Unblended Families and Holidays

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2009
Unblended Families and Holidays
13
Wed, 12-19-2012 - 3:43am

Hello,

This is the third Christmas since my SO and I got serious, and it's always a hassle because of his (grown) kids.  My daughter (27) accepts his presence in my life and understands that I want him around for holidays.  She is not too crazy about his daughters (ages 27 and 23) but she has never tried to get me to have a celebration that excludes him and them. His daughters, however, who seem to pay very little attention to him most of the year, get absolutely possessive during the holidays.

The reason I am annoyed right now is that the youngest daughter suggested to her father that they should have a "small" Christmas Day meal at her house.  Since the house is very tiny, it wouldn't work out for "a lot of people" so I am not invited.  It will be just her, her sister and her dad.

While I can understand that they would like to have their father to themselves, I think it is rude to make a plan that excludes me on Christmas Day.

Initially they had tried to get their father to go with them to visit their married sister for Christmas but he had to change his plans because of work.  Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to see him at all at Christmas.

My SO's solution to the invitation that excludes me is to spend Christmas Day (the 25th) with them, but to find time in the evening for us to be together.  I am kind of thinking I don't want to.  I feel he should have told his daughter that while they could exclude my kids, they had to invite me.  He and I are not married, but we spend most of our time together.  I feel that he is acting like he wants to be with me when they don't want him, but that when they have time for him, they get priority.

I don't do that to him. I've tried to include him in all my family plans, even though my kids are not any crazier about him than his daughters are about me.

I already gave up on Thanksgiving, which he goes off to spend with his daughters and his late wife's family.  And I certainly don't expect his daughters to want to spend all of Christmas with my family. I understand that they want to have their own celebration.  But I think they should have invited me, and I think he should have told them so.

I don't particularly want his daughters at my Christmas Eve celebration. Last year they were not exactly gracious guests. (They were not rude, but they didn't blend with the other guests even though one of my guests is a woman who has a positive gift for getting people to talk.  They froze my daughter out of any attempts at conversation and did not offer to help with the cleaning up, setting the table, etc.)   But they have been invited. It would have been wrong not to when I was inviting their father.  I wish they would refuse the invitation, but it looks as if they are coming. And, of course, my SO is going to drive them to and from my house and then go to midnight mass with them instead of all of us going to midnight mass together.  He will not spend the night with me that night.

Maybe I am being unreasonable and selfish, but I feel that if we have a serious relationship, we ought to put each other first for this sort of thing.

At times like this, I think that marriage (which we talk about periodically) is not a good idea.  And as for Christmas Day, I don't need him to come over at all.  I want to tell him that he can spend the whole day with his girls and I'll spend my day with my kids. (We have Xmas Day family traditions that I was willing to sacrifice/modify to be with him.)

Am I just being unreasonable?

Dabby

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2009
Sat, 01-19-2013 - 2:32pm
Hi Nightangel, My initial feeling was to un-invite the girls from Xmas Eve and then say I was too busy on Christmas Day to see him at all--but I decided not to cut off my nose to spite my face. One nice thing about being over-50 is that I have learned that acting in anger is not always wise. We compromised and I attended Christmas Mass with them after dinner at my house. Christmas Day I spent with my kids until evening and he spent it with his kids until evening. Then he joined me and my daughter for leftovers from the previous night and then my daughter (who was coming down with the flu and pretty cranky) went home on her own. (I got the flu right after and so we didn't have much fun for NYE--but that's another topic.) I do think that the way he acted about all this is a "warning" not only about possibly marrying someday but about living together, which he and I have been discussing, off and on, for about a year.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2009
Sat, 01-19-2013 - 2:38pm

Hello Starting Over,

Thanks for your support and insight. Yes, I felt that he should have handled it differently, but he tends to be pretty clueless about emotional things.  So I have to take that into account.

As I mentioned in other replies (sorry to be answering so late--Xmas, flu, back-to-work, no time) we compromised somewhat. I just have to be prepared for next year.  The interesting thing is that we may or may not be living together then. I wonder if it will change anything (probably not).

What you say about wondering if you shouldn't just live in separate houses and date sort of resonates. I kind of think that my preferred solution would be a duplex--he has one side and I have another.  We get together when we want to, but we don't try to get our kids and others see us as "a couple."  That's just crazy, but the whole thing of trying to form a "new family" when you already have grown kids is kind of complicated.

Dabby

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2009
Sat, 01-19-2013 - 2:44pm

Hi Laurena and All,

I finally got around to replying to your messages.  Sorry about the delay.  The holidays went okay (with some compromises) except I was sick with the flu, so we missed out on our NYE plans.

The next holiday is Easter, but since that wasn't big in either of our households, we'll work something out without too much stress.  Mother's Day my kids get priority and Father's Day his kids get priority.  The big question right now is whether we should/shouldn't move in together this summer. We've been talking about it, but I am not sure.  I'll probably post about it another day.

Thanks for all the feedback and generous support.

Dabby

Pages