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to refuse PILs invitation?

(117 Posts)
ginghamstarfish Mon 16-Jan-17 15:16:18

PILs are retired, and live about 2 hrs away via unlit, narrow and crappy rural roads (which can be scary in ice/snow/rain). We stayed 2 nights at Christmas, as usual, which I go along with for DH's sake. I hate staying there, always come home constipated (long story) which takes a few days to resolve, can't sleep well in the very hard single beds, and get backache. I am also disabled so 2 hours in a car is not great for me. Let me say I would attend this meal if we didn't have to stay overnight. (The drive home is not something you want to do in the dark, and it's quite stressful as the roads are so awful. There is no real alternative route unless you go another 50 miles or so on similar roads.) Whenever we stay there, after a brief conversation - DH skypes them twice a week so they know all our news - PIL puts the TV on to whatever he fancies, sport, news, whatever, at deafening levels, and we all sit there in a semi-circle around the TV. I don't think he'd notice if we got up and left TBH, and I find it rude. If anyone talks he turns up the volume. I usually excuse myself then and go to the bedroom and read until bedtime. I always wonder why I'm there at all. DH of course thinks they can do no wrong and sits there deafened and bored stiff pretending to be interested. He won't say anything about it, as I would have been able to with my dear dad. I think that if someone takes gives up several days and drives hours to visit you, you make some effort to engage with them, or at least not be so selfish.
Anyhow, they have a big wedding anniversary in February and have issued an invitation to a dinner they have arranged with their retired friends who live nearby. This dinner is midweek, evening, and means DH would have to take 2 days off work to go, being the only one in the party who goes out to work. I said he should refuse, giving an excuse, and told him I will not go. He said he 'felt obliged', as his only sibling lives abroad. If it was so important to PILs that he is there, (it doesn't really matter if I'm there!), then shouldn't they have arranged it for a weekend at least? Or a lunch instead of dinner? I think I am old enough to be able to refuse, but unfortunately, my DH takes an 'invitation' from them more as a command. Who is being unreasonable?

arbrighton Mon 16-Jan-17 15:20:31

I think that YABU to refuse entirely since it's a big anniversary.

And if DH has to take time off work, that's his problem. However, if he can't put big boy pants on and ask them to do it at a lunch/ weekend instead, you're stuck with it.

FWIW, my grandparents were very much like this. We just did x, y or z.

And that was a 5+ hour each way drive... So several days stay.

Or stupid long train trip from London/ Oxford when sister and I were a bit older.

GeekLove Mon 16-Jan-17 15:21:44

No is a complete sentence. For me one of the most awesome things about being an adult is not going to see people if I don't want to. If they want to see you, they would consider your needs, likes and dislikes.
So what do you lose by not seeing them?

NavyandWhite Mon 16-Jan-17 15:22:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WhereYouLeftIt Mon 16-Jan-17 15:27:18

Leave him to it. He can be deafened and bored alone. YANBU.

And I'd start putting out feelers for Christmas too - invite them to yours? Suggest going to a holiday cottage and pretend it's the Wham! video?

WhatchaMaCalllit Mon 16-Jan-17 15:30:33

If you don't want to go that's one thing (and quite ok). I don't think you can stop him from going if he wants to. Would him going take the family car, and by that any means of transport you may have at your disposal? If you can manage with him gone, then let him go.
If they ask, you could say that you have asked in work and you can't be given that particular time off (again perfectly plausible).

BiddyPop Mon 16-Jan-17 15:31:58

Is there anywhere local to them that you could stay in more comfort, even if that means you still have to take the leave? But you go and yet get a decent sleep and a chance to go home at your own pace the next day?

Hoppinggreen Mon 16-Jan-17 15:33:56

Is it your PIL and their ( presumably the same age as them) friends and the just you and DH who are invited?
Sounds pretty dull and I don't understand why you would be expected to go.
Encourage DH to go on his own

CanarySong Mon 16-Jan-17 15:33:59

Your DH obviously wants to go so he should go.

You're perfect entitled to say you'll give this one a miss and have him go without you.

But honestly, it sounds like you don't want him to go. And that's out of order.

harderandharder2breathe Mon 16-Jan-17 15:35:43

Yanbu to refuse to go

Yabu to try and stop him going if he wants to

witsender Mon 16-Jan-17 15:36:37

Tbh if he wants to go that isn't up to you. Likewise, is it really impossible to drive? Surely people do.use those roads?!

