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AIBU?

My parents seem to treat my husband differently to BIL

72 replies

TaureanGemini · 13/10/2022 18:27

Hi, I'd like to know what you Mumsnetter's think of this situation. It's not a majorly big deal in the grand scheme of life but it's really niggling at me.

So, I've lived in Scotland with my husband for 18 years. I'm not from there originally but I fell in love with the place and relocated to be with him years ago and we've been happy here ever since.

My sister and her husband live further down south and our parents are in the south east. My sister and her husband have been married for 12 years.

Every year my parents send my BIL a birthday card and present but they have never once sent my husband anything for his birthday.

Although we don't see each other regularly due to the distance, my parents and husband get on well. I never thought to bring it up until now.

Am I being unreasonable to be a bit miffed that they ignore his birthday every year whilst making effort for my BIL'S birthday?

Or am I being silly and thinking too much into it and should let the matter go?

Any words of wisdom etc would be appreciated. Thank you.

OP posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

152 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
14%
You are NOT being unreasonable
86%
TaureanGemini · 13/10/2022 19:51

Pixiedust1234 · 13/10/2022 19:46

So your own sister doesn't send him a card either? But you send one to BIL?

Time to stop the gifts for adults. Sorry op, it must be tough.

No my DH gets no mention at all.

Think you're right.

Thanks, it could be worse I suppose.

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wordler · 13/10/2022 20:04

I guess you don't want to start a row but at this point, I would just calmly ask them both - sister and mum - "I've noticed you've never sent DH a card for his birthday in all the years we have been together - why is that?"

Don't have to mention gifts - if they are not even sending a card it's definitely a specific omission.

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wordler · 13/10/2022 20:07

Either that or I'd passively aggressively start reminding them 2 weeks ahead every year.

"Hi Mum - just to remind you it's DH's birthday on 20th if you would like to send him a birthday card"

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Aprilx · 13/10/2022 20:08

Ihatethenewlook · 13/10/2022 18:50

I can’t even imagine how much of a piece of shit someone must be to think it’s ok to repeatedly forget their own child’s birthday just because they don’t live by them. Or to think it’s ‘entitled’ to expect an acknowledgment from your own parents on your birthday. Presumably he acknowledges his parents birthday?

Nobody is forgetting their child’s birthday. 🙄

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Aprilx · 13/10/2022 20:14

wordler · 13/10/2022 20:07

Either that or I'd passively aggressively start reminding them 2 weeks ahead every year.

"Hi Mum - just to remind you it's DH's birthday on 20th if you would like to send him a birthday card"

Why would you do that? What is the point of receiving a card under such circumstances? Is a grown man even that bothered anyway.

OP, my husband has two brothers, we live away from his childhood home whereas the two brothers and their wives are close by and are closer. It is entirely possible the SIL get birthday cards when I don’t, but I wouldn’t even know this anyway and even if I did I wouldn’t be worrying for even a second about it because I am not five years old.

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saraclara · 13/10/2022 20:15

Why on earth have you not mentioned it?

I'd lay odds that they don't remember when it is. So certainly after the first big birthday I'd have said "did you forget it was DH's 30th last week?" You're making up a scenario to explain it which might be far from the truth, and you've hadall these years to dwell on it because you haven't asked a simple question even once. Which is a bit ridiculous.

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PeekAtYou · 13/10/2022 20:18

I'm still wondering if it's possible that you sister is lying or buying a gift from your parents to one up you.

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TaureanGemini · 13/10/2022 20:37

Aprilx · 13/10/2022 20:14

Why would you do that? What is the point of receiving a card under such circumstances? Is a grown man even that bothered anyway.

OP, my husband has two brothers, we live away from his childhood home whereas the two brothers and their wives are close by and are closer. It is entirely possible the SIL get birthday cards when I don’t, but I wouldn’t even know this anyway and even if I did I wouldn’t be worrying for even a second about it because I am not five years old.

Not 5 years old? Well, neither am I.

I haven't really been 'worrying' about it to be honest. More of a niggle as already stated.

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Ship · 13/10/2022 20:42

I’d stop all adult gifts. If they say anything just say oh I presumed we weren’t doing adult presents after DH birthday.

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TaureanGemini · 13/10/2022 20:44

saraclara · 13/10/2022 20:15

Why on earth have you not mentioned it?

