AIBU to think i sorted this out fairly??(15 Posts)
FIL made a comment to OH at the weekend saying that he is having a 'rethink' about family because he was left alone on xmas day. Im getting really fed up of this, its the same every christmas, we can never do it right. This is the back story:
Arguments started the first xmas after Lo was born (2011). At the time we were living in a flat and didnt really have the room to host christmas, so we thought we would go to either my parents (MIL would come to my parents because FIL wont have her round for xmas since they split up) or FIL for xmas day and then go to the other's to stay over xmas day night and boxing day. That way everyone got to see LO on his first xmas and we would do it the opposite way round for 2012 (we expected to have a house after this).
we tossed a coin to decide whose parents we were going to go to and FIL won. You would think he would be happy with this, but as soon as it was decided he started making more demands - he wanted us to stay xmas eve and stay until LO's bedtime xmas day so my parents wouldnt get a chance to see him etc. OH said no, because i wanted to spend an hour or so of xmas morning by ourselves as family time (because i wouldnt get a chance to see LO otherwise as everybody else would be stealing him all day ;) ). He thought i was being selfish suggesting this and was making it hard work for OH because he would have to rush to his and then rush to my mum and dads sigh (we got to his at 10 and left at 5 so we had plenty of time at his!). HE then started being all martyr ish and was saying no go to my parents for xmas and he would have us next year. OH said no we were going to his and it would be exactly the same situation the following year.
In january 2012 i had a career change and we had enough money to afford a deposit on a house earlier then expected. This mean that we could host xmas ourselves, but i was a bit nervous of rocking the boat since we had said we would do the opposite of what we had done the year before! However, unfortunately my dad was diagnosed with cancer and had to have an operation, at the end of last year. because of all this extra pressure, i asked if my mum and dad would prefer to come to ours soo they didnt have to worry about it (especially since MIL was coming and SIL and BIL wanted to pop in too) and they said yes.
So we started a new system. We would host christmas dinner - alternate my parents and MIL with FIL (And BIL and SIL if they want to come too) , but after christmas dinner whoever wants to come and see LO can do so. We would then spend boxing day with the people we didnt spend xmas dinner with.
FIL refused to agree to come after xmas dinner (even though BIL and SIL came later on) saying he didnt want to see MIL or my parents (??!!). AGAIN he asked if he could come in the morning and OH explained again that we wanted time with just us has a family. He then went into sulk. Eventually we agreed he could come at 11. He said this was too late and refused to come.
BIL and SIL also decided to go to BIL's parent's house for christmas because they had never gone to them in the 7 years they have been dating (because of the same issues with FIL, but SIL gave into his demands). they invited FIL too but he said no he would rather spend it by himself.
He also had a gf at the time (split up now) and she invited him to come to her ex's for xmas (they get on well) or they could go away on holiday together. he refused both of these. He also got invited around to his neighbours for xmas and said no.
So aibu in thinking that 1.i over thinked xmas too much to make it as fair as possible and 2. FIL is bu for blaming us for him being alone for xmas??
I think your FIL sounds like a petulant child who wants the world and his
ex wife to dance to his tune.
He's being an idiot, ignore him! You've bent over backwards to accommodate him. He shouldn't have such a long list of people he doesn't want to spend time with.
Let him have his rethink about family , the way he's going he will end up totally alone all year . What a sad man . You and your OH ,and the rest of the family seem to have been more than accommodating so I wouldn't worry about it and definitely wouldn't start pandering to him .
He is behaving like a child
The only thing I wonder (i always think it is worth bearing in mind) is whether he has some kind of cognitive problems ie early dementia) that are making him unreasonable and illogical
Of course, many many people are a PITA without any medical explanation.
You need a strict rotation over the holidays, it worked for us, but we didn't have to factor in any divorcees and everyone just got along fine.
So, year 1 - I do Christmas, Mil did Boxing Day, my Mum did New years day. All family and hangers on invited to everything.
Year 2 - you move it a day - Mum did Christmas, I did Boxing Day, Mil did NY Day
It is much easier to say "this is the way it is, you are welcome to come, if not, see you such and such a day"
We also bring the neighbours in of an evening.
I just would not put up with petulance, foot stomping and such behaviour. On the other hand as I perceive Christmas as a family time the whole 'alone time as a family' does not compute with me at all.
More the merrier.
Does he want to see the children opening their presents? Is that it? And if so could there be some flexibilty on that?
You may have a point there. The whole " family time" thing might sound pretty rejecting to him, as he is on his own and be a bit of a red rag.
Doesn't excuse his behaviour, but might go a little way to understand his hurt.
I agree with your FIL that he needs to "rethink his family".
He needs to think about the fact that he is actually not the only person in the family and that compromise doesn't mean always getting his own way.
He's being an idiot and if he wants to cut his nose off to spite his face let him.
If I were you I would say from now on xmas eve and morning is strictly alone time for you and dh and dd and xmas afternoon and boxing day it is open house, come at a time that suits. I would refuse to juggle any times. A simple this is where we will be and when. Come if you want to
"Does he want to see the children opening their presents?"
He sees him opening the presents he gives him as he keeps them at his house for when we see him (whether it be xmas day or boxing day).
I agree with the Christmas is a family time thing and that it means the whole extended family not just us 3 - but on one day a year i want to have a laze in my pjs, opening presents and playing with toys etc just us 3. i dont mean we are having the whole morning to ourselves, but so we can have an hour or 2 with our son (he doesnt wake up until 8/9
), before im waiting on guests, getting drinks, cooking dinner etc.
Ok, thatnks for anwering that. Just wondering.
How old is he? Do you think there is any question he could be suffering from dementia of is it typical of him. Hs he always been difficult?
It's more than reasonable to say that you're not ready to receive guests until 11am.
I don't know, there's something about the phrase 'having some time just us' that sounds unwelcoming... but no issue at all with the actual reality of saying no visitors until 11am when we're all washed and decent.
MILF you sound perfectly reasonable and can completely understand you wanting a bit of time to yourself in the morning too.
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