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How to keep family together?
I am over Christmas already

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#1 Ally'smum

Posted 20 December 2012 - 01:20 PM

Inspired by the 'rudeness' thread.

We are going to DHs family for Christmas next week. I am a bit sad at missing my family christmas but it seems only fair that we alternate the families each year. Except that, neither of us really want to go to his.

The food is usually pretty terrible (everything pre-packaged) we are taking quite a lot of food so DD can have something she can actually eat, and DH and I will have something that we will actually want to eat.

The siblings don't get along that well and the spouses don't either, it seems that no one has anything in common but my main problem is that they don't want to be nice to each other.

I am sick of the passive-agressive, judgemental, competitive comments that come my way and that I try to rise above and ignore, but it makes me angry that someone is saying something like this to me to start with. They are being rude to me and I am being polite by not responding (even though I would love to).

I then have to tell DH not to react to anything anyone says to him (or me) as he likes to tell it like it is, which doesn't go down well.

MIL will be having some drama and FIL will just be wondering when his crazy kids are going to leave. Neither parent contributes to the cohesiveness of the family.

Meanwhile all the little kids are playing together beautifully and having a great time.

I keep telling DH that we have to make an effort with his family, do the right thing, be nice to everyone etc.

He wonders why and then I said to him that I could see his family fracturing and no one talking to anyone anymore, he doesn't think this is a particularly bad thing. I want my daughter to have a nice big family with cousins to play with on both sides of the family, not just mine.

His family are all very selfish and not the kind of people to go out of their way for anyone else.

Are we wasting our time making an effort with them?

Are we just delaying the inevitable fracturing?

Do extended families go through bad periods and then recover?

#2 Liadan

Posted 20 December 2012 - 01:42 PM

Sounds like my mums family. She has two brothers, and two sisters. One sister lives in Canada, one brother died early last year, she doesn't get along well with the remaining two.

In my experience, you are just delaying the fracturing.

And the kids aren't as oblivious to the animosity as we'd like to think. I noticed it with my mums family when I was quite young

#3 J*mistletoe*B

Posted 20 December 2012 - 01:56 PM

He wonders why and then I said to him that I could see his family fracturing and no one talking to anyone anymore, he doesn't think this is a particularly bad thing. I want my daughter to have a nice big family with cousins to play with on both sides of the family, not just mine.

His family are all very selfish and not the kind of people to go out of their way for anyone else.


Honestly, without snark, why do you want this?   Why do you actually want people  - who if they didnt share blood  you would have nothing to do with and not even be friends with - involved in your childrens lives?  What benefit do they and yourselves get out of it?

If you were getting on with one/some of them, then going and just hanging out with the one you actually like is bearable, but even your DH doesnt want to have anything to do with his 'family' because of the way they treat him and you.  I guess you are lucky they havent started on the kids yet.

Its his side of the family,  let him decide how much time you interact with them.

Can I also say, coming from a 'fractured on one side' family, not having anything to do with that side is a blessing.   We endured it for years and yes when we were younger the hanging out with the cousins was cool, but y'know, for a kid,  so is meeting a stranger in a park and hanging out/playing with them.

Also being the youngest cousins, as the others got old enough to go "oh hell no I'm not going" we were often the only children there and that was just sh*t.  Watching the supposed adults who all hated each other get drunk and fight.    So so glad that mum and dad listened when we told them we hated going to those parties/gatherings.

#4 cinnabubble

Posted 20 December 2012 - 02:01 PM

I agree. Satisfying the condition of having lots of cousins without satisfying the family harmony condition seems a bit pointless.

#5 BetteBoop

Posted 20 December 2012 - 02:09 PM

Some families are toxic and disprove the adage that blood is thicker than water. When sh*t happens, sometimes the last people you can rely on are family members.

Personally, I wouldn't bother trying to force it. When your child is older, she will pick up on the toxicity.

I would prefer to spend time and energy on good friends.

#6 Tigerdog

Posted 20 December 2012 - 02:41 PM

Personally, I wouldn't bother trying to force it.

This.  You can't force it, you can't control how people behave.  You just have to either live with it the way it is or take no part in it at all.

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