My girlfriend and I are facing a major dilemma in visiting her home town for Christmas: Stay at her parents house or stay in a hotel. Any advice or past experiences would be most appreciated. Much much
In order to fully comprehend the complexity of this dilemma, one first has to realize the severity of the situation.
First, I should probably note that I happen to be an atheist and do not really celebrate Christmas. My girlfriend basically considers herself spiritual and is still researching various things regarding that. Though she isn't necessarily involved with any organized religion, she was brought up Catholic and her family recognizes, and most definitely celebrates, all the appropriate holidays.
In general (in my very limited experience) I'm going to go out on a limb and say that her family overall has, and continues to be, somewhat passive aggressive in nature -- guilt trips and the like.
When I first met the family a couple months ago (we were there for a wedding) there were some complications. We apparently deeply offended her sister, brother-in-law and somewhat her parents by leaving a dinner meeting early (although, well after actually eating). The tension over this incident was so thick that the next day her brother-in-law brought my poor girlfriend and her mother to tears. I went up to him and said my piece but all I got was the same yelling, cursing and "you offended my family" (apparently by association). At any rate, it was not a pleasant way to first meet one's family.
My girlfriend and her sister have barely spoken (only 2 emails) since then and have not resolved any of this. She hasn't apologized to her or to me, even though I was just kind of there for the ride.
Anyway, despite this extreme melodrama, my girlfriend feels obligated to attend the Christmas holiday extravaganza. I of course didn't really jump at the opportunity to go, but I do care about her and she really wants me there. So I said "How about we compromise and we stay in a hotel instead of your parents' house?" My assumption being that we would have a sort of safe place to retreat to if things get uneasy and we can spend some nice time just being alone and away from things together.
She agreed that this would be fine. However, when she told her parents, they were not happy at all. They used words like "disappointed" and "offended" etc.
So it comes down to this. What the hell should we do?
- Should she just go by herself, skip Christmas with me (since I don't really celebrate it anyhow) and stay with her family? Her family will no doubt give her guilt about somehow messing up the situation and me not coming anyhow, but at least I won't have to deal with that and they will get what they want as far as she goes.
- or... Should we both go and stay in a nice hotel. Make a nice little mini-vacation out of it (4 days) and salvage what we can from the nights we'd be alone together. She will still get guilt for this from the 'rents based on their being disappointed and offended. The question is, is this option worth her parents potentially harboring some resentment towards me for somewhat steering my girlfriend away from her family for this holiday?