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MIL invited herself on our 3 week vacation! What do I do?

if she's anything like my mother in law, creating friction between you and your DH is EXACTLY what she wants.  Grrrrr.  Yeah, it was tough but then with kids it got so much harder, so I feel you!  It's hard when relative don't respect you/DH's adult needs, but when they trample your babies' needs it creates a special kind of rage LOL  I am sorry you all had to go through with it.

Maybe our experiences will help others:  My strategy was to try to remain focused on the theory that I should not make his relationship with his parents worse; actions were up to him but I had a right to say if it hurt me.  It has been a LONG road.   When they did hurtful things, I told him how it affected me, asked how it affected him and his emotions, and then tried to get him to help think of solutions or at least how to handle the fallout and/or future similar situations.  I'll admit I did some nagging LOL  The final decision on what to do was always his, and he knew I respected HIS wishes/needs.

 After a while, the pattern became clear that his parents were the ones causing trouble and not caring about his needs.  (DH finally blocked them after we found out they were lying to relatives about us, and it is just now, a year later, that we are starting to mend emotionally from their abuse)   A friend said we were lucky in that DH and I had a "foxhole buddies mentality" through it all, rather than approaching it separately or from two different sides of the fence.  I don't know if my strategy will help you and your husband, but your DH definitely needs to stand up for his wife and his kids!!!

I would call her and ask if there was a way she would be willing to compromise, like perhaps coming out for a portion of the three weeks, instead of the entire time.  This time is very important for you.  I know, my MIL tried to invite herself on a "second" honeymoon to my husband's deployed location (Guam).  My DH actually told her that if she came, she would be on her own for all transportation and hotel room.  She saw how much the airplane ticket cost and decided against going...

We have had to put our foot down with our family/in-laws:

1.  No visits within 2 weeks of a deployment or return from a deployment.

2.  No visits within 4 weeks of a move.

3.  Unless you are personally invited on a vacation you are not welcome.

Since your husband put his foot in it, I would tell her, "hey listen we would like for you to come join us, but my husband and kids need some time to get re-aquanted, so we would appreciate it if you would come for a portion of the time."  Or another angle you could use, "if you are going to come, then you are going to babysit while my husband and I go out."

My husband is TDY in Germany for 1 year. The kids and I have been planning on going over and visiting him for 3 weeks over the summer. We have ever been to Europe so this is a trip of a lifetime for us. The kids are so excited to see their dad after 6 months. I was talking to MIL about our plans and she just came out and asked, "can I go?" There was a very long awkward silence and I said it's a three week trip, she said, "well that's ok!" I was so shocked, what could I say? you can't just say no. I suggested we invite my SIL or a cousin for someone for her to hang our with but she is so annoying and demanding that nobody was willing to go with her and now I am stuck. The cousin even told me that when they spoke about it and she declined that my MIL made a comment about how now she would be stuck with with me. (Can you believe that that???? SHe invited herself on my vacation and now she is complaining that she is stuck with me for 3 weeks????)

My husband won't say anything to her because she is not well travelled and his dad died a little over a year ago.  I feel like my trip is ruined, I am so upset all I can think about is how obnoxious she is after 2 days, how am I going to manage 3 weeks of stressful traveling in foriegn countries? I know I need to talk to her but I don't know what to say. I have even thought about faking being extremely bossy and rude in hopes that she will bow out but I think she may just go to war with me instead. I am so desperate for advice. Please help me!



OK, here is the update, my hubby finally talked to MIL and managed to have us overlap our stays by 10 days because I was so upset over the ordeal although he didn't explain to her why, he just offered to take her on a special tour she would like in Austria the weekend before we arrived and so they could have a week together alone. Later we arrived and today is the last 24 hours of our 10 day overlapping stay together and I have to say that while I am thankful to be here and for this experience, I am very disappointed in how everything has turned out thus far. It has been extremely stresssful, my kids who are teenagers are stressed out because granny is driving them nuts, my husband and I are stressed out and arguing because hubby agrees with everything mommy wants to do simply to please her despite my thoughts/ideas/feelings, and I MIL is just eating it up. I feel like I am being treated like the red headed step child.  My husband hasn't even taken me out for one date yet after 10 days of being here; MIL has to be at every meal with us after choosing the retaurant.

My advice to anyone who is ever in this position is to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stand up for yourself! Protect yourself! Don't agree to do something that you do not want to just to be polite. What you are teaching your children is that it is ok to lie to be polite or to make someone else happy instead of doing the right thing and being honest from the beginning. Even though MIL is leaving tomorrow, I feel like the rest of my trip has a dark cloud over it because of the angst she created between my husband and I. 


