Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: bbaker on December 12, 2013, 01:22:45 PM

Title: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: bbaker on December 12, 2013, 01:22:45 PM
BG: 2 years ago my Sister In Law gave me the cut direct. The simplest reason is that we bought a home and did not use her (an insurance agent) for our new homeowners policy.  We are not the only friends or family she cut off for not using her services.  There were also money/Christmas gifting issues that I'm sure contributed to the decision.  (Those deserve their own post)  I was told by SIL and her husband that I am not to contact them at all and certainly not ever to go to their home.  I am NOT WELCOME.

 I have completely respected their wishes with just a couple exceptions. Christmas cards (I still send them - so my nephews can see pictures of their cousins) and a few large parties (30+ people) I have hosted in my home.  For the parties, my husband would call and invite or send a Facebook invitation.  They will come and attend the parties in our home, but maintain the cut direct and will not talk to me or acknowledge me in any way while they are here.  They will not even respond to a 'Welcome' or 'Goodbye-Thanks for coming'.

My Dilemma: My Mother In Law came over last week and said something to the effect of "Our annual family Christmas Eve party will be at SIL's home this year.  At 6 o'clock. We are having Italian food.  Here is your assignment - Bring blah blah blah......"  (Even after 20 years she will still issue a summons, not an invitation - I put up with it as a newlywed but I have a shinier spine now)  MIL is fully aware that I am not welcome in SIL's home.  I think MIL is a wishful thinker and just wants everyone to 'get over it and be a family again'. 

I would love to 'be a family again' and still hope for a reconciliation with SIL. However, my MIL does not understand that there are two people involved and nothing will change unless SIL wants it to change. There is NO WAY I will attend anything at my SIL's home without being invited by her because I know I am not welcome, and it will only make the problem worse.

I know there are no 'magic words' but I am desperate for advice! Should I 'break silence' and call my SIL to let her know about the situation? Should I tell MIL I will wait for an invitation from SIL? (Which would put MIL in the middle of the drama) Is there a third option I just can't see yet?

(Additional BG - My husband's family consists of him and his two sisters.  They are both married with 2 children.  This is a very small family gathering. It had been a tradition up until the cut direct two years ago.  We both miss this family time since we do not see his family very often.)
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: jedikaiti on December 12, 2013, 01:30:42 PM
MIL knows you aren't welcome in SIL's home, and SIL probably knows MIL's going to issue you a summons anyway. Just ignore.

And quit inviting SIL to your home. If she can't be a decent guest, don't let her show up!
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: gramma dishes on December 12, 2013, 01:31:12 PM
Since MIL is fully aware that you are not welcome in your husband's sister's home you can just tell her point blank.  "No, we won't be going.  We aren't invited and we're not going to crash her event.  You know that, MIL.  I'm surprised you would expect us not to respect her decision!"

By the way, how did it happen that she blames YOU for the decision to use a different insurance agent?  Why isn't she holding your husband at least equally responsible?

And another 'by the way' -- your SIL sounds extraordinarily immature!  I can't even imagine why you put up with that kind of behavior in your own home.  I wouldn't invite her.  I think you're much too nice about putting up with her nonsense.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: EllenS on December 12, 2013, 01:33:02 PM
1) Your sister is being unbelievably rude.  If you give someone the cut direct, you do not get to go to their home and accept their hospitality. Similarly, if you accept someone's invitation, you do not give them the cut direct in their own home (unless that is the moment of the inciting incident, and you are leaving).

2) You absolutely should tell your MIL that you would love to participate in the family Christmas, but out of consideration to SIL's feelings, you would not be so rude as to show up at SIL's house and impose on her unless you know-from her own mouth- that she wants you there. 

In your shoes, I would not expect that there is any way to "win" this interaction.  It's very possible that MIL and SIL will expect you to drop off your "assignment" and accept whatever snubs SIL will dish out, and blame you behind your back if you do not cooperate.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: Bales on December 12, 2013, 01:38:50 PM
I'm really hoping they don't think your husband will go without you and bring your "assignment"?  You have been beyond gracious at this point by accepting your SIL's poor behavior.  I would use this as the opportunity to set your own boundary and say you (your family, meaning DH and kids, too) will not be attending since you are not welcome.  And DH should be the one to decline the "invitation."
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: Julian on December 12, 2013, 01:41:12 PM
I am at a bit of a loss for words at this.

SIL has given you the cut direct, but she turns up to parties at your home and continues the cut??  Seriously rude! 

I'd talk to MIL (or get your DH to talk to MIL) and gently explain that it will not be possible for you to attend.

It sounds like this is more like a Clayton's Cut - the cut you have when you haven't got a cut...  SIL is happy to display The Cut in semi-public, but still expects the advantages of a family relationship, such as the party invites.  She sounds extremely immature and drama llama-ish.

BTW Welcome to the board!
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: Margo on December 12, 2013, 01:43:20 PM
I'd be inclined to simply tell MiL that your family is not welcome at SiL's and that you would not presume to go unless SIL herself decided she would like to invite you. However, if you and your husband both want to give your SIL a second chance, I would suggest that your husband contact his sister to say " Mom has told us that the family christmas party will be at your home, and has asked us to bring ***. We'd love to see you and the kids, but as we haven't heard from you we're not sure whether you'd like us to be there. Could you let us know whether you'd like us to attend, and if so, would you like us to bring [whatever MiL said] or is there something else which would work better for you."

It gives her the power of saying yes or no, and also acknowledges and respects her position as hostess.

I would also say to MIL that you would love to attend the event, but that as it is at SIL's home you won't be attending unless SiL invites you, and that DH will be speaking to her directly. You can make clear to MiL that you are *not* asking her to intervene - indeed you'd prefer that she didn't, but that you can't go where you have not been invited. If you think it would come bettter from your Husband, then he can be the one to talk to his Mom.

Good luck. (can you invite everyone to yours, at a time that doesn't clash with the main celebration, so you get to see the family, even if you don't go to SiL's?)
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: MindsEye on December 12, 2013, 01:45:06 PM
I have completely respected their wishes with just a couple exceptions. Christmas cards (I still send them - so my nephews can see pictures of their cousins) and a few large parties (30+ people) I have hosted in my home.  For the parties, my husband would call and invite or send a Facebook invitation.  They will come and attend the parties in our home, but maintain the cut direct and will not talk to me or acknowledge me in any way while they are here.  They will not even respond to a 'Welcome' or 'Goodbye-Thanks for coming'.

I know that you didn't ask about the bolded above, but I would personally stop inviting them to your home. 

They are being very VERY rude. 

And, frankly if they are giving you the "cut direct" they should never have accepted those invitations!

I know there are no 'magic words' but I am desperate for advice! Should I 'break silence' and call my SIL to let her know about the situation? Should I tell MIL I will wait for an invitation from SIL? (Which would put MIL in the middle of the drama) Is there a third option I just can't see yet?

What about this?  "I am sorry MIL, but given the current situation between SIL and myself we simply cannot attend the Christmas Eve party at her house."

I see there are being three options:
1) SIL is willing to reconcile and invite you (best option)
2) The Christmas Eve party is hosted by someone else
3) You do not go to the Christmas Eve party but invite MIL and the other SIL to a get-together at a later date
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: TootsNYC on December 12, 2013, 01:47:04 PM
Since MIL is fully aware that you are not welcome in your husband's sister's home you can just tell her point blank.  "No, we won't be going.  We aren't invited and we're not going to crash her event.  You know that, MIL.  I'm surprised you would expect us not to respect her decision!"


I agree with this. And I'd say, "If SIL were to directly invite me, I would happily attend. I would be very happy to simply return to a friendly footing, with no need for apologies or recriminations on either side. But I won't be entering her home unless she invites me--that would be disrespectful."

And I can sort of understand why you and DH would still invite her, as a way to demonstrate to the entire family that you are neutral here. But WOW, oh WOW! How rude of her.

In fact, my DH would probably refuse to invite her ever, if he treated his wife like that.

I like Margo's suggestion that your DH might contact her. But if she's going to treat you w/ the cut-direct in her own home as well, I wouldn't want to go.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 12, 2013, 02:03:17 PM
Welcome to the board.

My advice.
Have your husband call his mother and tell her his family will not be attending. His family has not been invited and will not crash a party for her or for anyone.

And I agree. Quit inviting her to your home. If she wants to create family drama she can live with the consequences.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: metallicafan on December 12, 2013, 02:20:07 PM
Welcome to the board.

My advice.
Have your husband call his mother and tell her his family will not be attending. His family has not been invited and will not crash a party for her or for anyone.

And I agree. Quit inviting her to your home. If she wants to create family drama she can live with the consequences.



