Family traditions should always be dealt with love, respect and kindness as this story teaches us they are essential and sacred.
As families, people have traditions and rituals they follow. It can be something as small as cooking together on Thanksgiving or going for pizza at a specific local joint after the Superbowl. Either way, these small traditions make us feel closer to those we share these traditions with. In a story posted on Reddit by u/ElectricalCost6702, he talks about how he had a tradition with his kids that their partners were not exactly complying with. He also explains how exactly he dealt with it.
The story begins with the man explaining that he is a widower with zero plans of remarrying. His wife passed away right after the birth of their youngest kid. Since his wife was buried close, with a mere twenty minutes walking distance from their home, the father and the kids have a tradition they follow. Every Christmas Eve, the father and kids visit their mother's grave and put a flower on her tomb. The whole tradition barely takes about 20 minutes, but the kids and their dad hold dear to their hearts.
This tradition is so close to the hearts of the father and kids that even after the son married someone, they unanimously decided that this tradition would be a private one and the daughter-in-law would not be included. He added how understanding the daughter-in-law was by saying, "My DIL understood and just chilled at home when we went on our walk." He also mentioned how she started her little tradition when the family returned. He said, "She started to make hot cocoa for when we get back and now that is a little tradition." However, they did not get the same reaction from the daughter's husband. Despite the daughter talking to her husband about it and explicitly mentioning how she doesn't want him during the traditions, he fails to understand it.
While the man believed this would be the end of his problems, the son-in-law called the man and asked him why he wasn't family. The man explained, "I told him he is family, but this is a private moment. He called me a jerk and told everyone I was excluding him." The worst part of this was that the daughter-in-law insisted that she wanted to go for this tradition too. However, that turned out to be a massive misunderstanding where the daughter-in-law thought something else.
He said, "I talked to DIL and asked about her honest opinion about the tradition. She was confused and got a different story. She thought she and SIL were being excluded from the gift exchange/ski trip." He further added, "She is fine with the tradition and enjoys the hot cocoa tradition. I asked if she could rope SIL in on it and she said she would try." That said, the daughter once again spoke to her husband and then assumed to her father and brother that this was the end of it. He ends by stating how the problem ended up solving itself.
The comments section was full of people agreeing with the man. u/LadyCass79 said, "NTA. I don't understand this. I make sure to participate fully in my husband's family and feel very welcome. I still allow for certain times when my husband just spends time with his parents and siblings. I don't join in on Mother's Day, Father's Day, and even certain casual gatherings. Allowing that nuclear family bonding time without my presence is important even though they love the hell out of me. I also spend time doing things with my in-laws without my husband." u/ckptry said, "NTA, these people never met your wife. I don't understand why they aren't respecting their spouse's wishes and allowing you a half hour alone as a family to visit the grave."
However, some believed that the son-in-law wasn't in the wrong for demanding to be included in the tradition. "YTA - it monopolizes every Christmas Eve. You are expecting their spouses to sit home. At least invite them to come and get in on stories of their deceased IL. Plus, what if they would like ONE dang Eve to spend time with these spouses and their families? You have successfully monopolized this. Congrats!" commented u/Nervous_Principle_99 and u/NellieSantee wrote: "NTA, but unpopular opinion, you all should consider taking them. I see it as a way for them to be in touch with their mother-in-law, even if she's not present."