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Dustyblue

My in-laws are coming and I'm starting to panic (total vent)

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Dustyblue

By in-laws I mean my FIL and his current partner.  They live 12 hours' drive away (good news) but they love driving (bad news). 

FIL is a bolshie, booming and offensive man who puts everyone offside. Eg, I refuse to go out for dinner with him anymore in case he makes the teenage wait staff cry (I once followed a poor girl into the kitchen to apologise and stress she'd done nothing wrong- it's just him).

They're staying at a motel down the road but it barely matters- they turn up at whatever time they like in the morning and demand to know the plans for the day. Then they don't want to do anything. We're in a somewhat tourist/beach area with a few good attractions, little museums of what-not, lots of good beaches. Nothing interests them, then they complain they're bored. 

Worse, FIL:

- shows little interest in DS4 (the whole reason for the visit, apparently) and if DS acts up, he says things like 'If you don't shut up you'll get a boot in the bum", lifting his foot. The 1st time that happened I said "Not in this house you won't" and removed myself & DS. That was a while ago...DS is bigger and louder now. Wonder how FIL will react now (gulp).

- FIL is mid-70's and last I saw him he was slipping mentally. Eg, last visit he insisted on ordering takeaway for dinner (at 1pm), then forgot & insisted again, etc. Then he almost ordered 26 dim sum for 4 people and got upset when I corrected him, and on it goes.

- He couldn't find the bathroom in our tiny house, several times. I found him unzipping his pants and trying to open the linen cupboard (thank you, child-proof lock).

Sigh. It's only four days I suppose?? Someone tell me you have 'difficult' in-laws too please?

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*Marty*

Will your DH/DP run roughshod?  Can you make yourself scarce?  Dawdle around the shops?  His parents = his responsibilities...

Otherwise, it will be a slow and painful 4 days but at least its not a week.  You have my sympathies.

The cognitive decline, though, sounds like a concern.  Has your DH observed this?  Are there other siblings to compare notes with?

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Dustyblue

Marty- yes to pretty much everything you just said! You must be a witch.

There is another sibling (my SIL) and we're trying to co-ordinate the burden. But he listens to nobody and does what he likes.

The cognitive decline is a concern and yes everyone has noticed. But given we only see them once/twice a year, I think nobody knows what to do.

Thanks for the hand-hold :)

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*Marty*
3 hours ago, Dustyblue said:

Marty- yes to pretty much everything you just said! You must be a witch.

......

Thanks for the hand-hold :)

Been called that more than once in my life :rofl:

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Ozquoll
Posted (edited)

What is it with some grandfathers having no interest in their grandkids, except telling them off for supposed bad behaviour? My dad, DS's grandfather, is like that. When we visit my Dad, DS gets a hello and a goodbye from him, and the only other words my Dad says to him are (very annoyingly) upping the ante on me if I ask DS not to do something. For example:

Me: DS, please don't touch that again, it is glass and it might break

DS: oh, ok

Dad: that's right, listen to your mother, she'll teach you a lesson if you don't do the right thing!

 

"Teach him a lesson"??! Does he think I flog him or something? And he already WAS listening to me, there's no need to make stupid threats. Grrrr.

 

Sorry OP, I really have no advice on dealing with your FIL, just sympathy!!

Edited by Ozquoll
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Kiwi Bicycle

It's hard when the older person is in denial about dementia setting in. Even harder when the immediate children also are in denial also ( try living with a 90+ year old for two years who definitely had dementia, was overdosing her medication, accusing everyone of stealing from her and for not coming and seeing her, but then refusing to go outside and forgetting that people were visiting. Her conversation ( also being deaf and never putting in her hearing aids) was limited to " what did you have for lunch today?".

You say he has a current partner, are you able to discuss this with them at all? Or are they in denial too? Is there a chance if he's  on a large amount of medication, that it could be exacerbating the memory issues? Could his partner ask his GP to review his medication if he is? I managed to get grandma a bit more under control once DH and I convinced his aunt and uncle to stop buying the 5 diffrent types of vitamins they were giving her and grandma decided she didn't want to take her meds anymore ( after twice double dosing herself) as she thought it was her time to go. She lasted another 3 years after that, a lot calmer.

 

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Islander

I think MOST people don’t know what to do about a relative with signs of cognitive decline! It’s so bloody hard. I always think bringing the topic up is better than leaving it unsaid though. Picking a private, calm time of day without any pressures and one of his children saying “hey Dad, it seems like your memory has been letting you down a bit lately? Is that something you’ve noticed?” and just having the chat. Then they can let him know that it’s a good idea to go to the gp to discuss because there are lots of things they could look at- like medications etc as KB said, as well as just knowing what’s going on/planning for the future, and that they’d be happy to accompany him to the gp if he’d like. It may be he really shuts down the conversation and is terribly hurt, but lots of people I’ve worked with have noticed changes in themselves and feel a bit scared but also don’t know how to bring it up. 

