If a wife has boundaries that she needs to be made with her in laws, what then??

@cream97 (29175)
United States
June 1, 2008 11:45am CST
I have issues with my in laws coming over without calling. They will just drop by all of a sudden without my knowing it. Also, there is food being leaved in my freezer, without anyone asking me to put it there... I am tired of arguing with my husband about this.. He acts like it is no big deal what his folk do. I would like more respect to be shown to me as his wife.. I now feel that I will have to take matters into my own hands because my husband refuses to approach his family about the things that they are doing.. Am I wrong to do this? If I let his family know what I dislike when they come to my home, will it be wrong for me to do this? I feel like I have no choice at all..
6 people like this
24 responses
@madlees (1381)
• India
2 Jun 08
Dear Cream, You are feeling like this, but they do not understand you. What they feel is that may be they are helping you and that's their way of showing that they love you. They would not have thought the way you think. That is disrespect for you. If it had been your parents who were doing this what would you have done? Try and think this one out? You might get an answer.. Just like that don't answer. please do try to think it out. Would you have reacted this way if it was your parents who were doing this?? I have had a very nice parents in laws, sometimes they used to tell me what I had to do, My parents have also interfered in our life but then I have not felt any difference between them. Are you saying all these just because they are your in laws? If you really feel like this then it is better to let them know but in a softer way. Do not hurt them, life is a circle always remember that..
@cream97 (29175)
• United States
2 Jun 08
I will not hurt anyone.. But the same applies to them... If they don't respect my home, then someone may not respect theirs when they get one.. Life is a circle, remember that...
@cream97 (29175)
• United States
2 Jun 08
No, if these were my own parents, I would want them to not to come by either like that.. I sure would not..
@madlees (1381)
• India
3 Jun 08
In our custom , we have to abide by what they tell us and just accept them as they are. We get married into the family and not to a single person. So if you do not like my comments, just leave it. Ok Do not take it to heart
• United States
4 Jun 08
In a perfect world, your husband would tell his parents how all of this makes you feel. But since he won't, then you must. It is your home too. If they are invading your home and you don't like it, you Have to tell them. Me, I would just leave whenever they come over. I would have put all the things that are mine in a locked, well secure closet or room.I would have a place, like a friends house or for me, it would be a sports bar and that's where I would go whenever they came over. Since hubby doesn't understand my feelings and it is his family , not mine, he can play host and I will leave.But that is why I am not married.
@cream97 (29175)
• United States
5 Jun 08
Yes, sometimes I feel like not being married either..
1 person likes this
@ch88ss (2270)
• United States
5 Jun 08
same here, sometimes I feel like not being amrried because it causes my stomach to twist and turn each time my parents come over and my husband is annoyed. good luck
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Jun 08
ch88ss, life is too short. The next time your parents are to come over, get hubby to stay with his best friend or his parents.
@ch88ss (2270)
• United States
3 Jun 08
HAHA, I thought I was the only one with this prblem. YOu too. So did you finally speak with the inlaws? How did it go? let me know so i can share in on your success. My dilemnas is exactly the same except the roles are reversed it is my parents who I have this problem with. My husband is irritated and annoyed by their no calling and dropping by. We used to live 40 miles away and I really enjoyed the private time becaseu it was too far. now that I am closer, they come by everyday. So how did you solve the freezer items? My husband has a similiar problem, we have fruit trees in our backyard and they would come by daily to gather and pick the fruits and take it to share with their friends. The fruit trees bears lots of fruits for over 4 months, so constantly they come by and pick as they ripen. Since I only go to the backyard on weekends, by the time my daughter wants any fruits, there is none left on the tree. The last summer, they came and picked the last batch on the tree and did not leave any for us. Then a few weeks later, my husband told me that we got a new tree in our backyard. It turns out they planted anothe fruit tree in our bck yard and he is furious. We have to pay for the water to grow this tree, and yet we don't get to enjoy the fruits. I don't even know how to handle this anymore. I am afraid to hurt my parents feelings by telling them they need to call first or to ask them to keep some for the kids. They may get offended and take it too harsh. So what did you do and how did your husband parent say? I like to know.
@cream97 (29175)
• United States
5 Jun 08
Well for the freezer, I told him that his sister had to get all of her food out of my freezer. I made him bought groceries and that made it to where her stuff had to go.. I am not going to tolerate being walked over by his family members.. Although me and his sister does get along, she has to cross boundaries, and when she does, she is put into her place..
@ch88ss (2270)
• United States
5 Jun 08
good for you. It is difficult but I am glad you handled it well. I got a long way to go and tell my parents that.
@nilzerous1 (2435)
• India
2 Jun 08
I do not endorse your idea of becoming the front-line speaker direct with every member of your in-laws , if you care to listen to my advice. Instead of that move the matter with one member of your in-laws with whom you should have a better rapport. Explain your position with clarity, and without being emotional, be logical. Explain that when someone keeps goods at your freezer, you face difficulties as there is no alternative storage device in your apartment. Regarding their arrival without notice, tell them that you could not go to Departmental stores, or something similar. Regarding your husband's indifference all I can say is that the life would have been much simple for you had he been little more vocal.
