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Stepmom doesn't acknowledge husband

It seems like everytime we get a gift for my Dad and Stepmom (ie, xmas, her birthday), my stepmom will make a point of thanking me but not my husband.  For instance, I picked up flowers for her because her mom passed away with a card saying that we cared about her and signed it with both of our names, but when she called to say thank you she only addressed her voicemail to me.

 I'm definitely the more thoughtful person in our relationship, so I'm always the one buying gifts for birthdays, thank yous, sympathies ect... but I always sign the cards from both my husband and myself and I expect that the thank yous in return to be addressed to both of us.  Is thanking only your daughter a typical thing that moms do?  Should I not be offended by this behavior or should I say something to them about including my husband or just let the issue go...  I'm confused as to why a person wouldn't thank both their daughter and son-in-law... to me it's like they refuse to recognize that he's a part of my life as well as theirs now.

Re: Stepmom doesn't acknowledge husband

  • It sounds more like an oversight than a deliberate snub, from what you've said here.  I don't know if there's something more you haven't mentioned.
  • al1byeal1bye member
    Fifth Anniversary
    It just seems really weird to me... or like if they come over to visit, she'll only talk to me while my dad talks to my husband... like there's an invisible wall with two separate conversations going on but we're all sitting in the same room.
  • al1byeal1bye member
    Fifth Anniversary
    Also, this past xmas, I experienced the same thing at xmas.  My stepmom and my brother/gf kept saying "thank you Amy" for the gifts that were from both my husband and myself.  After about 3-4 times of only my name being mentioned, I stepped up and said, "your gift is from Ryan too."  I thought that would alleviate the issue and make them realize their mistake, but it seems to keep happening.
  • I would say talk to her. Have a sit down talk, just you and her and ask her why she does that. Hopefully it's a simple mistake. The best thing to do is to talk to her and figure out why she does that.

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  • I don't know enough about your family to know, but it might be a cultural, subcultural or generational thing.

    I know some cultures/religions are very traditional in that men talk to men while the women talk to the women. It also might be the norm in her family or background for the women/wives/etc to be the ones to buy gifts, etc.

    I think it would be weirder how you mentioned that your brother doesnt acknowledge your h's part.

    Families have lots of unspoken 'guidelines'. Sounds like this might be one of them, and you are not comfortable with it. Talk to your family, not in an accusing way, but just a "hey thanks for always rememebring to call me or say thanks, it makes me feel really appriciated, I just wanted to make sure you know that it wasn't just from me, (insert husbands name) helped to pick out, I bet he wouldn't mind getting a thank you too" or something along those lines.

  • WahooWahoo member
    Ancient Membership 2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker

    I would talk to her about it.  It could be something like....she always felt unappreciated when she went to a lot of effort to buy flowers, gifts, etc.....and her husband (your dad) got the thanks, so she wanted to be sure you felt appreciated. 

    Ditto the cultural norms thoery.

    Does your dad thank your H when he opens a gift from the two of you? 

    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
  • You say that you think it's because they refuse to recognize that he is apart of your life as well as theirs. Have there been any MAJOR instances where their actions/words have shown you that they think that way? If so then bring it up.

    If not then it just seems like an innocent look over. Not a big enough deal to be worried about it. 

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  • Without knowing the complete dynamics of your family, I'd say you're probably reading more into it that what's there.

    They are probably just used to thanking you alone for the gifts, presumably since you gave them gifts well before your husband entered the picture. Probably more force of habit than anything

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  • It's like you're looking for drama.

    Since she knows you are the person in your new family who is responsible for the gestures, it is entirely appropriate that her thanks be addressed to you. I put my young son's name on cards accompanying family gifts as well as my husband's, no one in their right mind believed he traveled to the mall in his Cozy Coupe with money he found in the sofa cushions.

    Traditional etiquette books written up until the 1990s propose this format for a TY note-

    Dear Mrs. Last Name,

    I would like to thank you and Mr. last Name for the lovely compote your sent Ryan and me...

    Perhaps your SM is old school. My MIL never sent DH a thank you note in all the time I knew her. She knew who managed the gifting in our family and directed her thanks in that direction. She did once publically thank DH for marrying a woman with good taste.



  • Why don't you just point it out, graciously, each time she does it. I cant imagine why this is so hard to manage. She's THANKING you. Its hardly HARD to say thanks and include DH on the politeness. Talking may be s little trickier, but not impossible to maneuver.  Why is this so hard for you to manage?
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  • Wait a sec -- you're taking the same shortcut she is.  You're signing your husband's name on the card but then expecting her to thank both of you.  

    When you sign his name to the card, you're passing along his sentiment.  She's figuring that you're equally capable of passing her acknowledgement back down the line to him.   

  • Ya I agree. I get this alot too. I think it's natural to thank the female when presents are bought for someone as a couple. I think perhaps you step-mom is being nce and acknowledging that she knows it was you...silly but this could just be her way.

    Be grateful she has manners and acknowledges and thanks you at least for the gifts. A lot of people don't.

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