Post # 1
I am getting incredibly frustrated with DH’s parents and the way they act when it comes to holidays. When I was growing up my family would share the holidays between all members of the family. My parents would host thanksgiving and Christmas and my mom’s parents would host New Year’s. My dad’s mom didn’t host anything by choice, but was invited to every celebration. And now that I’m grown up and married they’re happy to do whatever works well and to have us come whenever we can. They live half an hour from us, and DH’s parents moved from the same olace to a city 2 hours from us a year and a half ago.
But Dh’s family is not understanding about the holdays. To them its a personal insult if we don’t spend EVERY SINGLE holiday at their house. Including MY BIRTHDAY! This Thanksgiving was the first holiday that I have spent with my parents in over two years, and we were only able to do that because DH’s family planned their celebration for the day before.
As a result of this, Darling Husband and I decided to spend Christmas with my family this year. Last year we saw them briefly before leaving to visit his family. Last night I saw his sister, and I told her that we are planningto invite their family to come to our house for Christmas Eve and then we will spend Christmas day with my family. It seems fair to me, especially since we have lived in our current house for over a year and they have been here twice, yet keep demanding that we make the drive to their house at least once a month. Well, apparently this didn’t seem fair to them. Darling Husband just got a call from his mom trying to guilt him into coming to their house for Christmas. Her reasons? “You hardly spent any time with us last Christmas and we asked you in August.”. First of all, we spent much more time with them last Christmas than we did with my family! They just live so far away! After thinking back for a while I managed to remember the conversation we had in August. They did not ask us to come, they pretty much demanded that we be there. Then they proceeded to make fun of the idea that I would want to spend time with my family on a holiday. As in, they actually turned it into a mean joke and laughed about it! Even remembering that makes me so angry. In addition to all of that, we really don’t want to spend 4 hours driving on Christmas day. Especially since his parents refuse to ever come visit us (they wouldn’t even drive their daughter down last night for somethng that I had been planning for a month, her boyfriend had to go pick her up AND drop her off later. He spent almost 8 hours driving for her, to take her to a family member’s house, so that her parents could spend the day relaxing).
I’m just so done with this whole situation, and now I have to call them and tell them that no, we will not be coming to their house for Christmas because believe it or not I do actually want to spend time with my family as well. And I don’t know if I can do it without getting mad and yelling. Because really, this is so frustrating.
If you live near both of your families how do you manage the holidays? Clearly we need some sort of solution for this.
Post # 2
My FI’s family set up a holiday rotation. One year it’s at his parents, the next year it will be at our house, sibling’s, etc
I would suggest doing Thanksgiving at your family’s, then next year at his. Same with Christmas.
Just a thought.
Post # 3
bibber: I wish that would work. We tried that the first year, but his parents just started asking us to come to see them ridiculously early and then getting upset if we said no. And since my parents don’t want to be pushy or cause any fights we just worked around it. The thing is that DH’s parents honestly believe that they deserve to have us over for any and every holiday, and think its ridiculous that I want to see my family.
Post # 4
I’m just so done with this whole situation, and now I have to call them and tell them that no, we will not be coming to their house for Christmas…
Why do you have to be the one to make this call? This needs to come from your husband, otherwise you will always be the evil spouse who keeps their son away from them.
My $.02: I only spend the holidays with people I care about. I do not spend time with in laws or people who don’t treat me well. Why not think about you two spending Christmas Eve together (alone), then you spending xmas day with your family and him spending it with his? It sounds like way too much drama to continue doing what you’re doing. You two are adults! They shouldn’t get to dictate who you choose to spend your time with!
Post # 5
bettercallsaul: I have to make the call because he can’t. He’s scared of saying no to his mom, because honestly, she can be terrifying. She’s used to getting her way and throws a fit when she doesn’t. Its better that she be mad at me than her own son.
