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to think that just because your inlaws offer to 'help' that doesn't mean you have to be grateful?

(27 Posts)
halia Sun 25-Oct-09 12:16:47

we're in the process of a big big DIY project, inlaws offered to come up for a long weekend to a)help paint and b) look after DS for 2 afternoons while I was at work.

So far so good, I totally unreasonable to get a bit annoyed when the long weekend turned into 9 days, and when they seem to constantly criticise my choices etc on the kitchen?

I had a huge fight with DH last night because of this - I was trying to explain that when I had said last week - I'd prefer it if your parents just came for 4-5 days rather than 9-10 days, and he said OK that he woudl have that conversation with his mum?
Cos then I Txtd her and said "lovely to have you for the weekend" only to get a txt back saying "oh do you want to get rid of us then" because she was going to stop for the whole time and DH hadn't said a bloody thing to her about only coming for the long weekend.

I am actually grateful for the help but every time I hear the dreaded phrase "oh but surely ....." followed by a negative comment I feel my patience and gratitude wearing thin.

On top of this DH this morning told me that "people" find it very difficult to deal with me because i have "emotional upsets" and they dont' know why. Well that means he must have trotted back and TOLD his parents about the fight (we were out for a late night dogwalk).angry
He also said that 'they' find it even more difficult because then afterwards I am 'fine' and back to 'normal' - oh so now its wrong of me to get over my hour or so of upset and anger, get some sleep and try and put it behind me?

amazing isn't it that not a single other person except my inlaws (and occasionally DH) ever says I am 'emotionally unstable, easily upset, awkward to deal with - could it possibly be that THEY are a bit difficult? hmm

6feetundertheGroundhogs Sun 25-Oct-09 12:30:42

LOrd, how treacherous can DH be.. he wimps out of talking to his mum, passing the baton to you and then disavows all knowledge...


No wonder you are miffed! 4-5 days is reasonable, 9-10 isn't. IOf he'd have disagreed with you at the outselt, you'd have known about it.

Agree the duration with DH, and then get him to convey that exact agreement with the inlaws.

Always answer 'Oh but surely' with 'Of course not' and just stick to your guns, they can only do it for so long until their insistence becomes rude. It's your house, yuour project, your decision as to how many and who gets involved and for how long.

hormonalmum Sun 25-Oct-09 12:34:29

I'm emotionally difficult when I have any visitor in my house more than 6 hours. I detest house guests with a passion and so having someone to stay 5 days never mind 10 days would tip me over the edge.
you have my sympathy and tell dh he is expecting too much.

Nice that your inlaws want to help though envy

diddl Sun 25-Oct-09 12:41:08

Well, it can´t be easy to be grateful when people criticise & overstay their welcome!

And angry at your husband.

He completely disregarded you!

If he disagreed he could have said so, & then maybe you could have compromised.

But to agree, but do nothing about it! hmm

Lavenderfleurs Sun 25-Oct-09 12:55:17

OMG my exh and his family are just like this. I am and was always labelled as "moody" and "difficult" because I wouldn't fall into their way of doing things. They would all look at each other warily before speaking to me.

You dh sounds like a bit of a tool for going off and telling his parent about your row but sadly I don't think the majority of them do it in these kind of situations. Grow a thick skin its the only thing that works.

Lavenderfleurs Sun 25-Oct-09 12:56:09

Sorry I mean't to say that the majority of men do do this in these situations.

diddl Sun 25-Oct-09 13:03:22

I´m also very shock that he told your parents you had an argument.

The last people either of us would ever tell would be parents!

In fact, its unlikely that we´d discuss it with anyone.

It sounds as if the "problem" could be more your husband than your ILs, tbh.

If he´s always telling them things about your relationship, it´s not surprising that they might have the opinion that they do of you.

Most men moan to their parentsß
Grown men running off to Mummy & Daddy?

I´m shock

Lavenderfleurs Sun 25-Oct-09 13:05:33

Ime, many do yes. Many threads on here along those lines.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Sun 25-Oct-09 13:07:54

I really feel for you. We have just got rid of BIL, who came down to 'help' What he actually did was emulsion over everything, including light switches, door frames, dado rail with an 'its ok it will all scrub off' even though I specifically asked him to be careful, andmaybe use a brush to cut in! But, no, I should be grateful he offered to help, even though 2 days became 4 and even though he has made it harder not easier to do the rest!

