I have a different kind of question for you. Picture a two bedroom apartment, one bedroom is me and my husband's (our toddler also sleeps in the room) and the other is a guest bedroom/office. My father-in-law and sister-in-law are visiting at the end of the month and I just had a weird argument with my husband about who's going to sleep where. I said we'll give the guest bedroom to them both, where they can keep their luggage and belongings, and at nights his father can sleep there and his sister can sleep on a mattress in the living room.
Would you believe that this actually upset my husband? He wants his father in the guest bedroom, and his sister with me and the baby in the bedroom and he's going to sleep in the living room! We come from a culture where when there's little room and too many people the men and women divide into two groups and they all sleep separately, but in this case they are only 2 people and I don't see an issue why the sister who's in her mid 20s can't sleep in the living room!
My issue is that I don't want to separate from my husband for a whole month and share my bedroom with his sister instead! I mean am I asking for too much? I don't even know why he made such a big deal out of it! He thinks we'll be disrespecting them if I ask her to sleep in the living room! But what about disrespect to my wishes?!
2 weeks before giving birth to our daughter (2 years ago), 2 of his sisters and his father came to visit us and stayed for a month. The 2 girls ended up staying with me in the bedroom and my husband slept in the living room while his father slept in the guest bedroom
I got so upset at the time that my husband 'deserted' me when I needed him most. And ever since then we haven't slept together in the same bedroom. His excuse is that it's too hot for him there and the baby wakes him up 10 times at night and he just can't do it.
So when the topic of who will sleep where came up tonight he said why should it matter that his sister sleep with me in our bedroom when he doesn't sleep there anyway? And I got upset because I said it's about time that we start sleeping in our bedroom together because even our daughter has noticed that mommy and daddy have separate rooms! My husband spends so much time in his office/bedroom that whenever my daughter passes by it she'll point at it and say 'daddy' even when he's not in there :(
I'm really upset. I'm beginning to think my husband has fallen out of love with me. We've been married 4 and a half years and it just kills me inside that I have no special place within him. What do you make out of this story? Is it natural that when somebody comes stay with you and especially that length of time that you don't share your own bedroom with them? I tried explaining to him that even if it were my own sister I wouldn't ask her to come sleep in my bedroom for a whole month so my husband sleeps outside. I mean I don't get it.
My husband got very upset and he ended the conversation by saying that it's not me who decides who sleeps where and that I should have told him of this a week ago before they had bought their tickets so he would tell them not to come since they're not going to be welcome here by my actions. And all the while I'm thinking 'what'?!!!!!
I don't know really.. I know it's a strange situation. What would you do if you were in my position? Stand your ground and say you're not sharing your bedroom with anybody? Or share your bedroom with his sister for a month? If I choose the former I risk making my relationship with my husband even worse than it is. If I do the latter I betray my own principles. (But not having my husband with me on this one doesn't really make it worth anything)
I even told him fine we'll give them the bedrooms and you, me and our daughter will sleep in the living room!
That's a weird situation. I don't see why it's a big deal for someone to sleep in the living room if they don't mind but, honestly, I'm not sure I would be comfortable sleeping on a mattress in my sister's living room for more than a few days.
When you say 'share a room' with you do you mean his sister sleeps in the bed with you for a month? I wouldn't be comfortable with that arrangement either.
Why does the father in law need his own room? Can the living room mattress be put in that room so the guests can share it?
So DH does not currently sleep with you, correct? I understand wanting him to sleep with you but since you are having company anyway it doesn't seem like the ideal time to push that issue. I would consider having SIL sleep in your room (if it doesn't make you totally uncomfortable or something) and let DH share with FIL or sleep in the living room. If he hasn't been sleeping with you anyway for the last two years, I don't see what difference another month or so makes at this point. Then, once your company leaves, you can ask him to please consider moving back into the bedroom (or consider therapy if there's something more going on there...)
If I were SIL, I would not be comfortable sleeping in the living room for an entire month. What if she's jet-lagged, or not feeling well, or just needs some space? She probably would want somewhere to retreat to so she's not stuck in the middle of everything...
Maybe you can call SIL and explain the apartment setup and ask her where she would be most comfortable sleeping.
And honestly, I can't for the life of me imagine having guests for that long in a small space... yikes.
I'm sorry for the struggles with your marriage and I hope you can work them out. I understand why he might have trouble sleeping in the same room as the baby, so it may not have any reflection on his love for you. A compromise might be to move the baby out of your room so the two of you can sleep together. Or get an A/C so it won't be so hot. Ask him what it would take to get him back into your bedroom. But I'd still wait 'til after the guests leave to put any plan into action.
It sounds like you have some serious marriage problems that this visit is bringing to a head.
1. Your husband hasn't slept with you in 2 years. This is really huge, but doesn't come up until half way through your post.
2. When he is home, your husband spends most of his time in the guest room/office, rather than with you and your child.
3. You guys planned an extended visit (and sounds like are paying for the flights) but didn't talk through how the visit would work. To me, this indicates a lack of communication in your marriage.
I think the visit itself is just a side note, it's not the real problem. A month is a long time for a visit, but it's a drop in the bucket compared to marriage. My advice is to get your DH to marriage counseling ASAP and to start working on communicating together, so that you can get to the bottom of his complete refusal to sleep in the same room as you and his preference to spend his waking hours in a different space.
but everything has pros and cons
Thank you all very much for your responses. I have calmed down considerably and re-considered the whole situation. The whole in-laws visiting and separation from my husband is really not the primary issue. My marriage has been rocky for the past 2 years and it's been about a month that we're trying seriously to change things around. So I just didn't want to sleep without my husband after we had started making changes. I was hoping to keep the momentum. I made a mistake by getting upset over it because now my husband is upset and thinks I have little respect for his family. The situation is bizarre somehow because if I had been in this situation I would not have minded sleeping with my father in the same room. Or sleeping in the living room, because after all it is just sleep. The guest bedroom will be for them both to keep their belongings or retreat there whenever they wish. Another reason why I didn't want my sister in law in my bedroom was because when we were expecting our daughter I wanted our bedroom to be a welcoming haven for her, clean, airy, fit for a newborn. Instead, it was filled with my SILs plastic bags and shopping bags and no matter how many times I asked her to take them out, she wouldn't!
And regarding our marriage, crunchy mommy and Linda on the move, you are both right, and I appreciate your posts and I will be trying my best to work matters out, especially those concerning communication because it seems that our relationship has taken a backseat to the other matters in our lives and it's breaking us apart. My only issue is that my husband dismissed the idea of counseling when I brought it up. So I have to try once more or somehow get some unbiased third party involved. We are both private with our issues and have not spoken to anyone about them. This is my first time talking about it and it has already made me hopeful!
I might actually write a few things and get feedback from others and some tips/advice on how I should approach my marital problems.
Thank you so much!
For a lot of couples, going from being a couple to family is rough. Babies are more work than any of us realized before we had them, and their impact is not something we could plan for. It is much, much harder to really take time to connect while caring for a baby, esp. when practicing APing.
My only issue is that my husband dismissed the idea of counseling when I brought it up. So I have to try once more or somehow get some unbiased third party involved. We are both private with our issues and have not spoken to anyone about them. This is my first time talking about it and it has already made me hopeful!
There are other things you could do, like pick out a good book on marriage and then work through it together. You could also start figuring out ways to have fun together. Having fun together is huge.
My DH is also from another culture. When our marriage tanked, I set up an appointment for marriage counseling at a time he could attend if he wanted to, and let him know that I would be going with or without him because I could not continue the way we were. He ended up going just so he could say his side. We have an wonderful marriage now. We learned to communicate much better, and let go of stuff from the past, we started having fun together again. I'm big on counseling because that's what worked for us, but there are other things you guys can do. Different things work for different people.
but everything has pros and cons
Thank you for your tips and advice Linda. I like the idea of having fun together, I'm currently working on getting together a list of things we could both do and have fun (it's harder than it seems since we have different interests) but I'm sure we'll have a few things we can both enjoy. I tried in the beginning to read a book with him but he's just not into it! So after my in-laws leave I'm definitely going to a counselor with or without him to at least get another perspective and sort my life out. Thank you all once again.. it's really helpful even talking about it!
Wish you all the best,