Marital Woes

Discussion in 'The Hens' Nest' started by Rico Suave, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. Comet

    Comet Instigator

    I definitely don't think he recognizes that. I think he believes he is trying to make everyone happy. I texted him this morning that he should tell his mom not to book a place for that week if she hasn't already and that he and I would discuss more tonight.

    I put together a list of boundaries that I think are fair to everyone involved that I plan to go over with him. They're under the spoiler tag if anyone wants to weigh in on them. I'm open to all input, even if it's to tell me I'm being OTT. They are written as if speaking to her, but I don't think we'd actually give her a written list like this.

    -No weeknight visits (m-th) if we have to work the next day
    -Gone no later than 4pm if we have to work the next day
    -No more than 10 visits per year-that is basically 20% of all weekends for the year (weekend trips to <her city> count as visits).
    -visits no more than three days long each
    -No driving with C
    -No bathing until he can sit up on his own reliably
    -No swimming until he has had swim lessons and we are confident in his ability to swim
    -No trips to the beach (stroller walks ok-the must stay strapped in to stroller) without us
    -No forced affection (kisses, goodbye hugs, etc)- C has autonomy over his own body, consent is required
    -No screens (and set phone to vibrate or silent if in our house so Indy doesn't get freaked out)
    -No kissing him on the face or hands
    -Make sure to give him personal space- don't get up in his face
    -Moderate volume and activity level so he doesn't get overstimulated- happens easier than you think
    -No pushing, crying, whining, or guilt trips - no means no, and C is not your emotional support animal - your happiness is your own responsibility, not his or ours
    -No inviting yourself to visit or to events/holidays (or manipulating C to invite you)
  2. nym711

    nym711 THIS IS MY LIFE NOW

    I think that those are reasonable requests, myself.

    So, one of the things that I've been saying to S for so long, and it finally got through to him when the therapist said it to him is that he can't make everyone happy. It finally clicked for him when a neutral third party said this.
    April Ludgate and Comet like this.
  3. whatchyagonnado

    whatchyagonnado Chicken

    Just two thoughts

    1. Does the 10 visits include holidays? What about the weeknight and 4pm rules for holidays? I’d probably flesh that out or make a separate addendum like you’ll allow one weekend before or after Christmas but not both ect. Could just see her or M saying “well Christmas doesn't count!” This sounds like a good idea overall though as just a way for M to monitor how much y’all really are seeing her!

    2. It’ll be a long time before C can truly say yes you can hug me. I’d probably let her ask for a hug from C goodbye (ask you or him depending on age) with the caveat if he ever pulls away or says no when she asks (once he can even non-verbally say no) then she doesn’t get one. That may be what you meant! Agree on kissing though- that weirds me out.
    Comet likes this.
  4. deet

    deet Chicken

    I am not sure I completely understand the dynamics between your MIL and your family - but the first thing I thought of is that this sounds like a custody arrangement between two bitter spouses. Like, is this detail necessary? If she's straight up SMOTHERING your family & this is the result, I am not sure boundaries with the baby are where you leap from. I think the boundaries start with you and your husband.
  5. CoolWife

    CoolWife Chicken

    Each individual request is reasonable to at least some extent. But all together, it’s... a lot.
  6. Comet

    Comet Instigator

    Yes, but the 4pm only applies when we have work the next day. RE your #2 - I definitely see what you're saying. That one I could table for now, but bodily autonomy and consent are very important to me and definitely an area I could see us having issues with her. But yeah, definitely if he signals that he's not into a hug or whatever, I want her to recognize and respect that.

    @deet I guess I saw these as boundaries for us AND rules for when she's with the baby if that makes sense? Like, M, this is the maximum amount of contact I'm comfortable having with your mom. I guess there are really two main issues at play here that I'm trying to address - her smothering and me being uncomfortable with her caring for C, especially alone.

