need opinions

I am having a disagreement with my MIL. She has 7 children, my husband is one of only 2 boys. The girls are planning a cruise for only the siblings for this summer. My MIL is 74 and feels this is the last time she may get together with her children. I feel that the spouses should be welcome on this trip. She says her children are more at ease and have more laughs and such without the spouses (particularly one of the girls planning the trip). I think this goes against our marriage, to ask my husband to go on such a trip without his wife. He is going along as not to ruffle any feathers. I think he should stand up for me and insist they welcome me. This family always does what Mom wants . She seems to have them at beck and call anytime she wants. Their Dad died 4 years ago. He was an alcoholic and their marriage was far from perfect. (separate beds etc.) I just don’t know what to think of the whole thing. Should I stand my ground. The MIL says I have no reason to feel hurt. I have never heard of such a thing and I know that noone in our family would dare ask this of their spouses. When I married my husband, I became his family, and I feel I should be his priority over his mom and siblings. Anybody ever have this problem and if so how did you handle it??

we decided years ago to take separate vacations when it meant a trip to in-laws on either side. This has many advantages. We still had our family vacation with us and kids, anytime there was a trip to his parents, he and kids would go; to my folks, me and the kids, usually holidays. We decided early Christmas and Easter, the day, belong to ourselves and the kids, and we would visit families in the season but not on the day.

So we had the best of both worlds, avoided awkward stressful situations (there was a time when it was impossible to be around in-laws without conflict, so I conveniently had to “work” or “study” those weekends). DH got along fine with my folks, still golfs with my brother, but did not need to experience the overall weirdness that characterizes my family get-togethers. (We rate eccentricity only slightly below cleanliness and godliness as virtues).

We also have always made a point of having regular date nights, and weekend or week long vacations together, no kids, no relatives, no friends. We also take separate trips w/o kids, me going antiquing or exploring historic sites with sisters or friends, him with annual golf vacation with buddies.

We each saw both extended families about once a year, just about right, and had the sense to live at least 250 miles away from both families. Saved our marriage.

Don’t cling. You will feel like an idiot if you are the only spouse on the trip. MIL would love the chance to interract with her kids without others around. I would kill for the chance to have a 15 minute conversation with my DD w/o spouse, kids or in-laws butting in, but not possible, so any trip there is fun, so see grandkids etc., but waste of time as far as visiting with my own daughter.

[quote=mimi4]I am having a disagreement with my MIL. She has 7 children, my husband is one of only 2 boys. The girls are planning a cruise for only the siblings for this summer. My MIL is 74 and feels this is the last time she may get together with her children. I feel that the spouses should be welcome on this trip. She says her children are more at ease and have more laughs and such without the spouses (particularly one of the girls planning the trip). I think this goes against our marriage, to ask my husband to go on such a trip without his wife. He is going along as not to ruffle any feathers. I think he should stand up for me and insist they welcome me. This family always does what Mom wants . She seems to have them at beck and call anytime she wants. Their Dad died 4 years ago. He was an alcoholic and their marriage was far from perfect. (separate beds etc.) I just don’t know what to think of the whole thing. Should I stand my ground. The MIL says I have no reason to feel hurt. I have never heard of such a thing and I know that noone in our family would dare ask this of their spouses. When I married my husband, I became his family, and I feel I should be his priority over his mom and siblings. Anybody ever have this problem and if so how did you handle it??
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That happened to us once…a cousin did not want any children at her wedding, I did not go out of protest. How does your husband feel about you be excluded?

What is it with 70+ year old people and cruises and siblings. My sister is planning a cruise for as a family reunion because she once heard my mother say it would be nice. My sister and her husband are the only siblings which can really afford it. I do not want to go…Don’t get me wrong, I love my mother, I just do not want to be stuck on a boat for a week…I did that in the military.
I guess my problem is the opposite of yours…My advice, don’t rock the boat…(pun intended).

[quote=mimi4]I am having a disagreement with my MIL. She has 7 children, my husband is one of only 2 boys. The girls are planning a cruise for only the siblings for this summer. My MIL is 74 and feels this is the last time she may get together with her children. I feel that the spouses should be welcome on this trip. She says her children are more at ease and have more laughs and such without the spouses (particularly one of the girls planning the trip). I think this goes against our marriage, to ask my husband to go on such a trip without his wife. He is going along as not to ruffle any feathers. I think he should stand up for me and insist they welcome me. This family always does what Mom wants . She seems to have them at beck and call anytime she wants. Their Dad died 4 years ago. He was an alcoholic and their marriage was far from perfect. (separate beds etc.) I just don’t know what to think of the whole thing. Should I stand my ground. The MIL says I have no reason to feel hurt. I have never heard of such a thing and I know that noone in our family would dare ask this of their spouses. When I married my husband, I became his family, and I feel I should be his priority over his mom and siblings. Anybody ever have this problem and if so how did you handle it??
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maybe it’s just me… but, i wouldn’t consider a vacation without my spouse… i couldn’t imagine going to a family function without her… heck, the day we were married she became one of the sisters to my siblings and a daughter to my parents… nope…

you tell your husband… for me… major mess-up for him to go…

Sometimes a mother just wants to be with her children. My MIL is 81 and still going strong. I know she loves me as much as her own children, however I do know there are times when she wants to spend time with just my husband, her son. And I am all for it.
I believe that no matter how much your in-laws love you, there is are times when it is their children they want to see and spend time with. This is only natural.
This is my humble opinion, but I think you need to relax a little.
Yes, when you married your husband, you did become his family, but that doesn’t mean he takes your side on everything, especially when dealing with his mother, which is his first family.
Like I said, this is my humble opinion

[quote=Faustina]Sometimes a mother just wants to be with her children. My MIL is 81 and still going strong. I know she loves me as much as her own children, however I do know there are times when she wants to spend time with just my husband, her son. And I am all for it.
I believe that no matter how much your in-laws love you, there is are times when it is their children they want to see and spend time with. This is only natural.
This is my humble opinion, but I think you need to relax a little.
Yes, when you married your husband, you did become his family, but that doesn’t mean he takes your side on everything, especially when dealing with his mother, which is his first family.
Like I said, this is my humble opinion
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interesting opinion… but is spending a little time, and a vacation (usually days or more) just a little different?

