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NWR: Family Drama

Just wondering what you would do in this situation:

For Thanksgiving, I told my parents that we would be cooking and them with my sister are welcome to come over (my sister moved back into their house recently). Their response was "we'll see." Then, Tuesday my mom calls and tells me that my brother's FI's mother invited them over, and they were going that route. I was annoyed, but didn't say anything.
When I mentioned this to my FI, he was livid. He basically said it's crap that they pretty much put us on the back burner to see if anything better came along, and clearly it did.

This is not the first, or second time they've done this to us.

Yesterday when talking to her, I told my mom that it was kind of rude of her to pull this on me and it didn't just effect me, but also my FI and my daughter. I've now been accused of starting drama because of it. And was told it's just a food holiday and to let it go.

There's a little background I guess you should know - my brother and I aren't speaking after he has said my marriage isn't going to last, saw my ring and said he will "do better" and has run his mouth behind my back, to my mom and then infront of my daughter. When confronted, he didn't so much as apoligize and the conversation definitely hasn't made anything better. My mom expects me to continually "reach out an olive branch" but I'm not going to do it. It is what it is and I'm leaving it. I called him in an attempt to clear the situation and obviously it wasn't any help.
 

Would you be upset?
Would you continue to invite them to these things potentially knowing you're a second best choice type of thing?

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Re: NWR: Family Drama

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    Ouch, yea I think that would burn my a** a little too.
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    I understand frustrating family, I do, but I think the most important thing for you to do is understand that you cannot and will not change them. With you mother, you say this isn't the first time, then why would you expect it to be different this time. 

    I'm sorry your family isn't more committed to you and understanding. 
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    I think it would be fair to reach out to your mom for the next holiday you intend to host, and let her know that while you realize she may have other plans, you'd like to invite her, but need a commitment by a certain date. Let her know you've been hurt in the past by her "better options" plan, and that you can't continue to expose yourself to this in the future. With that on the table, if she continues to change plans last minute, I'd let her know that while she's always welcome at your table, you will no longer be extending a formal invitation.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_nwr-family-drama?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:9cfa5202-2996-46bc-b681-173c4c15c298Post:7df3406f-ac04-460e-b2e7-fa39714d2271">Re: NWR: Family Drama</a>:
    [QUOTE]I think it would be fair to reach out to your mom for the next holiday you intend to host, and let her know that while you realize she may have other plans, you'd like to invite her, but need a commitment by a certain date. Let her know you've been hurt in the past by her "better options" plan, and that you can't continue to expose yourself to this in the future. With that on the table, if she continues to change plans last minute, I'd let her know that while she's always welcome at your table, you will no longer be extending a formal invitation.
    Posted by krizzo17[/QUOTE]

    <div>In her mother's defense (not saying it's right) but she did not commit to going to Thanksgiving at her daughters. I think what you have suggested is very bold and a little dramatic if OP hopes to keep a good relationship with her mother. </div>
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    I would be upset in this situation as well.  Did they choose to go to your B's FMIL's house in hopes that you would change your minds and go there, in hopes of reconciling with B?

