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Help. No grandparents for my children.

 
 
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2013 12:48 am
I have been married almost 4 years. Prior to our marriage my husband's parents had very little involvment in his life. After we got married they become controlling and overbearing in all aspects of our lives. I know they are only trying to be helpful, but I cannot take all the smothering. His mother called me one day to inform me she left her cellphone at the house. Her and his dad were going to the hardware store, so if we needed them, call his dad's cellphone. I am in the miliatary and we do not live close to either family. Two years ago his family wanted to come visit. We decided it would be best if they came up mid January and stayed for 5 days. We had just moved 5 states two months prior, our son was 4 months old, my maternity leave was ending, and we wanted to spend our first christmas together as a new family. His parents insisted on coming up 3 days after Christmas. When I told my husband I was not comfortable with this, he refused to say anything to them. He said they wanted to come up before January in case the weather got bad and they were staying for 7 days. I had tried talking to him about his parent's overbearing behavior numerous times before. He would not say anything to them, or let me say anything to them, because "they're old." Three days into their visit, I snapped and told them to leave. I told them I could not take them tryign to micromanage our lives across the U.S. This devestated my husband. I tried calling them a couple of days later to apologize and work out a better relationship with them. My call was greeted with hostility, and a "Don't worry we took all your picture down." Since then I have been much less stressed and happy. It is a sore subject with my husband though. He has decided to punish me by staying home when I visit my family and refusing to let them visit us. I have a 2 1/2 year old son and am expecting another child soon. I don't want my children to grow up without their grandparents. please help.
 
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2013 07:26 am
@immaturereactions,
Lots of immature reactions all around. Do own up to your part in this.

You and your husband need to be on the same page with this, as in all aspects of life, particularly with children. Visits are going to happen, and I don't think that his folks arriving 3 days after Christmas did anything to prevent you from having Christmas together. Yes, I know about 12 Days of Christmas, but did you honestly expect to spend that much Christmas together just with your immediate family? His folks rightfully wanted to see their grandchild.

The problem was in the 7 day visit, and with them staying with you. Now, let's try it again, as in - you saying to your husband - "Let's invite your folks over for Easter. But let's pay for them to stay in a motel." Then find a nice one for them and do just that. If your husband balks, or says you cannot afford it, then agree to have them in your home on the condition that the visit be only for 3 days. Explain that a week is too much; it can be difficult when there is friction between people, to be able to keep it together for much longer than that. And plan activities, either way, whether they stay in your home or not. You'll go to the zoo. You'll visit a playground. Maybe one day your inlaws will take the children themselves, and you and your husband will have an afternoon alone together. Maybe you can find a family-friendly movie house.

In short, you need to (a) be the first one to bend in terms of getting them back into your life but (b) make it more manageable for all. Yes, you're doing the work here, but you're the one who asked, and you feel you are suffering, so you need to be the one to do something about it.

Inlaw relationships can be difficult. Distance may mean that they feel the need to get all of their conversations (including nagging) in at once. But hang in there. If you and your husband present a united front, your inlaws can have a good relationship with your children and can be in their lives, but without undercutting you.
immaturereactions
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2013 11:18 am
@jespah,
My son has a relationship with my husband's parents. They refuse to acknowlegde that I exist now. I still let him travel down there and see him. Trust me this is a much happier situtuation for me, considering all the stress they cause. It is my husband who refuses to have anything to do with my family, or let them come visit me.

I have tried to reason with my husband about his parents, even before this happened. My husband acts like a different person when his parents are around. He basically lies to them and allows them to say and do anything they want, no matter how rude it or pushy it is. Since it's his parents I have asked him to talk to them, but he refuses because he thinks they're going to die one day (they're only 56). I said fine, next time they cross a line, please let me handle this then. It's driving me nuts! He would not let me. Anytime I would say you're parents need to back off, he would ignore me and say that my family wasn't perfect either.

When I finally blew up at them, I apologized. I honestly did not mean to hurt anyone's feelings, but I really could not take someone from 8 states away briefing me on how to do my job, even though they've never done it and have no idea what it entails. Where my husband should go to school, even though they have never been to this state. What religion I should raise my child. They sent 7 bibles. When my husband and I were dating they didn't even call him. I had to inisist that we go visit them. The move to our next duty station was a 2 day drive. Instead of letting us move and get settled in, they called every 3 hours, no lie to see where we were and if we neeeded anything. I understand they were trying to be helpful, but I'm grown and their son is grown. It is already stressful enough to travel by myself with a 2 month old in a car packed full without having to pull over and check in with someone every hour. They literally called me to tell me they were going to the store and one of them had left their cellphone at home. That's just not normal. I am not saying I was justified in kicking them out,but after putting up with all the packages they kept sending (random things, like books on places to visit 3 states away, bibles, trinkets and things we did not need or want), the unsolicited advice they had no knowledge of, the constant phone calls, and being ignored, I could not take it. I felt like an unwelcomed visitor in my house.

My husband had a great relationship with my family before this. Now he doesn't want anything to do with my family, because he says it makes him feel guilty. I just want my children to be able to see my family like they get to see his family.

0 Replies
 
immaturereactions
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2013 11:23 am
@jespah,
"The problem was in the 7 day visit, and with them staying with you. Now, let's try it again, as in - you saying to your husband - "Let's invite your folks over for Easter. But let's pay for them to stay in a motel." Then find a nice one for them and do just that. If your husband balks, or says you cannot afford it, then agree to have them in your home on the condition that the visit be only for 3 days. Explain that a week is too much; it can be difficult when there is friction between people, to be able to keep it together for much longer than that. And plan activities, either way, whether they stay in your home or not. You'll go to the zoo. You'll visit a playground. Maybe one day your inlaws will take the children themselves, and you and your husband will have an afternoon alone together. Maybe you can find a family-friendly movie house. "

I tried this before, but got ignored. That was what caused the finally blow up. They're pushy and he won't tell them "no." ever. They guilt trip him into things he does not want to do.
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2013 11:51 am
@immaturereactions,
Sounds like you and your husband need some help on how to work together as partners.

His primary responsibility has to be to you and your children.

I'd recommend that you enter into couple's counselling with him - whether through his school, your employer or a church. If he is unwilling to participate, go to counselling on your own to learn some skills on how to communicate with your husband.

Personally, I'd be reluctant to let a child travel to grandparents who treat you as they do.

I'd definitely encourage you to invite both sets of grandparents to visit with the understanding that the grandparents will be staying in motels when they visit and that there will be no alone time with your children at this point. If any grandparent speaks negatively of any parent - the visits end.


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