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Am I the Villain for “Hiding” My Husband’s Birthday Gift from His Mom After Uncovering Its Secret?

Am I Wrong for “Hiding” My MIL’s Birthday Present to My Husband after Finding Out What Was Inside?Lila hides Carol’s birthday gift from Bill because she is sick of her cold-hearted mother-in-law ruining her husband’s birthday and wants to save him the sorrow and hurt that come with receiving gifts from his mother. However, things happen when Lila’s secret is revealed.Bill, my spouse, was clearly anxious. His birthday was approaching, and each year his mother gave him a gift that felt like a kick in the face.Bill sat with his shoulders hunched on our ragged couch.Trying to appear casual, he asked,

 

“Do you think she’ll actually care this time?” I put my palm on his and moaned. I was at a loss as to what to say. My husband had a rocky connection with his mother, so I knew I had to reassure him.“Perhaps,” I replied. “Remember, though, that it’s your birthday that we’re celebrating, not hers. Whatever happens, honey, we’re going to have a blast.”Bill gave me a smile that did not quite get to his eyes. I was aware of his deep desire for Carol to love and value him, but she consistently let him down. It went beyond the presents alone. It was the emotion that mattered.I had heard the story from Bill a long time ago.

They had a good relationship because he was his mother’s son from her previous marriage, but when Carol met Adam, her second husband, things changed.The birth of Bill’s younger brothers made matters worse. Bill could tell that Carol no longer valued him and that all she could think about was Adam and their sons.“All right,” he replied. “This year will be different.” I knew deep down that nothing would shift. Nothing could ever convince Carol that her ways were wrong because she was so entrenched in them. A little package arrived two days before his birthday.

 

Since Bill and I weren’t home, Tom, our neighbour, got it.“Hey, Lila,” uttered. “There was a delivery for you when I arrived home. You can simply pick it up from me later because I’ve signed for it.” “Thanks, Tom!” I stated. “Please send me a photo?” Tom texted me a picture of the package a short while later. There was a box that was wrapped and with a note that said,Perhaps this will make you more alert! I recognised it right away as coming from Carol. Never again. Not another present that would merely serve to highlight Bill’s perception of his mother’s lack of concern. I was filled with a mixture of despair and rage as I looked at the picture, feeling sick to my stomach.How could she not see the consequences of her actions? “What is that? What do you have your eyes on?” With the trolley rattling between us, Bill questioned as we made our way through the grocery shop. Nothing significant, I replied. “Just one of the girls from work.”I responded to Tom’s text: Thank you; I’ll come collect it soon!Tom replied right away: Yes, exactly! Put it out of your mind. When we returned home that evening, I told Bill that I would run errands while he prepared supper. “I just need to get something from Lisa across the road,” I said. “I’ll be back in a few minutes.” He responded, “Sure, honey,” slinging chicken about a pan. I hurried out of the house, shutting the door behind me. I pondered over the best way to inform Tom of the circumstances. I hurried up Tom’s driveway in the hopes that our conversation would end quickly.Tom grinned as he opened the front door. He said, “Hi,” as if he had been waiting for me all afternoon. “Come on in.” As soon as I walked inside his house, I noticed the package on the table. Haggling as I looked through the note, he quipped, “What’s so secretive about this package?” “What motivated you to come get it yourself? You are aware that I might have carried it over and helped Bill have a drink.”It comes from Bill’s mother, Carol. She sends Bill a terrible birthday present every year. And it breaks him every time.” “What do you mean?” Tom enquired. “Not fancy enough?” “Not even close,” was my response. It’s always something chilly and careless. I’m curious to see what’s inside because of this. I’m not sharing that with Bill if that’s her standard operating procedure.” There was just one pair of socks in the packaging. I stated aloud, “She’s ridiculous.” Tom gave me a wide-eyed look.He shook his head and questioned, “What’s wrong with her?” While enjoying cocktails at home the night before Bill’s birthday, I made the decision to inform him about the package. I didn’t want the day to be ruined by the knowledge that he was expecting anything from his mother. “My dear,” I said. “Tom received the package your mum sent while we were away. He said, “He’s out for the day; we can get it from him later.” My spouse’s face brightened.He said, “It’s okay, love.” “We’ve got enough to focus on tomorrow.” And we paid attention. I had everything set up for Bill’s ideal birthday celebration. I really went all out with the cake and snacks when we invited a few friends around. The nicest thing was that everyone who came brought meaningful gifts that expressed to Bill how much each of us valued him.I hadn’t seen my hubby this happy in a long time. The difference between his customary birthday disappointment and the delight and laughter he was showing was striking. It seemed as though Tom had forgotten about our deal a few days later. With the package in his hand, he stood at the front entrance. It made sense; there was a hint of alcohol odour on his breath. As he entered, he remarked, “My dad was just as bad at picking gifts.” “This is from your mother.”Bill laughed, his interest sparked. “Alright, let’s see what we’ve got.” Bill was inquisitive, but as soon as he opened the package and took out the socks, his expression turned sad. With obvious hurt in his eyes, he said, “Seriously?” I wrapped him in my arm. “I didn’t want your birthday to be ruined by this. I apologise so much, honey,” I said. Bill inhaled deeply.“I understand, Lila. I am aware of my mother’s temper. This has become the norm,” he remarked. I tried to give my husband a wonderful birthday before his mother’s gift, but I didn’t know how to tell him that I wanted to protect him. However, I could still perceive the lingering disappointment. Not only were the socks an issue, but his mother’s persistent disregard for him was as well.Regretfully, Mike, Bill’s brother, was also present at our residence and he witnessed the entire exchange. He said to me, “Why are you making such a big deal about it?” “It’s just a gift.” “Just a gift?” I fired back. Are you blind to the pattern here? Really? She goes above and beyond for you and Sam every year, but Bill just seems to understand this?” Mike gave a shrug. “He is more senior. He doesn’t require pricey items.”“But he has never gotten good gifts, even when he was your age,” I replied. “Mike, it’s not about the money. It’s all in the reasoning behind it.” From there, things quickly got out of hand. Being the mama’s boy that he was, Mike called their mother and spilled the beans. My phone soon started beeping with messages. Carol, my mother-in-law, was incensed. Lila, how dare you withhold my gift? You awful girl. You are cruel and pampered. It continued after that!Carol attacked me in the family group chat, accusing me of poisoning her connection with Bill and labelling me toxic. His brothers rushed in, defending their mother and claiming that I had no authority to get involved. I informed Bill, “I’m not going to entertain this,” while he sucked down his beer. I penned a lengthy note, describing all the years of careless presents Bill had gotten in comparison to his brothers. I wanted to celebrate my husband’s birthday—your son—without causing him any pain or sadness. He should also feel appreciated. It was a harsh reply. Bill quickly went once they expelled me from the group chat.Later, Carol sent me a private message in which she once more referred to me as poisonous and accused me of causing rifts between Bill and his family. However, I was aware that my spouse had been in pain for a very long time before I was born. Bill turned to face me one evening as we were strolling through our neighbourhood. “I’ve been thinking, you know. Perhaps some new customs should be established. ones that don’t involve holding out for my mother’s parcel.”“That would be nice. What if we started organising something unique for your upcoming birthday?” I enquired.Bill smiled. Why not take a road trip? Only the two of us?”How would you have responded in that situation? Was it wrong of me to defend my husband?

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