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How do I tell DH I can't cope with his family staying in our house for such a long visit?

(20 Posts)
Chiup Sat 05-Mar-16 07:30:28

I have another thread about this in AIBU and have concluded our 2-bed house is too small to accommodate his parents and adult SIL for a month! No tickets booked yet but rough dates in mind.

I like my own space and privacy. I need quiet time in eve to re-charge. My DS has smaller bedroom (used to be guestroom). He's up for day at 5am and still has night-feed(s) so I go to bed early. When teething he wakes multiple times a night and can take ages to settle.

When DH first informed me his family would be visiting, he wouldn't really discuss it. In his culture you welcome family with open arms, bend over backwards to be hospitable, even if it means overcrowding/inconvenience. He assumed I would accept this and shut down my attempts to air my concerns angry

I find it very stressful having guests for a week let alone a month. I can't relax. Our house is small and full of toys/baby things, and our bedroom is tiny so we store most of our clothes in cupboards in other rooms. When guests come I'm constantly wading through piles of clutter and tripping over things. Fine for a week but not a month!

I don't want to spend a month gritting my teeth and hating it. I want to enjoy time with my PILs and SIL and for them to feel comfortable too. The thought of everyone squashed in is so claustrophobic! I want us to be a big happy family and I don't think I can achieve that if we're all on top of each other!

I feel we need to get them a holiday-let or AirB&B. I'm happy to host them in our house from breakfast-early eve each day, have all meals together etc but I need some downtime at night. I need a quiet house to sleep, time to take a shower and get dressed etc before they come over in morning.

However I know DH wants the full experience of 'living as a family'. He is at work all day so won't see them as much. I feel he could always go to their holiday-let if he wants to stay up late with them after work, while DS and I get some sleep. I will be entertaining them all day, taking them on trips etc. They are lovely people and very considerate, helpful, but I need some space!

How do I tell DH we can't accommodate them here, without it turning into a massive row?

Chasingsquirrels Sat 05-Mar-16 07:37:46

Show him what you have written here?

DoreenLethal Sat 05-Mar-16 07:44:36

In his culture you welcome family with open arms, bend over backwards to be hospitable, even if it means overcrowding/inconvenience.

Then he should have married someone from that culture. He didn't - he married someone from a culture that thinks that having 5 adults and one child in a two bedroomed house for a month is overkill. If he wants the full experience of living as a family, perhaps he can decamp to their lodgings when they are over. Also, if he is allowing HIS family to stop HE needs to take the time off work to entertain them. You are not Crusty the Fucking Clown.

PuellaEstCornelia Sat 05-Mar-16 07:52:29

House guests are like fish - lovely fresh but that only lasts for a couple of days.
Book somewhere else. Five adults and a child in two bedrooms? Practically Dickensian overcrowding!

CookieLady Sat 05-Mar-16 08:04:37

Talk to him and don't let him shut down the conversation.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 05-Mar-16 08:13:08

"I feel we need to get them a holiday-let or AirB&B"

That has probably not even occurred to them or to your H. If they want to visit you for this length of time (extended holiday) they pay all the costs associated with that. They should be finding their own accommodation anyway rather than decamp to your house.

If they are really that considerate then tell them now that staying at your house is not an option (also cite overcrowding and safety concerns).

Your DH seems very weak when it comes to his family of origin, is he always so inclined with them at your expense?. He needs to be aware that they will go home eventually but your resentment will remain far longer and could well damage your marriage. If he wants the so called "living as a family" experience (actually his own family is now you and your child) then why is he working through most of it?. You are not their cook, cleaner, entertainer and bottlewasher.

Chiup Sat 05-Mar-16 10:20:57

Yes I need to talk to him again.

He thinks I am being very U as they are travelling a long way and want to be part of the family.

I think they can still be part of the family and spend lots of time with us, and that we'll all have more fun if we're not crowded into a small space 24/7. He thinks I should get over my issues re personal space angry

StuffandBother Sat 05-Mar-16 11:04:53

I don't think you could make a fairer compromise op, you sound very hospitable, welcoming and lovely thanks

LurkonTAthread Sat 05-Mar-16 11:07:28

If you get on well with the in-laws, is it worth talking to your MIL instead? If she might be more understanding?

My OH does not get the "I need time without your parents" when they stay with us, even though he's the one who gets shirtiest with them! He can't see that he needs down time too.

Could you compromise to them staying with you some of the time (weekends?) and sleeping away during the week?

A month is a long time for houseguests and a baby of that age (they change a lot around 6 months in my opinion, and generally change their sleeping pattern around then, certainly their eating patterns!).

LurkonTAthread Sat 05-Mar-16 11:08:49

Sorry, misread 5am for 5 month old. But still, long time!

