MIL invites people to our house when they visit

posted 1 month ago in Married Life
Post # 17
1226 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

I agree with pp that you need to talk to your husband before you even consider what to say to your in-laws. It’s his family and he should be the one to set boundaries with them. If you share with him what you’ve shared here and he doesn’t back you up then you know you have a husband problem, not an in-law problem.

If you talk to your husband and he has your back, here are some scripts for him to use with his parents depending on what you decide:

– “This upcoming trip is not going to work for us. Going forward we would prefer if you would wait for an invitation before you make travel plans.”

– “We would be happy to host you for 3 nights of your stay in this area. If you’re planning on staying longer than that it would work better for us if you got a hotel room for the remaining days.”

– “When you’re staying with us, please do not invite anyone to our home without first asking us.”

They key is to make sure all communication of boundaries uses “us, we” language so that you don’t get thrown under the bus. Do not jade (justify, argue, defend, explain) your boundaries. Just calmly state boundaries and if they question them you say “That’s what works for us” or if they don’t let it go “We’ve already answered this question. This is not up for negotiation” or “It sounds like we won’t be able to accommodate your needs to your liking. It would be best if you spent the duration of your trip at a hotel. We’d love to meet up for dinner one night.”

ETA: It’s often better if these conversations happen over text or email. Often it’s easier for people who struggle with confrontation to do it that way and also there’s no possibility of being talked over or the conversation being twisted later on.

Post # 18
732 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

I agree with pp’s you need to talk to your husband and set joint household boundaries. You feel like 3-4 days is max maybe he feels that’s to little time and a week is reasonable, so you both agree to 5 days. You both agree guests need to ask before entertaining others at your home. It needs to be a JOINT discussion on your household visitor boundaries. It’s not singling his parents out it’s everyone and both of your decisions.

“Ive been working on boundaries in therapy and have realized that we need household visitor boundaries. I enjoy having visitor and love your parents visits but with our house size and my mental health 10 days is to much for me. And I start feeling xyz… I’d like to have a limit on the amount of time visitors spend with us…” Then talk about house rules.

I also think some of the example script to use are way to formal for family that you have a good relationship with. “We enjoy having you guys and love that you take the time to come visit us, but we’d like you to only stay at our house for x nights. It’s not personal we love you guys.” Then when they get there just have him say, mom dad, please ask before you invite ppl over. I’d have no problem telling them you don’t like having guests over due to the needed renovations. But I’m big on communicating with people I love and trust. 

Updated to add- Clear communication also cuts down on people making assumptions. If you tell them it’s the state of the house, they know the reason and don’t have to guess. They can say, oh it’s not a bid deal. And you can say it’s a big deal to us. 

Post # 19
4594 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I like my in-laws, but overnight guests exhaust me because I feel like I’m always “on.” After an eight-day stay by my in-laws, I sat down with my husband and explained how I felt, and we set a limit of 4 nights max for any in-house guests. They can split their stay between our house and a hotel if they want to stay longer.

It helped that this was an across-the-rule board for ALL guests, not just his parents, so he didn’t feel like I was attacking his family in particular. It also helped that I waited a little while after the visit to address it, so it wasn’t seen as a reative, irrirated response to his parents’ visit.

As for inviting other people over, your husband needs to address that with his parents and explain that if they want to host other guests, an AirBnb or going to a restaurant would be fine, but you aren’t comfortable coming home to unexpected guests.

Post # 20
21 posts
  • Wedding: April 2019

Completely agree with PP that you need to chat to hubby and figure out some guidelines between yourselves. Once you know where you both stand, I would simply send out a text or an email to the people it concerns with something like this:

‘Hi guys, I wanted to write with a little update on some house rules that _______ and I have been putting in place. While we love having people visit, especially those we don’t get to see as often as we like, we do want to make sure to maintain a good balance for our own lives, both personal and working. Going forward, we’re going to have a house rule that when we have visitors staying in our house we’ll have them stay for a maximum for ____ days at a time. As I’m sure you can imagine, any longer than this can take a toll on housekeeping, privacy and so on. If you plan to visit us and would like to stay for longer than this, we would suggest splitting the time between our place and a hotel, so ___ days in our house, ___ days in a hotel, for a total of ____ days for example. On an added note, we would like to note that while we love having family and friends to stay for short periods, we do expect to be consulted before other guests are invited into our own home – that may seem obvious to some. We are still in the process of redecorating our home and while we love having visitors, we’d prefer to extend invitations to guests of our own choosing at a time when we’re ready to do so. Thanks so much for understanding our rules – these are things that we’ve considered for a long time and they are close to our heart, so even if they seem a little silly to you, we do ask that you respect them out of love for us.’

Obviously, you may get a little pushback, but if you stand firm on it you’ll get what you want, and your family will still have the opportunity to spend some time with you. I hope it all works out OP – I had several people stay in our house for the week of our wedding and I found it suffocating, husband and I are firm on setting boundaries for any future guests now, as we both have anxiety and we prefer our house to be a little oasis for us both.

Post # 21
2831 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse

I would sit down with your husband and tell him exactly how you feel and what boundaries you would put into place. Ask him what his thoughts are and decide what you are both comfortable with. 

After you hash that out, have your husband reach out and tell them what the plan is. They aren’t your parents so it is primarily his job to deal with things like that. 

Post # 22
9 posts

So, I might have an unpopular opinion here but, what are your husband’s feelings? Does he enjoy and look forward to their visits or does he feel the same as you regarding how long they stay? I think it’s worth remembering that it isn’t just your feelings that count here. I’d be crushed if my hubby wanted my mom to limit her visits to 3 days or get a hotel. And I’d never suggest that to him with his family either. That being said, each family had its own culture and that might just be us. 

If your in laws have other family in town and want to invite cousins over , I think they should 100% discuss this with y’all first and get permission but I don’t feel like in and of itself it’s a horrible thing for them to want to do. Not asking and making sure it’s an okay time is definitely out of line though and I can see why you are upset.

im not so sure the answer is to “take their next visit off the table “ unless your husband genuinely wants that also. If their visits are stressful to both of you then yes but if your husband cherishes those visits and you are the only one with the issue, then I’m not sure shelving the next visit or setting strict limits is the right thing.

Post # 23
731 posts
Busy bee

I would be honest with your in-laws– that you are going through a tough time and that part of that is that you need a bit more space and quiet and control over your space than in the past (thus not making them feel terrible for the past while setting boundaries for the future in a non-aggressive way.)

My perspective is that they didn’t do anything terrible (I’m somebody who enjoys having people around and would think nothing if family members invited other family members over without checking in while staying with me, especially if they handled the hosting) and so there is no reason to think they are unreasonable. But you have a right to set the space up for your needs, and there is no reason from their past behavior to think they are unwilling to respond positively if you (really your husband since its his parents) has that conversation with him.)

I would check with your husband to make sure you are making space for his needs around his family as well. 

I would also say– you REALLY don’t have to wait until your house is perfect and renovated to have guests over! That view keeps people apart unnecessarily. Your friends and family don’t care if your house is at its finest. 

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