Family Matters
Dear Community,

Our tech team has launched updates to The Nest today. As a result of these updates, members of the Nest Community will need to change their password in order to continue participating in the community. In addition, The Nest community member's avatars will be replaced with generic default avatars. If you wish to revert to your original avatar, you will need to re-upload it via The Nest.

If you have questions about this, please email [email protected]

Thank you.

Note: This only affects The Nest's community members and will not affect members on The Bump or The Knot.

My in-laws are nice people but........

I swear, reading other people's situations on here in some way can be comforting because I realize that I?m not alone in dealing with in-law issues.

I will start by saying that my in-laws are nice people, but.......sometimes, it's just really frustrating to listen to them/deal with them. They are old and very set in their ways, old school eastern european who came to the US when their country was still communist, so I keep having to remind myself this any time they say or do something that irks me. My husband catches the brunt of it more, and I really feel bad for him sometimes for that, but I stay out of it because that's for him to deal with. Even when my in-laws have tried involving me or tried to get me to take their side when they are pushing my husband into doing what they want him to do, I've straight up told them that I support my husband no matter what so don't put me in the middle of anything. Period. They are how they are - they aren't going to change. Even my husband acknowledges this, so pretty much we just listen to their unsolicited advice when we see them, let it go in one ear and out the other then do what we want anyway. We laugh about it and just chalk it up to them being old. It sucks though because they can get pretty intense and it can be semi-stressful to the point where when they start, I now excuse myself from the room. I am actually fortunate in the fact that they are not mean to me, just a bit overbearing.

So, my husband and I have been actively on the market to buy a house. Of course, both our parents know about our quest to find a suitable house - obviously if they ask how we are and what's new with us, we tell them what we are up to like normal conversation. But the difference between my parents and his, is while my parents have given valuable advice and ONLY when we've asked for it - things like what to look out for when we tour houses and whatnot (my dad is a contractor and knows about this stuff) - his parents hand me real estate magazines with 'suitable housing' circled. Some might see that as harmless, but it's all stuff that we are completely not interested in. We both have told them repeatedly things like 'we do not want to live in a coop. we do not want a semi-detached home. we do not want to live in this/that neighborhood.' We do not ask for this, btw. It just gets handed to us. At this point, I just smile, nod, take the magazine from them, then file 'g' for garbage after we leave. The one I got yesterday for Christmas went right into the recycling bin. We have very specific wants/needs - and really, those wants/needs are not even anything outrageous or out of the ordinary. Regardless - this is our life, our big decision and purchase for our future. So if I want to 'waste money' on a house with a yard, I?m going to do it. I want my future children to have a yard to play in, not some concrete slab that my in-laws consider a yard.

Oh yea, they offered money to 'help' us - dangling it in front of us like a carrot - so we can afford something 'better' than what we've been looking at too, but for them 'better' = 'right around the corner' from them....in a coop. We know what we can reasonably afford, and we've found plenty of single family homes that fit our criteria - just have to go see them in person and find the one that 'clicks'. I would like to know what planet my in laws live on where they think that buying a coop for the same exact price as a single family home that is in a much better neighborhood is a better investment? lol I told my husband last night that I do not want to take money from them because we all know that with anything in life money = strings.

So yea, I?m not asking for or looking for advice, because I've gotten plenty from here by reading other threads and seeing how other people have dealt with sticky in law situations. I just needed to vent more or less.

Thanks in advance for reading and hope you are all enjoying the holidays :)

Re: My in-laws are nice people but........

  • 1.) Don't take the money.  Make sure your husband is on the same page.  If you take their money, you take all of the strings that go along with it.  If your husband waivers, remind him that by taking the money, he is depleting their retirement accounts.

    2.) If they keep pushing unacceptable housing options, just patiently remind them "We aren't interested in a co-op.  We want a free standing house" over and over and over again.  Heck, if you want to get really pushy, write a list of exactly what you want -- price range, neighborhoods and features - and give it to them.  Put stars next to the non-negotiables.  Tell them that you won't even think about a place that doesn't contain those minimums.  Then when they suggest something unsuitable, say "Sorry MIL, FIL, that place doesn't meet our requirements." 

    3.) This isn't the worst thing ILs can do.  Smile, nod, ignore. 

