Author Topic: Ummm....your welcome?  (Read 17798 times)

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WillyNilly

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #75 on: May 24, 2012, 04:26:50 PM »
WillyNilly... actually it does.  CHeck out the referenced thread and you will see the correlation.  It is confusing because of two threads, but I think the other thread demonstrates this is a pattern. http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=116188.0

Ok... I don't understand your point.  Ok I was wrong about the kid being included in good holiday gifts but I still these are different situations.  In Hmmmmm's story the MIL is giving the DIL good holiday and birthday gifts, in the OP's she is not.

But having seen the other thread... maybe it is a situation of the IL's thinking the OP should work.  Maybe they see her as a sponge (not saying she is, but maybe in their opinion she is) for not working to support her own child from a previous marriage and contribute to her new household financially.  Upthread you made a comment about how "[the MIL's] most likely stayed home while their husband was the bread winner" but I think that's a horribly interesting assumption on your part.  Why would you say that?  Women have been a common fixture in the work force for many decades now.  Both my grandmothers worked full time, as did/does my mother and my stepmother and both my parent's sisters.  My DF's mother has always worked full time and I know at least his paternal grandmother worked full time (she's the only one left alive for me to have chatted about it all with).  My best friend's mom worked and so did her grandmother.  Its not all uncommon.  I'm in my 30's and I remember back in elementary school in the 80's it was the rare anomaly of a family that had a stay-at-home-mom, most kid's mom's worked, full time, outside the house.  Heck even TV mom's in the 80's usually worked full time outside the house.

It doesn't make the disproportionate gift giving ok - and I specifically think the OP's situation is awful and unacceptable, but I think we don't have adequate information about Hmmmm's [co-worker's] story to say they are the same situation or that that MIL is as awful as OP's.

No, you're not incorrect.   I pointed out the other thread to show that the OP had two different threads on corresponding subjects.  I wasn't referring to Hmmms post at all, but the OP's situation.

I'm just beyond confused :)  I hadn't made any reference whatsoever to any other thread... so why point it out?  What correlation are you talking about in re fence to the other thread when I was simply comparing the two situations spelled out in this thread (the OP and Hmmmmm's post)? 

And specifically what were you referring to when you wrote "WillyNilly... actually it does." What does?  I hadn't made any comment about "does" or "does not".

Methinks I'm missing something here... I'm not quite sure what we are talking about (and I suspect you and I might be having two completely different conversations)  :)

sparksals

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #76 on: May 24, 2012, 04:36:24 PM »
I only pointed out the other thread to show the pattern for the OP's situation.  I believe Hmmmm's post referred more to the other thread, but was also important for this one as a link.  No hidden meaning at all.  I was merely pointing out the other thread because there were some misposts here referring to the OP's other thread which added confusion since I was one of the people unaware of the other thread ... obviously my pointing out the other thread for clarity caused even more confusion. 

purplemuse

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #77 on: May 24, 2012, 08:51:06 PM »
As far as the OP's situation is concerned, I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with parents giving a "just because" gift only to their child, but I think it can become a problem (and only the OP can say for certain if this is the problem).

I think it starts to become a problem when the gifts are so lavish and/or so frequent that the spouses essentially have two different financial standards of living. If one spouse always gets every luxury they want handed to them, while the other always has to "save up," I think that creates inequality in the marriage, and that (IMO) is a problem, though not necessarily an in-law problem.

If this is the OPs situation, I don't blame her for being upset, but I'm going to echo PPs who say she needs to discuss this with her husband.

Harriet

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #78 on: May 24, 2012, 10:26:04 PM »
And specifically what were you referring to when you wrote "WillyNilly... actually it does." What does?  I hadn't made any comment about "does" or "does not".

WillyNilly, Sparksals was answering you:

It doesn't sound like that's the case in our OP, especially since the OP's child is being left out of 'good' gifts as well.

WillyNilly... actually it does.  CHeck out the referenced thread and you will see the correlation.  It is confusing because of two threads, but I think the other thread demonstrates this is a pattern. http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=116188.0
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 11:08:01 PM by Harriet »

wyliefool

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #79 on: May 25, 2012, 09:00:36 AM »
Couples are a social unit, they are as one. I do things for DH's family and they thank us by thanking him. My DH shows me appreciation for this. Your problem is with your DH not appreciating what you do for his family.

POD!

