How To Stop Wanting To Slap Your Sister In Law

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by Melody Fletcher on January 22, 2012

I’ve written about family issues before. I explored why we regress into a moody, irrational state around our relatives in “Why Being Around Your Family Turns You Into A 16-Year Old“, and gave an overview of how to stop negative family members from pulling you down into their pit of sewage in “How Can We Keep Our Family’s Vibration From Affecting Us?” Today, I’d like to explore the idea of keeping your vibration high when you’ve got a negative family member who is driving you crazy, a little further. I’ve received this question several times, but think the following illustrates it perfectly:

Super Awesome Reader Kim asks: “I have this sister in law, who just rubs me the wrong way and has so for many years.  Now I know that Abraham* says that until I can make peace and go with the flow that this problem will continue and even if I should move away I would attract someone else to take their place.  My question is, how? How do you make peace with the problem when it is constantly on your mind and your mind just keeps going over and over the past hurts?  I know that I should be reaching for a better thought and not talking about it and looking for the good things in that person, but I can’t get there.  How do you make peace with this person and go with the flow?”

Thank you for this excellent question Kim. I think it’s one that almost everyone can relate to. We all have that family member that we’re pretty sure would make Gandhi go postal. “Oh sure”, we think, “Gandhi was a pacifist. But he never met my Aunt Frieda!” And, although, Gandhi would probably have overflowed with love for your aunt, it wouldn’t have been nearly as easy for him to deal with his own nasty uncle Hindu Bob.  That’s because no one mirrors our annoying crap back to us quite like our family does. Bless their hearts.

Technically, you know what to do. You just can’t do it.

Ok, so you know that what you’re feeling is about you. You have some belief that you have to release, and your relative is dancing around on it. And because you know this, because you’ve studied LOA and read tons of books and read Melody’s super awesome blog (he, he), it’s all the more irritating that you can’t seem to shift out of wanting to just slap your sister in law every time you see her. What gives?

Well, here’s the thing: Just because you know the technicalities of what you have to do, doesn’t mean the journey gets any easier for you (trust me on this. How I wish that wasn’t true!) That’s because this isn’t a logical journey; it’s an emotional one. You have to actually go through the whole “feelings” mess. And, you have to cut yourself some slack. The whole idea that this should be easier for you because you technically know what to do is bullshit. You don’t get to skip emotional steps just because you realize that they’re there. In fact, this tendency to beat up on yourself for not having shifted yet, this tendency to judge your progress against what you think you should’ve accomplished by now, will make the whole process harder.

Step 1: Get away from her

When someone in your family is triggering you to the point where the mere thought of them makes you fantasize about the Friday the 13th movies, where you are Michael and your sister in law is one of the only teenagers alive who has never seen a slasher movie and hence thinks it’s ok to go to the woods with her friends to get drunk and fool around, and decides to wander out into the woods alone, even after bodies start turning up, then you’re not going to be able to shift your vibration on that subject while you’re around them. I don’t care how strong you are, it’s just not going to happen. You can’t stare at something you hate and declare that you love it. And that’s essentially what you’re asking yourself to do. You’re trying to make way too big of a jump, while being triggered.

Get away from your sister in law. Make excuses not to see her. Stay as far away as you can, until you’ve had a chance to move your vibration to a better feeling place. If you do have to see her, don’t talk to her any more than necessary. Don’t get into discussions. Don’t allow yourself to be alone with her. Protect yourself at any cost.

Do all of the following steps while you’re nowhere near her.

Step 2: Hate the bitch

Yep, you heard me. Go on. Allow yourself to rant and rave about her. I’ll bet you haven’t really given yourself permission to do that, have you? Nope. You’re too enlightened for that. But guess what? If your vibration is stuck in powerlessness (she pushes your buttons and you can’t seem to be able to do anything about that…), then the next step is NOT to try and find a way to love her. The next step is ANGER. So, go on, hate her. List all the reasons that you’re entitled to be pissed off at her; I’m sure there are plenty. You’ve wanted to feel this way, admit it, but you’ve always shut it down. Well, now’s the time to go for it. I give you full permission. Have yourself a good old bitch session and DO NOT feel guilty about it (you don’t have to do this to her face. Let the anger out constructively).

