, but please don’t be blackmailed into helping your brother live a dysfunctional lifestyle. It is HIS choice to live into adulthood in a dysfunctional way. You helped him. Now it is time for him to help himself (or for your mother to keep babysitting him, without your participation.) And make sure as the date comes closer, you remind them, so there is no misunderstanding. You may even have to exhibit tough love and MAKE your brother leave –which I hope it doesn’t come to that, but be ready for it “in case.”

      A number of years back, we had to “stir the nest” with one of our sons. He was no longer in college and was living a prodigal lifestyle in our home. We couldn’t allow him to come in and out, as he pleased, disrupting the peace of our home –ESPECIALLY knowing that what he was doing some of the time was not what we wanted to live with –it went against our Christian values. We made the hard choice. My husband and I prayed together, decided upon a date, and even decided to help set him up in an apartment (getting used furniture for him and such). And then we told our son. It was one of the hardest things we ever had to do. He looked upon us as if we were betraying him. He ranted and raved and was SO angry. It literally broke our hearts. But we held our ground, as we knew it was best for all of us. We loved him, but we couldn’t enable him to continue living in such an unhealthy way.

      After the first week or so (he didn’t talk to us for a while and was VERY cool towards us for a long time), he started to settle down and I helped him look for an apartment. He eventually got a bit excited. When he found a place he liked we helped him settle in (we found friends who had extra furniture and we bought some things at garage sales and thrift stores for him) and he THEN started to be glad about it. We have since talked about how difficult this was for all of us. And we all agree that although it was hard, it was the best thing we could have done. I wish he wouldn’t have put us in that place to do that –it broke my heart. I still feel the ache of that decision. But our God is not an enabler, and we knew He wouldn’t want us to be enablers either.

      I realize that you may have cultural ties and relationship issues, which complicate matters. But right is right and enabling unhealthy behavior is wrong –no matter what cultural or interpersonal complications play into it. “Stirring the nest” is not cruel, it’s what has to be done sometimes to cause someone to grow up and take charge of their own life. It’s what mother eagles do when they have chicks who are capable of flying but they don’t want to leave the safety of the nest. When it’s time, the mother moves around the nest in such a way that the hesitant chick is so uncomfortable it finally takes it’s leap out on it’s own. It is then able to fly, as it was created to do.

      You can do the same thing as the mother eagle. Put extra rules into place. Make your brother and your mother uncomfortable and maybe even responsible for all or most of the cleaning and cooking and such. Beds have to be made everyday, floor vacuumed everyday, dishes done by them everyday, maybe cooking and shopping for food, so you and your wife can relax. After all, you are providing the home so that’s not too much to ask. You may eat poorly for a while (if they cook), and there may be stress because of the “stirring” you are causing, but the rules are, “if you don’t like it, then find a place of your own where you can make your own rules.” They CANNOT cause extra work for your wife. You make sure of it. Let them be her and your maids. They owe it to you because of the roof you are putting over their heads. And make sure they don’t blame your wife –YOU are the head of the home and this is your determination. And if they don’t like it… they know where the door is.

      I encourage you and your wife to go out alone and pray and decide what will work to “stir up the nest.” Make sure it is unreasonable and uncomfortable. And then YOU (with your wife standing behind you) tell them the new rules of the house. You may feel cruel, at first, but think of the goal –you are HELPING them, for their own good. A good book to read first, may be, Boundaries: When to Say YES, When to Say NO, To Take Control of Your Life because it may help you to have the determination and the verbiage you need, which may empower you to do this. IF you don’t put down healthy boundaries, you will continue living this way, with no end in sight. And then what happens when and if you have children and you have to put down healthy boundaries? NOW is the time to take a stand. You will be stronger, because of this experience. Think and pray about this. Isn’t this what the father of the prodigal son did for his son? And didn’t it come out better for all concerned? Sometimes we have to exhibit tough love, in order to TRULY be someone who “lives a life of love” as the Bible tells us to do.