I understand your dilemma - you're right, what else could you say? But you know what, she HAS to know how rude that is. If you allow her to go on this trip for the whole 3 weeks, you are setting a dangerous precedent, and she's going to do it again. You have to do something - and your husband needs to be fully behind you. He's busy and is overseas, so you should talk to her about it, but he has to be in your corner. You are his wife, his #1. If you talk to her and she throws a fit, well, she can just call her son and get the same answer. Although I'm sure she's lonely and I know she misses her son, those things don't entitle her to be incredibly rude and demanding. What the other girls have suggested sounds good - how about a week or five days to visit? If you don't say anything and you're miserable the whole time, it is your fault for not talking to her about it. 

YOU are not being rude - she is. You are not being unreasonable or selfish for wanting special family time with you, your husband, and your kids. Give yourself some credit, boost yourself up, talk to your husband, and then talk to her. 

Let us know how it goes if you can!



I say to just suck it up.  Her husband died not too long ago and she hasn't seen her son in a while.  My husband and I have both sacrified a few weeks of being comfortable etc to spend time with each others family.   For us, even though each of our family can get on our nerves.... we do it because we love them and they hardly to get to see us.  Just recently my parents came to visit us for a month, living in our house.  It was annoying at sometimes but we live overseas... we never know when we will get to see them again or when they will get to see their granddaughter.  Near Christmas, his family will be staying in our house for two weeks to visit after I give birth to our new baby.  I'm not exactly looking forward to this, I'm very sensitive to my surroundings and have never fully gotten to know his family that well yet.  I do it because I love him, they gave him life and they deserve to see my husband and their grandchildren.  I might complain every once and while, but if I didn't I'd blow up... my husband and I both understand each of our parents can drive each other crazy so we make sure that we step in and suggest some time alone or whatever to just get a break.  I think it would be great to bring your MIL along on your trip.  You would have a babysitter to get out and maybe get some real one and one time with your husband!  Some of my great memories of grandparents are the family trips we went on when they came a long.  They are great memories I love, because my grandparents have all passed away now.  Its 3 weeks, not a life time.  I think its unfair that your upset she said something to your cousin about her having to be stuck with you...  when you clearly feel the same way.  Share this time with your family together... make the best of it and dont make yourself miserable because its not exactly what you want.  Just try to have your husband help set some boundaries if there are certain ones that she tends to cross.  Have fun!  Your going to Europe to see your husband!!

What your monster in law did was total BS. You planned this trip for YOU and YOUR children. She caught you off guard knowing that you would probably say yes. That was sneaky and manipulative. It's not her problem if she can't go on her own. You need to tell your husband that this is unacceptable and you both need to tell her that she is NOT welcome on your trip.  You obviously didn't plan to have her come along so what she going to do? Sit in hotel room all day? And for her to say she was now "stuck" with you is even more reason to tell her off. She expected YOU to be the one sitting in a hotel room all day while she went off with your husband. I would do this ASAP so she'll know that she and her rudeness are not welcome on YOUR trip.


Wow, she really put you on the spot and in an akward position, didn't she? Honestly, part of me thinks you should let her go (I feel sorry for her that her husband died) but another part of me thinks you should call and discuss "other options" with her. Let her know that when she asked you, you were caught so off-guard. Now that you've had some time, you think it might be better "for everyone" if y'all just alter the plans **wink, wink**. Tell her how this is really about what you and your kids need right now, and how your husband might feel spread too thin to make sure everyone gets the time with him they need. Then tell her "I'm sure you must understand, right?". You could always follow up with an idea of a visit that would include her shortly after he gets home.


I wish you luck!

First of all I do think your husband should be the one to put his foot down, but since he won't. (For the reasons you mentioned)

I would call your MIL and tell her I'm sorry but this is a trip that I planned is for me and the kids who have not seen my husband and there father in half a year and we planned this trip as a family event. (Meaning your family, you , your husband , and your kids) Let her know that at this time it is very important that . You and your children get to bond your husband and him with all of you, it will make it all that easier when he comes home for good, and in doing so you really don't need another distraction in the mix. Especially one that doesn't want to be stuck with you' which only means your mother in law is going to try and take over the whole vacation and all of you husbands time and if you allow that she will always treat you as second best, not as the wife of her son. To me once you get married the mother comes second and the wife comes first.


I wish you all the best.

Aren't MILs fun???  Tell her NO she can't go.  It's obvious you both will be miserable for the entire 3 weeks. I think I would rather stay home and have root canals on ALL my teeth for 3 weeks straight, instead of hanging out with my MIL for 3 weeks!  AAGGGHHHHH!!!!

Put your foot down.  But before you do speak to your husband about it.  Tell him that you guys need time together as a family.  You do understand it is hard with his dad/her husband gone but she needs to do things on her own.   Then say to her that you do understand she wants to spend time with her son and her grandchildren that you as a family need that as well.  The kids need to spend time with their dad, you need to spend time with your husband.  If she wants to come for a week then that is fine but you are not going to have her there with you for the 3 weeks.  She can look into doing things on her own or as part of a group for the other 2 weeks.  She will not be able to stay with you, she won't have base/post access, and you are not paying for her things. 

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