I agree with this.
I know that a cut direct means no communication at all.  But yet she will come to Your home for a party and partake of your hospitality.   That isn't right.  I would not invite her anymore. 
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: alice on December 12, 2013, 02:26:39 PM
Didn't you and your husband buy the house?  If so, why is she only giving you the direct cut?  Why not your husband as well.

I agree with the rest...stop inviting her to your house, and your husband should not go to her house.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: gramma dishes on December 12, 2013, 02:28:30 PM
bbaker ~~  Can you please clarify?  When you say your SIL has given YOU the direct cut, does that mean only you, or does that mean both you and your husband (her brother)? 

I ask because your husband seems to have at least come contact with her -- at least enough to invite them to your parties apparently.

When she and her husband have attended parties in your home they don't speak to you or even acknowledge your presence, but do they talk to your husband?

If that's the case, then I think your husband is the one who needs to step up!  He should be making it clear that he will not tolerate having his wife treated like that.  Either they act civil to both of you or they don't talk to either of you. 
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: rose red on December 12, 2013, 02:32:17 PM
I'm puzzled (and mad for you) why you invite people to your parties who gives you the cut direct in your own home.  Please don't tolerate this treatment anymore, and your DH should be supporting you too.

And I agree you can tell your MIL "I haven't been invited."
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: bloo on December 12, 2013, 02:35:36 PM
bbaker ~~  Can you please clarify?  When you say your SIL has given YOU the direct cut, does that mean only you, or does that mean both you and your husband (her brother)? 

I ask because your husband seems to have at least come contact with her -- at least enough to invite them to your parties apparently.

When she and her husband have attended parties in your home they don't speak to you or even acknowledge your presence, but do they talk to your husband?

If that's the case, then I think your husband is the one who needs to step up!  He should be making it clear that he will not tolerate having his wife treated like that.  Either they act civil to both of you or they don't talk to either of you.

Uh, yeah this and pretty much what everyone else has posted. No one who issued a cut direct on me would be taking advantage of my hospitality and my DH would not let this behavior occur so what is up with your DH? I would not let my other family (kids?) and friends see me taking this kind of treatment from someone.

Could you please clarify?
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: m2kbug on December 12, 2013, 02:44:31 PM
I'm wondering why a family meal is being hosted in a home where several people are not welcome.  There's not much more you can do other than remind MIL that you are not welcome in their home and you will not be in attendance.  I would not call my SIL.  I would not accept a second or third hand invitation either.  I would want SIL or BIL to call directly.  Even then, I don't know if I would want to go given her cold behavior towards us. 

Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: Nuala on December 12, 2013, 02:46:51 PM
I believe you are trying to be the better person, but stop. She is taking advantage of you with no consequences.

Don't send any more cards. Do you think she is showing pictures to her kids or just tossing them out? If she wants to see what your kids look like, or for her children to have a relationship with their cousins, she can behave like an adult.

I agree with those who suggested that DH tell MIL that you won't attend and why.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: bbaker on December 12, 2013, 02:56:01 PM
OP Here with some clarification.  My husband is and always has been my biggest supporter.  He has told me and his family point blank that if he has to choose between me and them he will choose me. 

I come from a large family with many cousins.  We didn't live close but my parents made visiting a priority and I am still best friends with several of my cousins today.  My husband's family grew up 15 minutes from his cousins and didn't really spend time with some of them until he was an adult.  I don't think either situation is 'right' or 'wrong' just 'different'.

SIL has two boys, ages 11 and 9.  My oldest 2 boys are 11 and 8.  These are the only boy cousins on either side of the family close to the same age as my boys.  (There is a 4 yr old boy on one side and a 5 yr old girl)

I know that part of my problem is learning to 'let go' of what I see as an ideal cousin relationship.  My husband supports MY decision to invite SIL over because it is the only time my boys can spend with their cousins.

The cut direct was just with me - It seems SIL and her husband would still like a relationship with my husband. (Meaning they will talk to him and call and ask for favors) - He is doing great at turning down those favors now, when he used to help out much more often before.

This is my first post ever and I am grateful for so many quick responses already.  I hope the additional background helps.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: Roses on December 12, 2013, 02:59:27 PM
I agree with previous posters.  It doesn't make sense that she gave you the cut direct and not your husband, you both made the choice about the insurance.  And it's certainly immature and unprofessional behavior; if she hoped you would ever change your mind and use her as your agent, she has given you lots of reasons why that is NOT a good idea. 

Stop sending Christmas cards.  Have your DH tell your MIL you will not be attending.  Stop inviting them to your house.  She's basically being rewarded for being rude to you on a regular basis.  It sets a horrible example for your children (and their cousins) on how people should treat each other.  I would not allow someone in my home who treated me the way she's treated you.

<Hugs>
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: Amara on December 12, 2013, 03:00:09 PM
I am astonished at your husband's willingness, even though it is lessening, to have a relationship with someone who gives his wife the cut direct. That seems all shades of wrong to me.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: rose red on December 12, 2013, 03:05:37 PM
Please let go of your image of cousins being best friends.  Do you really want your children to have a relationship where they only interact at parties where they see their cousin's parents treat their mother like dirt in her own home?

Right now, you are giving them all the power.  Take it back.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: SamiHami on December 12, 2013, 03:12:46 PM
You are getting a lot of great advice here. I hope you take it to heart. Your DH should flatly refuse to communicate with SIL at all as long as she is being such a fool. You and your DH are a team. And stop inviting her to your house! If she can't be gracious enough to even greet the hostess she does not belong there! And as for your MIL, as others have said, simply tell her you, DH and your kids cannot attend as you have been clearly told you are not welcome in SILs home.

Personally, I think the holiday celebration should be moved to a different location. If SIL is unwilling to get over herself and act like an adult then she should not be given the privilege of hosting the family party.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: Margo on December 12, 2013, 03:15:02 PM
OK, when I posted before I had assumed that the cut was to both you and your husband.

Following your clarification, I would simply tell your MiL that you have not been invited and will not be attending. If you and your husband want to see other family members, invite them to your home. I can understand why you'd want to your children to have a relationship with their cousins, but I don't think that is going to happen until your SiL is willing to behave like a civilised adult. It's not healthy for your children to see their mother being treated like a second class citizen in her on home, or to see their father tolerate this kind of behaviour.

Stop inviting them (or, if you want, invite the kids alone) And your husband needs to live his boundaries, and make clear to his sister that if she won't treat his wife with, as a minimum, basic respect and politeness, he won't be helping her out, or socialising with her.

Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: misha412 on December 12, 2013, 03:37:37 PM
Your SIL gave you the cut direct (for years now) over you not giving her home insurance business???? And she has the gall to show up at your home at a party you are hosting and give you the cut direct???? Why would you invite her to your home????

My answer as to whether you should go to your SIL's for Christmas is "No, no, no and helz no". Why would you go somewhere you are clearly unwanted and will be treated to the silent treatment by your SIL and who knows who else? That action will only make the event miserable for you.

Your DH needs to call his mother and tell her that you will not be attending, since she extended the invitation. Your MIL may be trying to get you and your family there without your SIL's knowledge. (That is not cool, even if you guys were on good terms) Even if your SIL is aware of the invitation, she should be the one extending the invitation due to the situation.

See your MIL and other SIL at another time during the holidays. A nice evening at a restaurant. A weekend brunch. There are a ton of ways they can enjoy you and your family without the not-nice SIL being a part of it.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: Arila on December 12, 2013, 03:53:35 PM
I'm going to go against the grain here, and say that I think the OP has been doing a great job at moderating the reaction to this silliness. I think inviting them to their big do-s and keeping up the cards may be the high road, but there's no point in wrestling in the mud.

I do think that a frank discussion with the SIL is in order though. Sure it's come to abit of a head by having the family celebration scheduled at her house, but it is a long time coming to say, "Look, I know that you were disappointed by our homeowner decision, but our finances are our own private business, and we would like to move past that to mend the family."

Make it clear that, as you said yourself that you're not looking to place blame or recriminations, just put the past two years behind you and move on. Your own words on the subject are natural and true for you, so use them.


After you've made that clear, you can say that you have been issued a second hand invitation to xmas at her house, and you would prefer to celebrate in a home where you are welcome, and now it is up to her to take your hand extended in peace..or not.


I do agree with everyone who says that unless SIL makes a direct invitation for the entire family *specifically* including you, that none of you should go to the celebration.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: GreenBird on December 12, 2013, 03:58:53 PM
I just want to reiterate - I don't think your DH or your kids should go to an event where you are not welcome.  It's just all kinds of wrong.  You're a family and it's important to support each other.  Would you go to a family party where the host explicitly and purposely excluded exactly one of your sons from the invitation?  I'm pretty sure you wouldn't, because that would be saying that it's acceptable to exclude one of your sons from an invitation to your family.  It's not acceptable, and it's no more acceptable to exclude you.

