Jump to content

MIL insisting we get together during covid for Christmas. I'm pregnant and high risk.


Recommended Posts

Just wondering if this is different in different places.... 

So where we are, most families switch off for the holidays, as in... they may go to the husband's parents for Thanksgiving, then the wife's for Christmas, and then switch the next year.  Most people we know have families who have at least one half live fairly far away... us, too.  It just wasn't practical, travel-wise, to try to do both for one holiday, especially with young kids or pregnant.  So it seems, "fair," to switch back from year to year. 

So in a way, this could just be her parents' year (a sh*tty year at that lol) and his parents could get Christmas with the baby (baby's 1st Christmas) next year, and in our area, that would seem fair.

Is that not normal in other areas?  Do young parents with babies really travel to both sides, no matter how far, just to make things, "fair," for the older parents?

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 89
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Just don't go. It's that simple. Family invitations are not subpoenas. You don't need a long drawn out talk with your MIL. You don't need covid debates. You don't need to bring up past resentment

I haven't seen or spoken to my MIL in 9+ years.  And after a few years, my hubs has finally identified how she manipulates situations to get a response, and to stop enabling her behavior.  I wouldn't

Liz, I have heard that IVF is very complicated and very expensive. Congratulations on being pregnant! I have been following a similar journey with a broadcaster on a radio show out of Atlanta. And she

I think the sad thing about in-laws like hers is that... it's never fair enough.  They will always be looking for something to complain or get upset about, and then use their power to guilt-trip her husband.  It is going to get infinitely worse after she has the baby.  If her parents spend even one iota of time more than the in-laws get to, all hell may break loose, even if she IS trying really hard to be fair.

Most healthy adults have accepted life isn't fair all of the time, even when people desperately try to make it so, there will always be odd things that will happen to throw it off balance.  This is why it's best to teach kids to be fair, but to be understanding if life doesn't treat them fairly (don't be entitled).  It just isn't worth it to most normal, well-adjusted adults to risk ruining their kids' marriage to try to force their entitlement of things or people.

We haven't seen my parents inside the house at all, since March.  Of course I desperately miss seeing them in person.  And my parents have missed bonding with the baby in person (video isn't the same somehow).

But my husband's parents have (unfortunately) pushed to see our kids, inside our house, coming from a COVID hotbed town overrun with positive results, back in Oct/Nov and didn't seem to care at all or worry at all, or bother to apologize etc.  And we were stupid not to remember that could be risky.  

Part of us being stupid idiots and forgetting about COVID was probably due to the over a decade of being beaten with the stick of, "WE WANT TO SEE OUR GRANDKIDS NOWWWWWWWW!"  I think it actually affected our cognitive abilities to remember we can just say, "No," because we know they'll be rude/mean/hurt us later on.

 

They would never accept what is actually fair.  I think people like that block their reasoning abilities and focus on their entitlement feelings.

Edited by maritalbliss86
the word, "if"
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Seraphim said:

However , if you go to see your parents prepare to stay there at least 2 weeks and to fight with your husband after and have it affect yours AND your child’s relationship with them. True , you will always love your own parents more but trust me when I tell you once favouritism sets in ( despite) all the work your parents put in you are down that slippery path. 

That's basically what I am saying too. Not that I think it's okay, but I've been there, done that.

You do have to treat both sets of parents equally, unless you want upset, hurt feelings and more fights.

I mean, it is your choice, but there are consequences to every choice we make, unfortunately.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think if her in-laws get used to pressuring their way to always force things to be (in their mind), "fair," the couple also gets used to it if they keep rolling over and putting their own wishes last.

Some couples want to start their own traditions at home.  We did this a few years ago for Christmas mornings and the only family who complained was my husband's.

It's basic classical conditioning where each time something is deemed not fair, people with entitlement issues will pitch a fit and punish others.  Eventually they may even isolate them from the family by complaining about how horrible they treat them (that's happened to us now).

I think most couples just want to avoid the pain/drama/etc. so they will end up doing more than they will for her parents.  That's how it's consistently turned out for my husband, because it's never really enough for his to sate their insatiable desires of entitlement.  He can never really please them enough, and we've found (at times) the best thing is just to ignore their tantrums.

