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The right thing to do?

(26 Posts)
Dilemma251217 Thu 09-Nov-17 18:51:53

NC for this. I am not entirely comfortable with what I am going to write and know a few folk on here in RL.

I have been with DP for 4 years. We always have a great time at Xmas, my parents and his parents get on, we eat lots, drink lots, have a laugh etc. All good.

This year DMs DM is very poorly and it may be her last Xmas. I'm not close to DGM. Since I left home 18 years ago I have visited a couple times a year. She's a nice lady, but we have very opposing views on most things. Visits consist of small talk, avoiding politics, religious views, morals etc.

My DP has never met DGM. His views are even further away from hers. Think Trump and Corbin having Xmas lunch together trying to make polite chit chat. DGM is very vocal about her views. I have learned to smile and nod.

DM wants us all to go to DGMs for Xmas Day. Including me and DP. Since GM is very unwell and it will likely be her last Xmas.

It will likely be awkward and uncomfortable. Like I said, we have never been close or seen much of each other. DP and I live 250 miles away.

Should we go? It feels like it would be for the sake of appearances. I don't think DGM enjoys my company, and don't think she would like DPs much either. We will all be sitting awkwardly making small talk (with no help from a stiff drink) until DGM falls asleep in front of the tv. We would be doing it because it would be considered the "right thing to do".

I know that's brutally honest and may sound cold. I know some people have great loving relationships with GP. We have never had that. It would feel a bit of a farce.

What DP actually want to do is go to a party we've been invited to that would be great fun. I would pop over to see DGM before Xmas.

What would you do?

rupertpenryswife Thu 09-Nov-17 19:04:41

Go with your gut if you think dp would be unhappy and you would to, what's the point? However, if you want to support your dm then you may think it's worth going, only you know. I hope you find a happy compromise, you can't choose your family but you can decide what's best for you.

DancesWithOtters Thu 09-Nov-17 19:19:56

I have a very similar situation.

It's as if no one would really enjoy themselves, but theres the idea that it would be the dutiful thing to do.

Bloody Christmas and family weirdness.

singadream Thu 09-Nov-17 19:27:01

Don’t go. Send a video message. Visit her shortly before or shortly after and have s lovely Christmas.

JenniferYellowHat1980 Thu 09-Nov-17 20:53:06

I wouldn’t do it. It would be fake and obvious. I’d feel the same, for much the same reasons about by own grandmothers. We don’t spend any of the Christmas period together and I wouldn’t if either of them were dying. I have no ill felling towards either of them but we’re not close and we have opposing values.

Dilemma251217 Thu 09-Nov-17 20:57:37

Thank you for replying.

She would probably be flummoxed by a video message. She has no smartphone, computer or wifi 😆. Bless her.

I don't think we'll go. It would be weird.

People who have very close families never really get it, I thought I'd get flamed and told I'll be sorry when she's dead etc.

It would be lovely if we were close but we're not. I kind of think she'd be pleased we made the effort, but I think she'd have a better more relaxed day without us there.

Justbookedasummmerholiday Thu 09-Nov-17 20:59:53

Maybe think about it like this :
If you go and it goes pear shaped you have all ruined her last Christmas!
Crude but possible.
Send a card and nice gift.

Celticlassie Thu 09-Nov-17 21:07:30

Can you not pop over for a couple of hours in the morning for a festive breakfast, mince pies, etc?

Then go to the party after?

Celticlassie Thu 09-Nov-17 21:08:20

Oops, sorry, just RTFT.


TheSpottedZebra Thu 09-Nov-17 21:24:50

Is your mum hoping for some support from you? Is that why she wants you there?
Or is it just for appearances' sake?

walnutwhip88 Thu 09-Nov-17 22:10:27

YABVU..can't give up one xmas and make a bit of an effort at least for DM's sake.

FritzDonovan Thu 09-Nov-17 22:38:35

Its more for your dm than your dgm, isn't it though? I'd at least make a bit of an effort because of this, even if it was just a duty visit of a couple of hours. Can you suggest a pre-xmas visit with dm, then she can spend xmas day itself with dgm in a more relaxed atmosphere?

