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To find it difficult to be 'just pleasant' to DH's Parents on Christmas Day

(115 Posts)
FlossDaily Wed 22-Nov-17 21:11:29

I'm new here so please forgive any blunders as I bare my soul to you lovely people. So, my Father died earlier this year. Horrible time for all as it was everything I dreaded for him, a prolonged and painful death. My mother died many years ago and my MIL has always said that I was the DD she never had. I have always got on very well with FIL and MIL although they can be quite hard work and critical. We live about 3 hours drive from them and my dad lived quite near them so I was totally shocked to the core when my Father died that there no words of comfort from them. Not a sausage. (Surely it's better to say something rather than ignore the Elephant in the room.) I was even more shocked that they declared that they weren't coming to the Funeral inspite of the fact that their 3 DGC were doing readings at the Mass and had never been to a Funeral before and could have done with someone looking out for them as I was in bits. Now, 5 months later and still no acknowledgment of his death or our loss, we are charging towards Christmas Day at their house and quite frankly I can't be arsed. I can appreciate that it could be a realisation of their own mortality and it's all a bit close to home, but they go to to the Funerals of people they hardly know and then tell us all about it. DH is embarrassed by their behaviour but doesn't want to start a row which I can totally understand. Am I wrong to be miffed? Am I wrong to feel as though I'd rather stay at home alone with my Dogs on Christmas Day rather than go and pretend that they are the kind loving people I thought they were? Any advice on how to 'play nice?' Thank you

Sentimentallentil Wed 22-Nov-17 21:15:08

That’s awful!

‘Doesn’t want to start a row’

Pffft, tell him to sort it out or you’re not going.

TheNoseyProject Wed 22-Nov-17 21:15:26

I’m really sorry for your loss op and I’m really shocked at your pil.

To be frank I would say ‘I’ve had a tough year and I want Xmas at home with just you (dh) and dcs.’ That’s what id want regardless of their behaviour in those circumstances. but Xmas might be tough for you as the first without your dad and you might need support and to talk and they clearly can’t provide that.
flowers

IWannaSeeHowItEnds Wed 22-Nov-17 21:22:36

Yes, stay at home. I would struggle to be pleasant too. Your dh really does need to get to the bottom of this with them or it won't ever get better.
Even if they'd been lovely and supportive, it might still be a good idea to have a quiet Christmas this year flowers

HumphreyCobblers Wed 22-Nov-17 21:25:53

That is terrible behaviour.

I am so sorry for your loss. I too lost my mother two months ago. My in laws came to the funeral and were a comfort to me. You are entirely justified in feeling upset and cross with your MIL and FIL.

Your DH should seek some kind of explanation I think, I cannot fathom their behaviour at all. I would want to stay at home too.

elQuintoConyo Wed 22-Nov-17 21:27:33

"So yeah, i'm staying home for Christmas. You do what you like. I have made up my mind and will not be bullied".

An 'oh do fuck off' may slip out.

Sorry for your loss and sorry people around you have been so shitty about it flowers

SpangledBoots Wed 22-Nov-17 21:28:43

OP, have they said ANYTHING to you about losing your dad?!

VeganIan Wed 22-Nov-17 21:29:02

Jeez no. You poor thing. Stay at home, tell your DH you aren't going and you don't care if it's awkward for him because it won't be awkward for you.

yowerohotesies Wed 22-Nov-17 21:30:04

Yanbu at all. Stay put at home and don't let them play happy families when they have been so mean.

goose1964 Wed 22-Nov-17 21:30:47

Just say you're not up to doing Christmas this year. It's one of the hardest times of year if you've lost a parent. Mum died nearly 25 years ago and I'll still have a cry for her on Christmas Day.

averylongtimeago Wed 22-Nov-17 21:32:16

Stay at home. My mum died just before Christmas some years ago, and the last thing I wanted was to have to be all "jolly" at the pils.
Just tell the truth, that after your lose you can't face s big family do.
Your mil will probably already lost her parents, she should remember how it feels.

For what it's worth, my mil (who I normally got on with pretty well) could be both bossy and insensitive. For many months she delighted in telling her "funny" story about how one of the DC had told my mum not to smoke because she would die then mil would cackle and the punch line "and of course she did".
Eventually I snapped one Sunday lunch time and told her, no it isn't funny and not to tell that story again.

