Author Topic: Help! Where do I spend Christmas? (long) update p25, p45  (Read 5841 times)

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Snooks

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Re: Help! Where do I spend Christmas? (long)
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2012, 12:20:07 PM »
I agree with PP who say you need to look at the longer term plan.  If your wedding is in the foreseeable future you could offer your DF the compromise of changing Christmas plans after you get married.  Unfortunately I think you may have to accept the reality that when you are married you may not get to see your family on Christmas.  As someone who is in a similar situation to your DF I suggest the following compromises - stay in a hotel when you visit your family, make DF your priority when you are with your family, if he's looking uncomfortable/bored/sleepy then react to that situation.

Personally I'd lay it out to him in the way of saying "You're asking me to not have the Christmas I enjoy, what's your plan for our Christmas?" that way he gives you the foundation and you can go from there.

Deetee

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Re: Help! Where do I spend Christmas? (long)
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2012, 02:22:21 PM »
Quote
I honestly don’t know what to do. I’d much rather spend Christmas in MyHomeCity. However, I know that DF is well… my DF, and I should be prioritising him. Part of me thinks that if it would truly make him happy, I should suck it up, and spend Christmas in Current City with “just us”. But dang, it’s going to be tough.



Wait, wait, wait. When you are supposed to be prioritizing him, that means you chose him over your family if all else is equal. Is DOES NOT mean you chose his preference over your happiness.

In an ideal situation, he prioritises your happiness over his and you prioritise his over yours, but that means you both communicate and understand what the other wants.

If staying home at Christmas was VERY important to him and he had plans and was brimming over with ideas to make it special for you and still have you visit your family for part, you wouldn't feel conflicted would you? If he was actively planning and considering your happiness, you wouldn't feel like you needed to martyr yourself to his non-plans for Christmas.

And honestly, his plans for Christmas (drink a lot and go to bed early) sound both
1) awful and
2)like he what he does with his family anyhow.
 
(FTR, I'm in favour of drinking a lot so it's not that. I just prefer some festivity mixed with both my drinking and my holidays.) 

So do not feel guilty for wanting happiness.

sparksals

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Re: Help! Where do I spend Christmas? (long)
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2012, 02:28:32 PM »
Other posters have touched on some fabulous points throughout their posts, but there is one thing that is bothering me. Why did you tell your mother about your DF's choice? I believe this was not only wrong, but unfair towards him. You have now placed her in the middle of your relationship, and if I were him, I would be absolutely furious with you for divulging this private decision between the two of you -- oftentimes on this board we see instances where a parent on one side rails against the other, it's definitely the pits. I think you need to keep her out of it, it's not her decision and not her business. I have to say, I sympathize with your DF here. He wants to spend time with YOU, and is getting called "selfish" for it. Sometimes in our lives those days when we have time off to just do regular things with our significant others, those mean a lot to us and we cherish those. If my spouse told me that the activities I wanted to do with them were "boring" and they didn't want to spend Christmas alone with me, I would be hurt.

However, I do think you should perhaps talk to him about exactly why it is boring, this is give-and-take between the two of you and both should be spending equally on the relationship. Perhaps he should give up the drinking for an evening and do something you would warmly enjoy spending time together doing on the holiday.

I wondered the same thing about involving your mother.  If my spouse did that, I would be FURIOUS!  Of course your mom is going to take your side.  Of course she wants you to come at Christmas.  Basically it is a two against one scenario and your DF is always going to lose in those situations.   If you are getting married, you need to learn to work things out privately with your husband and not involve your mother. 

I also have to agree with Camlan - what do you plan to do about Christmas and other holidays when you are married?  It is unfair to expect to go to your parents every year and it is unfair for your mother to expect you to do so.  How many posts have we seen here about unfair division of holidays with family?  Do you expect to go home every year for Xmas after you are married?  Do you plan to ever go to DH's Family Christmas?  You can't have it both ways. 

What happens if you have kids?  Will your mother expect all Christmases?  When will his family get to spend Christmas with your future hypothetical kids?

This is a serious issue and I highly recco you work it out before walking down the aisle. 

sparksals

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Re: Help! Where do I spend Christmas? (long)
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2012, 02:32:44 PM »
I'm absolutely with your mother on this one -- DF is the one who is being selfish. He doesn't want to spend a boring Christmas with his family, yet he doesn't want you to spend time that you enjoy tremendously with yours. That is selfish.

It would be different if he was saying, "Let's have a really special romantic Christmas at home" and making elaborate plans to do exciting things.

In this case, someone needs to tell him to suck it up and go with you to your family's for the holiday.

I agree with everything said here. It sums it up so perfectly that I have nothing to add.

Personally, I don't think the mother should even get a vote, let alone any say in this.  I believe the OP was wrong to even involve her in this situation.  Of course she wants her daughter to come home, so she is going to say he is selfish.  I have to wonder why the DF doesn't like the OP's parents.  Do they intrude in other areas?  Does the OP go to mom with every little problem?   

