Big row with DH about IL visit - WIBU?(67 Posts)
DH and I just had the only big fight where we've gone to bed without resolution, and I feel like it was my fault. Appreciate anyone's perspective - sorry it's long.
DH is from Latin America, and moved here for me. He's had mixed experiences as a migrant, but is settled enough to buy a flat together and TTC. We visit his family every 18-24 months for 4-5 weeks. I'm completely happy to do this. And while I'd prefer not to stay with the ILs, I do it because it's important to him. We visit my siblings (5hrs away) every 6-8 weeks for a weekend, and he comes about 70% of the time because of work.
He said my MIL and SIL are gunning to visit us for a month next year. I was excited for him, and mentally began planning where we can take them, how to apply for their visas, how I can take time off work etc. I mentioned we could travel outside of school holidays to be able to take them around properly, and he took that as me not wanting to spend money on them. I know that we'll pay for everything, and all I was thinking is that if they had flexible travel dates, it would be good to do the same activities more affordably. But then he clarified that there's no flexibility with those dates.
Anyway, the main issue was that later on, I became anxious that theoretically, their visit could fall smack bang on a due date. I stewed on it but decided to be open with him and suggest pausing TTC in the appropriate month to avoid that scenario. My thinking was I'd want to have a great visit with them and I wanted them to come whenever suits them, but I wouldn't want to host visitors for the first few weeks after birth. There's no language barrier, but I'm an independent, introvert and I can imagine what I'd want after a life-changing physical experience. I wouldn't want my own family to stay either.
He got really worked up about it, and said he'd want his family around for support and help for both of us, and that it would be a special experience. Despite everything we talked about, I think he feels like I don't want them to come and that I'm not as family-oriented as he'd like, which is deeply troubling to him.
So as not to dripfeed, I am seeing a psychologist for anxiety and related issues, which stemmed from an awful family breakdown when I was a young adult. I know I have a tendency to catastrophise and it's pointless to get worked up about something that might never happen. But I did, and I've also learned that I do need to speak up instead of panicking by myself.
So - hit me, how badly WIBU? Thanks.
I think it sounds as though you may have been over thinking a little, but that your reasoning wasn't unreasonable, and nothing you have said could be seen as nasty etc.
Some of us over think, I am the same way so can completely relate to your concerns. In regards to ttc, I wouldn't put these plans on hold. You just never know how these things like work and tbh, hosting family when heavily pregnant is just an unappealing, so I would just let nature decide on that front.
Hope you and do work it out, don't be too hard on yourself, not many would be willing to host their in laws for that long! I certainly wouldn't!
YANBU! You are clearly happy for him to host them for a month at your home which is quite a strain for you. To expect you to also be ok with having them around after giving birth is going too far. Your wishes take precedence then.
I think you've both got a bit overinvested in hypotheticals - you're catastrophizing over something that is affected by so many variables it simply can't be planned/predicted to that degree (unless you're going through IVF?) and he's got a lovely rose tinted view of what it would be like to have all his family around when your little one eventually comes along.
You're both borrowing trouble that hasn't come to you yet.
YANBU, perfectly reasonable to ask about the term time dates and, I definitely wouldn't want my in-laws around on my due date.
I'm also an introvert and the last few weeks of pregnancy are uncomfortable enough, you need to be able to have your own space. I really couldn't have put up with having the in laws staying (but maybe it depends on the in laws!). And then once the baby comes you want you and your partner to focus on the baby, not trying to to host guests.
I'm extremely close with my family but they stayed in a hotel when they came to visit after the birth of DD.
YANBU. I wouldn't want my in-laws around just after I'd given birth, the first couple of weeks or so are very important and they're for you, your partner and your baby to adjust to your new loves and you won't want your in-laws hanging around when you want to recover in peace.
Nope. You're being practical and have hindsight. I have no anxiety issues overall, by I like to be practical and that sounds like something I would consider.
It's all great assuming that his family will help, but they are visitors as well. You might end up feeling like a new mum and a host, or will feel like either the baby or the family is not getting enough attention.
Plus that's all assuming that everything goes well (and hopefully it will!) but the last weeks of pregnancy can be a struggle too. Wouldn't that be also the time when they are here?
With pregnancy there can be so many surprises. (Which is why we wanted to know the gender both times) so manage what you can as best as possible so that you have more energy for any surprises!
Thank you all. Countingsheeeep, it's reassuring to know I'm not the only person who has trouble with this type of thinking.
I guess my follow up question should have been, does anyone know how I can get back from this? I'm really anxious that he's reconsidering everything now, including our relationship. This is probably half anxiety, and half really knowing him and how he thinks about life.
