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AIBU to cancel Christmas with my parents?

(66 Posts)
Itsinthefridge Mon 18-Nov-19 10:29:51

I have always had a tricky relations with DPs They've never really accepted that I've grown up and have my own family (I'm nearly 50!) (I know....) They don't like my husband and have shown a cursory amount of interest in the kids, always visiting on a week day so they only see them after school and never inviting us to their house. I decided I didn't want to lose touch with them completely and so for the last 4 or 5 years I have largely seen them on my own, apart from the type of visit mentioned above. Recently my DM has started going on about how rude the kids are because they never write to her or go and see her. Being reasonable (stupid) I did take then down for a weekend with my husband which ended up in a low level row (they are teenage boys!) I also took my older DS down on his own. He has learning difficulties and struggles conversationally, but they ignored him anyway. Now my DM tells me she is only giving them a small Christmas present to make the point about the letter writing! She is still expecting us to all meet up at a neutral venue at Christmas (this is what we always do) I should have told them to F* off years ago, but they are my parents. Is it too late to take a stand??? They are both nearly 80....

MrsSpenserGregson Mon 18-Nov-19 10:31:01

It's never too late to take a stand

PutOnYourDamnSocks Mon 18-Nov-19 10:32:10

Nope. Just say it won’t work for you this year

Winterdaysarehere Mon 18-Nov-19 10:32:14

Cancel the visit. Send a boxed cactus as their joint gift.
Your dc come first.
80 or not still awful!!

AnneLovesGilbert Mon 18-Nov-19 10:36:04

I should have told them to F off years ago*

You can swear on here and yes you should have!

Is it too late to take a stand??? They are both nearly 80....

No, it’s not.

Fuck Christmas with them, spend your precious time with people who bring support, positivity, joy and love into your lives.

My DM maintained a relationship with her toxic parents till their deaths (GM was in her late 90s so you could have years and years ahead of you) and as a grandchild in the unpleasant mess I don’t admire her endurance, I feel great pain at the lengths she went to to try and carry on against endless small and large hurts and the fear, obligation and guilt she was stuck in. If she’d stepped away we’d all have been a lot happier and more at peace.

Oliversmumsarmy Mon 18-Nov-19 10:40:30

I have a mil who is in her 90s. She wouldn’t expect dc to write to her.

No one writes letters these days

What exactly does your dm expect to read about in these letters.

Sounds like your Dss have never had an easy relationship with their gm.

Like everything in life you have to put the effort in to get the rewards.
Your dm can’t just demand stuff if she hasn’t spent the last 10-15 years being nice and having a good relationship with her grandsons

dayslikethese1 Mon 18-Nov-19 10:48:12

Why is she expecting letters? Is it like an update on their lives/how they are/that kind of thing? Would a text or a quick phonecall every other week say do instead?

AdoreTheBeach Mon 18-Nov-19 10:54:39

It’s actually a yet way street. Do your parents write or call to talk to your children? Or call you and then ask to speak to the children? If not, next time your mother says anything, tell her she’s set the tone of the relationship many years ago by not visiting and not calling (nor writing). How then could she expect the children to do what she herself has not been willing to do? You reap what you sow.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 18-Nov-19 11:02:03

Your own fear, obligation and guilt is all too apparent in your writings and this has held you back. You can also never reason with the unreasonable.

Its never too late to assert your own self but I do understand that years of conditioning is not going to dissipate overnight and perhaps at all now.

Where are your boundaries here also re them, they seemingly have encouraged you not to have any so this is also why you find it difficult to assert your own self. A boundary you can assert here is cancelling your visit now to this so called neutral venue. But assert yourself you must because inertia along with FOG hurts you as well as your own family unit.

Do read and post on the "well we took you to Stately Homes" thread on the MN Relationships forum. Do also read "Toxic Parents" by Susan Forward and "If you had controlling parents" by Dr Dan Neuharth.

FizzyGreenWater Mon 18-Nov-19 11:07:08

'Hi Mum, yes I agree that it's probably far healthier if we're all honest with one another! A small present is absolutely fine if you feel you need to make your point, we totally understand. As for us, I should say that I was disappointed in how rude you were last time we came down - you know DS1 struggles with conversation yet you still ignored him, while still harping sanctimoniously on and on about the boys writing to you. He doesn't really want to do the usual Xmas meet up, neither do I, so in the new spirit of honesty we're cancelling rather than humouring the situation. Have a good Xmas!'

