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To reduce lengths of MIL visits

110 replies

Snorkers · 04/11/2018 16:20

Mil lives about 4 hours away by train.
She's generally well meaning but sometimes plays emotionally manipulative games with her son, keeping the mother child dynamic and ensuring she knows her son cares and he knows his place. He does, and this behaviour just pisses us both off. She also sulks and throws tantrums if she doesn't get her own way.
We want to reduce her quarterly Fri to Mon visits down to Fri to Sun but increase frequency.

By Sunday our nerves are frayed and we end up hiding away in our bedroom and by Monday morning I'm feeling almost violent, the stress levels are through the roof.
48 hours seems to be manageable but any longer is just too much.
If we could have Sunday night to recover and wind down, get ready for work the next day and not have the endless chitchat whilst getting ready for work on Monday it would be so much more manageable.

Husband broached this and suggested more, but shorter visits, ie 6x a year but Fri to Sun, and she's hit the roof, tears and tantrums, phone slamming down, exactly the reason the visits are so stressful.
How to proceed from here.
Thanks Smile

OP posts:
DanielRicciardosSmile · 04/11/2018 16:25

Can you pretend a change of work pattern resulting in having to be out of the house earlier on a Monday morning? Or an activity on a Sunday evening?

Petalflowers · 04/11/2018 16:28

Don’t back down, and keep repeating the new situation. Establish your boundaries and authority.

There’s no mention of children in your post so I presume you don’t have any yet. You need to establish who’s in control now before they come along, or it will get a lot worse.

Snorkers · 04/11/2018 16:31

No no kids, nor will there be, we're both around 40!!
Work change won't make any difference she will expect to stay here on her own and lock up whilst we are at work.

OP posts:
Limensoda · 04/11/2018 16:31

You make her sound like a dangerous animal 😒
She is a woman. Why not learn how to deal with interacting with her rather than hiding from her?

Nanasueathome · 04/11/2018 16:34

If she travels by train the service may not be very good on a Sunday, may be limited and more train changes rather than a straight through service
I visit both of my sons quite regularly but always return home on a weekday due to this

Snorkers · 04/11/2018 16:34

Surely the same could be said for her! It's my house and we're not telling her not to come, just that currently the arrangements don't work.
Are you saying I should pander to a 60 year olds tantrum?

OP posts:
Singlenotsingle · 04/11/2018 16:34

And she's family, not a strange person just in off the street. Why can't she lock up?

Snorkers · 04/11/2018 16:35

Trains are not limited.

OP posts:
Snorkers · 04/11/2018 16:36

Read my post.
Not about her locking up, it's the duration that's the problem.

OP posts:
gower4 · 04/11/2018 16:37

She sounds awful OP! Do not be bullied - let her sulk if that's what she chooses. Set your terms, and then the ball is in her court.

GerdaLovesLiIi · 04/11/2018 16:37

Do Saturday to Monday then she can't "extend" her visit because of the trains or some other "unforeseen" disaster.

Ragwort · 04/11/2018 16:39

I am shocked at your DMIL’s behaviour, I am her age & cannot imagine being like that. I suggest you just leave it now, wait for her to make the next move & then keep repeating Fri - Sun works for us.

Maelstrop · 04/11/2018 16:41

I completely empathise, OP. I’ve gradually reduced my parents’ visits to 2 nights. Just keep repeating/telling her it’s fri-sun from now on. Don’t give in to the tears. Don’t justify, just repeat and say this is how it will be from now on. Good luck!

Snorkers · 04/11/2018 16:42

There is a lot of bizarre behaviour, tests and whatnot.
She behaves like she is in a relationship with her son with v v high levels of expectation with regard to him being attentive, behaving how she wants, other shit too.

OP posts:
SerenDippitty · 04/11/2018 16:43

I lived a similar distance away and wouldn’t entertain the idea of coming down for a long weekend, they came down for a week three or four times a year. Initially they drove but when FIL decided that was too much for him they came by train. I would have found a quarterly long weekend quite doable.

user139328237 · 04/11/2018 16:44

Are you offering to pay the extra train fares?
Do you ever visit her or is it always expected for her to be the one who visits you?

SerenDippitty · 04/11/2018 16:44

Sorry for “I” read “My late ILs”.

Runnynosehunny · 04/11/2018 16:45

I don't understand why, if you tend to hide in your room on Sunday, you are more stressed out by Monday morning? Do you hate your room?

As you don't have kids to tie you to your house, why not do all the visiting yourselves and stay in a hotel to limit the time spent in her company.

Pickupthephone · 04/11/2018 16:45

Sounds like a nightmare. You really have my sympathies OP. My PIL don’t throw tantrums like this but they are taxing and they always insist on Friday to Monday visits. It’s so, so draining when you work full time and have a commute.

You aren’t being U but I think you and your DH just have to stand firm and assert yourselves. Her reaction is bizarre. She’ll actually see more of you!

SoyDora · 04/11/2018 16:47

Is cost an issue? 4 hour train journeys tend not to be cheap, so increased frequency could be an issue?
Of course she should not be behaving as she is though.

troodiedoo · 04/11/2018 16:48

Yanbu. Keep repeating that you need some quiet time on a Sunday night to prepare for the week ahead. So she needs to head home on the Sunday.

Stay calm and just keep repeating. Treat her as a naughty dog/toddler/whatever. Ignore the bad behaviour and show there is no reward for tantrums. She will start behaving when she sees you mean business. Your dh must be on the same page as you. Good luck! Flowers

Pickupthephone · 04/11/2018 16:49

I don't understand why, if you tend to hide in your room on Sunday, you are more stressed out by Monday morning? Do you hate your room?

Really? I suspect it’s the fact that the OP feels trapped in one room, can’t unwind in the comfort of other rooms in her home, like her living room, or get ready for the working week (which may involve visiting other rooms in her house) without interruptions. It can’t be any fun being confined to their bedroom for half the weekend.


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eddielizzard · 04/11/2018 16:50

Hold strong. Don't give in to the tantrums otherwise they'll continue.

nokidshere · 04/11/2018 16:51

You are an adult. It's your house so it's your call. But really? You can't cope with a cantankerous woman for 72 hours 4 times a year?

I just roll my eyes when my mother still thinks I'm 6 "mind your fingers on that knife" 

Tell her to not come or just get on with it.

Snorkers · 04/11/2018 16:51

Visits to her are equal, we do it in turns.
Cost is not an issue re trains, and we would offer to cover if it was.
WE have to go to our room in bursts ie 30 mins here and there but aren't so horrible we leave her sitting on her own all night.

OP posts:
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