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Husband putting on pressure to mix families over Christmas - am I being selfish and unreasonable?

(48 Posts)
jimthecat Wed 16-Nov-16 21:19:47

I have posted about this before under another username, so this may sound familiar.

To give some background which I think is important, my relationship with my parents in law has been quite difficult. We didn't really see much of each other for a long time and I never really felt included in their family. This changed when I was pregnant and pil, mil especially wanted to be very much involved. However, my pregnancy coincided with my mother's sudden death. My mil's sudden invasion into my life was very hard to manage and this caused a lot of tension between my husband and me.

Fast forward three years and things are decidedly easier. I have been in therapy and have made real efforts to improve the relationship with pil. We do get on a lot better now and I can even enjoy spending time with them.

However, one thing that is still hard for me it watching their relationship with my child develop. It's not their fault, but seeing the close grandparent and grandchild bond they have with my child makes me feel down. I am quite close to my dad but he's not a hands on grandparent. Watching pil with my DD makes miss my mum even more because I know she would have been really helpful and would have loved spending time with her dgc.

Now Christmas is coming up and as last year we didn't see my family at all (but spent a week with pil), I invited my dad to our place for Christmas. He is coming until the 26th and then DD, DH and I go to join my pil in a cottage until the 31st. Dh booked the cottage. Pil will have DH's two siblings with them for the 24th - 25th. I thought the plan was good but now DH has started to put pressure on for us and my dad to go to spend the 24th and 25th with pil.

I am uncomfortable with this plan as although I am much happier spending time with pil than before, having everyone together will just make my mum's absence and my dad's distance glaringly obvious. Mil is pretty possessive over her time with our dd and I don't really get a look in. This can be helpful and gives me a break, but for a whole week's holiday, I know I will end up feeling pushed out and down. I told DH I would find it hard but he is adamant it will be fine and that our daughter will enjoy Christmas more if we are all together.

Dh keeps asking about it and telling me he wants us to spend the whole week with his family. I've said no as for the reasons above, I prefer not to mix our families over Christmas. But the more he asks me I am starting to wonder if I am just being selfish? I am doubting my judgement.

Sorry it's long.

Youcandoit2016 Wed 16-Nov-16 21:24:37

That sounds really hard flowers have you tried telling your DH how you feel? X

RandomMess Wed 16-Nov-16 21:26:40

I think you've compromised - they had a week with you last year and this year you want a few days with just your Dad and then a few days with them.

It sounds like your DH is being very selfish/pressured by his parents?

It's not selfish to look after YOUR needs too?

Somerville Wed 16-Nov-16 21:26:45

Most families take it in turns, so to speak. It's utterly normal to do one Christmas Day with his family and the next with yours.

So separate out the previous tensions and your emotions from it and think about it logically.
Would it make your father's Christmas better/more preferable to spend it with the in-laws? If not then say no.
And tell your DH while you're at it that every other year works perfectly well for most other families and it shouldn't be up for discussion.

stitchglitched Wed 16-Nov-16 21:28:03

No, you spent last Christmas with your PIL and you are seeing them for several days this year too. You are entitled to have some quality time with your Dad for both you and your daughter. Tell your DH to stop being so selfish.

jimthecat Wed 16-Nov-16 21:29:02

Thanks youYes. But he says although he knows it is hard he has to endure hard things too, like when I went to visit some other family and took DD - which I think is totally unrelated. So he's not really empathetic unfortunately.

Mum2jenny Wed 16-Nov-16 21:29:34

I think your time with your ddad should take preference for the few days x

cowbag1 Wed 16-Nov-16 21:30:14

If you agreed to alternate, then stick to that. He is being unreasonable trying to change the plans now.

No you are not being selfish, what you have previously agreed is fair. Don't enter into any more discussion on it. Stick to your guns.

Cricrichan Wed 16-Nov-16 21:33:12

You're not selfish. You spent last Christmas with them and are spending 5 days together.

GloriaGaynor Wed 16-Nov-16 21:33:39

I think your original plan was fine and your husband is the one being selfish. I understand that he wants to spend time with his siblings, but you have a right to quality time with your dad not hanging onto the outskirts of another family.

If your husband wants to see his siblings so much at Christmas, he must factor that into your arrangements next year.

