Post # 1
I’d like to start by saying that FFIL and FMIL are truly loving caring people, and I really care about them very deeply. FI and I love them very much.
That being said… they’re a little….. smothery (is that even a word?). They invite us over for dinner every weekend. Like EVERY WEEKEND. If we say we can’t on Friday night, it’s “how about Saturday, how about Sunday, how about lunch?” For every family members birthday, we HAVE to get together and have a family dinner ON their birthday. This year, FI and I wanted to spend his birthday together just the two of us, but FMIL insisted that everyone come to her house. FSIL is lives almost an hour away, so it’s hard for her and her 3 month old baby to treck out here every weekend to have dinner with the family.
Even holidays are a little crazy. They insists that we have to be all together in her house on X-mas day to open presents. We can’t do it on X-mas eve, even though we were all there already, we all had to shuffle around our schedules with other family to make sure we were at their house again to open presents. It caused huge stress for FI and I, as well as FSIL and her husband this year.
I don’t mind the idea of family dinner, it’s the frequency of the invatations (2-3 times a week!) and the fact that we can’t just say no. I’m just not sure how to handle it, and neither is FI…..
Post # 3
Is there any way your FI can bring it up to them? I think he should address the issue because it’s his parents.
Post # 4
I agree FH should be the one to bring this up. It’s great that they are so family oriented but this is something that could start causing resentment and other issues, what if you want to spend time with your side? Are they going to have a fit over that? Also is it possible to just say no? You don’t even have to give a reason. If they invite you over just politely say no thank you. If they want a reason just say we want to stay in tonight or we want to do xyz, or better yet don’t give a reason, just say no.
Post # 5
Your FI needs to handle this 100%.
An invite is just that, an invite. And they can demand things until the cows come home but that doesn’t mean you have to oblige. If your FI wants to spend his birthday with just you two, he needs to tell his family that that is what he wants and they can have dinner a day later or something.
For holidays, come up with a schedule that works for YOU AND FI. And stick to it. You need to sit down with the FI and discuss how many times you would like to visit each week so it doesn’t take over your lives and then only go to dinner that many times a week or whatever. You are setting a boundary and of course they will be mad, but you need to stick to your guns!
Post # 6
Thanks for the responses.
@june42011- They don’t mind if we spend time with my family… but my family isn’t so ‘needy’ to see us all the time.
@pendola- that’s a good point, it is just an invite. We decided this year that we’ll be with my family on X-mas eve, and his family on X-mas day. Those are the parameters we’re setting, and we’re not going to be going back and forth to this house and that house to open presents/visit both days. They both get one full day, and that’s more than enough time to be together, exchange gifts, have a meal, etc.
Post # 7
I completely understand where you are coming from. My SO is the youngest of a large family and for the first two years we were dating this was super stressful because essentially we spent all of our time with them. You have to have your FI break the news that you are “unable to attend”….”sorry but we will have to catch you next weekend”….and gradually you will work in to a more spacious schedule with them.
Let me just warn that at first FMIL was not happy about this initially, but another two years later she realizes that we have very busy lives and truly cherish time with just the two of us. If you continue to give in and do things so often it will just make it harder!!
Sooo…. have your FI let them know you will be unavailable and it’s almost better to not give any reason at all.
Goodluck… let us know how things play out?
Post # 8
You CAN just say no and you should. My brother went through something similar with his wife and they struggled for years, growing more and more resentful (especially the holidays). Finally, they put their foot down and said that they were going to have Christmas morning at home, with their daughter and would be happy to come Christmas Eve or later Christmas Day. Her parents pouted for a little bit but ultimately, they just want the time together and will take what they can get.
Setting boundaries and protecting/nurturing your family (you and DH) is one of the hardest but most important things you need to do!