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I am sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing with your sister-in-law. It is understandable that you would feel betrayed by her actions. It is painful to have someone who you believe is a friend be so hurtful. However, if you consider the way she has talked about other people behind their backs is it any real surprise that she would do this with you also? Keep in mind that past behavior predicts future behavior, so typically, unless they learn from their mistakes, people will continue to behave in similar patterns.
You can determine how much power to give her words and her comments. You don't have to allow her to be in the role of judge and jury of your marriage. This is really none of her business. Now that you know what your sister-in-law is like, you can determine how much to trust her in the future. You may decide to be cordial to her out of respect for your husband and the rest of the family, or you may decide to set other limits that you need to set. You may certainly decide not to trust her with your secrets. Either way, be sure to avoid letting this come between you and your husband. Remember that he is not responsible for his sister's behavior and that no matter how she treats you, she is still his sister.
It may be very helpful to write some letters to her, that you don't send and that you shred, in order to vent your hurt and anger in a way that will not escalate the problems in the family. No matter what you are feeling, you can choose to rise above this and behave in a way that will allow you to feel good about yourself in handling this very difficult situation. I hope this answer is helpful. Please let me know if I can clarify further.
It is really hard to think that I will never be friends with her. I know that I can never trust her again. I feel like I have lost my life. Our primary group of friends is now gone because of me. Not because of my husband! It is hurtful. My mother-in-law who I speak to almost daily as well has not picked up the phone to call me at all. They are all calling him but no one is calling me. I am the one that they hurt. OUr children all do similar sports together, go to the same daycare and we live in a small town. My mother cut out all 4 of her siblings from her life. I have always resented that from her. That she didn't work to make it better. I vowed to never be that person, however, I somehow now understand her more than I ever have. How do I not be a hippocrate of what I vowed I would nevr let happen in my life.
Does she have a valid point? Am I wrong? Should I be the one apologizing for making people uncomfortable when we are in social settings? I am not perfect but neither are they. Do I talk to her about this or do I just heal myself and let go of the relationship?
This does not have to be an all or nothing situation. While you may not be able to have the same relationship again as you thought you had, you may be able to have some form of friendship if you desire it. This may take honestly communicating your feelings to your sister-in-law and your mother-in-law and hearing their feelings as well.
You may try reality testing with your husband about whether he sees your treatment of him as inappropriate. If he is uncomfortable with your behavior in public, then your sister-in-law may have a point, although it isn't really her issue, this should be between you and your husband. If she did have a concern about this, it would have been much more appropriate for her to talk to you in a calm and caring manner about it.
This could be incentive for you and your husband to work on your relationship for the two of you, not for the extended family.
You may want to make attempts to have a reasonable relationship with your in-laws, rather than repeat your mother's experience of cutting them completely out of your life. Do you have anything to lose by discussing this with them? We all make mistakes, the question is whether these are repeated or not. I wish you the best with this difficult situation. Please let me know if I can help further.
Thank you for your help. I feel alone right now (with the exception of my husband) and it is nice to have another person's point of view. It makes me not feel so crazy in my head for the emotions that I am feeling. Thanks again!
You are very welcome. Remember that journaling can also be quite helpful to let some of these thoughts and feelings out. These feelings certainly do not make you crazy. Good luck with your family situation.