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Dealing with Relatives Who Come Over Unannounced

Category Family
Uninvited guests, especially family members, can put you in an awkward position. It can be hard to define the need for privacy and general courtesy to your relatives. This is a guide about dealing with relatives who come over unannounced.
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By 0 found this helpful
November 15, 2010

My sister in law visits our home at least 5 times a week. She never calls to ask if it is a good time to visit. She always stops by unannounced and uninvited.

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If I am in the middle of cooking dinner, I either have to make more food to feed her or put my dinner on hold till she leaves. It is obvious that we are getting ready to eat, but she doesn't get the message to leave. We sit there hungry until she decides to go home.

We have been walking out the door to leave and she shows up and we have to postpone our plans. We have rented movies and have to stop watching because the movie was inappropriate for her 3 year old. We've even been interrupted by her when we were intimate.

I don't know how to make her understand that her constant visits are a nuisance without hurting someone's feelings. Five visits a week is just too much.

By citykitty

Answers

Anonymous
November 16, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

My rule is, and has been for nearly forty years, 'Please call first if you want to visit just in case I/we are busy or not feeling up to company.' All you and your husband need to say to her is, "We have a new house rule" and explain that you both would prefer the courtesy of a phone call. As a matter of fact it should be your husband, since it's his sister, saying it to her in your presence. I like what Lorelei mentioned about making sure it's said at a time you had invited her instead of during one of her surprise visits.

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November 18, 20100 found this helpful
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Although I agree with some the ideas suggested by the others, I think there's something you need to think about first. Is it possible she is lonely? Does she not have friends of her own? Is she a single mom? If this is a possibility, perhaps you could help her find some activities that have other single parents, where she could make some new friends and be less dependent on you and your family. You could also set certain days and times for her visits, maybe like lunch/dinner once a week and a movie or game afternoon/night on another day for her and her child and your family. (You could also ask her to alternate weeks with you to give you a cooking break, etc.) You can tell her this would make everyone's time seem like a special day (by having some time apart). I know too much family can be an annoying thing but not having any family nearby (My siblings and their families live 16 hours away and I would love to be able to see them more often.) can be sad.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 15, 2017

Is it okay for my father to just walk in to my house after marriage? We recently moved closer to my mum's place after having a baby. As I am working I leave my baby for her to babysit. Now just because we are close by my dad just walks into my house without even calling me and this is making my husband uncomfortable and this is happening on weekends. He is particular about his privacy and at times we are unable to do things thinking my dad might just come in any time. I mean he wants to relax and be himself, at ease in his home, and I myself am not happy about my dad just walking into my house just like that. How do I handle such situation? Am I being rude or selfish here? It's difficult to make my father understand about this uneasiness.

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I feel that my parents should not take advantage and walk into my house anytime just because we two are staying alone without my father or mother-in-laws. Is my thinking morally wrong?

Please me to handle this situation.

Answers

May 17, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

ThriftyFun is available and used in many countries so we, as responders do not always know what country a writer is from but generally assume it is the US. I am only saying this as many countries have different "family" rules and customs that may not be customary in the US.
Since this habit of your father's seems to be causing a lot of friction in your marriage then you certainly need to deal with it before a real blowup happens. Perhaps it started because your mother has been babysitting and so it seemed natural and okay for him to "visit" at anytime he wished.

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I believe you (since it is your father) should be the one to discuss the problem with him but maybe telling him first that you would like for him to visit sometimes/occasionally but that he needs to call before coming as you and your husband (and baby) may have other plans and maybe you can schedule a visit for another day.
You may have to be firm and let him know that it is upsetting for anyone to just come to your house unannounced. Once he understands your position, hopefully he will agree with you. If he does not, then it may take a while for everyone to realize that you are grown up and have a family and home of your own and your family's welfare and peace of mind has to come first. Privacy is a big part of everyone's life so you are not being unreasonable in your request.
You do not mention your mother's role other than she babysits; but does she do the same thing? If she has the same "habit" then do you plan to include her in your request for more privacy?

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May 17, 20170 found this helpful
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lock your doors-tell him if the door is locked he should not come in without being invited. if he doesn't comply, change the locks.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 27, 2017

I have a very awkward and difficult situation right now and I hope someone can help me find solutions. My husband never told me that when his parents visit us in Europe it means they will be staying for the whole 5-6 months. I am very disappointed and so I suggested an alternative solution that they could stay up to 2 months only. He is not happy and said that I want to kick his family out.

