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Workwear sales of note for 5.26.23:
- Nordstrom – The Half-Yearly Sale just started! See our thoughts here.
- Amazon – Memorial Day Sales! Lots of discounts on Amazon Essentials and more.
- Ann Taylor – Extra 30% off lots of sale styles (prices as marked).
- Anthropologie – Extra 40% off sale.
- Banana Republic Factory – 50%-70% off everything + extra 25% off purchase (ends 5/31).
- Boden – Sale, up to 50% off.
- Brooks Brothers – Extra 25% off sale; already up to 70% off (ends 5/31) – also mix & match sale with men’s shirts, 4 for $249.
- Cole Haan – Up to 50% off sale styles (ends 5/31).
- Eloquii – 400+ styles starting at $19; up to 50% off everything.
- Express – Summer kickoff sale, 30-50% off everything (plus $35+ steals) (ends 6/1).
- H&M – Up to 60% off online and in-store.
- J.Crew – Up to 50% off “dressed up” styles (lots of cute dresses!).
- J.Crew Factory – 50% off everything, no exclusions.
- J.McLaughlin – The Sale Event, extra 30% off.
- Loft – 40% off full-price styles
- M.M.LaFleur – Short but sweet sale (ends 6/1).
- Madewell – Get 30% off your purchase.
- Ministry of Supply – 25% off sitewide (ends 6/1).
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty.
- Shopbop – Up to 50% off designer sale!
- Sue Sartor – Lots of cute dresses on sale!
- Talbots – Extra 40% off all markdowns (ends 6/1)!
- Theory – Up to 60% off + an extra 20% off.
- Universal Standard – 25% off sitewide (ends 6/1).
Other noteworthy sales:
- CB2.com – Up to 50% off everything!
- Joss & Main – Up to 60% off, plus an extra 20% off with code.
- Tuft & Needle – Save up to $775 on mattresses. (Reader favorite bed brand; Kat really likes hers!)
- West Elm – Memorialy Day Sale, up to 60% off.
Some of our latest posts here at Corporette…
And some of our latest threadjacks here at Corporette (reader questions and commentary) — see more here!
- Favorite comfy pants for an overnight plane ride?
- I’ve got a nasty case of tech neck…
- What’s a good place for a relaxing solo escape?
- What’s the best commuter backpack?
- I’m early 40s and worry my career arc is ending…
- I canNOT figure out the proportions in this current season of fashion…
- How is everyone wearing scarves in 2023?
- What shoes are people wearing to work between boot and sandal season?
- What’s a good place for a relaxing solo escape?
- What are some of your go-to outfits that feel current?
- I need more activities that are social, easy to learn and don’t involve extreme running/jumping/etc.
What’s your current workout routine? How have you been changing it up? Do you change your routine when the seasons change?
I’ll start. I usually do yoga Sunday, spin Monday, and weight class Tuesday. The rest of the week is TBD, but I like having those three set. I’ll usually throw in an elliptical session with a magazine, and then maybe one more class if I can fit it in.
I was obsessed with spinning for awhile, but now the pendulum is swinging way in the other direction toward yoga, for totally opposite reasons. With spin, I love the intense exercise, the music, the way the class flies by. But I also feel kind of out of tune with my body. Yoga makes me more mindful all day and forces me to concentrate on each breath, which I love. Not a big calorie burner, but maybe that’s okay. And I appreciate yoga much more during this dark fall/winter season.
Fun question! I do OrangeTheory 3-4 times a week. I like it ok, but the real draw is that it’s conveniently located. I would love to combine it with something lower impact, like a yoga or barre class, because it can be a little tough on my body.
I like running. I am diligent over the summer, but drop off in the winter. We have a treadmill which helps, but it is currently packed away while we do some remodeling in our basement. I’ve been forcing myself to run in the cold. I’ve needed some new gear (which isn’t cheap, sadface), but I’m finding I like it. The fresh air and sunshine (even if it is 30 degrees) is such a mood booster for me. I need to do better about lifting and, theoretically, winter would be the perfect time since it is an indoor activity. Perhaps this will be the year!
I recently posted hear about finding it hard to find time to work out with my new long commute, which includes 40 to 45 minutes of biking round-trip. The biking makes me happy though because it takes time that I would have been stuck on the bus and gives me exercise, fresh air, time to decompress, and gives a little bit back to the environment every day too. When I do have time, I love to hike, rock climb, and go skiing. I try to do core work at home from YouTube videos but have been pretty undisciplined on that score.
Hm, still stuck in mod despite the “saving email” trick – is that happening for anyone else? I thought that was gone on redesign.
I have roller derby practice 2 days a week, try to get to a barre class once a week (which happens most weeks), use the elliptical at work a few days a week, and go hiking a few times a month. As you may be able to tell, I get bored easily and like to switch it up. I would like to increase my flexibility, so have been thinking about trying to add a yoga class in to my routine.
The goal? Run 2-3 times a week, swim or bike occasionally, yoga once per day.
The reality? Yoga after work about once a week.
At least I’m out here trying.
Worry about yourself
Heck yeah you are, and that’s awesome!
Hey, thank you for the positivity!! :)
Worry about yourself
I just got ClassPass, and quickly fell into a routine of doing barre* once a week, and going to this indoor rowing studio near me twice a week. I love their workouts, we alternate between rowing on the erg and strength training, and every time I go I’m able to shave a few seconds off my split, it feels great! Next month I’m taking on a somewhat high intensity dance class, so it may go down to only one rowing class a week. I’m also thinking of trying spin and/or boxing classes in the near future, but I’m really digging the rowing so it’s tough to pry myself away!
I should probably look into some exercises I can do at home though, since we’ll probably have some class-canceling storms over the next few months.
*I know barre doesn’t burn that many calories, but I love it anyway.
I ADORE barre, too. Love the way I feel doing it and love the way I feel after doing it.
I’ve tried a lot of things – Classpass (did over 300 in NYC over 1.5 yrs), running (ran a marathon), spinning, yoga, etc. etc. I’m a pretty bit workout geek. But I have to tell you ladies – nothing has changed my body like weight lifting. I got a trainer for 10 weeks, 2x a week, and she taught me a few weight lifting movements and exercises, and I learned more from Bodybuilding.com. And my body has legitimately CHANGED: I have arm and ab definition, and am stronger than I have ever been – I’m able to do 9 consecutive pull ups, whereas 6 months ago I couldn’t even do 1. In all my years of Classpass, running, cardio etc I never got this strong or felt this good. I highly, highly recommend strength training to all ladies!! Trainers are expensive, but honestly you can get away with just having one for 10-20 sessions, so someone is there to spot you and make sure you’re doing the movements correctly / won’t injure yourself.
Yes! Weight lifting HEAVY weights has changed my life – I feel super strong (I did a deadlift yesterday of my own bodyweight, so now I know I can walk up to something heavy and just pick it up!); I sleep much better; my muscles are tight in a way they never have been before. So, good for me mentally and physically. It’s been amazing.
PS I have been doing it for 3 months, and one of my goals is to be able to do just a single pull-up – I am in awe of your 9!
I ride my horse three times a week (one is a lesson for an hour, otherwise 30 – 45 minutes), run 3 – 4 times a week (2-3 shorter runs, 1 long run, and I try to include one speed workout, but that doesn’t always happen), pilates reformer 5 times a month (generally 1 per week with one week of 2), and barre 1-2 times a week. I also try to do a short leg workout after one of the short weekday runs (squats, lunges, etc.)
Clearly, I am single with no kids haha
My ideal week is run 3 times- twice before work and a longer run on the weekend, two heavier weights sessions either before work or at lunch, and BodyPump class on the weekend. But life gets in the way sometimes.
The only modifications I make for winter is running on the treadmill instead of outside when it’s either icy (dont want a repeat of my 2017 broken ankle) or colder than -20C. That means shorter runs, generally, because it takes time to get to & from the gym and I can only handle running on the treadmill for so long.
Great thread! My goal is OrangeTheory every morning, usually wind up doing 3-4. Goal is to go to a hot yoga class every weekend day and twice during the week. Usually make it to two total. Days I dont go make it to OrangeTheory, I run outside or on the treadmill (3-4 miles) at work, with light weights to follow. This thread is making me REALLY want to try heavy lifting, but I am so intimidated by it and dont know what kind of gym to join for it.
Love to see how people are exercising. I have been into running for about a year and try to hit 20 miles a week. Usually this happens with 2-3 four mile early a.m. runs with a group plus a longer Saturday morning run. It took me a whole year to be able to run four to five miles at a 9-10 minute/mile pace without stopping but now that I’m there, running strikes me as the single most efficient exercise I have ever done. Before that, I was into barre classes and cycle classes. I’m a married 49 year old with a teenager and full-time job, so the social aspect of running with women on a regular basis is attractive. We talk the whole time.
I’m off-seasoning right now, so I ride my road bike for about an hour to 90 minutes 2-3x during the week, do a long ride on my gravel bike on Saturdays (3-4 hours), and then a longer run (about 90 minutes) on Sundays. I also do one day of yoga and strength training, and then short 20 minute yoga videos a couple of other times during the week.
During the race season, I ride 4 days during the week (a mix of 90 minute easier rides and interval workouts), run once, and do a 4-5 hour gravel ride on Saturday and a 2-3 hour road ride on Sunday, plus short yoga workouts a few times a week.
Cbackson, when you do your weekday rides, are those on the bike or on a trainer/indoors?
