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Holidays and Mixing and Matching...

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markb74:
The holidays are here and I am not sure what my next step is.
Ive been moving slowly on DW's side of the family. Ive been avoiding holidays with them.
I have a son, and its not fair to them to not see him since they ARE blood related, and not fair to keep him from seeing them. he will be turning 8 soon.

My side of my family has met my girlfriend and her daughter and they are always welcome and included. but I am honestly scared to goto a holiday dinner at any of DW family's house with all 4 of us. and if just me and son go, that's not fair to GF/GFD to spend a holiday without me (no family in the area), and I don't want them to feel left out, but I also don't want to cause people to be uncomfortable.

I know I am not the first person to have to go through with this. I need advise.

Toosoon2.0:
We have tried (and failed) to meet everyone's expectations.  No amount of compromise seems to be enough to please everyone so we are going to stop trying and do what feels right for us.  Between us (both widowed) there are three children in three different countries and six grandparents on two continents.  We tried especially hard this year to accommodate the relatives in England but it blew up in our faces.  Dreading going, in fact. 

My FIL (late husband's father) has been very understanding over the years, first while I was a grieving wreck and then when my now husband moved here from England.  We just "do" holidays with him on days other than the actual day and it has worked out well. 

In my experience, one can't win in these things - someone always somehow feels slighted - so I guess our default from here on out is to do what's right for us.  Good luck! 

arneal:
Hi, Mark -- we were having related conversations over on the Budding Relationships thread. You are welcome there as well!

How does your GF feel about meeting the LW's family? If she is up for it, why not? You two can discuss the implications and possibilities and decide from there. The problem as I see it is that our 'former' family members expect us to remain in stasis or they are shocked that we have moved on (especially if they have not). Such is typically the reaction from those who have not lost their DHs or DWs. Yes, your son should see his relatives if he desires. No, you shouldn't feel guilty if GF doesn't want to go but it will be problematic if she feels you should not go without her for the sake of your son.

Much to consider all round ... {{{hugs}}}

Toosoon2.0:
"The problem as I see it is that our 'former' family members expect us to remain in stasis" ----

This is totally what has happened with Andy's family and his late wife's parents.  Exactly this.  So very much the situation with his family.  Admittedly, they're old and resistant to change but I have never experienced quite this level of resistance.  Its like they're in denial that we exist or that my daughter and I also have a whole family over here who might want to see us or who we might want to spend the holidays with. 

I might have to stop reading this thread.  My holiday dread is only deepening. 

arneal:
Know that there are those of us who understand, TooSoon2.

It is imperative that the holidays -- every day -- be ours. No matter what that looks like. Those of us with children must do what is right by them. We also have to do what is right by ourselves. For those who are Christ-followers, remember what is written in the scriptures: our obligation to our late loved ones ends at death. We are freed from our commitment to them and are free to move forward. No guilt, no regret, as we keep living and loving.

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