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Invited Once a Year

Started by ruthann, December 13, 2011, 05:32:26 am

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Good morning to all my wonderful WW!  I have a wonderful step-daughter-in-law and stepson.  They have raised 5 wonderful children.  Now that the children have grown and there are no more baptisms, plays, graduations, etc. we rarely see one another.
We live about 15 miles apart.  They invite us over once a year for dinner and exchange Christmas gifts.  I attribute this to a bit of a strained relationship with my DH and his DS.  It seems to stem back years ago when his mother and dad were divorced.  DH has two daughters from his former marriage that have a good relationship with him.  There was never any abuse, etc. 
It is just so awkward to go to their house once a year to exchange gifts.  It's like putting on a fake smile. 
We did get together at my stepdaughter's house for Thanksgiving.  I had a family reunion at our house but stepson couldn't come because he was out of town on business. 
Is there anything tactful I can say to my step-daughter-in-law before our once a year visit?


I strongly recommend not betting more than you can afford to lose.  No matter how tactful you try to be, you do risk getting cut off totally.  If the problem truly stems from DH and DSS having a problem, there's not much you and DIL can do.  All you can do is invite them to things as often as you feel comfortable and graciously accept their negative replies and RSVP when they invite you.  How does DH feel about this?  Has DSD said anything about this?  Does she see her brother more often?

Good Luck.


I agree with herbal.  It doesn't sound like there has been any issues between you and them?  Having kid-type events to attend does make you see people more often, so when those things are no longer in the picture, not so many meetings.  I think that's normal.  I have friends that I used to see all the time, 2-3 times a week because our children shared the same sports, school, PTA, parades, etc.  Now that all our kids are adults, I'm lucky if I see them once a year.  That's just circumstance.

I would just keep the contact as it is, like herbal said, invites and such, because their AC may start having their own children and then there may be events again.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Quote from: ruthann on December 13, 2011, 05:32:26 am
Is there anything tactful I can say to my step-daughter-in-law before our once a year visit?

I'm not sure what it is that you want to say?  Do you want these 1/yr visits to end?  Or change?   Let us know some of your ideas about what you want to say and we can critique- ;)


Well, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I would like to visit them more often.  When I was growing up, I went to visit my grandparents at least once a week.  We ate over there often and we invited grandparents over or invited them out to eat with us.  The only time we get together is because of an event.  We never just get together to be together.  A friend of mine asked me if my stepson and his wife just invite us over for dinner--no occasion.
I had to say, "no".  As I write this, I'm thinking it might be good to invite them over for a Sunday dinner every few months.  Then, perhaps they might reciprocate.
My DH and I have never received one telephone call from a grandchild. 
I send them birthday money.  They wait until they see us to thank us, if they even remember since we see each other so seldom. 
My step DIL's dad comes over to their house quite often.  I just think it's so sad. 
I feel close to my stepdaughters.  Actually, feel closer to them than my own daughter who lives 1000 miles away and rarely communicates with me.  I talk to my stepdaughters at least once a week.  Guess I'm feeling sorry for myself.  I have to learn to accept things as they are.  I should realize that it could be a lot worse. 


Maybe you and SD could get together more?  A full fledged dinner visit with everyone there seems like a big deal (would be to me) but more casual visits might lead to more interaction?  Maybe?


Ruthann, I think your problem is in talking to your DIL about it.  I don't think that women have taken on the role of "social directors" as much anymore.  I know that I would resent the implication.

It's up to your DH and DS to work on their relationship.  And it takes work, from both sides!  It looks like they've let it settle to the lowest possible point and that's too bad.

I agree that you should invite them to supper.  If you want to see them, then GO FOR IT!  Give them enough notice that they can't say "we're busy" and keep the whole thing light.

Good luck.


QuoteAs I write this, I'm thinking it might be good to invite them over for a Sunday dinner every few months.  Then, perhaps they might reciprocate.

I think inviting them over every few months sounds like a wonderful idea.   After all, they have been inviting you to dinner once a year, and might have been hoping for you to reciprocate.