My sister in law

Kelina - posted on 02/21/2012 ( 41 moms have responded )

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I need advice. I've always had issues with my inlaws but lately it's gotten to the extreme. Her daughter is 5 weeks older than mine. She treats her hubby like crap. He calls their daughter fat and stupid and she does occasionally too. She's 16 months old! We've always had opposing views but lately it seems like she's dragging my hubby into it too. Calling him names and belittling him and as much as I try to interact with my SIL as little as possible today it's gotten to me because she did it on his facebook page for everyone to see. I honestly don't know what to do. Venting to my hubby just makes him feel terrible and trying to change my SIL is like trying to change the direction of the wind. Anyone got any good techniques for calming yourself down? preferably that don't involve poison or a gun lol.

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A deep breath to start, and just reminding yourself that she is the one with the problem. If you can see what a bitch is she is then guaranteed so can everyone else. When she calls your hubby fat then you could just say, "no he isn't, I think he's perfect" or when she calls her baby names you could say, "I think she is just lovely". Counter-act her negatives with a positive. And bitch like like buggery about her to your dog! That way you are letting out the frustration without making yourself look bad. Good luck :-)

Krista - posted on 02/21/2012

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Just plan to be there for their daughter. Be involved with her and be there for her as much as possible. If her parents verbally abuse her already, and she's still only a BABY, then goodness knows how vicious they'll get when she's older and able to actually absorb this vitriol. She'll need you --- desperately.



You can't change your SIL. Not going to happen. The best thing for your husband to do, when she starts belittling him, is to just shake his head and look at her with pity, like you'd look at a crazy person.



And document every instance where you witness that child being verbally abused. Seriously. Write down the date, and what was said. A call to CPS may be in your future if this crap keeps up, and you'll want to have a record of all of the abuse that this little girl has endured.

Kay - posted on 02/21/2012

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I have mastered this with my fiance's ex-wife. Despite the fact that she left him for someone else, she feels the need to CONSTANTLY belittle him to (does the double duty of reminding me that she was there first also). BUT, she is my stepdaughters' mother, and I love them, so a guns or poisons aren't options for me either...



I have become the master of sliding them back at her. "Really? He never did laundry? Well, we worked out a deal where he does it, I fold it. Works for us." "Really? He was always working? Sucks, but we have managed to schedule in family time around it." Stupid examples, but it helps to keep it positive, and I kind of chuckle at it in my head--after all, he learned from his first marriage falling apart and I get the benefit of that new knowledge.



I think the mention below of counteracting with the positive is the best way to go. Sometimes it can get very tongue in cheek, but it keeps you calm, and if it is a little humorous, that helps too. I also have this odd habit of visualizing a caricature of her in my head, and if I can resist the chuckling that can accompany it, it just makes it all so damn comical....not very mature, but sometimes, you have to do what you have to do. :)



I would be proactive about it with her child--point out the good things beforehand. If you get into the habit now, perhaps you can be the one person that helps build the poor baby's self-esteem as she gets older.



Good luck.

Pamela - posted on 02/23/2012

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First, for your own sanity try going to this site for a current 21 day meditation challenge for just this sort of thing.....STRESS!



Here is the website: "Meditation Challenge" . Copy and paste if it doesn't form a link once I submit this answer.



The other suggestion I have for you is to read the book The 4 Agreements by don Miguel A. Ruiz, which deals with relationship issues and how to deal with it from your own point of view. After all, you have already recognized that you cannot change anyone but yourself.



One of the agreements is Do Not Take ANYTHING personally. It's a tough one, but I assure you, when you can do that what your SIL says or does will simply be like "water off a duck's back".



BTW you can always hide or delete any comment anyone makes on your FB wall. Just point the cursor to the upper right hand corner of the comment and click. it gives you options for hiding or deleting. You can also block a user from your page.



Remember you can always control what you say and do, but you cannot control what someone hears or how they react to you or your words or actions. If you are always coming from a place of LOVE, you will not be bothered by her reactions or even her comments. Unconditional love REQUIRES that we allow others to be who they are without a negative reaction pr judgment!