LoveBoursin Sat 05-Mar-16 11:19:32

Chiup your DH has married you knowing that you are a from a different culture.
You also have married him knowing he is from a different culture.

The only way you will be able to solve this issue is by sitting down together and having a brain storm on what is important for both of you and what isn't as important. It also means going out of the 'but that's how we do things', both for your DH (It's normal to have family around) and for you (I dilsike having strangers in my house. Family or not, they should be paying for the full cost of the trip).

it has nothing to do with them being considerate towards you. They probably don't have the same idea of what being considerate means and actually they are likely to think that you are rude and inconsiderate of you say NO to them staying over.

Imo, as someone who is in a bicultural relationship, the only way to move forwards wo getting into a 'I win/you lose' situation is to be very considerate towards each other as partners. ie look at what you can/can't do, look at what you consider being really awful/really good and look at what he consider being really awful/really good. Support each other over what will be the difficult boits so that the stay of your OIL is going as smoothly as possible. And that means outting your partner first (for BOTH of you), before family and 'this is how we do things. I don't like doing xx.' type of attitude.

One thing I would mention for example is the fact that they are likely to be disturbed by your dc waking up and that you will be up by 5.00am as it is every morning. Will they be happy with that?
The fact that you wll go to bed early because you are tired, is that OK.
At my PIL, no one is ever in their Pj out of the bedroom. At my parents, no one is dressed up until well after b'fast. We both adapt to different ways of doing stuff depending on where we are.

LoveBoursin Sat 05-Mar-16 11:22:12

Tbh he might have a point re the issue of personal space...
He should though appreciate that most of the 'work' will fall onto your shoulders (the feeding, entertaining during the day etc...).

Another compromise is to be clear that they will have to 'entertain themselves' some days and you won't be together all day, everyday. That will give some pace wo them too.

expatinscotland Sat 05-Mar-16 11:40:34

'He thinks I should get over my issues re personal space angry'

No, he thinks you should behave like a good little wifey from whatever culture it is he is from. You, woman, should do all the work whilst he, man, swans in and enjoys it. I think I'd book the AirBnB for me and the baby.

BrideOfWankenstein Sat 05-Mar-16 12:11:21

I'd be moving to my parents for a month if he wouldn't understand. Or hotel.

LoveBoursin Sat 05-Mar-16 13:05:02

Hmm I'm wondering how many people on this thread have an experience of a bicultural family.

It is not possible for the OP to expect her DH and his family to bow to all her ways of doing things.
Just as it not possible for her DH and his family to expect her to behave exactly like it would be expected if she from the same country.
The fact that they are living in the UK doesn't mean only british ways are acceptable.

When she got married to him, the OP knew what sort of culture he grew up with. These 'demands' for a better word shouldn't be coming as a surprise to her.
Just as her DH did have a pretty good idea of how people act in the UK and what they would see as appropriate or not.

There has to be some give and take on both sides.

clam Sat 05-Mar-16 13:14:10

So, he wants the full experience of 'living as a family'. but will be buggering off out every day to work, leaving you with the practicalities and stresses of managing it?

Sod that for a game of soldiers!

yomellamoHelly Sat 05-Mar-16 13:15:26

I don't think I'd be entertaining them etc. Would still be getting my early nights etc. If they were "guests" they'd be staying for a few days and you could adjust your life accordingly. Anything longer and I'd be leading my life as usual. (Got that t-shirt. Was 3 1/2 weeks. Made me miserable. And they were in a b&b - though they'd turn up around 6am and leave around 10-11 pm.)

Kidnapped Sat 05-Mar-16 13:22:34

In his culture you welcome family with open arms, bend over backwards to be hospitable, even if it means overcrowding/inconvenience.

He is at work all day.

So not much bending over backwards or inconvenience landing on his plate then. I think it is easy to pay lip service to month-long hospitality when you pass the hassle of it onto someone else.

Joysmum Sat 05-Mar-16 13:26:16

I'd go along the lines of wanting to enjoy your time with his family and gain as good a relationship with them as possible. If you are all crammed together then it would be more likely that you will all have disagreements and you are trying to avoid that. Stress tgat the best way for you all to behave the best relationship possible is for it to be a stress free and enjoyable holiday for them. This is too important to you all to take the risk of falling out due to overcrowding.

Yakari Sat 05-Mar-16 13:27:56

I'm with love boursin you both married into different cultures, neither is right or wrong. Can you afford for your DH to take all the time off? Or to pay for accommodation? I'm going to guess no or it would be less of an issue.

You two need to sit down and compromise. I'm always astounded that bicultural relationships don't do this before marriage and kids especially when 'norms' differ so much.

But you are where you are so work out maybe half stay with you, half stay elsewhere? How much time can he take off? Is this an annual trip or once in a lifetime? What will happen when you go with kids back to his 'home'? All of these are factors in setting the ground rules.

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