T Nation

Future In-Laws


looking for some opinions here.

Me and the fiance live in MD, her parents in DE about 1.5 hrs away. They've been wanting us to come visit for the weekend for a while now, but I usually work on the weekends (really good pay for only 1 hr each day).

I finally got a weekend off about a month ago, but her parents had plans to go away.

Now her mom is bugging her again that we NEED to come visit and here's part of the email "You and Mark will DEFINITELY be at our house the morning of 12/21 and at Grandma's on the 24th, right? I need to know ? like today- you've got that commitment from Mark."

Pushy much? at this point, we're trying to save for a wedding and have Christmas coming up.
Not to mention, I have a dog and they don't let dogs in their house. This means that I have to drive an hr in the opposite direction one way (2 hrs total x 2 to pick the dog back up) to drop my dog off at my family's house.
A 1.5 hr trip one way becomes a 3.5 hr trip all because they don't want a dog in the house.

this is the 1st time I've had to deal with a significant other's parents living more than 10 mins away, so it makes things a bit difficult.



You all move to RI so no drive is any longer than 45 minutes.




My inlaws live in TN and NY, so visiting them is quite the production. Fortunately, this means they can't be too pushy about us visiting; unfortunately, it means that all my vacation days are spent with the inlaws.

When my inlaws start complaining about not seeing us enough, we tell them to come out and visit any time they want. We even offer to pay for the plane tickets - but they can never find enough time to come out!

Inlaws can be hellish - my sister's ex mother-in-law gave her baby clothes as a wedding shower gift, would come into the bedroom where the sister and her ex hubby were sleeping to wake up the hubby with a kiss, and went to their house to rearrange the sister's spice cabinet so it was more like the mother-in-law's so the ex hubby would feel more at home.

You might want to set your foot down early with this sort of crap. You could perhaps invite them to your place, or get a hotel room where you can have a dog if you are staying overnight.


"You can choose who you marry but your can't choose your in-laws."

Ain't that the fucking truth? My sympathies pal, dealing with in-laws is always fun.


Yeah. I told her to invite them here.

One, her step dad is afraid of bridges, and the Bay bridge is several miles long.
Also, apparently, her mom isn't too comfortable staying here since we're not married yet. she was real upset when she found out we were living together before even engagement.



My parents are the same way. They wouldn't approve of us living together before marriage...but for some reason never batted an eye when he would come to visit me at school for a week or two at a time.


It's semantics. They know you're fucking, they just don't want others to know (i.e., that you are living together out of wedlock).

My ex's parents were the same; they were conservative Mexican Catholics (well, the mom was).

You should definitely set your foot down early. Sometimes, it is only YOU that knows your situation best and you shouldn't need to explain it. Others won't understand because the stresses you are considering won't affect them at all - your dogs, for instance.

Not their burden? They won't be able to sympathize. I would call the her mother and tell her directly that you can't get the time off work (if I read it right, you missed out on spending that off weekend at the in-laws) or that, because of your dogs and money being tight this time around (tell her you're saving up for the wedding!), you want them to make the trip this time around, "Just to help out with our situation..."

I want you to do this today and get back to us with the mother's reaction.


I hear ya man.

My girls' folks live out in western NY (5hr drive).

The only good thing about getting out there is my whole weightlifting team/gym is out there....so I get to train with some awesome friends.

having a dog makes everything more a pain in the ass. i know that too.


Your future wife is the one that needs to put her foot down. Until she steps up and defends your work schedule, the in-laws will keep it up. If you make a stink about their constant push to come visit, you will look like a hardheaded ass (in their eyes). Been there and done that. Sit down with the fiance and come up with a plan about how the both of you are going to deal with the Ps, birthdays, holidays, etc. and stick to it. Then it is up to each of you to work the plan with the respective families.


This is 100% true. Your GF needs to speak up because if you do, you will come off as pushy and stubborn. Which is OK in my book but it wears you down after awhile.


I know that's right! My mother in law quickly became my mother out law right after the wedding!


Not like the Grandma of a friend: "I really hope they live together first. I is terrible to find out all the faults when you're married."

Born 1897!


I can totally identify with this. Part of the reason my marriage failed was that my ex-wife was unable/unwilling to stand up to her parents. I refused to be bullied by the in-laws and she ended up being caught in the middle. Looking back, this was a red flag that I ignored and thought would become a non-issue. I was wrong. Take a long look at how your GF deals with her Ps and how intrusive/demanding they are. They could end up causing you some long-term pain.


Your name is Mark??? And I thought all this time your name was Jesus. Next thing you know, you'll tell me you don't have a beard.

And what VanderLaan said is spot on.


I vowed that I wouldn't live within 500 miles of my family or the in-laws (same hometown).

If anyone needs me, I'm just a short 509 miles away.....


lol ditto... my ex's parents were going crazy when they found out she was moving into my house @ college. On the weekends we would drive back home, and sometimes I would stay over her parents place and slept in the same bed with the ex under the same roof as her parents. It was pretty funny... her mom was bitching but her dad didn't give a shit. That was like 2yrs ago?

In-laws, meh...


x2. Ground rules with the in-laws: lay them down early and often.


I been happily married 15 years. My in laws are pretty good. My father in law passed away earlier this year. He was a great man. Helped me become a man almost as much as my dad.

Now my mother in law is all alone. She's a pain in the ass, but she's my wife's mother. She wants me to do something...I do it. Life is too fucking short to spend your time fighting with your family.

You can end up being the one 'laying down the law' to them and not give an inch. You usually end up all alone being this way.

Instead you could choose to be the one that says, 'fucking a right we're gonna be there to spend the holidays with you ! I can't fucking wait !!' Make your fiance happy, make her parents happy.

Who do you want to be, the guy that's always drawing the line in the sand, or the one that makes everyone happy.

Also...on the dog issue...find a fucking kennel near your house. Get the dog used to going to the kennel. My goddam sister has to drag her pain in the ass dog over to my mother's house every time she visits. She only lives fucking 20 minutes away, but can't leave the fucker home alone for 2-3 days. I'm fucking allergic to dogs. Some people really don't like dogs. I know the bias on this site is to love dogs and I got nothing against them...I just don't want to spend anytime with one.

One last bit of preaching before I get off my soapbox...I skipped my dad's mother's funeral because I made good money on the weekends. At the time I felt justified and righteous and my old man was cool enough to let it slide. To this day I wish I could find a way to apologize to him, but even thinking about it now gets me all teary eyed. My great aunt is getting ready to kick so I'll probably break down and tell him how sorry I've been these past 10 years at her funeral.

My point is...you're never going to have enough money...you will have enough time to let family know how much you love them...make sure you're thinking things through way to the end before you put money over family.


I agree with setting the boundries. There can't be any deference of blame (scapegoating) either. It has to be a united stance, or divided you Will fall.