Post # 1
I probably shouldn’t still be even thinking about this but when I came across this site, I wanted to ask you all what you thought about it…..
My husband is from Italy and his family is very close. They are Roman Catholic and his parents are as sweet as can be. However, he and I just got married this last year and it was his first time away from his family for Christmas. Tough for them I know. However, we started back in 2010 when he and I spent our first Christmas together, with going to his family’s house in Italy. They were so excited and so we were and we explained to them that we would be doing every other year with them for Christmas and every other year with my family in California for Christmas.
Things were great when we were there, they were great from our wedding last year but when Christmas came around….his parents didn’t even send us a card. This is a family who sends him a card for every birthday, saints day, etc. They are very sentimental and make a big deal out of everything.
My husband was crushed when we opend our last card from Italy and it wasn’t his parent’s card. He didn’t say much but I could tell he was upset. Well as we were leaving my family’s house to fly back home after Christmas I finally asked him if he was okay and he said he was hurt that his mom forgot him on Christmas. We talked to them on Christmas but we called.
My husband has since seen his mother in Italy (3 weeks after Christmas) and he asked her about it. She simply said she was sorry and that they are redoing their house and that project has been too much for her to handle and she though it was obvious she would give us our things when he was there. Mind you she had no idea at Christmas he was going to be there during that time and she didn’t have anything for him when he got there.
The point isn’t about a gift or anything like that, it is simply I am worried she is trying to make a point. I am actually hurt because I feel guilty for “taking him away from her” on Christmas. I made sure we spent our first Christmas togher (prior to us even getting married) with his family. I wanted to offer that to them. I thought I was doing the right thing and trying to be fair and we gave them over a year to prepare for it. Not sure what else I could have done. My husband says not to worry about it and his sister says it is nothing.
Last thing, I don’t speak Italian and his parents don’t speak Engllish. His sister speaks pretty good English but she doesn’t really communicate with me. I try to patch work some Italian together to talk to them but it is tough. I haven’t made much of an effort in learning the language since this happened. I guess I feel I need to be inspired again….ugh….communication is an issue.
Post # 3
I don’t think it’s a communication issue, I think it’s a passive-aggressive issue. I agree that it MAY have just been a slip-up, but really, who forgets to send a card to their own son and DIL on Christmas? To me it’s pretty underhanded and she did it on purpose, to make him possibly regret not spending Christmas with them.
I imagine splitting the holidays is really difficult, but it really isn’t her place to make it MORE difficult for her son and DIL to enjoy a holiday. I would let it go this time and just see how it all plays out. Just support your husband and continue living your life together. That’s really all you can actively do. Now, when it’s time to spend Christmas with your family again I guess you will see how she chooses to react that time.
Good luck! And don’t let this come between you two! 🙂
Post # 4
did you send a card to your inlaws? just asking because if shes anything like my italian mum she was waiting for you guys to make the first move as proof that you care about her – but my mum is a bit crazy, hopefully your Mother-In-Law isnt
Post # 5
@AmeliaBedelia Thanks so much for your post. That was helpful. Made me feel like my thoughts are not crazy.
@eloping That is such a great point and I am totally glad you asked. That was the funny thing, I spent weeks picking out little gifts to send them (and we spent way too much in shipping to send it to them). My husband was really busy with work during that time and couldn’t come up with ideas so I went to work and wrapped everything up individually with a number on it so they would know the order to open them up in. We wanted to make it look like we were there so I wrote a cute letter (and had my husband translate it) to discuss the gifts after they were opened. I even sent a Chrismas candle for them to put at their table and mentioned to know that when they lighted it we were there with them and that we couldn’t wait to see them sometime during the winter season….After all of this happened then I was worried that I went overboard….I am not usually this sentimental at all and I would never do this with my side of the family but I just felt like I should try and my husband definitely felt that way.
Post # 6
Honestly Christmas is, and always will be, a nightmare when you have to split it between families. You did your part, the fact that she didnt keep her end shouldnt make you feel so bad.
My FFIL/FMIL don’t even celebrate christmas but they still get angry/upset when we dont visit them on Christmas (because is is a sign we are choosing my family over his) WTF! we really can’t win. But I decided this year, as long as I make a effort to make people happy! that’s good enough. They don’t get to dictate how I spend my holiday.
The only thing I think you should do is to learn italian! Its a lovely language and will only help in this situation.
Post # 7
Starfish27: you know what i think about it!!!!!!! so funny that you’re on here 🙂
Post # 8
It could be passive aggressive on her part, but I wouldn’t read too much in to it, to be honest.
Christmas is a busy time and if she was busy with the remodeling, a card may have slipt her mind. Did she at least call or make an effort to communicate with you guys outside of the card? I know you said that she had gifts for you at home, so that’s a pretty good indicator that she may just be adjusting.
Post # 9
@Starfish27: His mom was probably just really sad he wasn’t home. Since you guys mentioned it to her, she probably won’t do it again. I think the gifts and letter was really sweet of you. Honestly, I would try to learn some Italian and surprise her when you next see her with your new language skills 🙂 Sometimes a little goes a long way, and if you try to reach out to her and make an effort to learn some of the language it’ll go a long way with the family. Plus Italian is such a beautiful language, I wish I had used mine more often, it’s all dried up and left my head now!
Italian guys and their moms have a really different bond than anything else I’ve experienced, and honestly, even if you were Italian, you guys lived in Italy and hadn’t come to see her for Christmas she still wouldn’t have sent you a card 😉