Author Topic: Christmas  (Read 11250 times)

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Offline Barbie

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Re: Christmas
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2010, 05:14:31 PM »
And I too already put up all my decorations but DH says no lights until after Thanksgiving.

Offline Scoop

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Re: Christmas
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2010, 05:43:11 PM »
I think the expression that fits here is "If you don't like something, change it.  If you can't change it, change the way you think about it."

I agree that you should offer to go visit them for lunch or something.  You know, you can put your own pressure on her, without stamping your feet or anything.  I can see that if they're flying in they won't have access to their own car to come down to visit you.  I think if they borrowed SIL's parents car, it would just be ONE more thing that they are OWED.

On the 'change the way you think about it" side, well, I have some questions.  You said that DD & SIL had Christmas with you last year, did they go visit his family?  When they come for Thanksgiving, will they go visit his family?  It could be that as a couple they've decided that, they will have Thanksgiving with one family (only) and Christmas with the other (only). 

I always felt bad for couples who had both sides of their family in the same town/area.  It always seemd that my cousins had to split themselves in half 10 times to see everyone they "had" to see.  We alternate Christmas between the IL's and my FOO and when we're with one side, we focus on them.  I like it that way.

So what I'm saying is that it doesn't have to be a fight.  You can tell her that you really want to see her, and you completely understand her position, but surely she can 'sneak out' for a couple of hours and would she like to go out for lunch & a pedicure, or supper & a movie?

Or you can ask her what their intentions are for future Christmases (as in "is this a new policy for alternating? or does the family who buys the plane ticket get to decide? ").

I don't know, there seems to be some information missing here.   

nonamehere

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Re: Christmas
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2010, 06:09:57 PM »
Yes Scoop, they did go visit his family last year.  They left our house Thanksgiving evening to spend the rest of the weekend with his family and the day after Christmas to spend the remainder of the time through New Year's with his family and they weren't even married.  I fully understood and expected that he/they would want to visit his fam.....I would have thought less of him if he didn't.  The only reason we had the actual holidays with DD was that the plans to be together at those time were already established before they were engaged in August.  However, that is when the trouble started as FMIL was pissed that we expected DD to keep prior commitment and her son chose to be with us her rather than them.  She's been bitching about it for a solid year in one way or another.  Again, that is my frustration, you would think in 12 days, DD would find a way to accommodate her family as they did his last year.....in spite of the fact that it cut each of our visits shorter than planned. 

As for this Thanksgiving, my Dad is dying of cancer and mother just got out of hospital following colon cancer surgery herself.  I am staying at their house to care for them and Thanksgiving will be here as both are too sick to go anywhere else.  DD and SIL will come here for Thanksgiving as they are about 40 minutes away.  If I wasn't here, we wouldn't be seeing them as travel time would be prohibitive.  So, a couple of hours on Thanksgiving with very stressful circumstances has become part of the justification for spending the totality of their Christmas break with SIL FOO.  Again, I didn't know I had raised such an insensitive DD, but I am finding that I have. 

I tried the subtle approach that maybe we could meet for lunch or something and I was told that this would upset MIL and that again, the time was to be devoted to them since they bought tickets.  I feel my daughter has sold her soul to the devil.  I'm trying to change my attitude, trying to keep from having a heart as hard as a rock.  DD has really let me down and I think I am less able to handle it because of everything going on with my parents.  It feels like my heart is breaking on so many levels.  Sick parents, DD who is setting us aside, husband out of work, no income, a home that won't sell and what seems like much more.  I'm tired. 

Offline Barbie

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Re: Christmas
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2010, 06:39:02 PM »
Nonamehere,

You're going through a very difficult time right now, you can only spread yourself so thin. I don't really know what i can say to make you feel better. I was taking care of my father and at the same time I thought I was losing my son, I know it's heartbreaking. I think for now you need to concentrate on yourself so that you can take care of your parents who need you, no one knows how much longer they'll be around and when it's all set and done you'll find great satisfaction knowing you did everything you could for them and have no regrets.

I'm sorry for what your DD is putting you through but I don't think you should be worrying about her right now with everything else you have going on.

Please take care of yourself, stay strong. You're in my prayers.

