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Thread: What advice would you give about this vacation conflict?

  1. #1
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    What advice would you give about this vacation conflict?

    DD and DSIL, along with their girls (ages 9 yrs. and 15 mos. right now), are going to the Chicago area for the graduation of one of DSIL's nephews. What started out as a weekend trip has now morphed into 11 days, and for the first time, they're having MAJOR conflicts over what to do.

    We have travelled with them many times, and it has always been good. BUT...we always encourage them to do what they want, whether it's what we're doing or not. We even usually get separate rental cars so that everyone feels free to do their own thing. However, that is apparently not the way DSIL's family does it. This is what they've been told they WILL do or "everyone" will be offended and it will "cause major family problems":

    Stay in SIL's older sister's home, along with DSIL's mom and step dad. That will put 11 people in a 2000 sq. ft. home (3 bedrooms and a basement). Their family is assigned a futon in the basement--for four people. They can "put blankets on the floor" for the kids (disregarding the fact that the baby won't sleep under those circumstances).

    Drive the sister's vehicle if they "really have to go somewhere." Getting a rental car is "unnecessary and unacceptable."

    Be with the family every single day and eat every meal together.

    When DSIL e-mailed his sister to say they would like to stay in Chicago (about an hour away) so that DD and oldest DGD could do some of the "touristy" things since they'd never been, his sister responded that they could take the train when they wanted to go (an hour each way, with a toddler that needs to come home for naps each day).

    DD is furious and considering staying home with the children even though it would mean forfeitting the airfare. Our family does NOT stay in people's homes. We all like to be together, but we want a place to retreat and have some privacy. It would make my skin crawl to be ordered about how to spend my vacation--especially for 11 days.

    What DD has asked for is a rental car for their family and 4 nights in a hotel in Chicago out of the 11 nights they will be there. Am I blinded by my own travel mojo to think what she is asking is reasonable? And what's really weird is that, if DSIL's mother made these demands, he'd say no way, but for some reason, he's caving to his sister, even to the point he said he would sleep on the cement floor so DD could sleep on the futon with the baby.

    I'm trying to give her good advice, but I'm struggling. So far, this is what I've come up with:

    It's a vacation and not worth creating bad blood between you and your husband over.

    It's his family, and you don't want to put him in a position that he feels he has to "choose" (even if they are willing to do that to him).

    Consider an obligation and not a vacation so your expectations are lowered.

    Let DSIL attend some family events without you while you and oldest DGD go and do some touristy things.

    Please, wise minds of the board...what can I tell her to help?
    Okay...it's time to pull up your big-girl panties and get on with it. (Seen on a bathroom wall.)

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  2. #2
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    I don't have time for a very cogent post, but I just wanted to say - that is insane. If this were going to be just a weekend trip, I might say just go with the flow. But why on earth should she put up with being treated like that for 11 days?!
    Anne

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  3. #3
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    Your DD has reasonable requests for an 11 day vacation.

    The sister is being unreasonable. If your worried about family relations, what will they be like after 11 days of being treated like this anyway?
    "I worry that you don't worry enough"--another worrier aka the Yarn Harlot

  4. #4
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    Could they cut back the vacation to the weekend trip instead of the 11 days?

    Mostly, I have no problem staying in someone else's house, but not if I am going to be uncomfortable and cramped.

  5. #5
    Your family's travel style is similar to my side of the family- we travel together but each subset of the family group is pretty independent- have our own vehicle, do some things together and some on our own, etc. DH's family sounds like your DSIL's family- they think it's ridiculous to pay for a hotel when we could sleep on their floor for free, ridiculous to pay for a rental car, must do every little thing together. I was once criticized for going to the bedroom to lay down and read a book for a while because it was "rude"- this while everyone else was watching sports on TV.

    I've learned to compromise a bit but stand my ground on other things.

