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.
So…several people in my family are artists. All very talented, I genuinely love all of their stuff.
Do you know how many pieces I have from each? One. One each. I want their work in my home, but I don’t want it to be the *only* work in my house. I want to pick some things all on my own that are to my taste or that are just, different and unrelated to family.
Stop giving your DIL piece after piece. One or two really meaningful pieces, then start giving something else.ele4phantGuest
Also – you rail on her for being thoughtless and that a gift is a gift and she should just be grateful, but lady, for her birthday you literally told her to take something off your wall. Its not like your husband painted something really thoughtful and specific with her and the occasion in mind.
I would certainly be more appreciative of being given someone’s art, even if I didn’t like it, if I knew they put in time and effort with me in mind. But just a wave of the hand – oh any of these, we have so many take whatever you want. That’s not gracious or thoughtful on your part at all, so why should she be gracious to you?GrandmaGuest
Thanks for your opinions and I see what you are saying.
FYI I have not given her in the triple digits of art work… maybe 20 pieces total. The pieces my husband and I brought into their house (3 sculptures and another couple paintings) were promptly brought back the next day and I told my son I was grateful he could be honest with me. So I do want them to be honest. I just don’t know why she isn’t honest with me about this.
I thought I was giving kind and thoughtful gifts over the years because these are paintings my husband has put his heart and soul into over the past 40 years!!HeatherGuest
Your D in L knows you love your husbands work and perhaps she does too, but to a lesser extent then the amount of art she has been getting. She’s tried tactfully to ask for less art and even pointed you in a better direction, but you would not take tactful or even your own son’s interference on their behalf. She doesn’t want to hurt your or your husband’s feeling. But you’ve been happily riding rough shod over hers. Please give no more art and give her a present with her in mind. Even if it’s not to your taste.
Ps 20 pieces is still too much.Ele4phantGuest
20 pieces?! That’s waaaayyyy too many. I wouldn’t want 20 pieces from Monet. You’re taking over their home with your art. Let them pick their own art, and appreciate if they show one or two of yours that they find to be really special.
If you have that many pieces – have a show or something. Don’t turn your relatives homes into your personal gallery.
And I want to push back on these being “thoughtful” gifts just because your husband made them. He may be wonderfully talented and he may work very hard, but it’s the opposite of thoughtful to just give people stuff lying around your house, especially if you know the recipient doesn’t really want more of it.
If he commissioned a piece specifically for her – yes that’s thoughtful. Something that’s just been hanging out in your bathroom for…who knows long…that you don’t even pick out? That is completely thoughtless on your part.JuliecatharineGuest
Grandma, I think you’re still missing it. Twenty pieces of art by the same artist is utterly overwhelming and not something *anyone* would want. That would completely dominate a home. My mother is an artist, a rather good one. I have four of her paintings up. What you have been doing is not thoughtful, it is not kind. It is unwanted and you have been told. Look at how hard you are clinging to the idea that your “gifts” should be accepted after being told explicitly and repeatedly by your son and multiple strangers here that what you’re doing is straight up wrong. Yet you still can’t understand why your DIL hasn’t spoken to you directly? It is really clear that you are not open to honest feedback on this topic. You’ve gotten it, repeatedly.anonymousseParticipant
You don’t get the point, she doesn’t want them. THEY do not want them. She doesn’t tell you to your face, because you are honestly coming off as totally off your rocker here. Clearly, your son is the person who needs to handle you, because you do not respect her wishes or desires and you are violating them left and right.
Get a clue! No more artwork. They clearly do not want anymore of your husband’s art. Stop. You are the one harming your relationship with your son and his family.
I cannot even imagine bringing someone into the bathroom and telling them to pick out a painting for their birthday or baby shower after they’ve told you NO so many times! What is wrong with both of you?Ele4phantGuest
Also – I think it’s totally reasonable for your son to be telling you to lay off on the paintings on behalf of his wife.
First of all, he’s probably on the same page as his wife – 20 pieces from the same artist (and seemingly more to come each and every occasion) is too many, even if said artist is your own dad, even if the artwork is something you do enjoy.
Secondly, at least in my marriage I deal with my family and my husband deals with his. That’s how we do it. I mean we’re a unit now and his family is my family and my family is his family yadda yadda yadda, but I still take the lead on defense with my family and he with his. Lots of couples deal with their families this way.
Your son is dealing with you, so just listen already.Northern StarGuest
Um, she IS honest with you, as much as politeness allows- unless you are calling your son a liar. He told you what his wife would like. You ignore it. 20 freaking pieces of art?! NOBODY wants that much. And nobody wants their in laws marching into their new home and decorating it without bring asked explicitly to do so. Or their unwanted junk from the bathroom. For the love of God, stop foisting the leftover art your husband can’t sell on your daughter in law disguised as a “gift” because you don’t want to be bothered finding something she might like.
Your son may not want your husband’s art all over his home, either. Just fyi.redessaParticipant
“I just don’t know why she isn’t honest with me about this.”
What!?! In what way has she been dishonest with you? Sending back the paintings and sculptures wasn’t clear enough for you? Declining to collect the painting she picked from your bathroom (seriously? the bathroom?) doesn’t get the message across? Dishonest would have been happily taking everything then throwing it away behind your back.
She’s been very clear – either directly or through your son. She has acted completely appropriately, taking great care to spare your feelings. Your son has also done a wonderful job of standing up for her, and has done the exact right thing in being the one to deal with his parents (just as she should be the one to handle issues with her family). He’s told you point blank, “No more paintings!” and even told you specifically what else to get her. Which you proceeded to ignore and offered…. MORE PAINTINGS!!! Then you have the nerve to complain she’s “rejecting” your gifts as if you’re the one who’s feelings have been ignored.
Maybe you’re waiting for her to tell you directly to your face that she doesn’t want any more paintings or sculptures. Why? So you can have even more ammunition with which to complain about her? She knows full well how much that would hurt your (and your husband’s) feelings. Fortunately, it sounds like she and your son are a united team (on this at least) and he’s willing to take hit by being the one to tell you bluntly to knock it off. You should go ahead and accept that he speaks for the both of them – assuming you actually care what either of them want and aren’t simply determined to off-load your husband’s artwork on them.
PS: If a gift is a gift, then once it’s been given, it’s theirs to do what they want with it. It’s an incredible kindness that they’ve been willing to display some items and return the pieces they don’t want rather than tossing them all out. (Which I’d be tempted to do with ALL of it, even pieces I once liked, simply to purge myself of the stress and pressure this artwork has come to represent.)TheHizzyGuest
I give my brother the same gift for his birthday and Christmas because he requests it. If he ever requested I didn’t send it, I’d stop. Because he has say in what he wants to receive.
I’m guessing you are giving EVERYONE this amount of paintings. Stop. Just stop it. One MAYBE two pieces is all anyone needs of one artist unless they request more. Seriously. Just stop.
Omaha Steaks – brother requests them all the time.EssieParticipant
I’m sorry, LW, you’re completely out of line on this one.
A gift is supposed to be something the recipient wants. That’s the whole purpose of gift-giving. That you celebrate the person by giving them something that they will like, something personal that reflects their taste. Not what you like, not what you think they should like, and very definitely not TWENTY PIECES of your husband’s art. You’re making every gifting occasion about you and your husband, when it’s supposed to be about her.
Giving her one piece of your husbands’s work would have been thoughtful. And it should have stopped there. If she had a burning desire to have more, she would have gladly told you. “Hey, mom and dad, if you’re ever stuck on a gift idea for me, I would just love to have another painting of dad’s.”