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Update on my stingy MIL post if anyone remembers

(270 Posts)
tabbycat15 Fri 16-Aug-13 04:03:12

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/a1803878-Stingey-MIL-makes-me-feel-like-an-outsider

I might be repeating some things in this msg but my previous post is a long thread.

Well we broached the subject but were told that they hadn't factored in paying us anything & made it such a big deal that it costs so much for them to come & see us that they can't afford to give us anything. They are coming business class & they are not that hard up for money. They said that they had to have their roof fixed & BIL is living there rent free/unemployed & what with his baby coming along they have to buy things for him.

We have worked out that we will be about $1000 out of pocket when they stay. The fleeced us with rent, never helped us out when we had no money & had to buy food/nappies on our credit card. They never bought DS anything like a cot or pram when he was born.

When we lived there she wouldn't let us do our washing in her machine even though we bought it. She said I don't think my machine will cope with all your washing so we had to take it to the launderette. This was 21 years ago & we were charged 170 pounds each rent for staying there.

I am so angry that I have the inlaws from hell. I've only ever been nice to them. Mil never helped out with DS or helped me at home. I was really ill with PND & have no parents. They lived 5 mins away but just didn't want to know. They only ever had DS twice when he was sick & couldn't go to the childminder. I had to pay the childminder & MIL charged me by the hour as well to have him for a few hours. I had to go into work as I had no other choice.

The only time MIL ever rang was when she wanted her beauty treatment done for free. When ever they came to our house we would be in waiting for them. They never rang the door bell, just walked straight in with our key. We had a key for their house but always rang the bell as wouldn't have just walked in.

If we went up for dinner I was told what I had to provide. I usually had to cook the dinner & bring it up with me. I can understand bringing so wine or something but not the main course. Xmas we had to buy everything except the turkey & take it up with us. She would make a point of telling us how big the turkey was & how much it costs.
She wouldn't feed DS at all when he was there. We had to bring all his food & drink with us.

I really have the stingist inlaws. I'm glad we are in Australia now as now I realise how bad they treated us.

I really agree that as hard as it is for you, now is the time to stand up to them. If you really have to let them stay just don't go out of your way for them. Let them get a cab to the airport, cook only enough food for you DH and the children. Don't change their sheets, tell them they can use your washing machine if they stick a fiver in the money box.

They sound absolutely awful. If they were my inlaws I wouldn't have them in the house

Nooneelseisallowedafergus Fri 16-Aug-13 07:43:54

Yes. Clear a shelf in your fridge and a kitchen cupboard and tell them that is their storage space for their shopping. Cook for your family first each evening, and then inform them that 'kitchen's free' for their meal prep. They can arrange own transportation, own entertainment, and do their own laundry, if they stick a fiver in the box as akiss said.
Say, you really dislike treating guests like this but you know how uncomfortable they are with sharing food without paying for their portion and doing things which involve sharing costs, and you want them to feel at home on their visit!
Good luck!

Hissy Fri 16-Aug-13 07:50:22

Absolutely don't let them off this.

In fact, tell them that you've reconsidered and they'll have to find a hotel and a hire car.

Screw them!

I get the impression this is not a visit you feel you can get out of, however surely you can put strategies in place to limit their impact on you?

Some suggestions:

- Produce a 'helpful fact sheet' for while they are there. List local attractions, supermarkets, bus/train times, car rental companies, taxi firms etc to make it clear they need to organise themselves. Also put instructions for washing machine in there.

- if the steam iron is the problem then I'd be tempted to buy a cheap iron 'for their convenience'.

- Do not change sheets. Leave a spare set in their room at the start of the stay and say you'll leave it to them to change them so you're not 'invading their privacy'.

- could you also clear out a cupboard in your kitchen for 'their food' and either provide the absolute basics - cereal, bread, pasta - or nothing at all?

Good luck grin

Walkacrossthesand Fri 16-Aug-13 07:53:53

So you tell them what it will be like. You won't be able to afford to feed them, so they'll be doing their own cooking with food they've bought themselves - organise their own day trips with taxis and public transport. Hopefully that will make thdm change their monds sbout staying, before or after they arrive! You do not have to do One Single Thing you don't want to. Where's Attila the Meerkat - she has such a good description of the FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) that it sounds you are in. You know they're being totally unreasonable, but seem powerless to take steps to protect yourselves and your interests. You can do it!

They've done a good job on you, haven't they.

You sounded defeated, ready to put up with any amount of shite they choose to throw at you.

I suspect you'll put up with it and wait on them hand and foot despite you letting off steam here.

They're nasty, lazy and tight.

Be brave , when sheets need changing just put them in their room, don't make breakfast and don't take them out every day, with any luck they'll be offended and leave.

Don't be a doormat, it's your children's home andt let that prat tut himself to death!

