Daughter in Law

Updated on July 23, 2010
S.T. asks from Manchester, NH
23 answers

when we arrived at my grandsons birthday party, my husband stated that he thought having fun and games in a very hot driveway was "stupid". My daughterinlaw, who was setting up games in the driveway, turned and stated that she wanted my husband "to Leave the party". she also stated that I could stay. My husband left and susequently this all left bad feelings. My husband sent an apology letter the next day and her response to it was "as long as he did not say anything she didnt like, again, she would accept his apology. What do we do? Accept her response or should we be upset that she did not apologize for asking him to leave and thus making him miss his grandsons sixth birthday?

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So What Happened?

nothing has happened, we have only discussed this with my son via telephone. he has told situation to his sister and after speaking with her,via telephone, she has stated that v she is 'on her sisterinlaws side" so this is yet another kick in the faceI think some of you who sent "answers" have it wrong....my husband never called my Daughterinlaw "stupid" he was reacting to the heat in the driveway and stating that it was "stupid" to conduct the activities in the driveway....why not on the grassy area? I understand also that some of you think maybe he has reacted this way before....you may be right but there are some circumstances you are not aware of and rather than getting into a complete family history just know that these "kids" may be grown up but they ask for help in different ways and yet critisize when its something they dont want to hear!!! And yes you are all right when you say "to let it go" however, my husband is so hurt by her remarks to leave and not apologizing for that part of her actions ONLY, that Im not sure if he can let it go....he was forced by her to miss his grandsons birthday party

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answers from Anchorage on

I can see both sides. When I throw a party for my child I put a lot of effort and thought into it. If someone came and right from the start it was clear they were intent on ruining the good time, I would say something to them. She should have given him a chance to correct his attitude before going straight to "leave", but he was wrong in what he said, and she was trying to protect her child from that negativity on his special day. He has apologized, and she accepted, so I would leave it at that. If you insist on pushing the issue and forcing an apology from her she may not be willing to give, this whole situation could get even more out of hand, and this one party may not be all that you guys miss out on.

I have one question, did he try to apologize at the party and request to stay, or did he just leave. If he just left, than I do not think she forced him to miss it. If he tried to make amends and she still made him leave, than she may have something to apologize for.

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answers from Charlotte on


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answers from Atlanta on

Why would you husband say something so mean sounding? What was his motivation is passively-aggressively calling his son's wife "stupid"?

I thought her reaction was maybe a little abrupt but the fact that your daughter agrees with your brother means that maybe you husband has a history of being difficult or abusive. Sounds like he apologized, she accepted it on the terms that it not happen again, and you all should move on. I think getting more people stirred up and continuing the drama isn't in anyone's better interests.

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answers from Pocatello on

Hi, I have to begin by saying I am a DIL of a very opinionated MIL. I have been in this situation a while I have not done what your DIL did, I wish I could sometimes. Please understand that every criticism is a blow to her confidence and is disrespectful. I have a hard time believing that she would not have gotten so upset if this was the first comment or it is was said in a helpful manner. I don't think the issue is what was said is that you are coming into her home and spewing criticism which is disrespectful no matter if she is your DIL, daughter brother whatever. You should not talk to your son about this and put him in the middle or ask other family members to pick "sides". You should not talk bad about his wife why would you want to invite tension in their marriage. If you have a problem with her talk to her don't go around talking to the rest of your family about how you feel you were mistreated - that is going to cause conflict and more drama and unless that is what you are going for I would respect her a little more especially in her home and the conditions of her apology acceptance. She did not force him to miss anything...he disrespected her and I am sure this was a last straw of a long line of previous cases. She does not owe him anything.

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answers from St. Cloud on

I know that you don't want to hear this but your DIL does not owe your husband an apology for asking him to leave the party. His comments were uncalled for. Has your husband acted in this way in the past? It's good that he apologized and she accepted but your husband needs to take a good look at how his attitude and words affect the people around him.

If your daughter is siding with your son's wife then mabey she has also been affected by hurtful comments. At some point, apologies won't matter anymore......changed behavior to support an apology is where family unity starts to heal.

Please don't be offended with your DIL. Try to understand that she was attempting to make a wonderful party for her son and to have all her hard work reduced to "stupid" was probably extremely hurtful and embarassing.

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answers from Chicago on

I am a mother to 4 kids. I normally am a very confident person but when it comes to throwing birthday parties I am a nervous wreck with trying to make everything perfect & everyone happy. And if the 1st thing out of one of my guests mouths was ".....stupid", I too would have been terribly offended & hurt. I don't believe your DIL was wrong in any way shape or form to ask him to leave.

