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To think this is not too much driving?

(48 Posts)
2ndSopranosRule Sun 17-Apr-16 12:45:13

Sorry it's long.

We've been summonsed to go visit FIL who lives twj hours away. We don't have the best relationship with him. FIL's general modus operandi wrt seeing his gc (and dc for that matter) is to give us a date and expect us to be available. If we aren't - say we're on holiday - no alternative dates are even discussed and it's "Oh well, see you next year then". He never phones, texts and only emails when he's telling us he's coming.

We've said umpteen times over the years that we're happy to go down to him. He's been doing a major renovation project for about 8 years so always responded with "No you can't as you can't stay here". We don't expect - or particularly want tbh - to be put up and would either do it in a day or find a local Premier Inn etc. It's really no big deal.

FIL's renovation project is finally done and he wants us to see it. He's put an unremarkable extension on an unremarkable house and has shown us 100s of photos. Apparently though we need to see how amazing it actually is.

He told us we'd be visiting on x date. We're away. SIL's been ordered to go too. He offered one other date and informed us we'd be staying Sat/Sun. We have hobbies we don't want to miss - myself included and the particular thing I'm doing has been in my diary for a year. Plus we have a elderly cat who'd need boarding.

So we have said we'll leave early on the Sun and drive the two hours to him, then drive back later. The whole fecking family think we are mad to be doing this sort of journey. We regularly see friends who live similar distances in one day. We live in the nw and holiday in the sw. Our dc can do long car journeys. Ffs we've even done long haul with a toddler admittedly not recommended-.

SIL is going to "stop off half way there" overnight to break up the journey.

AIBU to think that if we're willing and able to travel so that FIL can see his gc it's nobody's business?

Gizlotsmum Sun 17-Apr-16 12:47:44

2 hours each way is nothing, especially if you are happy to do it.

DoreenLethal Sun 17-Apr-16 12:48:43

The whole fecking family think we are mad to be doing this sort of journey.

Aye, this is ridiculous. We go see family 3 hours away, leave at 9, there at 12 and leave sometime after 5. Back by 8. Job done.

Just tell them you do this sort of thing all the time. And do not be swayed!

LordoftheTits Sun 17-Apr-16 12:49:57

Two hours? My parents and a couple of my friends live about two hours away and I regularly go out to see them for a few hours! I wouldn't think anything of it.

stilllovingmysleep Sun 17-Apr-16 12:50:03

YABU. On many counts I think. First because you're being extremely dismissive and sarcastic about your FIL's house extension which clearly he has put a lot of thought and care into. Why the snide comments about it being 'Unremarkable'? That's plain mean.

Second it's unreasonably to drive up 2 hours and then drive down later, yes. It gives everyone the message that you're only doing this out of duty rather than because you want to: hobbies can wait. Cat can be catered for. Family relations are much more important. I would put everything else aside and focus on showing care and interest and respect to your FIL who after all is an older man and won't be around forever

realitybitesYourbum Sun 17-Apr-16 12:52:26

That's a daily commute for a lot of people. No great shakes at all. Two hours there and two hours back? What's the problem? Why are you listening to people who obviously have a very narrow viewpoint? My bil is like this, he'll say he bought something that was mega bucks and he can't tell us how much. Turns out it was £20! Add a couple of zeros and that would be our mega bucks. Some people just live in their own little narrow world and have no idea how other folks live.

2ndSopranosRule Sun 17-Apr-16 12:56:33

Haha we are actually only doing this out of duty.

My hobby can't wait that weekend. I'm a reasonably accomplished amateur musician whose contribution that weekend will be missed.

He's never shown any respect to me. Or my DH.

stilllovingmysleep Sun 17-Apr-16 12:57:33

Well it may be also that you're not showing respect to him too? I do think with grandparents we have to make many concessions

AnUtterIdiot Sun 17-Apr-16 12:57:34

My mum and dad used to do a 400 mile round trip in a day - yanbu

stilllovingmysleep Sun 17-Apr-16 12:58:21

It's not about how long the trip is.
It's about not wanting to give enough time to grandparents

BackforGood Sun 17-Apr-16 12:58:59

It's up to you if you'd rather do a long day with a 2 hr drive at each end, or go to all the hassle of finding accommodation though, surely ? Don't see how it effects anyone else. We regularly do a 2 hr trip each way to visit my family.

