PIL want us to live with them(188 Posts)
In their house. Where they live. With GrandPIL too. In India.
DH and I live in the UK where I am from and where we met while he was studying here. We are happy here. We both have jobs here. We have two children who are settled here. We simply don't want to move to India.
But it is the traditional for the son to live with his parents and they are increasingly putting pressure on us to move in. We have repeatedly told them no and at first it will seem like they've taken it on board, until the next phone call when they change their mind again and bring it up again.
We just don't understand how they don't understand! Uprooting 2 children, 2 dogs, leaving our jobs, and going to live with 4 other adults (and very often SIL and her DD who stay over at least every other week for the full week - so often there'd literally be 10 of us under one roof).
They think we should be desperate to live there because MIL and grandMIL would basically take on responsibility for our children (traditionally) and they think that this is great for us as we won't have to pay for childcare. But I LOVE looking after my kids, and I don't WANT someone else to cook for them, feed them, dress them, wash them, decide when and where they go etc. When we go and visit I have to demand to spend time with the DC and it makes me miss them so much and that's only for a few weeks! So I couldn't imagine living like that.
In India MIL spends all day working hard around the house and grandMIL does literally ALL the cooking. If they'd also insist on taking care of my kids I would have nothing to do all day. I couldn't legally work for the first year, and even when I could legally work, I've looked at jobs for mine and DHs fields and if I worked full time I'd earn around £200 a month. DH would earn around £400. As the son, my husband and I would be expected to pay for everything - food, clothes, medicine, everything - for everyone in the house too. So supporting 10 people on £600 a month -even in India this isn't a lot of money. We would never be able to go on holiday again. Our children's education would suffer. We couldn't eat out or go on fun days out or have treats like we can now. It would be really rude if we didn't treat SILs DD as our own, apparently, so we'd never be able to buy anything for our children without buying the same for hers, never be able to take them on days our without taking her DD too. I love spending time with DN and treating her when we visit, but this is just another thing we couldn't afford.
I can't drive in India. The roads are really dangerous and really scary. So I can't go out without DH. As a woman I don't feel respected. If I go to a restaurant, for example, the waiter greets my DH but won't even look at me - he will look at my DH to order for all of us, I won't be acknowledged. I know things like this arent terribly important in the grand scheme of things, but they do upset me.
Oh I don't even know why I'm explaining all of this as I'm sure you all see that the idea of quitting good jobs and uprooting an entire family to go and live on the other side of the world where our quality of life would be much lower, is ridiculous! But my PIL can't. DH is really upset a lot of the time because he keeps having arguments with them about it, or they just emotionally blackmail him and make him feel awful about it. PIL at actually lovely other than this, and in a way it's nice that they're so desperate for us to be close to them. But their constant pressuring is causing so much tension. We have explained time and time again that we won't be moving and they just won't take no for an answer! The other day MIL acted like she understood and we thought all was well, and then the next day she phoned crying that we wouldn't fly back to India for a small local festival that they're having soon. She also phones us upset every time SIL goes home with her DD and tells us how empty the house is and how sad she is.
WWYD about this? This has to stop because it's really making DH sad and making me uncomfortable, but nothing we have said so far has stopped them bringing it up.
Holy fuckballs, yanbu at all
Could you reduce contact with them? If they don’t ask then you can “reward” them with more contact, but every time it comes up pull away again?
How long have they been asking for?
Are they relying on your DH to support them?. Although I don't think yabu unreasonable in the slightest, I can see that this is awkward if there life plan has been built around their son supporting you in their old age, if that is their cultural norm.
I would tell them one last time that the move will not happen, and you will not discuss this any further.
Tell them that from now on, if anyone brings this up once more, you will hang up the phone. Then do exactly this until they stop going on about it.
No is a full sentence. Rinse and repeat.
Did DH not think this might happen, as it is what usually happens in his culture, and it seems they already have the traditional set up with grandMIL living with MIL?
I don't blame you not wanting to go though. If you don't go what will happen with MIL when she can't look after herself?
Just say no, though I'm wondering if they are hinting that one day they could move in with you or want financial support
To me, I can't really see much of a problem or dilemma. Obviously it's never going to happen. Let them bring it up as much as they like, just same breezy 'no' every time. Done.
The time to worry about PiL not being able to look after themselves is when it happens. OP, your husband just needs to say “No. It’s not happening. We’re not discussing it any more. Ever.”
I think moving to India would be the biggest mistake of your life. Tell them as often as needed that the answer is NO. I seriously hope your husband doesn't start to waver due to the pressure. DO NOT move there. It will ruin your life.
Send money. That should be enough to stop them pushing for the move.
It'll be what they actually want, they'll be worried about being poor as they get older and more likely to need medical stuff and care.
Why are you even looking into costs etc?
By doing that you are suggesting it’s an option
Just keep saying no and don’t engage on the subject
Thanks for the quick reply ohfourfoxache !
Actually that's something we had been considering in a way. We spend all of our annual leave visiting them each year - we have never had a family holiday or even a honeymoon.
