Parents coming to visit, dreading it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-1998
Parents coming to visit, dreading it.
Wed, 10-12-2011 - 5:33pm

I need advice!! I'll try to make it brief. My parents invited themselves


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-23-2010
Mon, 12-05-2011 - 9:56am
MIL?? I'm single and not married and have no children. I think you have me mixed up with someone else.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2011
Sun, 12-04-2011 - 11:38pm

Yep I know where you're coming from. It would help if they didn't have to spend the whole time with you. Tell them, that since they invited themselves, that you and your man had already made some plans and that it would be rude to break the plans since you had canceled once already. Then you both can leave the house and go elsehwhere for dinner for a few hours. They can go out by themselves and eat dinner or go to see a movie or a show. Or, buy them tickets to a show and say that you were given the tickets and didn't know what to do with them and let them go. Sometimes a little time apart helps.

The next time they "invite themselves", tell them you already have plans. If you have kids that can mean you had some driving trip planned with them. Parents should never invite themselves. They must realize you have lives too.

When they berate you about whatever, try and change the subject. Try going out where they have to keep their mouths shut by seeing a show together, like a movie, a comedy shoe, etc. Don't always stay home, that way they can't complain about whatever is in the home or the neighbor's homes. Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2004
Wed, 10-19-2011 - 10:44pm

First you Have to figure out a way to say "no thank you " to the gifts. Otherwise they will always hold it over you. The strings

these gifts are coming with are way too much. A person on another site I frequent has a saying "No. It's a sentence"

Second look up 'bean dipping"

Do they stay with you or in a hotel? Have you told them that inviting themselves just doesn't work -if you have kids you can tell

them that you are just too busy with work/extracurricular activities/etc. And if they do stay with you put a halt on it. Tell them you

told them it wasn't convenient and here is a list of motels in the area.There is some GREAT advice here. Yes they will go to the

"you're being mean/ungrateful/etc. But think about this: if this was a friend would you put up with that friend treating you this way?

most people would say no and distance themselves. Why should you let them treat this way just because they are family?

There are two good books I have seen recommended here and on another site I frequent. "Toxic Parents" by Susan Forward

and "Emotional Blackmail" also by Susan Forward

anon for this one
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2004
Sun, 10-16-2011 - 11:48pm
Who said to apologize and tell them they were right? I said to tell them, "I am sorry you feel that way." When they express not liking something. It is a neutral way to acknowledge they spoke and you heard them but does not explain or justify. Also by saying you will consider something it is saying you hear them and respect them. They don't have to know your consideration only lasted two seconds.
Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sun, 10-16-2011 - 1:47pm

Was this the weekend of their visit? How did it go?

"I have been thinking about saying like the one responder did, just saying "Oh! I'm really sorry," or "Oh, I'm sorry, I know you don't like that" or "Oh, I'm sorry, it must be frustrating to see things you would do differently."

IMO you should not apologize for any of it. That makes it seem like you accept fault for whatever they don't like. There's no reason to take blame when you didn't do anything wrong.

Have you tried "returning the compliment"? When they criticize you, you return with a negative comment about or criticism of her/him? When they object to you saying such things to them you reply "this is how I feel when you criticize me/my housekeeping/etc. Use a neutral tone of voice, state it as a fact and don't get drawn into an argument. Normally I wouldn't suggest being seemingly disrespectful and rude to your parents but they need to be on the receiving end of these comments to understand how they are coming across. Hopefully they will not only get an inkling of what it feels like to be repeatedly criticized, but also realize how often they criticize you. If they get insulted it will only be how you already feel.

"we have no choice but to accept gifts and various help and then have it used against us"

Do you mean that you have no choice because you are struggling financially? Otherwise you do have a choice to refuse their "gifts". So they make a stink about it, they're already doing so and then have more things to hang over you for "gratitude". Have you told them "I won't accept this because I don't want to be accused of being ungrateful in the future if I disagree with you/don't do what you want"...? Let them complain to your siblings. Your sibs are also grown-ups who can tell your parents that they don't want to hear it.

I'm sure it won't be easy to do this, after years of accepting their current behavior, but nothing is going to change unless you make it change. It probably depends on how much their behavior really bothers you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004
Sat, 10-15-2011 - 5:43pm

Hi Swimersize....are you the proposed community leader who is a MIL???

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-23-2010
Sat, 10-15-2011 - 4:07pm

You are grown up and should be able to defend the comments to you....if you can't they have no business in your house. My Mother is like this and she doesn't come over anymore.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Fri, 10-14-2011 - 10:43pm

I am glad for you that it is ONLY coming from one set of parents.

We really don't know what's up with my dad.

Actually hadn't seen him for a year.

My dad hasn't been actively involved in our lives.

My kids and my sister's kids have basically grown up without him.

Same for my ex-husband and his family.

Not one have them have been to see my dd once and she has been in three hospitals and back to one over a period of several weeks five actually, over a month.

My dad promised her we would come and see her over Easter week-end...never happened.

MIA yet again.

That is why I had serious reservations about him just showing up univited.

My ds always dreads this as my dad tends to ruin holidays.

Like he ALMOST ruined this one.

Never been a positive my younger sister says.

He told me he was going there for Christmas, my sister said they won't be home.

He is very negative and she won't stand by and allow him to ruin their Christmas.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-1998
Fri, 10-14-2011 - 6:59pm

Thank you everybody for the ideas. As far as how we have traditionally responded, and this goes for my siblings/spouses too because I've seen it happen, we usually either just ignore it or often defend what we are doing because we think it's right. Like for example when my mom stood out in the driveway and loudly criticized the new paint color of our neighbors house I didn't say anything, I just tried to help unload their car quickly and get them inside as soon as possible. When she was standing in my kitchen looking at how much food I was cooking before dinner and exclaimed like she was in shock,

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2004
Thu, 10-13-2011 - 3:47pm

I think some older people go to