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Sleeping Beauty - Sleep, Eat, Go online, Yawn…
January 4, 2012 5:10 PM   Subscribe

Sleeping Beauty - Sleep, Eat, Go online, Yawn…

My wife's younger sister who works night shift as a nurse stays 2 to 3 days a week at our house even though she has her own apartment. The days she spends at our house, she is either sleeping, eating or online.

There are things about her that are rather annoying. They are bearable but weekly repetition is what makes it unbearable.

Issue #1: She does not greet when she enters or leaves the house. She greets a goodbye only if she sees me. At first, I thought there was something wrong with my attitude. People do find me a bit rude and blunt at first but as they get to know me better they acknowledge my straight forward, frank nature. I even asked my best friend and his older brother both whom I highly regard about this uncomfortable situation. Both suggested to have a heart to heart conversation with her. I then told my wife about her sister not greeting. My wife agreed saying that her sister's nature is as such and I’m also not to blame for expecting her sister to greet. My wife then told her sister that day and later that night when they were eating dinner, I told her sister that people find me a bit rude and blunt but I want her to feel comfortable around me to which she interrupted and said it was her and not me. When I continued, my wife interrupted saying that it was her sister's problem and not mine and to not make a big deal preventing open discussion.

Issue #2: She does not drive so either my wife or I drive her around the past year and a half. Sher has never asked me directly for a ride. It is always my wife asking me to give her a ride. She has a Driver License from another state but is not confident to drive in the city where we live so I suggested she learn to drive from a professional. I even got her the contact but she told my wife that her boyfriend would teach her. Her boyfriend lives in the East Coast who visits her often. She works a few blocks from our house and her apartment is walking distance across the hospital so driving her to work/apartment is less than a mile. Recently, she applied and got a new job which is 10 miles from our house. After I dropped her and waited more than an hour for her final interview, I told her that she should buy a car and drive the street avoiding the highway for her new job. I also told her to "put herself in our shoes". Since then, she has never asked me for a ride. She walks to her apartment from our house.

Issue #3: We had a baby girl in December and I was hoping she would take some time off to help but either she could not get time off or she did not ask for vacation. So I ended up calling my parents to help out. She did stay for 2 days at our house taking care of our 2 year old son since my son is not used to my parents but is used to her. This was very useful and I thanked her.

Minuscule things which irritates me are:
She does not help with any household chores. She does do her own dishes and on rare occasions, she will do all dishes in the sink.

She will forget to take her cup or glass after she is done eating from our dining table even after being told.

She will not keep her shoes in the shoes stand even after being told.

She will not close the toilet cover after she’s done even after being told.

She will not keep all her belongings in the drawer she was specifically told to keep her things. We have a very active 2 year old who could get hurt over her things - laptop, cup, glass etc. Bottom-line, she will not treat our house like she keeps her apartment neat and tidy.

Since she works nights, she sleeps during the day. When she’s awake for the rest of the day, she yawns incessantly which is extremely annoying and worse still, she wont have the decency to excuse herself.

In the beginning when she lived with us for about 2 months, she would mostly sleep in the family room couch watching TV forgetting to turn it off falling asleep. Nowadays, she stays closed in our extra bedroom with her Laptop online.

Upon my wife’s request I had tuned her Laptop, added Memory and got her a new Laptop battery for which she paid for the parts. But even after her Laptop was perfectly working, she used my Laptop for many months. Eventually, I had to tell my wife to tell her to use her own Laptop. Now she leaves her Laptop at our house and uses it when she is here. Her apartment does not have Internet connection. Sometimes, I feel she comes to our house mainly to go online since she stays in our extra bedroom with her Laptop.

The only useful thing she does in our house is that she will often play with my 2 year old son.

I spoke to my dad about this and he thinks since my wife appears more powerful than me, her sister unknowingly takes me for granted. (I tend to think I have the power over my wife over our finances and important decisions. I let my wife take all other decisions. I also think we both think alike. We are both Libra and straight forward people.) I don’t have malice towards her but the fact she does not greet leads me to believe there is something in my attitude. I feel that I shouldn't feel uncomfortable asking her to help with chores in the house. I tend to believe she is young and has not matured but she is 28 years old. Is it her attitude or my attitude ?

Her boyfriend is in town for a month. She has not come to our house since he’s been here. The last time I saw her was at a friend's wedding last weekend. I helped her obtain wedding scarfs to put on bride and groom (done in our Asian culture). When I left the wedding with my baby girl in car seat, I walked past ignoring her since I knew she had a ride.

