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AIBU Not to Invite DP's for DD's Birthday Meal

(45 Posts)
HappyShopper0123 Fri 17-Mar-17 11:16:42

I'll try and keep this to the main points as I could write a book on my relationship with with parents. But this is the latest saga.
It was my eldest DD's 18th this week.
A bit of background information is that due to a leak our lounge is a building site at the moment and totally unusable so its a bit inconvenient to have visitors as we all have to cram into the kitchen, and of an evening we all have disappear to our bedrooms to watch TV.
Anyway DD is not having a party she has arranged lots of nights out with friends etc. But on her actual birthday we took her out for dinner (DH and other 2 DDs) along with PIL who live not far away and were coming over to give DD her present. It was not a big deal just a quite family meal.
My DP's on the other hand sold up and moved to Spain a few years ago and come and stay with us usually 3-4 times a year for 5-10 days at a time (I won't go into detail on this as I have covered this in a previous post!) Their last visit was at Christmas for 2 weeks which I am still getting over.
I speak to DM at least 4-5 a week on FaceTime/skype and she knew what DDs plans were with regards to her birthday, I had also said that we were taking her out for a meal - I did leave out that PIL were coming as I knew this would upset her - she is jealous whenever we do anything with PIL even though when she lived here she had a much closer relationship with my DC than my PIL.
The day after the meal she phoned up at 7am to ask if we had a good time and who went? I knew by her tone that she was being pissy and somehow must know, when I told her she came out with "I thought you would have invited us".
I said I didn't invite them as we are living in a building site at the moment and that they wouldn't be able to stay here, (they always stay with us when they visit as they have fallen out with SIL in past and relations with DB have been a bit tense.
She started to rant at me down the phone and I ended up just saying I couldn't deal with it first thing in the morning and putting the phone down. I have not heard from her since and it is taking over my life. I just can't stop thinking about it. She has put a real downer on the whole birthday celebrations and feel like although she lives far away she still manages to make everything about her sad
I know that they have not got the funds to stay in a hotel as DB has had to help them out financially recently. I wouldn't want to invite them and then them feel pressured into spending money they didn't have flying over.
AIBU not inviting them?

booloobalooloo Fri 17-Mar-17 11:22:40

I would probably have invited them as the rest is their choice. If it were me who had been left out i know I'd feel awful especially if the person had hidden stuff from me. But it's done now as long as dd had a good meal I'd try to put it to the back of my mind. Maybe say sorry in a couple days when emotions have calmed a bit.

LadyPW Fri 17-Mar-17 11:24:22

They live in Spain so no, YANBU! Why would you be expected to invite someone who's in a different country????? And that's before taking into account their finances. I wouldn't even think of inviting someone who was miles away in the same country....

Chloe84 Fri 17-Mar-17 11:25:37

YANBU. She definitely shouldn't rant at you. Don't let her make you feel bad, be glad she's far away (if she's usually like this).

Do you have a link to your post about their visits?

TotalPineapple Fri 17-Mar-17 11:28:37

I'd relish the headspace you have while she's not talking to you.

When they moved to Spain they surely considered that they would miss things in your lives? My mother is a ranter and I choose not to engage as it really affects my mental health. Hopefully a bit of time and space will make her realise you're not going to let her affect you like this. (FWIW I think that amount of skip/facetime contact is OOT, what do you talk about?)

If they'd really wanted to be there they would have mentioned it ages ago, she's just jealous because PIL were there.

Willow2017 Fri 17-Mar-17 11:55:23

Why should she say sorry?

Her house is not suitable for visitors at the moment.
Her parents live in another country! Why would you invite them to travel that far for one meal?
OP has said that they have financial problems at the moment so how would they be able to afford to come anyway?
Its only a couple of months since they were here, its not like they never see them.

And I think 4 - 5 times a week face time is probably more to do with dm than op, she is still trying to be controlling from Spain, I would cut it down but its up to you op. She has no right to be ranting at you at 7am because you did something in another country without her, what a diva!

And I couldnt cope with someone visiting for 10 days 3 -4 times a year! How disruptive is that? They chose to move, you arent a hotel for their convenience. Get tougher and say no sometimes if they are stressing you out with their visits, calls. Its tough when parents are overbearing but you have your own family and your own life too, it does not have to revolve around anyone else, less contact doesnt mean you want to disown them. smile

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Fri 17-Mar-17 11:59:10

I wouldn't have even thought of inviting them. It was a meal out not a massive party.

I'd ignore as she sounds like a drama queen.

HappyShopper0123 Fri 17-Mar-17 12:20:57

Chloe84, not sure how I add previous messages - sorry! I keep trying to cut down the FaceTime and Skype but its mainly on their side, they FaceTime the kids too nearly every night, which really aggravates them, especially when they are with their friends and they ask to speak to them too! They drive everyone mad. We didn't speak this much when they lived here.
With regards to the meal, I didn't invite them because I though it was ridiculous inviting them to fly from Spain for one meal, it wasn't supposed to be a big deal and we wasn't even sure if PIL were going to go until the day before, as MIL who drives doesn't like driving in the dark and was undecided as to whether they were going.
However, even if we weren't in such a mess at home, I still don't think I would have invited them, because it wouldn't have been one night, they would have ended up here for at least a week and I really dread their visits now as it just throws our lives completely upside down for the length of their stay.
I love them but they are not easy to live with (especially DM)!
I just wanted other peoples opinions, because I really didn't give it a thought to invite them because of their location.
But now I am thinking am I a terrible daughter for not inviting them.

SquinkiesRule Fri 17-Mar-17 12:35:53

Do not appologise or give her any more head space.
They chose to move to Spain, it's not your problem.
I can see why SIL has fallen out with them.

MrsHathaway Fri 17-Mar-17 12:39:03

When they moved to Spain they surely considered that they would miss things in your lives?


It would be completely absurd to exclude PIL from everything your parents can't attend. Fair is not always equal; equal is not always fair.

Enjoy the peace while she's sulking ... When she gets back to you, maybe you could take the line "It wasn't as big an event as you're imagining. DD's actual birthday thing was for her friends and we weren't even there."

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 17-Mar-17 12:41:04

It wouldn't have hurt to have invited them for meal but have made it clear that if they flew over then would be staying in a hotel and not yours due to building work

It was your dd 18th

Chloe84 Fri 17-Mar-17 12:49:51

But now I am thinking am I a terrible daughter for not inviting them.

You're really not, OP. Your DM is stifling you.

I just read your other thread.

How did Christmas go? Have you managed to reduce their visits? It sounds like DM is not happy in Spain and is expecting you to make this better with frequent visits and Skype calls.

BirdPerson Fri 17-Mar-17 12:54:09

When I make decisions, like you I consider practical elements rather than people's feelings, and my mum can act like you have described. So, I have a rehearsed response that I give:

"I am sorry that you felt offended/upset/wronged by the events that occurred. It was not my intention to offend/upset/wrong you. These are my reasons for the course of action I took: A, B and C. Can we move past this?"

I always try to consider that although you don't mean to hurt someone, often you do, especially if that person is totally irrational and has a major victim complex.

Willow2017 Fri 17-Mar-17 12:55:40

It wasnt even a 'party' meal just a family meal, pil werent sure they would even go till last minute. Who invites someone to travel from spain for a meal knowing they have financial problems anyway? They would have insisted on staying with op which isnt feasable just now.

OP I would be telling them that the kids are busy and to stop calling them every night its ridiculous. They chose to move to Spain, they cannot expect the kids to accomodate them every night when they wouldnt be doing that if they were still in the country! Cut down on this before they drive you completely crazy. Just say 'sorry we are busy x, y, z days, can you call at such a time we will be free then' and repeat ad nauseum. Make it one day a week and only that day (and if you are busy that day sometimes then its too bad) and if they complain tough.

You really need to assert yourself more they are taking the p big time.

5moreminutes Fri 17-Mar-17 13:03:05

That's crazy. I live in the same country as my in laws and a different country to my parents and even though my parents stay in a hotel (their own preference, they like an ensuite and not to be woken at 6am) when they stay anyway it would be weird to invite them for a meal when they weren't already planning to be in the same country!

I wouldn't expect my parents to invite me if they were going for a meal with my siblings who live locally either - it would be weird to invite someone who lives in a different country to travel for several hours at considerable expense and inconvenience just for a quiet family meal, whether to celebrate a birthday or not.

TreehouseRose Fri 17-Mar-17 13:06:26

yanbu. They are only miffed because pils went. Say "I'm sorry you feel like that" but don't apologise. Maybe time to tell them if they want to stay in such good contact they'll have to stop making you feel guilty and start accepting some responsibility for some things that change the status quo. (moving to Spain for one, expecting to be put up even when it's completely impractical and the house is a building site, for another).

Wdigin2this Fri 17-Mar-17 13:08:28

Well perhaps you should have invited them over....with the proviso that they could not, on this visit, stay with you. You would have needed be very firm on this, but they could then have made an informed decision, and you'd be in the clear!

Hulder Fri 17-Mar-17 13:14:37

OK, I've read your other thread.

You need to reassess the power you have here.

She has already fallen out with your DB and doesn't see her other GCs - given the way she behaves it's not hard to see why.

She's desperate to carry on seeing your DCs - but unable to assess that she now lives in Spain and they aren't little any more so the relationship would have changed naturally.

You do actually hold all the cards here but she relies on you all not noticing because she makes you feel guilty, cries and then she gets her own way.

If you all change the way you behave towards her 'DM, she's 18, she does her own thing now' 'No you can't stay here for a week, I can't afford to shut down my business but we could put you up in a Travelodge' 'Gran, you can't talk to my friends, that's weird' etc there would be tears, tantrums, sulks but ultimately she would do it otherwise she has no family at all and she is totally driven by her need to see the GCs.

2rebecca Fri 17-Mar-17 13:15:45

As it was just a birthday meal I wouldn't have thought of inviting them. My dad is down in London and I didn't invite him up for my son's 18th birthday dinner (he was at uni so i didn't see him on his actual birthday any way.) It sounds as though they only kicked off because the in laws were there and I'd tell them you don't want any more competitive grandparent nonsense and that your house won't accommodate visitors at the moment and they knew it was her 18th and never mentioned wanting to come and stay in a hotel for the weekend and the fact that your husband's parents came to the dinner shouldn't affect their plans.
I'd cut back on communication with them if they are that nasty and selfish. It sounds as though they thought your daughter's birthday should be all about them, not them being pleased she had a nice meal.

2rebecca Fri 17-Mar-17 13:20:32

Can't you just say the kids are busy when they call to face time them? Every night for teenagers is silly. Stick up for your kids and tell your parents they don't have time any more now they're growing older. They'll fuss initially but a daily grandparent compulsory video chat sounds OTT.

Hulder Fri 17-Mar-17 13:21:13

Also from your other thread - you mention she makes you feel like a sulky teenager.

This seems a general theme of her relationships - you aren't having an adult-adult relationship with her and she's trying to have an adult-small child relationship with your teens. It's driving you all mad but when you challenge it, she cries and you give up.

She probably hasn't changed since the move to Spain, it's just much more obvious as the ways she communicates - living in your house for 5-10 days, incessant Facetiming etc are much more intrusive than when she lived around the corner. When she was local you were all v close but there were set routines which suited her and you never challenged her.

Somehow you need to get across that you do want a relationship with her - but as an adult - and the clinginess is driving you further away, not closer.

VimFuego101 Fri 17-Mar-17 13:25:47

I'd start inviting them to EVERYTHING from now on. Call them to tell them you're popping to Costa and would they like to come for a coffee? Going for a walk to the park, do they fancy a stroll? childish

Of course YANBU and don't apologize. They moved away by choice, they can't expect to be as involved in your family life as if they lived around the corner.

BackforGood Fri 17-Mar-17 13:29:31

Of course YWNBU

On choosing to move to another country, then they must realise they aren't going to be around as much and will miss things that happen in your day to day life.
No-one in their right mind would expect anyone to fly in from another country, for a meal!
If the somehow feel it is important for them to have a meal with their Grandaughter for her 18th, then it was up to them to think about that in advance, and plan one of their 4 or 5 visits to the UK to be here for her birthday. They knew when that was, just as much as anyone else in the family.

harderandharder2breathe Fri 17-Mar-17 13:35:37

They live in Spain! Why would you invite them to a meal?

They are being ridiculous

WhereYouLeftIt Fri 17-Mar-17 13:35:49

Having read your posts here and on the other thread, Oh Sweet Lord you mother is a total pain in the arse! That you are even considering that you are a bad daughter shows she's really done a number on you.

You are in no way at fault here. Your mother is at fault in every way imaginable. She made a crap decision to retire to Spain, with apparently no thought to the practicalities/finances, and she imposes herself on you and your family with, again, no thought as to the practicalities/finances/emotional cost of her actions. She's a selfish manipulative user of people, and she treats you like staff. Worse than staff, she expects you to pay to be her staff. Selfish, selfish, selfish woman!

The main problem, as I see it, is that you are struggling to deal with the lifelong training she subjected you to, to put her first and dance to her tune. You know, logically, that she is in the wrong and that you should tell her so. But you feel you cannot do so - classic FOG - Fear, Obligation, Guilt. You can find a lot of information on this online, I suggest you read up on it a bit. And maybe consider counselling to get past it. Expensive, but probably cheaper than continuing to put your business on hold every time she's over and you have to turn your office into a bedroom for her.

As to this particular incident - of course you shouldn't have invited her! What a totally stupid idea, that you should have. And she knows it. Phoning you at 7am - just to ram home how bad she wants you to feel about it, and for the whole day to be ruined for you. That's beyond selfish and meandering towards downright evil.

You need to stop giving this any headspace. Use the free time from Skype/Facetime to read up on FOG. You need to prise her off your life, she's strangling it. Your brother and his wife have already broken free. it's time for you to do the same thing. She's a nasty piece of work and you don't deserve this.

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