You are here

SD's cheerleader SIL is stealing visitation

SeeYouNever's picture

I have a sister in law whose mission in life is to make sure SD11 is not forgotten or treated unfairly. SD is spoiled and doted on and far from forgotten. 

All this SIL ends up doing is making everything about SD and constantly reminding everyone of SD. We can't even mention another child without this SIL bringing the conversation back around to SD. I'll call her SIL1.

My husband has a bunch of sisters and one visited from another country to meet our baby (I'll call her SIL2). SIL1 picked her up from the airport and basically held her hostage for the duration of her trip. SD loves SIL1, and of course, she gives her the most attention, so she picked up SD for the last two visitations and sent my husband pictures of them all hanging out. SIL2 came specifically to meet our baby but SIL1 made sure she spent most of her time with SD, not at our house.

BM and SD are more willing to talk to SIL1 than my husband and I. It's as though we are being cut out of his family and SIL is stealing visitation time. I swear she is trying to keep SD away from us and the baby. There is some triangulation happening and I'm not sure who is behind it, SIL1 alone or if SD11 is doing this to send some kind of message to DH?

Has anyone had this kind of thing happen? I'm fine without visitation but I feel bad for my husband because it's like SIL1 is rubbing it in that SD prefers her and it is such a weird dynamic.


Lollybobs's picture

No advice for the above but congratulations on your new arrival. Hope you're both doing well.

tog redux's picture

Well, why doesn't DH limit SIL's time with SD so she doesn't take his whole visitation time? Let me guess, he's afraid to stand up to her.

SteppedOut's picture

I guess everyone is "mad" your husband is not shunning his baby girl... 

Maybe sd said something to sil about "being left out" or "daddy doesn't love me anymore" or whatever and sil is "saving her". 

I say enjoy the time without sd!

ESMOD's picture

First, congrats on the baby.

Second... don't discount the possibility that SIL2 was fine with seeing a baby "just a little" and perhaps was trying to give you space.

Third.. while your baby is your universe right now.. some people are better with older kids.. and the SIL's know your SD more.. and maybe they ARE a bit concerned her nose could be out of joint due to the new baby.

I think it's good to understand where people are coming from.  Obviously SIL 1 has known SD and BM for a long time.. she likely was an ally to BM at one time.. and perhaps may be now.  She may not shun her just because she caused her brother issues.  So.. I would be aware of that when dealing with her.

Also.. there is always a chance that they are trying to do you and your DH a favor by entertaining SD while you are both cocooning with the baby.  

2nd wives club's picture

I get it. SIL pulls out all the stops to make sure SD is aware she is getting the "shaft" in this situation and SIL is on a mission to make it right. Maybe SIL didn't agree with the divorce, etc. But it's none of her business.

Try to look at the bright side - you get more time with your little one. And let DH deal with SIL hijacking his time with SD.

My MIL played the SIL favorites game and when I stopped caring it was so liberating! I don't care if MIL/FIL like me anymore or "approve". I know how that family rolls. Before BIL and his 1st wife divorced, his 1st wife was awesome. As soon as they divorced, MIL removed 1st wife's painting from her kitchen and is glad that BIL's DD calls wife #2 (SIL) "mom".

Exjuliemccoy's picture

This is the sort of stuff that happens in families that have poor or no boundaries. My DH's older daughter and his sisters are like this - because he never spoke up or drew appropriate boundaries. 

So it all comes down to your H. If he doesn't assert his rights as SD's dad, get his sister in line and protect his visitation time, he'll find himself marginalized. My OSD is forty now. She has a lot of personal problems, daddy issues, and in general sees men as wallets because that's the philosophy she was allowed to develop. Girls NEED healthy relationships with their dads in order to grow into emotionally healthy women. If your H allows this dynamic to continue, you can expect a chasm to grow between your little family and SD/SILs/DH's family of origin. Your baby and SD will never develop a sisterly bond, and SD will resent your H, resulting in upheaval that will affect you and your child as well.

I know SD isn't a favorite of yours, but I hope you'll have a convo with your H and map out the big picture for him. It could save you all aggravation in the years to come.