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Author Topic: Managing Holiday Plans  (Read 5895 times)

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Re: Managing Holiday Plans
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2013, 01:53:35 PM »
I support your decision to avoid your toxic FIL and his wife; since their latest acts are still fresh in everyone's memory, could you use "we all need some breathing room after this last drama" instead of "we will never be around them again (even if it's true)" when you discuss Boxing Day plans with your BIL?  Since the holidays are so close and stressful at the best of times, this might go down easier than the more accurate "never again"; and then you have more time to make the BILs and anyone else understand your viewpoint later in the year.


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Re: Managing Holiday Plans
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2013, 02:12:54 PM »
Is it possible to move the gathering to your place?  That way you could control the guest list. 

You really can't dictate the guest list in somebody else's house.  I was going to suggest being polite and distant, and leaving if they became difficult.  That way, it would be less likely to end with blame on you.  But you said that spending time in the same room with FIL and SMIL wasn't an option

If it's not, I think that I would make other plans for boxing day.  Something just came up that you must attend to.  Either now, or just before Boxing Day.


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Re: Managing Holiday Plans
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2013, 02:37:43 PM »
You could always come down with a stomach virus if they show up.  It won't work every time, but it might this time.
I myself would probably just not go.


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Re: Managing Holiday Plans
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2013, 03:13:16 PM »
I just re-read the OP, and I am unclear on who the host actually is.

I agree with pp's that if the gathering is at MIL's house, then you can be more direct with her - she is already aware of your status with FIL.  And BIL doesn't really have any business extending invitations anyway, in that case. So I think more of a "heads-up, we won't stick around" is OK.

If it is BIL's house and he is hosting, I do think you're better off asking for info instead of direct telling.  There is no reason to invite BIL into the middle of this.


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Re: Managing Holiday Plans
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2013, 03:17:41 PM »
Thanks all for the advice.

I believe we're leaning toward asking BIL and MIL if they plan to invite FIL.  If either says yes we'll politely reschedule.  We won't mention anything about it being permanent or estrangement - just find out the info and make our choice.

Our big concern is that we don't want to be accused of starting drama on Christmas so we'd rather know the whole situation and make choices based on full info.  We are in the state for three weeks so there is definitely time to see people other times.

As for hosting - while we are open to inviting people to my parents' house (where we're staying), it is roughly a 2 hour drive and I doubt the inlaws would be willing to head our direction.  There is a general attitude of parents=hosts among DH's family so MIL's house is kind of seen as the only option.  And they haven't really been willing to travel to see DH without serious prodding in the past.  It irks me to be honest, but the only polite thing you can do is keep quiet and make the plans you want to make in that case.

In years past there was a pretty standard Christmas schedule:

- Christmas Eve afternoon at FIL's house without MIL
- Christmas Eve evening at FIL's brother's house with extended family and MIL
- Christmas morning at MIL's house without FIL
- Christmas afternooon/evening at my parents' house

Sometimes we did Boxing Day at MIL's house without FIL instead of Christmas Day.  We initially floated the idea of Boxing Day to MIL and BIL over the phone around Thanksgiving hoping to go ahead and make separate plans from the normal schedule.  Since we don't want drama, if at all possible, we didn't mention FIL at all.  Usually older BIL follows a similar schedule to us so we assumed his FIL time would come on Christmas Eve as it has in years past.

Except this time, since he is staying home with his nuclear family until Christmas Day and then going to his inlaws house, he won't see FIL at all until Boxing Day or later.  Before there were issues with DH and I, MIL would often invite FIL over to share in shortened visits --- in other words, since older BIL is missing Christmas Eve... that's why we think FIL will get invited.  Combine the timing with MIL and older BIL's constant need to play peacemaker and.... here we are.


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Re: Managing Holiday Plans
« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2013, 04:16:23 PM »
It is not avoidance of is avoidance of a toxicity that can ruin one's life.  From the previous stories, FIL and his lovely wife delight in making OP's DH miserable.  They want him to be their puppet..they pull all the strings and he does exactly what they want and when he cuts those strings, they make his life pure hell.  They did every thing they could to ruin OP and her DH's wedding and for that, they should get the cut.  I have had to share a room and suck it up around people that I had given the cut to and it ruined my whole day because I was so tense just waiting for what would happen (and inevitably did) and I vowed I will NEVER do that again.  It is one thing to have to share the auditorium or bleachers with an ex (been there, done that) but you are not 'forced' to have interactions with them at an event like a school play or sporting event that you have to do at a family event.  I would have your DH calmly just tell his brother and his mother that if the dad and step mom come, due to the issues you have had with them, you will quietly leave and then, do so.  If his mom or anyone else wants to make an issue of it, that is on them.  You are both adults who make your own decisions and no one has the right to force you to interact with anyone that you do not want to.  And really, what is with his mom???   I agree with the other posters who say she is waaaaaaaay to invested in her ex's marriage and life.