You are here

DH’s Thanksgiving dilemma

SMto2's picture

I've finally removed myself from the planning with SKS, and I'm happy about that! We are having Thanksgiving at our lake house this year. DH decided to invite SSs 27 and 25 and family/wives, since our lake house is nearly 2 hours' drive closer to each of them than our home. Cool. SS25 actually responded he and his DW will be there. Fantastic. SS27 responds they already have plans to eat at SDIL's BM (also a few minutes from BM and her parents/ clan) but they will try to come see us another day that weekend. I thought this was a bit presumptuous and rude to begin with, as we invited them for a specific day, and they're not available, which is fine, but to invite yourself an additional day seems like overstepping to me. (This happened another year, and instead of Black Friday shopping like I planned, I had to do Thanksgiving 2.0 for SKs--this was when I was under the false impression that if I treated them well, they would love us and give us "family" status, so I was willing to put myself through  a lot for them. Yes, I know, CRAZY! ) I realize some may say I should be thankful SS27 offered to see us on an alternative date, but over 20 years of sloppy seconds may have jaded me just a bit. Lol.

Anyway, we've already got plans to go out of state with our bios the day after Thanksgiving for the rest of the weekend, so we are not available any other day that weekend. I asked DH if he told SS27 we're not available (I know, I should not even have mentioned it!) and he said he had NOT responded to SS27 at all because we are not available any other time that weekend. It seems to me DH is paralyzed with fear that if he tells SS27 (who was previously estranged for 5 years as a teen) we're not available, he'll get mad at DH. I wondered if DH might back out of the trip away with our bios, since he's almost ALWAYS prioritized whatever SSs wanted--especially SS27-- so far, he hasn't. 

There's really nothing for me to do here, so I'm not really asking for advice, just posting to get my thoughts out. I understand neither SS will ever give us top billing on any major holiday, as all major holidays occur at the MOTHER ship. Knowing and fully accepting we're not family to SS27 and we just exist to give them gifts just makes it difficult to deal with the holidays. 


Winterglow's picture

I think it's time to take the bull by the horns. Point out to him that:

  • if he doesn't tell his son that you won't be there for the rest of the weekend, his son will turn up anyway and find the place locked up. How does he think his son will feel about that?
  • Be blunt. Tell him straight that he doesn't get to back out of the trip with your bios (so don't even think about it, DH!).

There's no harm in telling the guy that you're sorry he can't make it for Thanksgiving, some other time maybe?

SteppedOut's picture

This. If he tosses you and your bios aside for skid that doesn't give a damn about him, I would be livid. 

SMto2's picture

I don't think SS27 would show up without letting us know, as it's a gated community, and DH has to let in guests with his cell phone. I have to think DH will finally get back with SS27 eventually, but that's for DH to navigate so long as it doesn't affect me. It was just a thought that crossed my mind that DH might back out of going, but I think he's looking forward to it and will go. 

tog redux's picture

Good for you for staying out of this, though I will say, it's hard for couples with divorced parents on both sides to make all 4 parents feel okay about the holidays. And honestly, SS27 is closer with BM, so it makes sense he would go to her house. It's pretty good that SS25 has chosen your home for his holiday, since he was the one who was more aloof than his brother, right?

Anyway, I would definitely at least ask DH if he still plans to go away with you and your bios, and leave it at that. It might ease your anxiety.

SMto2's picture

Oh, yes, I understand how impossible it is to see all sides of the family on holidays, especially when it's just one day, like Thanksgiving. My parents were divorced, and I used to hate the pressure to eat dinner multiple times in the same day, so I wouldn't want anyone else to feel uncomfortable. In fact,  when I used to be the one inviting them through SS27's DW, I'd always say, "No pressure. We understand you have lots of folks who would love to see you for the holiday." What bugs me is declining and then suggesting you'll come a different day. It's like someone inviting you to a dinner party they are throwing with other guests and saying you can't make it but you'll come the next night, when only ONE dinner party was anticipated. Lol. Of course, if the host offered you could come any other day, that's one thing, but suggesting it seems presumptive to me. (And also, maybe if it were my bios who do consider us family, I'd feel differently.) 

I went ahead and said to DH I assume he doesn't want to change his plans for our trip, and he said he doesn't. I think he's just anxious about telling SS27 we're not available, which basically amounts to "no." And yes,  SS25 has been a little more MIA (but not hostile) the past few years, so it will be good to see him and his DW, assuming they do come. Lol. He's sometimes a little wishy washy about plans, but we shall see! 

tog redux's picture

Yes, it's rude for him to invite himself - without saying it in a, "Unfortunately we can't come on the actual Thursday, but we could come visit another day that weekend if that works for you?" kind of way.  But your DH really has a long way to go if he can't just say, "Oh, sorry son, we have plans for the rest of the weekend, but hopefully we can see you soon!"

SMto2's picture

Yes, I agree. I also think the longer it goes that DH doesn't respond to tell him we're not available, the more that delay might actually make SD27 have a burr. Hey, but I'm not in it. I always knew when I stopped being the one coordinating and planning, it would go awry. Stay tuned to see what happens. lol. 

JRI's picture

I sense that, in your mind, it seems like a slap to you and DH that your SS is spending the day with BM and you feel like the second-rate family.  My guess is that your SS is trying to keep the peace with BM.  He's probably thinking he's also keeping peace with you guys to come the day afterward.  I doubt it ever crossed his mind that you would have other plans, or see his visit as an inconvenience.

So, most importantly, make sure you and DH are solidly together about maintaining your trip plans.  Then, DH can say, so sorry, son, we wont be there, we are leaving that day.  How about those (favorite football team).


SMto2's picture

Hey there, JRI, at this point, I honestly don't take offense to them not choosing to spend the actual holiday with us. After 22 years trying as a SM, I have finally accepted that we don't and won't get top billing, regardless of the situation, and that spot will always be split between BM and SDIL's mom, in that order. I also get that people want to spend the holidays with their LOVED ONES, as I feel the same way. Lol. I do get a bit irritated by SS27 assuming we are available to get together on another day. I have no doubt your comment that it never occurred to SS27 that we wouldn't be available or that it would be inconvenient is SPOT ON, as SS27 primarily thinks about himself first, BM second, and his wife and children third. However, so long as it doesn't affect me too much, as it thankfully won't this Thanksgiving, it's not worth expending my energy on. I'm just watching to see what happens. Lol. 

JRI's picture

Your comment about top billing made me smile.  To the SKs, BM had top holiday billing, to mine, I did.   Then the kids started getting married.  To SD, BM was still in first place, but her inlaws were pretty insistent so we were kind of tied for second place.  The my son got married.  DILs mom went to the top and we were #2.  Then my daughter got married and moved out of state.  When she came to town for holidays, we were #1, her inlaws were out of town.  YSS always came home for holidays with BM being #1 and us #2.  OSS got married and his inlaws are firmly #1 with us second.

I didn't mind being #2 so much for the holidays but when the gkids came along, it was much more apparent.  Sigh....

SMto2's picture

I am so sorry you experienced this! I have SGKs but no bio GKs at this time. I hate to differentiate, but the only way I've protected my heart has been to back way off with SGDs and accept they really are NOT my GDs. I am nice to them like a cousin's child or neighbor's child, the only difference being, we buy gifts for them like you would a GK. I hope someday I'll have my own GKs. However, since my bios are boys, I realize usually the female's parents are the ones who get top billing. Thus, I realize the importance of having a great relationship with any future DIL. Lol.