Thanksgiving or no Thanksgiving?


Well-Known Member
What a situation. Husband and Difficult Child can't even be nice to each other long enough for a meal. I've stressed over this for weeks already and Thanksgiving isn't even here. (We have no family nearby except Difficult Child.) Difficult Child doesn't even contact me except to complain about his phone not working and that always turns into him yelling at me because he doesn't have a billion GB for his data usage (I pay for his phone). (Difficult Child lives a few miles away with his father) My husband (not his father) will agree to Difficult Child coming for a meal at Thanksgiving but the meal will be had in silence. Sigh.......I really hate the holidays. Difficult Child is ungrateful and pretty much totally ignores me day in and day out except if he wants something. Seldom does he answer a text when I ask how he is, nor answer his phone (he's "sleeping"). He never calls to just to say hi or to see how I'm doing. This is what my husband hates......the total disregard my Difficult Child has for me. BUT I stress over the right thing to do as his mother which is to invite him for Thanksgiving. He will have no Thanksgiving with his father.....but does Difficult Child even really care? Do I invite him and have a stress-filled Thanksgiving with him acting like a jerk and my husband angry over the whole thing, or do I not even invite him and have a pleasant day with my loving husband watching football and having a great meal? The mother in me......well, you know.......



Hi wake up call. Yes Thanksgiving...The Hallmark expectation. So hard I let that go..or to do what is right for us...scary stuff.
With one difficult relationship, my only sibling, for the first time ever, I'm not trying to resolve thanksgiving and what will happen. Just did nothing and let that sit..It's a first for me..
I wish you good luck with your decision on this and hope your holiday goes ok.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
My thoughts? Tell your Difficult Child that you don't feel like cooking this year, and have made other plans. Tell him you need a year off from the hoopla. Then do whatever you want --go out to eat, come home and watch football in your PJs, make a frozen pizza, whatever works for you and your husband. And kick that guilt to the curb.. you've earned a break from being the Thanksgiving hostess, even if circumstances weren't as they are now.

The commercialization of holidays puts a lot of pressure on people to have a "traditional" Thanksgiving - but there is no rule book about it. I have friends who go out to dinner, have big family gatherings, or get together for a pot luck "friendsgiving." I also have friends that do nothing, and stay home and watch TV and stay away from the family drama, and they love it.

I think deliberately putting yourself into a stressful situation defeats the entire idea of Thanksgiving - to be thankful! Put your needs first this year, and spend the day being thankful for the peace and quiet :)


Well-Known Member
Another possibility is for you (without hubby) to take him out somewhere for a meal together - and have the rest of the day with hubby enjoying yourselves and having thanksgiving "your way". It gives you a chance to connect with your son in a more neutral setting.


Well-Known Member
My Difficult Child has ruined holidays before. From the Thanksgiving he didn't even show up for to the Xmas he literally opened his gifts then ran off with his loser friends...and actually TOLD me he bought a gift for us on Xmas eve when he had not and I found out Xmas morning when he had to admit he spent the money I GAVE HIM on himself...

I wouldn't invite him since your husband feels that way. Take him out yourself to lunch or something and leave hubby home, then have Thanksgiving with hubby later maybe?


Well-Known Member
Can you find a thanksgiving brunch in your area... Meet your son there and try to enjoy a meal together. Then have a traditional meal at home in the evening... KSM


Well-Known Member
Spend the day with your hubby, since history has shown that the day with your Difficult Child is bound to be a disaster. I gave up on the idea of everyone all together and happy years ago, because it never turned out that way. Now I do what I want. It wasn't easy to get to that place, but it's so much easier on the emotions.


Well-Known Member
Thank you so much, everyone, for your input. You've all had great ideas. This is the reason I belong to this forum; you help me not feel guilty and help me realize that Difficult Child has put all of us in this position. It's just too bad, really, really, too bad. I want a relationship with my son, and it may never happen. BUT the most important relationship is the one with my husband....HE will always be there for me. Not my children, not any of my children.......


