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bil's unequal treatment of us vs. his wife's family

(35 Posts)
BrendaBlackhead Mon 22-Dec-14 16:56:03

I've read a lot on here about how dh and dw should each attend to their own sides of the family - and to an extent I agree. I'll visit my family by myself and dh visits his alone. Not all the time, but sometimes. We are not joined at the hip.

But... but... one thing does bother me. Dh's brother's wife is a great hostess and marvellous cook. They have a large Georgian house and often throw big dinner parties and frequently have sil's family there. But we are never party to her cooking (except for one occasion when I found we were last-minute stand-ins: that's how I know about her food, as well as from some third parties).

If we see bil and sil, it is bil who caters and does something like frozen chicken kievs or pizzas from the CoOp. I can't help feeling it's rather pointed. If we ever host dh's family, I do the cooking because I always do the cooking and I think it would be rude for dh to do it on this one occasion per year and make cheese on toast when I could (and do) make a much better effort.


Bair Mon 22-Dec-14 17:05:11


BIL should cook, he's got a potentially great teacher right there. Your SIL isn't going to feed her family frozen pizzas just because her husband can't be arsed with his family.

SmallBee Mon 22-Dec-14 17:09:39

I don't really think it matters who's doing the cooking, you're not going there for the food but to see the family. Maybe it'll give BiL a chance to cook something a bit fancier if you mentioned it?

But if the issue is more that SILs family is invited over more often than I suppose that might be a bit unfair unless they have a good reason?

Ohmygrood Mon 22-Dec-14 17:09:42

Perhaps she doesn't want to have to do the cooking every time.

Bulbasaur Mon 22-Dec-14 17:15:57

Why should she always have to cook?

If your BIL wants to have a good dinner he needs to put in the effort for it.

Your OP just sort has a sexist undertone that cooking it woman's work, so she should be doing it. Cooking isn't hard. He could make a fancy dinner if he wanted to put the effort into it.

kissmasfairy Mon 22-Dec-14 17:16:33

hmmm.....DP and me have a 'your family / friend, you sort it out' sort of approach, so whenever his family come to ours, he cooks, if mine come I cook. I never really give it any thought in terms of who puts more effort in in terms of food / quality of food etc, that's just how we do things! Perhaps your SIL doesn't either?

WooWooOwl Mon 22-Dec-14 17:18:55

Do you invite her over and cook for her?

tumbletumble Mon 22-Dec-14 17:20:44

I think it's absolutely reasonable for SIL to want a break from cooking sometimes. And if she knows BIL will do something a bit rubbish, then I can understand why she thinks it's a good opportunity when BIL's family are coming round.

Sorry, I think YABU.

WorraLiberty Mon 22-Dec-14 17:25:49


She's probably fed up of doing all the cooking and hopefully told him he can sort his own family out.

That's what it sounds like to me anyway

Or maybe he says to her "My family are coming, so I'll do the cooking"

Who knows

RedToothBrush Mon 22-Dec-14 17:27:03

You know what.

I think that's brilliant that each partner takes responsibility for their own family.

The fact he does easy cook food is lazy but then again he clearly understands how much work it is to go to town cooking as he doesn't expect his wife to do it for you.

You on the other hand should be the gracious guest and be grateful he feeds you at all.

If you want to do the cooking when you and your husband host, then that's your decision. You shouldn't expect other people to do things your way though.

Perhaps you should quit whinging and teach your DH to cook instead rather than acting like some kind of hero.

WorraLiberty Mon 22-Dec-14 17:27:25

And also, why would your DH make cheese on toast if he were cooking for guests/family? confused

NotYouNaanBread Mon 22-Dec-14 17:37:29

Sounds like you need to take a leaf out of your SIL's book (or rather, go a step up) and give your DH a Jamie Oliver book for Christmas and tell him to pick a recipe every time his family comes over.

You don't actually get a better spot in heaven for cooking for your IL's, whatever MIL's would have you think.

INickedAName Mon 22-Dec-14 17:56:21

Sorry I think YABU and sound a bit sexist too. Would you have a problem if SIL cooked but served the same stuff as bil? Or do you think she should cook a slap up dinner because she can? Maybe his wife gets fed up of cooking for everyone all the time. Bil coukd easily cook the same stuff if he wanted to. Why should his wife have to? There may have times when Sils family have had similar, if you weren't there you wouldn't know. It may be once a year for you, but it could well be almost all of the time for SIL, share a bottle of wine with her and enjoy her company while bil dishes out the chips.

I love my brother and SIL and DNS to pieces but it's usually spag Bol or similar when they come to eat, they are all fussy and each one would have something they didn't like, it's stressful enough without individual fussiness, they dont mind though, as it means dh and I (we both pitch in) aren't stuck in kitchen and can actually spend time with them.

CheeseBuster Mon 22-Dec-14 18:01:26

YABU, sorry but you family might not be to sils taste, she might find your conversation boring or simply prefer her own. Why should she spend the day slaving in the kitchen for you.

Also have you returned the invite since you went there?

Nanny0gg Mon 22-Dec-14 18:02:41

I think that's brilliant that each partner takes responsibility for their own family.

I will never understand this separatism.

When my family come over we act as a team, just as we do with DH's family and our friends. I cook (mostly). DH helps prepare and clear up. We both clean and tidy.

Why does there have to be lines drawn down the middle all the time with a family each side of it?

chanie44 Mon 22-Dec-14 18:19:58

OH and I do work as a team when we have people over, but ultimately, whoever does the inviting is ultimately responsible for hosting.

kissmasfairy Mon 22-Dec-14 18:25:26

^^ this

wheretoyougonow Mon 22-Dec-14 18:26:12

YANBU. My sil does this with my family. Family is family in my book and I like to think I put the effort in with her so why won't she with us. My friends don't act like this.
It makes me feel like we are not worth the bother to her.

Bair Mon 22-Dec-14 18:36:28

'Why does there have to be lines drawn down the middle all the time with a family each side of it?'

There doesn't have to be anything, people do what works for them. But if you have a partner (of either sex) who would scrimp on effort then I don't blame people for splitting things so cleanly.

Nanny0gg Mon 22-Dec-14 18:39:55

But things are split everywhere.

People only write cards to their side of the family.
They only buy presents for their side of the family.
They only invite one half of a couple to their wedding.
Some couples split at Christmas and visit their own families for the day.

I'm sure there's more.

I don't understand it.

Viviennemary Mon 22-Dec-14 18:42:29

I'd tell them to stick their co-op pizzas. Why should you be treated like second class citzens. Don't bother with them again.

RedToothBrush Mon 22-Dec-14 18:54:46

But Co-Op Pizzas are The Best.

I recommend the Habanero Heat.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 22-Dec-14 18:56:20


Alisvolatpropiis Mon 22-Dec-14 18:57:46

I don't see my BIL and SIL as being part of my family. I wouldn't cook for them if they visited.

Bil just happens to be the brother of the man I chose to marry. Nothing more, nothing less.

KateMosley Mon 22-Dec-14 18:59:04

We do this. I cook every day and will do when I invite people, but if DH invites people I expect him to make some effort.

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