This is non-TTC-related, but it’s really upsetting me today. I feel like with the holidays coming up, family issues have been magnified, and being the peacekeeper that I am, I just don’t know what to do. My mom and her only sister have been estranged for over a year now; they wouldn’t even tolerate each other’s presence during the holidays last year. It’s shaping up to be the same situation again. My husband and I had thought it might be fun to host Thanksgiving this year at our house, but as we are still in contact with my aunt, that would have meant we would’ve had to take sides. Obviously my loyalties ultimately lie with my mom, but when I mentioned the thought of inviting her sister and letting it be her choice whether to come knowing my mom would be there, my mom wasn’t having any of it. She said she wouldn’t be forced to deal with the stress of trying to get along with her sister during the holidays. I wasn’t about to host Thanksgiving but exclude certain family members, so my mom said she would host Thanksgiving. Okay then.
The other family issue is that my mom’s partner and my husband don’t always get along. They are both men with strong personalities and strong wills, and they just clash a lot. My mom’s partner is basically my stepdad. I consider him part of the family. But a lot of times we don’t end up doing family things together because of this weird male rivalry that goes on. Both my husband and my mom’s partner are at fault, and it turns into a sort of vicious cycle where something Hubby did upset mom’s partner, and then Hubby thinks it’s ridiculous that he got upset about such and so, which makes Hubby upset, which makes him more likely to upset mom’s partner, and vice versa. Mom and I are continually trying to smooth things over so we can be a normal family and do things together without it being a testosterone-fueled standoff situation. My mom and I have similar easygoing, peacekeeping, keep-everyone-happy type personalities. And Hubby and mom’s partner have similar opinionated, extroverted, can-dish-it-but-can’t-take-it personalities. Get two of the latter types of people in a room and you can guarantee they’re going to be like oil and water. So this is what we’re dealing with, and it’s affecting my relationship with my mom because I feel like my husband isn’t welcome in their household, and she feels like her partner isn’t welcome in ours. So, great.
I didn’t really realize the extent to which this was a problem until my mom told me her partner was still holding a grudge about something that happened a couple of weeks ago, which didn’t seem like a big deal to anyone else. And now I’m realizing I’ve probably compounded the problem by agreeing to go to Hubby’s folks’ for Thanksgiving this year instead of having Thanksgiving with my mom. She probably thinks it’s because we don’t like her partner. It’s not. It’s because Hubby didn’t want to do what we normally do, which is have early Thanksgiving dinner with his parents and late Thanksgiving dinner with my mom. (And let’s be honest, I don’t want to rush around trying to do two Thanksgivings in one day either. I just want to make everyone happy.) And since Hubby’s brother got a divorce from his controlling ex, his family will finally be all together for Thanksgiving and it was really important to Hubby that we go. Plus, he promised me Christmas Eve with my family.
I’m the type of person who feels like she should be able to fix everything and find a way to make everyone get along and be happy. But I’m failing at fixing this. And I feel guilty about the fact that I can’t make everyone happy even for just these couple of holidays. Which is completely illogical, I know! But there it is. And of course with my hormones being all messed up, I’m super emotional about it.
So this week, my mom and sister invited me to hang out at my mom’s place, and my sister invited my husband, and then my mom uninvited him because her partner had some beef with him and didn’t think it would be a good idea for them to be in close contact. I can’t even hang out with my family without it being a huge deal where we have to like, keep these two men in separate stalls! So whatever.
Are y’all’s families as crazy as mine? Please tell me I’m not alone.