Merry Not So Christmas to Me.. Advice Please!!!

Updated on December 27, 2012
G.D. asks from San Jose, CA
25 answers

I know there's two sides to every story but I just know I'm not wrong in this situation. We go to my husbands grandmothers house for dinner. The Grandmother, mother in law and sister in law are smoking inside the house 5 feet away from my 6 in a half month old daughter. My husband says something to them and the grandmother says deal with it. They continue to smoke and so I leave. My husband has the nerve to tell me that I'm being rude to his family and not even saying bye to them. He didnt even leave with me. Oh and I forgot to mention... When we got there, there was dog poop on the floor and I stepped on it and the grandmother tells me to "watch where you f*cking step." My husband said nothing.. Didnt even come with me. Am I crazy or wrong or totally out of the line here? I'm dumbfounded right now. It was my daughters first christmas. I know divorce sucks but this is a constant thing with my husband not standing up for me. And now it's his daughter he can't even stick up for. This day just completely sucked and I can't stop crying. P.S. this is my second time meeting this woman and my first time at her house and I knew she smoked just not in the house. My husband told me if he saw it he would say something. I just don't see how I was rude with everything she said to me and how she acted.

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So What Happened?

Cheryl I have no reason to make this up. I came here to get advice so being that I want some guidance in this situation I'm giving the full story. She specifically said " watch where you effin step". I let it go and laughed. But I couldn't take it when they wouldn't quit smoking. I havent been married 8 years nor have I ever stated I was. And yes this is my second time meeting this woman because his grandma just came back into my mother in laws life. But one thing you are right about, all is not well in my world much less in this world if people honestly think its okay to be smoking and blowing out rat poison and toxics in the same room as my daughter. Like I also said I let the dog poop thing go with a laugh, hardly the attitude of a diva and quite mature in my opinion if somebody says something so rude

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answers from Philadelphia on

I would have left, too, but I would have said my "goodbyes" first. Just because they're low class doesn't mean you have to be, too.

Edit My Answer
6 moms found this helpful

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answers from Portland on

I agree with Suzanne L. and Melissa J. I understand your reaction. I think I would've been upset at the in-laws too. However, you were rude. You should've calmly told them that you didn't want the baby around smoke. Was your husband polite when he said something to them and they responded with deal with it. sounds like both your husband and they were rude from the start. However, it's important to be polite even when others are rude. As a guest it's important to use good manners.

BTW: I've been in many homes with dog poop on the floor. I think Cheryl O. made some good comments but I had to laugh over the Grandma's are good housekeepers comment.

This probably would've ended differently If you'd taken your husband out of ear shot and told him in a calm voice that you wanted to leave with the baby. Then the two of you could've politely told them that you were leaving and why while thanking them for their hospitality.

When you stormed off you put your husband in a very tight spot. This is his family. He's used to their ways and probably didn't fully realize what was going on. You made it difficult for him to defend you and the baby.

If you want your husband to support you you need to work with him, talking ahead of time how to handle situations. And you need to talk with him calmly at the time while remaining polite. Do not make him choose between you and his family. That never works.

I suggest that you try to understand his side of this. Stop defending yourself or blaming him. Suggest that this didn't go well and brain storm about how the two of you can make it different next time.

I suggest you read about non-violent communication which is a way of talking so that everyone feels heard and gets their needs met. This situation was a no win for everyone involved. You and he could do things differently so that he doesn't have to defend you. The two of you could walk out together by planning in advance.

I also suggest that the two of you get counseling so that you can learn how to recognize each others needs and support each other. He didn't support you in this situation but you also didn't support him. If he's to go against his family he has to know that you're on his side. By leaving in anger you rejected him as well as his family. So unnecessary. Life doesn't have to be us against them. It can be what can we all do to get along?

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Since you have been at her house before and didn't recognize that she smoked in the house, then maybe you shouldn't have overreacted.

Personally I will NEVER step foot in a smokers house. Smokers smell no matter where they smoke.

As for the dog poop, that's just disgusting. And her response was trashy. Didn't you know how he was raised before you married him?

You are married. Your husband did respond to them , but they weren't willing to budge. You have to give him some credit.

This is a good learning experience for both of you. Talk it out about your expectations. If you never want to go there again cause of the smoke and/or their disrespectful trash talk, then set some boundaries now. But this is NOT divorce worthy, it's communication worthy.

Sorry your Christmas was ruined.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I wouldn't have wanted my baby around smoke either and from 3 smokers it's even worse. I think if you knew it would be like this you should have talked it over first with your husband. Anyhow, I would have probably left too but I think you should have done it politely and with your husband with you. You need to do it kindly and then he wouldn't be able to say you were 'rude'. You need to have a talk with him before the next event or holiday and get this settled. Maybe it was the way you did it more than what you did.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I have zero tolerance about smoking.. I cannot stand it. Never have even when Everyone seemed to smoke.. Yes, I am that old.

Our daughter ended up in the hospital for 4 days after a weekend at my father and his second wife's home.. They smoked in their home.. We even told them we would stay at a hotel, but they insisted we stay.. we had flown in, no rental car, it was like a nightmare.

