School me in in-law boundaries

posted 2 years ago in Family
Post # 2
Member
331 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

Approach the topic with your fiance. It is important that you both are on the same page.

Go to his parents and discuss what the contribution was. Tell them that you treat it as a gift and it is very important for you that this is going to be your home and you have a specific way you want to decorate it/set it up. Thank you for their contribution, of course, but clearly say that it means a lot to you and you and only you are involved in decision-making process. Also, ensure them, that you understand that they have more experience and you won’t hesitate to ask them questions, but you really wish them not buying you furnitures without consultations and not trying to influence your renovations choices.

 

When you phrase things, try also not sound like “do not talk to contructiors without me” but say stuff like “consult us before purchasing anything for our future home, as we have a specific taste and also want to make it our home, it is important experience for both of us”

Your fiance should be the dominant voice in this discussion, but you should do it together, as a couple. Be sweet, be polite, be firm. Do not sound to apologetic, and be calm. They are likely to be offended regardless, just ingore it. You haven’t done anything wrong. They will easily come to terms with it. 

Post # 4
Member
331 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

Oh no, I always feel like it is much better to stress the boundaries. Stressing the boundaries shouldn’t be a big deal, by putting it off, saying “don’t worry” you just avoid something that is unavoidable. The feeling of tenstion and discomfort and lack of emotional safety on your side will just build up. And who knows, maybe your in laws are just supper-annoying and they don’t mean anything bad and they will totally understand. My FILs are like that and it’s not because they are dominant, it’s because they can be “too caring”. However, within the normal communication they totally get that we do want to do stuff alone. I personally truly believe that more communications means less drama in the end.

 

Good luck! 

Post # 5
Member
3195 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

xstitchbride425:  

Sometimes parents give financial gifts in order to exert control over adult children. Your in-laws can always say that they can have an opinion, since their money is paying for the renovations. If you want to set boundaries with your in-laws, it is best not to take anything from them. You cannot have it both ways. 

Best thing to do is give back their money and pay for affordable renovations by yourselves. Never accept financial gifts from manipulative in-laws.

My parents are like this too. I refused to take their money for our wedding because I knew they were offering it with strings attached. My mother has complained that I won’t take anything from them. However, I have explained to her that I would rather not have to hear about what she gave us for the rest of my life. She denied that she would be controlling but I know my mom better than that. 

You and your fiance can sit down with your in-laws. Let them know how much you appreciate their generosity and then tell them that both of you would like to be consulted before large gifts are purchased. You can also say that since it is your home, how you renovate it is up to you. Offer to pay back their contribution so that they know you are not trying to take their money and then shut them out of the renovations.

I am guessing that these types of in-laws will feel slighted and angry. The Broken Record technique works well with pushy types; you can firmly and politely repeat yourselves. Their reaction is not your problem, as long as you assert yourself. 

Post # 8
Member
331 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

I never understood the attitude that since it’s their money, they can have a say. Financial contribution should be like a gift card – it can be limited to the scope (wedding, house), but not to how it is used exactly. That’s why I disagree with the rule “never take anything”, but I agree that you should always set the boundaries on what is that you’re receiving. If it’s a gift, then they don’t have a say, whatever purpose and occasion that is. 

Post # 9
Member
331 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

Then just talk with them. You’ll have to do it at some point, because if they are like that, the house is just the beginning. You will always need to stress boundaries with them – to protect your marriage, your intimacy, to build a house, to raise a child, to decide how to birth, how to feed a child, etc, etc. The sooner you’ll learn to talk with them and saying “this is the line”, the better. You’ll get used to that, they’ll get used to that and you’ll avoid a lot of unnecessary tension and drama on both sides. 

 

The most important thing is for you and your fiance to be one united front on this. 

Post # 12
Member
331 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

 

xstitchbride425:  Then just talk with them and say that his expactaions and yours are different. Don’t be afraid. It’s okay for you not to be able to get or not to want to get the same things. My father is into antiques. He bought me a flat (I live in Europe) and I decorated it all in IKEA, because that’s what I like and can afford. I also have two dogs that are messy and wanted something dog-proof, a house, in which I can paint and if my dogs vomit on the sofa I’ll just wash it and won’t cry. People have different expectations. I’ve never liked stuff too fancy. My father never liked the choices I made, but he never tried to influence me the other way. You have 100% right to have the home you both feel comfortable in. 

Post # 13
Member
3195 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

xstitchbride425:  

I see. If you don’t need the money then don’t take it. 

Post # 14
Member
3195 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

tyene:  

+1 It is important for married couples in enforce boundaries to protect their marriage.

Gifts should not come with strings, but if the giver is manipulative, a gift is never really just a gift.

It is fine to accept financial contributions from those who are genuinely trying to help and not buy control. However, this is not always the case.

I know this from my experience and those of many who have made the mistake of accepting gifts from controlling parents. When my mother pulled the “my money, my wedding” card, I simply told her to keep her money and I eloped. 

Post # 15
Member
133 posts
Blushing bee

If its not too late do not accept the “generous” help with which I feel makes them feel they have authority because they are financially  “helping you”  some people give expecting something in return. there is not very many genuine generously givers now days   

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