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Old 11-30-2009, 11:36 AM   #1
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Husbands parents "holiday schedule" is making me stressed and mad at my husband

I have been married for 6 years. Since I have been married my husbands parents (who live out of state) have this schedule for the holidays. They want all of their kids (who are all married and have kids of their own) home for Thanksgiving and Christmas every other year. On the off years my husbands siblings spend the holiday with their inlaws or whatever. For some reason I seem to be the only one who annoyed with this. I want to start our own traditions and have Christmas morning at our own house. I don't want to pack up my kids and fly to another state and spend the holidays with his entire family. There is no way we can fly presents home for our kids (we have a 5 year old and almost 2 year old). Now we have to do Christmas early or late for them to open up presents. I hardly even fly out to see my family since we have to pay for plane tickets but I never have that excuse with my inlaws because they will pay for our plane tickets. I have been fighting non stop with my husband over this telling him this is the last year I am doing this. I am also pregnant with our 3rd child and there is no way I am doing this when I have 3 kids. He doesn't agree and won't agree to allow us to stay home for the holidays unless it is an off year of course. It always feels like I am spending the holidays with someone else's family when we have to go there. Any suggestions?

 
Old 11-30-2009, 04:23 PM   #2
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Re: Husbands parents "holiday schedule" is making me stressed and mad at my husband

besafe20: Your husband is going to hate me, too. I'm with you!! Start making your own traditions and don't let his family run your life. I've know my husband for 26 years and I'm still having issues with his parents and brothers. It's just mayhem with them. It's very stressful. I've only got one child but he's got health issues and so do I. I can't deal with the stress of having to pack up and drive out of state anymore. If you're expecting your 3rd child then you need to put your foot down. They might not like it at first, and you'll be the bad guy, but that's their problem. They'll get used to it. They're not going to be around forever and you do need to have time with your children. They grow up really fast.

It must be busy and hectic with all the siblings and extended family. Where does everyone stay, in a hotel? That's always FUN!!!! It's nice to see people, but you can't let these people walk all over you or else they'll be doing it for as long as they can. It's too bad that your husband doesn't agree with you. I'd tell him to go alone. My husband has gone alone to some of his relatives that live closer to us. I can't stand the chaos.
I need a place to hide from all the noise and craziness. It's a good thing my husband's family lives a 5 hour drive away because if they lived right next door we'd be divorced. I semi tolerate a visit a few times a year so my son can see his only grandmother.

I don't have these problems on my side of the family because my parents are gone and my siblings could care less about me. They also live out of state and are also many years older than I am and have grown children of their own anyway. The older I get the
more I just want things to be calm and quiet. Sometimes less is more. Don't let them dictate to you. Tell them you don't need their money either. Tell them to put the money in your children's college account instead of the airline's account. Be strong. I hope things don't get messy between you and your husband. Good luck.

 
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:58 PM   #3
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Re: Husbands parents "holiday schedule" is making me stressed and mad at my husband

besafe20: How's it going? I hope things aren't too stressful with Christmas coming next week. I was thinking of you today when I read a comic in the paper. I'm not sure if I can say the name of it but it was a boy & girl doing a play on Hamlet. The girl said: " I can't wait until we're married Hamlet! We'll spend every holiday with our parents!" The boy said: "One year with MY parents and one with YOURS, right?" and the girl looked at him with that look and said "WRONG"! See, a lot of people have your problem. I hope things work out for you. Merry Christmas!

 
Old 12-17-2009, 08:41 PM   #4
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Re: Husbands parents "holiday schedule" is making me stressed and mad at my husband

Thanks for thinking of me. I am still stressed since we are flying out this weekend and that it is also my husband and son's birthdays. House a mess, Christmas shopping to do, and packing. Makes me ask myself "why are we doing this again??" And you are right.. A lot of people have this problem. I guess I kind of didn't realize you are not just marrying your husband but your in-laws too Funny how when my husband wanted to extend our little vacation, I told him he can stay there with the kids and I can come back home by myself for a while and get things done. Shot that plan down instantly. I am beginning to think going back to visit his family is to torture me...

 
Old 12-18-2009, 04:34 AM   #5
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Re: Husbands parents "holiday schedule" is making me stressed and mad at my husband

Just another perspective on this situation--you start your own tradition; now project your family about 25 years into the future, and watch your tradition disappear because your kids' partners don't want to spend Christmas with you. You will not be unhappy about this, because, of course you hated it, so you will understand that they will too. You will accept this as being a natural progression and enjoy the phone call and cards and thank-you notes for the presents you sent to them. then you will eat your Christmas lunch and be glad that your beloved children and their partners are doing what THEY want. Cheers, Sera.

 
Old 12-18-2009, 01:19 PM   #6
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Re: Husbands parents "holiday schedule" is making me stressed and mad at my husband

I had the same thoughts as Sera. His family won't be around forever. Christmas Day is simply a DAY. You can make a special tradition with your family on a day after you return from your in-laws, and teach them that family is something special in the process. Maybe you could take a lot of digital pictures while at the in-laws of everyone and start a tradition with your children of sorting the pictures, laughing over things that happened, reminiscing about the happy memories. If you go with the attitude that you wish you weren't there, what are you teaching your children?