And I hate it when we as women are made out to be 'irrational' for daring to not let it all be swept under the carpet without comment shock

9 days is far too long. by about 7 days grin

halia Sun 25-Oct-09 15:46:40

thank god its not just me - i actually hate having people to stay pretty much full stop. I can just about do 2-3 days so a 5 day long weekend was pushing it a bit tbh. but 10 days - and DH wont' even be here for most of it as he is away working. angry

One of the things we argues abotu last night was that once I realised they were here for 9-10 days, I suggested that it would be nice to go out for lunch today (sunday) somewhere nice in the countryside.
I suggested it to DH, Dh said great idea.
A bit later on with in-laws present DH said "why dont' we go up to X town tommorrow morning in case the weather isnt' great"
"brill said I, I love X and its got alot of coffee shops so more choice for lunch"
nil response from inlaws, then muttering about wanting to 'get on' because otherwise 'my' kitchen wouldn't get finished on time.
I politily said that I wasn't bothered about getting it all perfect and so i thought in 9-10 days we did have time to go out and enjoy ourselves one day, also perhaps neighbours would appreciate no DIY on a sunday.
Again DH said that sounded good, but later on I overheard them in the living room making plans to get on with the kitchen painting first thing in the morning.

Understandably I fell, when out walking the dog I asked DH what the plan was tommorrow, he kept saying "its up to you" .....grrrr

I apparantly got irrational and emotional because at 11.30pm at night I ended up in tears when trying to explain to DH that I would like to go out but I didn't think spending the day with 3 people who didn't want to be there was going to be much fun so actually if they were going ot be like that I woudl honestly find it easier just to take DS out for the day on my own.

Thing is they are doing a good job on the DIY front, they just keep butting in with opinions. I am so sick of the negativity.
"you need to put up some thick curtains at this window"
"we prefer blinds actually dont' we DH?"
(DH btw HATES curtains so its his choice to have blinds not mine)
"oh but blinds aren't any good"
"well DH likes them"
"oh but surely Halia, you must see that curtains would muffle the sound - its very echoey in here"
^silently to myself .... yes of course its echoey there's no furniture or carpet in here yet!^
out loud to keep the peace, "well we dont' have to sort that out yet"
"oh but, curtains would be better than what you're planning."


diddl Sun 25-Oct-09 16:03:45

It sounds as though they cannot believe that their son would want to do it differently to them & are assuming it is all your ideas.

TBH, I wouldn´t bother answering them, just make some non commital "hmm".

ThreeKings Mon 26-Oct-09 09:55:09

Are your inlaws called Anne and John?

Had this same scenario with my ex years ago!

lisianthus Mon 26-Oct-09 10:53:49

God, that sounds annoying. You poor thing.

2rebecca Mon 26-Oct-09 12:21:48

Sounds like your DH is the main problem for not agreeing things together and not then backing you up.
I'd rather not have help than have someone stay for 9 days.
Do you really want the help?
Discuss it with DH and discuss if you want them and if so how long for.
re the blind thing I think you just have to be firm and non-emotional and just keep saying "this is what we have decided" "this is what we are doing".
It's your house and I think you have to exert some control over what happens in it. Don't be emotional, just be firm, and next time tell DH you'll do the decorating between you.

ShinyAndNew Mon 26-Oct-09 12:34:18

PIL's seem to think they have a right to criticise your style of decor. Or least yours and mine do wink

MIL is rarely invited to my house because I find it difficult to hold my temper when she is contsantly on about the house i.e. "That rug is too small, SIL has a lovely big one. I'll ask where she got it from" "Oh no, you don't want roller blinds. SIL has nets and draw curtains in her dining room" "SIL's house is similar in colour, she has lovely floor lamps. I'll ask where she got them from and you can get some. You need floor lamps you know"

If I had nine days of it I would burst and end up screaming "Do I look like your fucking daughter!!"

So I sympathise and no you are NBU!

Miggsie Mon 26-Oct-09 12:41:59

Decorating is a nightmare.

Having people staying while decorating: not good

HAving people staying while criticising the decor you are busting a gut to put up...unbearable.

When we did the kitchen friends invited us to dinner each night and rels arrived after it was all done.

If they criticise anything either say "I like it" or "DH chose it actually" and close the conversation down.

I have found with picky people is just to flatly make statements to them and not let them carry on the coversation.

They will then say you are "rude" rather than "moody" but the actual term is "plain speaking".

When my parents criticised our house DH said to them: "look, we are happy here. If our house offends you that much, you can leave." They never mentioned our decor again.

Seuss Mon 26-Oct-09 12:52:38

Mine like to come after the event and tell us what we should have done. And I once got 'SIL keeps her house very tidy' - this after I had spent a week getting ready for their visit. I shouldn't moan about them though as generally they are ok, never had more than a long weekend with them though so perhaps that's the key!

halia Mon 26-Oct-09 22:28:37

god I'd love it if my DH said that miggsie!

Its really getting me down, I just dont' see why I should have to put up with people being so bloody critical all the time.

Thing is I have a much more relaxed attitude than DH or my inlaws abotu what is 'livabel' or finished.

I've said over and over I'm happy to live for 2-3 months with a sink and a microwave, chipboard floors and slapping a coat of paint on the walls.

DH and his parents however have this thing about it being 'finished'. SO we had to get the carpets booked, and now I have to rearrange that because FIl has decided we would mess them up too much if they are fitted before everything is 'finished'.
MIL KEEPS going on about the kitchen and how I can't possibly live with just a toaster/kettle/ microwave etc - given that its me and DS for 5 nights of the week and I dont' cook at the best of times I'm not sure why I ever ened an oven TBH!