I'd lay odds that they don't remember when it is. So certainly after the first big birthday I'd have said "did you forget it was DH's 30th last week?" You're making up a scenario to explain it which might be far from the truth, and you've hadall these years to dwell on it because you haven't asked a simple question even once. Which is a bit ridiculous.

You're right. At the time we didn't really think much of it as they lived abroad during the last big birthday and knew things were tough for them.

Mind you, I did question them when I found out they were giving my sister and BIL £35k for a house deposit (we were both in exactly same financial situation). Again, I must stress - we don't want anything from them. Just simply want to be treated the same so I'm not left feeling there's a huge problem that I'm unaware of. We have 2 kids and it has always been equal treatment.

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Gymnopedie · 13/10/2022 21:22

Mind you, I did question them when I found out they were giving my sister and BIL £35k for a house deposit (we were both in exactly same financial situation).

And what answer did you get? I'm sorry to be blunt but they value your sister (and by extension her DH) much more than you (ditto). I'd bet anything that although you personally get Christmas/birthday presents, they're not on a par with what your sister gets. Was this the dynamic when you were growing up?

Scale down what you do. You won't feel as niggled if you aren't putting in an effort that isn't reciprocated. Send them a 49p card from Card Factory and forget about them the rest of the time.

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silverbubbles · 13/10/2022 21:26

Does you sister remind your parents to buy for him? Perhaps she has made it a 'thing'.

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saraclara · 13/10/2022 21:27

Mind you, I did question them when I found out they were giving my sister and BIL £35k for a house deposit (we were both in exactly same financial situation).

I'd be interested in the answer they have to that, too. We sister buying in a very much more expensive area?

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HappyMackerel · 13/10/2022 21:31

I don't like how passive aggressive so many people's suggestions are on here. So rarely people suggest 'talk about it', just 'withdraw and do less'. In that case everyone starts nursing grudges and grows apart and resentful. How many friends are you left with at the end of your life is you deal with issues like that?

Some of the times I've grown closest to people or learnt a lot is by asking them difficult stuff

Maybe your parents don't know if you DH likes them? Does he? Maybe they can tell. Maybe they forgot the date and are too embarrassed to ask now.

There's so many reasons it could be.

Find a way (written and edited until perfect) To ask. It might be very interesting and useful!

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Wishyfishy · 13/10/2022 21:32

Out of 2 DILs I am definitely the least favourite of my MIL. It doesn’t bother me. It’s simply because MIL and SIL have some kind of bond and have become genuinely close. It doesn’t bother me because I didn’t have that with MIL. I love that she loves my DC but I don’t need to be her friend, we’re too different and it would be hard work. SIL and MIL seem to be kindred spirits. PIL are much more involved in BIL and SIL’s lives - including financially - whereas we don’t talk about finances with PIL.

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HappyMackerel · 13/10/2022 21:34

OP you keep saying you don't want anything from them. Do you think maybe they can tell that?

Maybe your sister asked and they can only afford to co it once ( re house deposit).

Could that be it? Are you more seemingly independent and perhaps give the impression you don't need them as much? That's not an excuse though, they should be making sure they're being fair imo. But it might feel like a very diff situation to them, perhaps.

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HappyMackerel · 13/10/2022 21:36

Just to add - totally normal you feel ths way imo. I think i would too!

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Luckycatt · 13/10/2022 21:37

I had this issue with my MIL, I was your husband in this situation. Despite being married to her son, and the mother of 2 of her grandchildren, I never got a card or present for my birthday. I got a token Xmas one, but never acknowledged my birthday. Her daughter's partner, though (so her son in law although they aren't married) always got a present (and a Facebook post - I think that was to try to wind me up).

My husband asked her once, a few years back, why his sister's partner always got a present but his partner (me) didn't. She said she only buys birthday presents for family 😂

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elephantseal · 13/10/2022 21:59

Doesn't matter where you all live, they should treat both fairly. My parents live near my sister and her h and me and my h live far away yet my parents send both sons in law equal things for their birthdays...

It's not tricky.

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elephantseal · 13/10/2022 22:04

Beyond weird that your sister doesn't buy your h a gift either.

Is there a back story here?

And this has been going on for 18 years?! 😳

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elephantseal · 13/10/2022 22:05

And yes, why did they give your sister £35k for property?? What did they say?

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blubberyboo · 13/10/2022 22:17

What does your sister say when you tell her your DH didn’t get anything from your parents?

I think you need to speak up and say something to your parents otherwise this is going to fester

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