'My sister-in-law is influencing my hubby...'

Dear Diana,
I'm 29 and my husband is 32. We got married four years ago. We have a two-year-old daughter. My husband, however, is greatly influenced by his sister. She is older to him by nine years. Though my sister-in-law is based in Bahrain where her husband works, she spends months with us as she prefers to stay in Mumbai. So she calls the shots at home. My husband is totally under her spell. He keeps bringing other family members over and then the two sit and chat for hours. I've tried reasoning with him, but he says “What's the big deal?.” I don't know how to let him know that she is intruding on our privacy. He feels her presence in the house is an asset for me as she does the cooking. I am quite fed up of her as she spends two to three months at a stretch with us. How do I knock sense into my husband?
— Sanjeevani

Illustration/Amit Bandre
Illustration/Amit Bandre 

Dear Sanjeevani,
Your sister-in-law has made it a habit. It is a convenient arrangement for her. As she is much older to your hubby, he feels he can't tell her anything. It is strange that she does not realise that she is posing to be a pain. You need to tell some other family member, who is mature and considerate, about your plight. Your husband needs to realise that when he was single it was okay to have her around and listen to her, but now that he is married he needs to give you space and time too. After she has gone from her trip at your place, explain to him the need for some privacy. If she is going to keep dropping in every now and then and then stay on for months, it is definitely a reason for concern. If you can't do much about it, I suggest you take up a job and let her look after the household chores. Or just do not react, just let her be. Live and let live.

Diana will solve it!
Write to Diana at, or fax her on 24112009. You can also post letters to Dear Diana, Mid Day, Peninsula Centre, Dr S S Rao Road, opp Mahatma Gandhi Hospital, Parel, Mumbai 400012

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