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AIBU to think this is really unfair?

(28 Posts)
MidniteScribbler Sun 13-Apr-14 22:34:11

A lady I am friendly with (she does volunteer work at our school) was chatting with me yesterday and was really upset, and I thought I'd post here about it. She's widowed and has one son, who is now early thirties and married with two children. They live about thirty minutes from her, and she lives fifteen minutes from his wife's family. For the last ten years, every Christmas has been spent at his wife's family from lunchtime on Christmas Eve to Boxing Day at his wife's insistence. My friend is quite upset that she never gets to see her family on Christmas day, and as she has no other family, she spends every Christmas day alone. She has asked if they could come for breakfast or even have Christmas Eve dinner with her, but the wife insists that it is tradition for her family to spend the whole time together. My friend has never had any problems with the daughter-in-law, no arguments, so she is really upset that not once in ten years has any effort been made to include her for Christmas.

I think it's really quite cruel, surely they could come to her for one meal, or even invite her over to the in-laws for a meal (they all get along)?

sooperdooper Sun 13-Apr-14 22:36:04

That's awful sad why don't they invite her to join them all together? What does her son say??

itiswhatitiswhatitis Sun 13-Apr-14 22:38:23

That's very sad but ultimately it is her son who is choosing to accept the arrangements. His wife may indeed want every Christmas with her family but is equally to blame.

HillyHolbrook Sun 13-Apr-14 22:38:50

That is cruel, especially if they get on. I don't with DPs parents but we still share holidays equally and do our best to get along and enjoy the days.

Just because her family has a tradition doesn't mean it can't be changed, especially when the daughter has married into a second family as well. I just can't see why they can't spend one meal with her so she isn't alone on Christmas. sad

Clobbered Sun 13-Apr-14 22:39:33

That is very sad, but bear in mind that you don't know the whole story. There is probably some other factor at work here. How does she get on with them at other times of the year?

WooWooOwl Sun 13-Apr-14 22:48:08

I agree that it's worth bearing in mind that there are likely to be two sides to this story. And there has to be something significant about her getting upset about Christmas arrangements in April.

I don't think 'fair' comes into it tbh, but as they all seem to get along, then I agree that it does seem incredibly cruel to exclude a family member who will otherwise be alone at Christmas. This woman's problem isn't with her DIL, it's with her own son who doesn't have enough balls to stick up for his mother or treat her kindly.

ballseditup Sun 13-Apr-14 23:04:37

Any chance your friend is actually a horrible woman? We don't spend Xmas with DPs mother because she is a narcissistic sociopath but to everyone else she seems lovely

MidniteScribbler Sun 13-Apr-14 23:10:38

They get along fine the rest of the time, they have never had an argument, and my friend speaks very highly of her DIL. She babysits a lot for them and gave them a deposit for their home as a wedding gift. She and her son are extremely close, she raised him as a single parent from the age of three.

She was upset in April because she brought it up with her son about having a meal with her at Christmas and was told that his wife had already made plans with her family 'as usual'. I do agree that I think his son needs to grow a pair and demand his mother be included in some capacity.

Preciousbane Mon 14-Apr-14 00:02:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BrianTheMole Mon 14-Apr-14 01:00:23

If that is how it is, then it is bloody mean. Someone would have to be absolutely dreadful for me to leave them on their own at christmas, and even then i would struggle. Yanbu.

2blackcats2 Mon 14-Apr-14 01:06:28

I've spent Christmas alone every since I was 18. I'd rather that than a pity invite to be honest - and I have had plenty!

EllaFitzgerald Mon 14-Apr-14 01:27:43

Based on what you've said, I think that's really sad. It must have occurred to the DIL that she'd be by herself each year. I wonder why her son hasn't insisted that she be included?

ilovesooty Mon 14-Apr-14 01:29:49

His wife has already made arrangements - in April?

If there's not more to this than you know, her son needs to get a backbone and bring this up with his wife. If they all get along I can't understand why her parents have never mentioned it.

AlpacaYourThings Mon 14-Apr-14 01:37:47

Why can't the MIL go to her DIL's parents house?

BillyBanter Mon 14-Apr-14 01:48:50

If a man insisted that his wife go to his parents every Christmas and not see her mum at all, leave her on her own, he would be described as either controlling and abusive or spineless and cowardly for not standing up to his parents.

not sure why the same doesn't apply here.

The other option is that this woman has grossly misrepresented the situation and their overall relationship to the OP.

RedFocus Mon 14-Apr-14 08:18:39

I think that is so sad.
We got to point where because we have young kids we don't feel it's fair to drag them away from their parents to go visiting over Christmas so everyone is welcome to join us. If they need a lift they get collected by other family members on their way over.
My dh's family never come to us. It's a 4 hour drive for them and seeing as we've lived here for a year and 5 months and not once have they visited I don't think that's likely to change. Their loss as Christmas is a riot in our house! smile

slartybartfast Mon 14-Apr-14 08:19:57

she should offer it at her house, not a load of dil family, just her son and his wife and children.

AskBasil Mon 14-Apr-14 08:22:22

You don't know enough about it to decide whether it's unfair or not.

Sounds like the son is happy to accept the exclusion of his mother at christmas, otherwise he would have done something about it by now.

CoffeeTea103 Mon 14-Apr-14 08:22:23

Op there's something not right here. They have a close relationship but they won't have her over for one day? Also she's let it go for ten years and still has a good relationship with them. I think you are just possibly hearing one side of the story and there's a very good reason why this is happening.

Sunnydaysablazeinhope Mon 14-Apr-14 08:25:28

If it looks quacks walks like a duck....

There's more here op. Be sympathetic but not blind.

SystemIDUnknown Mon 14-Apr-14 08:44:32

That's really sad.

We always go to my mums for Xmas. But MIL gets an invite also as she's alone. I couldn't leave her on her own at Xmas, i'd feel awful.

WestieMamma Mon 14-Apr-14 08:52:55

Maybe she's like my mum who 'always has Christmas in her own home'. Even if that means years and years of spending it alone and moaning about how hard done by she is

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 14-Apr-14 09:50:26

Thats really selfish and i'd be wondernh why she was helping out with babysitting given her DIL clearly has no regard for her feelings.

You do have to love MN though, if this was the man insisting his family got every christmas the women would be told to tell him where to go and to just make her own plans. Yet the other way round and of course its not the DILs fault but the MIL must be secretly wicked hmm

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 14-Apr-14 09:50:57

Oops wondering even.

SlimJiminy Mon 14-Apr-14 11:25:06

My MIL would have to be seriously evil for me to let her spend Christmas Day alone. Are you sure she isn't just being stubborn and refusing to spend the day with DIL's family or something? It does sound like you haven't got the full picture. FWIW I'm not saying all MILs are evil and therefore she must be too. Just that it's strange that they have an otherwise good relationship but are happy to let her spend Christmas Day alone. I'd need to know more before I could decide if YABU or not.

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