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Uh, Thanks

My husband is in the military and when we were pregnant over Christmas, we decided it was best to not travel and instead spend Christmas by ourselves. We couldn’t afford to fly home and a seventeen hour drive was not looking so good to me being that I was six months pregnant. My in-laws decided to punish my husband for this decision.

Christmas morning we opened the gifts that our in-laws sent. They sent us a couple of cheap Christmas ornaments and a part for the instrument my husband plays in the Navy band. FIL bragged that he only paid fifteen dollars for it. Since it was Christmas morning, we couldn’t really use the ornaments and besides that, we had an unfortunate incident with our ceiling in our military house collapsing due to water damage. Our Christmas tree was ruined. We were moved into a new house a week before Christmas and didn’t bother getting another tree. The in-laws knew this.

After opening the gifts we called the in-laws to thank them. We found out that my husband’s brother and sister both got video iPods, among other things for Christmas. Let me get one thing straight. When I am given a gift, I am always grateful but after hearing that the in-laws spent thirty dollars max on us, it was hard to be grateful when the other kids had over $400 spent on each of them. This really pisses me off because my husband is the oldest child and the least spoiled. He’s the only kid in his family that didn’t get his college paid for by his parents and the only one that still doesn’t rely on his parents sending money when he needs it.

A few months later at the big confrontation with my in-laws, I brought up the fact that it hurt my husband (who is the only child that is a musician and would appreciate and use the iPod more efficiently than the other kids) was hurt by this. FIL’s response? “If I knew it would only take me getting you guys an iPod to come home for Christmas, I would have gotten you one.” No idiot, the promise of an iPod would still not make us drive all that way, the fact that you did it to punish my husband is what hurt so much. So glad we don’t associate with these people anymore. I just can’t deal with all the passive aggressiveness.

Just to add salt to the wound, FIL would call my husband, who is the techie in the family, every now and then to ask technical questions about the iPod he had gotten himself. What a jerk.


10 responses »

  1. What horrible people. I really hope you and your DH consider working on getting them out of your lives, for good. For parents to behave so poorly to their son and pregnant daughter-in-law… well, it reminds me of the saying “with friends like this, who needs enemies?”

    Hope you’re well and enjoying your new love!

  2. As an oldest child, I totally understand where you are coming from. Being te oldest sucks, but having parents like that sucks even more.

  3. Oh I totally understand where you’re coming from! My in-laws do the same thing to my poor dh all the time! I always love the way they decide to “punish” us for not doing what they think we should. I would be sorely tempted to give FIL the wrong advice when he calls about his iPod…

    It’s so much better when you stop associating with them! I hope you’re enjoying your baby and enjoying an in-law free life!

  4. dilinwisconsin

    Oh I can totally understand – they sound vaguely like my inlaws! My hubby has gotten to the point where he will tell them not to ask him questions about it (he is the techie too)

  5. While I sympathize with you, don’t advertise your personal problems. Military leaders often take advantage of their workers personal issues. Ken Collins will not be helpful. You may think that he and his staff will want to help. Six months later when he processes your hubby out, you’ll have a different view. I would encourage you to find help and direction by seeking private help. Even if you are just venting, realize that if you seek out help from the Navy, they may actually think you have the problem.

    As for your relatives, cut ties for awhile if they cannot act decently!

    I worked for Collins in Hawaii. What a jerk!

    Best wishes!!

  6. The author of this post

    Thanks for the advice, Dave, but we don’t know Ken Collins. I don’t think I was complaining about the Navy. I had to mention the part about our housing because it was part of the story. The Navy took good care of us in that particular situation. My husband is in no danger of losing his job. Thanks for your concern though!

  7. Dave, this is a website for venting about personal issues. Not sure what you’re going on about.

  8. Had a similar gift experience from the IL’s. Except that MIL got me PAPER NAPKINS and a Free Gift with purchase from a dept store makeup counter while lavishing my husband with over $1k in gifts and cash (addressed only and specifically to him). This is only one incident of too many to count of my crazy IL’s. But, it’s never worth getting upset about. Just know you are the better person and avoid situations where you have to deal with them. …No matter HOW hard they make things and how much you want them to see how awful and crazy they are.

  9. My family has been punished by the IL’s for not traveling 9 hours + home to visit. The road goes both ways. Traveling while pregnent can be VERY uncomfortable and dangerous. Kids don’t always travel well and even to families who work hard and smart, gas money may not always be in the budget. Screw ‘um. Try to ignore their petty actions and comments. Keep venting.


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