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Guest staying for 2 full weeks every Christmas without asking

259 replies

Lightthatnevergoesout · 08/10/2023 19:57

I have got a great relationship with both of DH's divorced parents. We get along fine and I love it when they come over. However, DH's relationship with his dad has always been really cold and all they talk about is grandchildren (our kids) and sports. It becomes even more obvious when they can spend hours sitting next to one another on a sofa without having any deep conversations. I end up constantly coming up with the topics to talk about.

Every single winter my father in law comes over and stays in a flat in a house next to us every Christmas. He hasn't got any interests of his own so comes to simply follow whatever we are doing. For example he would often come over to our house at 7 am and leave at 22.30 to sleep in his accommodation. During the day he would stay in the living room the whole day expecting for us to have some kind of plans every single day.

Christmas break is the only break my DH gets from his job and because his father in law comes for these whole 2 weeks we often don't even get a chance to spend one on one time together. He is bad at babysitting kids ad he shouts and gets anxious if they misbehave and on the times we attempted to sneak out on a date he lost it with the kids.

We have politely hinted that we might have plans/friends over/a short booked trip but that really doesn't seem to change much as he would just come for 1 day less. DH gets really anxious prior to him coming but then again failed to say anything and now we are once again stuck with him coming for 14 full days which would mean us cooking every single day, cleaning, washing and planning activities . We feel often trapped in our house as he can knock on the door when we are still sleeping or stay till 23 when we both just want to spend time together !

AIBU To think that my husband should have talked to him earlier (he had whole year since last Christmas) and explained that it is too long for a visit and really doesnt leave us with any time to just sit in our pyjamas and relax the way we might want to?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

1242 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
AutumnAuntie · 08/10/2023 20:08

He still has time, work out what you would prefer and tell him to say it to his dad. Also if he does come lay out some ground tiles such as don’t knock for us before 9am etc.

SM4713 · 08/10/2023 20:10

I'm angry on your behalf OP. How many years has this been going on for? Why have you never had actual family plans and suggested 'we are going out today, we'll see you tomorrow for lunch. How does noon sound?' etc?

Is DH an only child? If not, I'd suggest FIL visits the other sibling/s this year. What was said she he wakes up all up? Why not suggest meeting out someone else at say, or having a day off? You and DH need to stop being subtle and hinting!!!

'Dad, we are spending time with the kids this year/away/visiting friends etc etc. You are welcome to come X date to X date (maybe a weekend only?) or not at all.

I know people will come on and say 'how many more years does he have, its Christmas etc etc' but this would drive me bonkers. During holidays, I wouldn't want someone knocking on the door at 7AM! Equally, in the evening I like to take my bra off and relax- something I couldn't do if FIL was sitting there! What is your DH's plan to deal with this?

PortalooSunset · 08/10/2023 20:14

Blimey. How many years have you put up with this for?!

TiredMamOfTwo · 08/10/2023 20:16

It's only October. Tell him now it's to long, a few days maximum as you'll busy the rest of the time.

BCCoach · 08/10/2023 20:17

Is your FIL called Father Stone?

HarryBlaster · 08/10/2023 20:19

BCCoach · 08/10/2023 20:17

Is your FIL called Father Stone?


DisforDarkChocolate · 08/10/2023 20:24

If you husband isn't going to say anything you either need to say something yourself or make some plans for yourself. A few days without your providing all the food and conversation might motivate your husband, that or go away next year.

Unicorn2022 · 08/10/2023 20:25

Whose flat is it he stays in? Shame you couldn't have booked it first so he had nowhere to stay. Is there anywhere you can go on holiday the whole time he is here, or could you book a holiday?

Doggymummar · 08/10/2023 20:28

Get your key back so he can't let himself in, and do what you were going to do anyway. Tell him, everyday p, when he can come. Monday lunch, Tuesday pub dinner, Friday curry night and film etc and he can sort himself out the rest of the time,

cartagenagina · 08/10/2023 20:39

You have a DH problem. Tell him you have plans for some of the time that doesn’t include FIL, and just go and do it. This may sound harsh, but all the time you are sitting there enabling it, you are making it more likely that DH won’t say no.

Also, how come DH only gets two weeks annual leave a year? Are you not in UK? Or is he self employed and choosing this?

Lightthatnevergoesout · 08/10/2023 20:41

We can't really afford to go anywhere this Christmas just to avoid him staying for this long as saving up for a big trip in summer. We want to do simple things at out own pace and not feel like we have to discuss every single plan. In the 5 years he been coming he never went anywhere (except for a supermarket) by himself has got no interest in exploring the city etc.

Last year was particularly difficult as we were all quite sick, kids had fevers and I sprained my ankle badly so struggled to walk for a few days and still felt like it would be rude of me to go and take a nap whilst he is sitting alone in a living room and doesn't get any hints that I wanted to have some rest.

DH is an only child and his dad hasn't got any other family/relationship nor friends. He works very hard and so feels like when he gets a holiday he wants to spend all of it with us. It is lovely but gets too much sometimes when he just doesn't get the hints that he is in our space 24/7. Our relationship with DH also struggles towards the end of his stay as it all gets too much and we are tired of cooking (food takeout for all of us is normally around 65 pounds now in where we live)and not having any rest and then back to work as normal as soon as he goes.