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Dustyblue
Posted (edited)

Thanks for the replies people. As for the cognitive decline- yes, DH has attempted to mention "Dad, you've told me that 3 times now" or similar, as has SIL, but they're used to not bothering to argue with him with he blusters "What are you talking about? I used to run 600 men blah blah...."

His partner is in absolute denial. She's hard to put up with too, haven't even gone into that side of it! She has 11 grandkids of her own, so no interest in mine (fair enough really, she's still nice to him). BUT she's the expert on everything and I do it all wrong of course.

It is possible he's on some medication affecting him mentally I suppose. 

I don't mean to be unsympathetic, we all face a potential mental decline in our future. It's just not my place to do anything (not that I'd know what) and all I can do is suck it up, try not to fight with DH (last time I immaturely took my frustration out on him) and get through it.

Meanwhile they'd better not close the NSW/VIC border this weekend, we'll be stuffed then!

Edited by Dustyblue

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born.a.girl
18 hours ago, Ozquoll said:

What is it with some grandfathers having no interest in their grandkids, except telling them off for supposed bad behaviour? My dad, DS's grandfather, is like that. When we visit my Dad, DS gets a hello and a goodbye from him, and the only other words my Dad says to him are (very annoyingly) upping the ante on me if I ask DS not to do something. For example:

Me: DS, please don't touch that again, it is glass and it might break

DS: oh, ok

Dad: that's right, listen to your mother, she'll teach you a lesson if you don't do the right thing!

 

"Teach him a lesson"??! Does he think I flog him or something? And he already WAS listening to me, there's no need to make stupid threats. Grrrr.

 

Sorry OP, I really have no advice on dealing with your FIL, just sympathy!!

My father was like that - perhaps after having six kids you are so well and truly over it that it grates. Then again he had plenty of other issues. My mother wasn't any better, complaining that the kids left 'tracks' in the carpet with their little matchbox cars.  I kid you not.

My FIL though was fabulous and was the one to have the lowest shelf in the linen press stocked with stuff for the kids.  They all thought the sun shone out of him.   The smile the grandkids put on his face - you'd think he'd won tattslotto.

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born.a.girl
11 hours ago, Islander said:

I think MOST people don’t know what to do about a relative with signs of cognitive decline! It’s so bloody hard. I always think bringing the topic up is better than leaving it unsaid though. Picking a private, calm time of day without any pressures and one of his children saying “hey Dad, it seems like your memory has been letting you down a bit lately? Is that something you’ve noticed?” and just having the chat. Then they can let him know that it’s a good idea to go to the gp to discuss because there are lots of things they could look at- like medications etc as KB said, as well as just knowing what’s going on/planning for the future, and that they’d be happy to accompany him to the gp if he’d like. It may be he really shuts down the conversation and is terribly hurt, but lots of people I’ve worked with have noticed changes in themselves and feel a bit scared but also don’t know how to bring it up. 

It's extremely hard.  I don't know anyone who's gone through it who hasn't experienced the person being in total denial about it.

 

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Dustyblue

I know all about the denial side of it, from my own side of the family. Two of my grandparents have gone down with either alzheimers or dementia. My Nanna just passed this last Anzac Day.

For FIL, not only is the relationship with his adult kids so fractured anyway, but his pre-decline personality and the distance mean a total reluctance to do anything. He does have several medical problems and sees a number of doctors, so perhaps one of them will pick up on it- the usual method of diagnosis and therefore help, in my bit of experience.

Thanks again. 

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Murderino
23 hours ago, Ozquoll said:

What is it with some grandfathers having no interest in their grandkids, except telling them off for supposed bad behaviour?

 

4 hours ago, born.a.girl said:

My FIL though was fabulous and was the one to have the lowest shelf in the linen press stocked with stuff for the kids.  They all thought the sun shone out of him.   The smile the grandkids put on his face - you'd think he'd won tattslotto.

XH’s parents are like this and my kids adore them. His dad particularly loves our kids with every fibre of his being - he was working full time when his older grandkids were young so he’s making the most of the time he has to spend with the youngest two. It’s not that he favours them but they’re of an age where they want to spend heaps of time with him (and can as they don’t have jobs getting in the way) so they have a fantastic relationship.

My mum was like this and my kids would have been spoiled rotten by her if she were still alive - she had so desperately wanted grandchildren that she spent every moment she could with them.

My dad is becoming Ozquoll’s dad. He was like all the other grandparents but he is changing in these last couple of years.

At the weekend my son was wearing my dad’s ugg boots (I’d been wearing them as dad never does and DS nicked them from me) and he found $2 in one. As kids we would have said “finders keepers” and both of our parents would have let us keep that $2.

DS did exactly that - came and said to my sister and I “finders keepers, I’ve got $2 I found in pop’s boot”. My dad heard from the kitchen and came in and said he needed that $2 for bread and had DS hand it over.

So much wrong with how that went down within our family dynamic. 

