So help me out with my biggest in-law issues

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karebeartg Posts : 831 Registered: 6/25/08
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 25, 2010 12:27 PM Go to message in response to: NJ4Life

I think NJ is right that it gets better over time. You and DH will probably have a few rough "confrontations" with the in-laws, but as long as you present a united front and consistency, I think you'll win in the end.

When they confront you, perhaps it's time for some of Aunt's "I'm sorry, but that will be impossible" rather than giving reasons.

DH and my main issue with inlaws is when his family celebrations get clustered (for example, 2 graduation parties, grandmother's birth day, some charity thing hosted by his family, etc, all in a 4 week period in May two years ago). It's gotten much better now that DH realized that it was overwhelming for me and not super exciting for him, we started declining "optional" events and staying less long at not optional ones if there were a bunch in close proximity. It was hard for his family for a while, because he used to come early/stay til the end of EVERYTHING, but everyone seems to deal with it now. They're realized that just because we live close by doesn't mean we will be at everything for every hour people want to be there.

 

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NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 25, 2010 12:50 PM Go to message in response to: karebeartg

Kare--we have the same problem with functions and other nonsense being lumped together. It's bad enough almost all our family's birthdays fall into a 3 month period w/ bdays every 2 weeks. But to have a celebration for EVERY single one and be expected to attend everything is ridiculous. And a few years ago we had to lump in our sister's college graduations and corresponding parties in those months too and it was too much. MIL actually gets upset if DH says he doesn't wanna come visit on his birthday...but he always says it's HIS birthday, he should do what he WANTS...and if that doesnt include waking up early on a Sunday to drive 90 mins, then it should be whatever. But God forbid we suggest celebrating TWO birthdays in ONE day...FORGET IT..WWIII.

We've decided to "black out" certain weekends and not make any plans with family those weekends. It's too easy to get sucked into "having" to do this and that. So if we say we already have plans, then it's a good "out". It's important to a marriage to put it first...

New Jersey: We have dumps, bays and cement boots and we know how to use 'em

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FutureMrsDJLeo Posts : 615 Registered: 2/26/09
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 25, 2010 1:28 PM Go to message in response to: NJ4Life

NJ, reading that your FMIL wants your DH to visit her on his birthday just made me mad! Um, if she wants to see him so bad why doesn't she make the drive to visit him? Another thing with all the birthdays, isn't it once you hit a certain age you really don't expect to have every person that you ever met celebrate with you? I can understand for kids, or big birthdays (21, 25, 30, 40, etc) but every year having to have your whole family party with you? And I'm even one of those people who likes to make birthdays a week-long celebration (or month, LOL) but you can't get upset if not everyone is able to make it out for your birthday. How old are these people that have birthdays every couple of weeks? If they are over 10, they really shouldn't be getting upset about it. And why on earth can't they do them together if everyone MUST get together for everyones birthday? It saves a lot of time and money that way!

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NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 25, 2010 1:45 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsDJLeo

LOL LOL. They are ALL adults. We always invite them down to us (well we have the idea to) but they beat us to the punch every year. Unfortunately this year is DH's 30th so we wil be doing something all together..but I am planning it...with some imput (and money) from my ILs. She will even say "i dont know whats wrong with me but I need to see my kids ON their bdays". Meanwhile I'm thinking "well your one kid has a WIFE that HE wants to spend time with over you". When really HE is thinking "I'd rather be playing golf". However last year they wanted us to help SIL move the day after my birthday when my birthday fell on the same day as an 8 hr road trip home from vacation! he nixed that. And this is also why we will never have a baby in those 3 months!

Family dynamics are weird.

New Jersey: We have dumps, bays and cement boots and we know how to use 'em

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karebeartg Posts : 831 Registered: 6/25/08
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 25, 2010 1:58 PM Go to message in response to: NJ4Life

NJ, is your DH related to my inlaws?

DH finally realized that we had to start definitively saying no when his family tried to guilt us into doing something on MY birthday. My birthday is June 4, so it would have been the 5th week in a row. I have no idea what the event was, but I know it wasn't his grandmother's birthday (since that's the one that I do consider the important event in the mix). His family kept trying to get us to come "just for a little while in the afternoon." The only benefits to that were 1) we laughed hysterically for about 10 minutes when he told me that they thought we'd be coming and 2) he realized that we really, truly had to firmly say no because clearly logic wasn't going to cut it. Yes, I would love to spend MY birthday with not my family to celebrate something else and push my birthday dinner with our friends back a couple hours. When we've seen you the past 4 weekends.

So, anyway, Bird, give it time and say no! Requests may only get more ridiculous otherwise.

 

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 25, 2010 5:19 PM Go to message in response to: karebeartg

It's always good to know that you aren't the only one. And sometimes I feel bad because I know that they aren't horrible people, but then again, I am allowed to be uspet about things even if they aren't the end of the world, right?

