Extended visit from family member of DH

april_loveDecember 11, 2013

Hi everyone,

I'm so glad I found this forum. We have a house guest (a family of dh from another state) that will be staying with us for two weeks. The guest was uninvited (well, she invited herself) and will bring two children.

Here's the dilemma. DH and I have not slept in the same room for years. We just simply sleep better when we sleep apart. When we have guests for a night or two we usually sleep together. We've decided that we're going to keep our current sleeping arrangements. However, this really leaves the guest without a room to sleep in.

We thought we would put her in our sons room but he has a bunk bed with twin mattresses. We're not sure if that will work for her and the baby.

We have a blow up mattress but I'm not sure that would work for two weeks. We were going to buy our son a new 'big boy' bed but I feel a little rushed.

Ideas? I want to make her feel comfortable.

Since she invited herself we didn't make plans to take off work. We'll be at work for the first two days that she's here. She has other family in the area. In reality, I don't like people in my home when I'm not there. Ideas?

In reality, I don't like house guests at all but I'm going to try to make the best of it for DH.

Sigh! I guess I just needed to vent.

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So what does DH think? Is he happy to have the guests? And she's bringing TWO children, one a baby?

I wouldn't make her too comfortable, but treat her as one of the family. Remind her of your chore schedule, who cooks dinner, shops, cleans up, and ask her how she'll contribute to the household. She is family, after all. She can sleep in the son's room, bunks and all.

Unless your husband wants to give up his bedroom, or has a better idea, just treat her like family.

Personally? I'd not be too happy. I'd lock up valuables and personal papers, computer access, etc. But that's me.

Sigh. It's just me, but I would not be too thrilled either. Maybe she'll decide to stay with some others while she's visiting.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 8:12PM
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Wow, do I sound grouchy.... sorry about that. I really don't mind company, but for shorter periods of time.

I hope someone else comes along to offer advice. I hate to be the only voice!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 12:25AM
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I'm glad you feel the same way. I thought "I" was being a little grouchy. I don't mind that she's coming but two weeks is a long time. The only other person that she could stay with told her that they didn't have enough space.

DH is indifferent about the visit. He works long hours and his interaction with her and the children will be minimal. Although it's his family member they really don't even get along. We visited her city twice during this past summer. She insisted that we stay with her, and we did, but her and DH argued like husband and wife while we were there. I went there a second time with my daughter and we stayed at a hotel.

There isn't anyone else that she can stay with; No one else really has room. My daughter offered to let them stay in her room but two weeks is a long time.

Lol. Hubby has made it really clear that he's not giving up his space.

I'm getting more stressed as the days go by. She'll be here in a few days.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 11:02AM
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You got railroaded, I think!

Give her a list of chores and tell her that she'll be responsible for dinner on at least a couple of nights, including buying the groceries. Clean up after meals, vacuum, clean bathrooms, etc. Just like another member of the family.

Maybe she'll figure out other accommodations. ;-)

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 12:37PM
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wow, April, I don't envy you. :p You don't say the relationship between your DH and this woman, but if your husband and she fought like that I'd have never willingly allowed her to come and stay -- especially if she's bringing one kid and a baby! wow. You're sort of stuck with it though, since you already stayed at her place and you've already agreed to her coming to stay now.

If your son is ok with sleeping on the sofa for two weeks, then definitely tell her that she and her kids will have to stay in your son's room. She can have the bunk-bed and the blow up mattress and 'make do'.

Unless it was very close family or friends, or someone I felt I could trust, I would not allow anyone in my home unattended. Definitely lock up and protect valuables and make sure that she has all emergency phone numbers and info available.

This is a very stressful time of year without having to face problems like this! I just hope she spends most of her day away and apart from your DH...

Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 8:01AM
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DH and our guest are cousins.

Yes, we're stuck with her. Hopefully the baby doesn't cry too much and hopefully she doesn't ask me to babysit.

Please keep me in your thoughts everyone. I think I'm going to need it.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 7:48PM
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I hear you! It sounds like a real job.

But you know what you need to do. BE A GOOD HOST.

Maybe if you had it to do over again, you wouldn't agree to host for so long, or maybe not at all. But there it is.

So try hard not to focus on the negative; they will feel your resentment clearly. It's okay not to host, but it's not fair to host people and then make them feel bad about it.

That said, guests staying for two weeks are in my opinion now part of the household; you don't entertain them every minute, you don't put your own life entirely on hold, and you do ask them to pitch in with errands, dishes, etc. Anyone staying at our house more than a couple of nights gets put into the dog walking rotation! Actually, we find that this makes it easier on the guests, too. It's a lot less fatiguing to be part of the household than to be a guest.

Serve wine with dinner! :-)

And think of a NICE treat you really want and promise yourself that if you are a good host for the whole time, you get it after they leave. And then do it!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 2:42PM
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Hi Gellchom,

I will certainly do my best to be a good host. After some thought, I think I was really peeved because she invited herself. She bought the plane tickets and then asked if she could stay here.

