I’m a man in my late-30s and have a dilemma around a family gathering at Christmas.
In the past, my wife and I had a rocky relationship and split up several times before finally getting married and having kids.
During one of these breaks, she dated my sister’s brother-in-law (her husband’s brother) for nearly a year and ended the relationship when we decided to try again.
I’ve been OK with it – it’s not like she cheated because we weren’t together – and I’ve been able to avoid him pretty easily, so it’s never really been an issue.
However, my sister has invited us to her house over Christmas, which would be nice, as my wife has no family in this country.
The problem is, my sister’s brother-in-law will also be there and I’m not sure I’m comfortable with this.
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She did ask if this would be a problem for either my wife or me and initially I said no, but now I’m having doubts.
My wife and I have talked it over and she said we’d moved, our marriage is solid, so it shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, she pointed out that, if anything, he would be the one to feel awkward.
I can’t make up my mind whether I’m being petty and making too big a deal of it or whether it’s just a bad idea.
I think if your gut is telling you it’s a bad idea, then it’s probably a bad idea. The way I look at it is, why put yourself through it if you don’t have to?
Yes, it would be nice to see family, but it might also be nice to have Christmas with just your wife and your kids. I don’t think any of us should feel forced into a big family Christmas just because we’ve been told we can.
And, you have an easy way out of this one – you can blame Covid! Just tell your sister you’ve decided to stay at home this year and not take the risk of seeing lots of other people. Many families will be choosing that option.
If spending the day with this guy is going to make you feel grumpy, insecure and ruin your Christmas, then don’t do it.
I’m sure your wife will want to do whatever you’re most comfortable with and your sister will understand.
You seem to have worked out the issues in your relationship and have a happy marriage, so why rock the boat by dragging up memories you’d rather keep in the past?