Author Topic: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help  (Read 6890 times)

sequoia

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #50 on: August 25, 2017, 02:41:10 PM »
Well, they're back.  We've had a very awkward conversation with them where we attempted to set some boundaries, and so far they're following them.  Everything is hella awkward though.  I guess time will tell if this will work . . . but I'm going to try and reduce the length of time they'll be staying with us in the future.

Great to hear you are making progress. Keep at it! If they start crossing some of the boundaries that you set, be nice, but firm, and remind them again. Like @Apples said:
2 (or 7...) days of awkwardness is worth the potential for a lifetime of overall improved relations.

TrMama

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #51 on: August 25, 2017, 03:01:57 PM »
That's actually a great update. I know it doesn't feel good now, but if they feel less comfortable in your home, they'll likely keep future visits shorter or even arrange to stay elsewhere.

Hang in there.

GuitarStv

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #52 on: August 25, 2017, 05:53:49 PM »
 . . . aaaaannnnd boundaries crossed.  We're about to have a whole family meeting.

okits

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #53 on: August 25, 2017, 06:43:49 PM »
Eek.  Good luck, dude.
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Kris

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #54 on: August 25, 2017, 07:47:06 PM »
. . . aaaaannnnd boundaries crossed.  We're about to have a whole family meeting.

Oops.

Sorry to hear this, but waiting impatiently for an update.
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GuitarStv

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #55 on: August 26, 2017, 07:37:57 AM »
Total communication failure during family meeting.  Transition from awkward to truly horrible and awkward complete!

Villanelle

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #56 on: August 26, 2017, 07:53:19 AM »
Damn.  I'm sorry.  Are you and your wife at least on the same page?

Kris

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #57 on: August 26, 2017, 08:10:01 AM »
Oh, good lord. Sorry to hear this.
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Adventine

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #58 on: August 26, 2017, 09:06:31 AM »
Yikes. What happened?

Apples

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #59 on: August 26, 2017, 12:18:59 PM »
Oh no!  Who did most of the talking during this meeting?  Because DW should be talking more than you...she needs to be the one setting and re-setting the boundaries.

But I'm guessing some feelings got tramped on, even accidentally.  Sending you the best of luck with all of this.

MarciaB

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #60 on: August 26, 2017, 01:16:42 PM »
Air bnb within walking distance of your house. This would solve a lot of your issues although I suspect they'll be offended when you first present this option. This isn't something you'll be able to discuss with them. You, or more exactly, your wife, will need to tell them this is the arrangement for their visits from now on. They will throw a fit when they find out about his, act passive aggressive. Plan for this so that your wife doesn't cave and let them return to your house.

The thing is, once they've been in the air bnb for awhile they will come to prefer it too. They'll never admit this, and they'll probably continue to complain about it no matter what, but secretly they will like having their own space.

And as your son gets older he can do sleepovers at the AirBnB with the in-laws. They'll be thrilled to get him all to themselves.
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GuitarStv

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #61 on: August 27, 2017, 11:22:03 AM »
I did most of the talking during the family meeting.  I mentioned that we really appreciated the help that our in-laws were giving us, and apologized for any rudeness on my part.  Then said that things weren't working with the living situation and proposed some ground rules.  (The same ground rules that my wife had proposed earlier that had been ignored.). This was met with a deafening silence.  And after an extended period of that we all got up and went our merry ways.  We'll see what happens from here.  So far so good.  Well, aside from nobody talking to me.

:S

Adventine

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #62 on: August 27, 2017, 11:29:51 AM »
Did you discuss with your wife your exact plans for this talk before sitting down with the in-laws?

GuitarStv

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #63 on: August 27, 2017, 11:56:55 AM »
Did you discuss with your wife your exact plans for this talk before sitting down with the in-laws?

Yep.  Neither of us thought it was a good idea, but neither of us could think of any other way to get the parents to possibly follow the rules.

Villanelle

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #64 on: August 28, 2017, 01:30:25 AM »
I think awkwardness and uncomfortable silences are a good sign.  That means they are actually aware these are real things that are important.  They are no longer just mentally brushing them off as small requests you guys don't actually care about.

