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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2008
    Location
    Scranton, PA
    Posts
    729

    Default Dealing with In Laws

    Hubby and I recently purchased our home. Said home is actually a few doors up from my mother and father in law. Both are great people and most of the time we get along just fine.

    I grew up in a house where we were very independent. We did lots of house chores, did our own laundry etc. when I got my license, my mom was fairly relaxed about me going where I wanted to go. I was extremely responsible and a good driver. When I was 18 I moved out on my own and lived by myself in my own apartment for nearly two years before moving in with my now DH. During that time I was my own person. I didn't tell anyone where I was going. If I wanted to go to the grocery store at 10pm I did. Of I wanted to drive to NJ for the day. I did.

    Now, move forward to when I moved in with DH. Before we got married we rented from his parents. We all knew it was a temporary thing and that's the only reason I was comfortable with it. During that time I would get questioned about where I was going, what time I would be home, what my work schedule was, and god forbid there was bad weather, they very nearly demanded that I not drive.

    We now live in our own home but again, only up the road. The whole questioning thing continues now and I almost get the feeling that they're being nosey. Our differences of opinion spread all the way toe asking them not to feed my dogs and cats lots of treats. It's like they're deaf. I can be standing right in front of them and they will dump half a bag of cat treats on the floor for my cats.

    His entire family is also chronic worriers. They worry half to death if DH and I drive to see my family am hour away. Insist we call when we arrive, call before we leave to come home, etc.
    It all just comes off as over bearing and borderline disrespectful. I've tried just giving them as little information as possible, doesn't work. MIL will call my DH and question him about my work schedule, what I'm doing on a particular day and why I came home so late. (Yes, they can see our drive way from their bedroom window.

    So maybe I'm just being snarky and bratty about I. DH doesn't understand where I'm coming from, he grew up with this an or doesn't seem weird to him. I am an adult and id just like to be treated like one. I did it on my own for almost two years and didn't kill myself. But some days the skepticism I get makes me feel like I have no idea how to function without constant direction.

    I've got my flame suit on COTH....have at it!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2008
    Location
    Dutchess County, New York
    Posts
    4,082

    Default

    No flames, but it is up to you as to how you see this behavior. Because the behavior is not going to stop, this is how they are. So -- you can choose to see this as "borderline disrespectful" or you can choose to see it as loving and caring enough about you to be concerned. How you look at the situation will lead to very different feelings on your part.

    So, how do you want to feel? Giving them the benefit of the doubt; looking at things in the best possible light, and having a sense of humor will go a long way to making you happier, them happier, everyone get along etc.

    There is no one right way to be in this world. Worrying works for them. Independence works for you. Neither of you is better or worse than the other; just different.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2012
    Location
    Crestview, Fl
    Posts
    453

    Default

    All I have to say is I sympathize with you. My MIL is like this. I wanted to rip my hair out when they were living with us. I am so very thankful that my husband finally realized that they stressed me to the max and let them know that staying through his deployment might not be the best "Because I'm not here to be a buffer and everyone is raised differently. She's not used to your overbearingness"
    They took it well but it took him explaining it, I think if I had to do it, it would have ended in a feud like no other.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    Location
    MI USA
    Posts
    7,299

    Default

    Wow, I am SO SORRY for you. Have to say I don't think it will get any better with you living so close to them. Willing to bet that your attitude is going to get a LOT worse as time passes.

    Unfortunately YOU didn't pay attention to what went on during rental time when you were under observation in their property, and get a home "out of view". Or in a different part of the County. You didn't LEARN from your previous experience and were too nice about questions from the In-Laws that appear to be pushing the lines of civilty, have already gone WAY beyond politeness.

    Not sure if you can get husband to see YOUR side of things, because he is fine with "spilling all details" when questioned.

    What needs to happen, is somehow in a NICE way, to have a sit-down with In-laws and tell them to back off. As a married couple, you are ADULTS who ARE capable of making decisions with no advice or consultations with them. There is NO NEED to constantly imform them of every detail in your lives. They SHOULD leave your pets alone as requested, for whatever your reasons are, as you will expect later if you have children.