How does that feel? I’ll bet money you’re feeling better already. Stay in this place as long as you need to. Basically, at some point, you’re going to run out of steam. You’re not going to want to hate her anymore, and ranting about her will be exhausting. Do not confuse not wanting to hate her with feeling like you shouldn’t hate her. You have to take the emotional journey, which means, you have to rail against her until all the nasty has left your system. Only then will you be ready for the next step, Grasshopper.

Step 3: She’s not completely evil…

During the anger step, you’ll have been really specific about what your sister in law did to piss you off. And that’s ok. But once you’ve got that out of your system, it’s time to back off a bit. It’s time to get general.

I know you’ve tried to make positive lists about your sister in law before, and I’m sure you came up with some reasons, but none of them shifted you. Why not? Because you weren’t anywhere near the vibration of positive thoughts about her. You couldn’t reach them. And guess what? You still can’t reach them. So, when you have the urge to make another such list of positive traits (and I know you will when I tell you this next step), stop yourself. It’s not going to work.

Think of your sister in law and try to find reasons for how she’s not COMPLETELY evil. She’s not ALL bad. This is NOT the same as a positive list, so don’t try to go there yet. In the ranting phase, you’ll have made statements such as “She always has to be right!” or “She never listens to me!” Notice the absolutes? Now, it’s time to replace words such as “always” and “never” with words such as “sometimes” or even “usually”. If you do these exercises in writing, this will be much easier. You can simply go over what you wrote before and soften the statements.

Is she really always negative, or just usually? Perhaps even just sometimes? Using words such as “often”, “sometimes”, “usually”, “kind of”, or “most of the time” will help to soften your negative statements a bit. You’re still not trying to see your sister in law through the eyes of love (give it up, you’re nowhere near that), but you’re backing off a bit. She may be evil, but she’s not COMPLETELY evil.

Step 4: She does have some redeeming qualities…

Ok, now that you’ve gotten to the place where you truly acknowledge that she’s not the devil (just maybe one of his minions), it’s time to move further up that emotional scale. It’s time to, gulp, get a bit positive. But it’s still not time to make that list of why you should love her and forgive her and why she’s an angel, that you’ve been trying to make. It’s time to acknowledge that your sister in law may, in fact, have some redeeming qualities. Perhaps she’s a good mother. Or maybe she’s got good hair. She volunteers at a soup kitchen, which means she can’t be all bad. If you’ve done Step 2 and 3, you should’ve let all the nasty out of your system, which means that you’ll be much less apt to follow these generally positive statements up with sarcastic comments (a la: “She volunteers at a soup kitchen…she’s probably doing it for community service.”) DO NOT try to focus on events or qualities that have anything to do with YOU. Look at her life in general – is she kind? Is she intelligent? What does she do well? Sit with this list until you truly feel better about her and can acknowledge, not grudgingly but truly, that yes, she actually is a really good mother. And she does have a nice singing voice. And she does have a big heart. This could take hours, days or weeks. Do not rush this step.

Step 5: It’s about you

Only now, once you’ve successfully shifted your thoughts about your sister in law to a better feeling place, can you begin to see how she may be mirroring your crap back to you. You have to take the emotional sting out of the situation before you can even begin to evaluate the relationship, especially if you’re doing this on your own. Only once you’ve done that, can you start to see how her behavior and the feelings it triggered in you may be serving you in some way. What are you feeling? What exactly did she do that triggered you? What did her behavior say about you? Why did it make you feel the way you did? If you’ve done Steps 1-4, you’re going to find that you have a MUCH easier time evaluating what’s actually going on here.

*= For those of you who are not familiar with Abraham, they are a group consciousness, translated into the physical by Esther Hicks (what some refer to as channeling, but without the trance or weird music.) I consider Abraham to be one of my most influential teachers.

Have you been able to “fix” a relationship with a relative by shifting your own vibration? Share your story or thoughts in the comments!

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{ 45 comments }

Eric Cole January 22, 2012 at 20:05

Our relatives are rocket fuel for spiritual growth! They are the people best equipped for poking, prodding, and sticking us where we can get the most bang for the buck. Gregg Braden did an excellent video on the Seven Essene mirrors. Definitely, worth checking out. The Essene mirrors were the different ways people are mirrors for us. Very insightful.