I think DH needs to tell MIL that none of you will be able to come to any party held at SIL's because SIL has made it clear that you are not invited.  And if DH is talking to SIL, he can tell her directly that his family will not be attending any event where his wife is not welcome.  Frankly, it's unreasonable for SIL to expect otherwise. 
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: gramma dishes on December 12, 2013, 04:03:40 PM
I think it's time for SIL's power to be whittled down to more reasonable levels.  That means you and your husband stick together like glue on this one.  Either she treats both of you with a degree of politeness and respect, or neither of you have anything further to do with her.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: artk2002 on December 12, 2013, 04:11:49 PM
I can understand you inviting your SIL's family to your events, for the sake of your sons and their cousins and to be the bigger person. I agree with others, though, that neither you, nor your DH and sons should go to SIL's house for this event.

I would have trouble maintaining any kind of relationship with someone as petty and immature as your SIL. Even if it were my sister. Cut direct over not using her services? She's done this to other family members as well? If her business depends on selling to her family, she needs to get out of the business. If her ego can't handle rejection, she needs to get out of the business. Many people have a blanket policy of not doing business with family because it can go bad so very quickly. Can you imagine what would have happened if you had bought your policy from her and her company denied a claim? Or she messed up the renewal paperwork and you found yourselves without insurance? Talk about bad feelings!
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: YummyMummy66 on December 12, 2013, 04:14:01 PM
It is not up to you to do anything.  It is up to your husband to do something.  This is his sister, correct?

Read more of the posts.  You state that they are still in contact with your dh, asking for favors, etc. 

Personally, if this was my dh, he would have a whole of something to say to his sister and then a whole lot of nothin' to say.

If it were us, we would show up to the home of SIL and if she asks me to leave, my dh would stand up and state that this situation is getting crazy.  You need to apologize to my wife, because it was not her decision not to use your services, it was mine.  If you want her to leave, then we all leave and we will never be back.

I say this because it is time your dh stands up to his sister over this nonsense and not let it continue to go on.

Why didn't you use her services, if I may ask?
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: gramma dishes on December 12, 2013, 04:20:54 PM
Was your SIL always like this?  Did she always get her own way in the family as the kids were growing up?  Was she always the one who would  treat people despicably and have everyone else in the family fall in line with her?  That's a lot of power she wields there!

I know your husband loves you  (and I assume your MIL and at least some of the other family members do too), but they are all enabling her to continue this behavior by not sticking up for you.  As long as they let her run the show and get by with this stuff, she has no incentive to stop it.  She apparently loves the drama and the feeling that she's "winning", and she IS because no one is really backing you up here, not even your husband.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: MrTango on December 12, 2013, 04:26:35 PM
*edited because I missed the post where the OP answered the question I had for her*
I would direct your MIL to speak with your DH about any family planning.  Any time MIL mentions something to you, you should feel free to tell her "You'll need to talk with [DH] about that."

For this particular party, I would not attend, and I would not give anyone any indication that I would be attending.  If MIL or anyone else asks you about it, I'd respond with "I will not be attending any gathering at [SIL]'s house, as she has quite clearly told me that I am not welcome in her home."  Don't sugar coat it.

If your DH decides that he will be attending the dinner, let him.  Stay home with your kids, or go treat yourself to something nice during that time.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: tinkytinky on December 12, 2013, 04:51:45 PM
I can't get past MIL summoning you to SIL house when she knows about the rift between you and SIL. If it were in her own home, then she can request you bring whatever, but not at SIL. And I don't care if it is "tradition". I would look at MIL and say, "you need to address DH about these arrangements, as I will not be there". If SIL is hosting, honestly the invitation should come from her, not MIL anyway. DH needs to talk to SIL and get the information from her. If you still have not been invited to her home, then honestly DH really shouldn't go either.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: buvezdevin on December 12, 2013, 04:52:20 PM
To summarize some points from OP's posts:

1.  OP's SIL (and her husband?) have given OP the cut direct, in part at least due to non-use of SIL's services, also some gifting issues - but the cut does not include OP's husband, SIL's brother.
2.  OP's husband has continued to invite SIL and her family to large gatherings at OP's home, which SIL attends though refusing to acknowledge OP at same.
3.  OP's MIL has just announced to OP that the family holiday gathering will be at SIL's house, where OP knows she is not welcome - and MIL told OP what to bring for the family meal.

While I echo other posters in the view that OP and her husband reconsider inviting anyone to any event at their home if that person is not willing to interact with basic civility with OP, I also wonder what other factors, gifting or otherwise, may have contributed to SIL beginning the cut for OP. 

Not suggesting that OP in any way deserves such treatment, but however unreasonable the actions of SIL, a full understanding of she perceives as "grievances" could be useful in understanding first, how to discuss same with SIL if that course is ever undertaken - and might also clarify why OP's husband and MIL have seemingly not said "this is interfering with family dynamics at family gatherings - let's restore family harmony, or at least understand why we will no longer gather as extended family."

Whatever the reasons for the situation as it has played out to date, in OP's shoes, I would not attend an event at SIL's house at all, for any reason, unless and until the "cut" behavior had been addressed, and I was assured by SIL that it would not continue.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: VorFemme on December 12, 2013, 05:28:35 PM
I'm wondering if the OP's mortgage company worked with SIL's insurance company at all or deliberately excluded that company due to there being a blood relative working there - to avoid legal complications if there were questions about "professional conduct" or "nepotism"?  Which might be something that the OP & her DH never thought to tell SIL, because "it's none of her beeswax" as one of the identical twin advice columnists used to say.

Seriously - SIL needs to get over herself.  OP & her DH (SIL's brother, it seems) need to stop enabling her apparent Drama Princess tendencies - and she no longer gets to give the hostess the cold shoulder when invited to her brother's house.  Either she grows up or puts on her big girl panties and pretends to havegrown up!
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: JenJay on December 12, 2013, 05:34:07 PM
Why wasn't your DH cut off as well? Why is it YOUR fault that the insurance wasn't purchased through her? That's ridiculous.

I would have DH tell MIL "We won't be fixing the dish you assigned us or attending the party." and leave it at that. You didn't ask, but my advice on the rest is that you consider enforcing the cutoff SIL has issued by not inviting her to your home either. As it stands there's no reason for her to consider what this is doing to your DHs and all of the boys because it isn't fully affecting them as long as they can visit at your home. I'd make her feel the full weight of her decision.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: kherbert05 on December 12, 2013, 08:09:55 PM
Your DH needs to tell his Mother that his sister is out of line any you, your children, and he will never attend anything at his sister's house until she and her DH apologizes to you in public. For events that your MIL hosts your DH should tell her that he will not allow her daughter to abuse you and you all will leave is she doesn't behave civilly towards him. When she complains to you -  you say, "I'm sorry but he is firm about his decision and I can't change his mind."
Stop inviting her and her family to your events, until this 2 yo grows up.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: bbaker on December 12, 2013, 09:31:27 PM
OP here again - There were two main reasons we did not use her for insurance. 

#1 - She is family - for reasons other posters have already stated - it did not seem wise at all
#2 - Money - Her quote was quite a bit more expensive than our regular agent for the same coverage

There has always been a monetary discrepancy in the family. (I am sure this is not uncommon) We had always made quite a bit less income than SIL (1/4 of her income) and the cut direct occurred at a major change in incomes for both families. We had an increase in income (resulting in the home purchase) and they had a decrease (resulting in them losing their home) So now we make about the same amount of income but they consider us 'rich' (we own a home) and themselves 'poor' (they have to rent)

I usually read other posts and say to myself - Oh, the answer to that is easy! It is quite different on this side of the question.  All your answers have given me quite a bit to think about.  After discussing it with my DH he is now quite eager to call up SIL and get this straightened out.


Thank you for all of the advice!


Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: GrammarNerd on December 12, 2013, 11:39:22 PM
"It was a monetary decision.  And we don't discuss personal monetary decisions with family or close friends.  Therefore, we also don't use family or close friends for financial matters, because they involve monetary decisions.  We're sorry if you were offended, but that's our decision.  It's not personal, but it IS our stance and our decision. 

Now, are you going to continue to hold a grudge for a decision that had nothing to do with you, personally, or are you going to get past it so we can have pleasant holidays?  Because this business of not talking to or even acknowledging one of us....not cool.  So decide: are you going to be polite from this point forward, or will you be backing out of everything that involves us?  And please be prepared to stand by your decision, because if anyone asks us about it, I won't hesitate to tell them the truth."