The problem with my in-laws being here is my brother and sister-in-law also come here every day for food. I have lost my privacy, but I cannot complain, the house was bought by my husband alone from his parents. I'm not hating them, but it's too much when my brother and sister-in-law come to visit everyday. It is especially difficult because my sister-in-law is pregnant and I really want to be pregnant, but it still is not happening. I'm very happy for her being pregnant, but the constant visit daily is making me feel lost in my place. I'm very scared if the baby is born then they will keep coming with the baby, I think I will go crazy.

I really need help on what should I do? Am I being too unkind? I am not jealous I just find it too much and have lost my privacy. This is making me feel that my husband only wants to give comfort to his family, but ignore my need for comfort. I hope someone could reply me.

Answers

July 27, 20171 found this helpful

Have you talked to him, expressing all that you just have with us? You are very well spoken about how you feel on all aspects. I can't imagine your husband would ever say you're wrong for feeling any certain way. Privacy is very important to each of us AND important to have a healthy marriage. If you haven't done so already, speak to your husband about these issues first. Don't feel that because he bought the house, you don't get to live a life. I'm hoping you find a resolve.

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July 27, 20170 found this helpful

I do not believe your husband will look at this in the same light as a stranger who reads or listens to your story/problem. You do not state your or your husband's nationality but it really sounds like you have different family backgrounds and because of just this difference this will not be an easily solved problem.

I do not know your in-laws ages but apparently they are seniors and retired? Good health? You say "visit us in Europe" seems to mean they have a home some distance away? But your brother and sister-in-law must live nearby as they visit every day? Have you had your home to yourself for any time since you have been married or did this happen soon after your wedding? Is there a reason why the parents visit is only to your house and not equally to the brother and his wife? From your statement, it seems this may not be a new happening with your husband and his parents have always paid visits like this in the past? I do not think your husband was being unthoughtful when he failed to inform you of the length of his parent's visits but to him it was like a yearly thing and saw no reason why anyone would have reason to object.

I also believe the stress this is causing you may be a good reason why you are not getting pregnant or at least one of the reasons. Do you feel comfortable with your husband in your "private" time? Do you actually have time that you two just spend together with no in-laws around? I feel sure your husband works so do you have any private time (just to yourself) when he is at work? Or are you constantly doing "things" (cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.) to make everyone else comfortable?

Truthfully, you and your husband need to see a counselor who specializes in marriage/family matters as you are standing alone in this household and there is no one who will understand why you are not happy with this family situation, least of all your husband.

Now, I know there will be responders who will disagree with my solution but I believe your husband's family background is such that all of this is a normal happening and he loves it and cannot understand why you do not also. You need to try for counseling to either help find a solution that you and your husband can live with or find a way for you to accept the fact that this is going to be your way of life as long as you are in this family - period.

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July 27, 20170 found this helpful

I agree. I am of mixed cultures and my husband is straight up English and we have different family values. I would totally move my parents into our home in a heartbeat and that's super normal to me... not so much for him. Great feedback and help, Betty.

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July 27, 20170 found this helpful

There is always two sides of the story but surely you should speak to your husband and tell him your thoughts. See if you two can come up with a reasonable compromise to make each other happy.

From my personal view point, family is very important. Since you mention your in laws are visiting and its the whole 5-6 months they will be staying with you - does that mean they do not visit often? Is this a yearly visit? Sounds like this is just random and perhaps the first time being this long that's why your husband did not consult with you the long stay?

I do not see what difference does your in laws visiting / staying everyday for 5-6 months compared to your brother and sister in law visiting on a daily basis to eat.

It seems like a double standard on your family can visit on a daily basis but his parents' who are growing older cannot stay for the 5-6 visit. It may not be healthy for your brother and sister in law to visit you daily too. And, how does your husband feel about that too?

I hope you happiness and have less stress on yourself so you can become pregnant.

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July 28, 20170 found this helpful

I have talked to him and he knows my problem. I don't want to force him or do things recklessly because I know he loves his parents and family. Thats why I am suffering alone. I love his family too, I respect them they are nice people.

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July 28, 20170 found this helpful

This is hard to remedy. I suggest a compromise. They can come 2-3 days a week. You deserve privacy

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July 28, 20170 found this helpful

I understand how you feel. Perhaps you can come to a happy medium? Maybe you and your husband can discuss shorter stays, et cetera? Find something in the middle. I hate that you say you're suffering and I'm sure that means he must REALLY hate it, seeing as how I am just a stranger. I really hope you can adjust this situation as it would be much healthier for you and your relationship... Not to mention fertility. Sending hugs.

