You are here

FIL feeling bad about the Christmas dinner exclusion...

Disillusioned's picture

After the whole Christmas dinner fiasco (when DH's sister worked out a plan that excluded DH & I from DH's family Christmas dinner/DH's sister ended up having Christmas dinner alone with FIL) DH originally had planned to call FIL later, and "rip into him" about it

DH was venting to me about the whole thing and I agreed with him that FIL should not have gone along with SIL's plans which resulted in excluding us, but that I didn't feel 'ripping into FIL' was the solution

FIL is old and lonely, DH's sister is FIL's main caregiver (she lives 10 minutes away, we're almost an hour drive) and while FIL should have stood up the fact is, he does whatever SIL tells him to do

Also, I really felt that since DH's sister clearly did this to stick it to us, by reacting angrily DH was only giving her the satisfaction that her tactics worked

Suggested instead that if DH really wanted to express how ticked off he was about it, he should speak calmly with understanding to his father about how this made him feel

In the end, DH told me he didn't bring it up with FIL, but, he does believe FIL is fully aware that DH isn't happy about that and more importantly, really does feel bad. And I would have to agree; first we receive a phone call from FIL last week saying he would like to take us out for dinner this weekend, his treat. We couldn't go this weekend but agreed to next

But then this morning DH phones FIL to say happy New Year, and FIL says he was actually just about to phone us, to do the same, and that we would have been his very first call. FIL did mention that DH's sister was coming over later to have dinner with him, neither of us commented, and the subject was changed

So, well see how things go with this going forward...

twoviewpoints's picture

Disillusion, please explain your term "caregiver". I was not under the impression FIL was in need of caregiver otherthan perhaps a very limited little things (running errands, and peeking in to be sure everything is ok). He lives by himself and still does his own basis daily needs, correct?

twoviewpoints's picture

I asked OP. Not you.

my mother is well into her 80s and is completely independent, but that doesn't mean my sister and I don't still run a few errands for her. Necessary? No, but we feel better driving out to , say, the vet, and picking up Kitty's special food in snow than her. One or the other of us go with her to out of town dr appointments. Mom hires yardwork done occasionally after sister and I nudged her into it. But my mother is very active, self sufficient and has no problems telling her daughters to butt the heck out when she gets tired of us hovering. She still manages the food pantry for her church, does the feed the children program and runs circles around most the church ladies who try to help her.

We are in no way her caregiver.

MollyBrown's picture

I still chuckle that you posted how your husband yelled and it his sister and then was shocked when she didn't invite him over for Christmas.

Disillusioned's picture

nobodysbabynow, those are good questions, and while we do believe to some extent she is after whatever financially she can get from FIL (and his good friends who do not have children) no, we don't think that's what it's all about...the main reason DH's sister is excluding DH & I is because she is a jealous, competitive nutcase who is trying to make DH feel bad for being happy in his life with his wife (me)

DH's sister has always been bitter. Always an 'ochestrator' as DH has referred to it to me, from the day we've met.

She by no means takes care of FIL all by herself. DH (and I) do TONS for FIL. The difference is, we don't go around making a big of every single little thing we do for him. When I say DH's sister is the main caregiver, I mean if FIL needs a trip to the hospital for example, she is 10 minutes away so the one he will call, and she picks him up and takes him to DH's family's events because again, she lives close to him and it's easier

She and OSD arrange all family events. When DH & I used to offer to host it was made very clear that wouldn't happen - DH's sister would never allow me to host one of HER FAMILY events. After it being made repeatedly clear to us (me) I stopped offering. And of course, that's exactly when she started making a fuss about "DH" never hosting family events.

