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About my dad's 70th and DB?

(45 Posts)
Ealingkate Mon 12-Sep-11 11:43:09

My dad is 70 at the beginning of next year and we've said that we would have a summer party at our house and invite all the family. For his actual birthday my dad said to my mum that he would love to go out for a meal with just me and my DB and mum, no partners, no kids, just the four of us. I said lovely, my DH is fine, my DB says, "No".
He thinks it is wrong and that he and his DW come as a package, he ended up shouting at my mum on the phone when she was trying to encourage him to change his mind.
I talked to my mum yesterday and she is very upset and disappointed that my DB feels this way and also that he shouted at her. So we decided that we would go out for the meal anyway, just the three of us.
So I was looking for some opinions on whether it is an unreasonable request to ask that just this once, we go out together as a family unit without partners?? What would you say to your DB?

cat64 Mon 12-Sep-11 11:52:05

Message withdrawn

Ealingkate Mon 12-Sep-11 12:02:25

Thanks for your reply cat64. I was thinking that it would be really nice, as it's been such a long time since just the four of us have done something together.
I have encouraged my DH to take his mum to the theatre on his own, which he has done for a few years, they both really enjoy it (His M & D are divorced). It is a different dynamic without partners.

Ealingkate Mon 12-Sep-11 12:22:34


TrillianAstra Mon 12-Sep-11 12:26:48

Why is it so important that partners not be there, that means you'd rather not have your brother there at all than have him and his partner?

Do you all not like his partner?

Or was it about the way he said it?

allhailtheaubergine Mon 12-Sep-11 12:36:23

I think it is a very odd request. I agree with your brother actually - I would be upset if my family wanted to do something fun but specifically not invite my husband (not that they ever would). And I would be upset if dh's family wanted to go out for a meal with him but not me. It seems so pointed.

I do see that it is a different dynamic when partners are not there and on the very odd occasion it has cropped up that I have ended up doing something with my parents and brothers without partners it has been sort of fun. But this has happened by accident, and it's not better than when partners are there, just different.

I find it strange - almost like your parents what to relive the old days and pretend it's just the 4 of you and no one is married and time hasn't moved on. Why would you want to? Surely the fact that you have all grown up, fallen in love and got married is a good and happy thing to be celebrated? Surely it has made your family bigger and better?

Ealingkate Mon 12-Sep-11 12:36:41

My dad just wanted it to be the four of us, just this once.

savoycabbage Mon 12-Sep-11 12:38:20

I don't know! Which is no help at all. I can definitely see both sides. I suppose I do like to spend time with my 'old' family. I suppose I get to do this without thinking about it as I have a sister and no brothers.

LoveBeingAMummyAgain Mon 12-Sep-11 12:38:31

I can see both sides tbh. Why has you db reacted so strongly though does he think they don't like her anyway?

cat64 Mon 12-Sep-11 12:40:37

Message withdrawn

AlmaMartyr Mon 12-Sep-11 12:43:07

I'd be fairly hmm about this request myself tbh. My DParents get on very well with DH (and with my BIL and SIL) and I would be very surprised if they ever suggested something like this. I'd probably go if DH was OK with it, but would understand if he wasn't. I would support DSis and DB if they didn't want to go because I think it's a fairly unreasonable request personally. If PIL asked it of DH, he'd never go. He's an only child, and would feel strongly that it was an attempt to maliciously excude me. PIL have form on that so I guess that would be the difference.

I guess it kind of depends on your perspective really. DH and I aren't joined at the hip but he's my family now and I wouldn't feel comfortable about him being excluded because I wasn't comfortable about being excluded from his family, and that's had a fairly long-term effect on my relationship with PIL.

allhailtheaubergine Mon 12-Sep-11 12:45:46

I think the implication is that the four of you are the REAL family, and your husband and SIL are just hangers on. And by extension, all those times (Christmas, family meals, birthdays) when the 6 of you have been together would have been more fun without the hangers on. They are not as liked or welcome as the REAL family. It's a bit rude and I am fairly certain that both my husband and I would have said no to it too.