It could be viewed as somewhat of a threat, yes.  But really, it's just forcing SIL to own her actions.  If anyone asks you, you can tell people that SIL won't talk to you and has told you that she will no longer acknowledge you because you didn't use her for your insurance and you found another, better-priced, option.  She can be mad all she wants, but she has to own that decision, and she has to live with the consequences. 

And really, you should go off on her for her trying to bully you into using her business, at a personal financial loss to you, and then snubbing you when you didn't do it.  Seriously?  Is THAT how she behaves professionally?  She wanted you to trust her professionally, and then she snubs you?  I guess she showed you that you made the correct decision in NOT using her services.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: aussie_chick on December 13, 2013, 12:53:43 AM
OP here again - There were two main reasons we did not use her for insurance. 

#1 - She is family - for reasons other posters have already stated - it did not seem wise at all
#2 - Money - Her quote was quite a bit more expensive than our regular agent for the same coverage

There has always been a monetary discrepancy in the family. (I am sure this is not uncommon) We had always made quite a bit less income than SIL (1/4 of her income) and the cut direct occurred at a major change in incomes for both families. We had an increase in income (resulting in the home purchase) and they had a decrease (resulting in them losing their home) So now we make about the same amount of income but they consider us 'rich' (we own a home) and themselves 'poor' (they have to rent)

I usually read other posts and say to myself - Oh, the answer to that is easy! It is quite different on this side of the question.  All your answers have given me quite a bit to think about.  After discussing it with my DH he is now quite eager to call up SIL and get this straightened out.


Thank you for all of the advice!

Hi Op! I'm glad your DH is keen to contact SIL and get everything straightened out. I agree with others who have said it is NOT ok for someone to accept invitations to your home (even if you didn't issue the invitation, you and your DH are a social unit) and then treat you so ungraciously.

I hope your DH explains to your SIL than unless she can treat you respectfully in your own home, her family will not be welcome. I also hope he reiterates that the decision to use a different insurance company was a joint decision.

I agree with others not to go to someone's home who has given you the cut direct. I think it's rude to attend someone's home when you've specifically been told not to. Unless SIL retracts that sentiment, you are doing what she's asked by not attending. And MIL inviting you is not the same thing. I can't imagine anything more uncomfortable then turning up somewhere where you are not welcome and by the sounds of things, that will be made obvious!

Good luck with resolving everything and i'm glad your DH is your biggest supporter! To many times on here we read stories about one part of a social unit not sticking up for the other. Good on your DH for shining his spine!
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: ------ on December 13, 2013, 02:11:37 AM
I have nothing meaningful to add beyond the good advice other posters gave; I'm actually just posting for updates to find out if this situation is ever resolved...I'm quite appalled at the despicable behavior of your SIL. I hope things work out for you, OP. But don't hold your breath on the relationship with your SIL. In my experience, irrational people don't suddenly have a change of heart and stop being crazy, without some kind of divine intervention. And I have yet to witness that miracle.

All I can say is: boundaries, boundaries, boundaries! And again, I'm so sorry how that woman treats you. She should be ashamed of herself.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: Peppergirl on December 13, 2013, 05:56:13 AM
I have nothing useful to add except that *clearly* her husband is cut from the same cloth as she is. 

I can't even fathom how my now ex-husband would have reacted if I had behaved that way toward any family member, particularly in their *own home*!!  He would have called me out quickly, and told me to knock off the nonsense or go home.

Obviously her husband is almost as big of a jerk as the SIL is, even if he is just a silent co-conspirator.

The gall of showing up to someone's home and ignoring them!!  :o >:(
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: PastryGoddess on December 13, 2013, 06:39:41 AM
OP you should definitely read Art2k's Magic Words (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=126586.0) post.  It's become an ehell classic for many very good reasons.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: TootsNYC on December 13, 2013, 06:55:11 AM
... until she and her DH apologizes to you in public....

(sorry to use you as the example, kherbert--you had the most succinct wording)

I wanted to address this topic. Because I actually don't agree with this approach.

bbaker, I just wanted to chime in to support your "low-drama" approach. I think that it's not necessary to demand a huge apology, even though you certainly deserve one. 
    Demanding that someone like your SIL apologize is going to have the effect of creating even more drama. She's obviously tremendously invested in always being right. And having you demand she apologize will probably prolong the whole thing.


   And it will change the subject of the dispute. Instead of the dispute being about "You didn't use my business" [her stance--obviously wrong to all onlookers], it becomes "You are being rude" / "they're demanding an apology from me." Which is just stickier and more unpleasant.
    It will make it harder for MIL and others to advocate for a cessation of hostilities. Don't get me wrong--you certainly deserve an apology. But we all know how hard it is for moms (and other relatives) to handle a situation like yours.


If what you want is to simply have the whole issue go away, you'll probably be much more effective with your current attitude and approach.

So if you want to continue the even, no-drama tactic, know that you've got people like me who are outraged on your behalf but admiring you for an even-tempered, non-punitive approach.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: Winterlight on December 13, 2013, 09:08:26 AM
I think your husband needs to make it clear that this was a joint decision, and if she's going to snub his wife then neither he nor you nor the boys will be around her.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: artk2002 on December 13, 2013, 10:19:44 AM
I think your husband needs to make it clear that this was a joint decision, and if she's going to snub his wife then neither he nor you nor the boys will be around her.

I absolutely agree.

While OP's DH may be a great guy, he deserves 40 lashes with a wet noodle over this. The best time to make that point was the very first time it happened. Instead, he's managed to keep his illusion of a functional FOO by letting OP be the scapegoat, even if only through his silence.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: Redneck Gravy on December 13, 2013, 10:56:36 AM
It is not up to you to do anything.  It is up to your husband to do something.  This is his sister, correct?

Read more of the posts.  You state that they are still in contact with your dh, asking for favors, etc. 

Personally, if this was my dh, he would have a whole of something to say to his sister and then a whole lot of nothin' to say.

If it were us, we would show up to the home of SIL and if she asks me to leave, my dh would stand up and state that this situation is getting crazy.  You need to apologize to my wife, because it was not her decision not to use your services, it was mine.  If you want her to leave, then we all leave and we will never be back.

I say this because it is time your dh stands up to his sister over this nonsense and not let it continue to go on.

Why didn't you use her services, if I may ask?

YummyMummy is right on the mark.  If I were banned from someone's home my ex DH would have NEVER set foot there.  He was a lot of negative things but he darn sure wasn't going to let anyone disrespect his wife that way.  Your DH should have already taken care of this!
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: bloo on December 13, 2013, 11:13:59 AM
OP Here with some clarification.  My husband is and always has been my biggest supporter.  He has told me and his family point blank that if he has to choose between me and them he will choose me. 

I come from a large family with many cousins.  We didn't live close but my parents made visiting a priority and I am still best friends with several of my cousins today.  My husband's family grew up 15 minutes from his cousins and didn't really spend time with some of them until he was an adult.  I don't think either situation is 'right' or 'wrong' just 'different'.

SIL has two boys, ages 11 and 9.  My oldest 2 boys are 11 and 8.  These are the only boy cousins on either side of the family close to the same age as my boys.  (There is a 4 yr old boy on one side and a 5 yr old girl)

I know that part of my problem is learning to 'let go' of what I see as an ideal cousin relationship.  My husband supports MY decision to invite SIL over because it is the only time my boys can spend with their cousins.

The cut direct was just with me - It seems SIL and her husband would still like a relationship with my husband. (Meaning they will talk to him and call and ask for favors) - He is doing great at turning down those favors now, when he used to help out much more often before.

This is my first post ever and I am grateful for so many quick responses already.  I hope the additional background helps.

As regards your sons, that is the main reason, your DH should not permit the situation to go on. Your sons are watching how you let their aunt treat you. How would you feel when your kids are adults and one of your SIL's kids treats one of your kids this way over some imaginary slight. Would you support a gathering theyre hosting that your child has been 'cut' from? Imagine your child accepting this treatment to keep (imaginary) peace. Are you worth any less? We teach people how to treat us. I wouldnt demand an apology, but your DH needs to lower the boom on his sister, tout de suite!

Im glad he is anxious to straighten this out. Best wishes and welcome to the board! :-)
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: LeveeWoman on December 13, 2013, 11:28:23 AM
OP Here with some clarification.  My husband is and always has been my biggest supporter.  He has told me and his family point blank that if he has to choose between me and them he will choose me. 

