We Don't Want to Vacation W/You!

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We Don't Want to Vacation W/You!

Postby nolongertolerating » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:34 pm

My PIL's keep trying to play "happy family" and are trying to get DH & I to join them and his brother/wife & kids on their annual summer vacation. My husband & I have had conflicts over the years w/his brother & wife (it's really the wife). GSIL/GBIL have told PIL's about our past conflicts from "their" perspective of course. We stupidly took the high road & never said anything to PIL's about them. We were hoping this would demonstrate to PIL's that we are the ones w/integrity and that it's GSIL/GBIL who are causing all the problems. Nope. PIL's seem very gullible and seem to believe everything GSIL/GBIL say. Also, b/c GSIL/GBIL give PIL's free airfare, free hotel stays, free tickets to events, etc. I guess they feel they owe them the favoritism. After our boundaries were crossed one too many times, DH & I finally got tired of it & we cleared the air. We told PIL's point blank about the conflicts with GSIL/GBIL from OUR perspective and we also drew a firm line in the sand concerning our boundaries. This was in the hopes of getting to a place where these boundaries would be viewed in the spirit of "good fences make good neighbors." That was two years ago. Ever since then, the drama has been kept at bay and nobody dares start the usual crap they used to with us. These days, their drama is much more watered down and in some cases, more sneaky.

Every summer, PIL's go on a beach vacation with GSIL/GBIL. PIL's are now trying to get DH & I to go the same week!!! God, NOOOOOO!!!! Why can't they just get it through their heads that we don't have that kind of relationship with GSIL/GBIL????? We can deal w/them once or twice a year but that's it. I'm not about to go on a fucking vacation w/them!!! I wanted to ask PIL's, "Ok, really? What the hell have you been smokin??" Why the hell do PIL's do this???? Live and let live and leave us alone! If we want to make vacation plans w/them, we'd have done it years ago! UGHHHH, here we go with the non-stop questions about why don't we want to go. In case they forgot about it, I don't want to reopen a can of worms and RE-explain the tension that exists between GSIL/GBIL and my husband & I. If we do, PIL's will surely tell GSIL/GBIL what we said and it will start World War III all over again. So we'll probably just give them an excuse. What a f'g pain in the ass!!!!!!!!!!!! I almost want to remind PIL's that when they were our age, THEY never spent their vacations with their in-laws. So why do they push us to???

I don't know how I'm going to handle the inevitable questions when the PIL's come up north this summer. They're going to stay with us for a few days before going with GSIL/GBIL on their beach vacation. So anything we say will probably be talked about at the beach cottage. I'm sure PIL's will ask us if we ever plan to join them on these beach vacations. I need to get a game plan together with my DH and prepare a response that won't start a new war. Any thoughts out there on how we can handle this diplomatically?
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Re: We Don't Want to Vacation W/You!

Postby Island of Sanity » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:48 pm

"Thanks so much for the invitation, but one of the things we really look forward to with our vacations is the idea of getting away from familiar places and people. It's just more of an adventure when we're on our own. And, frankly, vacations are more romantic when there's no 'parental supervision," if you get my drift. I hope you have a wonderful time, though."

Hopefully your ILs have enough respect for your privacy that the word "romantic" will conjure up mental visions they'd rather not deal with.
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Re: We Don't Want to Vacation W/You!

Postby nolongertolerating » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:16 pm

Thanks Island of Sanity! Your response about taking a "romantic vacation" would be spot on perfect if we didn't have kids. (We have twin infants.) PIL's know that any vacation we take right now will have to be w/our kids. I think our PIL's want to make everything convenient for THEM and have their sons and all the grandkids vacation in one place. They're not thinking about the dynamics of any of the relationships between all the adults. They just want the idyllic "happy family vacation" and don't want to accept the way things really are.

