Originally Posted by That Is Nice
Maybe DH and I are freaks. Or losers. I don't know. It seems like a lot of people have pretty nice set ups with king size beds, 5 bedroom houses, and tvs and stuff.
Or do people have more debt than us? Honestly, how are you guys all paying for this stuff?
I say this as gently as possible. Who cares? You live your life the way you want to and that's fine. Some people live their lives with king sized beds, some live in debt, some get paid well and can afford everything. Why stress about it?
The same thing with your inlaws. They're not going to be the people you want them to be, EVER, so you need to let it go. I've seen several threads where you've been agitated about it, but what's it going to do in the end? You might not think you project this, but I wouldn't be surprised if in the end, some way you do, which will also affect your relationship with your inlaws. Again, gently, I do agree with cycle and therapy. You have had more people than I can count tell you on this topic, that you're not handling it in a healthy way.
In my group of friends, one woman has inlaws who rely on their son to negotiate petty family wars of upwards of 50 people. They barged in on her room shortly after delivery and in their fussing over the baby, they tried to give the newborn food and what have you. Another friend has a MIL who is always in her face, dragged her to a therapy appointment because she cannot stop wondering why my friend is so distant and not cozy cozy with her. Another friend has inlaws who dictate to their son every move in his life and he listens. You are not in a unique situation, believe me!
On to your question. My inlaws are fussy neurotic people. They like their structure, their way. I can't imagine them ever staying in our house for more than a few hours, even if they had the complete run of it, because it's not theirs. I can count on my hands the number of times I've ever seen inlaws just sit and relax, even when we've been on vacation together. They are incapable, which drives me batty.
My inlaws live about a 10 minute walk away. They are very involved in my childrens lives and my kids love them.
One of my biggest learning points in life is learning to get along with my MIL and not being the DIL. I treat my inlaws as I would any of my close friends. They are family, but this helps to make things clearer for me. I'm considerate of their feelings, and respect my boundaries. I wouldn't be upset if one of my friends were closer to another, or another person's kids, so long as the time they spend with mine is good for my kids. If my boundaries include no drinking in the house, so be it. If they don't like it, then it's their problem. We've had to tweak and work on our relationship and expectations of family commitments and obligations, but that's after 15 years of working together.
You need start at the beginning. Treat them like they are wanted, treat them like they are friends, lose your expectations of them, because you're probably scaring them half to death. Don't expect things to change overnight, it's going to take years to repair damage and build and you're just going to have to come to terms with who they are and either accept it, or not, but trying to change them is not going to get you anywhere.