Your inlaws are being hosted by their son, that he has arranged his job hosting by doing nothing and leaving it to you doesn't really affect them.

Stop putting so much effort in, I bet your DH won't care and at least you won't feel like you've been run ragged.

I couldn't disagree more. The inlaws are hosted by their son and his wife. She's not a hired hand, she's part of the 'DH family' and therefore part of their family, whether they like it or not. And thanking a couple by thanking half of the couple is lazy. If anyone can't bring themselves to thank the person that does all the work directly, and instead does some sort of game of telephone where they thank their blood relative who's then supposed to relay his thanks for his wife's 'job' well that just stinks, sorry.

I agree w/ the bottom line, tho, which is stop putting in so much effort. Relax a little. Let DH help, or let things not get done. Cereal instead of a frittata. Burgers instead of boef bourgignon.

carol1412

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #80 on: May 25, 2012, 01:12:36 PM »
This might just be me being all paranoid and suspicious, but it struck me as the husband being quite manipulative. He talks about a specific tool he's saving money for then just "happens to mention" some expensive boots he saw that he'd like to get. And boom - mom and dad send money for those things his heart desires most.

Sounded to me like this could be a pattern of learned behavior that he and his parents are in and not necessarily exclusion of the OP. She just hasn't learned the language or the rules of the game yet.

bopper

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #81 on: May 30, 2012, 01:05:35 PM »
Isn't there anything the OP wants at Home Depot?  >:D

Lovie

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #82 on: May 30, 2012, 01:38:59 PM »
I think your husband is a big part of the problem here. I have the feeling your MIL's treatment wouldn't hurt so much if your husband would acknowledge what is going on and share the wealth every once in while.

It kind of gets my goat that he's planning on using the gift cards to get himself a bunch of stuff when you worked so hard to make sure HIS parents were well cared for. He did squat, yet can't take you out to a nice dinner instead of buying himself some boots??

Donovan

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #83 on: May 30, 2012, 01:59:10 PM »
I think the husband should use the one gift cert to either take the OP out to dinner, or just hand over the gift certificate so the OP can get something for herself.

And then he should tell his parents what he did. 

And if they go on about how that was for him to use for his boots etc, he should explain that he did nada before/during/after their visit and he felt it was only fair to share their generous gift with the person who actually did the work.


Tilt Fairy

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #84 on: May 30, 2012, 02:00:21 PM »
OP here. 

And so lets review this question….

Lets say that the breakfast was their “thank you”….and the (2) gift cards for $400 was their love gift for their son…


**Is it rude to send a $400 monetary gift to just one member of the family??**


I can see if his M was out shopping and saw “just the perfect thingamajig” for her son….and then sending that….

But isn’t it rude to send such a large windfall  (for us anyway)….and then have it be “JUST FOR MY SON…..NOONE ELSE”!!

**Would it not have been more appropriate to send some gift cards to the whole family….and say  “here’s a little something!    Get what your family needs”.

I understand every family is different.   I understand it is their money and can do WHATEVER they want with it.    But I guess I am asking….

“Is it PROPER ETIQUETTE to give ONE member of the family a large sum of money…while completely ignoring the rest”?

Yes.  I see no issue with this whatsoever.     And I agree with PP's who have pointed out that your DH can easily use the giftcard for something that benefits the whole family.   You seem to be saying you'd be ok with it if it was a tangible gift, e.g. clothes etc.   But isn't money even more flexible, and more for everybody?  It's not as if they bought him a prepaid vacation for 1.   ;D

I just can't conceive of being annoyed that somebody gave my DH a generous monetary gift.   I'd be thrilled!  Even if he didn't share it with me and bought something just for *him* that's still something he got to buy for himself that doesn't come from our joint coffers, so I still benefit!   I really think your frustration with your husband and his lack of contribution around the house is clouding your judgment on this one.   You feel under-appreciated.  I can totally relate to that - DH and I have certainly had our moments over the years.  But I'd be genuinely stoked that he got such a great gift.  Try to separate how you feel about the household contribution issue from this completely separate issue.  Otherwise when you try to address the household contribution issue with him it will get clouded by this - do you want him to think you just resent the fact his parents sent him the money?  Or do you want him to understand that you're upset because he doesn't do enough around the house, and to change his behaviour in that regard to become a more supportive spouse?

