- 3 years ago
If you’ve read or if you look back on my past posts, you know I’ve had a whole lotta problems with my boyfriends parents. To make a very long story short, BF and I have been together for 3.5 years now. He is an only child and has been doted upon and smothered by his parents his whole life-now, even as a 25 year old, they doubt and critiscize everything he does. His mother has also shownmany examples of being emotionally unstable-every time he tries to gently talk to her about backing off, she explodes into a full blown tantrum of tear filled phone calls, e-mails and texts about how he’s “breaking her heart”, etc. When we first began dating, both his parents were quite nice to me and I to them. However, as time went on, his mother became increasingly more hostile, critical, and downright cruel to me, and disrespectful of our relationship (tried to convince BF I was out to get her, insists Im out to ‘tear apart their family’, had a meltdown when we moved in together…the list goes on and on). Over time we’ve been able to take away the active fighting and cruelty and we now function as civil and polite.
This is the first holiday season since our biggest fight (last winter, I asked BF’s mom if she saw the video ‘What does the fox say?’ And it turned into a three week long fight of his mother calling him about six times a day, e-mailing, and texting that I had been sarcastic with her and tried to make her feel stupid and I was destroying her family. Yes, really.) Aside from money being tight, I truly just have no desire to gift shop, buy, and wrap for these people that have put me and my relationship through so much hell. I have absolutely no problem getting them a nice card but I feel pasting a big fake smile on my face and giving them presents and letting them give me presents is just so…well, fake.
Unfortunately BF’s parents love to put on a big show for Christmas every year. They get everyone presents and BF gets a small Mt Everest of gifts. They have us sit on the couch and open everything in front of them while they await our reactions eagerly. BF agrees with me in feeling like this tradition is juvenile and unecessary at this point in time and tried to talk to his mom about it last week by asking her, if she felt like she wanted to give presents this year, to please just give us something we can enjoy as a couple…a gift card to the movies, a kitchen gadget, etc. Unfortunately as predicted, she somewhat ignored this conversation, vaguely mm-hmming him the whole time, and then changing the subject.
I dont want to get them gifts, I dont want them to try and give me gifts while I hand them just a card, BF doesnt want to do the child-like ‘opening of the present mountain’ anymore, and his mom is definitely not listening. Currently we go to counseling twice a month (which we started going to to learn how to deal with his parents and the issues they bring about better) and our therapist has been amazing and helpful with everything so far. We are going to ask her what she thinks about this situation at our next appointment next week, but in the mean time, what do you Bees think?
How do we avoid an awkward present exchange this year?