MicroblogMondays: In-Laws and Best Friend

Microblog_Mondays

My father and mother-in-law decided to come visit from India for about seven weeks, seven years after they last came to see their one and only son.

Do you know how huge this is?  They were the ones who refused to meet me the last time they came.  They adamantly opposed our marriage.  They were extremely upset that Bob and I got engaged and later got married.  My father-in-law was so angry that he refused to speak to Bob for another ten months after that.  Needless to say, nobody from his family came to our wedding.  Bob was very sad, but at the same time very happy that we got married.  What a dichotomy.

So we went from that, to them refusing to let me go to their home the first time we visited India as a married couple, to my MIL asking why we didn’t stay with them the second time we visited, to not wanting to come visit, to now agreeing finally to come visit.

This is huge.

Bob has been very excited about this potential visit, but at the same time wearied about having them around for the first time as a married man in our own home.  After five years of marriage, he wants to show his parents how he and I have made a home for ourselves.  But his parents are such hardcore hindu and vegetarian that huge changes have to be made in order to accommodate them in our house.  We will have to clean out all the meat products, even chicken broth.  We will have to wipe down the whole refrigerator.  We will have to buy all new pots, pans, utensils, bowls, and plates because the ones we have now have all touched meat.  This is no laughing matter.

And then there is a problem of weather.  They want to come in mid-June and leave in early August.  That is when the weather is the most overcast and cold in our area.  They complained about being cold the last time they were in town when the temperature down in the south bay was in the 70s.  They had their down jackets on all the time.  They are used to the weather at least in the 80s if not 90s.  I don’t know how they will survive in the 50s and 60s weather.  Turn on the heater, perhaps?

And then there is me and them.  I think that it’s a wonderful thing they are willing to come visit.  Bob lives with my mom for about six months of the year. Although my mom is the most considerate person, it is still a third party in this household of two.  So it takes a big person to be able to live peacefully with a mother-in-law for such a long stretch of time.  He has been doing that since we got married five years ago.  Now his parents are only here for 7 weeks.  I should be able to deal, right?  I truly hope so.  Bob usually does not come home until 8 something at night.  I am usually home by 6pm.  I will have to entertain my in-laws for two hours every night alone.  I mean, I should treat this as an opportunity to get to know them and learn how to make some South Indian food.  But it is still a little worrisome for me that I will be alone with them.

Another semi-worry is that my in-laws have only speculations about our infertility but do not actually know anything solid about our journey so far.  Given how unsupportive they have been of our marriage, it is difficult to share with them our need for fertility treatment.  I can’t imagine sharing with them about using donor eggs to get pregnant.  I know that it is highly likely that their visit will coincide with our next donor egg cycle.  It takes time to find a new donor and to start a cycle.  If we ever travel out of town for a cycle, then it’d be very hard to cover up why we have to go.  Bob was very nice.  He offered to tell his parents to postpone the trip until later this year or next year, but I told him not to because really, we cannot put off living life and other things just because we have to make a baby, right?  My mother-in-law had not really talked about us having a baby until a couple of months ago.  Since then, she started talking about it weekly and is obviously concerned about my age.  I don’t know what will happen when she is physically here and if this talk of baby and my age will come up.  I will deal with it when it comes.

But then, a few weeks ago, my best friend of 30 years who lives overseas told me that she wanted to come visit in the summer with her husband and my goddaughters.  The last time she came was before she gave birth to her oldest daughter.  That was years ago.  I got all excited about their visit and totally planned on taking two weeks off to go places with them.  They would stay with us, of course.  I knew that my in-laws would come in June and leave by early August.  I was really hoping that my best friend could come mid-August so I could have both my in-laws’ and her visits this summer.  Last week, she notified me that due to the girls’ school schedule, they could only come the first two weeks in July.  My heart sank as that coincides with my in-laws’ visit.  I told her that I would ask Bob to negotiate for his parents to come a bit later.  I know that his father has some religious rituals he has to do in September but I know that it is not until mid-September.  Maybe they could be flexible and move their dates.  My best friend hesitated and asked if it was a good idea to even ask.  I was thinking, asking doesn’t hurt, right?

Wrong.  Bob asked.  He asked really nicely.  Just a suggestion and if it didn’t work out, my best friend’s family could come in 2017.  His parents were actually very upset that he even dared to ask.  His dad was screaming at him saying that he would have ten thousand things to do when he goes back home in August.  How dare him that he even opened his mouth to ask.  Then his mother yelled at him for asking.  She thought that they were the elders that should not have been asked to accommodate just a friend.  In my opinion, a simple “No” should suffice.  It didn’t have to lead to drama.

My best friend was right.  It wasn’t a good idea to ask.  I guess I was using my own mentality and was thinking that my parents would have accommodated if someone made such a request.  Oh well, my best friend and I will plan a trip for her to come next summer so we can all go visit Alcatraz, Monterey, and other places that her daughters really wants to visit.  It boggles my mind that nobody comes to visit for all these years and all of a sudden they all want to come visit at the same time.

How did Bob turn out to be such a good soul?  After all, he was raised by his parents who have such narrow world views.  I don’t know.  But I am grateful that my husband doesn’t think the way his parents think.  I don’t hold it against my in-laws.  I know that it’s hard to change.  I just feel bad that my husband got yelled at because of me.

