Post # 1
I was wondering if anyone had any advice on my situation. First of all I would just like to say my fiance’s family is lovely, they have always been super nice to me and are very friendly and welcoming and are also SO excited about us getting married (my fiance is the oldest on both sides out of his cousins and the frist to be getting engaged/married). We have pretty different backgrounds though.
Unfortunately, I was molested until I was about twelve by a family member on holidays. Because of this I have very hard time with holidays, especially Christmas which was the worst for it on Christmas Eve at my Grandma’s (she knew he was molesting certain grandchildren over the years but kept it covered up because he was a very respected buisness man). We no longer speak to my father’s family and have not for the last eight years. My mom’s side was pretty close but a few of her siblings had a fall out when my Grandfather died a few years back over inheritance and now our family gatherings are even smaller. Regardless of all that, the holidays are pretty pleasant now, small and quiet for a few hours.
My fiance’s family gets together for absolutely everything, with absolutely everyone. Not only do they celebrate the holiday itself, they get together the night before, and the day after for leftovers. So three days worth of being together. They do this for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and Easter. And when they get together its an all day event, from noon til 11 or so at night. And of course they still have get together for all the other smaller holidays like memorial day, labor day, fourth of july, ect.
While I enjoy spending time with them, adding this to my uneassiness with holidays its ALOT to handle. I kind of feel like I’m going to go crazy by day three…I just feel so bored sitting around all day long for hours. On top of this, they pretty much expect me to be there on all three days, if not they’re asking why I’m not there even if I’m trying to spend some time with my family (which to be honest I feel somewhat guilty leaving since it’s shrunk so much).
Fiance has an idea it bothers me, he didn’t push me to do New Year’s Day after NYE this year. I just kind of wish we’d have some time to celebrate holidays with a little bit of alone time since we’re going to become our own family soon and it’s a little daunting thinking of the holidays being so jam packed all the time in the future. Its also somewhat difficult from my perspective of being abused in the past, because for example we used to go to my Grandmother’s for Christmass Eve and that was always a really bad one for that, well I’ve pretty much stayed home on Christmass Eve, but in my fiance’s family they go to his Grandma’s. Obviously different situations, but I just have no desire to start up with that sort of thing again.
Any advice? 🙁
Post # 3
I think it’s probably best to do two things. 1. Be open to the fact that you are joining a very loving family that won’t do you any harm and 2. Ask your fiance to ease you into all the family activity knowing it will be difficult for you initially.
My family is all spread out, so we don’t get together a lot. My fiance’s family is very close and they’re a lot like your fiance’s family. Sometimes, I just don’t want to be bothered. Both of you have to remember to compromise…
Maybe instead of spending days before, day of and day after, you can do a few hours each day, then come home. Eventually, you’ll get in the swing of things. Just be open to it.
Post # 4
Do they know of your past or are you willing to let them, or maybe just FMIL, know?
Post # 5
@Birdiebaby4: I can understand being overwhelmed by how much time would be spent with the family. My SO’s family is the same way while my own family is consumed by drama on one parent’s side.
My advice would be to just flat out tell your fiance that you’re feeling overwhelmed and explain why, if you can. I’m sure he’ll understand regardless of whether or not he knows about what happened with your awful relative. If you can’t cut down on the amount of time you spend with them at holidays then make a plan on how you can get some alone time. Even spending an hour or so in another room with a book or some other activity can recharge your batteries a bit.
Post # 6
@Mars62312: My fiance knows but his family doesn’t. I really don’t mind if they know or not, I’m pretty open about it considering the whole reason it went on for so long was because relatives were covering for my uncle so I figure it’s best to talk about it so people in similar siutations don’t feel so alone or ashamed.
Post # 7
@Birdiebaby4: I think your heistations are totally justified and this is something you should ease into. My only advice would be to possibly sit down (You, FI, his parents, anyone else you want to include) and share your story so they understand that you may not be present at everything and that you’re going to need some patience.
I would make a point to go to BIG days with them at first like Christmas over Christmas Eve, Easter, Thanksgiving…one meal and you go, etc. I don’t see any need for you to be with them on NYE or NYD. Would your FI go without you? Would you be OK with that?
Post # 8
@Birdiebaby4: I don’t have the same reason but all that family time can simply be overwhelming and I have the same issue from time to time. I just get a place of ‘enough already! I just spent 16 hours with you people!’ When this happens to me, I just calmly explain to DH that I am a little burned out on family stuff and we stay in for a bit. Just tell him. 🙂
Post # 9
I have a similar situation, however, my husband’s family lives across the world. His family is very close, and a large part of his life. He talks with them very often on skype, and often wants me to talk with them when he’s not home (we speak different languages, I love them, but its hard!). When we visit them, it is nonstop family visiting (a. because they’re a VERY close family, and b. because we’re not there very often). This is completely different from my family. When I shared with my husband that this can get to be a little much for me (especially since I don’t understand everything that goes on all the time –again, language) it was kinda hard for him to handle at first… but…we work it out so that we are both comfortable.
Also, I want to add that once YOU guys become each other’s family, your family time/relationship/what works for you guys will adjust to YOUR life. I really believe this, and so does my husband. There will eventually be a shift in family dynamics, I think, once you all establish your own family.
Post # 10
are they expecting you to never see your family on holidays? why are you guys only seeing his family? i agree with the PP’s that you should just be honest with him that it’s overwhelming you but you guys should also discuss how to split the holidays between both families (yours and his).