Improving accommodation of inlaws for the sake of a grandchild - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 103 Old 08-13-2010, 11:10 AM
 
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Oh my God? Seriously? She admitted that? Out loud? To you? She likes the grandchildren who look like her better?

Maybe that is part of what's going on here! My son, except for his coloring, looks like me. His hair color and complexion come from his dad's side, but the bone structure, face, physical features, eyes are me, me, me. Maybe that is why they don't like him.

By contrast, his cousin the same age whom they visit frequently is the spitting image of BIL who looks like FIL.

Interesting!

I don't know how much weight this has, but you might be on to something. I mean, I wouldn't be surprised, I guess!
Yes, she did say it straight to me. At least she didn't say it to my DDs, I guess. What she actually said was that she had been waiting 20 years for a red headed grandchild. (There is a 20 year age gap between my oldest nephew and my sister's oldest child). When the second niece was also a redhead, she was ecstatic and told me how much she loved being with them because "everyone can tell at a glance that I am their grandmother and that is why they are my favorites."

Of course, she also sees a lot more of them as they live in the same country.
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#62 of 103 Old 08-13-2010, 11:49 AM
 
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Exactly.

Thanks.

That was always my opinion. Until MIL started saying things like "we don't visit because you work and SIL is a stay at home mom."

...

I should just take that attitude and forget about DS in terms of a grandparent relationship. DS has me, his teachers, his friends, my friends. I guess that will have to be enough.
I'm a SAHM, I have a guest room with a large bed and a pool and right now a/c that is running at max (I'm very pregnant), six million goodies in the house, we were even gifted a ginormous TV (which we keep downstairs to play video games on). But again, so what? If they don't like your accomodations and it's what you're willing to provide, then good on you for setting your boundaries and stepping away from being upset about their choices.

Growing up, we were the black sheep of the family. Most of our relatives outright rejected us. Today, I wouldn't know them if I walked right into them. But I have family, I have a great family. We created family, being in an inner city community really facilitates that too. We had a birthday party for my mom recently, and not one blood relative was there outside of me and my kids, but it was busy and full and we had a great time. Family doesn't have to be blood.

I'm really hoping for you that you keep on focusing on your life and what is working and what really needs to work, as opposed to this inlaw issue.

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#63 of 103 Old 08-13-2010, 11:53 AM
 
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Oh, yeah! I would LOVE if my inlaws did this. If they came and stayed in a hotel, and came over, we did something for a while, they returned to the hotel for a nap or some downtime, then they returned later or the next day. Heaven. I've invited them to do this. They have said no. They don't want to do that.

We have hotels within 5 minutes of our house. Affordable ones, too.

I've also asked them what they want to do and they never say anything and FIL gets antsy just sitting and won't take off his coat and paces around the room.
Sweetie, this is because your FIL is an alcoholic. Not a recovering alcoholic. A guy who can't relax because he's thinking about having a drink which you are trying to pretend he doesn't need. This could be THE problem. My mom is an alcoholic and we just moved out of state, 3 years ago. It was the first time I got to experience my mom as a houseguest. It was not fun. My mom was a closet drinker, so even though we all knew she was an alcoholic, she did her VERY BEST to not drink while visiting us for 5 days. I don't drink, so there was no alcohol around and I didn't even think about purchasing any for her. But it killed the entire trip. She was antsy, didn't want to do anything. She just had an uncomfortable look/feel about her.

I know you don't want to buy your FIL alcohol, but the fact that you and your dh are pretending like he's sober may be making him so uncomfortable that he doesn't want to be there. And maybe it makes MIL uncomfortable too. If I had to do it over again, I would have taken my mom to the grocery store when she got here and let her go through and pick out special "foods" that she wanted. She could keep her wine a secret in her room or drink it openly. Having her relaxed would have been more fun than having her pace my floors and ignore my children. And I truly believe that she would not have drunk her self into a stupor while visiting. But *maybe she would have been at ease enough to enjoy her family. That's my

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#64 of 103 Old 08-13-2010, 11:55 AM
 
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I think I will just focus on not having them be a part of our lives. That's what I've been doing the last few months and, really, we don't miss out on much and things are much easier without them. No worries...just a missed opportunity.

It's not the most horrible thing in the world. Actually - from my point of view - it's easier not dealing with them. I was just trying to improve things for my DS. But I should count my blessings.

I should just take that attitude and forget about DS in terms of a grandparent relationship. DS has me, his teachers, his friends, my friends. I guess that will have to be enough.
YES!!! And you know what? I bet it has already been enough for your DS. Kids always dwell on the happy stuff and will always seek that out. EVERYONE's life is about attitude and what we choose to focus on. You've been putting yours into the wrong place, and you've been emotionally suffering for it. I'm so proud of you for realizing it ("Things are much easier") and giving yourself a NEW mantra ("I should count my blessings")!!

Now for the tough love part. You HAVE to put that into practice. Give yourself permission to do what we've been telling you: Stop focusing your time and energy on trying to change other people. Put it where it rightfully belongs -- in yourself, your DS and the people you can have healthy relationships with day-to-day. Do that every day, and every day you will fill up with a bit more joy. Do that every day, and every day your newly focused joy will trickle down to your DS. (ETA: Check my siggy if you want to know how I know this. )

Once a day, stop and tell yourself: "I am blessed. I have good friends. I have my DS. My DS has good teachers. My DS has good friends. I am allowed to focus on those things. And I should focus on those things so I can strengthen them and make my life a little better every day." And if it is a bad day, say it again. And again.

It is just one simple thing to do every day. You can do it!!! And we'll be here to remind you to tell yourself what you've realized here every time you think you can't. I know I will. I'll even C&P that part I just said into a reply if I have to.

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#65 of 103 Old 08-13-2010, 12:00 PM
 
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Family doesn't have to be blood.
We find this to be true at our house. We have a full life with many friends. No need for the drama and heartache that family can cause.
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#66 of 103 Old 08-13-2010, 01:34 PM
 
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That was always my opinion. Until MIL started saying things like "we don't visit because you work and SIL is a stay at home mom."

"We don't visit because you do not have a comfortable couch and place to watch tv. We don't visit because there is no guest bedroom."

"We really like BIL's pool and house."
Your MIL is a co-dependent. A co-dependent's job is to make excuses for the addict. Your MIL is never going to say "the reason we don't stay with you is because FIL needs to drink and we know you will cast a critical eye." so she shields the truth with other excusses/reasons.
...
Pick up any book about it and you will swear that it was written about your family.
Yes yes yes. And because it sounds like you grew up with it, you tend to respond to it.

