Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Bit of Venting

The thing is my DH is a bit of a recluse. Very low tolerance for attending social gatherings whether friend or family based. And has a thing about not doing anything except HIS birthday celebration on the closest weekend to his birthday unless it's something HE wants to do.

Last week we received a save the date from one of his cousins - for the birthday weekend. Triple FAIL as not only is it a social event, it is on the sacrosanct birthday weekend, and would require air travel to attend thanks to the location.

While I am not a huge fan of social events (hello, introvert here!), I adore that his family has made a priority of keeping good relations between cousins. Example, the cousins above are actually his second cousins. (No first cousins as both his parents siblings had the bad luck to die young.) Given the relative smallness of my own family (only 2 cousins on either side, total of 4) and that I'm not particularly close to the extended relations - mostly because of distance and limited time spent together growing up - I feel like I can see a bigger picture of the importance of continuing the relationships established by the prior generations.

For that reason, I really feel like we should go. That, and I feel like his prior avoidance of family events just makes it that much harder to keep up the relationships which means our Little One who is unlikely to have any first cousins of her own (only child on my side, health issues on his side) will be that much more disconnected from family as she grows up.

Perhaps that's the argument I should use? I fully recognize that I have a very dirty lens where family connections are concerned, but I don't like that he is tossing away decades of closeness for what seem like frivolous reasons. (not that I could say that to him without it getting ugly up in here)

I guess I'm just really frustrated that there doesn't seem to be any middle ground for either of us on this given the immovable parameters of his birthday, the wedding date and the distance.

So, I'm going to have to be the one who gives in and doesn't get to attend. I'm trying to be fair here and not start throwing flaming balls of vitriol, but they are steeping away...

Further information:
  • The last wedding of this family we attended was in the same locale and DH came down with suspected food poisoning (I blame not washing his hands before eating after air travel and using public transportation) so missed the wedding and most of the reception feeling ill. He's got IBS and Acid Reflux and even though he's on med's which now seem to work 90% of the time, he hasn't been able to let go of the mental issues surrounding such problems, and I think has added the issues at the prior location to those. Example: He does not eat when traveling for fear of issues arising when he cannot deal with them. And doesn't consider that others traveling with him do not have said issues and may still need to eat on a regular basis.
  • Also, DH doesn't want to travel by plane with Little One (even though she'll be over a year by then). I'm not looking forward to it, but I know it's more than doable.
  • Going would also mean that I might be able to visit with my cousin, his wife and their new baby before they come to visit his more local parents later in the year. And newish baby = great incentive.
  • I've already attended one wedding of this family without DH. But that time was due to a conflict of schedule for an event he could not miss (well, he could have, but it made a good excuse).
  • He is excellent at the non-guilt guilt trip: "Go, have fun. You obviously care more about ... than you do about me. I may not be here when you return. " Grrrr. I love him but sometimes he really drives me nuts. And right now he's driving me nuts.

Hmmm, think I'll stop there as this is starting to bring up some issues for me that I need to tamp down before he gets home from a 14+ hour work day and commute. Never the best time to bring up anything touchy as nerves are already well frayed. And dinner needs to be waiting because, surprise, he didn't get a chance to eat much today. Off I toddle to do something to a bit of meat and veg.


  1. 1) I loved your use of the expression "meat and veg".
    2) There are sacrifices we must make for our children. Making efforts to be more outgoing for the sake of socializing our children with their relatives if those relatives are far away and/or few is one of those sacrifices. I think this is a valid and sound argument for you guys to GO.

  2. I can't believe I forgot the real biggie: this birthday is one of the 0's...

    Wouldn't you think it would be better to celebrate with the loads of family gathered?