  • image DaringMiss:

    1.) Don't take the money.  Make sure your husband is on the same page.  If you take their money, you take all of the strings that go along with it.  If your husband waivers, remind him that by taking the money, he is depleting their retirement accounts.

    2.) If they keep pushing unacceptable housing options, just patiently remind them "We aren't interested in a co-op.  We want a free standing house" over and over and over again.  Heck, if you want to get really pushy, write a list of exactly what you want -- price range, neighborhoods and features - and give it to them.  Put stars next to the non-negotiables.  Tell them that you won't even think about a place that doesn't contain those minimums.  Then when they suggest something unsuitable, say "Sorry MIL, FIL, that place doesn't meet our requirements." 

    3.) This isn't the worst thing ILs can do.  Smile, nod, ignore. 

    This is true....this is not the worst thing they can do. I suppose a lot of what my in laws do would qualify as more annoying than malicious or mean. They would actually do anything for my husband and I if we asked, but we don't ever ask them for anything - not even with our wedding. They offered money and we turned it down. I?ve read some horror stories here and it makes my own in laws look like saints. Like I said, they are nice people - just pushy and they have their own idea of how one should live life, and my husband and I have our own. I think the hardest part for them is understanding that their son is an adult now so while you never really stop being a parent, you still have to let your kids live their life once they become adults. Especially when they are in their 30's. 

    We don't even want to involve them in the house hunting process because it's ultimately our business/decision, not theirs, plus if we did, they will find any excuse under the sun for why we should not pick xyz house in xyz neighborhood. The best is my mil telling me that we cannot afford a single family home, yet some of the coops she circled are 100k more than the homes we are looking at and way out of our price range. But hey - as long as it's right around the corner from them, right? lol So yes, smile, nod, ignore is my motto now ;)

  • I agree with the others, that you have to keep repeating to yourself "IT'S NOT THAT BAD!!!!" (I found out the same thing upon reading this board. Thinking that I had it pretty sick, awful bad. And come to find out- not really...)

    On the other hand, I think that you're certainly identifying problems now that are only going to get worse as time goes on. (Either with your increasing frustration OR with the addition of children) Which is the only reason that I would suggest trying to possibly improve the situation now.

    Maybe think about possibly trying to have a conversation (with your husband very much leading the way) explaining things to them. Using direct, past examples is probably the only way they're really going to get this. "Here is how things were/ what happened. Here is how we would prefer the situation: ________" Please keep in mind that this is going to be a process, and the only reason that I'm advising starting now is that you start to get this through their head's now. So that hopefully things are greatly improved when the grandkids come along (if they ever do) and things possibly (probably) get much worse.

    The best thing you can do is to keep an open line of communication with your husband, and remember that this is completely not his fault! (which I know you know now, but may forget in times of anger/ frustration)

  • You're doing the right thing already.  Keep not taking money, keep taking their advice with a smile and a nod and ignoring it.  There's really not much else you can do anyway.
    image Visit The Nest! Love to scrapbook!
  • The phrase "we'll take that under consideration" needs to become your best friend.
  • I am currently in a very similar situation with my in-laws. We are looking for a house and they seem to think that we are incapable of budgeting for our own money and constantly tell us how terrible it would be to be house poor. (I will say BIL has made poor financial choices which may contribute to this.) Every time we try to involve them by showing them some house we are considering, they say things like, oh that looks expensive, why don't you consider waiting to buy for a few years? etc. etc. They are also trying to influence our location decision to be closer to them.

    The bottom line is that H and I have done our own budgeting and saving and we have decided jointly on location and features we are interested in. We refuse to discuss financials with them, and we just say something noncommital when they make these comments and then ignore them. I think ignoring them is going to be your best course.

    Daisypath Anniversary tickers Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic *This is not legal advice*
  • image Juris11:

    I am currently in a very similar situation with my in-laws. We are looking for a house and they seem to think that we are incapable of budgeting for our own money and constantly tell us how terrible it would be to be house poor. (I will say BIL has made poor financial choices which may contribute to this.) Every time we try to involve them by showing them some house we are considering, they say things like, oh that looks expensive, why don't you consider waiting to buy for a few years? etc. etc. They are also trying to influence our location decision to be closer to them.

    The bottom line is that H and I have done our own budgeting and saving and we have decided jointly on location and features we are interested in. We refuse to discuss financials with them, and we just say something noncommital when they make these comments and then ignore them. I think ignoring them is going to be your best course.

