visiting his family is like pulling teeth, family is extremely close

posted 2 months ago in Family
Post # 2
62 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

Yeah I would not be okay with any of that. Yes cultures are different, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay in a place that is disgusting or have zero privacy. A good compromise, in my opinion, would be to stay in a hotel but then do more with his family than you normally would with yours (preferably outside the gross house). Is FI against the idea of a hotel?

Post # 4
7181 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I think it’s normal to spend a good deal of time with family when visiting them (more than you are suggesting). But you guys should at least have a private room, preferably a hotel. I’d insist on that.

Post # 5
1200 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

pebbletots :  Why do you have to stay for 3 weeks? Could you guys shorten it and stay in a hotel for that amount of time?

You’re obviously compromising A LOT here. Your hubs needs to compromise as well.

Post # 6
7931 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I would see if you could rent an AirBNB or something for 3 weeks. It might be cheaper than a hotel.

Post # 7
108 posts
Blushing bee

I don’t think you’re being selfish, and that situation would drive me crazy too!

I’ve been on weekend trips with my SOs family and we spend all our time together too. However, on week trips or longer, we have separate hotel rooms and simply plan to do dinner every night together (rest of the time free to roam). My SO is also from Europe, so I also get a little bored sitting through a lot of conversations I can’t understand 😉 That’s something I just deal with honestly, as I feel it’s my responsibility to learn the language. My SO is a huge help in setting these trip boundaries (his mom would have the whole family together 24/7 all year long if she could)

Maybe you can suggest a compromise? He visits his family for a week in winter and you both visit a week in summer? You either need to (a) cut down how long you’re there, or (b) convince your SO that a hotel and personal time is necessary. 

Post # 8
3014 posts
Sugar bee

I think y’all need to find a happy medium. Dinner twice a week when visiting your  fam that you see only once a year would not cut it for me….but neither would nonstop interaction, staying in a filthy home on cots with other relatives…horrific!!

When we visit my husband’s family in his home country, we also go for three weeks and stay with them in their 2 br apt. It is a bit cramped for sure, but at least we have our own room and it is clean! We go out and do our own thing every day, and we take short overnight trips to other areas in the country so it’s not constant interaction with his fam. It’s a nice balance.

Your fiance just needs to stand up to his parents and calmly but firmly state that you will be staying in a hotel/airbnb on your next visit. They may flip out and villainize you, but they’ll get over it. At the same time, I think you should be open to seeing them a lot more often than you would with your family, because it’s important to your fiance. Maybe not every moment of every day, but def more than twice a week for a meal.

Good luck bee, I am still shivering from the description of your FI’s dad’s house! 

Post # 9
2919 posts
Sugar bee

Hmmm I used to stay with my family in Europe for a long time. But it was like we were part of the household. I would vacuum and stuff. So you could (not that you want to on vacation) clean the room you’re staying in. But I too have asthma and this would make it difficult for me too. I’d need extra treatments and even then…

I get that it’s culture but can your FI say that it’s part of Swedish culture to have your own personal space? I mean it goes both ways. I’m sure they will get over it eventually of you stay in a hotel, right? 

Post # 10
1013 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

I agree that you need to find a compromise.

It sounds like the biggest issue is sleeping arrangements, so stick up for that – either a hotel, or an airbnb, or whatever you can find.

For the rest, it sounds like your family don’t spend much time together but I completely understand his wanting to spend more time together when they don’t see each other the rest of the year. Maybe you can agree to have one meal each day with them? Or else to have 3 days with them, one day without?

I’m in a cross-cultural relationship, currently when I go to visit my FI’s family I have a bedroom to myself or with his female cousins and he has one to himself or with his male cousins. However, once we get married and are sharing a bedroom, there’s no way we’ll be sharing that room with others until we have children.

Post # 11
85 posts
Worker bee

You are a saint because I couldn’t deal. Why don’t you compromise to just stay for a couple of days?Surely your man should understand.

Post # 12
691 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

I agree with a PP that you should look into an AirBNB or similar for next time; renting for a few weeks at a time should be cheaper than paying a nightly hotel rate.

But I also think it would be fine for you to visit for a shorter time than your fiancé. You two could go together for one week and stay in a hotel, and he could stay two extra weeks staying in the house with his family. If you split it up so that the one week when you visited was in the middle of his three weeks, then you wouldn’t have to go very long without seeing each other.

Post # 13
1140 posts
Bumble bee

My husband’s family is a bit like this. Not unclean, just when we visit we all sit around for hours and hours. It’s maddening and we all speak the same language so I can’t imagine how it is for you dealing with a second (or third) language. When we visit DH’s family this is how it goes: 

-Wake up, breakfast together

-Sit around in living room talking until lunch

-Lunch together

-Sit around in living room talking until dinner

-Dinner together

-Sit around in living room watching tv until people go to sleep


For my own sanity I’ve started finding ways to dismiss myself from parts of the sitting around. I act like I have a really strict workout regieme, so I have to be out of the house for about 1.5 hours per day, and of course after that I must shower and wash my hair, so another 30 minutes. That gets me 2 hours of peace a day. I also offer to cook a few dinners when I’m there, which means I have to go to the grocery store, shop, come back and cook. Maybe you can do that? Find ways to get out of the house alone. 

Post # 14
749 posts
Busy bee

Oh gosh, I would not be able to handle that.  Even if the issue with the filthy has wasn’t a factor, I cannot stand that much time around other people!  I’m extremely introverted and need a lot of down-time.  

When we visit my family, it’s much like visits with your family – stay in a hotel, share occasional meals or do occasional activities. Last time my dad/stepmom came out to visit us, we had dinner with them most nights, had brunch on the weekend, but mostly they wanted to do their own thing (touristy things we had little interest in, visiting friends who live nearby, etc).  We did wind up going to one museum with them because there was a special exhibit we all wanted to see.  

With his family, I think you need to start setting boundaries now, before you have kids (assuming you want them?).  What if you have a baby and his entire family expects to show up and spend 3 weeks in your house???

Get a hotel or an Air BnB – look into options lilke hotel loyalty progreams to earn points and get free nights.  If he’s concerned his family will be offended, he can tell them that while this much togetherness may be the norm in his culture and family, it’s not the norm for you.  (It may be that having your own space will help you tolerate spending a bit more time with them, knowing you can escape to your clean hotel room later?)  Maybe a white lie and say something about you’ve developed some sleep issues and your doctor wants you to ensure you don’t deviate from specific sleep patterns, you don’t sleep well when room-sharing?

Post # 15
206 posts
Helper bee


I was in similar situation…i will say this…it got to the point that I told hubby me or them! (Stay in hotel)

Your husband needs to remember when he married you, that you come first, health & happiness….his family 2nd….you can not please everyone…

Be firm….they will get over it! & your marriage will bloom 🙂

Best of luck 

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