Dear Prudence laid some truth down when she answered the letter of a woman with in-law troubles. The woman wrote in to ask Prudence how she should handle her inconsiderate in-laws. She and her husband have two children: she has a daughter from a previous relationship, and they have another daughter together. And apparently, her in-laws don’t acknowledge her daughter on birthdays and holidays. That’s a big ol’ bag of hell no.
Dear Prudence: my in-laws are rude assholes, please advise.
The letter from Inconsiderate In-Laws begins, “I have been with my husband for five years. I have a daughter from a previous marriage who is now 10 and a 4-year-old daughter with my husband. Every year, his parents and other extended family acknowledge my younger daughter’s birthday.”
“His parents and other extended family acknowledge my younger daughter’s birthday.” We don’t like where this is going.
Inconsiderate In-Laws goes on to say,”Last year on her birthday, when an aunt asked for our address so that she could send money, I requested that she not send anything because our children are noticing and it causes hurt feelings. We requested they treat the girls the same because they are sisters. She promised to include my oldest. Well, that didn’t happen. Again, we are sent a card and money for our younger and my older had received nothing.”
So they brought it up, asked them to stop being assholes, and still they continue being assholes. Sounds about right as far as some in-laws go!
The woman writes that she would like to cut this part of the family out of their lives (AGREED), but that her husband is conflicted. Which, OK. We can sort of understand that. But this kind of favoritism is incredibly hurtful, and a 10-year old girl is going to realize what’s going on!
Dear Prudence gave some solid advice to Inconsiderate about dealing with her rude-ass in-laws.
Prudence said, “Send the card back. Be polite when you run into your husband’s aunt at family gatherings, but blandly and cheerfully send back any cards or gifts that refuse to acknowledge you have two children. You are asking your husband’s relatives to recognize that your daughter from a previous marriage is neither a ghost nor a mistake from your past you’re forced to lug around with your newer, better family. This is not an unusual request. Your elder daughter will appreciate the fact that her parents advocated for her being acknowledged as a human being who possesses the quality of existence.”
Not going to lie, I would write something really petty on the envelopes and boxes that I sent back, but that’s me, and I enjoy the pettiness. What do you think? Was Prudence’s advice spot-on? How do you deal with inconsiderate family members?
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(Image: iStock / EvgeniiAnd)