Post # 1
My husband and I live about a 4 hour flight away from all of our family. We usually visit back home together and end up splitting our time between the two families. I don’t enjoy doing it as much because the 4 day vacation turns into only a 2 day vacation with my own family and friends.
I am returning for a few days by myself in a few months and want to spend all the time with just my own family and friends for a change. His family comes out to visit us pretty often and mine doesn’t so I feel like I get the short end of the stick in terms of family time. I don’t have the best relationship with my in-laws and am afraid it might be awkward to get together with just them without my husband. They never really liked me, just grew to accept me once we got married. His mom actually sounded sad when my husband told her he proposed to me and I accepted. I feel like they are very critical of our lifestyle and the decisions that we make and they feel like I am to blame because I don’t persuade my husband to do the things they suggest. I’d honestly rather not deal with it when I’m on “vacation”.
My friend says that things change when you’re married and she thinks that I need to tell them and set up a time to visit. What is your opinion? I was leaning towards not telling them I am coming, but am afraid they will find out. My husband won’t tell, but I’m not sure if my parents might mention it on accident or something. So if they know I’m in town, am I pretty obligated to set up a lunch or dinner with them? Will they talk about me if I don’t? Honestly, they will probably talk about me regardless. But, what do you think I should do? Do you think it’s a big deal to not visit with them?
If the situation were reversed, I do not think that my husband would be expected to visit my family if he were traveling alone.
Post # 3
I think you should set aside 1 hour to meet them for tea or something.
Post # 4
@tandem545: I get on fine with my in-laws, and I wouldn’t. In fact I wouldn’t even mention that I was in town.
I suggest you tell your parents not to mention it to them, though in these days of Facebook it might be hard to stop them finding out. But even if they find out, I think “It’s just a short visit” is adequate excuse.
Post # 5
Well, for the sake of familial harmony, I’d try to make a short visit to see them. I get that you’d feel uncomfortable but it may become even more uncomfortable if they find out you were in town and didn’t at least stop by for a quick hello.
Just my two cents.
Post # 6
Hi @tandem545: first and foremost I see you are relatively NEW to WBee… so a BIG Welcome to “the Hive”
I am a bit of an Etiquette Snob… lol
So I am going to tell you what would be “proper” in this situation
And YES that would be to visit with them, albeit briefly
You are their Daughter-in-law… and don’t get along well as it is… and now you are going to be IN TOWN, and make a point of NOT SEEING THEM
Ya that is a good old fashioned snub.
No point IMO in doing that intentionally… it will just makes things all the worse
Do the gracious thing, and call them. Let them know your time-table is tight (all the time is virtually spoken for)… BUT you could make some time for a quick visit… either to their home, or better yet on NEUTRAL GROUND
Coffee is just right.
(Lol if you were Canadian, it would be totally ok to say “I can meet you at Tim Horton’s on Tuesday around 3 PM, for about an hour… after that I have a Dinner engagement, so unfotunately cannot spare any more time”)
And leave it at that.
Hope this helps,
Post # 7
I do, in small time periods – like I’ll ask to visit for brunch, but have plans for around 1pm so there’s a deadline in place. I think it’s nice and polite.
Post # 8
@tandem545: I would probably meet my Future Mother-In-Law for lunch or something. In all honesty they’ll probably feel as uncomfortable are you would if you hung out for a few days just you + them.
Post # 9
I think a good compromise would be to invite them out to one of your family events while your in town. For example, if your getting a group together for dinner, include them.
I could easily imagine they’d feel slighted if you don’t reach out to them at all while you’re in town – that won’t help your relationship. If you give them the option to join in a group activity you don’t have to sacrafice family time, you don’t have the awkwardness of hanging out with just them, and even if they turn down the invite you get credit for making the offer.
Post # 10
I agree that you should probably mention you’re coming. Can you find an excuse to stop by, like to give them something or get something for DH? That way you can set it up in advance, have Darling Husband call his parents and say “Tandem is spending the weekend with her family, but I know she’d love to see you, will you be around Sunday afternoon for an hour or two so she can stop by?” My ILs live in a separate city from my family, so we either see one or the other, but I would probably at least stop by, and then you can always have an excuse to leave and go do your next activity.
Post # 11
@cbgg: +1 or Zoey’s idea of scheduling a brief drop by to bring something over, even if it’s say an apple pie you made them yourself. A coffee just sounds too formal (planned and scheduled in as a check off on the list) for family.
Post # 12
My honest hunch is to tell you not to see them – but there’s a chance they may find out while you’re in town, and as others are pointing out, it could be seen as a grave insult.
Act like you’re super busy the rest of the time, stop in real quick to see them, etc. It sucks, and I am sorry you’re in this position.
Post # 13
@tandem545: They always find out! Better to tell them you will be in town than to have them find out that you didn’t say anything. You should go see them- but maybe schedule it so you only have to be there for a little bit? Like go there at 4 but have dinner plans that you need to head out to- blaming it on so many people to see while in town.
Post # 14
I agree with a PP who suggested you invite them to do something with your family while you’re there – maybe a dinner with both sets of parents? For me, at least, I try not to think about my in-laws as “his family” – when we got married, they became my family, too. I think it would be impolite to not even see them. Doesn’t mean you need to split your time evenly, but for the sake of your relationship with them, it can’t hurt to see them sometime while you’re there.
Post # 15
Another vote for inviting them to one of your own family’s events. That way you are at least making an effort and they can politely decline if they wish. Everyone’s happy.
Post # 16
I’m voting also to either invite them to lunch with your parents or for a quick bite just with you. Don’t make it sound like a pity invite, but like you’re busy and are trying to make time for them. “I have an hour for coffee Friday night, let’s get together!” Or “Why don’t you two join us for lunch on Monday, we were thinking of going to (thisplace) over by you and were hoping you could join us.”