Dear Sarah,

Hi! I feel for you. You seem like a nice person. This is my opinion...It was your wedding so i think you should have had it your way. Seems like everyone was telling you both how to do everything. Maybe, just maybe you could have made some changes as to not "insult" anyone. But actually...your MIL should have realized it is your wedding so she should have just went along with whatever(even if her sister couldn't go) That's just the way it is!

I can only speak from experience, but i have had a toxic SIL for the last 30 years. I always tried to bite my tongue, don't say anything, etc. But nothing really worked. There were times when it seemed we were getting along, but then she would pull some really bad insult and would make me feel bad again. I never would fight back. What i did do is i eventually stopped going over and then was questioned by my brothers when i didn't want to "stop over my one brothers house" so i finally blurted out "i don't really like Sandy, and she is mean to me, and i don't feel comfortable" If i see her now i don't snub her or be mean. I just exchange some pleasantries and then move on and spend the time with my brothers, nieces, nephews, etc. She's even come to say to me "yeah...havent' seen you for awhile you should come by more ofter" which kind of scared me...because i fell for that before.

Now...the problem now is with one of my son's girlfriends. They have a baby together. She is from Serbia, and at first was really nice. Now..she is pretty mean to me. She changed the place where i was having a birthday party for my son(she doesn't like Chinese food) I allowed her to change the place(even though i was paying)because my son sounded sad on the phone like he was going to have a hard time with her. She hollered at me at the granddaughters first birthday because she mistakenly thought i was accusing the help of stealing a cellphone(i was just politely questioning the girl) They moved 18 hours away and she bashed me for not visiting embarrassing so in front of my friend(after she changed the original date i was suppose to come down) She bought me towels for Christmas once because she told me my towels were dirty at my house(they were just old but clean-but i didn't buy new ones because i was saving up to buy a new house) She said "that saving up thing is just stupid things American's do" I don't stay at their house anymore if i visit because i don't feel welcome. But she usually has a band of Serbians all staying there. She's accused me of not being "grandmotherly" towards the baby(the baby doesn't know me and i'm not pushing myself on the poor baby who is mostly learning Serbian) She bashes my son's father and new wife(we are divorced)and say they never come over(they only live 10 min away in Florida) Yeah? wonder why? Guess they don't feel welcome either.

Oh another thing. They(son and her)bragged the mother gave them $10,000 to buy a truck and they(mostly she)was telling me that insinuating like...people in Serbia are so giving...like i'm not giving enough. Update....Mom lives with them now(full time) so i guess if you give someone $10,000. they have to take care of you for life(ha ha ha) Also? Did i mention? This girlfriend does NOT WORK and yells at my son to vacuum, and yells at him when he drinks all the sodas, etc. He is a OTR Trucker so he's not home that much(Thank GOD) and he needs dental work while she is laying up on her butt not working. I mean why not get a job? Your Mom's there all the time(free babysitter) NOPE! Not the Seribian way!

My plan:
(1) Don't worry-they live far away i don't have to see them much.
(2) Have a talk with my son when we are alone and explain to him how she is disrespecting me and have him have a talk with her.
(3) Send presents on special days(no more for her)only baby and my son.
(4) Never never stay at their house. Last visit i had a condo 2 miles away and they gave me a tour bike and i rode it over to visit(that way i could leave when i want)
(5) When i do visit just exchange pleasantries(as with my SIL)and just mostly talk to my son. If i ever say anything or lash out I will be the one who is the bad one.(no eye rolls)
(6) Already told my other son and his girlfriend and my boyfriend what happened and they added their experiences which were similar(so it's not me).PS. The other son's girlfriend and me get along really really good.

To sum it up....I don't feel i'm hard to get along with. I don't feel like i am a bad person. I just think when you don't have a plan people who are controlling and mean and if they are family members just boss you around and it's better just to submissively distance yourself. Last time she hollered at me i felt sick to my stomach, embarrassed, and shaken and i'm so tired of that. Hopefully the Granddaughter will enjoy the presents i send. I don't think i'll be coming around that much. I have to watch how i handle this because i don't want to alienate my son. My son and i have and always had a great relationship.

Sorry so long. It felt good venting it out. It was therapeutic.

MIL
Theresa

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