If you host your parents or ILs for shabbos meals....
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Post  Mon, Sep 09 2019, 7:05 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Really appreciating the responses.

I hadn't thought to put FIL at the head of the table. (And truthfully, it's not my chair to give away -- that would have to be DH's choice). I don't think FIL would be at all comfortable with that. (My MIL on the other hand I could see wanting to take over his chair - she does like to be front and center). Every man makes kiddush and hamotzi here so DH offers FIL to go first but he refuses.

I do serve my ILs first and make sure they have comfortable chairs and they are asked to speak and share something at the table. My MIL loves good wine; DH always opens the best bottle for her and gets up to pour and keep her glass full. Kids are very attentive to their needs too. When they decide to leave, even if we still have a table full of guests, we walk them several blocks towards their house.

It does seem like MIL just wants to be unhappy here unfortunately. It really hurts me. We have a very open home, we entertain a lot and it means so much to me that people come here and have a good experience - good food and company, singing and divrei Torah and just a really beautiful overall uplifting experience and really people seem to love to come here often.... except my ILs who rarely accept invites, complain when they come or go around telling people we hardly ever have them over -- which is true but misleading as it is not due to lack of invitations.

OP you and your DH sound like an awesome hosts! I'd love to be a guest at a Shabbos like that. What does your DH say about this situation?
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Post  Mon, Sep 09 2019, 10:12 am
DrMom wrote:
Are you inviting other guests in addition to your ILs?
Perhaps they would prefer to be the only guests?
Perhaps if you are inviting them along with others they feel as if they are on par with the other guests in terms of importance?
(I am guessing)

They moved into the community we live in a couple years ago. At first I only invited them alone so kids would focus completely on them and not other kids at the table, and also I thought maybe they would not want to sit with other couples mostly close to our age and younger. But MIL complained to DH that we exclude them from mingling with our friends and it makes them feel unwanted. So now I invite both with and without and still they rarely come - again, not because I invite infrequently but because they typically decline invitations (too tired, too late, already have plans, not in the mood, whatever).
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Post  Mon, Sep 09 2019, 10:13 am
Squishy wrote:
How do you overhear someone on the phone? Were you listening on an extension?

Going forward, don't listen to their conversations because you will only aggravate yourself. Your mil doesn't sound easy.

Speaker phone. I happened to walk by mid-conversation.
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Post  Mon, Sep 09 2019, 10:19 am
sarahmalka wrote:
OP you and your DH sound like an awesome hosts! I'd love to be a guest at a Shabbos like that. What does your DH say about this situation?

I asked him if MIL gave any specific reason they feel this way (since I only heard a few seconds of the conversation as I walked through the room and he was on speaker). He said no. I asked if he would ask her why they feel this way so we can make them happier when they come and he wants to just ignore it. He feels very strongly it's their problem not ours. And really, he's not wrong. As I said, I cannot figure out any possible thing we are doing that should make them feel "chopped liver". But I was raised in a different kind of home than my husband. My parents fell over backwards to honor their parents - even when it was something that seemed crazy. And I feel that same compulsion I guess but I don't know what there is for me to correct or do differently.
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Post  Mon, Sep 09 2019, 10:45 am
She sounds like she has a lot of her own personal, emotional issues that she is projecting onto you and your family. I agree with your husband that is their problem, not yours. You can only do your best. You really cannot make them happy because it's not about you- it's about whatever their own personal issues are.
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Post  Mon, Sep 09 2019, 10:52 am
Interesting, my in-laws made a similar comment about me. After lots of thought I realized I was much too uptight when they were around and was causing some uneasiness. I've been more careful and they are much more comfortable now.
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