Anyway, here is a question for you: I absolutely agree with aunt and whoever said that you don't owe them details of why you are/aren't doing something. Now, I have NO PROBLEM saying over and over when we can't afford something, because they don't seem to understand that we're tight for money (gee, DH is an apprentice and I don't have a job to return to after maternity leave.) Anyway...what happens when, you don't give any details, but they are rude enough to flat-out as why? Then what do you say? MYOB?


Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker

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Mushaboo Posts : 2,165 Registered: 3/22/08
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 25, 2010 10:33 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

Birdie,

I don't see my MIL all that often, maybe 10 times a year NOW. When we lived in the same city I saw her every week. She's still demanding and overbearing.

In all honesty, you asked what do you do when they ask why you can't participate in something. Well, I am just as blunt as the person asking most times so I'll say "based on what I need to spend money on for bills, this just doesn't fit into the budget right now. When are you coming to visit me?" That the NICE answer. The rude answer is "just because it doesn't work for us right now. Sorry."

wedding ticker

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 26, 2010 1:01 AM Go to message in response to: Mushaboo

Mush: here is what I FEEL like saying in that situation (which is probably a bit too rude)

IL: Can you _______________(insert any random request)

Me: Oh, I'm very sorry, but that is just not possible for us.

IL: Why's that

Me: Kinda nosey, aren't you?

(which is also possibly hypocritical, since I can clearly be a nosey Nelly on these boards, lol)

Like I said - I have NO problem admitting that we can't afford something . It's just frustrated for that to not be seen as a valid issue.

One time, my MIL wanted to throw a 60th birthday party for my FIL. Good idea. One of her daughters was still living at home, but my husband and one sister already lived in other provinces. My husband (we weren't married at the time, just engaged) had NO spare money to use for gas. his sister (who WAS married) had no money for a plane flight.

They paid for his sister AND her husband's plane flights, but told my husband "too bad you can't come".

It's like they don't believe us.

BTW, my mom thought it was ridiculous, as my husband really wanted to see his sister, so they lent him some money for gas.
Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker

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NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 26, 2010 9:32 AM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

Birdie! Same problem here. This is what we do. I've figured out that clearly I am married to Honest Abe over here....so I've told him he needs to keep his trap shut sometimes. Like he will go and buy something on the pricey side and then tell his mom about it. And then she will say "oh well, how can you afford THAT?" Which really is none of her business...and then she will start to figure out that some of our "we can't afford that" is an excuse. Most of the time it's true though. So anyway, no one needs to know what you spend your money on...you know what I mean?

New Jersey: We have dumps, bays and cement boots and we know how to use 'em

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 27, 2010 5:58 PM Go to message in response to: NJ4Life

Yeah...I know what you mean.

The exception, of course, would be if you owed your parents money - then I would say it's their business if you were blowing money left right and centre before paying them back, lol.

I just think his parents are selfish, financially. Even they have money, they're rather us, who don't have much to spare, spend it instead. I guess that's why they have so much money in the first place, lol.

But I think it's pretty bad when you won't even LEND money to your just-out-of-college son when he has to have surgery and needs to be off of work for a month and a half...and won't be getting the disability money until after he's returned to work (meaning that as soon as the cheque comes in, he can pay you back, so it would be a very short-term loan|)
Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker

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Mushaboo Posts : 2,165 Registered: 3/22/08
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 27, 2010 7:01 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

Birdie, I see nothing wrong with your response. lol That is terrible they paid for his sister's flight and didn't offer him anything. If you lend to one, then you lend to another. Do they see your bank account on a daily basis? Geez.

Expensive items doesn't mean you have to pay a lot for the item. I have 3 pairs of Gucci sunglasses (authentic). I bought them all from a pawn shop, none of them over $50. DH and I get the hook up from a friend of our when cool items come into the store. I sold 1 pair for $100 when I got bored with them.

wedding ticker


Edited by: Mushaboo on Jan 27, 2010 7:02 PM

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Brooke051609 Posts : 723 Registered: 12/31/07
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 27, 2010 8:41 PM Go to message in response to: Mushaboo

Hi ladies! I've been debating to chime in or not, b/c I'm actually upset with MIL right now and didn't want that to affect what I wanted to say! But oh well. Backstory on us, we usually get along just fine. But she's a Type A, has to be in control, holds a grudge and blames everyone else for things type of person, yet does not see herself as such. Ok, fine. But since our marriage she feels like I'm NOW stealing her son. DH and I dated for 7 years before getting engaged and have been married now about 8 months. She actually told me she thinks I sit in the background while he's on the phone with her and I tell him things to say to her, like "DH, tell her to shut up" or "DH, tell her this or that".. which I don't! She's never had a problem with me until lately I feel, and it's not only that she's dreaming this stuff up, but she TELLS other people who know me as well all of this crap! Then I'm wondering what people are thinking of me and how she's portraying me as this awful person and crappy DIL!

