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To not go to 'family' event?

(55 Posts)
Bellalunagirl Mon 15-Dec-14 23:31:52

I'm having a dilemma with DH and not sure whether AIBU?

Both DH and I were married before, he has two children (older teenager and adult) from previous marriage. I have one young child with DH.

I have always been made to feel like a second wife by his family. They are smiling knives, will be nice to you and then you're pulling a dagger out your back. DH doesn't particularly get on with them but is stuck with them.

His parents will be celebrating a big wedding anniversary next year and his family are organising a get together. The ironic thing is they are the most miserable couple I've ever met and don't get on with each other at all. It's difficult being around them and pretty uncomfortable tbh. So it seems a bit hypocritical celebrating them still being together, but that's by the by.

Anyway, everytime I've seen DHs family they've got something nasty to say and it's very stressful. This leads to me feeling crap for weeks leading up to it, having a big row with DH and then taking ages getting over it afterwards.

In the early days I tried really hard (perhaps over compensated with trying because DHs ex hadn't bothered with them at all) but just got kicked in the teeth.

Anyway this time I'm leaning towards not going and just letting DH go on his own. He will be taking the two older kids but me and the LO will feign illness.

This will save a five hour round trip, a massive row and marital discord! However, DH is not happy with this and says I'm being unsupportive. He says that its only once in a blue moon so why can't I just support him. I pointed out the fact that I did support him (in the early days I paid for half a holiday abroad with them, sat with his mum when she was in hospital when she was critically ill

Bellalunagirl Mon 15-Dec-14 23:35:23

Sorry posted too soon!

Did loads of supportive things, only to be treated like crap!

DH says if I don't go ( I would have to drive LO separately so he can drive his children there) then there's no point in going. I said that there was and if we just decided now it would save the whole predictable roller coaster ride of falling out and marital discord. Am I BU?

Bellalunagirl Mon 15-Dec-14 23:36:56

When I said made to feel like a second wife, I meant second class citizen in terms of family standing. Obviously I am his second wife!

DreamingDiva13 Mon 15-Dec-14 23:51:48

Just one question, he is calling you unsupportive of you don't go?

What has he done to support you in terms of his families crappy behaviour towards you? What steps has he taken to stop it? Does he call them out when they are treating you badly? Or does he expect you to brush it aside because 'it's just the way they are'?

Bellalunagirl Tue 16-Dec-14 00:02:59

Once he stood up for me when his aunt was acting out, but that was years ago. He's not done anything since. He says he knows they're dysfunctional but he is stuck with them.

His thing is that he wants some of his family to meet LO which they obviously can't do if I'm not going as I'll be the one getting LO there.

He says he supports my family. I said you do actually get on with them (he has said in the past they are easier to get on with than his own) but I wouldn't force him to see them if he didn't want to.

I've said to him that I don't have to see them and can chose not to. He's sulking now and is saying he won't bother going. He thinks I'm being unreasonable

DustyBedhead Tue 16-Dec-14 00:04:29

Yanbu, let him go with his older DC and you can stay at home away from any nastiness. Dig your heels in with DH and refuse to go, I'm certain if it was the other way round he wouldn't be going.

Only1scoop Tue 16-Dec-14 00:06:21

Yanbu....probably why his ex didn't bother with them either. If you don't wish to go then stay away.

DreamingDiva13 Tue 16-Dec-14 00:07:31

Well the my answer would be that it's his family and his choice to spend time with them and be treat badly by them, but that as you have already spent X pint of years supporting him and being treat like crap by not only them but him too (watching you be upset, not calling their behaviour out, arguing with you about them) that you will not be putting yourself in that position anymore. If he chooses to take that as you not supporting him then so be it, the same way as you have taken him not standing up for you as him not supporting you.

Bellalunagirl Tue 16-Dec-14 00:14:17

What do you think about his argument re: the LO?

To be fair some people won't get to meet the LO but my gut says tough, you know where we live if you are that keen! Seriously I know what will happen, I'll drive the LO all the way down there and then they'll give him 30secs of attention and then go back to talking about themselves. Especially his parents. Happens every time. Even DH said this.

