Personality Cafe banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
337 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My husband is an ESTJ. His parents usually visit us two or three times a year, and have stayed as long as three weeks:shocked:, but usually stay anywhere from 8 days to two weeks. My husband has a job that requires long days and usually gets home at about 8:00pm, so he spends very little time with them when they're here. I work part time and have kids to cart around to lessons and appointments, and I cook dinner every night. I stay busy. And, of course, INFP that I am, I need substantial time alone. And I just can't relax knowing there are people in the house who think I'm "hiding" from them when I spend an hour in my room.

It drives me absolutely insane to come home from work to guests in my house. They totally take it over - they cook large meals, using all my cookware and tupperware, do my laundry while I'm at work (which is a disaster waiting to happen, as there are things I don't put in the drier and my MIL dries everything on HOT - not to mention that I don't care to have my MIL folding my underwear) and just generally live like they do in their own home. And chit-chat incessantly.

If I suggest outings, they don't want to go. ("Oh, that's okay, we'd rather just hang around here.") If I suggest going out to eat, my MIL cooks instead ("Oh, there's not need for that, I'll be happy to cook.").

We spend every Thanksgiving and Christmas with them (at their house) plus one visit in the summer, so it's not like we don't see them. (They live several hundred miles away.) A couple of years ago they were at our house for a total of two months out of the year, not including the time we spent at their house. (And, as for visiting them, I feel that situation is out of my hands and is between them and my husband - they love hosting houseguests, so what they do in their own home is, to me, unrelated to what I prefer in mine. )

My husband is mad at me for finally standing up for myself and telling him I can't do the long visits anymore. I'm willing to host them for four nights, and that's it. My husband doesn't lift a finger to help prepare the house for them, and doesn't spend more than an hour or two in the evenings with them, and a lot of the time they don't even talk, they just sit and read together.

Am I justified to feel taken advantage of, or am I "too emotional" and "wrong" to feel this way?:confused: It's beginning to cause problems in our marriage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
520 Posts
I don't mind having houseguests if they're the kind that are self-sufficient and don't need me around to entertain them every moment. Basically, the kind that are just part of the family and act like another family member (except without the chores :p ).

If they're the kind where I feel like I need to be around them to entertain them every moment, then it quickly becomes stressful and I don't like to do it for more than a sleepover or maybe two nights. In your situation, taking over the house would make me unhappy as well. It's kind of like someone picking up a piece of my artwork and start rearranging the pieces.

In fact, I don't like to be a houseguest because I can't relax - I have to help out as much as possible, be constantly appreciative, etc.

In fact, it sounds like your houseguests are like this. They don't want to be a burden on you, so they do laundry, and cook, and don't want you to feel like you have to take them out to eat, etc.

Try to compromise the situation by talking to your husband about reducing the length of the stays (somewhere between two weeks and four days). Then - also talk to the houseguests! Explain to them that while you'd gladly accept help from them on occassion, and with permission, you want them to enjoy their stay, so please don't do all these chores. And when it comes to going out, tell them that staying in another city is pointless if they don't go out and see it. Please, I have a really good restaurant I want to show you. Here's a local sight that is cool. Basically, make them feel like its what you want to do when you ask about going out, and assure them its no burden, you enjoy being able to take them places, etc.

It's easy enough to explain to them you need some alone time and rest - If they're good people, they'll understand (and from this it seems like none of the issues come from weather they're good people). You can even tell them you need a nap or need to catch up on reading - and it has nothing to do with them.

And when you prepare for them, ask your husband to help out with a couple things (Do you mind tidying the guest room? Do you mind doing this or that?) and maybe ask him to take him parents out so you can get alone time (Hey, why don't you spend some time with your parents without me in the way? Take them to a restaurant this evening after work or something). Or even let the parents take the kids to spend time with their grandchildren.

The point is, I'm sure the houseguests are reasonable and there are several solutions to make their stays easier on you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
337 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
They really are nice people, but my MIL is the type who will only enjoy her visit if she is allowed to do the chores. She doesn't want to be treated as a guest, because she's FAMILY. She lives to cook and take care of family. Having said that, they really don't spend much time with my kids, either. The kids are busy with school and friends, and doing whatever teenagers do. They see the grandparents at mealtimes.

