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AIBU be upset by sister in law

(15 Posts)
Barrow Tue 22-Jan-13 09:58:35

One of my sisters in law rang me last night, immediately I answered the phone it was obvious she had been drinking, at first we were talking about a weekend away we were planning with 2 other SiL but then she said that I was lucky and could do a lot more now I was a widow. I replied that there was not one single way in which my life was better without my DH in my life and hung up.

She has done this before with her sisters, saying things which cause upset after she has been drinking (one of his sisters partners refuses to have her in the house after she upset him). I know if I speak to her today she will have no recollection of what she said. I was really upset but should I just try to forget it or raise it with her and let her know how I feel.

I know she has a drinking problem and her sisters are trying to help her with that. I wouldn't normally have answered the phone but I was expecting a call from my brother as my mother is unwell at the moment.

Movedalot Tue 22-Jan-13 10:04:36

Barrow I think I would just let it go. As you say she has a problem and won't remember what she said. Just leave it to her sisters.

My own experience of an alcoholic is that they can be not only thoughtless but downright nasty but there is nothing you can do about it and you may only hurt yourself. I know it is horrible but wait a couple of days and then I think you will get it in perspective. Hard I know. flowers

Bags Tue 22-Jan-13 10:14:26

That's rotten for you, barrow. Perhaps in future if you can tell she has been drinking, you could hang up before she has a chance to say something she'd probably regret if she remembered it.

I agree that it's probably not worth tackling her about this. Better to find ways of avoiding hearing such things again.

annodomini Tue 22-Jan-13 10:25:31

If you had caller i.d. on your phone, you would be able to choose not to answer. If you feel strongly enough, this might be a solution. Meanwhile, leave it to her sisters.

absent Tue 22-Jan-13 10:26:38

Or leave the answerphone facility switched on and only pick up if it's someone you want to talk to.

gracesmum Tue 22-Jan-13 10:34:13

How hurtful, but you mustn't let it get to you. She is a silly woman and as the others have said, you must not take any notice of her drunken meanderings. Best leave it to the others - if your relationship with them is good, you might be able to say something, but you will know best. flowers

Ella46 Tue 22-Jan-13 10:40:32

We all know that drink makes people say hurtful things.
Sensible advice above, let it go for now flowers

whenim64 Tue 22-Jan-13 10:43:31

Depends on the relationship, whether you tackle her about it. Many drinkers have only addressed their problem when confronted by what they are actually like when drunk. If she will listen to any of you, she might be shocked to hear what she said. Then again........

Ana Tue 22-Jan-13 10:47:39

I agree, let it go. A the time it probably seemed perfectly logical to her - some drunks have no concept of the hurt their careless words can cause. As the rest of the family is aware of her problem I would try to ignore it on this occasion.

POGS Tue 22-Jan-13 11:24:46


It is a nasty situation for ALL the family when there is an alcoholic in the mix. I think you are wise to remind yourself that this is not a situation that is aimed at you, as you have mentioned her family are well aware of her drinking problem.

Alcaholism is rotten and an alcaholic takes no prisoners when the 'drink is in'. You were the one on the end of her weakness, nothing more, it will probably be somebody else today.

Try to put it out of your mind and don't let it bring you down as well. Dare I say she is to be pitied in a way.


absent Tue 22-Jan-13 11:29:10

Barrow didn't say that her sister-in-law was an alcoholic, but that she has a drinking problem, which is not necessarily the same thing. She (sister-in-law) sounds as if she is a rather sad woman if she implies that she envious of of widowhood, however hurtful that comment is to Barrow herself. Perhaps there is something in her life that she drinks to forget.

grannyactivist Tue 22-Jan-13 12:11:24

I agree with when. The sister in law has a drink problem that is potentially causing other problems. It may be that holding a mirror up to her will help her to acknowledge that she has indeed got a problem.

Ceesnan Tue 22-Jan-13 12:22:24

I agree with when and grannyactivist. Just because she has a drink problem doesn't give her the right to be cruel, and you should tell her just how much this remark has hurt you. If you feel that you can't do that, then ask one of her sisters to talk to her on your behalf. I send you a hug xx

Barrow Tue 22-Jan-13 12:53:45

Many thanks for all your replies. I think I will just let it go this time - if it happens again I will speak to her about it. absent is right, she is a very sad person - she lives alone and is divorced after a very unhappy marriage.

Her sisters are trying their best to help her but every week or so she binge drinks and that is when she makes these phone calls. As I said I wouldn't have normally answered the phone but was expecting a phone call from my brother about my mother's health (happily she is on the mend).

Eloethan Mon 25-Feb-13 01:10:40

If she continues to make such hurtful remarks, it might be an idea to say something - not in a confrontational way but maybe to say that you are sure she didn't intend to do so, but that she has really upset you.