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Started by bettylou, April 16, 2010, 04:28:19 pm

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The wedding shower was when I knew it was not going to ever be easy with my daughter in law.  Her friend threw it for her, I was given a list of all the foods I was to bring and it included, the ham, the bread two side dishes and the cake.  I was shocked that I was basicly doing all the cooking but I was atleast glad to be included.  She would never give me a straight answer on how many were coming I had to just bring alot and hope for the best.  I was never sent any invite just told on the phone about it.  I was told I could bring myself and my daughter, and three others.  Some of my family was hurt but I just explained it must be that is a small hall and not enough room.  Three came with me, seven more sent gifts via mail and even gave more at the wedding. Daughter is laws side had about forty people.  I was ignored so was everyone on my side of the family.  It was rough but I spent most of the time cleaning and prepping the place and daughter and I served all the drinks and did the clean up as well. At the end of the party no one thanked me or daughter for our efforts.  Whatever that is fine, I am a big girl right?  Well while I was cleaning up Daughter in law came over to me and told me she was very hurt about some of the gifts that my sister Greta gave her.  She told me that she had registered at Macy's and Greta must have looked at her registry and got her similar things but they were not Macy's at all more like Walmart.  I said I was sorry that happened and that Greta shops are Walmart so what?  She does not have a good job and she is older.  I told her it could probably be returned and she told me it was going to the chairty shop because she was not going to set foot in walmart.  This what we are dealing with.  Someone that is always looking for the negative and holdoing on to it.  VEry high standards we can not measure up to.  Eveyrthing is a slam on her and it always hurts her so much.  What do you do ?


Yeah, it sounds like your DIL was in the wrong here. I'm sure that she has a "side of the story", but my first impression from other posts of yours was that you were violating her boundaries; my first impression from this post is that she was violating yours.

- It was inappropriate for your DIL's friend to hand you assignments. I don't know if the request was, "Oh, my goodness, there's so much to do, could you possibly do this much? Let me know if it's too much." or if it was, "Here. Do this." Even if it was the first, that much work and food was too much to ask of you unless you were acting as a full co-hostess, and clearly you weren't - if you were, you'd have been involved in choosing the location, the guest list, and so on. You were a helper, and as such you shouldn't have been given that much to do, and you should have been thanked for what you did.

- It was inappropriate for your DIL to speak to you about the gifts that your sister gave her. Doubly inappropriate - it's wrong to complain about a gift, and it's wrong for her to hold you responsible for other adults' behavior.

As for what to do, it's tricky. It would have been perfectly correct for you to say, "I'm so sorry, but all I can manage is the bread and the bean salad." and, "I'm so sorry - I can help decorate, but once the party starts I need to be available to my daughter; I won't be able to help serve." Or whatever boundary you chose to set. Said calmly, cheerfully, with no evidence of anger or resentment at their unreasonable demands, and with a manner showing complete confidence that they would respect your decision about what you yourself would be able to contribute.

And on the gift complaint, "Oh, I'm so sorry that you were disappointed. I don't feel that I can get in the middle, though. Maybe you could speak to Greta, or return them. Oh? Well, I'm sure that the someone at the charity shop will get some good out of them, then." Cheerfully. Cheerfully. Even if you have to go punch a hole in a wall later, still, _cheerfully_ while you're having the conversation.

I don't know if those responses would have led an explosion, or if it would have been a good start to a mutually respectful relationship. But they would have been perfectly reasonable on your part.



Bettylou, it sounds unreasonable for you to bring all that food unless you were in on giving the shower.  And if you were in on giving the shower, why were you only permitted to invite three guests when there were forty other guests invited?  Was it only given by her friend?  Were you suppose to be a guest?  That was very giving of you to provide all that food, set up and clean up afterwards.  Since you were not thanked for all you did, my guess is that you were not appreciated and they disrespected you by ignoring you.  I didn't read the Boundaries book yet, but maybe someone that did could give you an answer about how to react to that.  Perhaps your boundary could be to not lend a hand to dil in the future - or is that crass?  I think you have your hands full here with your dil and I don't know if there's any way to have a healthy relationship with her.  If she is selfish and unwilling to regard your feelings, you are stuck in a bad relationship.  Your ds probably feels that he has to side with his dw no matter how wrong she is.  Sorry to say, dear one, but the prospects aren't looking too good.  i really feel for you and your dd.  Can a wise woman out there give Bettylou some encouraging words of advice?  I can't find any.
Sending hugs your way.........Hope


Betty, you have been more than giving to this woman. She is showing you who she is, and it's not a pretty picture. You're not alone here; many of us have been through being ignored and taken advantage of, MILs and DILs. I agree with Hope, and unfortunately don't know what to tell you except to only do for DIL what you truly want to do without expecting an equal (or any) return. My DH is really good at that; me, not so much.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


I agree. You can't make a relationship by yourself. You aren't this woman's lackey. I give people (relatives included) the benefit of the doubt and they get one shot at me. I am just "not available" after that if I am not treated with respect....(relatives or not.) When we are mistreated and - cheerfully, I agree, don't return for is about self-respect. If we let others kick us to the curb, we're agreeing with them. Not on my watch!!! >:(
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama