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Relationship with SIL

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by Happysoul1234, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. Happysoul1234

    Happysoul1234 Gold IL'ite

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    Hi Friends,

    As many of you know, my younger brother got remarried after a traumatic first marriage ended in divorce. My new SIL is a very nice person, takes good care of my brother, and is civil to my mom. ofcourse, like all DIL-SIl's they have issues with each other, but thankfully, there have been no major fights between them. For someone her age, I think she has a high level of maturity and I think that helps dissipate major fights before they can happen.

    My concern is that she brushes me off often. If I call her, she will put the phone down with some reason in 5 minutes or less. Or will cut the phone and tell me next time I call her that the call got dropped. Or will not pick up the phone at all.

    This has been happening regularly for several months. It's not that I call her everyday either, mostly once a week I try to touch base with her.

    As far as I know, I have not done anything to offend her. All I am trying to do from my end is ensure that she does not feel I only talk to my brother and not her, or that she is not considered to be part of the family.

    I am not sure what to make of her behavior. Please advise. I am going to visit them at the end of the month for their housewarming ceremony and want your opinion on whether to bring this topic up with her or my brother.

    Thanks,

    Pooja
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
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  2. Vidya21

    Vidya21 Senior IL'ite

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    Is she generally reserved with everyone or does that only with you?

    Not acknowledging your calls or not returning them within a quick enough time frame is rude, however, everyone has their own comfort-level-frequency for keeping in touch (yes, even within family!). Some people take long to really warm up to others. I'd just say let the relationship evolve naturally over time instead of trying to force it and give it the shape you want in a time frame you want.

    It might not be a good idea to talk to your brother just yet (if at all, ask her if something is bothering her) and/or reduce the frequency of your calls.

    There might be other ways to show her you care and consider her a special part of your family - sending her greetings, a little thoughtful note or a small gift here and there might show her you are thinking of her. :thumbsup
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
  3. Happysoul1234

    Happysoul1234 Gold IL'ite

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    >>Is she generally reserved with everyone or does that only with you?

    I DONT KNOW. ACCORDING TO MY MOM (WHO HAS LIVED WITH HER FOR SEVERAL MONTHS), SHE CAN BE A MOODY PERSON AND SHE PERSONALLY HAS TOLD ME THAT SHE USES SILENCE AS A WEAPON WHEN SHE IS MAD AT MY BROTHER.

    >>Not acknowledging your calls or not returning them within a quick enough time frame is rude, however, everyone has their own comfort-level-frequency for keeping in touch (yes, even within family!). Some people take long to really warm up to others. I'd just say let the relationship evolve naturally over time instead of trying to force it and give it the shape you want in a time frame you want.

    I AGREE. WHEN SHE VISITED LAST TIME, WE BONDED VERY WELL. THAT'S WHY I FOUND IT A BIT CONCERNING THAT SHE WAS NOT SPEAKING TO ME ON THE PHONE AFTERWARDS.

    >>It might not be a good idea to talk to your brother just yet (if at all, ask her if something is bothering her) and/or reduce the frequency of your calls.

    YES I THINK I WILL ASK HER IN PERSON WHEN I MEET HER

    >>There might be other ways to show her you care and consider her a special part of your family - sending her greetings, a little thoughtful note or a small gift here and there might show her you are thinking of her. :thumbsup

    I DO THAT. GIFTS ARE EXCHANGED ON A REGULAR BASIS. MY BRO TOLD ME SHE IS NOT AN EMAIL PERSON SO I TRY TO CALL HER ONCE A WEEK JUST TO KEEP IN TOUCH.

    I WILL ALSO INTERJECT WITH 3 ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS

    1. WHEN THEY 1ST GOT MARRIED, SHE WOULD CALL ME OFTEN BUT AT THAT TIME I HAD A NEWBORN AND COULD NOT TALK LONG. I DON'T KNOW IF THAT PLAYED A ROLE IN THE CURRENT SCENARIO.

    2. I HAVE A GREAT RELATIONSHIP WITH MY YOUNGER SIL (DH'S YOUNGER SISTER). SHE IS A FRIEND FIRST, DH'S SISTER SECOND. THAT IS WHAT I WISH I COULD HAVE WITH MY BROTHER'S WIFE. SHE IS ONLY 4 YEARS YOUNGER THAN ME SO IT'S NOT AS IF I BOSS OVER HER.

    3. WHENEVER I SEND HER PICS BY EMAIL (VACATION, MY KID) SHE HAS NEVER EVER RESPONDED EVEN ONCE TO ACKNOWLEDGE SHE RECEIVED THEM.
     
  4. DDC

    DDC Silver IL'ite

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    As adults, most of us should be able to sit down & have a civil conversation even if we are on two sides of the topic. If your SIL really has a good level of maturity then after the cermony, sit down & talk with her in your brother's presence. Make your feelings & thoughts clear & ask her where she wants to take the relationship from here. If she hints that you need to back off, please do so. I'm sure they need space to work out things esp since its a 2nd marriage for your bro. No, I dont feel calling once a week is too much but maybe she feels scrutinized. Maybe you are unconsciously protective of your brother & she feels its her job now. Maybe she just needs sometime to warm up to you.

