Five irritating things about staying with my inlaws

(182 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

JustOneMoreBite Tue 03-Sep-13 18:42:52

Sigh. Am four days into a visit to the PILs and am at the point of maximum irritation. They are lovely people, and I realise I am very lucky not to have married into one of the toxic families I read about on here, but nonetheless every visit results in my inevitable descent into tetchy madness by about this point. So for the purposes of catharsis, here are just some of the minor annoyances which are currently elevating my blood pressure:

1. They live in a three-bedroom house, but due to a moderate-level hoarding tendency, only their bedroom actually contains a usable bed. Me and DH have to sleep on a sofa bed downstairs, which is completely open plan. No privacy, no space to put any stuff, and the hum of the fridge all night. Just this lack of a cave to retreat to when it all gets too much is enough to make me a bit stabby by day two.

2. MIL serves up exactly the same meal every night, just with different meat at varying levels of cremation. She started boiling the veg thirty minutes ago and it isn't done yet. I would offer to cook but the kitchen is a total nightmare due to the aforementioned hoarding.

3. The shower is lukewarm and dribbly.

4. No mirrors, anywhere. Probably for the best as I am in dire need of a proper hot shower.

5. I'm made to feel like some kind of weirdo for wanting a glass of water with my dinner (or indeed at any time - tea is offered at 20 minute intervals from breakfast until bedtime). I have to drink my water from a mug because they appear to have no tumblers, despite their kitchen cupboards being stuffed with every other conceivable object known to man.

Thank fuck we are going home tomorrow. Anyone else want to vent about the small things that make you want to murder your relatives?

lifesgreatquestions Tue 01-Oct-13 20:07:07

As we are just about to visit MY family and I will feel appropriately guilty, I will take this opportunity to talk about HIS family.

1) Dribbly shower? Pfft. My ILS DO NOT HAVE a shower. Furthermore, they have a small boiler so I have to wash in a few inches of water.

2) They have twin beds of DIFFERENT heights pushed up against each other for us, and the lower one is sunken and the higher up one is super firm. We both cuddle fiercely in the night on the higher up bed trying not to fall out, under SINGLE sized blankets.

3) Although the house is clean, they are old, and I come across things they've missed, a hair in something, a smudge on my glass. I'm squeamish about this stuff. I am well behaved about it but I usually end up losing some weight because of not being hungry or wanting a further drink.

4) I'm not that educated about wine but I know how to choose something I'll enjoy, and it's more often than not NOT stuff from the 70's. They in turn are very kind and try to buy what I like, they get it wrong, and then we sit there drinking something none of us likes out of politeness. It took me years to get them back to buying the 70's stuff that they at least will enjoy and meanwhile I have turned to pale ales!

But can I really complain? My family? Hell, some are religious zealots who are similar to Mennonites and speak to OH about going to hell. Others are, perhaps unsurprisingly, Hell's Angels. The ones in the middle are ok but we have to sleep on the floor. Luckily the dog with the weak bladder has died since we were last there.

NooMyx Wed 02-Oct-13 17:31:13

I'm stuck home with a cold today and this thread has entertained me no end. grin Might as well add my own gripes...

My MIL is quite a feisty, opinionated old hippie type. Quite an interesting person, really, though totally different from me. We've always got along fine, but I think that's because of a mutual "must get along with this person!" kind of attitude and lots of polite talk about weather etc. These days we go to a B&B when we go over, but from past visits and daytime visits my issues are...

1. Smoking in the house. Not just cigarettes either, but weed. hmm This is actually my only big issue. I have asthma so I can't stand it from the health point of view, and I really really don't want our clothes and stuff to stink of weed!

2. MIL is a vegetarian who never learnt to cook veggies. When she's by herself she lives on tea and toast, and when she cooks a dinner it's usually just a "soup" of water and overboiled, unseasoned veggies. I don't understand how she doesn't starve, the poor thing. We get sneaky 2nd dinners later after one of hers.

