You've imagined your wedding day and even envisioned the life that you and your spouse will share. You may have imagined a growing family as you join your husband's family and his siblings and parents become your own. But nowhere in your dreams did you imagine a jealous sister-in-law. She's nasty, rude, hurtful, and her jealousy is ruining your perfect extended family. Is there hope for you and your spouse when a jealous sister-in-law is on the prowl?
Keep your spouse out of it.
Involving your spouse directly in the drama between the two of you may cause more tension than you want or need. Unless problems between you and your sister-in-law have escalated to the point of verbal warfare, try to keep your spouse's involvement to a minimum. Don't ask him to take sides. Avoid making the situation more uncomfortable for him than it needs to be. Of course, there may be circumstances when there's no choice but for your husband to speak up, but try to make this a last resort.
Don't rub it in.
A jealous sister-in-law wants something you have that she doesn't. The "it" that you have may be her brother's ear, the attention of your in-laws, or a new and growing family. Often, the root of jealousy is hurt feelings. Help your sister-in-law curb her green-eyed monster by avoiding the temptation to rub it in. This will only make things worse and you risk permanently damaging your relationship.
Bite your tongue.
Do you feel baited by your sister-in-law's actions or words? If you feel that she is trying to fuel the fire and pull you into a fight, don't be tempted. Even if your jealous sister-in-law is the one causing the trouble, she is still going to be your in-law's daughter and your husband's sister. She will probably always be a part of your life, though only you and your spouse can determine how big of a part that is. By learning to bite your tongue when you feel that she is trying to incite you, you show that you are the bigger person. Your spouse and your in-laws will notice and appreciate it.
Kill her with kindness.
When you do interact with a jealous sister-in-law, kill her with kindness. Ask about her and her life, involve her in every conversation, and avoid situations and topics that you feel are at the heart of her jealousy. If you can determine what it is that she's jealous of, you can try to avoid that topic and keep the peace.
Keep your distance.
Depending on how close-knit your husband's family is, keeping your distance can be easy or difficult. Keeping your distance from a jealous sister-in-law may mean limiting one-on-one time with her or avoiding any time with her altogether. If you have to go this route to keep the peace, try to do it as tactfully as possible and discuss it with your spouse.
Call a spade a spade.
If you've exhausted every other possibility, it may be time to confront your sister-in-law head on. If you can, do it alone so that she doesn't feel ganged up on. Tell her exactly why you feel upset and give examples. Avoid name-calling. Express to her that your goal is to keep the peace between you and your in-laws. Tell her that the ball is in her court. Ask her what you can do to help the situation. With any luck, she doesn't realize how overt her behaviors have been, and she'll make a change. If not, you may have to resort to one of the earlier tactics again.
Don't let the green-eyed monster ruin a relationship between you and your in-laws.