Well-Known Member
Well, this is how this got answered FOR me. This week my Difficult Child texted and asked me if I'd like to go to lunch. I was, "Wow, this is a switch. How nice, Difficult Child, I'd love to." So we made plans to meet somewhere. When I got to the restaurant, I waited and waited and show. HE STOOD ME UP!!! I was unbelievably angry, hurt, and felt like a sap. He called about 2:30 apologizing because he overslept. I told him, don't call me, don't text me, and for heaven's sake do NOT come to my house! Nope, no Thanksgiving for me with him. I'll have it alone with my husband.....


one day at a time
Hang in there. They do what they do and then we need to do what is best for us. The other night I left the hospital and went home earlier than I had planned because I needed to do that for me. I needed to be alone with my thoughts and feelings and take care of myself. The old me never would have done that---I would have stayed and probably spent the night! And driven myself and him crazy in the process.

We must identify and take care of our own needs and when we stretch like you did with lunch yesterday and then it doesn't work out, we need to be able to take our own pulse and see what we need and want and then do that.

My Difficult Child over sleeps too and still does from time to time even now that he is doing better. I have learned to let it go and not pin of my hopes on a positive outcome and to have virtually zero expectations. That served me well.

This time it didn't work. Maybe next time when you are ready to try it again it will work. Thanksgiving is just one day in the year and there will be other times to sit across the table from him.

We're here for you. Take thanksgiving this year for yourself! You deserve that and we all do.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Oh the holiday's and the expectations that can come with them.
I have always liked this little life equation:

I think you made a wise choice to not invite him over and you should not feel guilty about it. Enjoy the day with your husband.



one day at a time
We all need to remember this simple equation. Having absolutely no expectations is really hard and takes so much work. But it is a worthy goal when we are dealing with DCs.

Marcie Mac

Just Plain Ole Tired
I am having our regular Thanksgiving for the four of us as usual. A few weeks ago Difficult Child had the mother of all melt downs after a few years of not having any at all. So bad he took all of the things he bought SO (like his computer) (it was actually so long that SO forgot the rules on no engagement to ignore and let me handle it because he hates SO with a passion and SO commenting just ups the ante) and ripped, broke and taken back everything he had ever given to SO and I as presents. I am not asking him what his plans are - if he wants to eat here, fine, if he wants to eat dinner in his room, fine, if he goes to a friends, so much the better. He will not be ruining our Thanksgiving having a melt down like a 9 year old (and SO will NOT be playing along with him).



Well-Known Member
I've heard nothing from Difficult Child (since he stood me up for lunch a week ago) till I got a text in the middle of the night last night. He wondered if I would like to, (*quote) "eat on Friday. I would say today, but I have plans with Dad." Guess his father (my ex) is going to take him somewhere for Thanksgiving. My husband and I will be spending the day together with no other family. I haven't seen my son in a month and he only lives eight miles from me.

So, this morning I answered DCs text. I said, "I love you, Son. You don't do well meeting me for lunch; you've stood me up three times and that's three times too many. It hurts me deeply. I would love to meet you somewhere Friday afternoon and we can snack and have an iced tea. Can you be up and showered by then? Let me know."

I don't want to cut him off altogether, but this meeting for lunch and me sitting there and he never shows is for the birds. He did tell me he was sorry, but that isn't good enough for me. I can't even imagine EVER having treated my mother that way.....ever....


one day at a time
Happy Thanksgiving WAC! Let's **Decide** to have a great day today, a day of peace and gratitude, regardless of what any other person decides to do or say.

I so understand your position here. I get really, really tired of the younger generation not being able to "make it" for anything before noon. They are "tired" or they just want to "relax" or something.

Get up and get it done! Anyway...I digress.

I love how you set a boundary for YOURSELF with your son, after trying it "his way" and being left in the lurch multiple times. That is so great!

My husband and I are having our Thanksgiving dinner together by ourselves today too. All of our kids are elsewhere, and you know what, that's really okay. I'm very grateful to be here with him, and just let them be and do whatever they are doing. I hope they all have a truly good day, and we will as well.

My son, daughter in law and other son (Difficult Child) are coming here tomorrow night and we will eat it all again (leftovers). That will be nice, and we are planning to play some games. Difficult Child has to work a 10-hour day tomorrow so he will roll in here about 6:30 and take a shower, and then we will eat. That's fine. It is what it is, and I'm just thankful for so many things this year.

Life is hard. I never knew life was going to be so hard. I am so much better off when I can step back, enjoy the very moment i am in, let everybody else go, and be thankful.

That is my focus today. Here's wishing you and your husband can enjoy each other to the fullest, and let everything else go.

Happy Thanksgiving! May we all find peace and joy in some measure today.