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DEARSUGAR NEEDS YOUR HELP: My In Laws Want To Stay With Us for Two Weeks

DEARSUGAR and Stuck Stephie need your help. How can she deter her in-laws from crashing with her and her husband in their modest house for two weeks straight?

Dear Sugar,
My husband and I live on the West Coast and his parents live in Pennsylvania. They have mentioned that they've been wanting to come and visit for an extended period of time and called us last night very excited about the prospect of staying with us for two weeks.

My husband and I got married three years ago and we moved away because we wanted to start our own life free of pressures and influences from our families. However, his parents feel that they never get to see him much anymore and they also feel that they don't know me as well as they would like to.

Both my husband and I work full time and we live in a pretty small two bedroom starter house by the water. It would be extremely stressful for us to have them here, shacking up with us for two weeks, and expecting us to play tour guide every night after work, but I don't know how to say no to them.

I know that my husband won't do it; he would never hurt his parents, and suggesting they stay in a hotel would definitely not sit well with them. Has anyone ever been in this situation before? I could use some suggestions...and fast! Stuck Stephie

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corbs14 corbs14 4 years
My inlaws are here for 10 days. They retired abut 2 years ago and we bought the house from them when they moved to FL. It has been hard for me when my MIL stays with us as it she doesn't act like a guest. It's almost like she never sold the house when she's here. Anyway, They are here for the holidays and they have both slept in until 11am or noon every day and yesterday my MIL didn'tget out of bed until 6pm last night. We have a 2 year old son and I am annoyed because it seems lke she doesn't even care about enjoying him. She just stays up all night and sleeps all day? Does anyone have any suggestions about what I should do? Thanks.
help4me help4me 7 years
Try putting up with in-laws that stay two months every summer visiting from abroad. I have talked to my wife about it but this gets no where. She does not have the courage and feels it is disrespectful to ask them to leave. As for me I have resorted to taking Xanax to deal with this mess that I have been dealing with summer after summer, year after year. Any suggestions?
gossipqueen gossipqueen 9 years
I think you're being SELFISH! Is not like they're asking you to live there forever. Two weeks is pretty reasonable....maybe is only you that is the "stressed" one and wants to get out of the situation.... WHY do you want to start something that might be taken the wrong way with his parents?? I say SUCK IT UP! when you got married his family came trailing behind him. My in-laws visited for a month...and surprisinly enough they know how to take themselves out for a coffee...go figure...adults going out on their own time. Give them suggestions of where can they go when you guys are at work...and like 3Sweeties said...most likely you'll come back to a clean house and food on the table!
3Sweeties 3Sweeties 9 years
I doubt that they will need or WANT to be babysat. Who knows, you may come home most nights to clean, folded laundry and a hot dinner on the table. That's what usually happens when my Grandma or my Hubby's Mom comes to stay. Their goal is not "Let's go be a terrible burden and make everyone miserable." Relax, lighten up, and try to enjoy their visit. 2 weeks out of your lifetime is not too much to ask. And when you have a baby- you will probably want someone to come stay and help out- don't burn that bridge!
Bunbunhun Bunbunhun 9 years
Wow, my brother and sister in law stay 3 to 4 weeks at a time, and it's great. (And this means 7-8 people in one house!) Since we really only see them once a year, I can't imagine telling them that they need to leave after a week. Like someone else said, just relax, give them a map and book of local attractions, and let them have fun. They're adults, and will certainly be able to entertain themselves.
SeptemberLights SeptemberLights 9 years
Wow, i was really suprised by some peoples comments on this. I think 2 weeks is too long for ANY house guest, even my own parents. my boyfriend and i only have a three bedroom apartment that we share with his brother and his parents will fly out from Florida a couple times a year and stay with us for a week. I love his parents they are alot of fun, but i know for a fact that after 2 weeks everyone would be sick of eachother. ONE week is enough.luckily if i get sick of them i am a student so i can lock myself in my room and say i am 'studying', even though i am really having a glass of wine and reading magazines! Lucky Libra
t0xxic t0xxic 9 years
Oh my god do I feel you! Inlaws or parents in general visting sucks. But theres nothing we can do about it. Its not like a friend or sibling or relative its mom and dad for one of you. Stock up on wine. Take it easy as you can and send them out as much as possible and enjoy what you can because they wont be around forever; -------------------- -------------------- Watch us play secret santa, and every tuesday fab find for our wishlist!
Toronado Toronado 9 years
Oh, they're his parents, for God's sake. They're not getting any younger. They want to come and visit and hang out because they love you. You should consider yourselves lucky that they aren't the invasive, bossy in-laws that most people have. If two weeks seems to too long, then compromise. Set aside a few weeks each year for them...one week here and there, you know. You can spread it out a little. That way everyone's satisfied. Let them pay their own ways; you can buy them little gifts here and there, maybe treat them to dinner once or twice, but they should pay for everything else...especially if they stay at your place. Even so, them staying in a hotel isn't SO unrealistic...but if you've got the room at your place to accommodate them for a week, you should (but they can bring their own toiletries, etc). Come on, it's a few weeks a year out of your lives. They want to see you because they miss you and want to keep in touch. That's NOT so bad once you think about it. Imagine how happy you'll make them...and who knows? You might even end up having FUN. Both your husband and you (your husband especially; they're his parents) need to chill out.
pinkangelmonkey pinkangelmonkey 9 years
