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...To uninvite my parents this close to Christmas.

(97 Posts)
WickedWax Fri 18-Dec-15 09:56:16

Long story short, my mum and dad should basically have got divorced at least 20 years ago. Their relationship is fucking miserable and from an outsiders point of view there's no love or respect left at all.

Out last night for a meal with DH's family for a special occasion. My mum and dad were invited. I spend the whole evening on edge. The drinks start flowing and the bitching and sniping at each other across the table starts. All very passive aggressive, delivered with a tinkling laugh or in the guise of a joke but I can see them winding each other up and feel the atmosphere bubbling.

I left at about 10.15pm with DS to get him home to bed, and left DH and my parents there with all of DH's family.

DH arrives home after midnight with my mum. Apparently mum and dad have had an argument, surprise surprise (all DH's family had left the restaurant at this point - thank God!), my dad has walked off and left my mum in the middle of town on her own so DH has brought her home to get a taxi from our house.

My night was spoiled purely by them being there, DH's night kind of spoiled by ending up trying to be referee/peacemaker and get my mum home safely.

They were meant to be coming here for dinner on Christmas day. I'm sick of them. I feel that I have two options...

A. Have them over, spend a miserable day on edge waiting for them to kick off.

B. Tell them I no longer want them to come for Christmas Day and spend the day feeling guilty about it.

I feel like B is the lesser of two evils, I just don't want them here. So AIBU to uninvite them this close to Christmas, and can anyone help me word a text to them both to explain why please (I really don't want to have to talk to either of them)?

YouTheCat Fri 18-Dec-15 09:58:47

Tell them they can come but they must behave or they will be sent home before they've so much as smelt a sprout.

Can you limit how much time they are with you?

BluePancakes Fri 18-Dec-15 10:01:28

I think the least you can do if you do uninvite them is to phone. I totally understand that it won't be pleasant, though. Unless you're planning the NC route forever, a text seems harsh.

InTheBox Fri 18-Dec-15 10:02:11

I don't think I'd uninvite them this close to Xmas, I'd forewarn them, however, that if they step out of line they will be asked to leave - no ifs buts or maybes. I suppose Xmas day might be somewhat like a pressure cooker what with the alcohol flowing etc but just stand your ground if they kick off.

GoldQuintessenceAndMyrrh Fri 18-Dec-15 10:02:30

Option B.

Uninvite them now, when the stunt they pulled for dinner is fresh in mind. Tell them they are an embarrassment, and really made your family look bad. Tell them you are sick of the sniping, goading and the arguing and you wont nothing more to do with them until they learn to behave civilly in company of others.

PlaymobilPirate Fri 18-Dec-15 10:02:59

Tell them they can't come - and explain why 'we've changed our minds about you coming on Christmas Day because of your behaviour at the meal. Your arguments spoil things for everyone else present and we don't wish to be involved in refereeing them at Christmas' should do :-)

AnnaMarlowe Fri 18-Dec-15 10:05:38

Call them/visit them - tell them how upset/appalled/embarrassed you were by their behaviour and lay down some firm rules for Christmas Day.

LagunaBubbles Fri 18-Dec-15 10:06:04

As some people have said, still have them but make it crystal clear they will be asked to leave at the first hint of trouble. Although I would be very tempted not to have them at all. Whatever you decide dont feel guilty. They are grown adults and should know how to behave.

Champagneformyrealfriends Fri 18-Dec-15 10:06:21

I'd tell them that they're very welcome so long as they are on their best behaviour and if they're not they'll be asked to leave-no compromise. Poor you it must be a nightmare flowers

MaxPepsi Fri 18-Dec-15 10:08:21

Are you an only child?

I'm not so it's probably easy for me to say this, as I would have the backing of my siblings, but I would tell them to their faces what you said in your first sentence.

Let that sink in, then tell them that unless they buck up their ideas you will not invite them anywhere again and that includes your home.

If you love them, tell them that also, but that they are slowly sucking the joy out of your life and you would rather have happy divorced parents than miserable married ones.

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Fri 18-Dec-15 10:08:27

I would tell them in no uncertain terms they will be asked to leave the moment the sniping and arguing starts and if they dont feel they will be able to keep a civil tongue in their head for the day then dont come. And I would suggest NO alcohol.

MrsJayy Fri 18-Dec-15 10:12:24

The alternative is they stay home and be miserable together if this is what they are like outside god knows what they are like alone sounds awful. my parents should have divorced years ago my step dad is a git but we still go round at christmas for my mums sake really I think you should have them but set a time for them leaving how are they getting home?

Sunbeam1112 Fri 18-Dec-15 10:12:30

I personally couldn't unvite them especially so close to christmas but i would have a frank dicussion about theur behaviour and the effect it on everyone around them.

drinkyourmilk Fri 18-Dec-15 10:13:16

If the do still come, can you make it a dry day? Serve no alcohol at all hiding it if necessary.
My mum is OK until she's had a drink, then she's horrid. The posh hotel we had our wedding at kicked her out, she's that bad.
We manage now, for a couple of days at a time, but I refuse to let her drink when she's with me. If she touches alcohol she leaves. No ifs or buts. I've had to kick her out twice.

