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How would you feel if BM gave ex-MIL (now your MIL) a Xmas gift????? Am I being petty?

furkidsforme's picture

So tonight was a holiday dinner for those family stragglers who were out of town or worked on Christmas day. All the SKids were there, SS17, SD23 and SD25.

The SKids had been up to visit their BM earlier in the day, and then came straight to dinner at MIL's.

Gift exchange starts. The SKids present MIL with a gift from under the tree. It's to MIL from BM. It was just a cheap candle and she works where things like this are sold, so it likely cost her $5. But I still felt wrong about the whole thing. BM and DH have been divorced over 9 years. The SKids are grown except the last, and he's 90% there. MIL accepts it and no big fuss is made.

In the car going home (not with SKids) I mention to DH that I thought it was inappropriate for BM to be gifting MIL. Then I find out that MIL gets BM presents every year, and always has. This is actually the first year BM has gifted her back.

BM is a woman who: cheated on DH MANY times, left DH with 3 kids (only one his) and literally disappeared for over a YEAR, was an addict, used while pregnant with last child who was born drug addicted, refused to work for decades, has physically abused the SKids, has physically abused and attacked DH, has punched me in the face, threatened to withhold kids, threatened to kidnap kids, and basically has made EVERYONE'S life living hell.

I know it should be no big deal. MIL is a nice enough woman, and I do not think she genuinely cares about BM. But WHY WHY WHY will NO ONE throw up a boundary with this woman?????

And, of course, my DH rolls his eyes and seems to think this is just fine. Why am I making the big deal out of it?

He did offer to talk to his Mom, which I refused. If anyone speaks to her, I want to do it. DH would say "FurKids wants you to never give BM a present again. It makes her mad.", and would make me look like a loon. Whereas I would explain that it seems a little inappropriate to be gift exchanging with someone who has hurt so many people in this family; and that as a couple DH and I are trying to incrementally push her out of our lives now that the SKids are grown- not invite her in. The gifting sends a signal she is welcome, and she is not.

Would this upset you? Or am I being petty?


Pilgrim Soul's picture

This would not bother me at all, and it did not bother me in my first marriage. How MIL and BM build their relationship was none of my business,and it is none of yours. What does it matter to you who gives whom gifts? BM "gave" your MIL 3 grandkids - the two of them have a connection that is not a threat to you.

In my first marriage, my MIL was ( and remains) a saint, a woman whom everyone loves and who loves everyone. My kids are lucky to have her for a grandmother! She is on great terms with all 3 of my exH's wives, me including. She was on great terms with her own husband's first wife ( who was a real loon, as least in her old age).

Love is more attractive than hate or incecurity. If i were you, i would not mention your concerns to your MIL. She may not want to push BM out of her life - what is that to you?

Runaway's picture

My would-be MIL is a wackjob and of her 3 children none will have anything to do with her, but she and BM adopted each other... it's the creepiest thing ever...they even live together. If they ever get married BM will be my inlaw by paper. ICK. MIL isn't allowed anywhere near our house or our children but we can't really do much about BM. The whole situation is shudder-worthy. Gods only know what kind of "gifts" they give each other.

That said, I can see why your feathers might ruffle a bit. Boundaries are often not observed where we wish they were...

twopines's picture

Eh, I couldn't care less, but I don't live anywhere near or talk to either of them so it doesn't affect me in the least.

Totalybogus's picture

Normally I wouldn't care, but I can understand where you're coming from because of all of the horrible things BM has done to your family. I would be bothered by it too and I would have mentioned it to my DH simply because he is my best friend and it dealt with my feelings. However, I would keep it between the two of you and just let it go. By bringing it to your MIL's attention you will create more drama than it's worth

notsurehowtodeal's picture

It would bother me - it seems disloyal. That being said, I wouldn't say anything about it. It is not going to change - so why let them know you care?