OP, can you please clarify WHY your DF doesn't like your parents? 

Snooks

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Re: Help! Where do I spend Christmas? (long)
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2012, 02:55:48 PM »
I wondered the same thing about involving your mother.  If my spouse did that, I would be FURIOUS!  Of course your mom is going to take your side.  Of course she wants you to come at Christmas.  Basically it is a two against one scenario and your DF is always going to lose in those situations.   If you are getting married, you need to learn to work things out privately with your husband and not involve your mother. 

O/T This isn't the case with all parents, in fact I've had many times when I wish my mother would just tell me I'm right but she doesn't, because she doesn't think I am.

sparksals

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Re: Help! Where do I spend Christmas? (long)
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2012, 03:46:01 PM »
I wondered the same thing about involving your mother.  If my spouse did that, I would be FURIOUS!  Of course your mom is going to take your side.  Of course she wants you to come at Christmas.  Basically it is a two against one scenario and your DF is always going to lose in those situations.   If you are getting married, you need to learn to work things out privately with your husband and not involve your mother. 

O/T This isn't the case with all parents, in fact I've had many times when I wish my mother would just tell me I'm right but she doesn't, because she doesn't think I am.

In this case, it is because it directly negatively affects the mom in terms of what SHE wants.  But you are right, there are many parents who would be honest, rather than telling what they want to hear. 

HorseFreak

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Re: Help! Where do I spend Christmas? (long)
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2012, 05:12:41 PM »
Once upon a time I had a relationship with a wonderful man. We had our issues, as any relationship does, but conflict between my parents' wants and his wants was a major killer. My father was having a combination milestone birthday and college graduation party (he got his degree at an advanced age) and my BF was graduating with his equal degree the same day. Unfortunately, the parties and graduations were on the same days a 2.5 hour drive apart. I assumed my parents would be reasonable and be OK with splitting the weekend and asked them to pick which was more important that I attend. Instead, they threw an enormous fit, yelled at me about supporting my family (forget my BF of three years) and told me to tell BF to reschedule his party.

For financial reasons I had to go with what my parents wanted and hurt my BF deeply. It's been years and I still feel really terrible about it, especially since we were almost engaged. We broke up a few months later and my inability to balance mine and my parents' wants with his was the last nail in the coffin. He's married now to a lovely girl who's actually a lot like me. Please don't put your parents' and your wants ahead of the man you plan to spend the rest of your life with completely; it breeds a lot of resentment.

Black Delphinium

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Re: Help! Where do I spend Christmas? (long)
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2012, 06:28:46 PM »
I'm going to go against the grain and say that talking about this with your mom in and of itself isn't necessarily rude. I think giving your parents a heads up that you might not be coming is a reasonable thing to do.

I think it'd be a worse idea to wait until later to let them know that plans may be changing. This way they can look into sending your gifts in a timely manner, and rearranging plans for pick ups and drop offs for travelers.
When angels go bad, they go worse than anyone. Remember, Lucifer was an angel. ~The Marquis De Carabas

Lady Snowdon

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Re: Help! Where do I spend Christmas? (long)
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2012, 06:46:34 PM »
I'm going to go against the grain and say that talking about this with your mom in and of itself isn't necessarily rude. I think giving your parents a heads up that you might not be coming is a reasonable thing to do.

I think it'd be a worse idea to wait until later to let them know that plans may be changing. This way they can look into sending your gifts in a timely manner, and rearranging plans for pick ups and drop offs for travelers.

This makes sense if the OP had simply called to let her parents know that she might not be coming for Christmas.  I got the sense from the OP though, that she called to ask her mom's opinion about the issue, which is where I think she went wrong.

SoCalVal

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Re: Help! Where do I spend Christmas? (long)
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2012, 06:53:02 PM »
I, too, am going to say that it wasn't necessarily a bad thing discussing it with your mother, unless you knew she was going to automatically side with you.  I've discussed with my mother some relationship issues I've had with DF.  She does what I would've expected, which is be neutral and offer me some insight from someone with years of experience being married.  She never automatically bad-mouthed DF and, if she had, I probably would've rethought confiding in her in the future.  However, that would've been the same for anyone automatically taking my side and badmouthing the other party, no matter in whom I am placing my confidence.

With that said, I don't think it's necessarily unreasonable for OP's DF to ask the OP stay home, but I do think it's unreasonable for him to expect her to automatically go with what he wants since he's the one who wants to change his plans.  My suggestion for a compromise (since he doesn't want to join her) is that she still gets to spend some time with her family THIS year.  They agree to compromise starting next year.

