Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

saraha

Please help me interpret my feelings

Recommended Posts

Warning: Long back story, question at the end 😉

So, Christmas and ALL it's trappings has been my sole responsibility for my entire married life, 20 years. I married into a family that had some traditions, and expected a lot in the gift department. For the last 5 years I have been asking (some years begging) for a change in the way we do Christmas. I initially started out asking to just go away with our nuclear family and skip Christmas. At the time, I was burnt the heck out, and was grappling with depression and 6 kids under 15. I got an immediate no, without even consideration even while I bawled in his face. Over the next 4 years I asked every year if we could go away. Some years he would ask why and I would explain it to him (the burnout, the impossible task of making our budget stretch to keep up with the inlaws, the complete lack of respect for my time and wishes, the ridiculous amounts of time expected to spend with inlaws, the recitals and costumes to be made for them, and more) which has only gotten worse over the years. Some years I got a straight up no, no discussion. This year, I started my yearly ask, he was open to "listening" before he shot me down (turns out he takes my hatred for Christmas very personally), then shot me down.

The next day I sent him a text that said I absolutely refuse to do any shopping/buying of gifts this year, and if he wants anyone to receive gifts he would have to do it all himself. I continue to plan our advent calendar and will make the food that is asked of me and all the activities the kids are involved in etc. but I was NOT buying any presents. ( I later relented to taking the kids shopping one day so they could shop for each other and their grandparents and the cousin names that he insisted they draw even though I had the family about talked into not doing that this year) This was met with anger and feelings of betrayal (Like I said he took it very personally) but finally said that he would do the shopping if I promise not to be a grump about Christmas and his refusal of a vacation and not to bring it up again this year. (I had brought it up multiple times because he wouldnt even talk to me about it and I did say during our conversation that I would compromise with just changing the way we do things and not necessarily going away, but he wasn't interested in that either) Fast forward a month and today I get a call that he is not coming home, he still has more shopping to do, and then he went on to vent frustration about shopping, buying gifts, trying to make everything even, keeping track of finances (which he has quit doing and we are putting stuff on credit!) and having to look for stuff to fill in because some are easier to buy for than others, basically a lot of the complaints I had explained to him. He said "I guess I heard you say all this, but now I understand where you are coming from and we can talk about doing something different next year."

Now, he has not even had to do all of the Christmas stuff, just the bulk of the shopping (which for so many is a huge task) and he is not even trying to stay in budget. And yet, he finally sees my point.

So here is my real question, why did I bust out into tears instead of be happy that I am getting somewhere? Instead of being happy that he finally sees my perspective, I just started crying and all I could think about was "Oh, NOW you get it, and it is now worthy of change!?! And even though it has been all day, I am still feeling like that?

I will say there was a victory 3 years ago when I got Christmas dinner changed from 12 on Christmas day 5. I really could go on and on about all of my complaints tied to this holiday, most of which are exacerbated by my feeling completely ignored and disrespected in this area. Ugh. Maybe I am answering my own question, maybe I can't be happy that he finally sees what I have been saying all along because I am too bitter. Bitter is a good word to describe how I feel.

Anyway, if you read all of this, or even if you skimmed, thanks

  • Like 5
  • Sad 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, (((hugs))).

I can completely understand your feelings. I would be ANGRY. It isn't that he finally respects your feelings, it's that *he's* finally been inconvenienced. He isn't even doing all the work you are/were doing! I'm not sure how to navigate the discussion going forward, and I have no advice to give, as I am terrible at discussing my feelings and having hard conversations (I always end up crying in my frustration), but I see your pain and frustration and you have every right to have all the feels. 

  • Like 18
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you are feeling this way because he still is not listening to YOU.  He is now listening to himself.  He is still not respecting your feelings about Christmas and how he has made your Christmas miserable just to please him.  

Yes, it's great he finally "gets' it, but does he get that you get a say in the marriage too?  Does he get that he has disrespected you for 20yrs?  

  • Like 37

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes! And that doesn't even touch the fact that now his parents are elderly, they don't want to shop anymore, they just want to give us money and have me shop for the kids, wrap and put under inlaws tree! Or the fact that they (until a few years ago when I put my foot down) expected us to be there at 12 on Christmas Day, then come back day after Christmas, then get together for New Years Eve, THEN come back New Years Day for bil's birthday!

