Vent: In-Laws and the Holidays

posted 2 years ago in Holidays
Post # 2
1424 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

First of all, did one of your IL’s really say that grandkids are the most important?? Wow.

Your ILs can get over it, frankly. You gave them Thanksgiving day, they picked another day, you made plans with your family, so this is not on you or you Darling Husband, it’s on them. How rude of them to expect you to cancel plans made with your family. Guilt tripping from family members is never okay and I would shut that down. Be firm, stick to your plan. You & your Darling Husband are a married couple who makes their own decisions and plenty of couples have to split the holidays up, they can get over it. 4 hours is a long way to travel on Christmas Day. Just go one of the weekends you can. They’ll get over it.

Post # 3
2649 posts
Sugar bee

It is frustrating but be very happy about the fact that your Darling Husband is standing his ground.

Just continue on with your plans, and be normal and cheerful when you see them. Don’t let them ruin your holidays, it’s really not worth it!

If they wanted everyone together, then they can be flexible. Or, they can go to you guys – have you offered to host?

Post # 5
6996 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

Tell your Mother-In-Law “tough shit”. They got Thanksgiving, and unfortunately they decided to cancel their plans. You’ve made new plans and now it’s too late. Your parents get Christmas this year…so they can either celebrate on a date you’ve got available or they can deal with it and next year it will switch back to them.

Personally I would not cave, I’m 100% with your Darling Husband on this one and I think it’s awesome he stands up to his family. They need to learn they aren’t the priority.

Post # 6
2877 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

Stand your ground bee! You have them priority for Thanksgiving Day and THEY changed it. It’s not your fault or your problem that they changed it again after new plans were made with your family. I think splitting up holidays is perfectly fair and they are just going to have to get over the idea that you need to spend every holiday with them. It’s also complete BS that SIL gets to dictate every holiday. One of my FSILs tried that with thanksgiving a few years ago and FIs family shut that down real quick. She is never there on thanksgiving anymore but the whole family agreed not to disrupt everyone else’s plans because of one family.  

Post # 7
174 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I feel your pain. This is a sore topic between me and my husband and his parents right now. His entire family lives in one geographic area, which makes it very easy for them to all get together. We do not live in that area. And my family lives in the opposite direction. So holidays are very difficult.

Add on top of all that, his parents are divorced, so we have to manage three families. You would THINK that his parents would give us a little leeway, given that we live out of town and that we have to juggle multiple families. But no, we get guilt tripped big time. I find that patently unfair and offensive, especially considering that they seem to give no acknowledgement to the fact that my husband didn’t choose for his parents to get divorced — they did.

UGH. It’s so frustrating. I am glad you have your husband’s support. I think this is one of those things where you just have to say, “sorry, but this is the way it is.” Set your boundaries, and STICK TO THEM. If you give in on boundaries you set, they’ll learn that all they have to do is guilt and nudge you a bit to get you to change.

Also, check out the DWIL board on Baby Center.

Post # 9
891 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

They’ll learn and get it right next time around. Caving now would only lead to more antics in the future.

Post # 10
47 posts
  • Wedding: October 2018

@zpkj @tulipdazey Same issue here! His family lives in one area, in which we all get together once or twice a month since we live here as well. My family lives around 5 hours a way, and IL’s on my side are spread out as well. My Fiance actually surprises me with his view on the holidays, he actually wants to spend both Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family as we live 5 minutes away from his entire family year round. He also points out that these breaks are the best time to spend about a week with my family, as Friday-Sunday trips are too short. His IL’s are not happy with it whatsoever, as they are huge on spending holidays together. 

We did an early thanksgiving with his family a couple of days ago (family will be out of town over actual thanksgiving), and his grandparents asked what we were doing for Christmas this year in front of the entire family. I stated that we were doing it with my family, because we did it with his family last year. His grandpa asked if we could at least do Christmas Eve with them, followed by my Fiance saying no as we would have to drive 5 hours on Christmas Day then. He rolled his eyes.

Its rough. This is the first year my Fiance has not spent a Christmas with his family, and they are not taking it too well.

Post # 11
747 posts
Busy bee

I can understand where your Mother-In-Law is coming from about grandkids being the most important for the holidays. I certainly agree that more important for the kids to have the holidays with family than it is for anyone else, Christmas is a holiday for the kids, in my opinion.

However… your family needs to understand that holidays aren’t set in stone. Holidays happen when we want them to, and the dates are flexible. I don’ think I’ve celebrated Christmas ON Christmas in 10+ years due to work. Your family needs to try to be a bit more flexible regarding the holidays, or lose out on the time with you. 

Sit down and have a clear talk with them about the expectations of you from both sides of your family. Ask them to try to understand that it’s impossible to choose between family, and that youve had to make compromises so nobody will get their way 100%. Just be honest, and try to compromise.

And just remember, if ultimately they are unwilling to make compromises, you will still have a great holiday with your family. Don’t let it stress you, it’s ultimately not worth it.

Good luck!!

Post # 12
2649 posts
Sugar bee

tulipdazey :  Then that’s all you can do! Plans were made, subsequent plans were made to see your family, his sister decided to change the plans the week of a major holiday, sooo tough titty said the kitty when the milk ran dry!

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Post # 13
2199 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

tulipdazey :  I feel you Bee! I’ll echo what PP said though: thank goodness Darling Husband is on your side and isn’t afraid to make it clear to his family what the guidelines are. 

I don’t spend holidays with my family, but due to the general drama and unpleasantness when we have spent holidays with his family in the past, we have decided to make other plans for everything except Christmas Eve.

Our first skipped holiday was Easter, which his mom is STILL bringing up. When we told her we had other plans for Thanksgiving, she started the full court press guilt trip. She didn’t try to get us to change plans, but she did bring up next year. Already.  Ultimately, I just tell her that we’ll look forward to seeing them on Christmas eve.

His sisters are allowed to make other plans – because they have children and have been married for many years – but since my FH has been single for most of his adult life, his presence is just taken for granted. We’re tying to be diplomatic, but ultimately, we just don’t enjoy our time with them, and will continue to make other plans. They need to adjust their expectations, whether they want to or not.

In your case, you have family who deserves to get to see you as well. I’d try and turn the guilt right back around: “You wouldn’t want my family to miss out on seeing us, would you? I’m sure you can understand how important that is, since you always miss us when we aren’t there.” As for her expecting you to be more flexible than the SIL, it’s crap. There’s probably no talking her out of it though, so I’d just keep a happy tone and repeat “Well, we look forward to seeing you next time!” If you respond the same way every time, they eventually get the hint and leave off.

Hang tough, Bee! You’re completely in the right!!

Post # 14
713 posts
Busy bee

I feel you on the grandchildren comment! My ILs have never explicitly said that, but it’s very clear that we are the unimportant couple because we are the only ones without children. I feel like the only way we’ll become important enough to consider is when we have a baby, but this makes me want to never have a baby lol

Post # 15
1152 posts
Bumble bee

Kudos to you and your hubs for standing up for yourselves! The surest way to please no one is to try to please everyone. 

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