Life or chess?
Do you ever feel like you have your very own Annabelle living with you? But in your case, instead of her being a plush doll with cute little pigtails that won’t leave you alone, you are stuck with an adult human-sized version in the form of your Nand (sister-in-law). A manipulative Nand. A manipulative sister-in-law.
She is everywhere you go. She is always watching you, waiting for you to slip up so she can swoop in and make you feel bad. Your life is like a never-ending game of chess, with every step and every word uttered being a move. And it’s exhausting because you know you are nowhere near the checkmate, and you are losing.
So how to deal with such a manipulative Nand (sister-in-law)? What to do when reality sinks in, and you realize you are part of a game you never actually signed up for, but life just volunteered you for it? And now you are stuck with a scheming, manipulative Nand (sister-in-law) who is constantly haunting you and has for some reason never learned of the term “privacy”?
Understand the game
So how can you tell if your sister-in-law is manipulative and the demon you are making her to be or if you are just being “paranoid”?
The Nand (sister-in-law) knows so much about your marital relationship to the point where it’s downright creepy. And to top it all off, she always has a comment or unwanted opinion about everything you do. And this unwarranted free advice of hers just exists to add fuel to the fire and make matters worse.
She has riled everyone against you to the point where you feel lonely and alone. Sometimes even your husband believes her to be an angel in disguise because she is just that good of an actress like every manipulative person ever.
Now we all know that we are no Sherlock Holmes and can’t predict every move of such a Nand (sister-in-law). All you can do is always be on guard and prepare for the impact because, trust me, when it comes it won’t politely knock to signal its arrival just like its initiator, it will come when you least expect it.
But boundaries need to be set. Everything you own can’t be hers. No relationship is complete without some level of privacy no matter how close your hubby is to his sister. You need to sit him down and tell him about your concerns. And no matter how hard it is for him to hear this, he has to respect your feelings because he does love you.
Just try to break the news to him lightly and know choosing sides would be hard for him, so maybe mention some good aspects of your Nand (sister-in-law) to him, like all the ways she has made you feel welcome. Just remember no one is perfect and we all have our shortcomings.
“Disengage, not disrespect” should be your ideal approach. Do not take the bait and do not respond. But when the boiling hot rage threatens to bubble up and consume all that comes in its way, look at it this way. She is not the enemy but a victim. In most cases, a manipulative person hates themselves more than you hate them.
The only reason she is intent on making your life as hard as possible is that she herself is insecure about her position in the household and in your husband’s life and is intimidated and jealous of the sudden intrusion in supposedly “her domain”.
Knowing how threatened she feels by you will also go a long way to make you feel good about yourself when her actions are doing anything but such. It will give you a reason to stand tall and keep a cool exterior taunting her more than words ever could, knowing she can’t get to you.
But at the end of the day, know that she is a human too, so respect that but don’t cut her too much slack as compromises come from both sides.