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How often do you see your parents or in-laws?

I have a situation. My husband is a pure "mama's boy". His father died from cancer 8 months before we got married (died in Aug 2008, married in April 2009). Which just (as expected) made the pampering and wooing of his mother become worse - she suddenly directed all of her love/affection to my husband (fiance at that time). He lived with his parents his entire life, up until the time we got married (april 2009). Right after we got married, he/we would be going to his mothers house at least 3-4 times a week!  Things have "improved" since we've been married a year, but not much. I've been keeping track of how often he goes over there (just to prove that it's more than he thinks it is) and it's averaging on 10-15 times a month.  So, my questions are: 1. How often do you see your parents / in-laws?  2. Do you think this is excessive or that I'm over-reacting? 
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Re: How often do you see your parents or in-laws?

  • The fact that you use the word "wooing" in terms of how he treats his mother is all I need to know. 
    image
  • No SHE wooes over HIM.  She says things like "You want mama to cook you steaks on Sunday?" in a baby voice.
  • srgwsrgw member
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    My H's parents live in a different state. Last saw them both at our wedding (June 09). My parents live on the other side of the state. We last saw them in February. If we lived in the same town I'd see my parents at least once a week but probably more; we're a very close-nit family.

  • We live away from both of our parents, and it's the best thing we could have done for our marriage.

    My dad passed away in February, and we are spending more time than usual with my mom as a result of that. We saw her in February for the funeral, in March for her spring break, she's visiting in June for our daughter's birthday and son's christening, we're going up there in July, she's coming back down again in August, and again at Halloween and Christmas. She is a 9 hour car ride away from us.

    We see my husband's parents once, maybe twice a year. They live on the east coast, we're in Texas. There's a bad history there though with them, so we don't make a huge effort to see each other.

  • WEll, "too much" is really relative.  When I see women get upset because their DH talks to his parents at least once a day or more, I always ask "does it affect your time w/ him?" because many times, these calls are actualy at times the wife isn't even around.,  So I'm always wondering "how does this really affec tyou?".

    The same works here too.  Is his visiting his mom affecting his time he spends w/ you?  Esp - do you all ever have plans to do stuff and he'll either miss it or is late because he went to see his mom? 

    It's fine that you're keeping track, but also keep track of how this impacts YOU - more than you just being annoyed by it. 

    Ultimately - it does seem like a lot.  But just saying "you see her too much" isn't going to get you anywhere.  Saying "We eat dinner at __ and when you go to see her, you are late.  That's rude to me.".  "We had plans to see our friends at 3, but because you were at her house, we didn't get to their house until 4", etc. 

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

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  • EastCoast - VERY good point. The visits do not bother me whenever I am doing something or am busy myself (like you pointed out). But the majority of the time he will just head over there or "drop by" there after work (and by drop by I mean he stays for at least 4 hours). So then I am sitting at home by myself all evening - and this is when it bugs me the most. And yes, there's been multiple times when I am driving home, making plans for the evening, only to call my husband and find out that he's heading or already at his mother's eating/visiting OR that he's already made plans for us to do something with her.  So you might say "why don't you head over there too?"  Which I have done, but like anyone else, I get sick of going over there so often and sometimes just wanna go to my house and relax.

     And I think I don't feel as welcome at her house since 1. she always has negative opinions (so I don't have much to talk about)  and 2. she told me at Christmas "y'all (speaking of me and my husband) don't have to stay together all day on Christmas day. Y'all can separate, he can come to my house and you can go to all your other houses (my parents are re-married). - aka.."i really don't care about seeing you, I just want my  son here all day with me". 

  • We live pretty far away from my parents so we don't see either of them often (and my mom is BSC, so we avoid anyway).  My inlaws are close by, though--I'd say we see them twice a month at MOST, and that's plenty for H and me.

    The real question here is, how does your H feel about his mother's behavior?  What did he think about the suggestion that the two of you split up for Christmas (which is outrageous, by the way)?  It doesn't matter how bizarre his mother's behavior is--it only matters how he reacts to it.

    In case you're wondering where everyone went: http://pandce.proboards.com/index.cgi
  • image Mizzonica:

    EastCoast - VERY good point. The visits do not bother me whenever I am doing something or am busy myself (like you pointed out). But the majority of the time he will just head over there or "drop by" there after work (and by drop by I mean he stays for at least 4 hours). So then I am sitting at home by myself all evening - and this is when it bugs me the most. And yes, there's been multiple times when I am driving home, making plans for the evening, only to call my husband and find out that he's heading or already at his mother's eating/visiting OR that he's already made plans for us to do something with her.  So you might say "why don't you head over there too?"  Which I have done, but like anyone else, I get sick of going over there so often and sometimes just wanna go to my house and relax.

     And I think I don't feel as welcome at her house since 1. she always has negative opinions (so I don't have much to talk about)  and 2. she told me at Christmas "y'all (speaking of me and my husband) don't have to stay together all day on Christmas day. Y'all can separate, he can come to my house and you can go to all your other houses (my parents are re-married). - aka.."i really don't care about seeing you, I just want my  son here all day with me". 

