My mother-in-law should apologise to me | Mariella Frostrup

A woman wants an apology from her partner’s mother. Mariella Frostrup says she must drop her demand and take the higher ground.

If you have a dilemma, send a brief email to mariella.frostrup@observer.co.uk

The dilemma My partner and I have two daughters, one nearly four and the other 14 months, in whom my boyfriend’s mother has shown little interest. I suggested she get involved and help me make curtains for our eldest’s room. But after reluctantly agreeing, she let everyone know that she felt “used”. Then she popped around for the first time to find my mother and sister at our house babysitting. The next day I suggested he phone her, and she unleashed a tirade against me down the line to him. I was dragging him down, I had never been good enough for him, our home was squalid, the girls dragged up and out of control. Furthermore, I obviously sat on my arse all day while he did my bidding. An apology has not been forthcoming and our recent holiday was ruined by us dwelling on it.

Mariella replies You know as well as I do that there’s only one way to stop it being an issue and that is: to stop it being an issue. Your mother-in-law must shoulder the blame for her outburst but not for the length of time you allow it to fester and sour your life. I appreciate that she is a source of regular frustration, that her contribution to her grandchildren’s wellbeing is next to zero and that she has behaved irrationally. But I am curious about what exactly you hope to achieve by eliciting this holy grail of an apology.

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A woman wants an apology from her partner’s mother. Mariella Frostrup says she must drop her demand and take the higher ground.

If you have a dilemma, send a brief email to mariella.frostrup@observer.co.uk

The dilemma My partner and I have two daughters, one nearly four and the other 14 months, in whom my boyfriend’s mother has shown little interest. I suggested she get involved and help me make curtains for our eldest’s room. But after reluctantly agreeing, she let everyone know that she felt “used”. Then she popped around for the first time to find my mother and sister at our house babysitting. The next day I suggested he phone her, and she unleashed a tirade against me down the line to him. I was dragging him down, I had never been good enough for him, our home was squalid, the girls dragged up and out of control. Furthermore, I obviously sat on my arse all day while he did my bidding. An apology has not been forthcoming and our recent holiday was ruined by us dwelling on it.

Mariella replies You know as well as I do that there’s only one way to stop it being an issue and that is: to stop it being an issue. Your mother-in-law must shoulder the blame for her outburst but not for the length of time you allow it to fester and sour your life. I appreciate that she is a source of regular frustration, that her contribution to her grandchildren’s wellbeing is next to zero and that she has behaved irrationally. But I am curious about what exactly you hope to achieve by eliciting this holy grail of an apology.

Continue reading…

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