I agree with you completely Ceallach. In fact, it's the closest post to my take on it too because of the slight angle you've taken. Me and my boyfriend live together and have been for four years now. If his parents give him a 'just because' or 'feeling generous' gift, I feel that they have gifted ME too. Even though it's a literal gift for HIS USE like a coat or a video game or a gadget, I feel as if it's a gift for the both of us. It's something that's made him happy and I like him being happy. Likewise, if my parents gift me with something mediocre or lavish, he'd feel like it was a loving gift for both of us. Not in the literal sense that he would get to use it e.g. like a new dress but in the symbolic sense that the gift to me was a gift for 'the household'. It's like for example when loads of people visit other peoples houses and bring a small gift for the child of the house. They might even give the child a gift in addition to or in lieu of a 'hosting' gift for the couple. A gift to my child (I don't have a child) would delight me because they are giving a gift to someone I love so in a way that's a gift to me too. Even though my child put nothing into the hosting work, it doesn't matter because it's the symbolic or 'pure' thought of the gift that's nice which is "I'm thinking of a member of your family and giving them something they might like" whether it's a thank you or not. I can't really explain it. A gift to my boyfriend or my hypothetical child would thrill me just as much as a gift for me alone. It's really hard to vocalise.

Even sometimes, my parents have given a lavish gift specifically for my boyfriend and nothing for me just because they saw something he might like and I was thrilled. Some posters on here have said that the fact that gifts are unequal in value would mean they were thought of unequally. I would think the complete opposite. I think that the closer you feel to someone, the less you feel the need or pressure or appearance to give tit-for-tat or monetary equal gifts. I don't think ever ever have my parents given me and my sister equal gifts at the same time or otherwise because they don't feel they need to. It's not a measure of how much they care about us.

I also agree with your earlier point. Whenever mine or boyfriends parents come round, I do 95% of the work whilst he watches the football and if I'm lucky, he'll put the bins out. But we host the parents as a couple and they would embrace us and thank us for hosting them as a couple. I don't tidy and clean for thanks or tit for tat appreciation, I clean and prepare because I want to welcome them to a nice-looking home. My boyfriend and I are still equal 'hosts' even if he puts no work in. I don't even expect or desire a gift. A verbal thank you is enough. If they brought my boyfriend a gift EVEN if that gift was the hostess gift, it would feel like a gift to me too. I don't need a literal gift for myself to be happy, the happiness my boyfriend would get out of his gift would be gift enough for me. I don't think of my husband receiving something as 'something being taken away from me' or 'in replacement of something that should have been for me (too)' but more as something thats made an addition to a part of my life in an indirect way.

* The only time is when it is glaringly obvious they treat you unequally. The other thread that has been referenced in this one is a clear example of that. There, it appears very clear that the husband and wife are not viewed in the same way.

*Also, I agree too that the IL gift and the work the husband put in are completely separate issues and it's important to separate them from each other. I think the reason that there have been many conflicting opinions on this thread are due to many people see them as the same thing, many people see them as completely separate and many people see it as a yardstick to measure how the parents should have gifted.

Autumn Rose

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #85 on: May 30, 2012, 05:14:14 PM »
OP here...

I am delighted with your incredibly astute observations.

A couple of quotes that hit home....

I was talking with a co-worker about this thread at work yesterday. She said she sends her son "just because" monetary gifts. She says she feels like her son earns the money for his family while his wife is a SAHM. She said she feels like even when her DiL gives a gift to her son, it is "really his earnings paying for it" and the "only way he ever gets a true gift is from his parents."

and

This might just be me being all paranoid and suspicious, but it struck me as the husband being quite manipulative. He talks about a specific tool he's saving money for then just "happens to mention" some expensive boots he saw that he'd like to get. And boom - mom and dad send money for those things his heart desires most.

and

It could very well be that no one means this maliciously at all, they're just oblivious and are truckin' along like they've always done, since no one has (I assume) complained or even commented. ........


And here is what I have learned from this wonderful thread:


1)  I think my DH family is passive aggressive.   DH too.    I think (subconsciously or consciously)  that DH KNEW that if he dropped these hints, that his parents would pick up on it....and give it to him.

2)  I think MIL resents that I dont work.    And her attitude is precisely that of the story above.   Now, if we came running to them every time we needed money...I could understand this.    However, we have never, ever, asked them for help

3)   And....giving every benefit of the doubt....perhaps they are just "trucking along", not realizing that this was making me feel like "not part of the family".

