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Family Love/hate relationship with your sister in law? Situation with your Mom? Plenty of things to talk about here.

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Old 06-19-2006, 09:19 PM
aurora8202's Avatar
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Angry Problems with husbands parents!!

My husbands parents are coming down for the weekend and we absolutely do NOT get along at all.
They are the opposite of everything I believe in. I am completely against drugs and smoking and they do both. My husband doesn't smoke or do drugs but he grew up with parents that did where as I grew up with parents who didn't. I find it impossible to have respect for people who do drugs.

I have never voiced these opinions out loud to them, but his parents have disliked me since we got married. We dated only 3 months before getting married and his mom was really angry with me for not letting her plan our entire wedding. She wanted everything to be done her way, and we only gave her a month's notice. I am also very shy and when my husband and I went down to visit, I over heard her putting me down to her sister over the phone. She dislikes me because I don't talk to her, but as I told my husband, she doesn't ask me any questions, and when I attempt to talk to her, she gives me one word answers and refuses to start a conversation!

The worst part for me though is the smoking and drugs. None of my family smokes and they smoke non-stop. The entire time we visited, they smoked so much the air was blue. I spent most of the time in the bathroom with my head stuck out the window and when we got home I was sick for two weeks. I feel like I'm suffocating in cigarette smoke and I get a lump in the back of my throat as well as sore, red eyes and a sore throat. It doesn't go away for weeks.
It also makes my oldest son sick and even if it didn't, I really don't want my boys around all that cigarette smoke.

My husband and I disagree over this, he insists that cigarette smoke can't do any long term damage because no one in his family has died from it (even though 2 of his smoking grandparents died from lung cancer and his parents hack and cough like they are going to spit up a lung themselves)

When we went down to visit, they rented a van and drove us around and I argued my husband into telling them I can't handle the smoke. So they promised me that they wouldn't smoke in the vehicle. Then they opened their windows and smoked anyways.

They also have a dog and expect me to lock up my babies (I have 2 cats, and actually one just had kittens) in the basement all weekend because the cats might pick on their dog.

So they are coming down to visit and I just don't know if I can handle it. I am angry from the last time.

Some people think I am being silly but if I don't fight to protect my kids from what I think is harmful to them, no one else will (obviously). My husband can't stand up to his parents, he can't even talk to them, and they completely ignore my feelings.

One thing I refuse to let them do is smoke in my house. So they sit on the step with the doors all open and let it blow back in as well as letting in our entire mosquito population (we do have screen doors).

Just thinking about this is getting me stressed out. I have ADD and it is really showing at the moment with my rambling on and going from topic to topic. Hopefully this is all more organized than it looks to me.

I just don't know what to do!! It is my parent's 25th anniversary this weekend and my mom wanted to pick up me and my 2 son's on Friday to come over for the day before it gets really busy (the party is on Saturday). This has been planned for months. But now my husband is upset because his parents are coming over and while they are planning on going to the anniversary on Saturday, he now wants us to stay home for when his parents show up. But the problem is we don't have a vehicle anymore (that is another thread all together!) and his parents will insist on driving us there. But they don't have the proper childseat restraints and they don't care! And they get upset when I fight them over it!. Which I will because I will not let them in a vehicle if they are not in properly.

I just have no idea what to do! My husband is looking forward to seeing them (I try to understand that they ARE his parents and we all love our parents no matter what they do wrong) and I want to be happy for him, but I just don't want them anywhere near our kids!
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Old 06-19-2006, 09:48 PM
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Bless your heart. Well, there isn't much you can do as far as making your DH speak up against his family. They raised him. You are shy, so it will be difficult, but you will have to set boundaries. Tell them politely that they are welcome, but all smoking has to be done outside. (I leave a coffee can or something for smokers to put their ashes and butts when when they come over and smoke outside.) Let them know that no illegal drugs will be allowed in the house. As for the dog, if you don't want the dog there, you will have to say so, if he is allowed there, then you will have to tell them what is and is not allowed.

You will be demonstating being a good hostess by providing them chairs outside and a can for their ciggy butts. All you can do is make them feel welcome without giving up your values and your rules.

Also 2nd hand cigarette smoke is more dangerous than the actual inhaling of the ciggy.

