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Please, I NEED to know if IABU before I take a stand with my in-laws.

(300 Posts)
MyShoofly Sun 28-Apr-13 23:28:36

I have posted about this once before several months ago but am waffling…..I will try to be as brief as possible:

My in-laws sold their house about 3 years ago (Canada). They spend about 6 months of the year snow-birding in the US where they own a trailer in a seniors community. The other 6 months they have been splitting their time with various family here in my city and in another province. They cannot stay in the US more than 6 months.

They never used to stay with us but last August they wanted to use our basement for 2 weeks. It morphed into 3 months due to medical appointments (my MIL has MS and my FIL had a minor surgery). They liked our basement and asked if when they come to our city in the future if they can stay with us again. I gather the step-sisters would move the in-laws between their houses if they had other guests which in-laws did not like. The conversation was in passing – it would hardly count as a conversation…nothing formal. I said it was fine, expecting them to only be around 2-3 weeks here and there.

We asked them to pay us $300 a month last Sept and Oct as they were costing us a fortune in food, water and electric – they indicated nobody else makes them pay to stay with them and seemed to think $300 steep but agreed.

They started to refer to themselves as “living” with us and it became clear they intended to be around for much longer than I anticipated. The basement is not self-contained. They use our kitchen and come up to visit. For my taste there is a lack of space and privacy. I found their visit Aug-Oct much too long. I was unhappy and very pregnant. They were crawling all over my very last nerve and it was clear to everyone.

DH and I bickered about their presence. I believe I was very diplomatic about it but my feelings were quite clear. He simply did not see my point of view. If it were up to him they would live with us forever as one big happy family. He spoke to them but basically made it worse – told them I was hormonal and stressed….to wait and see how it goes on their next “visit”…that I might enjoy their help while on maternity leave with a toddler and new baby.

While they were gone DH and I spoke about this openly with each other and with DH’s sister who was entirely on my side. I thought he finally could see my point of view and that everything was settled – that he would speak to them about their long-term living arrangements when they returned.

Now they are back. They have been here almost 2 weeks. This year they intend to stay with us for a total of about 4 months – half of April, all of May, then Aug-mid October. They are trying to stay in the basement (and avoid me) a bit more. I am trying to be more pleasant and sociable, though I’m afraid I am forever to be thought of as their uptight DIL. I am home on maternity leave so we are around one another a good deal. It’s going fine but my feelings remain the same.

They have changed their driver’s licenses and insurance to our house. They have bought a mini fridge for the basement – today they advised they want to chip in with us for a new guest room mattress (as if !!). I’ve had yet another argument with DH about it – he says he spoke to them and they are going to try to maintain this snow-birding thing for another few years and will try to stay at ours for only 2.5-3ish months a year. I gather they were very vague. I told DH he needs to pin them down on the specifics and that I personally think anything over a month is not reasonable – 2 at the absolute maximum. I told him I need a more specific plan from them. DH thinks this is all fine – no problem. I am the unreasonable one – these are his parents after all.

I find them utterly cheeky. If they really “live” with us then they should offer a substantial financial contribution (it costs us 2000+bills+food to live in this house every month). They should be buying groceries and splitting housework, cooking and maintenance when they are here. As I see it, they don’t want the financial or maintenance responsibility of a house/rental and are just using us to get around paying what the majority of all adults pay – living expenses. I totally resent it. I don’t think I should have to tell two grown adults that they are overstaying their welcome FFS.

What is too long I guess is the question…? Am I over-reacting here – would all of you welcome family to stay for months at a time with no end in sight? One month? Two? How about Three months? Where should I draw the line?

Before I put my foot down…please let me know – AIBU?

Wibblypiglikesbananas Thu 09-May-13 16:11:00

Well done for sticking up for yourself OP. It sounds like FIL at least has got the measure of the situation.

What is going on with your husband though?! I thought he'd agreed with your plans last week. You two need a serious discussion as it sounds to me as though he's just paying lip service to you but not actually taking anything on board. I imagine you're feeling somewhat betrayed right now. Really sorry you're in this position.

Omnishambolic Thu 09-May-13 16:24:49

You're ace, OP.

Do they do spine transplants these days? Would you be willing to be a donor if your husband is eligible? wink

MyShoofly Thu 09-May-13 16:28:10

Well, my husband has never "agreed" per se...he just acknowledged my feelings, claimed from responsibility and said he'd take care of it.

He is really not a bad sort he is just a total wuss on the subject of his parents smile

MyShoofly Thu 09-May-13 16:28:42

that would be some responsibility not from....

EldritchCleavage Thu 09-May-13 16:36:22

Not to turn your thread into a 'let's bash Mr.Shoofly downer', but the thing is, he's not really doing right by you OR his parents with his current stance. I don't suppose they enjoyed that conversation any more than you did. He could have communicated with them properly ages ago, and spared everyone the bum-clenching embarrassment of The Chat.

But there we are. As long as PIL now know there are specific limits on your hospitality. I reckon they'll be quite off until they complain to their other children about it and discover they all agree with you!