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July 29, 20170 found this helpful

We both are from Asia but different nationality, I understand most Asian culture they stay together after marriage with the in laws, I might consider it okay and I know it's difficult but I can handle it and get along well, my main issue is I want the in laws to stop inviting my brother and sister in law coming anytime or everyday because this is not their house anymore (The house we live in used to belong to the In laws and my husband bougth it, my in laws retired and moved back to their country in Asia and my brother in law married and moved out with his wife) so only during their visit for that long period of time I just hope everybody understand that it is not the house they used to lived in before, especially to my brother in law I hope he understand privacy but no.
Brother in law's house is smaller than ours and that is the reason why my in laws stays with us only, even though there's another vacant room in his house but they still consider it small.

And yes I'm very aware of my stress causing me not getting pregnant and that's add another stress to it. But it's getting better now, my husband listen to me just listen to my concern and disagrement and I hope things will get better. We will try to solve it ourselves at this moment. But thank you so much for the reply, it's very helpful.

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July 29, 20170 found this helpful

I love my husband's family, my family are in my country and they will never visit me here in Europe. I believe family are important but I also want privacy, for my brother in law and his wife who always visit everyday just because the in laws are here. It is not parents in laws house so they should at least think about it.
With my in laws staying for half a year it is already difficult but I can manage and handle that. But when my brother in law and his wife visit just only for food and being lazy on the sofa the whole day and talking and don't do the dishes or help with cooking is very annoying.

Thank you for the reply and for wishing me become better. It is very helpful to pour out my concern here. I'm feeling so much better now, my husband also help me a lot.

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July 29, 20170 found this helpful

Thanks you are just too sweet! We talked and he listened to me, the problem is still there but it feels much better after my husband listened to me.

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July 29, 20170 found this helpful

It is very reassuring that you say your husband is listening to you because that is always best and will most hopefully get even better as time goes on. I do not believe he really knows what kind of burden your brother and sister-in-law are putting on you.

I can see how much you care for your new family and being able to not mind having your mother and father-in-law stay for such long visits is commendable as I do not believe very many of the people reading this posting have any idea (and could probably not even - ever - consider it in their own lives - not all readers but many) what kind of life you have and then add another part of the family - every day - almost unthinkable.

It is very evident that ThriftyFun readers have caring hearts and send you well wishes and many hopes for a happy future and hopes for a new member on the way soon.

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July 31, 20170 found this helpful

this really to me sounds like a very big clash in regards to culture and psychological paradigms. He just cannot UNDERSTAND that someone needs or wants to be alone, possibly he sees your need for privacy as some sort of weird fetish or personality flaw, just like you see his or his family's clannish need for togetherness as unnerving and 'too much'.

I will remind you that in many cultures around the world families DO live together inter-generationally, and in fact people singly or in mere couples is seen as a weird unhealthy aberration. Not to say that you ARE incorrect in fact i am more re you re privacy but just so you understand why at times others feel it is perfectly normal to have inlaws of all sorts in the house at all times. I have in fact experienced this abroad

unfortunately i don't see a big solution here for you. Either you come to terms with it or you move out. There's too many of them, and only one of you. Maybe just change your perspective a bit and learn something.

in fact, i think you are ENTITLED to talk to your sister in law about the baby, point blank tell her ' i want a baby and seeing you like this makes me unhappy' maybe even ask her advice or something

in general ask ppl to do things. Say 'if y'all here eating my food y'all need to clean up or take out the trash' or whatever it is.

if people are imposing their lives on YOU you have every right to impose on them. It might turn a bad situation into a good one

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By 0 found this helpful
August 31, 2017

So my husband and I moved into our new house last April. A month after, my brother in-law bought a house, not a block away, and moved from Minnesota. At first, it was all great because my brother-in-law travels a lot for his work, but then the traveling stopped and now it has been a few months that he has been working from home.

Every night without fault he texts me and my husband about what are the dinner plans? My husband and his brother are best friends. I know I am being selfish, but I feel like the third wheel when there is a discussion they always team up and I am outnumbered. He comes to dinner every night of the week and during the weekend we even have lunch with him.

I told my husband that it has to stop. That if he wants us to be happy his brother needs to stop coming to dinner every night. He said I was threatening him with divorce by saying that and to think about his brother because he does not have a significant other and no friends but him in the area.

I feel very sad of how things came out of my mouth because when I am angry, everything spills out like the flood. But it was never my intention to threaten divorce or that I was going to be unhappy until I got my way.

How do I explain to him how I feel? How do I explain to him that we should put our marriage first? That our family should be him, me, and our baby and everyone else can be part of that in small doses?

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