My workout routine involves me getting up early, dressing and walking with my Fitbit from East 77th Street to East 31st Street and back, every workday. Dad says it is doing wonders for my tuchus, but Myrna says it only firms my legs. I am going with Myrna to a run/walk on LI on Friday. She will run and I will walk. I hope to meet a guy there who is interested in dating me. Myrna says the well is dry out there, but Grandma Leyeh says there is ALWAYS hope and all I need is one guy. I just do NOT want another schlub like my ex, however. FOOEY!
October-April, I do a barbell strength classes on Monday, Wednesday, Saturday. On Tuesday and Thursday I do a lunchtime spin class or barre after work. Friday, lunchtime yoga. On Sunday, I try to get to the cardio room for an hour, or walk a couple miles on the indoor track. I will often walk a mile on the track after non-cardio classes for an extra boost.
May-September, I drop back to maybe 2-3 classes a week and I golf and cycle outdoors.
I do Crossfit and compete with a USAW barbell club. SO.FUN.
Ok, I have a request for recipe suggestions. Every year, my team does a retreat in a house in the mountains over a long weekend. (It’s all men, and this is first year that a women (me) is attending. We can discuss the weirdness of this later.) They cook all their meals at the house. I’m trying to think up something I can make that is tasty and doesn’t require special equipment (I have no idea how the kitchen is outfitted) and doesn’t require a million ingredients (I can put anything on the grocery list but don’t want to add a bunch of things that will get thrown away at the end of the weekend). I’m a skilled cook and baker, so I can handle different techniques but this will be a different kitchen than what i am used to. Any ideas for a good side dish or dessert?
For a side dish, I would go with roasted potatoes or veggies. Dessert – how about something like brownies? They can usually be made in one bowl without requiring you to whip butter and sugar. Chances are there is probably not a hand mixer available.
To make it easy, I’d go with two boxes of ghiradelli brownies mix & make in 9×13. Easy & is yummy.
Yes! The ghirardelli brownies are to die for.
As long as it is the triple chocolate, I cosign! They are amazing.
Agreed, and I don’t like brownies as a rule.
My assistant once gave me a box plus some orange-flavored olive oil, with instructions to sub the olive oil into the mix directions. So good.
For a side, I am always a big fan of roasted potatoes and vegetables that are simply mixed with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I’m not sure how you get there. If by car, I’d be really tempted to make a dessert or two in advance and drive them there. Otherwise maybe a flourless chocolate cake? They’re best warm and fresh out of the oven. I don’t have a recipe because I haven’t made one in years, but I think the ingredients are pretty straight forward. Maybe with some quality vanilla, peppermint ( ’tis the season), or cinnamon ice cream on the side.
My favorite side dishes – broccoli roasted and topped with some shredded parmesan cheese, baked sweet potato fries, corn on the cob. Favorite dessert- ben and Jerry’s in cones.
Poached pears for dessert! You have a good deal of flexibility with what spices you want to include, and you can drink any wine you don’t use for them. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!
You can also poach pears, cut in half, in coconut milk (can, not carton; full fat or lite is your choice depending on the audience) with a few cinnamon sticks. Serve in a bath of the coconut milk. Extremely simple but tasty. No leftover ingredients.
Roasted brussels sprouts! Just toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and stick in the oven for 20 min at 425 degrees. You could even add a sauce – I like the sweet chili sauce you can find in the international aisle at the grocery store.
Dirty rice. Someone else may need the oven.
This is a great thread but I’m ready to discuss the weirdness of this weekend whenever you are.
You’ll do great! I just have a tendency to overanalyze things (yes, I do spend too much money on therapy) and would love to focus on something new to me.
I’ve gotten enough good ideas, so yes let’s. Lol.
This is the weirdest business trip I’ve ever taken – hands down. They do this every year, and they’ve never had a woman join, so they’ve never thought about how…intimate this is. I mean you’re sharing a house with your colleagues. I secretly arranged with the admin to get a room with a bathroom en suite, so I can completely shower and get ready before stepping foot outside my room. I’m already thinking about what to wear – that’s casual but completely appropriate. (Like, I will wear socks the entire time because walking around barefoot in a a vacation home seems so familiar) I will avoid anything near a hot tub (though I really doubt they will anyway), keep drinking to a bare minimum and go to my room no later than 10. The whole thing is so fraught.
I would be a little more flexible on the drinking and bedtime, honestly. If you are not a drinker/can’t handle your alcohol, of course use extreme restraint. But if you regularly drink and know that you can handle a few drinks without making a fool of yourself, and that is the vibe of this trip, I think you should try to participate. And don’t take yourself off to bed hours earlier than everyone else if the trip always involves late nights of bonding. Just don’t be the one shutting down the evening, left with the one or two of your colleagues who want to drink more than all the others.
I made the olive oil cake from Smitten Kitchen over the weekend and it was great. I sprinkled some flaky sea salt over the top and everybody loved it.
anon a mouse
That cake is SO GOOD.
I hope the men don’t think that they won’t have to do any cooking now that a woman’s going to be there. I’d make something *really* simple, like a salad.
No, not at all. Everyone pitches in. I’m actually trying to show off (a little) because I’m a good cook. But there’s really none of that going on.
Anyone have any counter anecdata to the saying that if a guy doesn’t text, he’s just not that into you?
Some people are genuinely bad texters.
Text how? Like text to setup dates or text in between dates just to chat? My now-husband didn’t chat at all in between our early dates (we didn’t meet online though, fwiw).
I think this
Oops! I obviously hit something weird.
I think this totally depends on context. If you’re texting him and he’s just never responding, he’s probably not interested. I’ve had a few guys where we really only texted to set up dates for a while, but those developed into texting a bit more throughout the day. I think the way to determine this is to look at it along with everything else. Is he actively trying to see you again (e.g., setting up the next date). Is he fully engaged when you’re together? Does he text a lot with other people?
Though I have to also say that typically when I’ve wondered whether a guy is into me, the answer is “no.” The same is true for my friends.
I agree with your last paragraph for sure.
I text to say “on my way” or “flight is late” or “stuck in traffic” but it seems too middle school to me otherwise. I wouldn’t consider it putting my best foot forward in a new relationship I was serious about. I’m an older person with a mortgage (but many of my friends are divorced and dating and didn’t text last time they were single).
My boyfriend and I have been together for four years and have never really had much of a texting relationship. We actually text more now than at the beginning of our relationship because I can just send him random pictures or other stuff out of context. He mostly texts me to give me updates like “on my way” or “need anything from grocery?” We have never really had text message banter.
My ex, Alan, used to text me all the time, sometimes sending me pictures of him. He was NOT really into me (execept physically) so go figure. He cared ONLY about himself. So I do NOT see a correlation between a guy texting and being into you. In fact, he texted rather then talking to me, telling me to pick up certain foods for him to eat from Fairway’s and Whole Food. FOOEY on him! I was dumb enough to do that too, b/c I thought that is what girlfreinds do for boyfreinds, even tho he did nothing for me, emotionally or physically. How could I be so dumb? DOUBEL FOOEY!
Brunette Elle Woods
I think if the guy doesn’t try to communicate with you or see you, he’s not into you. There could of course be something else going on so I’d put myself out there and ask/contact him, etc. just always be prepared for HJNTIU.
Attorney - MA
Does anyone have a recommendation for a Boston/Cambridge area Real Estate + Litigation attorney?
a good friend is stuck in a terrible lawsuit with an ex, where by my basic knowledge from the bar exam, her attorney should have already been successful at getting this case dismissed. I want to help her find someone effective, but aggressive. TIA!
Yes, I have several people at my firm who do this. Email diana barry r e t t e at g m a i l and I can shoot you some names. :)
I adore the shape of this dress, but I wish the neckline weren’t so high. For some reason, dresses with sleeves in particular that have high necks like this just make me look (or perhaps just feel) like a stuffed sausage, even if the fit is otherwise on point. My chest/torso looks huge, I guess, because it’s covered in this HUGE swath of fabric with no skin in sight. All that to say, I’d buy this in 10 different colors if it just had a nice V-neck.
I have broad shoulders and a large bust, and I feel the same way about high necks. However, I find that the problem can be solved by visually breaking up the chest area with a necklace or a scarf.
I do like scarves on occasion, but I wonder if sometimes it just adds more bulk to my bust (petite with large bust).
Yes, that can be an issue for me. I tend to tie them like a necklace, like some of these pictures. http://kadakawa.org/how-to-tie-a-scarf-like-necklace/
I generally agree with you, and have stopped buying dresses that don’t have a V-neck. But I think this dress would look odd with a V-neck given the ruching
My ex, Alan, used to text me all the time, sometimes sending me pictures of him. He was NOT really into me (execept physically) so go figure. He cared ONLY about himself. So I do NOT see a correlation between a guy texting and being into you. In fact, he texted rather then talking to me, telling me to pick up certain foods for him to eat from Fairway’s and Whole Food. FOOEY on him! I was dumb enough to do that too, b/c I thought that is what girlfreinds do for boyfreinds, even tho he did nothing for me, emotionally or physically. How could I be so dumb? DOUBEL FOOEY!
I want to love this dress, but between the length (42 1/2 inches) and the high neck, it seems like it would be all sorts of subtlely unflattering.
I like a high neck, because I have a blotchy chest/neck. Usually the knot on this stuff never hits me right though.
I love this length! I’m 5’10” and i can never find dresses over 40” long – 39” is typical and that is well above my knees.
Petite ladies can get things hemmed. We talls can’t add fabric and it’s rare to find anything with a hem that can be let out. Any kind of slit or vent ruins the chances because the manufacturers tend to cut the fabric in the corners of the slit.
Agreed that us petite ladies can get things hemmed, BUT on a dress like this, it adds at least another $30 and more if its lined. But I’m also built on a different scale than you, so a dress like this likely won’t fit period. Arm holes are off, shoulders too big, waist probably too low.
Yes yes yes! This dress is made for us tall ladies.
I am 5’8 – not a petite by any definition. This length makes me look shorter than I am.
I have tall friends and am empathetic to the plight of too short everything and you can’t create fabric out of no where. But rest assured, us shorter ladies aren’t just getting everything to fit by simply hemming it shorter. If the dress/pants/whatever has any kind of shape to it or detailing its usually prohibitively expensive because to do it well you have to rebuild the garment, if it’s even possible. It’s not just about the overall length but where the waist hits or the pant leg begins to flare or just the overall proportions. Women just come in too many varied shapes and sizes for most mass market clothing :/
Can anyone think of a store or a brand that features well-made clothing in natural fabrics with bright colors or patterns that would fit a cusp-sized person? It seems like all the slow-fashion/natural fabrics brands that I see make everything in 50 shades of depressing greige and max out in smaller sizes. I currently have my best luck shopping at Boden, but I’d like to branch out.
Well Talbots certainly has all the bright colors and plus sizing- FYI some of their more expensive natural fiber items are catalog-only but they do exist…
I’m cusp-sized and do well at Talbots (and Boden – you have great taste there). Sure, there’s a lot of polyester, but I’ve also found beautiful wool and cashmere, so you may just have to read labels. They don’t shy away from bright colors or patterns, even in larger sizes, though this time of year tends to be a lot of jewel tones.
I recently switched to Sezane, they have frequent capsule changes and all my pieces are colorful.
I only buy silk and cashmere in tops and I found their prices reasonable. Not as affordable as a Uniqlo but more feminine
I have bought a couple dresses from Canadian designer Kaela Kay. They always have amazing prints! And both dresses I bought are cotton – they are so perfect for summer.
Fellow Cusp Sized
I’m cusp sized also and my absolute favorite go-to is Boden. I also have good luck with Ralph Lauren, Maggy London, Karen Kane, and Anthropologie.
Seem to be in mod but check out people tree
Boden is my go-to as well. Also recently found ellos (swedish, less fancy) and 11Honore (designer–pricy!). If you’re tall, LongTallSally. If you are a true cusp and not plus, Poetry catalog carries only natural fabrics and goes up to 16 in many things. This time of year they are heavy on wool, so I don’t shop there bc I am allergic.
Fashion question for a California office: are N95 masks professional?
If they are keeping you safe and healthy so you can get your job done, then 100% yes!
As someone who was in NYC 9/11, doesn’t matter – wear them! I was often the only one wearing a mask and over a decade later I am so so glad I did.
yes, but you have to draw a smile on it with neutral lipstick.
Never too many shoes...
And be sure to keep your hair back with just the right scrunchie.
Yes but do your makeup after you get to work. Friday I commuted sans makeup but yesterday I got to work and found my foudation all smeared in the mask and my mascara fudging all over from all the moisture coming out through the side of the mask.
Hi Kat – one more friendly suggestion on the redesign — I find the little summaries of each post very odd. Every other blog I read just has an excerpted paragraph from the post itself with ellipses to indicate that if you click you can keep reading. Others may disagree, but to me that is much more engaging than a very dry summary of the content of the post, especially since most posts are chatty descriptions of the item in question so I don’t really need a summary of what you say about it.
+1. The third person there is also a weird contrast with the first person posts.
I agree, especially the third person aspect of it. “Kat thinks” vs “I think”
I agree this is super weird and reminds me of back when the blog was “the royal we.” If you want to clarify authorship, could you just put “By Kat”?
Yes, that is weird… feels like we are back the ‘royal we’ days of early Corporette posts
I assumed it was so we could get to know new authors/posters/employees who post regularly. Which is OK, too, but yes, it seems inconsistent
I haven’t weighed in on any other redesign issues, but yes, this one kind of bugs me. Given the third/first person shift, I wonder if it was to make the author more clear? But I don’t love it.
Agree – I also liked that before you could read the majority of the post before clicking on it.
Love the boxes though!
Thanks to you all for the feedback. We’ll do some pondering…
I’ve been dating a guy with kids for a while, and it’s getting serious – I’ve met the kids and the ex, and we’re talking about moving in together soon. Yesterday he commented that having kids was a driving factor in his divorce (he even said he sees kids as pain), which caught me off guard a bit and I didn’t really know what to say, and now even, I really don’t know what to think of it… I know he loves his kids dearly, although he comments that he doesn’t know how to parent and his ex is much better with the kids.
I have always wanted kids, but I’m almost 40 and just don’t think it’s in the cards anymore. I was considering having a kid on my own before I met him. When we first started dating he had said he didn’t want any more kids, and I made the choice that I would rather be with him and see where things go. Family is really important to me, and while I would never want to try to replace their mother, I am hopeful that we could create a family together with his kids. I’ve completely fallen in love with him, and this is the first thing that’s come up the whole time we’ve been together that has made me question the relationship.
I don’t really know what I’m asking, but I’m really struggling with how to process this. I fear that he’ll rely on me as a crutch to help his parenting with the kids (although I’ve never felt that way when we’re all together). I kind of feel like I’m borrowing trouble or getting cold feet, but I also kind of feel like if this isn’t going to work out, I could get out now I can have a kid on my own instead. Anyone have any advice?
My brutally honest $.02…not all of us parents love being a parent. We love our children, but it is really, really hard for some of us. This does not mean that he isn’t a good father or a good person. You said he’s never used you as a crutch, so I don’t see why that would change since you’ve been together for a while. Don’t borrow trouble.
This. Kids are hard, period. Kids are also hard on relationships. Good relationships and especially not so good ones. And not all people enjoy little kids. My dad and I got on much better when I was older than younger. I think if you want a kid on your own, none of this matters. But I don’t think that any of this inherently raises a red flag given his behavior.
This but to be aware… you wanted “to see where it would go” – presumably see where the relationship would go.
Now you know… it is unlikely you two will have children of your own, he definitely does not want kids or more kids, now, even with you. Is that OK with you?
I find this kind of horrifying, to tell you the truth, but actions speak louder than words. He says these things that sound like red flags to me (could he be saying them just to underscore that he doesn’t want any more kids?), but is he engaged and loving with the children? Does he try to unload them on you or the ex or anyone else, or does he look forward to and make the most of his time with them? He says he isn’t good with the kids, but is he? Can you speculate as to what his ex would say if SHE were asked why it didn’t work out?
I kind of feel like you need to listen to the little voice that’s telling you there is something wrong, though . . .
I found it horrifying, too! He is very engaged with the kids and loves them very much. His ex constantly tells him and the kids (ugh) that he doesn’t know how to be a good parent, and I think part of it is that she constantly belittles him and that has really shot his confidence. He’s seeking out counseling to help with his parenting skills. On one hand, I think his actions do show how much he cares and how much he’s willing to put into it. And, I do think that it’s partially issues brought on by his ex, but I obviously mostly hear his side of the story with his ex (although he admits his own fault in the issues, too).
One thing that I do really appreciate is that he has never said a mean thing about his ex and really works on having a cordial relationship. He’s very appreciative of her switching the schedule around to help with his work schedule, and it’s really important to him to have the kids 50% of the time. I really feel like his actions are totally different from what he says, but what he says was a red flag to me, so now I’m completely confused.
The great thing is that we have a very open and honest relationship, so I’ll definitely be talking to him about it, but I just wish I had more clarity.
Thanks so much for your input.
I was worried by your initial post but this is really reassuring. Actions speak much louder than words, especially when the actions are hard like the ones he is taking. Children stress any relationship, so the fact that they were a driving factor in the divorce alone doesn’t worry me much. I would just go very slow and have a lot of open discussions about what his expectations are in terms of parenting responsibilities.
Anon for this
I agree that this sounds better than the initial post. If he’s engaging with his kids, actively taking as much time with them as he can get, and seeking professional help to improve his parenting skills, that sounds like a pretty good baseline. Parenting may not come naturally to him, and it sounds like he underestimated the work that parenting would involve. It definitely sounds like he and his ex had different parenting styles, and that conflict around that was part of the reason their marriage ended. But that can all be true and he could still be a good parent.
In your shoes, I would want to have a set of detailed conversations about what he thinks good parenting looks like, trying very hard not to take his ex as a model (either positive or negative) in that. And then see if it matches closely enough to what you think good parenting is. One of the big risks in step-parenting situations is that the parent is always going to have the final say on big parenting decisions in the household (in consultation with the ex, if relevant). If he thinks that it’s fine to feed the kids fast food every day and you think that’s a horrible idea, you don’t really get a say. Ditto on discipline, education choices, extracurriculars, the list goes on and on and on. If there’s stuff he just doesn’t want to do himself, you can try to step in and put the work in yourself, but only to an extent. So it’s worth talking through as much of this stuff as possible. You’re not going to agree on everything, but you need to have your values basically aligned, because when conflict comes up, the final decision will be his.
Hmmm. Sounds like you need to talk to him about it ! You two are talking about moving in together – now is the time to make sure you both fully understand where you are both coming from and what your expectations are moving forward on major issues like this.
Hmm. I’m married to my kids’ father, and if I were really being candid with someone I might also say that I think kids are a pain and that my husband is a better parent. It’s the truth — my husband is a fantastic dad, and I’m an okay mom. (I wouldn’t say kids = pain — not sure if you had a typo.) If you’ve observed your boyfriend having a good relationship with his kids, I wouldn’t worry that you’re going to carry the weight of parenting his kids.
That said, it does sound as though you haven’t fully resolved whether you’re okay not having kids and that you may have been holding out hope (at least subconsciously) that your boyfriend would change his mind. You need to figure that out before you move in together.
+1 On everything.
+1000. I love my daughter to the moon and back but I’ve definitely told people DH is a better parent, because he is. He’s more patient with tantrums, more engaged with her, better at disciplining in a kind but firm manner. Actions speak a lot louder than words and if he seems like he cares about his kids and is trying to be a good parent, I wouldn’t sweat it.
+1000 to this. I wish I were more patient and a better parent. I lose my temper far more than I should. I get stressed by a lot of things (like right now my child has a hacking cough and is wheezing and I didn’t get any sleep last night as a result; my other child had a project due in school and did a quick chickenscratch this morning and gave me sass back when I asked for more effort; at times like this I struggle.. I told my mom on the phone today half-joking that I shoulda stopped at one kid…) Kids stress any marriage. I wouldn’t worry about this given his actions.
+all the points
Start talking stat
Also get yourself to ob gyn and I’VE clinic for assessments. Don’t assume you’re out of the game. Egg donors always a option
I can’t put myself in your shoes, but the one thing I feel sure about is: I definitely would not make any plans to move in together until you’re certain about what he’s saying and what you want. Table that discussion completely for now.
I don’t think they are red flags per se. He is being honest and telling you how he feels about kids and that he doesn’t want more. That’s a good thing. If it doesn’t align with your vision of the future, then it’s a problem.
+1 this would be my reaction.
I don’t have kids right now, but a dog that I dearly love (and yes bad analogy, but it’s all I have) and sometimes when I’m frustrated and about to rage-black-out and so mad at things, my dog gets caught up and I blame him and I tell myself that he makes my life 1000x worse because he’s in it.
Is that true? nah. but in those angry moments I say it to myself and I rage to my spouse about it.
maybe he was venting to you and it was a heat of the feeling statement. I’d go along with the comment above and look at his actions. if he was really trying to dump his kids and runaway, yeah, red flag. But one off-handed-comment that referenced both his kids and his divorce? I’d give it a pass and carefully monitor.
I think you can separate some of these questions. It seems the first question you should answer is: Do you want to have a child? If you do, you’re right that this is not going to work out– you want a child, and he does not want any more children.
It is concerning to me that he says he “doesn’t know how to parent.” No one knows how to parent. What he really means is he is not making an effort to learn. “My ex is much better with the kids” is also not true; what it really means is he dumped his parenting responsibilities on his ex, thus forcing her to be better with the kids, and that probably contributed to their divorce.
It is telling that you already suspect he’ll rely on you as a crutch to help his parenting with the kids. His comments indicate he let that all fall to his ex, and you are right to be wary of that for yourself. That’s disappointing, because it sounds like you could be really happy being an awesome stepmom to his kids (if you ultimately decided you are happy not having children, which it sounds like is still unsettled).
So this raises two more questions: one, if you decided not to have children, would you be happy with a family of husband and stepkids? Maybe that sounds great! If so, question two: would you be happy with THIS husband? Because he is dropping some warning signs that parenting with him may not be ideal.
Thank you, everyone!
Delta Dawn, I think this really helps defining what I’m afraid of, and the questions I need to think through. I do think I would be happy in either scenario – with a husband and stepkids, or if I were to have a kid on my own.
I really agree with Delta Dawn – and I would encourage you to make sure you are really 100% comfortable with not trying to have biological children. I am in a somewhat similar position to you, but for me, when I really tested my feelings about saying goodbye to that idea, I found that I couldn’t do it. I ended the relationship and I’m pursuing having children on my own. I would even go so far as to say that a session or two with a therapist to talk through your thinking on that would be helpful. I had to see a therapist who specialized in fertility issues as part of the process with my clinic, and she was very helpful in testing my thinking on a variety of potential outcomes. Ultimately, I left even more convinced of my decision, and you might as well, but you’re right that at our age, you have to make hard decisions and there’s significant potential for regret.
Good luck to you cbackson. I’m a few years on the other side of this thinking, now with a small kid. My biggest regrets would have been if I hadn’t tried.
I think you need to talk to him more about this and also really try and look objectively at how he is with his kids. I have three kids that I love dearly, but I agree kids are a pain! I also don’t really like kids generally, though I love mine and spend almost every moment I am not at work with them doing stuff they like to do! So expressing that kids are a pain is not incompatible with loving them and being a good parent in my mind. However, his actions towards them will be much more telling.
I’m glad I’m not the only person who dislikes kids that aren’t my own! People look at me like I have three heads when I say that. But…I just don’t.
I don’t have kids, but I just want to say that I know a lot of divorced couples and in almost all of them, parenting & the kids were a huge factor. I don’t think kids ruin marriages necessarily, but they definitely speed up the demise of bad marriages. So I don’t think him saying kids were a driving factor in his divorce is a red flag at all. I’d be surprised if they weren’t, honestly.
The best parents I know are the ones who admit that kids are incredibly hard, require immense life sacrifices, and take a huge toll on you. What you’re calling a red flag, I call a clear head. He sounds like a straight shooter who is doing his best and acknowledging his flaws.
Help requested for family gathering drama- immediate issue is my Dad issues a standing thanksgiving invite to an old friend of his who is cranky and loves to argue and it drives DH crazy to the point where he doesn’t want to attend- it’s just DH, me, my parents so there not a good way to avoid him. DH is not good at handling it, he is anxious and hypersensitive.
The back story- many years ago DH and I stopped attending the extended family Christmas at my Aunt’s, as my uncle can be strange and admittedly toxic, plus we really did feel like third wheels over time as my cousins married and had kids. Although I was Ok with this DH was really the driving force as he’s really socially anxious and it was just an odd scene. Now we visit my parents Christmas morning and in the afternoon they visit my extended family and this has worked well. This back story prevents me from telling my parents, hey invite who you want but we won’t attend if this dude is there on T- day, because he’s obnoxious. I’m not sure if there are just so many obnoxious people to avoid that we just sit home alone!!!
DH has started therapy and we are actively working through relationship issues.
Any advice comments welcome!
Your husband is the problem, not your family. It is not fun to deal with obnoxious family members, but it’s part of being an adult. If there is actual rudeness, and not just people who are different, address that with someone.
I disagree, you and your husband are a team. If your husband is not able to handle this person this year due to ongoing anxiety, be a team with your husband and bow out of thanksgiving. You can try again next year.
Assuming that it is a short drive (which I’m assuming from the post) and that you want to go, I think you can give your husband the option of being “sick” on Thanksgiving if he really can’t deal. But I agree that your parents would likely be hurt by you backing out at the last minute.
No. She doesn’t have to retreat into a shell because of his mental illness.
Yes, they are a team, which is why he needs to not separate her from her family on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
But her husband is her family too.
I agree. There’s a lot of disagreement in this thread. Here I’m coming from, there are such strong pre-existing social pressures to:
–sacrifice the interests of the person who is unwell (unless the unwell person is a narcissist; then everything revolves around them, and we take it out on anyone else who dares to be weak or vulnerable in any way!)
–sacrifice potentially literally everyone’s best interests in honor of the holiday
–sacrifice the interests of married children (especially if they’re childless) to the interests of their families of origin
Sometimes making those sacrifices is the right thing to do, but I don’t think you can weigh your choices equally if you haven’t even noticed the thumb on the scale.
(And I realize it’s possible DH is playing a mental health card to get out of a social interaction which is merely unpleasant. If he’s married to someone who has a habit of trying to please, he may have some corresponding habits of expecting to be pleased. But at the same time, he may *not even know* whether he’s being a diva or whether putting himself through the social interaction could undo some of the progress he’s been working on making. What he probably does know is that “grow up and act like an adult” hasn’t worked yet, which is why he’s in therapy.)
This is so true. Thanks for posting. I hadn’t thought of it this way before, and I’ve felt all of that.
Disagree — you do not have to deal with obnoxious and/or rude and/or toxic in any way people just because they’re faaaaaaaaaamily, regardless of any possible social anxiety etc. It doesn’t sound to me like this guy is just “a little weird.”
I also don’t see how the backstory prevents you from telling your parents that if they invite their obnoxious friend, you won’t be there, but you know your family. There’s also nothing wrong with saying, “we’re doing our own thing this year thanks!” no explanation required.
I would have said it’s a bit childish to go along to get along with family and holiday traditions even if it means you end up dreading the holiday. Adulthood is all about healthy boundaries with parents and inherited traditions.
But she wants to go
Let me be exceedingly clear about something: I have some truly horrific family members. One in particular used to (trigger warning) beat me on a regular basis.
I establish healthy boundaries with these people, but I am unwilling to let anyone, no matter how bad, ruin my relationship with other members of my family.
The OP wasn’t talking about abuse. She’s talking about garden-variety boorishness. Grow up and deal.
9:49 Anon here. I just can’t bring myself to place that much value on a relationship that can be ruined by not attending a holiday gathering. A loving, supportive family does not use holidays to blackmail and guilt trip people. If it’s not an abusive dynamic, then rain dating the gathering to a day when boorish friend is not present shouldn’t be a big deal, right?
Do you people not understand that thanksgiving is in two days? Sure. Making alternate arrangements in advance should be fine. Bailing 2 days out after mom has probably done her grocery shopping and started cooking though?
This is an excellent point. You and Husband are 40% of the party. It’s a few hours. I would try and attend. Let Husband go to another room and…. do whatever, after basic politeness. I say this because my husband has had social events during mental health turmoil, and whatever he needs is priority… to an extent. You want to go see your parents, and you don’t mind AngryNeighbor, so you’ll be fine.