The way I was raised, guests would never be asked to do chores, which I'm sure is part of the reason it freaks me out. I just really feel like my home becomes theirs (and not mine) when they're here. Displaced. I live far away from my own family as well, and never expected, needed, or wanted, help with running my household and raising my children. So I always feel like my boundaries are being crossed (ignored, trampled) when all these things are being done in the name of being helpful. Nobody asks permission, they just step in and take over my life.

The only solution I really want is shorter, less frequent visits, but my husband doesn't want to rock the boat and would rather have me mad than upset his parents. ("They're only trying to make you happy!")
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
520 Posts
Oh, I imagined the kids were much younger.

I still think the real solution needed here is still talking to the houseguests, because its not the length of the visits that bother you so much as what the visits are like. Of course, you can also shorten the visits a little to make it less stressful on everybody.

Tell them you understand they want to help, but you would also feel guilty having them help. I think they might understand that, and you can compromise and have them help some (like help cook dinner, or pick up afterwards, or allow them to help themselves to breakfast), but draw the line at doing laundry or cleaning the house. That way they're able to help out without actually running the place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
337 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Well, my problem, aside from the long visits themselves, is that my husband knows how I feel, but is totally without sympathy. He's home so little he doesn't have to deal with it the way I do, and since they're his parents, he has a comfort level with them that I don't. I honestly don't think he could imagine himself in the same position, having to entertain my parents without me present, for weeks at a time.
He has been known to bemoan the fact that I don't reveal my feelings to him enough, yet when my feelings are different from his, he gets angry.
I feel it's his responsibilty to tell his parents to shorten their visits. It's my responsibilty to deal with my parents. That way we appear to be, if not exactly a united front, putting the spouse first. That we care about how the other feels and are not going to let anyone come between us.
I'm not throwing a tantrum and stomping my feet and demanding an end to all visits. I just want four days instead of one, two, or three weeks. I feel like I'm throwing a dinner party every night they're here, with my husband nowhere around to be the buffer I need.
I'm trying to set boundaries and take care of myself, and he has actually told me my feelings regarding houseguests are wrong. Not different from his feelings - wrong.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,721 Posts
I'm an ISFJ, and I would be driven absolutely insane if I was in your situation...my type is supposed to love hosting guests, but I know it's not true for me!


I don't think you're wrong at all for feeling what you feel. While I think there always needs to be compromise in any marriage, it has to go both ways...not just you.

Your husband may be mad at you for standing up for yourself, but that's probably just because he's not used to it. What I would do is keep on standing up to him and don't back down. Because he's a T, you'll have to explain to him logically why it's such a problem for you. Be blunt in saying how much you hate it and how much extra work and stress it's caused you, and that you've already done your part in compromising by dealing with it at all.

To be honest, reading his responses make me mad (though of course, I'm only hearing your side of it). I feel like your are being taken advantage of. ESTJ or not, if he really cares about you, he should listen when something is truly bothering you and not simply tell you that you're wrong.

The things that are popping up in my head are rude behaviors that I don't want to suggest because I wouldn't want you to damage your marriage...but it just frustrates me when someone doesn't listen at all, it makes me want to take matters into my own hands and do things that they wouldn't like, just to prove a point.

But I will say...if it truly gets to the point where it's deeply bothering you and he's completely unwilling to budge, you may just have to talk to your relatives directly, even if you don't feel like you should have to. Be polite, but also be honest with them about how much stress it causes you when they visit, and that you would be much more comfortable if the visits were shorter. If doing that makes your husband mad, tell him too bad, it made you mad when he didn't listen to you.


Anyway, you can take my advice with a grain of salt...I mainly just wanted to say that from hearing your side of the story, I don't think you're at fault at all, and that there's nothing wrong with feeling the way you do!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,156 Posts
"Fish and guests begin to smell in three days."
-Ben Franklin


Even this is too long for me, unless they are very self-contained, and use my house primarily as a place to sleep and nothing else. They would need be scarce when I was home, especially if I were working on something. I also hate being a guest. I can never shake the feeling of obligation, that I am a burden.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,682 Posts
People give in different ways. ESTJs and their like are givers too, and love to show hospitality. For introverts, often we can give as often as others, but not our sanctuaries. It could be called selfish, but it's also a need. You're not wrong nor emotional for this, as I have the same need and I am INTJ.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
My husband is an ESTJ. His parents usually visit us two or three times a year, and have stayed as long as three weeks:shocked:, but usually stay anywhere from 8 days to two weeks. My husband has a job that requires long days and usually gets home at about 8:00pm, so he spends very little time with them when they're here. I work part time and have kids to cart around to lessons and appointments, and I cook dinner every night. I stay busy. And, of course, INFP that I am, I need substantial time alone. And I just can't relax knowing there are people in the house who think I'm "hiding" from them when I spend an hour in my room.