 

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you all are right. I want to be happy to finally be getting a crack at getting things my way, but I don't feel happy. And when he gets home. he will NOT understand why I am not excited that he "gets it" and I wish I had the words to explain it to him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it might be a combination of relief at finally being really seen and understood, and anger that it took this to see it, instead of believing you when you first said it. 

I don't think it would be easy to get past it. I would be bitter. It would take a lot of talking. 

I think also, I listen together to The Vinyl Cafe episode called Dave Cooks the Turkey because there's an epic speech there from Morley about her life as a train.... I think if couples listen to it together it might be a helpful conversation opener 
 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are upset because he confirmed that he never really was listening or taking you seriously, all those years. That's why. 

That said, gently.....it sounds like he feels like you don't care about his wishes for the holiday season either. You don't care that he wants/needs all the hoopla to feel happy during the holidays, and he doesn't care that you HATE all the hoopla during the holidays. 

It is the lack of communication that is upsetting you, not the change of heart that he has had. 

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, saraha said:

How do I get past this bitter part and just be happy he is more open to changing things?

You can be both. Happy you can change things, and pissed as hell that you have a husband who doesn't seem to listen to you or value your feelings or happiness. Two totally separate things. One of which sounds like it is likely part of a larger picture of communication issues or other problems that may need to be addressed in therapy. And they should be addressed, head on. Not wrapped up in this specific example, but in the general terms of "I feel like you don't take my feelings, thoughts, or needs seriously." that is the conversation that has to happen before you will be happy. 

  • Like 11
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it were me, I think I'd be feeling regret and mourning that all these bad years could have been different if he'd just listened to me. And very frustrated as well. Which are completely valid feelings.

I think that, for me, after the holidays were over and I'd had time to process these feelings, I would probably start to feel the relief set in. And hopefully then dh and I would begin to have a conversation about Christmas 2020 and what we wanted to do differently. And that's when I would start to really feel more hopeful. But I'd definitely be having that conversation ASAP after the holidays so that his memories of the frustration didn't have time to dissipate!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

You are upset because he confirmed that he never really was listening or taking you seriously, all those years. That's why. 

That said, gently.....it sounds like he feels like you don't care about his wishes for the holiday season either. You don't care that he wants/needs all the hoopla to feel happy during the holidays, and he doesn't care that you HATE all the hoopla during the holidays. 

It is the lack of communication that is upsetting you, not the change of heart that he has had. 

This pretty much sums it up perfectly for both him and me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, saraha said:

How do I get past this bitter part and just be happy he is more open to changing things?

Gently, it really sounds like you guys could benefit from marriage counseling. This is about more than Christmas. 

  • Like 17

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I’m more with him on this.

When you have a family that has great things going, already up and running and established, it’s pretty special and valuable; and it’s part of you.  And when someone dumps all over it, without having a good alternative to propose, that hurts.  You’ve asked him to give up a great deal for not much, and you’ve made it impossible for him to have a nice time either.

I think your ultimatum was completely reasonable, but that it should have been delivered back in August or so so that he would have time to fit this in.  And I think that if you’re going to be a guest, you should be a good one.  I think you could go a step further and divide up responsibilities differently, putting more on him, including the budget and saving up for it, but again, earlier so that there is time to adjust and act.  

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally see your point here. You are right that I was asking him to give up something he loved for something he did not value, I hadn't thought of it like that before. I wasn't asking to give it up permanently, but I never got the chance to get a break and he was never interested in helping, he just wanted me to make it happen. You are also right that I should have given him the ultimatum in August instead of November, I guess after so long it has become such a THING between us that I could have been more mature about it. 

But I will add that I have always been a good guest. Any problems we had were not shared or hinted at gatherings because at the end of the day I do love his parents

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

Well, I’m more with him on this.

When you have a family that has great things going, already up and running and established, it’s pretty special and valuable; and it’s part of you.  And when someone dumps all over it, without having a good alternative to propose, that hurts.  You’ve asked him to give up a great deal for not much, and you’ve made it impossible for him to have a nice time either.

