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to not really like family stuff

(36 Posts)
Janettaw Tue 07-Nov-17 00:13:26

Background - came from a 2 child family. Both DPs died when I was relatively young and although I have got quite a few aunts/ uncles/ cousins etc I never see them or communicate with them. It has been ever thus even before my DPs died. DH has several siblings, loads of nieces & nephews, DM who loves being the "matriarch".

We have to go to quite a few family dos and I go because my DCs like it plus DH likes to see his family. But really I don't like it much at all. I also don't much like spending time with my DSis who I have not much in common with.

I quite like social gatherings with friends but my favourite thing is just spending time on a one to one basis with people I really like.

We had to go on holiday with DH extended family this summer. It was my idea of hell - cooped up in a place I didn't want to be with a whole load of people that I have little in common with but have to be nice to.
Everyone else thought it was fantastic and have posted loads of Facebook photos about how it was the best holiday ever.

Am I just a miserable old fart or do other people feel this way.

doodle01 Tue 07-Nov-17 00:23:26

Definitely plan for next summer now - you have done your duty.

If you all go as a family to a family meet this is positive the fact you have nothing in common and would prefer to be somewhere else is noted.

Maybe you feel subconscious gulity you don't see your own family yet are spending time with his.

I guess there should be a balance in everything perhaps explain you do find it a strain and can you shorten the visits or he occasionally goes on his own.

You maybe a bit 'miserable' by definition on the basis you dont want to be family jolly but you cant help it so don't beat yourself up !!

wobblywonderwoman Tue 07-Nov-17 00:36:02

No, I think it is totally understandable. They are not your immediate family, they are dh.

I often stay out of family events (sometimes pretend I have work) and dh goes with the DC. I don't think I have to go to them all.

I wouldnt get into the habit of the family holiday thing.

BackforGood Tue 07-Nov-17 00:36:10

I wouldn't want to spend a week on holiday with my in-laws, and I wouldn't expect my dh to spend a week on holiday with my family either - this is't a reflection of either of our families, but a week on holiday is a lot of pressure to be being polite and 'nice' all the time, and usually end up compromising aver what you'd like to be doing, at a time when you should be really relaxed.

I do, however think it is important to join in with family get togethers (a meal out or a BBQ or Sunday tea or whatever) during the year though. That is part of being married, and the fact that your dc are part of this family.

Janettaw Tue 07-Nov-17 00:43:07

Deifnately not feeling guilty about not seeing my family - apart from my Dsis I haven't seen any of them for years and then it was only at a funeral.

I just don't get the whole family romance that DH's family and many other people have - next summer is a big family wedding including first great grandchild of matriarch. Everyone apart from me will be saying how lovely and wonderful the whole thing is. I'll be wishing I'd spent the money going on a trip to somewhere more interesting/ cultural/ beautiful.

Julie8008 Tue 07-Nov-17 00:44:59

A holiday, with family, cant think of anything worse.
Why would anyone do this?

Janettaw Tue 07-Nov-17 00:48:50

The answers so far are personalising it to me and my circumstance but I think I am questioning the whole bigger concept of family before all else.

There are many people who have influenced and enriched my life but I would say less than 2% of them were family.

doodle01 Tue 07-Nov-17 00:49:58

surely a wedding is just one day you dont have a holiday wedding and make everyone endure it.

You just don't like the MIL

Indicate that maybe you should all visit your own family as a shot across his bow

Janettaw Tue 07-Nov-17 00:56:20

Sorry doodle but I don't understand your answer and you seem to have got the wrong end of the stick. Its nothing to do with not liking my MIL. She is fine as are the rest of the family. I have no wish to visit my family - most of them wouldn't even know who I was.

Sashkin Tue 07-Nov-17 01:03:38

Very few people would want to spend holidays (or any extended time) with their wider in-laws. That part is normal.

Some people (not all) like spending lots of time with their own families because they have spent so much time with them growing up that they are more like friends now. I barely know my aunts and uncles, but some people have family popping in and out every day. It depends on how you’ve been brought up.

I like spending time with my mum and brother (DF is dead), but even then I wouldn’t inflict them on DH for more than a couple of days. Before DC I used to go on holiday with my family from time to time (weekend breaks etc not main summer holiday), and DH generally used to stay at home. Same with his family.

Lavenderfly Tue 07-Nov-17 01:03:53

It seems like it’s just not your thing OP?
That’s okay, I have very few friends but spend lots of time with my family, we have very close and supportive relationships. My DP has a million friends and finds his siblings annoying, his parents are given this “successful son fallacy” snapshot treatment so they don’t worry about him. It doesn’t make sense to me, and mine don’t make sense to him.

