Am I missing something?

30 posts in this topic

The background :- My daughter from first marriage finished her studies and has got a job recently. She was staying with me but now she has moved out with her boyfriend. She got Christmas bonus this week and so she offered to buy me something for the house eg a new bike for me or a new washing machine, a sofa or a bed. I thanked her and told her that i will let her know if i need something. But i felt very happy and proud that she offered it. It reminded me of my first salary and how i had got a new washing machine for my parents.

 

And Now :- I was talking on phone with my current wife ( german and married since 15 years )  and during the conversation, i happened to tell her about this gesture of my daughter. She repeated this sentence twice " your daughter wants to buy a bed for you?" and disconnected the phone and is incommunicado. So is this pure jealousy that her own sons who earn 5 figure salary in usa and germany have never offered her / us anything or is it something cultural that i am missing? 

 

Was this sentence OK if a son would have told to his father? Here we talk of equality for all and i think this to be a case of gender bias? But it could be something else which i am not able to put my finger on.

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Was it specifically 'bed' that she reacted to, or bike/sofa etc as well? As in, did she find it inappropriate that your daughter offered you a bed, or miffed that she offered anything large?

 

I find your wife's reaction odd. Sounds like jealousy that her sons are not the same. Cultural rather than gender based, probably.

 

Anyway, congrats to your daughter - mid pandemic she has finished studying, found a job and a place to live - well done her.

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 Thanks @kiplette

She was upset about the Bed. And i found it very demeaning and trivial. So normally i let bygones be bygones and reproach, but this time i felt, this was not fair to me and my daughter and to big talk of equality. But i asked here if there was something German or cultural which i also need to consider.

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Hm, her sons are earning good money and haven’t offered anything to make your wife or you more comfortable? Sounds like she is actually unhappy with her sons.

But I don’t know your wife...but maybe envious that your daughter cares about your comfort or just the gesture...and her sons don’t..

 

Maybe your daughter has just realised we spend about a third of our lives in bed and has just bought herself a new bed and “ wow, how about my Dad?”

 

Has she seen your current bed? 

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It sounds like there is more to this story than maybe your wife is letting on, and/or than you are grasping.  She may not even know exactly why she is triggered and upset.  Having had a foreign MIL, who often said and did passive aggressive things in the name of "cultural" differences, I would say that if there's progress to be made it will come from a cooling off period, an honest discussion, and possibly with the help of a professional third party.

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When I was 19, me and my elder brother bought our parents a hifi-tower incl. pick-up player and cassette player for their 25th anniversary. They were flabbergasted, but thankful. Later on, I gave them holidays in Hungary and Malta for their 30th and 40th anniversary. They enjoyed it. Sometimes, I invited them for fancy restaurant dinners, because they wouldn't go there by themselves. They enabled me to study, so for me it's normal to do something in return. The little luxuries in life.

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Thank you all for the lovely insights and suggestions. I actually have no plans to take anything from my daughter and so i keep on saying, "ya ya, i will tell you when i need something and for now you can keep this money for a rainy day".

 

And till this incident, i only had a child's perspective when i would get something for my parents. They would also be reluctant to take something from me and only much later would i overhear them praising it ( kind of in a show off way ) to neighbours or relatives. So its only now with the role reversal do i get the full picture of the feelings of a parent and that of a child.

 

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7 hours ago, fraufruit said:

I imagine that most of us have given our parents some pretty nice gifts over the years that weren't expected.

 

My husband organized, paid for, and accompanied his mother back to Germany for her 80th birthday gift (after 45 years in the US).  It was her final big trip, lasting about two weeks, to see all the relatives and friends in various places.  When he first proposed it she said "But how can we can do that? You know I will have to bring a gift for each person."  😂  She lived another 14 years and was forever grateful for that trip, as is my husband. 

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Your post says "me" not "us" - are you not living with your current wife? Is the bed or sofa your daughter wants to buy you, intended for the place that you share with your new wife?  Maybe your wife doesn't like the idea that her step daughter is buying her a bed.  Or is this for another place where your wife doesn't stay?

 

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16 hours ago, RajeshG said:

 But i asked here if there was something German or cultural which i also need to consider.

Not that I'm aware of anything. And I'm German.

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22 hours ago, RajeshG said:

is it something cultural that i am missing? 

Another German here. Nope, definitely not something universally German. I would not offer to buy my parents furniture though because they don't need any. A bike, maybe. Something that they don't necessarily need and would probably not buy for themselves. Unless as in Metall's example when they actually cannot afford something for themselves. 

So unusual the gesture might be, but absolutely nothing (culturally) to get pissed off about. 

How is their relationship in general? Some people take even nice gestures and perceive them as a dig against themselves. 

 

Coming from the other direction though: it is normal in the culture you come from to offer to buy something for the parents' house? Not the parents personally but specifically the house? Just curious. 

 

Also, I would be very interested in why it bothered your wife so much. So if you ever find out. Please share... :D

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To be honest I am really interested to know why your wife reacted like this.

Although regardless of the reason, hanging up and then ignoring you is at the very least very strange behavior. 

 

Granted, there are things we do not know, relationship between your wife and your daughter etc...

I've come read some strange stuff like this over the year on TT, this looks new :o

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13 hours ago, maxie said:

Another German here. Nope, definitely not something universally German. I would not offer to buy my parents furniture though because they don't need any. A bike, maybe. Something that they don't necessarily need and would probably not buy for themselves. Unless as in Metall's example when they actually cannot afford something for themselves. 

So unusual the gesture might be, but absolutely nothing (culturally) to get pissed off about. 

How is their relationship in general? Some people take even nice gestures and perceive them as a dig against themselves. 

 

Coming from the other direction though: it is normal in the culture you come from to offer to buy something for the parents' house? Not the parents personally but specifically the house? Just curious. 

 

Also, I would be very interested in why it bothered your wife so much. So if you ever find out. Please share... :D

Rajesh is a very indian name. So let me steal his opportunity to answer about indian culture.

It is normal that adult children with their family lives with their parents. A typical indian house is grandparents, parents, and children. So the earning member will definitely buy most or all of the stuff for everybody else and also for the house. 

Last time when I was in vacation in india, i bought new mattresses  and a nee TV for my parents home . My parents are financially independent , but still when I am there i don't think twice when I feel that something is needed there. 

Even though I own a home here, when I say my house, my parents house is the first one comes to my mind.  That is a cultural effect i guess.

 

But Rajesh s situation is different here I assume. His child might have been  grown up here. So the effect of indian culture here atleast in this case is not at all relevant

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Jeech! Reading stories like this makes me want to frame my divorce papers, hang them on the wall and light candles underneath them every day.

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3 hours ago, jubinjohn said:

So the effect of indian culture here atleast in this case is not at all relevant

 I wonder if it is though - if he behaves like that towards his family, then his daughter will have grown up with that as a reference point, whereas the German wife and her kids didn't, so there would be a big difference in cultural nuance there, but I assumed Rajesh would realise that.

 

The bit I find kind of weird is it being specifically the bed part she is bothered by. 

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