My grandfather became an alcoholic in late adulthood; Before he got soberagain, my grandmother used to call my parents regularly to make everything about *them*, blame THEM for what was going on. Grandpa drank because he felt guilty that *my* allergies were inherited from *him*! Grandpa was upset because my father wasn't volunteering to mow grandpa's lawn! Grandpa was upset because my dad didn't have a "real" job!

NONE of those things were the real reasons for ANYTHING. Grandpa was upset because he was depressed and self-medicating with scotch. Grandpa didn't feel well because he had the DTs.

My MIL was even worse. EVERYTHING was someone else's fault. I could go on for pages and pages with awful stories about crap she said. An active alcoholic is going to say just about anything to protect their alcoholism, and you cannot change that.

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#67 of 103 Old 08-13-2010, 01:47 PM
 
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I wanted to clarify my relationship with my MIL (and FIL) and answer a question about what I do for them. What do you do for your inlaws to foster the relationship with their grandchild(ren)? Please, before posting, please do not say you do not believe grandparents don't have to treat grandchildren fairly or that you leave it up to your DH/partner. I need to foster the relationship and improve the connection between my inlaws for my child's sake. Thanks. I am not looking for them to lavish attention on my child. I'm simply seeking some level of fairness in how they treat all of their grandchildren and an improvement in the relationship/connection/bond.

What I do for MIL (and FIL):

- I do have a very nice place for MIL to sleep and I have always put out fresh sheets, blankets and pillows for her. Yes, it is an air mattress, but it is quite comfortable (more comfortable than where we sleep, actually) and it is clean and fresh and in a quiet area of the house.

- I go to the grocery store before her visit and get good things (just not meat) and usually I order pizza or other take-out for her and she chooses what she wants from the menu. More often than not, DH and I pay for it.

- I send them pictures of their grandchild, and lots of information on what is going on in their grandchild's life. Frequently.

- I used to send lots of cards (for things like Father's Day/Mother's Day, etc). For years. I send them art projects from school, drawings, special hand-made messages and cards from my child, etc.

- I invite them for field trips, for birthday parties, for playgroups. For holidays. For visits in general. I always extend the invitation to them both (both FIL and MIL).

- I try to engage FIL in conversation about things that interest him. His yard. His hobbies. The weather. What's going on in his home town.

- I try to engage MIL in conversation about things that interest her and I listen to what she says.

- I always offer to pay for things like take-out, pizza we order, the admission to places we go. More often than not, DH and I do pay. We never free load off of them and we always, always offer, which both MIL and FIL have remarked about and have said they really respect us for.

- I take MIL out for lunch, and pay. I take MIL out for coffee, and pay. I take MIL out for ice cream, and pay. I take MIL to movies, and pay.

- I ask what they would like to do first. I ask for their ideas about agendas for the day. I try to elicit ideas from them. What would you like to do? What do you enjoy? Oh, I don't know. Whatever is fine is always the reply. But they always say it's a problem or snipe about it after the fact. This has happened so many times. They don't speak up and I think they are fine with things, then learn later they didn't like it.

- I used to buy them gifts, special ones, from their grandchild - keepsakes, personalized things, special and meaningful books, framed photos, grandparent journals, etc. I made a real effort on that kind of stuff for about 4 years (my child is only 4.5).

- I have gone to visit them when they've requested over the years: holidays, Mother's Day, if they have relatives in town, family reunions.

- I've not complained and agreed it was necessary when DH had to go to their house, use his very limited vacation from work, and help them when they've had a few emergencies and other episodes. We're the only relatives close, and we do that for them and have for years. Granted, they don't ask for help often but when they have, we've been the family to do it. I feel that is what family does.

- I reached out to MIL and helped in every way DH asked me to and which I felt was appropriate without overstepping my bounds when MIL's mother passed away. We stayed with them, sent cards, called on the phone. That's what family does.

- When I go to MIL's house, I put up with their smoking and their lack of a guest room, and the tv being on loud into the night in the same room they set up the air mattress for me, DH, and DS. The last time the tv blared all night and other family members were watching it and DS (3 at the time) stayed up until 1 a.m. crying. I try to overlook things when at their house, within reason.

- I've tried to give MIL and FIL as much information to make things they don't understand as easy on them as possible, such as things about how we are parenting and choices we make.

I don't know - there's probably more, but this is a good attempt at a list of what I do for MIL and FIL.

In return, I am asking that they be fair and spend an equivalent amount of time and money on DS as they do on their other two grandchildren the same age who happen to live much further away.

I hope that answers your questions. And provides some food for thought. I'd be happy to read what you do for your MIL and FIL.

Thanks so much.
You do tons of things for them. They are the ones that need to make an effort to see their grandchild. And why can't they take him places too???
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#68 of 103 Old 08-13-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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I think you need to stop trying. Bottom line - if they want to see their grandkids they will. If they don't, it doesn't matter what you and your Dh do, if they don't want to see them, they won't. It's not your responsibility to make this so nice and accommodating that they want to come visit, it's on them to make themselves want to visit.

My parents live 10 min down the road, we are renting their house. They have a room setup in their house for the other grandchild that lives in this area. She's 3 years older than my oldest and the world revolves around her. There is nothing I can do to change this, I hate it more than anything, but in the end it's their decision.
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#69 of 103 Old 08-13-2010, 02:34 PM
 
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It sounds to me like the "reasons" they give for not visiting you are excuses. You will probably never know the real reasons why they favour your BIL's family and really, it doesn't matter. Certainly you should not renovate your house or anything to provide them the accomodations you think they would like because honestly I don't think that would make them visit you more often. You have given them lots of options and you do way too much (by the sounds of your OP) for them without getting what you want in return. I think many of the PPs have nailed it with the alcoholism issue making your FIL uncomfortable and your MIL covering for him.

Until they, and you and your DH can deal with that however you see fit (either give them alcohol to make them comfortable, which I wouldn't do, or understand that without the alcohol you won't see them much) I agree that not expecting more than you are getting right now, not making any more effort on your part is your best course of action.

