Author Topic: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9, #234 p.16  (Read 41308 times)

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MindsEye

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #210 on: April 04, 2013, 11:25:22 AM »
When I said I was fed up of being the adult, what I really meant is I just want to turn round and walk out.  Take that, MIL!  But that would punish my DH, FIL and SIL.  Her other DIL did that and we haven't seen BIL or nephews in over 10 years.  Another BIL is nasty to them, allowing a little contact now and again.  A bit bait and switch.  It hurts us all.

Wait, wait... let me step back a minute...

OP, would you mind explaining the bolded?  Because it reads to me like this sort of disrespectful and provocative behavior may be a pattern with your MIL.  Did her actions drive away her other DIL (an by extension her son and their children as well) and alienate another BIL?

If your MIL is really afraid of driving you away, what about holding that possibility over her head as a threat?

And, if you do end up "cutting" her, remember, it doesn't have to be forever, full stop.  You can always decide to give her the opportunity to earn her way back into your good graces.  And if you "cut" MIL, that doesn't mean you cut FIL and SIL as well, unless they refuse to see you without MIL.

In post #175 yesterday, christmascarol said that everyone says "that's just how she is" about her mother-in-law, and that it is a multi-generational problem.

Ahhh... I missed that.  Okay.  So, yes... MIL drives people away because of how she behaves toward them.

OP, if you think that she regrets that she has driven people away, then then holding the threat that you will cut her off over her head might be a potent weapon.

Otherwise, I don't know what to say... people have already cut her off and she didn't get a clue or think that she might need to change her behavior?  Wow...


HoneyBee42

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #211 on: April 04, 2013, 07:40:56 PM »
Course the other thing is that if DH were to eat it, the OP couldn't kiss him without having a reaction, so it seems evil to even give it to the OP meaning it to be for her son.   

I suggest throwing it out as well and if they gasp and say that's wasteful, say "So is giving chocolate to someone who cannot eat it."

That stuck out to me, too.

I guess the option that I would go with would be to accept the gift, and dispose of it in *ANY* way other than passing it onto DH.  As a gift to christmascarol, it is now *hers* to do with as she wishes (just like any other gift, once received).

So, throw it out (opened so it is ruined) and if there's a gasp about being wasteful, just say give it to FIL each and every time.  When the MIL gets upset, just a very flat "MIL, you know that chocolate can kill me; I know that FIL (or whomever might be the recipient) enjoys it, so I chose to give my chocolate to him."  When the MIL says "but you're supposed to give it to your husband" ... repeat (broken record technique).  Optionally, add in a line that if MIL wants DH to have chocolate, she will have to give DH the chocolate.  (Just keep the tone very neutral/flat throughout.)


BarensMom

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #212 on: April 04, 2013, 07:48:18 PM »
OP, do you have a garbage disposal?  If so, every time MIL gives you the chocolate, just take it and drop it into the drain and run the disposal.  If people cry "wasteful,"  tell them that yes, it is a waste to give chocolate to someone who is deathly allergic.  I'll bet a buck that after a few times of that, MIL won't be so quick to give you chocolate.

LeveeWoman

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #213 on: April 04, 2013, 08:56:54 PM »
OP, do you have a garbage disposal?  If so, every time MIL gives you the chocolate, just take it and drop it into the drain and run the disposal.  If people cry "wasteful,"  tell them that yes, it is a waste to give chocolate to someone who is deathly allergic.  I'll bet a buck that after a few times of that, MIL won't be so quick to give you chocolate.

I was thinking of doing either that or dropping it into the trash compactor and turning it on.

Figgie

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #214 on: April 04, 2013, 09:30:09 PM »
If the purpose behind her giving you chocolate is to make sure her son gets an extra gift of chocolate (when you give the chocolate to him), then trashing the chocolate gift is probably the only way you will teach your mother-in-law to not give you chocolate.

We train people how to treat us.  Every time you accept the chocolate (and then give it away) or forgive her for giving you chocolate, she learns that she can behave like this and that there will be no serious consequences. 

Probably the least serious consequence you can provide, is the natural one...when someone gives you poison, you throw the poison out.  It doesn't matter that someone else can use the poison, as the point of throwing it out is to provide a consequence that your mother-in-law will have the opportunity to learn from. 

As long as you keep accepting the chocolate and then giving it away, the outcome (mother-in-law giving you chocolate) isn't going to change.  To change that, you need to change your response to her giving you chocolate. 

