Home › Forums › Advice & Chat › Daughter in law rejects our gifts?
- This topic has 110 replies, 16 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 9 months ago by Morecoffeeplease.
My husband is an artist. We often give his paintings as gifts to family and friends. We have given our daughter in law one of his paintings for every birthday and Christmas. She and my son moved into a new house and we also brought over a lot of his paintings for her to hang up. We also brought sculptures. We set them up around the house and told them they could give them back if they didn’t want them. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like she likes the art anymore. The next day my son brought all of the art back to our house and said that “Wife is stressed out about the house because she is not sure of the direction she wants the decor to go in. We don’t know if all this stuff goes with the house.” So I dropped it. Well, when her birthday came along I asked my son what she wanted for her birthday, if she would like another painting from us. He said “No paintings, Mom! How about some new bubble bath?” I thought it was a silly idea so I said we weren’t going to get her bath things. When your birthday finally came along I told her to let us know when she had a house together so she could pick out a painting we have at our house that my husband made. He has made a lot of paintings over the years and she has a lot to choose from so she is sure to find one she likes. I didn’t think that was a big deal but later I heard from the grapevine that it really hurt her feelings. I don’t know why because a gift is a gift. Then when it came time for her bridal shower last year I told her she could pick out one of the paintings that was on our bathroom wall as a present. She didn’t seem to be bothered by this and picked out a painting. I told her I would wrap it and give it to her at the shower and she could act surprised. It was kind of funny. However again I got a text from my son the next day that said, “Mom, how about for the bridal shower you get something for her she actually wants?” I ended up giving her a gift card and she seem to like it and made no mention of the painting she had picked out. We did give them a painting as their wedding present though. Anyway – that was a few months ago and now I’m feeling a little bit resentful. I know my daughter-in-law is probably upset that we keep giving her paintings because she doesn’t like my husbands artwork. But to me the gift is a gift and she should not be so spoiled about it. Or am I in the wrong? Also – if she has a problem with the paintings why has she never said anything to me directly, I’m only hearing things from my son?KateKeymaster
Ok, yes, you’re pretty much in the wrong.
First of all, just the sheer volume of art you’re giving your son and daughter in law is really overwhelming. That would really stress me out too, to be given so many paintings and sculptures that I have to figure out how to fit into my home and hang up.
Second, your idea that a gift is a gift and she should be happy with anything, and that she’s spoiled, is ridiculous. She just doesn’t want any more art. It’s stressing her out, she’s got no place to put it, it probably doesn’t even go with her decor, it’s taking over her home. She asked you for like $10 bubble bath because it was something small you could get her, that she’d use. That’s really inconsiderate to decide her request is silly and not get her anything.
Telling someone to choose a painting off your bathroom wall is pretty tacky too. Look, she doesn’t want to be blunt and hurt your or your husband’s feelings, but the message is clear. No more art! It would be nice, and appropriate, to get her something she wants. You know, like something she asked for or registered for.SarahGuest
You are stomping on boundaries! You came and set up the paintings at their house! That is a huge boundary stomp. Then you ignored her reasonable requests for gifts (it isn’t like it is a trip to Paris!). You are forcing this artwork on her. She could be a lovely person, but just not be into art, or into your husband’s art. Not everyone loves art. She wants to decorate her way in her own home– which she has every right to do.BittergaymarkGuest
ALL artists should realize that if somebody WANTS a piece of your art… they WILL ask for it. Look, I am VERY particular about design and your letter stressed me out… I mean even if your husband is a great artist — a pretty big IF by the way… — his work very well just may be wrong for her rooms… NEWSFLASH! Not everybody is Picasso…BittergaymarkGuest
And also FEW like hearing that they aren’t Picasso which is perhaps why your daughter in law. has yet to tell you why she doesn’t want the paintings…JanelleGuest
Ya you are going way above and beyond normal behavior. The art is a gift but she feels obligated to hang it since you come to her home even though she clearly doesn’t like it. No wonder it stresses her out. Also you mentioned going into their home and placing art and sculptures? WhOOA! So beyond appropriate behavior. Your son is being a very good husband and son. It would be one thing if you gifted her said bubble bath and if she didn’t like it she could just not use it. You are forcing, nah, shoving down her throat, your own personal taste. So not ok. Just, NO!KateKeymaster
She may even think his paintings are nice, but just can’t handle having more than a couple of them in her house, which is totally reasonable.
