Question about homecoming & in laws — The Bump
Military Families

Question about homecoming & in laws

I am currently 5 1/2 months pregnant, and my husband will be deployed for the first 3-4 months of Lucas' life. Command told him he may get to come home for the birth, but it isn't likely so we are planning on not. I casually and kindly suggested that maybe when he gets home it should just be Lucas and I to greet him when he gets off the bus so they can have a few weeks to get used to eachother, and then for post deployment leave go see his family and let them get to see hubbs and meet the little one. To understand why I would make this suggestion (other than the obvious of an already over stimulating scene and husband meeting his son for probably the first time) you have to understand that when his parents are around they tend to demand center stage. I just feel that a few weeks (two at most probably before his leave kicks in) of him and I getting our time, and him and Lucas getting used to eachother would be a good thing. When I suggested it however, my husband all but threw a hissy fit. He is convinced that his parents will be willing to make the 9 hour drive for a quick hello and then depart. I could never ask them to do this because I know I wouldn't want to be invited just to be told to leave 30 minutes later. And again, not only would this be unfair to them, but for every experience I've had with them I know that they demand center stage (especially considering there will be a grandbaby involved) and would not want to do that anyway. Basically, I guess I just want to know if I really am just in the wrong here, and if it really is an awful thing to suggest doing??? I just feel like as newlyweds (we got married in febuary, and he is leaving in the early fall for this combat deployment) we need time to get reaquanted, and seeing as how he will probably only have seen Lucas on webcam they need a little time to get to know eachother as well without the added stress of two other new people for Lucas to meet, and that two weeks alone before adding in extended family isn't so horribly unfair? Maybe I am just pregnant and hormonal, so any opinions on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks <3

Re: Question about homecoming &amp;amp; in laws

  • I don't think your out of line at all. We actually just talked about this the other day. When he came down to it MIL said she refuses to come in town till after we have had a few days of just our family! 

    Hope he changes his mind...i'm sure he will after the baby is born...that changes everything :)

    Z(Monkey) 6-30-07 and E(Bear) 9-6-10 Living life with my little warrior and his big brother :)imageimageimage
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  • My H deployed the first time a couple of months before our first anniversary.  

    When H got home from his first deployment, his family flew standby from Sacramento to Ontario, CA, then drove 2 hours to 29 to see him for 3 hours. Eighteen of them. 

    I wouldn't have had it any other way. H really wanted them there and they were very understanding about our alone time. After we left the field, we went back to the house at 11:30 pm, ordered some pizzas, hung out, they got to sit and chat, give hugs, see our house, and then they were on their way. We didn't hear from them until we started block leave 3 weeks later. 

    Give them the benefit of the doubt to start. If you're really adamant about them not being there, talk to your H about it. Calm and relaxed. Just sit down and tell him you really want those first couple of weeks to yourselves. 

    If he still really wants them there, try to compromise. Come up with a solution to how long they'll be there. Set rules and boundaries: they aren't allowed to stay with you, they have to be understanding of alone time, etc. 

    If they're willing to wait, assure them that they'll see you guys when he goes on block leave, it'll just be a little while longer.  

    5/100
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  • I think your idea in the best case scenario.  I think your DH is entitled to his feelings, but I agree with you 100%.
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  • First, I like your idea OP.  It's what we have done in the past and will do in the future.

    Second, your Dh does have a right to have his parents there if that's what he wants.  But you both need to be on the same page and set boundaries with his family and say how long they can stay and where they will stay.  You both need to make sure that they understand and know when to leave and where they will stay.

    Third, he may change his mind mid deployment.  Being away from you and your baby he might realize that he wants the time to be just you three.

    You two definitely need to sit down and talk about this, make a plan, and stick to the plan.  Good luck.  I hope you two can compromise on this. 

  • OP, I think you're right, but that's because I feel the same way you do. I was never terribly close to my family growing up, so if it were me coming home I would only want DH there. 

    DH on the other hand, is glued to his family. The four of them have a really strong bond and he can't imagine homecoming without them. When the time comes we will have to compromise.