  8. Charity says:

    (NIGERIA)  I have a brother in law who has been living with me for the past 1 and half years now. He just came to tear my family apart and my husband does not seem to see anything wrong in his behaviour towards me. Rather, he is taking sides with him because he is his younger brother. I don’t really know how to handle the issue because right now my husband is not talking to me because of his brother and does not want his brother to move out of the house and look for his own accommodation. This is somebody who has been working for about a year and six months now.

  9. Ryan says:

    (USA)  We have had this from siblings on both sides. All of a sudden after my son was born nobody wanted anything to do with him or us. Started any reason to cause problems. Our son does not know his cousins because of the hatefulness in these siblings on both sides. They have all decided to either not come around or have estranged themselves from us altogether.

    We have just gone on with our lives. We tried to mend and find out what the problem was. One sibling offered to watch our son but she had her hands full with her own 5 kids so I didn’t think about sending him there because she was so stressed all the time. That seemed to cause conflict. We have tried to find out what was wrong and mend fences but got nothing but hateful mouths and hurt flung our way. So we stopped trying and went on with our lives.

    One sibling was so controlling with her kids that they moved away from her, only to see her when they have to. Now they want to contact us and be in our lives again but on their terms. There were issues before with one of them but I thought we had gotten past that point. There is nothing more I can do.

  10. Loly says:

    (USA)  My husband and I have been married for 2 years. His family has openly stated to me that they don’t like me. I don’t know why there is hostility in the air, but I have been nice to them all and almost ALL of them still don’t like me.

    As my husband and I are having our 1st child together, I will not bring my child around his family. Every BIL and SIL in his family has said rude and disrespectful things behind my back. One SIL hates me so much, she got her sister, who’s also married to my husband’s other little brother, to hate me too. These women are so catty, when we go to a family gathering, they will gather every single woman and children around them, and make sure I’m excluded.

    I do cry because I never had a sisterly relationship growing up (I grew up with brothers, and I ended up being the only girl.) and I wanted to have a “sisterly bond” but I’ve found that it’s pointless now, but it does hurt that I saw them last week and they all exclude me from everything, including their own children’s lives.

    MIL is a psychopath… I cannot get along with her and she’s as worse as the SILs. She favors everyone else’s children and cannot acknowledge the fact that I am having a baby. She also constantly gossips about everyone, I mean EVERYONE, and then acts nice when she sees them. My mother is in another state so I don’t get to see her as often as I would love to.

    To this day, I believe there’s nothing I can do to get along with his family as they will always shun me, but they are so welcoming to him with open arms… I’ve told my husband how they’ve treated me and he knows it’s not me. But he seems a lot more happier around them than I would be…

  11. Sharon says:

    (CANADA)  After reading several of the posts, I am so encouraged that I am not the only one in a situation like this. I know it sounds dumb to be encouraged by this but I am.

    I have a SIL who thinks the world and especially her brother, my husband, owes her a living. I am just plain tired of it and have decided that not speaking my mind about it to him is the most revealing thing I have done so far. For all the time (4 years) I have expressed my hurts to him, he always took her “side” or backed her up.

    He is now seeing her true colors, just in the last 3 weeks. Not only that but is standing up to her to the point she is turning her claws on him rather than on me. She has always seemed to feel that he would be there for her and her alone. Since I have stopped voicing my hurts and concerns, he has seen them for himself and is doing something about it.

    I will continue to give my grievances over to God. He will not turn His back on me or take her side when I complain, I have even started praying that the Lord will bless both my husband and my SIL. God hears me, He comforts me and I (sadly) take great pleasure in watching what God is doing with the SIL (non-active Christian).

    Yes, I am blamed when she is convicted of things by Christ, and yes, I know I am to blame because I have asked the Lord to bless her, but I will not admit these things to her. I will just keep praying that God would bless her and have His way with her and my husband and the whole relationship.

