General Question

chelle21689's avatar

How would you deal with a demanding in law over your partner?

Asked by chelle21689 (5195 points ) January 11th, 2014 from iPhone

I’m not married but it was a better way to word it. I just wanted to vent out my frustration even though I know the answer to this.

Anyways, my boyfriend’s sister is 2 years older than me. Whenever something happens to him whether he gets hurt, sick, or drunk she starts being pretty demanding giving me orders what to do. It makes me feel like I can’t take care of my boyfriend, don’t know what’s best for him, and she questions my ways of handling things. She’ll basically try to do things and I have no room to do anything until she barks orders.

For example: He falls down bumps his head. She was the first to react and ran to him, started rubbing his head, and then said “Chell! You come here. Rub his head! Run his head see if it’s ok!!” “Go get him water now” he’s perfectly fine but she’s just overreacting.

Yesterday was his birthday and he had a little too much to drink and went to the bathroom to throw up. She starts standing by the door listening and patting his back. She demanded me to stay in the bathroom with him the rest of the party, get water, instructed me to check on him x minutes…as if I wasn’t going to do that….

One time he had 2 glasses of wine and I had one. We are both perfectly fine to drive. She starts telling at him to not drive and then pulls me aside and demands me to drive.

She only is demanding when it comes to him. She’ll tell me not to do something and instead doing something her way to help him.

It’s so annoying. I want to tell her to butt out and stop giving me orders! Tell her to suggest things/ask and trust my way.

Sorry just venting kind of.

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29 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

You could tell her what to do.

Or, you could treat your boyfriend like a grown up, and also tell her that he can take care of himself. How would he feel about that? Where is he in the middle of this? You can ignore the sister, he needs to stand up and tell her she is disrupting his relationship with you.

If it were me, I would not allow myself to be bossed around, and if she yelled at me, I would tell her I am not going to put up with that and I am leaving.

chelle21689's avatar

@zenvelo lol exactly. Like when he fell I knew he was fine but I think she was bothered I didn’t run up to him babying him. Lol good idea on me telling her what to do instead or not obeying her.

Like I said she doesn’t usually demand things, only when it comes to his safety.

glacial's avatar

Tell her that her son is a grown man, and that he is not dating you to have a servant.

Honestly, I’m wondering about your boyfriend here. If he’s not standing up for himself or you in these situations, he doesn’t seem to have much character.

zenvelo's avatar

@glacial It’s his sister, not his mother!

chelle21689's avatar

He’ll stand up for himself or ignores her. Like he would say “I can drive!” That’s when she pulls me to the side and tells me “you should drive.” Even though I know he can and she’s just worrying. I’m not dumb to get in a car with an intoxicated person. Not just drinking but if he’s sleepy and yawns she’ll demand I drive.

Yesterday she told me to stay with him in bathroom but he said he didn’t want anyone in there and to go downstairs. Or if she tries to tell me to give him water I tell her he doesn’t want any and then I won’t so she ends up giving him water only to not drink it.

glacial's avatar

@zenvelo Haha! It sure sounds like she’s his mother.

Damn, just ignore her.

Coloma's avatar

Trust me, she may not like it but yes to what @zenvelo says.
You MUST be ASSERTIVE and let her know you are not her beck & call girl and you will not be bossed around. Sheesh…I would relish the opportunity to tell someone they were being overbearing and to STOP IT! She’ll be all pissy no doubt but who cares, if it’s a choice over being liked or respected, respect wins every time IMO.

chelle21689's avatar

@Coloma agreed. To be honest this happens once in a while. I’ll remember for the future

snowberry's avatar

Busy body: Bla bla bla DO THIS, blah bla! Hurry now!

snowberry: Oh, thank you sooo much! I’ll take it under advisement!

Then I do whatever I want, and completely ignore them.

Rinse and repeat until snowberry sounds like a broken record. At no time do I get into a screaming match. I remain extremely polite, and they can’t say they weren’t heard. They also get the message loud and clear.

I think it’s odd that boyfriend doesn’t stand up for himself. That’s got to be really annoying to him. Why does he allow it? What an odd family.

chelle21689's avatar

I guess how I show care and support is different than everyone’s. Like when my bf fell I knew he was fine and him and his friends were kind of laughing about it even though it hurt… but my cousin and his sister said I didn’t react quickly enough.

I remember one time my bf thought I was unsupportive by not patting his back when sick with stomach flu throwing up. I told him it makes me wanna puke…I literaly throw up if I see people or hear them throw up. My way of supporting is getting bags ready, water, etc. I guess they don’t understand my way.

glacial's avatar

It sounds like he’s very spoiled. Maybe he was brought up to expect the coddling. Eww.

Blackberry's avatar

The lady has problems. I wouldn’t put up with that at all. Nip it in the bud before she thinks she’s allowed to do this stuff.

Judi's avatar

Was he very sick as a child or something that she has this strange need to baby him? It almost boarders on incestuous. It’s defiantly not healthy. I also want to know what he has to say about all this. The problem really is not with YOUR relationship whit her its with HIS relationship with her.

marinelife's avatar

It’s up to your boyfriend to speak to her about this.

Pandora's avatar

Some siblings can develop a mom like attitude towards the other sibling. Even though I was younger than my brother, I felt more like his mom. I was always made to look out for him, because he lacked common sense. So if he did anything stupid and I was with him, I was the one who got in trouble. Maybe this is the same situation.

She may feel he lacks common sense and she is not seeing improvement in his behavior. So she assumes you are not strong enough to control his bad behavior. Sounds like she is trying to lead you into becoming the new mom replacement. If she really thought you incompetent than she would simply brush you aside and not ask you to do anything.

