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https://interpersonal.stackexchange.com/q/6630/

For those that can't see deleted posts:

I am an 27 year old woman. I will be getting married this December. I have a sister-in-law who is 3.5 years younger than me. My husband is 5 years older than me. I somehow do not like my sister-in-law at all. I have disliked her since the first time I met her. A two minute conversation was enough to know that I do not like her. After that I have had many conversations which have increased my dislike for her further.

Once I wished her good luck for her exam, and out of nowhere she suddenly said that she hates people who are good in everything. She herself does not have a career. She has been doing nothing for the last three years, except for sitting at home after completing undergrad. When me and my fiancée would go out, she would ping him asking where he is and when will he be home.

My fiancée seems a bit weird too in this aspect regarding his sister. He would ask me to wish her well on her birthday and wish her good luck for her exams. I think he knows it pretty well that I don't like her, still he would ask me to do this. He would tell her to wish me a happy birthday too on my birthday.

To be honest, I do not want her in our life. I am pretty sure she is nosy and would try to create problems and destroy my relationship. When we would go out, she would text him asking when he is returning home. On the other hand my family would never disturb me. What should I do? How do I cut her off from us?

P.S. Every character is Indian.

Edit: I have realized that I need to change my mentality. I think it was my possessiveness talking. Hope I will be able to overcome my possessiveness some day. Thanks for the help guys

The question was closed as unclear, but it seemed to be pretty clear to me, but the question wasn't received well because the OP wanted to do something that was kind of inappropriate, so the answers there were primarily frame challenges.

The OP also edited in a short "self answer" with a "thank you" comment, but those are typically just edited out or moved to answers...

So what do you all think? Should we undelete and/or reopen this one?

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  • Why do you think this is worth reopen or undelete? I'm curious.
    – Vylix
    Nov 26 '17 at 15:29
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    @Vylix because I'm not sure that it should have been closed or deleted to begin with.
    – apaul
    Nov 26 '17 at 15:30
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    "because I'm not sure that it should have been closed or deleted to begin with." __ I totally agree with you @apaul and I voted to undelete and reopen. See my answer here for details. Nov 27 '17 at 15:55
  • @paul the question has so far received only 2 votes to undelete. I was under the impression that each user can vote only once to delete/undelete a post, same as for close/reopen; but this is apparently not so because the edit history for that question shows that it has been deleted and undeleted once already before being re-deleted; and one user voted to delete the Q on two separate deletions. It is useful information and suggests that users who already voted to undelete once can vote to undelete again. You may like to try this out today! Nov 27 '17 at 16:30
  • Is it possible to undelete without reopening?
    – 1006a
    Nov 27 '17 at 17:30
  • @1006a of course.
    – apaul
    Nov 27 '17 at 17:31
  • In that case, I think you might want to separate out the two. I obviously don't think the question should be reopened without editing (that's my comment quoted down below, and I still think there is not enough info in the question to adequately judge which answers are likely to be helpful), but might be convinced that it should be undeleted.
    – 1006a
    Nov 27 '17 at 17:38
  • Update: the post in question got undeleted and remains closed at present although it has 4 reopen votes. That seems a very fair situation as you wisely remarked @1006a: I am OK with its remaining closed if OP doesn't want to improve it, and therefore will retract my reopen vote if possible. I have also quoted your notable comment in my answer. Nov 28 '17 at 16:15
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No, it should not be reopened. There is some important information missing here, as pointed out in the comments.

I've voted to put this question on hold as unclear. Please add more detail regarding any specifics of why you think it is necessary to cut your future sister-in-law out of your and your future husband's lives. What harm do you think will occur if you don't do this? What harm, if any, has already occurred? What is your most important goal (maybe something like strengthening your relationship with husband, living a stress-free life, getting your fiancé to acknowledge that you are more important than his sister, etc.)? Also, what, if anything, have you already tried? 1006a Nov 11 at 21:12

The most important thing is:

What, if anything, have you already tried?

