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Reply with quote  #1 
I don't even know how to start off this post.   We (meaning hubby and I ) live with MIL in her house.  Unfortunately, when we moved in over 8 years ago, I didn't understand or comprehend how stupid my sister-in-law can be.  Maybe not stupid - but just downright rude and ignorant.

It's always the same - she comes out, doesn't do her dishes, leaves them in the sink, and then when she leaves, there is a huge pile there.  We have a dishwasher - and she is close to 50.   

Anyway, last time she was out, she complained about the sponge not being cleaned.  I asked her why the dishes weren't done and she said she didn't know what was clean and what was dirty, then went on to annoy me about the dishes, the dirty sponge etc.   I swear she expects us to settle into her routine, instead of bending to ours.  Like she doesn't have enough to complain about - she finds the dumbest thing and starts in, whether its about removing my daughter's personal hygeine items in the shower that she uses, or just complaining about no paper towels.

Every time I know she's coming out, my attitude turns bad and I am not fun to live with.  I dont' like her attitude, the way she treats me, or the way she talks about my husband not eating right (and she is very overweight).  Their mother will agree with her, but will NEVER say anything to her about being overweight.  

Anyway, the SIL is coming out in April.   She told my MIL that she needed to use her car for the entire day for 2 days.  Not that it is my problem (which is usually why I get upset about this stuff), but I would NEVER invite myself to my mother's house and then tell her essentially to give up her car for 2 days for me to go to some work conference.  I'd rent a car.   I really do not want to be here, but she is nosey and tries to go through our stuff.  She considers the house (like it was when her parent's lived here together) her house and nothing should be kept from her.   She is so much like her mother that I literally want to strangle her.

I don't know what to do.  I hate feeling upset, and I realize that I shouldn't, but I don't know how to handle her.  I have handled her in the past - in fact, the last time she was here and was complaining about the sponge, I told her that she needed to do her dishes, I wasn't the "maid" and that the rest of the family isn't so anal about things that she is anal about.  I think I left her speechless LOL.

How in the world do you guys handle these people - I know they are pigeons and are only here for a short time - but how in the heck do you get through this "short time" without wanting to committ murder??

Reply with quote  #2 

You and hub need to tell her what you told us, don't suffer in silence! She sounds rude indeed!

Reply with quote  #3 
I love my sister in law but she can drive me nuts when she visits also.
Likes to completely mess up my house.  Frankly just doesn't care.
Her house is a mess so she has the same habits at mine.
I put up with it for years, then one day she wanted to come and
I told her she has to help do the dishes, and she can't go in my
bedroom and sit on our bed and go through our nightstands, and tell
me she is looking for a book.  I mean she would eat all over the house.
Well to my surprise she didn't come.
We don't go rumanging around her house and not care when we visit her.
I know what you are going through.
I would buy her a new sponge and when she arrives give it to her
and tell her this is yours to do the dishes with.  She can't complain
it's dirty. 
Then just try and ignore her and soon she will be gone.
I know it is easier said than done, but when they are that
age mine is 62 and she isn't going to change so I changed how
I deal with her.  Doing things to help shouldn't be a problem
for her.  She can think it's still her home but it is not.
It's yours!!  Maybe you can tell her what is expected of her
before she arrives and remind her while she is there what she
has agreed to do. It does help.
Sister in law is nice just a mess at keeping her house clean and
they carry their habits into yours.
I hope this helps but others will come with better solutions.
But try not to let her upset you, she will leave!!!
Reply with quote  #4 

Your SIL is not a doer, she probably reverts to childhood behaviors in that house.  If she believed the sponge was dirty, she had several options, soaking it in dish solution, microwaving it, putting it in with the dishes in the dishwasher , but she only complained about it. She could also have gone out to buy some new sponges for the household along with a big supply of paper towels. You have to disabuse her of the notion that she is a guest in the house. You have to demand that she act as another pair of hands in the household. As  Suzi says
  Maybe you can tell her what is expected of her
before she arrives and remind her while she is there what she
has agreed to do. It does help.

My former SIL and my GB borrowed my parents car for an entire summer. I recently talked to her about this and she was oblivious to the hardship it caused us, specifically to me and my father who had to lug all the groceries home in the heat on foot.

Reply with quote  #5 

Wow, perhaps you should have said on certain days you needed the car as part of the deal or a ride, rather than almost having heatstroke for you or your dad. That's shame you put up with that.

Reply with quote  #6 
she's not gonna be there for the whole month of april is she ?!!

I hope not.

I think I would be "gone from the house" for a lot of that visit. Let hubby and his sis do whatever needs to be done for your MIL (like your SIL would actually DO any of that! right!)

deep breaths....  visits to libraries   if you are in a climate where the weather starts warming up in April (spring) then visits to the park with a good book long walks   do you have dogs? long walks with the dogs any local place to do some volunteer activity for awhile

Just trying to help.


Reply with quote  #7 

I respectfully disagree. Why should one have to stay out and not be at peace in their own home or have to leave for peace? I say confront and tel off and the truth shall set you free. It's worth it!

Reply with quote  #8 
The car thing isn't a big deal because my MIL is the only one that uses the car.  I just find it rude of SIL to assume she can use the car, but since MIL doesn't complain and lets her daughter walk right over her, it's not my problem.  I was just saying that because I wouldn't dare pull that on my mom.  

My husband's attitude is that his sister is only here for a few days, so it's nothing to get upset about, whereas, I find it incredibly rude and selfish of her to not do her dishes.  She's always been like this, even when we didn't live here.  When we were invited for family dinners, we'd do the dishes and she'd sit on the couch and not help. 

Beth, my husband has said the same thing - just get out of the house.  But I shouldn't have to leave - and most of the time, I can't (lower back problems).  I did join a gym, so I think I will be spending mucho time there when she is here. 