Ealingkate Mon 12-Sep-11 12:49:01

My DB hasn't asked his wife about it, he said that she wouldn't like it. His DW is pretty hard work, opinionated, hates kids (she booked a hotel for my brother's 40th that didn't allow children in the restaurant), chooses not to spend time with us at family gatherings.
But the thing is, my DH thinks it is fine and normal to do this and is not offended in any way. My DB is maybe taking it as an intended slight because the relationship between him and his DW is not as easy going as our relationship with my M & D.

Ealingkate Mon 12-Sep-11 12:51:50

aubergine that is just total projection, that is not the way that my M & D feel at all.

allhailtheaubergine Mon 12-Sep-11 12:57:36

I'm sure it isn't. But that's how it could be interpreted.

Ealingkate Mon 12-Sep-11 12:59:27

cat64 we don't get to spend time together with just the four of us as we live quite far from each other.
This is not a regular occurence, M & D are not trying to split up our marriages, they would like to spend one evening in the company of their two children, something that they they have not done for more than 10 years.
It does not mean that all the other times they have really wished that my DH and SiL were not there.

starfishmummy Mon 12-Sep-11 12:59:38

I dont think that its such a big deal to go without partners as this has happened to us loads ; but we've both been asked and I'm guessing his issue is that she hasn't been invited and it feels like a snub.

TrillianAstra Mon 12-Sep-11 13:00:02

I can understand your Dad wanting it to just be the 4 of you.

But I cannot understand preferring not to have your brother at all over having him and his wife.

Ealingkate Mon 12-Sep-11 13:08:56

My DB can be lovely but he can also be a bit of a nightmare.
He shouted at my mum last year and reduced her to tears on a bus in London because she had given him his birthday present late.
He shouted and me and my dad on Boxing day over charades, and said to my dad to,"Come on then" as if to start a fight in front of my DCs (honestly, it was just like Eastenders). I was upset and in tears, he told me to stop making a fool of myself. Then the next day behaved as if nothing had happened.
He is just a bit of a bully at times. I asked the question about the 70th as I was genuinely interested whether he was just being a knob again or whether most people think it's unreasonable.
I think we're all just a bit fed up

HerdOfTinyElephants Mon 12-Sep-11 13:19:06

I think it's a bit of an odd request TBH (although, from your later post, does your father perhaps just not like your SIL very much so "...but not partners" actually translates as "...but for God's sake not Jennifer; she's just about bearable in small doses or at a large event where I don't have to see much of her, but I'd rather pull out my own toenails than have her as one-sixth of an intimate family dinner for my birthday..." but your father was trying to be diplomatic?).

But at the same time I can't see me or DH reacting the way your brother has done if that were the suggestion.

potoftea Mon 12-Sep-11 13:29:06

We did this for my dad's 70th. It worked well and we felt it was nice that my sister and I were the daughters again, rather than the grandchildren's mothers or the wives of the sons in law. Bigger family gathering at different time so grandchildren got to help blow out the candles.

Neither of the sons in law thought it odd; and if my dh's family wanted to do this I'd have no problem. As long as I wasn't the only one left out, as in the other in-laws invited but not me.

As long as the in-laws are usually invited I think it's fine as a special event.

twooter Mon 12-Sep-11 13:37:37

I can understand where your dad is coming from. I would live to have an evening with just my growing-up family - can't explain why. However, I don't think my parents would ever suggest it, and I do believe it would offend the partners.

pramsgalore Mon 12-Sep-11 13:54:06

it would not bother me, do you think may be its your brothers wife kicking off, but going through your brother.

Ealingkate Mon 12-Sep-11 14:31:06

Supposedly she doesn't know, I can't really believe she would want to come.

pramsgalore Mon 12-Sep-11 14:37:39

after reading what you said about your brother, i would go without him and have a nice time. its up to him if he comes or not, don't let him spoil it for everyone else. i really can not see a problem with not inviting the otherhalves and dc's

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