How to Deal With a Jealous Sister-in-law?

Jealous Sister-in-law

Are you dealing with a jealous sister-in-law and wondering if it ever ends? Take a deep breath because you’re not alone.

The world is full of jealous people, and it’s rarely your fault how they react. Whether she feels like you took her brother away or that you’re not good enough for him, a competitive sister-in-law can make your life miserable.

Maybe your husband’s sister’s relationship crumbled, and she can’t stand seeing you happy in yours.

Whatever the case, relating with toxic people, especially those you hoped for their love and acceptance, is never easy.

So, if you’re having issues with your husband’s female sibling, below are foolproof ways to build a healthy relationship and live a happy life.

Jealous Sister-in-law
Photo by alex starnes

Love Your Toxic Sister-in-Law

Loving someone who doesn’t like you seems a little far-fetched, but it works. She might not respond positively immediately, especially if she feels like her ego is at stake.

However, if you’re consistently kind to her, finally, she may leave you alone or, better still, come around. 

Pure love is so powerful that even the meanest people can’t ignore it forever, and that manipulative sister-in-law is no exception.

Showing her that you aren’t competing with her for her brother’s attention and love will go a long way in disarming her. Your efforts may take a long time to bear fruit, but you need to trust the process.

Lower Your Expectations

High expectations are the recipe for disappointment because you don’t give people room to be themselves.

Being engaged or married doesn’t automatically guarantee you acceptance from the rest of the family. If it happens, rejoice.

Otherwise, find your way to a happy married life without forcing yourself on others. Your husband or fiancé’s sister may never love you back, no matter how good you are.

Sometimes it’s like trying to fix a piece of apple into an orange—if the size is right, the apple will fit in, but there will always be a distinction because it doesn’t naturally belong there. As long as your in-laws respect your space, don’t expect too much from them.

Set Boundaries

Mutual respect and understanding are the main ingredients in any healthy relationship. Dealing with a jealous sister-in-law requires you to set clear boundaries and define how far each of you can go.

In fact, boundaries should come before marriage to avoid familiarity and disrespect. So, how do you set clear boundaries?

By speaking and acting in a manner that doesn’t leave anything to chance. Discuss with your husband-to-be how to appropriately relate with his people and solve family issues without contempt.

You can also try silence which sometimes acts as a boundary, especially if your in-laws are naturally provocative.

Involve Your Husband

If your husband remains silent or indifferent when his sister is disrespectful or manipulative towards you, it’s time to chat.

Ask him to step up and help in solving the issue. Remember, the sister has been around for the better part of his life, so they understand each other better.

He knows her weaknesses, strengths, and the right buttons to press. Things may be tough if the sister is your husband’s elder and has had him fulfill her wishes even before you came.

If that’s the case, you’ll need to develop tough skin and allow your man to handle things at his pace. Through it, all, avoid inciting your husband against his sibling because that usually doesn’t end well. 

Empathize with Your Jealous Sister-in-Law

Empathy is a superpower that helps us connect with others. When we empathize with another person, we feel what they feel and think about what they think.

Empathy also makes us more compassionate and relatable. So, when dealing with a difficult sister-in-law, try to put yourself in her shoes. You may have some traits, like being possessive, and that’s where empathy comes in.

You may not know exactly what she wants, but you can guess. For example, maybe she wants to be the center of attention, and that’s how things have been.

Or perhaps she wants to control your husband, and you want him to be free to make decisions. Whatever it is, empathizing with her will help you understand her better to reach a compromise.

Step Back

Stepping back from things that trigger jealousy in your husband’s sister may help the situation. For instance, if attending family functions and feeling part of them makes her insecure, take a step back.

However, do this subtly with your husband’s support to avoid more issues. Let her feel that you’re not there to compete for space.

You can also quit trying to win your in-laws over and let nature take its course. Sometimes winning means not playing at all. Remain firm in your place and let them figure out how to relate with you.

Most of the time, when people realize you’re harmless, they let their guard down. Your jealous sister-in-law is probably just securing her territory.

Remain Objective

It’s easy to get caught up in the emotion of the moment. But remember, you’re not there to fight with your sister-in-law.

She’s your husband’s sibling, and you don’t want to cause trouble between them. Instead, remain objective and focus on the bigger picture.

Remember, your marriage covenant is between you and her brother, and that makes everyone else a third party. If you’re having a great time as a couple, focus on that.

Build your relationship regardless of the noise because that’s what matters most. In-laws may or may not come around, but that’s on them as long as you’ve done your part.

Be Consistent

If you want to keep your relationships strong, you must be consistent. This includes being patient, understanding, and forgiving. It’s hard to maintain patience when someone keeps pushing your buttons, but it’s worth it.

Also, be clear about what you expect from your husband’s siblings. Don’t ask them to change who they are; set reasonable expectations so they know where you stand. Being consistent also means not giving in to pressure to be agreeable or favorable.

Embrace Wisdom and Choose Peace

How you speak and act toward your envious husband’s sister affects the entire family. Therefore, choose peace and wisdom.

Be wise by choosing to love your husband’s siblings instead of fighting with them. And choose peace by remaining calm and focused on your own life.

If it means compromising to some extent for peace, do it as long as you keep your freedom as an individual. Learn to discern and avoid trouble before it happens without appearing judgmental or disconnected.

Bottom Line

Your husband’s sister is his sibling, and you should treat her like one. That doesn’t mean you agree with everything she does, but you shouldn’t try to change her either.

Instead, focus on building a healthy relationship by showing that you respect and care about her. When she feels valued, she’ll stop acting selfishly.

If she doesn’t change, keep your boundaries intact and live your life. Here is how to deal with a Jealous Sister-in-Law; let us know what you think or if you have any suggestions.

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