Having spent a couple of years in a Latin culture I am going to make a massive over generalisation and say there is a very different cultural approach to family which I am sure you are very well aware of. This is likely to be a much bigger issue for you as and when DC arrive. If you don't want to cope with family in your space for a month around a possible birth date then stating this clearly now is a good idea. You may well of course be trying to get pregnant for a long time yet so the practicalities of this trip may not be worth so much angst. Agreeing together how time with his family will work when you do have DC seems very sensible. I really like my MIL but she has stayed for three weeks at a time and even with lots of space that is quite a long time. Work out what you can manage and discuss what expectations your DH has.
You worried about a due date for a baby that isn’t even conceived ??
You won't want someone in your house that you don't know when you have a small baby.
Just don't TTC that month, you don't need to make a big deal about it , he's unlikely to be calculating your fertile times.
He WBU. My in laws live abroad. We agreed that they could visit 6 weeks after the birth but not before. Their visits involve staying with us.
I know it’s their grandchild too but it’s your body. It’s completely reasonable to have your own family to visit post birth before your partner’s, I know many families who have done the same.
Sorry, to clear up a couple of things - I do know his family, I lived in his country for a few years and we visit them for extended periods.
And yes, Uptownfuckuup and MarmaladeIsMyJam, I am worrying about something that might never happen! If I could take a pill to stop being this way, I would. Alas, it doesn't exist so I'm in counselling instead.
How about explaining that you love him and you love his family, but both ttc and hosting have made you a little stressed because you want to do your best for everyone and it all got a bit much briefly. You lost perspective (which is true enough). Apologise for your part in the argument and then leave it up to him.
Actually perhaps we said 4 weeks but they couldn’t come until 6...either way I wasn’t wishing they were there sooner!
For what it's worth I did have my mil to stay before/during/after birth and it was fine but she isn't too pushy. I wouldn't expect any month long invites to be issued without them being checked with me first though, (actually this has happened but we talked and it hasn't happened again)
Hang on, you're not pregnant though are you? Just don't have sex in the few weeks before they come?!
I meant 9 months before they come, ffs. I'm tired!
You can take a pill to stop yourself from giving birth until after they've left...
OP, you are making this all about you - give your OH a bit of space over this.
Firstly, you have said that the visit might be badly-timed with a pregnancy (that hasn't actually happened yet) and then when he's upset about that he has to provide you with reassurance that you're right. You are ignoring his feelings slightly here.
Out of interest, do you stay with your siblings when you visit them?
I totally understand where you're coming from, OP.
Whilst other posters have rightly said that you're hypothosizing... what I sense is that you want your partner to "have your back" at a time where you may be sleep deprived and recovering physically/bonding. Your DH has essentially confirmed that he won't have your back on this, should it happen - he'll fight you all the way.
In order for you to both step back a little, can you frame it like that to him?
"DH, I'm going to be feeling vulnerable. I'm going to need time to recover, and bond. Can you imagine doing something similar (such as going through a medical surgery), and having my family stay with us for weeks around that time? You might need to change your pads, help getting to the loo, or deal with medical complications afterwards."
(or something else like that)
I think the key problem is that he's seeing it from his POV and not really listening to your needs OP. THAT is a perfectly valid thing to argue about, and it's not right that he's unwilling to listen. There may be a compromise that works for you both, but at the moment what he's essentially saying is that his hope for what will happen (they'll give you both some support) trumps your legitimate practical and emotional concerns.
Perhaps it's time you too re-think what TTC with a man of his family will be like as a parenting partner. If you're not on the same page from the start, it's only downhill from there as sleep deprivation and interference from parents kicks in.
You can take a pill to stop yourself from giving birth until after they've left...
I'm sorry, what now?!!
Passme I think that quote refers to birth control in general rather than anything that would delay a birth!
I don't think it is that far fetched to think about due dates, you might be ttc for ages, but then you might not! Although other times in pregnancy might not be best for a visit either. Ultimately though it is probably best not to get too deep in discussion about a clash that may not happen.
You sound tolerant and welcoming towards your partner's family. He needs to meet you halfway and see that you feel comfortable with a different approach than the one he is used to. There are times when what you feel comfortable with has to come first, after giving birth for example. Reassure him that you do have affection and respect for his family and want them to be involved.
Also don't worry about suggesting term time dates, even though they aren't an option now it was a good suggestion....see everywhere not just more cheaply but much less crowded.
I understand you have anxiety but at the same time don't feel like everything you think or say comes from that...much of the time you are probably being reasonable.
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