My husband has a sister and her husband that we have chosen to cut off. We would like the least amount of drama possible and I would love to hear any and all of your ideas on what to do. I recognize that some drama will happen but it we can limit it all the better.
BG Not to go into too much detail but the toxic behavior includes lying, stealing, borrowing money without repaying, selling birthday and Christmas gifts given to niece at pawn shops, not bringing their families agreed upon share of potluck items, Easter eggs, money for rented items. They have brought their pets when they knew pets were not invited. They join everyone at the zoo/museum/restaurant and then "forget" their wallet. There has been hints but no concrete evidence of animal abuse, child neglect. The list goes on.
There are 4 other sibling in addition to DH and the CO sister, for a total of 6 siblings. All but two are married and have children. The extended family has many family activities that everyone is invited to, including holiday gatherings and all birthdays. Many of the family even do a joint vacation. In recent years all of the siblings have begun to scale back the activities due to this couples behavior. Everyone has dealt with it a little differently sometimes with quiet Time outs, canceling the traditional holiday gathering so they do not have to not invite them etc. We are the first to cut them off.
At the final straw but before we did the cutoff DH attempted to contact his sister 5 times, he called, used facebook, went to their house, texted he even asked other siblings to ask sister to call. They refused to return his calls or messages.
End BG, DH told each of sibling that our family was cutting off sister and her family. He told them that we are not asking them to get involved and respect their choices to do whatever they want to do. He let them know that this is our choice and we accept the consequences that this might have. We may chose to not attend family events if they plan on attending and we will not be participating in an joint rentals, arrangements, vacations, etc. We made sure that they knew that we plan on making an extra effort to do things with each of the siblings families because it is likely that we will not be participating in family holidays and birthday parties. None of the other siblings were angry about our choice. So far this has worked very well. The level of drama in our lives has decreased. The times we see family may be less but we have more fun.
SIL 2 told me that CO SIL just noticed, 4 months after the fact, that we had blocked her on facebook. So summer is starting and we have been invited to a day at the beach with the family. CO SIL has said she will not be attending. DH has to work but I plan on attending with my kids. A friend told me that I should be worried that this is a trick and SIL may show up. Even if this isn't a trick, at sometime we will eventually bump into each other no matter what we do.
We have both decided that when this happens we will keep our cool, be as polite as possible and then find an excuse to leave. But what do we do if she continues to ask why the CO, or starts to scream, call names, etc. It is not an appropriate conversation at a fun family gathering. We were willing to talk about it 4 months ago when we tried to get a hold of her, but now we just feel done.
She usually comes without her husband and this is about both of them so we did not want to have the conversation with just one of them. They both lie to others and each other so a conversation without both of them is pointless. In reality we only are willing to stop the CO when they both start asking responsibly. DH believes any conversation will simply be more lies, excuses and unkept promises.