DF and I have family out of the area and, really, none locally (FBIL doesn't count because he spends his holidays with FSIL's family or goes out of town to see his and DF's extended family like we do).  DF and I determined long ago to alternate.  I started this discussion at the beginning of our relationship so that we wouldn't always be visiting his family and never mine.  I also mentioned that I don't always want to be traveling, especially if we are blessed with children and they are still young enough to require a lot of stuff when we travel.  I am the one who doesn't always want to spend time with others during the holidays, but I don't hold DF back from seeing his family if he wants to (so he goes without me), which includes him going on his family's annual week-long vacation.  I don't expect him to stay home on my account just because I don't want to go.  Would I like to spend the time with him?  Oftentimes, yes, but I know he would be miserable not being with others just like I would be miserable socializing that much so we...compromise.

I think it's selfish of the DF to expect the OP to not see her family because he doesn't want to go, but I don't think it's selfish of DF to want to spend Christmas at home with her.  The holiday is only two months away so I think it's too late to spring this surprise on her for this year and is really unfair.  Next year should be the consideration BUT, the following year, he needs to go with her.  If she has to stay home so they are together, then the fair compromise is when she goes to see her family, he has to go as well.  If he refuses, then he can't expect her to never see her family since there is no compromise then.



LifeOnPluto

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Re: Help! Where do I spend Christmas? (long)
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2012, 10:28:08 PM »
Thanks for the replies guys. To answer a few questions:

1) Re: my mother's involvement. The phone conversation went something like this:

Mum: When are you coming home for Christmas?

Me: Actually, I'm not sure. I might be staying in CurrentCity for Christmas.

Mum: What? Why?

Me: DF would like the two of us to have a quiet Christmas here by ourselves this year. So I'm considering doing that.

Mum: Oh, that is quite selfish of him! You've been working hard all year, and deserve to see your family and friends back in HomeCity. Why don't you come home as usual? DF is welcome to join us too. 


2) DF doesn't actively hate my parents, but he finds them quite overbearing and draining. There used to be a LOT of tension between my folks and DF, but it's gradually getting better. That said, DF can only endure very short visits with them. Staying in a hotel might be an option in future.


3) Long-term, I completely agree that once we're married, we'll probably start alternating Christmases. I have explained to my parents that it's not going to be feasible in future for me to always travel to MyHomeCity for Christmas, especially if DF and I have kids. They are on board with this.

4) To the posters who have said it would be different if DF was actively planning fun, romantic stuff for both of us to do on Christmas Day, yes, that would definitely make a difference. Unfortunately, I think asking him to give up drinking a lot on Christmas Day will go down like a lead balloon, but I can always try.

5) Something I didn't mention in my original post, but might be relevant, is that we always spend NYE together, and we alternate the location. Every second year I fly from MyHomeCity to HisHomeCity in late December to spend a few days over NYE there, and vice versa with him. So it's not like we always spend the entire Christmas break apart.

doodlemor

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Re: Help! Where do I spend Christmas? (long) update p25
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2012, 11:24:39 PM »
You made these statements.....

As a result, he often spends the afternoons of these holidays drinking, and then crashing into bed early. I find this quite boring

Unfortunately, I think asking him to give up drinking a lot on Christmas Day will go down like a lead balloon, but I can always try.

 Marriage will not magically change anyone.  Be aware that this could be your holiday celebrations for the rest of your life.

Frostblooded

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Re: Help! Where do I spend Christmas? (long) update p25
« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2012, 11:35:12 PM »
If his choice is alcohol over compromising with you and trying to put effort into spending time with you at home (he could drink on another holiday day), I think you have far more serious problems that Etiquette Hell cannot resolve.

I still think it was unnecessary to tell your mother about it, she automatically sided with you in "her" interest.

stargazer

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Re: Help! Where do I spend Christmas? (long) update p25
« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2012, 12:28:43 AM »
DH's family does not make a big deal over holidays so we usually spend them with mine for at least part of the time (however, we all live within an hour of each other so it's not a big deal).   However, my brother and his wife are both very close to their families.   Their first year married,  he came here and she went to her family on the opposite side of the country.  Last year he went there.  This year they are splitting up again.  So just because you get married doesn't mean you HAVE to spend the holiday together - but the problem is it sounds like not only does your DF not want to do anything - he doesn't want you to do anything either.  I wouldn't be down with that.  Maybe you can talk to him and tell him if he can come up with ideas of what you two can do together you will consider it, or at least only spend some time with your family instead.  The alcohol is also an issue for me - I'm fine with drinking, but if that is going to be your Christmas every year - it would be a big issue.

SoCalVal

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Re: Help! Where do I spend Christmas? (long) update p25
« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2012, 12:39:10 AM »
To me the big issue is DF doesn't seem to be compromising anything.  HE doesn't want to visit his family.  HE wants to stay home.  HE wants to spend all day drinking.  Where in this is the compromise so OP could enjoy the holiday with him?  If he wants to spend all day drinking, they could always go visit her family and stay in a hotel so she could still see her family while he doesn't have to and still spend the day drinking back in their hotel room.