I’m getting obsessive about this situation but don’t know how to handle it. Out of sight, out of mind could work only if she did not come to our house for her stay-over weekly.

I have scoured online and metafilter regarding this issue and I would like to borrow these these lines from http://ask.metafilter.com/185678/How-long-should-the-sisterinlaw-stayAs anyone with small kids knows, family life with a full time job is already pretty stressful; and all marriages needs constant upkeep. Yeah, I'm looking for the magic answer that resolves all conflicts and makes everyone happy - or failing that, some advice on how not to be a jerk to family!”

Thanks MetaFilter.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (27 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
I think she needs to stop staying with you, honestly.

All the things she does seem kind of minor to me (and the not greeting thing in particular seems a weird one to worry about). You mention near the end that you (presumably both) are from an Asian culture, but you don't say which one. So it's hard for me to judge whether some of the supposed faux pas she is making are more serious in your culture. In mine, they totally are not.

BUT any little habits that seem tiny at first can start to get seriously annoying when they are ongoing, and the person is staying with you a lot, and when your space maybe feels extra crowded and your time extra precious because of a new baby.

That's why I think she needs to leave.
posted by lollusc at 5:17 PM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


#3: I'm assuming you mean your wife and you had a baby girl. If that is the case (and you didn't have a child with your wife's sister..) I don't see why she should have taken time off to take care of your kid that she had no decision in making.

You clearly don't like her and a lot of your things come off as nit picking. It's possible she's picked up on that.
posted by royalsong at 5:21 PM on January 4, 2012 [9 favorites]


Nine tenths of all this has to do with you more than her -- your built-up resentment is making major turmoil out of what amounts to fairly small annoyances.

You need to accept that this is the way she is, and that she is not likely to change because of anything you do or say. That said, it is up to you and your wife to decide on the boundaries as far as how much time with sister is too much, and then stick to those boundaries. She's not terribly worried about inconveniencing you, so don't be terribly worried about inconveniencing her -- as long as you can sincerely do so without malice or passive-aggression.

If it's driving you seriously nuts and you need a break for a while, talk to your wife about that. No ultimatums, no grandstanding -- in fact, don't even make it about sister. Just say that you'd like some time to relax and enjoy the house with wife and baby and not deal with so many comings and goings. Ask for a little vacation from having company over.
posted by hermitosis at 5:21 PM on January 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


Especially with your issue 3, you aren't clear if you actually articulated that you wanted her to take time off, or just hoped she would. People are not mind readers. Issue 1 and 2 sound resolved by the end of their paragraphs. She agreed to try to remember to greet you, and no longer asks you for rides. The other stuff you agree is minuscule and say she does do some things to offset it, like occupy your son.

I think you need to identify what it is that you ideally want to happen here, since it's not clear to me after reading your question. Do you want her to pay rent? Move out? Agree to a list of chores including a schedule of babysitting? Write it down.

Then talk with your wife, without the sister there. Present to your wife what it is that you want. If you're having a hard time articulating it, show her the written down goal you came up with. Come to a decision together so you can present a united front. Then, either just your wife or both of you together need to clearly tell the sister what the new rules are.

Then, try to let it all go and have a pleasant relationship with the sister. No one is perfect; there are surely things you do that are irritating just like there are things she does that are redeeming. Try to remember the redeeming bits and forget the irritating ones.
posted by vegartanipla at 5:29 PM on January 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


This is not between you and your sister-in-law, this is between you and your wife.

- If you don't want sister-in-law staying at your house, tell your wife this and the two of you need to come to an agreement about sister-in-law staying at your home.

- If your sister-in-law has an apartment equidistant from her workplace as is yours, why in the hell is she sleeping at your house? Does she feel unsafe at her own place? Does she miss her sister? You need to get to the root of this issue and resolve it.

- If you want sister-in-law to clean up after herself at your home, you need to tell her directly and tell your wife that you want this to ensure that she'll work solidly with you on this. (Although her cleaning up after herself doesn't sound OUTRAGEOUS... maybe she is sloppier than you're describing.)

- Stop driving her places. Tell your wife that you are unwilling to drive her. She works close enough to her home that she doesn't need a ride. She has a driver's license. Just STOP driving her. You can't control what your wife does, but stop doing it yourself.

- Stop doing nice things for her that are out of the ordinary -- you didn't need to fix her laptop. She can take it to the Geek Squad to do it.

- Meanwhile, put a password lock on your laptop.

