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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:
AnneLovesGilbert · 25/11/2019 21:31

Oh my god LovePoppy that would piss me off. How do you handle it? We start negotiations in April most years, it’s the only way. This year we’re at home and anyone is welcome but I’m not leaving the house.

MulticolourMophead · 25/11/2019 21:49

Your DH doesn’t want to go to Scotland and he is using the I’ve got children as an excuse. He is also not pushing them to commit as it suits.

And your parents are in their 80s.

Go to Scotland.

When we had that last Christmas with Mum, she had some health issues but could get around ok. She deteriorated pretty quickly over the next few months and she didn't see the next Christmas, last year. We never expected she'd go downhill so quickly.

My mum was younger than your parents, OP. Go to Scotland, they need to see you more than your DSC do.

Chunkers · 25/11/2019 21:53

Here’s another vote for you to go to Scotland. What a lovely treat for your poor parents who have come second for so many years.

FraglesRock · 25/11/2019 22:28

I think you go and then hopefully he'll realise how little young adults actually want to see parents when gf and bf are on the scene (and they've had their presents)
Tbh if you never make it hard for him , it'll never change, or take turns.

DontDribbleOnTheCarpet · 25/11/2019 22:51

Your first married Christmas is fucked anyway, go to Scotland! If you stay, you will be thinking about your parents and how you could have been with them. If he went to Scotland with you, there is an excellent chance he would sulk. Neither of these is fun, so just go on your own. Christmas in Scotland is lovely!

As an aside, anyone who tells a childless person that they can't understand something because they have no kids is a twat. It's a horrid combination of cruel and manipulative and it makes me want to spit. Almost everybody has (or has had) a person who they love more than they love themselves, and parents loving their kids isn't a hard concept to grasp.

BumbleBeee69 · 25/11/2019 23:07

OP I hope you don't come back and look for this Thread, when it's too late and your Parents are gone... and your still dicking around waiting on your Husband prioritising you and whilst he sits waiting on his adult kids 'popping' in on the off chance...

please.. go see your parents.. Flowers

OursonGuimauve · 25/11/2019 23:46

Honestly, go to Scotland. It doesn't have to be a big emotional drama if your husband doesn't come, it's a consequence of the physical distance between the people you both love. He's not wrong to want to be where he can see his kids, you're not wrong for wanting to see your family, it doesn't sound like he's in a place to start splitting Christmases. I totally understand the horrible little sad feeling in your chest when you think about being away from him but unless you can magic a wormhole between your house & Scotland it's either deal with being a bit sad or deal with never seeing your parents at Christmas.

LovePoppy · 26/11/2019 01:27

@AnneLovesGilbert I try very hard to be go with the flow

This year is my fathers year to have us regardless. My mother will never do the same day as dad, so she has Christmas Eve.

We have space for mil Boxing Day. Hopefully she chooses to use it.

On her “priority” years, I annoy my husband to get her to set a date so I can let my parents know. I also cry a lot.

AlexaAmbidextra · 26/11/2019 01:54

You wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect your SDCs to make firm plans if they want to see their dad. I can see what’s going to happen here. DH will make you stick around at home on the off-chance and his DSs won’t come anywhere near you. Them saying they want to see him ‘sometime’ is just them saying what they think he wants to hear. Boys of that age won’t give a toss about him if they’re off with their GFs.

timeisnotaline · 26/11/2019 02:14

Go to your family for Christmas. Tell dh there must be some compromise in a marriage, and if there isn’t there isn’t, and you are going to your family for Christmas every year until he comes with you. Then you can start a suitable alternating plan. You’re very happy to check in with the kids on when they could do around your travel plans if he changes his mind.

Butterymuffin · 26/11/2019 03:12

Time to prioritise your parents. Don't wait, do it this year.

OverByYer · 26/11/2019 03:26

I’m assuming that the step- kids mum is around? So they can spend Xmas with her, say for lunch?
I think your husband is very selfish. Go to Scotland I bet your parents would be thrilled

chachachachachacha · 26/11/2019 05:09

I'd prioritise my elderly parents in this scenario, in a heart beat. I think it's unbelievably selfish of your dh to say you don't 'get it' because you don't have kids. Don't get what? Love? Family? Very insulting.

You need to prioritise yourself here as no one else is. Your dh could tell his kids to make a firm plan but he's choosing not to, to your detriment and without caring about your parents.

Frenchw1fe · 26/11/2019 05:50

You should go to Scotland and have Xmas with your parents they'd love it. Personally I would talk to dsc on your own. Explain that your parents are getting old and you want to see them and would they mind spending time with their dd if you go up to Scotland.
They'll be so keen not to have the responsibility they'll persuade him to go with you!

CupoTeap · 26/11/2019 06:09

The dc don't want to commit in case something better comes along.

Please go have Christmas with your parents. I would rather miss my first Christmas with my dh than my last one with my parents.

Lilyflower1 · 26/11/2019 06:42

The rule, if you don’t have children, is one year with his family and the next at yours. If you have children together you stay home with them and others come to you.

