No turkey for me, thanks

For problems with parents, whatever your age...

No turkey for me, thanks

Postby Moose » Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:11 pm

My parents have had a year of difficult news from me. In January I told them I was gay, which they didn't take well, and in May I told them I was moving in with my gf. I moved in at the end of June, and they haven't really acknowledged the situation since. They didn't ask how the move went, nor have they asked how it's going since. They never mention my gf, and if I do, they go all silly. I only go round to visit about once a month now because I find it so stressful and difficult, which is a shame, because the reason I told them in January was so that I could have a better relationship with them.

Anyway, Christmas is coming - unfortunately - and I don't want to have Christmas dinner with my family. I want to spend it with my gf and her family. They are the people I've spent the rest of the year with, and my gf is the one who has supported me through a difficult year. My relationship with her family has really improved this year as well. But how do I tell my family I'm not going round for dinner? I know my mother will be heartbroken, and I believe she won't see it coming. They still treat me very much as a little girl, and my brother as a little boy, and certainly don't see me as an adult with my own life. I don't want to hurt them any more than I already have done this year (even though they have hurt me big style with their handling of the situation), but I don't want to leave my gf on Christmas day to spend it with my own family just because I want to keep the peace.

I'm thinking about saying I will go round in the morning, but will be making my own arrangements for lunch, so I will be seeing them, just not staying long. I wondered if anyone else has been through a similar situation (I'm pretty sure there will be some!), and how you told the family you weren't going to be eating with them. Is there an easy way?! Help!
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Postby bellajennie » Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:08 pm

There is no easy way I'm afraid, it's kind of like the coming out conversation. Sometimes better to just get it over as quickly as possible. I had similar situation last year and just had to kind of cobble something together. Perhaps say that your gf's parents invited you over for christmas lunch a few weeks ago and have gone to a lot of expense. Explain that you thought it was a kind gesture and that you didn't think your parents would mind. Last year I had lunch with my gf's family and then drove over to spend time with my own in the evening. Or you could do it in the morning as you suggest, but sometimes it feels better to have someone come to you later, rather than leave you half way through. If you see what I mean?
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Postby brfc » Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:40 am

theres no pleasing familys at xmas so i think the best solution is too comprimise say you will see them at such and such a time on such and such a day and leave it at that. i personally get stressed out at xmas with arguments over were i should be with familys so im doing what i want to do this year arranging too see my parents b4 xmas and seeing the g/f,s parents over xmas. less stress and hassle. lol :D
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Re: No turkey for me, thanks

Postby retrochav » Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:13 am

A lovely poem i know has a line "....but most of all this old and trusty rule - if you love your family, dont visit them at Yule!!!!"

I would tell them within the next few days so they are prepared, that you plan to spend christmas with your partner. Advise them that as they dont feel comfortable with that, that you will respect their feelings and spend a few hours alone with them, but will then be having the day with her. This will give them time to think things through.

Its a fairly common problem, and one if they are honest with themselves that they must have faced when they first got together, most couples feel torn.

When i was with my exes, we would usually have dinner alone and visit both families at some point durring the holiday. With my long term ex both families would all get together - but thats exceptionally rare.

All parents must face a time when their children make a family unit of their own, and with time most will adapt. My advice is compromise - but only to a point.
whatever your problem someone else has been there and bears the scars.
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Postby misskrystal » Sun Dec 02, 2007 10:55 am

The best advice I can give is to not make a big deal out of it. Act like you didn't even realise you would be expected at their house, even ask her how to cook a turkey. Don't let her think for one second that you will change your plans. Let her know that you have made a decision and are sticking to it.

If you are living with someone, I think it's crazy for your parents to expect you to go to them at Christmas, although I'd expect them to want you to. I agree with the previous posters though, make arrangements to visit your parents for a short time, either Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, or Boxing Day.

If you let them know that you've made up your mind and will not change your plans, but will still spend some time with them, you should be OK.
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Postby Pwif » Sun Dec 02, 2007 12:40 pm

Both sets of our parents told us that they didn't 'expect' us to go to them on Christmas Day, because they didn't want us to feel that dreadful sense of obligation. For the first three years we were married, we had Christmas Day on our own (hubby and me), Boxing Day with my folks and New Year with hubby's folks. No-one got upset, because we saw both sets of parents over the holiday period. Circumstances changed slightly after that, because hubby's mum died suddenly, so we inherited his dad for Christmas.

My personal view is that we make far too much fuss of the actual day - Christmas Day. It's gone in a flash. Everyone eats and drinks far too much (well, I do anyway :oops: ), slobs around, and then the day's gone.

Why not just casually bring up the subject (sooner rather than later), and say that you'd love to spend time with your family over the Christmas period, but you'd like to spend the actual day with your gf. If you stress how much you'd really like to see your mum/dad/nan/bro at Christmas (maybe suggest Boxing Day as it's so close to Christmas Day), they can't be offended. It's not as if one of them would be on their own on the actual day (that's pretty much the only reason I can think why you should feel obliged to visit on that day).

You're a grown up now, and your parents have got to start letting go. Be really nice to them when you do see them, so they can see that you're not rejecting them, and make extra effort with their presents (they don't have to be expensive), and you should be ok.

Good luck.

(only 23 days until Christmas Day. :lol: )
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Postby Moose » Thu Dec 13, 2007 6:16 pm

Thanks to everyone for your replies. It was good to hear that it's a common problem, although I can't help but think they wouldn't mind so much if I had a nice boyfriend! I phoned my dad today to let him know, and I just dropped it into conversation, in the middle of what I was planning to get my mum for Christmas. Big silence. Oh. Can we talk about it nearer the time, said he. Not really, said I. Oh, said he.

He said I had to do what I wanted to do, so I am doing what I want to do! Bellajennie, what you said about it being better for people to come later than leave early really stuck in my mind, so I have said I will have lunch at mine, then pop over to them afterwards, then take my nan home early evening.

Somehow, I don't think this will be the end of it, and I've still got the wrath of my mum and brother to deal with, but at least I have told them now. Thanks again.
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Postby bellajennie » Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:10 pm

These situations are always no-win ones. Christmas Day is always a major hassle for all kinds of families everywhere! Just remember to try and enjoy the day, despite running around after everyone else!! x x x
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Postby brfc » Wed Dec 26, 2007 8:20 pm

hey moose did ur xmas go ok in the end?
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Postby Moose » Thu Dec 27, 2007 7:18 pm

No, not really, thanks for asking! My dad phoned me a few days before Christmas and asked me to "reconsider" (in other words, could I do what he wanted me to do). I gave into the guilt trip and went there for Christmas lunch, and was resentful the whole day.

Me, my gf, and her lot are going on holiday for Christmas next year - I'm not having this hassle again!
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