One should never obligate his or herself to go somewhere he or she rather not just because the individual doesn't want to hurt a partner's feelings. What about yours?...
I remember the looks on faces of wives and girlfriends of relatives who were uncomfortable, upset about something, and just wasn't in the mood to be around family. But their pushy partners insisted that they come around. You could tell with some of these women they had been arguing. I recorded one with a video camera during a Thanksgiving family event say when asked by a relative, "Why are you both late? I thought you weren't coming?" She responded with, "We won't get into that." It was clear she was not going to share a story that would embarrass her or cause further discord between her and her partner. Later that same day, there were some details given by the girlfriend that proved the couple did have a major disagreement prior to their arrival. Another girlfriend of a different relative visiting her boyfriend's family didn't look that comfortable being with kin either at the same event. She said very little and smiled infrequently.
I observed one more relative's girlfriend seated with her daughter. The pair remained in a different room spending much of their time away from the others and both were very quiet and depressed looking despite all the laughter going on around them. Neither of these women I mentioned were in happy relationships and the men appeared to fake it as well. One girlfriend soon broke up with her partner after that family event and the other had been a victim of domestic violence showing up one day with the evidence on her face.
One issue that many people have to deal with when saying "yes" to holiday invites, when they really mean "no," is they hope to pacify partners and look good before the eyes of family. But oftentimes the "act" backfires, because if the person becomes offended by someone or something at the family event, guess who the person is going to blame? You guessed it, his or her mate for bringing them. One's hidden aggression just might come out for all to see if the relationship is rocky.
"Why did you bring me to this? You know how your family is. You know we aren't on the best of terms. That's why I didn't want to come in the first place!" an offended companion yells. Then what might the partner retort, "No one said you had to come. You could have stayed your a$$ home!"
Now it is World War III in the family home, because the couple is stressed. Being around family has its nerve-racking moments. Yet, this isn't an issue for many decent families, but there are plenty who do go through much due to unresolved past problems and controlling relatives.
Book excerpt taken from Should I Go to the Party by Nicholl McGuire