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AEJ0818

A problem within my Inlaws family

6 posts in this topic

Hello all.  I am looking for some suggestions on how to handle a current situation.  Here is the background info:  This year, we (me DH DS & DD) are heading home (2 hrs North) to celebrate Christmas with each of our FOO.  We had previously worked out the dates that worked for each of our FOO and Friday night is for DH family.  Originally, it was to be FIL and his side (which is how they've always done Christmas - separately), and we would see MIL side on Sunday.  MIL decided to include her parents for this celebration, so we decided one less stop on Sunday was best since GGPs would already be present for this celebration. 

At Thanksgiving, MIL discussed with us some sort of family drama that took place within FILs family at AILs house between AIL and her dad (DH Grandpa).  This had to do with a member of their family, I believe DH GP's Sister, whom he did not care for, had passed and he said something about it to AIL, whom was close with her.  Either way, this has turned into an issue between my DH Aunt and DH Grandpa.  Because of this issue, DH GPs will no longer be coming to Christmas because the Aunt is going to be there.  I don't know all of the details because I hear the stories second hand from my DH who gets them from him mother, who has never cared for her own FIL, but is super close with her SIL.  My concern here is that I would like my DC to see their GGP, who knows how many years we have left to celebrate holidays with them. 

If this were happening within my own FOO, I would address it.  I would politely tell each party that while I understand they may currently be having some issues with xyz, we would still love our children to see all of our family, and request they work out a schedule with the host so that they could each be present for part of the celebration.  If that for some reason didn't work, I would make arrangements to see them at a different time.  My DH FOO doesn't handle things similarly, in truth, they are avoiders or rug sweepers.  Normally I don't want to be involved in his FOO issues, but this is directly affecting my children.  I asked DH to try to resolve this with MIL, which he did, however, her response was her FIL was being "bull headed" and wouldn't be coming.  I'm frustrated, and not sure what to do?  Any suggestions?

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AEJ...I am sorry that once again someone has thrown a wrench into someone else's much thought out and scheduled plans, but...you really don't have any control over other peoples drama and family upsets.  

I am assuming your husband has left this up to you to figure out?  It would be tempting for me to say, "this is where we will be between noon and 4 PM on Sunday.  If you want to meet us at the local coffee shop for a piece of pie and visit for 30 minutes after that, there is room in our schedule...IF not, maybe we can see you for Easter when we all get together again."

I'd sure be tempted to leave the ball in their court.

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I think the only thing you can do now is to make plans to see them separately. You can’t make them be together. This is DH’s family and he tried.

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No good would come from you or DH getting involved in your Aunt IL and GP’s disagreement so don’t go there and save yourself the drama.

I second visiting with GP on your own with your DH and DD.

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I also vote for stay out of it. Sure, it'd be easier for you guys to visit with everyone all at once instead of having to make a separate stop for GGPs, but you can't force these people together if they don't want to. It's less convenient to make another stop, but it'll be much less drama in the long run if you stay out of it. 

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I think it's so beautiful, AEJ, that you care about your kids getting to spend time w/ their GGPs! And that you're big-hearted enough to care even though these GGPs are not among your own FOO!

Clearly, this is a case of dashed expectations where you're concerned, and I'm so sorry about that. But I agree w/ PPs that you can't fix this and shouldn't try. Getting in the middle of this conflict, even just to ask for staggered visiting, isn't likely to change anything (DH already tried) and might make things worse (one or both "sides" could end up angry at you and/or DH). Also, I agree that the best idea is to carve out some time, however limited, to see the GGPs separately.

As a family history buff, if I were you/DH, I'd also make sure I had photos of them, both now and when they were younger, and maybe write down or otherwise record some of their more interesting anecdotes about their lives (no doubt, they have a few). so the kids can learn about them even after, sadly, the GGPs are gone. But that's just me, and I don't think you'll have time to do any of that during a brief visit (well, ok, maybe you can take some pix, especially of the GGPs w/ the kids).

 

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