So MIL and I talked a few weeks back about some of these issues, and instead of trying to come up with a solution, she just kept saying how we never consider her feelings, she always feels out of the group, again I'm sabatoging her dear son.... WTF?!?!? I kept trying to say, "Ok, MIL, what can we do to fix this? How can we help?" She just kept saying " I don't know, I don't know how to resolve this" and then kept placing blame on us. I swear to you, all we do is take everyone's feelings into consideration. We split weekend's we're home (both sets of parents live in the same hometown- blessing and a curse) right down the middle. I e-mail everyone with the plans for the weekends at home so everyone knows what to expect. But she's NEVER happy. And it makes me feel like crap that we try SO hard to the point where the weekend's at home and the holidays are extremely stressful for us to please everyone else, and then she comes back with all that crap.

So, after my rant (sorry! didn't mean to hijack the thread Bird!!), my question is... I know many points have been made about letting DH handle his parents, I handle mine. But after years of a relationship with her, talking with her, chatting, and being actually pretty close, how do I just turn off my dialogue with her and never discuss anything with her anymore? Only letting DH handle it? I feel this would create MORE distance in our "relationship" and cause more problems. Does anyone else have this situation with MIL?

Just thought this would add another part to this discussion, I hope I didn't hijack it!! I'm sorry if I did!!

Daisypath

                                    "Come What May...."

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FrancieElaine Posts : 654 Registered: 6/26/09
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 27, 2010 11:12 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

Let me see....

You: "I'm sorry, we can't drive six hours to visit this weekend. It's just not going to work out."

MIL: "Why"?

You: "Well, it's sort of a long story. Do you have a few minutes? Hold on for a minute, the baby needs me." (put down phone for five minutes and then come back) "Sorry, as I was saying, we can't make it because I have this skin thing that I am sure is highly contagious and personally I wouldn't mind but it is kind of gross.. it oozes this green pus and kind of smells bad. I have to wear gloves so DH and baby won't get it but you know how much I love to hug and I may just forget and touch you and I would hate to get green smelly pus on you. And then there is this new nervous tic I've developed where I lose control of my arms and legs. I can never predict it. The other day in the grocery store I accidently gave the cashier a bloody nose when I hit her while trying to swipe my debit card. I would hate to accidentally punch you. I could never forgive myself!"

Heh heh... I am not really serious. It's been a long day. But it is worth thinking about. I mean, haven't you ever just wanted to say something totally ridiculous to a person who acts totally ridiculous? :)

Francie Elaine, The Bride Whisperer

www.bride-whisperer.com

http://twitter.com/BrideWhispering

http://bridewhisperer.blogspot.com  

 

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FrancieElaine Posts : 654 Registered: 6/26/09
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 27, 2010 11:20 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

I think you have started a very interesting thread. I've read it and read it again... and although I posted a silly response a while ago, I must say that I have come to the conclusion that there is a deeper issue here for many couples.

What is it about parents who don't/won't let go of their adult kids and let them live their lives? I don't get it! My son is engaged and I don't expect him to spend my birthday with me. He calls and says, "Happy Birthday Mom, I love you." If I can, I do try to see him on or around his birthday, but it isn't something that is required or set in stone. And as he gets married and has his own family, I am sure most birthdays will be a phone call. We enjoy each other so much when we are together, but I totally respect his life. It seems there are a lot of unhealthy boundaries in many of our relationships and I reckon it is up to us to set the appropriate boundaries.

I don't get parents who try to control their grown children. It seems selfish and ridiculous. My opinion. (Sigh)

Francie Elaine, The Bride Whisperer

www.bride-whisperer.com

http://twitter.com/BrideWhispering

http://bridewhisperer.blogspot.com  

 

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 27, 2010 11:48 PM Go to message in response to: FrancieElaine

I can understand wanting to remain close to adult children, spend time together, some holidays together. I actually find it odd when parents of grown children don't seem to care about ever seeing their children.

But the controlling thing, I don't fully understand. Do you think it's because some parents have a very specific mindsent of who/how they want their child to be, and have trouble realizing that once the child grows up, they form their own path?

I am close to my family. Occasionally, my mom teeters on the brink of telling me what to do. But I can basically tell her where to stuff it (nicely of course, lol) and she backs off and apologizes. But my husband and his mother (until recently) never had a relationship where he felt comfortable disagreeing with her. So I think now she can't handle it.

Which is kind of sad, in a way. I think you SHOULD want your child, whether a kid or an adult, to always feel comfortable saying what is on their mind even if you don't agree with it
Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker

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