You know they are treating you like shit, why tolerate it?

carlywurly Fri 16-Aug-13 07:58:38

Having people to stay is bloody expensive (live in cornwall so have plenty of experience of this wink)

It's not just the food, it's the extra water, electricity, even the use of toilet rolls which add up. If people come and stay with me without making a contribution, be it financial or just pitching in, I simply do not ask them again, or make an excuse if they ask.

Your in laws are taking complete advantage of you. They're penny pinching stockpilers and I can imagine them being the twatty sort who would leave any inheritance they have accumulated to the golden child anyway.

You have nothing at all to lose from standing up to them. I'm itching to do it on your behalf.

Using the word stingey towards your ILs downplays their overall behaviour; they are clearly not just stingey. Both of them continue to victimise you and your H and you are both letting them do this to you nowadays.

I am wondering if you are still seeing the therapist fortnightly (I read this in your last thread). If so I wonder what she makes of your toxic and dysfunctional ILs, do you actually talk about them?. I am also wondering if you actually now need to see another counsellor; one who knows something about toxic families.

Have you ever spoken to a counsellor as well about your childhood at the hands of your foster parents?.

Both of you are together and separately not strong enough to stand up to these people and tell them where to get the hell off. This is also why they have gotten away for so much for so long. Your children do not need to have such toxic people in their lives either, they're better off having positive and life affirming role models instead.

Your home life will be made hell on earth when the toxic twosome come to town and you will likely run around after them as well. This is what inbuilt conditioning does to people. Your foster parents were abusive and now his parents are out of the same rotten mould, they are repeating what you yourself saw in your own childhood.

lels99 Fri 16-Aug-13 08:02:35

Can you not suggest they hire a car? Cook lots of meals that you know they dont like (may be petty, but may mean they eat out and give you peace)

expatinscotland Fri 16-Aug-13 08:16:44

They are not stingy, they are abusive. Both of you enable this. It is NOT 'too late'. You do not have to let these people in your home. Do you really want these scumbags around your kids? How horrible for them.

You're both seemingly mired in FOG as well - fear, obligation and guilt. All this goes back a long way with both of you.

I would suggest you both read "Emotional Blackmail. When the people in your life use fear, obligation and guilt to manipulate you" by Susan Forward.

Where are your boundaries with such people, both of you seemingly have pretty much non existent boundaries with regards to them anyway. How can two seemingly capable adults allow themselves to be walked over so completely?. This is where FOG comes into it. I sincerely hope you both do not cave into them but I would not be completely surprised if you did.

The only way this will stop is for you and your H to stop engaging with them on any level and cut them out of your lives. Power and control are at the heart of this and even though you are on the other side of the world now they can still play you both like a violin.

TheOneAndOnlyFell Fri 16-Aug-13 08:20:33

Right, I've just read the other thread, and this one. Yes she is an awful (and weird) cow, that goes without saying, but seriously WHY WHY WHY do you put up with this? If she wanted to charge you for every little thing, including occasionally babysitting her own grandson then what the hell were you thinking, giving her beauty treatments for free? And why, now, do you STILL let her come and stay for weeks on end and not charge her a daily rate?

I don't understand it. She's persisting with this nonsense because you allow her to. I agree that charging her for things will not come naturally or easily, but you have to play her by her own rules! Tell her she has to go into a hotel next time as your house can't cope with all the extra cooking/people/stuff. Or tell her the rate is $50 per night.

You should have nipped this crap in the bud years ago but you've settled too well into playing your role of dutiful victim. Get backbone!

42day Fri 16-Aug-13 08:25:18

Have to say do do everything suggested already. Don't meet them at the airport and when they phone don't answer they will get a taxi, after all they have paid the fare for going all the way to you. I would be tempted not to cook for them at all but think they would just cook and leave a mess for you to clear up they sound so awful, give them small portions and if they say anything state how much money you need from them. Don't have their bed made up and make sure there are only the very basic of everything in their room, don't wash and replace any bedding or towels. They treat you so badly now is payback time. Seriously it's time to let them know that their behavour has consequences! Also I would make as much noise as possible and if they moan ignore them, hoover when tv is on, have playdates/coffee mornings if possible over at yours and ignore them, the earlier they start the better with little ones as their day starts early if your in laws are the type to get up later. They may tell everyone how awful you are but more likely they will say how lovely it was and if people know them they will not believe any "horror stories". I fear they will stay far too long if you live your life to keep the peace. Good luck and keep coming back for support if you need it OP.

expatinscotland Fri 16-Aug-13 08:27:41

You two sound like you have Stockholm Syndrome. Do you want you kids to?

OnFoot Fri 16-Aug-13 08:29:42

You do know that business class tickets are normally fully flexible and refundable? In which case, the "they've already bought the air tickets" argument would be redundant.

Hookedonclassics Fri 16-Aug-13 08:31:10

A few things.

Breakfast - a packet of cornflakes and carton of milk, and a few tea bags or jar of coffee left out for them to help themselves. If they moan, tell them to go to Coles or Woolies and see how expensive food is.

