Is it ever okay to go behind your wife's back?
May 19, 2011 1:10 PM Subscribe
My wife doesn't get along with my sister. My sister is graduating. My wife discovers that I am buying her a graduation gift without her knowledge. She is upset I went behind her back. Where do I go from here?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (71 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
My wife and I are newlyweds. My sister and my wife don't get along. It’s a personality conflict. My wife’s grievance is that my sister isn’t making her feel like she is part of the family. My sister’s grievance is that my wife behaves like a princess. My sister and my wife aren’t interested in getting along with each other and both are good at holding grudges. It stresses me that they don’t get along. We're in our late 20s.
I have a good relationship with my sister. She is graduating from her post-grad program and moving away. It's a big milestone in her life. To my wife’s credit, she initiates the conversation about a getting a graduation gift that we could give as a couple.
However, the gift my wife wants to give is intended as a mere formality and would be inadequate by itself. I know it is inadequate because I know my sister.
Yet I agree with my wife’s choice. Probably my biggest mistake. I know that for my wife, giving a gift to someone she dislikes is a big deal. So if I tell my wife that her gift idea for our joint gift is not good enough, there would be a fair amount of drama including whether I was on her side or my sister’s side.
I want my wife to feel good about “the thought that counts” aspect of her gift, yet make sure that my sister is not inadvertently insulted. So I plan on secretly adding another gift to make the overall gift better.
My wife found out about my plan basically because she read a note she wasn’t meant to read.
My wife is very hurt now because she says I violated the trust in our marriage. She says I have plotted behind her back to buy my sister a gift without telling her.
I don’t think I have violated the sacred trust a marriage is built on, but I did do something behind her back. I can see why she is hurt. For what it’s worth, my wife says she would not agree to the additional gift if I had brought it up in the first place.
Anyhow, how do I mend the situation with my wife? In your view, how badly did I screw up? And what are the things I need to think about and do to make things right, both for my wife's sake and for my sister's sake.