Family Matters
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What to do


Re: What to do

  • I don't get it.  Really I don't.  My brother is getting married this summer in Disney.  Not only are my in laws coming (because they are basically part of the family), but my brother in law is my brother's best man.  My mom is trying to pay for my MIL and SIL/BIL's accommodations because BIL being the best man obligates him to be there (not really, but I hope you know what I mean).   They aren't letting her.  lol.

    My family is very much in the mind frame of "the more the merrier".   I feel bad for your FIL. 

    Good luck. 

  • Unless there's some secret about your FIL you're not sharing, your family sucks. Your husband is a nicer man that your dad will ever be. And if you're "hurt", I'd say your FIL raised a nicer son than your father did a daughter.

    In this situation, I would vacation with the person most willing to go along to get along. I'd be skipping your parent's event.


  • image GenevaV:

    Has anyone sat down and thought how much fun it would be for your son to have not one but TWO grandpas with him on a trip to Disney?

    Also, stand in your DH's shoes. How would you feel if his family shot down a member of your family in this same situation. Just because your family never traveled this way before doesn't make it wrong.

    This...and then you have an extra grandparent who would love to spend one-one time with your child which gives YOU and your DH time to yourselves to enjoy a little night life or whatever. Why not have a win-win?

    Or is it about DH saying no to his father and yes to you?

    My DH has a cousin who always turns down his parents' requests in favor of his wife's. Very, very sad.

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  • image hindsight's_a_biotch:
    image sapphireblue:

    I feel like the other posters are being really harsh about this. Most in-laws don't really know each other well, they often don't have much in common except that their kids are married.

    WHY should the OP's family have to invite this guy on their family trip? I think it would be very bizarre in most families for the in-laws to all travel together.

    I will say, however, that a cruise is the perfect type of vacation to take when mixing groups of people. You can all split off and do different things all day long, and meet up for a nice dinner, or whatever. So if you were ever to vacation with both sides of the family a cruise is a good way to do it.

    Do your family and your FIL have a lot in common? Do they know him well? Is he socially awkward or likely to be clingy? I feel like I need more information to get the full picture... 

    Dude, no one is saying they should have invited the FIL. I'm not even sure most of us are saying the FIL should go. What we are saying is that the OP has no right to be hurt by the FIL asking and perhaps ought to give it some consideration instead of dismissing it out of hand as a personal insult.

    This. If her FIL says its his "dream" to vacation with her family, then they obviously have more than a passing acquaintance.

    I can't say that if I was her FIL I would have invited myself. But I can say that she doesn't really have the right to be "hurt" by the mere fact that her FIL asked to go with. She seems to be thinking only about HER family and how SHE feels- and her FIL caring about her and her family so much that he wants to spend vacation time with them isn't an insult.

    I also agree with Kuus. I have to wonder if this might not be a bit of "we do it with your family so why can't we do it with mine" on her DH's part.

    FI and I live in Australia, where he is from- and our first child is due on July 4th. I haven't seen my parents in nearly a year and a half, and they're planning on coming down to stay with us for two weeks right after the baby's due- mostly to help. As much as I love my future SILs, I'd much rather get help from my mother with my newborn. We're housesitting for my ILs while they're abroad, and they won't be back until after our son is born. When I told my ILs about my parents coming to visit, the only regret they expressed was that they'd be overseas when my parents came to visit. We're going to America for Christmas- and nobody's said a word, because they know that my parents won't exactly be able to be a day-to-day part of our son's life.

    I think the point most of us are trying to make is that your family isn't just YOUR family anymore when you get married or when you have a kid. Your FIL is your son's grandfather. More than that, he's your husband's dad. Thus, he's not exactly a stranger, and he deserves some consideration from both you and your family.

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  • i'm gonna disagree with everyone else. I think it's completely fine for your family to not want an extra person on their trip who they presumably aren't that close to.

    Having an extra who is travelling alone means its' very difficult not to include that person in everything. Every meal, activity and outing. It also adds an extra dynamic around reaching agreements about how time will be spent.