Sootica's picture

Yes it would bother me,would I say anything to MIL? Depends on the type of relationship you have with her. DH should have really said something to her ages ago, I know if my mum was exchanging gifts with someone who treated me as badly as BM treated your DH I would be having serious words with her and questioning her loyalty.

Aniki-Moderator's picture

I wouldn't have a problem with their relationship. Don't know that I'd like it, but oh well. What WOULD bother me is a gift from the BM in MY HOME. IMHO, I don't see why the BM cannot ship/mail the gift to the MIL.

furkidsforme's picture

In the light of the morning, I have decided it isn't worth talking about with MIL, and I will just pretend it never happened.

I did try to bring it up with DH again last night, but he didn't seem too interested in listening. I started to explain that I wasn't MAD, I was frustrated at the situation. I was getting ready to make my point about how every time it seems like we get BM a step further out of our lives, she inches back in. Then he started snoring, so I guess my concern over this does not rate on his radar.

I think the heart of what pisses me off is that #1) I still feel second to her in my own family. It's gotten better, but there has been years of the dynamic that "family" means DH, SKids, BM, and then me- that it is a gut reaction to recoil when anything remotely about her is mentioned or happens #2) I still feel like an outsider in the "family" as a whole, and that despite being married for 8 years and together a total of 14 I will never be seen as "the real wife". BM gets that title because she squeezed a kid out of her crotch eons ago and disappeared.

There is just so much PAIN associated with her/my DH's first marriage for me that it is hard not to react in extreme ways.

I was so incredibly foolish. DH and I dated for almost 6 years before marrying. I felt very much the outsider then, but had this incredibly foolish notion that when we married I would FINALLY be a part of the family. Oh I was so wrong. Looking back, I see how ridiculous of a notion that was.

He and BM were married 7 years. Only 1 child is DH's, the older 2 are hers from other baby daddies. But when she took off and decided she was no longer a wife and Mom, DH took all 3 in and raised them as his own. He has always had custody of all 3. Now DH and I have been married almost 9 years... yet still I feel like I don't rate.

It also galls me that he WANTED to have a child with this psychopath, despite KNOWING she was a psychopath, but he does NOT want to have a child with me. He always said he did, until I was ready to think about it. Then he didn't want to raise any more babies. It is something that creeps in my mind in the darkest way, and makes me feel so less of a woman. How could he really desire her so much more than me that he WANTED AND DREAMED of a child with her.... but not me. I honestly think I will always feel second to her, no matter what anyone says or does, or who gives whom a candle. This is my issue, not MIL's.

a_nessy_life's picture

Furkids, your hubby is a Saint for taking in all 3 children. I've seen men who've done this and in each case, in the end, those children chose their "dad" as well as the woman who stayed by his side and theirs for years. It's pretty inspiring as well as odd to witness.

Don't hold your DH to the fire when it comes to having, and raising, yet another child. Three kids is a handful of financial and emotional responsibility. With age comes the wish of getting past the child rearing years and onto the golden years of kid-free life.

Your morning decision sounds like the best in all worlds. Just ignore MIL and her involvement with BM. You are not second fiddle, you've been the woman by this man's side for over a decade and they all know it. You're not going anywhere in his life, you are his first and foremost priority.

furkidsforme's picture

With age also comes MY wish to have real family of my OWN, and I don't get to have that because HE already did that with someone else and doesn't want to do it with ME.

It's so fucked up.

Generic's picture

My father did NOT want more children. After many girlfriends attempting to trap him (he was a very eligible physician), he finally met the perfect woman. She was a professional too - non gold digging- and a little older than his usual 20s girls. She assured him she understood his desire for no more children. Then she promptly forgot to take her birth control pill. Twice. A boy and a girl. And they lived happily ever after.

If a man doesn't want more kids, he should be celibate or get the snip. It is unfair to ask a woman childbearing age to not get pregnant. Women want their own babies. It's nature's law. I don't blame my SM at all. I laugh at my father's naivete.