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Posted by: Fay | 2011/11/24

In-laws

Hi doc, married for 9 years. MIL, FIL and SIL moved in with us about 5 years ago. Don’ t have any issues with them, when we alone we get alone fine, everyone is happy and knows their place. 1st Problem starts with eldest BIL, who lives directly opposite our apartment on the same floor. BIL and kids are in and out, day in, day out. Wife of BIL lazy and therefore the family end up eating at our home most of the time. While I don’ t mind providing anyone with a meal, every day happening is a wee bit too much too handle. 2nd Problem, youngest SIL moved back to town. Another lazy butt. Has double standards, will go crazy if anyone messes up her place but when she comes to my home, she and her kids are just plain filthy. Leave dirty dishes laying around, if they spill something they wont even wipe it and everything from clothes to MY kids toys are thrown around while they sit like queens and kings. Worst thing though is that she now tends to see my home as a dumping zone. When she and hubby feel like some time alone or weekend away, they dump the kids there. While my hubby is also getting to a point of frustration and has already spoken to them about not doing these things, it still happens. MIL is much too soft and lets BIL and SIL walk all over her. I just feel so unhappy these days. My kids are also learning all terrible traits from nephews. I feel stuck in a rut. Hubby understands how I feel and why I feel the way I do, and we have spoken about maybe getting another place. However, we cant afford it as FIL and SIL not earning well and will not be able to survive on meagre salaries. And even though I feel suffocated and feel that I have in this whole process loss my identity and freedom and everything else, I still love them and don’ t want them to suffer in anyway. But I dread going home after work and don’ t look forward to weekends anymore. Why cant some people understand that you need time alone with your own family. Why are they like leeches? While I love spending time with family, I hate those that make a nuisance of themselves. What else to do??? I know I myself am to blame for not putting my foot down, but I hate confrontations and arguments.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

As Liza sys, they're like stray cats or dogs - stop feeding them. Just say you prepare enough only for your own family, and can't afford to feed them, too. Point out that they have a kitchen, an adequate income, and 3 adults who should be able to cook. Offer to find some take-out menus they can use, too.
Lazy SIL again, refuse to feed them. Don't invite them for meals, ever, and if they hang around at meal-time, either go hungry till they leave, or say "Sorry, but its time for US to have OUR dinner - if you're staying, would you like to order pizza ? "
Or, maybe, print out a menu for the things you usually cook, with clear prices, and ask them what they'd like to order.
They will all continue to do this so long as you allow them to. WHile you provide an open-all-hours free restaurant, why wouldn't they prefer to eat there ?
SIL must find somewhere to stay which she can afford - her failure to earn enough to support herself should not be your problem.
So long as you fail to put your foot down, expect this all to continue. You need to be assertive and firm, not aggressive. And its not even untimately for their own good to train them to become parasites, rather than self-sufficient.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/11/25

As Liza sys, they're like stray cats or dogs - stop feeding them. Just say you prepare enough only for your own family, and can't afford to feed them, too. Point out that they have a kitchen, an adequate income, and 3 adults who should be able to cook. Offer to find some take-out menus they can use, too.
Lazy SIL again, refuse to feed them. Don't invite them for meals, ever, and if they hang around at meal-time, either go hungry till they leave, or say "Sorry, but its time for US to have OUR dinner - if you're staying, would you like to order pizza ? "
Or, maybe, print out a menu for the things you usually cook, with clear prices, and ask them what they'd like to order.
They will all continue to do this so long as you allow them to. WHile you provide an open-all-hours free restaurant, why wouldn't they prefer to eat there ?
SIL must find somewhere to stay which she can afford - her failure to earn enough to support herself should not be your problem.
So long as you fail to put your foot down, expect this all to continue. You need to be assertive and firm, not aggressive. And its not even untimately for their own good to train them to become parasites, rather than self-sufficient.

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Liza | 2011/11/24

How are you supposed to put your foot down when you''re not home and MIL allows it?

I suggest that you start treating them exactly the way they treat you. If they dare complain - tell them sorry, but they do this when they''re at your house, so why can''t you do it at their place? This is bound to start an argument - which I really see no way out of. Either you have an argument and something positive comes out of it, or you don''t have an argument and everything stays the same.

When you''re cooking - ensure that there''s only enough food to feed the household. If you don''t stop feeding the leeches, they''ll continue to treat your home as a free restaurant. And why shouldn''t they? They get away with it. They''re like stray cats. If you feed them, they''ll move in... Besides costing you a fortune when you''re already not that financially well off.

Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza

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