Author Topic: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9, #234 p.16  (Read 39532 times)

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Browyn

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #225 on: April 08, 2013, 03:13:30 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.

How about stopping all gift exchanges.  Since MIL can't get something appropriate for the OP then the OP and her DH tell MIL no gifts and give no gifts in return to MIL and FIL

Calistoga

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #226 on: April 08, 2013, 05:03:23 PM »
Is there something she really hates? Like loathes?

Maybe give her the gift of liverwurst a few times.

wonderfullyanonymous

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #227 on: April 08, 2013, 06:42:57 PM »



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.


I am so extraordinarily appalled, I have no words to describe it. I'm so glad your husband has stood up to his family over this.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #228 on: April 08, 2013, 07:50:22 PM »



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.


I am so extraordinarily appalled, I have no words to describe it. I'm so glad your husband has stood up to his family over this.

My goodness, color me disgusted as well!
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Asharah

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #229 on: April 08, 2013, 07:59:30 PM »



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.


I am so extraordinarily appalled, I have no words to describe it. I'm so glad your husband has stood up to his family over this.

My goodness, color me disgusted as well!
Somebody on BB said her parents used to have friends who thought her nut allergy was a "whiney teenager" thing and served a dessert without telling them it had almonds in it. She projectile hurled all over their brand-new carpeting. They and parents are no longer friends. Their excuse was "We didn't understand, we thought she just didn't like nuts."  >:(
Asharah

sammycat

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #230 on: April 08, 2013, 08:07:40 PM »
Several posters have suggested gifting MIL back with something she doesn't like. In normal circumstances this might be an option, but the thing is, in this instance, it's not just that the OP dislikes chocolate, but that it could kill her.  HUGE difference.

MIL needs to be asked flat out why she is trying to murder the OP. Preferably in front of other people so they can see for themselves what MIL is like/doing.

NyaChan

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #231 on: April 09, 2013, 12:02:38 AM »
That's the thing though - I don't for a minute think that MIL is trying to murder or kill the OP or disbelieves the allergy.  I think that she does not think OP is worth spending money on for a gift.  As completely passing her over would make her look bad, she has hit on a way to make whatever money she does spend go to the person she does not mind spending on - her son - while still maintaining the facade of gifting to everyone.  When OP passes the gift to FIL, it exposes the fact that MIL has passed OP over, while OP handing the gift to her husband is "accepting" the gift. 

Twik

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #232 on: April 09, 2013, 01:00:12 AM »
That's the thing though - I don't for a minute think that MIL is trying to murder or kill the OP or disbelieves the allergy.  I think that she does not think OP is worth spending money on for a gift.  As completely passing her over would make her look bad, she has hit on a way to make whatever money she does spend go to the person she does not mind spending on - her son - while still maintaining the facade of gifting to everyone.  When OP passes the gift to FIL, it exposes the fact that MIL has passed OP over, while OP handing the gift to her husband is "accepting" the gift.

I think you've nailed it. This way, MIL can say, "but I always give OP a gift," with the satisfaction of knowing she cannot make use of it.
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GreenBird

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #233 on: April 09, 2013, 01:46:36 AM »
Since you and your husband can't even kiss after he's eaten chocolate, it's really something that shouldn't even be in your house.  The price of making a mistake is too high.  So I'd ask DH to agree that he won't accept chocolate as a gift for him either.  I'd ask him to tell everyone about this rule so it's clear that no one should give either of you chocolate of any kind.  This means that you're a united front and you both immediately decline any gift of chocolate.  You can both hand it right back to MIL, or hand it to FIL, or decline to take it in the first place if it's clear what's in the package.  Consistency is important - your DH will have to decline all chocolate gifts even if you're not in the room.  This way there's no option of a sideways gift to DH and it's clear your husband supports you. 

