A woman recently asked for advice about how to handle her selfish in-laws. Even though she always commemorated their big days, they never did anything for her in return. Was she wrong to be annoyed? Here’s what she had to say:
The Woman Always Thought Of Others
“Every year, I take the initiative to send my in-laws thoughtful gifts AND cards for their birthdays, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day, as well as Christmas.”
Her Generosity Was Not Reciprocated
The woman came to a realization. Even though she was always giving, she never got anything in return. She hadn’t received anything for her birthday from her in-laws for four whole years. No card. No gift. Radio silence.
It Wasn’t That The Woman Wanted Gifts
The woman stressed that she wasn’t materialistic. She wasn’t seeking expensive gifts or suggesting that her in-laws throw her wild parties. All she wanted was to be acknowledged.
The Woman Identified Her Mother-In-Law As The Problem
“I believe I intimidate her (and she is jealous in many ways—so I’ve been told) because I made something of myself, I’m intelligent but kind, self-aware, and I’m independent… I don’t need her or her husband’s money (or my SO’s for that matter) and so she has no power over me. EXCEPT when my birthday rolls around.”
The Mother-In-Law Even Targeted The Woman’s Husband
The woman revealed that she’d seen her mother-in-law treating her husband like dirt. The mother-in-law seemed to prefer the company of her second son, and she made no secret of the fact. Even though the woman’s husband was a hard worker, he got no respect from his mother.
The Woman Hoped That Her Husband Could Intervene
The woman could understand if her in-laws didn’t know when her birthday was, but she figured that it was on her husband to inform them. Still, she couldn’t help but wonder why her in-laws hadn’t thought to ask at some point.
The Woman’s Husband Defended His Parents
The woman’s husband said that she needed to calm down. He said that his parents couldn’t help it if they didn’t know when her birthday was. They had a lot on their plate, and they couldn’t keep track of everybody. But the woman didn’t buy it.
The Woman Worried That She’d Dragged Her Husband Into Conflict
The woman knew that asking her husband to get involved meant that he was a party to her conflict with his in-laws. She didn’t want to damage their relationship. But enough was enough.
The Woman Resented Her Husband’s Disinterest
The woman was a little annoyed that she’d had to ask her husband for his help in the first place. She didn’t think it was unreasonable to expect him to have already told his in-laws when her birthday was. He should have known that her feelings were hurt.
Did She Overreact?
The woman wondered if she was making a big deal over nothing. It wasn’t as though she needed gifts from her in-laws. She was a grown woman, and she knew it wasn’t a life-or-death situation. Was she blinded by her own unrealistic expectations about her in-laws?
People Weighed In
One person said, “Tell your hubby to grow a backbone and pull them up on it. Calendars on phones are free and easy. Hell, offer to put your birthday in while smiling since they keep forgetting.”
Another person agreed: “I know relatives like this. The best solution? Let your husband deal with them. If they want to get upset that you ‘forgot’ their birthday and other things, too damn bad.”
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