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Bil/cosister.....and......dh/me!!

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by kalyani2009, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. kalyani2009

    kalyani2009 New IL'ite

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    Hello Ladies:

    First, I will give a brief introduction of our family and extended family before telling you my issues.

    We are a family of 4. Dh and I with 2 kids live in US. Inlaws in India.
    Dh has a elder brother and elder sister all married with kids.
    Elder brother in US and Sister in India.

    Now, BIL has a huge house 5 bedroom and basement and we live in an apartment since we have plans to return back for good. Whenever holiday season comes BIL calls us to come over with kids. It is always we who will have to visit them. They say since we have house, basement and yard lot of space for kids to play around and also for us. Each family can have their own bedrooms etc. Is it fair for us to drive 12 hrs every holiday season and they never visit us only because our house is small. We have a community park, swimming pool here too and dh and I try to entertain them as best as we can. We consider ourselves as good hosts and the proof is our friends circle here. In 10 yrs it is only 2 times they visited us in spite of our repeated requests. It is we who have to go to them.
    Is that fair??

    Next, whenever we go like thanksgiving holidays it will not be only our 2 families. There will a whole bunch of their friends always especially in thanksgiving dinner too. I really don't like that. What is the point when they are always surrounded by their friends and talk about their work, their issues etc etc. When they came rarely our friends disturb us like that. Our friends don't even call us for something needed urgently and later we feel bad they hesitated to ask help because BIL family was here and we might get disturbed. BIL and co-sister brag about their friends always and tell how they can maintain good friendship while they doubt whether we have good friends or not. Are they being just courteous to their friends but we are feeling left out?

    When we are visiting also we have to be extra extra careful since they both are cleanliness freaks. One time my kids ran with a bowl of rice to sit in the living room since they were watching some cartoons and BIL asked me whether I taught them to sit at the table and eat or not....very sarcastically as though I am from a uncivilised family.
    BIL and co sister are both working FT. They have good high paying jobs. They keep telling us all the time about their colleugues, office problem and how smartly they tacked it etc. Here, dh works FT while I stay home.
    Cosister even asked me how I can stay home all the time? I have my US citizenship but then it is my choice to stay home and dh is OK with it.
    They say their kids are more well mannered because they have been going to day care and they have been taught good manners etc. Are they right?
    My kids are not devils either though they are a naughtier than my BIL's. I try to correct them but taking such remarks is hard.
    Even my inlaws compare my kids to my BIL's saying "Learn from them"!
    I am not the type who can talk back to inlaws and being the youngest of all in the extended family too they may think I am not showing respect.
    MIL says how hard working cosister is and how succesful son/DIL are and we should emulate them. MIL told me she is not happy I stay home since in US you have more chances to earn and then we can buy a huge house like BIL's. When dh said he has no intention to buy house in US and plans to move back inlaws were clearly not happy.

    I hear sarcastic remarks from BIL and cosister even when I speak in my mother tongue with my kids. Both my kids can fluently converse in my mother tongue and also english. But, BIL makes fun of that.
    What right does he have?
    Even while we are relaxing since it is holidays we need to be properly dressed at their place. They insist we change if their friends are coming over. Are they taking us for granted?
    While in casual conversations also BIL and Cosister want that we agree to all they say. If not they say since they are more educated than me and dh so their level of thinking and ours don't match.
    Is that true or logical?
    This has happened each time we go and dh and I feel bad about this but cannot do anything....or can we? Please tell us. Give your advise and valuable suggestions. How do we deal with BIL, Cosister and inlaws especially when BIL topic comes. Till now I have been silent though I dont like all this.
    Are we allowing them to do this to us?

    Kalyani
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  2. Priya16

    Priya16 IL Hall of Fame

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    kalyani2009,


    When your BIL visits you,you are taking them as primary guests and giving them importance.
    When you guys visit them,you are not primary guests to them.It's about mindssets and giving importance to the people.

    I can very well see your scnario in my lifes too and I very well understand your situation.

    About cleaning, I see lot of difference people whoever living in houses vs apartment.
    Even my husband is also a cleaning freak,he worrys all the time that house get dirty and it's expensive to repair the things.So I always wish to stay in apartment as I may not have much repsonsability on my head.