@cream97 (29175)
• United States
2 Jun 08
Yes, life would be more simple..
@mikeysmom (2094)
• United States
2 Jun 08
i would hate to be in this position especially if my husband were not backing me up on my feelings and opinions. the way i feel is that it is your house too and your feelings are not being considered here at all. that is completely unfair and unacceptable. i would ask your husband one more time to consider your feelings on this and explain to him that you feel you are being taken advantage of in a way. he should ask them to call first and not blame it on you and he should tell them he has to discuss things with you before he just allows people to leave things in the freezer etc. they really are stepping on toes and a man needs to stick up for his wife.
@cream97 (29175)
• United States
2 Jun 08
Yes, he needs to do this, or it will continue to cause unwanted problems for us.. Even if he does not want to talk to them, he needs to start giving hints..
@thedaddym (1737)
• United States
1 Jun 08
If it is bothering you so much then you will have to find a nice way of telling them so. I would try one more time to let your husband know how much this is bothering you, and that it would be better for everyone if he were to nicely say something to his parents, rather than you having to speak your mind, but this should be done, either by hinting or other things. You could say something like I wish I knew that you were coming to today, I had planned on going out today or weeding my garden, or something, the denotes that their un-announced visit is actually interfering with your days plans.
@cream97 (29175)
• United States
1 Jun 08
Yes.... I will take these into consideration..
@faith210 (11233)
• Philippines
6 Jun 08
Hi cream97! Your home is your own refuge, your resting place and your comfort zone. So, I think that anyone who comes in there that somehow disturb that peace, it is just right that you will do something about it. I think there is nothing wrong if you talk to your inlaws what is bothering you. However, they are still your family, being the parents of your husband, so, be very careful in choosing the words to say and hope that you will tell it to them in such a way that it might not be offending and won't hurt them somehow. Tell them in a manner that you think you would like to be told. This is a very sensitive thing that you will do because if they react negatively, your husband may be hurt too since they are his parents. Ask for their understanding first before you tell them what is bothering you. I hope and pray that things will turn out just fine. Take care and God bless!
@ch88ss (2270)
• United States
3 Jun 08
Wow, this sounds like my dilemna. Except the roles are reversed. My parents drops by anytime and sometimes every day. It really annoys me too, My parents just don't understand why I cannot entertain once I get off from work or on weekends. really I don't have much time. I only watch TV on the weekends and that is usually 6 hours total for the weekend. They also bring food and stuff in my fridge thinking I will like eating them. They don't realize that half the time I don't eat after 8 pm. Simply because there is no time to sit down and eat. After dinner it is alreay 8 and I need to start the kid with homework, wash the dishes and shower for them. Then it is story time then my time to log on to the computer for some earnings online. Then weekends, I do house cleaning, yard cleaning, stock up on supplies at home, laundry, and exactly at 7pm daily, my daughter needs her routine back, homework, story time etc. So I am all tied up and only have t he day time to take care of my errands. Which they don't seem to understand and always want me to just sit and hang with them. I love to but not every day! I don't even have time to get a haircut in over a year now.!
• Philippines
2 Jun 08
i think it won't supposed to be a problem if you let them know that you don't really like what they do when they come into your house. in the first place he is now your husband and you have the right as his wife. and besides i think you have the right coz its your home. if you don't do it now it might get worst tomorrow. your husband should know better about this matter.
@razcal2267 (15577)
• United States
2 Jun 08
Of course it is wrong. You are the addition to their family not them to yours or at least tha tis how my sister's husbands family explained it when she told them what you are debating about telling your in-laws. You have every right to tell them they need to not just drop by, if they listen or not is a whole other issue. You also need to put your foot down with your husband if you you think there is a lack of respect to be shown to you as his wife.
@freedomg (1684)
• United States
2 Jun 08
No you are not, but be sure to choose your words carefully. Try not to sound like you are telling them off and more like you are making a gentle request. You may also want to pick your battles. I would work on the whole calling before they visit part for now. You can always just toss the food if you don't want it. As for your hubby well it MAY upset him but this DOES upsets you so I think you should go for it. Just remember to be tactful they have feelings too and may not realize that they have offended you. I wish you the best of luck in this matter. I am dealing with a similar situation but my hubby agrees with me and his mom just refuses to listen.