I think as moms, we turn into mama bears.. It may look and sound rude to others, but we know what we need to protect our children.. You do what you need to do, these people sound like a big ol mess.

Sounds like your husband is not quite a man.. He is afraid to stand up to his mom and grandmother.. He may change, he may not change.. You will need to decide if you can handle this..

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

Maybe it was rude, but after the comment from the grandmother, I wouldn't have said bye either. But don't take it personally, that's obviously just who they are; it is not about you.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

I completely understand where you are coming from. Had a similiar situation. Not only did I not want that around my child, I have since experienced how just slight exposure can trigger her allergies and asthma (not even from being in the same room or there being a lot of smoke). We just can't allow it AT ALL.

Your hubby DID say something to them but they disregarded him. The real problem is that he was not prepared to take action and you were. Means you weren't on the same page. For example, before going the two of you should have had a game plan...he would say something but if that didn't work you would both pack up and say "I am so sorry, we just can't stay. Merry Christmas".

You could have said goodbye but you were by far not the rudest one there.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

You were told to deal with it - and I think you dealt with it fairly fine.
I think I would have said "Well, it's been a great visit but we must be going" as I bundled up my baby and headed for the door.
Your husband could have stood up for you better or left with you or make apologies on your behalf but he'd rather gripe at you than make waves with the old folks.
It might have been a drama filled incident but I would not let that ruin your whole day.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

after going back through your previous question.....which you've altered.

& after reading the posts to that previous question, I have come to the decision that all is not well in your world. (an understatement, I do believe) From what I've been able to put together, in your last question, you've been married for 8 years. Is this true? Because in this question, "this is my second time meeting this woman & my first time at her house"......really in 8 years? (sigh)

The issues you've listed here are not an accurate picture of your life... based on both of your questions posted.

Therefore, I sincerely recommend that you think about what you've presented to us today & in your previous question. &, in all fairness, I will honestly answer this posting: please ask yourself about whether or not you have the right to rule other adults in their own homes. Their lives are their own, they are entitled to making their own health choices. Yes, the dog poop was gross. & more importantly, instead of acting with the drama of a diva, you should have politely said goodbye....thereby not putting your husband in a position of having to choose.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Well on one hand it is their house so they have every right to say suck it up and you have every right to leave.

At least in this case it is not a matter of your husband standing up for you. For a while when I was first married to my ex his grandmother and aunt smoked and it was allowed in his parents home. When they lit up I took my kids to another room, the basement, or outside. If you want me and my kids in your house you don't smoke around me. That is the only part of that scenario I or you control. They can smoke in their home, *you* do not have to stay in their home.

I was rude and immature not to say goodbye. What I am saying is own your own actions, your own world but don't try to control others.

So far as your husband goes, he did say something, *they* ignored him or well said deal with it. What else could he do, it is their house!

Next year invite everyone to your house. I know neither my ex's aunt or grandma had any problem going on my porch to smoke. See, in your own home, you have control over the environment.

Oh yeah, and although there weren't land mines in the house, well back then at least, if I were in the yard it was run at your own risk. Swear to ya they did it so I would poop scoop the yard. Like I said, know what you have control of.
Why do I get the feeling there were some edits before I read this....

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on


I want to give you a heads up about some aspects of this site so you can understand some responses and where at least one lady is coming from.

On mamapedia people can click on your name and see previous questions and answers. Some people also take screen shots of questions and point out when they are later changed. I am not that interested myself, but it happens.

There are also trolls who come here and post outrageous questions so some people are leary. I know how crazy a dysfunctional family can be so I tend to assume it is a real question.

I hope you have a better day today! I would really focus on Riley's answer as she can better explain how those of us who were so abused end up in such messes repeatedly. No dating for 2 years minimum is a great rule, but most just repeat the cycle and find another abuser.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

well, i do think it would have been polite to say, "ok well it's been fun. merry christmas! i think it's time for us to go."

even better if you could have spoken to hubby privately and agreed, and both of you been on the same page.

but in the end, they don't sound like people i'd want around my baby either. if you had known ahead of time what it would be like, probably you would have been better prepared. live and learn. hubby sounds like a whole other ball of drama...but this is to answer your current question. i don't think you were really "that" off...the only thing i would have done differently is say goodbye. leaving as you did probably just escalated the drama. neither party was 100% "right" in this case.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My house, my rules. Sorry.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

They sound dirty and disgusting. This is no place for you and especially your daughter. They have no respect for their guests, so why should you have said goodbye. You did the right thing. Sorry your Christmas was not good.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I am so sorry! You are completely right and they are insensitive and don't get it at all. They don't have your child's best interest at heart. I am so sorry your husband didn't back you up and support you---he should have,but he didn't . You should discuss that with him later. If this is a constant, you need to make a big stink about it with your hubby. First, when you get married--you no longer are to have your family #1 priority. You put your wife/husband first and your own family unit. Your husband shouldn't be so concerned with being rude or offending someone. They offended you and harmed your daughter by smoking in the house with her.