As for your OP and question, we honestly don't do much for my ILs. We get them bday & Christmas gifts, that sort of thing. They are happy to visit whenever they can, we visit them often (usually monthly-they are a 2 hr drive and they have spare bdrms for us), my MIL cooks for us, takes us out for meals, buys my children clothes regularly and gifts when she travels, contributes to their college funds. When she is here she plays with the kids, does dishes & laundry & lets me rest or shop or get some me time. They are more than I could ask for and we are very very fortunate. They are thrilled to be grandparents and my MIL is happy to have a great relationship with me, they have an open invitation to my home at any time and for that she is grateful.

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#70 of 103 Old 08-13-2010, 03:57 PM
 
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TiN, I have read your posts for a while, and I think that the knowledge that FIL is an alcoholic is like a huge light-bulb moment of the missing piece of hte puzzle. I hope you can find some peace in your life. My grandfather was an alcoholic, and they visited us only once in my childhood (he was alive until I was 15--he was a bit older, but because of the age difference between him and my grandmother, she was in the "young grandma" age range). All the other times, we went to see them. Now as an adult, I can figure that he didn't travel a lot because of the alcohol. They came to my dad's graduation from his MSW program.

My grandma came to see us twice--once for that event and once for my graduation from college. I'm so glad she came, and I remember her fondly, even though she was a bit mean (LOL), and she only visited us those 2 times.

As for my ILs? THis is a timely question. We're moving soon, and we've actually had a lot of discussion about what to do about the ILs. WE don't like having them come, because we feel like we can't accomodate them well. It makes everyone uncomfortable. We only have one living area, and so FIL sitting in a chair wanting to watch TV the whole time is a PITA. The last two times they've come have been after we've cancelled cable. If I had to answer one more time why we didn't get Fox News, I was going to shoot him. LOL

I cook for them, and they eat very, very small portions. Last time FIL made a comment about my "ethnic" food. I made gumbo and spaghetti. ROFL. In my family, it's common for the visitors to contribute to the food--they buy a meal out, spring for pizza, buy groceries, etc. My inlaws don't do that, and I've had to get over myself so as not to really get mad. So, I just serve them our budget meals, and if they leave and get Burger King (this happened last time), so be it.

We used to have a guest room, and that wasn't that great, because the room was small, also used as an office, and both sides of the bed weren't accessible (queen bed; one side against the wall). They were uncomfortable the whole time.

They came when I was pregnant, and we gave up our master bedroom to them. I have a suspicion MIL slept on the chaise in there (they sleep separately at home), but they were at least gracious enough not to complain as my pregnant self slept on an air mattress in the nursery.

The last time they came, they got a hotel, but complained about the cost, and they ended up going home one day early because FIL had heartburn. And, yes, that's the truth.

So, I'm not sure there's a good answer. People are weird. What are we doing? I'm stalking craigslist to find a fold out chair (as opposed to sofa-they fold out into twins). Actually two of them. We'll have one in the nursery, one in the living room. That way, they'll both have beds, in separate rooms. When they come, my baby will sleep in the room with dh and I, and they can both keep their stuff in the nursery.

It's the best solution we can come up with. But, ILs can just be nuts.
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#71 of 103 Old 08-14-2010, 12:44 AM
 
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Your IL's want to go to "visit" BIL and enjoy a resort like vacation in a city they love with free booze. Sounds like a sweet deal to me.

It is not showing that they love those grand kids more. They do bribe those grand kids more (possibly so SIL will put up with them.) How much they spend on BIL's kids, and how often they visit doesn't tell you how much more they love those kids, it tells you only how much more fun visiting BIL is.

Actually that they come to visit you even though you don't provide a resort like vacation in a city they enjoy, and you keep a dry house, says that they care enough to live with the minor discomfort of it.

The big question becomes: Should you start trying to provide them with the comfort level BIL provides them with?...


I say "H*LL NO!!!"

If you want people to visit you just b/c you provide a nice vacation open a B&B. If you run a B&B, you can even make a no smoking on the premises rule. Making your home so comfortable the ILs want to visit all the time, will not make them love your children more.
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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.

I don't know. Where did I go wrong? I went to college, I have a career, I work in a decent enough field, I have a professional job. I just haven't ever had the money for these sorts of things.

I've never traveled. Anywhere. I don't own really anything nice. I can't see where we will have money at any point for a pool, a grill, a sectional, 5 bedrooms, or any of that stuff.

We do live, I guess, in a high cost area with high taxes. I mean, we pay over $6,000 a year in real estate taxes. It's a huge chunk of cash every year that I worry we won't be able to pay.

We are debt free, other than our mortgage and a tiny bit left on my student loan (very, very small now after paying it down for years).

Where did I go wrong??

I know that DH doesn't make that good of money, but it's not bad. We're not bad with our money - we just don't make enough and having a child has been expensive and drained down the savings we once had.

I'm starting to feel like we're losers. I mean, yes, I did say earlier part of this is philosophy. I truly don't believe in owning a lot of crap, but also the philosophy is living within our means, and to do that, well, we just can't buy a lot of stuff.

Are we losers??

Or do people have more debt than us? Honestly, how are you guys all paying for this stuff?
bold mine


Why does how much time your ILs want to spend with you reflect on your value as a human being? The reality is that it doesn't. Would being a door mat make you a better person?

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I wrote in to a forum of other parents to get ideas and perspective because - honestly - I don't feel I've been a terrible daughter-in-law to these people, and I feel like they could and should - and have said they would - do things for my son, and they haven't, and in my circle of working-mother friends I see how much different those inlaws are and in my circle of playgroup friends I see how much support their is from their inlaws and I think what the heck? What is going on with my inlaws? And they do so much for BIL and SIL who have more resources than we do and I think, boy, this situation sure could use a change.
Let's use logic

Rarely people are almost perfect (usually in movies or fairy tales.) Most people are great with a few minor flaws. Some people are fairly flawed. Some people are extremely flawed. A few people are down right horrible.

IL are people.

There fore;
Rarely ILs are almost perfect (usually in movies or fairy tales.) Most ILs are great with a few minor flaws. Some ILs are fairly flawed. Some ILs are extremely flawed. A few ILs are down right horrible.

This is what it is, it will not change.

MIL never ever sees DS. It is sad. I did say she could come to DS's 2nd b-day party, wich i went to the trouble of booking a restaurant that was safe for (she is not allowed in my house.) She demanded an apology from me (for having called the police when she refused to leave my house) before she would agree to come. However, it is not my responsibility to force her to be a better grandparent.