    It's really upto your guys to go or not.They might be calling you as a curtosy,it may not effect them wether you go or not.It might be a just curtosy call.
    It's really upto your guys to go or not and give a call based on what your mind says.

    All the best.
     
  3. kalyani2009

    kalyani2009 New IL'ite

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    Priya, Thanks for responding.
    I told dh why not we just not go this time. And tell them you have work or something. Dh says it will not work with brother. You know how smartly he carves a path for everything and if I tell it straight then he will get offended and inlaws think we do not respect them. I really really wish I fall sick and that also never happens. I am not good at even pretending. These days, I dont like when holidays come. Even if we say we are planning on vacation like some other place BIL will say OK then let us all go together carrying his bragging along with baggage!!

    kalyani
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  4. Priya16

    Priya16 IL Hall of Fame

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    I don't know how old your kids are.Tell that kids wanted to go some other place like vacation and plan for some vacation or tell some guests are visiting you.
    Or ask him to tell that you are bored with unknown guests in your house and we might be happy just in your house for holidays.Sometimes you need to tell them straight.
     
  5. prettyguns

    prettyguns Silver IL'ite

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    Hi Kalyani,
    You have described your family scenario very well and it shows clearly the difference in lifestyles between your family and your BIL family. Your BIL and his wife are trying to portray themselves as "highly successful Americans of Indian origin". They want to portray themselves as classy, friendly and stylish. Hence the invitations for your family to visit them for Thanksgiving every time claiming they have a bigger home, trying to rub off their rules on your family etc. This "high class" attitude accounts for them not visiting your home since they do not want to be seen in their brother's small home in front of their high society circles (sorry for being very frank). It also accounts for all the dominating behavior they are showing towards you - asking you to go to work, asking your kids to behave properly etc.
    Each family is unique in character and expecting your family to behave like theirs is not realistic. Your in-laws would obviously support and appreciate them since they are portraying the picture of a successful and perfect family.
    There is nothing that you can do about this other than to ignore them and their behavior. You are an individual and a mother in your own right and nobody has any right to dictate to you how to go about your duties - they can only give opinions and it it up to you to take it or not. From your description, I gather that you meet them only once or twice a year, so I am sure you can easily tolerate their presence during such meetings and ignore them totally. The proverb "ignorance is bliss" is totally appealing in this scenario since if you were to take up a fight with them, it is going to turn nasty for an issue which is not critical to your life that revolves around your DH and kids.
    Hope this helps.
    Regards
    Preethi
     
  6. lotusgirl

    lotusgirl Senior IL'ite

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    Hi..'
    I agree its a delicate situation you guys are in. But atleast from your post i understand and you and DH are on the same page and prefer not to go there for all the holidays.

    About whos rigth and wrong for each of the points given, why go into that? your way of managing things are different from theirs. They might not be able to accept it, but atleast you can accept the differences to yourself and just ignore the comments. Some of the things they expect from you, we do it too, but they have no right to be sarcastic about it.

    Yes, i do think they are taking you for granted. Them not coming over, i guess they are thinking more practically and they dont want to adjust their lifestyle for a holiday. Now its your turn to decide whats best for your family. Do you want to spend all your available holidays adjusting?
    Have your BIL in any way stopped you guys from going on your won vacation? Then , why dont you do taht this time? Go somewhere as a family. Book your vacations and then tell BIL. Since you guys are planning to return to India, dont you want to see around the places?
    yes it might cause some unpleasantness initially, but its much better to face that now and enjoy your time , rather than suffer in silence and resent them all your life.
     
  7. kalyani2009

    kalyani2009 New IL'ite

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    Thanks Pretty and lotusgirls for your responses. I am constantly looking forward for advise and suggestions , so please keep posting.
    Ladies, your responses mean a lot to me since we have only one week before the holidays start.

    Lotus girl, 1.Though me and dh are on the same page, but dh cannot really assert thing his way when it comes to his brother. His brother is very smart in making us do things his way.

    2. No I have not asked this to anyone till now. I want to know what ILites think.

    3. BIL will not stop us but will tag along and expect us to behave like his family. He will start telling my kids and us how to behave and they will both exchange looks if we do not do it their way as though we are country folks!
    He will infact spend money for us too and take to expensive restaurants and buy fancy things for kids but I don't like his bragging and tagging all the time. He will say only if we go together our kids will bond and we should do it once or twice every year. Good idea! Now to which place have you booked your tickets??:bonk

    kalyani
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  8. Drpreethis

    Drpreethis Gold IL'ite

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    YES ! That is the only answer to ALL your woes, kalyani !