I think your ultimatum was completely reasonable, but that it should have been delivered back in August or so so that he would have time to fit this in.  And I think that if you’re going to be a guest, you should be a good one.  I think you could go a step further and divide up responsibilities differently, putting more on him, including the budget and saving up for it, but again, earlier so that there is time to adjust and act.  

 

Except that he’s never been willing to do any of the things that made it work—it’s all been on her until she insisted. It was a great thing, that was tons of work that he refused to do. I think a month was fine—better than a week. 

I also think the onus shouldn’t be on her to provide an awesome alternative ( although plenty of folks live going away.). They, as a couple, should try to figure out what works for them. And, certainly, if one person expects or needs something that is a great deal of work, they should be willing to do it themselves-not set it up as a love test. ( and I say this as someone who’s love language is helps.)

  • Like 20
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, freesia said:

Except that he’s never been willing to do any of the things that made it work—it’s all been on her until she insisted. It was a great thing, that was tons of work that he refused to do. I think a month was fine—better than a week. 

I also think the onus shouldn’t be on her to provide an awesome alternative ( although plenty of folks live going away.). They, as a couple, should try to figure out what works for them. And, certainly, if one person expects or needs something that is a great deal of work, they should be willing to do it themselves-not set it up as a love test. ( and I say this as someone who’s love language is helps.)

 

I agree with you 100%.  

I get really tired of men who insist on having a magical, perfect Christmas, who also do zero work to bring about any of that perfect magic.  

I'd be pretty excited to have a holiday where someone else did all the cleaning, cooking, decorating, shopping, and all I had to do was kick back, receive presents, and eat tasty treats. 

  • Like 29
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because he didn't respect you enough to take your perspective seriously and urgently for so many years when you desperately needed him to.

He only understands now, because it is impacting him, and his time and energy is important to him in a way yours wasn't. 

I'm sorry.

There's no requirement for you to feel any particular way.

If you feel sad, you feel sad. If you feel angry, you feel angry. If you feel happy or grateful down the line, OK, you feel happy or grateful down the line.

How you feel now is not permanent; it will shift into something else at some point, and that something will itself change.

 

 

 

 

  • Like 14

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your whole story from beginning to end stressed me out so bad and makes me feel so bad for you,  

i don’t celebrate Christmas and so I am sure I don’t really get it but I am glad you said no this year and I am curious why you didn’t say it years ago.  

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I think it is not OK to lump a burned out, depressed loved one who is trying her best to communicate her needs with responsibility for ensuring your Christmas values are carried out, but that's just me.

Any of those years where he refused to even consider the OP's depression, burn out and need to be relieved of this burden, he could have taken it on himself, out of love and respect for his wife, and been responsible for creating the Christmas that was important to him and his family of origin. He chose not to do that, and continued to insist that OP carried the burden. That is not loving behaviour. Christmas traditions are irrelevant and meaningless in comparison to the health of one's marriage.

 

  • Like 26

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Scarlett said:

Your whole story from beginning to end stressed me out so bad and makes me feel so bad for you,  

i don’t celebrate Christmas and so I am sure I don’t really get it but I am glad you said no this year and I am curious why you didn’t say it years ago.  

 

Because decent people assume that other people are like them, decent, and that if the other person doesn't 'get it', the fault must be theirs. They'll explain better next time. Next year the conversation will go better, and he'll surely understand this time. Speaking only for myself, (I am sure the OP is not as dim as I am), it takes me many years to actually understand that sometimes people are not acting with your best interests in mind.

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 2
  • Sad 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

 that if the other person doesn't 'get it', the fault must be theirs. They'll explain better next time. Next year the conversation will go better, and he'll surely understand this time.

I could not have said it better myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, StellaM said:

Personally, I think it is not OK to lump a burned out, depressed loved one who is trying her best to communicate her needs with responsibility for ensuring your Christmas values are carried out, but that's just me.