There are just going to be limits to how far it is reasonable for you to give up of whom you are to make others enjoy your home.


Separate thought:
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Originally Posted by choli View Post
Yes, she did say it straight to me. At least she didn't say it to my DDs, I guess. What she actually said was that she had been waiting 20 years for a red headed grandchild. (There is a 20 year age gap between my oldest nephew and my sister's oldest child). When the second niece was also a redhead, she was ecstatic and told me how much she loved being with them because "everyone can tell at a glance that I am their grandmother and that is why they are my favorites."
This isn't to make excuses for her behavior (though some of that may be more what you are reading into what she has said, than what she really feels,) but simply to help you understand it better.

I'm a red head. After the basic "Hey, RED!" the phrase people utter most often is "So, where did the red hair come from?" Being that red hair is caused by recessive genes, this is a question that typically has no simple answer. It can be very awkward feeling to be the only one in the family.

Having red hair grand kids is an affirmation that she isn't some strange alien disconnected from everyone else. Being there fore her red head grand kids keeps them from feeling like they were dropped off by aliens.

Quote:
Of course, she also sees a lot more of them as they live in the same country.
It's much easier to become close to someone you get to spend a lot of time with. It also helps that they share a culture together in the same country. It is hard to have someone come for a short visit from another culture and expect to feel instantly close.

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#72 of 103 Old 08-14-2010, 08:34 AM
 
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This isn't to make excuses for her behavior (though some of that may be more what you are reading into what she has said, than what she really feels,) but simply to help you understand it better.

I'm a red head. After the basic "Hey, RED!" the phrase people utter most often is "So, where did the red hair come from?" Being that red hair is caused by recessive genes, this is a question that typically has no simple answer. It can be very awkward feeling to be the only one in the family.

Having red hair grand kids is an affirmation that she isn't some strange alien disconnected from everyone else. Being there fore her red head grand kids keeps them from feeling like they were dropped off by aliens.



It's much easier to become close to someone you get to spend a lot of time with. It also helps that they share a culture together in the same country. It is hard to have someone come for a short visit from another culture and expect to feel instantly close.
She lives in the country with the highest proportion of redheads in the world, so I doubt she feels like an alien. It just happened that none of her kids, and only two of her grandkids inherited her coloring. It really doesn't bother me - she never hid the fact that she played favorites with her own kids, so we had no expectations of impartiality over the grandkids. That's OK - I like some of my siblings more than others too.
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#73 of 103 Old 08-14-2010, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It is not showing that they love those grand kids more. They do bribe those grand kids more (possibly so SIL will put up with them.) How much they spend on BIL's kids, and how often they visit doesn't tell you how much more they love those kids, it tells you only how much more fun visiting BIL is.

Actually that they come to visit you even though you don't provide a resort like vacation in a city they enjoy, and you keep a dry house, says that they care enough to live with the minor discomfort of it.

The big question becomes: Should you start trying to provide them with the comfort level BIL provides them with?...


I say "H*LL NO!!!"

If you want people to visit you just b/c you provide a nice vacation open a B&B. If you run a B&B, you can even make a no smoking on the premises rule. Making your home so comfortable the ILs want to visit all the time, will not make them love your children more.
bold mine


Why does how much time your ILs want to spend with you reflect on your value as a human being? The reality is that it doesn't. Would being a door mat make you a better person?
You raise some good points and good questions.

It is not showing that they love those grand kids more. They do bribe those grand kids more (possibly so SIL will put up with them.) How much they spend on BIL's kids, and how often they visit doesn't tell you how much more they love those kids, it tells you only how much more fun visiting BIL is.

I wouldn't say they "bribe" the other grandkids. All the grandkids (mine and theirs) are quite young. Too young to bribe. Bribing isn't what is happening. I do think visiting more often and buying more and better things does show, on some level more love. No, it's not the only way to show love, or even the most significant way, but it is a way. Hear me out on this: they make it a priority to visit, and they have a routine schedule set up. They make it a priority to spend birthdays and holidays there. They make it a point to know what is going on in those children's lives, at least MIL does. And they are so familar with their other grandkids because of the sheer number of many more weeks spent with them, they talk about them even when with the other grandchild, make comparisons because that is their base of reference for kids (like being at the doctor's office and when told our son is very small on the growth charts, MIL says "Oh, goodness, 'so and so' grandchild is so much higher than that! I won't even tell you the number (laughs) but it's a lot higher!" And - here's another telling things - mistakenly calling my son by the other grandchild's name all the time. :Shrug

Actually that they come to visit you even though you don't provide a resort like vacation in a city they enjoy, and you keep a dry house, says that they care enough to live with the minor discomfort of it.

But they don't visit us. "They" don't visit us. Just MIL. FIL doesn't bother to visit. But MIL and FIL always go together to visit the other grandchildren and book airfare and fly out together for a week at least 4 times a year. By contrast, MIL visits for a few hours every couple of months by herself.

The big question becomes: Should you start trying to provide them with the comfort level BIL provides them with?...


I say "H*LL NO!!!"


Thank you. I agree whole heartedly. I don't feel we should be asked to live outside our means nor asked to live outside our values to accommodate their visits when there are hotels they could stay at which cost way less than the cost of the airfare they easily pay to fly across the country so often to see the other granchildren. I would not take out a home equity loan or incur other debt, particularly in this economy, to finish my basement to provide space for visitors. We can't afford it, and we have no many other unmet needs to attend to first. They might know that if they ever visited us.

If you want people to visit you just b/c you provide a nice vacation open a B&B. If you run a B&B, you can even make a no smoking on the premises rule. Making your home so comfortable the ILs want to visit all the time, will not make them love your children more.
bold mine


Yes, I think you are right. But it does take me aback and make me feel sad, and like we don't measure up enough or something, when MIL says point blank: we do not visit you as often as we visit BIL and his wife and kids because you are not a SAHM and SIL is; or we do not visit you because you do not have a guest bedroom; or we do not like your home? What do you like about BIL's? The pool, the tv, the couch. That makes me feel like they're putting more priority on SAHMs, couches, guest beds than on grandchildren. And that just plain sucks.

Why does how much time your ILs want to spend with you reflect on your value as a human being? The reality is that it doesn't. Would being a door mat make you a better person?

Well, I strongly suspect one reason I am not liked as much anymore (in recent times) and that we've long not been visited as frequently by MIL and FIL is because I'm no doormat. It's true. I don't allow smoking in my home. I will not buy and serve alcohol and drinks to a person who struggles with alcoholism. I will say something to them if they call my son by another grandchild's name for the 20th time.