That doesn't mean they will follow them, but I think it is at least a hopeful sign.  And if and when they do break the rules, if you guys want to follow through with consequences, the fact that it was all discussed in a Very Serious Family Meeting means they can't really claim they didn't know or understand. 

sequoia

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #65 on: August 28, 2017, 01:31:50 AM »
And as your son gets older he can do sleepovers at the AirBnB with the in-laws. They'll be thrilled to get him all to themselves.
hmm... disagree. OP wrote "My father in-law makes regular off handed racist comments". Personally I would not let my son interact with anyone who makes racist comments.

Total communication failure during family meeting.  Transition from awkward to truly horrible and awkward complete!
Urgh... sorry to hear this. Sending some positive vibes for you, and hope in a few days things get better.

GuitarStv

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #66 on: August 28, 2017, 10:05:00 AM »
I've managed to get bronchitis now, so am able to spend every minute of every day at home with the inlaws for the foreseeable future.  Starting to empathize with Job a bit.

Dicey

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #67 on: August 29, 2017, 10:33:11 AM »
I've heard stories like yours before dicey, in some ways those are better scenarios to be in.  The in laws in that case are so awful that I'd gave an easier time telling them just to get out.  My inlaws (for all the aggravation they cause me) really are trying in their own way to be good to us.  There's a lot of alternating between feeling rage and shame that you were angry in the first place.

GuitarStv,
I've been wanting to add more to this thread, but don't want to hijack. I'm going to go write out my thoughts in my journal, then I'll publish a Tl;Dr version here. My SIL is really amazing and I don't want to let my post about her parents stand without telling this other part of the story.
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Car Jack

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #68 on: August 29, 2017, 01:05:49 PM »
Random thoughts:

Remove 3/4 of the dishes.  Hide them somewhere the in laws can't find them.

Invite over friends to play cards/watch a ball game/ drink beer.  Clue them in.  Be sure all are of a color or race that your in-laws would not approve of.

Before you in-laws arrive, start some home projects.  Such projects should have the kitchen, bathroom and any extra bedrooms torn up and uninhabitable.

Take a vacation to Disney.  When?  Leave the day before your in-laws arrive.

Pretty drastic, but move.  Don't tell the in-laws where.  Offer to meet them for a day at Disney.

Our in-laws were not Phillipino and only lived 12 miles away but would show up uninvited way too much.  We actually would see their car coming up the driveway and quickly lock all our doors and hide. 

Dicey

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #69 on: August 29, 2017, 01:49:32 PM »
Car Jack, ^that's^ pretty funny, in a laugh-despite-the-hurt kind of way.


Okay, I've written the rest of the story. The whole lotta words version is here: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/a-lot-like-this/msg1676960/#new


Tl;Dr version: My SIL (now dubbed "Jo") took amazing care of my father during the long, last year of his life. Her parents can stay as long as they want, and be as awful as they want, and never will the scales balance out for all she has done for our family.


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With This Herring

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #70 on: August 29, 2017, 08:53:12 PM »
Night Noise - Replace the bathroom door and their bedroom door (temporarily) with curtains on tension rods.

Privacy - Put a lock on the door of your bedroom.  You and your wife each get a key on a string like a necklace.  Door stays locked at all times.

Racism - Send a little letter around to all your neighbors saying "(Wife)'s parents, who make large numbers of racist jokes, are visiting again.  Please know in advance that we do not share their views.  We will be coming around to personally apologize to everyone after they go home."

But I hope the awkward discussion worked.
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Adventine

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #71 on: August 29, 2017, 10:04:22 PM »
Hope you feel better soon, GuitarStv!

Also, at least they've progressed from brushing off your feedback to awkward silence. Little tiny baby steps towards them taking you seriously.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #72 on: August 29, 2017, 11:48:57 PM »
2 (or 7...) days of awkwardness is worth the potential for a lifetime of overall improved relations.

This.  I was going to post a two-line response.  First: boundaries.  Then, see book by same title. 

You're already there though.  FYI, be prepared if they test the boundaries further a few times.  As long as you're solid, though, it's your home, you set the rules, and you're can ensure that you're respected.  Kudos to you! 

Dicey

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #73 on: August 31, 2017, 10:06:10 AM »
Just sending some love...hope at least your body is feeling better soon.
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wenchsenior

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #74 on: August 31, 2017, 04:32:22 PM »
Just sending some love...hope at least your body is feeling better soon.

Same from me.  Also, rejoice, for you are more than halfway through the visit! 

MMMaybe

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #75 on: October 11, 2017, 07:52:01 PM »
Any updates on this? Curious to know how things are going!