For myself, using my heart as a tool for processing this stuff is handy. Open to the flow, wrap it in the energetic heart buzz, allow her stuff to pass on through without judgment or resistance. Indulging just makes the stuff grow. Relatives are like walking spiritual weight lifting machines. They help you get fit fast!

When all else fails you can do like my sister does. She has vodka and orange juice, glass of wine, or a good beer ready to ground me before I when I walk in the door for Christmas dinner with the family. Usually, not all three.
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Melody Fletcher January 22, 2012 at 21:20

“Usually” not all three? Ha, ha, Eric. Thanks so much for the top. I’ll be sure to check out Gregg Braden.
Personally, I find the pre-work to be all important. If I go in there and try to shift while I’m being triggered, I’ve already lost. It’s best to shift the energy before the reaction can even happen, or afterwards, so that the NEXT time is different.

Thanks for adding your valuable perspective!

Hugs,
Melody
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Brian S. January 22, 2012 at 20:06

Is it possible, that if the person were able to answer yes to, “can I no longer have self judgment in this situation?.

They could then Skip to step 5?

Melody Fletcher January 22, 2012 at 21:27

Hey Brian,

From my perspective – not necessarily. You can stop judging yourself, and yet still feel powerless. The powerlessness comes up when you have an emotional reaction to someone and don’t feel like there’s anything you can do about it. For example, if your sister drives you crazy every time you see her and you can’t seem to react any other way, then you’re going to feel a certain degree of powerlessness in that situation. A powerful person would be able to control their reaction. Now this powerlessness may cause you to blame or judge yourself or it could cause you to blame or judge others.
The real trick is to go where your emotions want to take you. We often try to skip the anger bit because it’s uncomfortable, but it’s necessary. You feel how you feel. We try to control the process with our minds (even giving Steps causes people to try and evaluate logically where they fit into them), but this isn’t a mind-based journey.

I would say the test to see if you’re ready for Step 5 is this: try it. If you start to feel angry or resentful or any real negative emotion towards your “nemesis relative”, then go back a few steps. If it feels good to do Step 5, go for it. Always listen to how you feel. But if you get stuck, like the person asking the question did, then you’ve almost certainly skipped a step or 4. :)

Super hugs!
Melody
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Kimmie Gibbons January 22, 2012 at 22:01

Melody,
Thank you for writing this posting. Kim, thank you for asking such a wonderful question. I have to say that this is one of the best blog postings I have ever read! What I especially enjoyed reading here is about not trying to be all spiritual (something I feel I should be “enlightened” enough to do). I just love how you explain in detail, how to make the small shifts (this explains SO much of what my struggle has been, trying to make WAY to big of a HUGE leap). I also enjoyed reading about allowing yourself to feel that anger. I really, really enjoy reading your postings Melody and how you explain the “steps” of getting to a certain place. It is real and it is do-able (is that even a word?). Also, I absolutely have to tell you that, I adore your sense of humor. There hasn’t been a posting I have read of yours, in which I haven’t really laughed and that feels so wonderful. Your sense of humor is absolutely delightful! Thank you for being here. Thank each of you for being here. Now, onto that family work…:)

Melody Fletcher January 23, 2012 at 14:28

Wow Kimmie! Thank you so much for this awesome shower of appreciation. What a wonderful thing to wake up to on a Monday morning. :)

You know, we spiritual folks often get in our own way because we think we should be beyond anger and pain. Or we think we should move through it really quickly and try to rush the process. But we can’t skip steps. We have to feel the emotions and there’s nothing wrong with anger and pain. If anger is a step up on the emotional scale, then anger is useful. If it’s a step down, of course, then it will feel worse and then it’s not a good idea. I like to call it “getting the nasty out”. If the nasty is there, you have to let it out. No use denying it. And then you feel better and can move on.

