Dear Abby: My just-married daughter has informed me that we will no longer celebrate Christmas together because her husband always spends it with his mother and wants to continue doing it that way.
When she saw my expression, she also told me not to look so hurt by it, because if her daughter (from a previous marriage) sees me upset, then SHE might get upset that she’s not invited to go to California when my daughter, son-in-law and their daughter do. My granddaughter isn’t invited because she isn’t my son-in-law’s daughter.
When I told my daughter that isn’t right and she’s putting her daughter in a bad spot and that the girl will grow up with a lot of resentment, she told me not to worry about it and it isn’t going to happen.
Abby, what can I do? I don’t want to see my granddaughter hurt. – Grandma Becky
Dear Grandma Becky: I agree that you shouldn’t let your grandchild see how upset you are. Because geography prevents you and your son-in-law’s parents from celebrating the holiday together, expect to make plans without your daughter in the future. That she would allow one of her children to be excluded because the girl isn’t her husband’s child is absolutely disgraceful. Her in-laws must be terribly insensitive to encourage it.
Assuming your granddaughter lives close by, why don’t you have her stay with you while her mother is away? The greatest gift is the gift of self, and that way, neither of you will be alone.
Dear Abby: My mom died of cancer last year at the young age of 63. (I am 30.) Not one member of my husband’s mother’s family (other than my MIL and FIL, whom we live with) acknowledged her death in any way. There were no phone calls, no sympathy cards, no “I’m sorry for your loss,” NOTHING. My family and I were extremely hurt by their behavior. We feel that some sort of apology or explanation is in order.
Some members of my mother-in-law’s family are now nearing death themselves, and I know I will be expected to go along with my husband, in-laws and their extended family to the various services “out of respect.” The problem is, my respect for them no longer exists. Any advice? – Disrespected
Dear Disrespected: Yes. If you prefer not to attend, stay home. And if you are asked why you didn’t show up, tell them.