    Yes, I can totally sympathize with you on this and really - to be constantly harped on is annoying. You know, I don't mind getting advice because as a first time home buyer, it's always good to get sound advice from other people who have bought and sold real estate - both my inlaws and my own parents have bought and sold plenty. So they do know the things one should be looking for when making such a huge purchase. That being said, there's still a fine line - telling us that we cannot afford a single family home, then showing us crappy coops and semi detached homes that are more money than the single family homes we are looking at is plain silly. Both my husband and I did the math several times and know what we can afford. And we will keep doing the math just to be sure we are on the right track. The thing is - yes, we cannot afford a single family home where my inlaws are, but we are not even looking in that same area. We don't even want to live where they live and we never did. And they are really pushing us to stay in the same area. No amount of money they can dangle in front of us for something 'better' is going to change that. We are looking at homes that are 15-20 minutes away, some even less money than the ones my inlaws circled, in a beautiful area with good schools, which is a reasonable distance from them. It's literally right on the other side of the same parkway as them - yet they keep going on and on that it's 'too far'. I think it just bothers them that they have no control over the situation more than the distance. My own family lives 2 1/2 hours away - honestly, what would these people say if we turned around and said we wanted to move closer to my family?

    Btw, his family thinks the entire world revolves around them, which is a whole other issue that I've had to deal with. Frustrating, but I think my husband and I handle it well. They are slowly starting to realize that I too have a family and we sometimes spend holidays with them. I cannot wait until we have our own house and can host holidays instead of schleping to everyone else's ;)

    And it's true....this may be a minor thing now, but I know for sure if/when we do have children, this is just the beginning. The problem is, if we were to try to sit them down and have any kind of conversation to lay down the law, their MO is that they will raise their voice louder and louder to talk over you, so you just give up because it's pointless arguing with people who think they know it all just because they are 'older and wiser'. I've had them pull the age trump card out on me on several occasions and sorry, that doesn't fly with me. Basically, any arguement or reason you would have for xyz or setting xyz boundary, they always have an answer for it. I've seen them in action, which is why I choose to leave the room when they start to do that. They may think they can do that with their sons, but they are certainly not going to do that with me.

  • These types of things are precisely why I do not tell any of our parents anything.

    Sometimes it's better to tell them things after the fact.

  • image PunkyBooster:

    These types of things are precisely why I do not tell any of our parents anything.

    Sometimes it's better to tell them things after the fact.

    See, in theory, that is a nice idea, but it's not such a cut and dry thing for most people. I mean, if you were on the phone with your mother, for example, and she asked you how things were going and what was new in your life - you mean to tell me that you would say none of your business? Or 'everything is fine' and that's it? As far as buying a house, I would think parents (normal ones anyway) would at least be able to give some good advice so maybe you wouldn't make mistakes they may have made, or what to look out for when you are touring homes so you don't get ripped off, approximately how much certain repairs cost, etc etc. I would say in my family, they know about most important things that I have going on in my life, obviously not everything, but the difference between my family and my in-laws is that I can tell my family things knowing that they will not interfere or try to dictate what I do. They listen, they offer advice only when asked, and are happy for me and my husband. Basically, they have always treated me like an adult and respected the decisions I've made in life. Has my life been perfect? No, but they let me live it as I see fit. It sucks that my in laws can't do the same. I tell my in laws as little as I possibly can - if they bring up any subjects that I know will wind up stressing me out, I change the subject quickly or leave the room. And then my husband is left to deal with them and tell them what's what. It's really the best way to handle them unfortunately.

  • image R.Wilsonny:
    image PunkyBooster:

    These types of things are precisely why I do not tell any of our parents anything.

    Sometimes it's better to tell them things after the fact.