Amanda - posted on 02/23/2012

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IMHO, your husband should be the one to intervene on behalf of his niece. Remember, that how someone behaves is not always who they are. Her behavior may indicate a hostile personality but it also may indicate a problem. Could she be depressed or suffering from some other mental or emotional disorder? Does she have stress at work, at home, or from life in-general. She may need someone to ask her "do you need help" or be honest with her about how she has been behaving so she can know to go and get help.



If all else fails, you can't let her toxic behavior poison you or your relationship with your husband. It may be best to cut her off or at least block her on Facebook as others were saying. You do not necessarily need to remove her from your page. But there is an option you can select under "subscriptions" so that her posts won't show up in your live feed.



Good luck!

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Michelle - posted on 03/29/2014

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Locking this old thread, feel free to start a new one.

Michelle,
WtCoM Mod.

JOANNE - posted on 03/29/2014

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Guess I'm not the only one with a toxic sister-in-law. Don't even refer to her by name (in private) we call her little miss put downs. She always has a snide comment about someone. Just don't need to deal with his family drama. I have my own side of the family to deal with. She has gotten very low and its made me rethink my relationship with my significant other. After all, these views are coming out of his camp from his family. Feel that if he would have spoke well of me from the beginning,then I wouldn't be dealing with this now. We have children and I don't want to hurt my children by severing ties. My daughter is 14 now and is starting to understand and doesn't like this at all. The crap that I've put up with from some members of his family is heartbreaking and unwarranted. I deleted my FB due to their constant bashing of people.They have made it clear that they hate all people who aren't wealthy. They don't care if you were in a catastrophic accident and were unable to work until I had surgery. They don't care what legitimate reason you lost your job (wheel chair, crutches, then surgery with a 5 month recovery) all they care about is how it looks to their friends and neighbors. Things members of this family did to me where so heartless that I still try to make sense of it years later. How could any human being be so hateful to me and my children because we exist?

Sheila - posted on 03/09/2012

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Sounds to me like she may need some help. You could be in a position to be that agent of help that nobody else could be.



Regarding her treatment of your husband, drop everything that has happened in the past then the next time she belittles your husband, wait until you have a chance to talk with him in private and appeal to how he feels about it. You don't want to put a wedge between him and his sister, but you also don't want him to harbor bad feelings toward her. Let him tell you how he feels about it, then suggest that maybe sis doesn't know how she makes him feel, so he should have a heart to heart talk with her expressing how he feels. It has nothing to do with you at this point. It is between him and his sister.



Regarding to how she treats the baby, maybe you could offer to be her child care provider, and make the difference in their lives that way. I don't think that you should limit your involvment with her, because she is your family, and limiting involvment could cause problems with involvment with her kids. She needs you to love her, and show her by example how to be a good mother. Maybe she works so much so she can provide her kids with stuff that she never got. This behavior could also be stemmed from something that happened to her as a child.



A couple of ladies mentioned to pray for her. I agree with them. If you are a Christian, that is the best thing you can do for her. While you are praying for her, ask God to help you to forgive her for the hurts that she has caused you and your family, and to help you show her His perfect love. Also ask Him to show how you can be the example for her that you need to be in order for her to see how destructive her behavior is without preaching to her or pointing accusing fingers at her and making her feel like she is under attack.

Kelina - posted on 02/25/2012

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I should also mention I don't actually use my own facebook account and I have a feeling my hubby wouldn't be all too pleased if I unfriended his sister, especially because she'd know. nor would the rest of the family. They would be the reason I don't use my facebook account anymore. Calling CPS would come to nothing as well. If they can manage to fake it for a weekend at camp, they can fake it for a visit from a social worker. And emotional abuse is so hard to prove. Believe me, I'd love to I know several social workers and were there a chance something would happen, I'd file the complaint but I already know theres not. lol I'm going to go to bed before I cry now :)