3. Constant moaning about how everything in the world is horrible, especially politics and capitalism and the establishment etc. Everything is out to get you and we're all doomed. It just gets a bit tiring after a while. Smile and nod...

4. She's not very hygienic and there's a lot of general grime, dust, cat hair and ash everywhere at her place. She also doesn't allow anyone else to help with washing up or tidying. I'm resigned to it and bring my inhaler and just try not to think about it.

5. Just to continue the tea theme. I don't really like tea, which MIL can't get her head around at all. It's all very Mrs. Doyle with the fecking tea. I always end up drinking gallons of the stuff just to be nice.

Really she's actually very nice and I feel a bit guilty moaning. I'm sure she'd have a long list of things that annoy her about me and our house, too. We're just so different.

Pawprint Sat 05-Oct-13 06:16:50

1. FIL won't eat fruit or veg and likes everything cooked to a cinder.

2. House smells of cigarettes.

3. FIL v tactile and I am not - hate it when he hugs me. My problem, not his.

Can't think of anything else, they are lovely smile

Pawprint Sat 05-Oct-13 06:31:44

My parents:

Refuse to admit they are going deaf and TV always at top volume.

My mother is a cleaning obsessive and had endless, inflexible routines. She once demanded I get out of bed at 7 am, despite me having flu, so she could put my sheets in the wash. She would not take "No" for an answer.

My dad still treats me like a child, even though I am 45. He tells me off for such crimes as walking too loudly, for example.

They go to bed vv early and demand we do the same. One New Year's eve, they demanded we turn in at 7.30 pm.

northender Sat 05-Oct-13 08:01:52

1. The smell of smoke
2. The bathroom window opens into the conservatory hmm so any relaxing in the conservatory is punctuated with noises!
3. Their right wing rantings about immigration, the death penalty, gay marriage to name but a couple
4. The house is kept clean almost OCD style but open any drawer or cupboard and they are full to overflowing with rubbish so we have nowhere to put anything
5. Mil's "cooking". Gammon or beef in gravy with dissolve in the mouth veg. That's it, every time we stay
I could go on..........grin

loisb22 Wed 09-Oct-13 11:48:31

Oh my I'm bracing myself to visit the PILs at christmas. Fortunately SIL and her family live right next door so I'm working on hubby to stay with them!

1 - MIL believes that it is HER house and therefore she's free to go into the room we're in, looking at our belongings and shutting any windows I've opened (cos we both prefer it cooler).

2 - MIL believes that nobody could possibly be happy sitting reading by themselves. Oh No. They need to be "spoken to". Actually, make that "spoken AT".

3 - MIL is snappy and snarly and argumentative when she's stressed (which is all the time, cos FIL has Parkinsons and heart problems) and ends up driving us out of the house to get away from her, instead of letting us help her.

4 - Life revolves around cups of tea, buttered rolls and inedible meat and two veg type meals.

5 - Woe betide you if you crush a cushion, ruck a mat or drop a crumb on the floor. And books should always be kept on the shelf, even the one you're currently reading. Put it down to go for a wee, and it's on the shelf in seconds.

6 - MIL is, when relaxed, fun and funny and I hate seeing her stressed, but honestly, her behaviour was so bad last time we visited I almost came home alone after 2 days.

loisb22 Wed 09-Oct-13 11:53:43

When PILs used to visit us (it's too far now that FIL is ill) we also had problems.

1 - We have an old back boiler in our old house. MIL would regularly empty the hot water tank (at least once a day) for a bath. Fine, but it was a bath that she'd stay in for less than 5 minutes. Grrrrrrrr. Eventually had to tell her that she couldn't do that and she'd have to shower like the rest of us, cos it was costing us a flaming fortune.

