Dear Ann Landers,
I am a new bride. My husband's family treats "Eddie," my husband, very unfairly. They are also cold to my 2-year-old son and me. I know they are not cold people, because they are very affectionate toward Eddie's sisters and brothers and their children.
Eddie has had employment difficulties since we married and relocated. In the 18 months we have been together, my family has helped us out financially. They are not rich, just comfortable. Eddie's family is also comfortable, but they refuse to help us. They say they can't afford it, which is not true. They live a lavish lifestyle and have a substantial income.
I believe Eddie should learn how to demand equal treatment. He needs to ask for his share. He plans to adopt my son as soon as the boy is a little older. In the meantime, my son is being treated like a second-class citizen in comparison to the other grandchildren. If they buy a new outfit for their other 2-year-old grandson, they should buy one for our son also. Right?
A psychologist told us this situation could change if we are willing to work at it. I believe we should start writing letters to my in-laws telling them exactly how we feel. Eddie says it doesn't matter to him, but I know it hurts him plenty. What should we do about this? -- Feeling Left Out in Florida
Your letter has a whining quality that really turned me off. I suspect that same attitude turned off Eddie's parents, too. He is in no position to demand "equal treatment" or anything else. A gift is whatever people want to give. You seem to think that if your in-laws buy something for their other grandson, they should buy one for your child, too. Again, I say a gift is not something you can demand. The good news is that you are in counseling. Terrific. I hope you will take this column to your next session and discuss your attitude problem. You need help.