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SO's Familial Funeral - I'm Not Sure I'm Wanted There


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My SO and I have been together 5.5 years. In that time I met his maternal grandmother (Granny) & step-grandfather (Grandad) many times and grew to know them well. Grandad was a lovely man with a great sense of humor. I was so sad when we got the call a few weeks ago to say he had passed away.


The funeral is on Wednesday, so we had planned on going to his hometown from Monday to Thursday and staying at his parents house.


Sadly we cannot afford a hotel room. My SO has a genetic degenerative disease, and had to be hospitalized in July so I quit my job (I am the sole provider) to nurse him back to health. He's better now and I start a new job on Friday, which is great because our savings are running extremely low.


None of that really mattered until today. His younger teenage sister came to visit us from this past Thursday to Sunday. I planned a trip to the Xmas market, bought her a ticket to a show we were already going to before she let us know she was coming, got her favorite food, etc. Everything was perfect on Thurs & Fri.


Today was horrible. My SO has to do a medicated nebuliser when he wakes up and then wait half an hour until he can shower. His sister complained that he should have gotten up earlier to do it, but we both woke up before her and she never gave us a specific time she wanted to leave the house.


I asked my SO if he would mind doing some dishes after his nebuliser while I got ready so I could make breakfast while he was in the shower. He said sure, and that was fine. I come back 15 min later and his sister is yelling at him to do the dishes. She said it was stressing her out because he was going to leave it to the last minute. To her this meant that he then wouldn't shower exactly half an hour after the nebuliser which would make us late.


I can understand what she meant but firstly my SO always follows through with what he says, and secondly its a bit of an overreaction to shout at someone for that.


She had a tantrum and I tried to console her, but she wasn't having it. Instead she called her mom and said we were being horrible to her.


My SO went to talk to his sister and lets just say it didn't go well. Apparently she'll never forgive us and we're so selfish and so on and so forth.


What I'm concerned about now is that her mother is very protective, as any mother is over her child I suppose. It doesn't help that her mother was never my biggest fan in the first place because I "took her son away from her", ie I moved to a different country to be with him and he moved to a different city with more job opportunities for me.


So in regards to the funeral, I'm not sure what to do. I don't want to be rude and not go, because that would make Granny upset and frankly I want to pay my respects to Grandad. But I also don't like drama or anything that would detract from the point of this visit which is to honor Grandad. I just think it would be extremely uncomfortable to stay with his parents for 3 nights knowing that they dislike me and don't want me there.


So what should I do?

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I'm sorry about your SO's illness, sorry about your loss and also sorry that you have ended up with some toxic, drama prone in-laws or however they are defined. I would go bt detach as much as possible, visualizing a force field around me. Whatever attack hits the force field and bounces back. I would remind myself that I can do something for X hours although I couldn't do it for a lifetime. And I would go there with zero expectations, neither positive nor negative, aiming for three days but is open to change if my boundaries are crossed too much.


I think what helps you will be your unity with your SO here. You can discuss how much you are ready to tolerate, what action you will take when that boundary is crossed and who will implement it. In the face of an attack, I would try to soothe the toxic person - without having my boundaries crossed- by saying that I'm really sorry for what happened and can empathize with the anguish my household may have caused but maybe it's better to discuss this later when the grieving is over. Empathize with the feeling, don't comment on the action. Broken record. Paraphrasing skills I wouldn't mention anything I found wrong not to be pulled into the toxic drama. I think it's important that whatever you do, you do it as a couple.


I wish the best for you.

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