Recently my DH had a particularly big argument with MIL and after this we discussed letting them know that if this doesn't stop we won't be visiting again, at least for the next couple of years, because it's getting really awkward.
The place where they live is beautiful but it's not really a relaxing holiday. I work 12 hour shifts when I'm at home and would love a relaxing beach holiday with my DH and DC where we could just have fun and laugh and relax together. But staying in a house with 10 people isn't relaxing for me and DH is often out and about helping them with various jobs and as I can't drive I'm stuck at home bored, but I don't have a minute alone, and we have to go and do an awkward tour of literally all relatives which takes literally days and days and days. I can't speak the language, most people can't speak English, I don't get any time with DC as PIL want to look after them, etc etc. So this is one thing we are considering and actually DH told them in anger that we're not visiting again as he's so fed up with this.
I'd love a family holiday so I quite like this idea, although I do feel guilty and sad about how sad they'd be. It's just awkward because although stressful and annoying I think in a way it does come from a place of love and we don't want to hurt them, but at the same time flying to India from England every year is SO expensive, despite being able to afford it they won't visit us even once, and we do need some family holidays together sometimes! (But the notion of me, DH and DC being a family is sort of insulting in their culture - the family is considered to be the entire extended family unit including in-laws, grandparents, aunts/uncles and cousins etc, and a married couple focussing mostly on each other and their children is seen as really negative and not very nice, so I don't know if they'd understand this point either. 😔
Ooh lots of other replies while I was writing my last one! Thank you everyone ! I'll answer everything now,
What @AmayaBuzzbee said.
One last conversation and from then on, each time it comes up say 'You know what we said' and hang up.
Stop debating it with them. Each time you have a debate, they get to carry on the manipulation and it prolongs the pain and guilt for your DH.
Clearly you are never going to do it but it is making him and you miserable and tearing holes in your marriage.
Just hang up each time.
They really don’t need to understand or even agree
though I'm wondering if they are hinting that one day they could move in with you or want financial support
Unlikely they are hinting - far more likely that they really do want you to move in & may have lived their lives expecting that to be the outcome.
There will always be a generation which changes things & the one above, like your mil, will be doubly disadvantaged. The one below have to live with the guilt & to say that the world has changed - we are sorry but no.
It sounds like moving in with your ILs is a terrible idea and would affect your whole family very negatively. The only people who would benefit would be your ILs, and even then it would only benefit them in the sense that they get what they, it doesn't sound like you being there would massively improve their quality of life. As a mother you need to have your DC's best interests at heart, so it would be wrong of you to move them over there knowing full well that it will negatively affect them.
I think you need to prepare yourselves for the scenario that they stop speaking to you at some point in the future, or at least that communication will become strained. I know it's upsetting but if they won't drop this issue then it will drive a wedge between you. Other than telling them over and over again that you aren't moving I'm not sure what else you can do.
Perhaps at some point they will come around, but if they don't then you will be ok.
I wouldn't be answering the phone to them.
You really need to stop with all the excuse making and trying to justify your choices. You're not children. Just say NO and stop talking to them if necessary.
YANBU. I would also inform them that they will never be moving in with you?
After reading another thread what is the plan if FIL dies before MiL?
DH has maintained since childhood that he wasn't doing an arranged marriage under any circumstances and that he didn't want to live in India. He's always wanted to move away and this is why he left for the UK to study. So from his point of view he's not BU as he's made this clear for as long as he can remember. But I imagine from PIL POV they probably thought it was just a kid being a kid and that he'd come round, or get life outside of India out of his system when he lived in the UK and miss them and come home. Whereas actually this didn't happen, he met me and got a good job and became more sure that he didn't want to return. He struggles with some aspects of his culture and the slightly oppressive traditions are one of the things he dislikes most, and I think that's partly why he wanted to leave.
As for PIL wanting him to support them, they're actually very wealthy. They own several properties and lots of land in an expensive part of the country and it they sold what they don't use they'd be extremely rich even by UK standards (so in India where everything is much cheaper they'd be loaded!) They could easily live like kings for the rest of all their lives, very extravagantly.
However, the amount of land that they have is a source of jealousy among their neighbours and extended family and so they're reluctant to sell for this reason. (Even without selling and just renting houses they can live comfortably though).
The thing is, in India (or at least where they live) your kids jobs and earnings are a BIG deal and the son is just expected to pay for things for the family even if they don't really need it. What your son buys you and how much he spends on you is like a big topic of conversation and a thing to be really smug about and make people jealous of. So while they have no need for him to pay for things for them, it would be shocking for them if he didn't.
On the one hand they're lovely and we want them to be happy but on the other hand we can't afford to support everyone when they don't need our money at all and can easily support themselves, just because it's the 'done thing', IYSWIM
Do you need to tell his family about having a holiday by yourselves, can you not say that this year it will be difficult to take A/L together and maybe your husband visits them by himself.
"As the son, my husband and I would be expected to pay for everything - food, clothes, medicine, everything - for everyone in the house too."
I can't help but think this is their main motivation for getting you all over there. Plus they'll start expecting you but not your husband to clean up after everyone.
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