  12. Mary says:

    (USA) I’m single with 2 kids and have a sister who is married and now also has 2 kids. I purchased a home and we all live together. We agreed that this would be temporary until they bought their own but I don’t know how much longer I can stand it. My siser has a newborn and spends almost all day in her room; she only comes out to eat and doesn’t clean up after herself. She has only vaccuumed the living room once in the 3 mos we have lived together.

    We agreed to split half of all expenses and at first it was ok but now neither she nor her hubby have given me any money for food or yard maintenance expenses. I mean she’s the “married” one and she and her hubby have income. Add to that the fact that my niece cries all the time… what should I do? I’ve always been a very upfront person and my family sometimes thinks I come across as rude, which is why I don’t know how to approach the issue… that I feel like they are taking advatange of me?

  13. Ihuoma says:

    (NIGERIA) Dear Charity, I understand what you are passing thru. My advice to you is patience. Don’t let his attitude come btw you and your hubby. Don’t even complain again to your hubby and be prayerful. I know it’s hard but try to bear it. Very soon he will move out or decide to settle down. In that way you would have conquered in a subtle way and it will stand for you in future. Some of these inlaws are out to put one down or even worse destroy the marriage. Be wise and pray and all will be well.

  14. Sharon says:

    (NAMIBIA) I grew up in a small household of 4 two children two adults. I’m in a relationship with my high school sweet heart for the past 8 years. He proposed in 2010 I was 21. We have no children. He then asked me to move into the house where him and his dad where staying as he was in the throes of purchasing it and since I was staying in a flat he asked me to move in with him. which I did.

    He bought the house and all was going well. Till last year November. He is the eldest brother of 8. His siblings were visiting for school holiday and we started chatting and sharing information and stories when we stumbled upon a few situations that his siblings saw and met his dad girlfriend (the dad is still married but his wife and 7 children live in another town). I then kept my mouth and asked my fiancé to start investigating and asking his dad if it was true and to clear this allegation up as soon as possible as this is not a healthy environment for the kids to live and torture themselves with as they are still young and in school.

    So this was done for 2 months till my fiancé found out the truth, told his mum and his mum informed him to ask the dad to move out, which he did. The second eldest child (his sister) moved from his mother’s town to us the beginning of this year as she started work in the city. I really never had a problem with this at all. We then decided to start renovating the house as we both had a lot of savings and money saved up for our wedding, which we decide to invest in His property. (This property was bought is for his siblings.) So we started packing away dad’s things and putting in storage what he left behind (never sold or gave a away a single item). We packed it up neatly and paying a monthly fee for storage. We managed to fix the house up and buy our own items and make it habitable again. (The house was really run down).

    His sister fell ill and had to have an operation, which then led to my fiancés mother coming to town, which I never had a problem with at all. I had some tiles left over from the renovations which someone had bought. I came home early one night and found my Mother in-law packing things into her car without asking me or my fiancé, so I told her, “those tiles someone bought and in future please do not just take things without asking” ( as she has taken and stolen a lot of things, which I just turned a blind eye to 24/7). She went ballistic calling me the devil and saying I’m the reason her husband was cheating etc. (now I lost my atm card a year back and for the past year I have been transferring my money to my fiancés account and using his card). To which his sister told his mum I use all his money and I never pay for anything… this was thrown in my face etc…).

    I really don’t like bad mouthing people but my fiancés mother and his sister are so cold hearted. Since this instance I bought my own flat, which will be built soon and hope to move in with my fiancé then. I always feel I’m good enough to cook and clean and pay bills, but his family constantly blames me for their wrong doings and now his other siblings are being rude to me, not doing their chores shouting and telling me that the house is not mine…. I know it’s not mine but I do pay my way. I pay for things to look nice and decent and make sure it is habitable and that there is always food and the place is tidy. Yet the family thinks I want their money.

