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Old 12-26-2015, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
39,194 posts, read 37,806,900 times
Reputation: 73965

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighFlyingBird View Post
Ok. When they are around he spaces out and says nearly nothing. He is out off touch with reality and 6 steps behind what is actually going on. "______, would you like bagel". 2 hours later "I'd love a bagel. Are there any plain ones".

No joke.

I'd me more then happy to engage with them like that.
It's a less-than-ideal coping mechanism, obviously, kind of like sarcasm.

This is the first time I've heard you describe your husband as "out of touch with reality."
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Old 12-26-2015, 10:42 PM
 
Location: Texas
598 posts, read 477,152 times
Reputation: 1815
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmsn4Life View Post
This ^^ is all that matters.

People, including relatives, do weird things. In May I gave my SIL wallet-sized photos of my sons' senior portraits. This year for Christmas, she gave us photo Christmas ornaments using each boy's senior picture ... the ones I had given HER. I was thinking to myself ... um, I gave these to you for YOU to have. I already have 8x10s of these!! I have all four of your kids' senior pix in my own office, on display. And you're giving mine back?

It's not worth even mentioning to ANYONE, especially your husband. Your MIL is who she is. You aren't going to change her. Let it go.

Focusing on dollar amounts only teaches your kids to keep track.

omg - too funny. Some people are just clueless
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Old 12-26-2015, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Texas
598 posts, read 477,152 times
Reputation: 1815
Quote:
Originally Posted by HighFlyingBird View Post
So my mother in law has always heavily preferred granddaughters over grandsons. When they were little, if they were misbehaving, she would 100% blame it on the boy. And my husband, when I pointed that out, he told me no matter how naughty his sister was (less then 2 years younger), he would get in trouble and she wouldn't. He actually learned to hide from his sister all the way until graduation and college, because no matter what, he would get into trouble.

So this is random. I appreciate gifts from the grandparents. They have 15 grandkids and are retired. But this Christmas my son got a book, it cost $5. The receipt came with it. It's a book several years beyond his reading level even though he reads a couple years ahead. (It's a high school book, he is in late elementary. Not even middle school. MIL was a teacher, she understands all that). My daughter got a toy. The receipt was for $40.

Does that seem odd to anyone? Or is it just me?

I assume I will be told off. But, it's pretty obvious, isn't it? My son doesn't notice yet. And I don't think they owe my kids gifts at all. But it is weird to spend $5 on one grand kid and $40 on another in the same family...no?

At first when I read this, I was thinking "oh no, not another gift and money thread." But then I read through thread - and you know what? I would be pissed off. It's not about the cost - it's about the statement.

I generally keep my mouth shut around my family *unless* it's pertaining to unfair treatment w/r to the kids and not just my kids but all the cousins in our family umbrella. I would say something or have my husband say something. I mean surely if you had a white kid and a black kid and a MIL showed clear preference for the white kids you would say something. Why should it be different just because it is sex discrimination?
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Old 12-26-2015, 11:01 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,503 posts, read 15,968,402 times
Reputation: 38894
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmsn4Life View Post
This ^^ is all that matters.

People, including relatives, do weird things. In May I gave my SIL wallet-sized photos of my sons' senior portraits. This year for Christmas, she gave us photo Christmas ornaments using each boy's senior picture ... the ones I had given HER. I was thinking to myself ... um, I gave these to you for YOU to have. I already have 8x10s of these!! I have all four of your kids' senior pix in my own office, on display. And you're giving mine back?

It's not worth even mentioning to ANYONE, especially your husband. Your MIL is who she is. You aren't going to change her. Let it go.

Focusing on dollar amounts only teaches your kids to keep track.
My first thought was that your sister had multiple ornaments made and kept one set for herself and gave you one set. I have done that several times with favorite photographs of family members. Or, maybe she used copies of the photographs for the ornaments.


I admit that if she just gave you back the original photographs and did not make & keep copies for herself that would be strange.
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Old 12-26-2015, 11:06 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
39,194 posts, read 37,806,900 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
My first thought was that your sister had multiple ornaments made and kept one set for herself and gave you one set. I have done that several times with favorite photographs of family members. Or, maybe she used copies of the photographs for the ornaments.


I admit that if she just gave you back the original photographs and did not make & keep copies for herself that would be strange.
It struck me as odd, but what would I do, you know? She's otherwise fine to be around.