SchadenfreudePersonified Mon 18-Nov-19 11:10:39

My DM maintained a relationship with her toxic parents till their deaths (GM was in her late 90s so you could have years and years ahead of you) and as a grandchild in the unpleasant mess I don’t admire her endurance, I feel great pain at the lengths she went to to try and carry on against endless small and large hurts and the fear, obligation and guilt she was stuck in. If she’d stepped away we’d all have been a lot happier and more at peace.

Same here but it was DF's mother who was the most evil, venomous cowbag who ever stalked the face of God's good earth.

Tell them to Fuck off Fridge, and enjoy your Christmas with the people you want to be with.

Unless our boys would like to write a letter telling your parents what they think of them, in which case, yes - support their letter-writing. Buy the stamp.

Derbee Mon 18-Nov-19 11:12:45

Never too late to make a stand. Making it clear she doesn’t like my DH, and calling my DC rude would be enough for me to tell her to fuck off. You dont need to cut her out, but you definitely need to set some boundaries for acceptable behaviour

ChuckleBuckles Mon 18-Nov-19 11:16:59

If your parents have never nurtured a relationship with your DC they cannot be surprised by the lack of letters and talking about the kids being rude, their GP's are near strangers to them FFS. So I have the prefect Christmas gift for them OP, send them this then get on with enjoying Christmas with your DH and DC.

ChuckleBuckles Mon 18-Nov-19 11:17:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OMGshefoundmeout Mon 18-Nov-19 11:19:19

Your kids aren’t kids for long. They grow up quick enough and go off to do their own thing at Christmas. Don’t waste another Christmas doing things that don’t make you, your DH and your children happy. It sounds as if your parents will be discontented whatever you do, so please yourself.

Tinkobell Mon 18-Nov-19 11:31:22

You alright with being disinherited? I have no opinion on the matter/ not suggesting that you stay chummy under false pretences.....just pointing out the predictable course of events that tends to follow these spats based on other MN threads. Do what you've got to do for your sanity OP.

Tinkobell Mon 18-Nov-19 11:33:14

Cactus in a box! 😂 Love it, that is pure evil.

underneaththeash Mon 18-Nov-19 11:36:25

You change the invite to them coming to you (it sounds as though they'll decline anyway).

LannisterLion1 Mon 18-Nov-19 11:42:58

Don't ruin your family Christmas by inflicting these people on them. Take a stand. Read what @FizzyGreenWater wrote, it's good to say or text.

zafferana Mon 18-Nov-19 11:46:01

No, it's never too late. Say that meeting up doesn't work for you this year. Send a gift by post, if you wish. I love the cactus idea grin

TheOliphantintheRoom Mon 18-Nov-19 11:51:54

When you say 'neutral venue' do you mean, say, a restaurant for a meal? If so, I'd go ahead as it's presumably only a few hours.

Just explain to your boys that in life we all have to deal with awkward people out of duty sometimes. Have a laugh about it.

willloman Mon 18-Nov-19 11:55:04

Get children to write short, funny letters asking grandparents to write letters back all about their own christmas as children. Tell children this letter thing is in place of excruciating personal visit - they will get on board. Grandparents will be thrilled at interest and may have some surprising tales. This is a generational thing and just because they have outdated expectations does not make them evil. They are 80 and since when was any family gathering about having fun?! (you should read the other christmas posts on MN).

shinynewapple Mon 18-Nov-19 11:57:23

I think sometimes the elderly see life in a very narrow, quite selfish way . Yes I am sure there are outgoing up to date 90 year olds but that isn't the case with a lot of people 15 or more years past retirement. Worlds shrink and this is what happens

I would not force relationships between your DH, DC and your parents but nor would I ostracise elderly parents because their expectations are from different times.

Can you maybe organise a brief visit eg for tea and cakes with your DC and then see them another time alone?

FLOrenze Mon 18-Nov-19 11:58:18

It is a difficult one. A lot depends on whether relief and pleasure and not going is outweighed by your guilt and the hassle you will get for ever and a day.

My mother died recently at 94 and I was her whipping boy for 70 years. I look back and think there’s were so many times when her evil tongue should have made me walk away’.

She did so much to try to ruin my life but I could not walk away. I think I would take the cowards way and just go to meal on your own.

TheMidasTouch Mon 18-Nov-19 12:00:43

So your sons don't write letters of thanks to your DPs for presents. How do they thank them? Do they phone or text instead?

I have a nephew who has never thanked us for a present in his life (and I must admit it does rile as we buy what his mum says he wants).

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