Annoyed at my sister-in-law

Let me paint you a picture first. My sister in law is an unmarried 50 year-old. Never been married. Never had a boyfriend until 2 years ago. She lives in her parents’ finished attic with treacherous steps. Morbidly obese and in need of dentures. Her teeth are disgusting to look at. She is also a devout Evangelical, and is constantly posting on Facebook that she needs prayers, then all these weirdos come crawling out of the woodwork to interject “Praying!” Dumb. She is one step removed from the tabernacle Christians who you may know as the people who believe you can handle venomous snakes, and if it bites you, well God will save you if it’s meant to be. Who in their right mind would play with a venomous snake by hand? She works part time at an abusive daycare for pre-K kids. They are party to child abuse virtually every day. That’s all I can say about that. In short, she is wide-open for a hell of a lawsuit if these things came to life. Her last boyfriend was a drug addict, and she got so wrapped around the axle with him that she helped him buy drugs (heroin and crack). On a brighter note, she doesn’t have a mean bone in her body, but she is still a rather dumb human being.

Fast-forward to yesterday. She is dating (and wanting to marry) this idiot she’s been seeing for about 6 months. He is a felon, having been sent to prison twice for drugs. She is totally head over heels for this guy. She called my wife (her sister) crying about how this dude is sending mixed messages about whether they are going to remain together. He is a member of her church, and apparently he got up in front of the congregation and announced to the church that he and her were having problems and wanted people to pray for them. This apparently rubbed the sister in law the wrong way, and now she is mad at him. She is constantly calling and talking of suicide because she is so in love with him. She will continue that no one likes her, etc. and she will be alone. I have a hard time seeing her with anyone because she is so emotionally immature.

My problem is partially with my wife, in that she won’t be direct with her and tell here to get a hold of herself and grow a backbone. The phone calls upset my wife because she is constantly playing the “No one loves me so I’m going to kill myself” card.

How do I get this woman to knock it off? I’m sick of hearing my wife bitch about her, but she still indulges her with sympathy. Family dynamics are not my forte. I have no family, and don’t know how to deal with this nonsense. I am more than half-tempted to call the sister-in-law up and tell her to knock that ■■■■ off, and dump the loser and move on.

Is it possible that your sister-in-law has a mental health problem?

I would say just do your best to not let it bother you. Tell your wife that you don’t want to hear about it. It’s her choice to keep talking to her sister but you would rather not be involved with it.

As you know, I come from a pretty large family… I’m not the best at family dynamics, but I’ll give this a stab… My strange advice…

When my youngest brother decided to just mentally torture my kid sis lately she tried so hard to be a friend and keep the door open and “be there for him” in hopes that he would turn it around. He didn’t and he only got worse and more tormenting.

I started blocking calls and blocking communication very gently. I would just tell him “sorry, kid sis is busy. Leave a message.” I would also try and tell the kid sis… “This is destroying you… look at how upset you are.” I got a lot of help and ideas here on this site with letting the offending family know that

  1. if your going to cry and complain then I am going to gently hang up. I will listen to it once, and offer the advice I can… after that I have to hang up.

  2. if you play the suicide card again I will send police over for a wellness check to help you. But we are NOT professional crisis management people so we have no idea how to really help you.

  3. I have never been on face book and my kid sis just took down her FB page and has enjoyed less drama in her life.

I’m sure your wife loves her sister and it’s a rock and a hard place for her. Just like it was a rock and a hard place for my kid sis. That is when I stepped in and just acted like the barrier. I was called a horrid person, an evil manipulator, and on and on, but my kid sis got better and started to see things more clearly and started standing up for herself the stronger she felt.

I would say, your wife might benefit from some gentle help. Tell your wife… you have ever right to tell your wife, “I’m here for you, I want to help, but this constant on and on is doing us both in. It’s time for outside help for this sister in law if the sister in law keeps talking suicide.” If it’s a cry for help then she’s saved by the professionals. If it’s a ploy for attention then maybe a wellness check from the cops can cure that once and for all…

Just my odd thoughts… good luck. I’m rooting for you.


@BarbieBF I wish it was that simple. The sister in law has no detectable sign of mental illness. Maybe depression, but I think it’s more like low self-esteem. Her mother called her fat and stupid growing up, and it eroded her confidence. She was doing well a couple years ago. She lost a lot of weight and was starting to resemble a normal person. Now she’s put the weight on because all she eats is fast-food, and she inhales it by the ton. I’m tired of her drama.

@SurprisedJ I like the idea of threatening to call the police for a welfare check. She is just guilt-tripping my wife and that makes me angry. She has no balls. She couldn’t kill a cat, let alone herself. She is just starved for attention. That’s why she has been dating losers and felons, she’s desperate for attention, and takes the first eligible person that comes her way. No discretion. Sad, really.

Sounds like a big problem. I believe she needs some professional care. I have never had any problems like that in my life. I do not know what to say, but getting rid of drug users might be a good advice. I do not know how much prayers by other people help others, I have never asked any prayers and never received any. To me she seems a weak personality and I would get tired of listening other people’s troubles constantly. What I have learned in this world that one day we maybe winners until we fall hard and become losers. I never want to use these terms. Once I lived in a 2-story house in America and next day I found myself living in my auto around America. My grandfather had won the lottery and they had purchased a little farm, but then he drank the farm. Losers may become winners and winners become losers. I suppose you should not let her to disturb your and your wife’s relationship.

