Post # 1
I just feel so drained. I feel like I’m standing stationary while a million things are circling around me in chaos. While I’m not right in that mess, it surrounds me and I can’t get out of it nor make any of it better.
So, back story. My husband and I are living with Mother-In-Law and SIL comes home two nights a week. Chinese tradition has it that we will basically be living with Mother-In-Law the rest of her life. She’s in good health and it’s generally not a problem. SIL splits rent with Darling Husband, but Mother-In-Law pays nothing. It’s a two bedroom apartment. Before I moved in, SIL and Darling Husband shared our current bedroom, and Mother-In-Law had her own, but now SIL stays in MIL’s room when she’s home. Suffice to say, A LOT of SIL’s stuff is still in the bedroom. Everyone on Mr. Joe’s side of the family is basically a pack rat. Add that in with the size of NYC apartments, and extra space is fairly minimal.
So, I had suggested it to Darling Husband before that we move SIL’s desk out to the living room. We have a whole wall in front of two windows not being used. She never comes in the bedroom and her desk is really just accumulating mail for the most part. She doesn’t sit at it or use it. She sits in MIL’s room with her laptop on a TV tray. Well, MILs room doesn’t have a lot of spare room either. None, actually, and she tripped over SIL and her laptop and fell one day. Mother-In-Law was fine, but it just made me think of moving SIL’s desk again so that Mother-In-Law doesn’t fall and really get hurt one day. I had Darling Husband ask SIL if we could move to the living room, and apparently she got her panties all in a bunch saying we were kicking her out and that she’s reducing the amount of rent she contributes. Fine, I don’t care if she reduces the amount of rent. I’ve suggested that to Darling Husband before too. But seriously? She’s really going to claim we’re kicking her out? Half the dresser still is full of her stuff that I’ve never seen her touch, half the closet is full of her clothes that she never wears, a filing cabinet is all her stuff, AND SHE’S NEVER IN THERE ANYWAY! She’ll go in and grab her mail off the desk and that’s about it. I honestly though she’d prefer having more access to her desk, but whatever.
I can see her side in a way, but it’s still annoying and I still think it’s overreacting. Of course now my husband is all pissy because in his eyes his sister can do no wrong (I suggested she was PMSing and he got all defensive, except he has no problem claiming that I PMS). I’m tired of being in competition with her. I’m starting to think maybe it was a mistake to move out here to live with him when I did. Not that my other options were much better (but that goes back to the circle of chaos). I love him to pieces, and don’t regret marrying him, but our own private island, just the two of us forever, sounds nice right about now…
Sigh. I’m thinking of writing SIL an apology email. I don’t quite know if that’s stepping out of line though, since my Darling Husband was the one who talked to her. Thoughts?
Post # 3
OH man! Well if getting away from the family isn’t an option, the only thing that kept running through my head is, can you move to someplace more affordable? If Mother-In-Law is going to live with you regardless, can you just say “we’re moving to ____?”
I’m sure it’s not feasible in this market to just quit. But are you both in a line of work you can look for work in a more affordable city/state? Then you can buy a home with a little more space? And perhaps SIL would just drop out of the picture?
Sorry I don’t have better advice….
Post # 4
Wow! Well…. I don’t really know what to say or have much to contribute, but I just want to say you are a much stronger woman than I to be living as a newlywed with 2 other people! I think the differences between cultures is SO fascinating! I mean…it’s GOOD in a way, that you will be living with your Mother-In-Law because that means she won’t be on her own as she gets older, but at the same time I’m like HOW do you DO that especially in a 2 bedroom apartment?! 🙂
Anyways, that was off-topic so I’ll comment on the real issue at hand. His sister sounds like she is over-reacting a tad. If she seriously doesn’t use the stuff in that room, there is no reason why it can’t be relocated to the front room especially if there is extra space for it. She should be a little more understanding about that! Does she have a primary residence somewhere else? If so, why doesn’t she just take ALL of her stuff over there? I guess maybe she wants to still feel like she has a ‘home’ away from home or something?
At any rate, I hope you get it all worked out. It stinks that you can’t really talk to your husband about this because he is constantly defending his sister 🙁 That makes it hard on you I’m sure, but it sounds like they are super-close and something you’ll just have to deal with. We all wish we were on a private island with only our men. I feel like that myself and we don’t even have roommates lol. Good luck!