It's just like she gets bored, and starts causing trouble.  First, she cleaned out the refrigerator of food she thought was too old.  I told her not to touch everything - I bought my stuff and she had a cow over that because if it's too old, it shouldn't be in the refrigerator.   Mind you, I would never do this to her, but since it is "mom's " house, she totally forgets that it is inappropriate to touch other people's stuff.

Then it was the sponge.  She was complaining that the sponge was being used to clean the dishes, when I in fact pointed out to her that they go in the "dishwasher" so it doesn't matter.   She didn't know about the bleach or microwaving the sponge.  

The caregiver will be here a couple days because she will be gone at a conference, but I will let her know what is clean, what is dirty and point her to a bottle of kitchen bleach cleaner so that she can clean to her heart's content.   I usually clean out my side of the refrigerator before she shows up.

This is why I will have nothing to do with her once her mother is gone.  She will not be visiting me at my house if she can't respect me while taking care of her mother at her mom's house.

Reply with quote  #9 
Saturngoddess, what I would be tempted to do ... 

I would greet her with a big smile and a hug and hand her a lovely gift-wrapped, beribboned package, saying, "Welcome! It's just a little thing to make your stay more comfortable."

And she would unwrap it to find a package of kitchen sponges, one for each day she was going to be there!

Heh heh. 
Reply with quote  #10 
LOL.  I think that is an excellent idea.  Along with the Kitchen anti-bacterial spray that I will be buying.

Reply with quote  #11 
anon3 : I respectfully disagree. Why should one have to stay out and not be at peace in their own home or have to leave for peace? I say confront and tel off and the truth shall set you free. It's worth it

I seriously agree with that but it is very hard to do, well to me!! im suffering in silence ugh! My situation is the other way around but similar, My bro n his wife (my sister in law) live with me my parents and family. My mom and I are the ones working like all the time well most of the time i do the house cleaning we have 1 bathroom i noe it sux and i hate a dirty house ever since she moved in its become competitive over who should do the cleaning i think im more worried of that than she is. I'm not the maid she can take the lead and do something in the house too after all shes living under the same roof.  Its been a year ever since she moved in and she only cleaned the bathroom twice and she doesnt even mop the bathroom properly she leaves the dirty mop behind the toilet and it smells after a few days. Im saying this because i have cleaned the bathroom many times even thoh im not the only one using it. Shes older than me and i dont find it nice and easy to speak up to her about cleaning matters. Usually i  cook the food or my mother and she just warms it up eats and goes back to her room, sleeps and does nothing most of the day!!!! Doesnt she see there are everyday chores that need to be done and whos doing them we're not maids! for god sake  why cant she make herself useful! when my brother comes home from work she warms up the food for him and gives it to him as if she made it and been working most of the day she never bothered doing the dishes if she sees the kitchen dirty never mopped cleaned the microwave or table when i usaully do it before sleeping i tried giving up doing these chores so she'll become aware of what she has to do as her part but she doent even seem to care and now im afraid the roaches are spreading i our kitchen! what can i do i dont want to do all the work all the time it doesnt seem fair that i work more than her! or my mom works more than all the time!  
Reply with quote  #12 
Oblivious. Love that word. So many are just oblivious to all the work that goes into making meals and keeping a house up. It's as if they go through life like teenagers, thinking that food appears like magic and elves do the cleaning in the early hours while they are asleep.

The only way I have ever seen this work is when people agree on a set of rules and a cooking and cleaning schedule.

Mona, since we all agree that we want to live in a clean house, and nobody is willing to do it all, let's divide up the chores, shall we?Which days do you want to be responsible for keeping the kitchen clean? Do you want to clean the bathroom on Mondays or Thursdays? Write it down and check to see how things are going.

Idiot SILs who rummage through your closets and cupboards are another matter. (By the way, feeling entitled to rummage through the cupboards and closets of others is a classic narcissistic trait.) 

You could always trade out the door knob so that you could lock your bedroom door when you are off to the gym.


Reply with quote  #13 
My sister in law just moved into our home November 3rd with her 6 year old daughter and they will be living with us for about 7months to a year, and now I feel like I she's in my space, I stay up in my bedroom a lot now since she's been living with us, her daughter drives me nuts, because she's so nosey, don't get me wrong, I love them, I just want my house back!! She makes things in my kitchen and she won't wipe the counter down when she's done, and she dumps food crumbs in my sink and won't clean the sink, my house was so clean before they came, now it looks dirty to me all the time, and she drinks all the soda and eats up all the cheese, I'm tired, I want my house back!! Her daughter uses the downstairs bathroom and I swear she doesn't wash her hands and I am so afraid to use the downstairs bathroom, I will go up to my bathroom and use it instead of the one downstairs, because I'm afraid that I will get sick. My husband said that I've changed since they arrived, yes I have, because my space has been invaded by my sister in law.
Mike Gamble

Super Moderators
Posts: 54
Reply with quote  #14 
First, have a heart-to-heart talk with your husband and explain to him what's been happening. Perhaps you and he can then find a new place for her to live and a job. In the meantime, set some boundaries with her, e.g., buy her own soda and cheese, clean up after herself and her daughter. After all, she's sharing your space; she's not on an all-expense paid vacation. You rights take top priority.
Reply with quote  #15 
Not sure why, unless it was life or death do sister or any inlaws need to be in a married couple's space. Blessed is the man who has his own. Even if it's a little room, I prefer my own space.
My husband has learned I'm not the nicest person while sharing personal space. Neither do I expect anyone to do so for me. Over 19 years of marriage I have never imposed on his family. Will not allow his family to do so on mines. As harsh as it may sound, it keeps things simple. Even when everyone may not be happy. So much easier to love inlaws from a distance.
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