@mjseu She is definitely causing a rift. My wife is blinded by love for her. As a third-party, I see the damage the sister in law is causing. I agree she needs help. I even suggested this to my wife, but she pointed out that the sister in law has no money. She is in debt up to her eyeballs and makes about $150/week. She is renting out a massage therapy suite from a chiropractor, ad she has no business coming in. Not to sound harsh, and I don’t mean to be offensive, but people want a massage by someone who is at least moderately attractive. My sister in law does not fit that bill. She is caught in a predicament of having sold gift certificates and taking the money and running. Now she is unable to honor the certificates. Lawsuit anyone? Small claims court? Ugh. Such drama. I hate drama. Like I told my wife, life will bring you problems, you don’t need to go looking for them.

Its just luck that we have anything going for us. Its just luck that I have certain things going for me, and its just luck that you have things going for you. alien99, it is only by the grace of God that you are so lucky to have stuff going for you. Your sister in law is not so lucky. You could help her out, by trying to be supportive. At least let your wife help her…


Sounds like your sister in law has an emotionally abusive mother. The fact she lives with her at age 50 indicates stockholm syndrome has settled in. :eyes:

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Wow Beans, that’s a hell of an observation! I never looked at it that way.

Wow, that’s a tough situation. I would be annoyed too.

First of all, sounds like some therapy would be beneficial for her. Some therapists will adjust their charges on a sliding scale according to income.

It does sound like she suffers from very low self esteem and depression. It seems that most people who are morbidly obese are unhappy with themselves. You had mentioned that at one point she was able to lose some weight and feel better about herself. Maybe your wife could encourage her to get back in shape - do they live close enough where they could join a gym together or walk together? Anything to get her moving and healthier. Maybe take a course on healthy eating together, or your wife could get her a subscription to healthier living/eating magazine. idk these are just suggestions. I have always found that I’m much happier when I’m fit and trim and eating right.

My husband’s older brother is morbidly obese too and he is probably one of the most negative people I’ve ever been around. Hubby still talks to him on the phone every couple of days, just because they’re brothers, but even he is over his negativity. The more weight his brother puts on, the more negative he becomes.

@lovemyson Lucky for me, we are 1500 miles away. Can’t imagine life close to her and my in-laws. They are rather backwards, and are religious whackadoodles. At the same time, however, being 1500 miles away makes it even more of a problem for me. What in the hell am I or my wife supposed to do for her? It’s not like we can come over for dinner, exchange hugs and pleasantries, and all sit down and have a family pow-wow. Very irritating. I don’t like dramatic people, and this woman is the king of drama. Goodness, 50 years old and acting like a pimple-popping teenager. She has no experience or knowledge of what it’s like to be in a healthy relationship. Just go with the first dude that comes this way, with no regard for her own happiness.

Grow some backbone and call the police. It takes no one special to sit in their lazy-boy recliner and complain about someone else’s situation when all it will do is annoy you, but, when you have enough evidence to make this claim about the kids, yet have no intent of actually helping those who can’t speak for themselves, then you ought to be more than just annoyed.

Chill. I don’t know firsthand anything that goes on there. I’m in no position to start an investigation. With what evidence? The ramblings of my sister in law? Please. All I know is what she tells me. These kids are not my concern, and I’m not about to stir the pot based on third-hand knowledge. I don’t even know the name of the daycare. “Yes, hello, I’d like to report systematic child abuse at some random daycare somewhere in your city (or county, I don’t know because I don’t live there). No I don’t know what’s happening because I live 1500 miles away.” Sounds kinda silly huh?

At 50 yrs old she might be too set in her whackadoodlish ways lol. If your wife can’t make any progress with her, she should set some boundaries. She’s probably getting tired of listening to it too. Good luck.

No doubt, everyone is growing tired of the game.

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After reading this and reading BakedBean’s assessment it really connects. This 50 year old woman was most likely never given the chance to grow up. I bet your Mother-in-law is afraid of being alone so she really makes it hard for the sister-in-law. The sister-in-law is probably so motivated by fear and loneliness that she’s grabbing onto anything she thinks might pull her out of this mess.

It doesn’t make it any easier for you and it doesn’t excuse her actions. But it sort of makes sense why she’s doing what she’s doing. This poor woman does need help and seems to have no idea how to ask for it in a healthy, mature way. Calling a wellness check might not be a threat, it might really be a life saver in an odd way.

Just my odd brain at play and making observations.

I feel really bad for her. I could definitely see myself in that position if it was just my dad and I. My dad thinks the best way to motivate children is to be overly critical and never give any praise. It works, but it can be really damaging.
Just think if you were fifty, still living at home with an overly critical mother who has told you everything you aren’t your whole life, and unattractive. You might make some bad dating decisions too.
Your wife might put up with this because she feel guilty she escaped that environment and left her sister alone there.