I come from a large family with many cousins.  We didn't live close but my parents made visiting a priority and I am still best friends with several of my cousins today.  My husband's family grew up 15 minutes from his cousins and didn't really spend time with some of them until he was an adult.  I don't think either situation is 'right' or 'wrong' just 'different'.

SIL has two boys, ages 11 and 9.  My oldest 2 boys are 11 and 8.  These are the only boy cousins on either side of the family close to the same age as my boys.  (There is a 4 yr old boy on one side and a 5 yr old girl)

I know that part of my problem is learning to 'let go' of what I see as an ideal cousin relationship.  My husband supports MY decision to invite SIL over because it is the only time my boys can spend with their cousins.

The cut direct was just with me - It seems SIL and her husband would still like a relationship with my husband. (Meaning they will talk to him and call and ask for favors) - He is doing great at turning down those favors now, when he used to help out much more often before.

This is my first post ever and I am grateful for so many quick responses already.  I hope the additional background helps.

As regards your sons, that is the main reason, your DH should not permit the situation to go on. Your sons are watching how you let their aunt treat you. How would you feel when your kids are adults and one of your SIL's kids treats one of your kids this way over some imaginary slight. Would you support a gathering theyre hosting that your child has been 'cut' from? Imagine your child accepting this treatment to keep (imaginary) peace. Are you worth any less? We teach people how to treat us. I wouldnt demand an apology, but your DH needs to lower the boom on his sister, tout de suite!

Im glad he is anxious to straighten this out. Best wishes and welcome to the board! :-)

Amen!

No child has ever been harmed by not being close to his cousin, but children have been harmed seeing their mothers being mistreated.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on December 13, 2013, 11:45:52 AM
Agree with the others here, just wanted to add: I wonder how much of this is due to the fact that SIL is jealous of your changed statuses. 

But anyway: she is scapegoating you.  It was not your decision alone to purchase insurance elsewhere, and you did not force your husband.  It is time for SIL to pull up her big girl panties and accept the fact that no one has ever been successful selling a product or service by tantrums.  The few people who do give in solely to avoid the tantrums are looking for a way out.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: rose red on December 13, 2013, 12:32:28 PM
Many have said the DH should step up, but the OP needs to step up also.  I can understand why her husband is confused in what to do.  His sister is snubbing his wife and he's prepared to take sides, yet his wife won't allow him to take sides and insist on inviting them to parties and continue building relationships.  Yes, perhaps he should do it on his own anyway, but when you are living it, it can be difficult to see clearly.  Especially when his own wife is the one who keep inviting SIL into the family.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: TinyVulgarUnicorn on December 13, 2013, 04:45:45 PM
Agree with the others here, just wanted to add: I wonder how much of this is due to the fact that SIL is jealous of your changed statuses. 

I think this is the whole crux of the matter...I think the SIL is jealous.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: sammycat on December 13, 2013, 05:12:45 PM
We are not the only friends or family she cut off for not using her services. 

So basically she throws a tantrum whenever anyone says 'no' to her? I'm wondering if other people are saying 'no' after hearing how she reacts when told 'no' and don't want to deal with any potential drama if anything goes wrong with their transaction.  Just curious, has she always been like this, or just since her change in circumstances? (Not that it really matters, but I'm just curious).

I think your husband needs to make it clear that this was a joint decision, and if she's going to snub his wife then neither he nor you nor the boys will be around her.

I absolutely agree.

While OP's DH may be a great guy, he deserves 40 lashes with a wet noodle over this. The best time to make that point was the very first time it happened. Instead, he's managed to keep his illusion of a functional FOO by letting OP be the scapegoat, even if only through his silence.

I agree with art and winterlight.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: Iris on December 13, 2013, 05:26:13 PM
Many have said the DH should step up, but the OP needs to step up also.  I can understand why her husband is confused in what to do.  His sister is snubbing his wife and he's prepared to take sides, yet his wife won't allow him to take sides and insist on inviting them to parties and continue building relationships.  Yes, perhaps he should do it on his own anyway, but when you are living it, it can be difficult to see clearly.  Especially when his own wife is the one who keep inviting SIL into the family.

This. Without the extra info I would have been entirely behind art's post, but it does sound like the OP herself has been the one pushing for some relations to be maintained so that the cousins can be close.

OP, please stop putting up with this. I was not close to my cousins growing up, whereas my DDs are close to their cousins, and as far as I can tell it makes not one blind bit of difference to the value of a childhood. I agree entirely with LeveeWoman "No child has ever been harmed by not being close to his cousin, but children have been harmed seeing their mothers being mistreated" and will add "and by seeing their father (apparently) allow it."

Your sons will look to your DH as their example of how to be good men. If you are stopping your DH from doing what he thinks is right to support you by encouraging him to allow your SIL to treat you like this in your home, then you are potentially sending your sons the message that it's okay for a spouse to stand by and allow someone else to treat their SO like dirt, because that's what Daddy does (from outward appearances).
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: greencat on December 13, 2013, 06:16:53 PM
You can continue the bigger people and invite the SIL and BIL to the parties in your home, OP, but be strong people and escort them out the door when SIL snubs you, OP.

Maybe something like, "I'm sorry that you're tired of socializing so soon.  Let me help you gather your things and we'll see you next time."

I, personally, would complete the cut and cease voluntarily interacting with people who treated me like that. 
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: LeveeWoman on December 13, 2013, 10:31:01 PM
You can continue the bigger people and invite the SIL and BIL to the parties in your home, OP, but be strong people and escort them out the door when SIL snubs you, OP.

Maybe something like, "I'm sorry that you're tired of socializing so soon.  Let me help you gather your things and we'll see you next time."

I, personally, would complete the cut and cease voluntarily interacting with people who treated me like that.

That probably would be very soon after that woman stepped across the threshold.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: TootsNYC on December 13, 2013, 10:56:39 PM
Actually, I think the wisest course would be to stick w/ the low drama, and just stop inviting SIL anywhere. She has declared the animosity--it's sort of disrespectful to continue issuing invitations.

Explain this decision to everyone else you have in common w/ her (family, friends, etc.).
Say, "we want to respect her wishes, out of respect for her. And so we aren't going to put her in an awkward spot anymore, where she has to be rude to her hostess in order to stand by her principles. Please don't discuss our parties with her, since we won't have invited her. It wouldn't be polite to her, of course, to do so."

And tell MIL, "If SIL would like to stop this feud, she can do so at any time. We are not interested in prolonging the rift. All she has to do is drop it--she doesn't have to apologize, she doesn't have to become best buds. She only has to be mildly pleasant when we see each other, and drop the animosity.
   "She probably does owe us an apology, but we've decided that her financial anxieties are hard for her to handle, and so we're simply going to forgive her without asking for an apology. But we're not going to extend that forgiveness until she indicates at the next family gathering at your house, that she is done being angry.
   "Oh, and we're not going to be apologizing to her either."
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: LifeOnPluto on December 13, 2013, 11:48:52 PM
OP here again - There were two main reasons we did not use her for insurance. 

#1 - She is family - for reasons other posters have already stated - it did not seem wise at all
#2 - Money - Her quote was quite a bit more expensive than our regular agent for the same coverage

There has always been a monetary discrepancy in the family. (I am sure this is not uncommon) We had always made quite a bit less income than SIL (1/4 of her income) and the cut direct occurred at a major change in incomes for both families. We had an increase in income (resulting in the home purchase) and they had a decrease (resulting in them losing their home) So now we make about the same amount of income but they consider us 'rich' (we own a home) and themselves 'poor' (they have to rent)

I usually read other posts and say to myself - Oh, the answer to that is easy! It is quite different on this side of the question.  All your answers have given me quite a bit to think about.  After discussing it with my DH he is now quite eager to call up SIL and get this straightened out.


Thank you for all of the advice!

When your DH phones his sister, he needs to make one thing clear: SIL is to treat you with respect at the Christmas get-together. No cold-shouldering / ignoring you. Because if she does, he will take you and the kids, and leave.

And then you and your DH must hold firm to that. If she gives you the cut direct, you turn around and leave.

As for inviting SIL to future events in your home, I would see how things go at the Christmas gathering first. If SIL is making an effort to acknowledge you, I'd keep on inviting her to your house (and monitor the situation carefully - any sign of ignoring you, and she won't be invited back). However, if SIL gives you the cold shoulder at the Christmas gathering, your decision is easy. Don't invite her to your house. It's clear she can't behave.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: bbaker on December 13, 2013, 11:58:22 PM
UPDATE:  My husband called his sister and her husband tonight.  I was not home during this conversation so it is third-hand.  (What he relayed to me/my understanding of what happened)

He was ready to really tell her off and cut off all contact if necessary.  So he started the conversation with the information that we will not celebrate Christmas where we are not wanted, but we would like to move past this if she would like to also.  Apparently her reply was that I am crazy.  They moved past this a long time ago, and can't understand why I would start drama now.  The proof that they've moved on? Well, 'we've come over to your house when you've invited us and we wouldn't do that if we hadn't moved on'.  :o

(We believe that they are the type of people who realize they behaved childishly, and are trying to save face by 'pretending' that there hasn't been a problem for the last two years.)