Huge hugs to you!!!
Melody
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Paige - simple mindfulness January 22, 2012 at 22:15

I used to have major issues with my father. I tried to face it head on with him, talking it through. Initially that got both of our defensive walls thicker and higher. Seeing how fruitless this was, I backed off and tried a different approach. I asked him how I could make things better. The answer I got was to be and act like the person he wanted me to be. Not an option. At that point I created great distance between us (Step 1). We already live a thousand miles apart. We almost went to the point of saying that we wouldn’t speak to each other again but I thought that was pretty silly. We speak about superficial things once every few months.

I became OK with him and the whole situation by putting myself in his shoes. Deeply examining how he grew up, what he went through and how he and his parents chose to deal with things. After this deep examination, I started feeling real compassion for him. I almost felt sorry for him. Granted, he could choose to act differently but he chooses being right over all else (literally). So I accept that and the way he is, knowing that I’ll never change him. All I can change is my reaction to him.

It took me a couple years to get through this process but it was worth it. I just couldn’t see myself feeling so much anger for someone who I couldn’t remove from my life for the rest of my life (that’s a very long time).

Ultimately, we can’t change other people. We can only change how we react to them. Your steps are a great place to start. Getting into Step 5 is a whole other process of awareness and acceptance.
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Melody Fletcher January 23, 2012 at 14:31

Hey Paige,

Thank you so much for sharing your own story here! Forgiving and making peace with your father doesn’t change him, but it changes you. And that changes everything. :)
And because our relatives generally mirror us in ways that no one else can, when we do find a way to make peace with them, we end up releasing a whole host of issues we’ve been carrying around. It’s a hugely valuable process – for us.

Huge hugs to you,
Melody
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Mary Carol Moran January 22, 2012 at 22:40

Hi Melody,

Great post! I’ll be thinking about and practicing on this one for a long time…

My biggest family hurdle was always my Mom, a worthwhile but difficult woman, probably not meant to ever be a mother. Finally a therapist suggested I divorce her. Wow! I never said anything to her about it – we continued to be civil but not cordial, but the energy shift for me was enormous. She could no longer push my buttons! Thinking of her as an ex gave me the detachment I needed.

Years after her death, in another big energy shift, I realized that the problem all along was not that she hadn’t loved me (as I’d always thought). The problem was that I hadn’t let myself love her, and I really wanted to love my Mom! Talk about a game changer! Now I think of her with abundant love, and that’s healed a big hole inside of me.

Reading your article, I can see how over the years I went through each of the stages of emotions, sometimes cycling through over and over. Now I want to look at other aspects of my life through the same lens and apply the same process.

Many thanks, lovely mentor and friend! Huge warm south of the border hugs for all!

Mary Carol
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Melody Fletcher January 23, 2012 at 14:35

Hi Mary Carol,

Wow. I’m so happy for you. What a huge healing shift you made!
I love the idea of “divorcing” family members, lol. Often, we feel that we’re trapped in our families and have an obligation to stay, even if they drive us absolutely crazy. But sometimes, we can’t feel better until we take some time apart. We have to find a way to create distance. And often, just the realization that we don’t have an obligation to allow them to make us feel bad is enough to start the shift.

Huge hugs to you my dear. And thank you for always sharing such valuable insights!

Melody
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Amber January 22, 2012 at 23:51

Yes Melody! I have been able to shift my feelings about my mother AND my father! My mom used to constantly rub me the wrong way because she is sort of immature and has been for much of her life. However, after years of trying to “teach” her lessons I realized, I am the one that needs to do the changing. Does she have issues? Sure. But I have my own fair share so why judge so harshly? We had next to nil of a relationship until I did the changing. And guess what?! Now she’s totally different. Well not really, I am. But I view her differently and in that I get another side of her that I never really saw. She’s great! She has many characteristics that I look up to, admire, and aspire to possess. I simply accepted her for EXACTY who she instead of trying to make her feel guilty for her lacking areas and WOW…that’s really all it took. Literally over night this happened for me. I made a conscious effort and statement to accept her and all that BS stopped over night! Yay! Well, I did the same thing with my dad whom I resented for several reasons and he has more respect for me than I see him having for many other people around him. I obtain a different response from people by accepting them and focusing on the good.

