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help! family / inlaw issues / family vacation pressures

I never post on forums but I really feel the need to get some other perspectives on my current situation. Here it goes...
My husband and I have been married for 16 years. He is the youngest of 3 boys. We are all married and we are the only couple currently without children.
His mother and father have a timeshare (which is a total rip-off by-the-way!) and for a while they have kept wanting to plan a large family vacation. I personally think this is a trip that his father just wants to do. They say this is supposed to be a family opportunity to all get together but... well you will see my point...
My husband and I are not in a financial position to do take a vacation, while apparently the other two couples are. We have made it clear that we unfortunately can't plan a trip and it might be a couple of years before we can. The family wants to book the trip for next summer right now so the subject has come to the forefront. My husband and I were included in a series of emails that revolved around the planning of this trip and we were therefore able to see some of the decisions and discussions. The question was asked whether the family should wait a few years, or find a place that maybe we could afford to visit so that my husband and I could possible go. And the responses were that they didn't care either way. That response was indifferent and was very hurtful to say the least. They continued their planning with no regard for maybe being a little sensitive to the fact that we aren't able to go. I requested to be taken off the email chain.
My husband and I have mixed feelings about all of this.
• Wasn't this supposed to be a family trip and if we aren't able to go, doesn't it come across that it does not seem to matter if we are there or not?
• Wouldn't his parents want a family trip with everyone and not have "family" pictures that are missing folks?
• We don't want others to hold up their plans or opportunities, but it seems like a little consideration for different options would have been nice. No?
• We wonder if one of his brothers families couldn't go then the family would have immediately reconsidered the plans because the fact is, they have kids / grandchildren and we don't. Thoughts?
• How they have handled this has sent a message... "It doesn't matter if you are there or not. We are moving forward without you."
Does anyone have any helpful insights or similar experiences?

Re: help! family / inlaw issues / family vacation pressures

  • Hmm, well I can see why you are upset, but on the other hand these kind of things are difficult to plan and sometimes you really do have to bite the bullet and go even if that means some might not be able to.

    It is always easy to  say " Oh well will have more money in the future" but what if you don't ?  What if you have a major injury or illness or home repairs or ? Worst case scenario, what if your FIL doesn't make it for a few years.

    If I were you I would do some research on a trip that would be cheaper / closer with estimated costs.  Put the idea out there, but if the majority of the family doesn't want to do it, then they don't want to do it.  Yes, it would be nice if the whole family can do it, but if that isn't how they want to spend their vacation time / money...well you might just be out of luck on this one.  Also, are you sure you couldn't go with them ?  Could you drive instead of fly ?  Could you get a cheap hotel room on hotwire or priceline instead of chipping in for the timeshare ?  Could you eat the majority of your meals at the time share or your room ?  What if instead of going for a week you only go for a few days ?
    short+sassyKyraNerys
  • IF you cannot afford to go that should have been okay with them.

    Either that or they plan something that the 2 of you and the rest of the family can partake in.


  • These trips with all of the family members going on vacation together are very nice and don't happen to often.  I have been to one with my husband's family and now we are planning one with my family.  As a parent it's priceless to enjoy a vacation with all of your children and their families.

    It's a year away, are you sure that you and your husband couldn't try to pay the trip in installments up until you leave for the trip?

  • It was less than considerate to include you in these e-mails planning this trip. Were you clear about not being able to afford this from the beginning, or did you "hum" along in the early stages of this conversation, knowing/hoping it wouldn't come together? (That's something I am guilty of from time to time).

    Wonder why they can't just go without you guys on this trip, then take another less expensive trip later that you and your husband can afford to go on? It's what I would do if I were your husband's parents. They get two trips and everybody wins.
  • It's frustrating that they're pushing ahead with the planning, but it sounds like FIL is just really set on enjoying his timeshare. My MIL is the same about hers, which kind of makes sense with how expensive they are. If she had her druthers all of our vacations ever would be to that timeshare.

    I agree with the suggestion to offer alternatives that you could participate in and share them with the group. Is airfare the prohibitive part here? The timeshare itself should be paid for.
  • I assume this time share is far enough way you'll have a long drive or need to get on a plane? If not, could you compromise and go for a shorter time? Perhaps even just one night?
  • I was in a similar situation. My father has a big birthday coming up next year. One sister wanted to do a family cruise, I shot that down due to cost. My other sister suggested a beach front rental. My husband and I sat down & figured out the cost, and we couldn't swing it. Since they had their hearts set on something beach/warm, there were no options that fit our budget that fit the scene they wanted to do. So I told them that we wouldn't be able to afford to go but if they all wanted to go, to feel free to go ahead with the trip. It would suck but I know my parents would be more upset with us putting ourselves into debt doing the trip then from not being there.