    Give her time. Hope things work out:cheers
     
  5. SriVidya75

    SriVidya75 Platinum IL'ite

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    Pooja

    I would suggest just take it slow...dont try to over shower the love and affection or get too cautious or conscious in your behaviour. by that I mean, give her time, and you also just keep that distance so that they too should want to to talk to you rather, you trying to force them to talk to you.

    Also sometimes my SIL too just hangsup abruptly i dont mind it, because she sure does calls me back when she is in mood. So give that space where they also get time to think and want to establish that connection with you (If they are interested) and if they are not interested, then why force them? Space is the key to successful relationships or should I say peaceful relationships!!!
     
  6. shivachoubey

    shivachoubey IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Pooja,

    If she is newly married then her comfort level might no be that good. Sometimes, we are just shy of the other person and we try to avoid her. Give her time to adjust to you. Probably, you yourself can keep the phone in 5 minutes and whenever you meet her show her lots of love. Soon her comfort level with you will increase.

    I don't think she is rude or anything, I think she is new and she is trying to mingle with new people. Give her time.

    All the best.

    regards
     
  7. rosegirl

    rosegirl Bronze IL'ite

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    hi
    Since you say she was nice before and now aloof, I would like you to consider the following the scenarios.

    1.Talk to your brother and SIL when they are together to take the call.This will reduce a lot of conflicts.My DH and his sister talk during office lunch break and plan stuff and I am left out of the loop always.This makes me mad and I often shut her out of my life.

    2.Always go through the wife.This is a thumb rule when brothers are married.Anything important or any plans, start with the wife and then go to husband.So that she feels important.

    3.Try to praise your SIL and assure her that u will stand by her.

    4.If you talk with your brother too often or too long, try to reduce that, sometimes wives are not big fans of sister-brother bonding and feel like they are left in the lurch.

    5.If you think she has a problem with your mom, leave your mom out of the picture in all your conversations with them.

    goodluck.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2010
  8. chocolate

    chocolate Platinum IL'ite

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    P, I understand how your SIL feels. For one thing weekly fone calls can be an ordeal after a period of time. Mind you that has nothing to do with you but the whole thing of calling and having a conversation can be exhausting.After the newness wears off everybody goes thru this.I will say you can talk to your SIL when you call your brother and be done with it. Even she will be thankful and you will continue to maintain good relations with her.

    I remember when I was newly married my SIL used to chat with me everyday. I liked it initially and looked forward to it. But when it was her more into inquiry and making more damage for me here, I stopped it completely.With you it might not be the case but just plain boredom to having calls back and forth each week may make her unresponsive.I know when we call in laws, its pure agony for me. For one thing my in laws ask the some things to my husband and come back to me again to ask same things.Also in some corner she might be scared you can cause trouble in her marriage and hence the hesitance.I know I am whenever my SIL mails or talks to me or my husband. All married girls with SIL have this fear.Try to see her way and talk to her when you call your bro.Good Luck.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2010
  9. Happysoul1234

    Happysoul1234 Gold IL'ite

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    dear friends, thanks for your valuable insights. it has helped me a lot.

    see I am a sil myself (dh has 2 sisters). so I know what if feels like to be on the other side of the fence.

    I always talk to my sil, even if it is just hi-bi whenever I talk to my bro. I keep my calls with my bro as short as possible because I don't want her to think I am hogging their time. I only speak to bro when she is around so that she knows what we are talking about. I call her separately just to say hi, dont enquire about her relationship with bro, just check how she's doing etc. that's when she brushes me off. when my brother is not around. I guess that is what is bothering me.

    i am trying to be nice but it's not been reciprocated. I guess I should just back off then.
     
  10. Happysoul1234

    Happysoul1234 Gold IL'ite

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    I also forgot to mention that my SIL was herself divorced before she married my brother. it seems that her ex-sil (ex husbands sister) used to live with them and created a lot of problems in her life and hence the marriage ended.

    I am sensitive to the fact that she had a bad sil in her first marriage so I always try to stay out of her and my brother's life. I've always encouraged and supported her through words and actions (like if my brother scolded her for something in front of me, i will take her side), give her nice gifts, keep in touch with her parents and brother by calling them to wish them on birthdays, anniversaries etc. gave nice gifts to her brother when he had a kid. called to check on her parents when they were ill. mailed them mithai and namkeens when i came back from india. so that she does not feel that we don't care for her or her family.

    so what bothers me is that I've tried to be nice to her but she still brushes me off. I understand she had a bad sil in the past but that does not mean that each and every sil in the world is bad. that's what bothers me.

    I dont let what my mom says about her influence my relationship with her. Infact, i am always telling my mom to be nice to her (which she is, but she can always do better).
     

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