(Closed) My husband won’t see my family on holidays…what can I do?

posted 7 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
631 posts
Busy bee

This is a big issue in my marriage – perhaps our biggest issue.  I haven’t found a solution.  We did do two Christmases apart (even after we were married).  Then we had Christmas at our house.  This year we are with his family.  I am not sure what’s going to happen in the future, but … it is hard.  A lot of nasty fights.  My husband also seems, to me, unreasonable.  We get along on almost everything else, and he is a wonderful and unselfish person on every other issue. 

 Sorry I don’t have more advice, but at least you know you are not alone.

Post # 4
1986 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

We decided we are going to switch off every year so this year my family gets Thanksgiving and Easter and his gets Christmas.   Next year it will be opposite. This will be the first year we are employing this and I will say I’m really nervous about spending Christmas with his family and sad about spending it away from mine but it is all about compromise! 

What he is doing is not fair- and if he isn’t willing to go to your family for any holiday I would definitely go alone. 

Post # 5
5118 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Holidays were a bit of an issue with us as well (his family does a huge extended family ‘Christmaspalooza’ as I call it, while mine is just my immediate family and my grandpa). Thankfully, he’s pretty cool with switching back and forth and my family is nice about doing Christmas whenever we can make it work (3 of the 4 kids are in college, so we’ve got strange schedules), so we haven’t had to miss any celebrations yet.

I hope that counseling works this out for you two. I can’t offer too much advice, since Mr.ND has been pretty cool up to this point, but I wonder what it’ll be like when we have kids (I’d like to do our own family traditions, not ALWAYS doing our parents’ things). Has your husband even considered that? Or does he think that you AND the kids will ALWAYS go to his family stuff?

At this point, OP, I’d go to your own Thanksgiving, rather than going to his and being resentful (and reinforcing the idea that his family gets all holidays). Other bees may disagree with that recommendation, but he seems to be acting very childish and I know I’d just be a sourpuss if I was with his family for all holidays when he behaves like that.

Post # 6
14554 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Do you guys live very far from either family?  Does he not get to spend a lot of time with them?  Does he spend time with your family other wise?  I agree with @NDBee.  If it were me, I’d probably say fine, you go to yours, I’ll go to mine, see you at home after dinner. 

Post # 7
354 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I don’t know if it will work for you, but are you wedded to having Thanksgiving on THE day?  We’re doing Thanksgiving on Wednesday (in the past my parents have had it on Friday or Saturday, too).  This year it’s because of my DH’s work schedule, but if my parents or his parents were both dead set on seeing us ON Thanksgiving, I’d have no problem hosting my own a different day. 

Is it possible you could go to his parents on Thursday, and then have your own at home (either alone as newlyweds, or inviting whoever you like to share it with you) on, for instance, Saturday?  Granted, there won’t be parades or NFL games on TV, but I figure Thanksgiving is more the gathering than the particular day.

Post # 8
6661 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

I think counseling is a good start. It sounds like he wants to see his family so badly that he is not even considering an alternative or thinking about how this will affect you. To him it’s perfectly reasonable to put  his foot down and say you are either going to see his family or splitting up. He’s not absorbing how that particular action is affecting you and therefore your marriage.

The holidays are tough. It’s pretty rare that there’s an easy solution since we have all been spending them with our family’s from day #1 and it’s really hard to stop doing that. For us, even though we see my family for the majority of the year and pretty much ONLY see DH’s parents over the holidays, it’s still hard. I miss my parents on Thanksgiving and Christmas, even though I’m so happy to be with DH’s family.

Post # 9
6998 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

i would def follow in your husbands footsteps if i had the balls! haha – i love being with my family BUT this is a marriage and marriage is about compromise..we will be doing thanksgiving at my parents but to get that i had to agree to go down to his parents house friday and spend the night! (short end of the stick here! haha) then for xmas we will do christmas eve/morning with his parents (see how i get roped into spending the night there?) and head to my parents house for xmas dinner.  but see? compromise.

in all honesty (though i joked about forcing my husband to do holidays with my parents always) i would be extremely upset if either one of us refused the others family. period. holidays or not.


Post # 10
1002 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I think if your families live far apart, it would make the most sense to alternate holidays between families year to year. For Fiance and I, our families only live 30 minutes apart, so we spend time with both of our families for holidays. For Christmas, we have Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with my family, then we drive to FI’s family for Christmas day. It has worked out really well.