Then they apologized that I still feel unwelcome and expressed a desire to reconcile.  They invited ALL of us over for Christmas Eve.  My husband is happy that they want to be a family again and is willing to have us attend.

So far, the way I see it, their words and their actions do not match up.  They say they've already moved on, yet still do not talk to me at all.  (Possibly out of embarrassment??) It is my turn to step up and give them one last chance now.  We will attend Christmas Eve now that I have been invited.  I certainly don't believe it will be perfect, but it might be a step in the right direction.  If not, we will pack up the kids and leave, never to return. 







Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: JoyinVirginia on December 14, 2013, 12:04:39 AM
Good update in a way, clueless update in that they food not speak to you in your own house.
Go and don't even take your coat off until they greet you personally. Your dh can be the prompter if necessary. here is my wife, are you going to say hello. If not,.we will leave, we know when we aren't wanted.
good luck! Hope they realize how unprofessional the sil has been
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: LeveeWoman on December 14, 2013, 12:46:29 AM
UPDATE:  My husband called his sister and her husband tonight.  I was not home during this conversation so it is third-hand.  (What he relayed to me/my understanding of what happened)

He was ready to really tell her off and cut off all contact if necessary.  So he started the conversation with the information that we will not celebrate Christmas where we are not wanted, but we would like to move past this if she would like to also.  Apparently her reply was that I am crazy.   They moved past this a long time ago, and can't understand why I would start drama now.  The proof that they've moved on? Well, 'we've come over to your house when you've invited us and we wouldn't do that if we hadn't moved on'.  :o

(We believe that they are the type of people who realize they behaved childishly, and are trying to save face by 'pretending' that there hasn't been a problem for the last two years.)

Then they apologized that I still feel unwelcome and expressed a desire to reconcile.  They invited ALL of us over for Christmas Eve.  My husband is happy that they want to be a family again and is willing to have us attend.

So far, the way I see it, their words and their actions do not match up.  They say they've already moved on, yet still do not talk to me at all.  (Possibly out of embarrassment??) It is my turn to step up and give them one last chance now.  We will attend Christmas Eve now that I have been invited.  I certainly don't believe it will be perfect, but it might be a step in the right direction.  If not, we will pack up the kids and leave, never to return.

My stars and bars!

Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: gemma156 on December 14, 2013, 01:19:49 AM
So in effect they have avoided saying sorry over their issue by stating they were over 'it', and proved that by coming to the family gathering that was held at your house - but, this is the kicker, at the same time having another go at you by calling you crazy and a pot stirrer, by trying to ruin the upcoming family gathering by starting up a new drama. 

One word 'classic'.  But you have to give her a little credit when she realized that the issue was not going to go away, and she apologized to her brother, would've been better if she offered that to you, and then extended the olive branch to reconnect over their antics.

Hopefully your SIL has recognized the beauty of family harmony, and has outgrown her childish tantrums.  It just takes some people a little longer to put away their toys and join the adult world.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: sammycat on December 14, 2013, 01:46:43 AM
Personally I wouldn't bother with these people again until SIL apologises for calling you crazy.  This has to be the worst non-apology I've seen.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: BarensMom on December 14, 2013, 01:51:50 AM
"Apparently her reply was that I am crazy."

Oh no, she didn't!

How did your DH respond to that?  Any answer other than, "Well, someone's crazy, but I don't think it's my wife," is the wrong answer and a certain man would be sleeping on the sofa.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: sammycat on December 14, 2013, 01:59:12 AM
"Apparently her reply was that I am crazy."

Oh no, she didn't!

How did your DH respond to that?  Any answer other than, "Well, someone's crazy, but I don't thinks it's my wife," is the wrong answer and a certain man would be sleeping on the sofa.

Yup!

It seems to me that the DH is so focused/keen on making things 'right' with his sister that his wife has been forgotten and has been made a scapegoat.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: Sara Crewe on December 14, 2013, 02:16:23 AM
I agree with PPs - you've moved from having a SIL problem to having a DH problem.  Her response to him challenging her behaviour is to blame everything on you and say you are mentally ill and he has gone along with this and now expects you to socialise with her as though nothing has happened!?  That would be totally unacceptable to me even for the sake of family harmony.

I do see that you may want to go over on Christmas Eve for the reasons you have given, but your husband needs to recognise how unacceptable SIL's behaviour continues to be and the two of you need to have a plan in place to deal with her if she starts in on you in front of the rest of the family (or will your DH expect you to just sit there and take it since SIL says it's all in your head?).
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: finecabernet on December 14, 2013, 07:18:16 AM
I'm glad you and your husband got this straightened out, but I have a SIL just like this, and in my experience, she will just find something else in the future to be angry about and use as a reason to snub you (though I hope this doesn't happen). Good luck and I hope it turns out okay.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: blue2000 on December 14, 2013, 08:10:28 AM
UPDATE:  My husband called his sister and her husband tonight.  I was not home during this conversation so it is third-hand.  (What he relayed to me/my understanding of what happened)

He was ready to really tell her off and cut off all contact if necessary.  So he started the conversation with the information that we will not celebrate Christmas where we are not wanted, but we would like to move past this if she would like to also.  Apparently her reply was that I am crazy.  They moved past this a long time ago, and can't understand why I would start drama now.  The proof that they've moved on? Well, 'we've come over to your house when you've invited us and we wouldn't do that if we hadn't moved on'.  :o

(We believe that they are the type of people who realize they behaved childishly, and are trying to save face by 'pretending' that there hasn't been a problem for the last two years.)

Then they apologized that I still feel unwelcome and expressed a desire to reconcile.  They invited ALL of us over for Christmas Eve.  My husband is happy that they want to be a family again and is willing to have us attend.

So far, the way I see it, their words and their actions do not match up.  They say they've already moved on, yet still do not talk to me at all.  (Possibly out of embarrassment??) It is my turn to step up and give them one last chance now.  We will attend Christmas Eve now that I have been invited.  I certainly don't believe it will be perfect, but it might be a step in the right direction.  If not, we will pack up the kids and leave, never to return. 









One word. Gaslighting.

They have refused to talk to you, invite you anywhere, or be at all nice to you. And yet YOU are the one who is not over it because you took them at their word. They may be fake-nice to you for a while on Christmas Eve, but I'd bet on their behaviour getting worse, not better.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 14, 2013, 08:18:02 AM
You are a very gracious lady to decide to ignore their immaturity and just move on. But when your family arrives, your DH needs to stick by your side to confirm they do treat you as a welcomed guest and not an interloper. I'm not saying you guys need to gush over each other but polite "Merry Christmas, glad your here" with genuine smiles.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: *inviteseller on December 14, 2013, 08:20:15 AM
This is not a DH problem..it is a DH & OP problem.  You both are so eager for the faaaaaaaamily and a perceived best friend relationship for your cousins because that is what you had growing up, that you are going to allow this woman to treat you like dirt.  She didn't apologize to you..in fact she called you crazy.  She says she is over it, but when she 'got over it' she should have called you or came to you and profusely apologized for being such a baby over a marital decision.  Instead she treated you like dirt, threw your gracious hospitality in your face (oh, that would have happened exactly once then nevereverever again) and now both of you are eager to try again.  You have nothing to try at..SIL has all the work to do.  If you think she won't do this again, you are mistaken because she hasn't learned.  Most likely the only reason she is inviting you guys is a) gifts..she seems to be entitled and b) your MIL probably pressured her into it.  Good luck but don't go to this thinking you two will now be besties and please understand that your kids see this behavior and the mistreatment of you and YOUR willingness to overlook it.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: Oh Joy on December 14, 2013, 08:29:41 AM
Good job to your husband for calling her on her behavior!  I imagine it wasn't comfortable to change the dynamic.

I hope it was enough to remind SIL of more appropriate expectations.

Best wishes, happy holidays, and please keep us posted!
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: Alpacas on December 14, 2013, 08:37:49 AM
I think first and foremost before taking care of any issues with SIL you and your DH need to be on the same page.

You two need to talk about what kind of rel@tionship you want with  your SIL and with what you can live without giving her to much headspace.
When you reached that point your DH needs to really understand your POV in this and that saying "Oh OP is crazy we already got over it." is not the same as saying "We're so sorry for our behaviour. We would love to reconcile with OP."