Any of those years where he refused to even consider the OP's depression, burn out and need to be relieved of this burden, he could have taken it on himself, out of love and respect for his wife, and been responsible for creating the Christmas that was important to him and his family of origin. He chose not to do that, and continued to insist that OP carried the burden. That is not loving behaviour. Christmas traditions are irrelevant and meaningless in comparison to the health of one's marriage.

 

I should have been more clear - he FELT she wasn't being caring about his wants/needs regarding Christmas, Im not saying that is in fact true. 

And yes health is priority number one - mental and physical. 

This should have been husband and wife together attacking a problem, not her being thrown to fend for herself, making it her problem to handle. 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, saraha said:

I could not have said it better myself.

 

Hugs for you. Sometimes people will think it very strange that it takes years to say 'no' to something like buying the presents, but I get it. You did good this year, mama. 

  • Like 12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Op I am also not feeling like you have communicated your feelings and thoughts all that well through the years.  I mean it seems like you discussed burn out and stress but it sounds like your only solution was to run away from it all by taking a vacation and skipping Christmas.  

It doesn’t seem like you ever asked for anything besides that.  Which if you did then I apologize that I missed it.  But asking to skip it all each year doesn’t sound like asking for help, it sounds more like wanting to run away from everything he enjoys. 

Again, if you had been  asking for things like shopping help, recital help, compromises on gift giving/shopping or whatever, then I apologize that I missed it.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

I should have been more clear - he FELT she wasn't being caring about his wants/needs regarding Christmas, Im not saying that is in fact true. 

And yes health is priority number one - mental and physical. 

This should have been husband and wife together attacking a problem, not her being thrown to fend for herself, making it her problem to handle. 

 

 

 

He may have felt a huge range of things, none of which are adequate justification for ignoring your desperate, unwell wife telling you she can't do this anymore, and you turning around and saying 'too bad, I want you to do it, so do it.'

I can't describe how irrelevant his feelings about Christmas are in this context. The time to discuss resuming elements of the Christmas he desired was AFTER he had listened to the OP and given her the break she needed, and she had fully recovered from her depression and burn-out.  

 

  • Like 14
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

Op I am also not feeling like you have communicated your feelings and thoughts all that well through the years.  I mean it seems like you discussed burn out and stress but it sounds like your only solution was to run away from it all by taking a vacation and skipping Christmas.  

It doesn’t seem like you ever asked for anything besides that.  Which if you did then I apologize that I missed it.  But asking to skip it all each year doesn’t sound like asking for help, it sounds more like wanting to run away from everything he enjoys. 

Again, if you had been  asking for things like shopping help, recital help, compromises on gift giving/shopping or whatever, then I apologize that I missed it.  

This makes me feel so sad because it hits home, and I can see how I set us both up for this situation.

 

Edited by saraha
realized that response wasn't accurate after re-reading post

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, saraha said:

edited 

 

 

You are being way too hard on yourself. 

Your emotions are just your emotions - everyone has them, and everyone experienced negative emotions at times, just as they experience positive emotions. 

You feel exasperated and frustrated. That's OK. It really is. It is OK to feel like this. It doesn't make you a mean, bad wife or a mean, bitter person. It just makes you human.

Take some time.

There's no urgency to have a response ready for your dh.

A simple 'thanks for getting that done' when he gets home is manageable, and doesn't require you turning yourself inside out to force yourself not to feel your feelings.  Maybe later you want to talk about, maybe you don't. Maybe later you feel more comfortable feelings, maybe you don't. Just take a few breaths and remember that as adults, our responsibility to others lies in the ways we choose to behave towards each other, not in censoring our inner lives.  Breathe, hon. Just be easy with it all for a bit.

 

Edited by StellaM
  • Like 14
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Carol in Cal. said:

Well, I’m more with him on this.

When you have a family that has great things going, already up and running and established, it’s pretty special and valuable; and it’s part of you.  And when someone dumps all over it, without having a good alternative to propose, that hurts.  You’ve asked him to give up a great deal for not much, and you’ve made it impossible for him to have a nice time either.

I think your ultimatum was completely reasonable, but that it should have been delivered back in August or so so that he would have time to fit this in.  And I think that if you’re going to be a guest, you should be a good one.  I think you could go a step further and divide up responsibilities differently, putting more on him, including the budget and saving up for it, but again, earlier so that there is time to adjust and act.  

