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Ask Amanda: My fiancé invited his whole family over for Thanksgiving without telling me

posted on November 17, 2017 | by Amanda Holstein

Ask Amanda: My fiancé invited his whole family over for Thanksgiving without telling me


Hi Amanda,

Thanksgiving is 7 days away, and my fiance informed me he had invited all of his family over to our home on Thursday. We had previously discussed not doing anything because we will be leaving for vacation the next day. he didn’t ask me, told his family, and assumed I would take on the shopping, cooking, cleaning, entertaining, etc.

How do I get out of this without looking like a lazy grump? I am going to be packing, cleaning, doing laundry and a million other things in PREPARATION for our vacation. There literally is not enough time in the day to also cook a full Thanksgiving meal.

– Erica


Hi Erica,

God that is SO frustrating of him!! I’m so sorry you have to deal with this — I agree, it’s really not fair.

My question is, how come YOU have to do it all? Can you guys discuss splitting up some of these tasks and doing them together?? I think that would resolve a lot of things: 1. Actually being able to get everything done; 2. Not wanting to kill him for putting all of this on you; 3. Him taking on some ownership and realizing how much work all of this actually takes.

I think you need to sit down with him and just be realistic about the tasks at hand. First, tell him it’s not that you don’t want to host his family, it’s that he didn’t discuss it with you first. Tell him that you want to feel like you’re in this together, and him throwing that on you makes you feel like an employee or something (if this doesn’t ring true for you, then, of course, put it in your own words).

I think it’s important that you talk about how this is making you feel and that it’s really not about the hosting, it’s about how he handled it. Make sure that instead of yelling at him or blaming him (because this will make him defensive), you come at it more like you’re trying to resolve a problem together, a problem that is the responsibility of both of you.

Now, on to how to actually make this work. In my opinion, it would be better to find a way to pull this off together, rather than to find a way to cancel and avoid doing it at all. I think it’s important that he doesn’t expect you to take care of all of this on your own, especially because of the position he put you in. It’s important that you guys figure out together how to host Thanksgiving and how to prep for your trip. Make a list, split up the tasks, and put ownership on BOTH of you. Again, I think this will solve 3 problems: 1. Getting everything done. 2. Giving him ownership and making him understand that this is not just on you, but on both of you together. 3. Relieving some of that anger and resentment that’s building up towards him.

I know this is easier said than done and that you’d rather not have to host at all, but I think it’s really important that you handle it this way. I hope it all works out and good luck!