I find your order of the issues a bit perplexing. Who cares that she doesn't say hello to you when she is sleeping in your home and being a poor houseguest?
posted by k8t at 5:30 PM on January 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


When she’s awake for the rest of the day, she yawns incessantly which is extremely annoying and worse still, she wont have the decency to excuse herself.

This was the clincher for me. You obviously have built up a lot of resentment towards this person and because of it, every little thing she does (even things that are totally benign -- she really can't help yawning!) is driving you mad. For the sake of your relationship with her, she has to stop staying with you. Full stop.
posted by telegraph at 5:32 PM on January 4, 2012 [13 favorites]


Just head to her place whenever she comes over. It's not being used. You get to get away from it all. A win for everyone.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:33 PM on January 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


(I tend to think I have the power over my wife over our finances and important decisions. I let my wife take all other decisions. I feel that I shouldn't feel uncomfortable asking her to help with chores in the house. I tend to believe she is young and has not matured but she is 28 years old.

Well one, your attitude about being more powerful than your wife sounds a bit off. Maybe it's not how you meant it to come across...

Is it her attitude or my attitude ?

Your attitude:
You just sound whiny and resentful. I don't really see what the big deal is. Step-up and make some rules after coming to a mutual agreement with your wife about what is acceptable as a guest policy with her sister.

The sisters attitude:
She sounds lonely and like she enjoys being in a nicer place than her own.
Some people aren't good about picking stuff up. That seems to be her major shortcoming as a guest. That's definitely something you both could tell the sister that she needs to be aware of when in your home.
posted by zephyr_words at 5:33 PM on January 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Why is this woman at your house? Tell her to go live at her own house.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:37 PM on January 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


I think it's totally valid you just don't want your sister in law hanging around your house all the time.

That being said your specific complaints border on the ludicrious. You are absolutely getting obsessive about this.

Ask your wife to tell her not to spend so much time at your house and then let the other crap go. She clearly is getting the cold shoulder from you and knows you don't want her there. That's probably why she doesn't greet you and never asks you directly for a ride. She is probably trying to have as little interaction with you as possible and is inadvertently making the situation worse. So lay down some firm rules and then let it go.
posted by whoaali at 5:43 PM on January 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have so many questions, like why IS she at your house? Why do you think that she has to babysit your children if she's at your house? How is her being at your house her taking you, (and apparently only you) for granted?

Seriously, why is she at your house so often? Do you have amenities that she lacks? Does she perhaps still feel that she is welcome there as a housemate instead of as a houseguest?

Maybe there is a cultural aspect to all of this, because while I find that yeah, some of that stuff is annoying, I wouldn't hesitate to ask her (or ask my partner to ask their sibling) to pick up after themselves, for example. I also don't understand why your wife seems to be somewhat absent from a question regarding her sister in your shared home...


But frankly, you sound about as mature as she does.
posted by sm1tten at 5:49 PM on January 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


You need to talk to your wife. It sounds like you're bottling a lot of this up, which is only making it worse.

She is an adult, and from what you describe, is mentally and physically able to live on her own and drive a car. If she can't emotionally do those things, you need to ask your wife to start tapering it off. All in all, no fun. Wishing you luck!
posted by manicure12 at 5:55 PM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I went through a lot of this with my friends and *finally* they all understand. I had to be very harsh and very direct. In the kind of "Look, I love you, I love having you here, but I really need some space" (paraphrasing, I was a tad bit more harsh). But *NOW* everyone knows that when I get up and say it "It's time" I mean "I'm ready for you guys to leave. I love you, I'm glad we spent this time together. Goodbye."

For a very long time I 'blew up' at people because I just couldn't take it anymore. TOO MUCH! Now, I don't have to. It's almost comforting to know that my friends love me enough to know that when I say "It's time" I'm not trying to be mean in any way, I'm just telling them what they can't automatically know by nature.

And, don't listen to everyone saying you don't sound mature. You haven't thrown yourself on the floor and thrown a temper tantrum. You're trying to work this out in the best way possible for everyone, and it should be expected that as your GUEST she should be considerate. But she can't be considerate unless she's made absolutely aware, as I had to eventually be with my friends.

Communication, and truth, is a huge tool.

(And on preview: Many of my friends have since said they're thankful that they know how I will act, because I am very "hard to read" and they never knew I was ready for my alone time)
posted by one4themoment at 6:04 PM on January 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


she is either sleeping, eating or online.
Let me ask you something, what is a house for? When you’re not working, and you go home, one usually sleeps and eats, correct? And takes showers? And checks one’s email since one can’t do that at work on company time? That’s about all I use MY house for. What about YOU? Also, night shifts are hard.

