Advise and opinions needed.

ellendiMay 27, 2012

Here is the scenario: I have a SIL that has a boyfriend. I do not get along well with my SIL but we are cordial and get together for holidays etc. She is my husbands only sister and they are not in touch with other family.

When we get together and talk about an event, or trip BF will say "I'll go" , or "I'll use your vacation house in February." He is a very nice man and good for my SIL but the part that is missing here is, we did not invite you and we did not ask you! The other part is that she is 10 years older than me and he is almost 20 years older.So, different energy levels.

My husband wants to plan a trip for myself and our two daughters to a place were BF would certainly want to go. My question to you is, how do you politely say we want this trip to be just for the four of us? Both DD are on their own and this will be the first time in a long time that we will share a vacation. Also one of my DD's does not get along with the SIL either.

I feel I put up with a lot in the sake of harmony, but I guess I am reaching my breaking point, always being concernied with how others feel.

What would you do?

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trailrunnerbiker

How about " we know you will be pleased for us, we are taking a trip , just the 4 of us , this is the first time in a long time that we will be able to share a vacation and who knows when we will get a chance again!" Couldn't be clearer or more polite. Sometimes there is only one way to say something and that is to say it.

I hope you have a WONDERFUL time. Sounds like it will be perfect for you all. c

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 4:05PM
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hilltop_gw

Why do you need to tell the SIL and BF about it? Just plan the trip. If they hear about it ahead of time and begin to invite themselves just matter of factly tell them that your family needed some private R&R time.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 4:06PM
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SheeshareeII

He would really invite himself (and your SIL I assume) to something you were planning for your own family? Wow.

I tend to tread lightly with family and consider if something's worth the a squabble but I would say pretty much what you said here. That you want this trip to be just you four and how it's the first time in a long time you've been able to vacation together. That can be said nice. If he continues to push after you give an explaination...well, that would irritate me and my tone would change. I'd then try repeating,"sorry, it's just going to be us four for this trip."

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 4:13PM
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ellendi

Thanks, trailrunner, hilltop and sheesharee. I guess I needed confimation that I wasn't being mean spirited.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 4:18PM
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ellendi

Hilltop, why they would find out is that the place we are going is where my DD2 spend four months for a semester abroad and when we get together it bound to come into the conversation. (BF is Spanish speaking and this is a Spanish speaking country so he is always very interested)
So, I might just tell DD2 to keep our idea for this trip on the qt until it is all finalized.
Why do things have to become so difficult?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 4:25PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I think you are making things more difficult than they are. Families take vacations all the time without taking any extended family members. To me, that is unusual.
Don't be passive aggressive, be upfront about what you will be doing but be nice, cordial. What trailrunner said.

I think it would be awkward and strange if you took the trip without mentioning it ahead of time. Then it looks like you are trying to cover something up.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 4:32PM
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lukkiirish

Of course you're not being mean spirited and what you're planning isn't out of the norm. I agree with Trailrunner completely. Don't hide it, just word it in a way that makes it clear it's for immediate family only. If they have a problem with it, it's their problem not yours.

Ahhhh, extended family is so much fun sometimes. :c)

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 4:52PM
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ellendi

Thanks Bumblebeez, but they are taking a cruise this summer which we found out about after the tickets were paid for! Never even mentioned to us that they were looking in to it.
And you are right, I am obsessing, but do not like hurt feelings. I have never been in this position where someone feels they are welcome to invite themselves along!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 4:52PM
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ellendi

LOL!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 5:06PM
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camlan

1. They didn't invite you on the cruise with them, so clearly they don't think every vacation has to include the extended family.

2. If visiting a Spanish-speaking country were a priority for BF, they'd be visiting a Spainish-speaking country instead of going on a cruise.

Don't confuse "nice" and "polite." Polite means that as you tell him "no," you do so pleasantly, with a smile. Nice would mean that you change all your plans and include SIL and BF just so you don't feel badly about telling them no.

Trust me, you will regret not telling them "yes" for far longer than you will telling them "no."

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 7:19PM
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ellendi

Thanks for your response camlan. When you say "Trust me, you will regret not telling them yes" I have to disagree. I do not want them on this trip and I further more feel that it will set a precedent for future events if they are allowed to ask themselves along.
There is a history here. When SIL husband died I started to include her more because I felt she was alone. Now with a BF and many, many years later, she still expects these invitations.(As stated above we don't have a good relationship with each other and I don't enjoy her company) I am feeling trapped. I don't want hurt feeling yet on the other hand I want to have a say and do something because I want to not because I have to.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 8:37PM
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camlan

ellendi, what I meant was that if you tell them "yes" you will regret it for a long time. If you tell them "no" you will feel badly about it for a day or two and then forget it.

I need to stop posting when I'm tired and not making any sense.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 9:15PM
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ellendi

Thanks camlan and all above for your responses. I do feel much better about my situation. You're the best!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 9:22PM
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yayagal

I'd say I have the happiest news. We're going to have a reunion vaca with just our children and I'm so excited. We never get a chance to be alone with them. It will be like old times for us, what fun". Do it in a chatty email and forget about it. You're not doing anything that millions of others do daily. Then go and have the best time ever.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 1:06PM
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lukkiirish

Congrats YaYa!!! My mother did that with us for her 80th birthday. Flew all of the families in to where she lives in SoCal and put us up at a beach resort for the weekend. She was in 7th Heaven (and so were we!) Hope you both have a great time with your families!

No more worrying Ellendi!!!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 2:19PM
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ellendi

I like everyone's spin on how to approach my post. What I really needed and got from all of you is confirmation that I am not being mean spirited by not allowing them to include themselves.
Yaya, they both do not email. Just as point of reference she is in her late 60's he in his mid 70's. Although in good health, they are not active and having to work around them for two weeks would drive me crazy. Added to the fact that to be honest, I don't like my SIL and by her past actions, she really doesn't like me either. She would not admit this as she wants to stay in good graces with my DH. (DH helps her financially.)
As a precaution, I called my DD2 and told her to not mention our family trip when we are together on Father's Day. We will see what happens.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 3:14PM
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