                                           Hugs.

Offline Pen

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Re: Christmas
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2010, 10:05:33 PM »
Nonamehere, it's hard enough to deal with rejection under the best of circumstances. I've been thinking of you and your situation all day, fantasizing about how your DD's MIL would react to a phone call from you where you lay it all out in your best Kathy Bates style - IOW, "This is  how it is and here's how it's going down, lady...I don't care whether or not you approve, this is what's happening. Now hand over my daughter, get out of the way, or get run over."

I wonder what would happen?

Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Pen

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Re: Christmas
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2010, 10:39:37 PM »
...If your daughter wants to see you, and isn't---don't blame her husband.  Blame her.  She isn't standing up for herself.  Your daughter has the choice to see you.  She can't be made to not see you.  Yes...she can have to deal with pouting and whining and likely passive aggressiveness from her mil and likely her dh when her mil whines to him about it...but she has the choice to see you if she really wants it.

When I went to visit my DF & his wife, I asked beforehand if they would mind me spending a day with a dear old friend who had moved across the country to their area. DF & SM knew I hadn't seen in person in years and how much it meant to me to squeeze in a quick visit. SM said she'd be happy to drive me to a car rental agency nearby (they're really rural.) I made travel plans and my friend cleared her work schedule as well as made reservations for us with a guide for some touristy-type fun. At the very last minute, literally, SM informed me that the only car rental was 2 hours away (I later found that was untrue) & that she and DF refused to drive me that far. There were no other modes of transportation available to me. It was impossible for me to visit my friend.

Big time sabotage!! I had to call and cancel which hurt my friend's feelings and created a big hassle with the tour company.

My point is that some people are so crafty in their manipulations that they will actually make it impossible for us to see those we love. I'm pretty smart; I thought I had it planned and sewn up, but I forgot who I was dealing with. Nonamehere, your daughter may be dealing with a master manipulator like my SM. Since your DD is young and in a subordinate position, she may feel she can't fight it.

I also agree that your DD is being bought. My DS is in a similar situation and it breaks my heart. I feel for you all!

Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

RedRose

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Re: Christmas
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2010, 04:47:38 AM »
Well,  maybe next year their time will be equally spent between both families...then nobody gets hurt or feels cheated.

seasage

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Re: Christmas
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2010, 06:51:06 AM »
As for this Thanksgiving, my Dad is dying of cancer and mother just got out of hospital following colon cancer surgery herself.  I am staying at their house to care for them and Thanksgiving will be here as both are too sick to go anywhere else.  DD and SIL will come here for Thanksgiving as they are about 40 minutes away. 

I think I would do a little undercut manoeuvre at this point.  I would send a lovely Thanksgiving card to SIL's parents, saying that you are sorry that both families cannot be together at your house this year for Thanksgiving, telling them how your dad is doing, what you are doing on the west coast (or wherever you are right now) etc.  It might bright you and SIL's family closer together so that you and they can share DD and SIL next year. 
 

nonamehere

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Re: Christmas
« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2010, 05:56:25 PM »
Seasage,
I appreciate you conciliatory approach.  And yes, a future where we jointly enjoyed our great kids together when possible would be my goal.  I myself had a MIL that did not want this type of approach, but my own sister and my dearest friend both have IL situations that are nurturing, mutually supportive, encouraging and friendly....FOO-FOO.  As a matter of fact, my BIL has spent countless days with my parents during their illness, single handedly spending time with my Dad while Mom had surgery, taking my Mom to the hospital when both my sister and I were unable to do so and so forth.  So yes, yes, I have seen and envy those types of great IL relationships.  That is why, when planning DD's June wedding, I made many friendly overtures to DD's FMIL.  I included FMIL and FFIL names on the wedding invitation (with MIL's approval) even though they did not (nor did we expect) them to participate financially, I contacted her no less than three times to get the list of those she wanted invited from SIL's family/friends before she saw fit to provide the information (this was most stressful when trying to plan), sent Christmas card and token Christmas gift with DD when they went for visit last year all without acknowledgement and continued to make other subtle attempts to be friendly through the process without pushing a strong relationship that she may not be interested in having.  Through the process I found that this was a woman who one evening when DD and SIL were there for a visit, went to her room and closed the door for the evening when she found that DD and SIL had a breakfast get together planned the next morning with SIL's paternal grandparents.  She threw a huge fit I guess because they had not sought prior approval and as a result they did not meet GM and GF for breakfast.  When preparing the seating chart for the wedding, DD was told that MIL did not wish to be seated with these grandparents nor did she want her own mother or sister at her table.  DD and I didn't know who in the world we could seat at her table that she would like.  Even though we thought it was a slight to SIL's grands we ended up seating SIL's pastor/wife along with FIL's hunting buddy's family at her table.  Very strange but she was totally pleased.  Anyway, wedding and reception were lovely , no problems.  All guests seemed to enjoy fully but not one word after the event from MIL.  One day about two months after the wedding, while on FB I said HI on chat and she immediately had to go fix lunch.  Also sent her a link to access all wedding pictures without charge and never heard one word from her.  The one thing I can say and that my daughter says is that outwardly, MIL has always been kind to DD.  I, however, do not find her lastest manipulation with regard to Christmas travel to be in best interest of DD at all.  Anyway, that's what this is all about.  I don't really think MIL would buy any reference to us spending Thanksgiving together in IL bliss.  That train has left the station.   

nonamehere

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Re: Christmas
« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2010, 08:55:25 PM »
Pen,
Believe me, if I were the only one involved, I would have gone Kathy Bates on MIL during the wedding planning.  However, as we all know, this would only mean trouble for DD and that I do not want.  I must admit that I went KB on DD for her failure to speak up.  That conversation took place today.  I had been trying to hold it all in but today the valve blew on my pressure cooker.  Anyway, it became pretty clear today that DD was swept up in MIL's manipulation.  All plans were negotiated between SIL and MIL and DD had paid no attention to the particulars.  I think it was only when I blew my stack that she even realized it added up to twelve days and by then, the tickets were purchased and the stipulations were in place.  Having witnessed MIL's blow up over breakfast with the GPs (see post above) I'm sure she was afraid to suggest any face time with her DF and DM.  I think my own sadness and grief with everything else going on caused me to jump to harsh conclusions regarding DDs complicity and involvement in hatching the plans.  I did point out that if DD did not want the kinds of relationships that MIL had with the people in her life (again see above post), she might want to get her head in the game.  This, I believe, my DD heard.  Oh yes, another MIL relationship example I can share.  MIL asked DD not to include the SILs GMs on the list of people that DD would like invited to the bridal shower because MIL didn't want to have to be the one to bring them!  Nice.  My DD was totally not going down that road and invited both GMs.  However, since no one offered to drive them to the shower, they were not able to come.   Anyway, today I reaffirmed my deep love for DD and told her that my biggest fear was that MIL was going to come between us and that I needed to know that she wasn't going to float along on the clouds where these matters were concerned.  DD is no match for her MIL and I think her DH is just a typical man.....I'm glad I've come around to this way of thinking because I hated being so aggravated with DD and SIL.   DD said that SIL is going to tell MIL that they want to plan to spend a day with us during the visit...I told DD that if there is too much push back regarding this suggestion, she should figure out how to pay for her own ticket rather than being bought.  We'll see......hopefully MIL will cut them a little slack.       

Offline Pen

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Re: Christmas
« Reply #25 on: November 22, 2010, 11:21:23 PM »
I'm glad progress is being made with your DD. You stood up for yourself and DD finally listened - I'm in awe. You've taught me a great lesson, Nonamehere. I hope your DD's MIL learns something, too.

Your DD is capable of being a thoughtful young woman; how sweet of her to go ahead and invite the GMs even though her MIL wanted them excluded. You can be proud of the child you raised.

Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

LaurieS

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Re: Christmas
« Reply #26 on: November 22, 2010, 11:30:54 PM »
DD is no match for her MIL and I think her DH is just a typical man.....I'm glad I've come around to this way of thinking because I hated being so aggravated with DD and SIL.   DD said that SIL is going to tell MIL that they want to plan to spend a day with us during the visit...I told DD that if there is too much push back regarding this suggestion, she should figure out how to pay for her own ticket rather than being bought.  We'll see......hopefully MIL will cut them a little slack.       
I may have read more into what you are trying to say, but it sounds to me that you have been able to shift the blame/responsibility 100% onto the MIL, especially in your own eyes.  While the MIL may have presented an offer full of unnecessary requirements, the fact still remains that your dd and her husband jumped at the opportunity.  When you say that your daughter is no match for her MIL, I as an outsider feel that the boxing gloves have been donned by you and battle lines already drawn. Here they are the first holidays as a married couple and this is what they are facing?

It's comforting to hear that your sil is concerned about his wife spending time with her own family regardless of the health challenges facing her grandparents.  He sounds like a reasonable and balanced person and that your dd is rightfully his prime concern.  But all that could change if he feels like he has to constantly defend his own mother when it comes to you.

Once again, as an outsider simply reading your postings, I see a resentment towards his mother that has been ongoing for about a year.  I'm not saying that you are right or wrong.. I'm saying that it's there, loud and clear and unless you want to have years and years of holiday battles, you may need to alter your attitude or approach concerning this woman. Your dd nor her husband deserve to dread every holiday for the rest of their lives, knowing that one of you will be angry.

The responsibility of their relationship with both extended families lies solely with the young couple.  The last thing this couple needs is someone who is encouraging them that it's acceptable to shift blame and responsibility when they in fact are the ones who agreed to such a ludicrous plan.

I always try to keep in mind, it's not about equal time, but quality time.  In the reading of your post something that struck me as odd was when you justified the kids spending both Thanksgiving and Christmas with you due to the fact that plans had been made previous to their August engagement.  Are you stating that you made plans as early as July and they could not be altered?  Was this how your dd wanted to approach the holidays as a newly engaged woman? 

The only thing I'm suggesting is that you don't go into battle with your sil's mother... it's not worth it, nor will you benefit in the end.  Making her the bad guy to justify what your dd is choosing isn't the answer either... at 26ish she should be able to navigate with her husband on their own.
 


1Glitterati

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Re: Christmas
« Reply #27 on: November 23, 2010, 12:44:17 PM »
...If your daughter wants to see you, and isn't---don't blame her husband.  Blame her.  She isn't standing up for herself.  Your daughter has the choice to see you.  She can't be made to not see you.  Yes...she can have to deal with pouting and whining and likely passive aggressiveness from her mil and likely her dh when her mil whines to him about it...but she has the choice to see you if she really wants it.

When I went to visit my DF & his wife, I asked beforehand if they would mind me spending a day with a dear old friend who had moved across the country to their area. DF & SM knew I hadn't seen in person in years and how much it meant to me to squeeze in a quick visit. SM said she'd be happy to drive me to a car rental agency nearby (they're really rural.) I made travel plans and my friend cleared her work schedule as well as made reservations for us with a guide for some touristy-type fun. At the very last minute, literally, SM informed me that the only car rental was 2 hours away (I later found that was untrue) & that she and DF refused to drive me that far. There were no other modes of transportation available to me. It was impossible for me to visit my friend.

Big time sabotage!! I had to call and cancel which hurt my friend's feelings and created a big hassle with the tour company.

My point is that some people are so crafty in their manipulations that they will actually make it impossible for us to see those we love. I'm pretty smart; I thought I had it planned and sewn up, but I forgot who I was dealing with. Nonamehere, your daughter may be dealing with a master manipulator like my SM. Since your DD is young and in a subordinate position, she may feel she can't fight it.

I also agree that your DD is being bought. My DS is in a similar situation and it breaks my heart. I feel for you all!

Pen...I think that is awful.  It amazes me that people like that retain family and friends.  I guess this is where the hard and cold me comes in...that'd be enough for me to run for the hills.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Christmas
« Reply #28 on: November 23, 2010, 03:42:48 PM »
Me, too!!!  :(
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline Pen

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Re: Christmas
« Reply #29 on: November 23, 2010, 03:56:24 PM »
Yes, unfortunately she makes all the decisions for my DF so I feel someone needs to kind of look out for him. She's done way more that's worse than that story...and she's invited herself and DF for Christmas!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb