...to be bloody annoyed that my family ruined my honeymoon?(246 Posts)
It’s been long enough now that the edge of my annoyance has worn off such that I’m not actually furious furious about it and I wanted to find out what people thought of events and maybe get some insight from an outside perspective. And yes, that’s honeymoon, not wedding… so, bring your popcorn and your tuppence! I don’t normally post much – I’m a bit of a lurker and went offsite for a while as part of a Mumsnet FB group, but I wanted to get a more general (and anonymous) response than from the guys in the group. So...
I recently got married after 14 years with DH, for a combination of tax reasons and because DH’s grandparents really were pushing the ‘we’re old and want to see him settled down(!), it’s important now there’s a baby for stability’ motif.
Our joint income is higher than everyone else’s on my side of the family – my family is working class, his is middle class. Because my side of the family have no money, every event is penny-pinching and causes stress and money worries for everyone. I wanted to alleviate everyone’s worries (more on this in a bit), so I (we) paid for more or less everything. We paid for the hen night. We paid for all the bridesmaid’s dresses etc. And we paid for a honeymoon which, rather than a romantic getaway, was a chance to get the relations on my side of the family who might otherwise not have been able to have a holiday in the summer out to Cornwall. I asked folks if they would like to go, they said yes.
The wedding was fantastic. Okay, there were a few minor issues, DH’s grandfather getting drunk and hypercritical, my sisters backed out of singing at the last moment and they could not manage to get their act together about shoes in time (that I was paying for, so it wasn’t money that was the issue) so we ended up having a last minute stress about that, but all in all nothing that you couldn’t expect as normal levels of issues from a wedding and it was a really wonderful day.
On the honeymoon, we started off heading up in a minibus and a flaming row broke out between my dad’s girlfriend, let’s call her F, and my youngest sister S at a service station. In retrospect having heard what happened I suspect that it was a combination of miscommunication, F being anxious and nervous and S being easily wounded and unable to forgive but more or less F at fault. F was having a go at S whilst S was holding the hand of her (and my) 3-year-old niece. My DH walked said niece back to the minibus. I spoke to them, not taking sides, but just said, “Please can we not fight?” F turned round and told me to go away, before I had a chance to react (in disbelief) S said she wanted to go home now and F, not to be outdone, declared she wanted to go home as well. I walked off and went back to the minibus, explained to folks what was going on and my dad went out to referee.
Eventually they came back and I was told it had all been ‘sorted out’. Great, I’m thinking, a hiccup and then we can get on with having a great time. My family are usually very close-knit and can be very supportive and loving, and I had this (highly unrealistic) fantasy that everyone would have fun on the beach, be happy and have a great time.
We get to the campsite (it’s a Tuesday). There are two lodges, the ‘honeymoon’ one and a normal one, both three bed sleep six. I have said already I don’t mind who is where but I would like to go in the honeymoon one. There is my dad and F, my mum, my sister M, my brother in law J and their two kids (the nieces), me, DH, our baby, my sister S, my sister B and two dogs. Only the non-honeymoon lodge takes dogs.
First off my brother-in-law J and B have a row whilst unpacking bags at the non-honeymoon lodge. B said he was sharp with her, M agrees he can be very cutting and rude but that he had reason to be irritable due to the stress of the journey and the fact that S was suddenly thrust on them as an unexpected guest. She refuses to stay in the same lodge as F (despite it being ‘all resolved’), and he feels it is overcrowded (and doesn’t deal well with the unexpected anyway). F is now with me, DH, my dad and the baby. No one has asked me if I’m happy on my honeymoon to stay with the woman who told be to go away on the honeymoon I paid for, but I’m like, okay whatever, I just want peace. I’m also really astounded that B has burst into tears over a tone of voice, but, okay, it’s been a long journey, people are stressed etc etc and I love them both and assume it will all resolve come morning. There are now 7 in the six-berth lodge with S sleeping on the sofa. B can’t come up to our lodge because her dog will panic without her so she has to stay at the dogs-allowed lodge. My mother can’t be in the same lodge as F because this would be weird and awkward, and M&J and the nieces don’t want to move as they say they don’t want a clash between our routine and ours – basically our baby wakes and wakes their kids up, their kids keep our baby up etc (reasonable enough). F apologises to me that evening.