    I think your DD is being entirely reasonable- more so than I would be- I'd not be willing to stay a week in anyone's basement w/o a car of my own or any say in the plans. Have DD and DSIL discussed why he's so reluctant to rock the boat in this case? It seems odd given that they seem to have planned the extra time as family vacation time, so why would anyone expect them to spend that entire vacation at SIL's house?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookin4Love View Post
    DD is furious and considering staying home with the children even though it would mean forfeitting the airfare.
    No advice because their demands and rules are so over the top I'm speechless. Personally, I'd stay home.

  7. #7
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    What a freakin' nightmare. Definitely doesn't fit any definiton of "vacation" that I use.

    I can't believe an adult actually thinks it's OK to tell another adult --and his entire family-- what to do. And that they do it.

    I don't know any advice you can offer your daughter if your SIL has chosen to cave to his control-freak sister instead of the best interests of his family. But "suck it up" wouldn't be it, for sure. Frankly, if I were in her position I'd send him and the kids off to Chicago and have a real vacation...at home.
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookin4Love View Post
    I'm trying to give her good advice, but I'm struggling. So far, this is what I've come up with:

    It's a vacation and not worth creating bad blood between you and your husband over.

    It's his family, and you don't want to put him in a position that he feels he has to "choose" (even if they are willing to do that to him).

    Consider an obligation and not a vacation so your expectations are lowered.

    Let DSIL attend some family events without you while you and oldest DGD go and do some touristy things.
    UGH, this scenario sounds a little familiar. Years ago, when DH & I traveled to Cleveland for a family reunion (his family), the expectation was that we would stay with one of his relatives who lived in the area (people I had never met and that he hadn't seen in probably 20 years or more) and use one of their vehicles if we "had" to go somewhere. Not acceptable to me, and I *did* insist that we stay in a hotel, rent a car, and make some plans of our own or with other friends that lived in the area that we wanted to see. And I do not think anyone has to apologize for that.

    I do agree with your suggestion that DSIL attend some family events on his own while DD and her kids do touristy things in the city. But I can't agree with the others. While it is not a "vacation" per se (visiting family is never a vacation in my book!), the fact of the matter is that they are paying for the trip (I presume!) and combining a family event with an opportunity to vacation in a city that they have not visited. I presume the family does not have 11 days worth of festivities planned for graduation?? There should be no requirement that they spend the entire trip with their family.

    Your DD's requests (4 nights in a hotel in Chicago and a rental car) are NOT unreasonable, and if I were her, I would insist on them. Quite frankly, if her DH can't stand up to his extended family to offer a minimal expectation of privacy and convenience for his own immediately, I too would refuse to go on the trip.

    Sorry. I hope it works out for them, but I do think your DSIL needs to risk p!ssing off his family to get it done. It's not a matter of "choosing" -- it's a matter of refusing to bend to completely over-the-top and unreasonable demands which are completely unnecessary. I mean, really, why would renting a car be considered "unacceptable?" That's completely outrageous.

  9. #9
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    I do think the sister is being unreasonable, but I also think sometimes you make sacrifices to keep the peace with the in-laws. Personally I would come up with a reasonable compromise (like stay in Chicago for 4 days) and go with the flow. I am a very "go with the flow" type of person though... and I am also pretty stubborn. So if I felt like leaving the sister's house for a day, I would just do it and not really ask for permission or approval.

    I do think that you are giving good advice with It's his family, and you don't want to put him in a position that he feels he has to "choose" (even if they are willing to do that to him).

    Just be as supportive of her as possible - she probably needs her mom's ear and shoulder right now
    - Josie


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    Oh, my gosh--so controlling! I would not stay with anyone for 11 days, esp. with overtired kids b/c of inadequate sleeping arrangements, & no car.

    We have stayed with relatives whom we adore, & yet we were all ready to have our own space after just a few days. I can't imagine 11 days. I'm assuming from your original post that this trip is on your DD's and husband's nickel? If the sister is paying for anything, then that does complicate matters, but I'd not go rather than stay for 11 days with the kids getting more overtired & cranky, and the family stepping on each other's toes, by the day.