 

Really

shes been asking for years to change

they only had something great going on because she was doing a crazy amount of work

  • Like 16

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, saraha said:

This makes me feel so sad because it hits home, and I can see how I set us both up for this situation.

 

Oh mama, I didn't mean to make you feel bad.  

None of us are perfect and we all have situations where we miscommunication and misinterpret.  That's normal in a marriage.

 

Let me ask you this.  Are there compromises you ARE willing to make?  For example, if you went to your DH and said something like "Ok DH, I realize that my asking for "change" was really asking you to abandon everything and that's not what I mean.  All of this stuff stresses me out, can we change X and Y and Z, and then in addition to that, can you share A and B and C by doing 1 and 2 and 3?"

IF you said something like that to him, are you actually ok with not eliminating EVERYTHING, if X and Y and Z change, and A and B and C become more equally shared?  (or however you present it....I am not sure of the details of everything that you have going on and what's overwhelming.  Maybe X and Y are eliminated, or whatever, you get the idea.)  Basically, what I am asking is....if you want *change* is change ok even if it doesn't eliminate it all?  Because if what you really want is to completely eliminate it all, then compromise is going to probably be more difficult.

 

 

And, on a related note......how would your kids feel if you really did eliminate it all?  Like if you just dropped everything and ran away to Key West from 12/20 to 12/27, would the kids love that?  

I know my kids would be devastated.  Not even Disney world would replace seeing Grandma and Grandpa for Christmas, for my kids.  For other kids, the situation is different and maybe a trip like that would be fantastic for them.

 

Oh, and one other thing, on the compromise front....going on a vacay doesn't even have to be every year.  Maybe the compromise is that on even years, vacay....on odd years....big family shindigs.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, saraha said:

I totally see your point here. You are right that I was asking him to give up something he loved for something he did not value, I hadn't thought of it like that before. I wasn't asking to give it up permanently, but I never got the chance to get a break and he was never interested in helping, he just wanted me to make it happen. You are also right that I should have given him the ultimatum in August instead of November, I guess after so long it has become such a THING between us that I could have been more mature about it. 

But I will add that I have always been a good guest. Any problems we had were not shared or hinted at gatherings because at the end of the day I do love his parents

This is super nice, it's hard to be a good guest in that circumstance and I think I misinterpreted one of the things you quoted him as saying as meaning that you weren't.

I come at things like this from the perspective of dealing with a kid--if an adult it clueless, just like with teaching a kid something, sometimes one has to not just object but also say what to do instead.  Christmas can be so fraught.  I'm really glad that you asked for specific help this year; as I said up thread I think that was completely reasonable and that asking for more would be completely reasonable too.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm also gonna wade in on the spiritual here, which, take with less than a grain of salt, because I'm agnostic as all get out and only manage to see 'god' in trees, but anyway, I feel convicted to share this with you, OP, so I will and you can ignore:

None of the trappings of Christmas are required to celebrate the birth of Jesus. None of them. They are human things, culture, we have added on to the story (or fact) of the birth of the son of God. To celebrate the birth of the Holy Child does not require presents, feasts, decorations, parties.

I am reminded of a post that someone here shared last year - her father or FIL - can't remember-  'gave up' his Christmas to sit at her home with her very unwell dh, so that she and the kids could go visit with family. That man was not running around buying gifts, he was not cooking a massive feast, he was not doing anything other than being present for a person in his life who needed his presence. Do I think Jesus, or the Holy Family, or God would have felt the slightest offense at the way this man spent Christmas ? No. I think they would have been so happy that this man marked the birth of Christ through silent, loving presence with the one who needed him.

We are told (or at least I was, in church long ago) not to make idols of things that are not God. Not to worship things that are not God. This applies to Christmas celebrations as much as it applies to money, or other gods. The desire to have a particular Christmas is fine and human; but we are not supposed to worship that desire, make it central to our families, or to our celebration of the birth of a Messiah.

Your husband is not immune from this. Personally, I do not think it is helpful that you are being advised to centre his desire for a particular Christmas, and that is partly because you deserve to be heard in your marriage, but partly because - what a thing for a man to choose over his wife's wellbeing! He sounds like he has lost sight of Christmas.