I see both sides- my Uncle used to make a lot of toxic comments about me being single, clothes and weight- he said nasty things to other family members- albeit with the idea that this was good advice he was dishing out. The cranky family friend likes to instigate a good strong debate for fun – like CNN style, on anything he can get his hands on. So these are tough ones.
You can’t debate with one person. Don’t engage with him and if your parents do, you can excuse yourself from the room or redirect the conversation. You don’t HAVE to debate anyone if you don’t want to.
This “I disagree but I’m not interested in discussing it further” ad nausem shuts most people down.
If it’s just you, DH, and your parents +/- the friend, I would feel very little compunction about skipping Thanksgiving with your parents. It’s not like there are ten people you only see once a year that you’ll be missing, and dinner for four is really not that difficult to arrange on a non-holiday. Can you do a friendsgiving or a day trip or something else to make the day special and then catch up with your parents over the weekend?
Are you this heartless in person? Thanksgiving is in two days. Completely insane to cancel on her parents now because her husband can’t handle his anxiety.
Anon at 9:44AM here. OP didn’t say anything about whether the plans have been in place for weeks or whether her parents called and invited them over this morning. My own family plans for Thanksgiving came into place yesterday, so I’m not making any assumptions! If DH has already agreed to attend Thanksgiving, then maybe he needs to follow through on his commitment or stay home sick. Reneging on an accepted invitation is a different issue from the issue of whether it’s ever okay to decline an invitation. I understood the original question to be about whether it’s okay to decline.
I think it’s worse to skip out at the last minute if it’s such a small group. It will really ruin your parents’ Thanksgiving, particularly if they’ve been cooking and planning on you being there. If there was a bigger group it wouldn’t matter as much
This is where I land, too. The neighbor guy sounds like a pain, but skipping out at this point would be so, so hurtful.
If your husband won’t go leave him home. Don’t ruin your life because of his anxiety.
I am your DH. Going to my inlaws involves interacting with people who are argumentative, judgmental, etc and it increases my anxiety. My solution is that I go on walks, I’m happy to do a grocery run, get coffee, do “work” at a coffee shop and basically keep my forced interaction time to just the actual meal. And during the meal, I pretend I am speaking with an actual alien and learning about their foreign culture/views/traditions from a social scientist’s perspective, so I act interested, but don’t take any comment personally. It’s also easier when I remind myself that DH’s family doesn’t really care that much about me, but they love him, and we get full credit for visiting.
I think this is probably the best strategy. Alternatively, DH can stay home “sick”. He could also call his therapist for specific coping strategies. I do think it would be quite rude to back out now, but 100% appropriate to set the expectation for next year that rude friend = you won’t be there.
Thanks all! Last year both of us backed out due to cranky friend- last year DH was not yet in therapy, he’s only 1 month in, plus both years the week after, there’s been an emotional upcoming trip planned the next week for his elderly grandmothers birthday- who’s almost assuredly going to pass away this year. Last year I said, we’re passing due to this. And yet cranky guy is still invited. I’m an extreme pleaser and I can’t please Dad and DH, and I feel toxic or not, DH should be able to deal for a few hours. But at the cost of DH feeling very angry and antagonistic towards my Dad? I don’t know.
Grow up. Seriously. Being a people pleaser is a pathetic excuse. Thanksgiving is in two days. Go. Deal with the consequences.
Your problem is that you are trying to please everyone else. What do YOU want? To spend time with your parents? Or not to be around the annoying friend?
DH needs to get over it. At least DH should direct any anger/antagonism towards the cranky friend.
DH should not place his anger and antagonism on your Dad. Your dad is entitled to invite his friend to his own Thanksgiving. You are entitled to want to attend Thanksgiving with your parents. DH does not get to take this out on your dad– regardless of his anxiety, regardless of his therapy. I think you can explain this to DH that even though he has anxiety, he cannot take this out on your dad. People get through life every day with anxiety, and they’re still not allowed a free pass on being unjustifiably angry at others.
Yeah, your husband definitely needs to get over himself when it comes to being mad at your dad. There’s such a theme this week with people trying to change the behavior of their parents! Your parents are their own people and they get to make their own choices.
My answer on this changes because your husband is in therapy working on these issues. Without that, I’d have said that given that it’s happened with two separate holidays/groups, your husband seems more likely to be the problem and should be a grownup and go. But I think I would just be honest with your parents about it – “hey, we want to see you but not Guy. If it’s important to you to have him over Thursday, let’s get together over the weekend instead.”
I agree with HSAL’s advice, but OP said it wasn’t an option to tell her parents no old friend or we aren’t going . . . I would love to know the backstory. Why the heck not?
It sounds like the backstory is there’s a good reason they invite him and it would make her and DH look really rude for requesting that he not be there. (Which is already kind of the case.)
Well, at this point, they’d presumably have to specifically un-invite him, and probably leave him completely for Thanksgiving. That’s a pretty mean thing to do, unless the person has done something truly awful.
They should have had this conversation a month ago, at least. Given the time frame, I think the only semi-decent options are to suck it up or come up with a polite last minute excuse, like illness.
Yes, this exactly.Maybe DH can be “in charge” of making an extremely complicated side dish/mixed drink so he can avoid interaction as much as possible? Or come up with a couple of lines or conversational subjects he/you can switch to if the conversation gets contentious?
It’s in two days. It’s hideously rude and hurtful to back out of Thanksgiving with your parents now.
Hah thanks all I hope DH will go because I want to, and we can use Hollis’ coping strategies, as DH is my parents IT person so there’s always something to update in the office. My Dad had tried to push us into going to extended families’ get together for T-day this year (!) and we said “no we’ll see you the next day” , just this past weekend. So now Dad said,” ok skip extended family and we’ll do our house (parents) like usual. Oh and nice friend is busy so it’s us and cranky friend! “ DH is pushing back against this drama. I guess I assumed it was just DH issue as I always have to push him for social get togethers but now I think it’s a Dad issue too. Hooray!
Exactly. Buck up and plan some conversational tactics to stop the cranky friend from debating. Tell the friend (and Dad?) that you’d like to take a break from the news, and ask cranky friend about what’s going on in his life. Bring a game you can all play. With only five people in attendance, this isn’t a big public confrontation.
For the poster wedding dress shopping with her cousin
There was a poster a week or two ago shopping for a more structured satin wedding dress for her cousin. If you see this: check out the Dessy Group website – they have a number of a different lines of bridesmaids dresses which can be ordered in Ivory and are reasonably priced. I tried some on this weekend and thought they looked very nice.
Hi! I just saw the comments from yesterday looking for 36AA. I highly recommend LulaLu. Their customer service is great, and they have a wide range of “petite” bras. I think you said you have tall shoulders, so they may or may not work for you – mine are smaller. But it’s worth a try.
Thanks, I’ll take a look.
I love this dress, nice pick.
I like it too. I never believe anything is washable, though. Would it really look OK?
I’ve got dresses that look to have an identical fabric and I wash them all the time, inside out, on gentle, hang to dry. They are workhorses
Anyone want to share their holiday horror stories so I can feel better about not having a picture-perfect one? I know logically that not everyone is Seth Meyers and his family (if anyone has ever watched his Thanksgiving Show, his parents and brother come on and sip cocktails and tell stories and it’s delightful). My holiday will involve 7 adults and 7 kids stuffed in a living room that only seats 6, is kept at 85 degrees, and walking on eggshells to keep my BIL (who will start drinking early as he does every day) from exploding over something like my request to turn the volume of his TV down.
Why are you going?
Because it’s important to me that those seven kids know us, have positive role models, and know someone is in their corner and can help with college applications and career planning.
Thank you so much for being a sane presence in these kids’ lives. It makes a difference. I’m sorry it’s a miserable experience.
Can you leave with them for a walk or something? Or a drive to a local park to get some exercise in?
I have a similar family dynamic and have a book’s worth of holiday horrors, like the time my mother did not speak all of Christmas Day and waited to see who would notice first, or the time my dad set the carpet on fire and my uncle swore it was on purpose and they ended up in a fistfight…. I used to do the eggshells thing, but life’s too short for that. Turn the thermostat down yourself. They’ll be fine and they probably won’t notice. Your BIL is an alcoholic psychopath, so let him explode if he wants. Stare at him and blink while he loses his mind. Then laugh in his face and say “Wow. You’re an alcoholic psychopath. Would you like some pie?” Basically they’re going to be nuts no matter what you do… so you might as well do what you want!
That sounds 100% like something my mother would do!
An out-law of my H is a serial waitstaff abuser and we are all going to a buffet. I carry extra cash around just to overtip his victims and to ensure we can go back. Just got back from the ATM and I am rolling in $, all to undo the damage that “Richard” inflicts.
The first time it was jaw-droppingly bad and I’m from the NE where I think I don’t shock all that easily.
My family is Jewish but pretty chill about it, except for my aunt, who isn’t exactly religious just… very *into* being Jewish, and wants everyone else to be, too (as long as you’re genetically ‘one of us’, otherwise she doesn’t care about you at all. It’s really creepy and racist). Her daughter just went on a pilgrimage to Israel paid by a mysterious benefactor, and auntie is talking about how “her transformation is almost complete. The program is working.” So we’ll see how THAT plays out this year. I am dreading it.
“Her daughter just went on a pilgrimage to Israel paid by a mysterious benefactor”…please tell me more about this! Birthright? Or something else?