She does not greet when she enters or leaves the house. She greets a goodbye only if she sees me.
So she doesn’t come hunt you down, wherever you may be, just to say hello? So what? If she doesn’t see you, why should she go yelling all over the house for you?

People do find me a bit rude and blunt at first but as they get to know me better they acknowledge my straight forward, frank nature.
Yeah, you might want to work on that, it’s not something to be proud of.

I even asked my best friend and his older ….blah blah….when they were eating dinner, I told her sister that people find me a bit rude and blunt….blah blah my wife interrupted saying that it was her sister's problem and not mine and to not make a big deal….
Okay, this is not something you bring up over dinner. Why didn’t you talk to her alone, non-confrontationally? Clearly your wife was uncomfortable. Have you attempted to make any small talk with sister, get to know her as a person at all? Joke, laugh? Be a family?

It is always my wife asking me to give her a ride.

Issue between you and your wife.

Since then, she has never asked me for a ride. She walks to her apartment from our house.

Wow dude, really? She walks? That seems…kind of harsh. But it’s not a problem anymore. So why mention it?

I was hoping she would take some time off to help but either she could not get time off or she did not ask for vacation. So I ended up calling my parents to help out.
People can’t get time off, this is normal. Grandparents help with babies, this is normal. You should have asked sister if you wanted her to take time off. You probably didn’t ask her because you knew it was kind of a dick move to ask someone to take time off work to take care of your kid. Seriously, man, I don’t think you get to be upset about this. You’re lucky anyone is there to help at all.

She does not help with any household chores. She does do her own dishes and on rare occasions, she will do all dishes in the sink.
Clearly, she does help. Sometimes.

She will forget to take her cup or glass after she is done eating from our dining table even after being told.
She will not keep her shoes in the shoes stand even after being told.
She will not close the toilet cover after she’s done even after being told.


Ridiculously petty. Just stupidly petty bullshit. Sorry.

she yawns incessantly

listen to yourself

In the beginning when she lived with us for about 2 months
Ahhhhh, this is what that’s about. She’s not living with you anymore, though. She’s transitioning to her own place. Things will probably get better. I bet you’re holding onto your bad first impression. Hey, just let it go- you won’t get her to “pay you back” and that’s okay. She’s family and it’s better for your blood pressure not to hold grudges.

Upon my wife’s request I had tuned her Laptop
Problem with your wife, not her sister.

since my wife appears more powerful than me, her sister unknowingly takes me for granted. (I tend to think I have the power over my wife
Not everything is about power. I would not take this hypothesis seriously.

I don’t have malice towards her
Wrong.

Is it her attitude or my attitude ?
Yours.

When I left the wedding with my baby girl in car seat, I walked past ignoring her since I knew she had a ride.

WTF?

I’m getting obsessive about this situation but don’t know how to handle it.
Talk to your wife, tell her how you feel. Reconnect with her. You’re probably stressed and taking it out on the sister. Try to identify the real source of your frustration- I would guess your wife not “respecting you” or possibly less intimacy with new baby around, etc. Talk to the sister in a friendly way, try to get to know her. Don’t make a big scene with anyone and don’t keep lists of other people’s faults. Take a vacation.

If you really, really must have this woman not spend so much time with your family, tell your wife this, and have her tell her sister. Then they can see each other outside the house or at sister's place. I would do this as a very last dramabomb resort if I were you. Family is for life.
posted by stockpuppet at 6:25 PM on January 4, 2012 [17 favorites]


It's okay to tell your wife that you would like for her sister to visit less, but I would suggest not mentioning the majority of the items that you listed above because it makes you sound petty and ridiculous. Seriously, you're complaining that a woman who works the night shift yawns a lot?
posted by crankylex at 6:47 PM on January 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Her apartment does not have Internet connection. Sometimes, I feel she comes to our house mainly to go online since she stays in our extra bedroom with her Laptop.

I think you nailed it right there. Why doesn't she have an Internet connection at her place? Maybe you could help set it up for her there.
posted by vickyverky at 6:47 PM on January 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


I haven't seen anyone have such a long list of "should" and "should not" for someone, not even on dating profiles, which is saying a lot.

Maybe you need a counselor to better figure out what's behind all those negative feelings for your sister-in-law? Maybe take this post to show them how many of those points are reasonable.