    It can also be hard on parents to have to choose between children.  So they should have gone the first come, first served route.  Since you asked first, they should have gone to your dinner and said to B "Tiffany asked first, so we are going to her house".  They also could have split the day with going to the dinner at your house and dessert at the other event. 
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    My IL's seem to routinely cater to the demands of their other son's families and we feel we have to either go along with whatever they want for holidays or risk not celebrating the actual holiday with DH's parents.  We have grown tired of this and this year we have made the decision that we will make our own plans with plenty of notice and invitation to the others, and if they choose not to join, that is their choice.  We are done bending over backwards and waiting to the last minute to know what the plans are based on the IL's seeing what all of their options are and trying to please everyone.  We are not bent out of shape over it and will not issue ultimatums.  An invitation was extended and will continue to be extended.  If they continue not to accept it, or say "we'll see" (which is what we got again this year), then that is on them.  No one can say we don't make the effort or aren't gracious about.  I have a feeling they will come around when they realize we aren't going to give in anymore.  I think you are well within your rights to be upset, but at this point you know it will do no good to complain or express those feelings, so you should just host at your house and be thankful for those that are with you.  Easier said than done, I know. 
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_nwr-family-drama?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:9cfa5202-2996-46bc-b681-173c4c15c298Post:a967f392-f6c6-47fb-acdf-9d8ccba69159">Re: NWR: Family Drama</a>:
    [QUOTE]My IL's seem to routinely cater to the demands of their other son's families and we feel we have to either go along with whatever they want for holidays or risk not celebrating the actual holiday with DH's parents.  We have grown tired of this and this year we have made the decision that we will make our own plans with plenty of notice and invitation to the others, and if they choose not to join, that is their choice.  We are done bending over backwards and waiting to the last minute to know what the plans are based on the IL's seeing what all of their options are and trying to please everyone.  We are not bent out of shape over it and will not issue ultimatums.  An invitation was extended and will continue to be extended.  If they continue not to accept it, or say "we'll see" (which is what we got again this year), then that is on them.  No one can say we don't make the effort or aren't gracious about.  I have a feeling they will come around when they realize we aren't going to give in anymore.  I think you are well within your rights to be upset, but at this point you know it will do no good to complain or express those feelings, so you should just host at your house and be thankful for those that are with you.  Easier said than done, I know. 
    Posted by NO2012[/QUOTE]

    Definitely makes sense, and I agree, way easier said than done. I consider my mom and I to generally be pretty close, we talk on the phone daily, and while suddenly don't spend much time together, I still think we're close.

    That said, FI's family lives a ferry ride away, and we're actually going to be moving closer to them. They are people who want to spend time with us, whereas we're now more of an afterthought with my parents.

    I guess it's time to grow up and really plan on doing these things with my little family (this will by my first Thanksgiving cooking), if others want to come, great, if not, so be it.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_nwr-family-drama?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:9cfa5202-2996-46bc-b681-173c4c15c298Post:33d609c9-abc8-4274-8ddf-ba78224e871a">NWR: Family Drama</a>:
    [QUOTE]
     Would you be upset? Would you continue to invite them to these things potentially knowing you're a second best choice type of thing?
    Posted by TiffanyT816[/QUOTE]

    Yes and Yes.

    At the end of the day is really is a food Holiday. Your parents aren't going to go over your house every (or any) time. It's not that serious. When they said "We'll see" at first that isn't a good indication that they wanted to come over, they didn't really back burnder you.

    Now, if you feel like they're siding with your brother instead of you, that's one thing. But i'd seperate that out from Thanksgiving.
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    My FI's aunt does most holidays at her house. There is never anything vegetarian for me to eat, and although I've asked if I could bring something, I'm always told to not bother. So, I sit at dinner and have all my FI's relatives comment on how skinny I am and how I don't eat anything. That's pretty fun. Maybe I'd eat something if someone could realize that chicken broth =/= vegetarian.

    Anyway. My mom came into town one year for Thanksgiving, so my FI and I decided we'd have a Thanksgiving at our place. FI asked his mom if she, his dad, and his 3 brothers would like to come as we lived only a 10 minute walk away from them (aunt lives over an hour drive). They said they'd come, but day of, FFIL decided it would be rude to not go to his SIL's house for Thanksgiving, and he took the brothers with him. FI's mom came and hung out with us, though, and it was still fun. At least I got to eat something! :) 

