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Grandma Sharing Drink with Son

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Grandma Sharing Drink with Son


Grandma Sharing Drink with Son

I’m struggling with boundaries and communication with my mother-in-law. There are many instances where I feel uncomfortable by her actions but I haven’t spoken up because she is very sensitive and always gets very bent out of shape if I say anything remotely confrontational. This has led to underlying bitterness on my part.

There is one issue I do want to address. She shares drinks with both my husband and my 2 year old son. I was raised to know this is unhygienic and I find it off putting and uncomfortable. I was wondering if anyone had any input on my situation; how should I bring it up? When it happens again? Ask my husband? Send a text? I don’t want to make her feel bad but it does baffle me that she doesn’t see how rude it is to potentially subject my son/husband/me to disease or illness and at the very least backwash! Lol.

Star contributor

Re: Grandma Sharing Drink with Son

Hi @ladybates ,


That’s a difficult situation you’re in with a couple sticky obstacles in the way of open communication as you’ve identified. I want to first acknowledge your excellent self-awareness and ability to recognise the verity of options of how to approach this. Navigating mixed family situations is always tricky!


My gut feeling is that sharing drinks is very common within her family, some people may view it as a sign of intimacy or closeness with other family members. As you’ve pointed out, everyone was brought up differently so we could almost view this as different family “cultures” of interaction, and when two different cultures interact, there is bound to be some friction.


I would say checking in with your husband isn’t a bad idea, if maybe to get his perspective on the situation or advice as to how approach his mother in the future. I feel if she is as sensitive as you describe her, regardless of how you approach it she may take it differently than you intended to. So it may be worth asking yourself, how much this matters to you and if you are able to let go of some of your feelings if you aren’t able to bring it up to her in future?

Casual scribe

Re: Grandma Sharing Drink with Son

Hi Ladybates,


It's always tough navigating expectations, especially with in-laws!


It sounds like an open an honest conversation with your husband may be a good place to start. Having him on board will help a lot. Try raising the issue with him by trying to get him to see why you consider sharing drinks as unhygienic (without making him feel it is attack on his mum). The way you present the issue to him will play a big part in the outcome, reiterating that it's not about his mum, just the act of sharing drinks etc. 


In regards to your mother-in-law, you mention she is very sensitive when you say anything remotely confrontational. Have you considered adjusting your communication style to get a different result? I have found that I really need to consciously change the way I speak, at times, with my in-laws, because we have very different ways of communicating. It was hard work to start but I have found an immense improvement in our relationship by thinking about what I say may be perceived based on their view of the world. 


Good luck! I hope it goes well for you.