Just looking for anything to pick at us for. Like at the family events we do attend. We are the class, and she is the one constantly bad-mouthing with no cause, being rude, stomping around with a scowl on her face, flying off the handle over absolutely nothing, creating major drama all the time. Sometimes I actually feel like saying to her "oops, your jealously is showing - you might want to tuck that in" Biggrin

Otherwise, there is no real difference between what she does for FIL, and what DH does. DH's sister calls FIL every evening, DH calls FIL every morning. DH's sister goes to FIL's once per week, and makes him a meal while there. DH & I see FIL every other week, often picking him up and bringing him to our place where he stays the weekend - and I cook him all meals while he's here, take him to do his grocery shopping on way back, to DH's mother's grave, etc.. etc..

But DH's sister dictates to FIL what he will and will not do, especially if she is his ride at events, whereas we never do that.

And of course, she will drag him along to events at BM's, the more inappropriate the better

Disillusioned's picture

twoviewpoints, that's exactly it.

FIL may be old, but is in good health (for his age!) and has all his wits Biggrin

...his biggest problem is he doesn't like to drive any more, and, he is lonely Sad

All DH's sister does that is any more than DH, is she is FIL's ride to and from events, or if he does need an unplanned trip the local hospital he will call her first, due to her living so close to him

When I say main caregiver, that is all there is to it. But it sure does make her think she has all the power, and the right to use that as something (anything) to use against DH.

She has no life, just bitter and angry and lashing out because she is so full of envy of what others do have (happiness, love, a social life, and are otherwise successful in life)

There is so much more she could do for FIL, seeing that she has absolutely nothing else going on in her life, but she doesn't. She greatly resents even the small things, such as FIL calling her first when he needs to go to a doctor's appointment. She will rub that in DH's face. Yet, DH will go get FIL, bring him to our place, FIL will spend the weekend with us and just have a blast. Lots of healthy meals cooked, we get out and do things with him, get all his groceries for him, and so on, and yet DH doesn't say a word about it. And of course why would he, it's his father. No big deal is made of it at all. And certainly, no resentment or bitterness or drama about it either!! :?

Disillusioned's picture

twoviewpoints, yes points well taken. Sounds like what you and your sister do for your mother is pretty much exactly the same type of things DH and his sister do for hindsight, I probably shouldn't have used the term caregiver, as it's not like FIL is dependent and can't survive without his adult kids

FIL lives alone, very independently, and other than not feeling comfortable driving himself anymore, and really and truly being in need of company, he is just fine.

Oh and don't let some of these Steptalk 'posters' get to you Biggrin they are a lot like my SIL - always trying to create drama over and above what an OP writes, making the story bigger and bigger and of course bad-mouthing the OP as much as they can along the way - with absolutely no reason at all, just the limited information they gathered from the post, and then adding their own judgmental versions as much as they can }:)

Thanks for saying something directly to HRNYC - she is one of those who is waaaay out of line on here. I mostly just ignore everything she posts, but good for you for you for telling her like it is! Smile

Disillusioned's picture

Mollybrown, I'm chuckling how you have got it all ass-backwards Biggrin

Read the post please - it was DH's sister who threw the temper tantrum - not DH

DH finally just reacted to her, and she most definitely had it coming, there is only so much you can tolerate someone flying off the handle for no reason all the time after all

And it wasn't DH's sister's place to 'invite' us to DH's family's Christmas dinner. You have that wrong too....DH's parents have always, always, had a big Christmas dinner which included BOTH their children (DH AND his sister) as well as their grandchildren (SD's) and their good friends who were just like family and came to every family event. And of course their daughter-in-law (me) and their grandson-in-laws, etc..

When MIL passed away FIL took over the tradition. And eventually DH's sister just decided SHE would take it over (that's a post all by itself) and then after she took it over, this year she decided there would be no Christmas dinner at all. She would drag FIL over to his friend's place instead, and when the friends declined her offer, she went to FIL's and they spent Christmas evening all alone. Poor FIL. He is the one that loves having the family all together for those dinners. And SIL dictated that even that he could no longer have.

Disgusting really. So glad DH is finally standing up to her, and walking away from her and all her drama.

Disillusioned's picture

You have a very selfish MIL StepAside, unreal!

