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Christmas day family issues

Discussion in 'Personal' started by littlejackhorner, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. littlejackhorner

    littlejackhorner Occasional commenter

    Hi all. I'm posting here as Tessers tend to give wide ranging views and advice.
    I struggle at times with my relationship with my Mum. She always likes to be in control and can be very condescending to both my Dad and husband.
    My husband recently lost his Mum and he was very close to her. He is still grieving and said he is not interested in celebrating Christmas this year. That is perfectly understandable to me and I am fine with it. Today I told my Mum how he felt and I was astounded by her reaction. She said she could understand last year because she was so ill but now that she's gone everything should be fine and he's just being " mean". I told her that I would want to be with him at this time and she responded with Christmas is a time for family. I spoke to my Dad who is fine with it and said it's his choice but I left Mum and Dads house tonight and Mum is clearly very annoyed with me. I really don't know what to do or say. I feel that so much of this links to Mums need to control everything and everyone but feel very angry about what she has said about my husband and her lack of empathy for him. Thoughts welcomed
  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Stand up for yourself - people like your Mum dominate people with their personality and are used to getting their own way.

    So tell her the score - firmly - and don't back down.
  3. littlejackhorner

    littlejackhorner Occasional commenter

    Thanks for your prompt response. Your advice echoes what my husband says all the time. He will stand up to her and so sparks fly when they meet.
    Dragonlady30 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  4. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    Just ignore the tantrum. She’ll get over it, or not, her choice.
  5. knitone

    knitone Lead commenter

    Your husband is your family. Spend Christmas with him.
  6. frangipani123

    frangipani123 Lead commenter

    I agree with the advice above. People like your mum get their own way because others want to keep the peace. Stick to your guns, use the broken record technique, you've told her what you and your husband are doing and why, it is up to her how she reacts. Don't cave and be there to support your husband. Many, many people don't spend Christmas with their parents for a whole host of reasons.
  7. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    Book a break abroad over the Christmas period for you and your husband.
  8. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    I have total sympathy with your husband. Stick to your guns and ignore the attempts at emotional blackmail.
  9. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Husband over mother...
    knitone, Nanny Ogg, lindenlea and 6 others like this.
  10. littlejackhorner

    littlejackhorner Occasional commenter

    Thanks all for the prompt responses. I have very rarely stood up to my Mum and I think because of the way she behaves she makes me feel guilty like an uncaring daughter. Its very difficult when you are emotionally involved, you can't see the wood for the trees. Interestingly my husband spoke to an elderly lady who knows my Mum through church and she said " she does like to be in control your mother in law doesn't she?"
    install and frangipani123 like this.
  11. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Having had a similar relationship with my mother and one year when we suggested not spending Christmas with them was brought up at every opportunity, so be prepared for some backlash. However I agree spending Christmas with your husband is more important. especially as your mother will not be alone at Christmas- otherwise one could understand her reluctance.

    One reason why I really enjoy spending Christmas Day alone with Mr L these days. We can do our own things and not pander to others.

    And having 2 boys means they can spend 'the day' with their wife's mother / parents and not feel guilty about 'sharing it' around equally. :)
    knitone, Marshall, install and 2 others like this.
  12. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    Are you an only child @littlejackhorner ? Does your mum usually make an effort to put on a Christmas - nice food, presents etc for everyone? Maybe she is scared of having a Christmas without you there ?

    Is there room for compromise? How about inviting your mum and dad to yours for a Christmas day special tea (if you are an only)? That will have given you and hubby the day together or do a Boxing Day "do" - for family if there is more of you..... It would switch control a bit away from your mum but still keep elements of a family Christmas.
    Pageant likes this.
  13. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    Both are family.... a compromise would be the best route.
    Pageant and needabreak like this.
  14. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Christmas - a time for peace and goodwill to all - the irony ?

    We don’t do Christmas and I really don’t get the fuss.
  15. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    There'll be another Christmas next year and plenty of time in the interim to organise family gatherings. Family disputes aren't worth the time of day.

    Christmas is over-hyped and made out to be more than it actually is by the media and by those who want to profit from it.

    When it boils down to the basics, it's just another day. Your primary duty is to support your husband as he comes to terms with the loss of his mother.

    Sadly, the day will come when your own mother dies and wouldn't you like your husband to be supportative when that happens?

    If it was me in your circumstances, I'd take my sweetheart away for Christmas. We have been to Spain over the festive season a few times. They do Christmas Eve big time, but ignore Christmas Day. New Year's Day is a big celebration far more than we do it in the UK.

    It's a well know fact that families love to offload at Christmastime. Getting away occasionally at that time of year is a bit like changing the record on the record player.

    If you ain't there, there won't be any arguments or guilt and you'll have the time to help your husband come to terms with his grief, without the hassle of dealing with Christmas.

    It will probably cost you less than staying at home, fretting over when the sofa that DFS promised would arrive before Chistmas will actually be delivered.
    Nanny Ogg, install, Lalad and 3 others like this.
  16. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

    Your mother should respect that you've made the decision to support your husband while he is grieving by spending Christmas at home with him.
    No, this is your husband's first Christmas without his mother being alive. Of course he won't be 'fine'. He'll be thinking about previous Christmases with his mum.
    It would be cruel to force him to celebrate Christmas with your domineering mother, especially as she is likely to be condescending towards him. It's your mum that is being mean, not your husband.

    Finding out that you are an adult now and are no longer willing to be bossed about by her may make your mum think twice next time she feels like saying unkind things to or about your husband. She may even begin to realise that if she wants the pair of you to be with her next Christmas, she's going to need to start showing a bit more empathy.
  17. Dodros

    Dodros Star commenter

    Isn't there a saying that "there are more murders at Christmas than at any other time of the year?":(
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  18. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    It’s such a shame that so much emphasis is placed on ‘happy families’ at Christmas. Do you live near enough to your parents to visit briefly on your own and then spend the rest of the day with your husband. He will need your support particularly in the first year without his mother.

    There always has to be compromise. You are willing. If your mum isn’t, she will be the loser.
    Pageant, Lara mfl 05 and HelenREMfan like this.
  19. nomad

    nomad Star commenter


    That noise you can hear in the background? It’s slay bells…
    bonxie, knitone, Nanny Ogg and 7 others like this.
  20. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Mum has a hissy fit because she can't have her own way? Tough!

    Can you imagine if I told my wife that she, despite having told me she didn't want to, would have to spend Christmas with my family? I wouldn't do that.

    Indeed I do not do that. In this case I am the mother of two daughters and I check with my wife if it's ok to invite my daughters. Because my wife works hard, this is her house, I'm her wife and her opinion is enormously important. So I always check first. Sometimes she'll say she's too tired. Rarely. I respect her wishes. Your mother is a bully.

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