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Possible unexpected dinner guest for Christmas

91 replies

glitterboom · 24/12/2019 06:23

We're a family of 4: me, DH and 2 young kids. MIL lives nearby on her own, is in poor health and DH is her carer.

MIL had a partner, who I'll call Tom, who died a few years ago. Tom had a brother, Peter. Tom was ill for a while before he died so MIL, Tom and Peter spent a lot of time together. When Tom died MIL kind of inherited Peter. Peter wanted more from MIL than she did although he used to come to hers often and stay for days/weeks.

They fell out often and he would go home but he'd always end up phoning her from her local pub asking if she wanted anything brought in and would go to hers. He has no other ties to where she lives but came from 30 miles away to go to that particular pub after she'd told him to leave her alone.

In his defence he has looked after her a lot over the past few years taking her to hospital appts, visiting her in hospital daily when she was very poorly, taking her to treatments, getting her shopping etc. At this time DH was working a lot so couldn't do these things. Now DH is her carer he takes her to everything so Peter is no longer required to do that.

Anyway, they fell out again recently and MIL said that was definitely it this time (it always is) however DH went to hers yesterday and Peter had turned up the day before so 3 days before Christmas. He has no family in this country.

He came to ours for Christmas dinner 2 years ago because we found out he was planning on staying in MILs house himself whilst she came to ours. This was right in the middle of him looking after her so we invited him as wouldn't have had him staying at hers alone on Christmas day. Since then though we've found out how annoyed MIL is by him and that he takes the piss when staying at hers.

DH and I have had a rough couple of years and normally host our families at Christmas however this year we wanted it to be just the 4 of us (and MIL). We have been so looking forward to it.

Now we are thinking we'll need to invite Peter as he's rocked up back at MILs with his feet under the table again. I can't help thinking he's done this on purpose. 3 days before Christmas when they haven't spoken in weeks?? MIL had been ignoring his calls/texts. Peter will know that MIL will be coming to ours and if he doesn't go home today he won't be able to go on Christmas day as no public transport. DH will be going to pick up MIL tomorrow and it's likely Peter will be there sitting in her living room and being left whilst she comes to ours for Christmas dinner.

I feel guilty at the thought of leaving him but I also feel he's being manipulative. We want a low key, quiet Christmas with the focus on ours kids which we promised them especially as our house is usually so busy on Christmas day and our focus is normally on hosting.

Would we be unreasonable not to ask him??

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

georgialondon · 24/12/2019 06:29

If you think he's being deliberately manipulative then don't invite him.


Fr0g · 24/12/2019 06:42

Surely best to have that coversation with MIL, and whether she'd like him to be invited or not?
It might be difficult to have that conversation in front of Peter - does she do texts or email?
Not inviting him would also give you or DH the opportunity to talk to her alone about the situation.


Creameggcountdown · 24/12/2019 06:51

I would suggest to mil if she wants to spend Christmas with peter then to host him at her own house then you just have it with your dh/dc.


KatherineJaneway · 24/12/2019 06:55

I wouldn't invite him. Just leave him sitting there, he is a CD.


KatherineJaneway · 24/12/2019 06:55

Cf not CD Grin


DawsonJumping · 24/12/2019 06:58

Don’t invite him. Not your house guest, not your problem.


maras2 · 24/12/2019 06:59

I think that he should go to the pub that he phones her from for his Christmas dinner.


Beautiful3 · 24/12/2019 07:01

Noninvasive wouldnt invite him. By the sounds of it, they're not friends. He is being manipulative but staying there 3 days before Christmas. I think your mil needed to tell him to go home now, instead if letting him stay until whenever. If they were a couple then I would invite him, but they're not even proper friends. So no.


healthylifestylee · 24/12/2019 07:08

Seems like he is trying to invite himself by rocking up like that
Don't invite if you don't want to but you could always send her home with a plate of food for him if he's sat at hers on his own
Then no need to feel guilty. Your Christmas, your choice.

He has no one and is clutching at people In his life and not doing a very good job at maintaining friendships with people
Being alone is hard any time of the year let alone at Christmas and if you can offer a seat it's always a nice gesture to.