My father is now gone and my mother is in failing health. At one point when my kids were small I used to resent having to get in the car and drive 500 miles to visit them, but always had fun while there. My husband's family all lived close by. Now I will NEVER regret the times we went to visit them, the Christmases and other holidays that I put myself out to go to. They can't be brought back, and my children have grown to be happy and considerate adults who love their grandparents.

 
Old 12-18-2009, 03:07 PM   #7
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Re: Husbands parents "holiday schedule" is making me stressed and mad at my husband

Yeah, I used to hate having to go to my Grandparents for Thanksgiving, but now that they're in their mid-80's, I really cherish the time I get to have with them, even if it's boring and I hate the food they cook, etc. Maybe you can have a private Thanksgiving with just your immediate family or something. Definitely DON'T tell your husband "I think you're just doing this to torture me" - he just wants to see his family. I hope I don't offend you here, but it's not all about you.

 
Old 12-19-2009, 08:19 PM   #8
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Re: Husbands parents "holiday schedule" is making me stressed and mad at my husband

I had a similar problem because my in-laws lived in the same town. My husband expected us to not only spend every holiday and birthday with them, but invite them to all my son's baseball games and my daughter's dance recitals and school functions when they were little. It drove me crazy that we never did anything, just the two of us. Also, when they came with us, I would get completely ignored by my husband who felt it was his duty to make sure they had food, drink, a chair and someone to talk to although they were in perfect health. It wasn't until recently when I read a book on co-dependency that I realized this was typical behavior for an adult child that grew up in an alcoholic family. Though my mother-in-law had been sober over 40 years (which I deeply respected), my husband still acted like the little boy who thought, "Mom drinks because I'm bad, so I have to keep her happy so she'll stop." We did have many arguments, especially about him allowing them to drop over any time without calling or making calls to us any time of day or night. I got my way with that, but they still attended most of our social functions, which was a compromise. Now, that I understand the situation, I realize it had nothing to do with me, but had to do with his family of origin's dynamics. Maybe this is your situation too, but compromise is necessary to keep you both happy. Maybe your visits to them could be less frequent, like every third or fourth year. I always enjoyed Christmas at home and not having to drag kids, clothes, equipment and presents to somewhere else. Good luck!

 
Old 12-19-2009, 10:44 PM   #9
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Re: Husbands parents "holiday schedule" is making me stressed and mad at my husband

There is something called "compromise" and if I were you, I would have a serious talk with your husband. Fly to your in-laws only on Thanksgiving and spend Christmas at home with your own family.

If your in-laws don't like it, tough! It's your life and your children, right? If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't like this setup either.

Sunny

 
Old 12-19-2009, 11:14 PM   #10
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Re: Husbands parents "holiday schedule" is making me stressed and mad at my husband

Yes actually I agree with you but Christmas is about the kids and family and your husband has made your family tradition to go to his family but only every other year...if your in laws are nice people and they pay your way and you only have to go every other year I would just grin and bare it...and let your children enjoy the time traveling and not have to listen to you and dad arguing about it every single year. Stop arguing about it...Your husband has the right to enjoy his family every other. I'm sorry you can't spend time with your parents on your every other but that isn't your husbands fault they just can't afford to travel. Unfortunately it is my feeling that the grandparents get the rights and until they are gone so for now your time has not come. So you get your way half the time the every other year and for the love of your husband that seems a fair trade.

 
Old 12-20-2009, 04:23 AM   #11
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Re: Husbands parents "holiday schedule" is making me stressed and mad at my husband

I'm assuming that your in-laws are not senior citizens based on your children's ages. This is a tradition that they started and if it were me I would feel resentful too, especially that you are pregnant! Holidays are stressful enough, who needs the extra stress?

Traditions are great if everyone is in agreement but you are not. As I said before, I think it's time for you and your husband to compromise and come to an understanding that you both agree with.

When I was married my husband and I would spend one Holiday with his family and the other with my family and that worked out just fine.

Good luck with this,
Sunny

 
Old 12-20-2009, 05:10 PM   #12
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Re: Husbands parents "holiday schedule" is making me stressed and mad at my husband

besafe20: I just watched the Dr. Phil that was from last Fri. and he had a lady on the phone asking him about the holiday travelling and she had to travel to 3 states, 800 miles, many hours on the road with 2 teenagers and more. Did you see it? Dr. Phil told her that she needs to learn to say NO!!!!! Even Robin told her that she has to have Christmas with HER family AT HOME! Robin told her that she can't imagine that 2 teenagers are gung-ho about travelling to all these places. Dr. Phil told her to tell the extended family and in-laws that she would visit at other times of the year - like the 4th of July! You have to have your own traditions.

I just got a call today from one of my husbands 2nd cousins. They are always wanting us to come to their house. It's nice that they offer and invite us but I can't handle it. It's too stressful for me. I've got nowhere to hide from all the noise and craziness at their house. I've got a diabetic kid I've got to deal with on top of it. My husband ends up getting drunk on the guys homemade wine. It's not fun. I can't drive anymore and so I can't drive home when he's drunk. It's not worth it. I want to stay home and stay safe. We're hearing now that we're going to have an ice storm now on Christmas night where we live. YUK! Stand your ground - say NO!!!

 
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