    Just trying to say that family drama happens in every family and sometimes you've just got to let it go. 
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_nwr-family-drama?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:9cfa5202-2996-46bc-b681-173c4c15c298Post:30b8714c-8c2c-4d42-be49-f93003a7b87b">Re: NWR: Family Drama</a>:
    [QUOTE]My FI's aunt does most holidays at her house. There is never anything vegetarian for me to eat, and although<strong> I've asked if I could bring something, I'm always told to not bother.</strong> So, I sit at dinner and have all my FI's relatives comment on how skinny I am and how I don't eat anything. That's pretty fun. Maybe I'd eat something if someone could realize that chicken broth =/= vegetarian. Anyway. My mom came into town one year for Thanksgiving, so my FI and I decided we'd have a Thanksgiving at our place. FI asked his mom if she, his dad, and his 3 brothers would like to come as we lived only a 10 minute walk away from them (aunt lives over an hour drive). They said they'd come, but day of, FFIL decided it would be rude to not go to his SIL's house for Thanksgiving, and he took the brothers with him. FI's mom came and hung out with us, though, and it was still fun. At least I got to eat something! :)  Just trying to say that family drama happens in every family and sometimes you've just got to let it go. 
    Posted by emeejeeayen[/QUOTE]

    I would have brought something that I could eat anyways, especially if you know they never provide anything vegetarian.

    OP, my H's family is set in their ways.  My MIL always has Thanksgiving at her house while my H's Uncle has Christmas at his.  And if you try to make them do anything different you are just wasting your energy.  This year H and I are having Thanksgiving at home.  At first it was just going to be us because neither of us felt like going anywhere (I run a 5K Turkey Trot in the morning while he plays football).  Then, after talking with my parents a week ago, they decided to come up for Thanksgiving seeing as we weren't going to be able to see them over Christmas again this year.  So it is just going to be H and I and my parents. 

    Well before my parents decided to come up MIL was a bit miffed because we weren't coming for dinner, but now, since she feels that she has to always see her son on any holiday no matter if it is Christmas or President's Day, she has invited her and her husband over for happy hour.  So now my Thanksgiving of not having to host anyone (my parents would yell at me if I tried to cater to their needs) and having a nice quiet day/meal has turned into me and my Mom having to make extra food for apps and buy extra alcohol for drinks.  I am beyond irritated that she has invited herself over and a bit irritated with H for 1) letting it happen and 2) only just telling me yesterday about their plans.  In fact, if I didn't bring up seeing their parents around the holidays (meaning Christmas) I am sure I wouldn't have found out they were coming over for Thanksgiving until they actually showed up (this has happened before).

    Like PP said, family drama happens and there really isn't anything you can do about it.  You can't please everyone and the same goes for your Mom.  Just enjoy your Thanksgiving at home.

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    Ok what makes something a food holiday (and I guess what are the other types of holidays?) In my family, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter are all celebrated in mostly the same way, with largely the same meal, and each given equal importance (same with my ILs). Just a little confused.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_nwr-family-drama?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:9cfa5202-2996-46bc-b681-173c4c15c298Post:e36a8d7e-1ef2-4050-9268-d750f2766a57">Re: NWR: Family Drama</a>:
    [QUOTE]Ok what makes something a food holiday (and I guess what are the other types of holidays?) In my family, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter are all celebrated in mostly the same way, with largely the same meal, and each given equal importance (same with my ILs). Just a little confused.
    Posted by krizzo17[/QUOTE]

    Yea, I don't get it either, we celebrate the same holiday's you listed with food. Kinda strange.