7SunshineSeven7 Mon 16-Jan-17 15:42:18

Sounds like an episode of the Royle Family. grin

Underthemoonlight Mon 16-Jan-17 15:43:44

I agree it's up to him if he goes it does come across as if it's an inconvenience to all of you but your dh wants to go he can

WhyOhWine Mon 16-Jan-17 15:44:46

I think your DH should go on his own.

I dont agree that him having to take time off is just his problem, because it impacts his ability to take time off to cover childcare, family holdiays etc, but he could probably minimise the time off he needs ot take, eg book half days or get up very early and do the 2 hour drive home before business hours.

ginghamstarfish Mon 16-Jan-17 15:45:03

Thanks for the opinions. I would invite them to us at Christmas but we don't have a spare bedroom or bed. I have suggested getting a sofa bed in the study, for them, but DH says it is not acceptable for them, and as I'm not willing to give up my own bed then that's that. They often go away for overnight stays here and there, and are quite wealthy, but don't seem able to find somewhere to stay near us which I think is PIL making a point about the lack of guest room. I now leave all 'suggestions' about things like this to DH as on the few occasions I have ventured an opinion, they look at me as if I'm some random stranger off the street.
I can't use the excuse of work as they know I can easily rearrange things, and they don't think what I do is a real job anyway. DH could however say he is needed at work on those days, which often happens.
I have also suggested to DH that we find a B&B to stay in when we go there, but apparently they would be very offended.
My point is the complete lack of consideration for DH, their own son, when they are all retired and live in the same town, and could have this meal at any time.

ajandjjmum Mon 16-Jan-17 15:48:11

Why don't you suggest that they celebrate with their friends on this occasion, and arrange to take them out for a celebratory lunch the following weekend?

If you're out, he can't turn the volume up and you'll have to talk!

ginghamstarfish Mon 16-Jan-17 15:51:28

No, I don't really want him to go, but I do realise I can't stop him. I don't like that his dad orders him about. DH is a lovely man, but where his parents are concerned he turns into a ten-year old who does what he's told. With them, he does not express any opinion which differs from theirs, acts as if he's fascinated by the football/cricket/tennis whatever PIL is watching, listens to him carry on about racist stuff, etc etc. I guess I feel sorry for him having to go and make some excuse about why I'm not going.

ohtheholidays Mon 16-Jan-17 15:56:41

Your disabled OP so your DH can stay with them all he wants but you need to tell him that if you visit again you will be staying in a B&B end off!

I'm disabled as well and there is no way that my DH would have me stay somewhere where I had to sleep on a single hard bed.

If he wants to get then I'd let him go on his own,if he has a problem with that that's his problem not your's,your his wife not his child he can't force you to go and stay with his parents.

PurpleMinionMummy Mon 16-Jan-17 15:57:48

Yanbu. Two hours journey midweek for a meal is unfeasible for many people. It is up to your dh if he goes though.

DebbieDownersGiveItARest Mon 16-Jan-17 15:59:15

I feel sorry for your dh and you.

Your pils will always do stuff like this if your dh never ever says no to them, or has a relationship where he can say - look thats a bit awkward could we make it at the weekend? The TV thing is very very common and just bad manners.

On this occasion I would plead off - let dh go and then address future visits, its too much to have no flexibility like this and so miserable for you when there.

GeorgeTheThird Mon 16-Jan-17 16:00:26

Surely he could take two half days though, not two full days?

MumOfSeveralNaughties Mon 16-Jan-17 16:00:34

Sounds like an episode of the Royle Family


To be honest, it sounds a lot like my in laws, Tv on full volume and all sitting there bored to tears

ToadsforJustice Mon 16-Jan-17 16:01:12

Just be honest. Tell PIL that you don't like them, you find them boring, racist and rude. This will sort out the dinner invitation and Christmas in one conversation.

GeorgeTheThird Mon 16-Jan-17 16:01:12

Actuall, can't he set off to work at 6 the morning after the dinner and just take a half day on the day of the dinner?

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 16-Jan-17 16:01:37

Unfortunately your DHs own inertia when it comes to his parents simply hurts him as much as you. Given what you have also written about his family its of no real surprise to me that his other sibling resides abroad.
He is very much in a fear, obligation (particularly that; he has stated as much) and guilt state when it comes to his parents; also its hard being the last one left. He still actively seeks their approval even now; approval they do not at all give him. Its not an excuse at all but possible reasons for him acting as he does.

How does your DH get along with his sibling?.

You should maintain your own boundaries with his parents and you do not have to spend any time with people who are obtuse or otherwise difficult. You would not have tolerated any of this from a friend, relations are no different.

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