    To clarify, I definitely don't intend to hand her that list. I don't think she even needs to know some of the things - like 10 visits per year and a max of 3 days at a time, for example. I would expect M to manage that whenever we are making arrangements for her to visit by offering that we are available the this weekend or that weekend in the next couple of months if she'd like to visit. And "Oh, we need to start prepping for our week by 4pm on Sunday by the way" type of thing. Or something like "hosting guests on weeknights doesn't really work for us right now with C's schedule and all we need to get done for the next day." Still too much though?
  7. moose

    moose RINGWORM GIRL :(

    I think some of them are similar. Kissing o the face, forced affection, autonomy over his own body can all be grouped together. The other ones related to safety can all be grouped as well. I think when they’re grouped, it seems less demanding and overwhelming.
    A. Ham, Comet and nym711 like this.
  8. MagnificentCat

    MagnificentCat Chicken

    I think the 10 visits per year/20% of weekends should go. It’s not unreasonable but it’s going to become a point of contention that distracts from everything else, like: so she can have 30 days under this so why can’t she come for 6 days from June 1-6 since she’s busy in April and May?
    ClamJam and Comet like this.
  9. Comet

    Comet Instigator

    That info was there to show M what it adds up to so he can see that it is pretty significant. I definitely wouldn't relay that to her. The list I made is really for M and I to agree on a plan with her that we both find reasonable. I haven't really gotten to how it is communicated to her/enforced.

    But also, I don't think I can handle 6 days of almost any guest in a row and definitely not when I have to go to work several of those days.
  10. moose

    moose RINGWORM GIRL :(

    I think if it’s not directly said to her, it’s a good compromise of time. I really hope M agrees to all of this. It’s good middle of the road planning.
    April Ludgate, nym711 and Comet like this.
  11. Comet

    Comet Instigator

    Yeah, sorry...that wasn't clear. This list is just for M and I to discuss so we can come to an agreement on how to handle her. We probably wouldn't explicitly state any of it to her ever, except the rules for C (and those more diplomatically than how they are written there). I typed those up quickly in a note on my phone this morning as I got ready so it's a pretty rough draft.
  12. MagnificentCat

    MagnificentCat Chicken

    I assumed that it was just for you and M. I still worry that since he’s so used to lobbying for her and is fine with her staying longer times that it will still be a sticking point.

    I don’t know, friend. This is so messy. On one hand you’d think the overarching issues would be simple: C’s safety, needs, and personhood are always more important than her feelings. But then implementation becomes “but what if this, what if that...”
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  13. moose

    moose RINGWORM GIRL :(

    I just want to add that it can’t always be @Comet who is sacrificing her comfort, time, sanity, and happiness. M needs to find some sort of compromise too. I think you’ve sacrificed more than enough and this isn’t healthy.
    April Ludgate, nym711, A. Ham and 3 others like this.
  14. Apples&Oranges

    Apples&Oranges Chicken

    I think it's great that you are trying to figure out some boundaries that you feel comfortable with. I'm not you, but I do feel like you are BEC, and I'm not sure with M will feel these things are compromises. 10 visits in a year doesnt seem like many, even if you consider that it's 20% of weekends. And who keeps track of that? You write it on a calendar and tally it up? Do you think stipulating that no weeknights/not after 4, and maybe one weekend a month/not more than 3 days might help curtail it without sounding like you are deliberately keeping count?

    Rules about the swimming and driving and such- all fair, but do you think that needs to be part of this specific conversation, or do you think it can just come up as needed?

    Also curious about the kissing on the hands and face- is that just because of germs or some other reasoning? She antivac? I'm not super close to my MIL, but I feel like it would be really strange and kind of insulting for me to limit that sort of contact as she is family, close family, and that's the kind of boundary I would enforce to acquaintances. Even if you are not close to her, I imagine that you hope C will be? I understand consent, and that's fair. But talking about what that looks like in an infant (like if he is averting his eyes, moving his face away, or starts reaching for you while she is holding him, etc) might be more a more productive conversation right now.