2 - They'd borrow my car when they were here (travelled by train here) and every single time, it would need work done afterwards. They'd burned out the brakes, or knocked the alignment out by bouncing of kerbs, or the windscreen wipers would suddenly not work. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

3 - They were equally rough with our furniture and fittings. They broke our built-in fridge. Now this was inherited with the house and I'd never do it myself, but we can't afford to change it and they broke the door off the thing!! Grrrrrrr.

4 - FIL would commandeer the telly and have it on sports. All the time. Thank goodness for Sky + so I could record what WE wanted to see and watch it when they'd gone.

Lets face it, I neither like being a visitor nor a host. I'm antisocial!

MrsRajeshKoothrappali Sat 09-Nov-13 15:53:03

When I visit MiL and SiL:

1) MiL smokes weed. I don't really care. However, when you choose to get stoned on Christmas Day then go to bed just before Christmas dinner is being served and then call down half-way through dinner for a ham sandwich your 'habit' becomes rather rude.

2) Being asked to lend them money within 2 hours of arriving. Every time.

3) Being fussy eaters. I can actually deal with that. What winds me up is assuming it's a family trait and telling me what the man I've lived with for 9 years does or doesn't eat and moaning at me for 'forcing' him to eat something which I know he likes but they think he doesn't because they don't.

4) Telly on all of the time. Sky + rules the roost. If you're enjoying a program but Sky + needs to record a different channel what you're enjoying is turned off and we all have to watch what's recording. confused

5) Having a go at me each time I give DS some fruit. It's really bad for his stomach, don't you know?

hmm

LittleAprilShowers Sun 10-Nov-13 07:07:50

These are fab!

My in laws are lovely an they're local so we don't really stay over, however I could write a book about staying at my own mums. Top 5 gripes are -

1. She goes to bed at 9pm, which means she wakes up at 6am (despite having no job) and doesn't make an effort to be quiet. We stay in her extension when we go and she does housework first thing so were often awoken by the Hoover going at 6.30am. I've asked her to do it later so we can sleep and she pretty much says if we weren't so lazy and got up earlier it wouldn't be a problem.

2. Her dog is an arsehole. Hes mums henchman and he rule the roost, he has his own chair in the living room which were not allowed to kick him off (we have actually sat on the floor before when there's no seats and he's on the chair). He also gets fed steak most nights whilst mum eats beans on toast. And he's very whiny an clingy, me and DH joke that if he could talk he'd suck up to my mum and tell tales on us all the time like a little snitch! Lol!

3. Mum is utterly obsessed with what time we get up on a morning. Due to her habit in point 1 she considers anything past 8am a lie-in. She lives abroad so when were there we very much consider it a holiday and so we don't get up before we're ready. Usually no later than 9am, and we'll walk through to the main house and she'll sarcastically pipe up "good afternoon!". Once, years ago, we decided to have a long lie-in, then we laid in bed shagging talking before we had showers and watched a bit of TV. So it was 1pm by the time we went to the main house and mum was extremely pissed off. The best thing was the henchman dog was also in a mood too and refused to even look at me for the rest of the day!

4. There's a tradition in my family where, if you make a mistake once, they'll assume you'll make the mistake again forevermore. So I was once late for a family do aged 17 and now with absolutely everything I'm told "don't be late again like LAST TIME because it's very rude you know!". Were always ready on time and my mum and stepdad are still faffing on. They when the faffing finally stops they say "come on, we need to go you know!"

5. Mum is very into etiquette and her and her faux-posh mates throw dinner parties and similar contrived events which we have to go to when were there. If we don't get the etiquette right - such as the amount of kisses on cheeks (really is one kiss even necessary with strangers?!) - she gives me the "disappointed" look. She has friends who were pen pushers in the navy and there's a tradition that Navy folk have about port (the drink) - something about passing it around the table. I was meant to be psychic apparently and know the rules of this tradition as when someone passed me the port I placed it back down after pouring myself a glass (rather than giving it to the next person). For the way mum banged on about it you'd think I'd taken a dump in the middle of the table.