Kelina - posted on 02/25/2012

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Thanks everyone I haven't been able to read everything but I would like to update you all. My hubby did respond to her post on facebook, just a kind of laugh it off thing. I may possibly have mentioned that we bought a house with her once-like I said one of the dumbest things I've ever done but it taught me that even when my husband does address things with his family, they don't change. They're so convinced that they're in the right that it would probably take a good hard knock on the head from someone they respect or fear far more than him to get through to them. And much as it hurts it took me leaving with our son to get my hubby to finally listen to me and put me and our family first, I don't want to push him into having no contact with all of them but he understands my dislike for his sister. I have tried to limit contact with her for several reasons. I think the comment got to me so badly because I've been forced to see her more often the last few months between christmas and birthdays. Normally we get away with about once a month. And I've figured out that the reason these comments bother me so much is that I can't do anything about it. Our daughters were born five weeks apart and to see someone so little so helpless being called names, to see someone who has no respect for other people treateing her daughter like she does makes me sad. Especially with pregnancy horomones running through me lol. Knowing what I do from being on here for more than 3 years now, it makes me sad. I suspected shortly after she had baby that she was suffering from postpartum and I couldn't do anything about it. I see her swearing in front of her one year old and can't do anything about it. I see her working 3 jobs and spending no time with her kid because she chooses to, and hardly being able to touch her own baby and there's nothing I can do about it. And as you can probably tell I'm a little tired and emotional tonight lol. I know what she's going to go through growing up if they don't change and there's nothing I can do about it because I have to protect my own kids. But ti doesn't make me any less angry about it knowing all this. It's like watching someone drive their truck into a wall and knowing there's nothing you can do about it.

Laura - posted on 02/25/2012

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This may not settle well with your hubby so, I probably wouldn't tell him straight away...For your nieces sake, I'd report the abuse to Child Protective Services. It sounds as though your In-laws could use some parenting classes and anger management classes.



As for facebook, de-friend the SIL and be sure to block her completely! As much as it breaks your heart, you cannot defend your hub on his page. You can however, show him how to block her from being able to post without blocking her completely:))



Your satisfaction, peace and empowerment will come from knowing that the baby is safe (whether or not she's aware it was you who turned them in), not having to deal with her on fb, and by not allowing her to seep her venom into your home.



Spoken from experience.

Tracie - posted on 02/24/2012

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Aww, poor baby girl! My SIL was similar. She never wanted kids but her hubby talked her into it. She was horrible to my poor sweet niece. She'd smack her, call her mean names and force her to eat. It was truly heartbreaking to witness. I did my best to model appropriate behavior for her when I interacted with my niece. It wasn't easy and it wasn't quick, but she eventually came around. My niece is now 13 and they have a good, loving relationship. Don't give up on that sweet baby!

Tamara - posted on 02/24/2012

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I would unfriend her on facebook definitely. Sounds like she needs to get a life. If possible, I would try to move away. You can't change her, unfortunately but she should not be using facebook to put you down/create drama. That is immature. I would try to be positive/nurturing towards her little girl, cuz obiously she is not getting it from her mother. I would also be prepared to call cps on her if neccessary because what you described is emotional abuse, which is just as bad as physical abuse.

Gail - posted on 02/24/2012

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WOW that is a tough one! I have a SIL that I just stopped any involvement with and my life is much easier and peaceful without her in it. BUT... you love your neice and it sounds like she is really going to need you so just try and hang in there and be there for her. Maybe when she is older you can just call it quits with the SIL. As far as the facebook thing goes well most people who read that are going to think less of her not your husband. Anyone with any intelligence will see right through that! Facebook is a social tool that should be fun and pleasant and some people use it for rants and nastiness! Too bad but you can't do much about it. I have declined a friend request from my own sister and unfriended the bad SIL because they do that on facebook. That is your only option. Or you will have to grin and bare it as they say. Also keep in mind most people who put others down all the time do that because they are very unhappy with themselves. By putting down others it somehow makes them feel better about themselves. Don't stoop to her level! Family drama is the worst. I don't have enough time to spend with the family I love, and loves me back so I don't waste time on the others anymore! I am happier for it! Good luck to you !

Vonnie - posted on 02/24/2012

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Report them to CPS. let them investigate. because what they are doing is child abuse.

Uschy - posted on 02/24/2012

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I would try to ignore the bad and only respond to the positive. Don't tell your husband to speak up because that will just make him uncomfortable and breed more hostility. I agree with what Carol said- model good behavior and do what Valeen said, encourage their little girl. If the poor kid is spoken to the way you said she is, she needs a lot of love, encouragement and positive attention.

