How do you tell your husband and his family no to the next family trip

posted 2 years ago in Family
Post # 46
196 posts
Blushing bee

1. He needs to understand that if he feels its his duty to make his mom happy no matter how ridiculous the request or no matter how rude/boundary crossing she is to him… thats on HIM.  But it wont work for you and your family (i.e. if you have kids–him expecting you and them to let her control things will be an issue).  Him expecting you to just suck it up is not ok.  (This is with regards to her calling you a brat for having a gallbladder attack and caring about your family during a hurricane..).  This sounds so obvious but in my experience it can take a LOT of time and therapy for them to understand this point vs turning on you for not “just” going along to get along/swallowing any hurt she causes and pretending it never happened.

2. He needs to understand that you maintaining healthy boundaries includes not going on annual expensive, week-long vacations to a place you don’t want to go with people you can’t handle a week around.  You are his partner and you want him to be happy, so you should (IMO) compromise and go SOME years, but annually is just too much.  Your happiness matters too.  If he derives happiness from his mother being happy, that is just part of who he is–you cannot change this.  But just like you want him happy, he should want you happy too.  There is a compromise to be made.

I wrote this taking at face value what you said about her being controlling etc.  I think many of the examples you put are not that controlling–wanting to know weekend plans and wanting to know flight #s is well within the bounds of normal, IMO.  Thats taking an active interest in her kids lives, IMO.  Now, if she feels she has VETO power over weekend plans or that she deserves to be in every single weekends plans, that’d be too much.  I wrote the above assuming these were just examples you threw in cus she’s your BEC, but I think when you do try to hash this out with your husband its important for you to do your best to seperate what she does that you dislike cus you dislike her, and what she does you dislike cus its actually invasive, controlling, or rude.  Just my 2 cents.

Post # 47
1567 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

Oh man, I have been to Destination Wedding once and I loved it! And that’s coming from someone who spent all her summers growing up in Europe. But I went to Destination Wedding with my hubby as adults, just us, and we went during the food and wine festival. 

A) his mother is TOTALLY out of line given your circumstances. But unfortunately, I’ll say you have a husband problem. He needs to step up and be a husband – your partner, the other half of your unit. We are going to Hawaii with my in laws but it is right around our anniversary, so I’ve asked my husband if we could split the trip – 4 days with them and maybe 3 alone, and he is happy to do this.


B) I do think you would have a better experience at Destination Wedding on your own terms. Disney is better in off season. Very few rides had as long of a wait as you are stating. Food and Wine is amazing for adults, especially if you liked Epcot. I’d lay some ground rules – you are open to going, but only if you are spending 2-3 days with family, and 3-4 just the two of you. Period. 


We are currently on vacation with my family and I’m making sure we have plenty of alone time. Because I have set boundaries with my family from a very early stage. It is something my husband has had to work through on his side. Sounds like it’s time for your husband to do the same. 

Post # 49
7422 posts
Busy Beekeeper

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bfree87 : My mom is the same way about flights when my husband and I travel, and I accommodate her on that…BUT, she has not abused that power. Like it has no bearing on my life or my husband’s life if my mom is sitting there checking on our fllight while we’re in the air, so whatever.

But in your case there are clearly a lot of other boundary issues going on, and that context is important in understanding why this behavior of hers — which seems normal to many people — really bothers you.

Are you going to talk to your husband again about all this?

Post # 51
1178 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

Do not have a sit down with your Mother-In-Law. That will not end well.

Post # 52
3081 posts
Sugar bee

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bfree87 :  I say this as a HUGE disney lover (annual pass holder at Disneyland, California)

It is not for everyone. Even for someone who loves it, you have to pick the right times to go when its not crowded and take weather into consideration ESPECIALLY IN FLORIDA. But i did 5 days with MY OWN family in WDW and i was over it. 

We just dont do well on vacations with others. We like our own time table and DEFINITELY our own accomodations. 

You have tried it and havent enjoyed yourself. Why would your husband want to even waste money on flights and accomodations for you? Plus, its really not that fun to go with someone who doesnt want to be there.

I would really push for them to go without you and try to get your husband to understand your view on this. Is it really about him wanting to spend this time with you or because he doesnt know how to tell his family no?


Post # 53
811 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
bfree87 :  but who cares if she wants to see the flight take off and land? What’s the big deal?  I just don’t get it. I’m sure she does other things that are annoying but seriously who cares if she has your flight number if it’s not affecting you, maybe she has anxiety about air travel and just wants to make sure your flight is fine.  Personally I think if you make a big deal about the flight info to your husband he will indeed think you are being a “brat” to his mother, and also unreasonable. 

Post # 54
2645 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

I get hating Disney.  Trust me, I despise everything Disney and the whole fairytale B.S.  Not my cup of tea.  DH and I don’t have kids and it’s looking like we never will, so hopefully we never have to make the obligatory Disney trip.  With that said, it sounds like Disney is important to your husband.  If it is, I’d suggest a compromise of every other year, or every two years, or whatever it is you guys come up with that work with you two as a couple.

Post # 55
8009 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Your husband’s refusal to even discuss healthy boundaries is your problem. You could talk to your Mother-In-Law until you’re blue in the face and as long as he tells her she’s fine it will continue. 

I would just bow out of this trip and let him know that he’s welcome to go but as long as he doesn’t have your back you’ll amuse yourself elsewhere and that you hope he has a great time. And then plan a kick-ass vacation for yourself. 

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