LovelyBath Fri 18-Dec-15 10:13:53

Just to say I understand- mine have divorced but still insist on seeing us together! It's a nightmare. I would either uninvite or limit time with them. My brother and I usually try to have limits with them, including meeting them on neutral territory for example going out to eat. HTH.

LovelyBath Fri 18-Dec-15 10:15:09

Try and let go of the guilt, though. Look at something online called Out of the FOG (fear obligation and guilt) might be helpful, I found it quite helped to know you aren't alone.

PlaymobilPirate Fri 18-Dec-15 10:16:00

Why should the op have them over and be on edge all day?

Op it's your Christmas too - uninvite them, enjoy your day and think nothing more about them!

BarbarianMum Fri 18-Dec-15 10:16:43

My parents are just like this. I don't see them on Christmas Day. On Boxing Day I host a big family get together (my family who are used to them) which provides plenty of people for them both to talk to without having to talk to each other. Meal is a buffet so they don't have to sit at a table together but can mingle separately (sitting them at the table together is a flashpoint).

Sympathies. I recognise that on edge feeling so well. I wouldn't blame you for not inviting them but if you do, make it clear to them now that they are either on their best behaviour or out (they will then get all defensive and blame each other. Sigh).

BugritAndTidyup Fri 18-Dec-15 10:18:10

Fuck that. Option B and don't feel guilty. Invite them for Boxing Day if you want but don't risk Christmas.

Telling them to be on their best behaviour or else sounds sensible and reasonable and all that but it won't fucking work. The sniping will be low-grade, not quite enough to ask them to leave but enough to destroy the pleasant atmosphere, and the mere act of asking them to be nice will put them both on edge.

Unless you can somehow shame them into acting nice, which might work.

My parents used to be like this. It's a fucking miserable experience and you have my sympathy, OP. Honestly, cancel their invite and tell them exactly why.

NA200712 Fri 18-Dec-15 10:20:19

I would explain how much it upsets you when they argue as it spoils the atmosphere etc. as Christmas is a happy occasion and would say they can only come if they agree to be civil with one another. You cant be fairer than that!!

Penfold007 Fri 18-Dec-15 10:21:41

I would simply withdraw the invitation with a simple explanation. Could you email them?

PhoenixReisling Fri 18-Dec-15 10:21:41

I would then tell them that you want to have Christmas dinner by yourself, but they are welcome to come to breakfast and to see the DC open there presents.

I would tell them that their behaviour when they are together, impacts on everyone else and that you are sick of it. I would go onto say that you have rescinded the meal invite, as this is what is best for you family. Tell them that you love them but the behaviour needs to change.

Savagebeauty Fri 18-Dec-15 10:23:24

Don't have them. Why should you be on edge? Fuck them
Let them be miserable on their own. They deserve to be on thrir own.. Some people do.

princesspineapple Fri 18-Dec-15 10:23:49

I would definitely uninvite them! To change plans at this time is not as rude as their behaviour on Christmas day is likely to be.
My parents are very similar... Since I left home we've had plenty of family events where I've warned them beforehand that their snippy behaviour will not be tolerated, and to be fair to them, they have behaved.(although I wouldn't like to witness the row in the car on the way home!)
I'd probably go with something along the lines of "if you would like to come for Christmas and have a nice day as a family, then you're very welcome, but if you are just planning to bicker all day then I think it would be best for everyone if you stay at home" it sounds childish but that's how they're behaving!
Good luck whatever you decide smile

WhereYouLeftIt Fri 18-Dec-15 10:30:11

There is a third option - you tell them exactly how you feel about their behaviour, how it puts you on edge waiting for the inevitable argument and that because of this you absolutely hate being with them. Tell them to get their act together for Christmas Day, play nice with each other and stop making everyone around them uncomfortable. Otherwise they can stay at home and you can have a stress-free Christmas. If they still want to come they are to be on best behaviour and will be shown the door as soon as the sniping starts. AND MEAN IT.

We're not used to ticking our parents off, indeed we're conditioned by our childhood not to do so which is why it feels 'wrong' and we are so reluctant to do it. But you don't like it and I see no reason why you, DH and DC should suffer the atmosphere they create without any regard to those around them.

Either they play nice or don't play at all.

So, a text to convey all this :

"I am so disappointed that once again you two prioritise scoring points off each other over the feelings of those forced into being your captive audience. You ruin it for other people. I am sick of your petty squabbling, and don't want to see it ever again. If you are going to behave like this on Christmas Day, I simply don't want you in my house. My family deserve a happy Christmas. So make a decision. Behave, or stay away. And if you decide to try and behave like proper adults, then fail; be aware that at the first uncalled for or barbed comment masquerading as a 'joke', I WILL TELL YOU TO LEAVE. If I don't hear an apology from both of you, today, I will assume that you have decided to stay away.'

A bit strong, but I suspect anything tactful will make no difference to their behaviour.

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