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How to deal with competitive SIL?

PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:16 am
by hopeful1985
Hi All,

SIL and I are pregnant at the same time and things are complicated!

What I'm looking for advice on is how to cope with competative behaviour from my SIL, has anyone else experienced/experiencing anything similar with a family member and does anything work for you? I want this kind of behaviour from her to stop as I can't handle it especially with all these pregnancy hormones flying around! Also when will it end? Will she be like this after the babies are born with their development/education/christenings/birthdays?? I'm just a bit upset...thought I was coping ok but I keep getting messages. I can't really block her either i tried that once before and then BIL got involved and was being harassed by phone/text!

Thanks in advance x

Re: How to deal with competitive SIL?

PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:50 pm
by Hols969
Unfortunately this is a bit of a learning curve for you and possibly a bit closer to home than ideal.... once baby is here you will notice how competitive some mums can be and how they want to get one up on other mums by saying my baby walked at so and so etc and it goes on..... I remember so many of my friends were saying oh my baby sleeps thru the night at 6 weeks and Noah didn't till he was 6 months and I truly thought perhaps I was doing something wrong, but I wasn't at all and have learnt along the way that all babies do things at different rates and Im pretty sure they all even out in the end by the time they get to school. The only thing I brag about is how tall Noah is going to be as Im sooooo pleased it looks like he will be as both me and his dad are short arses!!! For the last 3 school years each school report has said that Noah tries hard and is kind and considerate to others, I mean what more can you ask for really and its all we ask of him ..... you will find that the 'bragging' does keep going on and on....... I just let it go over my head tbh as its just not interesting and your kids will grow up and do what makes them happy I hope rather than the parents ambition for them.....!!

I honestly don't know what you can do/say to stop it to be honest, some people are more into bragging etc and one up man ship than others. I think all I would say is that perhaps on this occasion she doesn't actually know anyone else is pregnant so close to her and wants a 'friend' to chat to about it all and maybe go through it with her, maybe she actually is trying to be friends with you as well as you are married to the same family. The other thing you could do is ask your hubbie to chat to his brother about it and perhaps say how stressful the getting pregnant has been etc. She actually sounds quite insecure and needy to me as possibly sees you as the stronger one. Maybe think about why you feel she is doing it (not suggesting you are doing anything wrong at all) but more look at 'her' and perhaps the reasons why she does it - are you more attractive than her (in her eyes), this, I think, is down to her insecurities more than anything. Is she lonely and wants you to be a friend. Sometimes I think if you understand why people behave the way they do, it helps you deal with it better and feel less stressed about it.

Good luck, the stress wont be affecting bump so don't worry about it from that point of view.

Re: How to deal with competitive SIL?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:02 pm
by MrsW_PCOS
Firstly, I'm sorry you're going through a stressful time through what seems no fault of your own. I think this sounds like a serious case of 'green eyed monster' - jealousy?! It's actually quite sad that your SIL feels the need to go on and on like this, it certainly sounds like she's trying to get one-up on you or irritate you in some way, or maybe her own insecurities are making her behave like this and she's not aware what effect it is having on you.

It's not easy when its family. If a friend behaved like this, its easy to just not bother with them anymore, but when its family, we kind of feel the need to keep the peace. I think that is fair until a point when you're suffering or that persons behaviour is taking its toll. I had to delete my SIL as a friend on FB as she used it as a cowardly tool to sl@g the family off and made remarks which were not aimed at me or my DH, but other family members. I confronted her several times and told her how it made me upset to see/read, but she carried on. Both DH and I deleted her as a FB friend and we have for almost a year now, not been privy to any of her cr@p! We get the occasional text, but tbh we've found that distancing ourselves from her and her fam has been the best thing we could do.

I would suggest talking to her or sending her a message/email telling her how you feel. She then has the choice to back off, or if it continues, delete her from FB or perhaps keep your distance however you feel necessary - at least this way you gave her the opportunity to do something about her behaviour.

Being Pg is a special time and you should be enjoying it, not having to stress/worry over somebody else. If it were me, I would avoid and not waste any energy worrying over someone who made me unhappy. Easier said than done I know but sometimes we have to put ourselves first as nobody else will.

I think the sooner you knock this on the head the better. I foresee this going on and on, like you say when the babies arrive, comparing labours, babies, birthdays, christenings etc...

Good luck! x

Re: How to deal with competitive SIL?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:33 pm
by michelle79
Aw poor you, you don't need that kind of stress! My Dhs friends wife is a bit like your sil. When we were pregnant she text me the same thing every day, hows it going missus?! Her dd1 was due before my two but then mine came early so although they got married first, we pipped them to the post so to speak with the baby (not that I wanted it that way) our two were 6weeks older but 6weeks behind due to being very premature but she still compared every milestone and it really used to get on my nerves cos I knew mine would be behind for a while and didn't really need any reminding, that they achieved them at all was amazing to me. However as I got to know her I realised she is very insecure and was really wanting reassurance that she was doing a good job. Also she has a bad relationship with her own mother so didn't have a good role model. She is still jealous of us cos we have more things materialistically but that's not my fault and she never likes or comments on my kids pics on fb even though I do on hers. They live in Scotland so my two have started school first so whilst I'm not going to say anything to her (I'm not competitive but she brings it out in me!) I'm glad as they will be streets ahead of her dd by the time she starts next August! I would reply to texts briefly and ask no questions so you're not encouraging a return text or ignore her and then tell her your phone died or you forgot and blame baby brain. The whole wedding arrangements that is odd but suggests she didn't want to be upstaged and have you get all the attention and makes her sound insecure. If she gets competitive when babies are here I would just ignore her.
Michelle x

Re: How to deal with competitive SIL?

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:03 pm
by hopeful1985
Thank you ladies for your thoughtful and supportive replies :)

I have taken what you have all said on board and am just trying to distance myself now really. I've had a few more messages which I have sent short but polite replies to and although we are still technically fb "friends" she is blocked from seeing some things on there! Hopefully the message will get through soon that I dont want to engage in her games! I'm definitely in a better place now with all of this and talking about it has really helped, mrs w you are so right its really not easy with family as you feel you cant say anything without being worried about the comeback and also potentially other members of the family getting involved!

Thanks for sharing your advice and own experiences of this. Its been really helpful xx

Re: How to deal with competitive SIL?

PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:44 am
by Hols969
How have things been ?

Re: How to deal with competitive SIL?

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:20 pm
by hopeful1985
Hi Hols,

Sorry only just seen your last post!

Its been difficult, but trying to let it all wash over me..water off a ducks back so to speak and focus on my little one :)! It's difficult when she keeps txting/msging with links for baby stuff she thinks I should get or unwanted advice on how I should be doing things! Always trying to one up us! Its a weekly occurance. After my last scan she got the wrong end of the stick after a conversation my oh had with his brother and when she got wind of it (bloody chinese whispers) and thought there was a problem she jumped on it and msged me almost immediately being nosey and asking personal questions. Just want her to piss off and give me some bloody space to breathe!

At the end of the day my side of the family are really excited about our little one on the way so she can have the focus from oh's side as far as I'm concerned, that doesnt bother me in the slightest. Cant be dealing with all the comparisons that are already being made. I'm all for an easy and chilled life so she can have what she wants! Hopefully she'll get the msg soon that im not rising to it and she'll get bored! Feel a bit sorry for her really.

Hope everyone is well and thanks for the support x