Author Topic: Used This One On DH and His Family  (Read 16866 times)

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KitFox

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Used This One On DH and His Family
« on: September 23, 2009, 02:59:40 PM »
I'm on a sort of "Take Back My Life" rampage right now, and I've had several occasions to use this one on the ILs. The ILs do every major holiday at GMIL's. Every. Single. One. Since DH and I became a serious thing, I have gone to GMIL's for these "celebrations," disappointing my own family to keep the peace. Not doing that anymore. So, since I made that decision, I've been using this one a LOT on DH and my ILs.

DH: "I know you want to go to your mom's for Thanksgiving, but I really think we need to go to Grandma's, too."
Me: "I promised my mom she and I were going to spend the day together this year. Going to Grandma's just isn't possible."
DH: "But you could spend the morning with your mom and then come down with me for dinner!"
Me: "Cook dinner with mom and not eat with her and dad? That's just not going to happen. I promised mom, so going to see your family is just not possible."
DH: "But...but...the family is expecting us!"
Me: "I'm sorry, but I didn't make plans with them. I made plans with my family. I have a family too. Going down to Grandma's is Simply. Not. Possible."

Then he had to go and tell GMIL and FIL that I wasn't coming. So the phone calls have started from them. I swear they're talking from the same script. The only difference in the conversation is the octave their side is conducted in.

GMIL/FIL: "Why aren't you coming to Thanksgiving?"
Me: "I promised my mom she could have the whole day with me. I'm not breaking my promise to my mom."
GMIL/FIL: "But, we wanted the whole family together for Thanksgiving!"
Me: "So did my mom. What you're asking is not going to happen."
GMIL/FIL: "But this could be my last year with the family! My [insert disease/condition] is getting really bad!"
Me: "And you might remember that my mom spent as much time IN the hospital this year as out of it. I'm spending the holiday with my family. Coming down to see you will be impossible."
GMIL/FIL: "If you loved us, you'd come down!"
Me: *stifling laughter* "I'm sorry that you're disappointed, but it's not going to happen."

Then there's the whole "gift exchange," for Christmas, which we're bowing out of. They draw names at Thanksgiving and you get the person who's name you got a $50 gift card. I don't have $100 to spend on whoever's name I draw, plus GMIL and FIL (who insult you and call you cheap if their gift is less than $50) plus $20 each for all five cousins. That's $300, which is more than I spent on my family and my DH the last TWO years. I've explained that money's tight and we have to bow out of the gift exchange. They don't believe me. I'm just cheap.
I've been careful to point out that we don't want people to give US things because we can't reciprocate in kind. It's not like we're gift-grabbing or anything like that.

IL: "You need to be in the gift exchange!"
Me: "That's not possible."
IL: "But, it's a tradition."
Me: "A tradition we can't afford. Please don't put our names in the Thanksgiving Draw."
IL: "But you have to!"
Me: "We can't. It's just not possible."

I wouldn't say that it's working 100%, but I've explained the why's once to them, and now it's just a merry-go-round of "you have to!" followed by "that's not possible." But at least I have a nice, easy script to follow now. Eventually they just give up and stop talking to me. Which makes me happy. ;D

Shiraz_Much?

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Re: Used This One On DH and His Family
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2009, 03:46:51 PM »
You are my new hero!

Your In-Laws are beyond ridiculous.

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Sophia

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Re: Used This One On DH and His Family
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2009, 03:52:04 PM »
...GMIL/FIL: "If you loved us, you'd come down!"...

I wonder what they would have said if you'd responded, "Not as much as my mother"

Is your husband spending the day with you at your parent's or with them?

hobish

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Re: Used This One On DH and His Family
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2009, 04:02:22 PM »

Kit-Fox, your in laws sound ridiculous; i'm sorry you have to deal with all that. Good for you for finding a way you can deal with it!

It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
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Sharon F

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Re: Used This One On DH and His Family
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2009, 04:48:04 PM »
Suggestion here..when I was growing up we always had Thanksgiving dinner at my father's parents, and always had Christmas dinner at my mother's parents. My parents were the first on her side and second on his side of children to be married, it actually set a precedent that the remaining unmarried children followed with their wives and children when they got them, as well as my fathers married older brother, everyone was quite agreeable to this concept because once a year for each side the entire family was. See if this could work, considering the costliness of DH's family Christmas, I would make Turkey day at IL's and Christmas at parents the standing tradition.

Sophia

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Re: Used This One On DH and His Family
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2009, 05:50:02 PM »
We did something similar, in our case it they swapped every year, and whoever got Thanksgiving also got Easter.  But, if I had Kit-Fox's IL's I would want Christmas with my family every year. 

What fun is it to exchange gift cards every year? 

KitFox

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Re: Used This One On DH and His Family
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2009, 06:04:29 PM »
...GMIL/FIL: "If you loved us, you'd come down!"...

I wonder what they would have said if you'd responded, "Not as much as my mother"

Is your husband spending the day with you at your parent's or with them?
He hasn't decided. There are deeper issues at work that aren't really part of the etiquette thing. But I'm thinking if he keeps going to lunch with his dad, he'll be back on my side of the fence soon.

Suggestion here..when I was growing up we always had Thanksgiving dinner at my father's parents, and always had Christmas dinner at my mother's parents. My parents were the first on her side and second on his side of children to be married, it actually set a precedent that the remaining unmarried children followed with their wives and children when they got them, as well as my fathers married older brother, everyone was quite agreeable to this concept because once a year for each side the entire family was. See if this could work, considering the costliness of DH's family Christmas, I would make Turkey day at IL's and Christmas at parents the standing tradition.

