Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Carolyn: I have three sets of parents, two mine and one my husbands. Only my husbands family has money, and this is a source of tension with my family.
My mother-in-law really wants to take us to Europe, not once, but twice this year. I feel like I keep telling her no because of work or because its the other familys turn for Christmas or whatever, but this year there is no convenient way to get her to scale down.
How in the world can I strike a balance between all of my families when one set seems to hold all the cards?
The way you frame this, theres no you. The entities making all the decisions are the parents, your workplace and holidays.
What do YOU want? If you want to go to Europe twice, then go to Europe twice, and find some way to show your love for your other parents. If youd rather not go twice, then say no to one or both trips. I am so grateful for the opportunity, but going (twice) would mean I dont see my parents at all this year.
Carolyn: The entities making all the decisions are the parents, your workplace and holidays: This is exactly how it works. My husband and I havent gotten to go on a vacation alone since our honeymoon over three years ago. And we do make decisions together, but since I am better with communication, I am the one on the phone to his mother trying to explain why we cant do such-and-such a trip.
I guess my question needed to emphasize how to deal with the jealousy created by the money. Even though its my in-laws year for Christmas, I know my families will see us going on a trip and make an assumption that we would have hated spending Christmas with them, at home (not at all true).
BALANCING FAMILIES, AGAIN
You are not responsible for your parents feelings, or your mother-in-laws. If the trip is not right for you, then dont go; shell manage. If it is, go; your family will manage.
You are responsible for your schedule. You say you havent gotten to go on a vacation alone, but youve chosen not to.
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