Every married couple has their own “In-Law” story that proves how their relationships work. Mostly we hear about the nightmare mother-in-law. Even Hollywood has made millions off of movies surrounding these tumultuous stories, like Monster-in-Law.
Recently an Ask Polly letter that went viral and this story takes the cake. The letter was written by Disrespected Daughter-in-Law (DDIL) in which she describes her in-laws as being less than respectful over her deadly food allergy to mushroom. She starts by writing:
“I have a very severe allergy to mushrooms. I carry an EpiPen, and I have been hospitalized multiple times because of exposure to this food. One time, I began convulsing in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. My husband politely explained this to his parents when we started dating, and I was invited to family meals.”
This is serious, obviously. But the reaction from the parents is severely unkind.
“Since then, most meals we have shared at my in-laws’ house have had very limited options for me. Somehow, they manage to find a way to add mushrooms to almost everything. One time, they made a point to make a special plate of mushrooms and pass it around. My mother-in-law said, very rudely, “I would’ve liked to add mushrooms directly to the salad, but SOMEBODY has problems with it!” They even added mushroom powder to the mashed potatoes at one holiday dinner. My mother-in-law claimed it was a new recipe she’d found.”
Unbelievable! Who adds mushroom powder to mashed potatoes, honestly? That’s some sneaky stuff.
The husband later told his wife that this behavior was odd, saying this family rarely incorporated mushrooms with meals until he started dating her. As time went on this couple was expecting their first child and the DDIL had to make the choice to not attend family dinners unless the meals were mushroom-free.
The response? Hold me back…
His dad said, “We can’t promise that. Everyone except your wife likes mushrooms, and we’re not changing what we eat for one person.”
My husband’s sister even called me up, angry about the fact we would not be attending a party at her parents’ house. Yelling that I was overreacting and that mushrooms are “not a poison.”
Needless to say, this war over mushrooms, rather war over keeping the wife safe from death, caused a huge rift between the families. They don’t speak and the parents don’t even see their grandchildren.
So how did Polly react to all this? Just as we might imagine.
“You’re not the cause of this rift. The cause of this rift is TRULY TERRIBLE HUMAN BEINGS…I want to know what kinds of human beings are comfortable behaving this monstrously. Do they look like monsters? It’s hard not to picture them as monsters. Your in-laws are next-level, off-the-charts batshit.”
And the saddest part of all this is the Daughter-in-law feels at fault for causing the rift. This letter is an obvious cry for help to see how she can patch up the relationship. Polly does an excellent job of explaining that she owes these monsters nothing.
“…don’t ever be tempted to believe that you’re doing something wrong here. This is not on you. This is their abject madness, and it’s up to them to grapple with it. It has nothing to do with you. Let go of this and move forward.”
We can only hope that DDIL has taken this advice to heart and let the misplaced guilt (brought on by the parents) go.