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Gumleaf
December 22nd, 2016, 10:33 PM
So we're two days out from Christmas and I'm about to endure potentially the worst Christmas of my life. If it isn't the worst, certainly the most awkward and unsettling. The issue is that Christmas dinner this year at my parents house which involves myself, my parents, an uncle, my sister, her husband and their 3 little boys who are all aged under 5.

So here's the problem. My sister and brother in law are having marriage problems to the point where they are on the verge of separation. They have agreed for the sake of their kids to keep christmas day "normal" and do all the family stuff that had been planned. That includes having dinner with us. We know one of the main marriage issues being my brother in law's affair he is having with someone, and he knows that we all know. So that's going to be really awkward to keep things normal on the day.

My question is does anyone have any practical ideas of how I can cope with this situation on the day, especially from those who have had similar experiences of family tension? I mean, it shouldn't last any longer than about 2-3hrs, but still, long enough to cause feelings of awkwardness.

Dalcourt
December 23rd, 2016, 10:07 AM
That's really tough. I'm in some sort of delicate family situation this Christmas myself and not yet sure how to handle it. So I have no idea what advice to give.

I don't think you can do much more than concentrate on the eating part and try to have some small talk. I mean there's stuff to talk without touching the subject of their problems if it's only for a few hours. It surely may get a little forced but I guess there's nothing you can really do to avoid that. I personally wouldn't do this keeping up appearance for the sake of the kids anyway. It's kinda useless in my opinion but it's your sister's decision.

mick01
December 23rd, 2016, 12:08 PM
If it were me i'd definitely totally ignore the brother-in-law and just focus on the kids, playing with them and stuff. I just wouldn't acknowledge his existence tbh.

Gumleaf
December 25th, 2016, 06:48 AM
That's really tough. I'm in some sort of delicate family situation this Christmas myself and not yet sure how to handle it. So I have no idea what advice to give.

I don't think you can do much more than concentrate on the eating part and try to have some small talk. I mean there's stuff to talk without touching the subject of their problems if it's only for a few hours. It surely may get a little forced but I guess there's nothing you can really do to avoid that. I personally wouldn't do this keeping up appearance for the sake of the kids anyway. It's kinda useless in my opinion but it's your sister's decision.

Cheers dude. We managed to get through the day okay, although it wasn't ideal and therefore not as enjoyable as it could have and should have been. But what can you do? I hope your situation works itself out too. :)

Dalcourt
December 26th, 2016, 12:55 AM
Cheers dude. We managed to get through the day okay, although it wasn't ideal and therefore not as enjoyable as it could have and should have been. But what can you do? I hope your situation works itself out too. :)

Good to hear it wasn't that bad. Wasn't ideal for me, too but at least the food was good.

jamie_n5
December 26th, 2016, 09:00 PM
I just saw this I an very glad that you made it through without any major problems.