Post # 1
It’s always strange when you don’t know whether to be upset or not, but I can’t tell whether this was something troublesome or whether my pride is just bruised.
It was my husband’s birthday recently. To put many things simply, he is a private person and likes to keep the day-to-day of our lives to himself when his family calls him. I’m an extrovert and its just not my way, but I think it’s very admirable of him to enforce boundaries.
Because family relations can be, *ahem*, tricky – he sometimes chooses to answer questions in peculiar/delicate ways. His mother asked him whether he received gifts for his birthday, and he told her that he hadn’t received any from anyone other than her. Now, I had given him something, but he was trying to avoid a barrage of questions about my gift – something he views as personal.
Later in the conversation, his mother asked whether he was cooking dinner tonight and he said that he wasn’t, because there wasn’t much in the house to cook. (True.) She inquired further, and he eventually made the throw-away comment that we had no food in the house because we’re poor. (Sadly, also true.)
I have been trying my absolute hardest for the past 2 months to focus on our marriage and not care so much about what my in-laws think, but I felt my pride bruise just a little bit. Nobody in my home goes hungry ever, and forget his birthday I did NOT! I talked to him about it briefly, and he told me that it was privacy. He doesn’t like to share with her and this is how he best handles her.
I can’t and won’t criticize how he handles his family, because its HIS family. My only concern is finding my place in all this – should my pride have been bruised? Would yours? Have you ever had this happen to you?
Post # 3
I’d be upset too! I assume he behaves this way around his mother because over time he’s found it works the best. My DH is a bit the same, his mother really has to dig to get any information out of him and sometimes I get sick of it and just talk to her myself 🙂 Your husband could at least be saying “but don’t worry, coconutmellie has taken excellent care of me and I had a lovely birthday” – I don’t think that would be sharing private information but it would be a) giving you a compliment and b) ensuring his mother doesn’t think the worst. Surely any husband would be able to do that??
Post # 4
That’s a sticky one alright!
Ok, he’s perfectly entitled to be as private as he wants, but he’s actually lying.
His mom went away thinking he’s half starved and got no presents. Which is not what happened.
I don’t know how you get him to change this, but maybe something along the lines of ‘I feel upset when you say things like that because I feel people may think I’m not taking care of you’ or some such?
Post # 5
I would be LIVID! It’s not privacy – he’s lying to people and making you look bad! If he wants privacy he needs to learn how to ask for it. For example, he could have said, “I received a gift from mellie, but it’s a sentimental gift and I’d rather keep it private.”
Post # 6
You gals are absolutely right and yep, a spade is a spade in this case and I know it.
The trickier part: he gets very upset when I get upset over his family and their opinions. They have upset him enough in his life and he hates it when they upset me. To make sure he stays happy (essentially keep peace in my married home), I have to do my best to not let it show on my face that something relating to them has bothered me. I recently made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t bring up his family at all unless he did first, and it has improved the happiness level in the house for sure.
When I talk to him further about these things, he’ll bluntly say that he doesn’t care what his family thinks (or walks away thinking…) and that I shouldn’t either. What can a gal do?
Post # 7
No, he’s dodging. In your post you really didn’t talk about his family’s behaviour at all, you talked about HIS. Now how his mom acts is her responsibility, what he says about your life together is all him. Buck stops there.
Post # 8
Yeah, I would be bothered a bit by that as well. It is just natural that you would want his parents to know you take care of each other, but he kind of made it seem like he had a crummy birthday and that you don’t ever put food in his belly lol I mean he wouldn’t have to go into any details, he could have just vaguely mentioned that you had given him a present.
Post # 9
I would be pretty upset about that. How he represents you to other people, especially your in-laws is very important and he should’t be lying about it or saying things that put you in a negative light.
Post # 10
I’d be pretty bummed too! While its great that he knows how and where to draw the lines w/ his family, I think he could have given her a different answer to the birthday gift questions. Maybe he could have send something such as, “She got me a great gift” or “She did a great job on my gift this year” and left it at that. If it makes you feel better, I didn’t get anything for FI because he didn’t want anything – I took him out for a delicious dinner.
Post # 11
Hmmm..I wouldn’t like that! My hubby proudly talks about me to his mom when she calls (obviously he’s not an introvert and private) and tells her all the things I do for him, for us, our house, etc. Makes me feel good! I would tell him this upset you and make sure he sees your point. Tell him that by not telling her these things, she has a different impression of you and that hurts you (and it’s a lie!). Good luck! 🙂
Post # 12
Youu should let him know that you don’t appreciate him making is sound like he goes hungry and doesn’t get presents from you.
However it is obvious he is not close with them and prefers not to discuss your lives with them. He may be fulfilling his familial duties by “keeping in touch” and that is as close as he wants to be with them. In that case your DH may feel like “Lying” to them is no big deal — kind of like telling your boss her new hair color looks great when it looks hideous — because he is not lying to you. My DH got an obscene t-shirt for Christmas from me — very sexual in nature — that I know he skipped over when telling his Mom about his gifts. Does that make him a liar? He also mostly doesn’t talk about anything in our lives with his family because he does not feel close to them.
The other aspect is that his Mom could be the type that will take whatever he says and twist it so it sounds bad. We have to censor what we say to my Mom because every time my DH and I spend more than $100 or bicker about whose turn it is to scoop the cat litter she is convinced we are broke and on the verge of divorce. She has made the statement that if she “knew a little more about our finances” she’d be more comfortable. Considering she hounded my brother until he went over his bank statements with her, I can gather that is what she wants from us but neither of us is going there! If you MIL is like that she would have continued to try to find out what gift you gave him, especially if he said it was personal!
Post # 13
he’s a grown man… he can ASK for privacy without lying and making you look bad.