I've always lived near family and I realize that she's somewhat alone in her city. I'll do my best to treat her as I would want to be treated.

In other news, we ended up buying a big boy bed for the 6-year-old. He's slept in his 'new room' for two days (all night; which is a first) and he doesn't want to give up his room now. My daughter is graciously giving up her room.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 11:46AM
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I love to have company for a few days. Usually its my sister and her husband or our son. But 2 weeks is a long time to have a house guest. I would not give up my bedroom. My husband and I both sleep in different rooms. We have a spare bedroom but it is usually occupied with our grand daughter who will stay with us when her mom is out of town for work. She could stay with her dad but he lives 30 minutes or longer from her school. So its easier for her to stay with us. I would use blow up beds for the guests. They won't stay long. We have 2 blow up beds both queen size and they are comfortable. We use them for our other grand children and put them in the living room. There is also 2 couches to use. Will she help with the food bill too? Hopefully the cleaning especially their mess. I feel your pain.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 5:36PM
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Are they here yet? Keep us posted. Hope all is going well...thinking of you!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 2:22AM
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Hi all,

Yes, the guests have arrived. So far, the experience has not been too overwhelming. For every great thing that our house guest does she does something equally as annoying.

She cooked yesterday after telling me how bad my food was the previous day. She hasn't contributed to the food bill yet but she did offer me her debit card when she asked me to go out and get a few things for the meal she prepared yesterday. I didn't take the card in an effort to be a good host. At the same time, I'm hoping that she will contribute during her stay.

The baby is generally happy all the time and does very little crying. We don't have carpet which has been an issue.

My son and her son have been playing happily. They're 4 and 6 and have played very well.

My husband and his cousin had their first argument yesterday right before dinner. I swear they act like they've been married for a thousand years.

For the most part, their family is spread out all over the country. DH's mom has been over once - for 15 minutes. No one else has visited which is a little concerning.

Overall, I think she just needed a little help and wanted to spend time with family during the holidays.

It's been a little awkward because she's been left here with me for the most part. I work from home and I'm on the computer for the better part of the day.

Hopefully the next 11 days will be uneventful. :-)

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 3:03PM
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Glad it's going okay.

Be sure not to give mixed messages. You said that you refused when she gave you her debit card, but you're hoping they will pitch in with money. So let her do it! Don't say no and mean "urge me." This is family. They feel close enough to say they're coming for 2 weeks; so they're close enough for you to be direct with them. Don't play "read-my-mind" with them; say what you want.

What do you mean that not having carpet is a problem?
Also, I don't understand either part of this sentence: "DH's mom has been over once - for 15 minutes. No one else has visited which is a little concerning."

It concerns me that your husband's mother has only been over once, if she lives near you, or that she only stayed 15 minutes, if she was visiting from out of town. Is there a problem with family? With hosting?

Who else would have visited? How long have you been married?

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 5:09PM
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Hello everyone,

I hoped the visit would work out for the best but I guess that was wishful thinking. Our guest has went to stay with DHs parents for the remainder of her visit. DH's parents hosted her two years ago and the visit did not go well at that time either.

Gellchom, thank you for making me aware that I was sending mixed messages. On my side of the family we always feed guests. However, guests are responsible for anything 'special' that they want. To clarify, I hoped that she would contribute to her own personal needs. During her stay here we purchased diapers, wipes, etc.

DH and I have been married almost 20 years. I was familiar with his cousin/our guest but she's never stayed with us.

She mentioned that she let's her baby crawl on the floor (he's 5 months) and the hardwood floors and tile that we have were problematic.

I really had no problem with hosting. I went out of my way, in my mind, to make sure that she had comfortable accommodations (we purchased new beds; they were not inexpensive either.) Considering that everyone in the household works we did our best to entertain each evening when we returned.

In a nutshell she insulted my food each day, complained that she was left with no food while we ate lunch at work, questioned our parenting skills, posted insulting comments on facebook, re-arranged a few items in my kitchen, and hollered at my son (which was the final straw.)

My sister, her ex-husband, my niece, and my nieces two children also spent the night for Christmas. On Christmas our guest did not leave her room until 6:00pm. I woke her and her son up around 7:30am when I heard the other children wake up to open their gifts. I brought her son downstairs with me but she never came down. She didn't come out of the room until my husband went to see what the 'issue was' about 6:00pm.

My husband was home Christmas Eve and Christmas and became pretty fed up with 'the negative spirit' that she brought to the house. She had been fussing with him about numerous things.

Even after all of that, my husband wanted to let her stay in an effort to maintain their relationship. DH spoke to his mother and she agreed that it would be better for the guest to leave.

DH was sulking after she left and wondered what we could have done better. I, too, wondered what we could have done better. Once she left our home she made a negative post on facebook.