That does sound like an interesting solution, but I don’t really want to spend Christmas apart. Plus I do generally like his family, and his sister and I are very good friends. I don’t want to give them the impression that I don’t want to spend any time with them, because thats not true.
Post # 6
- Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle
We do one Christmas with DH’s family, the next with mine. No Thanksgiving to worry about here! Ask them how they would feel if you spent all of the holidays with your family – try and put the boot on the other foot to see if they see your point of view. Good luck!
Post # 7
Tigerlilybride: Sorry, that’s not good enough. He MUST be the one to make the call. He can read it off cue cards if he must. He can even send a text.
But it is totally unacceptable for him to wimp out and expect YOU to be the one to talk to HIS mother.
Tell him you’re not telling them. So either he does the call, or they find out when you don’t arrive at their house on the 25th.
Post # 8
Tigerlilybride: OFGS- you are adults. Write out a script on an index card, practice saying what you want to say then call her. If she spazzes out on you, just “I’m sorry you feel that alternating Christmases with DH’s family and mine is not fair but,… then repeat the script. Repeat as necessary. Do not deviate from the script. Don’t get involved in defending your decision or compromising.
Post # 9
My FI’s family is EXACTLY like this. To the point where my SIL doesn’t even want to come home, but she is too scared to not come home. It’s ridiculous.
A couple years ago, when Fiance and I moved in together, we put our foot down. We rehearsed an answer and any time someone talked about the holidays we would say the same thing. That this “insert time here” would be the time we would come over for the holidays and that is it. They were pissed the first year, and honestly we still hear about it sometimes, but they have gotten a lot better since they realized we are a united front that won’t put up with their crap!
Post # 10
Tigerlilybride: Do what you want. Seriously. This is what I’ve learned dealing with Christmas and trying to split it up. They may not like it but – too bad. If you give in to their demands, they’ll never stop.
My Mother-In-Law can’t seem to understand either why I would possibly want Darling Husband and I to spend half of Christmas with my family. It’s so absurd. Before we got married we discussed it and she LOST HER SHIT saying how there’s no way she will not be spending all of Christmas with her son. Well, guess what? We do what we want and she’s started to bitch less about it.
Post # 11
Your Darling Husband needs to stick up for you and seeing your family, because he loves you and recognizes that you want to see your family for the holidays too. His family is being ridiculous. Tell them outright you’re not coming. If they get weird/aggressive about it, ignore them. What isn’t fair is having large portions of your holiday spent in the car in an effort to appease his family constantly.
Post # 12
I wish I had advice for you but honestly I could’ve wrote this post myself. I am in your same position and it makes the holidays hell for me. I know holidays are about spending time with family, but when you have to go a thousand places you don’t enjoy it anymore. Just wanted you to know your not alone.
Post # 13
Look, you can do whatever you’re going to do. You don’t have to justify your actions to a bunch of internet strangers. But your post highlighted some ridiculous things that both you and your husband put up with from his family. If you continue to bow down to their demands, this will not change. If your husband continues to be afraid of his mom and not stand up for you, this will not change. So if you both refuse to take action, I don’t really think you can complain about it…
Post # 14
Thank you everyone. You’ve all given great advice. I’m still going to make the call,because I do understand why Darling Husband feels like he can’t. In all honesty I would classify his parents (expecially his mom) as emotionally abusive. She guilt all of her children into doing whatever she wants. SIL is about to graduate high school, and she’s basing her life decisions off of what classes she can take at the tiny college near them instead of doing what she actually wants to because both of her older brothers left immediately and she promised her parents she would stay so that she wouldn’t hurt them as well. But I will stand up to them, and I will tell them that we will be spending Christmas with my parents this year. If they want to see us on Christmas eve they can come here. Writing it out is a great suggestion, I will definitely be doing that.
Post # 15
We do Christmas eve and Christmas morning at my in laws. Christmas day dinner at my parents. Boxing Day at my in laws but last year they invited my parents to come for Boxing Day so it was with both. I can’t wait till we have our house so we can host.