It doesn't have to be a big dramatic scene - you can both say "Thank you so much for the bank note, but you know we can't have chocolate in the house so why don't you keep that." as you hand it back to her.  Now I know MIL may try to make it into a big dramatic scene, but if you just keep repeating "MIL, you know we can't have chocolate in the house." hopefully it will become clear that she's the one making the scene.  You could throw in a couple of variations:   

"MIL, you know we can't have chocolate in the house - you should keep it or give it to someone you know can enjoy it."
or
"MIL, you know we can't have chocolate in the house - we'd just have to throw it out." 
or just keep it simple: 
"MIL, you know we can't have chocolate in the house - here." as you hand it back to her. 

I know this has been very frustrating for you (and rightfully so!), and I hope a united front between you and your DH will make it easier.  Even if she keeps up with the chocolate gifts, at least it'll be clear that she's now showing disrespect for both of you and you won't feel so alone!

christmascarol

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9, #233 p.16
« Reply #234 on: April 09, 2013, 04:49:58 AM »
OP again!

We went away for a long weekend, it was lovely.  I've spoken to MIL on the phone several times and she is absolutely falling over herself to be nicer than nice.  This means that she knows she did wrong.  Definitely, really, no doubt about it, she regrets it.  Whether or not that means she'll keep remembering it is another matter but we are optimistic. 

In reply to one question, I'm 51.  No children for various reasons, some of them health-related.  I would love to have been a granny.  I'm hoping someone adopts me as one one day.

Quote
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'.

Yes!  Yes, yes, yes!!!  This is it, much better than I've put it.  Her mother was the same.  And everyone complained behind her back, nobody said anything to her face.
Folks, she loves me.  I've now realised how hard it it is to post about something and give a balanced view.  You get bogged down by one aspect, in my case this part of her character, but she really does love me.  However, my best friend says it well - "She's not from the same planet as us.  Our planet is nicer."

There've been quite a few "just smile, say thankyou and don't let it bother you" suggestions.  I think this is wonderful advice in an ideal world but I'm not convinced many people are born who can actually do it.  I think people can try but it usually leads to resentment.  And/or no respect from others.  And I think that leads to certain loss of self-respect. 

I'm keener on communication.  It doesn't always work and there are people it'll never work with but I still put my faith in it.  MIL has never known communication.  Her family norm is sulking or resenting in silence and I wish it had been different. 

I mentioned the two sons who have cut her off/nearly cut her off...  One is because his wife decided on it.  She is seriously a sandwich short of a picnic but that's another thread.  The main thing for here is that DH's brother married a family where the parents did everything for their offspring and he realised how different life could be.  He has been angry with his own parents ever since and the resentment built. 
The other brother enjoys punishing his parents for imagined earlier slights.  I would like him to be the first and only person living on the moon.  And I do attribute his self-centred genes to his mother's side but again, that's another thread.
I don't know if my in-laws see themselves to blame in any way as it is never discussed.  We all know how much it hurts them.  We can see where they are to blame but I would never say that to them.  I do think that if their other DIL had talked to them about her problems with them, instead of flouncing off stage-left forever, they could have worked it out.  MIL's solution was to turn up a year later, unannounced and univited, to a grandson's birthday party.  As if nothing had happened.  Son and DIL didn't let her in.

Once, when crazy SIL was having one of her moments, MIL said to me, "You mustn't let her see she's hurt you.  You mustn't let her win."   But I see telling someone they've hurt me as standing up for myself.  Strength, not weakness.  I wish someone had introduced MIL to this concept when she was young, I think her life would have been very different.  She's always tried to hide her hurt and it's led to the hurt building into resentment and the pain not being dealt with.  Very unhealthy.  A bad example for her children.  It came back to bite her.

So, back on subject,
MIL definitely knows she did wrong with the chocolate.  IF she does decide to `forgetī because it's less effort, I will definitely give it to FIL again.  That was a good move, it got through to her. 
I am sure that DH will explode if she does it again.  That got through to her.  He is a keeper, I am very lucky to have him.
If she does do it ever again, I will say it hurts me.  I would like to remain polite though.  Hurt, but polite!

