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Thanksgiving argument...

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
My SIL called me last night and asked what we were doing for Thanksgiving. I sighed and said that we were doing dinner here for my husband and some friends. She blew up at me. She said I'm keeping my husband away from his family, and that I'm a horrible person for wanting to make my own dinner and not invite anyone else. I knew this was going to happen. I told her that I was going to hang up, and talk to her when she was a little more reasonable.

Here's the deal: I've been looking forward to making this dinner for over a month. I've been spending most of my free time researching recipes, updating my pantry with things that I'm going to need, and trying to determine what I'm going to bake. I was going to start the dough for some of the cookies next week and put it in the freezer.

Can I get some advice here? When it comes to my in-laws I'm usually at a loss of what to do.
post #2 of 23
I wish I could offer some advice........I'm the black sheep of my in-laws!!! They make plans for me and DH, without even asking what we have planned.
I would just do your own dinner and say afterwards if you're not too tired, you all will go over there for dessert.
That's what I say.
post #3 of 23
I gave up on dealing with things like that with mine

Do his family live far away? Back home where we live a little closer to each other, we have breakfast with my mum's family and then have dinner at our place with my dad's family (who are older, no kids etc so we don't have too many people).
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21 View Post
I gave up on dealing with things like that with mine

Do his family live far away? Back home where we live a little closer to each other, we have breakfast with my mum's family and then have dinner at our place with my dad's family (who are older, no kids etc so we don't have too many people).
That's a good idea. They live about a half an hour away from here.
post #5 of 23
I know here its not uncommon to go to 2 different dinners...one with both sides of the family...Is she having a dinner..is that a possibility?

If not then its not really your problem and she needs to deal with it..maybe promise her next year you will all get together?
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trouts mom View Post
I know here its not uncommon to go to 2 different dinners...one with both sides of the family...Is she having a dinner..is that a possibility?

If not then its not really your problem and she needs to deal with it..maybe promise her next year you will all get together?
The reason we don't want to go over there is because her husband is a horrible person who yells at her in front of the whole family. Last Christmas, he called her useless, and stormed out of the room. I can't put up with that on a day that's supposed to be about family getting together and having fun. I love her dearly, but her husband is a totally different story.
post #7 of 23
if she didn't want to hear your answer, she shouldn't have asked Seriously though, Eithne's suggestion sounds good, you'll have to be there, absolute max, 1.5 hrs. If her husband yells at her, leave immediately, maybe they'll get the idea
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingglass View Post
The reason we don't want to go over there is because her husband is a horrible person who yells at her in front of the whole family. Last Christmas, he called her useless, and stormed out of the room. I can't put up with that on a day that's supposed to be about family getting together and having fun. I love her dearly, but her husband is a totally different story.
Wow, hate to say it, but that might be why she blew up at you. Its probably nothing to do with your husband, but her and her husband. If this is the way he treats her in front of her own family then 1 of 2 things: 1) She wants witnesses there for when he does mentally abuse her or 2) She has a drama issue and uses her husband to be the center of attention.

If she only lives 30 minutes away, invite her, but not her husband...my cousin does this. Her husband got into a fight with my uncle one christmas (fist fight) and her husband hasn't been allowed back since. I've never even met him.

Just a thought though...
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunasmom View Post
Wow, hate to say it, but that might be why she blew up at you. Its probably nothing to do with your husband, but her and her husband. If this is the way he treats her in front of her own family then 1 of 2 things: 1) She wants witnesses there for when he does mentally abuse her or 2) She has a drama issue and uses her husband to be the center of attention.

If she only lives 30 minutes away, invite her, but not her husband...my cousin does this. Her husband got into a fight with my uncle one christmas (fist fight) and her husband hasn't been allowed back since. I've never even met him.

Just a thought though...
It's a little bit of both I'm afraid. I would invite just her, but there are also 5 children involved. I can't fit everyone in our apartment with out going insane.

I also pointed out that I told her over a month ago that we were doing dinner here, and she was fine with it.

The bad part is that my MIL hasn't chimed in yet, and that is where the real fun begins.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingglass View Post
It's a little bit of both I'm afraid. I would invite just her, but there are also 5 children involved. I can't fit everyone in our apartment with out going insane.

I also pointed out that I told her over a month ago that we were doing dinner here, and she was fine with it.

The bad part is that my MIL hasn't chimed in yet, and that is where the real fun begins.
I know it's very hard, but my advice is to practice not caring. At least practice looking unmoved.

You've explained it to them, and given them ample advance warning. All you can do at this point is, as politicians say, "stay on message". Whatever reasons you've given in the past for your decision, don't change, don't elaborate. Those are your reasons. They may not agree that they are good reasons, but you have to sound like you're convinced that they are.