    I agree with the OPs in wondering why DSIL thinks he needs his sister's permission to plan whatever he wants to do?? I don't know what advice to give you for your DD, except to encourage her and DSIL to make whatever decision *they* can agree on w/o regard to the dictates of the sister. I would hope that he would tell his sister, "We're able to stay at X hotel and of course will need a car; we look forward to seeing you." Period. Why should the sister care if they get a rental car? They'd be paying for their own car & hotel. Maybe blame it on the baby & word it as if "we know an overtired little one can spoil the family time for everyone, so we *insist* on getting a hotel so that our time together can be rested and enjoyable."
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by testkitchen45 View Post
    Maybe blame it on the baby & word it as if "we know an overtired little one can spoil the family time for everyone, so we *insist* on getting a hotel so that our time together can be rested and enjoyable."
    This is probably how I would word it as well. No way would I stay in someone's house, on a futon for 11 days. And to do it with a baby/toddler? Oh goodness no.

    These people sound really weird and controlling and I can only imagine how horrible the visit would be if they stayed there for 11 days.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by avariell View Post
    I do think that you are giving good advice with It's his family, and you don't want to put him in a position that he feels he has to "choose" (even if they are willing to do that to him).
    I actually disagree with this. Why is the sister's (or the whole family's - whatever) feelings/wants more important than anyone else's? If her brother's feelings are hurt (by being told what he has to do), why do the sister's feelings count for more? And I have no problem with forcing someone to "choose" in the sense that DSIL's first responsibility is now to his wife and his children. His extended family is now second. That's just a fact of life. And if it isn't, then he potentially risks his marriage. There is no possible way to make EVERYONE happy in this world, and each and every person must decide who/what is most important to them and take a stand.

    I think people will push you only as far as you allow them, and by drawing the line in the sand with the sister, she will have two choices - either change her ways and let other people have their way a bit too or lose out on her brother and his family. If DSIL allows his sister to bully him around, she will continue to do it and will push further and further to the point that either DSIL won't want to spend any time with his sister anymore or their relationship will become full of anger and resentment (that's already started!). There is no good outcome IMO with "going with the flow". Now I do believe in going with the flow to some extent. Otherwise DSIL would be no better than his sister. But compromise requires both parties to make concessions, not just one all the time.

    I do not think DSIL should just give in completely or just stay home. Either of those choices means that DD and DSIL LOSE. Why should they lose?? That makes no sense.

    Editing to add, the feelings of the sister (and supposedly the rest of the family) are holding your DSIL HOSTAGE (emotionally AND physically, in this case!!). How is that good? How is that OK? Why should he give in to that and allow it to continue?

    It may be painful and cause some kind of "upset" with the family to be firm and put his foot down, but really, it's like lancing a boil. It hurts for now, but allowing such dynamics to continue only allows the boil to keep festering and get worse. Nip it in the bud now, I say. They'll get over it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by avariell View Post
    I do think the sister is being unreasonable, but I also think sometimes you make sacrifices to keep the peace with the in-laws. Personally I would come up with a reasonable compromise (like stay in Chicago for 4 days) and go with the flow.
    But the DD *is* making sacrifices. She's willing to sleep at the in-laws' house in the basement on a futon for SEVEN days (which quite honestly, is a HUGE sacrifice in my book and one that *I* would not be willing to make). The reasonable compromise proposed IS staying in Chicago for four days, and the SIL is apparently throwing a fit over that and stating that that is unacceptable. It needs to be a two-way street here. The DD is willing to make sacrifices to keep peace, and the SIL needs to be willing to do the same.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grace View Post
    I actually disagree with this. Why is the sister's (or the whole family's - whatever) feelings/wants more important than anyone else's? If her brother's feelings are hurt (by being told what he has to do), why do the sister's feelings count for more? And I have no problem with forcing someone to "choose" in the sense that DSIL's first responsibility is now to his wife and his children. His extended family is now second. That's just a fact of life. And if it isn't, then he potentially risks his marriage. There is no possible way to make EVERYONE happy in this world, and each and every person must decide who/what is most important to them and take a stand.