  • Like 28
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems like you are following HIS family's traditions.  Is that right?  I would be upset never having been able to establish my own traditions and be stressed following other people's structured holidays.  It sounds like every holiday is twined about his family.  I would hate that.  It is like his family is more important.

I think it's great for him to experience part of the workload.  I'm sorry and hope after a good rest, your knowledge that he finally understands will become a relief to you.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

Oh mama, I didn't mean to make you feel bad.  

None of us are perfect and we all have situations where we miscommunication and misinterpret.  That's normal in a marriage.

 

Let me ask you this.  Are there compromises you ARE willing to make?  For example, if you went to your DH and said something like "Ok DH, I realize that my asking for "change" was really asking you to abandon everything and that's not what I mean.  All of this stuff stresses me out, can we change X and Y and Z, and then in addition to that, can you share A and B and C by doing 1 and 2 and 3?"

IF you said something like that to him, are you actually ok with not eliminating EVERYTHING, if X and Y and Z change, and A and B and C become more equally shared?  (or however you present it....I am not sure of the details of everything that you have going on and what's overwhelming.  Maybe X and Y are eliminated, or whatever, you get the idea.)  Basically, what I am asking is....if you want *change* is change ok even if it doesn't eliminate it all?  Because if what you really want is to completely eliminate it all, then compromise is going to probably be more difficult.

 

 

And, on a related note......how would your kids feel if you really did eliminate it all?  Like if you just dropped everything and ran away to Key West from 12/20 to 12/27, would the kids love that?  

I know my kids would be devastated.  Not even Disney world would replace seeing Grandma and Grandpa for Christmas, for my kids.  For other kids, the situation is different and maybe a trip like that would be fantastic for them.

 

Oh, and one other thing, on the compromise front....going on a vacay doesn't even have to be every year.  Maybe the compromise is that on even years, vacay....on odd years....big family shindigs.  

I am willing to compromise. I guess the running away part always comes out when I am past my point. He has not been willing to compromise. I had to go to his mom and sister to see if we could change the time from 12 to 5 because for years I never got to play with my children for long on Christmas morning because I would be in the kitchen making my assigned foods.  Another year I started telling him and the kids to go to his moms the day after Christmas without me just so I can get my house back in order (he doesn't like this but he can't make me get in the car haha). Another year I got the kids to help me create a united front to not go over New Years and have our own party at home. So now we go Christmas Day and New Years Day and whoever wants to goes the day after Christmas. The kids and I  also go sometime during the week before Christmas to clean the house for guests because she can't do it all herself.

I am willing to compromise, he feels like that is enough compromise

Edited by saraha
accidently posted to early
  • Like 4
  • Sad 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, StellaM said:

Personally, I do not think it is helpful that you are being advised to centre his desire for a particular Christmas, and that is partly because you deserve to be heard in your marriage, but partly because - what a thing for a man to choose over his wife's wellbeing! He sounds like he has lost sight of Christmas.

I want to say that I don't feel that I am advising the OP to center her DH's particular Christmas ideals over her own.  Rather, I feel that, based only one what she posted, she seems to have spent 4 years presenting an all or nothing version.  I think that in a marriage, both parties have feelings worth considering that that he might very well have felt like her "lets just go away and skip it all" statements didn't offer any room for his feelings either.  All that means is that both parties weren't communicating well.  She tried to communicate, but since she gave an all or nothing solution, his response was all or nothing as well.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, saraha said:

I will say there was a victory 3 years ago when I got Christmas dinner changed from 12 on Christmas day 5. 

When changing the time of dinner for one of the many get togethers with the exact same people during the season is a "victory," I'd say that compromise and communicating needs is not something this DH understands in regard to Christmas. 

My family of origin has always shifted things around to work for people and to accommodate needs. Having a good thing going doesn't mean it can't change or that to beg or ask for something different is some terrible thing, and my family has traditions up to their eyeballs (most of which we can't participate in very often because of work schedules and distance).

