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Family Relations/Vindictive Sister in law divides the family



My sister in law has come between my brother and myself.

It all started years ago when my brother decided to start dating a  local in fear of being left on the shelf. Our families have never got on but we let my brother be happy and marry a spoilt brat that always wanted to control my brother.

The feud has been bad between my mum and her mum and they never speak from a previous row.
Basically there has been an underlying issue for a few years but we all tolerated each other at family functions.
Recently, My brother and his wife asked me to be one of three god parents at their daughter's christening. My wife was upset at not being asked to be involved so I declined the invitation. Since then I received insults via sms and that I didn't love their daughter. My wife and I tried to calm things down to a level of civility.
On the day of the christening, The atmosphere when we arrived was terrible. Friends that we both shared were awkward around us. We were not allowed to hold or have photos with the baby.
During the afternoon, my sister in law wanted to make a speach and toast to the baby. My 5 year-old asked if she could say a few words and was screamed at in front of everyone to get out of her face. At that point we left humiliated by her behaviour.
My bro is very involved with her family and barely speaks to his side. I have always been close but now we are no longer speaking let alone seeing him.
He blames my mother for all the problems and only see's his wife's point of view. He's childhood best friend was also pushed away by her devious lies.
I don't think I've done anything particularly wrong to my bro but I think there is an element of jealousy
directed at my wife. It's quite an entanglement but I hope you can give some advice on how to deal with this or at least get my brother to reason with me.

From the beginning of this question you made it seem like you have some type of control over your brother. This is best shown by the statement "...but WE let my brother be happy..." I think this goes to the core of the issue. I would suggest you simply let your brother do his thing whether you like it or not. He and you may not see eye to eye on things and this is causing problems. What I would suggest is that you and your wife cultivate a relationship as a couple independent of your family. You have divided loyalties. I would suggest that when you are with your family and they start bad mouthing other family member you leave or ask them to stop. You have been engaging in the bad mouthing most likely. This is the place to start a different relationship with your brother. You could even go to him and let him know that you apologize for things in the past and want to start fresh. He chose this woman and you view him as a fool for doing so. This was HIS choice not yours.


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Dr. David Simonsen


I am a licensed Marriage & Family therapist with a Ph.D. in Psychology. I work primarily with teens and families on a weekly basis. You will get the straight truth. I will not pull punches.


I have been working daily with teens and families for the last 10 years.


M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy; Ph.D. Psychology

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