You didn't do anything wrong. So sorry.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

You were soooo right to leave. I would not have said good bye either.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Well, you married the guy, and had a kid with him, so you knew what you were getting into, right?
If not, well, welcome to marriage, and the wonderful world of in laws!
I grew up in a home where everyone smoked, even my mom, even during pregnancy, and so far (knock on wood) none of us are dead, have cancer, etc.
Of course I don't want my kids exposed to anything toxic or nasty, but if it's only a few days a year?
In the name of family peace, I say let it go.
You can only control what goes on in your OWN house, so next time, offer to host!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Sioux City on

The dog poop would have been the stop sign for me. I would have turned around and said, "I am really sorry but I suddenly don't feel good. I really need to leave." Of course my husband would be all over that one. Once we were safely out in the car I would explain to him that the house smells like smoke and there is poo on the floor. The place is not fit for his wife or daughter and I would have insisted he take us home. He was probably embarrassed about the situation.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I remember your last post, the one you have removed. I recall that you have been with your husband for EIGHT years.
You sound really unhappy.
Don't look for someone to blame for your unhappiness. No normal person would want their kids around smokers nor would they want to step in dogsh*t inside the house, that is just wrong.
You had every right to remove yourself. If your husband isnt on the same page with you (we already know you cant confide in him), you should seek counseling for strength to make healthy decisions for you and your kids.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My own mother used to be a neat freak and she has dog poop on her floors too. I had to pick it up when I arrived for Christmas so that the kids wouldn't step on it...which I already did! People get old and they don't care!
My mother-in-law smokes around her boyfriend who had to quit smoking for health that shows that my kids are no one special either. I would leave, but we only go over there a handful of times. Especially since they're alcoholics and I don't need that around my children. They think my husband deserves to drink! Then I drive home with him puking. I love my husband, but dislike his we don't visit much, thankfully I live an hour away.
I understand you're upset, but if life is well away from his family then just avoid them. I say that you weren't rude. You need to be dramatic to make a statement, otherwise they won't listen. My husband's family didn't baby-sit for 2 years when they didn't feed my baby lunch!

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answers from San Francisco on

You are correct & your husband needs to stand up for his wife & daughter first. I went threw a lot with my family members also. My husband has taken a stand has a man & his entire family had to back down. Babies develop asma from second hand smoke. You are more lady like then that bunch, that's why it bothers you so much.

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answers from San Francisco on

Your husband's family seems out of touch with reality not to know that smoking is not healthy for anyone, but if they want to harm their own bodies, so be it. You and your husband have a responsibility to protect your child. Your husband should have left with you.

As for the dog poop, that's just disgusting and the woman's language to you....even more disgusting and rude.

Dry you tears and let your husband know if he is not going to stick by you it could be a deal breaker. Also he needs to let the smokers know they are welcome in your home to visit, but there can be NO smoking.

Personally, I don't want smokers in my house at all, because even if they smoke outside or before they arrive, their breath, hair and clothing still smell of smoke.

I'm sorry you didn't have a good Christmas, but there are many more special events that will be in your life and the life of your baby. If your husband is committed to your marriage and sincere, he will work on putting your little family first. If he won't, better you know now.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

For me smoking in front of baby is like cussing in front of children. Neither are acceptable. Don't visit your bad habits on youngsters who cannot decide for themselves. I mean we are not in the dark ages, we know that smoking is bad for your health. I am not saying to tell people what to do in their own house, but I would want to show my guests respect and consideration for their feelings realizing that some people may not indulge in my second hand smoke. Maybe it's a California thing, but you cannot smoke anywhere here for the longest time and its very restrictive on where you can smoke, so most smokers do not annoy others with their second hand smoke. Personally, I would have never gone their knowing that they smoke, however, I would have said good bye to them had I not known they smoked.

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answers from Eau Claire on

Were they VERY wrong? Yes. But it was their home, no matter how rude it is to their guests. Would I have left? Probably not. Most likely would've just taken my daughter into another room until they stopped. But I wasn't there. I have family like this too...not that they are rude, but they have zero sense of what healthy/normal people do...and would probably even mock YOU for being so uptight...right? They are just completely clueless when it comes to things like this.

DH not standing up for you, and even more for his daughter? That would be a problem. However, I probably would move forward and not let it be a problem again as I wouldn't visit that house again. If they want to visit at your house, let them, but know that they have to smoke outside. Will this cause lots of tension if DH doesn't feel the same way or doesn't have the balls to stand up to them? Absolutely.

Be ready to stand your ground and calmly state your case with DH, don't worry about the rest of them. Acknowledge that maybe leaving wasn't the best approach but you were so taken aback you didn't know what else to do. Make sure he knows that if he were on your side you wouldn't have just left abruptly and that you guys need to be on the same page for your daughter's sake.

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answers from San Francisco on

You're totally right, and I am so sorry you had to go through that. However, a bad Gramma/mother in law/sister in law relationship does not change a good marriage. It's classic for the wife to have trouble with the in-laws. Dont let it ruin your marriage. I would just stay away from them from now on. My father was horrible to my husband and so hubby refused to be in the same room with him. No biggie. My husband and I have been married for 21 years, despite my Dad being a jerk.

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