If we don't know what the OP has already tried, even if it is nothing, this question is very hard to answer. There's also absolutely no hint as to what the OP's fiancee thinks of the matter. Personally, I have a lot of questions as well:

  • Did you already discuss this with your husband? With regard to the I think he knows it pretty well that I don't like her, still, he would ask me to do this. Why does the OP think her husband knows she doesn't like her, did they discuss this, how did that go?
  • Apart from the dislike you have for the husband's sister, has she already actively caused trouble for you?
  • What reason have you to want to 'cut her our from your life'? Does that mean you already tried talking it out with her? What was said, how was her reaction?
  • Does your husband consent to you trying to cut his sister out of your lives? Because the question states 'How do I cut her off from us?' it means the OP is looking for a way to separate a brother and sister. We don't give 'relationship' advice when it's very clear there's no consent from the other side, so why would we give advice here if it's not clear the consent is there? (true, that deserves it's own meta).

With the information that's there now, we have no way to know whether this is really the last resort, or overreacting. So, this question will require extended discussion. Yes, we should honour the premise of a question, but we also want those questions to avoid extended discussion. So, to avoid extended discussion this question should include some details on the necessity of doing such a thing as cutting a person out of not only your life, but out of the life of the husband and brother as well!


As for the deletion, I don't think that's unjustified.

  • The question has upvotes and answers, so it has to be deleted manually.
  • The OP isn't likely to come back and improve their question. See:

    Edit: I have realized that I need to change my mentality. I think it was my possessiveness talking. Hope I will be able to overcome my possessiveness some day. Thanks for the help guys.

To me, this reads like 'Okay, the premises for this question are gone. I won't be around to edit into something that can be a good fit for this site, so bye!'. Questions that are closed, and aren't going to be improved upon are better off deleted, so we can focus on better questions.


Then we also have this deleted question lying around.

I think there's some good comments there by Shog9 that are also applicable to this question:

Your clear objective is to put a square peg into a round hole, @Anoplexian, and you admit as much in the question. There are thus only two answers: "don't" or "do this other thing instead". But since we don't know why you're trying to do this, the answers thus far have mostly just guessed at your motivations. So stop stalling and edit your question.Shog9♦ Aug 11 at 16:31 (emphasis mine)

And

...Deleting until this is edited. – Shog9♦ Aug 11 at 16:52

I think much of the same logic applies here. We don't know why the OP wants to do this very rude thing. True, she's not asking for a polite way to do so. But there's too little information here as to the necessity of this, and whether or not her husband consents to it (see above). Thus, we are back at the 'requires extended discussion'.

I think the second comment shows it is completely fair to delete things until they are edited.

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    Kinda seems like your bar for not closing or deleting was much higher in this case than most of our questions. Is this question being treated differently because the OP was asking how to do something that she shouldn't do? Will treating questions differently because of that end up removing valuable content?
    – apaul
    Nov 26 '17 at 16:28
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    That possessiveness comment screams for "Needs professional help". Nov 26 '17 at 16:52
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    @apaul I don't know about the rest of us here. If I have questions about a question, I'm asking them in a comment and closing the question. If I see a question that isn't likely to going to be edited by an OP to add the necessary clarification, I delete them.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Nov 26 '17 at 17:20
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    @apaul I don't know why you think I should lower 'my bar' for some questions and not for others? And I'm definitely not liking you implying that I'm closing/deleting posts 'just because I don't like em'. I'm not treating this question any different than others, if you have proof proving I am, feel free to use that instead of unfounded accusations.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Nov 26 '17 at 17:20
  • Based on the eloquent arguments of @Anne Daunted and you @ Tinkeringbell on this meta, I am OK with the question remaining closed if OP doesn't want to improve it, and therefore will retract my reopen vote if possible. Why am I not able to retract my reopen vote on this question and what should I do about it? Nov 28 '17 at 16:36
  • @EnglishStudent You can't retract reopen votes.... You'll have to wait until it expires naturally....
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Nov 28 '17 at 17:06
  • Thanks for the information @Tinkeringbell. Nov 28 '17 at 17:15
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The problem is not that the OP is asking for something she shouldn't do, but that her question is too broad to be answerable. She is not asking how to deal with a sister-in-law she dislikes in this or that situation - she wants to cut her out entirely from her and her fiancée's life:

What should I do? How do I cut her off from us?
(I even ignore the primarily opinion-based first question here.)