MyShoofly Thu 09-May-13 16:40:56

he's not really doing right by you OR his parents with his current stance. I don't suppose they enjoyed that conversation any more than you did. He could have communicated with them properly ages ago, and spared everyone the bum-clenching embarrassment of The Chat.

oh no...on that point I TOTALLY agree with you. grin at bum-clenching - perfect description.

Xiaoxiong Thu 09-May-13 16:45:35

Well you are amazing for having set it all out so clearly to them. There is no part of that that makes you an asshole!!

Your H on the other hand...I would be having very upset words with him and asking him why yet again he made you play the heavy.

Xiaoxiong Thu 09-May-13 16:48:20

But he has to be made to understand - if he sits there silently, they will interpret this as all coming from you and conclude that he actually agrees with them not you. That makes it easier for them to dismiss everything you say, with no solution forthcoming.

Whereas if you present a united front, then it will be clear to them that they are being unreasonable.

Mmmnotsure Thu 09-May-13 16:49:05

You sound as if you have actually communicated - you know, that word, COMMUNICATED - with his parents. Pity he isn't able to. What you said to them sounds very thought-out and totally reasonable.

And as for saying they can stay for you for two months in the year every year...am sending you a virtual medal to add to your halo.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Thu 09-May-13 17:02:36

Wow, I think you are great. You have dealt with it perfectly. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall.......

Did you think of other things you wished you had said or are you happy you addressed everything. You don't mention anything about whether they will contribute or not.

your dh is like a rabbit in headlights when he's around his parents. he's totally unable to stand up to them.

and actually, unable to stand up to you as well! when you've posted about your discussions with him he always agrees with you. and then doesn't do what was agreed.

so he finds conflict difficult.

if you are to salvage any relationship with your pil i think you have to do the talking unfortunately. before you do it, remind yourself of your arguments. it is hard to keep those arguments in mind when faced with the opposition, but you have to. your home is at stake.

mil needs time to digest what's been said, but i suspect an informal chat over tea might be in order to smooth things over a little.

and fwiw i think you've been incredibly generous!

MyShoofly Thu 09-May-13 17:08:36

No, I just could not bring myself to discuss money or helping out. But if they are only staying a month x 2/year I can live with it I think. I wouldn't be surprised if they just make other arrangements now though TBH. I can only imagine the things they say about me to the SIL's etc (cringe).

McKayz Thu 09-May-13 17:08:59

Good on you OP!! I would be fuming with my DH though, why couldn't he have backed you up?

MyShoofly Thu 09-May-13 17:12:42

and actually, unable to stand up to you as well! when you've posted about your discussions with him he always agrees with you. and then doesn't do what was agreed. so he finds conflict difficult.

Very true - Mr ShooFly is a lover not a fighter as the saying goes grin

Dubjackeen Thu 09-May-13 17:25:46

Well done OP, not an easy conversation, especially when your husband stayed out of it, which may indeed lead to his parents believing that this is all your doing.
I wouldn't worry too much about what might be said to other members of the family-they may well have to have the same conversation in time to come, now that it has (hopefully) been taken on board by your PIL, that they cannot stay indefinitely with one member of their family.
Once again flowers

Well done.

Reading your update it sounds like your FIL wants to have a permanant home near you rather then sleeping in your basement. Where your MIL wants to do what she wants and not think about the effect it has on everyone else.

Is it your FIL that has more health issues then your MIL.

StuntGirl Thu 09-May-13 17:49:55

Jeez your husband really is a spineless little rat isn't he? How dare he make you take responsibility for all this.

At least you've said what needs to be said and everyone is completely aware of where they stand.

Would your mother in law try and weasle her way in via your husband? As xioxong said, his silence on the matter may give the impression he does not agree with you.

Very true - Mr ShooFly is a lover not a fighter as the saying goes
I think I'd rather be married to a lover and not fighter any day. But then I'd tell my MIL to sod off for him save him the pain of facing up to her.

DarcyRhone Thu 09-May-13 19:24:27

Well done OP!

And a big thank you... we currently have a freeloading lodger too. Planning to borrow some of your wise words when we tell him that he needs to leave.

Good for you OP!

Hopefully everyone will understand where you're coming from and things will be diffferent

AgroomOfOnesOwn Thu 09-May-13 19:58:32

Thanks for the update.

Well done, short term pain, long term gain...

Heebiejeebie Thu 09-May-13 20:11:03

But their other children have already told them that they would have to move around if they have other guests??? So you have been the most accommodating. Surely you can't be criticised.

Kiwiinkits Thu 09-May-13 22:42:52

Well done Shoofly! You're amazing and brave!
I agree, short term pain, long term gain. Good for you. flowers

GingerBlondecat Fri 10-May-13 09:16:16

OP, I am ever so glad You have the Balls in the relationship.
You did Well. flowers

mummytime Fri 10-May-13 12:00:06

I think its your MIL who has MS? If so, maybe she is in total denial about everything.

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