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About to go crazy! Warning- kina long!

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oobiecoo

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 10, 2007
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2,263
I guess this is really just a rant... I''d love some insight on the situation though!

At Christmas, I mentioned that it would be a great idea to do a gift exchange next year since there are so many people in DH''s family. Everyone agreed it sounded like a great idea. DH''s sister "B" also mentioned it a couple of days later (we were no longer there) and again, everyone thought it sounded like a great idea. Fast forward like 1 week and one of DH''s other sisters ("A") decides to take on the gift exchange by herself even though it wasn''t her idea at all. I expressed interest in wanting to maybe put it together (and see if "B" wanted to help) but hadn''t done anything yet since we have the WHOLE YEAR to plan it. Well, the sister sent an email out saying she was going to be in charge and yada yada yada. DH sent her an email saying that I had expressed interest in wanting to plan it and thought it was a good opportunity to talk with everyone and get to know them a little better. Well, she ignored his email.

Meanwhile, another one of DH''s sisters has a boyfriend of about 4 or 5 years. They''ve lived together for about a year... everyone loves him and we consider him part of the family. The dad and step-mom gave them a joint "couple''s" gift this past Christmas as well. Everyone knows there is talk of him proposing soon. Well, the sister who decided to take over the gift exchange left the boyfriend out of the email and off of the participant''s list!

So like half of the family is upset that she took over the gift exchange and also decided who was and wasn''t part of the family.

She''s said some *really* horrible things about the boyfriend lately that are totally uncalled for and undeserved. Its no secret that she doesn''t like him.

Today, she sent out another email with a gift exchange website she put together. Again, she left the boyfriend off the email and participant''s list
. She also made it where everyone chooses actual names of people they would like to give a gift to... instead of making it random like most (if not everyone) had wanted.

I''m so tired of her drama so I emailed her and asked why boyfriend wasn''t on the list since he had been an unofficial part of the family for the past several years. You can''t go from the parents giving them a joint gift one Christmas to not including him at all the next Christmas! I also told her that it seemed like a better idea and more in the Christmas spirit to draw names randomly instead of letting people just pick their buddies. She never responded.

A few minutes ago I looked at the website again and she has added a poll asking whether we want to pick names or do it randomly. Clearly she got my email but she didn''t do or say anything about the boyfriend... again!

He recently went to their dad and asked to marry the sister... the dad welcomed him into the family happily and they have already put a deposit down on a ring. No doubt the will probably be engaged before next Christmas.

How can she still ignore the fact that he is part of the family? And why does she refuse to even let me HELP with the gift exchange? Are we (the disgruntled siblings/spouses) wrong here?
 

Sabine

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
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3,446
Wow, she sounds like a piece of work! I definitely agree that she should not be excluding the bf just because she personally doesn''t like him, and all she is accomplishing is making herself look bad to the whole family. I don''t really know how you should deal with her though. She is obviously not responding to polite emails and suggestions, but I don''t think you personally should press the issue unless you want to set this girl up as your enemy and have to deal with her crap personally all the time. But maybe if you got a group of disgruntled family members to jointly talk to her...? I don''t know, I hope other people have better suggestions! Good luck!
 

KimberlyH

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
7,485
She clearly has no interest in discussing this with you, blech. I would either talk to your MIL/FIL or have your husband do so, depending on your relationship with them, and have her handle your SIL. And if the boyfriend never gets added, I''d buy him a gift and stick it under the tree next year and not say a word to anyone.

This website/choice stuff sounds really complicated, we pick names sometime in the fall, it''s pieces of paper in a bowl and you just randomly pick. Pretty simple. It sounds like she likes things to be as difficult as possible.

Good luck!
 

fieryred33143

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 18, 2008
Messages
6,689
We have exactly 326 days until Christmas. A lot can happen in 326 days. She sounds like she has some steam left over from the holidays and is excited to do this now but come summer time she may be completely over it, or the family may not want to do this anymore, or you guys will have totally different plans.

I guess my point is that don''t stress about it now.

As for the boyfriend thing, eh. Some people just don''t accept that others are part of the family until they are really part of the family.
 

Anastasia

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
Messages
451
This is annoying behavior. I would let the sister whose boyfriend (soon to be fiance) was excluded deal with that issue. I am totally in agreement with you that he should be included, but I think you are only going to bring yourself a lot of grief by being involved.

I would advise you to tread lightly when getting involved in planning family things for the in laws. For whatever reason, sil obviously feels threatened by your involvement in this, or at least like it isn''t your place to do it. For some reason my sister has had similar issues with my sil. (And she is normally a very sane and reasonable person!!) It turned out that my sister (who lives an hour and a half from my parents) was jealous of my sil (who lives UP THE STREET from my parents), because sil got to do a lot more things with my mom than my sister. It was totally irrational, and she has gotten over it (and apologized). My point is that who knows what the dynamics are here, but I wouldn''t press the matter.

