Ask Sis Dolly: Abusive in-laws

By Drum Digital
12 May 2014

My in-laws treat me badly

Anonymous asks: I’m 24 and married. My husband works in another province and he has left me with his family. At first they pretended to like me but things changed after my daughter and my sister, who are both eight years old, came to visit me in the school holidays. During that time I had to leave them with my husband’s family for three days as I was admitted to hospital. When I returned home I discovered my sister-in-law had locked them up without food for the three days. I immediately took them home to my mother. I’m desperate: they treat me badly and I feel like packing my bags and never coming back.

Sis Dolly answers: It is hard to be abandoned byyour husband and have to copewith a long-distance relationshipand unfriendly in-laws at thesame time. I suggest you focuson your marriage and try to findanother solution to the problembefore you throw in the towel.Ask your husband to speak tohis family and tell him that theyare making you feel unwelcomein their home. It’s not easy livingwith in-laws (see Getting on withyour in-laws, 10 March) but youshould make an effort. Perhaps your sister-in-law is jealous or you make her feel threatened. Try to befriend her. Also spend time with your mother-in-law so you can get to know her and learn about her. She’ll respect you for that. But if you’re still miserable try to move closer to where your husband is working and try to get a job there. If you’re earning money, you’ll have more options.

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