Furious at family


My mother-in-law and step-father-in-law are coming to Florida where I live, but aren’t staying with us; they’re staying at a resort in a nearby city. And they’re spending Christmas and New Year’s with my husband’s cousin just a few hours away from us.

I got so angry because my husband and I were always guilt-tripped to spend our vacations with them in NY. And when we went, we had to spend exactly 50/50 time with my parents and my husband’s, or else both mothers would guilt trip us. Sometimes we didn’t want to, but we did it anyway. And they still complained it wasn’t enough.

If my mom-in-law wasn’t going to stay with us when she visited, I wouldn’t have given away my beloved cat. (She’s allergic). I gave my cat to my brother. A few months later, he never came home and they have no idea what happened.

And speaking of which, I always made it a point to visit my brother and his family. Yet the one and only time he came to visit me, he stayed in a hotel I don’t even know where and barely saw us. The same exact thing happened with my sister-in-law and her family. They all went and did their own thing, spending maybe a day with us out of their weeklong trip.

Now that I’m in scholars, I know people can’t guilt-trip me. But that’s how it felt before the model. And I still think it so unfair that we made the effort to spend time with them, but when they travel near us, none of them make the effort to spend time with us.

I want to say to hell with all of them. But what I really think is that it’s time for me to be intentional about the relationship that *I* want to have with them and to redefine what the relationship *I* have with them looks like. After all, don’t relationships only exist in my mind? How can I do this?