But that doesn't mean I'm not accommodating to them and polite to them. I am. I was for years and years. Years and years and years and years. See OP list.

For what it's worth, I don't place my value as a human being or DS's value as a human being on how much I'm liked or visited or he's liked or visited by MIL and FIL.

This is but one issue of many in our life. This is small potatoes compared to the full life we live - daily life - without them and without their thought or presence. I feel valuable and I feel my son is valuable, and that is why I don't accept how MIL and FIL treat us because they treat us as less valuable and we're not. We are worthy of the same things they do, think, and hope for BIL and his family. We just might have to do all those things for ourselves, and we are.
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#74 of 103 Old 08-14-2010, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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She lives in the country with the highest proportion of redheads in the world, so I doubt she feels like an alien. It just happened that none of her kids, and only two of her grandkids inherited her coloring. It really doesn't bother me - she never hid the fact that she played favorites with her own kids, so we had no expectations of impartiality over the grandkids. That's OK - I like some of my siblings more than others too.
Is this about the grandmother who outrightly said she preferred the other children because they looked like her?

I don't know - that might have more to do with either vanity or excitement that recessive genes showed up or something.

I can't imagine ever saying that myself as a parent or grandparent. It's bizarre to prefer one family member over another for how they look. Or for that matter preferring a boy over a girl, or a girl over a boy, but I'm sure that happens a lot, too.

I'll go you one further. I know of a family (not mine) where one grandchildren is preferred because they were baptized in the grandparents' faith, and the other grandchildren were not.

So, I guess it can happen for a variety of reasons. It still seems shallow that my MIL and FIL seem to prefer SAHMs, couches, warm climates, guest beds, and pools and that impacts their preferences more than anything else. But maybe that is just as random as hair color, gender, or religion.
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This definitely sounds all about the alcohol now that you added that piece of the puzzle. It makes perfect sense. Your FIL won't visit because he can't drink there. Your MIL is making excuses about the other parts of the visit because to her they are euphemisms and she is too embarrassed or something to make the real excuse of "he panics at your house because of not drinking."
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This definitely sounds all about the alcohol now that you added that piece of the puzzle. It makes perfect sense. Your FIL won't visit because he can't drink there. Your MIL is making excuses about the other parts of the visit because to her they are euphemisms and she is too embarrassed or something to make the real excuse of "he panics at your house because of not drinking."
Yes, I think - on some level - this is correct. That explains the visiting inequity, but the monetary/gift inequity? I mean, they could visit less and still spend the same on grandchildren.

It's sad. Also, MIL can leave FIL alone for a small time (like when she visits us for a few hours). MIL can't leave FIL alone for a week, like when they fly out to visit the other grandchildren and they go together. It's so sad and so skewed.

I wish MIL would choose other euphemisms that weren't such a direct hit at me (not a SAHM) and our financial situation (no guest bed, no couch, no pool, no large tv) or personal choices (no alcohol for alcoholics, vegetarian, live within our means and don't hold credit card debt). She could just be forthright. I mean, we all know he's an alcoholic. It's not a family secret. It's out there. DH has had to go to their house and help because of that, and DH has taken calls at 2 am to talk him out of excessive drinking and harming himself. It's gotten better over the years and is not happening as frequently because I think as alcoholics age they get sicker and sicker when they drink. However, it's just interesting to me that DH is the one they always turn to for these things, but he's not the one they visit. You might be on to something. BIL sort of lives large. He makes way more money and he spends it. To each their own. But MIL and FIL have had issues with BIL and his wife about living within their means. On the other hand, they've always complimented us on how well we manage our finances, how responsible we are, and how they admire that we live within our means. And yet, for lack of a better way to describe it, they party with the big spenders. It probably does have more to do with the drinking, kicking back, and everyone having a good time. They're not ever going to do that with us because one, we don't live that way, and two, DH is FIL's go-to person / counselor when he falls off the wagon. He's not the party son.

I did want to clarify that DH and I aren't a dry household. I buy an occassional bottle of wine and enjoy it, and we sometimes buy micro-brews, but it's like one a month, if that. We aren't big drinkers and it's not a part of our budget. I've noticed if DH is stressed and not handling stress well, he's started to ask if we have any beer (we never do) as he gets older. I don't need him turning in to his father. He's not a lot like his father, but there are some shared traits, unfortunately. DH does unwind and is less tense with alcohol and I think that could be a slippery slope if not watched carefully.

I would never go out and buy a cooler full of beer for anything. Not even a picnic, BBQ, or party. If I host a party for friends, it's BYOB and I might have a couple of bottles of wine. So, it's not like I'm treating MIL and FIL any differently. We don't keep gin and tonic or whiskey or vodka around the house. And as the daughter of an alcoholic, I know better than to buy a cooler full of beer as a welcoming present to an alcoholic. It's sort of the principle of it.

So that explains the visiting inequity, but the monetary/gift inequity? I mean, they could visit less and still spend the same on grandchildren.
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I have had two extended-but-close (as in, physically nearby so I saw them fairly often) male family members who were alcoholics and both their wives made the same kinds of ridiculous excuses for them to family. Even though, again, everyone knew they were/ are alcoholics (mixed tense because one is living and one is dead). I don't get it but I'm sure there's some name for the phenomenon.
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I have had two extended-but-close (as in, physically nearby so I saw them fairly often) male family members who were alcoholics and both their wives made the same kinds of ridiculous excuses for them to family. Even though, again, everyone knew they were/ are alcoholics (mixed tense because one is living and one is dead). I don't get it but I'm sure there's some name for the phenomenon.
Probably.

I'm sure trying to live around alcoholism - where it's not front and center - is common.

Probably MIL doesn't want us to be angry with FIL (mostly she wouldn't want DH to be angry) so she says these other things, which may or may not have some truth to them, but the overriding reason is FIL.

But she won't out and say that because then she might upset DH and they don't want to do that.

Everyone knows FIL is an alcoholic so it's not like they're hiding it. Everyone knows and is intimately familar with it. It's been going on for over 30 years.

I guess, yeah, I've always been really surprised that MIL "let's" FIL drink. She doesn't put her foot down and say "no beer" or "no ordering drinks when we got to a restaurant." Theirs is not a dry household. MIL drinks wine, beer, you name it. She's not an alcoholic. FIL buys cases of beer and always has them in the fridge. They drink together. Sometimes he can handle it and go to bed, other times he drinks excessively to the point of going to detox. He's also a sneak drinker where he hides it and does it on his own to excess. She overlooks it, mostly.

It's odd to me. One of my parents is an alcoholic as well (a really bad alcoholic) and the other parent never overlooked it and never allowed alcohol to be purchased in plain sight and never, never, never drank as well. We did have a dry household.

Like I said, I would never go out and buy a cooler of beer for my alcoholic parent as a welcoming gift to my home when they visit. I can't imagine the counselors of the rehab places I've been saying that is OK and recommended. But maybe it's my learned behavior from my own childhood. We just didn't feed the addiction.

But yes, alcoholics - to a point - are more fun to be around and more at ease when you provide them alcohol.

So, yes, I'm sure FIL likes to visit BIL and SIL for their accommodations, and that includes beer and liquor.
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I remember when I first had a baby that my mom said, "Now I have a real grandchild." And I pointed out my nephews and niece, my brother's kids, and she said that your daughter's kids are more like real grandkids than your son's kids. Which I think is very very sad. But maybe your MIL has weird issues like that too.

Although I also have alcoholism in my family of origin, and I think that is probably the issue in your case. They'll come up with every excuse they can think of rather than saying "we'll only stay somewhere we can drink" but it's really about staying somewhere they can drink and feel comfortable about drinking.

Sadly, you won't be able to change them, and I'd let it go.
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#80 of 103 Old 08-14-2010, 10:43 AM
 
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I think it can be easier to spend more money on the people/kids you spend more time with simply because there's more opportunity to. My SIL lives w/ my inlaws and her 7 yr old son lives there, too. My inlaws are great people who have always tried to be very fair in terms of gifts. Even so, having a kid right there in their home means they're probably spending more on him overall since they're likely to be out w/ him when he's hungry (so they'll feed him) or at a store with him when he sees a toy he likes (so they buy it). They also know him better just from being with him so much so I'm guessing it's just easier to buy stuff for him because they know his likes and needs better.

I guess the key difference between my situation and yours is that: my inlaws don't tell me about all the stuff they do for my nephew and we we're comfortable financially so we don't need anything from them. I can see where it would rankle me if we were in a different typ of situation.

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#81 of 103 Old 08-14-2010, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think it can be easier to spend more money on the people/kids you spend more time with simply because there's more opportunity to. My SIL lives w/ my inlaws and her 7 yr old son lives there, too. My inlaws are great people who have always tried to be very fair in terms of gifts. Even so, having a kid right there in their home means they're probably spending more on him overall since they're likely to be out w/ him when he's hungry (so they'll feed him) or at a store with him when he sees a toy he likes (so they buy it). They also know him better just from being with him so much so I'm guessing it's just easier to buy stuff for him because they know his likes and needs better.

I guess the key difference between my situation and yours is that: my inlaws don't tell me about all the stuff they do for my nephew and we we're comfortable financially so we don't need anything from them. I can see where it would rankle me if we were in a different typ of situation.
Thank you so much for this post. Thank you! You've summed it up right there. Yes, MIL and FIL spend more time with BIL and his children, which I don't think I can change (for all the reasons previously posted) and as a consequence of spending more time with them, they spend a lot more money on them and not just more money, but more meaningful, targeted gifts that really help the family and the kids and this is because they know them better because they spend more time with them.

It's a circle. What came first? Visiting more often and for longer periods of time or favoring them more and buying them more things and providing them with more familial support? Round and round, the circle continues.

I can't solve the issues of my FIL and his alcoholism and MIL's excuses for why they won't or can't visit us on the same level they do the other grandchildren.

It's out of my hands.

But, yes, they do talk about it (one issue) and we do need their help because we are financially strapped and struggling (second issue, but not their responsibility).

The combination of the issues makes it quite frustrating and sad. You hit the nail on the head. Front and center.

What you said sums it up perfectly.
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I remember when I first had a baby that my mom said, "Now I have a real grandchild." And I pointed out my nephews and niece, my brother's kids, and she said that your daughter's kids are more like real grandkids than your son's kids. Which I think is very very sad. But maybe your MIL has weird issues like that too.
My FIL said that when we had our first baby. It was their 9th grandchild, but the first one to "carry on the name". (Dh has 3 sisters).

It makes me horribly uncomfortable because MY children are the favored ones. I don't really know what to do--they visit us more often, they buy more stuff, etc, etc. It's not the wonderful gravy train that you are imagining it to be. It's really not.
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My FIL said that when we had our first baby. It was their 9th grandchild, but the first one to "carry on the name". (Dh has 3 sisters).

It makes me horribly uncomfortable because MY children are the favored ones. I don't really know what to do--they visit us more often, they buy more stuff, etc, etc. It's not the wonderful gravy train that you are imagining it to be. It's really not.
Thanks for pointing that out in this thread. For what it's worth, I don't think it would be a wonderful gravy train.

If it were my child who was favored, I probably wouldn't like that, either, and I'd probably speak up. In fact, my FIL and MIL were less than good grandparents to their two oldest grandchildren, and I did speak up about that to them.

I was the favorite of one of my parents, and while I have a special bond to this day with that parent, I didn't like the preferential treatment and I was always reminding my parent that they should do this, that, or the other.

Fairness has always been important to me, no matter what side I fell on.

I'm sort of the same way at work, and I've always made it a point to be nice to everyone and throw projects and accolades the way of my co-workers. If someone did a good job, I make sure to acknowledge that and compliment in front of the boss.
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#84 of 103 Old 08-15-2010, 11:15 AM
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So maybe here is another perspective. I will comment on a few of your comments, just to maybe put another light on things, to try to point out some things.
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...

