Ask Rene
My Sister-In-Law Has Lost Her Mind


Hi Rene,

My husband and I have been together for 4 years, married for a year and a half. When we got engaged everyone seemed so happy for us but within months his sister began to make unrealistic demands of the wedding and started to call me names. Then his brother and girlfriend piled on, ignoring me, making up lies abut me to tell his parents, etc. They seemed on a mission to break us up. We ultimately got married without any of his family knowing.

Now, my husband and I have had a baby and I’ve encouraged him to reunite with his family. Within the past year we have slowly reconnected with all of them, and everyone involved has made a strong effort to make everything better.

But, my sister-in-law is still trying to incorporate drama into the dynamic with petty games like refusing to interact with my husband and me or limiting access to her Facebook page.

Yesterday, I sent her a message asking if we could put our differences aside and start fresh. She responded that she is not the type to forget everything and that we still have issues and basically time will tell.

So my question is this. What the heck do you do with people like this when they are now a part of your family? I feel that she seriously disrupts that for me.


Me, Stumped

Dear Stumped:

First of all, congratulations on the beautiful family (I saw the photos). You have a lot to be thankful for with that healthy baby and handsome hubby. But, we could all do with less drama on the home front so let’s talk about the witchy sister-in-law.

1. Why The Nasty Behavior?

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This sounds like jealously pure and simple. Sometimes people are not going to like you, for whatever reason. They may not like your hair or your dialect or the way you dress, walk, chew your food, act, whatever. But that is not your problem unless you let it be. Those irrational, snap judgments are usually rooted in jealousy and you cannot do anything about that.

The other thing I noticed is that you are Caucasian and she is Filipino, as is your husband and the rest of the family, which leads me to believe there could be a racial component to this. I hear this complaint among African American women who see Black men dating or marrying white women; the feeling being that white women are taking away another eligible man, thereby lessoning their odds of ever being married (42 percent of Black women have never married). Maybe she is angry because you took away a man she feels should have married within his race.