Terrie - posted on 02/24/2012

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Well, I know from experience that confronting it head on usually just causes drama. Some people live for drama. I would say be a model person meaning model the behavior you would like to see. Leave the room when you feel your temper about to flare and sometimes you have to separate yourself from the situation. You can't help what people say to their children. They are going to say what they want to say, unfortunately not everyone says nice things.



I have never really had trouble with my in-laws. I guess I had trouble at one time when my son was first being diagnosed with Autism. They were in denial, but that went away as the years went by because he was not acting his age. We were civil to each other during that time and they did not talk about me behind my back or call me names. They just constantly told me that I was wrong about my son having Autism.



Anyway, I mostly just let it role off my back. My husband never did really speak up. I didn't make him. I knew how hard it was for him. I guess if they would have persisted I would have had him talk to them but they didn't. Sometimes the spouse being the middle person can make or break the relationship between the in-laws. I have seen it go both ways. It just depends on if you want to take that chance. Some people think it is the duty of the spouse to protect their loved one from harm of their family, others think it is mean to make their spouse the go between. I personally think it should be heavly wieghed upon and prayed about and then a decision be made as to whether or not the spouse should talk to them.

Valeen - posted on 02/23/2012

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Smile and wave is what I live by! I live with my in-laws in one house! My SIL has two kids, aged 12 and 9, and my baby is going on 11 months! There are times when I actually want to kill but I just smile and wave! Unfortunately, we cannot change people. I always say that no matter what someone else may think about me or say, at the end of the day, My Life Still Goes On! I am not going to waste my time being unhappy or put my life on hold because someone does not like me or thinks I am like this or like that!



As for their little girl, encourage her at every chance you get! Build up her confidence and help make her a strong, confident, comfortable young lady.

Carol - posted on 02/23/2012

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they seem toxic, try to spend as little time with them as possible, when you are with them try to model for them what a healthy family looks like, you will probaly rub off on them when they the concederation you have for your child.

Arrange with your husband before you leave home that you will probaly be taking a walk when your anzxiety starts to rise leave when comments are made that make you feel uncomfortable.Take youer stroller and go for a walk come back saying "oh its time to go" Remember to stand and walk even if it is into the bathroom or next room for a deep breath, dont stay where she is. Keep your dignity by being polite. when you out of the house going home do not say any thing about what has just happened, it will hurt your husbands feelings, you don't want that to happen. Keep your comment to a minimum. Preserve your family.

Paula - posted on 02/23/2012

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Give you hubby the option---either YOU address your sister or I will!!!! Tell him that if he does not want to address it then he still MUST support you in this because you guys have to be on the same page and show a unite front against the unnecessary, cruel and abusive name calling. This is the only way she will stop if she know you both are against it!

I would point blank tell her that the name calling does not work for me and I would appreciate it if she would refrain. Just be blunt and honest!!! BE prepared because it may get a little nasty before it gets better, but in the end she will respect your feelings and abide or stay the heck away with her negativity!

Diane - posted on 02/23/2012

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the best advice i can give you is people are all different..you have to overlook the way your sister in law talks to everyone,just be glad you are not like her.you want the kids to stay close because they are cousins.and that is the most important part.so when she makes bad remarks about her husband and child,always know when her child grows up,you can be the aunt she will come to for advice..so stay strong.i have had 3 marriages,when great sisterinlaws,which i still keep in touch with all there family's..the more people you keep in your life...the happier you will stay at the end...diane from florida...good luck,always be the bigger person,and dont complain to your husband anymore about your sisterinlaw,it always hurts a man when the wife talks about his family...life is short and its not worth it....enjoy your family..

Sierra - posted on 02/23/2012

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Clearly she is a toxic witch... I'd ask your husband to un-friend because of the comment. You have every right to be angry, I would also tell your husband that although you know how much he loves and values his sister, when the behavior that offends occurs, leave immediately. You can't tell your sister in law how to parent or interact with her husband, HOWEVER, you can certainly limit your exposure to it in family settings. It is very simple, if she wants the benefit of a positive relationship with you and your family, she will curb the nasty behavior. You can't get mad if you get up and walk away.

