April 24, 2024

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My mother-in-law put my diploma upon graduation

My mother-in-law put my diploma upon graduation

Dear Amy: I recently graduated with a master’s degree.

My mother and father traveled separately to attend my graduation from the other side of the country.

I am grateful for both coming, but while MIL was here, she made repeated comments that I felt lowered my grade.

She said my graduation party was really for my husband because he supported me in school.

While he worked full time to support us, I also worked while I went to school full time.

She gave him a graduation gift, as well as a T-shirt that read, “I Survived My Wife’s Graduate Certificate.”

I was shocked and hurt by this, and continued to encourage him to wear it on my actual graduation day.

I found the shirt insulting because it reduces my accomplishments to something that was apparently too hard for him to do.

After the fact, I told my husband how I felt (through tears) but he told me that while he could see my point, it was just a joke.

For the remainder of the visit, I kept asking him to put on the shirt, but he continued to dodge the question and not put it on because he knew it upset me.

I tried to smile and bear it but I felt deeply hurt and felt ridiculous.

She had a pattern of making some negative comments about my degree and my future job.

I want to come up with this but it’s been a few weeks now and I feel weird calling her to tell her how I feel after the fact.

I appreciate all the effort it took to attend, but at the end of the day my feelings were still sore. How can I contact her and explain my feelings to her?

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Jarad’s speech

Dear Jarad: Your husband’s mother has decided to make a big deal for him on the occasion of your graduation, belittling you in the process. Her preferential treatment is embarrassing, silly (and, in my opinion, sexist), and you can try to honestly, but carefully, address your ongoing sensitivity about this.

When you call, start by thanking her for making the trip to celebrate your graduation. Say to her, “Something is bothering me, and since it’s still on my mind, I thought I should try to talk to you about it. I said a few things over the weekend that made it sound like you don’t value my degree and my career. I hope you understand that I’m sensitive because I I worked so hard to make it happen. Do you really feel that way?”

Give her a chance to respond, listen with intent, and do your best to turn this encounter from a confrontation into a conversation. Assure her that you appreciate your husband’s support, and now that you have this advanced degree, you will do your best to support him in the manner he is used to.

Dear Amy: We are a family with great children and grandchildren.

Christmas and birthdays we are very confused about how to treat everyone fairly.

We love them all, however, should we be giving every family group the same gift of value? Should we give every family member the same valuable gift?

Either way we feel it’s not quite “fair”, because given the number of children the numbers are not equal in every family.

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I’m sure many families have the same question, and many have chosen other ways to equalize their gifts.

After the discussion, we thought maybe you have ideas you could offer for us to consider.

– What’s fair?

Dear Veer?: My first thought is for you to adjust the concept of “fairness” to include ideals that are more important than price.

Did you raise your children and encourage them to compare the monetary value of gifts — or did you assure them that, when treated with love and fairness, things have a way of being equal?

I hope this will be the last.

One way to give more or less equally is to give families “experiences.” You can help sponsor a trip they want to take, or pay tuition for summer camp or music lessons.

Dear Amy: I could have written the letter from an “Intolerant Caregiver,” who was struggling with her elderly mother’s negativity and demands.

In addition to your supportive advice, any carer would benefit from a caregiving support group. Talking and talking to others with the same issues has really helped me.

– I’m still interested

Dear Attention: The video chat has made it easier to attend these groups. Your local aging office is a good place to start.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] Or send a message to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @employee or Facebook.)