Author Topic: Holidays and Mixing and Matching...  (Read 322 times)

markb74

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Holidays and Mixing and Matching...
« on: December 20, 2017, 10:26:14 AM »
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.

It's OK to dig a pit of despair and jump in.
It's NOT OK to stay in there and wallow.

Toosoon2.0

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Re: Holidays and Mixing and Matching...
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2017, 10:41:57 AM »
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

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Re: Holidays and Mixing and Matching...
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2017, 11:34:15 AM »
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}}}
Andree'

Seek peace, and pursue it - Psalm 34:14b

Toosoon2.0

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Re: Holidays and Mixing and Matching...
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2017, 12:05:35 PM »
"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

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Re: Holidays and Mixing and Matching...
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2017, 12:24:48 PM »
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.
Andree'

Seek peace, and pursue it - Psalm 34:14b

daysofelijah

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Re: Holidays and Mixing and Matching...
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2017, 02:28:41 PM »
A few of late dh's family have met my fiance, but he never goes to their place with us. We've been together for 3 years and getting married in May.

They always let me  know he is invited, but he doesn't feel comfortable with it, esp. because we have to stay over since it's a 3 hour drive. I doubt if he will ever go, even after we are married. But I'm fine with it. I get how he feels.

We don't go to late DH's families anymore for Christmas. It's usually just weekend after Thanksgiving and Memorial day weekend, so it doesn't feel quite as much like missing important time together.

Amy, mom to four (14,13,10,6)

serpico

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Re: Holidays and Mixing and Matching...
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2017, 02:57:02 PM »
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.

I agree completely. I would prefer to draw back from my late wife's family but it wouldn't be fair to them or to my children. I cannot fathom not making an effort to let my kids see their grandparents, and vice versa.
'I think I got some of your pickle'

arneal

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Re: Holidays and Mixing and Matching...
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2017, 05:10:09 PM »
daysofelijah I had to smile at your staying over because it is three hours away; in Southern California, a one-way drive of three hours is not unusual :) I once got stuck on the highway on my way home from work due to an accident and it took me over six hours to get home ... {{shudder}}
Andree'

Seek peace, and pursue it - Psalm 34:14b

Mizpah

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Re: Holidays and Mixing and Matching...
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2017, 09:25:47 AM »
Do they know you're seeing someone?  Can you talk to them about it?   
widowed 2011 (DH 28)

MrsDan

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Re: Holidays and Mixing and Matching...
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2017, 11:14:56 AM »
Do your ILs know? I was scared to tell mine, but they were all very supportive. And we are now so integrated it's almost weird. So, BF, DD and I will spend Christmas Eve at his Dad's, Christmas Day at his mom's, then the day after Christmas we're driving to my home state to spend time with my ILs. My BIL lives not too far from me but SIL lives across the country so they're all meeting at the family home.

I had a very rocky relationship off and on with DH's parents for a long time. But things have smoothed over. I think some of it has to do with the effort they've made with my BF, some with my FIL's passing, and of course just time. DH's whole family invites my BF to everything; in fact he's basically expected. My BF is completely understanding about my feelings for Dan and my relationship with them. I have a good relationship with BF's family, it's not like there's a competition. I understand why NGs might be uncomfortable, but i would feel weird about a big part of someone's life being sectioned off from him.

We have things kind of nicely scheduled for the second year. I'm sure my MIL would rather we be there on Christmas Eve but I just can't. Too painful. So it wouldn't happen even if i didn't have plans with BF's families.
You are the Bear of my heart dear,
And nothing can take that away.