    I think people will push you only as far as you allow them, and by drawing the line in the sand with the sister, she will have two choices - either change her ways and let other people have their way a bit too or lose out on her brother and his family. If DSIL allows his sister to bully him around, she will continue to do it and will push further and further to the point that either DSIL won't want to spend any time with his sister anymore or their relationship will become full of anger and resentment (that's already started!). There is no good outcome IMO with "going with the flow". Now I do believe in going with the flow to some extent. Otherwise DSIL would be no better than his sister. But compromise requires both parties to make concessions, not just one all the time.

    I do not think DSIL should just give in completely or just stay home. Either of those choices means that DD and DSIL LOSE. Why should they lose?? That makes no sense.

    Editing to add, the feelings of the sister (and supposedly the rest of the family) are holding your DSIL HOSTAGE (emotionally AND physically, in this case!!). How is that good? How is that OK? Why should he give in to that and allow it to continue?

    It may be painful and cause some kind of "upset" with the family to be firm and put his foot down, but really, it's like lancing a boil. It hurts for now, but allowing such dynamics to continue only allows the boil to keep festering and get worse. Nip it in the bud now, I say. They'll get over it.
    I agree with all of this. We were in this type of position many times with DH's parents when we were first married and we nipped it in the bud then (we always called them "boundary setting moments") and while the problems are not completely gone, they are much better than they were. I agree that if this was 1 or 2 nights, I may be able to live with that arrangement and be able to suck it up a little better, but not for 11 nights, or even 7.

    I agree with testkitchen to "blame it on the baby" and just say that they need a rental car b/c of carseats and that they will stay in a hotel b/c of nap schedules. And leave it at that.
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  15. #15
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    Grace brings up some good points. This is not going to be the only family situation where DSIL and DD are going to have to make their preferences known. I'd rather get it over and done with while having the very reasonable excuse of dealing with the baby's schedule/routine. We had to do the same thing with my parents and my IL's about vacations - my IL's are happy with kids sleeping on floors, and adults on sofas, but I'm not. DH and I make sure that we plan group vacations where everyone has a comfortable place to sleep with some personal privacy as well. My IL's were a little weird about it at first, but now when we plan vacations, we all look for the same options.

    I think it's great that they want to participate in the family graduation events - I'd probably emphasize hugely how much we want to be there for the graduation events, and simply state our sleeping/driving arrangements, and then go back to emphasizing the events again. People argue a lot less when reservations are already in place. Your DD and DSIL certainly don't have to ask anyone's permission to spend their own money.

    It's definitely easier to say what you'd do when it isn't your family, though.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by aggie94 View Post
    But the DD *is* making sacrifices. She's willing to sleep at the in-laws' house in the basement on a futon for SEVEN days (which quite honestly, is a HUGE sacrifice in my book and one that *I* would not be willing to make). The reasonable compromise proposed IS staying in Chicago for four days, and the SIL is apparently throwing a fit over that and stating that that is unacceptable. It needs to be a two-way street here. The DD is willing to make sacrifices to keep peace, and the SIL needs to be willing to do the same.
    I wonder if I wasn't clear - cuz I totally agree with you. In my original post, I meant staying in Chicago is a reasonable compromise - so 7 with sister, 4 in Chicago. I meant I wouldn't lobby for much more than that
    - Josie


  17. #17
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    This is insane -- the stuff of which homicides are made.

    If there is to be family togetherness, I am sure there is a motel reasonably close to where the rest of the family will be "comfortably" ensconced -- how anyone could possibly stay without any avenue of escape is beyond me.

