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Pressured to repair husband's relationship with his sisters

Carolyn Hax on

Dear Carolyn:

My husband is not close with his sisters, who do not live locally. They text sometimes, but don't see one another more than once a year, and almost always when we travel to them.

We had a baby this summer whom his sisters and their families have never met. My mother-in-law, who lives much closer to us, keeps asking and telling me -- and sometimes also my husband -- that I need to help her coordinate a meeting. So far I have just ignored her comments and emails.

I know she is trying to rope me into this because my family has seen the baby a lot more; I am much closer to my family, and they are willing to travel. I resent being told that coordinating with his family is my responsibility.

My husband says to keep ignoring her. Next time she brings it up, I would like to tell her it isn't my job to manage my husband's relationships with his sisters and ask her to stop asking me to interfere. Is that making a mountain out of a molehill?

I do think it is sad my husband isn't closer with his sisters, but he isn't, and my overtures to connect with them over the years have been rejected. I feel guilty because the baby has spent so much more time with my family, and I know that's why my mother-in-law is trying.

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-- Maryland

You've "ignored her"; she's "trying to rope me into this"; he says "keep ignoring her"; you propose saying "it isn't my job" to "interfere" -- why all the dancing instead of just communicating?

"Milly, I understand. You want the sisters to be included. You want the family to be close. I do too!"

Because you do want that! You tried! You made overtures!

...continued

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