However that is all it should ever be. Your choice to offer a seat at your table lies with you

Whatever you do OP have a lovely Christmas and I wish good health to you and your family


CodenameVillanelle · 24/12/2019 07:10

Why on earth would you invite him when he's clearly manipulating and abusing your MIL? She doesn't want him yet he's imposing himself on her. Draw a line! Get him out of her house if you can. Absolutely don't invite him for Christmas!


Sallycinammonbangsthedruminthe · 24/12/2019 07:16

How hard exactly is mil trying to get rid of him from her life? If he is there and staying then she obviously wants him there in her home. Thats your problem right there OP. MIL might be saying one thing but she is doing the exact opposite....Its left you in a funny position.Either leave him there on his own or plate them both a lunch up and take it round to them or have them both to yours....I would do option 2 personally.Peter is obviously wanted or he wouldnt be there.MIL would have said no to him staying...he hasnt just rocked up sounds like she invited him!!!


7yo7yo · 24/12/2019 07:20

Tell DH to go round today and say right get yourself stuff I’ll drop you of.
Don’t give him a choice.


willowmelangell · 24/12/2019 07:25

He hasn't got her key has he?
Don't invite him. Does DH pick her up Xmas Day? Lock her front door from the inside and go out the back door, locking up behind. If this bloke is there, holding poor mil to emotional blackmail, DH can turf him out and drop him off at the pub. Get mil to switch her phone off or let you have it to screen it.
Hopefully you get the Christmas you all want and no Peter intruding.


Swinesinsleepingbags · 24/12/2019 07:25

You need to do something more than just at Christmas if mil is unhappy with him. This is a form of abuse.


Skidzer · 24/12/2019 07:31

Don't invite him. End of.


ferntwist · 24/12/2019 07:33

Do not ask him. I’m amazed the number of posters who put up with this kind of rubbish spoiling their family’s Christmas. He’s a big boy and knows exactly what he’s doing.


ferntwist · 24/12/2019 07:33

Also MN why do the votes not add up to 100%? At the moment YABU is 10% and YANBU is 92%. Hmm


HoppingPavlova · 24/12/2019 07:38

Why does she let him stay with her? Why not just state ‘sorry, it’s not suitable’ until he gets the message? Why are people so odd?


Ragwort · 24/12/2019 07:38

I think your DH should be forceful and get rid of this man from his mother’s life. He sounds as though he is being very manipulative and taking advantage of a vulnerable woman


CherryPlum · 24/12/2019 07:41

Someone needs to stand up to Peter.


glitterboom · 24/12/2019 07:42

Gah! I just have the guilts about leaving him on his own. Difficult to call her and discuss as he'll be there.

MIL used to leave her door open 24/7 as she finds it difficult to go down the stairs (flat) in case anyone came to the door Hmm so he could come in whenever. We have now got her a key safe but he knows the number and she's reluctant to change it because her nurse etc knows the number.

He probably is lonely. But the things she's told us about him and the way he is I think it's loneliness on her part too that she let's him back in but, from what she says, she doesn't have much choice in the matter. She's poorly, frail and can't leave the house herself.

OP posts:

diddl · 24/12/2019 07:42

Why does she let him in?

Does she want to or does he force his way in?

If she's ok with him being in her house alone that's up to her-or is she also wanting him to be invited?

I wouldn't invite him at his late stage with nothing asked.


glitterboom · 24/12/2019 07:44

I don't think he's a bad person but I do think he may be taking advantage of her good nature and the time of year. It's difficult to know the full story as we're only getting her side of things and she's no walk over.

OP posts:

Straightintoit · 24/12/2019 07:46

This sounds like quite an unhealthy relationship. Have you spoken honestly about this with MIL? To what extent does she actually want him there? If she just isn’t interested then he could well be targeting her as he sees her as weak.

Christmas Eve is hardly the best time to start these discussions, but I’d suggest a call to MIL to ask whether she wants him there. If not, as someone else suggested, DH can pop round and offer (force) him a lift home.


MrsEricBana · 24/12/2019 07:47

I don't think you need to feel at all bad for inviting a non family member that you don't particularly like to your family Christmas, in your home, with your dcs.

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