    See, in theory, that is a nice idea, but it's not such a cut and dry thing for most people. I mean, if you were on the phone with your mother, for example, and she asked you how things were going and what was new in your life - you mean to tell me that you would say none of your business? Or 'everything is fine' and that's it? As far as buying a house, I would think parents (normal ones anyway) would at least be able to give some good advice so maybe you wouldn't make mistakes they may have made, or what to look out for when you are touring homes so you don't get ripped off, approximately how much certain repairs cost, etc etc. I would say in my family, they know about most important things that I have going on in my life, obviously not everything, but the difference between my family and my in-laws is that I can tell my family things knowing that they will not interfere or try to dictate what I do. They listen, they offer advice only when asked, and are happy for me and my husband. Basically, they have always treated me like an adult and respected the decisions I've made in life. Has my life been perfect? No, but they let me live it as I see fit. It sucks that my in laws can't do the same. I tell my in laws as little as I possibly can - if they bring up any subjects that I know will wind up stressing me out, I change the subject quickly or leave the room. And then my husband is left to deal with them and tell them what's what. It's really the best way to handle them unfortunately.

    I meant I would do that with your ILs. When they say, "What's up?" Yeah, I'd say, "Oh, nothing, we're seeing so and so for dinner next week, or DH has been busy with this project at work. "

    There's a difference between being evasive with people who can help you and being evasive with people who just annoy you, lol. 

    And with our parents, yes, we literally said, "we have some news. So, we are moving to SC. DH got a job there and we are moving in 3 months." That is that. Otherwise there is too much drama to deal with. SIL made the mistake of telling ILs she wanted to move to another state and spent a year dealing with what sounds like you deal with regarding your ILs!

    It all depends on your relationship, but I don't think it would be disastrous if you were more evasive with ILs, IF you truly do find their input unhelpful. Otherwise, just smile and nod and let it all go in one ear and out the other, which is also what I have to do with both sets of parents the 5% of the time I do tell them things. 

  • image PunkyBooster:

    I meant I would do that with your ILs. When they say, "What's up?" Yeah, I'd say, "Oh, nothing, we're seeing so and so for dinner next week, or DH has been busy with this project at work. "

    There's a difference between being evasive with people who can help you and being evasive with people who just annoy you, lol. 

    And with our parents, yes, we literally said, "we have some news. So, we are moving to SC. DH got a job there and we are moving in 3 months." That is that. Otherwise there is too much drama to deal with. SIL made the mistake of telling ILs she wanted to move to another state and spent a year dealing with what sounds like you deal with regarding your ILs!

    It all depends on your relationship, but I don't think it would be disastrous if you were more evasive with ILs, IF you truly do find their input unhelpful. Otherwise, just smile and nod and let it all go in one ear and out the other, which is also what I have to do with both sets of parents the 5% of the time I do tell them things. 

    Oh yea, I totally see what you are saying. It's funny how everyone's family dynamic can be so different because my parents have always been cool and supportive of any decisions I've made. My husband - his parents never seem to be satisfied with anything either of their kids do or will find some fault. For example, my hubby & I decided to move to Spain for a few years. I told my parents we were thinking about doing that, and they were so supportive. They even said ' it's your life - you live it. And you can always move back to the US if you decide you don't want to stay in Spain.' Awesome! My poor hubby though, his parents tried very hard to talk him out of it and he was so sure they would be supportive since they are from Europe! In the end, we moved anyway, but they were not happy about it. They also harp on him constantly about going to school - which he wound up doing when we were in Spain, mainly to shut them up, but even that was not good enough for them because since the day we stepped off the plane to come back, they are on his case about going back to school since they feel the degree he has is 'not good enough'. Meanwhile, he's an audio engineer - he does not need a higher degree for what he does and he's told them that over and over again when they start on him. I just sit back and let them get on with it, but it's getting a bit ridiculous for me to even listen to it at this point. They actually tried to rally me onto their side about that once and I put a stop to it immediately. If my husband wants to go back to school, naturally I will support him. But that is ultimately his decision and I told them that - his decision NOT theirs. My fil actually hit his fist in his hand saying that he MUST go back to school. pffft whatevarrrrrr. lol I do feel bad for my hubby for having to deal with this - especially being in his 30's.   

    I do try to be evasive with his parents too because of how they are. Even one time when my mil called me out of the blue to talk about house stuff....I cut and run on that one quite quickly ;) lol

  • image DaringMiss:

    1.) Don't take the money.  Make sure your husband is on the same page.  If you take their money, you take all of the strings that go along with it.  If your husband waivers, remind him that by taking the money, he is depleting their retirement accounts.

    x1000!  No matter how tempting it is, it will only lead to major problems later.  Even though they are nice people, they will probably still feel like you using 'their money' entitles them to have a serious say in the final decision.  While DH and his brother were in college, their father 'gave' them money that came with ridiculous amounts of strings.  DH's brother still gets money from their father and it tied in knots with obligations to him.  Thank heavens DH was smart enough to refuse any further financial support the day he got his degree.


