Post # 17
My family is 8 hours and FI’s family is 2 hours away. We rotate Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it’s hard. My brother and SIL go on a trip with her family every Thanksgiving, so I only see them for Christmas every other year. The last few years, we’ve actually celebrated our family Christmas on the weekend before Christmas so that everyone has a chance to see each other, but the travel was way too hard on Fiance and me so I don’t think we’ll be able to do that anymore. It really stinks, but it is what it is. It wouldn’t be fair to do anything but alternate.
Post # 18
Thanks for the advice and sympathy, everyone. To follow up on a few suggestions: we don’t plan on having kids for quite some time, so at the moment that’s not a wedge issue.
Fiance and I have both lamented that we can’t just invite people to our home for holidays, but we both agree it wouldn’t really work – it would mean upending 30+ years of ‘tradition’ on both sides, and while I think that can be healthy, I think we’d spend Christmas alone if we told our families “hey we’re not coming, but why don’t you come see us?” Both my family and FI’s are very “rooted” where they are, and will just counter that logically it makes more sense for us to come to them.
I think Fiance agrees with me that it’s the most “fair” for us to switch off, the problem is that I feel like such a jerk for “forcing” it on him. Of course I will be sad to miss holidays with my family, but I’ll also be happy to be with him and be part of his traditions. It makes me upset that I’m willing to compromise my own sadness and my family’s disappointment for us to share holidays, but he would rather disappoint me every year than miss his family Christmas. I don’t know how to stop thinking like that. It also makes me feel like he’s sort of unconsciously casting me as this person that’s making him “choose” between me and family… which I don’t think I’m trying to do… I feel like there has to be a difference between saying “them or me” and acknowledging that there’s only one Christmas a year and yes, most couples figure out some way to spend it together..
Post # 19
@ArwenBride: “I’m not going to lie, missing Christmas with your family is going to suck. It’s really difficult. I cried the first time. BUT it does get better/easier…especially once you have an idea of what to expect. What sucks in your situation is that you don’t know whether your Fiance is going to be willing to go through the same thing for you…and he needs to. “
Yes, this is exactly what I’m afraid of! I’m a big “pre planner” and he is not, so I’m frustrated that I want to have it written in stone “this Xmas is your family, next year is mine” and he just wants to play it by ear. I’m afraid that as next Xmas gets closer he will say “gee, well, I really need to be there this year because…” or that he’ll be so gloomy about missing “his” Xmas that I’ll feel bad for “making” him come to mine (and resentful that he doesn’t want to come to mine..)
Post # 20
I’ve put this off until we have kids – until that it doesn’t matter ALL that much. We live near his family and 500 miles from mine. Thanksgiving is a huge holiday for them so this year we will be with his fam for that and most likely go our separate ways for xmas. Last year, we did Thanksgiving apart and he came to Xmas with my family.
I don’t see much of an issue being apart until we have children – then we will do what is best for our own family, not what everyone else wants us to do.
It would be great to spend all of our holidays together but it’s just not feasible and I don’t expect him to be apart from his family beacuse I don’t want to be apart from mine!
Post # 21
Edit – and I get him with the niece/nephew thing – my nephew is 2 and won’t miss xmas with him for anything! Fi is welcome to join but it’s kind of a no go for me to miss xmas – it’s so fun with my nephew!
Post # 22
Alternate holidays. He’s gotta be willing to meet you halfway on this. If he feels guilty, that is his matter to work through. His working with you needs to surpass his guilt. I know it’s not the same, but there’s always Skype. Maybe there is a way to make Skype more routine so that when holidays away come up it is a more readily accessible alternative. I understand his wanting to be with his niece or nephew, but what about fact that you’re missing precious remaining time with your folks? (Not to get all doom and gloom here but just realistic — the time you spend with your family is no less precious.)
Here’s another thing to throw into the rotation: Why not have his family or your family visit you instead of you being the ones to always haul yourselves around? You can take turns hosting and that might help even things out somehow.
Post # 23
@hollysprig: Have you explained to him that you feel like he’s going to go back on what he’s agreed too?
I’m a big pre-planner too and my DH’s family is not. It can make things difficult. Then I realised something: I just need to get my DH on board and the rest will follow and make sense somehow. DH gets upset when I start talking about Christmas in September, but I believe that he appreciates it come December. We have to spend a lot of time traveling (both sets of parents live far enough way that we have to stay the night) and want to have our own traditions and parties in the holiday season. The only way this can happen is pre-planning.
Is your Fiance this inflexible about other things? It sounds like he really doesn’t want to meet you halfway on this. You shouldn’t feel guilty either. This is what happens with most families…kids grow up, find partners, and holidays get complicated. He needs to make you a priority because soon, you will be a family.
Post # 24
The reality for us is that our families will never live near enough for us to see both on Christmas or any other holiday. We are a flight away from both families at this time. In the past we were driving distance to his so we would see them more often through out the year and then do Christmas/New Years with mine (less vacations days necessary at work). Since we moved further away we have made an alternating plan. It is not what I ever imagined as I would rather have everyone in one place and of course miss my family when I am with his as both celebrate in completely different styles. He misses his with mine too but it is really the best solution. Luckily both of our families accept our situation. We did one Christmas alone where we decided we would stay home and celebrate together but it was also not the solution. Last year I flew to my family for Thanksgiving for the first time in 5 years and then we both did Christmas with his Fam. This year we will be on vacation over Thanksgiving (no families) and then fly to mine together in for Christmas/New Year. We try to coordinate our alternating years to align with friends who are also alternating so that we can meet up with old friends at the same time as it is expensive to fly home.
Maybe you could do a Christmas/Thanksgiving alternation so you do both get to see your families during the season each year? I know I felt much better missing my family at Christmas sicne I had just seen them for Thanksgiving.