Melody Fletcher January 23, 2012 at 14:38

Oh Amber, this is brilliant! When you change yourself and how you view people, you elicit a different version of them. It’s so hard to explain that to someone who hasn’t experienced it. I’ve done the same with my family. I now have a very different relationship with many of them. They didn’t change, but I did. Drastically. And that changes the version of them that I get to experience. Isn’t it all so perfect?

We’re not here to judge or change others. We’re here to enjoy what is and find more things to enjoy.

Huge hugs!
Melody
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Steve Rice January 23, 2012 at 02:51

Brilliant, my friend. So well-articulated and practical. This advice is really great. I love the advice you give about going ahead and hating the b*tch.

Sometimes we try so hard *not* to feel the feelings we’re already having instead of focusing on what would make us feel better.

One time I was in a raging, blinding, scream-fest with (okay, more like at) my partner…and I’m generally very laid back…in fact, I think that’s the only time I’ve ever yelled at anyone.

I ranted and I ranted and I ranted. After about 15 minutes, I was breathless, and he looked at me and smiled. “Whew!” he said. “Glad I’m not the only crazy one in this relationship!”

We laughed and I got to thinking about why I felt so good after being so angry. Realized that I had been dwelling in frustration, fear, insecurity and that anger actually lifted me above that.

From anger, I felt relief. From relief, humor. From humor, love, security and deeper intimacy. And finally, I felt grateful.

Awesome and relevant advice, girl. You brought your “a-game” for this one!
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Melody Fletcher January 23, 2012 at 14:40

Hey Steve,

Thanks so much for your kind words. And your experience is a perfect example of what I’m talking about here. Anger isn’t a positive emotion, but if you’re stuck in fear and powerlessness it really is a step up. It’s a move in the right direction. It feels more powerful, gives us a sense of control back. And from there, we have access to even better emotions. We will naturally move through these feelings if we don’t stop ourselves.

Huge hugs to you!
Melody
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Donna January 23, 2012 at 02:52

Wow! Another great post. It’s wonderful that you are able to break the solution to a difficult problem into small, manageable steps that are easy to understand.

-Donna

Melody Fletcher January 23, 2012 at 14:41

Thanks Donna! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

Huge Hugs! :)

Melody
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Jack January 23, 2012 at 06:52

I have a relative who has several thousand redeeming qualities, those are the miles between them and I.
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Melody Fletcher January 23, 2012 at 14:58

Hahahaha Jack! Sometimes that’s the best we can do for now. Get away to feel better. Sounds like maybe you have a bit more nasty to let out? ;)

Huge hugs buddy!

Melody

Bryan Thompson January 23, 2012 at 07:07

Melody, I like what you did here! Going from all the negative emotions and vibes, getting them out of the way, and slowly but surely, begin to redeem yourself from those negative thoughts and vibes. it makes no bones about how we feel at the time, but it also humanizes our “enemies” at the time. Brilliant!
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Melody Fletcher January 23, 2012 at 14:44

Hey Bryan,

Thanks so much for your comment. There’s no use denying where we are or how we’re feeling. Our judgment of those feelings is often what gets in our way. Sure, there are plenty of people who can’t even conceive of humanizing their “enemies”, but the kinds of people that read this blog are trying to reach that. Only, they (we) often think that to be truly spiritual means that we should be beyond emotions such as anger.

Huge hugs to you!
Melody
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Sameer January 23, 2012 at 09:59

Hey Melody,

This is awesome! Now it’s much easier to shift my vibrations… :o )

I use to hate reading but, since I started reading your posts I have developed that patience of reading long blogs…

Thanks for being there!

Hugs & Love,
Sameer

Melody Fletcher January 23, 2012 at 14:46

Wow Sameer! I’ve inspired someone to read, ha! That feels great. :D I take this as a huge compliment, my friend.

Thank YOU for being here and leaving such nice comments!

Huge hugs,
Melody

Sameer January 23, 2012 at 14:59

After my wife & kid you are the one I am Amaze to meet :)

You have added colors in our Life! YOU will always be on top in Amazing people I have ever met :)

Huge Family Hugs & Love,
Sameer

Melody Fletcher January 23, 2012 at 15:23

Thank you so much Sameer. You and your beautiful family are in my heart. :)

Derrek January 23, 2012 at 13:39

Hola Melody,

Very cool post. And ‘thank you’ Kim for putting your question out there.