Day two dawns. B and S are withdrawing from everyone due to the stress. We decide to leave the drama and go enjoy ourselves at the beach. Day three we go off to the Eden Project with dad, F, M&J and the nieces. We hear that B is chaperoning S who is still upset about F’s behaviour and wants to avoid her. B and S have been rowing with J. M has been just trying to keep her head down and keep her kids happy and having fun. My mother is honestly veering between stressed and enjoying the drama. She wants to ‘have it out’ with F for upsetting her baby daughter and says she only hasn’t to avoid further stress.
Now at this point, it is Thursday and we have only two days left as we will be travelling back on the Sunday. DH and I haven’t had any alone time yet at this point. I had stupidly assumed that it wouldn’t be that difficult to snatch an hour or two with so many adults about to babysit but this hasn’t happened at all. My dad and F are in the same lodge with us so can’t look after her there – they’d need to head out for a bit to give us time as well. My mother is out of the picture as she was an abusive and violent parent. She’s improved now, I’ve mended my relationship with her and forgiven her but DH is absolutely not willing to risk that she might hurt our baby. I don’t agree with his assessment of the risk that she would – she only hit older kids, not babies, and I really don’t think she would dare try it now – but I 100% support him and agree he has every right to be uncomfortable about it all. M has her own girls to look after.
As we come back after the Eden Project S volunteers to babysit tomorrow (Friday) evening with B. We haven’t actually asked anyone, not wanting anyone to feel like their presence here has to be paid for by babysitting or anything. I’m really grateful and thankful and ask her more than once if she’s sure this is okay. So I’m working myself up, really looking forward to it and all and then my dad comes into the lodge and whilst we’re chatting, cooking lunch he mentions that B and S are ‘going to the pub tonight’.
Now I’m really p***ed off. I’m only a little p***ed off that they’ve cancelled – I know that S is stressed and miserable as she feels that F’s behaviour triggered her and reminded her of when we were kids and mum was abusive. I know that B has been looking after her, missing out on fun to try to keep S going and upset at her altercations with J. But I am absolutely sodding furious that I found out like that via dad and that they didn’t even have the decency to ask me if it was okay to cancel or even tell me that they were and why. Not once does it seem to have occurred to them that this is meant to be my honeymoon. I assume they’re thinking it isn’t really ‘special’ to me as it was never my ‘dream’ to be married in the same way as some. But I had felt it was a bit special and I had hoped to come away with positive memories of an expensive holiday I paid for which was in part to celebrate our wedding.
So I’m furious, and text B asking if they’re still ok to babysit as I can see what is coming. The answer is no, ‘maybe tomorrow’ as they want to go to the bar today to de-stress. I am furious, again not with the idea of waiting until tomorrow per se, but the sheer thoughtlessness of their actions. That they just decided and went ahead with with their own plans without consulting or informing me. That they don’t think that after all the feuding, which I haven’t been responsible for, on what is meant to be a special-ish occasion I might also need this time out. There’s also the fact that there’s supposed to be a long trip planned tomorrow as it’s the younger niece’s birthday, and I’m under the impression that we would all be tired afterwards. And that given how flakey they are we’d be ditched again.
B is saying how it was a favour, she assumed it was flexible and she ‘didn’t remember that we’d decided a day for definite’ (we did). She’s blaming me for not giving much notice (again, they bloody volunteered) and says it’s my fault things have gone badly for bringing my family on holiday.