My cousin’s husband is an artist and used to do a lot of paintings. My parents liked his work and either asked for, or chose when offered, two or three small paintings that hang together as a group in one spot over the piano. My mom had them framed the way she wanted and worked them into her decorating scheme. When we lived in a bigger place that had an upstairs loft with a very high ceiling, my parents got one of his huge canvasses to hang up there.
So yeah, they like his art, but they’re not going to cover every wall with pictures of his. That’s not most people’s idea of decorating.MissDreGuest
I’m sorry but you sound absolutely nuts. Your husband may be a great artist and she may like some of his work but that doesn’t mean she wants her entire home dedicated to displaying his artwork. It’s HER home and yes, if I were her I’d be completely overwhelmed by all the stuff you keep giving her. Especially if she feels obligated to display it.
And for future reference, a gift is supposed to be for the recipient. Something the recipient WANTS or would LIKE. To dismiss the fact that she would like some bubble bath as “silly” is beyond rude and condescending. Maybe she really likes soaking in the bath. Or maybe she just wants to feel that for once you’re giving her something that’s truly for HER, not just dumping more paintings on her because it feeds your ego or because it’s easy.
You sound like my grandma. She just buys a bunch of cheap crap on sale throughout the year and puts in all in a drawer. Then when an occasion comes along she just picks something out of the sale drawer, with absolutely no thought at all as to what the recipient may actually like or enjoy. That is not thoughtful. Neither is constantly giving your daughter in law your own paintings when all she wants is some bubble bath.dinocerosParticipant
Geez. I don’t even know where to begin. Art is a personal thing. Not everyone has the same tastes. Simply being related to you by marriage doesn’t mean that your DIL is going to love your husband’s art. Even if she did love his art, she certainly doesn’t want dozens of paintings. Giving someone the same gift for every holiday is incredibly lazy and impersonal. And doing that when you KNOW they don’t like that gift is hard to comprehend.
I imagine that she didn’t tell you she didn’t like the art because it was awkward, but also because it clearly doesn’t matter to you. You KNOW she doesn’t like his art and wants something else, and you continue giving it to her. I assume it’s out of spite. You’re trying to make some bigger meaning out of this — use this as proof that she’s some ungrateful wretch or whatever — when you could have just listened to your son and started giving gifts she’d actually like.
It sounds like you’ve decided not to like her and are purposely trying to either give her stuff you know she doesn’t like to show her how much you dislike her, or just expend as little effort as possible. If it’s such an affront to you to buy $5 bubble bath from Target, then just stop giving gifts.
I’m sorry if I”m going on a rant here, but your tone really irks me. If I had a relative who was giving me painting after painting despite knowing I didn’t want them, they’d be going straight from the gift wrap into the trash can at a certain point.AngeGuest
If ‘a gift is a gift’ then why does it matter so much to you what she asks for? Your attitude seems to only go one way, the way in which you get to enforce your will on your poor DIL. My goodness it sounds like you have given her art pieces possibly in the triple digits over the years! Not everyone likes so much ‘clutter’ around the place, nor do they particularly want to put so many holes in their wall. They tried to be diplomatic with you but you have got your hackles up for no reason, try listening to them for once. The only reason this has got to the point of offence is because you pushed it to that point by refusing to take the gentle hints being offered. Next time try being gracious and follow the etiquette lead of your far less boorish son.DoviesGuest
Wow. So you just went over to your son and his wife’s new house and stuffed it full of your husband’s art? Did they invite you to do this? Did they give you ANY indication they wanted you to do this? Obviously not. Please stop trying to use their home as your husband’s gallery. The artwork is not wanted and they don’t want to be your storage facility.StillrunningGuest
I can just see the poor DIL cringing as dad comes bounding up the steps with ANOTHER canvas under his arm.
Maybe one small piece is ok, but only if she likes his artwork. Quit shoving it down her throat; she’ll ask if she wants more of his art.