Grrrrr, I have 6 more days of this left!

halia Tue 27-Oct-09 15:25:10

and the latest - no I'm not looking for more sympathy (though thanks very much for it so far) I'm just posting to get it off my chest so I dont' blow up tonight!

9.30am - me talking to MIL about the top coat of paint.

MIL: "we'e used 1/4 of this 5L can on the ceiling alone - you must be made of money"
implication being that we're wasting money and have no right to ask for their help for free

me through gritted teeth: "actually this is the cheapest way of doing things."

thinking WTF???? angry we bought the cheapest trade tubs of white paint for the undercoat and are only using the slightly nicer pale yellowwhite colour from dulux as the top coat - what exactly does she mean?

Sorry but this REALLY gets my goat, its bad enough having my decorating decisions questione but now this woman who lives in a huge 4bd house + 3 acres of land in the southeast and has had 3 trips abroad already this year has decided that us spending £20 on paint is thriftless and wasteful?

2rebecca Tue 27-Oct-09 23:30:30

Tins of paint aren't that expensive, even Dulux.
You may be reading more into her implication than she meant.
I'd have just said something neutral like "yes it's amazing how much paint you need on a ceiling isn't it"
I'm fairly thick skinned though and slights either go over my head or get deliberately ignored.
Sometimes if I'm feeling grumpy I'll say in a distracted tone "sorry what do you mean by that, I didn't quite get it" which flumoxes them.
It sounds as though you are easily wound up at the moment.
Next time be firmer with your DH about their stays.

SqueezyCheesyCock Tue 27-Oct-09 23:48:45

DH and I have a rule which is that we never discuss any of our private, personal issues with parents or family. Families by their nature cannot remain impartial and you can't really expect them to. If MIL already has a power struggle going on with you, it does nothing except to play into her hands.

I'd be making that rule with your DH as soon as possible if I were you.

9 days is WAY too much in anybodies book! Wow. 2-3 days max is more than enough.

womblingfree Wed 28-Oct-09 00:04:32

You have my sympathy - not least cos I've got this to look forward to at some point in the next few months.

We're redoing our kitchen and because BIL and his wife are both in the trade they are getting the units for us at cost and BIL is fitting them.

Unfortunately SIL has done an interior design course and thinks this gives her carte blanche to design my kitchen to her specifications. Since our kitchen is half the size of theirs and we have very different lifestyles and tastes (I prefer stuff that looks like it has been manufactured after 1930 for instance), this is already causing aggravation.

We will no doubt be expected to spend the day at PIL's with them when they visit at Christmas. After the most recent chapter I am seriously considering pulling a sickie and staying at home with a bottle of Bailey's and a chocolate orange!!!

Best of luck - hope they're off your back soon.

flowerlady2 Fri 30-Oct-09 22:53:00

I am out of IL patience - I wish I could be more constructive, but the number of IL horror stories I hear (mine included) the more I feel that ILs are a passive aggressive MINEFIELD that no bugger warns you about before you get married. They don't target men (son in laws) they seem to target the poor women (daughter's in law) their sons marry. Tell 'em to shape up, or ship out! I wouldn't have my best friend or even my own family in the house for NINE days, let alone bloody interfering in-laws......

halia Sun 01-Nov-09 22:51:36

now its up to 12 days sad - won't be leaving until tuesday!
and its getting worse day by day, I am just so bloody tired of dealing with MIL twitches, racism, sexism, rewrting of family history, sarky comments about my decorating taste etc.

Today really pissed me off, if I hear the phrases "thats interesting"; "that does suprise me"; "I know that Halia but I think...."

I guess what gets me the most is DH had a shitty childhood, if it was me I'd have found it difficult to maintain a close relationship with my parents after that. Thats his choice but... his mother constantly rewrites family history and makes herself out to have been this perfect mother and housewife figure. She then makes sly digs at me for NOT being a housewifey person and implies that I am a bad mother.

Then when there is something I do care about I am unreasonable to 'make a fuss' about it.

So i'm a bad mother because DS didn't eat his tea at the table
but I'm 'making a fuss' when I say DS can't have a chocolate biscuit immediatly before lunch

I'm a bad mother for not sewing/ hemming DS clothes
but I'm making a fuss to ensure that he goes to school with clean clothes on.

I'm a bad mother because DS is a bit screechy and loud at the moment (he is 4)
but I'm causing a fuss if I ask them to stop playing silly chasey tickly games that are widning DS up and causing the screeches

Thats it, I want to divorce DH because I don't think I can cope with another 20-30 years of his parents.

NanaNina Mon 02-Nov-09 13:09:17

Maybe that's the answer Halia - divorce! Mind you might feel differently when they've gone, so take a deep breath and hang on in there - Tuesday is only a day away.

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