DreamingDiva13 Tue 16-Dec-14 00:21:03

My response to that would be 'tough, for one they know where we live if they are that bothered they can come and see lo and two your not going because of their shitty behaviour to you, therefore it's their own doing...you don't treat people like crap and then have them bending over backwards to please you besides why should your child watch their own mother be treat badly by people who don't care enough to take an interest in them?'

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 16-Dec-14 01:12:22

YANBU to not go to this event.

A thought struck me when I was reading your OP - I don't think he's necessarily sulking at you not going. I think it may be about something wlse entirely.

"He says he knows they're dysfunctional but he is stuck with them."

"He's sulking now and is saying he won't bother going."

Is it possible that he's sulking that it's not so easy for him as for you to get out of going? Surely, if he actually wanted to go, it would be more likely to come out with 'well I'll just go myself then, shall I!?!'. But he hasn't done that - he's said he's not going either. But he knows his parents will be on his back if he doesn't go, hence the sulk about feeling trapped, about not being able to get out of it. Maybe?

musicalendorphins2 Tue 16-Dec-14 05:21:18

Oh, they will survive without seeing your dc. As said above, they know where you live, if they really want to see the dc. Plus, there is this thing called a camera.
If I were your dh, and said I wasn't going without you, it would mean that I didn't really want to go anyways. Because if I did, I would, don't need my partner there holding my hand.

HelloitsmeFell Tue 16-Dec-14 05:32:00

I can't decide. I need to know more specifics about why they make you feel like a second class citizen and what they do/say to you that us so unacceptable.

Families can be annoying, but unless they are saying/doing anything completely outrageous and deliberately designed to upset or offend you then I would tend to agree with your DH. Be more supportive and just suck it up for one day.

What do you mean by 'his aunt was acting out' ? confused

I struggling to imagine a situation where your DH's aunt who you don't even live near to, or see regularly anyway, would have much to 'act out' to you about? confused

Andrewofgg Tue 16-Dec-14 05:37:26

Imagine it was the other way round and then think carefully. This anniversary will only happen once.

AlwaysDancing1234 Tue 16-Dec-14 05:40:34

I don't think I would go in your situation. Offer to print off some photos of your DS to post to any relatives who wanted to see him.
I think your DH needs to open his eyes to why you don't want to go and stick up for you a bit more.

KatieKaye Tue 16-Dec-14 05:46:44

He wants you to go through an unpleasant, demeaning ordeal just so a bunch of relatives he never bothers about and who never gone to see you get to see your DC?
And then tries age-7 style blackmail?
You are both adults with free choice which you are choosing to exercise it in different ways.
The fact it is a special anniversary is irrelevant as they are consistently nasty to you. They've made it clear they don't consider you part of their family so why out yourself through angst when you know they do not want you there but do want to keep up appearances?

HelloitsmeFell Tue 16-Dec-14 05:56:42

unpleasant, demeaning ordeal might be a tad over the top though?

That's why we need more info. We need to ascertain whether the rellies really are utter horrorbags or whether the OP is just being a bit of a precious drama llama. grin

KatieKaye Tue 16-Dec-14 06:49:18

OP said she is treated like a second wife. (Aka second class ) and that PIL always say something nasty . Pretty much a textbook definition of unpleasant and demeaning.

CatCushion Tue 16-Dec-14 07:02:25

YANBU in not going, but I can sort of see that if you don't take lo, it gives them even more ammunition to treat you as a second wife (I know what you mean, as in the oecking order) and to be rude about you, maybe try to get between you both. From his point of view it puts a greater strain on the marriage if you're not there and he falls under their spell without you there to pull him out of it and see sense. It is incredibly hard to give up on wanting to fix a dysfunctional family, wanting everyone to get together. You can't make him.

So if I were you I'd say nothing about his family and concentrate on how it affects your marriage, and your own health. Stand your ground and smile and don't go. Don't throw knives back.