DH's father has spent the last two evenings at our house.

At the end of the day, we're still wondering how everything went so wrong. DH said that our guest has acted like this with every family member she's visited and stayed with (I just found out about the other family members) and that it wasn't a surprise to him.

I'm saddened by the whole situation but thankful that serenity has returned to our home.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 8:12PM
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Well that's unfortunate but your DH's cousin sounds like a real piece of work. I suspect had you left a trail of gold nuggets around the house for her to keep she'd have complained about having to pick them up herself. So, it's not you, it's her. Don't stress about it any more.
I don't get that hardwood/tile floors are problematic for a baby to crawl on. I would have thought them ideal as they are easier to ensure they are really clean and won't suffer if drooled on or worse. For Pete's sake, third world babies crawl on dirt and live.
How rude not to come out on Christmas Day (or any day, really). And insulting your food/complaining there wasn't anything to eat during the day, totally uncalled for. Was there a piano chained to her butt preventing her from getting food she wanted or offering to cook, thereby ensuring she would like the meal?

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 3:18AM
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Thanks for the update. It was an ordeal, but look at it this way: you'll never ever have a second's doubt about future interactions. Next time, you can tell her that you'll recommend a nice hotel. But I doubt there will be a next time.

Sometimes, I discover that I need to keep some people at arm's length in all ways. I can be pleasant in a social setting, but I would never volunteer anything more nor would I depend on someone like that for anything. No rides to the airport, no relying on her to pick up a quart of milk on her way over. No expectations, no demands. Makes life much more peaceful.

I hope that you and your family have a lovely, peaceful holiday season and a great new year!


    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 4:50PM
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I'm sorry your Dh's cousin was such a problem. You did everything you could to make her feel welcome. Seems she has other problems with her life. If she calls and says she wants to come for a visit in the future just say NO. make up an excuse if you have too. Why should your holiday be ruined by her. I hope that you had a nice holiday.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 10:22AM
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The story gets worse. DHs parents asked her to leave as well. DHs mom is the peacekeeper in the family. She can always make any bad situation positive. The cousin is staying at the local Marriott until she leaves on January 1.

DHs mom is just distraught. She's not ready to even talk about what happened at their house.

I'm just saddened. Our holiday break has been overshadowed with negative energy.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 9:57PM
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See, it's not you, it IS her! If your DH's "peacekeeper" Mom asked her to leave she must have been VERY annoying. So don't let cousin's negativeness spoil your Christmas, forget about her.
I have to admit, the nosiola in me is dying to know what the issue was with your MIL :-)

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 10:47PM
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Colleenoz, I would like to know what happened at MILs house too. She told me if she started talking she would never stop.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 10:32PM
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Unless your MIL opens up you will never know what she went through. I think you and your family did everything to make her comfortable. I'm so sorry that all of the families involved had a horrible holiday. Sad when one person in a family can make so many others so miserable. I hope that the children involved were able to have a nice holiday. You don't want them to remember this one as so sad. I would under no circumstances have this cousin in my home for any holiday. By the way is she married, does she have a job? These could be problems too for her. I have wood floors all over my house and a rug only in one room. I would not purchase anything for her 5 month old to crawl on. Spread a blanket on the floor that would work.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 12:38PM
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I'm really saddened by this whole situation.

As it turns out, our guest stole a few token items from our home. I'm missing a purse but I keep telling myself that I've misplaced it.

I purchased an item for the baby for Christmas and it just simply disappeared. I hadn't wrapped the item yet. This means that our guest went through my things. As it turns out, our guest took the item and left it at MILs house.

The kids had a great Christmas and will remember it as a time with family. However, I'm still saddened and worried about her children.

MIL was angered because our guest lied about a very serious matter and claimed it was a misunderstanding. It was no understanding; it was a blatant lie.

Anywho, I could care less about having a relationship with the guest. The children are my concern.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 7:26PM
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Wow! Houseguests! I don't want them and I don't want to be one, either.

As for the suffering we have to endure in the name of civility and "family" - that belongs to a bygone era. Nothing against civility, but from the moment she invited herself with 2 kids, she broke the rules. I have a feeling that she knew you would be "nice".

I turned our guest bedroom into a walk-in closet, got rid of the bed and am polite but firm in turning away all requests and pre-made plans from family/friends and invading Huns. Likewise, when we visit friends and family in other areas, we stay at a motel or hotel.

I had to do some work to get DH on board with this, but he is oblivious to whether we have 100 people or just us, the guys don't have the onus of entertaining, cooking, etc.

Oh - one more thing that always works when they stay too long - run out of toilet paper!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 2:19AM
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Just say 'No'.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 2:43AM
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Well, that _is_ sad. It is very disheartening to find that someone we have given hospitality to has betrayed our trust and common decency. Lesson learned, no doubt, she won't be back.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 5:50AM
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