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49erLBSU,
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My son is getting married in 6 months, i;ve been home sick

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my son is getting married in 6 months, i;ve been home sick of 2 days and my son was shopping with his finance yesterday and called twice to see if i needed anything. she never got on the phone. today is her birthday so i called to wish her a happy birthday and she mentioned, oh yes, i heard you were sick, how are yo feeling? do i tell her how incredibly inconsiderate it was for her not to speak to me sooner?
JA: The Etiquette Expert will know what to do. Is there anything else the Etiquette Expert should be aware of?
Customer: my relationship with my future daughter in law isn't the greatest, so this does not surprise me

Hi, my name is*****'m happy to discuss this with you.

A mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationship is a very delicate thing. And this woman is a fiancee, not yet a wife. Her relationship with you is new and tenuous.

At this point, it's your son's job to inquire as to your health, not hers. If he is passing the answers along to her, there is no reason for her to call you directly. You should assume that they are speaking. (I have been married for 15 years, and have an excellent relationship with my mother in law, as my husband does with my mother, but typically either mother talks to one of us, not both of us, and we pass the information on.)

Your daughter in law may not be comfortable calling and asking you directly, and if so, you should think about why.

As an etiquette expert, I have to say that it is never the job of an adult to educate others on consideration. The person with the best manners in the room, is always the person who can overlook the poor manners of others with a smile.

But in this case, I do not think you have cause to be irritated with your son's fiancee, and I do not think she was being inconsiderate, let alone "incredibly inconsiderate." Also, we have the aforementioned typically touchy relationship between in-laws. And in some families, like my own, there are different levels of what is considered polite/rude in terms of asking others about health. So I do think it would be triply, or quadruply, incorrect to notify her, or your son, that you feel it was inconsiderate.

I sense that you have bigger issues with this woman, and this is just a scapegoat cause. If this type of insignificant, and really not-at-all rude behavior, is going to upset you, it's going to be a long and rocky road. You will risk hurting, or ruining, your relationship with your son if you take such great offense at something that is well and truly "nothing."

To summarize:

1) It's expected between partners, that one may pass on questions or information to the other partner, without both needing to inquire

2) Different people have different acceptable standards about inquiring about health, as delicacy on this subject varies from family to family and region to region

3) A mother in law/son-daughter in law relationship is always delicate and fraught, and should be approached to always give the benefit of the doubt to the other party. Truly, in almost every relationship there is, we should try to give the benefit of the doubt to the other party and think about reasons they may have handled a situation in a particular way.

4) It is never good manners to point out what you see as the poor manners of others.

5) Even without considering the above, I do not find her actions rude.

I'm sorry if this is not what you wish to hear, but it's my honest take on the situation.

Sincerely,

Jennifer

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
i forgot to mention that I am a widow and my other son lives in Washington DC
so my son who is getting married has really been the one to help me out in these types of
situations. my future daughter in law has both parents living and they are 10 years younger than i am
so they are in a diffferent place than i am and have each other to rely on. i agree with you that its in poor taste
to point out that this might be considered ill mannered by me and that if i point it out to my son, that too will
leave a bad taste in his mouth; however, i don't agree with your thinking that her merely getting on the to inquire
how i was doing while they were together shopping isn't rude. sorry

Good afternoon,

I hope first that you are feeling better from being under the weather and that you are enjoying the Memorial Day weekend.

My thought on what you have expressed on your future daughter-in-law is something while not in the best case of showing concern is something at least she did express to you which is a start. Having a good relationship with someone marrying your son is a give and take as with any new relationship. While I do agree that the finance might have tried to reach out sooner, something like this I hope will improve as the month and years go by.

I would suggest taking the high road and try to reach out to her as needed and make the effort to have a good relationship as she is going to marry your son. Both you and the finance have to make this work so taking the high road and trying first could make things so much better as not to get off on the wrong foot with the late call that just happen.

I hope that this information was found useful as please inform me of any additional questions/concerns you have. Also if you could take a second to rate my assistance so that I know my help was found useful today.

Take care,

Michael

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you

You are welcome as my hope is that you have a long lasting relationship with this new person in your family. As with any relationship, there is a give and take as well as common ground and feelings need to be understood by both groups. While no harm I felt was being addressed by her, keep up the communication so that overtime, your relationship with her will grow and be worth the work.

I hope that this information was found useful as please inform me of any additional questions/concerns you have. Also if you could take a second to rate my assistance so that I know my help was found useful today.

Take care,

Michael

49erLBSU,
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