    08/20/2011: BFP! 03/25/2012: A & O were born at 34w6d

    Lilypie First Birthday tickers

    01/18/2013: Shock BFP at annual Gyn appt. 3U3, here we come!

    Lilypie Pregnancy tickers

    My Goodreads shelf
    Snjoslin's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists
  • image interzone:
    image DaringMiss:

    1.) Don't take the money.  Make sure your husband is on the same page.  If you take their money, you take all of the strings that go along with it.  If your husband waivers, remind him that by taking the money, he is depleting their retirement accounts.

    x1000!  No matter how tempting it is, it will only lead to major problems later.  Even though they are nice people, they will probably still feel like you using 'their money' entitles them to have a serious say in the final decision.  While DH and his brother were in college, their father 'gave' them money that came with ridiculous amounts of strings.  DH's brother still gets money from their father and it tied in knots with obligations to him.  Thank heavens DH was smart enough to refuse any further financial support the day he got his degree.

    Oh yea, I definitely do not want to take any money from them and have already said this to my husband. I don't care how long it takes us to save money on our own for our house - I already know what would happen if we took any money from them. As it is, they try to tell us now what to do with our money (how about none of your business). There also was an incident about 9 months before our wedding where my MIL felt that I was rude to her (long story but no, I was not rude to her) and decided to come to our house and tell me off. During her little tirade, she tried saying that she had given money to me while we were living in Spain and that I was ungrateful for that. FYI, I never took a dime from either of my inlaws while I lived in Spain - I lived off money that I saved for the 3 years before we moved, and then when my personal funds were getting low, I went out and found a job which covered my expenses and then some. I made sure to point that out to her and she wound up back peddling on that because she knew she was wrong. But that incident really made me see what kind of person my MIL is and how very bad it would be to accept any kind of money from her or my FIL. It was a very big reason why I didn't take money from them when I planned my wedding. I don't appreciate things like that being thrown in my face - especially when it's something that is completely untrue. So yea, I say my in laws are nice people - but really, I mean they are nice compared to the crazy inlaw stories I've read from others on this board. I still have to tread carefully around them.....oh yea, and New Years Day, like clockwork, this silly woman started calling my phone at 9am.....then proceeded to call and text repeatedly all day long. We had a big party the night before and didn't get home until something like 8am after the clean up, so really, I was in no condition to be talking to anyone the next day. Good thing I had the ringer shut off, but when I finally woke up, there was something like 6-7 missed calls and about 3 or 4 texts from her. Ridiculous ;)

  • image R.Wilsonny:
    We both have told them repeatedly things like 'we do not want to live in a coop.

    For some reason this made me laugh. I picture them trying to find you a nice chicken "coop" to live in. 

    [IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy257/tanyaforpresident/photoshoot_zps71a58861.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy257/tanyaforpresident/zombie_zps45403a27.jpg[/IMG]

    Daughter b. Oct 12 January Siggy Challenge Favorite Moment of 2012 My zombie 5th anniversary.
  • image MadamePresident:

    image R.Wilsonny:
    We both have told them repeatedly things like 'we do not want to live in a coop.

    For some reason this made me laugh. I picture them trying to find you a nice chicken "coop" to live in. 

    LOL....true - if you read it like that, it is funny. I should have typed it out as co-op. Not sure where you're from, but here in NY, co-ops are pretty common if you are living in the city or surrounding boroughs. We live in one now and I'm so over it - having neighbors above, below, and on either side of you, dealing with all these bs rules the board comes up with, having no yard, etc. If I am paying a mortgage on something, I want to OWN it - not own 'shares' in some corporation that runs the property. I feel like it's a sham and I would like to know what planet my inlaws live on that they feel that buying a co-op for the same exact amount of money as a single family home is a better investment? So looking forward to Friday's 'armenian christmas' dinner where I'm sure I will be handed yet another real estate magazine with more 'suitable housing' circled for us *rolls eyes*

    (annoying, yes, but I do try to make the best of it and laugh at the situation and how silly it is at this point)

Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards