The SIL Visit

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2011
The SIL Visit
Thu, 10-13-2011 - 9:34am

The sister (who my husband speaks to once every 10 years or so and has not seen in the last 20 years or more) decided that she is coming to visit us.

Community Leader
Registered: 05-19-2008
Thu, 10-13-2011 - 11:48am

Seriously, you husband has informed you of what you will and will not do....TO START, I'd give him a calendar and have him acknowledge the date - nope it is not the 1950's dear!

Avatar for 3togetready
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-19-1999
Thu, 10-13-2011 - 11:50am

Try not to judge this sister by the one you know. She might have moved far away just to get away from the mean sister.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002
Thu, 10-13-2011 - 1:53pm

First of all, that your husband has not allowed to you do the things that would make you feel comfortable around these people in your own home is troubling.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2004
Thu, 10-13-2011 - 3:27pm

Excuse me? Your husband is telling you how to behave with HIS familY??

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2001
Thu, 10-13-2011 - 3:59pm

I agree 100% with what 3togetready said!!

Sometimes extended family do stop by on their way through to other things.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2011
Thu, 10-13-2011 - 4:14pm

Thank you for your help. To answer the various questions, comments:


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004
Fri, 10-14-2011 - 2:31am

Honey, my husband is retired military, too but if he gave me orders how I was to behave around somebody in my own home, he'd get a new understanding of the meaning of the term "war zone".

Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Sat, 10-15-2011 - 9:06pm

If they can't give you an estimate on their arrival even I would say sorry but might not be convenient as you may not be home yourself.

I read what your husband said and his expectations.

If you want to go to your office go.

If you want to leave he can entertain them.

It is his sister not yours.

I would just say sorry I have other plans, maybe go visit family or friends either with or without him.

Like others have said he can entertain them, and I wouldn't go to ANY great trouble either.

I just think it's rude.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Mon, 10-17-2011 - 11:45am

Wow, I really feel for you. As a fellow introvert, I can totally relate. It takes me days to gear up for company and even when it goes well, I am always so relieved when they're gone.

I agree with pretty much everything people have said here, but the bottom line is that this is going to happen, right or wrong. What you need to do for yourself is to make it as painless as possible.

So don't plan a nice meal. To do this would require knowing exactly when they'll arrive and you just don't have this info. Keep your house the way you like it, so that it's tidy, but it doesn't have to be perfectly spotless. That's way too stressful.

When they show up, depending on the time of day, offer them something to drink and maybe a bowl of nuts or cheese and crackers to show hospitality, and then ask, "Would you like to have lunch/dinner/whatever with us? We didn't know what time you were coming, so I didn't prepare a meal, but there's a great take-out Chinese/Italian/whatever place and we could order something from there if you'd like." You're still being gracious, but you're not killing yourself to please a phantom.

Your DH sounds a bit socially clueless, but I understand his thinking that by appearing as a gracious, united front, you can ward off future criticism. There's some truth in this, but I think people are basically critical, so if his sister is the type to criticise everything, you really can't change her behavior or opinion of you. So you just have to do what feels right and comfortable for you. You're only responsible for your thoughts and behavior.