For those who followed the Dear Prudence thread on the redecorating MIL, I have a follow up.
For those that didn’t follow that thread, the short version is that my SIL, in the guise of “helping”, pulled up several expensive plants from my front yard that were put there by my mom and aunt on the occasion of my kidney transplant this past April. SIL was NOT asked to come to my home, she was tagging along with BIL and FIL who were there to cut branches from a tree in the front yard. FWIW, BIL and FIL were also not asked to do this, they insisted that it had to be done immediately and that they had to do it, where we could have easily scheduled a professional to come and take care of it at a more convenient time.
Needless to say, I was infuriated when I saw the damage that had been done. I am trying to focus on the boundary trampling and not on the plants themselves, because every time I try to discuss this issue with DH, he says “it’s just plants”.
I told DH that SIL is no longer welcome in our home when I am there unless she a) apologizes and b) UNDERSTANDS why what she did was so out of bounds. Right now, I can’t even fathom how I could have a civil conversation with SIL at this point.
Yesterday, MIL stopped by to pick up their chainsaw that was left at our house and she said offhandedly, “SIL is really sorry about the plants”. I calmly told MIL that I needed to hear that from SIL directly. I know MIL is trying to smooth everything over and it’s not going to work this time.
I am close to considering this my hill to die on. My ILs (all of them) have a hard time understanding that our home is OUR home, not theirs. They are welcome as guests but that is it. I would not dream of going into their home and making changes to suit my tastes, but they do not extend the same courtesy to me. When they are called out on their behavior (such as in this situation), they act hurt and confused that I do not welcome their “help”.
DH has agreed that we can take a break from his family for a while. However, we have a family christening coming up where we will all be placed at the same table for dinner or, if there is no seating chart, MIL and FIL will expect that we will sit with the rest of the family. At this point, it’s going to take every ounce of energy I have to put on a fake smile and sit at the same table with SIL because I doubt I will ever receive the apology that I am seeking.
Every time I think about this or look out my window and see the missing plants, my blood pressure goes up 10 points. In order for me to get back to a happy place, I have some questions:
1. Am I wrong to feel hurt and trampled in this situation?
2. Am I wrong to insist on an apology from SIL?
3. How can I get the ILs to understand that I am trying to enforce boundaries, not reject them totally?