Getting Along With Your Stepmother?

July 15, 2015

I get used gifts. My husband gets beautiful brand new, expensive gifts. We give her and my dad very nice, well-thought out gifts. Obviously, my stepmother isn't wild about me, but I am starting to get tired of it. I have ignored this for years because I just do not know what to do about what is very obviously done by someone who, by the way, has a lot of money.


So any suggestions? I do not want to tell her, but should I sent her a used gift? Would that let her know that I do know exactly what she is doing and that I don't think it is nice? Thanks.


July 15, 20150 found this helpful

Can you talk to her about this? How do you know the gifts are used?

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July 16, 20151 found this helpful

Perhaps you or your husband could suggest that the four of you take whatever amount of money you would have spent on Christmas gifts for each other and donate it as a whole (in other words add the amounts together and write one check from all of you)?

If, as you suspect, she is doing this just to bother you, this would take all of the sting out of it, especially if you can be happy about it. Plus you would be helping out a good cause.


Also, if she or your Dad questioned your motives, you and your husband could simply tell them that you felt gift giving had become a challenge for them. This would open up a conversation I think, and you could tell them how you feel...but you probably would need to think a lot about it beforehand, because if you get angry or emotional during this discussion, it probably will go badly in a hurry.

Personally, I love it when my folks get me used gifts, because I know they got a better deal on them and kept them from going into a landfill. I really love receiving used books. However, my mother always chooses carefully to make sure the item is in good condition...

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Bronze Answer Medal for All Time! 220 Answers
July 16, 20150 found this helpful

Excellent answer 4TruLady [7]!

Years ago, our adult children and we decided to pool our gift money and donate every year for Christmas. We have done this now for over 20 years. What a relief!

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July 16, 20150 found this helpful

Very nice responses. Unfortunately, would not work as I am divorced from husband (though gifts are jointly mailed) and they are not one's for giving to charity. I think I would be better off just ignoring her. It is truly "on her" what she does. Perhaps, just once, I will, in addition to the normal gifts she gets, just send back a used pin she sent me (it was bent out of shape) so that she knows that I know.


Or perhaps, best to just do nothing and ignore her. Yeah, that is what my heart says to do. Ignore her. There is no relationship. She managed to destroy that.

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