Birthright is pretty open about their funders. I am guessing it is the daughter’s Sugar Daddy, who is possibly married.
Like Birthright, but for adults, and I don’t have more details beyond the cryptic “the program is having its intended effect.” Will be biting my tongue.
anon a mouse
Thank you for being there for those kids!
Is there any chance of outdoor activities to put some space between them and their dad? New Thanksgiving croquet tradition, or outdoor scavenger hunt? That might help from feeling so crowded, too.
(If you can’t tell, one of my family traditions was when all the kids were sent outside to run around. There was usually snow on the ground, but it didn’t matter.)
Some years ago my then-husband picked a fight over which dishes we were going to use for our Thanksgiving dinner, at which we would be hosting about a dozen people including my former boss, a very high-ranking judge, and his family. He got mad and stormed out, leaving me to put on the dinner alone and explain his absence to everybody. Strangely, it was one of the nicest Thanksgivings ever because he wasn’t there.
I love this. The best holidays where when my ex-husband was elsewhere!
For the poster who recommended the crock pot dressing recipe, how do you keep the dressing from sticking to the sides of the crock pot and burning? That’s what happened to me the last time I made dressing in a crock pot. The middle part was fine but I lost a lot of yummy dressing that stuck to the sides.
I just spray the crockpot with Pam.
Oh, and stir from time to time.
The plastic crockpot liners changed my life. Try one!
No, don’t use single use plastic for this because you’re too lazy to stir it or find a better way. The planet doesn’t deserve that.
There is a guy at work who is just a powder keg of fragile masculinity; just totally full of anger, low-key disrespectful to everyone but ESPECIALLY me and my one female colleague on a daily basis, talks over me, etc. I’m also outperforming him in every metric, to put it mildly. I’ve mentioned it to our shared boss who is definitely on my side and said he’d keep an eye on it and have a talk with him, but he’s also pretty non-confrontational and likes people to work things out on their own. Any advice on how to deal with it?
Practise using non-emotional but strong words to handle his disrespect. “That is completely unprofessional and needs to stop immediately.” “That is completely inappropriate.” “Do not interrupt me.” Keep it short, dispassionate, and unapologetic. Do not let the fact that he will likely blow up over this deter you.
I recommend document everything in writing, in a file, with the dates and times. This way it is documented, and you can refer to it in the future as required, but not necessarily bring it up in the moment (which can lead to unintended consequences).
You might find this article interesting.
SF in House
I’m looking at spending a week in Argentina in January. Two adults and two teenagers. Buenos Aires and ??? How would you split your time?
I had an awesome time at a polo estate. You can do it as a day trip, but I stayed for a few days and rode horses and explored. The one I went to was Puesto Viejo. I also really liked Iguazu Falls. It requires a domestic flight, but it’s short and worth it, IMO.
How do you decide when it’s right to start trying for a baby?
In short, I have always known I want to be a mother and my husband is ready too but I’m really spooked about pregnancy. I think 60% of it is that maybe I know too much – I have seen friends and family have difficult, dangerous, or deadly pregnancies and it seems like there are so many unknowns. The other 40% is concerns if I am strong enough even though I workout regularly (hyperemesis gravidarum runs in my family), discomfort with the amount of nosy questions and unsolicited touching I have seen pregnant friends field, uncertainty with what I want to do about my job (this is true even now before we start trying – I’m a lawyer thinking of leaving law and my husband’s job gives me freedom to do that), and the feeling of ceding our life at the moment (we finally have free time again / feeling like I lose control of my body / flexibility and spontaneity of being DINKs). On the other hand, I have always wanted to be a mother, and I don’t know if it could happen right away or take a while. I am 32. I know people say you are never really ready, so if so, what pushes you over? I guess I would love to hear more from people who felt the same way: looking forward to the baby – not the pregnancy. I doubt I am going to feel or look like a glowing goddess and it feels like that everything shifts to pregnancy-talk and strangers at the supermarket touching your belly and coworkers asking you intrusive questions and the expectation that you have to be oozing joy even when you feel ill. I just want people to treat me the same and not… like an incubator? (Although of course I know life will be a 180 once a baby arrives and it would be a joy for everyone to share – but I’m asking more about the time before the baby.)
A few factors that helped me decide it was time:
Pregnancy is not long in the grand scheme of things. You’re only visibly (to others, to strangers in the supermarket) pregnant for a few months. Compared to the hell and discomfort of law school, even, pregnancy is very short. I can count on one hand the time that strangers made any comment to me, and usually it was very sweet older ladies wistfully remembering their own babies years ago. I never had anyone try to touch my belly (and I live in the South where people do things like that).
Part of womanhood is people asking you intrusive questions. You can’t control what other people ask you, but other people should not control your life decisions. People probably already ask when you’re going to have kids… they probably asked when you were going to hurry up and get married… if you decide to have a baby they’ll ask all sorts of things, and after that baby they’ll ask when is the next one… on and on until we die. Most people mean well and/or are just making conversation… and it’s actually not as prevalent as you think. Kind of like that adage, you wouldn’t care what people thought of you if you knew how little they do. No one really cares, you know? They’re into their own stuff.
I also don’t think everyone expects you to be oozing joy. No one really has that expectation. Most people know pregnancy can suck and you could vomit at any moment. They get it. If anything, most people are sympathetic. They’ll say “oh, yeah, my wife hurled every morning for three months, it’s a huge bummer, do you want me to drop off that file for you so you don’t have to walk across the office?” It’s really not as bad as you are imagining.
Anyway my bottom line is most people are genuinely happy for you, sympathetic to the sucky parts, and/or do not care. Don’t let how people may (or may not) treat you for a few months determine your life choices.
This. Most people mean well. And even when they don’t, don’t dwell on what they say or do. I’ve been told by relatives to please get married and give my parents grandkids. This coming from aunts who are unhappily married to alcoholics and cheaters. You just have to tune people out.
My fears about pregnancy has less to do with how society interacts with me, and more with the physical aspect of it. The uncomfort, pain, and permanent changes to my body. The scars and stretch marks I saw on my friend’s belly 10 years ago are still scary to this day. But I do want to be a mother. It comes with sacrifices, but ones that I’m willing to live with.
I think you may benefit by a bit of pre-pregnancy counseling to help sort all this out. You can physical, job and lifestyle change concerns and I think talking it all out would help.
I’m sure there are some people who like being pregnant, but I think that’s really not that common outside instagram models. I didn’t ooze joy or glow, and I didn’t find that anyone expected me too. Nobody touched my belly while I was pregnant, and when ONE coworker asked a too-personal question I gave them ALL the gross details and they never asked again. Also, you’re certainly physically strong enough – I am terribly out of shape and it didn’t impact me at all.
This. Also if you have an anxiety disorder or are on medication, there are many specialists in many areas (well, DC and Atlanta are the 2 where I’ve been) that specialize in helping pregnant women get the medication they need and understand their options, like taking many SSRIs is better than not taking them.
Read the book Expecting Better, too — a lot of data. You’re smart!! Trust yourself.
Mother of two here, had kids at 36 and 39, now 43. Pregnancy is not a blast, but it’s really just a blip. It’s all consuming at the time, but it’s over and you move on. My body is different than it was previously, but aging does that to you too. Had the first one a little over a year after getting married, DH was 40 and it was time. He was also seriously ready and that pushed me over the edge. Hasn’t done wonders for my career. I was third year biglaw associate at the time (went to law school late). I have not progressed as I should in law because I’ve put family first. I expect at some point in the next few years I’ll give up working because my career will be too mediocre (and low paying) to bother continuing when DH is making enough money for us to live well on.
Basically, don’t put your life on hold. If you want to have kids, do it. If you don’t, then that’s great too. You’re 32, so you’ve got time to decide. But own your choice when you make it.
Pregnancy is 9 months, parenthood is forever, but it sounds like you are–wisely!–thinking about the impact of both on your life. Frankly, I hated being pregnant (sick the entire time) and was delighted to not be pregnant any more, but adjusting to being a parent still took me at least 6 months to a year, if not longer. It was a massive identity and life shift for me. I think it is really hard to predict how you will react physically or mentally, but I would say try to choose a time in your life that is not stressful for other reasons – no new jobs, no family illness, no recent moves, etc. Much easier said than done of course, but if you can, it will take some pressure off what is always a stressful time, even if some is happy stress.
I was worried about many of the same things, but I just want to say no one touched my belly! Literally not one single person. I think I gave off “don’t touch me” vibes, which was fine with me!
Pregnancy was also a lot better than I expected – my mom puked every day for 5 months, so I thought I was in for more of the same. But I literally didn’t throw up once, and overall pregnancy was easy and honestly pretty comfortable, even at the end (I went overdue). Labor was also a lot easier than I anticipated – I was induced, and I got my epidural as soon as contractions started getting mildly uncomfortable, so there was basically no pain. Recovery wasn’t fun, but definitely wasn’t excruciating and within a week or so I felt pretty normal, even though I tore badly. Anecdotally, the people I know who hated pregnancy were the ones who expected it to be a glowy, magical time. The people like me, who went in dreading it, ended up mostly feeling like it was fine. Maybe it’s just about managing your expectations.
I decided it was time when I turned 32. I was fairly sure I only wanted one child, but I wanted to be an empty-nester by my early 50s and DH and I had good, stable jobs, owned our own home and had been doggie parents for a few years, so it seemed like time to get going. I was lucky to get pregnant very quickly, so I was also 32 when the baby was born. I know I’m just one data point but it’s been by far the best thing I’ve ever done. My daughter is my whole world and I can’t believe I almost missed out on this because I was so nervous about pregnancy and birth. If you know you want to be a mom, I say go for it.