    My MIL is the same way! This year, we spent Christmas with my family, and then H went to see his family for a few days. I stayed home. It was glorious.

    Also, the mama makin' steaks baby talk would make me vomit!

    I'm sorry you're dealing with this situation. I think you're going to need to talk to your DH about this, and decide as a couple how much is enough and how much is too much. It won't be easy, especially for him, but if you're not on the same page this will go on forever. 

     

  • Have you talked about whether this is healthy for MIL? Certainly, a parent benefits from the emotional support of a child after the death of a spouce to transition past bereavement.  But after so much time, more than a year and a half, I wonder if DH has become more of a crutch than a support.  I wonder if he's stunting her ability to build supports outside of just him.

    Maybe if he saw this as more harmful than helpful he would seek to change his emeshment with mom.   

    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • It doesn't matter what any of us think about what is appropriate number of visits for a son to make to a windowed mother. If they're impacting your relationship it's something you need to discuss with him, not us. Preferably in a counselor's office.

     

  • 424424 member
    I am not the best person to comment on this, but I will(ha, ha).  I could of wrote the same post or close to it.  My hubby is a mommas boy, we have been married almost 5 years with a soon to be 4 year old girl.  You need to address this issue and FAST.  Set some boundries.....My MIL is Italian- just curious if yours is??  I could go on and on but I will spare you...My hubby cant speak up to his sister or mother, so Im always looking like the bad guy...Good Luck...
  • You knew what you were signing up for when you said "I do," so suck it up, buttercup. Expecting him to change behavior after your wedding that you were perfectly content with while you were dating isn't fair at all.
    fiizzlee = vag ** fiizzle = peen ** Babies shouldn't be born wit thangs ** **They're called first luddz fo' a reason -- mo' is supposed ta come after. Yo Ass don't git a medal fo' marryin yo' prom date. Unless yo ass is imoan. I aint talkin' bout chicken n' gravy biatch. Then yo ass git a all-expenses paid cruise ta tha Mediterranean n' yo ass git ta hook up Jared Padalecki on tha flight over while bustin yo' jammies. But still no medal.
  • I'm wondering if your husband is an only child?
  • We see our families once or twice a year for 1-2 weeks at a time.

    You married him knowing full and well what he was.  You get what you deserve for being so naive and thinking it would change.

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  • He is close to his mom and spends a lot of time with her. If he is seeing her a couple times a week, I would say join him some of the time, do your own thing other times and let it be. Don't make him feel like he has to choose between you and her.
  • We see my mother once a year, but she's almost 900 miles away.

    His parents are 1 mile away and WE see them maybe once or twice a week. He sees them maybe 3 SOMETIMES 4 times a week, but I also work a lot of nights and it's just easier for him to go have supper with his parents because I eat at work and it saves me having to cook something for him to heat up later. 

  • image Lenore2010:
    Don't make him feel like he has to choose between you and her.

    Seriously?

    fiizzlee = vag ** fiizzle = peen ** Babies shouldn't be born wit thangs ** **They're called first luddz fo' a reason -- mo' is supposed ta come after. Yo Ass don't git a medal fo' marryin yo' prom date. Unless yo ass is imoan. I aint talkin' bout chicken n' gravy biatch. Then yo ass git a all-expenses paid cruise ta tha Mediterranean n' yo ass git ta hook up Jared Padalecki on tha flight over while bustin yo' jammies. But still no medal.
  • I see my parents or inlaws maybe once a month.  And we all live in the same city. 
    nothing
  • I see my parents at least once a week on average

    My husband sees his family rarely- last time we saw his mom was in June or July. She doesnt even live far away. They don't talk much, either.

    Honestly, I don't know if it's that excessive if he's trying to help her get over the loss of her husband. Its only been a year and a half, I'm sure it's still very difficult for her.

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  • My parents live over 1000 miles away, in separate states. We are lucky if we see them once a year. My DF has essentially three sets of parents, they are all local. We see them all about once a month. Lately we have seen alot more of his dad and his wife. But we are also getting married soon, so have been doing lots of planning with them.
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  • image zitiqueen:

    image Lenore2010:
    Don't make him feel like he has to choose between you and her.

    Seriously?

    Yes, seriously. This is the kind of stuff that can, usually needlessly ruin marriages and a lot of it can be because the one spouce turns it into a "choose her or me". It may be that the guy in this situation is a little too hung up on Mom for a being a married adult. However, he is also young and it sounds like he is use to his close relationship with her and probably also still dealing with (I presume) his Dad's death. This stuff will often times resolve itself, and is a lot easier to work out,  if it is not made into a big whine fest about "you love your Mommy and not me!".

  • Our parents live in different states, I say we see them each about 4 times per year, but obviously for a long weekend to a weeks length each time.
  • I see my parents at least once a week.  I would see them more if I could but my work schedule keeps me busy so I can't as much.  We see his parents about once a week also.  My H is a mamma's boy also so if he is off and I am working he may hang with him mom if she is off.  We are both really close to our parents.