OP posts:
towriteyoumustlive · 08/10/2023 20:42

Could you go away this Christmas to break the trend?

carly2803 · 08/10/2023 20:43

be firm - plenty of time to sort this now

sorry FIL we cannot accomodate you for more than 1 weekend - friday to monday, happy to see you over this time though.

If you do not stop this now this is your life!!!

Bonbon21 · 08/10/2023 20:48

You dont need to go away from your home or lie.
You phone his and tell him he is welcome to come and stay from x date to y date to spend time with you all. Outwith those dates you are busy so he can make other arrangements... you will not be available.
State it simply and clearly... no discussion... that is your arrangement. He has time to accept and make other plans for the rest of the time, or stay at home himself.
He can like it or lump it, but you need to reclaim your Christmas this year and every year going forward. For your kids if not for yourself....
Nothing will change unless YOU change it.

EveryOtherNameTaken · 08/10/2023 20:54

OP. Have a chat with DH. Agree an arrival date for x days and stick to it. Make a decision to make the call next week. That gives loads of time for it to sink in.

He might feel a bit put out but by Christmas he'll be looking forward to his week (or however many days) and you'll still get time to yourself.

Win win.

tillytoodles1 · 08/10/2023 20:58

I'm a widow and spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Night with my daughter and go home Boxing Day. Her and her husband like their time together off work and I understand that they want to be on their own.

Autumn1990 · 08/10/2023 20:58

I agree you need to cut the Christmas holiday time down but it’s going to sound rather brutal especially as it seems he hasn’t got anyone else to spend it with. During the same conversation suggest cutting down the Christmas visit but it would be nice to see you in the spring/summer and arrange a visit.

Nosleepforthismum · 08/10/2023 21:02

Sympathies. When my step mum either dies or divorces my dad we will probably be in exactly the same position.

I’d be forcing DH to have a chat with him and possibly make up some marital problems “you know dad, things between us have been a bit strained this year. I think it’s really important we have some proper family time this Christmas so we can work on our marriage. You are welcome to come as usual but we need more of our own space this year so we won’t be able to see you quite as much during your visit. Just wanted to give you the heads up in advance”.

Sometimes white lies are kinder than the full on truth (or I might be just a bit too cowardly when it comes to dealing with family!)

ClareBlue · 08/10/2023 21:03

BCCoach · 08/10/2023 20:17

Is your FIL called Father Stone?

My thoughts exactly. But wasn't it revealed this was the highlight of his year😀

MrsMiddleMother · 08/10/2023 21:07

You need to sit down with your husband, tell him fil staying for 2 weeks is just not going to work and he needs to call him first thing tomorrow morning to say exactly that. Come with a few days in which you're happy for him to visit and tell him these days. If you must make up excuses tell him you have lots planned with friends, kids activities etc. He can only come from x to y.

Spookymormonhelldream · 08/10/2023 21:11

Do not worry about being rude to your FIL. He does not worry about being rude to you!
If you want to have a nap then do. He's a grown man he can entertain himself. If he feels uncomfortable then he can leave!
'right FIL, I'm shattered, going to have a kip'
Then go! Or, 'I'm not in the mood to cook, we're having cheese and crackers for tea'

You don't explain or justify what you do in your own home. If guests don't like it then they know where the door is!

Olika · 08/10/2023 21:11

If he ends up coming don't feel bad about going for a nap etc. just mention you are going for a nap and leave the room. Surely he can watch TV by himself.

Nubnut · 08/10/2023 21:14

I agree, I think it’s too sad to tell him he can’t come. I think your DH could take the lead on finding ways to make it more tolerable. Treating him like a proper member of the family (I.e. you can ignore him sometimes! He can get his own snacks and make his own cups of tea, if you need to go for a nap then just do) could help.
It sucks that he is not a good babysitter, maybe you could talk to him about that and give him more know how?
I really sympathise though.

Totalwasteofpaper · 08/10/2023 21:16

No, this is madness stop this now.

If your DH won't do it - you do it.
right now your DH has no incentive as it's not really a problem for him as you are there acting as a human buffer...

I would suggest you do a weekend before Xmas (late Nov or early Dec) and then for Christmas itself. Maybe Christmas eve to boxing day.

I would also really encourage you to start doing your own thing with the kids and leave him and your DH to it. It's brutal but it will encourage your DH to tackle it as right now you are doing the hard yards for him so there is no incentive to manage the situation.

R37sraY · 08/10/2023 21:17

Same as PP.

Just act as though he isn’t there. Make an extra plate if you are cooking. Does he contribute to shopping? Do you need him to? If so, ask him.

Go out and do kids stuff with the kids. Or don’t. Let him come if it doesn’t cost. But don’t let him get in the way.

Dont make conversation with FIL. Do talk to DH about your day as you would if you were alone. Let FIL join in or not, upto him.

You need romantic time. Pick at least three evenings per week and tell him in language he will understand and won’t be offended by. Maybe DH should do this bit.

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