Post # 1
My dad has been visiting since Thurs and it is really starting to get to me! Although I love my dad, I don’t enjoy his company (long story short he has become very self centred, rude and reclusive since my mom passed away 6 years ago. Please don’t flame me for being insenstitive. Trust me I have tried to be supportive, tried to encourage him to get help etc he just rejects all efforts). Anyways we have one more day left, then he is leaving to visit other family for a couple days, and then he has invited himself back for next weekend. I don’t know what to do with him. He shows zero interest in my life and I can only listen to him talk about whatever home improvement project he is planning so many times before it drives me crazy. How do you cope when relatives you don’t enjoy are visiting? What do you do to keep someone entertained when there is nothing to talk about?
ETA: I should mention that l posted this where I did because part of my resentment over his extended visit is that my Darling Husband hates having him around at least as much as I do and it causes me to feel defensive. He is only home a few more days before he will work out of town the rest of the summer and I hate that our last few days together are strained like this. So frustrating.
Post # 3
I don’t mind when family visits, but I hate when they stay over night (let alone for multiple nights), so I feel your pain. I’d suggest a hotel. Seriously. I have, and I will do so again. Fiance and I are very private and we don’t like anyone in our space for extended periods of time.
If he likes home improvements so much, suggest that he do something at your house 😛 Or maybe a home and garden show, something active like a hike or walk, anything to get him out of the house. And ugh, how annoying he just invites himself.
Post # 4
@BoxerLady: Yes I think that’s just it! He’s in our space for so. Long. He would never stay in a hotel if he could help it, and Darling Husband and have tried suggesting that we would prefer to visit him so that we can control the hotel situation, but he doesn’t take much of a hint unfortunately.
Post # 5
I love my FI’s family, but they usually visit for 1-2 weeks at a time (they live 17 hours away so they try to make the most of a trip) and after a few days I start to go crazy. Its usually Future Mother-In-Law,Future Father-In-Law, Future Sister-In-Law, Future Brother-In-Law and their two small children all at once. I hate having to coordinate every meal and coming up with ideas of how to entertain them for so long.
For our wedding his family had all intended on staying in our house, this time it would have been all of the above listed people plus his grandma and great aunt. That would be (including Fiance and I) 10 people in our house! Our house isn’t tiny, but its small for that amount of people and one of our dogs is scared of strangers and barks the.entire.time they’re here. My Fiance told them it wasn’t going to work and they’d have to stay in a hotel.
Post # 6
@adoc86: wow that’s a lot of people. That would definitely be too much before the wedding! At least they were open to hotels! I guess maybe with more people at least they entertain themselves a bit. We have the same convo over and over. It’s like a broken record that I am just stuck in!
I feel awful, but I just made up an excuse for why I just have to go into work for a couple hours this afternoon even though I am on vacation because I need some space!
Post # 7
Well I don’t get along with my mom, so the whole trip was strained for me – she was probably clueless of my pain. Yet I put on an awesome vacation for her. She stayed a week, if I cut is any shorter she would say “Why even bother flying out there if I just ahve to turn around?!” Guilt trip!
My sister, her boyfriend their FOUR chidren are coming in July. I’m actually excited. I’m alrady planing the food and activities!
They key is length. They are staying 3 nights, then taking off to Yellowstone for 3 nights, then back for two nights. I can manage that 5 nights with that gap in the middle.
Post # 8
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@Utopia4us: You need to set up house rules for visits. Our biggest rule is the “old fish” rule which is that guests cannot stay past three nights, three nights being the time that it generally takes for fish to start smelling.
Post # 9
@Utopia4us: There’s a reason there’s that saying “Fish and company stink after three days!”.
As for what to do with him – what does he say when you ask?
ETA: Does he have access to a car (or can you get him access to a car)? If so, can he go explore on his own or is he the type that needs hand-holding?
Post # 10
First of all, stop letting him invite himself. The phrase to use here is “Oh, but we’ve already made plans for that weekend. I’d be happy to suggest hotels in the area, but unfortunately, we can’t have you stay with us this time.” And STICK TO IT. Every single time he attempts to invite himself, repeat those words. Family or not, no one has the right to force themselves into your home for days on end.
Second, start planning the visits. You and your fiance need to pick an acceptable length of time for him to stay. When you plan visits, state that “We have so much going on, between the wedding and work. We’d be delighted to have you stay with us from Friday to Sunday”. If he tries to insist, simply tell him that you have “so many other prior obligations” and that unfortunately, you just can’t let him stay longer this time.
Post # 11
My dad is really high maintenance and moody. My mom is very easy going so having her for a month is no problem at all. I love both of my parents.