    If both you and husband are feeling bad about the tantrums, time to put them in their places !

    Kids do get naughty, if all they wanted is well behaved kiddos at home.. then, probably you folks can sty back at your place.

    May I ask you.. Dont you have friends ? Being a citizen here, you must have stayed here for a long time.. You must surely have a huge group yourself isnt ? The next holiday, make sure you plan muc in advance a nice trip with your friends and keep mum. When your BIL calls to invite you to his school of discipline, turn him down and say So, sorry, we have other plans ! Now, if he is going to say, where you going and that they will join you.. Humbly refuse and tell them, NO. it is just between friends ! Does he get nosier and ask you " WHO " the freinds are ? Snub him and tell, " YOU DONT KNOW THEM ! We will meet you the next time or let us see.

    It neednt be religiously practiced to keep going to relatives house every holidays ! Go out on your own and tell them it is between friends or whatever. It is none of their business.

    You need to be blunt here, kalyani. You simply cant say, I am timid and not the type who talks back when I am insulted. If you are, then you need to not crib too ! Both should go hand in hand. Being blunt and letting them know , you should stop nonsense like, wondering how you can sit at home, OR wether you taught the kiddos manners OR mocking you when the kids talk in the native language !!

    You should immidietely retort saying - You dont care how they bring up their kids, but you insist your kiddos know their mother tongue . They learn english in school and talk the native language at home. You and hubby are happy. You dont bring up kids according to someone else's kids, obviously ! You want the kids to speak fluently to every granny in the native, and dont want the granny to learn english at that age ! Laugh loud and disappear ! Ask your husband to giggle with you too !

    See, the trick here is.. you say everything with an amazed look and sarcastic smile. You must have that I-Dont-Care- look all the time when they mock ! But, never get angry and throw a fit !

    But, what they do at their place with their friends, shouldnt be a concern to you. They actually mean no friendship or they have genuiness amongst peers, is entirely their life. Stay away from that.

    Next time, your inlaws tell you about how good your co-sis is, remind they told you this many times.. ! Do they have anything else to speak, No ? Then you will call them some other time. Each time they come around comparing you with the BIL's family, snub the conversation and cut the call. They will eventually get the message. They wouldnt ? Try it, else, you continue snubbing them ! :)

    Avoid going to their houses.. EVERYTIME. Tell them, it is boring to come all the time to their house and they could come to your place too.

    Now, you cannot avoid them completely.. So, learn to develop a sharp tongue and dont keep quite when YOU and YOUR FAMILY are insulted. The rest of the bragging, just seem visually bored and switch conversations. Or JUST ZZZZZZZZZZ.... !

    Take care
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  9. rosegirl

    rosegirl Bronze IL'ite

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    Seriously Kalyani,
    Why would you voluntarily inflict pain and frustration on yourself ?
    Why would you walk into a place where your family is criticized, demeaned and looked down upon. Please grow a spine..

    Why dont your plan holidays with friends ? Just because family is living 12 hours away doest mean you have always spend vacation there. If they care enough let them come to your house and act civil and cordial and keep all their opinion to themselves.
     
  10. kalyani2009

    kalyani2009 New IL'ite

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    Thanks Preethi.
    Yes, we do have friends and the last time we tried something like you said he came up with one like how about we all fly to CA for Disneyworld and from there to LA. Since the one you are planning is something nearby so you can always go there later over some long weekend. OK let me talk to kids. And he will propose this to kids and kids fall for it...naturally!

    Yeah, what you said is right. I need to be blunt....really! This time I am not taking it any more...but with this cunning BIL I need to be extra smart and plan my strategy really well!

    As for the trick you suggested I may try that. But the problem is as soon as he says something like that all my thinking freezes and my brain just does not seem to work anymore....being kind of brain dead! Later I think oh! I should have told this, done that etc etc.

    Priya, kids are 9 and 5 and if we tell that kids want to go on vacation. He is very clever guy. He will say I want to talk to kids and find out or he may even suggest that how about we go somewhere.....very fancy for kids like if we plan some nearby spot he will say LA or Disney world which kids will fall for!!


    Kalyani
     

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