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Daughters birthday yesterday. Feeling hurt 😢.

(38 Posts)
M0ira Sat 15-Jan-22 10:12:54

Yesterday was our daughters birthday. I bought a nice cake and candles. I asked if we could drop in and wish her a Happy Birthday. When we arrived our SiL was in their kitchen mending their hoover. He just about said hello,but, then we didn’t see him at all. My daughter, always says he is shy. After 12 years of us knowing him I find this a feeble excuse and just find him rude.
We felt so uncomfortable so after a cup of tea we left. Later on the same evening his parents visited and they all enjoyed the cake. Our grand daughters come up to earn pocket money on Saturdays. They told us how much everyone enjoyed the cake.
Am I right to be just a bit miffed or am I over thinking this way too much? Feeling hurt and a bit disappointed 😔.

Lucca Sat 15-Jan-22 10:15:56

After 12 years of knowing him he needs to sit and make
Polite chat every visit ? He was busy. He can surely be excused.

Ladyleftfieldlover Sat 15-Jan-22 10:20:26

Overthinking, yes! I knew my MIL for nearly twenty years and I don’t think we ever had an in-depth conversation. It was the same with my SIL. We got on, but we had absolutely nothing in common. On the other hand, OH got on brilliantly with my parents and has a good relationship with my brother and sister. Surely so long as everyone is polite, there shouldn’t be a problem.

Calistemon Sat 15-Jan-22 10:28:59

I'm confused - do you mean you took a birthday cake but no-one ate any of it when you were there, then they and your DD's in-laws enjoyed it later?

Perhaps if you'd not left you could have all had tea and cake together.

M0ira Sat 15-Jan-22 10:31:41

Yes, I took the cake but, it was eaten later by SiL parents et al.
We felt very uncomfortable being at our daughters so didn’t stay too long.

wildswan16 Sat 15-Jan-22 10:36:53

Have you thought that it is quite nice that your son in law feels comfortable enough just to get on with his "stuff". If you only saw them once or twice a year then he should certainly have stopped and made conversation, but it sounds like you see them quite often.

I wouldn't expect my adult children to drop everything everytime I pop in. You are overthinking this - they all made a point of saying how lovely the cake was etc.

silverlining48 Sat 15-Jan-22 10:44:51

Our sil can be rude and it was uncomfortable sometimes so I do understand, but he has recently been diagnosed with Autism which helps us to understand but over the years we learned not to take his apparent rudeness to heart.
Surely being there with dd and gds was enough, so why were you uncomfortable enough to leave. Was anything said?
Be happy to see dd and your gds so regularly. It’s lovely they come over every Saturday.

Calistemon Sat 15-Jan-22 10:46:46


Yes, I took the cake but, it was eaten later by SiL parents et al.
We felt very uncomfortable being at our daughters so didn’t stay too long.

I'm puzzled that you didn't all co-ordinate the time so that you could enjoy tea and cake together.

Baggs Sat 15-Jan-22 10:47:51

Perhaps your SiL is socially anxious with most people. It might not be about you. It's lovely that the grandkids reported that everyone enjoyed the cake.

Redhead56 Sat 15-Jan-22 10:51:46

You feel miffed but you are best swallowing your pride DiL SiL relations can be rather awkward. I do not know why but that’s the way it is sometimes. We get on well with ours but there have been awkward moments. If you criticise your son or daughters partners you will be in the wrong you can’t win. Don’t take it to heart you see your family that’s all that matters as some grans don’t even get that chance.

Doodle Sat 15-Jan-22 10:55:24

Like other posters mention it is possible your SIL has difficulty being sociable. My DGS who is fine lovely and friendly with us cannot go into a shop and buy anything, he is socially anxious. Of course your SIL may be rude but rather than think that why not give him the benefit of the doubt. Your DD says he is shy. Maybe you should just think that perhaps he finds it difficult to converse and just chat with your DD and grandchildren and leave him to join in if and when he feels able.

AmberSpyglass Sat 15-Jan-22 10:59:47

You didn’t stay long - did you even suggest lighting the candles for the cake? Sounds like a bit of an odd trip, frankly.

Nonogran Sat 15-Jan-22 11:06:33

When we give a gift (of cake!) it’s up to the recipient how they use it or what they do with it. I’d say you are overthinking that bit.
I’m always glad to have mother/daughter time with my offspring & although I have a loving and easy relationship with my son in law, I never ever mind if he’s preoccupied elsewhere in their house when I visit.
Try not to obsess over your recent encounter or what prevailed during & after. Be glad for what you have when all around us, parents are estranged from their young ones.

M0ira Sat 15-Jan-22 11:09:16

We never just pop in. I did message my daughter to ask if we could visit with a cake. We went at tea time but, the cake was not mentioned. Perhaps, I should have said something to prompt lighting the candles etc. my fault entirely.

