Author Topic: Holidays with the In-Laws when the Spouse isn't there - more info #10  (Read 4837 times)

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pixel dust

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This is a long way off and I'm not even sure if Hubs is going on this trip or not but it got me thinking...

BG:

Hubs and I have been together for nearly 8 total years, moved 7 hours away from home 4 years ago, and have been married for 8 months. Before this past Christmas, we had spent every Christmas together as follows:
- Christmas Eve with Mom's side of the family.
- Christmas Day: Lunch and presents with Dad's side of the family, then over to Hubs aunt's house for dinner and more presents, then back to Dad's side of the family for dessert and games. (It's definitely lop-sided, I know that. Hubs' family consists of him, his Mom and Dad, Mom's two sisters, each of whom is married and each has two kids (12 people including me). Their get-together's are small and quiet and short. My Dad's family is Grandma and her 5 kids, each of whom is married, plus 9 cousins and their significant others and 5 great-grandchildren. Presents alone are an all-day affair. Parties with this family last for at least 6 hours, if not more.)

end BG

So. This past Christmas, now that we're married, we decided to take holidays as they come instead of blindly saying, "Yeah, we're definitely coming up for Christmas this year!". This past Christmas was spent at home with each other then we went to a nice dinner with friends.

There's a chance this next Christmas Hubs could be traveling and we may be unable to spend Christmas together. If so, I would definitely be traveling home to spend the holiday with family. My question (finally) - would you feel obligated to spend a portion of Christmas day with your in-laws if your spouse wasn't going to be there? I definitely plan on visiting my MIL and FIL while I'm in town, but honestly, if Hubs isn't there, I'd rather spend Christmas day with just my family and not break up the day like we normally did. I don't get many holiday with just my family anymore and I miss it sometimes.

FYI - There is no toxicity between me and my IL's, they're nice people who love me like a daughter and I know they would love to have me there to celebrate Christmas with them, with or without Hubs.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 03:23:12 PM by pixel dust »

auntmeegs

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Re: Holidays with the In-Laws when the Spouse isn't there
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2012, 04:07:59 PM »
My DH travels a lot too so I've been in similar situations a few times.  Usually I try to make a brief appearence if possible.  I adore my inlaws and even if it a bit of an imposition, I make an effort to pop in, if only just for a drink.  I know they appreciate it and it means the world to my DH.  On the otherhand, if logistics make it difficult for you to do that, or you really just want to stay put for the day, I don't think there is anything wrong with that either.  I'm sure they would understand.  Would there be the option of popping in the next day or the day before maybe? 

NyaChan

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Re: Holidays with the In-Laws when the Spouse isn't there
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2012, 05:49:39 PM »
I agree that popping in to see them would be nice, especially since they won't be seeing their son, but if you don't want to go I think a phone call would be good enough.  Shows that you are thinking of them and still consider them a part of your family.

QueenofAllThings

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Re: Holidays with the In-Laws when the Spouse isn't there
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2012, 09:15:29 PM »
I think it's more important when grandchildren are involved.

Otherwise, plan a special day when hubs is around to celebrate with them.

shivering

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Re: Holidays with the In-Laws when the Spouse isn't there
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2012, 11:38:23 PM »
It sounds as if they live pretty close to your family. Personally, I would go over for an hour or so. You're married to their son and officially part of their family too. I'm sure it'd be nice to see for them to see you on the actual holiday. Now, if you really didn't care for his family or had a strained relationship with them, I'd say don't bother.

You're not in the wrong if you choose not to go, but I'd probably be a little hurt if I was in his family's place.

However, if the situation comes up and you have children, then yes, I'd say that you'd need to go in this situation.

TootsNYC

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Re: Holidays with the In-Laws when the Spouse isn't there
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2012, 12:28:17 AM »
I would go. And I would be expected to go. As shivering says, you're part of their family now, too.

And I would go as the Official Representative of My Husband. Because he can't be there, I'd go in order to take his greetings and warm wishes.

And it would bother me if my daughter- or sister-in-law was **in town** (or in the near vicinity, especially if we don't usually see them) for the holidays and she only visited her own family. I'd be hurt, and I'd be really cool to her in the future.

Because by not stopping by at all, she'd be saying, "you're not important to ME. I only know you because my husband insists. I can't be bothered with you, personally."

And no, a phone call wouldn't be enough.

miranova

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Re: Holidays with the In-Laws when the Spouse isn't there
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2012, 08:53:27 AM »
Since you say that they are nice people who treat you as a daughter, I have to completely agree with Toots. 

I think you should visit them.  I think to do otherwise would be a bit of a snub and a little short-sighted.  These people are going to be a part of your lives for a long time.  Fostering a good relationship is wise.  I don't think it's too much of a hardship to stop by and visit for an hour or two, even if your husband is not with you.   Otherwise it does look a bit like you don't care about them personally and only go with your husband when you have to.

kckgirl

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Re: Holidays with the In-Laws when the Spouse isn't there
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2012, 09:23:58 AM »
I agree with the others. Go over for a visit, even if you can only stay for a couple of hours.
Maryland

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Re: Holidays with the In-Laws when the Spouse isn't there
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2012, 12:55:04 PM »
Can you go traveling with your husband instead?

Roe

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Re: Holidays with the In-Laws when the Spouse isn't there
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2012, 01:53:38 PM »
I would go. And I would be expected to go. As shivering says, you're part of their family now, too.

And I would go as the Official Representative of My Husband. Because he can't be there, I'd go in order to take his greetings and warm wishes.

And it would bother me if my daughter- or sister-in-law was **in town** (or in the near vicinity, especially if we don't usually see them) for the holidays and she only visited her own family. I'd be hurt, and I'd be really cool to her in the future.

Because by not stopping by at all, she'd be saying, "you're not important to ME. I only know you because my husband insists. I can't be bothered with you, personally."

And no, a phone call wouldn't be enough.

I completely agree with Toots.  You are part of the family now and I would make an effort to show it. 

pixel dust

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Re: Holidays with the In-Laws when the Spouse isn't there
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2012, 03:21:11 PM »
Can you go traveling with your husband instead?

lol oh DEFINITELY not! It's for work and he's going overseas. And not to a place where I could lay on the beach/do tourist-y things while he works. He'd be gone from the Monday after Thanksgiving until the beginning of February.

Nothing's in stone yet and if Hubs does end up staying State-side then we'll probably end up staying home (since we'll have been up to home-town for the week over Thanksgiving).
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 03:22:48 PM by pixel dust »