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WhiteWingDove's avatar

How to respond, In-law sent perplexing email!

Asked by WhiteWingDove (388points) December 6th, 2011

My SIL just forwarded me an email that was a response to a previous email my S/O sent her. She also asked via Facebook for my email addr, which I know she has. (what…?)
From her email I gather she is royally pi$$ed at my S/O, but also from the scant details she included I can’t figure out what has caused the ruckus. (Some bother about “he took something from me from our past- blah, blah, blah”.) Doesn’t sound like anything of value and I haven’t seen confirmation of the ‘item of contention’ in our abode.
Yikes, have never dealt with this sort of family ‘dynamics’ before…..Gut instinct is to tell her to pull up her big girl panties and deal with it -like the 50+ woman she is (as am I) and to stop throwing dirt around.
She has ‘banned’ my S/O from contacting her 25 & 27 year old “children” as she states ‘this causes them unbelievable stress’ – yet they converse with my S/O on Facebook about the latest NFL standings, etc? I am thinking able-bodied adult children can establish their own healthy boundaries.
Totally not liking this, but recognizing since she’s an in-law I have to eventually address this…I feel awkward not addressing her Facebook post because I am actively posting with other ‘in-laws’ there.
The fun of being a jelly, living in a fishbowl

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11 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

I’d tell her and your SO to solve what’s going on between them and keep you out of it. Tell them you don’t like having to choose sides amongst family, and that with the holidays coming the whole family has to get along.

I’ve never had this kind of problem, so good luck! I would not want to be caught in the middle.

JLeslie's avatar

Wait, your SO’s sister is writing you? Because she doesn’t talk to her brother anymore? Is that right?

I think you should write her back saying you hate to see her so upset, but you know nothing about it and she should contact your SO directly.

Don’t be in the middle relaying information.

rojo's avatar

Totally agree with @JLeslie. DO NOT get in the middle of this one. It is a lose-lose situation.

wundayatta's avatar

Are you your husband’s business agent? Because if you aren’t, it seems to me that you should not respond to this email. This is your husband’s problem. If you must write back, you could acknowledge receipt and thank her for trying to keep you in the loop. That’s if you are trying to be polite. If you don’t care, then tell her thanks, and she really shouldn’t bother since your husband keeps you informed of everything he thinks you need to know about.

There’s no need to tell her to pull on her big girl pants. If she doesn’t know that by now, there’s not a thing you can say that will get her to do it now. This is a family dynamic thing. You should stay away from it. If your husband asks for advice, you could give it. Otherwise, just listen. It sounds no-win to me. Stay as far away as you can.

Aethelflaed's avatar

“This really sounds like something that should be handled between you and [s/o]. And if your children don’t want any more contact with me, they are more than welcome to ask that of me themselves.” The End.

judochop's avatar

So her children act as if nothing is wrong and she claims to have banned them from contacting your S/O, correct? They discuss NFL and other fairly mundane, daily subject is what I gather from your story. It appears to all but her that everything is golden yet you have no clue as to why she is coming across as bat-shit crazy.
I honestly would write her back with a sort of, what the heck are you talking about approach. Is she and you that passive aggressive that neither of you really know whats going on?
Perhaps she is seriously losing her marbles so to speak.
It is also a possibility that your S/O is hiding something from you.
Either way, sounds like drama. Sorry.

prioritymail's avatar

I’d want to hear what my S/O has to say about it first.

bat-shit crazy – ahhh it makes me lol every time!

lillycoyote's avatar

@WhiteWingDove Am I the only one who has no idea what you are talking about or what your SIL is talking about? Is your SIL implying that something was stolen from her? I would either try to get some kind of clarification as to what the hell she is talking about or, better yet, have your SO deal with it. Let him read the email and see what he makes of it. As far as I understand this, she is his sister and he is the one who seems to have done something wrong. Am I wrong about this?

WhiteWingDove's avatar

Thank you all so much for your advice, you’re all awesome!

marinelife's avatar

I agree with others that you can only lose by involving yourself here.

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