Family Matters…..or does it?

When it comes to family and the bond families have with one another, it’s no doubt that you should be able to count on your family when the chips are down, right?  In my heart, family matters. It’s the main piece to any puzzle.

Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.

When I was a kid, I grew up in a tight-knit family. I saw fights, arguments, crying and lots of love in between it all.  No matter the issue, there was a bond that I always saw that was very important.

Yes, people gave each other the silent treatment. Yes, people gave each other evil looks. Yes, people cursed at each other and said hurtful things. But in the end, they forgave and “forgot” about the issue.  To me that is what life is all about – the true meaning of the word family.

“You forgive and you forget. ”  The phrase is not meant to take literally, in my opinion.  What it means to me is that if you have a downfall with a loved one, take time away for awhile and try to get a breath. Chill out, so to speak.  After you’re ready to talk, explain how you feel, try to forgive because life is too damn short and get over it – don’t forget the situation because obviously you learned something out of the argument, right?

I’ve been thinking long and hard about sharing my life with my in-laws.  If you’ve been a long time reader of New York Chica (thank you!!) then you will notice that I rarely write about family issues because that is not what my blog is about.  I want people to come by, read what I posted and leave on a good note.

But life isn’t always happy. We all go thru some drama whether we like it or not. It’s a part of life, especially if you’re married.  Because not only are you married  to your spouse, you’re also married to their family.  You may not agree with that but in reality if you really think about it, it’s true. Your in-laws become your family and vice-versa.  Your job is to get along or at least try for the sake of your spouse.

So here’s the thing; it’s been a few years since I last spoke to my sister-in-law — not by choice (I should say in-laws but this is the main issue).  To be totally honest,  we were extremely close once upon a time.  When I say close, I mean close like sisters.  We would talk on the phone almost daily.  My kids would sleep over her house and vice-versa.   But as time went on and as my daughter got older, my husband and I thought it would be a good idea for our daughter to stop sleeping in the same bed with her male cousin and brother.

Fair enough, right? We are her parents and adults should respect the parent’s rules and wishes, no matter what it is, right? Plus, why should a 9-year-old girl sleep in the same bed with the opposite sex?

Well, for my SIL, that didn’t work out as planned. I spoke to her about our feelings of having our daughter sleep in a separate bed because she was getting older and we’re trying to teach our daughter about self-respect.  We feel as her parents, we should be able to set rules for our kids regardless of where they are.  Our rule was, she should sleep by herself when boys are around or she’s not allowed to have a sleepover at all.

After I said what I had to say, it caused a huge disagreement and caused unnecessary accusations about us not trusting her, her family or her home.  I tried to explain that it was nothing against her or her kids (she has 3 boys), it’s just how kids are. At that age (age 9 or at times even earlier) kids can become experimental because of hormones and all, especially with stuff they learn and hear at school. It was not meant for any negativity or any problems.  Boy, was I wrong. Since she’s a very opinionated person,  I figured I would be able to express my own opinions about my kids, right?


It was like she took the whole situation and flipped it around.  It was now about us not trusting her and all hell broke loose.  At the time my daughter was 9-years-old.  She’s twelve now. It’s been 3 years since we last spoke. Til this day, we still do not speak.  I’ve apologized for “hurting” her (she accused me of hurting her on purpose) many times because that was not my intention and still she has put up a brick wall.

It’s a hard situation.  I would love for her to be back in our lives again but I don’t want any negativity in our lives or anyone who disrespects our rules as a parent or even accuse us of not trusting her. You know what I mean?

We should be able to have ground rules for our kids and people should respect that.

If you’ve seen The Real Housewives of New Jersey lately, then you may noticed our situation is very similar to Teresa’s and Melissa’s relationship.  I can’t help but wonder what is the reason for the brick wall my sister-in-law has built for us?  What is she trying to prove?

I wish I knew. I guess only time will tell. But after 3 years, should I even bother? Or should I wait and see?

How do you deal with your in-laws when you have a disagreement and/or rules they won’t accept? I would love some advice.


  1. That’s a tough situation. She should be more understanding of your wishes which are not out of line. I grew up w some male cousins but we never slept in the same bed for the same reasons. And as much as my parents fought with their siblings, it never was about parenting. I hope you two can work it out so she doesn’t miss out on her niece growing up.

  2. Family squabbles are so tough sometimes, especially when they stem from something that shouldn’t really matter. By that I mean, she should have respected your parenting choices for your daughter. Who would think such a thing could split a family and friendship? I say take the high road (which you’ve done) and maybe one day she’ll see it’s not worth losing the ones you love.

  3. Now this is a tough one. The in-laws may be torn to choose sides and might just be trying not to get involved. You’re a strong woman and I hope your sister-in-law comes to understand.

  4. I haven’t had any real problems with my in laws, but I did take offense to my sister-in-law giving my 6 month old coke.

    I do have a sister that I haven’t spoken to for many years, but that’s her choice. The good news is that I do have a good relationship with her son (my nephew) and that is the main thing for me, he & his wife have just had a little girl which I am lucky to be apart of. I know I haven’t done anything wrong because this particular sister doesn’t speak to my mother, my brother or other sister either. She has just chosen to disconnect from the family because of petty jealousy. She even de-friended me and my brother from her facebook account. I have tried to reach out to her for the past 5 years and still nothing, she never responds so I have just given up. The ball is now in her court and it is up to her to make the next move.

