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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:
smugmug · 25/11/2019 17:41

With your parents in their 80s and wanting to spend Christmas with you vs the stepchildren unsure about when they can be bothered to fit you in for a visit my inclination would to leave husband to make up his own mind on what he's doing but you definitely go and spend Christmas in Scotland with your family, you still are a month away so not too late to make plans , the priority being that there may be not too many opportunities left for you to do this .

zafferana · 25/11/2019 17:41

I can see both sides of this - I can understand a parent wanting to see/be available for his kids over Christmas, even if they're technically adults (although 18 is only just an adult), and I can understand you being fed up of never getting to spend Christmas with your family, because a) you live far from 'home' and b) you don't have kids of your own. I think if you want to spend your first Christmas as a married couple with your DH then this year you're going to have to stay in the Midlands because it's too late really to be making a stand with only a month to go. But next year I would make it clear that you will be spending Christmas in Scotland and that you'd love him to join you there. If your DPs are in their 80s you should prioritise them too and if your DH doesn't understand why you'd want to do that then tbh he's a bit of an arse!

aSofaNearYou · 25/11/2019 17:42

@Dojacatttt setting aside the fact that him being the one with kids shouldn't mean he gets to devalue her relationship with her family (seeing elderly parents is more the priority than adult children for a lot of people and this is very logical as they might not be around much longer), that argument would make more sense if his children were the ones that were upset, but they have made other plans and have been vague about seeing their dad. It would be very selfish of them to demand they don't see the other half of the family when they themselves have plans.

Ninkanink · 25/11/2019 17:44

It’s very different now that they’re older. They do not need to see their dad exactly within the official Christmas period. It’s perfectly fine to see him sometime between Christmas and NYE, for example. In fact my girls were perfectly happy doing this, and so was I, throughout the latter part of their childhoods when they alternated between mine and my ex husband’s home. If he had them for Christmas then I would do our own Christmas celebration with them before or after, depending on what was convenient. It wasn’t a big deal to shift it by a few days. Now that they’re both adults we still do it this way - this year they are off to their dad’s for Christmas, and we are doing our special celebration meal together on NYE.

I think it’s perfectly fine for you to say that given they actually have other plans over Christmas, he really ought to consider your feelings and your happiness this year.

Ninkanink · 25/11/2019 17:46

And I agree, as your parents are elderly, it is legitimately a priority to see them over the festive period too.

WhereYouLeftIt · 25/11/2019 17:47

Your parents are in their 80s? Then I think you should definitely be spending Christmas with them.

Let your husband sit at home alone waiting for his children to give him a second's thought.

And, just a thought; if you are always the one compromising, it's not a compromise, it's subjegation. One party always getting what they want is NOT a compromise.

AcrossthePond55 · 25/11/2019 17:48

If your parents are in their 80s it's definitely time to start alternating years. If your DH can't understand your (and especially your aging parents') need to spend the holidays together then he's a selfish twat. His children are certainly old enough to understand. Methinks it's time to draw a line in the sand. It sounds to me at this point as if it's less about his DC and more about 'his family's traditions'.

Why is it too late to make plans for this year? Xmas is a month away, there's plenty of time to make travel arrangements, especially if you drive (caveat: I'm in the US and long drives of 6-10 hrs aren't that unusual for us).

You know, there are children of divorce who never see one or the other of their parents for the 24-48 hrs of Christmas due to alternating year access schedules. You should have begun alternating years ago.

popsadaisy · 25/11/2019 17:49


Chesntoots · 25/11/2019 17:49

I would go to Scotland, then when he's had a few days on his own over Christmas just hanging around waiting for his kids to fit him into their busy schedules, the penny might drop...

SunniDay · 25/11/2019 17:54

I think you should enlist the help of your (adult) step children to reassure their father that they would love him to go and enjoy Xmas with your family for a change and that they will be fine. Arrange a day you will all get together and have a special meal in the new year.

user1498572889 · 25/11/2019 17:57

To be blunt if your parents are in their 80’s how many more christmases are you going to get with them when they are healthy enough to appreciate it.

glitterbugsparkles · 25/11/2019 17:57

I feel for you OP, and as a child free step mum totally understand. In your shoes I would arrange to go to Scotland maybe the 23rd but travel back down Boxing Day having arranged with his children for them all to come round Boxing Day eve for a family event. All food easy oven items/pre-done stuff! It's unreasonable to hang around just in case they want to visit, but there should be a possible compromise.

