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A big change

Started by keeponsmilin, May 13, 2010, 06:52:50 pm

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My family situation will be changing very soon.  My in laws currently live about an hour away, but will be moving about five miles from our house in mid June.  I kept telling myself this would be okay, because we would no longer half to spend a full day to go for a visit.  My hubby and I thought we would be seeing them more frequently, but for shorter periods of time. 

My husband has started freaking out about his parents move as of late.  He is afraid they will still expect all day visits on the weekend in addition to several "little" visits during the week.  We have 4 children, very demanding jobs, and hubby is in his last year of graduate school.  He is rarely home before 7, and then when he is, he is working on his dissertation. 

My in laws have a great social life in their current city, and have already told us they will be changing churches and quitting their volunteer commitments because of the move.  They are both retired, and hubby is afraid they will expect us to provide them a social life.

To be honest, my husbands worries have gotten me worried.  May paternal GPs kept me after school as a small child, and my brother and I had a very tight bond with them.  I want the same for my kiddos, but I know I will grow resentful if the in laws become too demanding with our time.  Maybe I am just anticipating the worst, but I wanted some suggestions to help make this move positive for everyone.  Advice?


Welcome!  Don't panic before you know for sure there is a problem.  I would suggest that you ask your in-laws what their expectations are as far as time spent together.  You may find out that you have nothing to worry about.  If they make it sound like they want to take over your lives, you would be wise to let them know what your expectations are.  And remember to "keeponsmilin".  Wishing you all the best.
Hugs, Hope


Hope makes a lot of sense. It's in the works and you can't stop it. Anxiety and "what ifs" are just going to complicate what may be a smooth transition. It could be a blessing. Check out those expectations and negotiate.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


1)  Don't panic.  It's too easy to get carried away with the "what ifs".

2)  Don't go overboard.  When they arrive, set the tone for how often you want to see them.  You could be worrying over nothing- if they had such an active social life in their previous city, then they're clearly capable of being sociable in the new city. 


Good Morning
I agree with the other gals here, and I'm smiling...reason being, my mother used to always tell me..."don't count your chickens before they're hatched"....(I used to be awful impatient)  anyway....it sounds to me, with all your hubby's got going for him right now, he's a bit stressed out...of course, he does know his parents better then anyone...but if you can, try and calm the both of you down, by explaining to him that you two could always discuss this matter with them, if and when the time comes....however, reassure him, that he's probably stressed with all the hours he's putting in, and that, this to can be worked out, If in fact it even happens...

Yanno, I'd also like to reinterate once again....we humans tend to try to read people's minds and make up our own senerios in our own heads, meaning we assume so many things which are not true....communication in any relationship is such a valuable tool, which eliviates all of this...letting people know how your feel and simply asking them what they're thinking could so so illiminate so many hard feelings and troubles...don't be afraid of them, b/c they are hubby's parents...your both grown adults...talk to them....practice forthright communication....it's not as difficult as it sounds, yet, so many people fear needlessly, telling others, a simple, "no, that won't work for us..." or..."you need to understand, hubby is so tired...he's over extended and we desperatly need some quality me time"

Good Luck...


Hi KoS,

I often think it may not be so much what we say in certain situations, but how we say it.

When my son presented us with the edict that to see him at Christmas we would have to stay in a hotel, the communication was made by email and in a hostile way. 

With your in-laws, how about inviting them over for a meal when they arrive, and simply telling them, in a very loving way, what the situation is?  Here you are, so concerned about them that you have researched an Internet list to find out the best ways to incorporate them into your life without disrupting your life.   They seem like people who are likely to want the best for you.  You could even say something like, "Times may be different now than when your family was young.  We both have to work and we have so little time!  We want to make it quality time for you, so let's talk about how to make this work.   We don't want conflicts and we don't want hurt feelings; we just want you to understand how stressed our lives are right now."

This gives them the opening to say that they don't want to stress you out further, and maybe even they will offer to do some stress-relief for you.
In any case you have had a one-on-one conversation with them that lets everyone speak.  Your situation is not hostile; even in hostile situations, this strategy of open dialogue can result in a positive outcome; so you have everything going for you because you have an open situation to start with.

If your in-laws are kind and loving and caring, they will understand, and you are fortunate to have them close.

Please let us know what happens, and good luck!



So the game plan is to calm hubby down.  So now I have 1 more little question to help my transition.  When the inlaws ask us to do something we don't have time or the desire to do, my hubby has a tendency to look at me and say "keeponsmilin, what do you think"?  This means that he doesn't want to do it, but doesn't want to tell his parents so.  I end up saying something like "I will need to check our calendars and get back to you".  I wish he would just tell them he doesn't feel up to it.  I think sometimes MIL thinks I am the one always turning her down, when actually it is hubby. Since she will be living so close, I see more of these situations arising.  How can I convince dear hubby to quit throwing me under the bus and making me look like the bad guy?  I know he doesn't mean to hurt me.  He genuinely doesn't know what to say, and is looking to me to help him out.  Any thoughts?


My thoughts...that's the way he is. We can't have people be any different than they are. We can explain what their actions (or lack thereof) bring down on us...but that seldom changes how they are. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Again, can you talk this through with your husband, and come to an agreement?  I agree with you that he should be the one to be communicating with his family, not you.  Explain to your husband that everyone will be best served if he deals directly with his parents.  Otherwise you may get the blame for his lack of communication.

Recently my DIL tried to communicate with us through our younger son (not her husband.)  My son said, "You have to talk to them directly."  He refuses to carry messages.  So should you. 

Sometimes my husband doesn't want to deal with someone on the phone, a person he, not I, should be talking to.  I simply smile and hand him the phone.  He can either talk or just let the person sit there in silence; he always talks.  It's sort of manipulative, but better than getting into a "he said she said" situation later.  When I've tried communicating for him, inevitably misinterpretations occur.

Hope some of this works.  It's really important not to start off on the wrong foot when they are going to be so close.  I totally agree with Creme about assumptions getting made.  That really leads to trouble.  Your husband may be freaking out over nothing.  Try gaining clarity through discussions before you borrow trouble.  You may be pleasantly surprised!  I hope,