It drives me absolutely insane to come home from work to guests in my house. They totally take it over - they cook large meals, using all my cookware and tupperware, do my laundry while I'm at work (which is a disaster waiting to happen, as there are things I don't put in the drier and my MIL dries everything on HOT - not to mention that I don't care to have my MIL folding my underwear) and just generally live like they do in their own home. And chit-chat incessantly.

If I suggest outings, they don't want to go. ("Oh, that's okay, we'd rather just hang around here.") If I suggest going out to eat, my MIL cooks instead ("Oh, there's not need for that, I'll be happy to cook.").

We spend every Thanksgiving and Christmas with them (at their house) plus one visit in the summer, so it's not like we don't see them. (They live several hundred miles away.) A couple of years ago they were at our house for a total of two months out of the year, not including the time we spent at their house. (And, as for visiting them, I feel that situation is out of my hands and is between them and my husband - they love hosting houseguests, so what they do in their own home is, to me, unrelated to what I prefer in mine. )

My husband is mad at me for finally standing up for myself and telling him I can't do the long visits anymore. I'm willing to host them for four nights, and that's it. My husband doesn't lift a finger to help prepare the house for them, and doesn't spend more than an hour or two in the evenings with them, and a lot of the time they don't even talk, they just sit and read together.

Am I justified to feel taken advantage of, or am I "too emotional" and "wrong" to feel this way?:confused: It's beginning to cause problems in our marriage.
Your really dont have a problem in your hands.. I had houseguests over for 6 days in a row.. 6 people! Not even blood relation or in-laws.. just friend..
1. to begin with..they didnt tell me they were 6, I was prepared for 4.. they decided to bring their parents too..
2. i had to cook 3 meals a day for 8
3. they didnt help me with any household chores..
4. they'd be on my PC without even letting me know or asking permission (i have a lot of personally stuff there..)
6. there was this MIL-DIL duel going on... and the DIL wouldn't really do anything for the parents.. being a good host, making them comfortable was my duty too..
7. I even had to their laundry.. underwear included!

At least you have in-laws as house guests who are self-sufficient, ready to do household work and also offer to do your laundry..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
208 Posts
I find houseguests extremely annoying too. I still live with my parents, so I've never really hosted anything, but whenever I meet up with a friend, I prefer going to their house instead of them coming to me.

Also, whenever a friend of my parents' comes over, my ESTJ brother usually sits and talks with them at least for a little while, whereas I just hide in my room the entire time and even take the necessary precaution of preparing myself some food to eat while they are there in case I get hungry, so that I won't have to go to the kitchen to get something and risk running into them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
337 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Actually, them doing the laundry was part of the problem. I'm an adult with a job and children - I don't need houseguests washing my underwear. I think that's a huge invasion of privacy. I would never dream of going to my in-laws' house and gathering up their dirty laundry and doing it for them. That's just way out of line. Help isn't help if you don't ask for it and don't want it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
623 Posts
I feel that...... I like people to feel at home when they're in my house, but I don't want them to feel TOO at home, because I really like my personal space and don't want them to feel comfortable enough to invade it. So there is this really careful balance and limit to how much I can put up with.

I remember when I once had my best friend sleep over, I left her in the morning and went to uni - and then I got a text from her saying that she had folded up my washing and put it in my room - THE VERY THING THAT PISSES ME OFF.

It makes me feel really harsh and complicated - but my space is MY SPACE. If I were you....... I think I would have literally gone mad, so well done for putting up with it this much. Maybe you just need to set some ground rules for yourself? When you will put your foot down e.g.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,636 Posts
You've mentioned things like this in your marriage before, where you seem to totally adapt yourself and feel guilty for ever putting a toe out of line or saying a word to the contrary.... is your marriage satisfying or healthy for you? would you say you are loved?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,636 Posts
I think you should show him this thread if you can. You probably make a more convincing argument in writing and within the framework of type it may make more sense that other introverts have the same needs you do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
I hate it! I even hate hosting a family for dinner... I am so exhausted by all that S-ing that I can hardly find the energy to have a conversation...
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top