    This talk will need you to pull up your Big Girl Panties, and lay things out. Husband has to BACK YOU UP to be a Couple, whether he feels constant contract, checking up, is important or not. Feelings WILL be hurt, no matter what you say or how you say it. The thing to pay attention to after the Talk, is if the In-laws CHANGE their ways. Don't be guilted, let them slip back into old ways of checking on you.

    If you get no results, this could be a deal breaker in your marriage. You are going to focus on this point, because it is a big thing to be independent because of how you were raised. Sounds like you have been very patient about it, but all good things come to an end or you totally blow up and lose it with the In-laws later! Not good!! They won't get it, if you surprise them about this. You need to do a Talk before this happens. You and husband may need some counseling if he doesn't understand, won't work with you as a Couple to change the In-law behaviour.

    Alternative would be selling the house and moving far enough to be inconvenient to the In-laws for surprise visits or checking up on you. Probably not financially feasible with newly purchased home, to resell and move so soon.

    Just know that if this "family thing" is bothering you now, it will only escalate as time goes by. You need to deal with it sooner than later when it may make bad feelings. Get it over and done with. Another point may be to NOT depend on In-laws for ANYTHING. Read Dear Abby for some answer comments when questioned about things you don't wish to discuss! NO, IS A COMPLETE SENTENCE!! Hold your tongue and smile. Don't ask favors like checking on pets or mowing the lawn. ACT independent, so things don't fall into old patterns again.

    Best of luck to you, this is going to be really difficult to work out. I am a coward mostly, but would NEVER dream of moving into a location so close to any family! I want to do things MY WAY, with my husband, without observation or comments on a daily basis.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2008
    Location
    Scranton, PA
    Posts
    729

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goodhors View Post
    Wow, I am SO SORRY for you. Have to say I don't think it will get any better with you living so close to them. Willing to bet that your attitude is going to get a LOT worse as time passes.

    Unfortunately YOU didn't pay attention to what went on during rental time when you were under observation in their property, and get a home "out of view". Or in a different part of the County. You didn't LEARN from your previous experience and were too nice about questions from the In-Laws that appear to be pushing the lines of civilty, have already gone WAY beyond politeness.

    Not sure if you can get husband to see YOUR side of things, because he is fine with "spilling all details" when questioned.

    What needs to happen, is somehow in a NICE way, to have a sit-down with In-laws and tell them to back off. As a married couple, you are ADULTS who ARE capable of making decisions with no advice or consultations with them. There is NO NEED to constantly imform them of every detail in your lives. They SHOULD leave your pets alone as requested, for whatever your reasons are, as you will expect later if you have children.

    This talk will need you to pull up your Big Girl Panties, and lay things out. Husband has to BACK YOU UP to be a Couple, whether he feels constant contract, checking up, is important or not. Feelings WILL be hurt, no matter what you say or how you say it. The thing to pay attention to after the Talk, is if the In-laws CHANGE their ways. Don't be guilted, let them slip back into old ways of checking on you.

    If you get no results, this could be a deal breaker in your marriage. You are going to focus on this point, because it is a big thing to be independent because of how you were raised. Sounds like you have been very patient about it, but all good things come to an end or you totally blow up and lose it with the In-laws later! Not good!! They won't get it, if you surprise them about this. You need to do a Talk before this happens. You and husband may need some counseling if he doesn't understand, won't work with you as a Couple to change the In-law behaviour.

    Alternative would be selling the house and moving far enough to be inconvenient to the In-laws for surprise visits or checking up on you. Probably not financially feasible with newly purchased home, to resell and move so soon.

    Just know that if this "family thing" is bothering you now, it will only escalate as time goes by. You need to deal with it sooner than later when it may make bad feelings. Get it over and done with. Another point may be to NOT depend on In-laws for ANYTHING. Read Dear Abby for some answer comments when questioned about things you don't wish to discuss! NO, IS A COMPLETE SENTENCE!! Hold your tongue and smile. Don't ask favors like checking on pets or mowing the lawn. ACT independent, so things don't fall into old patterns again.

    Best of luck to you, this is going to be really difficult to work out. I am a coward mostly, but would NEVER dream of moving into a location so close to any family! I want to do things MY WAY, with my husband, without observation or comments on a daily basis.
    Thank you so much for this. So much good advice. I initially wanted to live about ten minutes from the "family" in the next town over. Hubby is very much an "oak drive person" as he puts it and we made the choice to purchase this home. His family owns a 90 acre farm, his grandparents live up the road too. They can be nosey too but I have very firmly put them in their place. There was a brief time that I did not speak to them. (Grandma can e very rude) now I will only visit with them on my turf and not at their home. That has worked out very well.

    So basically my husband will not hear of moving. This is the farm he grew up on and it is heaven in his eyes. I do love this property and could make this my home, but not with the constant interference. Sometimes I feel like we are children and have to ask permission to do things. Husband is very submissive to his family and hates to upset them. I feel like I get the short end of the stick sometimes because he will do things to make them happy and I have to suck it up and be the one who is unhappy.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
    Posts
    24,508

    Default

    Ever watch Everyone Loves Raymond?

    You married Ray Barone.

    If you want to stay sane, establish boundaries wiith your in-laws AFTER you establish them with your husband. When he married you, he agreed to put *you* first. Time to cut the cord and stick up for you.

    No need to be rude. Just lay some rules down. Nicely. Then stick to them. But since they're his parents...he needs to start.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2007
    Posts
    802

    Default

    I'm with SMF11. :-) Find a way to "rise above and be gracious." Worrying works for them, and is their way of approaching/navigating the world. Without this scaffolding of worrying, they would be lost and feel invisible and unneeded (never mind that they are unneeded; that is not the point). As much as it bothers you, and I do hear ya, find a way to accept it as one of those things, and you might as well toss them the crumb of telling them where you were. Just have a few standard replies in your toolbox, of "Oh, some nights I like to work alittle late because it's quiet," or, "I was visiting my friend Sue," etc. If they are wringing their hands over your driving for an hour, just say, "Oh, it gives us a chance to listen to a book on tape," or "we get to listen to the news" or something. As the saying goes, this is a first-world problem. Adapting to it is easier and less-damaging to all than is trying to change them. Their worrying is not really about you; it's about them. You can lay down a few rules, sure, but frankly, I would consider this a fairly easy battle to let go of. There will be other issues in marriage, career, life, and if you have children, raising children, that knock this one completely off the radar.

    But I'd draw the line at feeding the pets too many treats. You can take care of yourself; your pets need you to be their advocate. :-) And I would draw the line at calling them when you leave and when you come home. I would simply tell them, "Oh, Sue and Bill, you are so good to worry about us so. I promise we will call you from our cell phone if we have any problems. If you don't hear from us, it is because we are having a wonderful time and everything is good."

    But do not, ever, feel like you have to ask permission of your in-laws or of your husband. Be gracious, yes. Be a doormat who eventually finds herself becoming far less of who she is because that is easier for her husband, no.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 7, 2006
    Location
    Spruce Grove AB
    Posts
    825

    Default

    How does your man feel about how this upsets you? I don't think he really gets it because this is how he grew up, but you are going to have to tell him and his family the best you can.

    I grew up with a mother that I had to talk to or call at least twice a day, and if one bloody day went by with out contact she would call the police or have a complete worry break down thinking I was dead(usually I fell asleep early as I worked four different jobs, had horses a kid and an acreage to take care by myself)

    I tried telling her, over and over and over again that she doesn't need to know when I'm taking a sh*t(sorry) and she balked big time, so I just stopped answering.... Slowly at first, then started bieng vague about plans.