    I grew up in a very wealthy family. I don’t like money as I feel it the root to all evil. So I live within my means and make the best of what I have. His parents in my eyes are selfish. They have so many children and trust me to earn over enough money to look after their children but still ask my fiancé for money and send the kids to us for every holiday but don’t even give a 1 dollar for food or water etc. They just expect my fiancé to give and if he says no, then they ask him to ask me…. My fiancé listens but doesn’t hear, nor see my pain. They don’t even invite me to family gatherings or funerals nothing. My fiancé always tells me I’m over reacting and always twists my words to make believe I am wrong and then just allows his family and everyone to live with us. I’m not talking over night; I’m talking 1-10 months at a time, not contributing a cent. Yet they work but I’m not allowed to charge them etc… Maybe I just need someone to tell me what I’ve done wrong as I just don’t know,

  15. Gertie says:

    (ENGLAND) I almost feel guilty writing a comment, but would like to get some godly views on my situation. My B.I.L has recently been divorced and lost everything. Tough situation and I sympathise with him. He is looking to rebuild his life and has come to live with us. Now, bear in mind that the decision for him to come to our home was made by my husband. I was informed that he will be coming to stay (no time limit given) with us. I was told a few hours before.

    Since then he has encouraged my husband to purchase a family car for us (we needed a car anyway) and to get one for him as well so that he can find work as a plummer. Apparently he promised to repay my husband and has been doing so whenever he gets money. Again, a decision I was not involved in. I feel very left out of their relationship. My husband seems to prefer speaking to his brother and has been helping him, giving money, etc. My BIL has a % of one of their properties (which he has given his ex the family home and a 2nd property).

    He says he doesn’t want to live in the other house because it is out of London, plus his ex doesn’t want him living so close to her. So he is staying with us. I live in a 2-bed flat and we have 2 kids. A boy and a girl. I feel lost, excluded and hopeless. I’m praying and doing my best to focus on the Word. I cannot complain too much to my husband -he immediately defends his brother. Am I being selfish and unreasonable?

    • Jodi from United States says:

      I think you are in a really bad position. I do not have wisdom for you but I would agree this is not a healthy situation for you or your husband.

  16. Beverly says:

    (USA) I have a nephew by marriage that I love very much. He and my son are three weeks apart and grew up together very close. He’s married to a girl he knew since she was 12 and he was 15. So she knows the family well and we always got along fine. His mother is dead and so is his grandmother who helped raise him and took him to church and helped him know the Lord. They have nothing to do with the family since their marriage about 8 yrs ago. When the Grandmother was alive she had to go to them. He is now a pastor. His wife has lost a baby but is now due in March and everything seems to be going well. She shares on FB so that’s how I know.

    When you call my nephew he won’t talk, you have to talk to her. She’s having her baby shower today and none of his family was invited. It’s tearing my heart out. Why?? My husband and I have always loved them and never disrepected them. We can give a shower but there are only four of us and that’s not much of a shower. I’m ready to have a long talk with them. I want to go to their house and face to face ask why. Is this wrong? Please help!!!

    • Cindy Wright says:

      Beverly, it’s not “wrong” to go to their house –it makes perfect sense to you and to me. But for whatever “illogical” reason, that which seems sensible, does not always take hold. I think you’re right in trying to reach out in this way, but pray and ask God to help you one way or another –especially if the results don’t go in the direction you think they should. Life and “logic” can get messy sometimes.

      Hopefully, your reaching out to him and his wife will help bridge whatever walls he has put up between you, and help you to tear it down one brick at a time. Pray and if you believe God is leading you, go in the hope of the Lord that God will get through to your pastor nephew –not only for his sake and his family’s sake, but also for your family’s sake and those he will minister to in the future. We are all called to be peacemakers and are called to the ministry of reconciliation. Pastors are especially called to this ministry –how they personally live effects many beyond his own family life. I hope your nephew will embrace this calling within your family, and I pray God will help you in this.