I really feel sorry for this girl.
posted by xm at 7:57 PM on January 4, 2012


I get it. Even the greeting thing, that some people apparently think is a weird thing to care about. If I were sitting in my home, say, watching TV, and I heard the front door open and my sister-in-law (who doesn't live with me) come in and go upstairs to plop herself in my guest room and get online without even bothering to call out "hey, anybody home?", yeah, that would REALLY bug me.

Try not to take some of the meanest comments here to heart. Someone intruding constantly on your home and your family time can definitely start to push normal, tiny irritating actions into giant issues in your head. Like the yawning - yeah, someone who works the night shift yawns a lot - but I'd be pretty hard pressed to figure out why the hell she was at my house, yawning in my face all the time. Go yawn at your own house! I also don't think it's "mean" to tell a grownup who has a driver's license that you can't give her rides all the time.

You are going to need to have a very frank talk with your wife about what you want her boundaries to be. Sounds like she needs to understand that now that she doesn't live at your house, she is now a guest, and learn all the new rules that come with "guest" status. (Hint: a guest knocks before entering, or at least calls out when they step inside to alert people that they are there. A guest doesn't walk in and sneak upstairs to hide out in the guest bedroom. Hell, a guest probably doesn't hang out in the guest bedroom when she has her own apartment a few minutes away.)
posted by coupdefoudre at 8:30 PM on January 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


All these reasons and problems are a complicated and long-winded way of saying, I need my own space. She is intruding in my space. So don't come up with rationalisations. Just say it like that.

I think it's reasonable to want your own space. I would speak with your wife about it and come to an agreement. I think you probably have a minimum number of days each week where there are no guests or visitors. Think about how many days this is. Agree this with your wife, then present a united front to her sister.
posted by dave99 at 9:35 PM on January 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Working as a nurse is very hard work. I know (because I am from an Asian culture, though maybe not yours) that some Asian cultures don't view nurses as highly as they do doctors. So perhaps you aren't aware of how hard the work is.

Nurses are not just "doctors' helpers". They are not simply assistants. They have so many responsibilities and work very long shifts taking care of patients who are often rude and yell at them and have no manners. Hospitals are also often understaffed and nurses have to take care of more patients than they can easily handle. In reality, nurses do most of the work in taking care of the patient -- much more than the doctor does.

My sister started working as a nurse this past year. She has cried a few times when patients who she is trying to help and be polite to, yell at her and demand things nonstop with very bad or racist attitudes. She has been hit by mentally-ill patients. She works 10-12 hour shifts and even when the shift is over, she cannot simply go home, because she has to spend another hour filing paperwork for her patients and briefing the next round of nurses. Sometimes she does not eat lunch or take a proper break during her 10-12 hour shift, because there are too many patients to take care of.

So of course, she is always extremely exhausted when she gets home and wants to do nothing more than eat, go online for a bit and sleep.

A nurse's job is not easy at all. They work very hard to help others. Please remember that when viewing your sister-in-law's actions and try to be more understanding.
posted by joyeuxamelie at 9:41 PM on January 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


You're taking her lack of greeting too personally, as if it's some kind of reflection of you. When the sister said it's you and its her, believe her! Like I said, don't take the lack of greeting you as a reflection on you. Let it go.

You were annoyed that you had to drive her around - well, she's stopped asking you for rides. Why is this still an issue for you?

The miniscule things are as you say, miniscule. It sounds like you are expecting her to be perfect. If they're miniscule, why are you letting these things bother you? As other people have pointed out, you finding her yawning incessantly is petty. Trying putting yourself in HER shoes. Working nights is not easy. Don't you think you'd be tired after working nights, waking up in the middle of the day?

If she's using internet at your house, have you asked her to contribute to the internet bill? What's wrong with staying in the bedroom using her computer? It seems like the best place for her since when she is in your company, you find her so annoying!

Like others have asked, why is she staying at your house? Why can't she stay at her own place? Do you feel some kind of familial obligation to her? If she doesn't want to stay at her place for safety reasons, maybe suggest it's time for her to stop staying over and just come over for visits.

