The Original Poster (OP) finds herself in the throes of an unforeseen family feud instigated by her mother-in-law’s (MIL) refusal to extend a heartfelt family tradition – making personalized family quilts – to her and her husband due to their childless status. This family discord spirals as she faces alienation and accusatory words from close family members, further complicating her relationship with her in-laws. As the tension culminates, a reluctant apology from the MIL leaves readers to ponder what lies ahead for this fractured family.
A Family Tradition
OP discovers that her MIL makes custom family quilts for all her children and their spouses, incorporating elements such as couple’s names, kids’ names, and hobbies into the design. OP, a fan of such homemade crafts, eagerly anticipates receiving one. As her husband is the youngest child, she expects to receive their quilt soon after his older brother receives his.
A Missed Expectation
OP’s anticipation is shattered when her sister-in-law (SIL) awkwardly tells her that there is no quilt planned for her and her husband. Confused and upset, OP implores her husband to discover the truth. Her husband confirms that his mother has no intention of making a quilt for them.
Unable to suppress her disappointment, OP directly confronts her MIL, who claims that she’s merely taking a break after completing the first four quilts, citing fatigue. When pressed further, her MIL vehemently denies that the decision is influenced by OP’s childlessness.
The Unveiled Truth
Despite the MIL’s initial denial, she eventually admits her true reasoning. She has no intention of creating a quilt for a family without grandchildren, arguing that OP and her husband’s lives lack enough content to fill a quilt. This directly contradicts her previous claim of fatigue being the primary factor.
Refusing to accept this explanation, OP suggests that her two beloved dogs could feature on the quilt instead. The MIL reacts negatively to this idea, declaring that she won’t waste her efforts on “a couple of goddamn dogs.”
Following the intense conversation, OP informs her husband about the discussion with his mother. While initially supportive of OP, he now decides to distance himself from the escalating conflict, leaving OP feeling even more isolated.
A Shocking Accusation
To make matters worse, OP receives an aggressive voice message from her previously supportive SIL. She accuses OP of crossing a line and acting unreasonably towards the MIL. OP is taken aback, as she and her SIL have always maintained a good relationship.
A Fractured Alliance
The SIL’s accusations further complicate the situation, as she had previously acted as OP’s ally against family disputes. Now, OP finds herself isolated, with both her husband and SIL withdrawing their support. She’s left questioning her actions and intentions.
A Gathering Storm
The hostility within the family starts to escalate, leading to uncomfortable family gatherings and strained relationships. OP begins to feel increasingly alienated, having lost her primary support systems within the family. The tension becomes palpable at every family occasion.
The Surprising Ally
In an unexpected twist, OP’s father-in-law (FIL) sympathizes with her and confronts his wife about the unfair treatment. The FIL argues that her bias against OP and her husband due to their childless status is unreasonable and unjust.
The Hidden Agenda
The FIL reveals that the MIL’s decision was not just about the quilt but also about her dissatisfaction with their childless status. He discloses that his wife had been hoping to pressure them into having children through her discriminatory quilt-making.
In retaliation to her MIL’s behavior, OP decides to commission a local artist to create a unique family quilt showcasing her and her husband’s love for their dogs. The artist creates a spectacular piece that becomes a talking point among their friends and family. This passive-aggressive act of rebellion fuels the growing tension within the family.
OP chooses to publicly display her commissioned quilt during a large family gathering. With its intricate designs and thoughtful representation of her small family, the quilt draws widespread praise.
Was The Woman’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posts her story online for feedback. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:
One reader said, “She has no obligation to make you something. You are not her child, and even if you were, making something for one child does not put an obligation up there to make one for every child.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “She’s also saving herself some time because she doesn’t know if you might have children later. She doesn’t have to make a quilt for you and your dogs.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “If you don’t want kids, then fine. But don’t mock other people’s kids and family traditions by equating your dogs with people’s children.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “Honestly, it’s not surprising that your SIL called you out on the voicemail. Had you not gone about asking in such a callous way, your MIL might have considered making you one down the line.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.