First Christmas as a married couple...apart? :(

I recently got married and until now my husband and I have always spent Christmas apart (past 8 years).  I would have been happy to alternate but he has always been dead against it and out of stubbornness (and fairness) I refused to spend Christmas with his family if he wouldn't come to mine.  Our families are a good four drive + apart.

I feel stupid we didn't thrash this out before getting married but I assumed that when we got married we would spend Christmas together, whether that be alone or alternating between families.  He has now said he won't come to my family's for Christmas this year or next and doesn't see it as a problem if we spend Christmas apart.  I feel a little heartbroken he could feel like this.  Every year I've missed him like crazy over Christmas and was so excited to spend this one together.

His view is that Christmas is for kids and he wants to watch his niece open her presents (we don't have any children).  When I pushed him on this he said that surely my parents would be upset if I didn't spend Christmas with them.

I'm sure my parents would be sad if we moved to alternating families for Christmas but I think my mum would totally understand and would think it crazy and super weird if we don't have Christmas together.

We keep going round in circles when we talk about this and he won't compromise in any way.  Us hosting isn't really an option (we're renovating the house so everything is in a state, my grandma is on her own now and is elderly so probably won't travel and my parents can't leave her.

I feel if we can't resolve this I see it as a big issue but he just doesn't see this as a problem.



  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,949 New bride

    I would expect to spend Xmas with my spouse, as a non negotiable. Where that happens is what you need to discuss, but he is being quite unreasonable refusing to compromise at all. 

    We spent our first few Xmases apart, but since having our son we always spend them together. We don't have an arrangement to alternate, we go wherever it suits us that year - this year we are staying at home and any of our parents will be welcome to join us if they wish.

  • It seems unreasonable of him to expect you to come to his parents' all the time or to never have Christmas together. Marriage is about compromises! It kind of feels like he's putting his niece above you, which is bizarre because your niece will have many other relatives (including her parents!) who can be with her, and with things like Facetime he can watch his niece open her presents without even being there.

  • SadieeeSadieee Posts: 1,781 New bride

    For me it would be either alternate years or be just you two. But tbh I wouldn't have married someone who was this unreasonable, afterall this isnt a new thing that started after your marriage, you knew he had these views

  • Ozzy2bOzzy2b Posts: 143

    Can you do an alternate weekend Christmas? We have always done the weekend before Christmas with my family (dating back to when we were teenagers and uni and shift work often got in the way). As we got older and all 3 kids and partners lived 3 - 7 hours away from our parents, it’s worked well and made sure that there are no issue with alternating with families or deciding to do something else on Christmas Day itself. 

    It‘s a difficult one if no one is prepared to compromise but there are other ways to make sure you see both families that don’t necesarily mean spending Christmas morning with them. 


  • Sorry, but I think your husband is being really unreasonable. There’s no reason he can’t alternate between both families each year, and he’s being selfish in not being willing to compromise. I’m not surprised you’re upset about the idea of spending Christmas apart. 

    My husband often has to work away over Christmas (he’s an actor and often gets a Panto or Christmas show) and for the last few years he’s been in the north whereas my lot are way down south. So I’ve alternated and had one year up with him/his family (midlands) and one year on my own down south with mine. However, it won’t always be this way and he always feels terrible about it! Work is work so I totally understand, and he would be with my family in a heartbeat if he was able to. 

    I think you need to be quite firm and explain how him failing to see it from your side can be quite upsetting. There’s no need for you to constantly be the one having to compromise. 

  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 896 New bride

    If someone thinks Christmas is for kids, they obviously don't know how to do Christmas properly!

    I'm sorry, but this is something you'll have to thrash out with him. It's not a one off event - it happens every year. You will always have the resentment of him getting his way and not compromising, every year.

    Does he realise how much this is upsetting you, or do you brush it off as not a big deal in front of him?

  • He's being completely unreasonable! If you can't get through to him any other way then I would honestly just show him these responses from impartial strangers who all think he's being selfish and disrespectful.

  • I don't mean to sound rude (forgive me), but your husband's viewpoint makes him sound like a spoilt child that's stomping his foot and demanding that Christmas be his way every year. As someone already said, marriage is about compromises, but it goes even further than that. Life is about compromising and finding solutions, solutions that work as our lives change and get more complicated than what they were when we were 7 years old. I too would love to spend every year under my parent's Christmas tree, listening to the same records as when I was young, enjoying the same traditions. But that's not possible. We live over an hour away from them, my OH's parents are divorced with his mum living about 45 minutes from us and his dad/stepmom living 5 hours from us.  I have a sister that works in healthcare that has worked most holidays since her licensure and another sister that has two children with two different ex-husbands. Surely you can see that Christmas (and other events like birthdays) get rotated, shifted, squeezed in, and re-created all the time! Add to this, my OH travels heavily for work during the fall and winter, and he's sometimes only in town on the 25th! 

    Moral of the story is that we need to be flexible as we age and life's circumstances change. Perhaps you could do Christmas Eve at one home and Christmas Day at another, or Christmas Day in one place and Christmas on Boxing Day at the other. Having a can-do attitude about this will make all the difference. Tell him to stop being stubborn and put his thinking cap on; this is only a small challenge in the landscape of marriage and it should be easy enough to come up with a solution.

  • Sorry, but this us unreasonable. Marriage is about compromises/sacrifices and understanding. I personally think it's incredibly rude that he won't have it any other way. Surely your first Christmas as man and wife is extra special? I actually feel bad for you :( 

  • Ambam19Ambam19 Posts: 586 New bride

    Hiya, we always separate at Christmas and have discussed when we get married it will stay the same as I like spending it with mine and he likes spending it with his. However they're only half hour away so I always join them in the evening. I don't think it would be different if they were further though. 

    We've talked about it and it will only change when we have kids but not before. It's not a big deal to us x

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