When I was with my ex (who I spent years with…aah, highschool love), I’d get into mad arguments over things that had the uncanny ability of uprooting my deepest insecurities. I’d wonder how this one person could push my buttons in a way that no one else could and uproot my most secret insecurities. It was surreal. It was only later and after learning about the LOA that I realized that she’s my life’s biggest and most profound mirror. There was no mask I could wear that she couldn’t see through almost instantly. You know the saying “You see right through me”? She embodied that in my life. Being emotionally naked like that was frightening, but also a very good opportunity to understand myself better.

What I’m getting to is, you’re right, people who are very close tend to mirror and amplify your own vibrations back to you in an uncomfortable way. I realized that things would go great with my ex if I was in a genuinely good mood. Pretending to be in a good mood, however, didn’t do the trick. Something would snap. My stress was mirrored instantly by her. It was crazy, but I learned a lot. It was the ego-check that I needed. At the end of the day, it’s all us, not them.

I have a question though. This scenario works if the person is someone you can get away from from time to time. How about people who are married, and a few years later find themselves driving each other to the brink of insanity? Does the method above apply to them as well?

Melody Fletcher January 23, 2012 at 14:50

Hey Derrek,

Sounds like that relationship was enormously valuable for you, and at such a young age. That’s probably why you’re so insightful. :)

The steps I described pertain to a relationship where you can’t be in the room with the other person and not want to slap them. If that’s happening with your spouse then yes, you should get away from them. Separate for a bit. Go stay with your mother. Take a solo vacation. Do what you have to in order to feel better. That doesn’t mean the marriage can’t be saved, but it won’t be as long as both parties are stuck in a horrible feeling place. When you’re stuck in a negative spiral, it’s best to get away, get some distance and then try to shift. Once you feel better, you can got back and have completely different interactions with your spouse. The conversations will be different. You won’t be as defensive.

Thanks for the awesome follow up question!

Huge hugs!
Melody

Adrienne January 23, 2012 at 22:55

Great post Melody! I found your previous posts on this subject very helpful but I really like how this one is laid out, very clear!

While this post was meant for people who really, really trigger us, I have found this as excellent advice to growing in my marriage. I have a wonderful marriage but I find my husband can trigger me in such little ways…
So I’ve been using these steps on a “smaller” scale. Really seeing my husband as my mirror. By doing so I have been able to repeatedly identify my own issues that my husband was triggering and then properly deal with them, no matter how small. This has been awesome for our relationship and in how close we continue to grow together.
Sometimes it’s hard, I don’t always enjoy being triggered and having to face whats inside me! And other times it’s even kind of fun, like playing detective; what caused that little trigger of annoyance?

Keep up the good work!
Adrienne

Melody Fletcher January 24, 2012 at 15:44

Hey Adrienne,

You’ve SO got this!!! Isn’t it amazing how empowering it is to finally realize that YOU control the way you feel? I love it when I have an opportunity to clear more of my own crap because someone else triggers me. It truly gives me a totally different perspective on “arguments”. And you’re totally right – this basic progression works on a small scale, too. Maybe you’re not angry with your husband, but you feel frustration. In that case, you have to allow the frustration, at least for a few minutes, in order to move on.

Thank you so much for sharing your enlightened perspective with everyone here. I salute your awesomeness!

Hugs!
Melody

Jt Clough | Big Island Dog January 24, 2012 at 02:01

Awesome writing. The advice I’m right there with you on it!

When I think about is it really reflecting my behavior I’m turning my focus to attracting people to act like me! Chill out. Have more fun. Stop being judgmental!

Anyway, really enjoyed the article.

Aloha wags!
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Melody Fletcher January 24, 2012 at 15:47

Hey JT!,

You are a lady after my own heart – I adore dogs!!! And I think we can learn a lot from them, as your blog really highlights.

What’s also great, is when you realize that you’re attracting a “higher quality” of new people into your life. That’s proof that all that clean up work has worked. I’m constantly amazed at how awesome the people in my reality are. And it just keeps getting better. :)

Happy shiny puppy hugs!