    I think in your situation it has to be hard with the fact that she just lost her H and is alone.  I think it's sweet that your H spends time with his mom.  As much as sometimes it gets to me that I married a mamma's boys.  I really think the love and respect that he has for his mom really has to do a lot with the way he treats me.  I dated lots of guys not close to their mothers and were awful to their moms.  And to me.  Maybe just work out a compromise with him.  To spend a little less if it's interfering with your time together. 

  • Your H is rude and inconsiderate, so it really doesn't matter how often I visit my in-laws. When the time he spends with her impacts your marriage then it is past time to sit him down and have a talk. Expect him to be defensive. You're probably are going to have to see a counselor. It won't get better.
  • We live 1600 miles away from both sets of parents. With that said, when we lived 30 miles away from IL's, 1x a month was too much, but the norm. If we lived near my parents, we would probably do Sunday dinner or a lunch every other weekend.
  • image Mizzonica:
    No SHE wooes over HIM.  She says things like "You want mama to cook you steaks on Sunday?" in a baby voice.

    OK, Does DH hear the tone, too?

    I think that there is some give there because she's lost a SO that she obviously loved, and DH is likely the one that she feels closer to because there are a lot of shared memories - having two major things happen in under a year is stressful, even if one is celebratory (your wedding).  

    How much are *you* willing to spend with her?  You don't have to answer me, just if you have an answer, and it would be similar to your DH - why not make it a routine time on the calendar...so that he doesn't feel (or can't be pulled) obligated to go over so frequently?  If she calls for an emergency, of course you'd be fine with it...but if she's calling to ask him to hang curtains for her, then either you or DH could say, "Love to Mom!  We'll see you as usual next Tuesday and we'll do it then!"

    Would that work? Or are things much more sticky than I'm picking up? 

  • ditto eastcoast

    and i disagree with the comment about "you knew what you were getting into when you married him" comments. Saying the "i do"s doesnt mean you cannot continue to work on things in the relationship. engagement isnt a test drive, its just the beginning of life together, you dont stay engaged until everything is perfect then get married!

     my advice when you talk with him, focus on how it effects YOU and HIM, not how weird you think it is or what "too much" means to you. i really dont care how much time my FI spends playing video games with his buddies until it effects his other responsibilities or our time together.

    i also agree with PP who stated that it may be better for MIL to socialize outside of her son, and him spending so much time with her may be a crutch, but i dont know her...

     

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  • I see my Mom once a week (we go walking together) but that is just for an hour and is the time I woud spend working out anyway. Other than that, we see my parents about 2 times a month and we see his parents about once a month. And we live 5 miles from my parents and about 25 from his.

    I think I would be annoyed at him being at his Mom's house that much...10-15 days a month is a lot, esp. if he is over there for 4 hours at a time.

    I think you need to have a Come to Jesus talk with him. Tell him you understand that this last year has been really hard on his Mom, and that you want him to support her, but that you need quality time with him too. Tell him what you feel would be a reasonable amount of time to spend over there a week or month, and stick to your guns.

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  • I think it really depends on what is normal to you, not to us.  I don't live by either set of parents so I couldn't tell you how often I'd see them if we did.  If you feel like it cuts in your life with your husband or he focuses more on when he can get home to be wtih his mom than you, then that is when it becomes a big problem for me.  He doesn't need to stop over there multiple times a week, she is not letting him grow in his marriage....on the other hand, i'm sure it's a horrible feeling knowing his dad just died.  could  you guys invite her over for dinner every two weeks or something?  When uyolive so close, you are just asking to be required to see them quite often...
  • Well, enjoy your pretentiousness while you can.  Because when your parents (all of them) and when your DH's mother get to be about 65, they will require your attention and your help, and that will be the end of your attitude about wha't "too much."

    In the first two years of our marriage, my mother had several medical problems and procedures, FIL had three operations for an anyerism (SP?) and dropped over with a heart attack that resulted in a triple by-pass, and MIL had both knees replaced.

    DH goes to visit his parents 2.5 hours away about once a month.  About three times a year, DH and I go together and drive halfway and they drive halfway and we meet for dinner.

    I have to visit my mother 5-7 days a week, because she has multiple medical appointments and she doesn't drive.  We plan a fun event with my mom, my DH and me about every 6 weeks.

    And about this:

    >>"y'all (speaking of me and my husband) don't have to stay together all day on Christmas day. Y'all can separate, he can come to my house and you can go to all your other houses (my parents are re-married). - aka.."i really don't care about seeing you, I just want my  son here all day with me". 

     Yeah.  That's exactly what we do, no matter what the AKA is all about.  I spend Christmas and the next few days afterward with my mom, and on Christmas DH drive to be with his parents and spend the next few days with them.  We're teachers, so we're off that week. 

     Sure, I'd rather spend that week with my DH, alone, at a beach hotel, in bed or on the sand. 

    But our parents are old and they're not well, and all they want is to spend some time with their kid, who remembers when they lived in that house on Eastcrest and those crazy Clarks who lived two houses down and always decorated for Christmas on Thanksgiving afternoon, etc.  Those are good memories of good times - in sharp contrast to how awful and scary their lives are NOW that they are sick - and so that's what we do.

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