It's a good idea, Sharon, and we did try it. Thanksgiving is mom's favorite holiday and Christmas was GMIL's and MIL's favorite, so we'd originally agreed to do Thanksgiving with my family, Christmas Eve with his (that's when the big party is) and Christmas Day together with a few hours at my folks' for Christmas dinner. There is no short way to explain what happened....

The first Thanksgiving was fine. But the second year we ate lunch with my folks, and then DH announced that we were going down to GMIL's because he promised his folks we'd spend "some" time with them. So we cut short our time with MY family and spent that time with HIS. I told him after that I didn't want to do that again, and we'd agreed to split the holidays and I was really surprised and a little hurt. He promised not to do it again, and then did it again. I felt trapped because I thought I was required to go with him if they invited us both.

GMIL and FIL pushed him to get my family to do Thanksgiving a day early so that the whooole faaaaaamily could be together on Thanksgiving. That didn't happen, but I didn't fight for my family time, and so we wound up having truncated visits with my mom and dad and then spending HOURS with his whole family. Whee. Last year, I really pushed and so DH told his GMIL we wouldn't be down. Starting at 11am Thanksgiving, FIL started calling, every hour, then every half-hour, to tell us we HAD to come down because they're our faaaaaamily. And DH caved. He wouldn't turn off his phone "in case there's an emergency." So, the ILs (and DH, to be honest) ruined last Thanksgiving for my mom.

Christmases were the same thing. We'd spent literally 6 to 10 hours with the whole family Christmas Eve. Before we married and DH was living with his folks (paying rent, helping out because of MIL's illness), they'd have their Christmas morning and I'd have mine with my folks, and then DH'd come over to my folks' for Christmas dinner. After we married, we'd planned to do the same kind of thing. His family Christmas Eve, our home in the morning, my folks in the afternoon. But Christmas Day, the first year we were married, starting at 10:00 this time, FIL started calling telling us we had to come over and spend time with them. It happened the following year as well. Last year, I put my foot down and took DH's phone from him and told my FIL that we'd spent something like 7-8 hours with him and his the night before, and we weren't going to come visit. And DH and I had a fight on Christmas Day because of it.

So yeah, good idea, but my IL's are crazy.

rhirhi

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Re: Used This One On DH and His Family
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2009, 06:18:45 PM »
So, what's going to be your plan when the entire family (including your DH) 'forgets' and he comes home with two names from the draw and uses 'you weren't there to remind me' as his excuse? Basically, I'm warning you to have a plan in place because you know it will happen.

delphinium

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Re: Used This One On DH and His Family
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2009, 07:29:41 PM »
We used to go to two Thanksgiving dinners because neither of us wanted to miss seeing our family.  Everybody lived in the same town, so it wasn't a problem.  My family didn't mind having the dinner later in the day to accommodate us. 

Then, at Christmas, we spent Christmas Eve with my family and the Day with DH's.  That worked out well. 

KitFox

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Re: Used This One On DH and His Family
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2009, 09:04:25 AM »
So, what's going to be your plan when the entire family (including your DH) 'forgets' and he comes home with two names from the draw and uses 'you weren't there to remind me' as his excuse? Basically, I'm warning you to have a plan in place because you know it will happen.

I don't have a plan yet. I'm thinking that I can probably call Cool Aunt, tell her that we REALLY can't afford it, and ask her to find out who got me and DH and tell them that we're not participating in the gift exchange, so they need to get gifts for the people whose names were given to us.

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Re: Used This One On DH and His Family
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2009, 01:46:54 AM »
Good for you!
Stewart/Colbert '16

Moralia

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Re: Used This One On DH and His Family
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2009, 06:37:05 PM »
I don't suppose "accidentally" putting all the phones on silent on holidays planned to spend with your fam would work?
 >:D

It sounds like they're the sort who won't respect splitting of the holidays. So I say put your foot down, enforce equal time and good luck!

The whole line about "forsaking all others" wasn't in your wedding vows, was it?

kckgirl

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Re: Used This One On DH and His Family
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2009, 06:51:19 PM »
It sounds like most of your problem with splitting holiday time is a DH problem. Yes, the in-laws are demanding, but you don't have to ask "How high?" every time they say, "Jump." Your DH needs to learn that.
Maryland

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Re: Used This One On DH and His Family
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2009, 07:04:47 PM »
Honesty, my first reaction would be "why are you calling us? We had our time with you please respect the time we are having with ___ family. Thank you for calling and we'll get back to you tomorrow." I'd be on a really short temper if we were getting phone calls every half hour. Family needs to respect the decisions members make, not drag them  into guilt fests which encourage more bad behavior.

Lynda_34

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Re: Used This One On DH and His Family
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2009, 11:51:58 PM »
This might or might not work.

Let him answer the phone, they're calling him, not you.

Take two cars to your family's event.

When they start badgering him, give him a kiss, tell him, I'll see you at home, love ya, and hand him the keys to his car.
No drama, if he goes, he goes, no power struggle.  Your family is important, so is his.

he can go to his family, no problem, you can spend time with yours.

You've both already spent time with each family and with each other. Relax,  since it takes two for a power struggle, let him know it isn't a problem.  This may be your new tradition until you have other changes and need to rework it.