Join our community of Solution Seekers!

My In-laws Ignore My Son and Me on Special Occasions. How Can I Get Them to Stop?

Illustration of a woman at sporting event with former in-laws Greg Clarke

Q. My husband’s parents give him birthday and holiday gifts, but they never give any to me or our son. I would like to say something to change the situation, but I don’t want a confrontation to ensue. What should I do?
Name withheld by request

A. When your in-laws fail to acknowledge you, a terrible message is sent: While your husband is a beloved part of the family, you are an outsider. That’s bad enough. But neglecting their grandson is even more mean-spirited. If this keeps up, there is no way you can avoid feeling upset or angry—not just toward your thoughtless in-laws but also toward your husband for being passive about their rude behavior. That’s why you can’t solve this problem alone; your husband must be involved. Enlist him to remind them, in no uncertain terms, how much pleasure it gives a family member to be remembered on special occasions, and that there will be consequences (namely, a growing distance and resentment on the part of their own son) if the situation isn’t immediately rectified.


—Michelle Slatalla


Read More About:Manners

Related Content

Illustration of a woman with a monkey on her shoulder holding a smartphone

What Bad Habit Do You Wish You Could Break?

Here, readers list all of the bad habits they would love to live without.

What do you think about this article? Share your own solutions and ideas

View Earlier Comments

Quick Tip

Illustration of suitcases

Packing for a family vacation? Travel versions of favorite games won’t crowd suitcases, and playing them will keep kids from begging to watch TV at night. Get more tips.