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I’m Uncomfortable with My Husband’s Relationship with His Sister

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From India: I have been married for 4 months . i live with my in-laws. my sis in law lives with us as she is undergoing some marital issues with her husband. She is a good women and my husband is a supportive brother. Due to her personal issues my husband tries to speak to her as much as possible to sort her issues. I have no issues with his speaking to her and supporting her. my issue comes up when they speak behind locked doors or switch off lights to speak at night. it is very discomforting for me.

i have tried to reason it out with myself but i somehow am unable to get out of that feeling. i feel scared to discuss the feeling with my husband wondering what he might think of me. i feel my thoughts are too low but i’m too affected. i just cant understand why they have to lock the door to speak to each other or turn off the lights at night. i understand my sister in law’s condition too. she is undergoing a huge turmoil personally. i speak to her and try to help her. she does not share her feelings too easily. also i cant handle the fact that when my husband has a backache, my sister should apply ointment for him when i’m present. i feel too i am too shallow to think all such stuff…. i am not thinking anything wrong about either of them but all this is not comfortable for me and i find it difficult to handle all this and end up in tears. … please tell me how to handle this situation… i’m too unhappy.

I’m Uncomfortable with My Husband’s Relationship with His Sister

Answered by on -

A.

It is natural that you are torn. You want to be supportive, but you are a new bride. You understandably want your husband’s attention. Your husband and his sister may have long-standing habits that are continuing because they are in their childhood home. You may not be comfortable with the customs of his family and yet you have to somehow fit in with things as they have always been. It’s very difficult.

Every marriage is a cross-cultural experience. Each of us comes to our marriage with expectations and habits that the other may not understand. My best suggestion to you is that you start talking to your husband about how difficult it is for you to blend in with his family’s style. As his wife, you want to be the one ministering to him when he is hurt. As his wife, you’d like him to spend more time with you and less time with his sister — not because you are jealous but because you love him and want couple time. Suggest to him that he probably can’t be more helpful to his sister with her problems since the problems still continue. Perhaps she and her husband need to see a counselor instead.

If you can speak from your love and your need for him instead of with accusations and suspicions, you are more likely to be successful.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

I’m Uncomfortable with My Husband’s Relationship with His Sister

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). I’m Uncomfortable with My Husband’s Relationship with His Sister. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 19, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/05/18/im-uncomfortable-with-my-husbands-relationship-with-his-sister/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.