SunnySomer Wed 16-Nov-16 21:36:22

Would he consider your dad's point of view? My husband's parents spent last Christmas Day with my SIL's in-laws - who they are actually friends with - but MIL has said since (privately) that it was awful. Sort of really emphasising all the differences between families and traditions rather than feeling inclusive. If your dad is rather quieter, he may find it similarly uncomfortable (I would!).

Winifredgoose Wed 16-Nov-16 21:36:30

You are being totally reasonable. Don't be bulldozed.

HandyWoman Wed 16-Nov-16 21:40:07

You are not being selfish. You are entitled to time with your dad at a difficult time. He is being selfish.


AddToBasket Wed 16-Nov-16 21:44:20

My mum died during my pregnancy so I really feel for you, it is so hard at Christmas.

Would you dad enjoy being around your PiL?

SandyY2K Wed 16-Nov-16 21:55:17

You're already going to be spending a few days in a cottage with them up to the 31st. I think that's quite enough, along with the fact that you spent a week with them last year.

How comfortable would your dad feel at your PILs?

I'd tell your DH, that you want to keep it as planned this year and you don't want him to pressure you about it anymore. Next year, it can be back to his family.

jimthecat Wed 16-Nov-16 22:00:40

Thanks for replies. No I don't think dad would enjoy hanging out with pil! Pil have no interest in talking about anything other than DD - which I'm happy to indulge in, but my dad likes discussing other matters.

I just know how it will be; dad and I will end up drinking gin in the kitchen while inlaws crowd around DD. We will both feel pushed out and I will feel resentful, jealous and angry. Which is not how I want to be and I know if we do things how we originally planned, I will feel much more relaxed.

add flowers

SandyY2K Wed 16-Nov-16 22:16:56

Then stand your ground and stick to the current plans. I'd just start ignoring him if he keeps on about it or tell him that you don't want to have a blended family Christmas.

Ohyesiam Wed 16-Nov-16 22:30:01

Just say no. You are totally within your rights to have your needs met.

Why does your husband need two extra days with his family.
Stick to your guns and do what suits you. Hope it goes well.

AddToBasket Wed 16-Nov-16 22:32:40

Your priority is your dad this year. PIL another year. Can your DH not see it from your dad's point of view? I think it is one thing hoping you will be ok with the plan change, it is another expecting your dad just to go with the flow.

ohfourfoxache Thu 17-Nov-16 00:16:29

Think you need to be firm about this - your dh sounds really quite selfish

Scrumptiousbears Thu 17-Nov-16 00:29:10

I think you are being more than reasonable. I also think your MIL is putting pressure on you OH and he is possibly finding it difficult to say no to her.

We take it in turns with our families. My MIL is coming this year and doesn't see DDs that often so I have asked my mum (who sees them all the time) to not pop over that day as DDs would be all over her and that's not fair on MIL. It's understanding how people feel and having empathy rather than trying to control and monopolies the situation.

jimthecat Thu 17-Nov-16 08:36:27

Tbh I would hope that mil is not putting on pressure as she seemed to accept that they were with us last year. Although I do think she thinks there'd be no problem to host my dad too; what they forget is that they are very much the dominant family.

It's DH. I don't know why he's being like this. He's even tried to bargain with me. He suggested that go to see my family for a weekend early December but that would mean that we spend the whole week with his family at xmas hmm

MrsJayy Thu 17-Nov-16 08:43:52

Just say we did christmas day with them last year i would like to spend time with my dad. It sounds like your husbands family are close and he wants to be with them just keep saying no

FinallyHere Thu 17-Nov-16 08:54:37

Goodness, trying to bargain a week earlier in December with your Dad for the whole week with his family, having spent the whole holiday with his family last week. Did you laugh out loud at his grasp of negotiation skills?

Even his mother grasps the fairness of the families getting turn about, there must be something else which is skewing his thinking. Working out, hopefully together, what it is, would be helpful.

You are not being unreasonable, if anything you are being too reasonable. Are you perhaps starting from what should be the final compromise, thinking he will agree to it? Then he starts to negotiate... Perhaps try starting from a more extreme view, and give up some part of your position only in response to his concessions.

Sorry to make it sound more like something that would happen at work, rather than a family matter.

GloopyGhoul Thu 17-Nov-16 09:03:04

I'd be considering telling him to sod off and have Christmas with them by himself at this point.

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