Cassie - posted on 02/23/2012

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First off I would unfriend her on Facebook, if she asks why then tell her that she was disrepectful and if she has something to say, say in person don't post it on Facebook. I would just avoid her whenever possible. As for their daughter, there isn't anything you can do about that but when you are around them you can lavish her with positive comments and hopefully the parents will pick up on it. Your husband can't control his family, if this is his sister than he needs to stand up to her and tell her what she did was unacceptable, if she has a problem with that then that is her problem not yours.

Carol - posted on 02/23/2012

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It is sad, and I know it hurts to watch, but you have to understand, that this child was given to this woman, and is not your responsibility. When you get the chance you can try to build the child's self esteem up, but damage done by a Mom is impossible to change. My husband and I have a pact. He talks to his family members. I talk to my family members. I don't discuss my dislikes with his family with his family. I tell him, if he handles it, ok, if not, it is out of my hands. That way, I can have a good relationship with his family and him with mine. Sometimes avoiding too much contact is the answer. I wish you the best, because I know it hurts to watch.

Linda - posted on 02/23/2012

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How old are the girls? Did you know that a parent can be charged with mental abuse? And that what your niece is hearing could affect her later in life? If you are a Christian, I would pray for her and for your niece and reach out with an invitation to church. I finally had to take a step back and away from my ex DIL because her mouth and her actions didn't match her promises to me. I would love to share privately with you if you like but this may be one you have to walk away from and pray for. Take care of your own beautiful daughter and give your niece over to God. If you know she cotinues to mentally abuse her, you can report it. It is your choice.

Laura - posted on 02/23/2012

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The only person you can change is you!

Use your energy and emotion in a positive way showing love to your family...including the ones who do not know how to do that.

The best you can do to help is live right in front of everyone and especially those you feel are not doing so.

Don't preach - teach by example.

Most folks resent and resist intervention and will only create more chaos for everyone.

Live love in front of them. And towards them.

Pray for them!!! I will.

Julie - posted on 02/23/2012

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First, I'd block her from FB, it serves no purpose to see the person's comments and stew over it. What does your DH say about it? If he doesn't stop his own sister from treating him like garbage, there is nothing you can do. Nothing you can say will ever change him or her. I have a SIL who acts like this on her nice days. I know you want to be there for her daughter, but you need to to put you and your family first. If it is this big of an issue, do not have any type of contact with her.

Laura - posted on 02/23/2012

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Unfriend her on facebook and cut your contact with her. She and her husband sound pretty poisonous to me. That poor little girl though...that treatment is abuse plain and simple. Sounds like they all need counselling...can you convince your husband to at least intervene on the behalf of his niece?

Lynnette - posted on 02/22/2012

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This is really a problem that your husband should handle, since these are his relatives. It is his responsibility to ensure that his family members are respectful of the two of you and your relationship. As for her treatment of her own daughter, emotional abuse is still abuse, and if you are really concerned, you should have your husband speak with her. I hope you are able to work it out because if you don't your husband will always feel like he's in the middle. The only way to fix it is for him to step and take the lead here.

[deleted account]

My husbands family are similar to this. His dad abused and then abandon him. After our son was born, his Nan told him that he would be just like his father, like he had no choice. It upset my husband, but they do stuff like this all the time and he just puts up with it. It makes me really angry, and I want to say something to them, but there nothing that can be said with out straining the relationship. So I just try and be there for him, and keep my kids away from the negativity as much as possible. (my husband is NOTHING like his father). Also I count to 10 before I talk to them after they say anything like that.

Alexandra - posted on 02/22/2012

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I am sorry you have to go through this.

I would have the minimum contact with your sister in law possible. You do not have to see her, right? Then don't. Let her meet your husband and let her do whatever with you in the room. If it doesn't bother your husband, I am sorry, then there is nothing you can do. In my opinion, he should have said something ages ago. And not tolerate this.

Trish - posted on 02/22/2012

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what a sad sorry life this sil must have if she has to resort to facebook to belittle others...by all means cut the ties,or you too will be dragged down to her level,associate only at family gatherings,as for the niece she will be the carnage in the middle of what must be pressure,financial or otherwise,be there for her when needed,avoid cyps where ever possible,but if abuse occurs report it...where is the mil in all this,

Stacy - posted on 02/22/2012

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Unfortunately, we can't choose our family.