It's not unlike living with an abusive husband I think... eventually the wife loses her sense of what's really fair, right, etc. because she just doesn't want to get hit/choked/beaten again and goes along with what he thinks is fair.  But that's horrible for her... walking around on eggshells just trying to keep a psychopath happy.  And at some level, expecting everything to be exactly fair, and punishing people when you think they're hurt you, IS psychopathic.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, maritalbliss86 said:

Just wondering if this is different in different places.... 

So where we are, most families switch off for the holidays, as in... they may go to the husband's parents for Thanksgiving, then the wife's for Christmas, and then switch the next year.  Most people we know have families who have at least one half live fairly far away... us, too.  It just wasn't practical, travel-wise, to try to do both for one holiday, especially with young kids or pregnant.  So it seems, "fair," to switch back from year to year. 

So in a way, this could just be her parents' year (a sh*tty year at that lol) and his parents could get Christmas with the baby (baby's 1st Christmas) next year, and in our area, that would seem fair.

Is that not normal in other areas?  Do young parents with babies really travel to both sides, no matter how far, just to make things, "fair," for the older parents?

 

Well ,my mom was only 51 when my son was born and we all lived in a big multigenerational home . My in-laws were in their 60’s. We have always celebrated all holidays with both families. My family on the actual day and his family on the next day. And here we have Boxing Day which is the day after Christmas which is still part of Christmas so we always celebrated Boxing Day with his family and Christmas day with mine. Now we live three hours from both families for the past 10 years . So every year we travel home except of course this one. But we have never given one family favour over the other one. Each family is important to that spouse that it comes from. So exclude my husband‘s family and hurt him. See? And then it affects our relationship. He’s the one I have to live with for the rest of my life. And they will be gone soon enough. They are 88 and 86 and sick and frail. But if I treated his family like crap that would affect how he sees me long after they are dead. 

Edited by Seraphim
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

But if I treated his family like crap that would affect how he sees me long after they are dead. 

Spot on!

It's not really to appease his family per se. It's making sure your husband feels that his family is important too, that he is being given the same treatment.

Because at the end of the day, your husband is the one you will live with, grow old with, etc.

All of these things will affect your relationship with him.

And whether he admits it, or not...it will hurt him if his family is talked about badly and treated less then (yes, even if they are pains in the behind!).

That's still his family and it still matters to him.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My husband's family does xmas eve so the spouses can go to their families on xmas day. I have more trouble picking between my mom and brother because they don't have a relationship (dysfunctional family). It gets shuffled around. Sometimes we skip it all together, like this year for obvious reasons. If I had anyone given me the gears about it, it would be a facepalm. But luckily we are all understanding, my husband is pretty relaxed about it, our families are just carrying on.

Edited by smackie9
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, liz22 said:

Thank you for the advice.  I see a lot of people saying it was my choice to get pregnant.  Absolutely.  I started the IVF process early in the year, before the pandemic and needed to finish the process because of the packaged deal I got.  When I did the transfer, covid numbers were down.  Even if I was not pregnant, I would prefer to not get the virus and hope that my in laws would want to take precautions out of respect for health in general.  The problem is that they don't.  My parents do want to take precautions. 

I also see a lot of comments about "if you don't see one side of the family, don't see the other".  I get it, but if I were to be a "b" word for a minute, and express my frustration I would say this.  My parents were willing to do their part, his parents don't care.  I feel like I shouldn't have to leave my parents alone on Christmas after the work that they put in.  My dad even skipped chemo last week to continue his quarantine.  Now because of my in-laws actions and lack of consideration, I can't see my parents?  That's my frustration.  I know that my in-laws would not come over here with masks, nothing.  My in-laws live close by and my husband has seen them a lot this year, except for when numbers have spiked recently.  I have not seen my Dad since the spring.  Does anyone understand what I am saying about the in-laws actions (or lack thereof) affecting my parents outcome??  It's like, not only am I giving the in-laws the power over my health, I'm also giving them the power over my family (parents) too??  That seems like a lot of power, which unfortunately is typical for them and it tends to always negatively affect my family with drama, etc.

Why don't you meet them outdoors?   What is the big deal?  Show some backbone, if your husband won't.  

