Sister-in-laws are the new monster-in-laws. I know a few of you can relate to this unpleasant situation – and sadly, sometimes it’s not just the sisters, but the brothers too : (  

Whether it’s your significant other’s sister or his brother’s wife (or both in my unfortunate case x 3 en masse), sisters-in-law can be a force to be reckoned with. Especially when she’s hell-bent on making you miserable.

The most common cause of issues with a sister-in-law is jealousy. Yep, that’s right! The green-eyed monster is usually a cause of why she’s acting out against you. It may be that she feels threatened by the relationship you have with your spouse, which is usually the case if it’s your husband’s sister. Because you’re a threat to her family bond, she will do anything to protect it by making your life miserable.  EVIL BITCH! (Two of my psycho monster-in-laws are probably also jealous because they have inflated opinions of themselves and realised they weren’t so special – I mean how could they ever compare to all our incredible friends who contributed positively to making me and My Darlings wedding day special – whereas they shirked usher duties (without warning on the day) that I specifically asked them to take on just so they would feel part of our day – a bizarre negative comment was ad libbed in a reading we asked one of the monsters to share during our ceremony – they drunkenly and rudely talked all through speeches – and a monster-sister-in-law even picked a vicious argument with my best friend/wife of our outstanding MC : ( 

I would not wish this on anyone, but if you do find yourself at your wits end here are some strategies you might find helpful:

Sisters-in-law can be nasty for reasons we may never understand
Maybe she is the kind of person who wants all the attention to herself and cannot stand it now that she has to share her spotlight. Maybe she feels like you’re stealing her limelight when your inlaws, friends or spouse praise you or give you some attention. The important thing to remember is that the issue lies with her and not with you.

Grin and bear it
The best strategy is to take away their power. Do not allow your sister-in-law to interfere with your marriage, learn how to play the game and kill her with kindness. Smile at her every chance you get and just be civil and kind. It costs nothing and you end up being the bigger person. A cruel sister-in-law can’t defend herself against unexplained kindness.

Kill her with kindness
Perhaps she ignores you when you talk, makes negative comments about you or gossips about you any chance she gets. Smile because she can’t get to you. After all, why should you have to change who you are just to help her with her insecurities? Being cheerful every chance you get and show your sister-in-law that, no matter what she says or does – it won’t have an effect on you. This will drive her insane!

The truth will set you free
If she’s spreading awful rumours, still kill her with kindness – the truth will eventually come to light and when it does you won’t be the one with egg on your face. The last thing you want to do is give in to her poisonous behaviour and cause a rift in the family.

Think of dealing with your sister-in-law as a game of chess
You can only control your pieces, how they move in relation to your opponents movements and what happens to them. Once she sees that her attempts are futile she’ll be forced to give up. She will finally realise that not all the cruelty in the world could take you down. Continue to maintain your dignity and continue to be the type of woman who made her feel so insecure in the first place.

It really is that simple. Nothing your sister-in-law says or does should be able to upset you, but only you can make the change. Once your sister-in-law realises she can’t win, then it’s check mate.

Exert solidarity

There may be myriad bumps in the road when in comes to marital bliss — think: bringing in boatloads of debt or a desire to have children before your partner. Because you’re a super-smart bride, we’re willing to wager you waded through any potential red flags long before you said “yes.” Yet, despite your marriage-savvy ways, there may be one warning sign you’ve willfully ignored: A mean sister-in-law.

Take a moment to let that soak in. Because while we’ve been trained by the media to expect a monster mother-in-law, we’re not always prepared to feel resistance from future siblings. But, if your sister-in-law disproves of your upcoming nuptials or simply doesn’t like you, you could be in for a roller coaster ride when it comes to your relationship.

There is good news: Not only can you address any sister-in-law issues head-on to ensure your own happiness, but your spouse can also take steps to protect your relationship from your sister-in-law. Over time, with repeated dedication and outward affection toward you, your spouse will send a message to your sister-in-law that she will be forced to respect.

You can take control, too. While you can and should let some things slide, it’s important to stress how her hurtful behavior impacts your well-being and your relationship. “The things you can let go are things like devaluing remarks about your cooking or your appearance,” Greer says. “You can shrug these off unless they become so frequent and intense that you feel you need to say something. Otherwise, just ignore her hostility unless it becomes intolerable.”
Now, people are strange and as I tell my Couples – we have to be aware the great banana peel of existence could cause a few trip ups on the day – but seriously when your monsters cause drama on your wedding day it’s going to be hard for them to earn your trust and friendship.

The craziest thing about these dillusional monsters is the force of their self absorbed spite blinds them to the fact the person they are hurting the most with their bad attitudes is not the in-law – but actually their own sibling. That’s what sort of monsters they are.

Good luck, believe me, you’re going to need it ; )

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