I think that gives you a proper base to make any desicions about your rel@tionshiop with SIL
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: buvezdevin on December 14, 2013, 08:47:06 AM
I agree with Hmmmmm that OP and her husband should stick together, literally and figuratively, at the gathering at SIL's for the holidays.  If SIL or her husband cut OP or treat her poorly, OP's husband should be in a position to see it himself, and address as needed that *he* will not accept such behavior towards his wife - it should not be addressed as a matter of OP's perceptions since SIL has already tried to play the "OP is wrong/crazy in her perceptions" card.

I am wondering how the discussion between OP's husband and SIL went from OP's husband saying "we will not accept this treatment" to SIL saying "she is crazy" and why OP's husband did not respond "we are not crazy, and I have seen you ignore my wife."

Since there are family members beyond SIL and her husband and children (MIL, other SIL, spouse and children) I can see why OP and her husband would want to move forward in a way which allows for family gatherings, and so long as the SIL at issue demonstrates at least a minimum of polite behavior towards OP that can work.  It doesn't require OP and SIL to develop or pretend to have a close and caring relationship - but anything less than basic civility from SIL should not be left unaddressed in future, and OP's husband should be vigilant in ensuring his wife is not mistreated further.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: lkdrymom on December 14, 2013, 08:57:27 AM
Here is the thing. When SIL said they had already 'gotten over it'...they meant they got over your terrible slight of not using them professionally.  SIL still does not see that she is at fault in any way...so why would she think to appologize?  I would make sure  DH sticks by you the entire evening and see how SIL acts. She doesn't have to be buddy-buddy but she does have to say hello and goodbye and not ignore you during conversations.  Be prepared to walk out.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: JenJay on December 14, 2013, 11:26:31 AM
You are a very gracious lady to decide to ignore their immaturity and just move on. But when your family arrives, your DH needs to stick by your side to confirm they do treat you as a welcomed guest and not an interloper. I'm not saying you guys need to gush over each other but polite "Merry Christmas, glad your here" with genuine smiles.

Yep! I would ask DH to please stick near my side because of my very real concern that his sister only backed down to appease him but still has every intention of ignoring me.

Your DH sounds like a good guy so I hope he realizes that you were not imagining the snubs, his sister is playing the "Who me? But I'm innocent!" game. If she intends to change her attitude to reflect her words, fine. If not then your plan of packing up and leaving immediately is a good one.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: TootsNYC on December 14, 2013, 11:48:34 AM
You are a very gracious lady to decide to ignore their immaturity and just move on. But when your family arrives, your DH needs to stick by your side to confirm they do treat you as a welcomed guest and not an interloper. I'm not saying you guys need to gush over each other but polite "Merry Christmas, glad your here" with genuine smiles.

I'm w/ Hmmmmm. (I always have to count--it's 5 m's)

You are a very gracious lady.

But I also do hope that you and DH will raise your standards in terms of what you are willing to accept from them in this regard.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: gramma dishes on December 14, 2013, 12:08:23 PM
You are a very gracious lady to decide to ignore their immaturity and just move on. But when your family arrives, your DH needs to stick by your side to confirm they do treat you as a welcomed guest and not an interloper. I'm not saying you guys need to gush over each other but polite "Merry Christmas, glad your here" with genuine smiles.

I'm w/ Hmmmmm. (I always have to count--it's 5 m's)

You are a very gracious lady.

But I also do hope that you and DH will raise your standards in terms of what you are willing to accept from them in this regard.

Agree with Hmmmmm and Toots.  And please, OP, do keep in mind that your children are watching.

You have sons.  Does your husband want them to think that it's perfectly okay for other people to mistreat their wives while they still continue to have a cozy and warm relationship with those very same people?  Because that's what they're learning right now.

And if you had a daughter, would he (or you) want his daughter to think she has to  just put up with ridiculously rude, offensive behavior toward her to "keep the peace"? 

Something both of you really need to think about (and maybe discuss).   :(
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: immadz on December 14, 2013, 12:58:38 PM
Why are you willing to let this aggressive non-apology slide. I think you and your husband need to reevaluate your relationship with his sister. If boorish bullies never get called out on their boorishness, or have any consequences there is no real upside to being polite. She calls you crazy and you are essentially rewarding her for calling you crazy.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: TootsNYC on December 14, 2013, 01:03:41 PM
Quote
And if you had a daughter, would he (or you) want his daughter to think she has to  just put up with ridiculously rude, offensive behavior toward her to "keep the peace"? 



Actually, I wouldn't want my sons to learn that either.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: Outdoor Girl on December 14, 2013, 01:08:13 PM
If you do decide to attend, I do like the idea of sticking to your DH's side like glue.  That way, SIL will be forced to interact with you and you'll know whether she is genuine about dropping the whole matter or whether she is just telling you that.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: gramma dishes on December 14, 2013, 01:10:38 PM
Quote
And if you had a daughter, would he (or you) want his daughter to think she has to  just put up with ridiculously rude, offensive behavior toward her to "keep the peace"? 



Actually, I wouldn't want my sons to learn that either.

True.  Thanks for that modification.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: Drunken Housewife on December 14, 2013, 03:29:55 PM
OP, you are positively saintly.  You're so saintly that I worry you could be treated badly.  You are willing to absorb bad treatment for the greater good (for your kids having a relationship with their cousins, e.g.), but please, think of the lessons your kids are absorbing.  You wouldn't let them be treated like doormats, I'm sure. 

I think going this Christmas is fine, so long as the SIL and BIL actually speak to you and treat you politely.  If they don't, I hope your husband will call them out on this.  You haven't done anything wrong and don't deserve to be treated badly, and your kids shouldn't see their mother treated as a non-person by one side of the family.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: sammycat on December 14, 2013, 04:01:09 PM
This is not a DH problem..it is a DH & OP problem. You both are so eager for the faaaaaaaamily and a perceived best friend relationship for your cousins because that is what you had growing up, that you are going to allow this woman to treat you like dirt.  She didn't apologize to you..in fact she called you crazy.  She says she is over it, but when she 'got over it' she should have called you or came to you and profusely apologized for being such a baby over a marital decision.  Instead she treated you like dirt, threw your gracious hospitality in your face (oh, that would have happened exactly once then nevereverever again) and now both of you are eager to try again.  You have nothing to try at..SIL has all the work to do.  If you think she won't do this again, you are mistaken because she hasn't learned.  Most likely the only reason she is inviting you guys is a) gifts..she seems to be entitled and b) your MIL probably pressured her into it.  Good luck but don't go to this thinking you two will now be besties and please understand that your kids see this behavior and the mistreatment of you and YOUR willingness to overlook it.

THIS, all of it.

As another poster pointed out, there's also probably some gaslighting going on.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: aussie_chick on December 14, 2013, 05:07:01 PM
It would have been helpful if your DH had been able to tell his sister that HE had noticed their behaviour towards you. This would have highlighted to your SIL that whilst she wants to claim they have obviously moved on, they clearly haven't. He may have done this, i'm not sure.

Also that really there was NOTHING to move on from! Your SIL behaved immaturely about a joint decision you and your DH made but only punished you! You and your DH had nothing to move on from because you hadn't done anything wrong!

Of course, conversations can't always go exactly as planned/hoped and sometimes not everything you wanted to achieve is.

On that basis, I agree with others who have said stick close to your DH at their home. So that he is in a position to see what's going on and it doesn't become a she said/she said situation between you and your SIL.

Wishing you all the best for a drama free Christmas Eve!
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: luvmyboys on December 14, 2013, 06:24:04 PM
I liked your SIL more when she was overtly hostile.  This PA hostility is very hard to fight.  No one else sees it but you.   OY!   I live this every day with my SIL and it has taken 15 years for my dh to really see it and sometimes I STILL have to point it out to him.   Your SIL is jealous of you (for whatever reason) and does not want a relationship with you, however, she is not willing to let go of her brother.  He must be the one to "get it" and stand up to her.  Hopefully someday he will.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: Mikayla on December 14, 2013, 07:15:40 PM

Your DH sounds like a good guy so I hope he realizes that you were not imagining the snubs, his sister is playing the "Who me? But I'm innocent!" game. If she intends to change her attitude to reflect her words, fine. If not then your plan of packing up and leaving immediately is a good one.

I agree on the bolded (meaning I don't think the OP has a DH problem).  It's not like he promised to talk to his sister and then bailed on that.  And on the "crazy" comment, OP never said what her DH responded, so it's entirely likely he addressed that. 

I think he needs to continue to show improvement and be willing to pack up the family and leave (per the update) if SIL still acts like a clown.  But sometimes this stuff doesn't turn on a dime. 