Post # 5
im so sorry your going through this! my advice will be move… runnnn, the fast as you can out of there. talk to your husband… thats what i would do. but i cant think of any other solution, sorry.
i wish you luck!
Post # 6
you know what.. I would just actually move her stuff out there and say you got in cleaning mode..
Thats what I do! I go oh im sorry I was just cleaning up and making it more practical!
Post # 7
@Okqueenbee- Oh, I know. The cultural thing is difficult, especially since I’m not Chinese so it’s totally new to me. And I’m not from NYC so I’m not used to these itty bitty living spaces lol But, I love Darling Husband and thought it was better than the alternative to go on even longer with a long distance relationship (we were ate the 4 year mark when I moved out). But Yes, SIL lives with her boyfriend and their roommates the rest of the week. idk, maybe she does want a place to call home and she doesn’t feel like she “belongs” anywhere (which I can totally sympathize with considering I’ve felt like that since I was 14 or so after moving around into my mom’s bf’s houses), but seriously. How can you kick a person out of a room they’re never in? They are super close though, which is something I knew I would have to deal with before I married him, but it’s still not easy.
@Tanya- No, I’m still working on finishing up school and working as a nanny in the mean time, and Darling Husband is in a dead end job. He just applied to grad school to hopefully make things better, but we’ll see. I also brought up moving once before, and he totally crushed me by answering that he wouldn’t move because he can’t leave his sister (um, hello, for 1. she’s 27. I left my ENTIRE FAMILY and everyone I ever knew when I moved from Indiana out to NYC to be with him).
I wish I could just say we’re moving somewhere else, but I/we need to keep peace in the family as best as possible. Plus, our apartment is about as affordable as it gets in NYC for the space and area. If we want to live in the projects, then yeah we could get cheaper, but no thanks. It’s not like we couldnt pay all the bills and rent between the two of us, we’d just be screwed if I lost my job.
@ccrane- I could, but then SIL would get even more huffy and it would make Darling Husband more pissy and it would just be a very uncomfortable place to be, especially since I wouldn’t be able to escape (teeny apartment, and I don’t have any family or friends around I could go stay with to blow off steam). Just not fun overall.
Post # 8
So I sent SIL an email explaining my thoughts about moving her desk. I ran it by Darling Husband first to make sure I wasnt over stepping any boundries or anything (he said “I don’t think so, but you know I’m not very good with these things”) and but he said it was very thorough and that hopefully she’ll understand that there was no malice behind moving the desk. I’m not sure exactly what he told her in the first place, but I do know he’s not very good at relaying messages in their entirety. He tends to try to summarize things, but in turn just butchers it (but don’t most men? lol) So, here’s hoping. She just seems so volatile sometimes! She is definitely an intimidating person.
Post # 9
Wow you are a much better woman than I. If I was in this situation I would have moved all of her stuff out when I moved in. You are a married couple and deserve at least your own bedroom without his mom or sisters stuff. I think it’s great that he is so close to his family, however you are his wife which means he has to think of you too and honestly it sounds like he is being a little unreasonable about not even entertaining the idea of moving. I am assuming you would have his mom continue to live with you if you moved, but his sister seriously is 27 years old, I think it’s time he realized she’s a grown woman and he needs to let go a little bit, otherwise I think it might hurt your relationship in the long run.
Good luck with everything!
Post # 10
as i said, sil is only there twice a week, she just has all her leftover stuff in our room and theyre all pack rats so there is a ton of unneccesary things around. She wanted to move her things to her moms room, but there is really just no space. Mil tried cleaning, but she only seemed to end up with more stuff! I did end up emailing sil and basically it boiles down to dh relaying the message poorly and it just became a misunderstanding. she said she’s been wanting to cutback on rent for awhile but had been afraid to bring it up. She also plans on trying to move out the majority of her stuff sunday and take it to her place so this whole thing really just works out for the better. Also, i know a lot of people think we should just move, but seriously, our rent cannot be beaten for a 2 bedroom apt in nyc ($1050) and we both really like the area. We can walk to the beach! (and feel safe walking around and such). Thanks for the support everyone 🙂