I can not tolerate one of my SIL's, who has treated my kids as if they don't exist since birth, and quite honestly, we have written her off. She is not a part of our lives, as far as we are concerned, and basically, I wouldn't have it any other way. They thing we keep reminding our in-laws (husbands parents), is that SHE did this. SHE chose to separate herself from us and our kids, and well, we have no regret about our choice.

Stand up and be proud for the people you have CHOSEN to be in your life, and the people who are GOOD and full of blessings to you and your family. The others, well, blood ties or not, it's not worth the pain in life to try and change them.

Good luck to you! :)

Sharon - posted on 02/22/2012

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Kelina, I like the way you have recognised that the only person's behaviour you can change is your own: in this case, your reaction to your SIL. All the comments above are positive too! We all have these challenges in life and what we do with them is what makes us a person of integrity - or not!

I agree with those who have suggested you be pro-active with your neice - she will really need it from as many other people as possible. And the documenting is also a good idea (perhaps you could surreptitiously get an incident on your phone video??? - all she might need is one or two of these turn up mysteriously on a CD next to her computer one day so she can see herself as she really is).

Stephanie - posted on 02/22/2012

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I feel for u +-- I total understand--1st keep you interaction with them to almost nothing-- if it is your husband family let him deal with it-- if it's your family then you should speak up and say something to them about it---, but always counter act her negative opinion about everything with a positive opinion.... again juststayr clear if u can of her she is nothing but poison... I have been there and done that just think of your family.. and not of her



..

Rebekah - posted on 02/22/2012

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I have been in a similar situation, but it was my MIL saying things to me. My ex just let her, if I said anything back, he got mad at me. The best I can say is either cut her and her hobby out. Out of your life. You, and your family deserve better than that b.s. It seems to me she's always treated family that way, and been allowed to get away with it. If that all feels too drastic, repell her nasty comments with a smile and positive comments, then change the subject. If you need inspiration to smile, just picture her in a straight jacket.

Kelina - posted on 02/22/2012

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Thanks everyone. I know that trying to get anything through to her is like bashing your head against a wall. We bought a house with them at one point. Dumbest thing we ever did. Despite the fact that I've never really liked these things it's just lately that they've been setting my blood to boiling point probably because of the hormones and unfortunately those aren't going to stop anytime soon. I think my daughter is picking up on how stressed I am and has started grinding her teeth again-which of course drives me even more insane lol. I think the biggest issue is that even straight talk with her results in nothing. I've worked to limit contact for a number of reasons-how she treats her hubby and daughter being one of them the other that every time we go over to their house we come home sick. It just really got to me yesterday, I went from nothing to a blood boil in 5 quick seconds when she insulted both my hubby and her daughter in one short sentence.

Corinne - posted on 02/22/2012

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I like the last mother's advice to keep in mind that your SIL has some serious insecurity issues there and it is no one's place but her to change. Counter-acting her negatives with the positives is smart but I would also really discuss with your husband about setting some clear boundaries with her and her husband when in your home or around your children. Basically you tell them straight that that kind of talk will not be tolerated. You may have care and love for them but not for the way they treat your niece and each other.

[deleted account]

HUUMM! Not involving poison or a gun, I'm not sure. LOL You just can't change people and getting some people to understand how immature and horrible they are being is like talking to a wall. They will never see it because they don't want to. All you can do is control how you act and pray for her and her child. What she is doing to that child is horrific. I would never do anything like that to one of my children. She should be boosting her daughters self esteem instead of crushing it. The best thing I could tell you to do to keep yourself calm is to mentally prepare yourself before any interaction with her (literally sit down and relax) and don't let her turn you into someone your not by making you loose your temper. You're the only one that can make you loose ur temper so don't let her have control of that. Everyone always says this but it does work take deep breaths and before you respond to her think about what you should say before you say it. Don't try to fight fire with fire you'll just have a bigger fire. And it will cause problems between you and your husband. Good luck and God Bless!

Amy - posted on 02/21/2012

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Omg you just describes my sil!!!! I honestly think I'm just going to unfriend my brother and sil because I can't stand the way she acts and the way she treats him. Both of them advertise family drama on there sites and frankly I think that as adults they should keep personal matters just that. I'm sorry that I have no real good advice to offer you but we are in the same boat feel free to message me anytime your frustrated and need to vent!

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