I do think counselling could help you guys. You really need to come to a compromise that BOTH of you will be happy with, not just him. I totally agree that it is not fair for you to not see your family during the holidays. Honestly, I think if Fiance refused to see my family, I would go by myself and he could see his family on his own.

Post # 11
141 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

My Fiance and I are dealing with this now. The last two years his mother has ended up being in the hospital sick with one thing or another, and his dad just didn’t do any dinners or anything. This year however, she’s healthy and looks like we’ll be attempting Thanksgiving. My parents planned on having theirs at about 4 and when we asked his mom, her reply was “early evening” .. we asked for a more specific time. She got pissed, threw a fit and declared that hers would be at 530. Therefore, we cant go to both. My parents offered to move their time to earlier in the day, but that meant my brother, sister in law and niece couldn’t come {they go to my SILs family functions early in the day} so I told my mom to leave theirs alone. We’re going to another family dinner that Sunday, and my parents will be there, so we’ll see them then. As it stands now, we’re going to go to my parents house to watch the Packers game early in the day, then head to his parents for dinner. 

If you’re lucky enough to live close to both sides where you can attempt to do both, perhaps try talking about that? I understand he wants to be with his family, but he should also want to be with you, as well as spend time with your family. Marriage is all about compromise. I hope you can get things straightened out, because spending the holidays without your husband is surely not your idea of a wonderful holiday.

Post # 12
418 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

It does make sense to alternate, but that’s a hard thing to give up. What we will be doing.

Christmast Eve with my family and Christmas Day with his. But our parents live about an hour apart, so that works for us. For thanksgiving, my siblings all live  a few hours away and none of his family does, so we spend it with them.

I know this is probably wrong, but if my Fiance was pulling that crap or husband year after year…I’d say fine, Christmas apart and then go to my family every other year with or without him. He’s the one not budging and he’s the one that will end up looking like an ass. But I know it’d be hard to not be with your family (him and you) on those special days too.

Post # 13
455 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

This is a huge issue.  Your husband is being self-involved and completely unreasonable.  As husband and wife, you two have your OWN family now… the two of you.  It shouldn’t be about his family or your family.  This must be balanced out.  Perhaps a pastor or counselor can help knock some sense into your husband?  Not to scare you, but my mom divorced her first husband for this exact reason.  He wouldn’t even let them go to her mother’s house for Thanksgiving the year she died… it was my Grandmother’s last Thanksgiving and he forced my mom to spend it with his family.

Biblically, once married, you and your husband leave your parents and should cleave to one another.  You are no longer two, but one flesh.

Post # 14
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

Yea this would be a HUGE issue for me. I don’t see why he doesn’t compromise on this issue. How does he not see that he is being totally selfish? I get being sad at not seeing your family for a holiday, next Christmas when we spend Christmas with his mom in NY (we are alternating and doing my fam first this year), it will be my first Christmas ever not with my family and it will make me incredibly sad. But I would never be so selfish as to deny my husband equal holiday time with his family. 

Post # 15
1210 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I am not married, but my SO and I have had similar issues in the past. His parents are divorced, so we have three families to try and see…and his mother is not happy when he’s not there for every single one. Last year, we were apart for Thanksgiving and I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with his family. We spent the 26th with my parents. This year, I really had to put my foot down…my 91 year old grandfather is staying in my parent’s home (he usually lives out of state) for the holidays, so it’s very important that I’m there and also very important to me that my SO spends time with him. 

What I did was bring up the topic every few days when I could sense he was in a good mood. I didn’t ever ask to take the conversation further, I’d say, “We don’t have to talk about this now, but I just wanted to let you know that it’s really important we figure something fair out for the holidays this year. We can just think about it for now.” 

I waited until he FINALLY brought up Thanksgiving (he’s a last minute kinda guy). He told me he was spending it with his mother. I said, “Great! So we can spend Christmas Eve with your father and Christmas Day with my family?”  It worked! 🙂 


Also… are you able to invite your family to his family’s celebration? My parents are coming with us to his dad’s side’s Christmas Eve celebration! 

Post # 16
7431 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

We are very lucky that everyone in our family is within 45 mins of driving from us. We have done it this way a few years now, and seems to work. Thanksgiving we spend dinner with my family, then go to his family for dessert and coffee. Then for Christmas, we go see his family in the morning, go to my parents to open presents with them, then to my aunt’s house to see the rest of my family. We see his sister and her family either on the Christmas Eve or the day after Christmas, depending on the day of the week and work schedules. This way, we get to spend an entire day hanging out with the kids, and more quality time with everyone because its in smaller doses

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