FIL is a nice, passive man but he married a real pill, my step-MIL. She's a recovering alcoholic who hasn't replaced drinking with positive coping skills. She berates him constantly in front of others & is a chronic complainer. She can be very insulting & offensive in her remarks & no one is immune. She expects people to continue to chalk it up to, "That's just the way she is." Not us. SMIL used to think I walked on water. Then eventually, I was targeted for some pretty hurtful comments behind my back during a family wedding. And she said them in front of a lot of people. DH & I confronted her, she apologized but majorly downplayed it. Ever since then, DH & I keep our distance and in doing so, we've avoided any drama. DH was never really close to his Dad so, it's not as though their relationship has changed much. So now, every summer when the PIL's come up north, they stay with us for 2-4 days & spend time w/our babies. Then they go to the beach for 2 weeks w/DH's brother, wife & kids and afterwards, PIL's then spend an additional week at DH's brother's house.

So there you have it. Things are on an even keel now w/little drama. That's why I want to come up with a response that will finally get them to drop the pursuit of joint vacations & never ask us again without starting a new conflict. I've thought about tweaking what you suggested by saying, "Thanks so much for the invitation, but we kind of like to do our own thing on our vacations. Since DH doesn't get a lot of vacation time and much of it is used for the kids' sick days and doctor's appointments, this is our one chance to have a family vacation with just us." What do you think of that? As an objective person, do you think this in any way sounds snotty or offensive?
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Re: We Don't Want to Vacation W/You!

Postby Island of Sanity » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:38 pm

I don't think it sounds bad. And you've got a built-in excuse anyway, with the twins. What do you do with infant twins at the beach? They're too young to swim, they'd get sunburned easily, etc., etc. On the other hand, the less you say (by way of excuse) the better. If you give them too many reasons, they'll think your decision is up for debate. "We were looking forward to some time with just us and the kids," sounds perfect. Just be ready to repeat as necessary, in case they won't take no for an answer.
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Re: We Don't Want to Vacation W/You!

Postby milesaway » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:01 pm

Been here (last yr around the same time) MIL actually invited herself on our first ever family vacation. I think your DH should be the one to say it to StepMIL - and be careful about the phrase "family vacation" as my MIL responded "Aren't I your family?" I think IOs had it right - the less said, the better. The more word-y you make it, the more angles they have to attack it. Good Luck!
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Re: We Don't Want to Vacation W/You!

Postby nolongertolerating » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:20 pm

Thanks again Island and to you, milesway!!!! Good suggestions and I think I'll keep it short & sweet. Island's wording will work. And yes, unfortunately I do have to watch the phraseology with SMIL as she'd say something just like milesaway MIL (Aren't I your family?). Ugh!! These in-laws are a pain in the ass.

What's amazing to me is that our PIL's foster this competitive crap between the sons and their wives. Hell, they do it w/everybody. When PIL's come here and stay w/us, it's a nonstop bragfest about DH's brother, wife & kids. When we excitedly tell PIL's something new about our babies, SMIL's usual response is to shrug her shoulders and say, "GSIL/GBIL's did that too." FIL and my DH aren't as close as FIL & BIL. So when DH starts telling his dad about work or other things in his life, it's hard to watch FIL launch into a story about DH's brother before DH is even finished with HIS story. When PIL's came to visit last summer, we took them to a 5 star restaurant. When asked if SMIL's fish was good, she shrugged and said, "It's nothing like what I had in Hawaii." (GSIL/GBIL gave PIL's a free hotel room in Hawaii for 2 weeks.) Needless to say, I don't go out of my way to keep in touch w/them and I stopped getting after my DH to call his dad. One day recently, I was feeling generous. I noticed PIL's were online and thought they might want to Skype so they could see their grandkids. So I gathered my babies and DH up and we called them. My PIL's called me by SIL's name twice in 5 minutes. I could keep going but you get the picture.

My MIL was a DREAM MIL and was the peacekeeper. She passed away 2 years ago. So now I'm left with just the asshole in-laws and the extended family. I just thank my lucky stars that DH could care less about trying to get together with them too often!
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Re: We Don't Want to Vacation W/You!