He never wears the boots so at some point, who knows how long ago, he has hung his pants in the wardrobe and $2 fell from the pocket into them. We know that he has not missed that $2 - he recently told my sister he had to see the financial advisor to move the thousands he hasn’t spent from his fortnightly income into an investment! The man has change all over the house and often gives it to the kids to put in a sealed money box that he intends to give them when it’s full. He can well afford to have let his grandson have that $2 and it become a fun story they had. My sister and I were flabbergasted and she said as much at the time - saying she couldn’t believe Pop had taken that $2.

Then today my sister told me that she had relayed the story to my older sister. At the point where my DS said “finders keepers” my older sister interjected with “yes, he gets to keep it” and when my younger sister didn’t reply my older sister said “no, dad didn’t take it back did he?”.

It is just a small sign of how he has changed over the last couple of years - he is so curmudgeonly now in so many ways.

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Dustyblue

sh*te sh*te sh*te- they are coming a day early, in about 2 hours! 

I haven't cleaned or shopped, I thought I had till tomorrow fgs. I'd usually have all FIL's favourite drinks/snacks etc. Bugger them!

Off to do a blitz-style clean up and stuff the rest.

and it begins..... oy vey

 

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amaza

Just say sorry but they'll need to check into the hotel and you aren't available until tomorrow as per the original plan. 

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Dustyblue

amaza, if only I could.... they will just show up. DH has put the car out the back in the hope they'll think we're not home, and just go check into the motel. 

Even if they do that, they will then just come bang on the door/windows until we let them in. Logic and politeness means nothing to these people!

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SarahBelle48
7 minutes ago, Dustyblue said:

amaza, if only I could.... they will just show up. DH has put the car out the back in the hope they'll think we're not home, and just go check into the motel. 

Even if they do that, they will then just come bang on the door/windows until we let them in. Logic and politeness means nothing to these people!

One time when my FIL came to visit, DH was still at work when he arrived and DD and I were out in the backyard hanging up washing. FIL started peeking through the side gates and then yelled at us to let him in. I may or may not have been hiding out the back to avoid him lol. But unfortunately DD also heard and rushed to let him in.

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amaza

Yeah I just wouldn't answer the door and pretend I'm not home, all night. These people sound like pieces of work.

I say this as someone who has had to try and deal with my own awful FIL. For you it's only 2 or so times a year so I would possibly put up with him while putting in place a whole pile of strict boundaries that he can choose to ignore if he likes but that you can insist are followed (by not answering the door when you say you are unavailable for instance). We ended up removing our family from my FILs toxicity but the visits were far more frequent so that may not be a suitable option for you. I'd definitely stop bowing down to whatever his wishes are though, damned what anybody else is comfortable with.

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TheGreenSheep

Oh my inlaws often don’t come to the front door, they pop up at the Tradie Entrance aka the back sliding door. After I peel myself off of the ceiling due to surprised knock, I graciously let them inside. I think last family member who popped up at the back door I was picking my undies out of my bum. Noice image for them LOL. 

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Evra

Oh dear, I say do what cleaning you can before they arrive, and then take yourself, and DS too if practical, on a loooong shopping trip to get all the supplies!

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Sancti-claws

I would just say "sorry, the memo was that you were coming tomorrow - give us a call after midday tomorrow and we will get together".

I know you can't, but I can't stand the self-focus of such people.

Good luck.

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Dustyblue

Thank you all, for making me laugh! 

It's been dire. They stayed late last night, then got strident with DS for being overtired. FIL roared for me to put him to bed, but DS did me proud and said 'You go home now.' And kept saying it (good boy)

They both keep pretending to kick or slap him, which makes my blood angry, but I'm being very calm so as not to upset DS further.

I've supposedly got an hour before they're back for dinner. Front door is locked and wine about to be opened!!!

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Not Escapin Xmas

Hang in there!! And post every awful thing they do so we can commiserate with you and keep your spirits up.

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22Fruitmincepies

Oh that’s awful. Surely you and your DS have a sudden need to visit an ailing aunt somewhere? 

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TheGreenSheep
57 minutes ago, Dustyblue said:

Thank you all, for making me laugh! 

It's been dire. They stayed late last night, then got strident with DS for being overtired. FIL roared for me to put him to bed, but DS did me proud and said 'You go home now.' And kept saying it (good boy)

They both keep pretending to kick or slap him, which makes my blood angry, but I'm being very calm so as not to upset DS further.

I've supposedly got an hour before they're back for dinner. Front door is locked and wine about to be opened!!!

You are a better person than me, I would be telling them to pull their heads in and cut that right out. Enjoy your wine 🍷

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MoreCoffeePlease
1 hour ago, Dustyblue said:

Thank you all, for making me laugh! 

It's been dire. They stayed late last night, then got strident with DS for being overtired. FIL roared for me to put him to bed, but DS did me proud and said 'You go home now.' And kept saying it (good boy)

They both keep pretending to kick or slap him, which makes my blood angry, but I'm being very calm so as not to upset DS further.

I've supposedly got an hour before they're back for dinner. Front door is locked and wine about to be opened!!!

If someone pretended to kick

or slap my kids there is no way I would let them back in the house!!!

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