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advice on problem with husband and parents/parents in law

(21 Posts)
kebee Mon 28-Sep-15 12:52:34

Hi ! This is my first post, I am hoping for some unbiaised opinion on an issue I am having with my husband. We live in the Netherlands with our ( almost ) 2 year old son, and our parents live in the UK and Portugal.
I have always been very close to my mum and Dad, and am lucky that there are often cheap flights so we can pop over to visit them, or them us, quite regularly.
My husband's parents are older, and have still got kids at home + money issues, so they rarely get to come see us, unless we pay for their flights.
My husband gets very upset when we see my family more than his. I mean, properly upset, as in he wants me to ask them not to come so as not to upset his family. I feel that is unfair as it is neither my parent's fault, or mine, or our son's that my inlaws to get to see us too often. Whenever they decide to come overfrom Portugal I am always the one booking flights for them etc.
My mother has just sent me an email saying she would like to come for a quick visit in a month or so, and my husband is upset as that would mean my mother sees her grandchild more than his mother does.

What is your opinion/experience with this situation ? I would like to hear what you think, and know how to handle this best.It upsets me , a lot .

Thanks smile

AnotherEmma Mon 28-Sep-15 13:02:43

Your husband is being an idiot. Sorry but that's all there is to it. If it's so important for him and his parents, they should find the time and money to make it happen. I don't see why you should be booking the flights tbh. Your husband is probably hurt that his parents don't make the effort, and maybe jealous that your parents do, so by all by means talk to him and sympathise. But do not let him stop your family visiting. He is being completely unreasonablez

fuzzywuzzy Mon 28-Sep-15 13:09:06

As PP has said it is very unreasonable of him to attempt to stop your parents form visiting because his parents are not able to visit as often.

Do you pay and book for your parents flights? If not then his parents already get preferential treatment compared to yours.

Twitterqueen Mon 28-Sep-15 13:14:22

Ridiculous! You can't limit time family members spend with each other. He needs to focus on other things, like regular Skype sessions for example, or encouraging his parents to send funny cards / stories every now and then.

WeAllFloat Mon 28-Sep-15 13:17:50

Well, In his mind, it's not fair. Soooo, can you try to bargain with him, offer his parents first refusal on some milestone events? So that although they don't see as much of the kids, they get more of the 'good' stuff??

This way, he can justify it to himself, relieving the guilt he might feel that his parents don't get the same??

Then maybe if his parents know they are being offered a 'prime' visiting time, they might book the flights themselves and make the effort if they think the prime slot is going to go to the others if not??

AnotherEmma Mon 28-Sep-15 13:23:33

Regular Skype sessions is a good idea Twitterqueen.

I can't help thinking that if his parents really wanted to be more involved, they would be. They'd be Skyping, sending things in the post, calling... And booking their own bloody flights! ie doing everything they can to build a relationship with their DGC. Not trying to stop the DGC have a relationship with your family. The attitude that "if we can't see you, no one can" is really mean and selfish.

kebee Mon 28-Sep-15 13:24:36

Thanks for your feedback .
@fuzzywuzzy : no, we do not pay for my parents tickets. And actually it's tough for us paying for his family's flights, as we're not exactly comfortable money wise ...
I hope find a way to expain to him that he is angry at the wrong person, that my parents and I are not to blame for the fact that he doesnt see his parents as much as he'd like to

AnotherEmma Mon 28-Sep-15 13:25:43

WeAllFloat ugh no that's a horrible idea, that's just encouraging competition and oneupmanship. They should be visiting because they want to, not because they want to stop the OP's parents visiting! It shouldn't be either/or anyway. Surely the fairest thing is to invite both sets of grandparents (if you're talking about milestones like birthdays etc).

kebee Mon 28-Sep-15 13:27:04

@WeAllFloat : good idea, i will try and reach out that way. DS's second birthday is coming up, I'll ask them if they'd like to be there

GnomeDePlume Mon 28-Sep-15 13:27:42

When we lived in the Netherlands we took the view that as we were the ones who had moved we paid for flights. I would wait until easyjet released their tranche of cheap flights for upcoming months then dive in and check dates with DM & DPiL then book.