However, with a blended style family I think you need to set these ground rules upfront as if you drift into a situation it is more difficult to change it. The person who gets all the advantage digs their heels in and says, effectively, I have got my way so far so I am going to keep doing it. The weaker party has given way so they can be intimidated to do the same forever.

In this case, the SC are adults and have decided to do their own thing while the DH is sitting like a wallflower waiting on their whims and expecting you to do the same. Call his bluff. Go home to Scotland and have a nice time with your family.

The DH will soon realise that sitting waiting for his children to give him a moment from their busy schedules is lonely and he will miss Christmas lunch, jollity and the pleasure of opening presents with others. He might, if he realises what is in store for him, force his DC to come and spend the day with him and no one will be happy with that arrangement.

One year of this will show the DH that turn and turn about is the fairest way for everyone. If you are only just married he needs to factor a new wife into his Christmas arrangements.

happinessischocolate · 26/11/2019 06:47

You should go to Scotland and have Xmas with your parents they'd love it. Personally I would talk to dsc on your own. Explain that your parents are getting old and you want to see them and would they mind spending time with their dd if you go up to Scotland.
They'll be so keen not to have the responsibility they'll persuade him to go with you!

Genius 😁

Longfacenow · 26/11/2019 07:23

There are no rules Lily! Each couple can decide. My ex used to hate his family Christmas and came to mine every Christmas Day for 13 years and his family at other times.

wintertime6 · 26/11/2019 07:55

What about you both going to Scotland for Christmas and he can travel back on Boxing Day to see his children and you can stay for a few more days? I'm sure there are flights on Boxing Day, my sister's husband has flown back home within the UK on Boxing Day a few times as he had to work the following day.

ZombieNut · 26/11/2019 08:23

I came on to say what a PP has just suggested. Make your plans to go to Scotland and then ask the DSC to ensure one or both of them call in on their DDad every day so his Xmas isn't a lonely one. I would explain that the only reason he isn't travelling with you is because he wants to be available for their visits. So could they arrange between them who will be visiting him each day.

That should be enough for them to start persuading their DDad to go with you. If he still refuses to travel and ends up spending a large chunk of the days alone then it is his own fault.

Once your DSC become parents your DH will always want to be at home to see the DGC. These next few years are crucial to setting a new pattern of alternating where you spend the 3 days of Xmas, or even just ensuring you spend a few years with your own family in Scotland. Your parents should absolutely come first for you and if your DH complains explain that you don't have children, just as he has pointed out, so choose to prioritise your parents. I really hope you get to see your family over the important days this year.

ChristmasbloodyChristmas · 26/11/2019 08:33

Thanks for all your responses. They've been really helpful. I'm very surprised by the support I've received as a step mum to be honest, it's a first! Normally (on here) step mums are encouraged to put themselves last in favour of the children (regardless of age) and the father of those children. It's been pleasing to read that in some circumstances the children and their father don't always have to come first. They have their own plans and I support that fully (I did at 18), I just wish DH wasn't being such a mamby pamby about it all. He is a selfish git, always has been, but I've now got a lot of food for thought and might just put myself and my own family first. Thank you all.

OP posts:
PaulHollywoodsSexGut · 26/11/2019 08:40

it's not all that long ago we were opening presents together and enjoying the magic of Christmas. AIBU to want to take DH away from this for my own wants?

I mean this nicely - stop playing the martyr.

This is why Christmas etc drives me up the wall; it’s a couple of days. Go see your parents. He can either join you or he can spend it with his adult DC (who may or may not bother to see him).

Just because you don’t spend Christmas Day together it doesn’t mean your relationship is in the toilet, married or unmarried.

Assuming he will not hold this against you (because if he does you have bigger problems) please bear in mind your parents are in their 80s - this IMHO is enough for you to believe YANBU.

ZenNudist · 26/11/2019 08:41

If your parents are in the 80s I would definitely put them first and going to see them this Christmas do not put it off until next Christmas because who knows what will happen.

This year sounds like the ideal year to go and see them because the family are not making special plans you have to attend next year it will probably turn around and make some children family plan that involves all of their relatives and friends and nothing to do with you again.

Make it clear to your DH that it is him who is choosing not to go with you because this is the first time in 6 years it's been appropriate for you to go away. I think he is being very selfish and he wants it all his own way.

Are you sure that being available for the children is not actually an excuse for not wanting to do the long drive to Scotland?

TheMidasTouch · 26/11/2019 08:47

"We're happy and don't have any power struggles"
Only because you toe the line and give in to this man who is not prepared to budge on this matter at all.

You say it is too late for this year. It is one month away so you have plenty of time to organise it.Your parents are in their 80s. What if one or both aren't here next Christmas? How would you feel then about giving in to your selfish DH ?

TheMidasTouch · 26/11/2019 08:51

"He is a selfish git, always has been"
Why did you marry such a selfish git? You should have sorted this issue out in the years when you were together but not married.

"but I've now got a lot of food for thought and might just put myself and my own family first."
I really hope you do. If he is worthy of being your husband he will support you.

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