More threads by Justdontknow

Me and my wife adopted a baby girl almost 3yrs ago. We enjoy being parents and feel we have been blessed with our daughter.

Our daughter is the only child on my wifes side of the family. Her 4 older sisters are neither married(by choice, divorce or death) nor have they any children(all by choice). My wifes sisters ages range from 47 to 53. They adore our daughter and feel that they need a close relationship w/ her. its is if they are trying to make our family their immediate family. This is where the problem starts for me!!!

Being older parent (40), I feel having to accomodate their need for a relationship with my daughter steels time away from me. I feel bad about the way I feel about them but I am a private person and do not welcome their intrusiveness on my family. I should not have to give up my time with my daughter because they chose not to create a family of their own. This is causing me much stressin my life and in our marriage.

Its not that we see her sisters every week, but they are dominating group of woman and are always calling my wife at home or work. They make a big deal about seeing my wifes parents every month vs every 6wks, as they want our daughter to see grandpa and grandma (Well if seeing grandpa and grandma is so important why didnt they have children so they could take them to see see grandpa and grandma???) They are very controling and so I feel that we dont have any control, like this already is their family. When they are over, they correct our daughter and watch her eat every bit of food and comment about every bit of food she eats, they have to take her potty and get her ready for bed. I feel this is not their place. They make futuristic comments about when your older you can stay at my house or you can ride with me to see grandpa and grandma. They have made commits about that our daughter is just as much thiers as she is ours. They have complained about that we still see our daughters birthmother and we shouldnt.

I feel that they are attempting to steal our immediate family away from me, also any traditions etc............

I feel the are out of control and my wife accomodates every bit of it. I feel that we should limit thier visits, although dificult set boundaries and discuss with them their hidden comments and actions. But unfortunatly I am along as my wife doesnt see these things or feel the way I do.

So I need to know am I a selfish person, or do I have a reason to feel the way i do? Please help me answer this questions, cause I justdontknow

So its my daughters 3red birthday party today(familyonly invited)and the sure enough the 3 sisters-in- laws are here today. Grandpa&Grandma could not make it since their health does not allow them to travel. But It just strikes me oddly that how much passionite they are about making sure my daughter know that the piggy bank came from grandap and grandma and how each of them did the same for the others presents. Unbeliveable!!! You would have thought know one else brought presents??
Also it was about 4pm and my daughter is getting tired, so we are attempting to get her to sleep, by taking her to bed or a ride. One of the aunts has to come up with another idea "should we go rock and read a book". Just as like my daughter was supposed to take her suggestion and go with her. Now why this bothers me as No one in my family or friends ever interjects when we are attempting to correct or handle a situation with my daughter, but this sister-in-law always does. So who is the kid supposed to listen to when this sister-in-law is around?? Who is the parent me and my wife or the sister in law??????? Its very frustrating!!! And my wife doesnt even notice?? Let me give you another example of how this sister-in-law seem to take over our parenting rights without asking permission. Ok, our daugher is an infant getting her immunization shots every couple months. This same sister-in-law happens to work at this clinic. She shows up for the Dr appt, and aftr the dr leaves and the nurse comes into give the shot the sister jumps in and consoles my daughter?????? Excuse ME............. My Wife doesnt even notice.??? So you can imagine that I am just steamed!!!!! But never said a thing until later to my wife............ Somebody Shoot Me Please!!!!!! Can someone explain if this is normal sister-in-law behavior?? I have never wittnessed this between my brother and his wifes sisters?? I can not even talk to my wife about this anymore as she doesnt get that our daughter obviously is owned by the her sisterhood. This just drives me insain, if it were not for my daughter, I would be divorced by now. It is amazing that such the birth of my daughter the love of my life is causing me so much frustration.


from everything you've explained about your sister in laws, their situations, and their behaviour, it sounds like they're probably just very excited to finally have a niece and a young child in the family circle. Yes, they do sound very excited but this in itself isn't the issue I would think. First of all, it is important that your daughter has a good social support system now and espec. in the future, so any extra aunt can't really hurt... I'm sure you expect her to get along w/ your side of the family so it would be the same for your wife's... but the point is, she's your daughter, not theirs or anyone else's. this means you have the right and power to parent her the way you see suitable, espec. in your own home. you can listen to their suggestions (out of politeness or actually in case you can learn something assuming you can accept that they might actually just want to be 'good' aunts) but in the end the rules are yours to make and follow. It is nice of them to want to help out in some ways as this could potentially relieve some stress or give you two a break so to say from time to time... and at least you know they're family. Deciding how exactly your daughter will fall asleep is probably not as critical as a decision like whether you will introduce her to her birth mother or not. The latter decision is one to be made by you and your wife, not anyone else in the family. Again, you can listen to their opinions but anyone reasonable would accept the fact that in the end, this is your decision to make.