If you want kids, and pregnancy is the issue, go ahead and do it now. Your body isn’t getting any younger, and while you’ve probably got plenty of time left in terms of fertility, pregnancy is going to be easier while you’re younger. That won’t stop the nosy questions from strangers, but the physical part will be easier now than it will be in three years.
Also – yes, some people have miserable pregnancies. But also, plenty of of people don’t. I have two kids, and never came close to puking in either pregnancy. I don’t particularly like being pregnant, and it definitely got uncomfortable by the end. But nothing dramatic, and not at all a big deal in comparison to the rewards.
Not sure I agree that pregnancy is harder at older ages – if you’re talking 40+ maybe. But 32 vs 35 for a first pregnancy, I’m not sure you’d notice any difference. I think second pregnancies are definitely harder, but it’s because you have an older kid (usually a toddler or preschooler) to chase after and also maybe because your body remembers the stretched out state and reverts to that faster, so you’re bigger for longer. I don’t think it’s necessarily about age. And this is totally vain and doesn’t really have anything to do with physical comfort, but older women are less likely to get stretch marks!
I agree that you’re never really ready. I was pregnant at 31 and 34 because I wanted to have kids done college before I retired.
I loved pregnancy. I have three kids including twins and I was super sad for a bit on my last pregnancy that I would only get to have two pregnancies instead of three because of the twins (DH didn’t want 4 kids).
I’m currently pregnant with my first and your age. I haven’t yet had anyone touch me and I’ve been showing for a while. Honestly, my husband and I were “ready” and kept delaying (we’ll start in two months, okay, maybe in another two months). The thing that helped us pull the trigger was that one of our friends got pregnant first. She’s now a great mom and I love her to death, but we grew up together so I have a lot of snapshots in my mind of her doing really stupid things. Something in me just flipped and it was like, okay, yeah I can do that too. As for the physical side, I hope you don’t have HG, but with most morning sickness it ends by the time you announce your pregnancy. I didn’t have pressure to be cheerfully pregnant while feeling green because no one knew.
It’s never the right time to have kids, and you’re probably stronger than you think. FWIW my story: I had all my kids between being a junior and midlevel associate at biglaw. It hasn’t been a walk in the park, but I’m doing pretty well as a senior associate, as far as I can tell. I don’t think anyone ever touched my belly unsolicited, although I dealt with plenty of annoying comments. But dealing with annoying comments is just the card we are dealt as women; at least you get fewer catcalls while pregnant… I look back fondly on a few moments of pregnancy — feeling little kicks, and the excitement of carrying it around — but I was not super excited about it and don’t miss it: it was certainly a means to an end! Good luck!
I posted something almost identical a few months back, except I was separately very worried about my career. In my long term future, I always imagine having kids, but I don’t think I’m ever going to wake up with “baby fever” or think it’s the right time. I’m pretty type A and there’s always going to be a reason why it’s the wrong time and I want to put it off. For what it’s worth, I’m 31 and we plan to start trying in about three months, when I’ll be almost 32. I considered the following:
– Having kids is not something I can control, so I want to start on the earlier side in case we have trouble. I’ve recently watched two friends younger than me go through in vitro so it’s been on my mind.
– I hate making major life decisions, and I think I always hoped my husband would wake up one day and be like “I’m ready for a baby” and then given my ambivalence I would say “great! let’s do it!” and then I wouldn’t have to decide. That’s just not going to happen, and honestly, I should be the one driving timing because pregnancy/infancy impacts me more than him.
– Any time I get pregnant is going to have some negative impact on my career. Sure, it might be more/less/different depending on the situation, but it’s unavoidable and I’ll just need to power through it. I used to be very focused on minimizing career impacts as much as possible, but my friends who are moms all basically told me that there’s always going to be a negative impact so I should just get pregnant whenever I feel like it and deal with the consequences. It sounds a little harsh put that way, but I think it’s good advice. I’m likely either going to end up getting pregnant quickly at a relatively new job, or end up staying at my current job longer than I would like. Neither option is ideal but careers are long and I’ll figure it out.
– I’m still not excited about being pregnant but I’m using the months I have before trying to be healthier (eating better, working out regularly, getting my sleep habits back on track). I can’t control what happens during pregnancy, and I probably will not enjoy it, but I think I will feel better if I am healthy when I go in to the process.
– On the comments on pregnancy front, there will always be some strangers that comment. But my friends did who were not into pregnancy just didn’t talk about it, and it was fine, and very quickly, friends/coworkers stopped asking other than a general “how are you feeling?” I think you may have more control over this than you think. You can politely answer questions and then redirect the conversation.
At what point do you toss/donate your clothes?
Example: I have several work dresses (Calvin Klein brand or similar) that are around 5 years old that have some pilling in them (I think that’s the right term? Little bumps in the fabric in some places). It doesn’t bother me, but is that kind of thing noticeable to others? I’m a lawyer in the govt, look young for my age (30), and want to make sure I’m coming off professionally- but at the same time don’t want to toss/donate dresses that otherwise fit.
I keep mine also in this condition because I hate wasting things that are in serviceable condition, but I’d suggest borrowing or buying a sweater shaver thingy to give them new life.
Fabric shaver. Conair makes one for maybe $10 that I got on Amazon.
I didn’t know these exist- thanks!
Pilling is easy to fix, most of the time. Get one of the depiller thingies and try that before you donate them!
Worry about yourself
I love my fabric shaver, it’s so satisfying to use and really does make my clothes look and feel like new!
To answer your question, if something is too shabby to wear myself, I recycle it, not donate it. Before I donate anything, I put myself in the shoes of a woman in crisis – maybe I’ve left an abusive husband, or my house burned down, and I desperately needed clothes. If I were handed the item I’m about to donate, how would I feel? I really mean how l would realistically feel, not how I would be expected to feel. Would I feel genuinely happy to have it, or would I have to muster up some feeling gratitude out of obligation to be grateful for what I can get? If I think something is too shabby to wear to my office, why would I expect someone else to wear it? This is what H&M’s recycling program is for, and I donate things that are in good condition and just aren’t my style anymore, or that don’t fit.
I’m looking at pants I love and mostly fit but they’re black and have been washed so.many.times. that they’re now clearly used-to-be-black color. Sigh. Yes, I need new pants. Time to toss/donate. C’est la vie.
Reading help! I have a long vacation coming up (thank goodness) and I’m planning on reading. A LOT. I’m hoping you all can suggest some books for me that are written by female authors – I’m making a concerted effort to include more women-created works in my library and theater habits. I like pretty much every genre, but skew towards sci fi/fantasy and mystery most of the time. But I’m open to anything! Anything you’ve read that fits this you would like to recommend?
“Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstances” — female author, fantasy lite.
And, my all time favorite: “Station Eleven”
+1 to Station Eleven. It sounds like everything you’re looking for!
The Broken Earth series by N.K. Jemisen, and Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor.
+1 to anything by Laini Taylor
Also LOVE the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor. The second book in Strange the Dreamer was kind of a dud, though I loved the first one.
The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
– Anything/everything by Margaret Atwood. Love, love, love The Blind Assassin, Oryx and Crake, Alias Grace, and more.
– I’m working my way through the list of ’13 great horror books by women’ on posted on vulture. (I’ve never tried including a link in comments, fearful it will go to long mod, so just google the list.) So far, I’ve read and liked 3 on the list – The Hunger by Alma Katsu, Broken Monsters by Lauren Beaukes, Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant.
– For classic mystery, I love everything by Agatha Christie, but especially her Poirot novels.
– Also +1 for Station Eleven
+1 for Agatha Christie! Came here to say exactly that.
Mary Doria Russell for sci-fi. Someone here recommended Tara French, and I did enjoy the novel of hers I tried.
Sorry: Tana. Tana French.
Romance. It’s an entire genre that mostly written by women, for women, and about women.
Specific author recommendations, mix of contemporary and historical: Alisha Rai, Tessa Dare, Nora Roberts (or her JD Robb near-future mysteries with a romance subplot), Courtney Milan
Seconding romance. There’s a ton of variety, and there is essentially no other genre where female experience is centered in the way it is in romance. If you like scifi, you will probably enjoy Seanann Maguire’s work. Most of it is scifi (she’s been nominated for a Hugo), but she also writes a fantastic urban fantasy series with strong romantic themes, which I highly recommend (the October Daye series).
I also cannot recommend Alyssa Cole’s work highly enough – she writes both historical and contemporary romance. Her historical romances often explore little-known aspects of black history in the US and abroad (her Loyal League series includes a heroine who escaped from slavery and has to go back into the slave states as a spy to steal plans for a Confederate ironclad – it’s exciting, super-romantic, and also totally fascinating because I learned a bunch about untold stories of black heroism in the Civil War; she also has some amazing short Medieval romances). Her contemporary romances are very rom-com-esque and just incredibly delightful. Oh! And she’s written an excellent postapocalyptic New Adult romance series too.
I don’t know if it counts as romance but I’ve been into what I call chick lit. I gobbled up all of Liane Moriarity (Big Little Lies) and just really enjoyed The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory.
Sarah J Maas! Her Court of Thorns and Roses series is the best I have read since Discovery of Witches. I’m reading the Throne of Glass series now and it’s pretty good. I also like Nalini Singh but those skew towards romance. Uprooted by Naomi Novik was excellent and I am waiting to get more of her books.
The Child by Fiona Barton
The First Prehistoric Serial Killer and Other Stories by Teresa Solana
Still Lives by Maria Hummel
Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
+1 to Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
Lois McMaster Bujold
.. to start with:)
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler. And then everything else by her.