Once when we were over there dog-sitting, I noticed that she had a monogrammed fleece blanket we gave them for Christmas folded up in the bottom of the dog kennel. Again, not what I would have done, but .. not a direct attack.

In the OP's situation, the problem is generational and pathological. It obviously has affected her husband. Direct confrontation at this point would undoubtedly end up in schism. Limited contact is the path of least resistance.
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Old 12-27-2015, 12:13 AM
 
10,090 posts, read 6,509,210 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmsn4Life View Post
It's a less-than-ideal coping mechanism, obviously, kind of like sarcasm.

This is the first time I've heard you describe your husband as "out of touch with reality."
He is only like that around his family of origin. And I get it. I give him lots of space for that when they are around
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Old 12-27-2015, 12:16 AM
 
10,090 posts, read 6,509,210 times
Reputation: 23714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmsn4Life View Post
It struck me as odd, but what would I do, you know? She's otherwise fine to be around.

Once when we were over there dog-sitting, I noticed that she had a monogrammed fleece blanket we gave them for Christmas folded up in the bottom of the dog kennel. Again, not what I would have done, but .. not a direct attack.

In the OP's situation, the problem is generational and pathological. It obviously has affected her husband. Direct confrontation at this point would undoubtedly end up in schism. Limited contact is the path of least resistance.
We do have very limited contact. 36 hours a year. Very limited gift giving on both parts. There is SO much more at play. It's just bugging me with all the safeguards we have put in place, it's still coming through.
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Old 12-27-2015, 12:58 AM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,550 posts, read 26,166,023 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandviewGloria View Post
It's really a miracle that your MIL didn't make your husband Gay, or a psychopath preying upon women. She sounds like either a man-hater, or from that Celtic culture, rampant in the South, where men are considered errant dog/slave creatures, ever in need of control and punishment by women. If your husband hadn't been smart enough to hide from his sister, thereby lessening the damage to his psyche, then he surely WOULD have either turned out Gay, or a rapist/murderer/abuser of women (or an alcoholic, or a druggie, or a suicide). That's one advantage of intelligence, and one reason why the intelligent (contrary to popular lore) develop far LESS mental illness than do stupid people.

MOST of my Gay friends came from families where the women saw the men as stupid and wrong (yet somehow responsible for making all their womanly dreams come true - generally by working themselves to death - the sooner the better). These Gay men, because of their mothers, sisters, aunts, and grandmothers, saw "Being the Man of the House" as a game they'd be stupid to play. They've done quite well in life, while their 'straight' male relatives, who I suppose DIDN'T figure it out, mostly turned out to be combinations of various bad things.

I'm really amazed that your husband chooses to speak to his mother or his sister. Personally, I'd limit your son's contact with them.

As for what to tell your children about Gan-Gan the Man-hater, just be honest. "Grandma doesn't like boys. Just don't let anybody know you know, OK?"

I was honest with our kids, about why they'd never met my mother (she was a mean, substance-abusing backwoods hooker, and I ran off to college without saying goodbye). They processed the information just fine. And they grew up knowing what happens to people who drink and do drugs.

For now, though, if your son DOES ask about the odd gift imbalance, just say, "Yeah. I noticed that, too. Don't worry about it. We'll discuss that in a couple of years, OK?"

Parents do not "make" children gay and they do not turn them into psychopaths. Families of all ethnic backgrounds and social classes have gay and lesbian members. Gay men can be just as much the "Man of the House" as straight men.

My Celtic southern family is not filled with errant dog/slave creatures, and the straight members are not rapists, murderers, wife abusers, alcoholics, or suicides. The women do not believe that men are stupid and wrong, with mutual respect between husband and wife and marriages that lasted until one partner died.

It seems you are perhaps generalizing your own dysfunctional family onto an entire ethnic group, which just suggests that the dysfunction did not stop with the previous generation.

OP can teach her children that the inequalities in treatment are the fault of the grandparent and do not mean that one child is inferior to the other, or she can confront the grandparent and make it clear that the inequality is not acceptable and that if it continues all gifts will be returned. She can control how much contact the kids have with the grandparents. That depends on whether she is willing to potentially totally alienate them. Whatever is done, her husband has to be on board with it.
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Old 12-27-2015, 01:57 AM
 
Location: Lake Oswego, Manhattan, Aspen
3,139 posts, read 3,963,571 times
Reputation: 11040
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post
Parents do not "make" children gay and they do not turn them into psychopaths. Families of all ethnic backgrounds and social classes have gay and lesbian members. Gay men can be just as much the "Man of the House" as straight men.