The only one who never sacrifices in DH's family, is his sister. She has no other family, and nowhere else to go. DH & I usually rotate, one year with his family the next with mine...although at any given time if YSD decides to do Christmas dinner with DH's family, DH would always expect me to forego my family in order for us to be there for her. Fortunately my family has always been good about working around that schedule

This year was our year to have Christmas dinner with DH's family. DH's sister was well aware of that, not to mention DH had even brought that up recently prior to Christmas. His sister didn't say one word to him about there not being a Christmas dinner, just left it all hanging there with neither DH or I knowing what was going on, until DH learned from FIL just before Christmas it wouldn't be happening.

And then on top of it, DH's sister knew a few days prior to Christmas that the friend's place she was dragging FIL to for Christmas dinner instead, had declined her offer. So she knew without any doubt that those plans were off, and, she knew that DH & I had planned on having Christmas dinner with his family

This was a deliberate plan to stick it to us, no one had to sacrifice anything...other than poor FIL who so looks forward to the family dinners, ended up being stuck alone on Christmas evening with SIL. And apparently he was not happy about that at all, and a little ticked off with SIL himself

DH's sister had no right to sabotage the family Christmas dinner. But, she actually did us a favour. from this point forward DH & I won't be ever participating in that again. Especially now because SD's tend to do Christmas Eve with BM, Christmas Day with DH/DH's family, and Christmas dinner with their in-laws. So, DH & I have decided we're going to so something similar; spend Christmas Eve with friends, Christmas Day with his family, and then Christmas dinner with my family

Works for all! Dirol

Disillusioned's picture

Who is JW?

Thanks StepAside, that is so true - the whole relational aggression thing. This is exactly what DH's sister and daughter do, the article you posted some time ago opened my eyes to what I knew was happening but never fully understood until then.

With that said, there are however two females in my DH's family that I do/did get along with great. one is my late MIL, who treated me like a daughter and was very very good to me, and the second, is my YSD - female as well Biggrin - and I get along great with. She does not participate in all this nonsense. Oh and his Aunt and late grandmother love/loved me to bits too Dirol

Out of DH's entire family, there are exactly two individuals who have 'issues' - his sister, and OSD. Unfortunately, those two are the ones that control most events in DH's family, and the ones who gang up and create all this havoc

notasm3's picture

How old is FIL? He's probably within a few years of my age. We old people are not worthless and useless.

I despise age discrimination - it is as bad as racism.

Disillusioned's picture

Thank you notasm - yes my FIL often insists on paying when we go out for dinner with him, and we have dinner out with him pretty much every other week. We all argue when the bill comes to the table, sometimes we win, sometimes FIL wins. It all works out (with us paying the majority of the time) but definitely not always.

My FIL is doing better than us financially actually, he most definitely has the money, and even if he didn't we would not always insist that we pay when he argues, for exactly the same reasons you have just listed - he finds that insulting

We'll be dining out with him on the weekend, and we will let him pay this time because he has insisted it's his treat. FIL is feeling very bad about the whole Christmas dinner thing, and we know that's why he wants to treat us out. Of course we don't want him to feel bad, and we would certainly prefer to pay, but this is something he has told us not suggested....and I've learned in the past that when FIL TELLS you he's paying, you stop arguing Biggrin

Thanks for your sensible post!

Disillusioned's picture

He's in his early 80's...but a very young 80 something for sure!

This man is doing wonderfully, other than he has never really recovered from the death of his wife (my MIL) and that is so very sad. His family is everything to him, and unlike his daughter and grand-daughter (DH's sister and daughter) he does very much consider me family, makes sure that I know that, and is an all-around terrific human being; funny, smart, and very kind. He is anything but useless or worthless.

I never stop learning from him, not just all his years of experience, but he has a wisdom in how to treat people that is one of the best role-models there is. From the server to his own family, FIL treats people with class and respect. Can't understand why his daughter and grand daughter have never learned that from him, but, I certainly do try to!