    I don't have any comment regarding the decision made by the husband and wife as to where to stay because that is between them -- except to the extent that the "demands" are insane. Without knowing anything about the relationship of H&W, if one of them is willing to so compromise the comfort of the other, there are serious breakdowns in communication -- again IMHO.

    I can understand the family wanting to be geographically proximate for a few days or so but the only people who crash in basements (IMO) are those who can't afford more comfortable accommodations.

    As for peeling off and actually staying in Chicago, again seems eminently reasonable. Staying in a city is NOT the same as being in that city when one is a tourist. I grew up in NYC and have relatives in NJ but would not consider spending an entire vacation in the boondocks -- unless it were a short weekend for a family reunion type of situation.

    My best friend never even stays in the same HOTEL as the rest of the clan to avoid having to deal with relatives 24/7.

    I don't know why people feel guilty if they don't give in to other people's insanity -- which this request so clearly is.
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  18. #18
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    Several points/clarifications:

    DD and DSIL are, indeed, paying for all of their vacation expenses. Coming home early isn't an option because they can't afford to repurchase air fare. (Air fare was purchased before these ridiculous demands were made.)

    As for WHY DSIL isn't standing up--none of us knows. She has asked, and he just clams up. He would totally not take this from his mom, and this is the first time DD will even be meeting his sister. Interestingly, DSIL's mother is also pretty controlling, so I'm betting it's learned behavior. This situation seems to be getting a knee-jerk reaction out of him, and it's unlike him.

    DD and DSIL are both passive-aggressive personality types, something that's biting them in the butts right now. They have been married five years, which seems to be a rocky place for a lot of couples anyway. There have also been some really high stress events in their lives in the past year. Plus, DSIL is in a very high stress job, which has a really high divorce rate. They are seeking professional help to work through the issues, and will be talking with the counselor about this situation as well. The situation, however, is one reason I suggested to DD that she NOT put him in a "choose me or them" position. (Not that I think he'd choose family over her; I just think it could do some deeper harm right now.)

    They have blamed it on the baby, and their concerns are just being "pooh-poohed." Our oldest DGD is from a previous marriage, so this is DSIL's first major trip with a little one. I really don't think he understands just how disruptive the whole thing is going to be with her, so he's not taking as hard a stand as he could.

    Another question: DSIL approached me a few weeks ago about the general conflicts between them, seeking advice. So did DD. I talked with both of them separately, without telling either of them I was talking to the other. I suggested counseling to both of them, which is why they're going now. I NEVER initiate advice sessions, but wonder if I should talk to DSIL about this. Since we have a good relationship, is it EVER adviseable, or would I just be asking for trouble?
    Okay...it's time to pull up your big-girl panties and get on with it. (Seen on a bathroom wall.)

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookin4Love View Post
    I NEVER initiate advice sessions, but wonder if I should talk to DSIL about this. Since we have a good relationship, is it EVER adviseable, or would I just be asking for trouble?
    Asking for trouble!
    Anne

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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Canice View Post
    I can't believe an adult actually thinks it's OK to tell another adult --and his entire family-- what to do. And that they do it.
    No joke - this is what's so crazy to me! When is it ever ok to tell another adult how they're going to spend their vacation time?!?!

    Thanking the heavens once again that I have relatively normal in-laws!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookin4Love View Post