My Celtic southern family is not filled with errant dog/slave creatures, and the straight members are not rapists, murderers, wife abusers, alcoholics, or suicides. The women do not believe that men are stupid and wrong, with mutual respect between husband and wife and marriages that lasted until one partner died.

It seems you are perhaps generalizing your own dysfunctional family onto an entire ethnic group, which just suggests that the dysfunction did not stop with the previous generation.

OP can teach her children that the inequalities in treatment are the fault of the grandparent and do not mean that one child is inferior to the other, or she can confront the grandparent and make it clear that the inequality is not acceptable and that if it continues all gifts will be returned. She can control how much contact the kids have with the grandparents. That depends on whether she is willing to potentially totally alienate them. Whatever is done, her husband has to be on board with it.
There is no one cause for people's becoming Gay. There are many causes, despite the simplistic "Born That Way" truism, which was designed as a simple answer for simple minds. And I did not say that ALL Gay people were made so by their parents. However, plenty of people ARE made Gay, in one way or another, by parents (and I'm not saying that's a bad thing - frequently, it's an improvement), and plenty of people ARE turned into psychopaths by their parents.

As for your own family, possibly you are too close to the situation to evaluate it objectively.

I am not Celtic, or even white. I'm not even "part" anything that would be considered truly white. But I lived in Jackson, Mississippi, and, as an outsider, saw plenty of loud-mouthed priss-pot Southern women treating men in precisely the ways I've described. Every year, Mississippi Magazine's wedding issue is full of big Baptist weddings, where everything is portraying the bride as a Sizzling-hot Fairytale Princess of Holiness, while everything about the Groom portrays him as a running joke - on a par with the family dog. I think their treatment by female relatives might explain why so many of the men turn into duck-hunting, football-watching, beer-swilling jackasses - or just turn into lumps, silently sitting while the womenfolk totally dominate everything.

Furthermore, I did NOT say that ALL or even MOST Southerners or Celts are that way. Possibly, your family, or your community, or your social caste within that community, are exceptions to what I have observed. Possibly, your family are Celts with Norse enculturation. Or perhaps they only have Celtic surnames, and are actually predominantly Norse (if from old Upper Middle Class families, they would typically be descendants of Norse overlords in Scotland and Ireland). Then again, your extremely reactive response to my post leads me to doubt the two sentences preceding this one.

In any event, the OP, in a later post, tells us that the children's exposure to Man-hater Granny is already limited to 36 hours per year. I don't think there's much warping she can do to the boy's psyche, in such a time frame.
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Old 12-27-2015, 07:21 AM
 
11,230 posts, read 9,243,994 times
Reputation: 14654
Quote:
Originally Posted by HighFlyingBird View Post
So my mother in law has always heavily preferred granddaughters over grandsons. When they were little, if they were misbehaving, she would 100% blame it on the boy. And my husband, when I pointed that out, he told me no matter how naughty his sister was (less then 2 years younger), he would get in trouble and she wouldn't. He actually learned to hide from his sister all the way until graduation and college, because no matter what, he would get into trouble.

So this is random. I appreciate gifts from the grandparents. They have 15 grandkids and are retired. But this Christmas my son got a book, it cost $5. The receipt came with it. It's a book several years beyond his reading level even though he reads a couple years ahead. (It's a high school book, he is in late elementary. Not even middle school. MIL was a teacher, she understands all that). My daughter got a toy. The receipt was for $40.

Does that seem odd to anyone? Or is it just me?

I assume I will be told off. But, it's pretty obvious, isn't it? My son doesn't notice yet. And I don't think they owe my kids gifts at all. But it is weird to spend $5 on one grand kid and $40 on another in the same family...no?
I guess I am not sure what I would do. My kids' grandparents are wonderful but tended to channel them into attitudes and activities along gender lines. So DD was relegated to sewing with G'ma, and DS got sport or fun activities. But they shower gifts and love equally. My kids are teen and pre-teen respectively. They now know that they have to be patient and understanding of grandparents peccadilloes.

Were the receipts IN the gift? Is there any way to put them aside before the exhange?
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