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JohnnyB
12-02-2007, 03:00 PM
My older brother and his wife seldom participate in family and/or holiday events. They live within a 1/2 hour of us and the last time we saw them was for my nephew's birthday in July. My brother attended Thanksgiving by himself (on his birthday) while his wife and kids stayed home all day and then went to her brothers for dinner. It has been years since they have made time to spend with us, my other brother (travels 300+ miles), or my parents on Christmas eve or Christmas day. In fact, I believe the last time, was Christmas breakfast at their house on Christmas day....I'm guessing it was so that it didn't interfere with the rest of their holiday plans. The rest of us are reasonably flexible on the xmas eve/xmas day get-togther and could do either day.

Typically, they try to visit my mom and dad New Year's weekend and exchange xmas gifts then. My wife, kids and I have never been around on New Years because we use it as a long vacation weekend to spend somewhere out-of-town snowmobiling or somewhere warm-climate. So, in past years, we've left presents for my niece and nephew at my parents on Christmas and then stop at my parents house sometime after xmas to pick up the gifts they leave for our kids.

Now, mind you, I really don't like being around my brother's kids in general because they are disrespectful, spoiled brats....his wife has not been shy about telling us she's raising them to be like her....she's a self-professed spoiled brat and is selfish and disrespectful....she's difficult to spend time with.

I'm struggling with the whole situation, but I'm considering asking them if they want to for-go exchanging gifts this year....sure they are family but we've grown apart because my brother's relationship with us takes a 2nd seat to their relationship with her family.

Thoughts????

wakolman
12-02-2007, 03:21 PM
Aaaahh, the holidays.:) Let them know that there aren't going to be gifts given this year. Perhaps make a donation to a local charity in their name/honor?

If it was me, I might confront your brother on the weak attempt he makes to get his family together with yours. You deserve a reason, even if it isn't one you want to hear.

I dread the gift exchange on one side of my family. It is usually everyone giving/getting cans of peanuts, cheap flashlights, and 12 packs of soda. Crap that I have no use for!

JohnnyB
12-02-2007, 03:50 PM
Aaaahh, the holidays.:) Let them know that there aren't going to be gifts given this year. Perhaps make a donation to a local charity in their name/honor?

If it was me, I might confront your brother on the weak attempt he makes to get his family together with yours. You deserve a reason, even if it isn't one you want to hear.

I dread the gift exchange on one side of my family. It is usually everyone giving/getting cans of peanuts, cheap flashlights, and 12 packs of soda. Crap that I have no use for!

Charity donation in their name is a great idea. As far as confronting him, he's in a real ugly situation....we've talked about it before and he'll agree with my point and that "it'll be different next year". However, his wife is terribly manipulative and get's what SHE wants....on at least one occasion, she's threatened him with divorce/her custody of kids/his paying child support....I know she's talked to a divorce attorney at least once, too (this can be a small town sometimes ;) )....to manipulate or serious, hard to say....

He compromises lots to keep the peace with his wife and its becoming unhealthy for him :mad:

JimN
12-02-2007, 04:53 PM
"she's threatened him with divorce/her custody of kids/his paying child support....I know she's talked to a divorce attorney at least once, too (this can be a small town sometimes"

Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state, so she won't automatically get the kids and if she makes enough money, he might not have to pay a lot. Sounds like she needs a boot in her butt, or at least a reality check.

Nah, she needs both.

He may just be so beaten down by her that he doesn't like being with your family any more than you like her and the kids being there. I would look at it that way if/when you talk to him about it. He won't want to admit it and probably won't want to talk about it but just tell him that if she's that abusive, he may be better off without her. My guess is that she beats him up verbally every chance she gets and doesn't care if the kids are around, or not. Sounds like her parents had two sets of kids- a couple early on in the marriage and one or two more later, who were allowed to do just about anything they wanted.

There are a lot of abusive women out there. I dated one for too long and she was a biatch on wheels.

sand2snow22
12-02-2007, 05:07 PM
Charity donation in their name is a great idea. As far as confronting him, he's in a real ugly situation....we've talked about it before and he'll agree with my point and that "it'll be different next year". However, his wife is terribly manipulative and get's what SHE wants....on at least one occasion, she's threatened him with divorce/her custody of kids/his paying child support....I know she's talked to a divorce attorney at least once, too (this can be a small town sometimes ;) )....to manipulate or serious, hard to say....

He compromises lots to keep the peace with his wife and its becoming unhealthy for him :mad:

Charity donation in their name is a great idea. We know she won't like it, but someone will have to explain it to their kids and what it's all about. Sounds like your brother needs to grow a set!! Much like your avatar ;)

JohnnyB
12-02-2007, 05:25 PM
"He won't want to admit it and probably won't want to talk about it but just tell him that if she's that abusive, he may be better off without her.

Had that talk.....

My guess is that she beats him up verbally every chance she gets and doesn't care if the kids are around, or not.

Yup...sounds like you know her type....she also talks very negatively to her kids and about her kids all the time.....

Footin
12-02-2007, 05:43 PM
Santa has the right idea, visit once a year.

Jerseydave
12-02-2007, 05:50 PM
I think I should feel sorry for your brother. Sounds like he might be just hanging in there for the kids' sake. (I have a friend who is doing just that) How old are your brothers' kids?