I know it is difficult to do this though. You have to decide whether or not it is worth it to set boundaries. Either way, there may be tension. Don't let anyone make you feel bad for setting rules in your own house. I always told my kids that home was base and the kids couldn't pick on each other. In other words, home is your safe place. I hope it all works out works out for you. Please keep us posted on the turnout.
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Old 06-20-2006, 09:33 PM
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It is always a hard situation to be in when there are problems with in-laws.

Debora has covered the smoking issue pretty well. As for the animals, it is your home and your cats home. I would explain that the one just had kittens and for the safety of the dog you will confine him/her to one room.

I don't allow my children in a car without the proper restraints and you don't need to either. I don't know if it is a law there (as it is here), if so you could use that.

As for the day before events, is there a way you can be there to great them and have your Mom pick you up a little later. You can then explain that your help is needed at your parents and they can visit with their son.

I do hope it goes well for you.
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Children have never been very good at listening to their parents, but they have never failed to imitate them. Baldwin ~
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Old 06-20-2006, 10:10 PM
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As for my pets, I think of mine as my children. I would never assume that other children could come over while I made my children go to their bedroom or attic or something like that while the other "children" played in their house. Many animals are territorial. If they want to bring their animals, tell them that Motel 6 allows pets and that your pets don't deal well with other animals. Just an idea.
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Old 06-22-2006, 01:23 PM
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I know how you feel. I've been pretty lucky with my dh's family, but ex's families & my own family have been very similar to the way you describe your in-laws. My dh & I both smoke, but we don't allow smoke around our kids. Our apartment & our car are smoke free areas (even if the kids aren't there). I'm fairly shy myself, but when it comes to my kids' best interest I'll put my foot down. Everyone that comes here knows there is absolutely NO smoking inside. I don't care how bad the weather is, if you want a cigg, you take it outside. They need to respect your wishes on that. Your kids could get very sick from being around second hand smoke. It's been proven to cause ear infections (which can damage their hearing) & respiratory problems. Same goes for the car. If your kids won't be restrained properly, don't put them in it. It's a matter of safety. I like the idea someone else had about having your mom pick you up after your in-laws get there. That way your kids get to ride in a safe car & you'll still be there to greet them when they get there.
As hard as it is, you need to put your foot down if you want certain things to happen. Tell them that you don't allow smoke in your house because of the adverse effect it can have on your children's health. Tell them this also means that the doors cannot be left open while they sit outside & smoke because the smoke comes in anyway. It's not as if you're telling them to quit smoking, or that they can't smoke the entire time they're visiting. You're simply stating that your home is a smoke-free area & you want them to respect that, for their grandchildren's sakes.
I hope they're willing to respect your wishes. It makes it so hard when families can't get along. Good luck.
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Old 07-02-2006, 05:06 PM
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Hi, I can understand your dh wanting to see his parents and want to have them there. BUT I also do not understand why it is so hard for any of them to understand that this is your house and that you do not allow smoking there.

Smoking is harmful and second hand smoke is the worst. My MIL smokes like a chimney and when she visits here she as well as any other smoker that visits knows it is outside or no where.

My children have asthma and when we visit my MIL she also makes a point to smoke less and never near my children. I had to fight with dh over this, as his view is well it's her house, my counter was well it is our childrens health, which is more important to you?

I personally think you are a better person than me to allow someone who openly disrespects you to stay there. I understand you are shy, but you can't let your ILs walk all over you, neither can you let your dh.

The reason I am so adament about this is that my mother was walked all over in her own home by my bio fathers parents especially his mother, she is the most evil minded woman I know. He also never took my mother into consideration, always his mother came before her or his children. So please stand up if not for yourself then your children. I would never let my kids go w/o a safety seat, not only is it dangerous it is against the law, at least in Mi it is.

Just remember it is YOUR home, and YOUR CHILDREN's home not hers so if she starts in about her pet then let her know that sorry this is their home and I am not locking them up. Also it is your home so tell her to smoke outside and if they bring their drugs then tell them well it was a nice short visit but you need to leave.

