What’s your love and relationship problem?
Ask Meredith at Love Letters. Yes, it’s anonymous.
I am getting married to the love of my life in a few months. He is a great partner. He is caring, smart, and I know he loves me very much. There is just one thing that seems to make me feel anxious – my future in laws. Specifically, his sister.
Over the years, I have found her to be hot and cold, which is fine. I try not to take anything too personally. I sometimes get the feeling she doesn’t like me or sees me as some type of competition. I have made efforts to have a relationship with her, but have come to the understanding that I can’t force it and just to let things be. I have tried enough.
Fast forward to a few months ago. She got engaged and we’re very happy for them. There was one thing I thought was weird though; she had pretty much the exact same engagement ring as I do – just a lot bigger of a stone. I know this is the one she asked for based on conversations with her. During those conversations, I would say “the ring you’re describing sounds like mine,” and she wouldn’t acknowledge what I was saying. I want to comment again but don’t want to come across as jealous. I am a bit weirded out, as this is not the first time she has copied outfits I wear or repeated things I have said and claimed as her own. I feel awful the way that I allow the situation to make me feel uncomfortable and a little bit disrespected. I don’t want to rock the boat, but I also know I will get to a point when I need to say something. Do you agree the ring situation is bizarre? Is it OK that it upsets me and that I want to be acknowledged?
I am not a jewelry person. I invite those who have feelings about engagement rings to chime in, please.
My take: it makes sense that you’re upset, but I’m not sure it’ll help to have this specific issue acknowledged. She’s not going to return that ring or apologize. Also, no one is asking the two of you to stand next to each other and hold out your hands for inspection. The people in your life will see your ring. The people in hers will see that one. At family gatherings, everyone knows the timeline.
I love weddings – as a guest – but I get the sense they’re very stressful for the people involved. Some of the rituals that go along with the process can take already complicated relationships and make them kind of miserable. Know that the next few months might be a period of heightened feelings. Maybe you can wait to see how much this bothers you after the big events are over.
Try to remember that with weddings, people imitate cool things they’ve seen. That’s why there are so many magazines and websites about them.
The bigger issue here is that you might not enjoy this woman very much, in general. Remember, she’s not a friend, she’s family. There will be more of these moments – comparisons and duplication (especially if there are kids involved). Get used to saying, “I’m an influencer!” and letting it go – unless it seems more malicious. That’s when a discussion might be worthwhile. But it’ll be more about boundaries. She’s not going to change.
Try to see less of her, if you can. That’s probably not a real option at the moment, as both of you are having life events that involve family. But sometimes it’s best to talk to others at the party. Like your husband-to-be. He’s the best part of this.
Readers? Is it worth talking to the soon-to-be sister-in-law about this issue? Does this feel worse right now because they’re both getting married? What about talking to the fiancé about the issue?
“I don’t know if she sees you as competition. But it’s clear you see her as competition.”Terminater5
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