No, I don’t think so. How many times has this happened? It sounds like it is just a one time thing. Let the old lady have her time with her children. It is not taking anything away from the marriage and may even add to it.

=Faustina]No, I don’t think so. How many times has this happened? It sounds like it is just a one time thing.

looks like it’s been done in the past…

Let the old lady have her time with her children. It is not taking anything away from the marriage and may even add to it

i hear you, but i respectfully disagree… i think it will cause hurt, as you can obviously see in the original post…

Hope i’m wrong…

Peace:thumbsup:

I’m familiar with the situation you’re in. My parents are always pushing me to come visit them–without my husband. They also keep offering to buy me–and not my husband–a plane ticket to go visit my brother and his family who live extremely far away. My husband is in grad school, and I don’t really have vacation time I can take either. I have no interest in spending what little vacation time I get going someplace without my husband. I don’t care too much if it causes a rift in my family, or that my husband has encouraged me to go to smooth their feathers–my husband is part of me, and for them to purposely exclude him hurts. They are causing the rift, not me.

Just a different perspective for you!

My husband would like to go with me, however he has always had trouble standing up to his mom. Hes somewhat of a mommas boy. We rarely are able to go on any type of a vacation, much less one of this type. My MIL has also said that her children just didn’t act like her kids when around their spouse. In my opinion when we married her children, whether she likes us or not, she should except the person they chose for their life partner. I also feel I should come before her or the siblings after all I am going to be here after she is gone.

[quote=mimi4]My husband would like to go with me, however he has always had trouble standing up to his mom. Hes somewhat of a mommas boy. We rarely are able to go on any type of a vacation, much less one of this type. My MIL has also said that her children just didn’t act like her kids when around their spouse. In my opinion when we married her children, whether she likes us or not, she should except the person they chose for their life partner. I also feel I should come before her or the siblings after all I am going to be here after she is gone.
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i don’t know who has larger issues here, your MIL, your spouse or you… i wish you all peace…:thumbsup:

This cruise situation is just just one more example of a dysfunctional controlling family. My husband’s family could be their twin. I don’t know what to tell you to do because it’s a lose-lose situation. If he goes without you, your family loses. If he goes with you, they turn more against you. If he doesn’t go at all, they turn more against you. When they turn more against you, they try to turn your husband against you. You love your husband and don’t want to put him in the middle. But whatever you do, he is in the middle because they have put him there.

My only constructive suggestion for you is to find a group for Adult Children of Alcoholics. They will have the best advice for you.

My prayers are with you.

Don’t let him go just because he will come back sick! Cruise ships are riddled with bacteria. There was even a huge ecoli outbreak on one recently and all the passengers spent the whole time throwing up and running to the bathroom. Eek! My husband and I considered a cruise for our honeymoon but decided against it when we looked up how many illnesses spread around on those things. He may come back and get your whole family sick.

On the other hand it very well may be her last trip with her kids, at that age getting sick isn’t as small a thing. My advice, maybe try to convince them ALL NOT TO GO!

[quote=mimi4]My MIL has also said that her children just didn’t act like her kids when around their spouse.
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Yep. My parents have the same complaint. Thing is, they still want me to be the child I once was. I’m not, though. I’ve changed dramatically since I left their roof. They don’t understand that I’m the person I want to be now, and not the person they want me to be.

Almeria and Mary,

My Mom has brought up both of these facts. My Dad also was alcoholic, but fortunately my Mom had the sense to leave when I was a baby. I grew up without that influence. I feel as though all the kids are being made to feel they are still the “children” they were. They should be making adult decisions and I feel leaving out the one person of most importance is not acting in that way. They are doing what they think pleases their mother. I have been in this family for 12 years, the other spouses for much longer. However out of the 8 one is 3 times divorced and I can only think of one other that has a solid marriage. None are alcoholics, but they each exhibit traits of adults of alcoholic parents. How do I help my husband see how this has affected him as an adult? He is not very open minded about that sort of thing, but this situation has sure brought these facts to light.

Mimi,

You can point this out to him. But they are so used to denying the “Elephant in the Living room” that he probably won’t see it, himself. It has slowly been a process for us. We’ve been married for 25 yrs. Our first chipping away at the family stronghold was when our son was diagnosed with special needs. On his own, and for his family problem my husband would NEVER have gone into counseling. But he did for our son. What a blessing this child brought to our marriage!

But my husband was only comfortable going part way. When the therapist got to his father’s drinking, he ended counseling. Then we went on a little bit better but still not totally healed for many more years.

Now his mother is having health problems including dementia. His siblings are in denial about them. Again the elephant in the living room. But he sees them. As a result his sibs have turned against him. They have to maintain the “family myth” that they are the perfect family at all costs. So he is now the goat. As a result he’s turned to the only one on his side…Me.

I have only recently learned about Adult Children of Alcoholics. And we don’t have a group in our area. But I have learned alot from a friend who goes to Al Anon. Her husband refuses to go to AA. But you know what? Since she is getting help for herself, she doesn’t feed into his dysfunction anymore. She and the children are doing better. You may want to go to an Adult Child group to learn techniques from them so that you can improve your own situation. And in turn your husband may get better too.

And as always, prayer helps too.

Love,
Mary

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