Dear Mouthy Housewives,
Recently, my fiancé and I moved to an incredibly small town (population less that 2,000) so we could be closer to his family. Not only is his sister hateful to me, but she has been spreading horribly untrue rumors around town to the point where it has begun to affect my job. I work in a manual labor job, and considering that’s all there really is to do here, I’m stuck with it. On top of that, she has begun to forbid my fiancé (her brother) from seeing his niece and nephew despite his niece’s frequent requests to see us. She is generally an all around hostile person behind your back, but incredibly nice and fake-smiley to your face. I’m fed up. I’m debating whether to pack my bags and take off or smile and bear it. Any suggestions?
Fed Up in a Small Town
Dear Fed Up,
Well, your future sister-in-law sounds like a real peach. And by peach, I mean rhymes-with-witch. And by rhymes-with-witch I mean C U Next Tuesday. What’s up with this chick? And why did your fiancé make you move to this teeny tiny town where his beyotch of a sister spreads her evil all over town? I’ll get back to him in a minute…
First, let’s deal with the rumor-mongering. You can’t control what the sister-in-law-to-be tells other people, but you can prove her wrong. You say that the rumors are affecting your job. I’m not sure what you mean by that exactly, but I’m assuming that co-workers are believing her poison, and treating you differently. I say kill them with kindness. Bring treats for everyone to share in the break room (or your workplace’s equivalent). Offer to do an extra shift for someone, or trade shifts if someone needs it. Compliment another woman’s outfit. Make an effort to get to know people, and to let them really get to know you.
Now, back to your fiancé, where does he stand in all of this? It’s hard to tell from your note if he even cares that his sister is keeping her kids from seeing their uncle. If he is upset by it, is he doing anything to deal with it? Honestly, he brought you to this far-away place, he should be doing everything he can to make you feel at home and welcome. What is the point of being near his family if his family is treating you both like crap? I think your first step is having a serious sit-down with the fiancé, where you tell him how unhappy you are with this situation. Maybe there’s a compromise, where you could move a couple of hours away, so his family is still driving distance away, but you don’t have to be in each other’s daily lives. For the most part, when it comes to problems with in-laws, I firmly believe that if it’s your mother/sister/brother causing the problem, then you need to be the one to stand up for your spouse, so tell your guy to man up!
If you’re really feeling ballsy, you could call the sister up and attempt to declare a truce. Let her know that you don’t need to like each other, but for the family’s sake, you’d like to try and make it work. Maybe do it on speaker phone from the break room at work.