DH can at times be a pushover, and he can be conflict avoider. However - this was a really good example of his spine.
We are visiting a vacation area in the south this summer - and its a 12 - 14 hour drive. Since we haven't seen my parents since T-Day ( they are reluctant to travel up our way - for a whole lot of nonsensical reasons ) we decided to take a few days off our trip and drive to see them. The trip to their house from our vacation area is 4 hours and then we have a 10 hour drive home from their house. ( Its sort of a U shaped driving trip ).
my Mom called to confirm the dates and was very insistent that they were firm, which seemed odd. They really don't travel in the summer - because of their garden ( don't ask ) . She then proceeded to tell me that she wanted to see if she could get a family reunion lined up with her siblings - etc and wanted us to attend. Now I haven't seen those folks in a long time - DH and the boys have never met them. I asked Mom where this reunion would be and she named a state park. I said to her - anyway we could have it at your house ? - we will have been driving a lot and are only here for 3 days and hate to spend another day driving ( we used to do this all the time growing up and I of course would help set up etc. ) . She said Oh no - this park is very close drive , nothing to worry about. So based on that I agreed. DH and the boys were not thrilled with meeting a bunch of long lost relatives - although I would like to see them.
Well - its close to a 3 hour drive to this park- one way. Seriously. ( FYI - Mom lives within a 90 radius of everyone - but some of the family members like to go and camp at this park ).
DH and I called her the next day and said, it isn't going to work for us to drive 4 hours - out of our way from vacation - to turn around and make a 6 hour round trip in one day and then leave the next day for a 10 hour trip home. She kept saying that my niece ( 13 )really wanted to have this reunion and meet all these relatives. We explained to her that yes, we'd like to see them too - but there are parks and other places that are within an hours drive away.
She also expressed great sadness that some of her siblings had never met the boys, I also reminded her that when we would come to visit - no one would come visit us ( well my favorite aunt and uncle always did but they passed on the last 2 years ).
DH was very firm, told my mother it would not be possible. She then said well we are going to go anyway ( thinking that she would force us into it once we were there ). DH calmly said - OK - good to know - we will spend extra days at vacation area and not stop by for a long weekend - since there is no point if you won't be there.
My mother pulls this stuff quite a bit - when she wants something its all about her. I was proud of DH ( I asked him to hanlde it so I wouldn't get angry with my mother ).
My Dad did call us later and said he thought the whole reunion thing was not a great idea - but she could not be persuaded. he said he wasn't going - so he'd spend the day with DH and the boys fishing and I could go out with some old friends.
We did JADE a bit - but sometimes you need this with family. Also I know we initially agreed - but it was based on Mom telling a lie about the driving time