How do I make my brother-in-law's wife stop treating me like an outsider?
What you need to know:
- Do not allow your brother-in-law's wife to stop you from becoming a member of this family just because she has been around longer than you
Q. I am in my first year of marriage and my husband and I are doing well. My problem is my brother-in-law's wife. She got married nine years ago but has not accepted the reality that I'm part of the family. She talks behind my back especially to my husband’s family and avoids every conversation with me. I have a good relationship with my parents-in-law. This makes her even more jealous. At times I feel so intimidated and I fear visiting my husband’s family. She always want to be seen as the best in the family. She wants the family to see me as an outsider just as she does. What do I do to solve this? I need these issues to work out.
A. You are going through a lot with the wife of your brother-in-law and my heart goes out to you. However the most important thing is making a decision on how to deal with it. This means you can ignore this behavior for some time and probably give her a chance to settle in with the reality that she now has to share the spotlight or you can set up a family meeting to discuss the ongoing problem.
You and your husband can invite the brother and wife for a meal and use this time as an opportunity to break the ice by allowing them to see that you only have the best intentions. Make them aware of how important it is that everyone get along. Open up about how you felt when you became a member of this new family.
In case they reject your invitation, just stop trying and instead give them some time and space. At this point, you need to realise that you have tried your best. If they wish to meet with you then let them come around with an invitation. There is an indication that your brother’s wife treats you like a foreigner. You should treat this as a wake up call to stand up for yourself because you are a part of the family now. You have every right to be included as a part of this new family.
Building a relationship with the rest of your in-laws is very important, so do make the effort to visit often and get to know them and allow them the opportunity to get to know you. Do not allow your brother-in-law's wife to stop you from becoming a member of this family just because she has been around longer than you. I wish you success.