Melody

Kate a.k.a. The Secret Goddess January 24, 2012 at 17:33

I enjoyed seeing this laid out step by step like this.

In reading through the steps I realized that is exactly the journey I’ve been on since my husband and I separated last June. It has been one heck of a ride to put it mildly!

The lovely thing is though we met for coffee yesterday and he was still him with his issues and baggage and fears – still unconsciously trying to get the same rise out of me in an attempt to justify his own inner story and I find myself these days just sitting there observing him playing out his story. I sense his fingers on trigger points inside myself, acknowledge the sensation and then release it back to him. Yesterday he gifted me with a new piece of insight into my own triggers around trust so that was really helpful.

It’s also interesting to interact with him as an observer to his story instead of a puppet in his story and witness his inner confusion when I no longer react. All of his stuff is unconscious still so he is not aware he’s trying to get a certain response but I will see the process in his eyes when he doesn’t get the drama response from me he seeks. It seems to follow the same pattern: confusion, a pause, fear at no validation for his story, a pause, confusion again, a pause, and then he moves on in that state of confusion/fear – it’s sad really to witness a Spirit stuck there – after going through all of these steps I now find myself able to send him love and hold a vision of him being aware and clear and healthy inside so he too can find peace and joy <3
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Melody Fletcher January 24, 2012 at 17:57

Wow Kate,

Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful insight with the rest of my readers! It’s so awesome that you’re able to have such clarity and detachment when dealing with your husband now – seeing his own story play out while not allowing it to affect you. These sorts of examples are so helpful in allowing others to realize that it really is possible to detach from the behavior of others. And wow, I can’t think of a better example than doing this with an ex-husband.

You’re such a star!!

Huge hugs,
Melody
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Sylviane Nuccio January 28, 2012 at 06:01

Hi Melody,

I’ve actually seen that title in my inbox few days ago, and had to come read this as soon as I could, because, guess what? I have a hard time loving my sister in law. The emotional ladder is a very good way to get where you want. It’s also true that many of us prevent ourselves to deliberately hate the person, because we’ve been taught that hate is bad, but it’s also a way to let the venom out in order to heal.

Thank for this post, Melody:)
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Melody Fletcher January 28, 2012 at 20:08

Hey Sylviane,

LOL. Isn’t it great how the Universe brings us exactly what we want/need? I love it that I get to a be a small part of that process. :)

You’re so welcome!

Hugs,
Melody
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Shannon November 26, 2012 at 04:44

Thank you everyone for your postings. I hope this answer works for me. I have already been in the anger period for a year. I’ve been married to my husband for a little over a year and have hated his sister ever since we said, “I do”. She just rubs me the wrong way in every way possible. I don’t like knowing that I’m related to her by marriage and she can’t stand knowing I have her last name. Honestly I haven’t taken the time to switch my last name because I don’t want to represent her family. My husband is the only one I care about in that family. The problem now is me and the sister in law have gotten in two physical altercations since me and her brother have gotten married. We know we hate each other and just can’t seem to get past it. How do I get us both past it so we can have holidays with everyone again? I don’t want every year to be like this and I know my husband can’t stand us fighting.

Melody Fletcher November 27, 2012 at 21:18

Hey Shannon,

You’re stuck in the anger phase because you’re focused on HER. She’s not the one you need to shift. You can’t control others. You can only control how you feel and what you think, so work on that. What is it that she’s (so obviously) triggering in you? Take one argument with her and go through it in your mind. What was it she said? Why did you react? What did the comment make you think about yourself? She is showing you something. it’s something big, that’s probably been with you since childhood. Don’t worry about what’s triggering her, that’s irrelevant. Figure out what’s going on with you and work on shifting that. You have to take her out of the equation, or you won’t be able to move on.

I hope that’s helpful.