Throwing it out is a lot less extreme than yelling at her, having her son yell at her, leaving the get-together, cutting her off for a short period of time or cutting her off for good.  And really, if someone gives us poison, throwing it out is probably the most reasonable response.

greencat

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #215 on: April 07, 2013, 07:07:38 PM »
I think that next time chocolate is given, you should make a scene.  Make a scene that clearly and loudly demonstrates that MIL is the problem.  "What's wrong with you that you keep giving me something that you know will kill me if I eat it?" Make sure people in the next room can hear you.  Preferably, people in the next house.  Bonus points the more people who weren't previously aware of the problem that are present.  Then you should be prepared to leave.  Tell your FIL on the way out that you'll call him in the next few days.

From an outside perspective: your MIL is trying to murder you with a smile.  Why do you keep getting near her?  I think your other in-laws who have already given her the cut direct have the right idea.  No one has enough redeeming qualities or a close enough connection to make up for "Keeps trying to kill me."

ti_ax

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #216 on: April 07, 2013, 07:22:00 PM »
If it were me, next giving occasion I would pick up the package and say, "Oh, I wonder what it is. I bet it's chocolate again."

After I opened it, I would just put the chocolate down and walk away laughing.

cabbagegirl28

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #217 on: April 07, 2013, 07:37:28 PM »
I think that next time chocolate is given, you should make a scene.  Make a scene that clearly and loudly demonstrates that MIL is the problem.  "What's wrong with you that you keep giving me something that you know will kill me if I eat it?" Make sure people in the next room can hear you.  Preferably, people in the next house.  Bonus points the more people who weren't previously aware of the problem that are present.  Then you should be prepared to leave.  Tell your FIL on the way out that you'll call him in the next few days.

From an outside perspective: your MIL is trying to murder you with a smile.  Why do you keep getting near her?  I think your other in-laws who have already given her the cut direct have the right idea.  No one has enough redeeming qualities or a close enough connection to make up for "Keeps trying to kill me."

I have to somewhat agree with this, as someone who has a massive allergy to certain things. I wouldn't make a scene in a situation like this, but it'd be tense and icy at best. If you give me the things I'm really allergic to once or twice, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt (mine are weird anyway, so I don't expect people to remember them well). Allergies aren't always super easy to remember.

However, this is someone who knows the OP well enough to know better. If MIL cannot think of a good enough alternative to chocolate for the OP's gift, then she needs to talk to someone who can give her some real suggestions, like OP's DH. If my relatives or potential relatives-in-law kept doing a traditional shrimp boil on holidays, with everything in the same pot, with nothing for me to eat, I'd probably say something similar to greencat's wording. Stuff like that just isn't okay. She should either give an appropriate gift or don't give one at all. Even no gift would be preferable to a toxic one, imho.


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Hillia

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #218 on: April 07, 2013, 09:52:53 PM »
All the suggestions about providing MIL with alternate gift ideas are moot, because she just does not care if the OP gets a present (aside from the bank note) or not.  She goes to the store, buys x chocolate gifts for x people, and she's done.  She's not going to go out of her way to buy a different gift for anyone.  I'm willing to bet that if it were anyone else (even a member of  her family) who couldn't eat chocolate, she would do the exact same thing.  She's not trying to kill the OP, or being deliberately dense about her ability to eat chocolate; she's saying loud and clear 'I am going to exert the absolute minimum effort to buy gifts because my time and effort are intensely valuable to me.  I don't give a rat's patoot about anyone else's pleasure.  I have to give gifts to look like the good guy, but I'm not spending one iota of effort on it'.

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Shoo

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #219 on: April 07, 2013, 10:48:33 PM »
Next time, cross your arms, refuse to take the chocolate, and say something like -

"You know MIL, if you want your son to have a present of chocolate, then just give the chocolate directly to him.  I don't appreciate this little "game" where you give me chocolate, which you know I can't eat, with the intention that I will pass it off to DH instead.  Why can't you get me something that is not chocolate and is actually for me?"

Or would that be too forward?

This is exactly what you should do, OP.  I know it will be hard, but unless and until you stand up to this dolt, you will be receiving chocolate (for your husband) for the rest of her life.

sammycat

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #220 on: April 08, 2013, 03:28:52 AM »
I think that next time chocolate is given, you should make a scene.  Make a scene that clearly and loudly demonstrates that MIL is the problem.  "What's wrong with you that you keep giving me something that you know will kill me if I eat it?" Make sure people in the next room can hear you.  Preferably, people in the next house.  Bonus points the more people who weren't previously aware of the problem that are present.  Then you should be prepared to leave.  Tell your FIL on the way out that you'll call him in the next few days.

From an outside perspective: your MIL is trying to murder you with a smile.  Why do you keep getting near her?  I think your other in-laws who have already given her the cut direct have the right idea.  No one has enough redeeming qualities or a close enough connection to make up for "Keeps trying to kill me."

