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AIBU - In-law Covid Christmas plans causing tension between DH and I

(140 Posts)
Needoutsideopinions2020 Sun 29-Nov-20 18:47:17

Okay so bear with me. This Christmas, it's mine and DH's turn to host Christmas at our house, and with my side of the family (my parents, my brother and sister in law and their baby). This is my ideal Christmas and I have been so looking forward to our turn - I love my in laws but am really close to my family, it's our first Christmas in our new home after a long journey to get here and I feel really relaxed with my side of the family (we all get on really well, DH loves them and they love him etc.). I am quite anxious about Covid and will want to make sure we all socially distance, they will all be happy to do that (my in laws wouldn't be, which causes a lot of anxiety for me). DH and I love cooking and we love hosting, and we're able to do this within Covid restrictions ofc (tier 2, so between DH and I, my parents, and my brother, we are the three households).

Like everyone else, we couldn't plan Christmas this year until we found out about Covid restrictions. Now we know the plans, my in laws are still wanting us to go to them for a 'Christmas Day' before Christmas, and with my sister-in law and her husband and their two daughters, and my DH's grandad (who lives on his own, so that's three households). I don't feel comfortable with that because:

1) most importantly, my Dad is extremely clinical vulnerable to Covid and on the shielding list. He would get very ill if he got Covid and having seen him in and out of hospital growing up, sometimes fearing he wouldn't come home, I don't want to see my in laws (who are all high risk for covid due to work, and social lives, they believe Covid is just the flu and don't follow guidelines at all really), I would be terrified that we would contract Covid from them and then spread to my Dad a few days later. This absolutely terrifies me. I am clinically vulnerable to Covid too but okay to risk getting it myself from the in laws for the sake of peace, but not at the risk of then giving it to my Dad and the worst happening.

2) it would mean we'd be seeing 5 households, not a maximum of 2 others. That does really bother me because I believe we all have a shared responsibility to protect one another and follow the law and the rules.

3) Due to work we'd also then need to see in laws outside of the allowed 5 day window. Again, it's against the rules and that really troubles me.

Anyway in laws really want an answer from us and DH and I had a horrible day today when disagreeing about what to do next. He wants us to just go along with his parents (they are lovely but head strong, outspoken about their opinion and hard to say no to) but I feel impossibly unhappy and uncomfortable about that. I think he feels stuck between me and his parents (horrible place to be) and I don't want any conflict (I hate conflict) but I also feel a very real need to protect my Dad. It's our turn to host Christmas this year with my side of the family. Families all across the UK are in the same boat, I don't see why we can't just not see in laws for Christmas this year. I know that's disappointing, but it's only one Christmas and Covid makes life hard - I feel like we just need to accept it means we can't do everything we want to, when we want to. I wish DH had my back and stood next to me on this.

Anyway, I've reluctantly suggested we look to have a 'Christmas Day' with my DH's side of the family after Christmas and before the NY. This would be outside of the timescale we're allowed to meet, and a further breach in that we'd be inside someone's house, with three households, when this is banned (tier 2) and all of this makes me feel really rotten and uncomfortable. BUT it's a compromise because I want DH to be able to see his parents/siblings/grandad, I know it's important to him and I know it mean's a lot to my in laws. With doing it after Christmas, at least if we catch Covid from them, I won't then be spreading it to my Dad.

I think my DH thinks I'm causing a fuss and it is causing a lot of tension between us.

Am I being unreasonable?

OP’s posts: |
VainAbigail Sun 29-Nov-20 18:52:30

So just to confirm, you couldn’t see them on Boxing Day because of work?

dementedpixie Sun 29-Nov-20 18:54:55

Can he go visit them by himself? We are not doing our usual visiting this year as its just not worth it

SnackSizeRaisin Sun 29-Nov-20 18:57:36

My parents had covid 3 weeks ago and sadly, my mum will probably never be the same again. I had a relaxed attitude before but now am thinking if only they had been more careful until spring, they could have been vaccinated and avoided this. (They didn't break any rules but were in tier one so a lot was allowed). They are late 60s and not in any vulnerable groups. It's not worth risking it for your dad. I think you will need to stand firm on this.

dementedpixie Sun 29-Nov-20 18:57:49


So just to confirm, you couldn’t see them on Boxing Day because of work?

No, its because they have already formed a 3 household bubble and cannot form another one

Notreallyhappy Sun 29-Nov-20 18:58:48

Tell your DH, your not going to be able to fit it all in,,in the time & restrictions you've got.

He should understand your worries for your dad..

Feedingthebirds1 Sun 29-Nov-20 19:03:06

When would you normally see his family in the years you have your family on Christmas Day?

I fully get your dilemma, and if it was me I wouldn't want to risk it either.

If you go after Christmas you're still breaking the rules, which you've said you're not comfortable with, but at least you're not putting your dad at risk. Can your DH not see that you are compromising here, so why can't he do the same? Especially if, as you say, he loves your parents and they love him?

