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Missing out on my family Christmas again

217 replies

ChristmasbloodyChristmas · 25/11/2019 15:40

I've name changed as this could be quite outing. This is first married Christmas with DH, obviously not our first Christmas, we've been together for six years. We live in The Midlands and the whole of my family live in Scotland, about seven hours drive. DH has two adult children (18 and 20) and I don't have children. Every year I've visited my family either between Christmas and New Year or in January as I understand how important it is for a father to see his children at Christmas. As we're around for Christmas we do see the rest of his family on Christmas Eve or Boxing Day, making the whole of Christmas a DH family event, while I don't get to see my family until after the event. I'll be honest, its not ideal but it's one of the perks of being a childfree stepmum. This year, his children have their own plans, girlfriends/friends but we still can't change the plans, we still have to be around for all of his family events, while I don't get to see my parents, siblings, nieces and nephews until after all the lovely Christmas feeling is over.

AIBU? Please please don't say I chose this life when I met him. Six years ago when I met him I wouldn't have expected to have to give up seeing my own family at Christmas forever. It simply wasn't the choice I made.

OP posts:
ChristmasbloodyChristmas · 25/11/2019 16:43

If I had my own children lots of things would be different. I wouldn't have been able to make many of the decisions I have. I have nearly always put DH's family needs over and above what I want. Isn't that what step mums are supposed to do - although this thread has surprised me with the support I've received. Thank you.

OP posts:
ChuckleBuckles · 25/11/2019 16:43

he just feels he is more justified in spending Christmas with family because he has children and because I don't it doesn't matter

OK so what about the fact that you live a good distance away from your family, your parents are probably ageing, having more complex needs and travelling will become more difficult for them, you will miss precious time with them, that is just the nature of living far from family and time passing by. What about the fact that you are missing out on life with your siblings, nieces and nephews growing up and this time of year is when all those people who form your extended family are all together for a short period of time, connecting and he thinks that is not that important for you? I say go to Scotland and enjoy your family, they are important to you, he can join or stay where he is but you go.

edwinbear · 25/11/2019 16:43

Hont but the 18 yr old (and 20 yr old) have expressed that they want to spend Christmas doing their own thing this year. They're not bothered enough about seeing their father to be able to articulate which day they might like to see him.

Meaning OP could well spend the 3 important days dragging herself round to he DH's family events again, at the expense of seeing her own family (again) and might not even see her SC. That's not on.

IdiotInDisguise · 25/11/2019 16:45

Can you ring the children, explain the situation and ask them if it would be ok to meet late on the 26 or for lunch/dinner on the first of January?

Not fair on anyone to hang in there just in case they are free. It is your turn, they have got first refusal. I would say however that it may not be about the kids but that he doesn’t want to travel.

Deadringer · 25/11/2019 16:46

I think you have done your time so to speak, they are adults now, they have their own plans this year so it's your turn now. I would tell him you are going to Scotland, he is welcome if he wants to join you.

Mix56 · 25/11/2019 16:46

I'm with you OP, your H only has to see DC a day before or after when your return., they won't care, & will completely see the logic of you going to spend Xmas with your parents for the first time in 6 years. (and the logic also works two ways, you are also a child to your parents). The SC have been offered the Xmas slot, they refused.
Marriage involves compromising, & your H isn't.

FizzyGreenWater · 25/11/2019 16:46

I've tried negotiating with him but he simply won't budge. He won't compromise.

Go to Scotland.

You know what, if you had your own kids, it wouldn't be different. The central issue here is that your brand shiny new H is a selfish twat.

bluebeck · 25/11/2019 16:46

I just don't understand why you don't arrange to go to Scotland without him. Surely you would have much more fun with your family than hanging around waiting to see if his adult DC have time to squeeze you in or not?

I am not knocking them - that's the way I was too at that age.

Just make your own plans. DH can fit in or not. His decision. Not worth falling out over.

ChristmasbloodyChristmas · 25/11/2019 16:47

I think I may have left it too late this year to make a big stand. Definitely from next year when they are another year older I will give him the choice, come with me or stay here alone. I suspect that if he relies on his kids to be around he'll be quite lonely.

OP posts:
spacepyramid · 25/11/2019 16:48

Tell him he has to work out dates with you when you will be in Scotland (with him) and when you can be available for his children, he can't dictate to you what you do and when like this.

havingtochangeusernameagain · 25/11/2019 16:49

Genuinely can't believe that there are Mumsnet posters who think an 18 year old is a grown adult who doesn't need to see their parents at Christmas

18 is a grown adult. I spent Christmas with extended family when I was 14. My mum missed me a lot more than I missed her, I'm afraid, I had a lovely time. So if I had a nice boyfriend and his family were also nice and invited me for Christmas, I'd have been very happy.

And as a parent, if ds said "don't worry about me, I'm spending Christmas with gf's family, I'd check that was definitely ok and make plans to go away for Christmas".

Except that I also have a mum, so I'd see her. But if my mum wasn't around or had other plans, I'd not hang around waiting to see if ds could fit me in sometime.

