Post # 1
So, I have to ask: Is visiting home INCREDIBLY stressful on most/all couples? Or is my experience just a *delightful* anomaly?
It’s not like we haven’t spent time visiting each other’s parents before, but something about this first visit home as newlyweds (we’re moving across-country and wanted to fit in a visit before making the big move) is just causing such a strain on our relationship. The visit is slightly longer than others (2 weeks instead of the usual 1/2 to 1 week), but my god! I was looking forward to having a relaxing time at home before the cross-country move, and this has turned out to be the most stressful “vacation” I’ve ever taken!
I don’t really want to go into the specifics of our situation because it would take too long/I would sound too maudlin/I don’t even understand fully why we are so at odds, but I just wanted to check in with the bees: am I crazy? Is our relationship doomed? Have any of you had similar experiences?
Post # 3
For me it’s somewhere inbetween. And it depends on how long we stay. It’s nice for a day or two. After that we need our privacy back! Good on you for being able to survive a week! Hope it doesn’t change when we’re married.
Post # 4
My hometown is about 7 hours from where we live. I still have a sister and 2 brothers and some nephews there, and try to get there twice a year. I love my family dearly, and one way I do that is by living 300 miles from them. They drove me completely nuts when I lived in the same city. Knowing what I know now, I will never ever live in the same city with any of my siblings again. It is just to stressful. But, a couple of long weekends a year, I can handle. My Fiance makes it more bearable. If my sister gets on one of her rants, he is very good at diverting her. He also keeps them from taking advantage of me, to much. When I go back, my family seems to think it is my job to cook for them all. Apparently, I am the only one who knows how to cook all of my moms and grandmas dishes. If they had their way, I’d be chained to a stove from the moment I get there until I leave. He reminds them, gently, that this is a vacation for me too, and suggests going out to eat instead. I would dread going back there, without him with me.
Post # 5
It depends on how dramatic my family can be.
Post # 6
I really enjoy visits with both of our parents. Whenever we go, we stay in their guest bedroom and have a really enjoyable time. But we each also get along great with our respective in-laws which certainly helps.
Post # 7
haha i love your poll options, but i had to vote other bc it is neither brady bunch-tastic, nor garden-hoe-inducing. I would say that trips home ARE stressful but probably not as bad as what you’re experiencing it sounds like. Although we only live 2 hours from my parents and 3 hours from DH’s parents, so we almost never stay more than 2 nights (and by almost never I mean maybe never at all.. I can’t think of a single time we did).
When we visit my family I get all stressed out because 1) my mom wants to hang out with just me to go shopping or whatever then I worry about my Darling Husband and my dad finding stuff to do together because they are very different people; and 2) I worry about how we as a couple are being perceived by my parents because my parents have a history of over-analyzing our relationship and they do not hesitate to tell me when they think that something is wrong with us.
When we visit DH’s family I’m less worried about appearances and more stressed out because it is just BORING which makes me cranky and then I’m trying to be nice and hide my crankiness.
I think its safe to say though that if we had to spend 2 whole weeks at either of our parents’ homes, we’d both go nuts. 🙂
Post # 8
Two weeks would be way too long to visit either of our families. We all get along great and have a wonderful time every visit, but after a few days we’re normally itching for our privacy back and tired of eating takeout, leftovers or frozen pizza for every meal (for some reason none of our parents like to cook when we’re home and we’ve offered to cook several times, but they micromanage what we make so it’s just as bad). It’s also exhausting to have to make polite conversation for more than a few days and our vacation time is so limited we want to spend some of it actually relaxing!
Post # 9
@moderndaisy: the food thing is so hard! The last two times we visited DH’s family one of us got sick. The last time it was me from eating culvers (which is a fast food place they have in Michigan that is like super greasy chicken and stuff). The time before that it was my Darling Husband because his grandma took us to eat at (I kid you not) a truck stop. We are already strategizing for our upcoming trip in December. We don’t want to be rude or look like snobs but we also don’t want to eat truck stop or fast food really. Current thoughts on strategy are to hide granola bars and trail mix in our bags and feign illness if we’re forced to go to one of those places then eat secretly when we get home lol.
Post # 10
We live within 30 minutes of all our parents (though in different directions), so we visit all of them on a pretty regular basis.
It’s never been particularly stressful.
Post # 11
two weeks is hard…. I usually think about 4-5 days with family is perfect. Just long enough, but not long enough to start pulling our hair out.
Post # 12
We always have a wonderful time when we visit his family (although 2 weeks is pushing it, mostly missing privacy). We’ve never visited my family together (except for my SIL, who we’re living with at the moment), but it’s painful for me to see them for a few days, so I imagine two weeks would be hell.
Post # 13
It totally depends on the day of the hormonal cycle of the matriarch of the family that we arrive. Sometimes, it’s lovely and fabulous. Sometimes, you walk into Hades. But about day 3 I am ready to GO. Same goes for visitng my house, though, so I can’t really talk…
Post # 14
Thanks for all of the responses, ladies! It helps to hear that we are perhaps not as doomed as I may have felt, mid-fight yesterday :). I definitely think that this was too long of a visit, and in the future will not be planning on any visits longer than a week if I can avoid it. We do have our own room, but still feel like we lack privacy (the walls are pretty thin…). Visits home are never super easy, so I don’t know why I imagined this would be some rejuvenating experience. Only a couple more days to go! Ha!
Post # 15
There’s a reason there’s a saying: “Fish and company stink after three days”.
TWO WEEKS?! Yikes! I can understand why the tension is mounting. All I can say is do your best to talk over the issues with your husband. Can you guys break up the time that you are there? Or does your husband have to stay the whole two weeks?
Both sets of parents are local, so we don’t do any visiting – but we dread the extended holiday time with difficult family members (and that’s only for a day!).
I do think it’s normal to get stressed and fight more during the holidays – there are all these expectations that are placed on you and perhaps some expectations you place on yourself that can cause the angst. Try to have the most open and honest conversations with each other as well as spend time introspectively (sometimes you don’t realize what you were going through til after the fact).