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Licence to Kill
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Dh's dad wants us to come and visit (lives in Indiana...we live in Alaska). Dh and his dad have had a rough relationship over the years (in fact, we cut ourselves off from his dad and step-mom for about 7 years; yes, it was that bad).

His dad has come a long way with his attitude and Dh now wants to work on building a good relationship with his father (this is good). Unfortunately, this means somehow coping with his step-mother (his dad and her were married about 9? years ago, long after Dh was an adult). His step-mother is *the reason* we cut ourselves off from the family. She is a snarky, CONTROLLING, pushy, overbearing, demanding...did I mention controlling?...person that we would love to never have to deal with, but obviously have to.

Dh's dad is willing to pay for part of the travel costs so that it's affordable (so, can't really use that as a reason; not that we'd want to - he does want the relationship with his dad).

We would be staying with them. I am SO not wild about this idea. >< In addition to that, his sister (totally messed up person; Dh's dad is raising her 2 daughters) lives on the property (mini farm with a lot of buildings) and her 2 daughters live *with* his dad. So, not just the tension of dealing with his dad and SM, but 2 kids (neither of us are kid people).

But, wait! There's MORE! His grandmother lives on the property,too. She's a neat lady and I'd love to visit with her... She and Dh's dad (her son) butt heads like there's no tomorrow!! It's UGLY. It makes me VERY uncomfortable. :(

And, as if that wasn't enough...Dh's brother (another seriously screwed up individual) is now planning to visit the same time frame we are!! ><


Okay. That said...how do I get through this? We're renting a car, so I won't have to be there 24/7, but his SM is SUPER into dictating everyone's moves and non-compliance breeds confrontations. I hate all the tension and yelling. I hate cramming a ton of people into a small space. And, I hate staying at other people's homes.

Yeah. Can I just say, if I didn't love my Dh SO much, there's no other way I'd go through this...you couldn't *pay* me to live through a week and a half of what is coming (August).

There's no "talking it out" like reasonable people...it's just diversion tactics and coping. Thoughts? Ideas?

I'm stressing about this, already, and it's still months away... :( I'd rather take the money and fly to Vegas. LOL
 

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Wait ...who says you have to "stay" with them.
You could go for a visit and not stay in their house.
If I were you...and I know this is not a frugal solution but
I have to offer it up anyway as I would HAVE to keep my sanity.
I would look at renting a RV...or staying at one of those extended stay hotels which
you get a discount for staying at least a week. I would HAVE to plan to have some peace
and it sounds like you will NOT in staying with them.
 

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I would claim you won 2 airlines tickets to someplace appealing to your FIL, say BC or Idaho or something outdoorsy, and instead of going to Indiana, your Dh wants to give him one of the tickets and meet him there for a one on one vacation with his dad. If his life is that crazy I am sure he'd jump on that idea. More expensive for you, but $$$well spent to avoid that cluster!
 

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I suggest a hotel room.

Preferably a suite so you can cook if you have to.

You have from now till then to save up the money.
 

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Get a hotel room (because you don't want to intrude on their home for that long, right **winkwink**). Bring up the "three day guest" rule: Fish and guests smell after three days.

Another idea is to develop a (pretend) chronic case of insomnia. Tell them that you don't want to disturb them when you either stay up forever or when you wake up in the middle of the night. Because, you know, that wouldn't be being a good guest, disrupting the household. (This especially works well if you are perimenopausal or menopausal because it can massively screw with your sleep schedule.)

Awww... Menopause... Another possible excuse. Tell the stepmom that you have been having menopausal issues and need to keep the room just above freezing to keep the night sweats at bay and you don't want to disrupt your household with your special sleeping needs, that you can blast the A/C at the hotel room and that way you won't run up their electric bill.

Do either of you use one of those special pressure face mask things? They are noisy. How noisy is a nebulizer? You don't want to disrupt the sleep of everyone in the household with your noisy things.
 

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A lot of good suggestions - is there a possibility your DH can go by himself? Why subject yourself to that, unless you feel he needs you there. Just a thought.

I agree with PP, do not stay there if you can possibly help it. Being able to get away at the end of the day will be invaluable. 10 days is a LONGGGGG time. Any chance you can stay with the grandmother?

Since it is happening in August, there may be time to get some free hotel stays by signing up for rewards credit cards that have a signup bonus. I know when I signed up, the Marriott one gave you a free stay and enough points for several more stays at lower end hotels. Hilton Honors card is another one. I have not paid for a hotel room in years and I use between 4 and 10 rooms a year.

(((Hugs)))) - I know what it is like to have a pushy obnoxious stepmom although in my case, thankfully they were not really married. No one could stand her and couldn't see what my dad saw in her.
 

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DO NOT stay with them. Period. It will ruin your trip. Seriously. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt, horrible memories from the trip and strained relationships to this day. It's not worth it.
 

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Agree with the others, get a hotel room. If it is an hour away from the farm, so much the better, because you won't have to be there at sunup and you'll have to leave early in the evening.

If there is *anything* else to do in the area, plan to spend a day or two during the trip doing it. Go see the world's largest ball of string or the corn field where General Sherman once camped, or go antiquing at the town 30 miles away, even if you don't plan to buy anything. Just don't spend all day cooped up in their house with them.

Your MIL sounds like my mother. When we visit (which isn't often) now I mostly let her have her way and just deal with it, and ignore her comments.

When the screaming starts, just grab your coat and go for a walk.
 
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I would try to take this time to visit with the grandmother, who you like. Who knows when you will see her next?

