Help me before I kill the joy of the holiday season for everyone and lose my marriage! I’m an only child, and my parents always expect my husband and me to travel to their house for Thanksgiving and Christmas. They would have no one to celebrate with if we didn’t go. They live two hours away, so by the time we drive there, spend time and come home, our day is shot for anything else.
My husband’s family is big and loud and they believe they’re the only place in town during the holidays. They expect us to be there or we get the silent treatment for the rest of the year. I don’t mind dropping by after we return from my parents’ house, but they expect us there all day. My husband and I fight about this every year, and this year I told him if he wants to be with his family, then fine. He can go to his family celebration and I’ll go to mine, and we’ll see each other later. He’s furious with me. What am I supposed to do?
Find the passage in the Bible that reminds married couples to leave family and cleave to one another. Read it to your husband, and pray with him. I’ve been in your situation, and it’s never happy. I’ve even attempted, for many years, to host Christmas festivities at our house, but that was more work than fun for both of us. We eventually decided to slow things down a lot. We would see family members during the holiday season, but not specifically on Thanksgiving or Christmas. They learned to accept our decision after some grumbling. I know I’m oversimplifying, but your first devotion is to Christ, your second to your spouse and immediate family. When you have children will you want them to experience the stress of the holidays, or the joy of it? Make it joyful. You might spend Thanksgiving with your parents and Christmas with his, but the two of you are a family now. Protect that above all else.
Best wishes, and have a great Thanksgiving!
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