Mother-in-Law giving husband's childhood possessions to his niece

Ms. Practical:

My husband and I have been together for 5 years, married for 1.5. My husband was a state champion soccer player throughout his childhood. Over the years, his parents saved his soccer jackets with all of his patches (wins) and his name embroidered on the jackets. Some were from when he was really young and just so cute to look at. The problem I have is his mother took the liberty of giving these jackets to her first grandaughter. His nine year old niece. We are now in the exciting stage of trying to start a family and I would like to have the jackets for our children. How does my husband ask his mother to get the jackets back and to stop giving his childhood mementos to his niece? If she didn't get the jackets back, can he ask his sister for their return?

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Ownership Discussion
by: Ms P Etiquette

Dear Wife,

There seems to be a misunderstanding between your husband and his mother regarding the ownership of his childhood things. I suggest he and his mother have a friendly chat in which he can let her know what he wants and ask her if she feels these items belong to her exclusively. Perhaps because these items have gone untouched by your husband for a few years, she thought he wasn't interested in them? If there are several of these mementos, why not share them with other grandchildren? Clearly, your mother in law thought highly enough of her son's accomplishments to want to share them within the family. Anyway, it is worth a discussion before feelings are hurt and a rift comes between your husband and his mother.

Good luck.
Ms. Practical Etiquette

Response to Ms. Practical
by: Anonymous

Ms. Practical:
Thank you for your thoughts. The rift between my husband and his mother has been there since he could form an opinion on his own! When you suggested asking her if she feels as though she has sole ownership, well that rang a bell. She is controlling, manipulative and is never wrong, about anything. She owns everything and everyone in the family, in her mind of course. His sister, his niece's mother was a very good swimmer. We don't know why she didn't give her her mother's awards and equipment. My husband has no problem sharing his childhood items, his mother gave them all to only her favorite granddaughter, and left nothing for our children or his other niece. In the grand scheme of things, it's not the end of the world, just bizarre and another action to hurt the black sheep (my husband), I suppose. Thank you!

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