Fightingmycorner2019 · 25/11/2019 17:58

Just divide and conquer ? Unless you put your foot down it’s always going to be his way

MidnightBlue28 · 25/11/2019 17:58

Don’t wait until next year to change this. Time with elderly parents is precious and you never know what might sadly happen. Don’t put it off, go and see your parents this Christmas.

Tumbleweed101 · 25/11/2019 18:02

I’ve a 19 and 21 yo - if they had other plans I’d arrange a day over Xmas week we could all get together and make my own for the Xmas days themselves.

MinisterforCheekyFuckery · 25/11/2019 18:03

Your parents are in their 80's. I know it's not pleasant to think about it, OP but realistically, how many more chances will you get to spend Christmas with them? At 18 and 20 your Step-children are old enough to understand that. They're also old enough to understand that.

It's a bit selfish of them to expect you and your DH to spend the whole Christmas period waiting around in case they choose to drop by. Why can't your DH say to them "look, I want to make sure I see you both at some point over Christmas, but I need to know your plans because we'll also be going to Scotland to see your Stepmums family and we need to make arrangements"? So for example, you could have lunch with them Christmas Eve and then travel to Scotland. Or you could have a few days there and come back boxing day of his DC are free then. I don't understand why it has to be 'either/or', it's perfectly possible to do both. I think your DH is just accostomed to getting his own way and the DC are a bit of an excuse.

MinisterforCheekyFuckery · 25/11/2019 18:04

Excuse the typos!

Gibbonsgibbonsgibbons · 25/11/2019 18:04

Isn’t this about your husband being anxious/sad at the thought of the first Christmas when his kids have left the nest? Wanting to hang around & be available because he wishes they were still coming home for Christmas.
I think I would agree to stay & make a nice Christmas this year on the promise that next year Christmas is spent with your family.

I would also ask the kids to firm up their bloody plans!

twopintsprick · 25/11/2019 18:09

My family are in Scotland and all DH's family are down south (we live down south). Before DD came along I used to spend most Christmas's in Scotland with my family - DH used to spend it with his - was never a problem. He never particularly wanted to spend it with my family which is fair enough (I feel the same way about spending it with his). Just go on your own - your DH clearly doesn't want to go so let him do what he wants and you get to do what you want - win win.

Now that we have DD I can't do this anymore and I really miss it. So make the most of it whilst you can.

TimeForNewStart · 25/11/2019 18:10

I think I may have left it too late this year to make a big stand

No you haven’t! You’re just using that as an excuse to put off the confrontation.

If your relationship is as strong as yo( say it is he will be OK with you going up to Scotland.

WhatWouldTheDoctorDo · 25/11/2019 18:12

Do your family all get together on Boxing Day? Could you get up early and drive up to Scotland then, either with or without him (if you're happy to do long drive by yourself). Then he'd be available for his children Christmas Eve/Christmas Day?

champagneandfromage50 · 25/11/2019 18:14

So you prioritise his family every year? Being a step mum doesn’t stop you from seeing your own family at Xmas. Most folks I know who are separated will have a arrangement over the festive season. His kids are old enough now for him to say I will see you on the 23 rd but off to xxx over Xmas and see you when i get back . Not sure why that is an issue. My eldest went to his girlfriends house for Xmas when he was 20!

Considermesometimes · 25/11/2019 18:16

I don't wish to upset you, but you are on borrowed time with your own parents if they are in their 80's op, how are you going to feel if this is indeed their last christmas and you didn't go.

Your dh is being extremely selfish, and has got too used to everything being about him and his adult children. The very least he could do is join you in Scotland for one christmas with your family. I feel sorry for your parents, they must have really missed not seeing you.

It is November, not too late to make a stand, and think of the joy you will bring your lovely family when you arrive at Christmas. Make plans to go and ask him to join you and leave him to think about it. You have decades potentially to spend many more christmases with his family, and you may not have this chance again with yours.

Stick to your guns op. Why are your family always second best? It is not on.

Longfacenow · 25/11/2019 18:17

I think he may, sensibly, be thinking this could be the last year his son/daughter will see him at Christmas for a while and is prioritising being available for them?

Go on your own. You have every Christmas until he dies left after this one. What's the panic?

ThisIsAllaMooPoint · 25/11/2019 18:19

This is not a nice thing to say or think about but if your parents are in their 80’s then I think you should prioritise them for a change. Especially if you haven’t spent the last few Christmas’s with them. You don’t want to regret it. You will have many more other Christmas’s with your husband.

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