She then tells mum she has a migraine which is why she can’t make the babysitting, but apparently this is not enough of a migraine to not go to the pub…
So I end up in tears wildly texting my outrage on the beach whilst supposed to be having a good time. My dad at least apologises (daft given that he’s been least troublesome) and says that he does think we need a break. We’re talking about whether I could hire a babysitter, I have no idea where to take the baby and honestly wouldn’t feel comfortable about just taking her somewhere local I don’t know. We talk about going to a hotel, but I’m honestly not sure we can afford it given how much money we’ve put into this already. Eventually M comes to the rescue and volunteers. (She then hands the baby off to my mother, but that’s a whole other story).
The alone time is full of stress from the prior events, but at least we’re together. Saturday comes and S and B flat out refuse to come on the birthday trip for their two-year-old niece, which I honestly think is a bit awful – I didn’t refuse on the basis that they might show up – but I’ve kind of given up at this point. I’d hoped that the niece would have a wonderful birthday on holiday, but it ends up being a bit of a wash-out and M agrees that she did not have the day she deserves.
We get back home.
B ditches on her regular babysitting for me on Mondays starting as of that Monday morning, which gets me into trouble at work.
There is a long row on FB messenger. S and I thrash it out. I’m not entirely happy with everything she has said (mostly her insistence that a honeymoon is no more or less special than a holiday) but she apologised, explained she had been having issues with F for a while (she’s the youngest and they’re both fighting for dad’s attention). We agreed to take some time out for a bit and then be okay again. Everyone else has had a go about everyone else – to me – but no one else wants to actually raise the issues they have with one another in person.
B has basically refused to speak to me since. S has kindly stepped in with the babysitting.
In hindsight, yes, I should have spent the money on just me and DH. I don’t think it was my fault that the feuding happened exactly, but those times when family gel and are happy together just can’t be created on demand. That and B & S were not in the slightest bit grateful, as far as I can tell. I can only assume that they think that since we have more money than them, it didn’t cost us at all. We have a mortgage, we have our own costs etc etc.
We’ve had various family events since, and somehow, despite my saying I’m not okay with it, it has all ended up swept under the carpet again. People have issues with people but they’re never resolved and just keep cropping back up as b****ing behind people’s backs.
In hindsight again, I’ve spent far too long in my life wanting to fix my broken family (both in the sense of dysfunctional and in the sense of individuals struggling with depression). From the early years when my mother was abusive, I had this idea in my head that if I could somehow be good enough and do the right things everyone would be happy again. I have since realised, harsh as it is, that I cannot be responsible for making my family happy. I can’t actually fix people – they have to do that themselves. Even when we didn’t have a good income we were always ‘loaning’ people money which we never got back and I’ve been feeling for a while now that, whilst they do put stuff into the relationship, it’s all very, very one-sided.
It’s going to be my birthday soon, and I am seriously thinking of telling people that I don’t want any presents, only a family meeting where people thrash out their issues. I certainly don’t want a birthday where I pretend everything is okay. (On a side note I’ve been asked to organise a Halloween event because mine is the only house that’s free.)
I am also still really bloody annoyed that somehow, despite us paying for the holiday, despite her ditching on pre-agreed babysitting and making plans without even thinking about how we'd feel, B still thinks that I am in the wrong.
AIBU? And what do I do?
Unfortunately you cannot get them to sit down and thrash it out that has to come from them. Honestly?
Halloween / your birthday get you and your DH away. Without all of that. You need space and boundaries.
It was exhausting just reading about your non-honeymoon, so god knows how you felt/still feel.
I’d let everyone sort themselves out, ignore their behaviour and focus on you, your new husband and your child.
I think you all sound too wrapped up in each other's lives - why not back off, enjoy time with your DH and DC and leave the rest of them to it.
Don't get into the role of always being the one to organise the family parties. Learn to say no.
I didn't read it all but I can't believe you took your whole family on holiday.... It sounds miserable and you can't force people to get on just because you paid for it. Lay down some boundaries and stop feeling bad for earning more money than them. The lesson here is you can't please everyone. Book another honeymoon somewhere romantic for you and your husband and just stop trying to fix everyone.
sack the lot of them and the Halloween event.
Back off and let them sort out their own problems, cut back contact. Book a break ( belated honeymoon) with your DH and DC. Invite no one else !!
They all sound like too much hard work.
Have you ever thought of writing a comic novel? Plenty of material there. And if it became a best-seller you could pay for all your relatives to have a lodge each.
I'd move as far as I could from the whole bloody lot of them and I would book a holiday with my husband and child which I would then think of as my proper honeymoon. That sounds more like an episode of a Jeremy Kyle show than a honeymoon, frankly.
As for Halloween tell them to sod off.
I didn't read it all, I can't get past you taking your family on honeymoon with you! That would be asking for rows in most families!
Sorry, I stopped reading after reading you went on a family holiday instead of honeymoon. I just don't get that so will never sympathise with whatever else you wrote.
Sod organising a Halloween do. Have a fabulous weekend, you, your dh and your baby. Sod the lot of them.
I’m sorry, OP, but I didn’t make it through all that.
Stop calling the disastrous trip your honeymoon. Book something proper for yourself and DH. Recognise that you have done enough for your family and back away. You and DH have your own family now and sometimes you have to prioritise yourselves.
YANBU for being annoyed at them ruining your honeymoon.
YABVVU for taking them on your honeymoon in the first place! Back steadily away from these people and stop seeing them as your responsibility, focus on your dh and baby only. I’m guessing that you’re the oldest sister?
I'm still trying to get my head around your honeymoon. What on earth were you thinking??? (and that's before you wrote about the internal aggro in your family). It was your honeymoon. Going away with a group for your honeymoon was asking for trouble. Going away with a squabbling family group who can't even travel there together without having a row was just plain stupid.
You deserve better. And your poor DH. He must love you very much to put up with all this cr*p from your family. Go away for your birthday, just you, your DH and your DC.
Arrange to emigrate.
Do not leave a forwarding address.
You all sound like you enjoy drama to be honest.
Fuck em all of and concentrate on your own life with your own family.
How old are you that you need to celebrate your birthday with your whole family?
Certainly don't "do" Halloween!
I agree with your DH about trusting your previously abusive mum with your DC.
Also what do you want resolving and why is it up to you to decide that?
Let them all carry on, remove yourself from the drama and enjoy life with your immediate family.
You invited your family on your honryoon.
Sorry, I stopped there also.
What were you thinking? I cannot believe you thought this would be a good idea on any level whatsoever.
Divorced parents, an abusive mother, fathers girlfriend.....omg.
I wouldn't thrash it out.
I wouldn't host Halloween.
I wouldn't see them at Xmas.
I would concentrate on DH and baby and make new traditions for your own family and let them get on with their angst.
Gradually, I might spend time separately with them in the new year.
You had this ideological view of what your 'honeymoon' was going to be like and it clearly was never going to turn out that way.
I've been away with family and even with separate hotel rooms, fallout do happen so having loads of people sharing a lodge is just a recipe for disaster.
I would just put it down to a bad experience and vow never to go away with them again.
Too long to read. Who takes their family along for honeymoon?!
Sorry couldn't read all of it but why on earth would you bring family on your honeymoon. It was never ever ever going to be a good idea
I couldn't read it all but it was clear (to me) that it wasn't a 'honeymoon' for a start. It was a family holiday which can be fraught with drama at the best of times, especially with that many people.
I wouldn't create more drama, though I can see why you would want to try and 'fix' it, I'd just back off for a while. Nothing is going to be solved in anger.
This is why honeymoon’s aren’t joint family enterprises. Holidays with multitple families never really end well.
I only read the first three paragraphs then scanned the rest but what the fuck made you think taking all those people in a minibus was going to be a good idea.
You keep referring to it as a honeymoon but it was anything but.
It seems more like the jolly boys outing from only fools!
Anyway moving on you need to let the rest of them sort it out between themselves and stop trying to fix it, and don't ever do anything as daft again!
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