OP, I feel angry when I "finally" get some traction after years of frustration. It's really, really disrespectful for my POV to be worth nothing. I personally need respect more than I need love. If that disrespect is combined with an unwillingness to look at facts, balance of workload, etc., I have told people it hurts as bad, or more, as having the person tell me they hate me. Seriously. 

I feel like my ability to cope is like a rubber band, and every year, the more it stretches, the harder it snaps when the tension is let off--the hurt is like that rubber band that has been let go all at once. Your DH could've eased off and shared that tension rather than forcing you to let it all go at once through inaction and a lack of caring about you and your needs.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, happysmileylady said:

I want to say that I don't feel that I am advising the OP to center her DH's particular Christmas ideals over her own.  Rather, I feel that, based only one what she posted, she seems to have spent 4 years presenting an all or nothing version.  I think that in a marriage, both parties have feelings worth considering that that he might very well have felt like her "lets just go away and skip it all" statements didn't offer any room for his feelings either.  All that means is that both parties weren't communicating well.  She tried to communicate, but since she gave an all or nothing solution, his response was all or nothing as well.  

 

This puts the responsibility for his response on her communication style.

I'm not getting into an argument about who posted what; it's my personal opinion that this type (not anyone's post specifically) of advice is not helpful to the OP right in this minute as she grapples with strong and unexpected feelings.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, saraha said:

I am willing to compromise. I guess the running away part always comes out when I am past my point. He has not been willing to compromise. I had to go to his mom and sister to see if we could change the time from 12 to 5 because for years I never got to play with my children for long on Christmas morning because I would be in the kitchen making my assigned foods.  Another year I started telling him and the kids to go to his moms the day after Christmas without me just so I can get my house back in order (he doesn't like this but he can't make me get in the car haha). Another year I got the kids to help me create a united front to not go over New Years and have our own party at home. So now we go Christmas Day and New Years Day and whoever wants to goes the day after Christmas. The kids and I  also go sometime during the week before Christmas to clean the house for guests because she can't do it all herself.

I am willing to compromise

Now this is all new info.  If you have been asking to change the time or asking for help making XYZ dishes and he was never willing to discuss or help, that's different than never bringing it up until "lets just skip it all."  

If you have been asking for these sorts of things all along and he's shutting THESE things down........................that makes him a butt nugget. 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, saraha said:

Yes! And that doesn't even touch the fact that now his parents are elderly, they don't want to shop anymore, they just want to give us money and have me shop for the kids, wrap and put under inlaws tree! Or the fact that they (until a few years ago when I put my foot down) expected us to be there at 12 on Christmas Day, then come back day after Christmas, then get together for New Years Eve, THEN come back New Years Day for bil's birthday!

 

 

FWIW, for a number of years this is what my in-laws expected - they mail money, I shop, wrap, and pack gifts to travel 100s of miles so they could watch the kids open these gifts. I finally put my foot down and said if they sent money, the kids would get money and could shop for things after Christmas. 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

This puts the responsibility for his response on her communication style.

I'm not getting into an argument about who posted what; it's my personal opinion that this type (not anyone's post specifically) of advice is not helpful to the OP right in this minute as she grapples with strong and unexpected feelings.

In a marriage, each person must always consider both how they are receiving communication AND how they are presenting communication.  THe onus is on BOTH people to communicate how they are feeling as clearly as possible.  Spouse A cannot just say something and automatically expect Spouse B to understand exactly what she means.  That doesn't mean that she's responsible for his response, it only means that everyone is responsible for being as clear as possible.  When I communicate with my spouse, my desire is to be understood.  Therefore, I will communicate in a way that I feel will give me the best chance of being understood, not just how I feel like communicating.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, saraha said:

I think you all are right. I want to be happy to finally be getting a crack at getting things my way, but I don't feel happy. And when he gets home. he will NOT understand why I am not excited that he "gets it" and I wish I had the words to explain it to him.

 

Make a list of ALL the tasks. When he gets home ask him which remaining jobs he’s going to do to make the entire holiday effort shared 50/50.

 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

 

FWIW, for a number of years this is what my in-laws expected - they mail money, I shop, wrap, and pack gifts to travel 100s of miles so they could watch the kids open these gifts. I finally put my foot down and said if they sent money, the kids would get money and could shop for things after Christmas. 