jenn, twink and arthur nailed this one. nuff said!
Twinkle1 Twinkle1 9 years
I can't imagine asking them to cut it short or stay in a hotel. That's just cold!
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Especially if they haven't seen him in 3 years, Mme Hart. Totally agree. Besides, how do you nicely say "Look, my wife just doesn't really like you enough to tolerate you for more than 7 days. Cut it short, please." Yikes. Hope your kids marry people who are a little more kindhearted.
Mme-Hart Mme-Hart 9 years
Depends on how far they have to travel, though. When people come a few thousand kilometres and change time zones, they sometimes feel that to only stay a week isn't long enough. I know that's how it is for me over here in Europe with family back in North America.
bluejeanie bluejeanie 9 years
two weeks is much too long for a houseguest, even family. ask your husband if he can request they shorten it to one week instead. one week isn't that bad.
bonbonfay bonbonfay 9 years
Your huband needs to "put on his big boy pants" and explain to them that with your work schedules and the size of your place, it would be a much more enjoyable trip for everyone if they shortened it...to one week, max! My husband and I made a deal before we got married that neither of our parents would visit for more than 5 days at a time. It's hard hosting people, cleaning up after them, cooking for them, buying groceries for them and entertaining them, especially for two weeks. Since it involves your in-laws, it is your husbands place to fix it. As it would be your place to fix it if it were your parents. Overwhelming parents can be havoc on a relationship, as was the case with my own parents. Your husband needs to have a talk with them and they will need to understand. There is no way around this. In addition, out of respect for both of you, the in-laws should have asked about coming for that length of time, or asked what length of time would be appropriate, instead of telling you. Your husband needs to put his foot down now or this will continue for the rest of your lives. ~Bonnie~
Mme-Hart Mme-Hart 9 years
At least you don't have to be a full-time interpreter for your in-laws. In-laws can truly suck at times, but it's better to suck it up then focus on how MUCH they can suck. It's a fact of life and you have to deal with it. Give them a great few days and they might see things they are interested in seeing again on their own. Be very clear and thorough at explaining how to use the transit and show by example. After a few days in any city, people are comfortable to go out on their own. :D
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
I can't imagine they actually expect you to play tour guide EVERY night. Two weeks is nothing. Suck it up. Lose the attitude and you might actually enjoy getting to know the people who created the love of your life.
Regular_Lady Regular_Lady 9 years
I'm with Arthur. Yes, two weeks can be a long time. Yes, if it were my MIL coming for two weeks, I'd be every bit as freaked out. However: you were old enough and mature enough to get married. Now's the time to put on on those Big Girl pants and suck it up. You don't have to do something with them every evening. Make it clear that you will both be working all day long, and provide them with maps, a vehicle and a few ideas of things for them to do. Even suggest an overnight trip to a town or attraction a couple of hours away. As much as it could suck for you, your hospitality will be invaluable to them - they'll have a great time and have nothing but glowing thoughts of the both of you. It's better than dealing with the possibly unholy consequences of them hating you until your dying day.
Twinkle1 Twinkle1 9 years
Agreed. Suck it up. It's only two weeks and they miss their son. It probably won't be as bad as you think anyway. But keep plenty of booze on hand for emergencies :)
Fancy04 Fancy04 9 years
Good luck, hon.
la_clique la_clique 9 years
Bless you. 2 weeks is WAY too long for guests-ESP family. You will just have to suck it up and get every possible list of activities you can find. Maybe some places that require them to drive AWAY for a night or two...National Park or something? Remind them often that you will have to WORK and will not be available to show them a good time. Hopefully they will entertain themselves and you can get to know them better. But you might need to get some emergency Valium. Just in case.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
mother of god, this is like a nightmare! can you afford to buy them tickets for just the 2 of them to some shows or events in the evenings so that you would not come EVERY night to them for 2 weeks? 2 weeks is too long for any house guests. how many bathrooms do you have? i would also suggest that you have dh play tour guide alone with them a few times. maybe just you and mil can go to lunch and shopping one day. ugh! you have to be nice but if it goes too well it could become an annual event:(
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 9 years
Yes, I've been there many times but, it was just my mother-in-law visiting. This probably won't be their last visit either..see Arthur's advice above take it. Try to make the most of it, and have fun with them. Get to know them better, too. Remember, stay positive and be patient. You don't want to regret anything. Also, if your parents visited, you would want your husband to do the same for you. You can do it! :) cubadog, I like your idea of getting a guide book, and map. :)
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I know the feeling when I lived in NYC all of my family and friends decided it was a written invite to come and visit. I was upfront with them and let them know that I would take a few days off to play and show them around but that they would be on their own a lot of the time. I bought a guide book, a map, metro card, and told them to have fun. Sounds like you live near a beach maybe you could line up some fun things for them to do while you are work. Trust me I know about small places my apartment in NYC was really small.
JessNess JessNess 9 years
Two weeks is a long time. I would probably get really annoyed. But suggesting that they stay in a hotel is unrealistic because that would be very expensive. I think that you really need to let them know that you guys really will not be there much due to your jobs and getting time off will probably be impossible. Maybe telling them that will convince them to shorten their stay.
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