Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

How do I reduce the time that I see SIL and BIL? DH won't listen!

(119 Posts)
Mrstumbletap Sat 02-Jan-16 06:50:27

We spend probably about 6/7 weekends with my SIL and BIL over a year. But if find it so much hard work, I have nothing in common with any of them, have been with DH for 5 years, it doesn't seem to be getting any better. SIL/BIL I find so dull, struggle to make conversation with them & usually find myself just looking after their kids while they potter about with their dogs. We don't read the same books, like the same music, like the same TV, have the same hobbies, for example DH and I like to go on holiday they don't. As they live 6 hours away we stay for the weekend several times a year and it's a struggle.

Their spare bed is awful and tiny so I don't sleep well the entire weekend, DS has to sleep on an air bed so his moving about on the mattress keeps me awake. The food portions they serve are ridiculous, for example 6 slices of toast for breakfast between 6 adults, it's all very help yourself first come first serve. So if you don't get in there quick you may get nothing. But when they come to us they get the blooming royal treatment as my DH always goes overboard with food, drink, presents etc.

Another awkward Xmas with them this year with the usual SIL buying me strange gifts that cost £2 or £3 that I have never shown interest in, such as a small gardening book or handmade hair band (I'm 35) This isn't due to money they both have very good jobs and earn very well a lot more than me and DH, they are just unbelievably tight. It's awkward because they are the sort of family that will go bowling and then the SIL/BIL won't play because it's £10 a head so me and my DH will play with their kids while they sit back and watch.

DH knows that I don't want to spend as much time with them as we do, but says they are my family what can I do? So basically it's tough luck. My family live close so we may pop to see my DM and DF once a week or so but for an hour, so he has no comparison to a long awkward weekend.

I want to to say once a year is enough, and he can go the other times on his own, but I know he won't agree as he finds it a chore spending time with them too and wants me there. Do I just suck it up and just keep going? Advice appreciated what would you do??

honeysucklejasmine Sat 02-Jan-16 06:54:36

I would definitely cut it down. I'm sure you'll find as DC gets older there are more commitments which require you loyalty at the weekends... Right?

MrsUniverse Sat 02-Jan-16 06:57:09

He can go on his own?

Mrstumbletap Sat 02-Jan-16 07:01:02

Oh I hope so honeysuckle, ''my DS just can't get out of trampolining club on Saturday" :-) one for the future, but difficult now when he is only 3.

He won't mrsuniverse as its such a long way, and said ''what would he say to them to explain that you're not there?'' and I can't think of a reason that doesn't sound rude.

icklekid Sat 02-Jan-16 07:01:11

If he also finds it a chore then surprised he wants to go so often. I think you might need to find a middle ground from 7 times down to 1 is a bit extreme. Why not say you will go 3 or 4 times and if he wants to go more than he's welcome to but unfortunately you will be busy! Might be worth planning the visits around something that is happening (cost agreed in advance) so something at theatre or event at country park or something?

MrsH1989 Sat 02-Jan-16 07:15:30

I would agree to cut it down to 4 weekends as a compromise.

Allgunsblazing Sat 02-Jan-16 07:18:02

OP, let die a natural death, rather than making a point. As your son grows you'll be busier at the weekends.
Play the game on your terms: meet halfway, involve the rest of the family (parents, for example).
Then find that you simply must work/go away/are too busy etc when you HaVE to go to theirs and encourage DH and DS to go on their own, to bond with the family. Basically, let it all come from your DH, not you.
I have always been extremely encouraging for my H and DD to see BIL and FIL, hell, I even organised meals etc, only to be on call that weekend and gutted to have missed them all, but you go ahead and have a lovely time, don't worry about me.
Been married about 20 years, last I saw that side of family was when I organised a picnic, that was 2006 I believe. They live less than 10 miles away.

cailindana Sat 02-Jan-16 07:25:42

So he insists you visit a place where you don't get fed, can't sleep and are expected to look after other people's children?

If he were my DH I'd tell him to fuck right off.

PennyHasNoSurname Sat 02-Jan-16 07:27:57

I think next time there is a weekend planned maybe you could get a wink vomiting bug.

DH and DS can still go of course!

TheHouseOnTheLane Sat 02-Jan-16 07:29:15


OP....what you say is "Awfully sorry but have something on this weekend and I can't join DH."

That's all!

You don't need to say what it is!

SevenOfNineTrue Sat 02-Jan-16 07:29:24

Simply refuse to go so often. He can't make you. I'd put your foot down and tell him you are happy if he wants to go by himself but you will go twice a year only from now on.

They sound a nightmare. I dislike people who are comfortably off but too tight to even provide two slices of toast for each person for breakfast etc.

Fugghetaboutit Sat 02-Jan-16 07:30:45

Woman up and say you aren't going any more? He can take ds on his own.

Ragwort Sat 02-Jan-16 07:35:30

You just need to grow a back bone - my DH and I don't visit each other's families much - I fully appreciate that it is pretty dull and boring for my DH to visit my side of the family ............ you are not joined at the hip - just say 'no, you go alone if you want to see your DB'.

