Author Topic: Inlaw visits: no privacy and too demanding of time  (Read 1599 times)

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Offline humbled

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Inlaw visits: no privacy and too demanding of time
« on: Mon May 01, 2017 - 23:40:23 »
Hey everyone. First post. Here goes. 

My wife's family is like a cult.  Their culture reminds me of "The Firm".  I'll try to make this short as possible.  I'm 34 and my wife is 32.  We have been married for 3 years. Now we have a son who is 1. We both live away from our families who live in different states. My family is very close knit, but laid back.  We don't dress in solidarity.  We don't have a family song.  We take naps.  We have breakout time during visits home to do as you please.  There is no set schedule on the day for grown folks.  We don't make every SINGLE family event an all-inclusive family reunion.  My wife's family is the complete opposite to all the above.  Our engagement party hosted 95 people at a 5 bedroom house. It lasted 9 hours. My sons baby shower, also held there, hosted 85 people--including a bunch of men and random friends of friends of church members who didn't need to be there. Did I mention I'm an introvert??? INTJ here.   ::doh::

Back to my argument:  Besides the above, the thing that gets me is the no privacy thing.  Early in our marriage we would stay with family when traveling.  During Christmas a few years back, we stayed with my wife's folks.  I can recall just wanting to have an hour to read a good book to myself. Just an hour.  I went up to my wife's room and people were knocking on the door asking what I was doing and if I was ok.  "Go away!!"

There was one morning when her father knocked on our door at 7 am to wake us for breakfast.  It's like her family has to synchronize every movement of the day.  I don't understand. You all go eat breakfast and we'll eat later!  Why can't they spend an hour doing something without us? It's seems like when my wife and her brother go back home, they morph into their high school or college selves, "home for the holidays".  Her parents have a schedule that they abide by and the entire family unit is together literally ALL day. And did I mention that they have regular Sunday dinners held there at her folks house.  Same for holidays, and there is so much activity going on with each holiday from cooking, building murals and crafts (I'm not joking) to set the holiday mood, that house looks like the packing seen at the beginning of Home Alone. 

We just got back from a visit there for my son's 1st birthday and her parents were upset that we didn't stay there. My wife is scared to say anything and honestly doesn't want things to be different. Tells me its normal for all families and mine just doesn't do anything. She said trips home for holidays are not supposed to be like vacation but you should instead be exhausted after time home.  Wha??  Just to be fair when we visit my family, we stay at a hotel. When I'm with her family I make the best of it. Try to take it in for what its worth but at some point it becomes over the top. 

Think I'm exaggerating?!  Ok, take this example. Yesterday. Whiny baby.  Cold, wet day. Baby got us up early so we had already drove to eat breakfast at 730 am.  Went back to hotel to get dressed as we were to all go to church at 11 and meet her family.  My wife took a call and told me that her family wanted us to meet them at a restaurant at 930 because they hadn't eaten. From there we would caravan to church together in 2 separate vehicles. What in the world?!  So you want us to bring my kid out in the cold for an extra trip, miss his nap, get all overstimulated from the people and clanking forks and knives, watch you all eat for an hour, and then ride to church in separate cars???!!  I just don't get it.  It's like prayers, events, meals, and travel don't count if its not completely synchronized. Drives me freaking crazy!!!!  They know how I feel about crashing at their home as we have discussed it briefly. My wife considers herself to be the rebel in the family because she is the only one to leave the state in her generation, but she doesn't like when I point out the her family still controls her .  She is programmed. I don't really want advice. Just to vent. I try not to bring other people into marital issues except, you know... my wife, but I figure a virtual community of believers couldn't hurt.
« Last Edit: Tue May 02, 2017 - 00:49:15 by humbled »

Offline Nevertheless

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Re: Inlaw visits: no privacy and too demanding of time
« Reply #1 on: Mon May 01, 2017 - 23:58:12 »
Quote
I don't really need advice.


Actually, you do. Work this out between you and your wife, or it will split you up. You and she need to agree on a plan for dealing with each other's family. She needs to understand your need for alone time and you need to lose the 'my family is normal & yours is strange' attitude. You both need to listen, truly listen to how the other feels.

It is going to take a LOT of communicating, and a lot of work, but you need to come together on this. You both need to mentally and emotionally leave your families and cling to each other.

As the head of your household, it is your responsibility to begin taking the necessary steps to become one with your wife. Make the effort - it is worth it.

Offline RB

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Re: Inlaw visits: no privacy and too demanding of time
« Reply #2 on: Tue May 02, 2017 - 03:27:01 »
Quote
I don't really need advice.


Actually, you do. Work this out between you and your wife, or it will split you up. You and she need to agree on a plan for dealing with each other's family. She needs to understand your need for alone time and you need to lose the 'my family is normal & yours is strange' attitude. You both need to listen, truly listen to how the other feels.

It is going to take a LOT of communicating, and a lot of work, but you need to come together on this. You both need to mentally and emotionally leave your families and cling to each other.

As the head of your household, it is your responsibility to begin taking the necessary steps to become one with your wife. Make the effort - it is worth it.
This is excellent counsel and to the point. Besides, life is not about "ME" but serving others FIRST, ourselves last.

Offline MeMyself

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Re: Inlaw visits: no privacy and too demanding of time
« Reply #3 on: Tue May 02, 2017 - 09:55:37 »
Oh man. Sorry about all of this.

I recommend that you both read the Boundaries Book and do the workbook as well.  She will need patience and time to finally have her eyes open to all that is at play here.

Good luck and God bless as you travel this road.

I always feel badly for young marrieds whose parents do not make it easy as possible to leave and cleave.


Offline chosenone

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Re: Inlaw visits: no privacy and too demanding of time
« Reply #4 on: Fri May 05, 2017 - 04:55:45 »
This is a case of families who have always done things very differently. We are more like your family, we tend to be more introverts as well and if someone wants a nap or some alone time they get it. If someone wants to eat their breakfast 2 hours before anyone else, they do so. We are pretty laid back(my husband is an Aussie and is THE most laid back guy).

I suspect they want to include you out of their love for you, but I can see why its suffocating. IF you are an introvert, socialising with people all the time is very tiring and draining. Extroverts get their energy by being with people, so they just don't understand.
You have done the right thing by staying away from the house when you visit, so that at least you can have some down time. You don't actually say how far away you are from them, or how long you stay on visits, but maybe shorten the visits, so if you normally got for a week, go for 3 or 4 days.
 
A question. Is your wife an extrovert? Does she enjoy all this stuff, or does she just put up with it because she is too afraid to say anything?   

My advise is that you have a few sessions with a good Christian marriage counselor with a view to you both coming to a specific agreement on what you will and wont do and accept on visits home. Or even go and see a mature couple in your church about it. You mustn't let this come between you. In laws cause so many marriage break ups. It needs to be talked about and sorted out when you are at your own home away from the situation and not when you are there in the middle of it.   
« Last Edit: Fri May 05, 2017 - 04:58:35 by chosenone »

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Re: Inlaw visits: no privacy and too demanding of time
« Reply #4 on: Fri May 05, 2017 - 04:55:45 »

 

     
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