I would hope that you are all still very young and that is why she still feels the need to guard her brother. With time she will hopefully get over it. Some sisters never let go. He has to be the one to stand up to her. Not you. Once he stands up to her and tells her to mind her own business then she will get the message. Unless he is a royal screw up. Then she may ignore him. In which case he has to be strong enough to put their relationship on the line. Then she will have no choice.

To her, you are just maybe a speck in her brothers life. Here today, gone tomorrow. So she doesn’t know if her brother is capable of taking care of himself with or without you. She needs to see he can stand up for himself. Then she can relax, whether you are here to stay or not.

I know in my case I needed my brother to stand up to me so I wouldn’t feel guilty for letting him go on his own. When you are made to feel guilty all your life for the stupid things another sibling does, you carry that a long time with you. It becomes difficult to shake the guilt. Especially if you feel they have some sort of mental handicap.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

I agree with @Judi about that strange relationship. I would look her straight in the eye and ask, “Do you plan to take over my place in bed too? Do you love him, or are you in love with him?” If that doesn’t open the door to get her to back off, LOCK AND LOAD BABY! Okay, maybe I got a bit over passionate there, but you get my drift.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

What a pushy b*tch.

Your boyfriend and sister’s relationship is between them and their own business. If he isn’t offended by her bossy, bullying personality, that’s his choice. When she starts snapping orders at you, however, that’s an entirely different matter.

If it were me, I’d tell her to proceed as she wishes, then I’d walk away.

She’s a big problem, and I’m predicting that things won’t work out, in the long run, between you and your boyfriend. He’s intimidated by his sister, and it’s probably been that way since they were young children. He doesn’t stand up to her or defend you. If you make her angry – and, unless you’re willing to be meek and always do as you’re told, you will make her angry – she’ll sabotage your relationship.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’m really out of step with this one. I would be grateful to have such a concerned, helpful sister in law. Thank her kindly and then do whatever you were going to do in the first place.

ibstubro's avatar

I’m with @marinelife, here. It’s your boyfriend’s family and it’s up to him to deal with his sister if there’s a problem.

When the sister interfered, I’d probably say things loudly in front of the group like, “Yo, baby, you need me me to come over there and rub wour widdle headsy wedsy for woo??” Then walk over and tickle him and say, “Gitsty gitsy GOO!” Make a joke out of it, and show it up for the childish stupidity that it is.
“Take him some water!” “Okay, where are the sippy cups?”

chyna's avatar

There is definitely something wrong with someone that is a grown man that’s wants his back rubbed while throwing up. That’s disgusting and childish.

Judi's avatar

This question reminds me of that Saturday Night Live sketch where the guy introduces his girlfriend to his mom and then the mom nurses him. Later the aunts and the grandmother nurses him too. Sorry. I couldn’t find a link.

KNOWITALL's avatar

=Ith @YARNLADY. Some families are close, just keep cool & do you. She’ll relax when you stick around.

liljesska's avatar

I completely understand your frustration girl. The BEST thing you can do is first talk to your boyfriend about how you feel. Hopefully he will be understanding, supportive, and will have your back. Next I would invite her over, out for lunch, or coffee. Sincerely tell her how she makes you feel. Assure her, how much you love her brother and know how to take care of him. Hopefully she’ll understand and start to back off.
If that doesn’t work then your boyfriend, needs to have a good old talk with her.
Hang in there and keep your head up. Good luck!

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@chelle21689 I had a strong reaction to your question because The Sister reminds me so much of my mother-in-law. Since I first met her, she’s barked commands at me. I’ve tried everything – going along to keep the peace, ignoring her, having heart-to-heart chats about how hurtful it is to be treated that way, and screeching right back at her. Nothing works.

Very recently, Paul, my in-laws, and I were going out for dinner. While we were walking through the garage to the car, she shrieked at her husband, “Art, get in the car.” After nearly 60 years of marriage, he looked at her with complete disgust and said, “You’re supposed to say ‘please’ ”. Seconds later, she shouted, “Lori, get in the back seat.” He gave her the same look and said, “You didn’t say ‘please’ to Lori, either.” I mumbled that she never has, never does, and never will. It’s just nonstop.

VS's avatar

Next time she starts barking orders, pick up your coat and hand bag, smile, and say ‘no, you seem to have everything under control, I’ll be back when he feels better.’ Walk out and come back tomorrow. She will continue to verbally abuse you for just as long as you allow it. I would also speak to my boyfriend when he is sober and uninjured, and tell him you will not be abused by his sister any longer.

ibstubro's avatar

It’s not that big of a deal, folks.

There’s room to diffuse the situation with humor.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@ibstubro Trying to disuse this sort of situation with humor is much like trying to bring down the Rock of Gibraltar by playfully splashing it with water.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ibstubro I have to agree with @SadieMartinPaul on this one, bro, some people who are total control freaks (like my MIL) don’t get the hints with the humor.

When my MIL was pushing me and pushing me, I talked to my hubs and told him that either he talks to her or I do, and she won’t like it if I do because I’ll be brutally honest and probably hurt her feelings if she had any. He did, it hurt her feelings, then she apologized and got over it in a few weeks. Win, win, I love her and we now have a great relationship.

My hubs brother, my BIL, was a little bit the same way, too. He got mad when we got married and didn’t invite him, or ask him or whatever, and he was quite nasty about it for awhile, then my husband just said it wasn’t his business so he needed to get over it. Once he realized it may come between him and his brother, my BIL stopped being a crybaby about it.

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