    DD and DSIL are both passive-aggressive personality types, something that's biting them in the butts right now. They have been married five years, which seems to be a rocky place for a lot of couples anyway. There have also been some really high stress events in their lives in the past year. Plus, DSIL is in a very high stress job, which has a really high divorce rate. They are seeking professional help to work through the issues, and will be talking with the counselor about this situation as well. The situation, however, is one reason I suggested to DD that she NOT put him in a "choose me or them" position. (Not that I think he'd choose family over her; I just think it could do some deeper harm right now.)
    This has me very concerned. This type of situation (11 days with insane inlaws in tight quarters) will put the best relationship under some stress. But if it is already under stress, one partner doesn't want to be there, you've got kids who are unhappy ... well it could easily lead to a really bad blowout if they don't go into it on the same page.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post
    This has me very concerned. This type of situation (11 days with insane inlaws in tight quarters) will put the best relationship under some stress. But if it is already under stress, one partner doesn't want to be there, you've got kids who are unhappy ... well it could easily lead to a really bad blowout if they don't go into it on the same page.
    I agree. That's why I'm so concerned, too. The positive is that they have a couple of months before they go to work some of this out. The negative is that it IS so very negative, and hitting some hot buttons.

    I keep telling DD, "What you're arguing about isn't really vacation, but what these issues represent on a deeper level." I wish I had a magic wand, though, to fix it.
    Okay...it's time to pull up your big-girl panties and get on with it. (Seen on a bathroom wall.)

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  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post
    This has me very concerned. This type of situation (11 days with insane inlaws in tight quarters) will put the best relationship under some stress. But if it is already under stress, one partner doesn't want to be there, you've got kids who are unhappy ... well it could easily lead to a really bad blowout if they don't go into it on the same page.
    I agree- I feel I'm only able to manage visits with my ILs because DH understands how I feel, helps figure out the compromises, and supports me in the "boundary settings moments" (thanks Lara for the phrase). It would be stressful to be in close quarters with so many people and your children anyway- add to that the simmering disagreement between DD and DSIL and I'd want to avoid that situation.

    I also agree with Anne- approaching DSIL is asking for trouble!

    And wow, for the first time DD will meet her SIL- SIL sure is going to great lengths to make a good first impression!

  24. #24
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    If your DD is going to be miserable at her in-laws' house anyway, she could have a little fun with it. SIL has a vehicle they can use "if necessary" since renting a car is apparently "unacceptable." Ask to borrow it ALL THE TIME. Insist that you need the car to go to the grocery store, drive downtown, pick up something at the pharmacy, etc. If she tells you to take the train, ask her for the fare. Make yourselves totally AT HOME in their house, since they insist on making you stay there - come and go through all parts of the house, cook yourself breakfast in the kitchen, make plenty of noise at all hours of the night, walk around naked, etc. Maybe next time, SIL will rethink insisting on having houseguests who would have preferred to stay at a hotel and rent their own vehicle.



    Sorry, that is totally tongue-in-cheek. I am just horrified that someone would go to such lengths to make another person completely and totally miserable.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by aggie94 View Post
    If your DD is going to be miserable at her in-laws' house anyway, she could have a little fun with it. SIL has a vehicle they can use "if necessary" since renting a car is apparently "unacceptable." Ask to borrow it ALL THE TIME. Insist that you need the car to go to the grocery store, drive downtown, pick up something at the pharmacy, etc. If she tells you to take the train, ask her for the fare. Make yourselves totally AT HOME in their house, since they insist on making you stay there - come and go through all parts of the house, cook yourself breakfast in the kitchen, make plenty of noise at all hours of the night, walk around naked, etc. Maybe next time, SIL will rethink insisting on having houseguests who would have preferred to stay at a hotel and rent their own vehicle.



    Sorry, that is totally tongue-in-cheek. I am just horrified that someone would go to such lengths to make another person completely and totally miserable.
    I would totally do that. That is passive-aggressive at its most exquisite heights. Also, while of course I do not want the children to be miserable, it would be fun if they cried and whined the whole time and DD and DSIL did nothing to stop them. But that would not be fair to the kids...

    The rest, however....absolutely! I would enjoy every second of it!

  26. #26
    What has not been discussed up to this point is - why is the sister-in-law acting this way?

    It is my opinion that the sister-in-law is under the mentality that she has to provide for her brother’s families every need while he is in her town so that when her family is visiting her brother, he will be required to reciprocate.

