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  #1  
Old 06-11-2006, 06:17 PM
Bearflag70 Bearflag70 is offline
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How often should I visit with the inlaws?

My parents live far away, so we see them maybe twice per year.

Her parents live about 20 minutes away. She has just suggested seeing them once per week on a "standing appointment" for dinner.

I like them and all, but every week?! I'd prefer once every 4-6 weeks (or longer).

What's one to do?
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  #2  
Old 06-11-2006, 06:20 PM
MsRobyn MsRobyn is offline
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Avoid them at all costs.

Robin
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  #3  
Old 06-11-2006, 07:20 PM
gwendee gwendee is online now
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Is it a stiff uncomfortable formal dinner each and every week or a quick visit on your way somewhere else? It really depends on how comfortable you are there.

Also, is it a mandatory "standing appointment"? My grandparent's invited their kids, kids' spouses and all their kids for what was essentially a standing appointment every Sunday after church. If someone had a game or a play rehearsal or a research paper due they just weren't there - no big deal.

If you'd be n a position of having to say "gee that sounds like fun but that's the night we see the in-laws" I say refuse any kind of set schedule. Even if you all get along famously every 2 or 3 weeks should provide plenty of contact.

It's easier to add visits if you want to than to take them away.
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  #4  
Old 06-11-2006, 10:31 PM
Bearflag70 Bearflag70 is offline
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I guess its more a matter of me wanting to say, "You go ahead, honey. I'll stay home. I enjoy seeing your parents, just not every week."

...or does that spell "doghouse"?
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  #5  
Old 06-11-2006, 11:52 PM
SnakesCatLady SnakesCatLady is offline
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How do you get along with your inlaws? Are you fairly comfortable? Do they annoy you, or bore you to death?

Would a twice-monthly dinner with them be acceptable to both of you?
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  #6  
Old 06-12-2006, 04:52 AM
MizGrand MizGrand is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearflag70
I guess its more a matter of me wanting to say, "You go ahead, honey. I'll stay home. I enjoy seeing your parents, just not every week."
...or does that spell "doghouse"?
I've said exactly that and gotten away with it. Well, actually, I said "I don't need to see your parents/family every week!". My husband's such a momma's boy. They talk at least once a week, usually three times. If allowed, we would be over there every weekend for a "visit". In the beginning it was okay, but now, after 13 years, not so much. My parents live about 3 hours away. We see them maybe once every six weeks when they trek down to see the grandkids. To me, this is perfect. I don't need to see *anybody* I don't live with on a weekly basis.

I blame my anti-social behavior on being an only child. Are you an only?
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  #7  
Old 06-12-2006, 06:10 AM
mrald mrald is offline
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E V E R Y DAY!!!!


Muuuahhaa
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  #8  
Old 06-12-2006, 06:25 AM
DianaG DianaG is offline
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EVIL!!!

Seriously, I don't see any need for you to visit them every week. It's nice that she wants to, but they're her family. What does she need you there for? I know that when I'm visiting with my father, my boyfriend tends to feel somewhat superfluous. They like each other, but family is a unique dynamic. No two are alike, and no one really gets anyone else's, and once that familial vibe takes over, bystanders are usually just baffled or bored.

I think she should go every week if she likes, but once a month should suffice for you.
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  #9  
Old 06-12-2006, 07:27 AM
Athena Athena is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSSchen
They talk at least once a week, usually three times.
Heh. If I didn't talk to my mother every 2-3 days, she'd assume I was dead and be over here knocking the door down. She prefers every day, and talks to her own mother at least once a day.

This is an interesting thread. I can't imagine getting away with living in the same area as your parents and only seeing them once every 4-6 weeks. Believe me, sometimes I'd like to do that, but it just ain't gonna happen.

I tend to go in spurts over actually seeing the parents. Might not see them for a couple weeks, then see them 2-3 times in a week. It probably averages out about 2 or 3 times a month, sometimes as much as 4-6 times in some months. And this is "get together and do something" times. I don't count stopping by to drop things off or anything.

Mr. Athena sees his mother more often, at least once a week. But that's a different situation - she lives alone, and just moved near us and doesn't have many friends yet. If he doesn't go see her, she doesn't see anyone, so he makes an effort.

Let's see... in the past ten days or so, we went to my nephew's graduation party and hung out with my parents, had dinner with them the next night, had dinner out with Mr. Athena's mother one night, had her spend an afternoon and dinner over here another night, and took her out one afternoon. We'd have probably seen my parents at least one more night, but they were out of town for several days. And did I mention - we're considered the busy non-social people in the family?
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  #10  
Old 06-12-2006, 07:53 AM
delphica delphica is offline
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I have a horror about standing appointments to begin with, could you bargain down from a standing dinner once per week to a dinner once per month, with the trade-off that you will make an effort to include your in-laws in other things you were planning to do anyway, like a movie or "hey honey, let's go to the boat show, why don't we call your parents and see if they want to go?" They could always decline your invitation, but you still tried.