JenniferYellowHat1980 Thu 09-Nov-17 22:44:26

Most people get old. If they’ve been a warm and thoughtful person they can expect their loved ones to rally around. If they haven’t, well no one should have to pretend otherwise. I’m sure that OP will acknowledge her grandmother over Christmas in some way, and will pay her last respects when the time comes. Don’t give her a guilt trip.

Ttbb Thu 09-Nov-17 22:48:25

What about your mother? This must be a hard time for here and surely will mean a lot to her?

singadream Thu 09-Nov-17 22:57:34

The whole of my family was gathered for my ‘difficult’ DGM’s birthday five times in case it was the last one...

glitterbiscuits Thu 09-Nov-17 23:06:04

I would think about it from your mother’s perspective. Would it make her happy?
If yes you could probably stick GMs company for a short while with gritted teeth.

CakesRUs Thu 09-Nov-17 23:34:51

Would DM understand if you didn’t go? I think if you visit her at Christmas time, it’d be ok to skip Christmas Day. If you do go though, if it were me, I’d bite my tongue regarding political differences.

Isadora2007 Fri 10-Nov-17 03:02:57

I would speak honestly to my mum about the reasons why you feel you shouldn’t go. It may be more for her (Mum) sake than your gran but I think you need to say to your Mum it may not be what’s best for her(gran) on the day itself.
Hope that makes sense.

DeadDoorpost Fri 10-Nov-17 03:24:52

(Omg this could have been me a few years ago, only my DM definitely used emotional blackmail rather than genuinely suggesting it.)

If you're uncomfortable with going, then don't. There's nothing worse than high tension over a period where people's moods tend to be better than usual. It just makes it more palpable and awkward.
Who else would be going with your mum though? If it was just her and you and your DH I could maybe see the reason for her wanting you there as well but if there'll be other famik y present then I wouldn't go, but go just before or after like you said.

ppeatfruit Fri 10-Nov-17 10:33:48

If she's anything like my almost 90 yr old dmum she'll be deaf (or nearly)! I'd go, after priming my dh to be on his best behaviour. She'll also fall asleep quickly after lunch and then ,if you drive and haven't had too much to drink, you can creep out!

Dilemma251217 Fri 10-Nov-17 11:47:48

Thank you for all of your replies.

Unfortunately we can't just pop in for a couple of hours. We are in Bristol and they are in York. So it is an 8hr round trip - 4hrs each way.

It would be absolutely fine to pop in if they were half an hour down the road.

It would be for DMs sake in a sense that she thinks it's the right thing to do. But not that she would need support. They are not close, and DM sees DGM more out of a sense of duty/obligation than love. Noone is particularly close to DGM. She is not a very easy person to be around.

I don't think I could make DP spent christmas in the car to visit someone he has never met before and who he wont particularly like and vice versa. If I was to go it would probably be on my own, which means Xmas away from DP also. (He would go if I asked him to, but I wouldn't).

I think I am going to offer to visit the week before or after.

ppeatfruit Fri 10-Nov-17 12:52:17

Oh dear, does your GM live in sheltered housing? Could she just have a meal with her friends there? She probably wouldn't notice if you were there or not!

Yes go earlier or later in the month. I hate all this obsession about one day. We are getting together as a family at the beginning of Dec. and will be travelling and or staying in different countries on Xmas day !

Celticlassie Fri 10-Nov-17 21:10:37

Could you go and stay in a hotel nearby? So at least afterwards (late afternoon?) you can escape and have lovely food and drink in a hotel room?

And then there would be no residual guilt.

JenniferYellowHat1980 Fri 10-Nov-17 21:37:10

I think you’ve got the right idea with visiting in the run up to Christmas or the lull afterwards. I suspect your DM wants a bit of moral support but if she feels the need to spend Christmas with her mum (I probably would too) she needs to suck it up and not guilt you into it. A grandparent is quite a remove from a parent.

Butterymuffin Fri 10-Nov-17 21:43:29

I'd go just before Christmas. There's the long weekend then so maybe go up Friday after work, have Saturday with her then come back Sat night / Sunday morning ready for the party and some relaxation.

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