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Rude in-laws; should I pay?

My daughter’s future mother-in-law has been off with me — but now she wants money for a baby shower. Should I pay?

Yes, says our elder. She’s been rude, but you can be the adult in the room.

Dear EWC

My daughter became engaged three years ago. My husband and I, along with our daughter, made all the wedding arrangements. My daughter’s soon to be mother-in-law secured the same site as the wedding for the rehearsal dinner. Two months before the wedding, my two daughters-in-law and myself hosted a wedding shower at our home. The soon to be mother-in-law was so angry that I hadn’t contacted her for help with the shower, that she said she was not paying for the rehearsal dinner. I had only met this woman once and she was quite aloof with me. Oh well, we paid for the rehearsal dinner, our little girl and all. This January we got wonderful news that we will be getting a grandbaby! The mother-in-law contacted our daughter and said she and her sisters will host a baby shower. I contacted the mother-in-law and left a message to contact me and that I will help her with whatever she needs. She never called me back, but told my daughter she would get the final bill for shower and let me pay my share. Should I pay?

Ketchman replies

Thank you for contacting us. I’ll try to offer something useful.

The short answer is yes, if it were me, I’d pay for my share of the baby shower expenses. Just because the in-law is acting aloof and not particularly friendly doesn’t mean you should treat her in the same way. There’s no way that I can guess why she’s acting this way. Could it be some kind of payback for what she might perceive as being slighted back when you hosted the wedding shower? That would seem to be a bit childish, on her part, but adults don’t always act as should be expected. There’s just no way of knowing what pressures might be pushing her in that direction. In my opinion your best response will be to continue being the adult in the room by being friendly and respectful regardless of how it may be received. Who knows? It might just be catching.

Congratulations on the new grandbaby! That’s great news and I wish you all the very best. Thank you for giving me a chance to help. I hope I have. Please reach out to us again, anytime you’d like a second opinion or bit of advice on almost anything. We’ll always do our best for you.

Letter #: 455829
Category: Family

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