As a side note....some OP's have suggested that I should be happy for DH - and whatever benefits him - benefits us all.    And for years when they sent him "love packages"...I was truly, truly happy for him.   

When they would send me a birthday gift...and added something (of equal or more value) for him....I was happy for him.     When they sent HIM a birthday gift...with nothing for me...I was happy for him.

It is just after YEARS of making excuses, shrugging my shoulders, giving them the benefit of the doubt....I am starting to get annoyed.   


(if you like, see my post of Inquitable gifts to get my vibe)
...http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=116188.0


NOW TO THE NEW QUESTION:

DH just mentioned that they are planning on coming for the 4th of July.   Lovely.
In addition to the list of housework I am planning on giving him....
what other pro-active measures can I take to:

a)  not feel overworked/underappreciated

b)  not be annoyed when they show up with "little gifts" for DH and DS..and nothing for me.   (which is something they did...but I forgot to mention)

c)   still genuinely feel gracious and accomodating.

d)   not take a hammer to my husbands head when they send/buy him something that is specifically, only for him - after they leave.


Thanks!   Looking forward to the replies!   :)






Iris

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #86 on: May 30, 2012, 05:28:11 PM »
Talk to your DH. I really feel that this is the only way anything is going to be achieved here. I don't think you can do anything about the gifts your in-laws buy, that is out of your power to control.
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

NotTheNarcissist

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #87 on: May 30, 2012, 05:31:25 PM »
NOW TO THE NEW QUESTION:

DH just mentioned that they are planning on coming for the 4th of July.   Lovely.
In addition to the list of housework I am planning on giving him....
what other pro-active measures can I take to:

a)  not feel overworked/underappreciated

b)  not be annoyed when they show up with "little gifts" for DH and DS..and nothing for me.   (which is something they did...but I forgot to mention)

c)   still genuinely feel gracious and accomodating.

d)   not take a hammer to my husbands head when they send/buy him something that is specifically, only for him - after they leave.


Thanks!   Looking forward to the replies!   :)

You have a good attitude. I would be unhappy that they were coming back so soon.

Autumn until you sit down & have a heart-to-heart with your DH & get his buy-in that it's time to quit pampering their every desire you will get nowhere. He has to hear where you are coming from. Hopefully he will put you before his parents & start the process of building & enforcing healthy boundaries. If you are enjoying their company forget the boundary stuff. If you are not,and if you truly do feel taken advantage of, then it's time to get transparent about it. There are many stories here of people saying "no" to family & other boundary tramplers, complete with example sentences & suggested phrases. But it won't do any good if you do not have DH buy-in. He needs to work with you to make this a more enjoyable event for everyone, not just the guests.

If it were me, at this point, I would say that July 4 is not an option, something has come up. They need to learn to entertain themselves. There was a recent thread about people (family) inviting themselves  & various dilemmas it caused.

Tilt Fairy

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #88 on: May 30, 2012, 05:40:03 PM »
OP here...

I am delighted with your incredibly astute observations.

A couple of quotes that hit home....

I was talking with a co-worker about this thread at work yesterday. She said she sends her son "just because" monetary gifts. She says she feels like her son earns the money for his family while his wife is a SAHM. She said she feels like even when her DiL gives a gift to her son, it is "really his earnings paying for it" and the "only way he ever gets a true gift is from his parents."

and

This might just be me being all paranoid and suspicious, but it struck me as the husband being quite manipulative. He talks about a specific tool he's saving money for then just "happens to mention" some expensive boots he saw that he'd like to get. And boom - mom and dad send money for those things his heart desires most.

and

It could very well be that no one means this maliciously at all, they're just oblivious and are truckin' along like they've always done, since no one has (I assume) complained or even commented. ........


And here is what I have learned from this wonderful thread:


1)  I think my DH family is passive aggressive.   DH too.    I think (subconsciously or consciously)  that DH KNEW that if he dropped these hints, that his parents would pick up on it....and give it to him.

2)  I think MIL resents that I dont work.    And her attitude is precisely that of the story above.   Now, if we came running to them every time we needed money...I could understand this.    However, we have never, ever, asked them for help

3)   And....giving every benefit of the doubt....perhaps they are just "trucking along", not realizing that this was making me feel like "not part of the family".

As a side note....some OP's have suggested that I should be happy for DH - and whatever benefits him - benefits us all.    And for years when they sent him "love packages"...I was truly, truly happy for him.   