Within my family, this is one of the greatest things!  My grandparents write my mom a single check, which she cashes and distributes to cards.  Each family's card is hung on the tree as decoration and they are passed out last.  And it's really kind of a fun thing!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

I want to say that I don't feel that I am advising the OP to center her DH's particular Christmas ideals over her own.  Rather, I feel that, based only one what she posted, she seems to have spent 4 years presenting an all or nothing version.  I think that in a marriage, both parties have feelings worth considering that that he might very well have felt like her "lets just go away and skip it all" statements didn't offer any room for his feelings either.  All that means is that both parties weren't communicating well.  She tried to communicate, but since she gave an all or nothing solution, his response was all or nothing as well.  

I am seeing how my waiting until I couldn't take another thing and leading with all or nothing was counterproductive to my goals for sure.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, happysmileylady said:

In a marriage, each person must always consider both how they are receiving communication AND how they are presenting communication.  THe onus is on BOTH people to communicate how they are feeling as clearly as possible.  Spouse A cannot just say something and automatically expect Spouse B to understand exactly what she means.  That doesn't mean that she's responsible for his response, it only means that everyone is responsible for being as clear as possible.  When I communicate with my spouse, my desire is to be understood.  Therefore, I will communicate in a way that I feel will give me the best chance of being understood, not just how I feel like communicating.  

 

This is not a thread where the OP asked advice on her communication style. She posted about her feelings. 

It is generally unhelpful when people gloss over feelings and go straight to telling a person having feelings what they should do and where they went wrong, 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

This is not a thread where the OP asked advice on her communication style. She posted about her feelings. 

It is generally unhelpful when people gloss over feelings and go straight to telling a person having feelings what they should do and where they went wrong, 

 

Except she specifically asked for advice.  She asked why she was feeling what she was feeling and also asked how to get past it.  This isn't a JAWM post

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, happysmileylady said:

Except she specifically asked for advice.  She asked why she was feeling what she was feeling and also asked how to get past it.  This isn't a JAWM post

 

I don't really want to do this back and forth. Let's leave it there. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

 

Make a list of ALL the tasks. When he gets home ask him which remaining jobs he’s going to do to make the entire holiday effort shared 50/50.

 

This was a helpful tactic for me years ago. I made a list of ALL of the tasks with time estimates and a budget and we talked about what was essential and what wasn’t. “Christmas” was about 125 hours of additional work on top of my very full life at the time (lots of little kids, homeschooling, etc). It made it difficult for him to minimize my feelings/brush off all responsibility onto me when it was laid out there in black and white.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, PrincessMommy said:

I think you are feeling this way because he still is not listening to YOU.  He is now listening to himself.  He is still not respecting your feelings about Christmas and how he has made your Christmas miserable just to please him.  

Yes, it's great he finally "gets' it, but does he get that you get a say in the marriage too?  Does he get that he has disrespected you for 20yrs?  

I still come back to this.  

This current situation is just a snapshot of a much bigger, long standing (it seems) issue of him not truly hearing you, respecting your feelings, and acting in a way to help you. 

If you are the beast of burden carrying the cart full of the weight of Christmas responsibilities and you’ve broken a leg and a wheel has come off of the cart, the answer all of those years previously was not to keep demanding that you make delivery on time. His behavior was not loving or supportive or anything one should aspire to.

  • Like 10
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, prairiewindmomma said:

This was a helpful tactic for me years ago. I made a list of ALL of the tasks with time estimates and a budget and we talked about what was essential and what wasn’t. “Christmas” was about 125 hours of additional work on top of my very full life at the time (lots of little kids, homeschooling, etc). It made it difficult for him to minimize my feelings/brush off all responsibility onto me when it was laid out there in black and white.

This is awesome. I feel like it’s something I should have done. The tasks do sneak up though. Relatives age, kids start having more activities and more specific wants (for presents), more kids means more budgetary stretch etc. 

OP, I don’t have any advice, but I will pray for the conversations that you and DH need to have over the next two weeks or so. I believe you are on the right track and have received some good advice. ❤️

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...