Wedding Woes

With family like this...damn.

Dear Prudence,


How do I cut off my seemingly well-intentioned family? My whole life, my little sister was the favorite. Growing up, other adults even commented on it to me, which actually helped because it showed me it wasn’t all in my head. On the outside they are a well-meaning Southern family, but to me they are suffocating.

Christmas is particularly painful. At 7, I learned Santa wasn’t real after I received nothing from my (modest) Christmas list, while my sister got everything she asked for and then some. No matter what I asked for, no matter how small, I never got it. I know Christmas isn’t just about gifts, but there’s something especially painful about being asked what I want and then never getting it. I’ve gotten bathroom towels for the last four years while she gets expensive appliances and makeup. I don’t need any more towels. Now our family group text is filling up with outrageous requests (brand-name vacuum cleaners, designer luggage, 4K TVs). I’m frustrated by their selfish demands, seeming indifference to my budget, and disregard for me. They’re like this all year long at every holiday. (“Why can’t you fly home for one day for Easter?” “Why won’t you pitch in for your sister’s birthday present, even though we got you nothing for yours?”) If I somehow got up the nerve to tell them “No” when asked if I am coming home for the holidays I know there would be tears, fights, and a Southern-style guilt trip. Can I ghost my own family?

—Just Want Out

short+sassy

Re: With family like this...damn.

  • levioosalevioosa Southern California
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    I mean....I would. Jesus, who needs that I’m your life. There’s more to family than blood. 


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    OliveOilsMomshort+sassycharlotte989875kimmiinthemitten
  • Just do it. Tell those you are closest to, if anyone, that you are taking a break, and then disconnect. Mute/ leave the group chat, check back in after the holidays if you want to.
  • Eff that.   There comes a time you cut out those who are constant takers.  
    short+sassy
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member

    Gee, I wonder why LW moved a plane ride away.

    LW should find her own family to celebrate the holidays with and stay away from these blood relatives.  Just goes to show that blood is not always the best family.

    short+sassy
  • LW needs to build her own family whether its romantic or with friends.


    short+sassy
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    Oh my god being southern has nothing to do with this. This asshole family could live in Alaska or China.

    Now that that's out of the way...LW has three options:

    1) continue to play the role of Harry Potter
    2) address it with them (since you never have), set boundaries, give them a chance to change, and if it doesn't happen, reassess these three options.
    3) ghost them and be done with it

    Personally, I would go with option 2 and give it a year or two. Obviously option 1 isn't sustainable. And completely cutting off family forever and ever is a really big deal. 
    Thank you @southernbelle0915!
  • LW's case is pretty extreme, but how do you justify not buying gifts for one child and buying tons of gifts for another?  Do the parents not see this favoritism? Isn't it obvious, or would they really be that oblivious?
    imageimage
    short+sassycharlotte989875MesmrEwe
  • kerbohl said:
    LW's case is pretty extreme, but how do you justify not buying gifts for one child and buying tons of gifts for another?  Do the parents not see this favoritism? Isn't it obvious, or would they really be that oblivious?

    I read this part of the letter a couple times, because I wasn't sure I was understanding it.

    I don't think she is saying she didn't get gifts, I think she is saying she didn't get gifts that were on her list.  Whereas, her sister got everything on her list.  Plus more.

    But, even with my interpretation, there is definitely the impression that the gift giving was extremely unequal.

    I would love to know what the parents are thinking with all this.  But maybe the LW hasn't discussed this with her parents because she doesn't want to know.  What could they say that wouldn't be a flimsy excuse or a harsh truth?

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    charlotte989875OliveOilsMom
  • kerbohl said:
    LW's case is pretty extreme, but how do you justify not buying gifts for one child and buying tons of gifts for another?  Do the parents not see this favoritism? Isn't it obvious, or would they really be that oblivious?

    I read this part of the letter a couple times, because I wasn't sure I was understanding it.

    I don't think she is saying she didn't get gifts, I think she is saying she didn't get gifts that were on her list.  Whereas, her sister got everything on her list.  Plus more.

    But, even with my interpretation, there is definitely the impression that the gift giving was extremely unequal.

    I would love to know what the parents are thinking with all this.  But maybe the LW hasn't discussed this with her parents because she doesn't want to know.  What could they say that wouldn't be a flimsy excuse or a harsh truth?


    Aw, that makes more sense. So it's like my MIL - she doesn't think DH asks for the "right kind of things" so she just buys him stuff he doesn't want even when he asks for things he does want.  Sort of a "I know better than you what you want" thing.
    imageimage
    short+sassy
  • kerbohl said:
    LW's case is pretty extreme, but how do you justify not buying gifts for one child and buying tons of gifts for another?  Do the parents not see this favoritism? Isn't it obvious, or would they really be that oblivious?

    I read this part of the letter a couple times, because I wasn't sure I was understanding it.

    I don't think she is saying she didn't get gifts, I think she is saying she didn't get gifts that were on her list.  Whereas, her sister got everything on her list.  Plus more.

    But, even with my interpretation, there is definitely the impression that the gift giving was extremely unequal.

    I would love to know what the parents are thinking with all this.  But maybe the LW hasn't discussed this with her parents because she doesn't want to know.  What could they say that wouldn't be a flimsy excuse or a harsh truth?

    Maybe, but LW also said that she is always asked to contribute to her sister's birthday gift when her parents do not get her anything at all. So I have to wonder about Christmas. 
    *********************************************************************************

    image
    kimmiinthemitten
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    Oh my god being southern has nothing to do with this. This asshole family could live in Alaska or China.

    Now that that's out of the way...LW has three options:

    1) continue to play the role of Harry Potter
    2) address it with them (since you never have), set boundaries, give them a chance to change, and if it doesn't happen, reassess these three options.
    3) ghost them and be done with it

    Personally, I would go with option 2 and give it a year or two. Obviously option 1 isn't sustainable. And completely cutting off family forever and ever is a really big deal. 
    I agree.       Sometimes things are very obvious to an outsider and not so much to the people close to the situation.  It's a weird phenomenon that I've seen many times.

    People are not mind readers.   Sometimes you need to use your words.  If they end up dismissing your feelings, then ghost them.  I would at least give them the chance.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    kimmiinthemitten
  • ...and people give me the side-eye when I'm hyper about making sure the kids are as "equal" as possible in what they get for gifts...  

    LW needs to start re-gifting towels, and in this case, it's o.k. to accidentally leave the card in them...  IMO, I think she wants her sister to get towels one year and she get the computer she asked for...  understandable jealousy is still jealousy...  She should enjoy the holidays at home away from the family...

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