My Son Set Fire to the Expensive Handbag My Daughter-in-Law Gave Me for My Birthday after Seeing What Was Inside

As I celebrated another year of life, my birthday took an unexpected turn. My son Tom got angry at the gift I received from my daughter-in-law, but the situation escalated and took a turn I did not see coming.My daughter-in-law Christine is such a sweetheart. We clicked the second my son, Tom, brought her home. She lost her mom when she was just a teen, and once she even admitted that I became a second mom to her. Christine and Tom have been married for five years and have a little girl named Joy together. My daughter-in-law is a stay-at-home mother who also runs a small business where she sells luxury scarves made out of silk and various expensive materials, I must mention that she also comes from a wealthy family, which, according to my son, gives her a substantial sum of money monthly. Tom has also built a successful career for himself as a mechanical engineer, so money is not a problem for either of them.However, for some reason, my son is still very particular about the way Christine treats us, especially when it comes to spending money on me. Tom is worried that she will think I am only fond of her because of her money, but that is not true. Christine and I talk about many things, and our relationship is much deeper than what money can buy.Fast forward to my birthday yesterday. Christine surprised me with this fancy handbag I’ve been eyeing forever but would never dream of buying for myself.

I was over the moon, literally hugging it to my chest. But then, everything just flipped upside down.Tom was absolutely livid when he saw the handbag. He kept yelling at me, telling me that he had expressed his feelings about Christine buying me expensive gifts. I tried to explain that it was just a sweet gesture that showed how much she paid attention to the things I said. But I never went out of my way to ask her to buy a designer handbag, and I never would.What Tom did not know was that Christine had been sharing some of the challenges she was experiencing in their marriage. And looking at how outraged he was over this handbag, it painted a clear picture of why Christie was worried about their future.The anger he felt was way more than just about this handbag; it was deeper and filled with so much sadness. However, just as I thought the drama could not get any worse, Tom yanked the bag from me, started inspecting it, and flipped it upside down, and out came a bunch of envelopes.He got even angrier, thinking that the envelopes were filled with cash. Before he could even open it, he took the candles on the dinner table and set the bag on fire. Everyone in the house was shocked.But Tom did not know that those envelopes were just another way that Christine was trying to communicate with me and show me how bad the situation at home was.The letters were a cry for help. In each note, she wrote about what she struggled with in her marriage. As Tom rifled through the letters, he took one and opened it. This one addressed how much he did not help with their daughter. The letter read:February 2022,This entire month, I have been begging Tom to help me with Joy, especially in the evenings because I handle the morning routine. I make sure that Joy is dressed, has breakfast, and that her lunch is packed. I also take on the responsibility of driving her to and picking her up from school. In the evenings, Tom just comes home, asks what’s for dinner, and barely even spends time with his daughter.The letter continued:It’s heartbreaking to see Joy’s disappointment when she asks her daddy to read her a bedtime story, only to find him too engrossed in catching up on soccer highlights to care. All I ask is for him to give our daughter time, which could be in simple actions like giving her her nighttime bath, reading her a bedtime story, and making sure she is tucked in. She longs for her father, and that’s a void I cannot fill, no matter how hard I try. Tom, however, refuses to see the bigger picture. He keeps telling me that taking care of Joy is a “woman’s task” and reminds me that I do not have a full-time job like him. This mindset not only hurts me but is also affecting Joy, and I fear it might impact her view of family and relationships in the long run. How can I make him see that his daughter needs him just as much as she needs me? When Tom read the letter, I could slowly see his anger turn into shame. He wanted to find a place to hide as he stood there, confronted with how much he had been negligent as a father. He took a moment to himself then came back and apologized for how he reacted. I then took this opportunity to step in as his mother and have a conversation that had been long-awaited. I sat him down and told him that marriage was about working together and valuing what the other brings to the table. It was unfair and cruel for him not to recognize the work and effort Christine puts into their union while juggling motherhood and her business. “Most importantly,” I emphasized, “parenting is not just a woman’s job, and I am extremely disappointed that you have this kind of mentality. If you are willing to put in the work, I advise you and Christine to seek counseling. It is always better to have a third, unbiased party to help deal with big issues. But if you are not willing to change, I will also advise my daughter-in-law to divorce you because she deserves better.” It looked like Tom had been faced with a reality he never wanted to experience. He apologized to his wife, took her hand, and promised to be a better husband and father. Christine was very emotional because she had waited a long time to hear those words. Even though my birthday started with a lot of drama, I am happy with the way it turned out. I know Christine is good for my son, and how much she loves him. I also know that Tom has his shortcomings and must be held accountable for that, but deep down, he loves his wife and daughter more than anything.