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I need some help getting over this.

Started by Scoop, August 08, 2011, 08:18:33 am

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I need some help getting over this.

My IL's didn't give me anything for my birthday.  They didn't acknowledge my significant-number birthday in any way other than a text to DH saying "Say Happy Birthday to Scoop for us".

And I'm MAD about it. 

I typed out a whole post about WHY and giving all sorts of history and ect. but it even sounded whiny to ME.  And I've answered posts before with the statement that "people don't OWE you gifts".  So I don't know why my knickers are in a knot over this.

My general feelings are that if my MIL wants to have a better relationship with me, she's certainly NOT showing it.  And it makes me want to stamp my foot and say "See?  See?  *This* is why I shouldn't have to TRY with MIL anymore!"  But I don't want to be that person.

So, can anyone help me out here?  Maybe help me look at it in a different way?



Anyone who says they don't have the feelings you are going through is probably either lieing or half dead. We all whine and stamp our feet and doing so keeps us healthy. She's a pill and she's self-absorbed and most of the work has to come from your end. That gets tiresome. Do something to pamper yourself and think of us. We love you!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Just wondering ... Do you and your MIL have a long history of giving each other birthday gifts and/or cards?  And she has initiated a change in the reciprocity?

lancaster lady

Hey Scoop ....Happy Birthday !!
Who needs IL's .....I never received zilch from my MIL , nor did my kids ....her loss , 'cos she lost
me big time !


Scoop, happy birthday!

I know what you mean.  It's sort of like it's the principle of it.  Are you the shopper for gifts in your family? 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


And so for the record I want to say that I have never forgotten my DIL's birthday, starting from before she and DS were married.  And she has never acknowledged any gift I have given her.  Nor has she ever said Happy Birthday to me.  And no, I don't need any help getting over it.


Aww....Happy Birthday Scoop!  Ok, yes...you need to take your own advice...we all do!  You know it, I know it, we all know it on some basic level.  That doesn't negate that even when we expect it, it still hurts our feelings.  I knew my DS wouldn't acknowledge Mother's Day.  I knew it....I accepted it....and when he didn't, I was still mad!  How dare he!  The big ole' jerk!

Ok, so now my answer to look at it in a different way. She actually did acknowledge it.  She didn't do it in a good way, or IMO the proper way by telling you personally, but she did send a text acknowledging it to DS and asking him to relay it.  Not the best way....but she did.  How's that?  ;D
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Thanks for the birthday wishes guys!

Quote from: amflautist on August 08, 2011, 08:58:07 am
Just wondering ... Do you and your MIL have a long history of giving each other birthday gifts and/or cards?  And she has initiated a change in the reciprocity?

Well, it's a long story.  We've always exchanged gifts, however, the (first) year that MIL completely blew my birthday off, I stopped being "in charge" of gifts to them.  That particular year, I picked out MIL's gift a good 6 mos in advance, because I saw something I thought she would like.  And MIL sent me a card on my birthday, but never did give me a gift.  So to me, she made sure that I knew that SHE knew it was my birthday, but I wasn't getting anything from them.  I took it very poorly (because up until then I had at least received SOMETHING) and told DH that I was no longer picking, wrapping, sending or even reminding him of his P's birthdays / anniversary.

So since then, the quality of their gifts has gone downhill (DH is not very good at picking out nice gifts, or wrapping, or remembering).  And of course, *I* am the one to blame (as per usual).  And since then, MY birthday has become a serious afterthought, hit or miss whether I get a gift, or whether any care has been taken with it.  However, DH is the goldenchild, so he gets EXTRAVAGANT gifts, better than anything his sister gets (never mind BIL or me).

When we see the IL's around a birthday, I always have a cake or special dessert for them.  Okay, honestly, it's mostly for DD's sake, she's little and she LOVES birthdays - how can I deny her picking out a cake and helping to put candles on it?

To me, it's even more obvious, because my Mom always gives her DIL & SIL (my DH) the same value of gift that she gives me and DB.  She's VERY fair between everyone, to the point that we don't even think about it.  She sees DH for his birthday every other year and makes sure to wish him a happy birthday and has even changed her traditional holiday meal dessert to birthday cake, to be sure that we (i.e. my WHOLE family) celebrate him.

So yeah, I'm having a fit of pique over this.  I'll get over it.

PS Amflautist - I'm glad you acknowledge your DIL's birthday.  Even if it's a gift she doesn't like, it's still the *right* thing to do and it's not a case of you putting extra nails in the coffin of your relationship.

Because that's exactly how I see it - as my MIL putting nails in the coffin of our relationship.


Sounds like you are right, Scoop.  Your MIL doesn't value her relationship with you.  Go ahead and stomp and fuss.  You earned it.

Keys Girl

Sounds like she's one of those people who doesn't think people who aren't "blood" relatives, are never part of the family.

Livingston Taylor says that an expectation is a resentment waiting to happen.  I would bring my expectations for her to 0, but whooop it up, plan a party, celebrate your birthday and go buy yourself a lovely present that you would have loved to have received from her.  Make a tradition of that for every birthday and then you'll have a lovely present to look forward to.  When it's her birthday, I would pick a charity of your choice, make a donation and hand her an envelope with a card and the note about the donation.   No use going overboard for her, but you haven't forgotten her then and some people who really need a helping hand will benefit.

Don't stomp and fuss, go shopping and have some fun!!
"Today I will be as happy as a seagull with a french fry." Author Unknown


Expectation is a resentment waiting to happen. Brilliant!!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Happy Birthday Scoop!   Another vote for doing something fun for yourself.

I was relieved to read you had stopped shopping and planning for MIL's birthday.  Maybe you can take comfort that at least since after the first time she declined to get you a gift, that the birthday efforts made have been mutual.

Your dear Mother is kind to do for your DH. It is nice for you, him, and her.  I imagine it would probably make you feel slighted on his behalf, if she didn't.   

Last year on the day of my birthday, we did get something in the mail from my MIL.  As soon as DH saw her handwriting, he thought it was a birthday acknowledgement.  As he opened it, he was saying "Wonder why she put my name...."  Inside was two of her bills; MIL was hoping DH would pay them.


Oh Wow Sassy...that is terrible.  What's wrong with people!
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Well, darn her hide! I would send them back with a note..."Merry Christmas Early!"
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


I think your anger over the birthday present (or lack thereof) is just a focus point for your anger over a lot of things in your MIL/DIL relationship.  It's the straw that broke the camel's back and you are focusing on that straw instead of the thousands of other straws that also contributed to disabling the camel.  I think you pretty much identified why this point is bothering you so much: See?  See?  *This* is why I shouldn't have to TRY with MIL anymore!"  You've tried to get along with her but she just slaps you in the face. 

Don't be hard on yourself.  Take a deep breath.  If you feel you've tried really hard to get along, made a lot of overtures, have always been polite with nothing to show for it, you are entitled to throw in the towel.  If DH wants to acknowledge his family's bdays and the like, he can.  They are his family and therefore his responsibility.  Sure, they'll blame you, but that's their heartache.  It's rather sexist to assume the wife will take care of all the family's social obligations.  If they complain about his efforts to you, trying to put the blame on you, just point out that DH was the mastermind behind whatever and point out you don't have time to do remedial work on your DH"s manners.