My mother and sister are like oil and water, so whenever I visit either, that one wants to b*tch about the other. I just nod sympathetically, then say something positive about the other person, or say something like, "Oh, mom, you know she is just the kind of person who really needs positive attention, she is just not very secure," making my mother feel like the "better" person for tolerating my sister (and vice versa). It tends to defuse the anger and make the other person feel just a little bit petty about b*tching in the first place.

And maybe try doing some stuff with the kids. They sound like the most squared-away pair there! :) I am not a kid person either, but I do find that they sometimes can change your perspective on the world, when you force yourself into their mindset.

I would suggest having an itinerary of some sort, and sticking to it. Pretend you don't know any of these people and are stuck on a cruise with them for ten days, and just try to be pleasant and stay above the fray. :)
 

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:thud: I would discuss with your DH about you staying home too.......like some others said.........after all.........it is the relationship with his dad that needs the work and he needs the time alone with him to work it out..............good chance for you to stay in the background..........WAY in the background.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do!!
 

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Really do not see why the two of you can't take separate vacations. He can go see his parents and you can go somewhere you would enjoy. Or rent a room at an inexpensive hotel/motel. How about shortening the stay. Maybe visit for x amount of days and plan on taking a road trip to another area to go site seeing for x amount of days. Can understand want to support you husbands desire to have a relationship with his father. Also, if possible maybe the two of them can use skype to be able to call each other and see each other face to face when you are in Alaska. Not saying that should replace visiting.

Definately is a stressful situation to be in. Think about dividing up the time you spend with the in-laws so the two of you actually feel like you are getting a vacation. It is stressful enough visiting in-laws but when you consider the amount of time and money involved and the possibility of it being the only vacation for the year it just makes it more unbearable I would think.
 

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Licence to Kill
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Discussion Starter #14
We talked about me not going, but his grandma would really be hurt if I didn't. :(

I love his grandma, but she spends much of her time complaining about his dad (or anyone else). It gets exhausting, too. >< But, it's her way...and she's got a lot of love to give, too. She's actually concerned that if we spend too much time visiting with her, his dad will be extra-rude (he's already jerky) to her.

Can I get an, "OH GOOD GRIEF?!". ('Cause that's how I'm feeling).

The nearest little grouping of hotels is about a 20 minute drive (each way) and would come to about $675 for the stay.

I'm already freaking about the costs because we *weren't* initially going to rent a car for the whole trip (initially only 4-5 days; for some flexibility) and now that will be about $530, added to the cost of the tickets (Dh's dad is paying half the ticket cost). Plus, we'll have gas costs...which, if we stayed in a hotel would be even more with all the driving back and forth, not to mention an additional $675 for the hotel!! ><

We're still paying for college for me! We don't have enough $$ to throw at a hotel, more gas, etc... :(

Anyway...let's see if I can respond to some posts...

Too young for menopause, so can't claim that.

It will be August in Indiana (and I'm from Alaska), so I'm not sure how much *outside the house* I'll be able to do. Alaskan babies melt, ya know. ;) LOL

josantoro - we wouldn't want to get any more CCs, but do you know of any programs out there without a CC attached?

Maybe playing with the kids is the best option? Ugh...I hate the thought of spending all the money and time just to play with kids I've never even met. (Sorry, I hope that doesn't sound mean. It's just a lot of money and not my favorite thing to do). :(

Thanks all for the input and support!
 

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I just want to say if you do this for your DH, he owes you BIG TIME. I hope he realizes what a gem he has in you.

If you do wind up staying, can you take a break half-way through (plan an overnight trip to some semi-local attraction) and stay at least one night in a hotel, just for some breathing space and to decompress.
 

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Licence to Kill
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Discussion Starter #16
I just want to say if you do this for your DH, he owes you BIG TIME. I hope he realizes what a gem he has in you.

If you do wind up staying, can you take a break half-way through (plan an overnight trip to some semi-local attraction) and stay at least one night in a hotel, just for some breathing space and to decompress.
One night is definitely a possibility! I'll run that past him! I didn't even think of that! Thanks!! :D
 

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Sorry but this is silly. Just dont go. Grandma knows the score. A big fat honest I dont want to go will do. I havent seen or talked to my MIL or her 3rd DH in 8 years. I dont care,or miss them. The plan is not to. DH goes for a Christmas visit 1x a year. DD usually goes. I sent flowers from him for her once. My being there would spoil the visit so I dont go.
 

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I'm already freaking about the costs because we *weren't* initially going to rent a car for the whole trip (initially only 4-5 days; for some flexibility) and now that will be about $530, added to the cost of the tickets (Dh's dad is paying half the ticket cost). Plus, we'll have gas costs...which, if we stayed in a hotel would be even more with all the driving back and forth, not to mention an additional $675 for the hotel!!
.....
And that is a really great reason to shorten the trip to 3 days instead of ten.

Maybe playing with the kids is the best option? Ugh...I hate the thought of spending all the money and time just to play with kids I've never even met.
From the sound of it they need someone who knows how to have a normal (non-screaming, non-hateful) relationship in their life.
 
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Licence to Kill
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Discussion Starter #20
From the sound of it they need someone who knows how to have a normal (non-screaming, non-hateful) relationship in their life.
That's a very good point. I'm really good with kids...they have always come straight to me. I have no clue why? I smile constantly...maybe that's it? I'll try to come at it all from this angle. It might as well benefit them! It'll be easy enough to bring coloring books/crayons, stuff to make friendship bracelets, do origami, teach them cat's cradle, etc. They're 8 & 10...any other ideas?

I'm still loving the "one night in a hotel" idea!! ;)
 
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