Kudos to your husband for sending an apology letter the next day, but to be honest he should have apologized right then & there then I bet he would have been able to attend his grandsons bday. But I don't think he should be upset with her requesting that he not say anything mean again, that sounds reasonable to me. And no she does not owe him an apology SHE DIDN"T DO ANYTHING WRONG. Since everyone has sided with your DIL hopefully you & your husband will learn from this & keep your tempers to yourselves.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I'm sure your husband didnt mean to offend your daughter but if you think about how much work she put into the party (and kids bday parties are stressful enough) then to have someone say that something about it is stupid is VERY hurtful and insulting! (especially if other people were around) We teach our kids not to say the word stupid because of that reason exactly! I know guys don't always understand how much work we put into things and how personally we take remarks like that but it kind of surprises me that you aren't seeing it more from her side. I know you don't want to be on someones side other than your husbands but maybe if you step back and look at it from the outside or maybe think of it as if your husband had been the one who had taken all this time and energy and planned this party and your DIL had come over to your house and said it was stupid to have it outside...
I don't think she shouldve told him to leave but I do understand how that hurt her feelings!
As for her only accepting the apology with the promise of him not insulting her anymore I really don't see anything wrong with that! I personally only feel good after an apology from someone if they tell me that they"ll try to not do that anymore.

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answers from Dallas on

I am left wondering if your husband has made rude comments before and she just had enough. I probably would have said "if you think its so stupid, then you don't have to be here." She did accept his apology on her terms and there is nothing wrong with that.

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answers from Boise on

I agree with Anneka. It sounds like there is more to the story than this. Does your husband have a history of being insensitive and calling her stupid? I would never allow myself or my husband to be called bad names in front of our children (or ever, really). Or does she have a history of making abrupt decisions? If there was any history of this, which if your daughter also agrees, it sounds like there is, maybe this was the breaking point for her.

Either way, he apologized, she accepted, move on. I don't think that her asking to not be called stupid again is out of line.

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answers from New York on

For what you say it sounds that this wasn't the first problem between your husband and your DIL.
Personally I think it was very mean and stupid his comment, what does he know all of the work that she had put on HER son'sbirthday?
It only can be a Queen in each home and that is HER house, when she comes to you and your husband doesn't want to play games in HIS house she should deal with that too.
Personally I think you have to leave your son out of this as well of yourself. Why you want to make your son get in a fight with his wife.
If a was you, I will stay away from this fight, your husband was mean to say that and she should have give him a chance for being a birthday.
they both make a mistake, they both are grown ups, let them deal on their own, other ways you will make this bigger.

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answers from Boston on

I'd tell her to grow up. Where was your son? Deal with him, not her. What he said wasn't bad enough to be thrown out of the party and he never should have left. Geez, people are so sensitive lately it seems. Maybe the heat was getting to her, lol!

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answers from Seattle on

Well, it was probably not the nicest thing for your husband to say, but he did more than enough by apologizing for it in a letter. Men, Grandpas in particular, can be grumpy about parties and she needs to learn to let it roll off her back. However, I can also see how mom was probably overly stressed from party planning and his comment threw her over the edge that day. Honestly, it seems to me like she has some pent up frustrations with your husband that go beyond this birthday incident. Does he maybe say things often that ruffle her feathers? Maybe it's in jest, but she doesn't take it well? I have an in-law that tries to "get my goat" at every opportunity and I have a VERY short fuse with him. He just gets to me with his constant remarks and "jokes" - not to say that your husband is this way. If it is, in fact, just the birthday incident then I'd say she's gone too far and she needs to get over it... She might need some cool off time. Yes, it would be nice for her to apologize for asking him to leave and claim she overreacted so that everyone could go on and be happy together. But the truth is, she really had every right to have him leave. Personally, I wouldn't have and I think it's an overreaction, but I don't know the background. I don't think asking him to leave necessarily warrants an apology. Maybe a general "I'm sorry things worked out this way" apology, but nothing more.

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answers from San Antonio on

Your husband was out of line. Think of all the work, time, stress that occurs before a party or gathering. You have been down that road before. All the arrangements, you want everything to be just right and then you get a hot day for outdoor activities. Out of your DIL's control--the weather that is. Then sounds like right upon your arrival, your husband calls something "stupid." Really bad timing, on his part!

I am not like your DIL. I would not have said a thing and been pissed at him forever. At least he apologized, she accepted it and now there can be beneficial communication. If they are both outspoken in temperment, both of them are going to have to work at calm communication, not the fly off the handle type.

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answers from Boston on

OH boy. Has he done this before?? His apology was sweet and she just made it clear not to say things at her home. I would not have asked him to leave. Actually I would have been very upset if someone did this to my dad even if he did say something like that. If it was a real hot day , I might have said the same thing. But to myself! And to tell you the truth Grammy, I would have left with him.
For the sake of the family now, I would let it go. Accept it and move on. Next time tell your husband to whisper to you what he thinks may be stupid!

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answers from Harrisburg on

I applaud your DIL for standing up for herself, I wish I was that straightforward with my MIL. Grandparents often don't realize that what seems like an innocent comment to them comes off as a jab to the son/daughter/in-law. My MIL ruined my daughter's first birthday party for me with all of her "helpful suggestions" - it was kind of your husband to write an apology letter but, in my opinion, your DIL was right.