    Basically what it comes down to, you either need to be ok with them going or at least offer some other options. Just because you can't afford to go, doesn't mean the rest of the family shouldn't be able to spend time together.  

    catmiss9Disneygeek77KyraNerysshort+sassy
  • smfsmith said:
    I personally think this is a trip that his father just wants to do. They say this is supposed to be a family opportunity to all get together but... well you will see my point... 

    I think you're looking at this the wrong way.

    You're seeing this as more of a "Let's have a family get together, where can we all go?".  When in reality it is more of "We're going to the timeshare and would love for the entire family to join us."

    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    short+sassy
  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    A few thoughts mulling around in my head.  To a few things you said:

    And the responses were that they didn't care either way.

    This is where you have to be careful about reading tone that isn't there. when they say they "don't care" - that also may mean they don't care if they have to wait for this trip.  EVERYONE is in a rough spot on this - you all can't go but they may want to go.... how do they balance that? and heck, "I don't care either way" might also be "Eh, we really don't care about this trip but we don't want to hurt FIL so we'll say we don't care and maybe they'll just decide to wait a few more years".  You're taking it very personally when it may not be intended that way at all. 

    They continued their planning with no regard for maybe being a little sensitive to the fact that we aren't able to go.

    • Wasn't this supposed to be a family trip and if we aren't able to go, doesn't it come across that it does not seem to matter if we are there or not?
    • Wouldn't his parents want a family trip with everyone and not have "family" pictures that are missing folks?

    What does all of ^^^ really mean?  You say you don't want to hold them up but a LOT of these seem to say "if we can't go, how could you possibly go without us?"

    If you can't go, you have to own it.  And by that I mean 1-  STATE it firmly, let them know "we can't go.".  And 2 - accept that they may go without you.  You have to be o.k. with this.   Which somewhat leads to:

    • We don't want others to hold up their plans or opportunities, but it seems like a little consideration for different options would have been nice. No?

    Have you given them other options?  Have you said "We can't do ___ but if you all would consider ___, we could do that."?  Or are you just sitting around waiting for them to offer this?

    • We wonder if one of his brothers families couldn't go then the family would have immediately reconsidered the plans because the fact is, they have kids / grandchildren and we don't. Thoughts?

    My thoughts - don't borrow trouble.  You're REALLY stretching here and REALLY looking for something to be mad at that you have absolutely no basis for.

    • How they have handled this has sent a message... "It doesn't matter if you are there or not. We are moving forward without you."

    Again, what is it that you really want?  Is this what they are saying?  Maybe.  Or maybe they don't know how else to handle it.  REALLY put some thought into this- what exactly could they say or do that would make it o.k. that they plan this trip w/o you?  Because right now, it really seems like you've backed them into a corner.  You can't go and so therefore you feel that they should all feel sorry for you and they should all give up taking a vacation too. 

    What if they really had planned a trip for next summer and not included you AT ALL?  Even as a final "Are you sure you can't go?".   Would you have been o.k. with that?  If not, if not being included would have upset you too- then you really do need to realize that you are putting them in a "no win" situation and that you all actually are not o.k. w/ the fact that you can't afford to go.
    Disneygeek77
  • Thank you @VOR for putting into words what I was thinking.  The ILs are in between a rock and a hard place here.  They want to enjoy the timeshare and can afford to go so they invited you guys to tag along.  Would you rather they didn't invite you at all ?
  • I agree with VOR and Disneygeek, you're making it hard on everyone else. One of my BIL's does this, he'll throw out ideas (day trips, road trips less than 8 hours away) but he never has the money and often bails when people do agree to go. It's hard to plan around everyone and the rest of the family shouldn't miss out on a great opportunity because you don't have funds. As every post has said here you have a lot of options, including budgeting to go next year and just keeping expenses down (can you bring snacks to help reduce food costs?)
    KyraNerysshort+sassy
  • dutchgirl76, I wish I could love your post 10 times rather than just the once.  I get tired of having to pretend we don't have any money just because it will make my brother and his family feel bad.


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