Wedding Woes

"I'm sorry you feel that way, Mary, but this is no longer a discussion I want to have."

Dear Prudence, 

Thanksgiving is the only time I spend with both of my adult children and their spouses. (We all live in different states.) My daughter, “Mary” has always believed that I favor her older brother, and when he was younger he believed I favored his sister. Practically since birth, Mary has always demanded a lot of attention. My son is a very quiet person and found her constant demand for attention overwhelming. I did my best to give each child what they needed and to be as fair as possible. As adults, I go out of my way to be fair. If I help one buy a car, I give the same amount of money to the other.

Yet my 30-year-old daughter is always looking for, and pointing out ways, she sees me favoring her brother. Some examples she’s given are if I am greeting them and I hug him first or if I make coffee and pour him a cup first. I want to enjoy the only time we all spend together without walking on eggshells. I’ve tried talking to her about this for years but she believes what she believes. Last Thanksgiving, when she brought it up I jokingly replied that she was wrong; I love the dog best! I’ve spoken to my son, DIL, and SIL to see if I am doing anything to perpetuate her belief and they have all assured me that I am not. I want to enjoy my holiday with my kids without worrying about who gets pie first. Is there anything I can do or say to make my daughter believe I love them all best?

—The Dog Is My Favorite

Re: "I'm sorry you feel that way, Mary, but this is no longer a discussion I want to have."

  • But do you always greet him first? Or get him coffee/ a plate of food first? 

    If there’s zero truth to Mary’s concerns then continue to say the dog is the favorite. If she pushes tell her you love them all the same and that you’re done talking about it. 

    But I wonder if there’s something here the LW is missing- why did Mary need more attention as a child? Was she feeling unloved or overlooked? Kids are different and need different things- but saying she “demanded a lot of attention” makes it sound like you don’t think it was necessary which is something kids absolutely do pick up on. 
  • This reminds me of a relative that feels like this. It has caused a lot of family drama and she refuses to go to family counseling. It's sad when issues from the past can't be resolved. 
    image
    mrsconn23
  • I know it's easier said than done, but the LW needs to let this go and not let it get under their skin.  Especially since they have already tried to have this conversation with Mary numerous times.  The LW has given it a lot of thought and asked the SIL/BIL/son, as well.  It's unfortunate, but that is how Mary feels, even if it is unwarranted.

    I'd keep using the dog comment or sometimes a more serious, "Mary, it makes me sad you feel that way, but I love you both equally and have always tried to treat you both fairly.  There is nothing else I can do."   
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I'm very skewed on this because someone very close to me is going through a situation where they have an in-law that's throwing a massive fit over a choice they and other family members made.  The in-law's spouse thinks they are being unreasonable about the situation.  It's been a shitshow of passive-aggression that they're really trying to mostly ignore/bean-dip, but this person is dragging everything into their 'fight'.  They're acting like a 'Mary' for sure.  So if LW has done some soul-searching and has the self-awareness they're portraying in the letter, I'd no longer entertain Mary's BS. 
    charlotte989875VarunaTT
  • If LW is truly self aware and not playing favorites I'm team LW.


    charlotte989875ei34
  • She has talked to the people close to Mary, including Mary's husband, and they are agreeing with LW, not Mary.  She's done her research, I think it is time to stop tiptoeing around Mary.  And make them get their own damn pie if it is going to be drama!

    ei34
  • Before I start, I do like my MIL

    HOWEVER she does walk on eggshells and seemingly favor BIL over M
    My mum also sees it, and will often stick up for M when she says something randomly praising BIL

    While LW may not see it or do it intentionally, they do need to step back and maybe reassess how they're coming across.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    But do you always greet him first? Or get him coffee/ a plate of food first? 

    If there’s zero truth to Mary’s concerns then continue to say the dog is the favorite. If she pushes tell her you love them all the same and that you’re done talking about it. 

    But I wonder if there’s something here the LW is missing- why did Mary need more attention as a child? Was she feeling unloved or overlooked? Kids are different and need different things- but saying she “demanded a lot of attention” makes it sound like you don’t think it was necessary which is something kids absolutely do pick up on. 
    I can read this with a gender difference too. There is a segment of mothers who do dote on their sons more, serve them first, and think that their daughters should need less everything. 

    It's possible that none of this is happening, but it's the kind of thing that LW might not realize she's doing.
    Casadenacharlotte989875
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards