Adult Step-children

DannieB60July 12, 2011

I have been married to the father of these (2) children for 20 years. How do you deal with children that have never be taught manners or etiquette? My husband had a strange relationship with his children after he had divorced their mother, they were young and he seldom spent parental time with them. He never diciplined them and most visits included a dotting grandmother. He is now reluctant to say anything critical to them. They are in their 40s and have children of their own. They generally visit us twice a year, absolutly trash our home while they are here and after each visit my husband and I have an arguement over the respect of his children towards me and our home. They have also started bringing friends (guys) of the oldest daughter because she wouldn't come unless they could come (they do not sleep together). We got asked once but now it is assumed that boyfriends are welcome. They bring junk food, electronic gadgets (laptops, cell phones, e-books), entertainment (movies, games) by the box and bag full. We have movies and games, the condo has 2 swimming pools, sand volleyball, basketball and tennis courts, a golf course across the street. They will bring 2 large suit cases of clothes, that are strung between two bedrooms and a bathroom. Last weekend they brought the new little dog they have that can jump on a kitchen table, where I found it three times. It was always on my furniture and when I said something about "keeping the dog on the floor". I was told, "We let him on the furniture at home." My husband doesn't like the things the kids do but he would never say anything. He feels we can tolerate anything for a few days a couple of times a year. This last weekend they were here, the house was a wreck, I had gone to church, when I got home, my husband told me friends had called from up the road (20 miles), invited us to lunch, he declined, they said they would stop by after they had eaten. I proceeded to attempt to declutter and straighten the house. I asked the oldest granddauther to "gather the towels, and slick-up the main bathroom", my stepson said, "I need to take a shower". I asked if they could please put away their electronic gadgets that were all over the livingroom . When I walked down the hallway the guest bedroom was a mess. I walked in that room and started making the bed, my husband came in to help then the step-Daughter-in-law came in and said "I can clean this room", I replied "that was okay we would finish the bed". Before leaving the room I picke-up a kleenex off the nightstand and she said in a snippy voice she said "You don't have to pick-up my snotty kleenexes". Through clinched teeth I said "That's okay". When I left the room I heard my husband apologize to the daughter-in-law for my bad attitude!! I lost it, got in the car and drove around for 3 hours!! We have done this dance for 20 years in which I get frustrated when they come, if I say anything am ignored or get smarted back to by the step-children and grandchildren. I tried years ago, while tending a grandchild that was misbehaving to put her in "time out". Her parents came back to our house, packed-up and left because I did that. My husband said it was not my place to dicipline thier child. At the time I didn't realize how far reaching the implication was. I am considering divorce. How does one deal with this situation? We have gone twice to a therapists and she suggested that the visits perhaps not include overnight stays my husband doesn't agree to that "My kids should be welcome in my home."

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I'd get a hotel room... room service... a pedicure and a massage and a nice bottle of wine. Hang out by the pool for a couple of days... arrange a maid service to come in to the house before you come home.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 3:31PM
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I'm with Silver. Just head out on your own while they are there.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 2:19AM
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I do not clean guest room while guests are still in the house, i wait till people leave. I do not care how the guest room looks while they are in there, I set it up and clean prior to the visit as well as after, but not during. Other than that it is horrible that these people behave so bad!

I never understand why people drag their pets to other people's houses, parents or not. My SO has a cousin, whose wife is nuts and he has awful manners, they constantly visit out of state. Last time she brought a little dog and did not warn us, we have a cat, our cat almost had a heart attack. We also had both SDs visiting at the same time and barely had enough space as it is, let alone having crazy dogs, and dog was CRAZY.

I used to sit around and entertain when crazy cousin visited. But last visit, i changed my attitude. I went to see my parents, went to see my niece and nephew, went shopping etc Trust me, visit went much better. Next time do not clean, do not entertain and go do your thing.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 8:28PM
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That's true PO1... that struck me as a little intrusive as well. I consider a guest room the private area for guests when they are in the house and would never go tidy up while there are still visiting.

Going into their room, having them find you in there, them saying they can handle it, you picking up a dirty tissue from the side of the bed... how embarrassing. I might have apologized to my guests for that behavior as well.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 11:44AM
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silvers, LOL we agree on something LOL

My DD makes a mess in a guest room when visits. Certainly she is not making her bed. I would not like if SO tried to make an issue out of it or he went in there and started cleaning. Of course if somebody makes a mess in public areas such as bathrooms, then it is inconsiderate.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 3:27PM
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As I stated in my original message my condo is located in a resort, and I have limited space. The guest space is used for everyday linens, as well a beach items, games and entertainment provisions. I have never felt it was intrusive because my own children and grandchildren make the bed keep their personal items picked-up in the guest rooms, if they don't, I ask them to pick-up without feeling apologetic. I would never enter the room if the door had of been closed and I certainly didn't expect that my 45 year-old step son and daughter-in-law would live in a room that looked like a college dorm. I do appreciate "silvers" suggestion and am now looking forward to my "steps" next visit. More importantly I think my husband will feel that is a better option.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 4:23PM
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No, you didn't state that. You said "We have movies and games, the condo has 2 swimming pools, sand volleyball, basketball and tennis courts, a golf course across the street."

Regardless, it's neither here nor there. Your children and grandchildren operate with a different set of standards. (ones I would better tolerate than the standards of your Skids from what I hear). I don't know why you wouldn't expect this of your 45 year old Skids... you've known them for 20 years, right? At this point I think expecting them to change their personal habits is moot.

So I stick by my original suggestion. It sounds like they are slovenly people, and it sounds like for better or worse this is what you get as a by-product from your husband. You can either stick around and be the wicked SM who grumbles and shoots evil looks at them so that poor daddy can defend and protect his poor widdle darlings or you can vamoose for a couple of days and get your relax on. Either way, it's your rodeo. Seems like no one else has an issue with this but you. Remove you from the equation, and everyone, including you, will have a better time. Who knows, maybe your DH, after having them all to himself this next time, will want to join you next year :)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 5:15PM
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If a guest room is used for other purposes through out the day by different people, then it is expected to keep it somewhat decent. I agree, Dannie. They are disrespectful. I still would not go in there and would just close the door and not use the room.

I don't think it is about standards. I have high standards for housekeeping. We are clean freaks, our house is literally spotless, we are obsessive people. Yet when we have guests we tolerate messes, sure I vent here, but I tolerate it in real life. I also would not put a child I see twice a year in "time out".

It seems that your level of tolerance for your stepfamily is somewhat low. You can have high standards and still accept other people's nonsense twice a year. But if it is too much for you, I agree with silvers, find something else to do when they visit.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 5:56PM
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I would like to chime in as a daughter and daughter in law. My parents have high standards as well. My mom managed to kick my dad out of their closet several years ago and he was demoted to the guest room closet. When anyone visits he must go in and get his clothes or else lay out whatever he may need for the week which can be either a disaster or an annoyance. Often my brother's kids are in that room and they stack their things up against the door ...?? Dumb... Anyway - my mom tells them, move your stuff so grandpa can get his clothes. Mom also makes the beds but she is OCD about getting into a bed that hasnt been made so everyone else should be too... In her eyes. Since it's her home, and we could stay in a hotel or my brother could stay in a hotel, no one complains about mom's OCD about the house being tidy because it's free and it's hers ...
I think stepdaughter in law could have just taken the hint of from this point forward, keeping the area cleaned up, and HER being embarrassed about how messy they are keeping SMs guest room instead of dad apologizing for his wife's behavior.
My mother in law never goes into our room when we visit but we clean up. I actually am probably more respectful of her home than I am my own mother's. When Dh and I dated, we were not allowed to sleep in the same room. (even after we lived together and had a baby lol) kind of silly but ... Their house their rules. It's just called respect. The closet in the guest room is the stairway to their attic so there were a few times mil and fil would go in to 'our' room to get something they needed and they never asked, they just did it when we were not in the room. I was a little 'offended' that mil went through our laundry basket to pull out dh's (at the time BF) clothes so she could do HIS laundry lol not mine but his. Whatever, her baby boy and she wanted him to have clean clothes... Of course she didn't know we were basically shaking up and that I was doing his laundry already anyway -- but whatever. There were a few times that I left my hairdryer on the counter in the bathroom and my makeup bag and she moved them to my 'room'... But in her defense I should have put my things away.

Good luck to you OP -- I don't think you are asking too much for 40-something year olds to display good manners while in your home.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 11:58PM
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"Their house their rules. It's just called respect."

I agree, myfam. My mother taught us that when we were visiting anyone, family or otherwise, for a fairly short time period (less than a month), that we were to do our best to have everything tidied up and put away, beds made, no toiletries left strewn around the bathroom but back in our toiletry bags - basically to aim for the "goal" of having everything look exactly like it had when we arrived, with the possible exception of a closed suitcase against one wall.

Some people would let it be known that all that was not really necessary and we need not be quite so extreme. Others, especially older relatives who were used to living alone, in small and tidy houses, were thrilled. We teach SS the same thing - not because we're OCD, but because it's doing him a disservice otherwise. When he is grown and comes back to visit, we're probably not going to freak out if he leaves a tube of toothpaste on the guest room sink during the day - but others might. Everyone has their own standards, and while someone may love him to death, if they are uncomfortable with any "mess" that he leaves behind, he will find himself uninvited - and will probably never know the real reason why.

Myfam, not legally married couples cannot share a room at my mom's either. Her only exception is gay couples in a committed relationship, because (in our state) they cannot legally marry. Apparently Mom feels that if couples are not yet willing to marry, they're not sleeping together in her house, but if they are unable to marry, they cannot be expected to comply with the impossible. Go Mom!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 8:37AM
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Mattie, big hugs to your mom!!! What a neat lady she must be.

I agree with both Mattie and Myfam. OP is seriously being taken advantage of... but if dad isn't on her side there's not much she can do. Everyone is just too old at this point.

So yes, she'd be perfectly within her "rights" to clean dirty kleenex etc. from the room, but it's just going to make her look like a ___________.

I wouldn't bother. Leave these adult idiots (and OP DH is included in that) and go get some R&R. Life's too short :)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 11:34AM
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I respectfully disagree with others. We are control clean freaks, you can eat from the floor in my house. But it does not mean we need to drive our guests crazy (especially such infrequent guests). Twice a year cannot deal with guests bed unmade? Really?

I think it is disrespectful to leave messes in public areas, but it is as disrespectful to make one's guests uncomfortable. It appears to me that there is mutual disrespect is taking place between stepparent and stepkids.

Also she might be completely within her rights and she might be very much right about the whole thing. Yet sometimes it is better to be "nice" than "right". I think when kids are out of the house, aging parents can be "right" the whole year and "nice" for two visits. If the whole story is just venting then it is perfectly fine, but it is more than venting.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 4:13PM
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I agree PO1 (we're going for the record here). My house is very clean. I expect my guests (ahem, sm) to keep things clean. But when they aren't, I will step in to clean the public areas. Anyone remember the shaved animal incident after SM took a shower? I was in there 5 seconds later, wiping the hair she left off the floor. Because we had guests coming over for lunch.

In their room is a different story, and there is a line between making guests comfortable and keeping up standards for ALL guests to the home.

In other words, try to make your guests as comfortable as possible. If they are simply too rude for words, and they are not "your" guests, go somewhere else.

I have the QUEEN OF RUDE GUESTS in my SM. Yet I try to make her as comfortable as possible.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 1:33PM
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Anyone watch Hope Floats lately? Just watched it tonight. Had to log on to find this thread so I could comment. Lol

When Sandra Bullocks character is sleeping late and her mom comes in vacuuming and throws the curtains open and says 'get up and wash the stink off' and then walks out leaving the vaccum cleaner running.. Sandra Bullock jumps up and yanks the chord from the wall, slams the drapes closed and hops back in bed for more sleep... This is my mom lol haha

Also, has anyone heard about the mother in law to be in England, writing a nasty email to her daughter In law to be telling her what poor ettiquette she has and how when she is a guest in someone else's home, this is how you act... Etc..? I read on to find this was actually the stepmom of the groom to be not even his mom ... Not an issue but just ironic... I thought the email was horrific however my mom agreed with the ettiquette part. You conform to the rules of the house. You clean up after yourself. You get up when the household gets up. You don't complain about the food you are served. This kind of goes with this thread. I still believe that people should be respectful on both sides but I am siding with OP on this one. Her skids and husband have bad manners.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 2:07AM
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My first thought was if it's only a couple of times a year, make it coincide with a week/end getaway & do the hotel thing... be gone while they are there. That's what I would do.

But, then I also thought of the stepchild perspective: When my dad remarried when I was 16-17, I would visit him as a young adult. I had small children that did what small children did, they grabbed things they weren't supposed to & things broke. It probably annoyed my SM. When I visited him, I did my best to keep damage to a minimum, cleaned up after myself, etc. but I also viewed this as "MY DAD'S" house... SM wasn't (in my young mind) a part of that deal... I wasn't there to see her & never thought of how she felt about my presence. Of course I was 16-22... looking back, maybe she didn't think I controlled my kids well enough. When I was 22, I moved in with my exBF and his 3 kids... I was now in the SM role & got a taste of what my SM had to deal with. It made a significant difference in how I viewed visiting my dad after that.. and how I viewed my SM. I grew to appreciate her more & spent more time talking to her, etc.

Of course, my dad would not tolerate me to come in his house & make a mess, be rude, etc. First of all, he didn't raise me that way & secondly, if I ever made his wife feel I was being rude or disrespectful, he would have told me to knock it off. He raised me from the day I was born to treat others how I want to be treated, to be respectful & thoughtful of others' feelings, etc. He would not have tolerated that from me & it never occurred to me that I could ever act that way or even try. It wasn't just my SM, it was anyone... but he wouldn't have let his wife feel she needs to go stay in a hotel to escape my visits.

As a step parent, the hardest thing for me has been to let go & accept that I didn't raise the child to be the way she is... she has become who she is through things I have had no control over... her genetics, her tender years, modeling from her parents, experiences with her parents & at school, etc. As a parent, I raised my children the way I saw fit & it was nowhere near the way DH & BM have raised SD. (I won't say it's better, just very different) It's very hard when a step child does things that you'd be appalled to see your own child doing... and the parents don't seem to care. So, on the one hand I believe it's the father's job to demand his children behave properly in his home, but from the sound of the story, they are behaving in a way that has been accepted... if dad is apologizing for SM's behavior. Since that is dad's stance on it, then perhaps it's time to have that spa day the next time they are in town.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 3:12AM
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I don't know...My DD is a nice person and by no means is disrespectful, she is warm and caring yet she is not making her bed and she could be messy. It does not make her a bad person. LOL I have met very neat/clean people who are difficult to be around and I would take a slob over them any time. Seems that people put so much emphasis on how neat someone is that it overshadows everything else. OP might be very neat and organized, well good for her, but she is rude to her guests and it does not make her better than them. I take slobs over rude any time. I hope next time they visit stepmother finds somewhere else to go.

Sure dad apologized for her behavior. If my SO behave like this with my DD, I woudl apologize to her too.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 10:31AM
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I agree with both sides. It is the hostesses job to make sure her guests are comfortable. It's the guests job to make sure they conform to the standards of the house.

OP is probably as FRUSTRATED as I am when my SM walks around the house, leaving cups with tea bags EVERYWHERE (that will stain my cups and make them smell weird)... leaves a trail of her belongings through the house, (that I then have to mail back to her) leaves wet towels on the floor and water all over the sink, complains that the room we give her isn't cool enough but doesn't want us to turn on the A/C (and yes, there is a fan and a window in there), always has to cook something different and complicated even though I make arrangements for food she can and will and wants to eat (at my cost and time). Oh, and expects everyone to drive her where she wants to go and sleeps until 10am when DD has to get in her room for things, etc (we don't have a dedicated guest room, we have an office/guest room or DD's room).

PLUS because she sleeps so late, our whole day is started late and we have to be quiet and if we go anywhere from 7-10 or 11 (because she has an AMAZINGLY LONG grooming ritual in the morning) she gets mad because she wanted to go there. Etc.

Oh... LMAO... the last time she was here she ATE A HARDBOILED EGG IN MY LIVING ROOM ON THE COUCH. peeled it and ate it. Over a napkin. But.... seriously????????????

No one eats in my living room. And the irony is that no one is allowed to eat in HER living room either and she COMPLAINED to me about a friend's daughter who went to her house and ate in her kitchen and then the friend let the little girl RUN AROUND THE LIVING ROOM TOUCHING THINGS just like my SM did at my house.

I did point that out to her and she had the good grace to blush, but she still didn't get up off my expensive couch (the first new couch I've ever owned in my life and I love) to take her eggy butt back to the kitchen. And my dad just laughed. Not at me, kind of at her, like he recognized what was going on... but didn't want to get involved. ARGH.

So, OP, I get where you're coming from, except it's MY DAD (like your DH) who allows the woman in his life to be a poor houseguest...

I decided to put up with it, because it's only once or twice a year. But I point things out as kindly as I can and am working toward getting her gently in the program while at my house.

Difference is, I'm the "Kid" so... it's a little different. But please don't think I don't have sympathy, because I do.

I explain to DD that I want people to WANT to invite her back. So hanging up her towel when she's done, making sure the top of the sink/counter is dry, rinsing out the sink, straightening the bath mat, returning the shower curtain to it's original position, keeping personal items in her suitcase, making her bed in the morning ETC are just basic standards of life and should be done whereever she is. Also, returning dishes to the sink, asking if there is something that can be helped with...

common courtesy. it makes people want to have you around if you are willing and cheerful about keeping their house to the standard THEY SET. It doesn't mean being CLEANER than your hostess (that's rude too) but helping her/him to keep their house up to standard while you are there.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 11:05AM
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Maybe you missed the point PO1. It is rude & disrespectful to go into someone's home & be a slob or make a mess. Just because someone is a slob in their own home does not entitle them to trash someone else's, even their parent. If you're daughter comes to visit you and is messy... then yes, it IS disrespectful if you like a clean house. Just because you know she's messy and allow it does not make it right. YOU may not care about the mess BECAUSE she's your daughter, but if your SO lives there... he MAY care, it may bother him to the point he dreads her visits. It's HIS house & he doesn't have to think it's okay, just because YOU do. Of all people, I would think YOU would understand. I mean, didn't you write a thread a while back to complain about your SO's daughters making a mess of the bathroom, using your things, making themselves at home & how it annoyed you?

And I guess my other point was that when I was young, when I went to dad's, I considered it "my dad's" house. In reality, it was "THEIR" house. I wasn't just visiting my dad, I was a guest in my SM's home too. The difference is that my dad, as much as he loves his kids, is not going to excuse bad behavior. Going into someone's house and making a mess as if it's your own house, is bad behavior. My parents had one set of rules for us. We were taught how to be a good guest in someone's home... whether it's a friend from school or relative. Growing up, I often heard "when you have your own house, you can do what you want when I didn't like the rules. And when I was old enough to live on my own & have my own place, it is MY rules. If I go back to visit, it goes back to THEIR rules for THEIR house. Never once have I thought I could change the rules I was raised with because I'm a grown up now. But, apparently the OP's SK's were not raised with the same rules & expectations she would have for them. Dad is allowing his kids to disrespect his wife & THEIR home. We are not talking kids out of high school or home from college, these are middle age grown ups that have their own families.

And I never said anything makes anyone better than someone else. But, I do think OP may need to look at it from another perspective & see where her expectations may be out of line too. Her DH should stand up for her because she it is her home too so that should be expressed to the visitors. But, OP needs to realize that her husband and his ex wife raised their children & laid out expectations many years ago... they have been allowed to behave this way for decades & it's not likely going to change unless her DH agrees with her & puts his foot down when they visit. (gives them a list of house rules) If he isn't going to do that, the only solution would be to leave when they're there. In my opinion, that should not be an acceptable solution for the DH. It would send a message to these grown up kids that they've done nothing wrong, that OP has the problem, etc.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 11:20AM
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Ima, of course I vented here, that's what Internet forums are helpful for. Sure it is annoying like he$$. But there is a big difference, I do not make my guests uncomfortable, do not put in time outs anyone else's children or embarrass them by making big commotion in a guest room. I vent here but remain a good host. In fact I never tell it to anyone in real life. I am just talking here while OP is acting on her feelings. I have no issue with her feeling annoyed.

I do agree that these SKs are disrespectful to the host and they are being bad guests. I am just adding to it that OP is being disrespectful to her guests as well which makes her a bad host.

Nothing to do with her high expectations, like I said I have high standards for housekeeping yet I do not make my guests uncomfortable.

She wants them not to visit or perhaps to stay in the hotel, I believe it is unreasonable on her part. They only visit twice a year, if she cannot put up with that it would be better for her to plan a trip when they visit.

It is possible that they do not care for her expectations because they are just messy OR just do not respect her. As she does not respect them. They have known each other for 20 years? Personally it sounds to me that there is mutual animosity takes place and messy house is the least of their problems. I don't thinks she wants to look at what part she plays in all that.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 12:20PM
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ima, my DD does not make a mess in the public areas of the house but she does not make a bed in a guest room. My SO never ever goes in the guest room when DD stays there, so he simply would not know if the bed is made, he never goes into a guest room when SDs stay there either. SO would not possibly dread no one's visits because he would have no ways of knowing what takes place in a guest room. Especially if it is my DD staying there. It is private.

That's not what takes place in our household. OP went to guest room and started arranging things including private things like bedding they sleep on or keneex they used, that's not what ever takes place in our household. My SO was brought up in a culture where people bend backwards for their guests, it is dishonor to be a bad host, no matter what guests do.

This was not a good analogy.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 12:33PM
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Of course it is a hostess' obligation to try to make her guests comfortable and tolerate any variations they cause to the normal day to day routine of the house. This should not be too onerous for the hostess - because it is also incumbent upon the houseguests to do their best to make sure that they are pleasant, as little trouble as possible, and hopefully even do small things to show their appreciation for the hostess, if they can.

Where I used to live, when my brother would come to visit he'd sleep on my sleeper sofa in the living room. As hostess, and one who got up earlier than him, I'd try to keep quiet so that he could sleep. In such a small place generally that meant I'd have to leave and run errands! When I'd return from errands, as guest, my brother would have sleeper sofa made back up and his personal belongings reasonably tidied up. Having or being a houseguest can be a bit stressful but so long as both parties try to think of what they can do to make it easier for the other person generally all goes fairly well.

But, the problem here is that it sounds like the adult skids are not doing their part to follow any etiquette, and if only one party is expected to behave well (DannieB, by being expected to be an accommodating hostess) without any reciprocal attempts by the skids to be good guests, it is natural that she'd begin to feel put-upon and used. She's the hostess - she's not a maid, and she's being taken advantage of (letting their dog on someone's furniture?! Really?!)

What if you're at work, and periodically someone runs over to doughnut shop across the street to get breakfast? A colleague might ask if you'd mind getting them a doughnut too, and offers to pay you. You, of course, say yes to the request and no to the offer of payment - it's a doughnut, for heaven's sake! And normally one doesn't quibble over who owes pocket change to whom. Fine - but what happens when ten months later you realize that you are always buying doughnuts for this one person? That person has never reciprocated? Yes, it's just a doughnut - but ten months worth of daily doughnuts start to add up, and no one likes to feel used. Most people are going to not say anything, not cause a scene - but just start quietly slipping out for doughnuts so the colleague doesn't know beforehand, and thus can't ask for another freebie at someone else's expense.

DannieB has been putting up with this for twenty years. Her husband won't say anything, the "kids" can't be bothered, she can't tell the kids to go stay at a hotel - there are only two options left for her (well, three if you count divorce and/or murdering the skids, but they're both a bit extreme, LOL!). One is to keep putting up with this, and I'm unaware of any rule of etiquette which says that anyone is obligated to repeatedly put themselves into a position in which they know that they will be taken advantage of, anymore than doughnut person is required to keep announcing intentions to get doughnuts and thus cornered by good manners into buying them, or two, to remove herself from this equation by going to a hotel herself.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 10:53AM
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"to remove herself from this equation by going to a hotel herself."

that seems to be the only option here, taking a vacation, visiting her own kids, go see a friend, is only twice a year. if she knew them 20 years, she knew them in their 20s, she still married their dad (did she expect them to change???). dad is enjoying his kids, i would not deny him that.

Sometimes we have to do what we have to do. i have no problem visiting SDs or them visiting us (it is nice especially if I can vent here LOL). But I would not go on vacations with them anymore, last time i went was last summer and it was the worst time of my life, it was so bad that it made me physically sick and SO also had a hard time. I never had such bad experiences traveling with anyone.

Now my solution is if SO ever wants vacations with his adult children I would not deny him that. he is welcome to go but I NEVER will be a part of it. But SO does not want to go anywhere without me. Ha

On the other hand I am visiting DD and am taking her on a short trip next month and we'll have the best time ever.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 11:17AM
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Don't buy the doughnut indeed!!!

Yes, twenty, 15, even ten years ago this should have been handled. Now it's kind of too late.

1. The "kids" are disrespectful
2. Dad doesn't appear to care
3. SM is going crazy

If you love your DH in every other way than this, and it's an infrequent occurrence and he doesn't want to change this,,, and you can live with this lapse of judgement on his part... go to a hotel.

If not, put your foot down!!

(the lamp is in the mail)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 4:35PM
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Thanks so much for all of the comments. My husband received an e-mail from his daughter this afternoon wanting to know our schedule for the next two weeks. When I get the exact date I'll be making my reservations. This family is worse than the other one. The SS family is disrespectful. The SD family is distructive. 3 boys that fight (fists, kicks, bites). I attempt to put breakables away as much as possible, they have broken two decorator items My husband has patched walls, had a leather stool repaired that was cut with a knife, he even says this family is a mess but again we can tolerate anything for a couple of days. SD sits and reads and ignores what the kids are doing and SS-in-law plays computer games but we are welcome to discipline this bunch and then clean-up after them. No Thanks.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 9:42PM
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Good for you DannieB. I could not tolerate it. I just don't understand why people are the way they are. A free place to stay would be enough for me to cook a few meals, to clean up after each meal, to lend a hand of 'thanks' for giving us a place to stay.

I have to say it's so hard with young kids to keep the house clean and to keep their things picked up. I try so hard though because my in law's are not 'used' to having kids around. Although they love the kids and are
Constantly saying 'oh don't worry about it' I still worry about it. My in law's have a pretty formal home. They raised one son and we have their only two grandchildren. One they met at 6 (my Dd). We only see them a few times a year. When my son started walking, I cringed at the thought of visiting for a week. They dedicated their formal living room to the kids. They bought a tent and a little tunnel, put away their breakables and basically said, this is your play room. You can do whatever you want. I still found myself picking up the toys and trying to keep them in one place. They were so distructive. Even got into a matchbox car throwing match. I was so embarrassed. They said it was ok but I'm sure they told their friends when we left that we used a million towels and they found toys under the couch that they had to mail to us and probably that my kids were 'out of control' Which they are... Lol usually in public of all places. Lol
But I really did try. I cleaned the bathroom every day. I put the stinky diapers outside in a covered trash pail. I removed all the linens from the beds and asked if I could wash them on our last day, of course mil would not let me lift a finger. I also always send a thank you note. Very important to my mom that her son and his wife thank them for all that they provide and offer but she never gets one. So I make sure I send mil a little note saying thank you for putting up with us and for all the yummy meals. I'm lucky that my in law's like the same foods I do because my last in law's ate weird diet food and we were always starving and never got to eat!! I found myself hoarding food in my suit case when we went to visit. And nothing I ever did was good enough. I always acted the same as I do now but those in law's just had high standards that I could never meet. Apparently my new in law's are very lucky to have me according to the guest horror stories I'm reading here. Lol

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 11:00PM
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destroying your personal things is completely unacceptable, start booking a trip for yourself

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 7:01AM
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Your husband wants his rude 'children' to feel welcome? Let him experience them all by himself. You go off and stay w/a friend, have a spa day or two. Before you leave, make certain your husband understands that you expect to come home to a clean house. Be kind and clear.

The dynamic could very well change when they no longer have you there to act out on.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 11:47PM
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as in my own similar situation, the issue is really with you and your husband, IMHO.....I finally had a hefty conversation with my partner/bf and told him that when his children visit I expect respect towards him, myself and the home we share...In the five years we have been together he enjoys a clean, organized home and when the adult children (and i use the term loosely) he began to ask them to pick things up and clean up after themselves. Though I do not always agree with some of the manipulative behaviors and dear ole dad falling for it, things did improve. Do they like me any better, no....such a shame as I love my BF/partners oldest two and we have a great time when together. So I find joy in my craft room and when things get heavy, I tend to take a drive to keep from being effected by the negative energy that sometimes surrounds the home. Do I like having leave what is our full time home? No, but is it worth the stress of the alternative...NO

final thought,,,I found this inspirational the last few days as we have "visitors"
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 10:05AM
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Wayne Dyer said it beautifully, "change how you look at things then the things you look at change ".
You can look at the mess your visitors make as a nuisance or you can look at their mess as a sign of life. Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk, told this man on his death bed when the man complained that his grand children were making too much noise, "how would you feel if they were all dead and make no sound?".
I would not want to have a rose bush in the middle of my family room because of its thorns, but I don't mind to have it in the corner of my garden so I can enjoy its color.

Having said that, I can tolerate some messiness but I will not tolerate someone who completely disrespecting my world. A guest should feel comfortable but he/she should realize that they are still a guest.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 12:11AM
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