 Is your husband masking when he visits them?

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, liz22 said:

Thank you for the advice.  I see a lot of people saying it was my choice to get pregnant.  Absolutely.  I started the IVF process early in the year, before the pandemic and needed to finish the process because of the packaged deal I got.  When I did the transfer, covid numbers were down.  Even if I was not pregnant, I would prefer to not get the virus and hope that my in laws would want to take precautions out of respect for health in general.  The problem is that they don't.  My parents do want to take precautions. 

I also see a lot of comments about "if you don't see one side of the family, don't see the other".  I get it, but if I were to be a "b" word for a minute, and express my frustration I would say this.  My parents were willing to do their part, his parents don't care.  I feel like I shouldn't have to leave my parents alone on Christmas after the work that they put in.  My dad even skipped chemo last week to continue his quarantine.  Now because of my in-laws actions and lack of consideration, I can't see my parents?  That's my frustration.  I know that my in-laws would not come over here with masks, nothing.  My in-laws live close by and my husband has seen them a lot this year, except for when numbers have spiked recently.  I have not seen my Dad since the spring.  Does anyone understand what I am saying about the in-laws actions (or lack thereof) affecting my parents outcome??  It's like, not only am I giving the in-laws the power over my health, I'm also giving them the power over my family (parents) too??  That seems like a lot of power, which unfortunately is typical for them and it tends to always negatively affect my family with drama, etc.

 

1 hour ago, SherrySher said:

Spot on!

It's not really to appease his family per se. It's making sure your husband feels that his family is important too, that he is being given the same treatment.

Because at the end of the day, your husband is the one you will live with, grow old with, etc.

All of these things will affect your relationship with him.

And whether he admits it, or not...it will hurt him if his family is talked about badly and treated less then (yes, even if they are pains in the behind!).

That's still his family and it still matters to him.

It's interesting to see this in light of a good therapist.  It's not wrong to call out bad behavior of a spouse's parents. It's harmful in the longrun, to shove it and try to deal with it.  

And making decisions as a couple of what to do, is not the same as treating his side like crap... there's a huge gap allowing for them to make mutual decisions together.

But calling his family's behavior what it is (controlling, toxic, abusive, passive aggressive etc.) is healthy, at least according to my husband's therapist (!), it helps your spouse to, "see," clearly so that they don't end up doing more for the loud one's over time.

She can be kind, but also do things they both decide will be fair.  Key is though that they have to decide together what they'll accept or reject.

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

 

It's interesting to see this in light of a good therapist.  It's not wrong to call out bad behavior of a spouse's parents. It's harmful in the longrun, to shove it and try to deal with it.  

And making decisions as a couple of what to do, is not the same as treating his side like crap... there's a huge gap allowing for them to make mutual decisions together.

But calling his family's behavior what it is (controlling, toxic, abusive, passive aggressive etc.) is healthy, at least according to my husband's therapist (!), it helps your spouse to, "see," clearly so that they don't end up doing more for the loud one's over time.

She can be kind, but also do things they both decide will be fair.  Key is though that they have to decide together what they'll accept or reject.

My husband will NEVER NEVER NEVER accept his family is toxic ,EVER. He would rather call ME that if I fight about his family. It is also good to remember that some spouses will never never never admit their family’s  wrongdoing ,ever. So while some spouses will there are some that won’t so unless you’re willing to fight with your spouse till the end of time.... I just wait for the day the old coots will die. 

Edited by Seraphim
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

My husband will NEVER NEVER NEVER accept his family is toxic EVER. He would rather call ME that if I fight about his family. It is also good to remember that some spouses will never never never admit their family’s  wrongdoing ever. So while some spouses me there are some that won’t so unless you’re willing to fight with your spouse till the end of time.... I just wait for the day the old coots will die. 

You both must have a strong bond though.  Most wives would feel resentment their husband's chose their family over their mental health and their being able to be a team and face the family as a united front.

Even though my husband is doing better with boundaries now, I still have resentment I have to choose to let go of for the years where he allowed them and other family members to attack us (even once after giving birth!) to the point where I got massive mental health problems still affecting me due to him not stopping them or giving in to guilt trips. 

