Anxiety around the holidays

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    Is anyone feeling anxiety around the holidays?  We have decided to stay home and celebrate Thanksgiving with only our immediate family.  Even though we communicated this several times, my husband’s family is still pressuring us to join a large family gathering that we are not comfortable attending.  They also attempted to set an ultimatum that if we don’t attend this one we’ll “have to” attend one in December, which I shut down.  Whenever they call or text I feel myself getting anxious anticipating yet another conversation.

    Allison Graham

    I’m so sorry that you are having to deal with that pressure. That’s entirely unfair in my opinion. My situation is a little different… my parents aren’t seeing anyone. However, my boyfriends parents are having small celebrations. Unfortunately, I’m still a little uncomfortable and anxious with it all because some cousins and neighbors are attending. It will still be relatively small but still puts me in a stressful environment.

    Ashley Hicke

    I completely understand what both of you are going through. My family has been pretty distant. I live with my mom and my grandpa right now, so it’s just the three of us here. My mom and I are mostly home, and my grandpa is always home because he’s disabled. The only other family I’ve seen is my aunt and her boyfriend but we were very cautious. On the other hand, my boyfriend comes from a larger family. He has a large household, and for holidays they also invite a few relatives and friends. This means that even 20 or more people may be there at once. It’s really stressful and frustrating, but I feel like I have to go out of respect. I wish I could politely decline, but I don’t want my boyfriend or his family to feel that I don’t like them. My boyfriend is definitely very respectful and understanding so we try to distance ourselves when guests are over, but this isn’t always easy when there’s a lot of people present.

    Gillian Teepe

    I can also sympathize with the pressure you all are under. My family did not celebrate Thanksgiving together, though my boyfriend’s family put a lot of pressure on us to attend. The two of us got sick the week before Thanksgiving, and both tested positive for coronavirus. His parents didn’t let up on this, still insisting we have a family dinner and pushing off the importance on quarantining.

    I understand the frustration you all have experienced with similar situations, and to OP, I’m very sorry that they’ve pushed an ultimatum on you. That pressure reasonably will make you feel more distant, and feel anxious when they attempt to reach out continuously. My hope is that they will soon be able to understand and respect the boundaries which you’ve set for yourself.

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