That's like asking "How do I make some girl/guy want to marry me?"

The complexity of the situation is such that even if someone had done that successfully and could give advice, they'd probably have to write a whole book about it to cover the necessary IPS solutions. And that's without us knowing anything about the involved persons (the sketchy information provided by the OP is hardly enough). And what is her goal - how far does she want to go? Does she want her sister-in-law to become a pariah who is not even allowed to attend family gatherings? Or worse? When is enough enough?

We would need other information like

  • when do brother and sister meet and under what circumstances
  • sister-in-law's relationship to the rest of her family
  • possible leverage the OP can use against her fiancée, sister-in-law, fiancée's family

and probably much more. And then make sure the answer doesn't advocate illegal behavior. Immoral behavior is apparently okay, though... And no IPS solutions allowed ("move to another country/planet/solar system", "kidnap her and let her die of thirst in a dried-out well" ...).

A question like "How do I make my sister-in-law stop visiting us?" or "How do I avoid talking to my sister-in-law during family gatherings?" or "How do I protect my husband from his sister's bad influence in this situation ...?" would indeed probably be answerable.

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I've cast my undelete and reopen vote.

I do not hope that we will get so many questions with negative intention like this, but I hope this will set a precedent that negative question can be an opportunity to direct the author to vastly improve their interpersonal skill.

Knowing how to deal with people you don't like is a valuable interpersonal skill.

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  • Yes indeed @Vylix. Maybe there is some grounds for closing the question but it is a nonsense to delete and seems to reflect a value judgment on OP's intentions. I also voted to undelete. Nov 27 '17 at 15:45
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Maybe there is some grounds for closing the question but it is a nonsense to delete it, and seems to reflect a value judgment on OP's intentions.

Our answers advising OP to try and maintain cordial relations with her sister-in-law were valid here and such answers and comments may have been helpful because OP later actually edited in her own realization that she was motivated by possessiveness and needed to 'change her mentality' and be more broad-minded/ less possessive in this matter, which is an important note in context that needs appreciation and shouldn't be edited out of the question.

The exhaustive answers here by two of the delete-voters only tells me that the question might possibly need improvement before being reopened. These answers make no convincing case for deletion except for pointing to a unique unilateral deletion of another controversial question by a senior Community Manager, which he is absolutely empowered to do, but which only applies to that particular question and cannot be taken as any reason to delete this question (unless he helps by giving us a ruling in this matter as well.)

In addition, the possibility that OP might not make those improvements is no reason to delete the question and its well received answers including yours and mine, @apaul. So many questions are lying closed here and abandoned by those who asked them. Should we delete all of them or just if we don't like the premise? In short, I have voted to undelete and reopen.

Note: I was under the impression that each user can vote only once to delete/undelete a post, same as for close/reopen; but this is apparently not so because the edit history for that question shows that it has been deleted and undeleted once already before being re-deleted; and one user voted to delete the Q on two separate deletions. It is useful information and suggests that users who already voted to undelete once can vote to undelete again. You may like to try this out today!

Update: the post in question got undeleted and remains closed at present although it has 4 reopen votes. That seems a very fair situation as wisely remarked by @1006a in comments:

Is it possible to undelete without reopening? – 1006a

@1006a of course. – apaul

In that case, I think you might want to separate out the two. I obviously don't think the question should be reopened without editing (...) I still think there is not enough info in the question to adequately judge which answers are likely to be helpful, but might be convinced that it should be undeleted. – 1006a (read full comment here)

Based on the eloquent arguments of @Anne Daunted and @Tinkeringbell on this meta, I am OK with the question remaining closed if OP doesn't want to improve it, and therefore will retract my reopen vote if possible.


Why am I not able to retract my reopen vote on this question and what should I do about it?

As kindly pointed out by @Tinkeringbell in a comment, reopen votes cannot be retracted and I will have to wait for it to expire naturally.

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