I see the husband's side represented in this, but curiously I don't see anyone understanding her side in having to live decades with a man who may make her resent him over time.  That's a real thing, I've experienced it and choose to let it go and not affect us (lots and lots of forgiveness).  But it is a real risk.  He has to live with her, too, and with the consequences of giving in to his mom's guilt trips longterm.

(Edited to add... think of it this way... them causing her extra stress could cause a miscarriage... then she'll have to forgive them and him for that.  Or it could cause her postpartum depression if they pitch fits after the baby is born, another thing she'll have to not resent later on.  He WILL have to live with a wife having issues, constantly, if he can't ever stand up to his mom's guilt tripping him to get her way.)

Edited by maritalbliss86
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

You both must have a strong bond though.  Most wives would feel resentment their husband's chose their family over their mental health and their being able to be a team and face the family as a united front.

Even though my husband is doing better with boundaries now, I still have resentment I have to choose to let go of for the years where he allowed them and other family members to attack us (even once after giving birth!) to the point where I got massive mental health problems still affecting me due to him not stopping them or giving in to guilt trips. 

I see the husband's side represented in this, but curiously I don't see anyone understanding her side in having to live decades with a man who may make her resent him over time.  That's a real thing, I've experienced it and choose to let it go and not affect us (lots and lots of forgiveness).  But it is a real risk.  He has to live with her, too, and with the consequences of giving in to his mom's guilt trips longterm.

(Edited to add... think of it this way... them causing her extra stress could cause a miscarriage... then she'll have to forgive them and him for that.  Or it could cause her postpartum depression if they pitch fits after the baby is born, another thing she'll have to not resent later on.  He WILL have to live with a wife having issues, constantly, if he can't ever stand up to his mom's guilt tripping him to get her way.)

Believe me I do understand her point. There are days I could have cheerfully stabbed my husband for his blind loyalty to insanity and stupidity but how long am I supposed to bang my head when it won’t change? Let.It. Go. 
 

I don’t think she will miscarry but , people have to understand you can only change your response you are never going to change other people, period. 

Edited by Seraphim
Link to post
Share on other sites

My mother didn't want me to spend time with my in-laws because she was jealous.  She feared I would come to love them more than her.  I did not stop seeing them to appease her.  She was an adult; she could either get over it or she could be upset over it.  Her choice.  She complained a lot at first but then came to accept it.  She even eventually accompanied us to gatherings at the in-laws!  

I would see the parents since they have taken steps to follow safety protocols, but I wouldn't see them indoors (too risky) and I would insist on masks at all times or I wouldn't visit.  I would tell the in-laws they can visit outdoors, with masks on at all times.  If they don't want to comply, no visit.

After 7 years of trying to get pregnant I don't feel the OP should compromise on safety.  If her husband chooses to engage in unsafe behaviors he can stay elsewhere for 14 days afterward and then return after a negative test.  Again, his choice.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, maritalbliss86 said:

and other family members to attack us (even once after giving birth!) to the point where I got massive mental health problems still affecting me due to him not stopping them or giving in to guilt trips. 

I read through this thread with so much incredulity. There is no way I could countenance such behaviour. And I don't do "guilt". Never have.

My parents passed away some years back, and my husband's parents even before that, his mother relatively young., so I never met her.   That said, I cannot even imagine my parents going on in such a fashion.  There were occasions when we couldn't be back for Christmas (for example) being at the other side of the world, but my parents didn't throw a wobbly. It simply would not have been in their nature.  Psychologically mature stable people do not behave toxically.

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Batya33 said:

No -to me it would not be them giving power over your parents - it would be your decision that it's just too risky even with precautions especially if your dad would have to skip chemo.  I wouldn't put it that way -make a general decision to stay safe.  Especially since you worked so hard to get pregnant -of course of course I'm not saying one pregnancy is more important than another (I was just darn lucky to conceive naturally at almost 42 but of course we knew IVF might be needed, I get it on that level!) - I'm saying you came this far just this once see them virtually.

Yes, exactly this! 

It's not about giving the in-laws power, it's about making a choice based on safety. 

