To invite or not invite strange relative?

bonjoMarch 31, 2008

In the 3 years my husband and I have been married (we are in our early 50's)my sister in law would come to family get together's at our home. She is in her late 50's. Gradually she started making excuses not to come, then if she did show up, would pick a fight. It was so bad at christmas, she made her niece cry by shoving her present back at her and saying I didn't buy presents I don't want your's. My husband finally told her to leave. Since then she has not come to a single get together. Do I even bother to include her at all in the future? Her father who is 85 says she is just moody. I say there is something seriously wrong with her.

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Blood doesn't cut it. I don't allow people like that in my life nor inflict them on my guests. You tried. She failed. Move along without apology or regret. Let her be "moody" at her dad's place. Grown-ups who can't behave aren't welcome anywhere.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 12:51PM
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It could be the lady suffers from depression or perhaps she is bipolar. Often these people do not realize anything is wrong with them. Regardless, some one close to her should suggest she see a doctor. If the subject come up, tell her she is not welcome in your home until she gets her act together.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 7:09PM
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It's easy for me to say, because I don't have to deal with her, but I would try hard to include her. She is your husband's sister, after all, right? That's family loyalty -- it doesn't go on the merit system. Also, I agree with you; it sounds like she isn't just obnoxious, but that there is something wrong with her -- so she may need family support more than ever. I am sorry she spoke to her niece like that; I guess that's where we first learn to be tolerant of people with problems, though.

So until it becomes totally impossible, I would keep inviting her. It sounds like she hasn't been coming, anyway, so you may have a non-issue.

What does the rest of the family do? Invite her, or exclude her?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 10:01PM
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So very sad to read this. I would continue to invite, and I agree that she may need family support if she is showing some mental health issues. I don't think a grown woman would act so rudely otherwise, we've all been there with the "don't want to go" scenario but we usually know how to control ourselves. there is something else going on with your SIL.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 5:01PM
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There is also the 85-year-old father's feelings (and probably others' as well) to consider. It would be sad to see him torn about whether to come to the OP's home at holidays if his daughter is excluded.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 8:17PM
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I'd continue to invite her... who doesn't have a crazy or drunk aunt or uncle that likes to stir things up at family gatherings? Granted, what she said was rude and harsh, but it's not the end of the world. If the neice didn't cry I have a feeling it may not have seemed all that big of a deal. Anyway, I'd continue to include her. Family, to me, is about unconditional love and that's probably the most important thing that the younger generation there can learn.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 11:31PM
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I'd keep inviting her. If she acts up, she's the only one being the fool. Plus it sounds like everyone already knows what to expect.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 2:00PM
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I do know that something is very wrong with her. She lives alone, never married, no kids or pets. She does work. She keeps all her windows completely covered up. I have looked in her kitchen window and every inch of the counters are covered with dirty dishes ect., the floor is covered with I don't know what. To just walk, you would have to kick stuff out of your way. I used to work in a field where I would have to go in peoples houses that you literaly could not move because of there hoarding. I think I will just extend an invite on her phone and leave it at that

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 2:05PM
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Yes, it is hard to see that. Perhaps yout SIL is suffering from depression? She is able to work but her mental condition probably overhelmed her that she cannot manage her home? I hope that the family have not abandonned her, she sounds like she needs help of some sort.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 12:23AM
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You can never be wrong doing the right thing.

Sounds like the lady has some serious issues. I suspect the whole family knows that. Have a family "chat" make sure that everyone understands that your SIL is not well but is still a member of the family.

I think when people understand someone is not well they act in a charitable way and understand that any outbursts aren't really directed at them.

Isolating people with mental illness doesn't do anyone any good...not them, not you. Perhaps you should contact your local mental health office and get professional advise.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 2:02PM
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I wouldn't exclude her either. Like gellchom said, consider the 85 yr old father's feelings. It does sound like she's in a depression, or maybe bipolar. There's a big difference in BEING depressed and being IN a depression. Plus the fact that you all know how she's like anyways. So take her "outbursts" with a grain of salt. IMO, just being invited would mean so much to her and the father. If she doesn't show up, then that's her decision. She is FAMILY! There's nothing worst that feeling totally abandoned by your own family, especially when you are not yourself or are in need of family support... even though you won't tell any of them.

My BIL is bipolar and in denial, been several years. We've experienced many "outbursts", etc. There came a point where the family didn't want anything to do with him. He got so depressed and "pushed" everyone away from him by getting mad at them or getting them mad at him. It was his way of thinking that when he killed himself, it would be easier for the family if they totally disowned him. Well, it didn't work. My DH called the police with his suspensions of suicide. They showed up just in time! Now, the family makes a point in including him in the family either by dropping in now and then (his house and yard is a total pig sty!), or by calling him. They just "touch" base.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 11:49AM
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