I am sorry for your loss, it does get easier, in time.flowers

LineysBum Wed 22-Nov-17 21:32:33

Your DH should have had words already tbh.

mouseistrapped Wed 22-Nov-17 21:34:29

I'm shocked . No acknowledgement , let alone support in the day. No way would I spend Christmas with them again.

They can sit there lonely and have a think about what family means.

Time for your DH to step up OP.

Not acceptable at all. I'm quite fuming for you!!!!

HumphreyCobblers Wed 22-Nov-17 21:34:45

shock averylongtimeago, that is awful

yes, I agree that your DH should have mentioned it to them before

Dancinggoat Wed 22-Nov-17 21:35:35

I think something needs saying to them if your H won’t then you need to. You need to ask why they have ignored the fact your D died and tell them it hurts because you needed them then. It’s better to be honest rather than sit on it.
It’s such an impossible time for you.

RefuseTheLies Wed 22-Nov-17 21:35:59

My mil has never acknowledged my mum's (sudden) death and that was almost two years ago now. I find it hard to be around her.

mygorgeousmilo Wed 22-Nov-17 21:38:20

Sorry to hear about your dad, and that you’ve had so little support. You should have your own Christmas, and your husband should understand why. Love is too short, literally too short, to spend time feeling bitter and resentful. It’s sad and upsetting and that’s why you need to distance yourself from them and concentrate on processing your grief. It’s outrageous that they’ve ignored your pain, and your DH isn’t being great.

mygorgeousmilo Wed 22-Nov-17 21:39:02

*life not love confused although maybe both!

Ceto Wed 22-Nov-17 21:40:32

I'm so sorry about your loss, but to be honest I wouldn't necessarily expect in-laws to be at each other's funerals - certainly my PILs weren't at my father's funeral, nor was my mother at theirs. I suspect they didn't mention it because they didn't know what to say, or somehow felt very awkward saying anything - rather like those people who cross the road rather than talk to someone who has been recently bereaved.

But, whatever their reasons, if you don't want to go there for Christmas I don't see any reason why you should feel you have to. You're entitled to say that, after your awful year, you'd rather stay at home.

BewareOfDragons Wed 22-Nov-17 21:40:45

I am stunned and appalled on your behalf.

Tell your DH you and the DC are staying home for a quiet Christmas this year. He can stay with your family or go visit his parents, his choice. But they're not welcome in your home this holiday season. They've been very hurtful, you're still mourning, and you're having Christmas your way this year.

Honestly. This would be a perfectly reasonable position to take.

WeirdnessOfDoom Wed 22-Nov-17 21:42:48

OP, really sorry for your loss. Spell it out to your DH that this year you want quiet Christmas with DC and him, that's if he has an ounce of sensitivity his parents lack of.
Can't believe he doesn't want to cause a row but your feelings are inferior to PIL.

WeirdnessOfDoom Wed 22-Nov-17 21:45:31

And for all these people struggling with what to say "Sorry for your loss" will suffice.Most simple acknowledgement that means a lot for grieving person.

Easyonthetonic Wed 22-Nov-17 21:49:58

This happened to, me I was 35 when my dad died, it was not acknowledged in any way by my in-laws.

I didn’t expect them to come to the funeral, just ‘I’m sorry to hear about your dad’ would have done.

Pumpkintopf Wed 22-Nov-17 21:50:15

Agree with pp stay home if that’s your preference . Your dh should be able to raise this with them surely?!

Callaird Wed 22-Nov-17 21:51:28

I lost my best friend when my boyfriend died because she didn’t know what to say or see me sad. She stopped messaging, calling or visiting me because I cried a lot! She’s still Facebook friends with other friends and she has said to them that I should have called her when I ‘was better’ because she didn’t know what to do.

Maybe that is the problem, they are close to you and don’t want to see you sad. Obviously it’s not ok. Your husband should talk to them and make them aware how sad and cross you are that they haven’t acknowledged your fathers passing. That all you need is an ‘I’m sorry and here for you’ and a squeeze, whether they can manage a hand squeeze or a full on bear hug!

(That’s one of the main things I miss, his arms wrapped tightly around me, no words but I know he was saying it’s all going to be ok in the end.)

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