Shoppingwithmother Sun 29-Nov-20 19:04:26

So just to confirm, you couldn’t see them on Boxing Day because of work?”
“No, its because they have already formed a 3 household bubble and cannot form another one”

I don’t think that’s the reason - they are not allowed to be with other households inside after the 5 day Christmas mixing period, but that’s what they are proposing to do. If anything, mixing with more than 3 households in the 5 day period would be less of a rule breach than socialising after that period.

RedMarauder Sun 29-Nov-20 19:09:45

You need to be like a broken record and tell your DH "no" you are not willing to break the Covid 19 restrictions because of your dad so his parents will just have to suck it up until next year. Then next year you are going to have to spend the entire festive period with them with a brief trip, if you can fit it in, to see your own side of the family.

Hahaha88 Sun 29-Nov-20 19:11:29

I think it's a fair compromise you've provided. I think many, many people won't stick to the guidelines. This way you can see everyone and keep your dad safe(r)

OverTheRainbow88 Sun 29-Nov-20 19:12:44

I would just say no sorry not this year.

However, if your OH won’t leave it be suggest he goes to see them AFTER you’ve seen your family so his actions won’t potentially put your father st risk.

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Sun 29-Nov-20 19:13:55

I think seeing them after Christmas reduces the risk to your dad as you won't be bringing anything (unknowingly) to him.

Suggest to dh that either he sees them alone after Christmas or you all go for a socially distanced outside meet up after Christmas.

Mogtheforgetfulmum Sun 29-Nov-20 19:15:14

I could have written your post op!!! I am in exactly the same scenario, even down to the way you describe your family vs. In laws. Very keen to see what peoples thoughts are on this as I feel awful about our decision but the alternative felt pretty rubbish for dh.

Me and my dh decided we would see his parents after christmas for 2 nights but that they would have to isolate beforehand. We would normally see them at New Year. The plan this year had always been that we would see them at New Year and they were fine with this, but obviously they haven't been able to see us since August. They also helpfully bought dgd presents that couldn't be posted due to size/weight hmm

HotSince63 Sun 29-Nov-20 19:15:30

I think that's a fair compromise. You see your DH family on Boxing Day or the day after. You're still within the 5 day rule, although obviously breaking the 3 families rule, but you've taken away the risk to your Dad.

Mogtheforgetfulmum Sun 29-Nov-20 19:16:21

You could suggest that they pay privately for those fast tests?

Poppingnostopping Sun 29-Nov-20 19:16:41

I'm even debating whether to visit one household on Christmas Day inside! I don't understand this compulsion to visit so many different households when they have older vulnerable people in them. I'm pretty cavalier about myself, my work, kids schools and so on and I'd be happy to live a normalish life with a mask etc, but I don't want to give it to my closest older relatives whatsoever. So, no I wouldn't break the rules but not because they are rules, because you don't want to risk your father (and I would really think carefully about going to visit him if you are all going to be in school/working up to the last minute).

tilder Sun 29-Nov-20 19:18:04

The whole 'give covid for Christmas' plan of Boris is unreasonable.

You're trying to be everything to everyone. Would you be taking the covid risk if it weren't for Christmas?

Svelteinmydreams Sun 29-Nov-20 19:18:21

You are not unreasonable. You are trying to protect your vulnerable dad and stay inside the rules. Turn about, it is your turn to be with your family.
I think your idea that you see his family after Christmas is the best of a bad lot, and more than the in-laws, or DH , should expect.
Hope you can work it out without more anxiety for you or your family.

user1493413286 Sun 29-Nov-20 19:20:29

I think it’s unfair to say that you’re only seeing your side and not his to be honest. It was our turn to host my parents and sister and i was really looking forward to it but we’ve said that we will see one household from my side and one household from DHs side so that it’s fair.

BenoneBeauty Sun 29-Nov-20 19:21:13


NewLockdownNewMe Sun 29-Nov-20 19:21:14

You’ve offered a perfectly reasonable compromise - in fact above and beyond given that you’re offering to break the rules. Your DH simply has to learn to stand up to his parents occasionally. I know it’s not as simple as saying it, but if I were you I’d dig my heels in on the basis of being right!

Moulesvinrouge1 Sun 29-Nov-20 19:22:48

People who are headstrong do often need someone quite headstrong to stand up to them. Why do their wishes overrule yours?! If you did pass something to your dad and had felt pressured to see them, not only would that be awful in itself but you would be so resentful of them and their selfish attitude for ever more.
I really don’t understand why people think they can just do what they want, because they want to. My disabled child has gone without their essential therapy since March because of this pandemic, but as long as some bossy matriarch gets to play the hostess as usual then fuck everybody else, eh?!

giletrouge Sun 29-Nov-20 19:23:21

You are being more than kind, accomodating and reasonable OP. Of course you want to protect your dad. Can you stand your ground on this one?

OverTheRainbow88 Sun 29-Nov-20 19:24:22


Do you realise those people you are seeing then can’t see anyone else? So if you chose to see your parents, your parents then can’t see your sister? Or if you chose to see your sister, she then can’t see your parents?

NewLockdownNewMe Sun 29-Nov-20 19:24:32

@user1493413286 that doesn’t work for a lot of people though - if you’re seeing one of your side and one of his side, do those two households want to see one another, and is the left out household (your parents or your sister) ok with not seeing any family over Christmas?

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