    So your daughter agreeing to a trip under these type arrangements will also get her house guests for 11 days whose every whim will be expected to be provided for, at a later undisclosed date

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    515
    Quote Originally Posted by aggie94 View Post
    Make yourselves totally AT HOME in their house, since they insist on making you stay there . . . walk around naked, etc.
    HAHAHAHAHA! C4L, you said your daughter is passive-aggressive so this might fit her bill!

    Seriously though - first things first - for the time that they do end up spending at the sister's, the first car borrowing trip should be to Target to buy an air-mattress, they can leave it at the sister's house as a hostess gift.

    This all sounds very odd to me. The first thing I thought was: has SIL borrowed money from his sister and not paid her back? That is the only reason I could imagine being held hostage in this situation. Also, in most of the marriages I know the wife generally plans the vacations (not always, but most). Now this is a little different because they are intersecting one with a family event but why can't your SIL just say: "We are planning on coming to the graduation and staying for 6/7(?) days." He doesn't even need to say, "then we are going into the city." If he wants to talk about that later when they get there and the hotels are all booked, okay.

    Also, if he is in a high stress job, perhaps he doesn't need the stress of planning this and can email his sister and say "I'm so packed at work, so (wife) has taken this trip planning from me. She'll give you a call to let you know when we get in and leave, etc." Since the sister and your daughter haven't met it is highly unlikely the sister will be insistent with her.

    There is no reason to stay with family for 11 days - that'll put stress on their marriage.

  28. #28
    I truly have no words. Well, maybe just a few.........

    Others have already hashed over most of what I'm thinking (which is mostly: WTF?), but there's one small thing that I absolutely don't understand - that renting a car is not only unnecessary, but "unacceptable". Who the he!! cares if they rent a car or not???

    I guess the answer is CONTROL, pure and simple. There is no other reason.

    I cannot possibly imagine going under those conditions. I seriously don't think I'd even make the concessions that your daughter is making. This is their family on THEIR vacation, they are paying their own way and there is no need or any reason to accept any of these demands.

    No rational person thinks that they are being hospitable by putting a family of four with a 15-month old in the basement on a futon! A rational person would offer the basement/futon (use of car, meals in the home) to help them save money and feel welcome, but a rational, hospitable person DOES NOT insist on it or any of the other demands.

    This is all completely off the wall and infuriating to me. But then again, my family would not act like this in a million years, so this is completely foreign territory for me............

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Canice View Post
    I can't believe an adult actually thinks it's OK to tell another adult --and his entire family-- what to do. And that they do it.
    Um, yeah. That.

    I have no advice, it sounds like that are lots of dynamics going on here and non of them healthy. I hope she is able to work it out to her satisfaction.
    Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4,482
    I read the thread quickly and I may have missed something, but I'm not completely clear about who the players are. Is the conflict between your son-in-law's family and the couple (DD and DSIL) OR is the conflict between DD and DSIL?

    Honestly, in a normal situation (and it IS normal for families to have different expectations about things like this, I think), the clear solution would be to spend half the time with the family (graduation weekend if that's the *important* time) and spend the other half of the trip in a hotel in Chicago. Because, although there is only 1 trip, there are two "objectives": 1. to spend some time with family celebrating a milestone and 2. to have a vacation in an exciting city.

    I honestly don't see why that's so complicated--especially since we're talking about 11 days! I could see spending 3-4 (or 5, since this family seems to take it so seriously) at the family's disposal, and then moving on to the independent portion of the vacation.

    How in the world could anyone object to that? Is it possible that your DD and SIL have misunderstood each other and are so clouded by anger that they can't see the obvious compromise? Maybe they each *think* that the other is offering no reasonable alternative and that's why the've dug in their heels?

    I just don't get it. I mean, my husband and I come from wildly different families, with wildly different expectations of how one spends time with family, but I can't imagine something like this. Are there serious control issues in DSIL's family?

    Wow!
    I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. ~E.B. White

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