You said your wife 'accomodates' their behaviour. This is the key, if you make rules and then both of you or one of you doesn't follow them, then how can you expect your sister-in-laws to respect them or have a clear idea about what the rules are, who makes them, and what their (aunts') role is in your daughter's life? This is sending mixed messages to them. I'm not saying your wife is at fault, I am saying there needs to be some consistency and clarity about the rules. If your wife's parents are in ill health and your sister-in-laws have no children of their own, I can definitely see how they see your daughter as their own. You have to decide together with your wife, what kind of role you want anyone in yours or her family to have in your daughter's life and why- ie. are you trying to protect your daughter or is this about you wanting to be the sole parent and confidante to your daughter ie. b/c of your age? Is this in her or your best interests? Also, you mentioned that if it weren't for your daughter, you and your wife would be divorced by now... this in itself is probably contributing a lot to these issues and I would suggest that it's worth talking about this with your wife. This is your marriage and this is your child.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
This is obviously not an issue that's going to go away and probably not an issue that you and your wife can successfully resolve on your own. Until it is resolved either with some sort of compromise or you letting go of the anger you feel about having your wife's family involvedd in your life, your anger is only going to continue to fester and grow.

I strongly advise you to find a good marriage counselor. Go yourself if your wife doesn't agree to going with you, but absolutely go. Your anger is going to hurt you, your marriage, and your daughter if something isn't done about it and soon.
Eunioa & David B, Thanks for your response you make some good points and counseling was the next thing on my list. As I want to confir with a counsler about my strong feelings toward these woman. However, just to make a last point. I am ok with my wifes sisters being involved, I am happy that they show much effection and I expect them to be part of the extended family when it is appropriate. But I will not tolerate them making us thier family w/ the expectations that they have. I am angered that they control my wife through guilt. They need to give us room and not have the expectations that they do. They chose their life of no children and my feeling is you do not attempt to take others family time because of their lack of normalicy. By the way I have another example, this coming form the sister who works at the hospitbal. My wife was schedule to travel with my sister today. to go see their sick father. However, her knowing through my wife that the birthmother was to be her last night decided to stop in unannounced an drop off xmas goodies. Now Why Could she not have brought these with here today instead of last night. I will tell you why. as she wanted to be nosey and I am sure take my daughters time away from the birthmother . When she came to the door I eccepted her goodies and said thanks , but told her we were having company tonight and she could not stay. But this is the type of decpetive behavior I have to put up with. I am ok, with them coming over when it is schedule, but she didnt even call before coming over??? In addition, when she came over today to pickup my wife, she had to bring a special bday present for Evelynn. Now this is a problem. AS this sister is aware that my daughters birthday (xmas eve ) is just me and my wifes special day to celebrate my daughers birthday. And 2, she was already at the bday party we had for my dghtr last week and brough a gift. and 3, she is seeing her tomorrow again to celebrate xmas. I know you think that she is just being fond, but it is anoying and unncessary. The advise I have for her is you want to be fond of something get a Dog.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
I understand that you are frustrated with all of these comings and goings which are seemingly beyond your control (and I think the key phrase there is "beyond your control"), I have to say that from a distance it appears to me that you are being hypersensitive and overreacting.

Again, I suggest that you really need to see a counselor about this.

It may sound hypersensitive to you, But I have know this sister in law for 11years. She is a parana in sheeps clothing. This this is the sister that can not say anyting nice to you unless it is sarcastic and is always a downgrade. This is her whole purpose. This is the gal that when me and my wife played volleyball with her and her late husband, who would scream at you on the court while playing that you need to practice more. This is the same gal that during our adoption, was upset that we were not spending time as much time with her and her late husband. So they called screaming at us not to mention, screaming to the other sisters and relatives long before we heard about it.And part 2 fo this attempted to get the other sisters together to confront us about how much time we were spending with the birthmother and not them. Oh and by the way, she was so out of line that one of ther sisters told us bout it which promoted a meeting with all the sisters to confront her on her behavior. This is the sister in law, that had a party and becuase I was not feeling well and attempted to leave early publicly beraids you in front of everyone with the point that I could stay and be more social? This is the sister in law that her and her late husbnd, went on vacation with her own sister and her sisters boyfriend. When the sister was not around down graded the sister so badly to the boyfriend that he quit seeing the sister after the trip. Oh, and the sisterinlaw and husband bragged about it in thier "tells us about thier trip visit" These are only a few hypersensitive maybe, protective and wanting to keep this sister an arms lenth away, definently.............. See a counsler? I have to!!! as I need to talk to someone one about this, cause everyone else just wants to let it all happen. I have learned with this sister , that if you let if it happens once, maybe twice then for her it becomes and expectation. what I mean is - I let her come over once a week and two weeks in a row and then its a life time expectation, that she thinks is ok every week for the rest of her life (my life). oh by the way David, have you ever watch one of those movies where someone witnesses something, but when they tell others about it, no one believes them - so they look like the trouble maker?. If not watch the movie Chicken Little!

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
That was partly my point - from a distance, I have no way of telling whether this woman is the meddling monster you think she is or whether you are overreacting. No one is going be able to know this on a forum, which is why it's essential, in my opinion, that you see a face to face counselor.
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