Huge hugs,
Melody
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Shannon November 27, 2012 at 23:31

I am focused on her. You are completely right. I am so infatuated with her and that I can’t stand her. It really isn’t any one thing. It started because her and my husband had an odd relationship. When we first met, he was always hanging at the bar she bartended for. He would help her out and barback. She would slap his butt when he was bending over getting a drink for somebody. I always thought that was odd and a little inappropriate. But I never said anything until his birthday (this is after we were married now) when we went to go say hi at the bar and she came running up to him, jumped up on him and hugged him with her legs wrapped around him. While this is fine for a child to do, for your 25 year old sister it is not. It just was very inappropriate and I questioned their relationship. While I know nothing goes on between them in that sense, she just tweaked me the wrong way knowing how inappropriate she is from those moments. She is all about herself and always has to make every situation about her. She is an irrational and immature person. His family holds me to a higher standard than themselves and it isn’t fair to me. But since I am higher than them, I have to be the bigger person and move past this. I have decided to make peace with myself and move forward in my life without her. I need to move on with myself before I bring her in the mix. The problem is, I can’t approach her to have a civil conversation about our hatred towards each other. She doesn’t work like that and everything will be my fault. Thank you for the response back. It really helps me knowing there are other people out there with my problem.

lorin March 13, 2013 at 17:34

I don’t know. I just get stuck at the “try to limit talking to them if at all possible” stage. Either people are positive, genuine people I want in my life or they are negative, fake people that my subconscience is warning me to be careful around.

Sandra April 18, 2013 at 09:29

Found this page since I have to deal with a horrible sister in law.
The point is, I want to stay away from her, but that would mean staying away from my brother too! She drives me insane but I have to face her quite often if I want to see my brother. The fact that my parents LOVE her doesn’t help!

maranj April 23, 2013 at 22:25

This article definitely resonated with me. I seethed, I cried, I laughed. You described my SIL to a T.

Sharon August 11, 2013 at 21:07

I have a sister-in-law that has boundary issues and she feels she can say whatever she wants. While I have been married to her brother for over 20 yrs and dated him for at least 8, in the beginning of our relationship, I tried to teach her boundaries; however after 30 yrs of knowing her, it seems I STILL have to do so. She is a grown woman (or girl) that is always in our business. She recently called her brother to bring up certain issues of ours. While I asked her if she was trying to cause problem, she sputtered off a trite response. The next week she called her brother and proceeded to bring up some of our issues ……….. I then yelled at her and said “do I get into your problems with your husband? She couldn’t wait to hang up ……… A few minutes went by and she called her brother (my husband) and told him she was sorry she offended me, but that she will not talk with him while I’m at home. I then said she should think about some of the things she brought up and her comment “she will not be censored”. This is who I’ve been dealing with for years and I’m tired of dealing with her …….

Jennifer August 29, 2013 at 17:13

i don’t think you have the right to teach someone boundaries. You should focus on your relationship not what your husbands sister is doing. She just wants to preserve her family the way you get to by marriage. That’s it. …. think if the shoe was on the other foot. right?

Jennifer August 15, 2013 at 21:18

I forgive her and pray for to be happy everyday so when finally do come to visit don’t have to meet godzilla. lol… so tired of it. No one deserves the length of someones unhappiness and everything directed to me under her emotional wealth. Whatever you married my brother and you have to deal with ALL of his family. sorry toots I don’t have to put up with your selfish crap. enough is enough.

your dearest most precious sis in law (who never did anything to you in the first dumb place) ……

Jennifer August 15, 2013 at 21:20

and this is the brothers sister by the way … especially since she rubbed her nose in my happiness and manipulated all relationships in my life by her lies and gossips with her alpha gal pals. whatev$$r.

Samantha September 24, 2013 at 17:33

What if you have tried to stay away from this person but they wont leave you alone. and what if you feel that every chance they get to make an ill comment to or about your child they do this. I have ranted to my husband he tells me to stay away from her and wants to stay away from her but she wont leave us be. she calls or texts every day wanting to know what we are doing and if I merely say anything wants to know every detail or says something negative about it… She Knows everything or at least she thinks she does and has no friends. My husbands brother wont even speak to her… At times I see a good person in her but more often the bad out weighs the good. She constantly brags about spending money and rants how we dont save any but I wish I had the nerve to remind her how many times We helped her and gave her money. She deliberatlety makes it a point to show how much more my mother n law does for her kids and how she wont for my little girl. How in the world do I get away from people that I have to see with my husband. I pray about it but cant get rid of these ill feelings, I feel hopeless and honestly everytime I recieve a text message from her I want to throw up or cry.

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