Family and holidays can mix…



Help. We have been married 18 yrs. I had fantastic relationship with my MIL. She passed. Wife has only brother and Sis in law. They own a vacation home near us. visit two months in summer, and most vacations. We both enjoy my wife’s brother, but struggle to deal with SIL and Nephews. They live at a much higher social economic level than we do. Both of us work, and are very comfortable with our lifestyles and our two children, both older than theirs. Here is the conflict, SIL consistently asks our plans for thanksgiving, Christmas and any possible vacation. We consistently put off her inquiries, although we can not stop them from visiting their home. She has two sisters and one brother and her own parents, who live very close to one of her sisters families.  She has made no  effort to spend the past 3 thanksgivings or Christmas’s with any of them. It puts pressure on us and our family. It makes making plans with my family very difficult, and often involves mixing both family’s together. Which makes it difficult for my family to be ourselves and enjoy our past together. please give me some ideas as to how to handle this. My wife does not want to hurt her only brothers feelings, as he is a busy business man and just goes with the SIL plans.



Bill,  I think that instead of avoiding giving information about what the plans are, you and your wife should clearly state what you will be doing. For example, “this year we are going to my wife’s brothers for Christmas…” If you are clear in your communication then it’s on them to have the hurt feelings. When I was growing up every year we did Christmas eve at one grandma’s house and then Christmas day at another Grandma’s house. They live in the same town and there weren’t any hard feelings because it was clearly explained. When there are grey areas then people tend to get confused and hurt. IF you have a plan then clearly explain it.


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