Before she was my mother-in-law, she was cold and distant. She prefers time alone with her two sons - all of the time. If my husband brings me along, it's clearly an imposition. In the five years we have been together she has yet to actually get to know me...my conversations with her are generally initiated by me asking questions about her cat, love life, etc. I honestly don't even know that she knows what I do professionally (a big part of my life), nor do I think she cares. She tells my husband that we have "nothing in common," yet she hasn't taken the time to determine whether or not that is true.
Fast forward to our wedding day. The woman wore earplugs during our ceremony. That is not a joke. She stared at a side wall and wore earplugs. Fast forward a few months (we have been married for 6m) - when my husband initiates a conversation with her to determine how she might be able to involve/welcome me as a new member of the family, she says: "I don't like [my name], being around her is like nails on a chalkboard to me. I wish you would stop forcing her on me. I want to spend time with my SON. Not her." There was a period during which the two of us did not speak to MIL - approximately one month - until her birthday at which time DH visited with her and she let him know all of the reasons she has convinced herself she doesn't like me.
My apologies for the novel - that's the background. My question: What to do about Thanksgiving?
We have 4 sets of parents (both sides divorced). Both sides of divorcees hate one another, so cannot be in the same room at the same time. Our thought: to avoid 4 of both Thanksgiving AND Christmas, why not do a joint holiday...the Dads a few days before, the Moms the day of. Everyone has signed on...except for her. Because we haven't asked her. My husband says he is 100% sure she will say NO, and if that is the case we're not sure what plan B should be. If she declines the invitation do we say, "We were hoping to see you but this is what WE will be doing. We really hope you enjoy the day." OR do we bend over for her (again) and tell my sweet mother that she'll only have part of Thanksgiving/Christmas day again as we need to spend half of it (with me clearly uninvited and unwelcome in her home) with MIL.
What to do? Advice appreciated. Our long-term goal: a healthy, happy relationship with ALL of our parents. Emphasis on the healthy.