What am I supposed to do about a bully in the family, when nobody else will stand behind me?
The "bully" is my future sister in law. My fiance's younger sister has never been fond of me. When he and I first started dating, she tolerated me. She and I even hung out together, occasionally. But when he and his sister went off to the same college an hour away from my home, and I didn't disappear along with that transition but instead would visit for extended periods, she started becoming more and more hostile. She openly doesn't respect me because I did not attend a 4-year university, and because I have "old fashioned" ideals as to what my role in a relationship should be. (Wife, mother, caretaker, homemaker, what have you... Not breadwinner..) She has made herself very clear in emails to me that she believes I am a "lazy gold-digger" who she "wants to get rid of". I have no place in her family. Fast Forward 6 years: When she used to have her own friends and own life, now she has integrated into her brother's, my fiance's, group of friends. It would appear to me that she only did this to have control over as much of his and my life as she can.. She is unavoidable, and she likes it that way. If I try to avoid her, I look like I don't enjoy being around his friends or parents/extended family, when really, it's just her. The bullying isn't outright, or even obvious, which is why I am having such a hard time with it all. I can't simply look around the room to see if anyone else caught the bit of bullying. She knows how to embarrass me after every single thing that I say, but to everyone else she is just making heated conversation or giving me a friendly "hard time". She constantly tries to make me look like an idiot or put me on the spot. (for instance, after asking how many drinks I have had, she tried to cheers my glass by hitting it as hard as she could in hopes that it would spill on me and I would look like a mess. She sulked around for an hour after her plan didn't work and she ended up coming off as a heavy handed klutz, a rare +1 point for me.) About 60% of the time, I am able to handle it on my own and come out on top (in my opinion), but the other 40% of the time, I go home fuming about the dozens of things she did/said to antagonize me over the course of a few hours. The brand of sympathy I get from my fiance is not very satisfying. Only in a private conversation with me will he say "She's jealous, and a little crazy. Just ignore her and don't piss her off any more than you already have, that's what everybody else does." Apparently feeling her wrath is something everybody is afraid of, and nobody wants to step in and help the defenseless "newcomer" to the family. As long as her anger isn't pointed at them, they are willing to ignore it. When her anger is pointed at them, she will threaten to harm herself or something equally dramatic and manipulative. So I don't blame them for not wanting to intervene. As time has gone by, I have come to a few realizations: 1. I will never get the back-up I need from anyone that could do any good for my cause. 2. Being the bigger person by either diffusing or ignoring the situation is only taking more of a toll on me and doesn't seem to affect her at all. The hits keep on coming. She will never get bored of it. 3. The only way she will stop is if she gets a taste of her own medicine, which I can't do because she turns everything I say into fuel for her next round of belittling. That, and I am too nice of a person, I don't have insults ready to be fired off from the tip of my tongue like she does. I can't beat her at her game. So given the fact that I am not going anywhere; given the fact that I am fighting my battles alone; and given the fact that I am almost to the point where I want to slap her across the face when she opens her mouth, I need help. I need answers. I need a way to ease my frustration, while hopefully teaching her a lesson in humility and grace. We don't need to be best friends, but I do need to be able to be in the same room with her without fear of embarrassment and being disrespected as a human being. Have any of you ever dealt with anything like this? What can I do to protect my mental well being? What can I do to get her to stop with all the hate? I am desperate.
Asked By: th1st1me1mperfect - 12/5/2012
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
I had an aunt like that. She belittled everyone and luckily for me everyone knew what a pain she was to deal with. She never understood that belittling someone else only made her look smaller. You're only easy defense is to not let her know she bothers you. Just pretend she doesn't matter and when she starts move... More
Answered By: Towanda - 12/5/2012
Additional Answers (1)
Personally, I have never experienced this. Try talking to her and find out why she is bullying you. If you cannot be the bigger person any longer, stand up for yourself. If she says any mean words, try and say mean words back. Be violent if you want to too. It isn't good to keep your emotions bottled up. One day, they... More
Answered By: Imelda - 12/5/2012
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