FunkyBoldRibena Tue 16-Dec-14 07:08:11

Why cant he take all three kids? problem solved.

whattheseithakasmean Tue 16-Dec-14 07:10:26

YABU. My family can be difficult & I'd be really hurt if my DH wasn't there for me & didn't support me with them. One of his many, many lovely qualities is that he is so good at dealing with my awkward family - he is natural kind and calm and diffuses unpleasantness.

DH & I are a team and we have each others backs. I think you have to go to support your DH. If you can't help each other out in difficult situations it sounds like a bit of a fair weather marriage.

Mrsstarlord Tue 16-Dec-14 07:15:05

I actually sympathise with your DH (I know I'm leaving myself wide open to be flamed here).

He obviously wants you there for support / to present a united front. I don't think you have said how often you see them but if it's twice a year for a few hours then surely that's doable? But I would ask him to be more supportive - perhaps remind him of how unified you were when he stood up to his aunt?

I've been on both your side (with DH) but I see them a couple of times a month, and your dh's side with my ex (when I had to constantly think of reasons why he wasn't attending events - although in his case it wasn't that my family were nasty he just couldn't be arsed because he was a knob )
You obviously don't like his family either but they are his family and you are putting DH in a horrible situation, seems that there needs to be more give and take on both sides to me. I'm ready to be flamed now but I'm often surprised on mn by the very black and white and negative tone of advice on relationships smile

nunkspugget Tue 16-Dec-14 07:16:20

If one of his kids is an adult....why isn't this one driving themselves? The adult child should take the teenager. Then dh can take your lo.
I wouldn't go in your situation.

MaryWestmacott Tue 16-Dec-14 07:24:52

I don't understand why DH can't fit 2 adults other and one child in his car? Or take your car?

I actually think you should go if he needs the moral support, but why do you have a row everytime? Is it because someone says something bad to you and you take it out on your DH or you expect your DH to back you up and then you have a row about him not doing?

Can you ask him if he can garentee he's goingto back you up and stick up for you if anyone is rude, that you don't want a fight this time, and you'll get one if he doesn't support you.

Calm everything down and think of a way you as a couple can get through this, if he needs to go to his parents wedding anniversary party, and he feels he needs you with him (moral support) then you need to find a way to manage it that's not you just having to put up with being treated like shit.

Bellalunagirl Tue 16-Dec-14 07:35:44

Thank you all for your views, I really appreciate different opinions on this. After 10 years my judgement might be a little cloudy!

Drama lama - I love that! I really need a little avatar of a lama here thoughtfully chewing on some grass grin

I'm not going to give specific examples as it would easily identify me. Trust me though the aunt was acting out! she delivered a comment to me in front of everyone very loudly that literally had everyone's mouth hanging open. As soon as she said it her own husband pulled her up. Dh was horrified and had a go at her afterwards. She was put in the naughty corner but I never got an apology. Seems like I'm just suppose to suck it up ( which I did btw for the sake of harmony). Just to add this woman has been non contact with her own son for years because of how she treated his wife. The son is a really lovely bloke and wouldn't stand for his wife being on the receiving end of her nastiness. The DIL is probably on the stately homes thread for all I know! The other aunt is just bitchy to DH!

I have supported Dh over the years, when the brown stuff hits the fan during family emergencies it isDh and I who are literally the only ones there to pick up the pieces. Everyone else disappears angry then when nothing else needs doing they all reappear! Regardless of how much I do I'm still treated like a second class citizen. It's like they feel I should be so grateful to be a part of their family that I should just smile sweetly and take any comments they throw my way! Fuck that! Why should my son see that??? I'm not talking about one or two, its pretty much every time. Either it's out and out bitchiness and/or just ignorant behaviour, but its some little gem everytime. I'm just sick of it.

I would like to point out I would NEVER make DH go to something he wasn't happy to go to, least of all because I know he would be miserable and I wouldn't enjoy it either. I often see my family without him because as much as I know he gets on with them, they are still inlaws!

DH can't take all three kids realistically ( he has said this), it would mean a ten hour round trip in the car for our LO.

I guess I'm feeling a lot more militant since I became a mother!

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