Post # 1
So, I’m a very regular poster but I’m going incognito. (Mostly because anyone could tell pretty easily who I am by looking at my other posts.) I know it isn’t good, but I just dont’ feel right airing my serious marital conflicts under my public profile…
We have been married for two years. We live about 15 minutes from my husband’s family, and we spend what I believe is a lot of time with them — I see members of his family once or twice a week on average. For the most part I get along great with his family, but his Mom goes off the deep end once in a while and she has said some hurtful things to me on several occasions. My husband really hates when his mother does it, but usually we don’t respond and it just blows over and everything gets back to normal after a week or two. I navigate this well, but it does take an emotional toll. I mention this all to say: I spend a lot of time with his family and I put up with a fair amount of craziness. But I’m ok with it, and I don’t complain — I know that families are hard and I want him (and us) to have a good relationship with his family even if they are a bit crazy.
My family lives far away (several hours by plane). I am close with my parents and I miss them a ton. My husband has flown out to see them a few times, but not a huge amount.
Here’s the hard part: holidays. Since we’ve been together, I’ve spent every holiday except Christmases with his family (Easter, Thanksgiving etc). But for Christmas, ever since we’ve been together (and even after we’ve been married) he stays here and I fly to see my family. This year, my parents have come to visit us for Christmas. Recently we got in a fight and he expressed anger that my family was visiting for Christmas. I felt that this was extremely selfish. My parents would be alone otherwise, and they are willing to fly all the way out here to see us, and he doesn’t want them here. During this fight, I said that at some point he would need to actually spend a Christmas with my parents at their home, and he said he would “never” do that. He says he wants to spend Christmas “just the two of us with no obligations.” But I don’t understand that. For me, that’s just not what Christmas is about. I want to be with family, and I’m willing to alternate Christmases with my family and his, but if he is “never” going to spend Christmas with my family in their home, this doesn’t seem fair!
Am I being unreasonable? Is it ok for a spouse to never travel to be with his in-laws for Christmas? I’m really lost and angry and any advice would be MUCH appreciated. Thanks.
Post # 3
Not unreasonable at all. This would have been a deal breaker for me.
Post # 4
No you are not being unreasonable.
He is being quite unreasonable.
I am actually shocked that you haven’t spent a christmas together with your husband. I think it is completely reasonable to have your family come and visit you guys. This way you could do an early or late christmas with his family or even do a big christmas at your place with both families.
I think you really need to sit down and talk this out with your husband. Maybe you could try and see where he is coming from because as of right now I don’t understand where he is coming from.
Post # 5
You are certainly not being unreasonable. Navigating the holidays has been one of the most difficult things for my Fiance and I as well. It’s a very emotional time, and no one really likes to give up something that is important to them.
I would encourage you to sit down together and try to work out a system that works for both of you. Marriage is about sacrifice, and sometimes that means giving up things that mean a lot to you. However, I totally believe that if you express how important this is to you, that your husband will try to work with you. If not, I suggest going to couples counseling so that you can get a third party to mediate the situation.
In my opinion, your husband is being unreasonable, but he is probably just having a hard time letting go of his past traditions. (I cried for like a week after we decided to split the holidays). I think having a third party there to call him out on it may be helpful.
Post # 6
You’re right. He’s being extremely selfish. It’s awful. You need to stand up for yourself and your family.
Post # 7
Wow. I can’t understand why he wants it to just be you 2, christmas is about family. We spend Christmas day with my family and then the day after with his family, or sometimes christmas eve. He needs to be more receptive to your family for sure.
Post # 8
I think the unresonableness is in the absolute of him saying he will NEVER go see your family.
Holidays are a big issue for me and FH too (in the opposite sense). One huge reason is money. I cannot take off work and spend 500+ dollars on airfare even just every other year (at least not at this point in our lives) but I fully expect once we are more settled to take turns with the “big holidays” like thanksgiving and christmas, are there maybe more issues involved or is it really that he just flat out refuses?
Post # 9
I’m sorry about your situation. Holidays are a tricky situation with merging families. Have you been able to find out why he never plans to spend christmas with your family? Sounds like there is something there that he is not saying. I don’t think spending time with his family and not yours is fair and I don’t think spliting up is a great idea either. I agree with you that holidays are about time with family. Maybe your husband is just waiting some quiet time with the two of you?
Post # 10
And I just want to add, that we’ve only been married for a year, but we have been spending the holidays together for 5 years. We always spend holidays together
Post # 11
I think the way he’s going about this is totally unreasonable. I somewhat understand an irrational (and prob unfair) desire to be with “MY” family on Christmas because honestly I kind of feel the same way. The idea of not spending Christmas in my parents’ house is really really sad to me and I have kind of requested we do spend Christmas with my family every year… but its not a demand its a request and one that will be negotiated (and probably renegotiated over and over again). Everything is compromise. If I want this, he wants that… we find some middle ground. What works for us might not work for other people and honestly if he ever really pushed to spend Christmas with his family we probably would… but he just doesn’t seem to care that much and I really do.
Bottom line is if it is important to you, he can’t just say “no” imo
Post # 12
- Wedding: February 2009 - Small church ceremony with mountain-view log cabin reception
I don’t have any great advice, but this is something we struggle with too and my heart goes out to you. It’s probably the source of our biggest fights, and there’s really no way to avoid the subject. I’ve found that if we just take one Christmas at a time (ie not try to plan them out- one at mine, one at yours, etc) that seems to be better. But you’re absolutely justified to feel like he is being unreasonable. Family and Christmas can bring out the “nuts” in people. Just keep strong and stand up for yourself and your side of the family 🙂
Post # 13
Thanks, these are helpful. One thing I should have said before is I am extremely happy in my marriage. In pretty much every other area we are pretty conflict free. I love him, respect him, laugh with him, and he is a very reasonable person on almost every issue — even if we disagree, I understand where he is coming from. So that’s why this situation is so hard — I don’t get it on some level.
I think you guys are right — we need to sit down and have a civil conversation where we try to hash things out and come to an understanding….
Post # 14
I would also like to add that DH and I have been together for 7 years and we have spent 7 christmases together.
To us the day itself doesn’t matter as long as we get to spend some time with both families over the holidays. However, our families are within a 3.5 hour drive. With a further distance we would probably spend thanksgiving with on family and christmas with the other. Switching every year!
I hope you guys can work something out!
Post # 15
He’s being very unreasonable. You definitely should have a chat with him and explain how important it is for you guys to visit with YOUR family for holidays too. I’m guessing since your parents live so far away you only get to see them a few times a year. I’m baffled as to why he’s pissed that your family is flying out to visit! That is so bizarre to me. Holidays are about spending time with loved ones, in my opinion. If he doesn’t understand that…he’s extremely selfish.
Post # 16
I am so sorry! I feel like you are being totally reasonable and he is being very selfish. I don’t know how you fix this problem, but just wanted to let you know that I don’t think you are in the wrong at all.