Tuesday, December 22, 2015

How to Alienate Your Child's Spouse: A Letter to My Future Self

Dear Self In Twenty Years,

Don't do this.  Don't do any of this.



1) Disapprove thoroughly, regularly, and vocally of your adult child's choice of partner, who is surely Too Something.

2) Criticize all joint decisions.  Surely the spouse's choice will ruin your child's life.

3) Exclude the spouse from decisions, outings, and photos. Choose whatever's least considerate.

4) Disrespect all parenting decisions, but blame your child's spouse for making them.  However, remark how pleasant your grandchildren are.

5) Complain you never see your grandchildren, then when you do, go do random shit instead of spending time with them.*  In fact, complain about all the natural consequences of your choices.

6) Never change any family foods, traditions, or observances (ham and midnight church!  Noooo).

7) Don't listen to or respect the preferences of your child or their spouse. Respond to differences as a personal attack.  Don't ever ask them anything. Push every boundary.

8) For bonus points, openly favor your child's sibling, and prioritize them in your life. Your child's spouse won't find this unacceptable at all!**

9) Complain endlessly, but never listen to anyone else's life.  This is an excellent principle for relationships in general!

10) Finally, despite all these things, be bewildered about why your child AND your child's spouse neither like nor respect you, and why they never come to your house.

(They're not terrible people!  But I don't have to put up with constant belittling and disrespect.  Dr. S sets boundaries and abides by them, but it's exhausting to do that all day every day while managing the self-absorbed planning, the biting dog, and the assumption that Dr. S is still bound by gratitude, affection, and dependence.  NOPETOPUS!  Never going back there for more than one day! Dr. S takes the kids out of obligaton- to our children, that is. )

* For example!  Go look at houses for sale near Lake Whatever. All morning. No, really.  This really happened.
** Military, with black ops.  And ditto, this really happens.  See also: Sepsis Plus Trip to Alabama, But Not Seeing Only Granddaughter.    


  1. While I am sorry you have so much material for rants, you're really quite good at them.

    I always enjoy reading your posts, even when you are complaining. You're articulate and incisive.

  2. If I ever run into them on one of my sojourns back to the homeland, it will take all my self control not to make a horrible face and smack them! That's a horrible way to treat someone. Though I agree you're too something. Way too awesome for their crap!

    1. Haaah! They're super annoying. But...

  3. Are they antisemitic too, or just regular horrible? It's good you made this list, since I bet otherwise you'd be TOTALLY inclined to do all these things! All normal people are!

    1. Hmm. Not specifically, just anti Everything Different. I hope to be more like my wonderful Nanna, may she rest in peace, who was beloved of all her in-laws, or my mother, who has called me to ask was I sure Dr. S couldn't come? Because they missed him. Also when she asked of it was going to be too much after Baby Sister was born Dr. S said no such thing! So, valuable lessons.


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