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"In Laws" Paying For A Holiday

(34 Posts)
user1476361900 Thu 13-Oct-16 13:36:00

Hi there I'm looking for advice on how to handle a situation.

I'm divorced in my 40's and have 2 young boys. My partner is the same age and she has 2 young girls,. Weve been together approx. 2.5 years and have our own houses.

6 months ago my Mum and Dad (77 &73)said they wanted to take me and my brother on a short 4night UK cruise to celebrate there 50th wedding anniversary in October 2016. My brother has a partner and they have 1 child together and she has one from a previous relationship . They live together and been a couple for 5 years.

The thing is my parents insisted that they wanted to foot the bill for the holiday for EVERYBODY included extended "family" members so that's 12 in total. My brother ,my partner and myself all told my parents we wanted to pay our own way but they were insistent.....NO! It was something they really wanted to do for us all so we ended up going along with their wishes and it was booked.

Fast forward 6 months to present day and its 2 weeks before departure. My partner is now feeling really uncomfortable about my parents paying for her and her girls and she is insisting I speak to them again and tell then she wants to pay. She is getting very agitated about it and is now threatening me that she wont go if she's not allowed to pay!

She only brought this up a few days ago and whilst I respect her view I don't feel it right to go back and introduce this scenario to Mum and Dad as they in my mind have already answered that question before. At the time of booking everyone accepted Mum and Dad wanted to pay as it was important to them so I feel weve made our choice and we should all stick with it.

I did tell my partner that if it bothered her that much why doesn't she use the money to buy us a short break with Mum Dad and all our kids in the future as a thankyou etc etc but that didn't go down too well. By the way my partner and parents get on great so there are no issues there.

Ive told her I don't feel comfortable about asking / bothering my parents about this so close to the trip and it should be about what THEY want and not what you want to happen. Also do elderly parents tend to change there principals and there decisions on matters so easily....im not so sure.

Am I handling this wrong? its caused a bit of a fall out now.


SquawkFish Thu 13-Oct-16 13:40:01

Maybe suggest your partner could take everyone out for a nice slap up meal during the holiday as a thank you?

That may work.

Tough one.

WipsGlitter Thu 13-Oct-16 13:43:43

Your partner is being an arse. If your parents can afford it and want to pay for everyone that's great.

There are so many thread on here about blended families being treated differently that it's refreshing to see parents being even handed for once.

OhNoNotMyBaby Thu 13-Oct-16 13:47:15

Your parents want to do it and it's all agreed. This is a special event for them and they want to share it with you and your brother and your loved ones.

I think your partner is being ungracious and ungrateful - and unreasonable to bring this up now. I can understand why she would feel uncomfortable but it's too late now. She should concentrate on being lovely and in showing how much she is looking forward to the trip. That's what your parents want to see.

Tumtitum Thu 13-Oct-16 13:50:41

I agree can't you just treat them to loads of things on the holiday? My in laws can be a bit the same, insist of paying for loads of stuff (and they don't have tonnes of money!) and won't hear of us paying them back o paying our way. So we make sure the money gets back to them in other ways by paying for expensive dinners on holiday and if they need a big item for the house we'll get it for them as q surprise (so they can't argue!! grin). Money is a very tricky thing!

Arfarfanarf Thu 13-Oct-16 15:06:14

On the face of it it is a very generous gift.

What are your partners objections?

Sometimes it is nice to accept graciously a generous gift because the person giving it wants the pleasure of giving.

It isn't nice to deny someone that. People often dont see that side of gift giving.

The only thing that would make me refuse a gift would be if the giver had a history of using gifts to control or threw a gift in my face - you're so mean remember when i did x for you...

You need to get to the bottom of why your partner doesnt want your parents to have the pleasure of treating their family.

But you know, if she is adamant then accept that and go without her.

Gwenci Thu 13-Oct-16 15:11:39


Two weeks before departure is not the time for her to be delivering ultimatums about not going. If she felt that strongly she should've laid that out at the start and said then that she wouldn't be comfortable going if she couldn't pay her way.

She's left it too late so now she needs to accept graciously.

MaidOfStars Thu 13-Oct-16 15:59:00

I think your partner is being a little gauche.

teatowel Thu 13-Oct-16 16:47:23

How strange! Doesn't your partner understand how hurtful it would be to throw this kind offer back in their faces. Not to go would be the height of bad manners. Can you help her to understand that her payment to them is the joy they will feel at having their whole family together- worth far, far more than any money.

user1476361900 Thu 13-Oct-16 16:48:17

Hi many thanks for your replies...No my parents have no history of buying anybody's affections with generous gifts or pots of money. They are just an average couple and enjoy a comfortable standard of living . They are celebrating a wedding anniversary and they wanted to bring their closest family together.

My partner was uncomfortable from the start because she said she has never let anyone pay for he and her girls (9 &5) holidays before etc etc. Now she seems to have a huge hang up about it and wants "her and the girls paid for"

Things got heated on the phone today and she was telling me some more of her reasons such as
"I'm not family" , "or their children" and how she's just "a stranger who happens to be seeing you"

Pretty hurtful stuff and I think totally unnecessary. I'm sorry but I cant see where she is coming from. Although she only meets them occasionally at xmas family birthdays etc my Mum and Dad have always been extremely warm and kind towards her. In fact they couldn't of been any better in my book.

I think Mum and Dads offer is amazing and very generous. They want nothing in return. Someone made a great comment earlier on about people not been treated equally in blended familys and it was nice on this occasion for the opposite to be true.....Great point.