This.

half_dollars

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #221 on: April 08, 2013, 08:25:48 AM »
OP, I'm not sure of your plans for having children or not, but if your child(ren) end up having food allergies and grandma keeps giving them the allergen, is "that's just how she is" going to be an acceptable response then?  A toddler usually won't know a food has an allergen in it, or she could try to sneak it to them.

Personally, I'd never see her again.  DH could visit with her, call her, and have the relationship with her.  I would have a relationship with SIL and FIL.  And, if I did have children, they would not have a relationship with MIL either.  Otherwise, they will see MIL treating you like dirt and grow up thinking it's OK.

You're an adult now.  You need to respect yourself.  Respect for adults is earned, not given.  MIL has not earned your respect.  And she definitely doesn't respect you.

I, too, am curious how your DH can place his mother's happiness and not wanting to cause a scene above your health and happiness?

My 2 DC have various food allergies.  My MIL doesn't believe they exist.  She would bring/give treats when we would visit, and all of them would have the allergens in them.  At first we would accept them kindly then throw them away after they left.  After the 2nd time, DH reminded them about our children's food allergies.  After the 3rd time, DH told his mom not to bring any more food into our house when they visited.  After she started mailing it, he told her no more mailed gifts.  (Side note:  we always suggested alternate choices, or even adding the $ to a jar for a special outing during visits or even for college.)  And after she had FIL call and yell at DH for "making his mom cry, all she wants to do is give these gifts", DH reiterated that having the food in the house could kill our children and having them alive is more important.  Well, FIL refused to visit us for 2 years.  SIL told DH he was being ridiculous and that he should just take the gifts and throw them away later as she did because giving things made MIL happy.  But he never faltered.  MIL is better with gifts (birthday and Christmas, and sends $ for Easter), but now is trying to control meals by saying everyone has to eat a little of everything on the table-house rules.  Yes, foods with the allergens in them.  So, now we do not eat at their house.  Yes, it's caused stress.  Yes, it's caused tension.  However, my children's life and health (physical AND mental) is more important.

Twik

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #222 on: April 08, 2013, 10:40:17 AM »
All the suggestions about providing MIL with alternate gift ideas are moot, because she just does not care if the OP gets a present (aside from the bank note) or not.  She goes to the store, buys x chocolate gifts for x people, and she's done.  She's not going to go out of her way to buy a different gift for anyone.  I'm willing to bet that if it were anyone else (even a member of  her family) who couldn't eat chocolate, she would do the exact same thing.  She's not trying to kill the OP, or being deliberately dense about her ability to eat chocolate; she's saying loud and clear 'I am going to exert the absolute minimum effort to buy gifts because my time and effort are intensely valuable to me.  I don't give a rat's patoot about anyone else's pleasure.  I have to give gifts to look like the good guy, but I'm not spending one iota of effort on it'.

I think that is part of it, but if it were the whole story, I don't think she'd throw a tantrum because the OP gave the chocolate to the "wrong" person (FIL instead of her husband). If she were merely lazy, that shouldn't matter to her.

I think she has established a scheme whereby she considers that giving her DIL a present she cannot use, is a "double" present to her own darling son.
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Sophia

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #223 on: April 08, 2013, 12:12:16 PM »
I have a personal rule that if I can't put a lot of thought into a gift (something I love to do) without resentment, then I don't.  If I have to give a gift, I put thought into it until I start getting upset.  Then, if they get a default gift, they get a default gift.

I mention this because I noted that she loves your thoughtful gifts to her.

Hawkwatcher

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #224 on: April 08, 2013, 01:44:44 PM »
All the suggestions about providing MIL with alternate gift ideas are moot, because she just does not care if the OP gets a present (aside from the bank note) or not.  She goes to the store, buys x chocolate gifts for x people, and she's done.  She's not going to go out of her way to buy a different gift for anyone.  I'm willing to bet that if it were anyone else (even a member of  her family) who couldn't eat chocolate, she would do the exact same thing.  She's not trying to kill the OP, or being deliberately dense about her ability to eat chocolate; she's saying loud and clear 'I am going to exert the absolute minimum effort to buy gifts because my time and effort are intensely valuable to me.  I don't give a rat's patoot about anyone else's pleasure.  I have to give gifts to look like the good guy, but I'm not spending one iota of effort on it'.

I think that is part of it, but if it were the whole story, I don't think she'd throw a tantrum because the OP gave the chocolate to the "wrong" person (FIL instead of her husband). If she were merely lazy, that shouldn't matter to her.

I think she has established a scheme whereby she considers that giving her DIL a present she cannot use, is a "double" present to her own darling son.

If the OP's DH is willing, perhaps he should start rejecting all gifts from Mother until she starts giving her DIL appropriate gifts.  That might send a message to the MIL that they are united.