Sometimes we are drawn to think that we have the perfect sister-in-law. Someone so attentive, considerate, caring, and supportive.
But, before we know it; she makes a wrong move, blows her cover and we’re left in disbelief about how all our life problems and marital conflicts could’ve been the doing of this one secretly jealous, toxic, and hypocritical sister-in-law.
So if you have someone like this as a sister-in-law and you’re wondering what is the best strategy to deal with her, read along and find out!
5 ways to deal with a two-faced sister-in-law:
1. Figure out if it’s personal or just a misunderstanding:
Given the fact that you are new to your partner’s family, it’s normal to assume that it’s personal when one of your in-laws acts rude. However, it doesn’t always need to be the case. You’re getting to know your sister-in-law so you can’t be sure that the reason for her odd behavior is simply her dislike of you or something else.
Try to subtly assess if you are the only one with whom she acts this way or if it also happens with other people. If you haven’t been in her life for too long chances are, she might have an issue with other people too, which means her character and personality are a bit difficult.
If you want your sister-in-law to stop being two-faced, consider trying to talk to her directly instead of involving your partner. You can ask your partner about her character as they have known their sister all their life, which means they are one of the best people to help confirm your doubts.
If your partner recognizes the issue they will know what to do to diffuse the situation. If not, tell them not to get involved and that you don’t want any drama or problems in your marriage because of someone immature.
2. Make an effort to still be nice to her:
Yes, this may sound unfair at first. You don’t feel like you are being treated well by your sister-in-law yet it’s you who has to make an effort to put things at ease? The answer is why not try to win her over?
We recommend making an effort and seeing where it leads. This is because there’s one thing you should have in mind at all times: your sister-in-law is your partner’s family and you don’t want to put your partner in a situation where they have to choose between the two of you.
Of course, your partner should defend you in unfair situations and especially if your sister-in-law is the one at fault. Your partner should be able to see that and act accordingly. However, if you don’t try to make things better by yourself and welcome conflict between you and your sister-in-law, you will be creating a bad family environment.
By not making any effort in this sense, you must take into account that it will be your partner who will suffer the most. They will realize that it’s impossible for two of the people they love the most to get along. In the end, of course, there’s no need to keep trying until you lose any dignity left if you keep getting rejected, mocked, or laughed at.
3. If things get worse, confide in your partner:
Yes, we have said that it would be better to ignore your sister-in-law’s provocations, to not escalate things, but sometimes there is nothing you could do to prevent someone else’s evilness.
Your sister-in-law’s behavior towards you may have gotten so bad that you started to avoid her, cut her out of your life and ignore her entire existence. Perhaps you don’t even go to family gatherings anymore so she doesn’t create a scene.
If things have come to that, don’t hesitate to share the load with your partner and explain your position to them with logic and evidence. This way, your partner will not blame you for what happened and will be very open to taking your side whenever it’s needed. Understandably, you have been sparing your partner from all the drama, but if the situation starts to affect you that much, they deserve to know to be able not to force you to see someone you understandably don’t like.
Besides, you should tell them your side of the story unfiltered to avoid causing misunderstandings. Don’t be afraid to tell your partner that you need their support in this situation either. It’s alright to acknowledge that this is not the ideal situation for anybody but you are still counting on some sort of support coming from them. Your partner will not hesitate to help if they have also witnessed that you made efforts to make things better.
4. Talk to her about it:
Talking to your sister-in-law about her two-faced behavior is a very confrontational solution and perhaps that’s why you have been avoiding taking this route.
However, if your partner has been the only one intervening every time your sister-in-law treats you badly she may not be taking her sibling’s conversations seriously. To avoid being in a loop and to spare your partner from playing the judge between you two every time, consider taking a step forward and going to talk to her in person.
Remember that it’s possible to have an honest conversation without an accusatory tone. Try to remain calm during the conversation, and make sure that your sister-in-law lets you say everything you have to say. One of the possible outcomes of conversations like this could be making things worse so make sure you’re willing to take that risk.
Maybe she’s not interested in changing her attitude towards you, but at least now she knows that you are not afraid to confront her about it.
5. Define boundaries for your relationship:
Once you establish that your relationship with your sister-in-law is not going to improve anytime soon, know that you can still coexist in the same space without conflict.
For that to be possible, you will have to take the initiative and have a conversation with her about the boundaries you wish to apply to your relationship.
Don’t expect a negative reaction from her, as the boundaries you will suggest may be of her liking especially if they imply that you don’t talk as much with each other nor pay much attention to each other. She may even have some suggestions of her own to which you should also be receptive.
At the end of the day, if you cannot get along with your in-laws then you need to learn to gradually distance yourself from them to find peace and live a happy life away from drama!