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Advice Vixens

Hey Vixens. I have a family question to ask. Usually family and the holidays are a popular theme this time of year when it comes to issues so your input is welcome. Basically I invited my in-laws over for dinner at Christmas. It's a big deal this year because my other half works it every other year due to his job and shift rotation. Im planning early as im working non stop right up until the holidays and i need to be organised. Although we were the first to invite and they had no other plans at this moment, they declined. This was the first time we invited them to dinner with us. The reason given was, if they came to ours his sister would start an all out row with them for doing so, despite the fact that they have spent the day st hers the past few years. They have decided, despite not being invited yet that they would spend the day with her. (She lives a few streets away but barely speaks to us and takes a lot of opportunities to exclude us).
She absolutely hates us (We aren't sure why). I feel bad for my other half because his mother is effectively taking sides on this one to pacify his insecure sister. Last year he was working and I was at home with our kids. She got the rest of the family together that evening and they started posting to social media about their "perfect family evening" that we were casually excluded from despite them knowing we were at home, our celebrations postponed.
I'm sick of taking the high road Vixens. His sister is getting worse, not better and I'm itching to burn a few bridges but he would never let me.... what do I do now?

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    The notion that you should accept whatever family members dish out because ... FAAAAAAMILY!!!!!! is a crock of bull. Their behaviour should, as with all people, be reacted to on its actual merits.

    Some folks luck out and have supportive, kind families. Your in-laws don't appear to fall into that category. And it sounds like your husband keeps hoping that his parents will someday become better people for their son's sake and realize how shabbily they are treating him. But they categorically choose his sister over him and are likely assuming that he'll always accept this treatment from them because you're supposed to stick with family and love them unconditionally, no matter how badly they treat you, amirite?

    So this is what I'd recommend: back off. Stop inviting them. Don't be the one to contact them. Introduce them to the concept of "cause and effect" and let them actually see what life would be like without their son. This will either be the clue-by-four that they desperately need and they will make an effort on behalf of their son, or they will demonstrate how little they actually care and your husband can then be free to form some emotional distance so that their behaviour won't hurt him so much.

    In the meantime, if you can, take a trip for the holidays - a change of scenery may be just the thing.

    reply to Jill
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    Seconding Jill's advice!

    They've made their intentions clear, so take the opportunity to establish your own Christmas traditions. That could mean taking a trip, or having festivities at home with a completely different set of friends and family members, or having a low key "parents and kids" day by taking in a movie and eating at a Chinese restaurant. Whatever would make the day work for you, do it!

    The goal, of course, is to have so much fun that literally everyone (including them and you) realizes that their gift to you was letting YOU have the best Christmas.

    reply to Kal
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    I agree with Jill and Kal. It sucks and it's awful to watch parents being total jerks, but in this case, it is reality.

    Suffering is resistance to what is. You and your other half need to accept this reality -- his parents are jerks. Stop inviting them and go on about your lives as though they did not exist. If they do reach out, take each instance on a case-by-case basis, but otherwise just ignore, ignore, ignore.

    I understand the urge to burn bridges, but it won't solve anything. It won't make anyone feel better.

    You have kids, so make the holidays about your little family. Create your own traditions and don't look back.

    reply to Robynne
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    Thanks Vixens. I have taken on board what you have pointed out. A lot of my frustrations are from the fact that they pacify her constantly. This is the latest event of many. But it doesn't seem to make her happy. It makes her worse. But I've decided, no more invites. And to make the most of our time together as a family this year. Even if it means not seeing anyone else

    reply to anonymous
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    Thanks Vixens. I have taken on board what you have pointed out. A lot of my frustrations are from the fact that they pacify her constantly. This is the latest event of many. But it doesn't seem to make her happy. It makes her worse. But I've decided, no more invites. And to make the most of our time together as a family this year. Even if it means not seeing anyone else

    reply to anonymous
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    anonymous wrote: Thanks Vixens. I have taken on board what you have pointed out. A lot of my frustrations are from the fact that they pacify her constantly. This is the latest event of many. But it doesn't seem to make her happy. It makes her worse. But I've decided, no more invites. And to make the most of our time together as a family this year. Even if it means not seeing anyone else

    Just in case it helps any -- your sister-in-law is getting worse and worse because deep inside of her is a toddler looking desperately for limits. You and your husband drawing a quiet line in the sand and holding firm to it is the best thing you can do for her.

    I hope that your holidays are wonderful! <3

    reply to Robynne
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