    Thanks again for all of the replies, you're right, I need to just let it go. I guess I'm just surprised by my voicing my conerns to her that I've now been dubbed as "creating drama." She left a VM on my work phone at 5am this morning (for what I can assume was only so she didn't have to talk to me, knowing I'm not at work that early) to tell me to stop creating drama. I think I'll move forward and not be bringing it up to her again.
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    I know it's hard because I have family drama too without going into detail.  But at the end of the day ask yourself do you really want to be around people, regardless of whether they're family or not, who could care less if they are around you?  I don't mean you should cut them off entirely.  I mean just go with the flow and be flexible.  So, likewise if they invite you over for something and you and your fam feel like going then go.  If not, decline and don't feel bad about it.  Expect them to do the same and don't feel bitter or resentful.  Put only as much energy into things like this as will keep you feeling like the outcome is fine with you either way and not a drop more.  Enjoy the people that bring good and positive things into your life and relax about everything else.  One day they might flip the script and want to be around you all the time and you may have to decide if you feel like being around them! But don't worry about it and it will all work itself out perfectly.
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    seriously, zantster, you could be my own personal life-coach. Going to keep this advice in mind for the future, too (easier said than done, lol)
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    Ha ha, Thanks!  But I can't take the credit.  I've hung out around a lot of older women who have shared some of their awesome wisdom with me over the years and I just try to pass it on when I see similar situations that they've spoken about with me.  "Seasoned" women rock!Smile
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    Well, you feel free to send some of them my way, lol
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    What zanster said. Life's too short to spend much energy on someone else's drama play they are putting on. Just because they think you're in the script doesn't mean you have to be in it. Let the spotlight shine on empty stage left while you enjoy building new bonds with your new family. It's worth doing.
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    First off, OP, I agree with Zanster.
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_nwr-family-drama?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:9cfa5202-2996-46bc-b681-173c4c15c298Post:30b8714c-8c2c-4d42-be49-f93003a7b87b">Re: NWR: Family Drama</a>:
    [QUOTE]My FI's aunt does most holidays at her house. There is never anything vegetarian for me to eat, and although I've asked if I could bring something, I'm always told to not bother. So, I sit at dinner and have all my FI's relatives comment on how skinny I am and how I don't eat anything. That's pretty fun. Maybe I'd eat something if someone could realize that chicken broth =/= vegetarian. 
    Posted by emeejeeayen[/QUOTE]
     And Emee, I can't not respond to this.  It seriously pisses me off when people don't/can't make accomadations for vegetarians.  Nobody in my family is vegetarian (including me), and my dad would happily live as a carnivore if I didn't pressure him into eating vegetables (sometimes I hide them in his food, like you do to 4 year olds).  Even with that, my brother's vegetarian GF has come to every major holiday at our house for the past 3 years, and we ALWAYS make sure that there are several dishes for her to choose from.  If we're having burgers we stock up on veggie patties, if we're having steak we also make stuffed peppers or portobello mushrooms.  Any meaty pasta sauce has the meat added after a portion has been pulled out for her.  Vegetable stock is just as prevalent as chicken stock, and the same price, and I think it tastes better.  I don't know where I'm going with this, but I just needed to vent/say I'm sorry your FI's family doesn't get it.  And good for you for hosting a holiday where you could eat as much as you wanted.
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    I'm so sorry for you....i understand the drama and if that's how u sincerely felt...they were definitely wrong
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_nwr-family-drama?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:9cfa5202-2996-46bc-b681-173c4c15c298Post:2f2e559a-ccce-48b2-99eb-92bd1de42728">Re:NWR: Family Drama</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re:NWR: Family Drama: A food holiday is where eating the food is HOW you celebrate, making it harder to split up between families. Many holidays have other traditions that go along with it, ie hunting Easter eggs, opening Christmas gifts, watching fireworks on the 4th, etc. Thanksgiving, traditionally, is focused on the meal itself and sitting down and eating together. That doesn't make it less important, but it does make it harder to accommodate attending Thanksgiving for multiple groups.
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]

    Thanks :) There currently aren't any little kids in our famililes, so I sort of forgot about those other things that go on... We tried splitting a holiday between both families once, and will never, ever, do that again. For now we're fine with spending Christmas eve with one set of parents and Christmas day with the other, but once we have kids we'll probably stop that, too.
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    Yeah, that's painful.  I usually take the back seat with my parents-even on my own occasions like my birthday.  Someone else always matters more to them-my brothers, their friends, other relatives, whomever.

    I think your best course of action is to stop inviting them and just accept that they're not going to make themselves available to you, and otherwise have the holiday you want even though they aren't there.  Don't tie your ability to enjoy yourself and have fun to whether or not people who clearly don't care about you bother to be there for you.
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