The Girl You Left Behind and Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty
In a Dark, Dark Wood – Ruth Ware
The Alice Network – Kate Quinn
Firefly Lane – Kristin Hannah
The Good Girl – Mary Kubica
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hug – Taylor Jenkins Reid
I also like books from Beatriz Williams – I started with the Schulyer sister novels.
Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton. It is the best fiction book that I have read in a while.
Mary Ann Singleton
I just finished Where the Crawdads Sing as an audiobook and there’s a hole in my life now that the book is over. I loved it so much.
Louise Penny writes fantastic mysteries!
Anything by Kate Atkinson. Her Jackson Brodie series (starting with Case Histories) is in the mystery genre, but very much elevates it. And for a somewhat sci-fi/fantasy novel of hers try Life After Life.
For straight-up mysteries, Tana French is fantastic. .
I also like the Jackson Brodie books.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
A guy I’ve started seeing recently asked me to share with him this major creative work I’ve been doing as a hobby. I emailed him 24 hours ago with the link and haven’t heard back since, even “thanks, look forward to checking it out.”
This may be totally irrational but my first thought is he hates the art so much he’s no longer interested in dating me. Typing it out that seems a little overdramatic but ugggggh why doesn’t he write back and tell me what he thought? It took a lot for me to share it with him (it’s not connected with my real name) and now I’m obviously going a little crazy about it…
I’ve had the same types of thoughts before, but he probably hasn’t been able to look at it yet and doesn’t want to respond until he can, OR he has looked at it and wants to digest/talk to you in person about it.
You are brave for sharing yourself like that with someone, and you are also awesome for even creating this major creative work in the first place. I bet you’ll hear from him about how great it was, BUT! If you don’t, then he is not your person and can go kick rocks. Someone who doesn’t understand how vulnerable this process is isn’t someone you need in your life.
Thanks for the nice comment. I hope you’re right, and I’m sure you are right that he is not my person if he’s not into it, but man I like him and don’t want him to have to go kick rocks! :(
Ugh, this would make me crazy! But try to consider all the alternatives: he’s busy, he loves it so much he wants to talk to you about it in person, it sparked his interest but he hasn’t had time to write a thoughtful text or email about it…
Hang in there! Hope you hear from him soon.
Thanks! I know this is a valid possibility and I will try to hang in there and assume the best, but I am vibrating with anxiety about it!
I would feel the same way! Try not to overthink it before asking for you what you want, maybe in a post script?
My inclination is to try to chill until he writes back so I don’t seem overly demanding. But I also just kind of want to write back and be like “helloooooooooo did you fall off a cliff?”
I know it’s late and you may not see this but as a fellow creative and someone who struggles to be vulnerable in dating I think it is SO COOL AND SO BRAVE of you to do this! I’m inspired. Even if he doesn’t give you the positive feed back you want, this internet stranger thinks you’re awesome and I admire your courage. I genuinely hope that you feel good about showing up for yourself and your relationships like this.
Aww, thank you, that means a lot and I greatly appreciate the kind comment.
Still haven’t heard back (maybe after work, pleeeeeease…) but, well, if I showed him this vulnerable part of myself and he wasn’t into it, I guess he doesn’t deserve me. That will be extremely cold comfort, though!
Late reply here but….. the other day my brother texted me at 5 am.and it didn’t come through or pop up untik he texted later in the day. Maybe he legit hasn’t seen it. Try to chill.
Could you make a 3 day weekend in Palm Beach Island FL or maybe Delray/similar beach town in Jan for 4 adults aged 40-70+ or would it be too boring? We’d go to the beach and walk around daily but Jan isn’t sit on the beach weather. This crew would love Worth Avenue but I think we’d need at least 1 activity daily for mid day hours. People will just appreciate getting away from the cold northeast weather but you do need something to do. And IDK about Miami for this crew – maybe overwhelming in a big city way so maybe a smaller FL town with smaller airports would be good. Ideas for activities or other places?
I think Delray is so boring, but that’s because my grandmother used to live there and I was bored to death visiting her. If I’d gone as a tourist it might be different. What about Fort Lauderdale? Good airport access and still a city with some stuff to do, but definitely way less crazy than Miami.
I went to Delray for a solo winter getaway a few years ago. I spent one day exploring a nature preserve and another one in Palm Beach (I did a bunch of spa treatments at the Breakers, did some vintage shopping, etc.). I think I went to a museum, too, although I don’t remember where that was. It was fun, and there were a lot of good restaurants, but I’ve never had the desire to go back.
I used to live in Delray and here are a few of my recommendations:
The Morikami Mesuem and Japanese Gardens is in Delray
Definitely grab a bite at their cafe. The food is fantastic.
The Boca Raton Museum of Art:
Whitehall in Palm Beach
If you dont mind driving a little over an hour, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is also incredible.
The Sundy house in Delray has a great brunch in a beautiful setting.
Thanksgiving travel plans? When do you leave? Esp for those on 95 on the east coast – when do you leave to avoid traffic, how long do you think your travels will take?
In D.C., WTOP said today’s rush hour will be the worst travel of the season as everyone collectively decides to get out of town “before the rush.”
We’re hosting this year, and the only guests who had to travel are already here, and others are local. When I have to travel, I do it Tuesday and Friday.
Might try this again in the afternoon thread- but what’s a holiday without Family Drama?
My sister married my BIL after dating for 1 years. Two years into the marriage, she wants a divorce. Sister has a myriad of mental health issues with which BIL has been far more supportive than any human could be expected to be (some were diagnosed while they were together). IMO BIL shouldn’t have ever proposed but that’s not my business. Anyway, BIL is not contesting the divorce. Things will be final in a few months. They’ve been living separately for a year.
In the meantime, my husband, BIL, and my brother have been the best of friends for the past, idk, 5-7 years or so. When my sister got married, my husband was the best man. My BIL never had much family, and they weren’t close, but in the past few years his parents have both died. He has spent every holiday with my family, and only 2 people from his family came to his wedding (his sister and her husband-but not his brother). There isn’t bad blood, they just live across th country and are not close.
All this as backstory because DH invited STBX BIL to thanksgiving. He’s coming. He’s driving five states over to come to thanksgiving. My sister is staying in her home state and doing IDK what (I asked her a while back and she said she wasn’t planning to come up). My parents, brother, and other sister are all coming.
In this case, we got “lucky” in that my sister wasn’t planning to come. But going forward, does anyone have any thoughtful advice on how to handle holidays? DH is closer to STBX BIL than I am to my sister at this point, and my sister is not allowed to be with our (young) kids alone due to some past issues (like getting black out drunk at a holiday and scaring the hell out of all my kids and nearly breaking the arm of my toddler, among others). Do we invite them both? Switch off? for now, it’s so close to their divorce that they are not ready to be in the same house together.
This will probably be unpopular but your sister sounds fairly awful and I would probably stop inviting her and keep inviting STBX BIL. I am not someone who believes blood family always > married-in family/close friends. Sometimes blood family is toxic or its unsafe for them to be around or whatever. My vote is for keep BIL and ditch sister unless she commits to getting the help she needs.
My sister hasn’t ever done anything like yours and I will always prefer spending time with my friends over my sister. Same with my parents to be honest. They haven’t done anything awful, but none of us are close and I have chosen my friends to be my family. I am not bothered by this and it’s rare that my sister does any holidays with us due to her work and location, so it works out fine, but trust that I would rather stay home with my dogs than drive the two hours to my parents’ house to sit around and have surface level chit chat. I am of course biased here based on my own situation so here’s some SALT.
If your sister isn’t local, presumably she won’t be attending every single thanksgiving and Christmas so just alternate invites so each is included for some but not all events. Heck, if he remarries, maybe you and your DH will go visit him for the holidays one year. I’m sure he’ll find a suitable Friendsgiving if needed. Or offer to work a bunch around Christmas to get prime summer holidays vacation approved.
Enjoy the present and worry about it only if it’s an issue in the future.
This. Sufficient unto the day are the troubles thereof.
I agree that leaving your sister off the guest list sounds like the best idea for now. But keep in mind that things could change – your BIL could get remarried and have to spend holidays with his new in-laws. So I wouldn’t borrow trouble.
If I’m reading this correctly, your husband and brother’s friendship with your BIL predated your sister’s relationship with him? Regardless, I’m sorry to say that I think you need to be “team sister” for major holidays that you’re hosting unless you’re planning to completely cut ties with her. If nothing else, it’s putting your parents in a tough position.
Ha,this wide range of responses reflects the long diacussion DH and I had yesterday. I sheee not tomorrow trouble but…Christmas is on the horizon and nobody will be remarried by then ;).
My favorite aunt is the BIL you describe. She married my mother’s brother, the brother (my uncle) was a jerk and they divorced. Uncle moved away and remarried multiple times. Aunt came to every single family holiday and I’m so happy she did. When she came, we kids implicitly knew that she wanted to be there, she wasn’t just fulfilling a family obligation. Even though my uncle was the favored oldest child of my grandparents, they knew aunt was gold and always invited her. So if your family enjoys BIL and he’s been a member of the family for several years now, I say keep enjoying his company!
Is the divorce civil, or can your SIL and STBX BIL not be in the same room? Our family Thanksgiving has a very inclusive definition of family, including (often) DH’s step-mother’s first husband, his wife, and their child. Would your SIL skip Christmas if her STBX were there?
Late reply here but….. the other day my brother texted me at 5 am.and it didn’t come through or pop up untik he texted later in the day. Maybe he legit hasn’t seen it. Try to chill.