Post # 1
My husband has a lot of family that live close to us (within a 45 minute drive). There are his parents, 3 grandparents, 2 sets of uncles and aunts and 12 cousins (some are adult cousins that have recently moved here from out of town). My family all live out of town about 10 hours away.
I see my own family 2 to 3 times a year, but I see my husband’s family once a week on average. We get together for every holiday, birthdays, family dinners, weddings, graduations, etc. There is always something going on! The problem is I don’t care for my in-laws that much. We are very different people. My husband’s family are all conservative Catholics who aren’t very open minded or welcoming toward me. I’m pretty liberal and describe myself as spiritual (I don’t attend church) with a protestant background.
Ideally, I would want to see his family once a month, but like I said, there’s always something going on! If I decline an invitation to do something, I feel like I’m hurting my relationship with them or with my husband. But it’s getting overwhelming, and I feel sad that I don’t ever get to see my family. I wish they lived closer, so I could spend time with them instead of my in-laws all the time.
Does anyone else have this problem? Should I continue to see them so often, or is there a nice way for me to limit our time together? I should also mention that I have a son, so now they want to spend even more time together to see him.
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2012 - Oak Tree Manor
I have this same exact problem – well, I adore my in-laws, but I would rather not hang out with them every single weekend. Sorry, I have no advice, I’m listing to follow to see what others suggest!
Post # 4
You just have to get used to the idea that you will have to say no once in a while. I see my parents probably once every two weeks, and I would definitely see them more if I didn’t have to drive there (it’s only 20 minutes, but I’m lazy). My SO doesn’t really have a reason to see them more often. He doesn’t hate them, but they’re just not close. I don’t make him come with me. I either go when he’s working, or I just leave him to have some alone time.
His mom, on the other hand, always wants to see more, more, more of us. If she knew during one of his visits that I had decided to stay home and didn’t actually have plans she’d probably be miffed. That being said, sometimes I just can’t stand to be there when we visit on a Saturday, and she is already asking us if we are available to have her over on Sunday. Eventually SO had to start putting his foot down, and telling her that we want to spend time at home (alone). She’s probably upset about it, but we don’t pay a ton of money for rent to live away from her just to spend all of that money in gas to come see her three times a week.
You’ll just have to say NO sometimes, and have your DH support you on that decision. If he wants to go, that’s great, but maybe you want to spend some time at home with your DS. Yes, babies are great and grandparents love them, but they don’t really NEED to see him once a week!
Post # 5
Did your husband see his family as often before you got married? Before engagement? If so, then, well, I can’t see this being an easy fix. Family time seems to be very important to them, and to try and put a “limit” on that would not end well. I am all for boundaries, but I think this is something that needs to be dealt w/ more on your side w/ your husband than directly w/ his family. Maybe instead of saying no to stuff w/ them outright, try to make more “family” time for you, your husband and your son. If you plan family time for you 3, then naturally, i would think, things would begin to balance out. But definitely talk to your husband and let him know how you feel. My cousin and her husband have “family” time for themselves and their baby every friday/saturday. So that means nobody can bust in to see the little guy if they have plans. If there’s a party or something going on, they work around that to make time for themselves. It works for them. Maybe give that a try?
Post # 6
@Bichon Frise: we are in a similar situation and while I do like my in-laws, we are quite different and I’d honestly rather lay on the couch than spend time with them. I was just honest with DH and told him that I don’t want to spend so much time with them and he understood.
Post # 7
Thanks for the replies. Part of the issue I’m having is on top of seeing them weekly, the in-laws also want to do trips. We agreed to one weekend beach trip together this summer, but now I’m hearing that all of the family (including extended) wants to get together for a weekend in the fall. That means two separate weekend trips where I’ll be surrounded by my in-laws round the clock! Does anyone have to go on multiple family vacations as well as see the in-laws regularly?
Post # 8
@Bichon Frise: Talk to your husband and put in place a strategy to see them less often. Once a week is suffocating. And vacations with family members are a special form of pain in my opinion. There’s no need to go away with them if you see them all the time: talk to your husband about making alternative plans.
The key to this is your husband. It’s easy to see them less, if your husband is on board. I do wonder though… have you communicated to him how you feel about seeing them so often?
Post # 9
Honestly, I find it kinda weird. We live within an hour of both our parents and dont see them nearly that often. Is it possible to sit things out if they insist on getting together so often? I see my family without DH sometimes.
Post # 10
- Wedding: September 2014 - Turf Valley
I cannot be around the same people, let alone in-laws that frequently. Geeez! I would not think of it as hurting your relationship with them or your husband. I don’t think (hopefully) that they would feel that way.
Post # 11
I don’t even see my friends that often. I’d put my foot down.
We both live within an hour from our families and don’t see them that often, maybe once per month. Which is totally doable.
Post # 12
@aussiemum1248: I have talked to him, and he doesn’t see what the big deal is. He loves his family, so he enjoys spending time with them often. I think he wouldn’t mind seeing them several times a week or more! When I talk to him, he says he wants me to have a better relationship with his family and go with the flow more. He also said I can stay home if I don’t want to attend certain events, but I can tell he’s disappointed when I do.
Post # 13
@MrsPHopefully: surprisingly, he saw his family less when we were dating. He said marrying me made him closer to his parents somehow. I try scheduling family time with just the three of us, but we still have time unaccounted for. Like if we say we’re busy Friday and Saturday, his parents will say what about Sunday? They will keep asking until they find a block of time when we’re free.
Post # 14
@Bichon Frise: Wow same situation here! Its sooo much worse in the summer too. Literally they will take up 3 weekends in both July and AUgust. i discovered i have to plan things 6 months in advance so i can say “no, we are doing blank on that day instead sorry”.
And also i just dont care anymore if they have an problem. I cant make it to EVERY single function. I missed christmas ONE year and then was told last year “oh i’m surprised youre here you never spend christmas with us.”. Seriously? One year we missed it and i get this? I stopped caring. His mom is overbearing and stubborn and we just ignore it now.
Post # 15
@Swizzle: I think my problem is I care too much. I feel like I’m the difficult one who is always turning them down or trying to change plans, but they really do ask a lot of me. And it’s easy to be the difficult one when his other siblings aren’t married or have kids. One brother has a girlfriend, and she will literally do anything he tells her to. She wasn’t even Catholic, and now she goes to mass with him every Sunday. His parents loooove her! So of course I’m seen as the bad one. I guess I need to embrace my role and stop caring about if they like me.
Post # 16
@Bichon Frise: Before my dh started working with his family we were with them every single weekend and to be honest at the time we didn’t understand each others’ ways of doing things very well. Since then we have being visiting less but because I now get them, I’m the one requesting we visit. If dh is out of town, I’ll go by on the weekend. Would I prefer to see my family more, most definitely! They are 12 hours away and I miss them like crazy but that doesn’t mean my dh shouldn’t see his family as much as I want to see mine.
I started making an effort with them and guess what they made the effort to. Bake a cake and suggest visiting them, show your husband you are trying and if your relationship still doesn’t improve, then he can’t fault you for it. Yes sometimes my in-laws and I still disagree but I’ve learnt to be more open with them and them with me. Like it or not they are also your family now and even if you don’t believe that, they will be your children’s family. I never believed it until I tried it and it worked,but a little effort goes a long way.