They say: You're keeping your husband away from his family!
You say: It was a joint decision. We've been planning it for ages, we're really excited about it.

There's a saying "You can't win, you can't break even, and you can't quit the game" - don't get trapped in that. You can't win, and you can't break even, but you CAN quit the game.

All you have to do is accept that no matter what you do, others (like MIL) will think of you the way they want. So the bottom line is to do what you want to do, and, while still being respectful (like you were by letting SIL know in plenty of time that you wouldn't be at her dinner), make no apologies for that decision.

I realise it's easier to type than to do.

Good luck.
post #11 of 23
I thought she finally left this guy? I guess not.
Can they not have a dinner without you guys?
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pushylady View Post
I thought she finally left this guy? I guess not.
Can they not have a dinner without you guys?
No, she didn't leave him. This has been my perpetual issue for the last year.

I'm going to call her and tell her that we aren't coming. This is what is going to happen: 1. She's going to say she's never going to speak to me again (that's never going to happen). 2. She's going to call my husband at work and yell at him (he'll just sit there and calmly listen, and then tell her we aren't coming). 3. She's going to call my MIL, and my MIL is then going to call me and try various guilt trips.

I guess I wish I could just avoid all of this, but I can't. Oh well. I'm going to be getting a ton of phone calls today.
post #13 of 23
Aren't in-laws wonderful?

Seriously, you've given enough advance notice that your SIL's tantrum is a little silly. I do agree with the idea of maybe joining them for breakfast ( I wouldn't do dessert, cause you can't really go off & leave your guests after supper). Since you're searching recipes, find a good breakfast/brunch type dish to take. Heck, if you took a couple of pies (since there's 5 kids involved)
the kids could have dessert for breakfast.

This is a situation that you aren't going to win, no matter how much you try to placate other people. This Thanksgiving is about you & your DH & your friends; don't let somebody ruin it for you. (besides, Christmas is coming; you can do the family thing then)
post #14 of 23
Stay strong, stay honest, and you'll get through it.

I really wish people like your SIL would be less selfish and a little bit more considerate of other people's feelings - like the holidays aren't stressful enough to begin with!

I agree that her dumping on you has less to do with you than it does her own bad situation. She chooses to vent it by making you the bad guy so she can feel better about herself. Very sad.

Stick to your guns - don't cave to make others happy, do what makes YOU happy!!!!
post #15 of 23
We usually have a seperate Thanksgiving on a different day w/my SIL & BIL & kids.... This way we can all see our own families on "Thanksgiving Day" then still do the traditional making the turkey etc on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. This works nicely for me cause my family (over 50ppl) goes to a restaraunt for the holidays, and I ALWAYS miss the home cooking terribly. Good luck, it sucks dealing w/ in-laws.
post #16 of 23
Well, sounds like a ton of fun (being sarcastic).

Anyhoo, be strong and avoid showing a guilt trip. You can have one inside, but don't let them show you...it's just their way of letting you know they have some sort of control over you even if they're controlled by someone else in their life.

Just remember this: You can't make everyone happy.Period...even when you try, you still won't ever make everyone happy. Oh yea, I would "cheer" too when your SIL says she won't ever speak to you again.
post #17 of 23
I love my MIL and FIL, it's just the REST of my husband's family that are awful!

I am in the same boat for Christmas. Luckily we live a long way away, so I can use the "not enough days off to drive up" excuse. His family does this huge Southern Disfunctional dinner every year. Which would be fine (hey my family has their wierdness) if they actually 1) ate together, 2) even pretended to enjoy eachother's company and 3) didn't have children that could be extras in the next Children of the Corn movie.

I have been to this dinner twice now. Every year my MIL ends up cooking for the entire family (between 12-15 people) and complains about it the whole day. In the past two years I have been kicked, pushed off a chair, bitten by a loose ferret and peed on by a chinchila. Not to mention that Jack's aunt (who hosts the shindig) has two kids who are always half way between sugar coma and homicidal.