What I do for MIL (and FIL):

- I do have a very nice place for MIL to sleep and I have always put out fresh sheets, blankets and pillows for her. Yes, it is an air mattress, but it is quite comfortable (more comfortable than where we sleep, actually) ....
- I go to the grocery store before her visit and get good things (just not meat) and usually I order pizza or other take-out for her and she chooses what she wants from the menu. More often than not, DH and I pay for it.
....I try to overlook things when at their house, within reason.
....
In return, I am asking that they be fair and spend an equivalent amount of time and money on DS as they do on their other two grandchildren the same age who happen to live much further away.
..
I do not mean to be rude. I think what you "do" for your IL's should be a given. This is what I have been taught to do for every guest. And more. Open any book on hospitality, and you can read the same. I do not put out linens; I make up the bed as nice as possible. And I would agree with a PP, that getting down to an air mattress can be very difficult for anyone (depending on health conditions), and over the age of 50 in general.
Of course it is your home, your finances.. so your choice to not buy another alternative. But then I would understand why someone wouldn't want to visit.
When people come to visit us, we pay for all food. None of 50-50. I think that the guests have already spent time and money to come visit us... so we "pay" for the visit. In general we do not do pizza. I think visits are special, so there is at least one nice dinner out. Then all dinners at home are nice. We eat meat, but if we didn't, I would still buy meat for my guests if they ate it. We can go meatless all the other times they are not visiting.
I too think it is too much to expect IL's to be fair.
For the record, my IL's vastly, hugely, abundantly favor SIL's kids over mine. Even when IL's visit, all they do is talk about SIL's kids, or DH's sibs. They spend (what it seems like) all their disposable income on SIL's kids.
This was very hard for me to swallow for the first 2.5 y of ds1's life. But I eventually realized that I can't control them. And I have no right to try. I also now realize I have no right to expect fairness. And since I let this go, a lot of bitter has left me. Whether you are bitter or not, I do not know. But it sounds like you are from reading your posts. And if someone is even a little bitter, it can be almost impossible to avoid showing it.
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Sometimes they pay, but we always offer, and we pay upwards of 50% of the time. I have cooked for MIL in the past, and she will say it's good, but cooking and the food we have has come up after the fact. I don't cook or buy meat. When I've cooked I have made them pasta, and it's fine until surprising comments later. That's why we often get take out and pizza. They can choose off the menu what they want and select the place.
Again, it sounds like they want meat. I would then just buy it. If I truly cannot fix it, then I would fork over the money to buy excellent prepared meat dishes... which are available in any gourmet grocers in a city. And yes I am just as busy, and probably busier than the vast majority of other mothers.... but if I want someone to visit, then I think this is one of the things reasonable to do.
Also, when we take others out to eat, I plan to pay. I also remind DH before we sit down to grab the check. My only goals are to: 1. make pleasant conversation; 2. let guest choose the entrees (as in if it's shared, obviously if it's individual); 3. get the check before the guest. I remind DH if it looks like he is moving too slow to intercept. I also have two constantly moving little ds's, so things can be busy. But intercepting a check is easier than arguing over who pays.
I think "surprising comments" are okay... They give me clues on how I can change, to make the situation next better. And they give me clues to decipher the person speaking.
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Look, I know my house isn't the most accommodating, but we live here. Yeah, there are improvements I'd like to make for us, but we don't because of lack of time and money. I'm not choosing to NOT do these things for inlaws just because. There are real reasons, and, mostly, they are financial and to a lesser extent philosophical.
... We don't have a grill, but I do get them take-out. ...
If your IL's really like to grill, you can get a Weber grill for $20-50 dollars. Probably really cheap from Craigslist or a thrift store.

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I think I will just focus on not having them be a part of our lives. ....
I spelled out how I make an effort in my OP. I do make an effort.
....
Again, I think I will just focus on not having them be a part of our lives.
How about not focusing at all. How about not focusing on them not being a part of your life and not not focusing. As in, just let it be.
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I think I will just focus on everything else in our full-plate lives, and not have them be a part of our lives for the most part.
This sounds like active intentional behavior on your part. What I am proposing is to step back and have no active intent. And to have no control. And to let go of "have."
In my situation, when I let go.... it was incredibly freeing. I like to have things in control. Under control. I think I have good judgment and often know what's best.
But sometimes life.... and the world... and others.... just don't follow what I think. There are of course many options on how to proceed. At this stage of my busy life, the most pain free and pleasant.... is to just let go.
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#85 of 103 Old 08-15-2010, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So maybe here is another perspective. I will comment on a few of your comments, just to maybe put another light on things, to try to point out some things.
I do not mean to be rude. I think what you "do" for your IL's should be a given. This is what I have been taught to do for every guest. And more. Open any book on hospitality, and you can read the same. I do not put out linens; I make up the bed as nice as possible. And I would agree with a PP, that getting down to an air mattress can be very difficult for anyone (depending on health conditions), and over the age of 50 in general.
Of course it is your home, your finances.. so your choice to not buy another alternative. But then I would understand why someone wouldn't want to visit.
When people come to visit us, we pay for all food. None of 50-50. I think that the guests have already spent time and money to come visit us... so we "pay" for the visit. In general we do not do pizza. I think visits are special, so there is at least one nice dinner out. Then all dinners at home are nice. We eat meat, but if we didn't, I would still buy meat for my guests if they ate it. We can go meatless all the other times they are not visiting.
I too think it is too much to expect IL's to be fair.
For the record, my IL's vastly, hugely, abundantly favor SIL's kids over mine. Even when IL's visit, all they do is talk about SIL's kids, or DH's sibs. They spend (what it seems like) all their disposable income on SIL's kids.
This was very hard for me to swallow for the first 2.5 y of ds1's life. But I eventually realized that I can't control them. And I have no right to try. I also now realize I have no right to expect fairness. And since I let this go, a lot of bitter has left me. Whether you are bitter or not, I do not know. But it sounds like you are from reading your posts. And if someone is even a little bitter, it can be almost impossible to avoid showing it.

Again, it sounds like they want meat. I would then just buy it. If I truly cannot fix it, then I would fork over the money to buy excellent prepared meat dishes... which are available in any gourmet grocers in a city. And yes I am just as busy, and probably busier than the vast majority of other mothers.... but if I want someone to visit, then I think this is one of the things reasonable to do.
Also, when we take others out to eat, I plan to pay. I also remind DH before we sit down to grab the check. My only goals are to: 1. make pleasant conversation; 2. let guest choose the entrees (as in if it's shared, obviously if it's individual); 3. get the check before the guest. I remind DH if it looks like he is moving too slow to intercept. I also have two constantly moving little ds's, so things can be busy. But intercepting a check is easier than arguing over who pays.
I think "surprising comments" are okay... They give me clues on how I can change, to make the situation next better. And they give me clues to decipher the person speaking.
If your IL's really like to grill, you can get a Weber grill for $20-50 dollars. Probably really cheap from Craigslist or a thrift store.