Hopefully you and your husband are able to work this out and there aren't I laws showing up today ❤️

I think when you talk to your husband about it, it's better to leave your resentment of his parents out of the discussion. Just focus on how it's not safe, and your concerns about you and the baby (which are totally valid). 

Good luck

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

 

 

Your husband can go over to their place for dinner, and you can stay home. You get what you want, and they get what they want. It's just flippin dinner, and there will be next year and it will be nice with a little one to enjoy it.

Edited by smackie9
something went wrong, and quoted from someone else.
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, smackie9 said:

Your husband can go over to their place for dinner, and you can stay home. You get what you want, and they get what they want. It's just flippin dinner, and there will be next year and it will be nice with a little one to enjoy it.

The only scary thing is that then he'd expose her if he came back.

This COVID thing really sucks.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, maritalbliss86 said:

The only scary thing is that then he'd expose her if he came back.

This COVID thing really sucks.

he's already been going over visiting them during this whole thing, so that's been his social bubble. If his parents stay home overall, should be very low risk.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, maritalbliss86 said:

The only scary thing is that then he'd expose her if he came back.

This COVID thing really sucks.

Yes exactly -I've had to ask my husband to avoid certain situations because of that risk - I mean, he did but in a couple of cases it wasn't that clear cut.

Link to post
Share on other sites

hey I'm a big advocate for staying home/masking up. Been doing it ever since this whole thing started. I'm staying home and no way am I visiting anyone. No shopping, nothing.

I'm just doing my best to give some suggestions for the OP in how she can approach her family to resolve this. A little compromise might help her situation. This thread is about helping the OP, not a political stance of the right or wrong of this Covid experience. Yes we know it's dangerous play to visit people etc. That been pounded into the sand enough. I'm just hoping the OP's husband will grow a backbone and stand by his wife, and protect her and his child. That is the result we would like to see, but we can't make it happen for her unfortunately. The battle goes on.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's what happened with my inlaws.  Before Christmas we told her that the outdoor gathering at our house was the only gathering option or we could just drop off our gifts to her.  No inside stuff.  MIL proceed to ask many time in the days after "so are we allowed inside when we come over".  My husband said "no" and she said she "had no words".  I eventually had to text her and tell her my reasoning.  She said "I'll make it easy on you, I will just drop of the gifts and leave.  Maybe we can have a better christmas next year".  I offered a party in our outdoor garage/man cave area or a zoom gathering.  She said she was not interested and repeated that hopeful next Christmas would be better for her.  The next day when she was supposed to come drop off the gifts she never showed up (she didn't give us a time or anything so my husband was out in the woods getting firewood when she called to say she was on her way).  When she found out it was only me at the house, she turned around and went home, because she didn't want to have to see me alone.  She told my husband this but text me with a different story about her dog being sick.  She then came down the next day, plopped a gift bag down in front of us in the garage and said "there you go".  He husband waited in the car.  I tired to make small talk but she wasen't interested.  I said "thank you" for the gifts and she sighed and said "yeah well.....".   I messaged her and thanked her for the gift once we opened it, and she didn't respond.  That was that.

On another note, she also cause drama on Christmas in a different way.  My husband and I did our Facebook pregnancy announcement on Christmas Day.  Literally one minute after I posted it, my MIL texted me and said she wanted to steal my announcement picture and post the news herself on her facebook wall right now.  My husband called her immediately and said "no, we just posted it 1 minute ago.  can you give it a day?"  She was not happy.  I think she wanted people to scroll and see her post before they saw ours.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, liz22 said:

she sighed and said "yeah well.....".   I messaged her and thanked her for the gift once we opened it, and she didn't respond.  That was that.

I know it may be difficult right now to see or even understand, but try to see that she is coming from a place of being hurt and not that she is being awful.

Don't get me wrong, I can see that she can be a difficult woman. But I also see a woman who is no doubt quite insecure and has had her feelings hurt quite a lot.

No, it still doesn't make it right, however if you can view it with kindness, it might help you to not feel so bitter too.

As for the baby announcement, she sounds excited at least over her grandchild. Yes, maybe too excited and was wanting to somewhat steal your thunder, BUT, at least she is really happy and proud of her grandbaby that's not here yet.

Much better than a grandmother who couldn't care less, right?

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...