    All you can do is try and reach out and then it’s up to her to see where it goes. I personally believe that asking that your child sleep in a separate bed is nothing to cause a rift like this. It seems as though the whole thing was just blown way out of proportion. Maybe she knows that and is just embarrassed about it??

    I know this sort of situation can be upsetting, but you have done nothing wrong. I think if your sister-in-law had a girl instead of 3 boys she may have been a little more understanding. Maybe an invite for coffee from you may get the ball rolling and if not then you know you have tried and that’s all you can do. Hope things work out for you 🙂

  5. Yea, you’re totally Melissa. LOL. But in all seriousness I don’t think you have anything to feel sorry for or guilty about. Because you and I are really related, and I’ve heard this story before and the after effects, I know that you did not have an malcious intent in telling here what you did. I also know that you have done your best to apologize to her over and over and she has not wanted to accept your apology. Its upsetting that people will let so much time past in there lives hating and being bitter. Then one day when the person they’re mad at isn’t there anymore, many even wonder what happened to being with.

    In my humble opinion I don’t think you have anything to be sorry for. Young boys and girls shouldn’t be sleeping together in the same bed, or the same room. Some, probably like your sister in law, will argue, “But so what, they’re cousins.” Well my first kiss was with a male cousin in Puerto Rico (it was a tap kiss, calm down, and I was 10 years old). And guess who’s room I stayed in when I visited. You’re absolutely right, kids at that age get curious, experimental and overall nosy! So it’s better to be safe and if she respects you and your husband, her brother, she should respect the rules and values you instill with your children. I do hope it gets better for you, because family is family where it’s blood or you’re married into it. It’s silly to let nonsense ruin that bond.

  6. WOW! I totally get where you are coming from…My family treats my husband like GOLD. However, my relationship with my in-laws is difficult. We’re in a similar situation. And it’s tough, because I want my son to know his cousins but the adults are making it difficult.

    I think you and your husband are completely right in your decision, at 9 years old your daughter shouldn’t be sleeping in her male cousin’s bed. It’s not about trust, its about your personal decision. And your sister in law should understand that. It’s unfortunate, she does not. Hopefully you can find a way to resolve this.

    And your page is looking pretty amazing!

    • My family LOVES my husband too. He hates how his own blood treats me. I don’t blame him – I would to. I’ve known him for 32 years so I’ve been around his family for a long time so you would think otherwise, right? Yea right! Thx for commenting.

  7. Lisa, you already know all about my drama with my MIL. Like you, I am puzzled as to what I have done that was so bad that it warranted all of the bad behavior towards me from her over the years. I’ve realized that we are not the problem. A lot of these familial issues probably existed before you and I even came into the picture as the “wives.” Unfortunately, since we will always technically be considered the “outsiders,” it is very easy for them to turn them into the targets of all their drama and disrespect. Some of it probably has to do with jealousy too because they feel that we have taken away their brothers and sons. I have always found this to be ridiculous since, it’s a different kind of love that you have for your partner and your family. In any case, you were perfectly within your rights as a parent to voice your concerns about the sleeping arrangement in your SIL’s house. As a parent, she should have been more understanding. I get the sense that maybe this is not the real issue between you two but that she has used it to her advantage. Maybe you have to dig deeper for the real root of all the animosity. I’m right there in the struggle with you, Sistah. 😉
    Tough Cookie Mommy recently posted..The MIL Strikes Again…

    • If there is another issue, I’m clueless b/c she never said anything else. If there is, I’m no mind-reader. You know? People can be so weird.

  8. Lisa,
    I feel you mujer! I think what is toughest about this, is not only were you in-laws but you were actually good friends from how close you were saying you had gotten. Also, you felt you could talk to her and share and it would be ok, because there is una confiansa there. Bottom line, you have done everything to say that it was never your intention to have her feel hurt about what you shared. It’s unfortunate that small disagreements can lead to big damages in a relationship.

    When I read your post it was like reading my experience with my bestest friend at the time. it’s been 4 years and all my attempts at making amends are unwelcomed. I should add, it started with me hurting her unintentionally and then she “attacked” me and then I could not recover right away from that which to her was reason enough to cut me off. The thing is for me, she is still my sister forever. That bond cannot be broken. We don’t have to like each other, she doesn’t have to talk to me, but I love her just the same regardless.

    Do I think one day she will stop being stubborn? I hope for it, but it’s ok if she doesn’t, if that’s her choice. We can’t force people, but we can leave the door open and reach out when it feels right to do so.

    We can never go back to being the same and that is a reality, but why not go forth in a direction that is civil, peaceful, and loving especially if there is a real connection that brings you together. For you, it’s that this is FAMILY!

    For me, it’s that she is my soul sister… I didn’t create that- some higher force did! 😉

    Good luck and just keep the door open and when your spirit is called to reach out then do that without (as much as possible) any expectation in return. That’s the heart way and peace way to do it, I think!


    Vicky (@DocSabia) recently posted..Worktastic Wednesday: When Things Fall Apart

    • What a heartfelt comment. Thank you so much for sharing your story and for stopping by. After over 2 years, I still have hope — for the sake of family and the kids. Hugs to you too!

  9. Thank you for inspiring me to think deeply about this! So right after I finished commenting, I linked your story and my comment that I shared here! 🙂

    Thanks for visiting and I have to share my button with you! I don’t have a button yet or even know how to make one? lol

    Pero soon,
    Vicky B (@DocSabia) recently posted..Thoughtful Thursday: Thinking of That Best Friendship That "Ended"

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