Post # 12
@sienna76: thats exactly the type of guilt trip going on here! He drives 10 hours to visit so I can’t exactly kick him out after a couple days. And then for inviting himself back he made a big deal about how awful it would be to drive in the peak long weekend traffic so I feel bad not having him again. I did tell him that I would have to work and won’t have much time to spend with him. And I will be saving the remainder of my working hours this week to do exactly that!
@oracle: that is a great rule! When I ask him he says “I dunno” and then we sit there and stare at each other for a while or have the same conversation on loop. He does have a car here but won’t go off exploring on his own.
@MariContrary: yes I think I just need to be more firm with him. The problem is when I cite other obligations he says he doesn’t mind hanging out while I do this or that. I also used the wedding and my graduate studies as excuses for being too busy to see him more than once a year for the last two years and now that I don’t have those excuses anymore he is trying to see me more often. The problem is I can’t seem to find a polite way to tell him that I would really like to see a lot less of him. Like once a year is plenty 😛
Post # 13
@Utopia4us: If he is ambivalent, then what about just going about your weekend doing things you’d like to do? ie: dad, I’m going to do ‘x’, would you like to come? Sounds like he doesn’t have much of an opinion and although your relationship is strained, he probably enjoys being with you. It can be exhausting!!! For the future visits – if he invites himself over a simple “I’d love to have you but that weekend won’t work” type of thing might be your new mantra.
Post # 14
That’s a L-O-N-G time to visit. I wouldn’t let my dad stay at my house for that long if I didn’t enjoy his company.
My dad who hasn’t been a big part of our lives (I’m the youngest of 4), recently got divorced (2 years ago) & decided he wanted to participate in our lives again. He lives 2 hours away. For my engagement party he came to town & drove to the party with my sister & spent the weekend with her (Friday-Sunday). My sister said after her visit with him she didn’t want him staying at her house anymore & that 2 days of him was just too much. As the wedding got closer he asked if he could come down for a weekend & we let him stay with us, again, Friday-Sunday. And boy oh boy, it sucked! My dad is so immature & is so hard to be around. All he wants to do is talk about the past when he was in a bad place & left our mom or how he never meant to hurt us kids. Or how he’s such a victim of life, “if this hadn’t happend to me when I was 18 then this this and this never would have happened,” or my favorite, he blames the years of being a certain religion ruining his life and his ability to be a good parent. No personal accountability. We have different morals & very different views on life. The older I get the less and less I respect him because he does very immature things.
He’ll say things like, “I’m thinking about coming down next weekend.” But can’t actually make plans, he thinks it’d be okay to just “stop by my house” without calling. He pulled his, I’m thinking about coming to visit crap a couple of weeks ago & I said we are busy that weekend but we could meet you for breakfast on Sunday. I never heard back from him. I’m okay with having a meal with my dad but spending hours/days with him just doesn’t fly in my books.
Do you have a local baseball team so you could go to a game (we have minor league baseball in our town). A trip to the movies, that doesn’t involve having to talk to him much. Does he golf? A trip to the driving range or mini-golf?
Best of luck with the rest of the visit!
Post # 15
@ThePrincessBride10612: thanks for sharing. Your dad also sounds like he would be so frustrating to have as a guest. He just left, so now I have a couple days reprieve until he comes back on Friday night. I have made it very clear to him that I will be working on Saturday and he should not expect me to spend a lot of time with him on his second stay with us. I also think that from now on we will either be visiting him, or I will be letting him know that he can come for a weekend but I can’t take time off work at whatever time he is planning to come. I also will be busy whenever he plans to come more than once a Year! As frustrating as these couple days have been its been a good learning experience that I do not want to be guilted into putting up with how he acts simply because he seems lonely. If he would adjust his attitude he could make friends or even remarry so he wouldn’t be so lonely!
Post # 16
Are there chores or things that need doing around the house that you could get him to help you with? Put on some music, crack open a couple of beers, and get him to help you with yardwork, painting, rearranging a room, washing the car, finally getting those photos framed, sorting through your entire wardrobe for goodwill donations…Even if he’s a pain to be around, you’ll have gotten something done!
– go to the movies or do something outdoorsy
– furniture shopping (you don’t even have to buy anything, just peruse the options. At least it’ll get you out of the house and give you something else to talk about–and maybe he’ll be so bored he’ll rethink visiting so often )
– cook something new and ambitious that will take a lot of time and concentration. Either he’ll have to help you or he’ll be forced to leave you alone. Worst case scenario, at least you’ll get to enjoy a delicious meal while sharing awkward silences.
– invite some very talkative friends over for dinner