I’m absolutely not spending xmas with his lot as it’ll be lip service in my opinion, and he won’t spend it with my lot because they are too full on - if you see what I mean.

It’s okay to not get it and don’t feel forced to participate all the time.

Cavender Tue 07-Nov-17 01:07:59

I think that you probably need to continue to make an effort for the odd family get together, there important to your DH and to your D.C.

There is no “have to” regarding family holidays though. That’s where I’d draw my line in the sand personally.

PurplePumpkinHead Tue 07-Nov-17 01:09:54

I totally get you. I have little family. My DH has more. Luckily there isn't much pressure to do the family thing - I have holidayed a couple of times with the inlaws and other family. But I'd rather not repeat it!

Don't worry about how you feel. I can feel claustrophobic and just want to escape. I'm happy for my DH to see his family without me and have encouraged this particularly as his parents are getting older.

You sound totally normal to me grin

Janettaw Tue 07-Nov-17 01:18:47

Maybe growing up unfettered by family niceties has made me less tolerant. With friends - if they hook up with someone you don't much like, then you just move on.

But actually I would question why you need to tolerate family members that you really do not like - say for ideological reasons. There are some of DHs family like this - I find it very conflicting that my DCs are subjected to their influence.

gobster Tue 07-Nov-17 01:21:30

I recently had a conversation about this with someone about how I choose and love my friends but family feels more of an obligation and that just because we share blood it means hardly anything as there’s no relationship or genuine bond with extended family

I sympathise in that family time whether yours or your DH is not enjoyable, it’s a chore.

NameChangeFamousFolk Tue 07-Nov-17 01:24:37

Would you describe yourself as an introvert, OP? All sounds like classic introvert behaviour to be honest. And completely normal!

NamasteNiki Tue 07-Nov-17 01:45:46

I cannot stand family time. My father is dead. My mother is dominating, self serving cow. My sister is just like her. My nephews are badly behaved brats.

I am not seeing anyone at christmas and going to friends instead.

brasty Tue 07-Nov-17 01:50:35

I get what you are saying OP. I love my close friends and they have enriched my life. I could not imagine not having close friends.

MessyBun247 Tue 07-Nov-17 02:06:14

Yeah what gobster said. Just because you happen to be born into a family does not mean you will automatically get on with your relatives. Just because you are blood related doesn't mean you have to like them or enjoy spending time with them. In life you will click with some people, and others you won't, whether related or not.

As I get older I don't feel obligated to spend time with people I don't like/get on with, and this includes some of my relatives. Although some people do genuinely love spending time with their family and get pleasure from it.

The key word is obligation. I think some people spend time with relatives because they feel obliged to, simply because they are related, not because they want to or because they enjoy it.

Mulberry72 Tue 07-Nov-17 07:20:05

I know where you are coming from OP.

Big family get togethers aren’t my thing either, don’t get me wrong I do love them all and would do anything to help them if they were in trouble, it’s just glaringly obvious when we do get together how little we have in common.

Stop the holiday thing if you’re really that unhappy with it, it would be my idea of hell!

DressedCrab Tue 07-Nov-17 07:29:23

I feel sorry for people like you, OP. We both come from fairly large extended families who are friends as well as family. All parents dead now but I cherish the memories. I'm so sad that you don't feel the same way.

thegreylady Tue 07-Nov-17 07:31:43

I love family get togethers. I am an only child and am now in my 70s so big gatherings of extended family are rare but just before Christmas every year my cousin hosts a party for as many as can make it. It’s about 150 miles for us but I wouldn’t miss it. My best occasion ever was our Silver Wedding do. We rented a Youth Hostel for two nights and had 120 family and friends, everyone seemed to love it.

IrenetheQuaint Tue 07-Nov-17 07:38:38

I think it's really hard to care about other people's families in the round. Worst of both worlds - you haven't grown up with them so you don't have that automatic familiarity that makes it easy to overlook flaws, but you also can't choose them as you do your friends.

Skarossinkplunger Tue 07-Nov-17 07:48:53

I get the not wanting to holiday with them, that’s understandable, but saying you’d rather do something more interesting/cultural sounds like you think you’re above them.

BeyondThePage Tue 07-Nov-17 07:51:24

There are different types of people in this world, some need to be surrounded by friends and family, would not dream of avoiding family occasions, actually love spending time together,

then there are others like me who relish silent solitude, who can't imagine any hell deeper than a "family fun day" -

then there is the whole spectrum in between...

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