If we lived closer to either parents, we would most likely see them once a week on average, but it wouldn't be standing plans.
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  #11  
Old 06-12-2006, 08:05 AM
eleanorigby eleanorigby is offline
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Welcome to my version of hell......Seriously, why the need to have a standing apt, as it were? It sounds controlling to me. Tell them to find their own friends! (ok, that may lead to a fight....)

good luck

(thanking my lucky stars that this was never bandied about-and my inlaws live 1/2 mile away.....)
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  #12  
Old 06-12-2006, 08:07 AM
vetbridge vetbridge is offline
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Every week? Why not just move in with 'em. I get together with good friends anywhere from once a month to 4 times a year. I would think 4 times a year would be plenty for in-laws.
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  #13  
Old 06-12-2006, 08:11 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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My brother got married in '99. The wife is from a town 1h away; they spent every weekend of the 7-year courtship in her town, with her friends, then came to live in our town when they married. His old friends, the ones who had barely seen his face for 7 years, welcomed them with open arms (they were not welcome to join them in her town, but then neither were myself and the other bro).

They've pretty much come to Mom's once a week, for lunch, ever since. Bro simply doesn't come any other day; if we want to see him w/o the SIL we have to go see him at work. Now we can do it, since he's a construction foreman: for the 5 years he had a different work, we didn't see him for weeks if they couldn't come for lunch. There were months that her family saw more of my bro than we did.


OTOH, when it was us who lived 1h away from my Dad's mother, we went to see her once a month because if we did it more often it made his siblings look bad (The maternals lived farther)



You may want to suggest changing to a once-every-two-weeks schedule. Does your wife see them or talk to them at other times? Do her siblings?
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  #14  
Old 06-12-2006, 08:13 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eleanorigby
Welcome to my version of hell......Seriously, why the need to have a standing apt, as it were? It sounds controlling to me. Tell them to find their own friends! (ok, that may lead to a fight....)

good luck

(thanking my lucky stars that this was never bandied about-and my inlaws live 1/2 mile away.....)
It is. But in my mother's case, it's also the only way she can get them to actually call in advance.

Before it became a standing appointment, they would just drop by and expect her to magically whip two more steaks out of thin air.
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  #15  
Old 06-12-2006, 08:33 AM
Maastricht Maastricht is offline
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Both my parents and my fiancees parents are divorced, so that makes not two, but four sets of inlaws. On the other hand, whenever Mom wants to see her kid, and asks her husband if friday is convenient, he will often say: "Well, your son is a nice kid, but I really do see enough of him; why don't you meet with him and leave me out of it?"

That makes for a much more relaxed way of meeting parents.

Bearflag, I'd think your in-laws want yo see their daughter kid as often as everybody wants, and they want to know she's happy with you. Maybe they are afraid to insult you if they stopped saying : Oh, we haven't seen you in such a long time! When will you and bearflag visit again?" and instead said: "Oh, Bearflag doesn't really need to come, but when he wants to, he's welcome."
I think your inlaws are beter off just making arrangements with their daughter. If you have to come along every time, they will quite likely see their daughter less often, because she'll have to compromise with you.
Also, it can't be fun for your inlaws, unless they value appearnces over real emotions, to have a guest who really would rather do other things with his time then visit. No matter how polite you try to be, it shows.
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  #16  
Old 06-12-2006, 08:55 AM
Gorgon Heap Gorgon Heap is offline
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Oh, I'm with Robyn on this one.

I rarely see my own parents and have no problem with that, but my wife's mother is one of those uber-controlling types who can't leave people to their own business and has to have her own way.

We typically see her several times a week.

It's awful.

The way I see it, the less the merrier.
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  #17  
Old 06-12-2006, 09:42 AM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
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I'm with everybody else. Every week??? I don't see my own family every week! I think your wife needs to remember the old phrase, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder".
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  #18  
Old 06-12-2006, 10:29 AM
Avarie537 Avarie537 is offline
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Wow. We must be crazy!

We've had a "standing appointment" for weekly dinner with my husband's family for like six years now. It's usually us (me, him, & baby), his parents, and his brother's family (brother, wife, and 3 kids). Sometimes, assorted aunts, uncles, cousins, and/or family friends will join in as well. It's a totally breakable "date", though. We're not expected to be there every week, but it's appreciated (especially now that our son has been born). Hell, I talk to his mom more than he does. I actually worked with her for three years.