In short, it is your attitude. Lighten up.
posted by foxjacket at 9:47 PM on January 4, 2012


if I had someone staying at my place that often I would go totally nuts too. Some people have more need for personal space than others, and you and I are clearly right at the top end of that scale. Why is she staying there so much? it sounds like it was for convienience when she worked very close to your house, but if that's no longer true, it's time for her to go back to her own damn house. The need for your own space is really hard to describe, which I think is why you have listed so many small things she does that bother you - it's not really the things, it's the greater fact that she just shouldn't be there. Your wife won't get this feeling, because it's her sister, living in the same house as her is an ordinary thing that she's done for a long time. To you, she's an outsider, and the way she's acting isn't helping - hiding in her room, not greeting you when she comes in, not helping out or following house rules - all these things say "I'm not part of your family" which prevents you from viewing her as anything other than an interloper. If she can't chip in and be part of the team, she should go back to her own place.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 10:11 PM on January 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm also a person who would go batty with someone staying at my house this much. The mistake you are making is trying to account for feeling this way by enumerating small, nearly meangingless characteristics or behaviors on her part as the reason you don't want her there. This is unnecessary and actually likely to be working against you, because your wife probably feels like if only she can get her sister to remember to say "hello" or put her shoes in a specific place, everything will be okay.

Everything won't be okay, no matter if your sister-in-law changed every single thing that you think bothers you, because you just don't want to live with your sister-in-law. Which is perfectly normal. It's not because she's a bad person, or has terrible habits, or is selfish, or anything else you've listed – you just don't want to live with her, and the amount of time that she is spending at your place is very nearly like she is living there.

You need to tell your wife that you are very unhappy, uncomfortable, and stressed out with this semi-live-in arrangement, not because you hate the sister, but because you want and need – seriously need – your privacy with your wife and child. Explain that you'd be more than happy to see and spend time with your sister-in-law as a guest who comes to your house to visit and socialize for shortish periods, but that you didn't marry the sister and don't want to live with her.
posted by taz at 12:11 AM on January 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


There's an important cultural element that a lot of people are missing: is it normal in your culture for family members to stay together for long periods? You really ought to discuss this with others familiar with your traditions but above all with your wife.

Also, seconding that setting up an internet connection at your sister in law's house will magically solve all your problems.
posted by Dragonness at 7:39 AM on January 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


From one of your previous questions, can I assume that you are Korean? And that perhaps you have not grown up in a Western culture? None of the examples you give seem like terrible behavior to me (I'm American). I would never remember that I always have to take my shoes off because that is not part of my culture. Of course, if she is also Asian then I don't know what to say. Either way, you need to establish boundaries, and the first step is to have a conversation with your wife about "this is OUR house, not hers, and she needs to stay at her house."
posted by desjardins at 1:05 PM on January 5, 2012


I tend to think I have the power over my wife over our finances and important decisions. I let my wife take all other decisions. I feel that I shouldn't feel uncomfortable asking her to help with chores in the house. I tend to believe she is young and has not matured but she is 28 years old.

Whoa. Part of what is aggravating your suffering here (and I use that term lightly) are your power issues. If you view other people - let alone your wife, your *ahem* partner - as subject to your will, then you're setting yourself up for a lifetime of hypertension and bottles of Advil for that headache. People don't always operate on whatever sense of "order" you have in your head. You would go far to invest in figuring out why you are so insistent on having "power" and then resolve it. Most of the time, those who want power over others the most desperately end up being pathetic, weak, and insecure, with no power at all. Don't let that become you.

I would bet the summation of my university loans that both your wife and your sister -in-law have picked up on how far your internal unpleasantness has radiated outwards. Start viewing them as people! It will make resolving whatever conflicts you have with your sister-in-law go a lot more smoothly.

In short: to work on problems with others, you will first need to work on the problem within yourself.
posted by Ashen at 2:00 PM on January 5, 2012


From the OP:
Simply put, I overreacted.

All your answers provide insight to my own personality. The more I read them, the more selfish and overtly sensitive my post looks. Negative thoughts prevailed over positive attitude.

I'm not going to tell my wife to have her sister visit our house less often. We are Buddhists and it is just not in our Asian culture.

No matter how difficult it will be, I'm going to practice letting it all go and have a pleasant relationship with my wife's sister. I think she is going to be near us for the long run since she landed a new Nurse job at a very reputed hospital. I will make an effort to communicate and be truthful. (make any small talk with sister, get to know her as a person at all. Joke, laugh. Be a family)

I accept I have power issues. (Most of the time, those who want power over others the most desperately end up being pathetic, weak, and insecure, with no power at all. Don't let that become you. Not everything is about power.)

This has been a humbling experience.

Family is for life.

Thank you all for opening my mind to positivity
posted by mathowie at 10:27 PM on January 5, 2012


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