This was the second time I've told MIL she's hurt me, using those words.  And I'm still there.  I haven't flounced off.  Both times I told her that we'd put it behind us and look to the future.  Alien concept for MIL but it's one she's growing to like.  A lot!  I'm quietly optimistic.  This thread has helped me a lot.  Thankyou!

half-dollars  Your in-laws are dreadful.  I am so sorry you're having to deal with all that.  Please accept the biggest {{{hug}}} the internet allows.  May your family stay safe for ever!


Kari

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9, #234 p.16
« Reply #235 on: April 09, 2013, 09:24:07 AM »
Despite your MIL's behavior with the chocolate, your family seems very mentally healthy. This situation had the potential to cause long-festering rifts and estrangement, and instead you speak of moving on and looking to the future. Your husband supports you, the rest of his family is by your side on this issue -- it's the best possible outcome of a family spat. I admire your positive attitude and maturity!

blue2000

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9, #234 p.16
« Reply #236 on: April 09, 2013, 11:13:17 AM »
OP again!

We went away for a long weekend, it was lovely.  I've spoken to MIL on the phone several times and she is absolutely falling over herself to be nicer than nice.  This means that she knows she did wrong.  Definitely, really, no doubt about it, she regrets it.  Whether or not that means she'll keep remembering it is another matter but we are optimistic. 

<snip>

Once, when crazy SIL was having one of her moments, MIL said to me, "You mustn't let her see she's hurt you.  You mustn't let her win."   But I see telling someone they've hurt me as standing up for myself.  Strength, not weakness.  I wish someone had introduced MIL to this concept when she was young, I think her life would have been very different.  She's always tried to hide her hurt and it's led to the hurt building into resentment and the pain not being dealt with.  Very unhealthy.  A bad example for her children.  It came back to bite her.

So, back on subject,
MIL definitely knows she did wrong with the chocolate.  IF she does decide to `forgetī because it's less effort, I will definitely give it to FIL again.  That was a good move, it got through to her. 
I am sure that DH will explode if she does it again.  That got through to her.  He is a keeper, I am very lucky to have him.
If she does do it ever again, I will say it hurts me.  I would like to remain polite though.  Hurt, but polite!

This was the second time I've told MIL she's hurt me, using those words.  And I'm still there.  I haven't flounced off.  Both times I told her that we'd put it behind us and look to the future.  Alien concept for MIL but it's one she's growing to like.  A lot!  I'm quietly optimistic.  This thread has helped me a lot.  Thankyou!

half-dollars  Your in-laws are dreadful.  I am so sorry you're having to deal with all that.  Please accept the biggest {{{hug}}} the internet allows.  May your family stay safe for ever!



It may be the people she dealt with when she was young. There are people in my family that I can't show my feelings to. If they hurt me and I show it, it is very likely that they will come back and take another swing at me. If I appear to be immune to their attack, they will back off. Kind of like bullies in school who pick on the weakest kids and avoid the ones who can hit them back.

I'm happy for you that your MIL honestly wants you around and might be willing to change her long-standing habits for this. Here's hoping! :)
You are only young once. After that you have to think up some other excuse.

Ms_Cellany

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9, #234 p.16
« Reply #237 on: April 09, 2013, 11:20:04 AM »

MIL said to me, "You mustn't let her see she's hurt you.  You mustn't let her win."   But I see telling someone they've hurt me as standing up for myself.  Strength, not weakness. 


This is amazing. I wish I'd realized that decades ago.
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weeblewobble

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
« Reply #238 on: April 09, 2013, 05:49:34 PM »



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.


I am so extraordinarily appalled, I have no words to describe it. I'm so glad your husband has stood up to his family over this.

My goodness, color me disgusted as well!

I'm so glad the DH is being so proactive about this.  I can't imagine the stress this MIL's whacko behavior would put on a marriage in which the DH tried to defend it.

Calistoga

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9, #234 p.16
« Reply #239 on: April 09, 2013, 05:58:00 PM »
I wonder- would it be too harsh to just toss the chocolate in the trash? The woman giving the gift obviously knows you CAN NOT EAT IT, so she can't realistically be expecting you to cherish or use the gift. I don't suggest it to be rude in return, but rather to make it clear that there is no possible way she can benefit from continuing to try and murder you with candy.