Thanks for all your views.

user1476361900 Thu 13-Oct-16 16:52:44

Forgot to say only 6 months before we got together she was still with her ex husband of 14 years and they always took regular holidays together and as a family.

madgerussell1920 Thu 13-Oct-16 16:53:57

Cruises usually have lots of optional excursions which usually are very expensive and are apparently where they make their money.
Perhaps the family members who haven't paid anything could pay for some of these as although expensive it really is a good way to see the places you visit.

adogcalledbert Thu 13-Oct-16 16:54:39

It's a very generous offer from your parents, they want to celebrate with all their family & their family's family.
I think for your partner to cause a scene would be unforgivable.

Could she offer to pay for a wonderful excursion/dinner one day.

Ask her how she'd feel when your DC are all grown up and the two of you want to celebrate your anniversary by treating your families how she's feel if one of them insisted on paying.

AlmaMartyr Thu 13-Oct-16 16:55:13

I think your partner is being unfair. My parents pay for us to go on holiday fairly often; they enjoy it and it what they choose to spend their money on. They would be heartbroken if someone reacted like this. I would understand if they had a history of throwing it back in faces (my ILs have done this a bit - "we paid for x so we are owed y")

Waltermittythesequel Thu 13-Oct-16 16:58:46

Oh dear, you don't think she's planning on breaking up with you do you? And she feels bad taking a free holiday when she doesn't think you're going to last?

Pickled0nions Thu 13-Oct-16 17:01:18

There seems to be more of a back story to this than you're letting on.
Why would your partner feel excluded from your family like that? She obviously feels uncomfortable for a reason, doesn't she? But you're saying you can't see where she's coming from.
So are these issues she has never openly spoken to you about? Have you ever noticed that your parents are excluding of her in the past?

I can appreciate that it is rude of her to now back out and want to pay something towards the trip.
I think you actually need to understand why she's feeling like this and give her some reassurance.

Toooldtobearsed Thu 13-Oct-16 17:03:24

As a parent who has paid to take children, partners and children away on 'special occassion' holidays, and had always paid ( because we had the disposable income at the time), I would have been really hurt had my DiL started objecting so close to departure. The time to refuse was at the beginning.

My lot 'repaid'us with the most wonderful family meal, prepared by all of them, with lovely wine.

On a cruise, a special excursion would make a wonderful gift.

I do think your partner is being unreasonable - mainly because this shoupd have been sorted out long ago.

BowieFan Thu 13-Oct-16 17:03:54

Hmm, I would bite the hand off DP's in-laws if they wanted to take us on holiday with them except we don't want to go to Benidorm. So maybe there's something else at play here?

Unless she does just feel really guilty. We had this with our DCs' biological grandparents in Bulgaria. They paid for our trip there and a hire car and everything, despite us being far better off than them. We felt really guilty but it's the expected thing there. We paid them back by flying them over here first class (the first time they'd ever flown anywhere) and spending a week taking them all around the sights of the UK. They loved it. Thankfully they've realised now and they let us do things like that for them. They let DCs go and stay with them for four weeks every year so it's the least we can do for them to make them have a great time when they come here.

witsender Thu 13-Oct-16 17:04:21

I can understand her tbh, you don't live together, you've not been together long really and this is the sort of thing that can be held over someone if you were to break up...and even if you weren't! She doesn't know your parents as well as you, and is probably used to being independent. She hasn't just foisted these views on you now, ahe has always had one but has seemingly been ignored. Your parents wishes and feelings do not trump hers.

AlmaCogansFrockFan Thu 13-Oct-16 17:23:17

Surely she realises that

Doesn't she realise that if she pulls out at such a late stage your parents wouldn't be able to recoup what they paid so the gesture is useless - the holiday is already paid for! If she's only using this as a lever to make the payment herself it comes across as mean and controlling to kindly people who are only in effect hosting a different kind of party to celebrate a golden wedding - would she refuse to go a party or even a wedding because it's paid for by the hosts?

AlmaCogansFrockFan Thu 13-Oct-16 17:24:55

Sorry for the random half sentence, should have previewed my message

altiara Thu 13-Oct-16 17:27:35

Agree with everyone else, it would be rude of her and DCs not to go. Think the idea of her then treating you and your parents to eg weekend away is a really good one. Hope it all works out.

HanYOLO Thu 13-Oct-16 17:28:53

I think she may feel that being paid for like this makes her responsible to you, and them, in a way she doesn't feel comfortable with

Or, sorry to say this, that she is having doubts about your relationship

DontMindMe1 Thu 13-Oct-16 17:37:15

Mmmmmm...are you sure it's really the 'paying for' that's the issue?

From the reasons she gave you, to me it sounds like she's feeling very uncomfortable about the 'family' holiday when her and her kids don't yet have that kind of relationship with them yet.

I can see how it would feel for her, that perhaps things are moving too fast - how will your parents feel if your relationship ended - would they then feel angry/bitter about having spent all that money on them and treating them like 'family'? She has a good relationship with them and i would assume that she'd hate for them to think she used them or took the piss out of them in any way (esp if you two don't work out).

As someone who's always had to pay my own way - no such magic moments for me grin - i think i too would feel that anxiety.

I think you need to re-assure her that there are no conditions attached to this invite - it's simply something your parents want to do, they like her and her dc and they want to celebrate with them. I doubt very much your parents would shell out if they didn't like who you were with - nice as they are smile

HardToDeal Thu 13-Oct-16 17:40:36

To me that "just a stranger" thing sounds likes she's frustrated that you're maybe not as committed as she would like - have you spoken about moving in together, progressing your relationship? Maybe you feel happy as things are but she wants more?

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