Just as an aside my MIL has a shit shower too. Maybe in the UK when your son marries your shower naturally knackers???

TheEarlOfDoncaster1963 Thu 14-Nov-13 21:26:37

My ILs have to do everything together. Need some bread for breakfast? FIL about to get in the car to pop to the shop and get some, when MIL says "ooh, wait for me to have a shower, and I'll come with you". Really??? We just want some flipping bread and now we have to wait while you have a shower before you even go to the shop? Does he really need accompaniment to go the Co-op?!

sandiy Fri 15-Nov-13 19:18:01

Now ex mil canno literally cannot go any where outside the home for longer than an hour without stopping for a "little sandwich" She's a slave to her diabetes,which is type two,tablet only diabetes then proceeds to embarrass us in resteraunts by insisting on diabetic pudding then fucking eats all everyone else's sugar laden concoctions in front of the poor waiting staff that she has harangued for a good ten minutes about her special bloody diet.
Tiny meals and I mean tiny.Ive had food poisoning twice from the muck she has reserected from the depths of the freezer and served.
Oh and her cat is neurotic god help you if you upset the cat.
My children when they visit with their dad come home starving and laden down with charity shop shite.
Oh and she gives the children one pound pocket money and can t understand why they are puzzled.She is loaded and very very careful about spending money on anyone but herself.

Diamondsareagirls Sun 17-Nov-13 14:11:01

I love this thread! Just one to add from me:

You are only allowed a drink at the allotted times. It doesn't matter if you are thirsty and have just driven 2 hours to see them, you need to wait another 45 minutes until FIL is putting the kettle on again which means you will then have another 30 minute wait whilst he carried out the most long winded routine of making a cup of tea ever!

thiswayto Mon 10-Mar-14 19:06:16

You lot are talking about rubbish showers my pil didnt have a bathroom ,when we visited it was a quick wash in the kitchen sink and if i wanted a pee i had to ask fil to move out of the garage so i could us the toilolt he wasnt happy about this -he was a misserable old git

Kerosene Tue 11-Mar-14 10:44:27

I think she buys her furniture from those dealers who do undersized stuff to make a room look bigger in photos. This is fine for her - she's under 5 foot tall. I'm 6ft, and DH is 6 6. It's like spending a week on primary school furniture, you've always got your knees around your ears.

Shower - I'd get wetter by going out in a light drizzle.

Tea - there is only one sort of tea, and only one way to make it - stewed to all hell, enough milk to make it the same colour as my pasty winter skin, and three sweeteners. Not sugar, sugar is evil and more deadly than heroin. Aspartame is fine though. No water, only poor people drink tap water, and bottled water is a rip-off. The alternative to tea is (really bad) red wine. I leave her house with either a raging hangover, or massive dehydration.

Goose fat potatoes are vegetarian, aren't they?

I habitually wake at 6am. I can't get up, move, or anything of that sort, or I'll wake the dog. The massively, massively, overindulged dog.

I love her dearly and I'm lucky to have her in my life!

CountessOfRule Tue 11-Mar-14 11:26:54

::nods at dehydration::

Coffee, beer or wine only, and Fruit Shoots hmm or possibly very strong and cheap NAS squash for the DC. If you're very lucky there might be a half-empty bottle of diet lemonade that's a bit flat, to make shandy with.

Nowadays I've learned to take several bottles of fizzy water, Schloer, etc with us otherwise I get a banging headache.

PunkrockerGirl Sun 16-Mar-14 12:43:36

My pils are lovely but there are 3
things which drive me mad when we go to stay (I know I'm lucky it's only 3)!
1. Telly on full blast - they are both quite deaf but won't admit it.
2. Decaf coffee. Each to their own but frankly it tastes like shit!
3. Gas fire on highest setting from the time they get up till bedtime in both the main reception rooms. Plus central heating. Apart from maybe a couple of days weeks in July. Even then it still goes on in the evenings.

slithytove Mon 17-Mar-14 10:40:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cletterthedishes Sat 22-Mar-14 19:23:52

My in-laws are absolute angels. I am deeply embarrassed that DH has my DF for an in-law, though.