Ellapaella · 25/11/2019 16:50

I am separated from my 17year olds father and have remarried and now have two other children.
My 17 year old has told me he hates feeling like he has to keep everyone happy at Christmas and worries about upsetting whichever parent he doesn't spend Christmas day with. That bothers him more than actually not seeing one of us on the day itself.
My point is that your husbands children may actually be quite happy for your husband to go away over Christmas as they won't have to feel guilty about not spending the whole day with him. He should just ask them how they feel about it.

MrsGarland · 25/11/2019 16:51

I'd go up on my own.

I'd also present him with a compromise.. Your family over Christmas and a specially nice New Year party at yours for all his family?

MelissaCortezsPastry · 25/11/2019 16:51

Genuinely can't believe that there are Mumsnet posters who think an 18 year old is a grown adult who doesn't need to see their parents at Christmas

If they were so bothered about seeing their Dad they would have made firm plans by now. This is more about him as a Dad rather than them as children wanting to see their Dad.

Our plans are firmed up by October so everyone knows who is seeing who and when. Usually because by this stage SIL knows what she is working over Christmas so that is the last date to set in stone.

Your Dh needs to get plans made with them now so that you can also make plans to see your family at Christmas. If your stepchildren aren't seeing you until 27th or 28th then you and Dh can go to Scotland (beautiful place to spend Christmas).

All this is just speculation at this point. He needs them to commit now so you can make plans too.

BeanBag7 · 25/11/2019 16:51

Genuinely can't believe that there are Mumsnet posters who think an 18 year old is a grown adult who doesn't need to see their parents at Christmas
But the children don't seem that bothered... they have made their own other plans.
Also where does it end? Should OP not be able to see her side of the family when the kids are 19 and 21? What about when they're 22 and 24? What age does it suddenly become OK in your opinion?

FraggleRocking · 25/11/2019 16:52

I think there is a lot dependant on individual circumstances here.
If the girlfriends/boyfriends are just round the corner and there is a chance that after Xmas lunch they will all pop in and see their Dad I can see the logic in him wanting to stick around. If the partners live a few hours away and you’re simply staying there ‘just in case’ things fall through or don’t work out, that seems silly and your DH should embrace a new style of Christmas with a bit of compromise.

Andypromqueen · 25/11/2019 16:52

I suspect your dh’s kids probably don’t care one way or the other if they see their dad over Xmas - they want to keep themselves free for their girlfriends (my own 16 and 20 yr old ds’s have both recently fallen in lurve and the world now revolves around the girlfriends and we are cast aside completely!) - it’s a shame your dh doesn’t realise this - it sounds like he’s being a bit of a saddo trailing around for titbits off his sons and you are having to forgo a nice family Christmas in Scotland to kowtow to him. You will have to put your foot down at some point.

StrawBeretMoose · 25/11/2019 16:52

Talk to your stepchildren, make a plan.

Then go to Scotland.
Your DH can't have it his way every year and now is as good a time as any to start making new traditions, as opposed to the one where you always do what he wants.

One of DH's parents died soon after my marriage and we spent Christmas apart so he could be with the other parent.
Other times circumstances have meant we don't always get to have our first preference Christmas, but we don't have either of us doing top trumps on the other.

MelissaCortezsPastry · 25/11/2019 16:53

Cross posted with *BeanBag7!

monkeymonkey2010 · 25/11/2019 16:54

I've tried negotiating with him but he simply won't budge. He says I don't understand as I don't have children, but I do have my own family. He won't compromise

I can't believe you married him!

You're not joint at the hip so go to Scotland on your own - you don't need his permission or approval.
He's stuck in his routine and i highly doubt he will change it just for you - his ADULT children do not NEED to see him on xmas - they too can learn to alternate each year.....or properly grow up.

I doubt he's ever going to support you regards xmas with your family like you have his.
He's not programmed to respect or consider your needs.

RuggerHug · 25/11/2019 16:54

Does he not realise that by his DC letting you know they have other plans now is so that you have time to make plans for yourselves? They haven't dropped this at the last minute. Especially if they get on with you they may well have decided it was time for you to be able to see your family. He may think of them as children but they're probably smarter than he's giving them credit for. Ask them directly.

ChristmasbloodyChristmas · 25/11/2019 16:54

We have spoken to the children about it. They've both said they'd like to see their dad but don't know when, because GF is doing this or that, and best friend is away, etc.

They do both come and stay with us regularly but we never know for sure if they're coming for sure until a couple of hours before. This is the way it is. It's infuriating but not worth the effort of being stressed about.

OP posts:
OctoberLovers · 25/11/2019 16:54

Husband or family.

Simple really

OctoberLovers · 25/11/2019 16:56

Iv chose my family.

As i did last year, the year before and the year before that.

I have young nieces and nephews and my nan is in her 80's....

I will see partner every other day of the year. I will see him the day after Boxing day

TiceCream · 25/11/2019 16:56

When I was 18 I travelled 250 miles at Christmas with my boyfriend to visit his family. Of course you don’t need your mummy and daddy at 18! In fact it’s a time when you’re starting to express your own independence and it hasn’t yet occurred to you that your parents won’t be around forever. I had a special dinner with my parents on the 27th when I returned and it was absolutely fine.

Imo your DH is being selfish. Basically he used his kids as an excuse not to visit your family for years, and now he no longer has that excuse and is struggling to find a reason not to go. Go on your own and let him be lonely when his kids aren’t interested in him.

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