This year we are going to spend Thanksgiving with my in-laws and my Mom, then Christmas with my Dad and Step Mom. We are going to have dinner with the in-laws when we drive through town on our way to see friends for New Years. We told them we wanted to have a Christmas type dinner with just them. Since the rest of the family lives within a mile, I am sure it will get crashed.
post #18 of 23
My parents live about 1 hr 45 min away, most of my SIL's/BIL's live and hour away. Neil's sisters have rotated Thanksgiving for years. So we usually go to his sister's house (however haven't gotten the call to invite us yet!!) along with nieces/nephews and their kids.
My parents the last couple of years have flown to my only sibling's house which has worked out well. Many years I worked the day after Thanksgiving so parents can't just stay overnight and go hme they want to stay for the weekend. (probelm #1) Problem #2 is if they come I have had to ask if they can go to one of my SIL's house's for Thanksgiving.
His sisters would never consider coming here as its "too far" but we have to drive.
So there is never an easy answer to this problem!!
If SIL calls I would let her vent and procedd with your plans.
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissintheSouth View Post
I love my MIL and FIL, it's just the REST of my husband's family that are awful!

I am in the same boat for Christmas. Luckily we live a long way away, so I can use the "not enough days off to drive up" excuse. His family does this huge Southern Disfunctional dinner every year. Which would be fine (hey my family has their wierdness) if they actually 1) ate together, 2) even pretended to enjoy eachother's company and 3) didn't have children that could be extras in the next Children of the Corn movie.

I have been to this dinner twice now. Every year my MIL ends up cooking for the entire family (between 12-15 people) and complains about it the whole day. In the past two years I have been kicked, pushed off a chair, bitten by a loose ferret and peed on by a chinchila. Not to mention that Jack's aunt (who hosts the shindig) has two kids who are always half way between sugar coma and homicidal.

This year we are going to spend Thanksgiving with my in-laws and my Mom, then Christmas with my Dad and Step Mom. We are going to have dinner with the in-laws when we drive through town on our way to see friends for New Years. We told them we wanted to have a Christmas type dinner with just them. Since the rest of the family lives within a mile, I am sure it will get crashed.

Are we related? Honestly, I think we have the same family.
post #20 of 23
Hold your ground Heather- you deserve a good Thanksgiving the way you and your family- you your hubby, and the kits want it! Don't let those people give you a guilt trip....be polite, but stay firm. I'm here if you wanna talk sweetie- i hope they don't try to give you a guilt trip-but it sounds like they will- just be kind but firm and let them know that this year you are going to do Thanksgiving your way and that you have already planned it out with your husband. Good luck
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarryEyedTiGeR View Post
Hold your ground Heather- you deserve a good Thanksgiving the way you and your family- you your hubby, and the kits want it! Don't let those people give you a guilt trip....be polite, but stay firm. I'm here if you wanna talk sweetie- i hope they don't try to give you a guilt trip-but it sounds like they will- just be kind but firm and let them know that this year you are going to do Thanksgiving your way and that you have already planned it out with your husband. Good luck
Thanks... this is always my challenge. I don't want her to be upset with me but she backs me into a corner every time. In all honesty I think she likes the fight. I just got my first call from my MIL. She said that I am a mean person from keeping my husband away from his family during the holidays. My response was that she knew that I was cooking my own dinner a month ago. If she wanted to make different plans she should have told me then. DH has gotten three calls at work today, but hasn't picked any of them up. It's going to be a long two weeks.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingglass View Post
Thanks... this is always my challenge. I don't want her to be upset with me but she backs me into a corner every time. In all honesty I think she likes the fight. I just got my first call from my MIL. She said that I am a mean person from keeping my husband away from his family during the holidays. My response was that she knew that I was cooking my own dinner a month ago. If she wanted to make different plans she should have told me then. DH has gotten three calls at work today, but hasn't picked any of them up. It's going to be a long two weeks.

Not to be mean, but your MIL sounds like a heifer to me. She has no right to guilt trip you. You are not keeping your husband away from his family- you are your husbands's new family! When you marry, you leave your family and cleave to your husband/wife and they become your new family. And besides that, you are not keeping him away from them- he is a grown man who can make his own decisions about his holiday plans...and he has, he has chosen to spend Thanksgiving with his wife (and I think it was a good decision). His family needs to realize that. Hang in there gorgeous- it will be ok Scratch and 8-bit will cheer you up when you get home
post #23 of 23
I totally aggree with StarryEyedTiger on that one! But, being the conflict fearing avoider that I am, I probably would try to placate everyone if I were in your situation...heck I just finished doing that with my MIL.

My MIL is treated like total $#i! by my FIL's parents (who unfortunately live right next door). She takes it and they treat her horribly. But that's how she was raised, and she smiles and nods and treats them with respect and cows to her MIL every time. So, when I stand up for myself and don't go along with the "family" she doesn't quite understand how I could not just do what she wants. It's funny, since one of the reasons she likes me (according to DH) is that I am independant and intelligent and stand up for myself.

Hang in there, stick to your guns and enjoy your Thanksgiving with your hubby! They will get over it eventually!
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