When they would send me a birthday gift...and added something (of equal or more value) for him....I was happy for him.     When they sent HIM a birthday gift...with nothing for me...I was happy for him.

It is just after YEARS of making excuses, shrugging my shoulders, giving them the benefit of the doubt....I am starting to get annoyed.   


(if you like, see my post of Inquitable gifts to get my vibe)
...http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=116188.0


NOW TO THE NEW QUESTION:

DH just mentioned that they are planning on coming for the 4th of July.   Lovely.
In addition to the list of housework I am planning on giving him....
what other pro-active measures can I take to:

a)  not feel overworked/underappreciated

b)  not be annoyed when they show up with "little gifts" for DH and DS..and nothing for me.   (which is something they did...but I forgot to mention)

c)   still genuinely feel gracious and accomodating.

d)   not take a hammer to my husbands head when they send/buy him something that is specifically, only for him - after they leave.


Thanks!   Looking forward to the replies!   :)







Autumn Rose! I'm so sorry! I didn't even notice that you were the OP in the other thread I referenced. Lol in my post I was like "the situation the OP is facing in this thread is different to yours blah blah blah...'I just didn't look properly! That thread about the inequitable gift giving CLEARLY shows that your In Laws are being spiteful. Whilst I don't change my opinion on gifts in general, in your situation, from that thread, it seems to be a clear example they are being mean. I'm sorry I didn't see that you were the author of that thread too. I want to hug you now! The way the ILs treat you how you describe in that thread made me so angry! I'd be annoyed too.

Lynn2000

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #89 on: May 30, 2012, 05:43:40 PM »
OP here...
NOW TO THE NEW QUESTION:

DH just mentioned that they are planning on coming for the 4th of July.   Lovely.
In addition to the list of housework I am planning on giving him....
what other pro-active measures can I take to:

a)  not feel overworked/underappreciated

b)  not be annoyed when they show up with "little gifts" for DH and DS..and nothing for me.   (which is something they did...but I forgot to mention)

c)   still genuinely feel gracious and accomodating.

d)   not take a hammer to my husbands head when they send/buy him something that is specifically, only for him - after they leave.


Thanks!   Looking forward to the replies!   :)

Well, one thing you could do is share your concerns and frustrations with your DH. You would like him to do more of the hosting preparation, you would like him to show his appreciation more for what you do, you would like him to thoughtfully listen to and consider your concerns about his parents' judgment and unequal treatment of you.

Also, you might point out his habit of dropping hints about things he'd like to his parents, with the result being that money for those things shows up quickly thereafter. If he'd like to continue dropping hints, maybe he could mention things that you BOTH would directly benefit from, or even mention things he'd like YOU to have. Like, "Yeah, I've been saving up for this new iPhone for Autumn Rose..." Actually that might be an interesting test: ask him to drop a hint about something that's only for YOU, and see if they do anything about it. If he's certain they'll get it for you and they don't, it might make him see things from your POV better. And if they DO get it for you--he should be doing that more often! :)

You could also make a list of chores for yourself that you feel are very important for hosting properly, which you feel you have time to do. And then just do those, and don't worry about doing anything extra. In other words, to not feel overworked... don't overwork yourself. :) Like for me, I would clean the bathrooms pretty well before guests came over, but I wouldn't dust the top of bookcases or reorganize the closet so it looks nice when you open the door or scrub the garage floor. If my MIL did the white glove test on an obscure corner of my house or judged me harshly because there was a stain on the garage floor... eh, that is her problem and I'm not going to worry about it. If you do less work, and the work you're doing is what you CHOOSE to do, not what you feel FORCED to do, you may feel less frustrated and resentful about it.

And, anything you ask your DH to do, if it doesn't get done, just let it go. Maybe give him things that you can live without being done, in case that happens. If during the visit he sees that it would have been better to do those things, that's a good lesson for him. And if you see that really, no one notices that X or Y didn't get done, maybe that will make you feel easier about skipping those chores next time.

ETA: I did wonder about your phrasing... It kind of sounded like the in-laws invited themselves over for the Fourth, your DH agreed, and you got no input on it. That would be another thing I'd want to talk to my DH about, that we both need to discuss and agree to plans in the future. I think you've taken the advice given here with a great attitude and I hope you can get your DH to listen to you.
~Lynn2000