And I really really want to see the last update on this one!

Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: johelenc1 on December 14, 2013, 07:54:19 PM
In this case, I think you need to ignore everything SIL said except, "you are welcome for Christmas dinner.  We want to move ahead".  The rest is noise.

Go to the dinner, treat her with kindness and be friendly and let their response and behavior be your guide.

Someone mentioned that SIL ignoring you at your own parties may have been embarrassment.  That's very possible. 

I get what people are saying about your children watching and allowing them to treat you with disrespect.  But, if I read things correctly, mostly she's just ignored you.  Other than calling you crazy, which was probably a defensive reaction to being called out, it doesn't sound like she's going around spreading rumors. 

Since she/they've expressed willingness to try, I would let them.  If they continue to act the same way they did before, then you can react accordingly. 
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: LifeOnPluto on December 14, 2013, 11:44:54 PM
I'd proceed with caution. SIL's claim to be "over it" is a load of bulldust. If she was really "over it", she wouldn't have snubbed you at the previous family gatherings at your house.

I think your and your DH need to have a plan of action. For example, you both could agree that if your SIL ignores your greetings, your DH will act as the "prompt". Eg "Sister, my wife said 'Hello' to you. Did you not hear her?"

And if there is any overt rudeness, you and your family should leave straight away.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: sammycat on December 15, 2013, 02:58:00 AM
I'd proceed with caution. SIL's claim to be "over it" is a load of bulldust. If she was really "over it", she wouldn't have snubbed you at the previous family gatherings at your house.

I think your and your DH need to have a plan of action. For example, you both could agree that if your SIL ignores your greetings, your DH will act as the "prompt". Eg "Sister, my wife said 'Hello' to you. Did you not hear her?"

And if there is any overt rudeness, you and your family should leave straight away.

POD.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: Snooks on December 15, 2013, 03:23:28 AM
I'd be tempted to have a pre-Christmas adults only dry run. Meet with SIL and BIL on neutral territory so that the first contact you have isn't in front of the rest of the family and your kids. Get any awkwardness out of the way and if SIL isn't over it then you can decline the family gathering. I know timescales might not allow it but I'd be very wary of placing the whole family in a difficult situation if your SIL continues to ignore you.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: GreenBird on December 15, 2013, 01:10:18 PM
I like Snooks' idea, although I'm sure time is tight at this point.  You could try a telephone 'dry-run' - you could call on some pretense (confirm what you're bringing?) and see if she'll talk to you on the phone.  I wouldn't discuss any past issues or anything, just a test to see if she'll talk directly to you about innocuous things, and be polite with you in a normal conversation.  Maybe it would break the ice a little in advance, and get some of the initial awkwardness out of the way.  (Or at least give you a better idea of what kind of reception you might expect at her house.)
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: doodlemor on December 15, 2013, 02:02:37 PM
I'd proceed with caution. SIL's claim to be "over it" is a load of bulldust. If she was really "over it", she wouldn't have snubbed you at the previous family gatherings at your house.

I think your and your DH need to have a plan of action. For example, you both could agree that if your SIL ignores your greetings, your DH will act as the "prompt". Eg "Sister, my wife said 'Hello' to you. Did you not hear her?"

And if there is any overt rudeness, you and your family should leave straight away.

Most definitely, you and DH need to be on the same page, and have a plan of action that you discuss fully beforehand.  From your previous posts I'm not sure that he still completely understands her malicious behavior.  I suspect that he so accustomed to her quirks that he doesn't see the whole picture.

As for your sons being friends with their cousins - keep in mind that the older these boys get, the more able they will be to keep in touch with each other without adult assistance.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: Arila on December 16, 2013, 01:42:09 AM
Hey OP, I hope you guys can move past this and have a good, and drama free celebration next week. I am a little interested to know if her go-forward behavior is flat out ignoring you or maybe just cool. Not all family has to be close and warm, so long as they are civil.

I like Snooks' idea, although I'm sure time is tight at this point.  You could try a telephone 'dry-run' - you could call on some pretense (confirm what you're bringing?) and see if she'll talk to you on the phone.  I wouldn't discuss any past issues or anything, just a test to see if she'll talk directly to you about innocuous things, and be polite with you in a normal conversation.  Maybe it would break the ice a little in advance, and get some of the initial awkwardness out of the way.  (Or at least give you a better idea of what kind of reception you might expect at her house.)

Don't forget to have DH on the other line to witness, especially if she thinks she's just talking to you. But, I also think it's a good idea to take it slow and ease back into relations. A phone call before a high pressure party is a good intermediate step.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on December 16, 2013, 08:43:01 AM
To be fair to the husband, SIL probably did not come right out and say OP is crazy.  She probably said, "I have no idea what you are talking about.  Haven't we attended parties at your house?  Isn't that proof that we have moved past it?  That OP, she sure likes to stir up drama."

Others are correct: have husband at your side when you say,"Merry Christmas, SIL!"  so that she has to respond or be proved a liar.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: hopeful4 on December 20, 2013, 11:09:27 AM
Don't you just love it when you call someone on their obvious behavior and they act as if they don't know what you are talking about and it must be YOU with the problem?   

If they ignore you say something like "Oh, perhaps you did not hear me but I was just wondering how little Suzie's school play (or ???) went?"  if you are still ignored, leave if you can or at your house, outright ask them if they are uncomfortable talking to you and if so, why and can you work it out with them.   
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57 and #95
Post by: bbaker on December 26, 2013, 12:40:29 AM
OP Here with the update -
We attended the Christmas eve dinner celebration.  It was awkward to say the least.  Think 10 adults sitting at the table (2 grandmothers also attended) with lots of silence.  I tried my best to talk and ask questions to help keep the conversation moving.

Basically I can say we survived with less drama than I expected.  My DH and I were prepared for lots of drama and prepared to walk out if necessary.  I'm glad it wasn't necessary because the kids had a good time with their cousins.

However, even though the kids had fun I think it is the last Christmas eve we will spend with them.  We will politely decline future "invitations".  It was clear that SIL is not truly 'over it'.  I am ready to let go of her.  I think the correct ehell term is that I will 'drop the rope and stop engaging the crazy'.

I am looking forward to spending next Christmas with just my DH and children and creating happy memories.  :D

Thanks again for all the support and good advice! I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!!



Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on December 26, 2013, 08:53:26 AM
Well, at least you will always know that you sincerely tried.  And here's to creating happy new traditions!
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: GrammarNerd on December 26, 2013, 08:58:33 AM
But did she actually talk to you and engage in the conversations that you tried to start?  Or did she do just enough to get by so you couldn't find fault with any one thing, but the whole vibe was just 'off'?
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: Cz. Burrito on December 26, 2013, 09:27:31 AM
But did she actually talk to you and engage in the conversations that you tried to start?  Or did she do just enough to get by so you couldn't find fault with any one thing, but the whole vibe was just 'off'?

My bet is on the latter.  These sorts of people will do just enough to have plausible deniability.  What a piece of work SIL is.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: Oh Joy on December 26, 2013, 10:54:42 AM
Well done at taking the high road.  Now you can turn down future invitations with a peaceful mind.
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57
Post by: cwm on December 26, 2013, 11:16:03 AM
OP, congrats on trying and taking the high road. You can honestly say now that you've given it your best effort, which obviously wasn't good enough for some people. And it's always fun making new traditions!
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do? UPDATE #57 and #95
Post by: gramma dishes on December 26, 2013, 01:45:42 PM

...   We attended the Christmas eve dinner celebration.  It was awkward to say the least.  Think 10 adults sitting at the table (2 grandmothers also attended) with lots of silence.    ...

Well, at least the other people got to see the way she treated you in person.  They've witnessed the awkwardness.  So they'll (perhaps?  hopefully?) be less likely to insist upon your joining them in the future!   :-\


Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: gmatoy on December 26, 2013, 05:17:54 PM
I'm really hoping they don't think your husband will go without you and bring your "assignment"?  You have been beyond gracious at this point by accepting your SIL's poor behavior.  I would use this as the opportunity to set your own boundary and say you (your family, meaning DH and kids, too) will not be attending since you are not welcome.  And DH should be the one to decline the "invitation."
This, especially the part I bolded and underlined.

Can you tell that I liked that advice?

Modified to add: I should have finished reading the entire thing!
Title: Re: Invited but Not Welcome at Family Christmas-What to do?
Post by: Elfmama on December 26, 2013, 10:57:26 PM
OP you should definitely read Art2k's Magic Words (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=126586.0) post.  It's become an ehell classic for many very good reasons.
Thanks for posting this, PG.  I'd never run across it before.