Do you think your sister in law has a problem getting along with your whole family, or just one of you? Do the kids get along with each other? (yours and hers)

Either way, I'm not sure what the solution would be on your end.

signed,
not much help in NJ, but feel bad for you none the less.

wakolman
12-02-2007, 05:52 PM
With xmas this year, you should have the opportunity for two gatherings, one being the Sat/Sun (22,23) and the other being Mon/Tues (24/25) Out of those, one would think the wife could make her plans and that would leave the other day(s) open for something with your brother. But I guess if someone is irrational and determined to make things miserable for everyone else, then they will.

I have a college buddy who married a little princess and he can't do anything without her blessing, and when he does, she whines. My wife, baby, and I went to see him this summer where he was staying at the lake with his wife and baby. The water was finally flat and I asked him if we could go out on his MC for a quick run. He was all for it until she pouted about "hurry up because I am hungry". We blew her off, took our baby on the boat, and (Wife, buddy, and I) got our runs in. As if we drove to see her anyway.:rolleyes:

School Skier
12-02-2007, 06:03 PM
Family politics! Stay away from the ones you don't enjoy being around. Don't spoil your holiday trying to make others happy.

JohnnyB
12-02-2007, 06:39 PM
Sounds like he might be just hanging in there for the kids' sake. (I have a friend who is doing just that) How old are your brothers' kids?



Yup, that's basically it. Kids are 10 and 7.

tex
12-02-2007, 07:36 PM
My brother chooses not to spend any holidays with us! He made the choice and we got over it!

phecksel
12-02-2007, 08:23 PM
Don't call him, wait until he calls, and tell your brother you will be @ such and such house.

TMCNo1
12-02-2007, 09:25 PM
Just be glad they don't show up in a camper like part of this bunch,

JKTX21
12-02-2007, 09:56 PM
Just pour some alcohol on it... it how my family makes it through the Holiday season!

milkmania
12-02-2007, 10:09 PM
I hate the holidays:mad:

milkmania
12-02-2007, 10:11 PM
With xmas this year, you should have the opportunity for two gatherings, one being the Sat/Sun (22,23) and the other being Mon/Tues (24/25) Out of those, one would think the wife could make her plans and that would leave the other day(s) open for something with your brother. But I guess if someone is irrational and determined to make things miserable for everyone else, then they will.

I have a college buddy who married a little princess and he can't do anything without her blessing, and when he does, she whines. My wife, baby, and I went to see him this summer where he was staying at the lake with his wife and baby. The water was finally flat and I asked him if we could go out on his MC for a quick run. He was all for it until she pouted about "hurry up because I am hungry". We blew her off, took our baby on the boat, and (Wife, buddy, and I) got our runs in. As if we drove to see her anyway.:rolleyes:

he's probably still apologizing to her:rolleyes:

wakolman
12-02-2007, 11:01 PM
he's probably still apologizing to her:rolleyes:


You got that right. That is only one example of her selfishness, I have many more, and have only been around her a half dozen times!


Tough situation here. As we know, holidays are about spending time with the family and some people lose that perspective and focus on themselves. Everyone makes sacrifices to make the holidays "work" no matter how much more hunting, fishing, working, skiing, drinking, football watching, etc. you could be doing.;) Just enjoy the time with the people you do have plans to see.

Jesus_Freak
12-02-2007, 11:46 PM
I hate the holidays:mad:

Just pour some alcohol on it... it how my family makes it through the Holiday season!

Come on peeps. You can do better than this. :D

lanier92prostar
12-02-2007, 11:58 PM
We leave 2 days after Christmas and don't return until after the 1st. We have traditional plans with each family and if something comes up and they can't attend, so be it. Holidays are for family, but make sure your immediate family comes first. If he doesn't or won't attend, I wouldn't go out of my way for them. He is a big boy and makes the decisions that are best for him, whatever that decision is. Leave gifts with your family for his kids and go on your vacation. We insulted some of our family when we had our first child and refused to do 3 seperate Holiday gatherings in 2 days. Too much for the little ones. Eventually the family came around and joined in the celebration. Best of luck to you, I know our minister said family gatherings at the holidays can make for stressful times.

TMCNo1
12-03-2007, 07:37 AM
We leave 2 days after Christmas and don't return until after the 1st. We have traditional plans with each family and if something comes up and they can't attend, so be it. Holidays are for family, but make sure your immediate family comes first. If he doesn't or won't attend, I wouldn't go out of my way for them. He is a big boy and makes the decisions that are best for him, whatever that decision is. Leave gifts with your family for his kids and go on your vacation. We insulted some of our family when we had our first child and refused to do 3 seperate Holiday gatherings in 2 days. Too much for the little ones. Eventually the family came around and joined in the celebration. Best of luck to you, I know our minister said family gatherings at the holidays can make for stressful times.


Stressful, let me tell you about stressful! How many cotton picking Green Bean Cassaroles can 6 families bring, when everyone agreed on what to bring and it didn't include any Green Bean Cassaroles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes it happened!:rolleyes: :D

Jerseydave
12-03-2007, 07:50 AM
Yup, that's basically it. Kids are 10 and 7.


So in about 10 years your brother could be a free man (if he choses, that is) I've seen it happen more than once this way.