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to spend more time with one set of ILs than the other?

(19 Posts)
Suuki Tue 02-Apr-13 10:45:26

It's more of an 'are WE being unreasonable' really.

DH and I get on far better with my parents than his. We don't live near either of our parents but we see mine every couple of months at least, and go away with them occasionally too. We spend time with them because we get on well, share interests and sense of humour, not just out of a sense of family duty. OTOH we see his parents less because we just don't get along, don't see eye to eye on much at all (esp DH and his dad - lots of tension and arguments) and every visit is just depressing, tense, awkward. BUT they are basically nice people, and I wonder whether we are being unfair to them, because I'm pretty sure they'd like to see us more.

So is it unfair to them, or is it just a fact of life that people will spend more of their free time with people they get along with than those they don't?

YellowDinosaur Tue 02-Apr-13 10:49:53

YANBU. Or at least if you are then so are we with an almost identical set of circumstances.

My family also make a lot more effort to see us than his family and coupled with dh and his Dad not speaking and general good times with my family and strained with his it's inevitable imho. My life is certainly too short to spend time with people who don't add much and while I would do so if it was important to dh I have to say i'm not disappointed that it isn't!

Suuki Tue 02-Apr-13 10:53:49

That's the thing Yellowdinosaur - if DH got along with them and wanted to spend more time with them, even if I didn't I'd be happy to spend more time with them, or I'd deal with it anyway. Luckily he doesn't...

Suuki Tue 02-Apr-13 10:54:36

Do his parents resent it though, Yellow, or do they not care?

Salmotrutta Tue 02-Apr-13 10:55:59

You say they are basically nice people?

And that you are sure they would like to see more of you?

Yes, YABU.

And unfair if they have never been awful or horrible.

Suuki Tue 02-Apr-13 11:02:58

When you put it like that it does seem unreasonable Salmotrutta - that's what I was worried about. BUT we do see them regularly, we don't turn down invitations, and see them for all family birthdays and xmases etc. I think we see them as much or more than many people see their parents, so it's more the imbalance of us getting on so well with my parents that makes us look bad (to his parents). I feel a bit like we shouldn't have to force a really involved relationship with them just because we're lucky enough to have one with my family.

DontmindifIdo Tue 02-Apr-13 11:10:36

well if it helps, we're the opposite, we spend far more time with PIL than my parents. PIL live closer and are about more, my parents, when in the UK, live a 2 hour drive away and are out of the country for months on end at their holiday home. Plus my parents are what you would call "hard work" where as my PIL can be tricky at times, but I find them far easier to manage.

Perhaps you should look at the two relationships separately, are you spending as much time with PIL as DH and you would like? Do you want to see them more often? Does DH want to see more of his parents? Other than competiting with your parents, do you get the impression that your PIL would like to spend more time with you all? Are they issuing invites you are declining? If not, then you have the balance right for that relationship.

Then apply the same to your parents - if you saw them less would you miss them and would they miss you?If you saw them more would it be too much?

YellowDinosaur Tue 02-Apr-13 11:13:21

Both his parents have an open invitation to see us. His Mum will only come between March and October as it's too cold where we live. His Dad hasn't been for 18 months (dh and his Dad don't get on at all). Because of dh and his Dad relationship we don't stay with them although we do go to dh brothers which is nearby a couple of times a year and see them then.

I don't know of they would like to come more - like I said we have never told them they can't come unless we have other plans when we'd suggest an alternative. I don't get involved to be honest as I see it as dh business. I'd happily see them at ours (north east) or theirs (south east) if dh wanted to but feel that is up to him

Salmotrutta Tue 02-Apr-13 11:21:05

I've said this before on here that my MIL can be "difficult".

But we always made sure we were fair about visits etc. between her and my folks - because whatever her foibles she adores her grandchildren.

She can be very hard work but she is still DH's mum and even though our DC are grown up now they go and see her because she is their Grandmother.

ENormaSnob Tue 02-Apr-13 11:21:25

We are the opposite. We see mil and her partner far more than my parents.

We just get on so well with them whereas although I adore my mum, my step dad irritates the shit out of me.

It doesn't bother me tbh and is not something I dwell on.

TryDrawing Tue 02-Apr-13 11:22:01

Er... no YANBU. The idea of "sharing means equal time for each person" is entriely appropriate when you're trying to teach a young child about sharing toys. Your parents and your in-laws are not children, and you are not their toys. You are adults, life is short, do what makes you happy.

Suuki Tue 02-Apr-13 11:23:02

Hmm, that's quite helpful to think about it like that Dontmind.

Perhaps you should look at the two relationships separately, are you spending as much time with PIL as DH and you would like? Yes
Do you want to see them more often? No
Does DH want to see more of his parents? No, he'd be happy to see them less, but I think it's good for him to maintain a relationship with them (not that it's my business really)

Other than competiting with your parents, do you get the impression that your PIL would like to spend more time with you all? I'm not sure really, they are incredibly uncommunicative. I imagine DH's mum would like to see him more.
Are they issuing invites you are declining? No, they're not. They issue some we'd like to wriggle out of but we never do (DH just silently does what they tell him to keep the peace tbh.)

Then apply the same to your parents - if you saw them less would you miss them and would they miss you? YES!
If you saw them more would it be too much? I think it would be too much if we lived nearby and saw them every week, but a bit more often than we do would be lovely.

Suuki Tue 02-Apr-13 11:25:37

x-post with others, thanks smile

lisianthus Tue 02-Apr-13 11:30:52

YANBU - besides, you don't really know that they want to see you more anyway. Presumably if they did, they would be issuing more invitations. And what TryDrawing said.

DontmindifIdo Tue 02-Apr-13 11:37:25

so you think MIL would like to see DH and only DH more? Well that's down to him then, he could arrange to see his mum more often, it's not your job to limit your time with your parents in order to make it equal, or to force him to arrange more time with his mum.

If when DS grows up I only see him when his future partner arranges it, I would think that's a huge failing on my behalf to foster a good relationship with my child.

Suuki Tue 02-Apr-13 11:38:11

Good point lisianthus. Maybe I'm just feeling pointlessly guilty for no reason...wouldn't be the first time smile

Suuki Tue 02-Apr-13 11:40:31

Dontmind that's an even better point shock It's really up to DH isn't it.

DuchessFanny Tue 02-Apr-13 11:45:36

I love my PIL and in fact we see and spend much more time with them than my own parents , the kids are adored and adore them, they make loads of effort and make us feel loved .... Haven't seen my mum in years, but gave a tentative phone relationship !
Miss my darling Dad, but the SM is a bitch, so we keep clear -- it's such a shame, but nothing we can do ( been trying for over 30 years !!!)

DuchessFanny Tue 02-Apr-13 11:46:04

* have

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