1. House hotter than the inside of the sun. Central heating AND TWO GAS FIRES on at once. Sitting room door must be kept closed in order to conserve heat, turning sitting room into Phantom of the Opera-style killer oven trap. On arrival the first thing we have to do is go to the spare room we'll be sleeping in, turn the radiator off (careful not to touch the metal, it'll take your skin off) and open a window.

2. Kitchen unspeakably filthy. Hob top coated in months of grease and food bits; pride of place in centre of hob taken by batchelor's skillet with half an inch of congealed animal fat in the bottom. That's what your breakfast's going to be cooked in.

3. Fishing maggots in the fridge. Just hope he's got the thermostat down low enough or they hatch.

4. Meals are dumped on the table without ceremony and devoured by DF in a symphony of snorting, open-mouthed chewing and jaw clicks. Any effort at presentation or table manners is seen as hysterical fussing, as is any attempt to clear up. Manky remains of dinner must be left scattered over the table whilst you return to the Oven of Death.

5. Bathroom resembles crematorium. DF likes to burn scented candles but never cleans the walls, meaning they are covered in thick black sooty deposits, apart from the smeary patch above the bath where leans his hand against the wall whilst getting out.

Catsmamma Sat 22-Mar-14 20:10:13

My ILs have a lovely power shower, but no one is allowed to use it for longer than 20seconds for fear of using all the hot water. The shower screen is minute, as are the towels, and people sharing the bathroom is frowned upon.

The aim of a family dinner is to get the table set, meal served and eaten, table cleared and folded down, and all the washing up done,, preferably in under five minutes. Then you have a cup of tea, and a slice of cake or biscuits. I am not allowed to help in any way as I am on holidays

MIL has a mortal fear of undercooked veg, this fear of raw food does not extend to chicken....that's fine pink AND bloody.
She also gets in a mucksweat about cooking for any more than two people, but will not accept any assistance whatsoever

Wine will be served, but not with the meal....after eight thirty only. And just the one glass.

Doors are all shut at every available opportunity. Ditto curtains after five pm. Ideally all windows must be closed too, lest any fresh air get in.

I haven't been there for years, I send dh and the children and stay at home because it is impossible to get time off work. a blatant lie

they really are lovely lovely people but so stuck in therr old people routines it drives me to insanity.

PunkrockerGirl Sat 22-Mar-14 20:38:55

Boiled potatoes with every main meal. Every sodding day. Rice, pasta etc very much frowned upon.

ToriaPumpkin Wed 26-Mar-14 16:09:25

When MIL decides she's going to bed everyone must go to bed. This year my parents stayed with them for Christmas. After Downton she turned the tv off and said 'night then!' leaving my Mum and step dad staring about in bewilderment (I was already in bed due to being pregnant and knackered)

Wine is offered, one glass with a meal. After 11 years I'm now confident enough to help myself but nobody thinks to offer any other guests another drink (even a soft one, even when we've all been talked into playing board games for hours)

The shower is fine but I like long, hot baths. Especially after a few days. Invariably after twenty minutes there comes a knock on the door and 'Are you ok in there?' this is then repeated at regular intervals. They have two other bathrooms so it's not like they're subtley trying to tell me they need the loo.

All veg is boiled until it resembles thick soup. All meat, even very good cuts of venison that she gets from a local butcher, are cooked until charcoaled.

I am constantly offered parenting advice. I am mainly able to ignore it but that doesn't stop it being bloody irritating.

They've recently moved so they're only 15 minutes away so no more overnight visits. I am very pleased grin

I'm sure my parents have their moments that DH would just love to complain about as well though!

peachybums Mon 31-Mar-14 14:58:45

I'm unlucky lucky e nought to have 2 sets if in laws as his mum and dad divorced and remarried when he was young. They are not as bad as some but ..