    I remember my first two day camping trip I took with my SO. It was only a few years ago(I was 29) and I remember driving home on the Thursday before just dreading having to tell her(or ask permission rather) about me going. Of course she guilt tripped me so bad about leaving, and did I really think that was wise? I ended up not going, even tho I had a farm and baby sitter(I hadn't had a holiday in three years, and when I did go on my dream trip, I ended up in a hospital for the entire time in a different country. So it sucked lol.

    It irritates me to no end how she has this need to know everything that's going on. It actually really pisses me off and makes me want to talk and share my life with her less. And considering she left her family and country when she was 20 years old has no bearing on her at all.

    Just by coincidence I live about a half mile away and I get frequent pop ins, which I do not like. And then I feel really bad, because my mom is a wonderful woman, who I know will be there for me no matter what. And I know I have a bit of an issue with this because my ex was soooo controlling it just sets me off sometimes. I know she isn't bieng malicious. But she is nosey lol!!

    I think if you have a family get together and in a non chalant way tell them how you grew up, very independent, paid your way supported yourself etc, they might realize that you don't have to check in, or tell them your work schedule.

    I feel for ya OP! I truly do!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2012
    Posts
    1,181

    Default

    If your husband is OK with dealing with the questions, let him. Don't encourage the behavior you don't like, and don't start a war by telling them you don't have to answer to them. Deflect the question, don't answer the phone, whatever. Don't call to check in - if your husband wants to, then it's on him. Basically just try to remove yourself from that aspect as much as possible.

    I do draw the line at the pets. I would have zero problem getting a broom and dustbin and sweeping up the treats.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    7,947

    Default

    How about trying a bit of reverse psychology. The reason hubby doesn't have trouble dealing with this is because he's got you doing it for him, and he continues to slide merrily along. So, try letting him do all of the dealing instead of you. If they need to know where the two of you are, he makes the calls. He asks the permissions, he takes the flak, and you go about doing whatever it is you otherwise do. Also, voice mail and answering machines have their purpose in this world. Start using them. If the parents give you crap about not letting them know when you went grocery shopping, etc, let them know you left a note/voice mail for hubby in case you were late getting back, and keep the focus on letting them know the communication stays between the two of you, and not between you and whole extended family. If you stay at this, then sooner or later they will back up a bit here, while still making noise about it I am sure, and the two of you will gain a bit more space for yourselves.

    It's fine to live on the family homestead, but not fine to be pecked to death by the relatives because they don't understand or respect personal boundaries. They haven't got them because they don't want them. They want things to go on as they have since hubby was a small child, with you simply added to the mix. If you want the boundaries and want them respected, draw the lines and make sure hubby's the one who gets the pleasure of dealing with all of this, day in and day out. Not you. You may be surprised at how quickly he starts pushing them off a bit to get some space of his own.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

    http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/...2011%20Photos/


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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    8,562

    Default

    I agree the snooping and disregarding what you have said about rules is only going to escalate. And if or when you have kids it will only get worse. Boundaries need to be drawn about behavior in your house, and with your pets or things will continue as they have been. Unfortunately, since DH isn't on board, and sees no problem with them you have two problems, not just one.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2008
    Location
    Northeast PA
    Posts
    1,457

    Default

    Oh Sam - I could tell you STORIES!!!! The first 2 years of my marriage were much the same, we left to run the farm, lived up there for a bit after, and came back down to live a property away from my in laws.

    When we were discussing what we would do when we had to leave up north, I FLAT OUT told my MIL and FIL that I would move back if they would leave me alone. No pop ins, no last minute crap that made me feel guilty if I declined, etc. In their case it is genuine niceness that drives them, and they are actually truely wonderful people - I just don't feel the need to be a part of the extended family unit 24/7. That was after years of discussions, crying, begging, explaining. And it was the only thing that DH and I ever fought about. This time around, after telling them that, life is good. I didn't say it mean, bitchy or snarky - just flat out, to the point.

    As an aside, my FIL also feeds my dog (are they related?!) but when I know he is coming (like Christmas) I seriously reduce the dog's food in preparation.



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