I take stilllovingmysleep's point that you are being nasty about something that is obviously important to him / that he's proud of, which isn't nice, But I totally disagree about being expected to drop everything you've already got arranged because someone demands to see you on a particular day.

All visits are arranged at the convenience of both parties here.
If there is a particular reason something has to happen on a certain day (doesn't sound like it in this case) then there should be apologies, and 'would you mind seeing if you can rearrange what you've already got booked' or 'I understand if you aren't able to make it' 's. The assumption everyone should just drop everything is rude.

Birdsgottafly Sun 17-Apr-16 13:00:15

It isn't too much driving, I go on a day out from Liverpool to Wales and do similar.

Has your DH talked to him about why he's so rigid in the dates, is it a condition/age related etc?

Does DH ever go on his own, rather than wait a year to see his Dad?

I agree about visiting a parent being as important than a hobby, if not more so, but then I can't imagine having such a cold attitude towards a Parent, unless there's a backstory.

2ndSopranosRule Sun 17-Apr-16 13:01:47

Believe me, I make concessions.

We'd actually get to see more of him if we went early in the morning and came back later on.

DropYourSword Sun 17-Apr-16 13:02:17

Ha. I live in Australia. They judge distance very differently here. 2 hour drive is a daily commute for some here!

stilllovingmysleep Sun 17-Apr-16 13:03:14

The one thing that has to be sorted is that the meeting days have to be agreed fairly by both parties. He has a right to ask for a particular date. You have a right to suggest an alternative.

But yes unless there's a very negative backstory your attitude to your FIL (the grandfather to your kids) is striking to me.

2ndSopranosRule Sun 17-Apr-16 13:06:29

FIL tells him not to come!

What are we supposed to do with that??

FIL suggested two dates: one of which we are actually away on holiday; the other a very busy weekend (but on the sat only, the Sunday is no problem!). FIL won't consider us visiting on any of the other 50 weeks despite our offer...

WhereYouLeftIt Sun 17-Apr-16 13:06:55

How about you follow his lead, that date doesn't suit so you tell him you'll see the extension next year?

stilllovingmysleep - are you OP's FIL? You seem very keen that she shows respect to someone who doesn't sound as if he deserves respect.

ProcrastinatorGeneral Sun 17-Apr-16 13:08:05

Like fuck would I ditch a plan of had for over a year to look st some bricks because a bossy bastard told me to. It's a drive able distance, so drive it.

2ndSopranosRule Sun 17-Apr-16 13:09:15

The cat thing: the cattery is full that weekend and we really genuinely do not have any other back up in that respect!

2ndSopranosRule Sun 17-Apr-16 13:10:03

I think I love you Procrastinator

scribblegirl Sun 17-Apr-16 13:10:54

Bollocks. Family bbq yesterday - we left at 12 and got home at 8.30. Two and a half hours driving each way - arrived 2.30, left at 6.

Tbh your FIL sounds like a nightmare flowers

LunaLoveg00d Sun 17-Apr-16 13:12:49

Laughing at having to stop half way on a two hour journey overnight to break it.

We are driving Scotland - Cornwall this summer in one day - it's around a 9 hour trip. 2 hours there and back in one day is not unreasonable at all. FIL sounds like the unreasonable one.

Herewegoagainfolks Sun 17-Apr-16 13:14:10

Regardless of how well you get on with someone sometimes you have other commitments.

A two hour journey is nothing.

Birdsgottafly Sun 17-Apr-16 13:14:21

Has he always been like this, or as he's aged? If the former then he's lucky you're visiting at all.

As said, it isn't too much driving, you can't board the cat, so there's nothing you can do.

I was going to suggest that the cat may be happier at home, but my cats prefer dry food and that wouldn't work with wet food.

2ndSopranosRule Sun 17-Apr-16 13:15:54

He used to be worse believe it or not. We consider him to have mellowed!

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