Anxiety over in sister in law visit.
My partner has just advised that his sister is hoping to visit later in the new year and it is giving me incredible anxiety. I actually feel like I want to leave him and end the relationship rather than have her stay in our home and be around our kids for so long. I’d be more than happy to go to visit them and for us to stay in a hotel and spend time with them for a few hours here and there. But the thought of her being in my home for 2 weeks is too much to bear. We have a long history of her attempting to ostracise me from the family and resorting to almost bullying tactics. I’m not the only one - she’s also done this to her dads partner and her mums partner. After I fell pregnant she started making lots of demands about seeing our daughter when she was born. She is very entitled when it comes to blood relatives and can be very possessive. She was like this with my partner when we lived near her where she would often get jealous and cause rows between us. I really don’t want her in my home or around my kids. I’d be happy if she stayed elsewhere and had other things to do so that it isn’t so intense. But her being in my home and scrutinising everything is really sending my anxiety through the roof. How do I handle this situation? I am worried that my partner will be angry and that it will be made out that I am causing problems with them (this has been the case before - I was accused of getting pregnant to trap him, to stopping him from seeing and speaking to his family - I have no issue with them being in contact and spending time - it’s the intrusiveness of it and the intensity of it that I have issue with. Please help!
It sounds like you don't feel a lot of support from your partner on this and I understand that's another source of stress as you are worried about how this reflects and could affect your relationship. I'm sorry to hear that - I have not been in the same situation but I can imagine it could feel like an immense obstacle that is really terrifying to think about.
You mentioned feeling powerless and I have also felt powerless in the past, like things that should be mine in my life were somehow controlled by someone else. I felt really down about, but didn't know what I could do. There's a long story which I'll spare you the details of, but it sounds like you are looking for support and not getting it from your partner.
Is there anyone else you know who knows or is on good terms with your partner, and can help alleviate some of that weight? Even if they aren't comfortable speaking to your partner with you, it could even help just to have a person "on your side", so to speak. Where they can listen and you can know that your wants are justified and heard, and that you deserve to live in a home and have a life that feels safe.
I can see from your replies that this is a really deep issue for you.
I've been married over 30 years. Love my husband to bits but we have had our fair share of ups and downs over the years. We've had a couple issues where I've felt as deeply as you about something and my husband has thought the opposite.
There's two choices. Accept that the situation is not going to change and learn to live with it. In other words, let his sister come and develop strategies to help you cope while she's staying with you. Or, draw a line in the sand and make it his problem. In other words, you tell him that his sister isn't welcome to stay in your home, explain why (again) and offer an alternative (e.g. she stays in a local hotel). Then let him make the next move.
For what it's worth, I think it's fair to set her up in a local hotel enabling your husband and the kids to visit with her and you do your best to be polite only if and when you feel you can join in. If money is a barrier, perhaps you and hubby could help her with the additional cost.
Kind thoughts to you