    I really do hope you guys have a productive talk tonight and that you can both feel comfortable. It's such a stressful situation :sad: good luck tonight!
    Lucyinthesky and Comet like this.
  15. whatchyagonnado

    whatchyagonnado Chicken

    @Comet if M doesn’t want a set # of days or visits you could also see if he would be into a veto system. Like, you get three vetos a year- no questions asked and no negotiations, you have final no power. He also gets three yeses a year where he can approve a visit w/o discussion (visit still has to be under X days and at least X days/weeks notice). Everything else has to be a discussion/compromise. You could then add other hard stops like no travel week of Christmas or what have you as you feel its needed.
  16. moose

    moose RINGWORM GIRL :(

  17. hellohelloagain

    hellohelloagain Chicken

    I agree with others, a set number of visits per year seems like a hard sell.

    Leaving by a set time and a max time for length of visits makes sense and is reasonable to me, but saying 10 visits per year SOUNDS like a very small amount, even if it's not technically?

    I would, instead of putting a set number on it, maybe say something like "once per month" or "at least a month between visits" or something, so it sounds a little softer and thus maybe M might be more open to it?
    Comet likes this.
  18. ClamJam

    ClamJam Chicken

    @Apples&Oranges I was wondering something similar re:kissing. We are a very kissy family, but everyone is vaccinated and skips the smooches when sick, so.

    In terms of the # of visits per year, maybe that is something M keeps track of and the communication to MIL is that all visits are for X# of days or fewer and requested X amount of time in advance? I don't think you want to get into haggling with her over the actual number and instead direct the conversation toward respecting your time.
    Comet likes this.
  19. deet

    deet Chicken

    Okay I think the additional context of this being between you and your husband makes more sense.

    I know it’s probably not ideal since y’all want to talk tonight - but if you guys could get a date night, like a pre baby spot where you can chill and digest this over dinner instead of the stresses of the home front it may help diffuse the feelings and emotions running high from the start.

    A big downside of having a kid (IMO) is that for quite awhile you recognize each other as the other parent, mom and dad, and get far from the partnership you had before. If you can get back to a place where you’re working from the vantage point of hey, we might disagree but we are on the same team, it’ll help a little bit.

    it’s super difficult navigating the first year, and given the health challenges you’ve had on top of everything else any little annoyance turns into a fucking THING and I get that. I wish there were an easy answer. <3
  20. Comet

    Comet Instigator

    This is perfect and what I was really trying to accomplish anyway.

    Re: kissing. Germs are 95% of my concern. The other 5% is that I don't want anyone other than C or M kissing me and I prefer others didn't kiss them. Because weird and also we collectively don't want your germs. But M is an adult so he can make that call himself. C can't so I figure we should err on the side of no until he can. FWIW, I don't let my parents kiss him either.

    You hit the nail on the head. I feel like know I've been a whiny, angry little bitch about literally everything lately. Thank you all for putting up with me and your advice.
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  21. TaterTot

    TaterTot Rulebitch


    You can definitely sit with us.
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  22. Comet

    Comet Instigator

  23. A. Ham

    A. Ham Chicken

    I've been mulling over the 10 visits a year and although it doesn't sound like a lot on paper, if my MIL visited us 10 times a year I would probably have slapped her in the face by now. So I think it's a good benchmark but agree with above that saying 'at least a month between visits' is a gentler way to say it.

    In your view, should she not be kissing her son, even if he is okay with it?
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  24. Comet

    Comet Instigator

    It's not my call - if he's ok with it, then they can do them. I'd just think it was weird.
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  25. A. Ham

    A. Ham Chicken

    Cool--the initial post I quoted came across kind of the opposite, so wanted to clarify!

    I probably wouldn't tell him you think it's weird (not that you seem like you will...), in the interest of keeping it about C and boundaries that have to do with you.