My parents are divorced. I see my mom at least once a week now (usually twice), and see my dad 2-3 times per month. My brother lives on this side of town, but he's a heavy smoker, so we don't go to his house. However, he has been over twice since Spencer was born. (We used to go 3-4 months without seeing him.)

So, once a week sounds about right to me!
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  #19  
Old 06-12-2006, 11:11 AM
Bearflag70 Bearflag70 is offline
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To be clear, it's my wife that wants to set the weekly standing appointment. I just don't know who weird it is for me to say that I'll go once per month, but you should feel free to go once per week if you want.

I'm not an only child, btw. I do often work 7 days a week (self-employed), and I just don't feel social enough to see them once a week.

I have friends I havent seen in months. I just dont have much time and energy for it right now.
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  #20  
Old 06-12-2006, 11:15 AM
Maastricht Maastricht is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearflag70
I just don't know who weird it is for me to say that I'll go once per month, but you should feel free to go once per week if you want.
Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.
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  #21  
Old 06-12-2006, 12:14 PM
eleanorigby eleanorigby is offline
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Sounds to me like those who are comfortable with once a week also LIKE their inlaws and enjoy spending time with them. It also sounds like kids aren't really involved yet. I have 3 of varying ages and all are going in different directions. Add working every other weekend into it and I do not want to spend my downtime with inlaws. I want to spend it with my kids or my friends. We do see them on holidays and my inlaws watch the kids after school when I'm at work, so they do see their grandkids.

I had my inlaws over to dinner exactly once, when we were first married. I'll never do it again. Enough said.

My family lives out of state-in Texas, California and Tennessee--so, I see them about once a year. This is just fine by me.....
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  #22  
Old 06-12-2006, 05:50 PM
burundi burundi is offline
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Bearflag70, I don't think any of us can tell you what the right solution is for you and your family. I like my in-laws, and I'd be happy to have dinner with them once a week. Every night, now that would be excessive, but once a week, sure. And I understand and share your wife's desire to have her nearest and dearest gathered at one table on a regular basis.

But my situation is not yours. I'm a sociable person; I'm not working seven days a week; and I consider my husband's family to be my family as well.

Personally, I like Nava's suggestion of a twice-monthly dinner. You could try it and if it doesn't work out, just level with them: "Right now, I'm working a crazy schedule, and I just don't feel like socializing with anybody very often." And make an effort to see them once a month or so.

But that's just my two cents. You and your wife are going to have to work it out between you. I don't think telling her, "My internet buddies say a once-a-week dinner is crazy" will mean a hoot in hell to her.
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  #23  
Old 06-13-2006, 01:53 AM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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A thought: are you going to be starting a family soon? If so, you might well want to butter them up.
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  #24  
Old 06-13-2006, 05:01 AM
MsRobyn MsRobyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorgon Heap
Oh, I'm with Robyn on this one.

I rarely see my own parents and have no problem with that, but my wife's mother is one of those uber-controlling types who can't leave people to their own business and has to have her own way.

We typically see her several times a week.

It's awful.

The way I see it, the less the merrier.
I was being somewhat facetious, and while you need to do what works for you, it's important that you develop a separate relationship with your wife that doesn't include either set of parents.

Robin
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  #25  
Old 06-13-2006, 06:35 AM
SkeptiJess SkeptiJess is offline
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I moved away from home when I was 20 and lived most of my adult life after that (I'm 45 now) living at least 800 miles, and sometimes 3000 miles or more, away from my family. Then, 3 years agao, my husband and I settled here in Virginia and my folks moved out here (from California) to be near us. They live 2 miles away from us. I can't imagine seeing them only once a week, frankly. We drop in on each other often, I'll stop by and take Mom along with me when I go out shopping; my dad will stop by and pick me up when he's garage saling, and so on. But a standing appointment seems too formal.
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  #26  
Old 06-13-2006, 09:12 AM
Dinsdale Dinsdale is offline
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I think you said it very well in your last post.
Just say a version of the same to your wife.
She might be a little pissed, but you will work through it.
Emphasize that you are not keeping her from seeing them as often as she wants, on whatever schedule she likes.
Even tho you are married, there are areas in which you are able to disagree on things just because - well - you disagree.

I envy those folks who have relations with their in-laws such that they enjoy being. I would hope that my kids - and their families - enjoy spending time with us when they get older and move out. But I assume I will have the more flexible schedule at that time, such that a regular "appointment" will not be needed on my part.

Perhaps the "appointment" idea appeals to your wife because she is worried that all of life's little committments will gradually distance her from her folks. She wants this formality to ensure that they will not drift apart. Which is fine. For her.

A couple of other relevant factors: How long have you been married? Any kids? Are the in-laws in good health?
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