How about not focusing at all. How about not focusing on them not being a part of your life and not not focusing. As in, just let it be.

This sounds like active intentional behavior on your part. What I am proposing is to step back and have no active intent. And to have no control. And to let go of "have."
In my situation, when I let go.... it was incredibly freeing. I like to have things in control. Under control. I think I have good judgment and often know what's best.
But sometimes life.... and the world... and others.... just don't follow what I think. There are of course many options on how to proceed. At this stage of my busy life, the most pain free and pleasant.... is to just let go.
I know that it's hard to convey in a post, or two, or three what is happening here.

I do thank you for your comments.

As for meals, meat, nice meals out - well, my inlaws simply do not visit for a long enough time to really do any of that. They live approximately 3 hours away from us. A three hour drive, not flight. Anyway, they often come for about 4 hours. Total. Once or twice or maybe three times a year. Four hours.

So, there really isn't time to do anything other than a meal, if we were to do one.

Sometimes my inlaws have booked a hotel for a night or stayed over night (just one of them, MIL). In that case, they arrive in the afternoon and they leave first thing the next morning (6 am or 7 am). We've tried for years - even before we had DS - to stay until Sunday afternoon. Nope. They always have things to do at home - like mow the grass or something.

FIL is an alcoholic. He gets antsy being away from home with his drinking supply, I guess, and he usually never says a word while he visits and he paces around the house, looking out the windows. He usually doesn't even take off his coat. I've tried with him...for years. He's only going to loosen up if he's drinking.

MIL is a bit better and more flexible but she can't stay long without her husband because he has and will fall off the wagon, sometimes to the point of having to call an ambulance and go in to detox at the hospital.

We did have a queen size guest bed for years. Their visiting pattern was no different then. When we moved and got rid of the extra bed (no space any longer) I didn't feel like replacing it with a futon or pull-out couch because they just wouldn't be swayed in how they visit us, and no one else really ever visits us who has complained about the air mattress.

MIL and FIL, ironically, do not and have never had a guest bedroom. When we have stayed at their house, they have a pull-out couch and an air mattress.

Also, my parents are very, very poor. And so we pay for everything for them. I do not have a problem with paying. I'm used to it. But MIL and FIL are well off, for the most part (retired with two pensions, lots in savings, a paid off home, their health, and very good health insurance). MIL and FIL get very weird if we pay for something - almost put off - and they get very weird if we don't pay for something - almost put off. Everything is off either way. By contrast, FIL and MIL are very generous with BIL2 and his family/children and they pay for pretty much everything when they fly out to visit them. In that case, FIL can't go anywhere or return home until his plane ticket says he can so he knows he has to just relax and spend the time there, plus BIL and SIL have a cooler of beer waiting for him and mixed drinks for MIL and FIL, which always puts them at ease.

Honestly, the best investment I could make in the relationship with my inlaws would be to buy a cooler of beer and have it waiting for FIL when he arrives. I guarantee he'd enjoy it, be relaxed, and be less tense. But then he'd get sloppy drunk as he almost always does, emotionally burden DH as he often does, put DH in uncomfortable situations that DH does not like and wants to avoid at all costs, and not be very good as a grandfather if he's drunk.

It's a tough situation, made more complicated by alcoholism.
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#86 of 103 Old 08-15-2010, 05:58 PM
 
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I bet this is entirely the alcoholism. My dad has been inside my house maybe 2 times since we've lived here, which has been a few years, and it's been the same no matter where we've lived. Why? Because we don't have alcohol here, and he will not relax or settle in anywhere alcohol isn't. This isn't about you or your family. That means on the good side you don't have to feel bad thinking you've caused it, but on the bad side it's unlikely you can change it. You know that saying (I think it might actually be an AA saying) about having the serenity to accept what you can't change, the strength to change what you can, and the wisdom to know the difference? I think you should apply that here.
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#87 of 103 Old 08-15-2010, 07:17 PM
 
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Your FIL smokes and drinks and you don't allow either in your house (your right) but understand that these are both physical addictions and so don't be surprised if he is physically uncomfortable in a situation where he can't do either of these things. It is a disease and without it, you do suffer withdrawal symptoms.

I'm a bit surprised that you are so surprised that people (even grandparents) don't want to visit when they are going to be physically uncomfortable, asked to eat outside of their comfort zone, sleep on a air mattress and have not have anywhere comfortable to sit. People have different levels for tolerance for physical discomfort. We always joke that my FIL has button like a turkey that pops up when he done. He don't stay at any event for more than a few hours. Older people tend to be set in their ways.

Let them sleep in the middle, Let them be little
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#88 of 103 Old 08-15-2010, 07:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post




Yes! He should move his crap out, not necessarily to the basement. He should have done that years ago. It's a major point of contention. I would love to make that space into an office, a playroom, or a guest bedroom. Something for the family, not just DH.

DH will never give up his self-proclaimed "man cave." Where would he play x-box? Keep all his dvds and cds and other things? He loves to collect and hang out and, frankly, while I'd love the space, I need a place to send DH so that he's not playing x-box and watching tv in the family space unless it's a family oriented show.
Is there a reason you can't do this for him. No he won't do it himself, but it's very possible (and might actually be comfortable for your husband based on what you have said about him) to create a relatively finished 'man cave' in an unfiinished basement. Then the spare room can be a playroom/den/guestroom- much more conducive to family stuff and much more comfortable for visitors.
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#89 of 103 Old 08-15-2010, 07:57 PM
 
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I guess I am going to be the bad guy here....

Why are you keeping score?
You have listed all the things you do for them -- and what you feel you are "entitled to" in return.

You are not entitled to anything.

Continue making them feel welcome -- and leave it up to them as to how often they visit and what they spend on your kids... and how often they visit the other relatives..... Please - for your own sanity -- Let this go!! Its unhealthy to be constantly thinking about what you and your child are entitled to! Life isnt fair -- dont expect it to be!

You cant control how they feel or what they do or how they spend their money.

If you have no expectations whatsoever - you will be much happier... and delightfully surprised when they do something nice and unexpected.

Stop looking for Fairness and Equality -- its just not going to happen-

okay I will go hide under my chair
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#90 of 103 Old 08-15-2010, 08:19 PM
 
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That Is Nice, what it all comes down to for me is that these people are selfish. They care more about material things and alcohol than spending time with their grandchild. I think your dh really needs to sit down with them and talk about this. I just hope they get it before their grandson grows up without knowing them.
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