And if he deosn't enjoy visiting them why does he go so often? 6-7 weekends away a year is a lot.

iPaid Sat 02-Jan-16 07:37:31

How often do they visit you?

var123 Sat 02-Jan-16 07:46:27

I had this for 10+ years and I've tried:-
- DS is little and its such a long journey for him. DH's response: he'll be fine and he loves playing with his cousins.

- Tbh, I just don't enjoy myself. DH's response: well its my family and you are my wife. Me: That doesn't mean I have to love your family. DH: Every family are odd - mine aren't any stranger than yours...etc

- Can't I just go sometimes? DH's response: It will look odd like we've fallen out. Me: Just say I am busy. Tell them in advance, then they will know its not an argument. DH: <very disappointed> I will make up a lie and cancel and wait until you are ready to go with me.

- I am ill today, can't go tomorrow. DH's response: Ignore me. Me (day of trip): I'll miss you all but have a lovely time. DH: <shock then sadness>. DH <in car, packed, children in car, ready to reverse out of drive> "its not too late to change your mind...?"

I suggest you just put your foot down or you'll be stuck with this for decades, like me. Its the 2nd of January so get a calendar and put it in front of DH. Let's plan our year. My new year's resolution is to make better use of our weekends this year. Let's make plans and not waste them up in <wherever BIL lives> like last year. Life's too short. Which weekend do you want me to spend with SIL and BIL this year? You choose which one. I'll be flexible. Will you still go the other 5 times or ...??

DeckTheWallsWithLotsOfMolly Sat 02-Jan-16 07:49:02

It's not rude to not visit someone.

"Sorry, I can't join you this weekend."

Curlywurly4 Sat 02-Jan-16 07:58:00

This sounds a bit like my in laws. I basically end up playing with the DC's or hovering about uncomfortably the whole weekend while they chat amongst themselves. We never go out and do anything or we get down there and they are out and we sit in there house while they carrying on with their usual weekend plans hmm DH finds this completely normal.

Thing is they are nice people, we just don't have much in common and I find it hard work.

DH goes on his own a lot more these days, and it's fine. My family are close by and DS and I go to see them in our own so it's no different really. I always go along to the birthday type things though, so properly 3-4 times year. I enjoy it a bit more now it's not so often.

NorksAreMessy Sat 02-Jan-16 07:59:53

Another couple here who don't visit each other's families together every time.
I visit mine and he visits his every couple of months, but we maybe see each other's families once a year. I am very fond of his family, especially my MIL, but they live MILES away, I have absolutely nothing in common with his siblings (I get on with them fine, but they are serious party animals, and I am an introvert)
We have four dogs (I know this is a drastic life change, and not necessarily a suggestion), so someone 'stays at home to look after the dogs'. They can go to kennels, but that is EXPENSIVE, so we save that for family holidays, romantic weekends away (hahahahahaha)
Good luck, just say no!

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Sat 02-Jan-16 08:06:27

6/7 weekends a year with siblings is a lot. Do you also visit other family of his? Where are his parents?
you need to cut it down. It's not rude for you not to go with them, take up a hobby that meets on a Saturday and be unable to miss it? Or just tell them you have plans and can't come. It's even weirder that your dh doesn't really enjoy going. Family visits are not obligatory.

IamCarcass Sat 02-Jan-16 08:08:40

Sod that. I think the sun shines out of my sister's rear, and love visits to see her and her family. But 6+ weekends a year? Not a chance we would find the time nor could I visit my close friends that often, you see this thing called life gets in the way.
If you have to endure it, could you arrange to do some things that interest you whilst there?

MrAliBongo Sat 02-Jan-16 08:16:27

"Go on your own or don't. I'm not going."

Duckdeamon Sat 02-Jan-16 08:24:32

As PPs have suggested, just say you'll only go once or twice a year. If DH doesn't wish to go alone or with DS in addition, that's his decision.

Phineyj Sat 02-Jan-16 08:29:36

If you are at all musical, join a choir or an orchestra. They are great for weekend rehearsals! Or the TA...(joke but it does get you fit.) Sign DS up for weekend swimming, playgroup, gym...

I don't go to inlaws every time with DH and 3 year old DD. I am a teacher and simply don't have the 8-10 hours to waste on the journeys when I could be catching up on work - I do go or host in the school holidays. I book his trip to coincide with e.g. heavy marking periods, training or music weekends. Basically I don't feel obliged to do anything he wouldn't do.

Phineyj Sat 02-Jan-16 08:30:53

My PIL are wonderful hosts by the way - I still limit it to 1-2 visits there a year and therefore enjoy them more.

diddl Sat 02-Jan-16 08:30:54

I assume he has the choice as to whether or not to pop in to see your parents?

You also have the choice whether or not to go & see his sister!

Especially wasting Christmas there if he's also not bothered!

Is he scared of her?

There's no obligation just because it's family.

No, really, there isn't!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: