How to Deal With a Suffocating Sister-in-Law

Photo: Jupiter Images / The Nest
Photo: Jupiter Images / The Nest

Let’s face it: Girls don’t often play nice. But what happens when one of those “girls” is a grown adult who just so happens to be your spouse’s sister?

While mothers-in-law are one thing, a relationship with your sister-in-law can be even trickier to navigate. It seems that mothers are often all-too-eager to see their sons marry and start a family of their own. A man’s sister, however, is often portrayed as the stubborn sibling who’s unwilling to share her beloved brother with his fiance.

One reader over at our message boards voiced her frustrations regarding her suffocating sisters-in-law (you read that right — there are two of them!):

“My husband and I have been through a lot. We went from living with his mom when we were dating to being able to buy our own home after I got out of college. But now that he’s moved out and we have our own home, his sisters are much ruder to me and start drama all the time to try to get him to leave. I have a little girl from a previous relationship, and they’re trying to use that to their advantage. How do I get them to leave us alone?” — LivvysMomma21

Other community members from The Nest boards responded with their advice:

“He definitely needs to stick up for you and your relationship!“ — MiniMugLinton

“When this began, he should’ve spoken up and told them to cut it out and not do it again…this is a husband problem, not an in-law problem.” — TarponMonoxide

“Just to give you some hope, when my husband and I first got engaged, my sister-in-law threw a huge fit. He told her to grow up, basically. Six years later, we are now actually pretty good friends. But I didn’t force it; things just worked themselves out.” — WendyGR

“It’s his responsibility to say something, not yours. You and your little girl are now his primary family — he took that on when he said ‘I do.’ Anyone who attacks that (extended family included) has to be dealt with so your nuclear family is first and foremost.” — JulesFo

How is your relationship with your sister-in-law? What problems have you encountered with your spouse’s family?

Plus more from The Nest:

A Field Guide to Mothers-in-Law
Gifts That Will Win Over Your Mother-in-Law
How to Shut Down Your Mother-in-Law