Etiquette guru advice: stand with your wife

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Etiquette guru advice: stand with your wife

Postby Myheartweeps » Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:41 am

Hi everybody,

In my European country we have somebody giving people advice similar to Miss Manners / Dear Abby. Today she published a letter of a DuH (!)
So I wanted you to all read it, because I think it is insightful. The original is in my own language so I made a translation.

The Duh says:

"Dear guru, my parents are very sweet and enthusiastic babysitters. They take care of our 3-year old son one day every two weeks, because they want this very much. Our son loves them. But, my parents have difficulties keeping to our rules. Some examples: touching his face while he was in an incubator, giving far too much sweets, even things he has an allergy for; coming to the house when they have the flu, after this everybody was sick; putting their fingers in his mouth even when we tell them not to.

My wife sets the boundaries quick and clear. Me, I am so surprised by my parents behaviour that I find it difficult to react in an adequate manner. My mother now feels my wife is in the way of her relationship with her grandson. At family parties she tells my wife things like : I hope you will emigrate, and: You think only of yourself, right? My wife doesn't feel like meeting my family anymore, and this aggrevates the feeling that my mother has.
Now, my mother wants to talk about this with my wife.
My wife tells me I let her do the dirty work.

Contentually I stand with my wife, but I do not want to jeopardize the relationship with my parents.

What do I do?

"Granny goes to far"


"Your wife is completely right. You are letting her down. You are letting her do the dirty work, to keep the relationship with your mother good. But, your strategy does not work. Your mother hates your wife even more and your wife blames you for your attitude.
The rule is: parents are in charge of the child and the grandparents adjust to their rules.
Your mother does not adjust and your wife corrects her.
You, as a son, should have corrected your mother in the first place.
Now, your mother is afraid her relationship with her grandson goes down the drain. And rightly so. She undermines her daughter in law while her son keeps silent.

When things continue like this, your wife will be done with it and she will not want to have contact any more.

Your mother will have to change her attitude right away.
She has to follow the rules that you as parents set for your son. On top of that, granny will have to stop making unfriendly remarks about het daughter in law. Otherwise she will not be able to see her grandson any more.

Stand by your wife and be loyal. Talk to your mother alone. Tell her what scenario is impending. Tell her she has to stick to your rules. And that she has to act normal and friendly to your wife. Otherwise, she can not see her grandson any more.

Shake off your passivity. Your mother will probably keep crossing the line. Correct her with a sigh and tell her: what did we agree? Do it yourself as much as possible so your wife does not have to say it all the time."

This is in my opinion a beautiful answer.
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