Help – bad in-laws & christmas – what to do?!

posted 3 years ago in Family
  • poll: What should we do? (can choose multiple)
    Go to his parents' house on Christmas day : (16 votes)
    26 %
    Go to his parents' house sometime during holidays, but not Christmas day : (14 votes)
    23 %
    Don't go to his parents' house until they say I'm welcome : (10 votes)
    16 %
    Arrange some other time during the holidays to see his siblings : (20 votes)
    32 %
    Other option described below : (2 votes)
    3 %
  • Post # 3
    1287 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    @Shkragoldfish:  This is really tricky.  I do not believe you mentioned an alternative to NOT going there??  Would you guys just stay at home, or be with your family?

    For me, holidays are a lot of ‘grin and bear it’, and very little of doing what WE want to do.  I always feel better after having driven to upteen different places, gritting my teeth thru assanine convos and statements and celebrating with families we have a love/hate relationship with, but love nonetheless.  

    I do not necessarily feel better because we spread our Christmas cheer, but because sometimes it feels nice to feel you took the higher road.  There would be a few peeps, on both sides of the families, we would LOVE to NOT see for various reasons, but we feel that if we chose that path it gives them reason to be more spiteful, sad, mopey, depressed…what have you.

    So, we suck it up, put on our happiest of faces, hug and kiss them all, and then vent to one another after it is over, while drinking a huge glass of wine.  If it becomes ‘too much’ or too hard, then make it an every other year type of deal.  Since you did not go last year, however, I would go this year for sure.  Good luck!

    Post # 5
    3016 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2014 - Prague

    So if I understand correctly, these people were totally problem free until the engagement? And now there is total irrational screaming, etc? Why hasn’t your FI talked to them about this? 

    Honestly, if someone repeatedly yelled at me, I would really have no problem TELLING them I would not be spending time with them… because of the YELLING!

    But I might start with having FI speak with them. Even if they yell/scream, if he can at least say his part rationally, then maybe some of it will sink in. 

    Ugh, they sound horrible.

    Post # 6
    1589 posts
    Bumble bee

    I might try giving the in-laws one last chance.  If they stir up drama this time, I would probably say on the way out the door.  “Thank you for hosting us, but given all the drama and tension we’ll be making other plans for holidays from here on out.”

    Post # 7
    262 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    I would give them a few hours on Christmas day but that is it.  I would not offer to host anything with them at my house. 

    Post # 8
    526 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: December 2014

    @Shkragoldfish:  What you do will depend a lot on what your FI wants to do. Does he want to see his parents? If it’s important to him to see his parents, then he should get to. And if it’s important to him that you go, then you should go. BUT if he insists that you go, you get to insist that he take up for you if your FMIL starts being hateful. It’s his job to deal with his family on your behalf and your job to deal with your family on his.

    If he doesn’t care whether or not you go, though, DON’T. There’s no point in putting yourself through unneeded stress around the holidays. Stay home, watch a Christmas movie, call your parents and chill out.

    I would definitely at least make the effort to see his siblings, though. Spending time with them around the holidays needs to be something that you do unless they’re awful, too.

    Post # 9
    2419 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2015

    I’m kind of torn on this one. If your FI wants to spend some time with his family on Christmas day, I would probably go to support him and the minute things get bad, I would leave. Having said that, I would also arrange for a dinner with his siblings while they are in town, just in case shit hits the fan pretty quickly.

    Post # 11
    1834 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    @Shkragoldfish:  I don’t care whose parents they are, my stance would be that no one gets to treat me like crap and just expect me to take it. If you go back there and act like nothing happened, they will think the way they behaved was acceptable and they can continue to treat you however they want and you’ll just tolerate it anyway.

    Talk to your fiance – it is absolutely vital to him to go over there? If it is, I would agree to go with the caveat that if anyone so much as looked at me the wrong way, I would be out the door in 10 seconds flat. Just because they’re family doesn’t mean they can abuse you or your fiance and still get the benefit of a relationship with you.


    Post # 13
    863 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2015

    @nightborn:  THIS.


    FFIL was angry with me when during a weekend away I wouldn’t stay up all night drinking.  I was ill at the time, so ill that a couple of days later I ended up in hospital.  


    As a little sidebar before I go on, both myself and FI are in our early/mid 40s…and I’ve been married before and had a great relationship with the ex ILs.  In fact, I still see my ex FIL occasionally (sadly ex MIL died nearly 3 years ago)


    FFIL sat my FI down and basically bollocked him like he was a teenager.  Insulted my illness and my upbringing – my parents were very wealthy and I went to private school and Oxford, but had a extremely stressful childhood.  I saw complete red when he said my chronic illness was just ‘an excuse’  I’ve survived cancer twice, I don’t take that sort of shit off ANYBODY.


    My response?  I didn’t see FILs for over a year.  I live 200 hundred miles away from them, and during that time I wasn’t working, so I was buggered if I was wasting the tiny amount of money I had on travelling to see people who didn’t like me.


    Anyway…in your situation, I’d tell your FI that until you’ve heard directly from your FILs that you are more than welcome in their house, and that all this ignoring and yelling shit is going to stop, that you are having NOTHING more to do with them.  


    His parents = his problem.  Have a happy Christmas with people who actually like you!


    Post # 14
    2395 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    @Shkragoldfish:  I think you have a great plan – it’s just what I was going to suggest.  Have HIM contact them and let them know ahead of time that any yelling or any other funny business will result in BOTH of you quietly collecting your things and leaving.  End of subject.

    This accomplishes 2 things:  it establishes that you 2 are a single unit and they can’t bully just you, and also that you will follow through on what you say you’ll do.  When there are no consequences to actions, people have no reason to change. 

    The main thing is that HE has to lead the charge because they’re his parents.

    Post # 15
    304 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2010


    @Shkragoldfish:  I think this sounds like the best option. My DH and I are dealing with very similar crap with his parents right now too. We figure if his mom wants to act like a toddler and throw a tantrum we will let her tantrum herself out like a toddler. Don’t subject yourself to that kind of abuse if you don’t have to. 

    Post # 16
    3016 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2014 - Prague

    Well, I wouldn’t put up with this. If your FI can’t even talk to them, I don’t know why he wants to spend time with them at all. 

    They don’t want to go to your wedding but you’re considering having a holiday with them? I would PASS on that.

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