Postby milesaway » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:42 pm

(((nolongertolerating)) we truely have the same ILs - comparisons, endless discussion about the golden child and her children it's a lot to handle and is blatantly obvious I don't know how they can be this way. At least you had a great MIL (sorry for your loss) MIL & FIL are divorced and both married to co-dependents (stepFIL is so bad he actually favors GSIL over his OWN children/grandchildren!) Ah well, good luck with the vacation... a little pain now is much better than the miserable time you would endure if you "sucked it up" or were the "bigger person" and went but I think you know that :)
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Re: We Don't Want to Vacation W/You!

Postby nolongertolerating » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:35 pm

UGH! I feel for you milesaway!!! You sound like you've got a doosy of a situation what with TWO sets of jackasses to deal with! Hugs right back at cha. And thanks so much for the support. It feels good to be validated! These in-laws sure do a good job gaslighting the ones they don't like, eh? And since we can't talk openly about this stuff to anyone, it's sometimes hard to know when you're doing the right thing. I'm so glad for this site. Oh and I couldn't agree more on your last statement. There was no way in hell I was sucking it up and going on that vacation. I'll happily relinquish being the "bigger person" in that situation. LOL! I just needed a reasonable response that got the message across w/o inviting more drama.
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Re: We Don't Want to Vacation W/You!

Postby Island of Sanity » Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:56 pm

Nolongertolerating, did you see this vacation story on the Home Page? I don't know if one of our forum regulars posted it or not, but it certainly fits into this thread:

http://www.ihatemyinlaws.com/story.php?id=15576

The last sentence gave me a laugh.
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Re: We Don't Want to Vacation W/You!

Postby nolongertolerating » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:40 pm

OMG, yes I did see that! LOL!!! Of course, I had to click the "Love" link underneath. Feels good to come here to this site and know I'm not the only one. Oh and by the way, I did reply to my PIL's using your suggested wording and it worked! (Thank you!!) They responded in an upbeat way and immediately dropped it. I know that when they stay w/us for 2 days this summer just prior to their beach vacation w/GSIL & GBIL & kids, they will probably ask us if we ever plan to join them on their little "happy family" vacation. Not sure what we'll say but it'll probably be another short & sweet answer like the one you gave before, "Given our limited vacation time, we'll probably go somewhere with just us & the kids." :roll:
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Re: We Don't Want to Vacation W/You!

Postby willthetruthbetold » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:04 am

Enroll your kids in a sport of summer event that will take place at exactly the same time your IL's event will occur. Ooops, a conflict, so sorry, can't make it!
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Re: We Don't Want to Vacation W/You!

Postby Island of Sanity » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:42 pm

NLT, glad I could help. :)
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Re: We Don't Want to Vacation W/You!

Postby nolongertolerating » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:21 pm

willthetruthbetold - oooh great idea!!!!!!! That'll work when the kids are a little older (they're infants). But it's a great idea. Or we'll just automatically make plans to occur on 4th of July weekend. :)

Life is too short to try and force close relationships w/people who wouldn't choose it with us of their own volition. We're related by marriage and so we're stuck with each other. But as one other person posted on the home page, I'm not about to spend my vacation with them! Exactly! What on earth for? Because they think that socially, this is what families "should" do together? Oh to hell with that! I'm not going to squander what little vacation I get by being around people who make me feel tense and aggravated. That is just a total waste of my time.

I have thought about sucking it up to make my DH happy and go along w/it so that he can have some vacation w/his family. But then I think of the precedent I'd be setting. I also think that people shouldn't put their spouse in situations that make them miserable. I'm lucky that my DH isn't all that close to his dad and he can't stand his step-mom. His dad is 70 and eventually when he passes on, we have no plans to go out of our way to keep in touch with his step-mom. It'll be boiled down to Christmas cards and birthday cards. I hate to say it but when DH's dad passes on, it'll probably take a lot of pressure off us to spend more time with GBIL/GSIL and their kids. My fear is that when my own kids are no longer infants and start getting older, I hope they don't push to want to see their cousins more often. I really HATE to be around GBIL/GSIL. GSIL is toxic and her husband is her enabler. Not sure how I will handle that one!
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