    • Jean (FV Wildcat Fan) says:

      (USA) Some young married females are shy or not very social. They come around later. Sometimes a young woman wants to raise her family without all the turmoil and expectations from in laws. Can you understand that? I know firsthand. In laws can be cruel to a young woman. I have seen this. I am a little older than this young couple, but, I remember the intrusions from in laws when I was young. It can be rather hard. Then sometimes the husband is the one who is making all the decisions and closing off from his family members and everyone just puts the blame on the young woman. Oh such pressures for a young couple.

  17. Marie says:

    (USA) My biggest problem is that my husband doesn’t like my brother and doesn’t want to make the same effort for my family that he makes for his. We see his parents multiple days of the week most of the time but when my brother asks us to babysit it’s a long drawn out discussion and a big pain to him. He is resentful to my brother because he has issues with how he speaks to people but I am tired of being so accommodating to how he likes things and then having to turn around and fight for my family to be a part of anything because he is uncomfortable around them. He refuses to compromise with my family like I compromise with his.

    And the most hurtful thing of all is that I love his family and would do anything for them but he doesn’t like mine and wouldn’t even let them spend the night or take one 15 minute car ride in extremely close quarters. It makes me sad that my family is being discriminated against.

    • Jean ( FV Wildcat Fan) says:

      (USA) Then stop doing all the extra stuff for his folk. Don’t spend the night there anymore. Just let him go alone. When someone makes a comment about you not spending the night, etc, tell them the truth. Tell them that he doesn’t treat your folks as well as you treat his people. Stand up for yourself. Just tell him that you will put your foot down. It’s okay if you tell your husband he is being unfair. You are not his child. You are his partner and should not accept the double standard.

  18. Karen says:

    (USA) My husband and I have been thru a lot. He has two older siblings. His older brother has never liked me and never got to know me. His sister was close at first but almost instantly after we got married tried to exclude me. She always wants my husband to be alone with her and her teenage daughter. One year she told me that going to their dads house was a family event and insinuated that I am not family and not welcome. My husband didn’t believe me when I told him what she said. Finally a year later she told him the same thing.

    She has also threatened me several times saying he is going to leave me someday. This all caused serious insecurities in our relationship. We have been trying so hard to stay together and get security back. I have talked about leaving him because I just want him happy and his family not liking me and excluding me is really hurting him. They all have serious communication issues and don’t talk about things. Last Christmas they never made eye contact with me let alone spoke to me. They asked for family photos and excluded me. This year my husband refused to go to the holidays as it would be too uncomfortable for us both. We are seeking counseling to deal these issues.

    My husband’s brother’s wife just sent him text (they haven’t spoken in over a year) inviting him to his nephews birthday and said that no drama and the invite is for just him alone, excluding my kids and I! Isn’t that drama in itself? Now did I mention I don’t even know what I did wrong to deserve to be treated so poorly? All I ever wanted was a family. He promised me before we got married that his family would be my family they would love me and be here for me.

    I wanted to move out of state with my family and he convinced me things would be great here. I have felt so alone and sad and feel bad that they are hurting him so badly and seem to be clueless that they are hurting him. He will not let me speak to them. He just wants to ignore them other than to call his sister to check on her as she was just diagnosed with cancer and had mastectomy. I have offered to help reach out to these people several times and have been ignored and rejected. Help!!! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  19. Hanys says:

    (CANADA) Hi everyone! My husband and I have been married for almost 5 years. We have a little son who is 3 years old who has been very sick for the last year. I have spent the last 8 months at the hospital with him day and night. I am about to lose my job and my marriage because of this situation and because my mother in law and her daugther won’t leave my house or let our family be.

    They have done nothing for my son or I. They just keep consuming my husband’s time, money and energy. He invited them over without my consent what so ever (it has been months).

  20. Nol from Sudan says:

    Hi dear sir or madam, Kindly I want an answer for my question on marriage if possible. I’m a Christian Catholic. I’ve fallen in love with my mother’s niece. Is it possible to both of us to get married? Please, I want an answer. Thank you.

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