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Thread: Feeling sorry for DD during the holidays

  1. #41
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    Frugal, trying to have a honest conversation with someone like this is like banging your head against the wall. My brother was married to one. Nothing works so you either get abused or terminate the relationship after lots of trying and talks. People that have never experienced this are lucky.

  2. #42
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardnr View Post
    It makes me super sad that you would write it off rather than have a discussion with her about communicating for a healthy relationship rather than a life of taking the backseat.
    In general, we canít expect to have meaningful conversations about healthy relationships when one party has no interest in a healthy relationship.

    Effective communication assumes sincere intentions. Liars arenít sincere.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiouzQ. View Post
    Since neither K or I have family anywhere nearby by, for the second year in a row we are going to go up to Ojo Caliente Hot Springs and soak all Christmas Day and eat a turkey and trimming dinner in the restaurant.
    Oh, do I love Ojo Caliente! Have visited there three times beginning about 45 years ago. It has changed pretty dramatically, but the baths are still sublime! Hope you had a wonderful time.

  4. #44
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    In general, we can’t expect to have meaningful conversations about healthy relationships when one party has no interest in a healthy relationship.

    Effective communication assumes sincere intentions. Liars aren’t sincere.
    ”liars aren’t sincere”. Never a truer statement.

    We established early on our kids were staying staying home for Christmas. They got over it.
    Now that my kids are married we often spend quiet times at home. The one child with kids works around DIL family because there are lots of cousins near their age who all travel home. We have no problem with that. Who wants to spend Christmas with two old (and sometimes crabby) people instead of a bunch of kids from 3-11 who are having a blast?

    This year we spent actual Christmas with a part of the family who are the biggest drinkers. We hadn’t spent a holiday with them for several years. They were constantly trying to get us to have Baileys, wine, beer and various mixed drinks. They all looked and acted like bloated alcoholics and started in the morning drinking. It held no appeal to me. I could care less what they wanted me to do. I took some lovely long walks, helped in the kitchen but only ate and drank what I wanted and was even passive-aggressively mocked because I eat nothing with sugar and no processed carbs. Too bad. It was their problem not mine. If they all want to be on BP/cholesterol/diabetes medication in part due to their habits it is their choice.

    Our society makes ales way too much hoopla about holidays. Like the Norman Rockwell painting of the patriarch bringing in a perfectly cooked turkey and with everyone perfect weight, perfectly dressed and nobody drunk or misbehaving. Rarely happens.

  5. #45
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    As it turned out, every family member who gathered at DD's house for the holiday came down with a stomach bug. Good thing we stayed home.

  6. #46
    Senior Member kib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetana3 View Post
    Way too many people without boundaries. I always wonder what is held over their heads so they fulfill someone else's demands?

    Maybe we lived too far from all our relatives. We simply told them no traveling over the holidays since it was way too stressful. We visited at other times of the year when driving was not so dangerous.

    Change the "traditions". Serve a simple brunch or serve yourself something like a chili bar etc. If you have a tree, let the kids decorate and live with what they do. Stop the madness of trying to be magazine perfect. Choose alternate years to visit houses. So many options out there to simplify.

    But the basic thing always seems to come down to boundaries. Once you are an adult, you truly are allowed to make your own choices.
    My armchair psychology ... for some of us, the parental technique used for control was, "do this or I don't love you." It might even have been true, because some people don't seem capable of loving outside of performance-based approval, or their need for supporting their personal world view is so great that they are, frankly, a bit sociopathic in terms of anyone else's needs or reality.

    As an adult you can and should certainly strive to develop your own boundaries, but if the person you express these boundaries toward simply doesn't evolve, then they truly believe you don't love them when you go your own way, no matter how careful you might be to reassure them that you do. "Obviously" you don't, because you no longer care about the performance they rely on enough to put them first.

    So, those of us with parents like this aren't "allowed" to make our own choices, whether we're five or sixty five. I mean of course we do anyway, or at least we try, but it is with the knowledge that we are deeply disappointing the people we want to hold dear, and the fact that their hatred, despair, rage or disgust is irrational and unfair isn't that much consolation.

    ETA: for people in that position, this can evolve into feeling that way about Everyone. Basically, "no one cares about me unless I do what they want" is plastered over every relationship, because that's what we understand love to be. Which makes for a lot of frustration and resentment about "demands" that may be no more than offhand comments. - and yes, therapy helps.

  7. #47
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    This is an interesting and many-faceted discussion.


    I would chime in to agree with Gardnr that within families holiday plans are generally negotiable. Now, some tactics for negotiation may fail, and new tactics may be called for. Also, one's opening position in negotiation may elicit a response such as: "Oh, I am hurt!", or "Who do you think you are?", or some other obstinate protest. Still and all, people can negotiate changes.

  8. #48
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkytoe View Post
    As it turned out, every family member who gathered at DD's house for the holiday came down with a stomach bug. Good thing we stayed home.
    A year ago I went to my father in lawís funeral and stayed some hours each day in the familyís overheated farmhouse in close proximity to 25 people including snotty nosed toddlers.

    Both DH and I got sick from that event. We have been sick off and on the rest of the year. I think at some point I will go to the doctor. The viruses that keep coming up exacerbate allergies, and my respiratory situation is not improving.

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