@meiteoh (421)
• Switzerland
2 Jun 08
Do you know why they keep coming over without calling? I have a funny feeling that in their family, such things are perfectly normal. I know in many Western cultures, it's impolite to drop in on someone without calling or making an appointment first but in Asian cultures, it's actually quite alright. One way of looking at this is perhaps they feel ultra comfortable in your home so much so that they think it's theirs and therefore don't see any reason as to call prior to dropping by. It's awkward because you may not feel the same. What about your hubby? Why do you think he feels that it's no big deal? Again, it could be a family culture. Or your hubby could have read you wrongly and think that you just don't want them showing up at all. I don't suggest you telling his family about it; it could end up putting more strain on your relationship with your hubby and paint you as a control queen or worse, someone who has no respect for her hubby's family. Perhaps you could chat with your hubby and let him know that while it's okay for them to drop by, perhaps they could give you guys a holler first so you can make the place more comfortable, prepare food as well as time to entertain them while they are here, and etc (these are lies but at least it won't seem like it's all about you, you and you). Or why not even suggest that if they like to drop by, drop by on certain days and around certain times so that it's easier for them as well as you - that way, you know when they are coming and you can prepare for it.
@jimbelle (485)
• Philippines
2 Jun 08
I think you are in a difficult situation because you are dealing with your in-laws. They are your husbands parents so there will always be a big argument between you and your husband. My advise is to talk it over with your in-laws in a nice and diplomatic way and let them understand that you would prefer that you be informed of their visits. Good communication will I think solve your resentment. Please also see what their intentions are of their surprise visits. In our country our parent/ in laws often come visit us announced or unannounced and my children welcome the visits of their grandparents.
• India
2 Jun 08
As many posters before me have correctly mentioned, are you ready for all kinds of confrontations from people around you? Your in-laws are definitely big irritants from what I understand and its of course no good manners to drop into people without prior intimation, but would you have set the same standards for your own parents and family? If yes, then I think you should point this out to your hubby to substantiate your opinion. If not, then before you speak out to them (as I think you are planning) do remember that being the parents, they do have a right to their son and his home, whether you like it or not. Secondly, your hubby may not think of it as a big deal if he was brought up that way. I mean, if in his family its OK for friends and relatives to drop in like that and open the refrigerator (which I don’t support as that’s too personal), then I think you will have to keep up with it as old habits die hard. Thirdly, do they love you and care for you or take you for granted? There’s a big difference between the two and for love you can certainly go an extra mile. However, you can always cook up some excuses whenever they turn up…like you are just going out somewhere for some urgent work. Have you tried it or do they offer to wait inside for you to come back (that would be another big problem then)
@sid556 (31018)
• United States
2 Jun 08
Your husband should really be the one to do this. Your feelings should be important to him. Since he won't then by all means, talk to them. I would. I would first let them know that I value my relationship with them and that is why I feel the need to talk to them about something that is bothering me.....so it doesn't turn into a bigger problem and you know it will. I would tell them that as much as you love their company, you would appreciate a call so that you are prepared for their visit. As for the food in your freezer, are you sure they didn't ask your husband or that he didn't offer it to them? I just can't imagine going into anyone's home and using their freezer wtihout first asking permission. I don't know if this would work well seeing as their son seems to be ok with them just dropping by and using your freezer. Much would depend on how close you are to them and the type of people they are.
• India
2 Jun 08
It is quite natural that your in laws want to visit their son. Would you be liking it if it was your parents coming in and your husband reacting the way you did? Marriage is an adjustment and that not only means adjusting with husband but with his family as well.
@borgborg (821)
• Philippines
2 Jun 08
you should talk this out with your husband. if he does anything, then you have the right to talk to your in laws directly. you should have an open communication with them. i know they have things that they don't like about you either. all you have to do is to let each other understand.
@property (453)
• United States
1 Jun 08
Hmmmm... I think I would move and not leave a forwarding address. If my husband protested to the move, I'd leave him behind. Thankfully my mate's parents passed years before we started to even date, but my ex-husbands parents were unbearable. Every time they came to my home they made me crazy. I only wish I left him sooner. Any man who refuses to stick up for his chosen family over his parents shows he is choosing them over his wife. Grown-ups explain to others, even parents, when they have crossed a line. Sounds like your husband needs to draw some boundaries. It is awful that he is putting you in a situation so uncomfortable as to have you approach his family. It will surely add even more stress to your relationship than you need. I don't envy your situation at all. I wish you the best, I hope it works out. If all else fails flee!!
• Bahamas
1 Jun 08
I understand how you feel Cream. It's easy to feel like your space is being invaded, but this situation should be handled with some diplomacy. I would first talk to my husband and let him know exactly how i feel.Let him know that you feel disrespected in your home and would like some consideration from him in dealing with his family. I'm afraid if you confront your in-laws right of the bat you will be made the bad guy. Leave the ball in your husbands court for awhile and see how he handles it. Then if you must, find a nice way to express to your in-laws how much you dilike not being informed of their intentions before hand. I dont believe you are wrong for wanting some order in your home after all your home should be your sanctity, and you have every right to insist that you, and your home should be respected.
@Hatley (157529)
• Garden Grove, California
1 Jun 08
right or wrong, your home is your home and you are the mistress. tell you husband that you from now on want your inlaws to callfirst instead of just barging in on you and also to ask if its alright to put things in your fridge.also tell your hubby that you would like to have more respect shown to you as his wife. you have to communicate and do so forcefully, do not back down.