What to Do When You and Your Sister-in-Law Don't Get Along

Etiquette, Relationships
Future Sibling In-Law Dislikes You

Photo: Touchstone Pictures/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection

Weddings are about more than just your love for one another and the new family you're creating: It's the joining of both of your families, parents and siblings included. And while you absolutely love your fiancé, there's no guarantee you'll be equally enamored with their siblings. So what's a bride to do when she and her sister-in-law just don't get along? Our experts have a few tips.

The good thing is, there's no rule that says you and your sister-in-law have to be the best of friends. Especially if you live far away from your fiancé's family, as long as the two of you can be cordial when you get together for family celebrations and visits, you're golden. Just be friendly, do your best to get to know her, and put a smile on your face. She is his sister, after all!

If it's more than just not getting along, that's when things get sticky. Whether the two of you have had some sort of fight, she doesn't approve of your marriage, or she's jealous, any sort of animosity between you two has the potential to cause rifts with your fiancé, as well. Begin by trying to talk about it. Did one of you offend the other person somehow, and you haven't had a chance to clear the air? Use your upcoming nuptials as a reason to get it all out on the table, and at least try to get to a place where you can tolerate one another. If it's a bigger issue and she really doesn't believe that the two of you should get married, you and your fiancé should discuss how you want to handle it as a couple. Don't ask him to choose between you and his sister — that would be making the problem even worse — but instead ask how he recommends you handle any time you need to all spend together, and find a balance that you are BOTH comfortable with.

No matter the situation, the only behavior and reactions you can control are your own. Be kind and civil, avoid causing drama or bringing up past issues that are already resolved, and know when to excuse yourself for a breath of fresh air. The more you can stay calm, cool, and collected, the easier it will be — and hopefully you'll be able to warm up to one another over the years.

See more: Can Having a Mean Sister-in-Law Make or Break Your Marriage?

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