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answers from San Antonio on

at first I thought that your DIL over reacted, but them I thought abput my own life and my MIL lives with me, so we have things like this happen ALL THE TIME. So it makes me wonder, does your hubby do things like this all the time? Or often enough that 1 comment will set off "fire works"? I know that when I try to have a party for my kids the comments start "oh, I NEVER did that for my boys, Oh that is too expensive for kids" all in nagging tones and she has NO IDEA how much or how little I pay for anything. Being a parent is hard especially when you try to experience the "firsts" and someone is behind you "nagging". NOW that being said grandparents have just as much right to "firsts" too! I think your DIL should have ingored your husband and had your son talk to him privately so no one would miss the party.

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answers from Albany on

Whether it was "stupid" to have games in the hot driveway or not, your husband was wrong to say something out loud in the open like that. If she had other guests, I can imagine how mortified she probably was when she heard him. Unfortunately, my in-laws are the type to speak without thinking too so I've been there as well. We've never asked our in-laws to leave but one time my husband called his dad on the carpet about something and he chose to leave on his own.

That's great he apologized, but I agree, he should have immediately apologized right then and there. Then maybe she wouldn't have still requested he leave. Your DIL didn't do anything wrong in my opinion. Even if your husband was right, that was something the two of you should have talked about in private on the ride home. He was at HER house I am guessing so yes, he was out of line in my opinion. She didn't ask him to miss his grandson's party for no reason. Your husband should have kept his opinion to himself or said it QUIETLY to you or nicely suggested, "Do you think the game would work over here in the shade?" There are many things he could have done differently than what he did.

How she expects him to promise he's never going to say something out of line again though is silly on her part and I would tell her, without attitude, you guys can't promise to be perfect just like she can't. Nobody can. He can tell her he will do his best to watch what he says in the future. The fact she is asking for that though tells me this isn't the first time he's spoken out of line. We have issues with my husband's parents too and I can tell you, it isn't for a one time thing though they swear they've never done anything wrong too.

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answers from San Francisco on

I hope your husband will be able to let it go, otherwise, he should be prepared to miss more of his grandson's birthday as well as other occasions that should be happy family events. The people that will suffer the most? You, your son, your grandchild. I'm very sorry his feeling were hurt...stupid is not a great word to toss about.

Hi S.,

They were both wrong and I feel for your and your son.

Your son's wife did not "make" your husband miss his grandson's birthday party. He was rude from the moment he arrived (i.e. no one likes to be called "stupid") and should have immediately apologized.

Your son's wife was probably stressed getting everything together (in the hot sun) and flipped when she felt verbally abused.

Your son's wife's response to your husban's apology was inappropriate because no one can expect to "always" hear exactly what they want to hear. She should have explained why she was upset and accepted the apology...if this has not been an ongoing thing.

Your daughter should keep her nose out of it!

I wish you all the best.


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answers from Los Angeles on

Hi S.. I only read a few responses below but I can see that most are pointing out that she was within the realm of reason to ask your husband to leave. If it were me, I may have been really stressed out getting my son's party together. And then even after my FIL left, I would be upset and have trouble enjoying my son's party. Plus our family's memories would be forever tainted by the negativity. So while your husband is within his rights to be "sad" that he missed the party, that is as it should be. Being sad that this transpired is a normal reaction. Expecting an apology is too much. I am sorry your family is experiencing distress. Try to look at the big picture. What do you want overall? An apology but lingering bad feelings? Or for everyone to move on? Best of luck to you all!

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answers from Boston on

excuse me? making him miss his grandsons party? how about him just coming and enjoying it, keeping his comments to himself?! she obviously planned this party to include all family and friends. if he wanted it his way, he should have planned his own. he apologized (to late in my opinion), she accepted, done. what does she have to apologize for?!

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answers from Dallas on

Oh my goodness, DIL needs to grow up. I have done many many parties and if one person (and there is always one person) makes some snide comment, you just blow them off or tell them they can plan the next one and move on. She should be the one to apologize because she made grandpa leave the party. That was extremely rude. I would never disrespect my in laws.
I'm sure several people will disagree with me, but come on people need to stop with wearing their feelings on their sleeves.
I hope yall are able to put this past yall. Good luck.



answers from Jacksonville on

Why would your daughter in law get so upset about a silly game in a hot driveway. So what if your husband thought it was stupid. If she was offended by the comment, since most men don't get it, she should just tell him right there and then and get it over with, let your husband apologize and be done with it. To me, telling him to leave was rude. For your husband to leave was also unnecessary. For her to tell him he is on "punishment" and would be "chastised" again if he said something like that...what is she thinking. You are her husband's parents. Where is the respect..Just my 2 cents.



answers from Minneapolis on

If this is the only incident that has happened, i would just let it go. I dont think she should have thrown him out, but that was a bad comment to make. It is her son's birthday and if games are on the driveway who cares. He's not playing them. I do think she should have handled it different and said that this is her sons birthday and i dont want any bad attitudes so if you are going to be negative the whole time you can leave other wise this is the way the games are going to be. Deal with it and have fun. Maybe your husband should actually talk to her. People say things others dont like all the time. You cant make everyone happy.

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