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

(301 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?

DontmindifIdo Wed 01-May-13 09:26:15

Yellow Tulips - there does seem to be a lot of that around, perhaps the numbers of what their house is worth has made a lot of baby boomers think they are rich, without realising they have to live somewhere, they only have that money if they sell the house and live nowhere - or live nowhere they have to pay for, ie. grown children's house (who are paying huge amounts in mortgages because they didn't buy 20 years ago).

There are so many who mention that their house is their retirement plan, without thinking that their house is also their home. It's breathtakingly entitled to assume you can just move in with your adult children once you've deliberately made yourself homeless - especially since that generation rarely have taken in their parents unless their parents needed care. Effectively telling your DCs they must have a more expensive house than they need (by having a guest room), in order for you not to have any rental costs. This is before you even look at people thinking you can just move in and not offer money towards food and bills...

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 01-May-13 09:32:32

Well done Shoefly - I really hope DH does sort this out. Perhaps he hadn't realised just how much it affects you.

unobtanium Wed 01-May-13 11:22:58

Brilliant job OP. You handled that admirably. Keeping my fingers crossed for you

Dubjackeen Wed 01-May-13 12:55:41

Well done OP, hope that this sorts out the situation.
Interesting point about people deliberately making themselves homeless, I hadn't thought of it that way before. All fine if there is discussion and agreement about living with family, but definitely not as a fait accompli. Good point also that if there are six in the family, the parents should spend equal time with each one, rather than assuming that it's fine to stay for months on end with one. Best of luck OP and hopefully your DH has seen the light this time around.

RenterNomad Wed 01-May-13 13:03:25

Excellent stuff added to the discussion, yellowtulips. Yes, the Baby Boomers are a bit of a historical anomaly, in health (longevity) and wealth, and it really puts a wobble into the experience of younger (and older) generations, meaning that historical/traditional expectations about inheritance, retirement and care can't be expectations: everything is different.

All the more reason to discuss things openly.

ryanboy Wed 01-May-13 13:19:15

YANBU x 100

DublinMammy Wed 01-May-13 13:22:11

Well done Shoo, hopefully your DH has realised how hypocritical his stance is and will be able to explain to his parents that what they are asking simply is not fair or reasonable. Good luck! Oh, and YANBU by the way....

onedev Wed 01-May-13 16:32:31

Totally agree YellowTulips (unfortunately!).

CruCru Wed 01-May-13 16:43:56

Good point YellowTulips.

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 01-May-13 17:35:18

Astoundingly hypocritical of him to not see that it's stressful to you to have his parents living in the house for months, but wouldn't want yours staying there for months.

I would be fine with my mum staying for months. However, DH would not (and similarly, I wouldn't want his parents here for months) so I wouldn't even consider the imposition.

And so what if you are in a caring profession. hmm Does he want to come home to his profession every night, too?

I actually made some kind of scoffing noise at the idea of sharing the cost of the 'guest' mattress with them. For the love of pete. They've booked your 'guest' room for all of the holiday season! Buy your own bloody mattress!

YellowTulips Wed 01-May-13 17:36:49

I might start an AIBU thread on that hot topic then!

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 01-May-13 17:40:01

Yellow agree. The boomers' parents generation were fastidious about having a plan for retirement, at least from what I could see. Boomers, not so much.

As an only child of divorced parents, these situations are the stuff of my future nightmares, tbh. sad

YellowTulips Wed 01-May-13 17:54:53

Ok - so have posted my first AIBU.

Not going to have dinner - have a feeling I might get a lot of biscuit!!

MyShoofly Wed 01-May-13 18:48:05

Thanks everyone for your feedback on this thread. It really did help me get up the courage to push the issue. I will post back if once DH talks to them wine

...and western canada meet up group - I will pm my info!

onedev Wed 01-May-13 19:55:57

Well done Shoofly - hope it all works out ok. smile

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 01-May-13 23:59:24

Excellent, on both counts. wine

YellowTulips Thu 02-May-13 00:02:41

Took some guts to do what you did.

You should feel good about yourself thanks

CheerfulYank Thu 02-May-13 05:59:26

Good for you Shoo. smile

Tee2072 Thu 02-May-13 06:18:50

Been watching with interest and I'm glad you had it out with your husband.

What are you going to do if he doesn't talk b to them?

expatinscotland Thu 02-May-13 13:33:38

I remember your last thread. I'm not surprised your prick of a husband completely ignored your points of views.

I'd give him a mental deadline to grow a pair and get them out and if he doesn't do it, I'd start making my own plans to leave him to them.

MyShoofly Thu 09-May-13 15:47:38

Well, I thought I'd come back for an update if anyone is still checking back.

The foot has been lowered. My DH did NOT speak to them but had no choice but to set up a meeting where we could all talk as they were about to go matress hunting.

The meeting.....AWKWARD. DH just sat there so I had to get the job done. I told them we didn't really have an understanding of their plans long-term. I told them that DH and I had never actually discussed them moving in. That DH and I differ in how outgoing we are and that for me the visits are too long. That its not personal, I would feel the same for anyone. They indicated last year and this year were longer stays then they hoped. I acknowledged that but noted that they are likely to have more and more Dr's appointments and so forth that could impact their travel plans.

I advised that I worried DH had misrepresented me to them - that this is not about laundry, money (though of course it is in part) or them hiding in the basement but that for my taste it is a lack of space and privacy. I told them that I'm happy to have them come for a month in the spring and a month in the fall. That they are of course welcome to stay this summer/fall as planned. I indicated I didn't want our relationship to suffer because of the situation.

FIL was seemed good about it but there was a lot of silent pauses. MIL seems a bit miffed (cut me off at one point) but didn't say anything aside from saying that it was all a miscommunication then as DH hadn't properly discussed it with me. Lets just say that from MIL in particular there was no lighthearted banter or agreeing with any points aside from that miscommunication one. So....I think she is upset. FIL advised the pair have to make some long term decisions. I know between the two of them he is the one more inclined to get their own place. They advised they just don't see the point when they are never in either province for more then 2-3 months a year.

DH thought it went well from his silent vantage point at the end of the table hmm.

So part of me feels like an asshole and part of me feels relieved. They all make it seem so reasonable when your talking to them and I immediately feel guilty and uptight.

Well will see what they do then.


Trifle Thu 09-May-13 15:59:39

God what an absolute wuss your dh is. I can't believe he didn't say a single thing. I would have no respect for someone who, on the quiet agreed with me but when push came to shove didn't stand up for me at all or present a united front. I would seriously question the man you married, obviously his parents mean far more to him than you do.

ExitPursuedByABear Thu 09-May-13 16:02:36

Well done for standing up for yourself OP.

Families eh!

RenterNomad Thu 09-May-13 16:04:34

Well done. What a pity your H doesn't have your balls: if he had said some/all of that, they wouldn't have been so hurt.

EldritchCleavage Thu 09-May-13 16:08:30

Blimey, but your DH is a disloyal little twerp.
Well done for telling them straight nevertheless. Now stay vigilant, so the 2 months a year doesn't slide into more. And they still need to contribute during those 2 months, don't they?

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