BlueBelle Sat 15-Jan-22 11:25:45

Yes I think you needed to lead it with a ‘happy birthday I brought this for us all to have a cuppa and slice’ (or better still ‘a glass of wine and a slice’ ) or why not stay longer until the in-laws arrived and have a mini get together
Do you get on with the in laws ?
Don’t blame yourself just don’t obsess about it and remember for the next birthday

As for son in law…. my ex son in law, always used to leave the room after hellos and I was fine with that He wasn’t shy just didn’t do small talk unless it was with his friends I didn’t particularly have anything in common with him so after a few polite words I was happy to see him tootle off

DiscoDancer1975 Sat 15-Jan-22 11:32:52

I feel there’s more to this in the background. You must have had conversations about your SIL in the past, for your daughter to ‘ always’ excuse his rudeness as shyness.

Whatever the reasons, perhaps you could sit and talk to your daughter about things in more depth. Just the two of you.

The ‘cake’ just sounds like the tip of the iceberg. Sorry if I’m wrong.

Calistemon Sat 15-Jan-22 11:40:06


We never just pop in. I did message my daughter to ask if we could visit with a cake. We went at tea time but, the cake was not mentioned. Perhaps, I should have said something to prompt lighting the candles etc. my fault entirely.

I wouldn't have expected her to light the candles on her own cake.

In fact I would probably have gone into the kitchen with it and enlisted the help of SIL to light the candles and take it in as a surprise. And probably waited for the rest of the family first.

But we're all different.

GagaJo Sat 15-Jan-22 11:45:04

He was in the middle of doing something, and also clearly isn't sociable.

You're letting your SIL control your relationship with your daughter. He wasn't even in the room. 12 years is a long time not to get used to the fact that he's anti-social. He isn't going to change so if you want to see your DD and GC, learn to ignore him.

Calistemon Sat 15-Jan-22 11:52:46

He isn't going to change so if you want to see your DD and GC, learn to ignore him
That's not going to help to improve the situation.

Where were the DGC?

I still think it's all very odd.

Kim19 Sat 15-Jan-22 12:02:46

I picture that scenario in my circumstances and in no time my husband would be through with SiL talking the technicalities of the Hoover and we girls would be left to it. Very polite for you to check if going round with the cake was convenient but get the feeling you had a nervousness before even arriving. Hope I'm wrong..

Katyj Sat 15-Jan-22 12:03:10

I see where your coming from MOira. We have family members like this. We make arrangements to drop in with a gift, sometimes their partner isn’t there, other times they there, but not happy joining in with the happy celebration we were hoping for. After 20 years we have sort of got used to it, just wish it was different.
Don’t dwell on it. Just carry on being yourself, at least your showing you care. He’s probably more at ease with his own family 🤷‍♀️ It’s his problem not yours. Maybe you could take them out instead, then at least he could refuse, and you could have a lovely time with your daughter.

VioletSky Sat 15-Jan-22 12:05:11

I don't understand, he said hello, it was a last minute visit he wasn't expecting you've known him to be shy for 12 years...

Why does that make you uncomfortable?

Shy could mean he has social anxiety and that's not his fault, people with social anxiety manage three or energy and often can't cope with unplanned visits at short notice. It's definitely not a reflection of his feelings about you.

He did nothing to suggest you weren't welcome, he just stayed out of the way. Probably thinking he would make you uncomfortable by being shy around you.

I think you should have just stayed and enjoyed tea and cake with the person you were actually there to visit.

Hithere Sat 15-Jan-22 12:16:54


You are spoiling a perfectly pleasant interaction with unreasonable expectations.

What would you have wanted your sil to do instead?

Your daughter graciously accepted your visit and cake and you saw her on her bday - isn't that all you asked for? Mission accomplished

Your sil was busy doing something on his own home and said hello, why did he need to stop to play host? Your daughter was there to play hostess after all

In the future, if you did want to enjoy the cake with them, why not say " can I drop to celebrate your bday with some tea and a slice of cake?

Your sil and daughter already know you do not how he behaves when you are around.
The more you mention it, the worse it becomes.
I wouldn't mention it again.
Could you be expecting too much of him?

Don't people feel more comfortable with their own family of origin after all?

Some couples follow the philosophy of "you deal with your family, I deal with mine"
Could that be what he is doing?

25Avalon Sat 15-Jan-22 12:27:17

I was quite reserved when I got married and somewhat scared of mil who did nothing to make me feel at ease. When she and fil came round she expected me to drop everything and rush to greet them. If I didn’t, say I was busy in the kitchen, she would be really huffy. This just made the whole situation worse and I felt more like hiding every time. Not saying op hasn’t made sil welcome, but he may just be more reserved.

Franbern Sat 15-Jan-22 12:55:57

The nicest things my Sons-in-law can do, when I visit, is to say 'Hello', and then leave me with my daughter. They know that I come to visit HER not the both of them. (this applies to all three of my daughters who have husbands, all of them far longer than twelve years.
Really not sure what the Poster is moaning about - they took a birthday cake, and it was used on the birthday -albeit not when they were there.
Sound a little jealous of the relationship had with this couple by the other parents.