At fil and smil house -

1) Their house isn't messy but its quite lived in, except for washing up, fil has OCD when it comes to washing up! You cannot finish a cup of tea without it being whisked out of your hand, scrubbed to death and put away. He doesn't trust dishwashers to clean things properly.

2) in the summer he likes to sunbathe in his y fronts. He claims they are just like swimming trunks and there's nothing wrong with it.

3) the dog loves to hump everything, they don't seem to notice. The DC don't even sit on the floor or he will hump them.

4) smil likes to wear semi see through tops and no bra

5) fil is right about everything.... Full stop!! Smil is totally lovely and I don't know how she puts up with it!

At mil and sfil house

1) the shower is too powerful!!! Yes that's right I'm the opposite. It's one of those digital ones that squirt from all angles and my skin is red raw when I get out.

2) sfil is convinced I don't drink hot drinks so I never get offered a coffee, ever. Nor any other drink for that matter.

3) mil always moans abut me being vegan and how DP needs to remind her I'm a funny eater as she forgets. Usually I'm sat with various veg on my plate and some kind of fruit chutney.

4) the cats sit at the table at dinner... Nuff said

5) the house is over 400 years old and a death trap but mil thought it was a good idea to remove all hand rails from steps. Because its in the country it's pitch black at night. Don't even think about getting up for a drink of water because you will fall and a&e is miles away!

Marvintheparanoid Fri 04-Apr-14 17:45:18

Oh I totally get the water thing. I'm the only one who will drink water at ILs, its wine or juice, and the sight of me with my glass of water apparently moves DMIL to tears. She tries to spice it up with bubbly water, and just won't believe that I actually prefer the taste of plain water to other things. There was a while they thought I was angry with them because I drank water at their house. I started drinking wine every now and then just so the discussion about water would stop. Even so every sodding time I ask for a glass of water I get a dramatic sigh, then a list of all the other things I could have instead. sad

Yes, lots of those things, hoarding to ridiculous extent- like empty soap powder boxes stacked like lego all around the cooker which ought to catch fire but never does.

But the worst (after being expected to KISS everyone every time you enter or leave their company) is MIL little groppy hands. I do not mind a hand on my back and I can put up with the toddler style tugs on my arm but GET YOUR CLUTCHES OFF MY BUM.

(And stop going through my bags.)

kentishgirl Tue 08-Apr-14 16:55:44

Mine are really lovely, with a few quirks

FIL is very garden proud and you are only allowed on the patio and must NEVER walk on the lawn.

Lovely power showery thing in massive glass cubicle. Which must be squeegied and dried off with a special towel, in a special way. And you mustn't get the mat next to the shower damp when you stand on it. I go first and let OH deal with it after me. By the time he's finished he's all sweaty and needs another shower.

Bathroom is full of carefully arranged toiletries, bowls of wrapped soaps, rolled flannels arranged in colour patterns in baskets. I'm terrified of moving any of it a millimetre, let alone using it.

When Mil asks how much I want of any food item I now half the quantity as she always doubles it. ie if she asks how many roast potatoes I want and I say 3 please, I get 5 or 6. If I want 2 yorkies, I get at least 3. I'm a size 16 so don't need feeding up.

Nothing but sport on TV. Last time FIL watched football in the evening and was watching football in morning too. I got a deja vu feeling - yes he was watching the repeat of the match he'd watched the night before.

MIL loves a good gossip chat about what her friends have been up to. I do not know these friends. I will probably never meet these friends. I'm definitely unlikely to meet the neighbour of the daughter of her friend, the one who is thinking of going on holiday to Turkey but can't decide whether to buy new suitcases or not. And if I do ever meet the unfortunate friend whose partner left her last year - but never mind because he was awful - and she had to have a hysterectomy before Christmas, and she's had some complications (blanked details from my mind) so she's feeling a bit depressed about it all, I won't know where to look.

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