GuitarStv

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #76 on: October 11, 2017, 07:58:55 PM »
Any updates on this? Curious to know how things are going!


We've survived.  We are instituting some hard limits on visit time in the future (no more than a week at a time, no more than two weeks a year), which will probably lead to hurt feelings but my wife and I both agree are necessary.  It will probably be a several year process to get rid of all the stuff that the in-laws have been keeping here, but I've made my peace with that.

okits

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #77 on: October 11, 2017, 08:14:19 PM »
This is good news.  Way to go, dude.

Also: carefully check your DS's Halloween treats this year.  Your thread has made me aware that I should carefully check any packaged foods my older relatives offer.  There's definitely instances of stuff being forgotten and sitting forever on the shelves.
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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #78 on: October 11, 2017, 10:48:58 PM »
Its your life and your house. I don't get all this whiney behavior. Face punches are needed. Tell them to shape up or ship out.

I often spend long periods of time with family or friends when I return to the motherland and I clean up their house, make as few disturbances as possible and try to leave things better than when I came ( ie I put on a roof on my friends garage when I stayed over two weeks).

If they are doing that they can stop coming, period. Stop being a pushover and then complaining about it.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #79 on: October 12, 2017, 12:26:56 AM »
Any updates on this? Curious to know how things are going!


We've survived.  We are instituting some hard limits on visit time in the future (no more than a week at a time, no more than two weeks a year), which will probably lead to hurt feelings but my wife and I both agree are necessary.  It will probably be a several year process to get rid of all the stuff that the in-laws have been keeping here, but I've made my peace with that.

It is good that you and your wife agree on a strategy. You will need each other for support in this kind of situation.

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #80 on: October 12, 2017, 09:11:06 AM »
If the in-laws are willing and able to continue making racist comments in front of you after you've repeatedly asked you to stop, be advised: they really, truly, honestly do feel that way about people from other cultures. Which, incidentally, includes YOU and also your son.

In a quiet moment, you might try asking them why they hate you so much when you have shown them nothing but respect.
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intellectsucks

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Re: Living with in-laws for extended periods . . . help
« Reply #81 on: October 18, 2017, 10:19:37 AM »
The motivation behind the cooking, cleaning and dishes could be interpreted a couple of different ways.  It could be seen as “since we’re burdening you guys so much, we want to make sure we are contributing in the way we can”, or “you guys work so hard and are such a good family, we’d like to make this gesture to show our appreciation of your efforts and ease your burden a little”.  Alternatively it could mean “we consider the way your run your household to be vastly inferior: thank God grandma and grandpa can come over for a little while every year to set things straight”.  I would strongly advise you to have a serious discussion with your wife over which is the most likely motivation, as that will dictate what your appropriate response is.  Imagine if your in-laws view their cooking and cleaning as a “gift” and you’re screaming at them about household rules over how often meat gets served?  How would you feel if you
By the same token, in-laws who feel that they can come into your home and run your household “their” way because you’re doing it “wrong” cannot be tolerated.  It’s disrespectful to you, your wife and your son.  If that is the case, then the only option is for them to stay outside of your house; book them a hotel or AirBnB right away.  If they show up unannounced again during this trip or in the future thinking that you will let them stay, then you immediately sit them down at the nearest device and book alternative arrangements.
Assuming their motivation is one of the first two, then pick your battles man.  Personally, I would have no problem letting someone else cook and clean in my house for a couple of weeks regardless of how they did it, but I would go absolutely nuts if my in-laws were using my house as a personal storage unit.  Also consider what’s important to THEM, not just to YOU.  If they consider it a really huge deal to make you and your family a home cooked meal, and consider it an insult if you don’t eat it, then maybe that’s one where you want to take a hit for the team.
I’m of a different mindset regarding the racist comments.  I don’t feel that someone from an older generation who is otherwise a good person should be ostracized from loved ones for making comments that were considered acceptable for most of their lifetime.  Use this as a teaching opportunity for your son.  If I were in your shoes, I would teach him that everyone has good and bad things about them, and that you can still love someone even if you don’t like the bad parts of them.  You can also teach him that even though someone he loves does, thinks or says something bad, that doesn’t mean it’s ok for him.  You could also teach him that it’s OK to tell people that they’ve done or said something wrong.  Your in-laws might react differently if your son called them out for a racist joke than if you do.
Hope this didn’t come too late to be helpful.  Keep us posted!