Getting off my soapbox now

Mary H
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Old 07-02-2006, 06:41 PM
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I'd say stand up to them about the no smoking as that is one thing I can't stand never being a smoker but coming from a family that smoked like chimneys at every family gathering.
When I had my first child, I frimly stated my house my rules, you want to see the baby I will have no cigarettes passed this doorway.
To their credit they always went outside as long as I provided an ashtray.
If you can compromise with hubby maybe telling him that you can forgo some other of their irritating habits if they at least don't smoke in the house and respect yours and your kids, cats etc space, to me that is not to much to ask.
Good luck and I hope their visit isn't to bad.

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Old 07-07-2006, 12:31 PM
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The only thing I have to add, is to explain to your children after they leave, about how bad smoking and drugs are for you and that you are worried about these family members because they do not obey laws and that they could have something bad happen as a result of the drugs. I try to be open and honest with my son, because kids pick up on more than we realize. Good Luck, my in-laws are the same way, they also steal from us, so I never leave them unattended in my house and I keep my pocket book and prescriptions, locked up in the trunk of my car when they visit. It is bad, but my husband has only one family and they will be gone one day. I do not want to be the cause of him not staying close to them. Good LUCK!
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Old 07-13-2006, 04:06 AM
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i have always found it amazing how family members know your child has asthma and they smoke around them my case the inlaws mother had dangerous asthma for years and she smoked , when she quit her sister and her kids would smoke around her. at 56 she died of it ,i think she just gave daughter had it for three years and it went away as mysteriously as it had come,but it was very scarey while she had it. It wasnt severe but it was still there. we would go to family functions and my husbands family would say the'd smoke outside next thing you know they have the kitchen window open .why do they truly beleive the smoke is just going outside the room is blue and the smoke should no effect anyone in t he house because its going outside...for a while my husband smoked while my son was a baby he had one ear infection after another one..we'd be in the car and i'd say dont smoke around the baby "oh its going outside ,cant you see it " yeah i also smelled it and it was not going outside it would come back in at us. i think from the beginning you have to tell people that you dont want people smoking in your home if they want to ,to please go outside. :-) i would give them an ashtray and even go out with them as to not be rude then i would find the butts in the pop cans in the for us we just would spend the inside holidays husband would go for thanksgiving (especially) you are primarily in one room ....and my son had a choice and would go with him and my daughter and i would have our more sinus infections for months either.since the inlaws wouldnt put us first i did........i would not expose my daughter to the smoke that was very bad for her, unfortunately my son was older and made his choice ...of course you always find out about things years later and how dangerous exposure to the smoke really is it really smells awful we'd comehome and our clothes and hair were full of it.....they like to say they have rights well so do we and sadly many times children just dont seem to have rights, the smoke billows around them and that's just the way it is for them,many times its their parents doing it....I teach religious education and the first graders like to be close and they smell so of smoke..their parents must have smoked in the car on the way...
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Old 07-13-2006, 06:07 AM
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Well, they didn't smoke in our house. Actually they only spent about 1/2 an hour at our place before we went to my parents' farm for the rest of the weekend. They weren't too impressed about it I don't think, but I don't know why they would expect anything else. They knew it was my parents anniversary and they told my husband they were coming down FOR it. Then I really think they expected me to leave my husband and youngest son home for the weekend just because they came down.
My parents borrowed a neighbors camper/trailer thing and his parents stayed in there for the weekend. We didn't see much of them. Everytime I asked my husband where they were, it was "in their van." I didn't remember quite how often they do drugs.

As for the ear infections mentioned, it reminded me of something and I don't know how I didn't realize. My son always had ear infections as a baby. He had to have ear tubes put in, but he was never around smoke. He was great for a year after the tubes were put in, until we went to visit my husbands parents. The house was blue with smoke the entire time. My son got an ear infection! I remember he was up all night crying that something hurt. And my husband still insists that the smoke didn't effect us at all. But I had a sore throat and stuffed up nose for 2 weeks after we left.

I am SO glad Christmas is with MY parents this year!!!!

Any ideas on what to do about the smoking if we are at THEIR house next year at Christmas?? My husband says it is their house and they should be allowed to smoke. They don't care one way or the other, they just refuse to not smoke around us. I know I WILL refuse to get into a vehicle with them this time. If they open a window and smoke, my kids and I will walk.
I considered a hotel, but we REALLY can't afford it, and it wouldn't help out when we are at their house to visit anyways.
I almost want to tell him he has to go alone next year and if they want to see their grandkids they have to come here where they CAN'T smoke.
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