Dear Miss Emily:
I have been married for 15 years, now, and my sister-in-law hasn't excepted me into the family.  She tells my husband what I should and shouldn't be doing.  According to her,  I should not be home schooling my son , but should be working outside the home.  When my son was younger, she felt he should be in day care while I went to work.  It seems my husband and his sister argue over this often.  She is very controlling and wants to tell everyone how to lead their lives and instead of my husband telling her it is none of her business. They go back and forth over it. I am not good at confronting people and really do not know what to say. I try to do what I think is best for my kids and ignore what his sister says, but I wonder if my husband feels this way, as well, seeing he is the one who tells me all that she says behind my back. Sigh. I want to be there for my kids for many reasons, but to say this to  his sister, would fall on deaf ears. What can I do or say that would bring all of this to an end? Thanks!

--------------------------Miss Emily's advice----------------------

It seems the best way to end it would be for your husband to tell his sister that if he wants her opinion on those matters, he'll ask her -- or to flat out tell her to butt out of your affairs. If he banters with her, this could be a pattern that they developed in childhood (she is probably his older sister?). There could be a chance that he's not totally on-board with the fact you have chosen to home school your son, and other matters, but it would sure be time to find that out! Ask him if he thinks there's any merit to what she says. You won't go ballistic over the truth, but it's better to have a discussion about it than let it fester. If he tells you he's on board with how you handle the home front, then ask him to end the quibbling with his sister over things that are none of her business. If neither of you have the courage to tell her to end her unsolicited criticism over the way you conduct your life, at least ask your husband to keep what she says to himself. You don't need to hear chapter and verse on unsolicited opinions from a know-it-all. Then go on with the life you have a right to lead, and understand that some people are never happier than when they are trying to live other people's lives to avoid dealing with their own.