Lunch - Give them directions to cafes.

Supper - Ditto lunch.

....let them go by themselves, do not go with them or you'll feel obliged to put your hand in your pocket to pay. Be out when they get back!

Bathroom - put your toiletries out of reach so they have to use their own. Leave out threadbare towels for them, not your nicest "guest" ones.

If you do end up cooking meals, how about some budget ones. I find "A girl called Jack" blog has some good ones. If they complain tell them you have no extra money to feed them fancy food.

If they keep complaining, tell them to kindly go to a hotel then, if they can afford business class fares (thousands extra) then they can stump up.

expatinscotland Fri 16-Aug-13 08:34:11

She'll do none of this. They will let them come over,do as they please, and their kids will learn that being abused is acceptable.

CaptainJamesTKirk Fri 16-Aug-13 08:41:14

tabby they sound horrendous sad

Is there anyway you can arrange to be there as little as possible when they visit?

Doha Fri 16-Aug-13 08:49:23

Tabby you really have to deal with this now. It is not fair on your DC's if you are prepared to put up with this. They will be miserable, unable to make any mess or noise in the house, you will be stressed out all the time. Is it fair on them because you can't deal with your IL's.
Put it in writing today
you will let them stay with you rent free but
you will not be cooking/providing food
you will not be doing their laundry
you will not be their taxi driver

You and your DH need to man up--don't ask but tell them how it is going to be before they arrive.
I am not sure why you have them coming over anyway. you say they have booked the flights, so what they can book a hotel for their stay too....

Hookedonclassics Fri 16-Aug-13 08:59:30

Yes, do what Doha says! grin

Hookedonclassics Fri 16-Aug-13 09:00:10

Tell them they have treated you far worse!!

expatinscotland Fri 16-Aug-13 09:05:08

They won't respect any boundary you try to set: rules, anything in writing, etc. why would they when they know they can bully their way?

They can't come and stay because they will abuse.

DameFanny Fri 16-Aug-13 09:07:42

I'd be tempted to lay information with Australian immigration that they have no intention of returning to the UK. But that's just me.

DameFanny Fri 16-Aug-13 09:08:40

And tell customs they never travel without a bag of apples. [evil]

MissPiggiesLeftTrotter Fri 16-Aug-13 09:09:41

tabbycat, I see a few things going on here.

They are not stingy, they are abusive. In fact, if I have this right I think that DH is the scapegoat and BIL is the Golden Child. Perhaps you are not the issue at all, but their treatment of you is an extension of how they treat your DH. I also think you are a very sensitive person and I don't mean that as a dig, you sound lovely. You had a very bad time as a child and don't have a lot of family. To then join another family and be treated like that again is just pure and truly SHIT! Sorry about the language. My greatest wish right now is that you could learn a bit of indifference, but I sense you are not there yet.

I don't think you can get out of the visit, nor I think are you bitch enough to put them off. One of my dear friends always says that just because someone else has low standards, that doesn't mean you should lower yours. Let them come, but you need to try and change a few things. Their behaviour is not going to change, so you need to change the way you deal with them. I think you need to draw a line under what they have done in the past, you can't change that and it is eating you up. You are wasting mental and physical energy on them which you should be reserving for your own happiness. You need to let go of this lovely idea that your DC need these GP's, they don't.

Anyway the trip. I was an expat for years and I understand what you are going through. Firstly, don't ask her to bring anything. Don't be in her debt for anything, that gives her power. Secondly, look on this trip as their last trip to see you and as a goodbye holiday. Make sure she knows this "hope you have a nice time as it's probably the last time you are coming isn't it" and then make it the last trip by your actions. Book yourself out of the house as much as possible (work, things that need to be done, urgent issues that need to be addressed) and when in the house make sure you keep yourself busy, mending stuff, doing the garden etc. and go to bed as early as you can get away with. Buy no beers or wine for FIL etc. buy the cheapest cuts of meat, buy the cheapest pasta, crappiest biscuits and all from the cheapest Aussie shop with own labels you can find. I don't think you can get out of the trip but you can get the message across that they no longer affect you and you can't be arsed. Do NOT iron her stuff and turn the steam off your iron or swap it with a mate for a few weeks, then put her stuff on her bed to iron herself the cheeky bitch Get a file together and put in leaflets of things to do, bus timetables etc. When they ask to go places or want things tell them you can't afford it. Roll out the threadbare carpet all with a smile plastered on your face.

Tabby, your family is your DH and your kids now. I know that you hurt really badly on the inside, but you DO now have your very own family. Many of us lose our parents, don't get married, don't have kids....your cup is not half empty. You now live in Australia. My advice would be to stay there. You are lucky in that you do not live near them and do not have to put up with them on a daily basis like some on MN. Honestly, the best revenge is to live well.

Sorry, thats so long.
P.s. Where are you in Aus. I am going there in Oct and Dec and I can bring you as much bloody Calpol as you like if you are nearby.

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