In Law Dilemma

by Lee
(Az)

Hi there- I hope you can help me as we have this issue every year.

My daughter in law comes from a big family that she thinks is wonderful. And, to all those related to her, I'm sure it is. This problem is that she wants to be with them fo EVERY holiday. Our family now consists of my husband, our married son and myself. We lost our oldest son almost 3 years ago and holidays are still very hard for us. In order to try to please everyone and still get her own way, our DIL invites us to her parents house for all these events. We absolutely hate it. Her family is very cliquish and barely speak to us. Most of the time we don't even get to sit with our grandkids. We have spoken to our son about this several times but nothing changes. However, we have not told him why we hate going, because he will tell her and then she will tell her own family.
But here's my question: etiquette wise shouldn't her mother really be the one to invite us?? That never happens - our DIL always just says we can come with she and my son to her parents house. We are going to have one last conversation with our son about this and I would like to be able to tell him whether this is even proper etiquette for us to just tag along all the time, without her mother actually issuing the invitation.
Thanks for your help!

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by: Ms P Etiquette

Hello Lee,

What a shame that you are being put through this discomfort. Since your daughter-in-law was raised by people who apparently taught her nothing about proper etiquette and good manners, I am afraid you will have to refuse going, if you ever want to stop the agony. Your son would do something about it if he could, but it looks as if his wife is running the show. Often when a couple weds, the daughter takes the son away from ​his family. Your daughter-in-law appears to be insensitive to the feelings of others, especially her husband's family, making this a touchy situation. Be kind to your son when you tell him you do not plan to attend the next event to which you are invited. Let him know you love him and want him to be happy, but you expect him to wish the same for his parents. You are not happy being an after thought at holiday time and plan to have your own family gathering to which they will be invited. Smile and give him a hug. He knows what is going on with his over controlling wife. He'll need your support one day soon!

Ms. Practical Etiquette

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