So yeah, I don’t get to see my best friend here in the States this year.  And I hope that my in-laws will have a good visit.  A lot of prayers are necessary for me and Bob to have tremendous love and patience for his parents.

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18 thoughts on “MicroblogMondays: In-Laws and Best Friend

  1. I agree with patientsubfertility- you are a better woman than me to have in-laws in the house for 7 weeks! I was happy that my MIL was gone after we spent a week vacationing together. But that’s great that they are finally making the trip out. Do you think they would be upset at both the infertility issues and the donor eggs or just the donor eggs? If you think it’s just the later then maybe clue them into the fertility issues but they don’t have to know (yet) that you will be using donor eggs. If you have to go out of town maybe the best clinic is the out of town clinic and that is why you are going there.

    I’m sorry that Bob got yelled at about asking them to move their trip back. That’s so ridiculous.

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  2. There’s a reason why I’m buying a house with an in-laws suite. You know I was laughing heartily when I read the comment about the down coats in 60 degree weather. When my MIL was here, I insisted that she didn’t need a down coat when it was 70–60 yes, 70 no. I am sorry that they were so bratty when Bob tried to bring up changing the dates and now you can’t see your friend. Navigating cross cultural in-law issues can be so challenging. Vent anytime you need to–I get it.

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  3. What if your mother in law is coming partly to figure out what is going on with her lack of grandchildren from her only son? Given her recent surge of interest in that (and this visit). I don’t want to be negative when you seem so hopeful for this visit to work out. But they seem to have zero respect or even love for you or your husband. Will she go through your stuff, or your trash, when they visit? Will they expect to sleep in your room? What effect will this have on your stress levels? I know you work to remain calm in these cycles and are really successful at that and it is important to you. To be honest, it sounds like you have very little to lose by asking them to wait until 2017 (they already cut you off for a period and you all survived)… and even your husband is offering. I know you said ‘life must go on in face of making a baby’– but was THIS the sort of life event one pictures? A 7 week visit from in laws that have treated you so horribly in the past? I know you say that your mother stays a lot with you, but she treats your husband with respect and love, right? It is just not comparable.
    Protect yourself and your marriage and your stress levels. Put yourself first and this crappy relationship way down the list.
    Alternatively, sign up for a step class and/or Bible study and/or volunteer gig that goes from 6-8 pm every single night your husband works.

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    • Ahhh, I’m so with Martha on this. I can totally understand why you’re hoping and praying it will work out – you sound like a lovely, thoughtful person – but I am scared for you that they just aren’t going to be as nice as you’re hoping. They have previous. They’ve already been super unwelcoming to you and even cut off their own son for a while – I hate to be a pessimist, but what’s to say that they’ll suddenly be nice and thoughtful for SEVEN WEEKS?!

      Infertility and going through treatments is super stressful at the best of times, let alone when hosting people in your own home who’ve treated you badly in the past. You both sound so nice and hopeful that it will work out, but I’m with Martha here in thinking that it’s going to put an awful lot of stress on your marriage. I hope I’m wrong – I hope they’ve realised the error of their ways and are coming over to show support – but please, if you go along with it, have some sort of way out and contingency if they start being mean. You don’t deserve it. The two of you need to look after the two of you. Xx

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  4. I can see that there is a lot you have to do before they come. I would say, take it easy and don’t stress too much. It is difficult to please already-not-so happy-in-laws. I would never explain anything about the baby-journey if I were in your place. Spend some quality time with them to see what they really like/dislike. Winning their heart sometimes is difficult, but at least they get a chance to know that how much lucky their son is to have you!

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  5. I’m with the previous commenter. I’d keep absolutely quiet about fertility issues or even baby intentions. Make sure your husband is on board with that too. It’s going to be tough enough navigating in-law/cross-cultural differences. Learn a few deep breathing/meditation techniques that you might have to use when they’re there.

    On the bright side, at least they’re coming into YOUR home, and will need to respect that, and respect you. I think that might make it easier than otherwise.

    I suspect too that they will be a bit nervous about it all too, if that’s any comfort.

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  6. sending you lots of positive thoughts and vibes! i moved to india after marrying an indian guy, so i totally understand 😛 do as much as you are comfortable with, but totally give yourself the space you need. it’s great that they are coming, and they will eventually go back.. breathing and meditation techniques are a great idea 🙂

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  7. More and more prayers! We lived with my in-laws for a month when we were working on our house and it was actually wonderful even though I dreaded it. I find it hard to say that hopefully their visit will be wonderful instead of horrible, but I do hope it won’t be as bad as it could be. I think the idea of having a class in the evening is really good, just in case it goes really badly.

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  8. I’m sorry they yelled at your husband but I understand it’s a different culture and they are probably very set in their ways. Sending you strength for the 7 weeks. If anything, I’m sure you’ll be guaranteed some awesome home cooked food!

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  9. Ummm. Honestly, people who treat my husband and I that poorly wouldn’t be staying in my home for seven days, much less seven weeks.

    I hope Bob stands up for you and insists they treat you with respect! None of that ‘that’s just how they are’ nonsense.That’s the only way I’d be able to get through.

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