    Your parents are adults, making plans for a trip. They are well within their rights to decide who they would like to spend their vacation time with. It's not about whether your FIL is a nice man, but about having a "new" dynamic on an expensive vacation.

    However, I do think you and DH are obliged to have vacation time with FIL at some other time.


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  • In all honesty, if this was my and my DHs families I do not let them mesh. They live halfway across the country from each other. My FIL has an lawsuit pending against a neighbor with a barking dog that has been going on four years. There is surveillance of the neighbordog barking all night to use in his next court date. My parents have three yappy mini dachschunds that are not housebroken and they bring them everywhere. My goal in life is for neither set of parents to find out these things about the other set or for FIL to lay eyes on these dogs. He will not be polite he will have some harsh words and it will upset my parents and just ugh. BUT if sane parents were involved I would definitely combine in one vacation.
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  • The easy way to fix this would be to vacation with his dad THIS year, and then your family NEXT year. 

    Of course, your family could stop being so self-involved for one vacation to see if including him would work. If it doesn't, then there's no need to repeat it.

  • I don't see why your FIL can't just go on the trip.  Who is going to stop him from going on the cruise?

    I can see both sides of this.  On one hand, it's a family tradition and I personally would feel awkward having my ILs on my family's trip (then again, DH has said we will never travel with his parents since it drives us up the wall to do so, but that's another story).  I do not subscribe to the "we're all one family now that we are married" philosophy.  My family and my husband's family have us in common, but they are not family or obligated to behave like family.

    On the other hand, I think it all depends on the personalities involved.  My family and my ILs vacation VERY differently (DH and I are more like my family in this respect).  It would cause problems because we would feel torn between the two groups and we would be inclined to join the group with whom we originally made our plans.

    On another hand (lots of hands here), you didn't mention who was paying for all of this.  If FIL can pay his own way for the cruise, then he should go and you should be willing to include him in a few family functions.  But, he should not be expecting to be included in ALL family functions.

    On the final hand, you are coming across as a bit mean.  Are you willing to go on another vacation next year with your FIL?  A vacation of the same caliber as the one you are talking about?  If you can only afford one vacation every other year and you've devoted all of them to your family, then your FIL is clearly not of value or importance to you as a FIL or a grandfather and, for that, your DH is absolutely right to be upset.  If you can afford another vacation (and are willing to spend the money), then start planning for next year.

  • I'm another one who can see it from your family's point of view.  They view this as their vacation.  Their family time, free from others who they don't know, free to share private jokes and family stories without worrying about others.  They are afraid that having your FIL along may make things uncomfortable.  That can happen.  Or not.  But they don't want an expensive trip to be the time that they discover it wasn't a good idea.  Why not have a few get-togethers with all of the family present, including FIL?  If everyone meshes, you know you can plan group trips together in the future.

    I see things from your FIL's perspective as well.  He's alone, he wants to spend time with family, and he'd love a big family vacation like he hasn't had in a long time.  But, maybe this isn't the best trip to try it out.

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  • I, too, felt compelled to register just so I could respond to this... I can't believe this. If I were in your husband's shoes, I would probably flat-out refuse to go on the trip with you and "your" family at all.  No wonder your FIL feels like an outcast... because he is. It's so sad. I can't imagine that you won't suffer the ramifications of this for a long time.
  • i totally understand all the reasons why you'd want to do things the way you've always done them, or why you'd want to spend good, quality time with just "your" family...

    ...but boy, this made me so, so sad for your FIL.

  • image hindsight's_a_biotch:

    You're hurt? Really?

    I'm sorry but you and "your" family seem incredibly self centered and self absorbed. Why are we playing either or here? It's one man, a man who is equally your children's grandparent as your mother and father.

    Do I think it should be a given that your H's father goes along? Not necessarily but it's also not some kind of personal affront that he asked to go along.


    And, life is short. You sure do seem to need a good dose of what really matters in life. 

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