It sounds like this is not new behavior for sil, and that everyone knows she is being a pain. My advice to you is to let her handle it. It''s not a big deal to organize. We have done it for years. We draw names at thanksgiving and that is who you give a gift to at Christmas. There really is no organizing to it. I don''t see any benefit to you if you organize it. You made a great suggestion and they are running with it - I would be the bigger person and step back.
 

Definitely. Maybe

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
582
Date: 2/2/2009 11:27:52 AM
Author: Anastasia
This is annoying behavior. I would let the sister whose boyfriend (soon to be fiance) was excluded deal with that issue. I am totally in agreement with you that he should be included, but I think you are only going to bring yourself a lot of grief by being involved.

I would advise you to tread lightly when getting involved in planning family things for the in laws. For whatever reason, sil obviously feels threatened by your involvement in this, or at least like it isn''t your place to do it. For some reason my sister has had similar issues with my sil. (And she is normally a very sane and reasonable person!!) It turned out that my sister (who lives an hour and a half from my parents) was jealous of my sil (who lives UP THE STREET from my parents), because sil got to do a lot more things with my mom than my sister. It was totally irrational, and she has gotten over it (and apologized). My point is that who knows what the dynamics are here, but I wouldn''t press the matter.

It sounds like this is not new behavior for sil, and that everyone knows she is being a pain. My advice to you is to let her handle it. It''s not a big deal to organize. We have done it for years. We draw names at thanksgiving and that is who you give a gift to at Christmas. There really is no organizing to it. I don''t see any benefit to you if you organize it. You made a great suggestion and they are running with it - I would be the bigger person and step back.
My thoughts exactly. Sorry you are having to deal with this. I understan your wanting to be involved. I am really close to my BF''s family and they wouldn''t mind me being in charge of something like that (even though I am technically NOT family). However, your SIL seems to have an issue with it and it is probably best just to let others deal with it so it doesn''t hurt you in the long run. Christmas is still a longgg time away and I am sure this will pass smoothly.
 

Italiahaircolor

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
5,184
Okay, I hope this doesn''t come off as rude, because it''s not intented to be that way...

But, jeez...you''re already thinking about Christmas? I know some families get really into planning things far far far in advance, and that''s great...but why are you stressing out of it if it isn''t your thing to run or organize anyway? Besides that, this isn''t really your fight anyway...he''s not your boyfriend...let the girlfriend/sister fight her own battles.

Christmas is 11 months away, a lot can happen...people probably don''t even know what yet...

Chill out, I''m guessing it will all be resolves well before the season begins again, next year
 

decodelighted

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
11,534
The early bird gets the worm. She liked the idea and ran with it ... because she''s a person who must be in charge & who craves attention. Don''t make a fuss trying to muscle your way into the planning at this point because a) she isn''t budging b) it''ll just make you look petty. ("It was my idea!" "Why can''t I play too?") Mind you, I don''t think you''d *be* petty ... but that''s how it could be portrayed to others & it just isn''t worth the potential gain IMHO.

Re: the poll ... obvs everyone else will choose random. Only a fourth-grader would choose "buddies". So that will make her look foolish. At least she *did* a poll instead of steamrolling everyone with her preference.

Re: the not-quite-family-yet dude ... this is not your battle. Wondering why are you so eager to protect him & shame her? This''ll all work out by x-mas -- NO REASON to stress yourself out over it now & be the "voice of reason". Let her make her own bed. Better everyone see her scheming than you fix it before it becomes obvious ... yanno?
 

oobiecoo

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 10, 2007
Messages
2,263

I''ll try to address everything brought up...



One of the main things that is SO frustrating about this is that it IS new behavior! She has always been sweet and considerate... a little spacey though. Around August she started acting differently. She has begun attacking others verbally and starting to manipulate things so it always looks like she is the bigger person (i.e. plan lunch, cancel it, but show up anyway and make you look bad for not meeting up with her). No one had any clue why she has started acting this way UNTIL she announced proudly that is now taking Ritlin and is just a b**** (her words). Will that make you act this way? Or is it early menopause?

There are a couple of reasons why I felt like I should get involved with the boyfriend issue. One is that DH is the oldest son of the family and the most mature and unbiased other than the sister (before August). The sister has always been the Peacekeeper of the family and I guess we felt like we should step up and take on that roll since she no longer was. So we emailed her together... it just came from my own account.
The other reason I felt like I should get involved is because I know *I* would be hurt if they had excluded me from family events before we were married. I felt the need to stand up for the boyfriend and so did DH.

If it were up to me, we could have started this whole gift exchange thing sometime between August and Thanksgiving so its not my choice to start so soon. I wanted to take on the planning of it because step-MIL said I should and it was originally my idea. I''m well liked in the family so I didn''t forsee any issue with it.