There were advantages for us in doing this. I had control over when they visited (and when they didnt). I knew they were leaving! I booked flights to mean that they traveled mid week to mid week meaning that we didnt end up losing two weekends with travel to/from the airport etc.

Is that an option for you?

AnotherEmma Mon 28-Sep-15 13:27:46

"no, we do not pay for my parents tickets. And actually it's tough for us paying for his family's flights, as we're not exactly comfortable money wise ..."
Why do you pay, then? Let me guess, your DH has a misplaced sense of obligation and guilt? It sounds like a dysfunctional family dynamic tbh.

kebee Mon 28-Sep-15 13:29:07

AnotherEmma I see your point. It's just i really want to find a diplomatic way out of this. I mean, tbh I'm quite angry at dh's behaviour but I also want to try and see things his way. Even if for me his reaction is wrong, I suppose it must come from his own insecurities...

AnotherEmma Mon 28-Sep-15 13:30:12

GnomedePlume that's all well and good if you can afford it, but the OP had said they can't really.

GnomeDePlume Mon 28-Sep-15 13:30:32

sorry xposted about the cost

We also made sure that big events (Christmas, Sinterklaas, New Year) were shared out evenly

kebee Mon 28-Sep-15 13:33:10

GnomeDePlume, we do plan our visits to the UK and Portugal way ahead,to get cheaper deals, and we always make sure we spend as much time with my family as his. But then my parents make the effort to plan ahead and take time to come see us, whereas his parents just complain about how little they see their DGC, making my DH feel guilty. Tehn we end up spending loads of money for a last minute ticket for them as they decide they absolutely need to see their DGC the next month .

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Mon 28-Sep-15 13:34:24

I have this issue. Tell him, his parents are just as welcome, but thats ups to him to arrange. He is also welcome to take DS to visit, just like you do (unless hes like my Dh and just wouldnt). He sounds selfish.

AnotherEmma Mon 28-Sep-15 13:34:27

kebee you can understand your DH's pov, be sympathetic, and still disagree with him. If the family dynamic is dysfunctional, and if he is upset because his parents don't make the effort, that is something you need to discuss with him. But it's not something you can just fix by placating everyone and paying for flights you can't afford. Your DH may need to come to terms with his parents' shortcomings. He may need to learn to put some boundaries in place.

I might be reading too much into this of course - please correct me if I am!

kebee Mon 28-Sep-15 13:43:34

AnotherEmma 'I might be reading too much into this of course - please correct me if I am!' : No, I think you're pretty spot on! It's a sensitive subject as when I bring up the fact that actually maybe he really is angry at his family and not at me, he thinks I am criticising his family , and gets even more upset. It isn't easy !

AnotherEmma Mon 28-Sep-15 13:43:58

Cross posted. Based on your last post I don't think I am reading too much into it.

"his parents just complain about how little they see their DGC, making my DH feel guilty. Tehn we end up spending loads of money for a last minute ticket for them as they decide they absolutely need to see their DGC the next month ."

Your DH needs to look at why he feels so guilty. You really need to stop paying for the expensive last minute flights. Set some ground rules eg you will pay if it's organised x months/weeks in advance. Or you will go halves. Or whatever, but it needs to change.

AnotherEmma Mon 28-Sep-15 13:46:10

Another cross post! Sorry! It does sound difficult, not because of your PILs but because of how your DH deals with them. Ideally you two would be a team and decide how to deal with them together. But he's not really being a good team player is he? sad
Good luck with it, I hope you can get through to him.

GnomeDePlume Mon 28-Sep-15 13:56:46

Sorry, still dealing with the practical rather than the emotional. Do his parents know how much it costs to book flights last minute rather than months in advance? I know that my DM is very good at ignoring details like that unless they are actually laid out in front of her.

We could only afford to fly the GPs over because I took charge and didnt offer too much choice about dates/flights. It helped that DM & DPIL were retired so were able to fit this in.

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