Is a visit from the “in-laws”every 1.5 months for 2 weeks too much?
I NEVER agreed to it. I said one week max. But once they’re here they would ask to stay. Now suddenly 2 weeks in the normal. I said if it’s two weeks it has to be two months in between. Then it inches closer together. Now the norm has become 2 weeks every 1.5 months…and shaving off days of the in between.
They’re overbearing, take over the house, criticize and comment on how to raise our child.
And I feel like I’m being gaslit into thinking that it’s not even that often or that much because they just want to see their grandchild.
I’m going insane. I didn’t get off to a good start with them. Basically treated me like an insect until I got pregnant.
Theyre in the east coast and we’re in the Midwest.
What do I even do. Even if I had a good relationship with them I feel like it’s still A LOT of time to basically be living with them.
Dealing with overbearing in-laws can be challenging, especially when boundaries have been eroded over time, as you’ve described.
First, acknowledge your own contribution to the current situation. While your in-laws’ behavior is clearly overstepping, you allowed the increments of time to slowly increase by not firmly holding to your original limit of one week. Accept responsibility for not communicating and maintaining your boundary clearly.
Next, have an honest conversation with your in-laws. Tell them you made a mistake by slowly allowing more time and you want to return to the original agreement of one week maximum per visit, with at least two months in between. Use “I” statements to express how you feel and what you need, rather than blaming or accusing them. Explain this is what works for you and your family right now and ask if they are willing to respect that.
If they push back, empathize with their desire to see their grandchild, but don’t give in. Reiterate this is what you need for your own mental health and ability to parent well. If needed, take space or limit contact until they can respect the boundary.
It’s vital that you and your partner are on the same page and present a united front. Your partner should communicate your joint boundaries to their parents, emphasizing that these are decisions you’ve made together as a family.
Finally, when they visit again, kindly but firmly hold to the timeframe you set, no exceptions. If they ask to extend, say no and that you’ll look forward to seeing them again after the two month break. Find ways to enjoy their visit within the limits you’ve set.
If your in-laws continue to disrespect your boundaries, be prepared to implement consequences. This might mean postponing or canceling a visit.
The key is being clear, empathetic and consistent. Set limits with love, but be unwilling to compromise on what you need for your family. With firmness and patience, hopefully you can reset the boundaries and have a healthier relationship.