Post # 1
I know there have been many post about MIL issues and how much you can expect your husband to take your side/defend you/present a united front when dealing with parents, but this situation is a little more grey than others. My sorority sister (let’s call her Kate) has been with her boyfriend (lets’ call him Jake) for 5 years (since sophomore year of college) and since they’ve left school she has had an issue dealing with a mom vs. gf/so/wife situation. Kate’s birthday falls on the same day as her boyfriend’s mother. The first two birthdays they spent together were at school so Jake spent them with kate. Now that they’re in the real world, Jake has been spending the majority of the day on his mother and Kate’s only acknowledgement of her birthday is the gift he gives her in the morning. They’re not a new couple and they’ve discussed an engagement in the coming year and one of the things that Kate has been concerned about has been competing with his mom. I don’t really know what to tell her, because if I was in her shoes, I’d definitely want to feel special on my birthday too! The “usual” for the last three years has been gift for kate in the morning, maybe lunch with Kate if they can both swing it with work, and then Jake spends dinner/the evening with his mother. The first year Kate was invited and his mother was upset that she had to “share her birthday” and so the second year Kate was excluded from dinner. This past year she was invited again and the mother was slightly more gracious since they’d been together for 5 years at that point, but Kate is not looking forward to this switch off for years to come. How would you reccommend that Jake handles this? Kate feels pushed aside because while it looks like she’ll probably be invited at least some of the time, Jake hasn’t made any effort just for her on her birthday since they graduated college. She gets the early bird special each year and maybe a dinner with him and his mother and regardless, his mother gets prime time every year. It feels unfair to her. What do you think? What would be fair?
Post # 2
I think both Kate and the MIL are adults, not 5 year olds, and the actual day of their birthday is insignificant. It is only a day- both of them are being immature and need to get over it The bigger issue is that the guy is putting his mom over Kate- so what will happen for Christmas, other holidays etc.- does mom always get her way?
Post # 3
cautiously3optimistic: I think they’re all being absolutely ridiculous. I personally find birthdays to be just another day. Sure, it’s fun to celebrate if possible but I certainly don’t think it’s the end of the world. In my circle, we celebrate if we can….and sometimes it means a week after the actual birthday. The bigger issue is not the birthday, but the fact her BF is choosing his mom over your friend. That being said, you never mentioned in your post if your friend has confronted her BF about the issue? If she has, what was his response? Sounds to me like if your friend wants to be with this guy for the long haul she either needs to find a way to deal with his mother, or find a new boyfriend.
Post # 4
I think he should man up and spend time with the GF. While it’s so nice of him to be spending time with his mother on her birthday I think the GF is more special. He / (both of them) should swing by his mother’s house with a bouquet of flowers, have a drink and call it a day.
He can always go back on the weekend and spend more time with the mother. I think the mother should e understanding..I feel bad for your friend. I wouldn’t like that happening to me that’s for sure.
Post # 5
I don’t know if this changes anything but Kate absolutely LOVES birthdays. She always goes all out for Jake’s birthday each year and feels that much more let down when she gets nothing in return. Jake used to reciprocate when they were in college and now that they’re out it’s a complete 180 for her, but jake always plans something very special for his mother.
Post # 6
starfish0116: She tried to play it cool for the first two years though she was very hurt when the mom made a big deal about her being there but after they seriously started discussing marriage she told him that it makes her feel unappreciated and unspecial and very second best. That’s why he invited her again this past year, but his excuse is that Kate gets him every day (they live together) and that his mom deserves her whole birthday. I don’t really think his response cuts it because they live in the same town as his mom and they see her every week at least once. Sometimes every two weeks, but still very consistently.
Post # 7
He is not going to change and it sucks that he chooses his mom over his gf. I married a man like that and let me tell you. They don’t change. We never spent a holiday or my bday together (my bday is around father’s day and I was never included) and for some reason his mom never wanted me around for his bday, his children’s bdays, or any holidays and he was fine with spending those special days with his mother and not me. If it really bothers her she needs to have a convo now but most likely he won’t change his ways.
Post # 8
Does Jake otherwise see his mother a lot? Does he and Kate live together?
Post # 9
When Kate becomes Jake’s wife, her birthday will be the most important one. Jake should acknowledge his mother, but his wife is his primary relationship after teh marriage.
Post # 10
cautiously3optimistic: This is absurd. Like, high school relationship absurd. I mean, it’s a birthday. Have a joint dinner the day of, then a romantic thing with just the couple the following weekend. Or have a big famly party, take mom to dinner the weekend before and wife to dinner the weekend after. There are about a million ways to fix this, it’s like a non-problem.
The other aspect is she wants to come first instead of his mother. Which is reasonable, I think. So…she needs to talk to him. It’s pretty simple, if you have an issue with the person you are dating, you need to talk to that person. If they are dismissive of your feelings and won’t address the problem- then you might not be compatible. The end.
Post # 11
Maybe she should just talk to him about it? How about switching off every year- one year, dinner with mom, next with GF, and repeat.
I don’t think it’s fair to say that because she’s the GF, she comes first. So what? He also has a mom. Is he supposed to just ignore his mom now because he has a girlfriend? Relationships change over time, but you don’t have to end (or severly cut back on) one all for the sake of another.
There are also things we don’t know, like whether the mom is still married/is widowed, if the FI is an only child, etc.
Post # 12
Jake needs to get off the tit. Kate is the woman he plans to marry. She comes first. He should, of course, still acknowledge and celebrate his mother’s birthday but it doesn’t need to necessarily be on the exact date if their schedules don’t allow. Really, everyone should grow up and learn to share the day but if Kate wants something special that doesn’t involve her smother (not a type) in law, then Jake should just deal with it.
Post # 13
I’d be more concerned about how holidays play out.. If something as insignificant as a birthday is causing him to choose mom.
In this situation, I’d be pissed if my FI chose to spend the day with his mother instead of me. I would not be pissed if we had a joint dinner celebrating BOTH of us with him on our actual day. Both mom and Kate have to give a little and I think this would be fair..
Post # 14
Apple_Blossom: He has a sister who lives out of town so isn’t available to be with their mom as often. So not an only child, but an only son. The mom is divorced, but hasn’t tried to date since they broke up. She works a lot. I don’t know much about her. I live in a different city than Kate but we’re close and she usually calls me sad on her birthday because neither of us live in NYC where most of our other friends do so she calls to talk to me because I know what it’s like to be lonely in my city too. Kate (like me) doesn’t know many people outside of her boyfriend’s circle of friend so it’s hard for her to make plans with “friends” on her birthday. She’s usually left pretty well alone.
Post # 15
KC-2722: Kate has said that she’d be okay with sharing, but each time she’s been begrudginly invited, it’s to the mom’s birthday dinner, not hers, not a joint one, just the mom’s. She just hates being unwelcomed when she is invited or alternatively being left home alone. Her birthday is coming up again and she’s been worried about it.
For people talking about holidays, Kate goes home for Christmas and spends thanksgiving with Jake’s family. Jake never goes to Kate’s family’s house for any holidays because all of his family is local and they don’t understand why he would leave. Basically, the birthday thing has caused her to question whether or not she wants to marry this guy, but she’s worried she doesn’t even have a leg to stand on because a lot of the people she’s asked about it have similar reactions to people on here. the “you’re being childish, suck it up, it’s just a birthday” thing. I was trying to cast a wider net to see if I could offer her some real advice this year.
I sort of think she has to really stand up for herself this year and if she has to spend her birthday alone to accomodate her FMIL, she should get to bring Jake with her for one of the holidays this year.