And she obviously has no interest in discussing the gift exchange or sharing the responsibilities with me. But the more disturbing thing is that she has spoken with other sister numerous times about her boyfriend and each time her comments become worse and worse. Things like.. "So, does boyfriend have any other prospects? (
) or does just no one else want him?! (
) Uh helloooooooooooo... they aren''t casually dating! They live together and are getting married! Ugh. So the soon-to-be-engaged sister has tried talking to her about it, another older sister has tried talking to her about it, and even sister''s husband and son like the boyfriend but still she hates him. If no one else can ge through then DH and I thought we''d at least try.




 

Elmorton

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 5, 2007
Messages
3,998
With something like this, considering the time frame, I''d ignore all e-mails. Whoever is hosting Xmas (I assume Mom and Dad?) has the right to determine what kind of gathering it will be, and I assume they''ll step in during the next 11 mos.
 

decodelighted

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
11,534
How old is SIL? If SIL has had sudden onset behavior problems/issues etc. ... I think *that* should be the issue ... not the petty individual incidents that make you all think something''s wrong. Her parents or her siblings should be the ones to bring it up with her in a private, one-on-one situation (so as not to embarrass her in front of more people than absolutely necessary).

It seems like everything else is stemming from the sudden behavior change. Correct?
 

Kaleigh

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 18, 2004
Messages
29,570
Why does she have all the power? I think this should be a collaborative effort and all opinions should be considered. The BF most importantly since he is marrying your SIL. Her disregard for him is not acceptable. Throw her off her thrown!!!!
 

VRBeauty

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
10,293
Oobie: There''s nothing you can do at this point that wouldn''t make you look bad or like a control freak. Please don''t get me wrong, I don''t think that''s the case at all! It''s just that it seems like your SIL has a lot invested in this, and this is not one of those situations where rationality will win the day. Just let her run with her vision, whatever it is, sit back and enjoy the show, and see where things are about 9 months from now.

We''ve been doing some version of drawing names in my family for several years now, and we''ve never actually all been on exactly the same page in any of those years. But... somehow it all works out and I don''t think we''ve ever ended up with any hurt feelings.
 

DebShine

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 13, 2009
Messages
239
Uggg. I''ve been where you are. Kind of. Have to agree with this....

Her parents or her siblings should be the ones to bring it up with her in a private, one-on-one situation

Try not to waste your mental energy. She really may need some attention right now, just not the attention she''s wanting. AND I''m guessing that if everyone just let''s her go.... she''ll burn out.

As for the fiance - he''s a big boy. He probably doesn''t care quite as much as a female would - if you get a chance, let him know that noone really knows what the heck is going on with her in a "we care" kind-of-a-way.

Just some suggestions.

BTW - we''ve been doing a drawing for years also. Kids pick kids, grown ups pic grown ups and it''s all done on Thanksgiving day. If someone can''t make it to T-giving, but is going to be at Christmas, we call them and let them know who "they" picked!
 

DebShine

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 13, 2009
Messages
239
Ohhh... also, and maybe most importantly, Ritalin should not make you act that way. Is this prescribed? Ritalin can have some odd effects on people, but typically that happens if the dosage is wrong (or in some cases, not needed at all).

Sounds to me like there are some other, pretty important issues that may be going on here.

Good Luck.
 

oobiecoo

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 10, 2007
Messages
2,263
Ok update... apparently other siblings also emailed her about issues they had with the gift exchange (all mentioned adding boyfriend to the list) website and she didn''t respond to them. The website says that all members have the ability to add comments and alter some content so today DH went in and "altered" it by adding boyfriend! It was like she planned for this to happen or something becuase she has a list of guys and a list of the ladies... only the "ladies" section had the capability of adding member so DH just added him to the ladies list! She really can''t get mad that anyone added him because its not solely HER decision who gets to "play". Anyway, everyone is just kind of ignoring her other behavior issues for now but I don''t know how long that will last. SIL is somewhere around her mid-thirties. Seems a weird age to have such a huge behavioral change unless its early menopause or mid-life crisis... I thought mainly just men got those though.
 

oobiecoo

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 10, 2007
Messages
2,263
Date: 2/3/2009 12:41:19 AM
Author: DebShine
Ohhh... also, and maybe most importantly, Ritalin should not make you act that way. Is this prescribed? Ritalin can have some odd effects on people, but typically that happens if the dosage is wrong (or in some cases, not needed at all).

Sounds to me like there are some other, pretty important issues that may be going on here.

Good Luck.
Thats kind of what alot of us think. Her bahaviors have been unacceptable, hurtful, and angering... but we still feel a bit sorry for her if she''s going through something so horrible that she has to lash out this way.
 

AmberGretchen

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Messages
7,770
I think your last point is the one to remember - she must be having a tough time right now to be lashing out like this.

Hopefully she will stop, but either way, you can''t control her behavior and its certainly not worth driving yourself crazy about. Just step back, or if you really feel you must do something, mention something about the BF not being included to someone else who is directly related to SIL (i.e. MIL or FIL) and let them take care of it.

Seriously - stepping in yourself is really not worth it and will probably end badly. Better to just try to let it go, and dig deep to try to find sympathy for whatever she may be going through (and distance yourself from her toxicity as much as possible!).
 
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