    You both have the right to feel the way you do, but you also have to work together to find a solution that works for both of you.  

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  • ames71ames71 member

    I'm going to have to agree with your husband here. (FWIW I'll be in a similar situation when DH comes back. LO will be about a month or so old and it will be his first time seeing him too.) What it comes down to, for me, is that your DH wants them there, so they should be there.

    Can you maybe all spend a few hours together afterwards, so that he gets to catch up with his family and the in-laws can gush over the baby?  After that, you'll have plenty of time for bonding between the three of you. I certainly see your point, and it would be one thing if he was apprehensive about them being there, but it seems that he wants them there. I think you need to go with the flow here. 

    ETA: If they do stay overnight, I would definitely recommend a hotel. Be as helpful as possible and do a little research for them ahead of time. 

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  • Thanks for the advice girls. And it isnt that I just DONT want them there.. it's the fact that realistically they WILL BE there, and I will (as per normal) be pushed aside to apease them, which is fine except that there is a baby that will be experiencing it too and sorry but I feel like if they are going to sh*t on me, Im not handing them the kid and heading back to the hotel room to be ignored.. Last homecoming I stepped back and let them see him get off the bus, and flew in the next day (My drive to the airport + two flights were as long as thier drive), and after about 3 hours of just getting used to eachother as engaged people (He had proposed from Iraq a few months prior) his mom literally calls him to pitch a fit and guilt him for spending NO time with them after they drove all this way.... so I got to spend the next day (His birthday), and the day after alone in the hotel room so they could get get thier time in (I wasn't even invited to go along). Then he spent all of block leave there. SO I got to share him with them, and work, and post deployment classes for 5 days. They got him for 2 1/2 weeks uninterupted. They get any and all leave he has (even before we were married when I didn't live here), and they don't even let him call me without walking up and telling him to get off the phone bc he has to get up early. I went to see them with him last time he went, and still got pushed aside so he could spend every second with him. Sorry to rant, but I just had to get it off my chest. It's just frustrating that they manage to always be front and center, and any time they get involved I literally get shoved aside and completely ignored. I don't even get invited along to wherever they wanna go (and if I invite myself his mom spends the whole time passive agressively snarking about how rude it is for people to invite thierselves places), even after flying in from Texas to NC which is a pretty long flight... Again, they are going to get thier way, and I realize that, but I just see it turning into a disaster, and Lucas and I leaving without even seeing my husband much, which I just don't think is right considering it's the first time my son and husband will be exposed to eachother. BLAH. Sorry. Rant session complete.

  • I've been in a similar situation with it seeming like DH's family came before me.  I had to "gently" remind him that while they are his family and always will be...that I am also his family now and that I need some time with him alone too.  Not every minute of every leave needs to be spent with his family back home.  It finally started to get a little better after a year or so.  Good luck!
  • imageSaraK1:
    I've been in a similar situation with it seeming like DH's family came before me.  I had to "gently" remind him that while they are his family and always will be...that I am also his family now and that I need some time with him alone too.  Not every minute of every leave needs to be spent with his family back home.  It finally started to get a little better after a year or so.  Good luck!

    I think reminding him that you are a family now.  Also, after your update, I'm starting to think you have DH problem. 

  • I think your idea sounds good. Its what we did when DH came home last month. However, the chaplain told us to do whatever our SO's wanted when they came home as far as seeing family. If they wanted to just be with me and the kids then do that until they were ready to branch out to see more family, if they want to be the center of attention with all their extended family, let them. But I totally agree with you FWIW. I wouldn't want the ILs there when I see my DH again after a deployment and with a new baby whom he's never met.
  • That's what kills me though, is he has even said he would rather it just be me, him, and lucas, but that he will not take that away from his parents. That if they want to be there he isn't going to tell them no (but he doesn't think he will have a problem telling them to get lost when they are here? which is a lie) It isn't that he wants it so badly. When we talk about it, he says we are the first ones he wants to see, but that after a combat deployment by God if momma and daddy wanna be there he is gonna let them. THAT'S the issue. His mom and dad manage to guilt him and manipulate him into whatever they want, and then once they are involved insist and demand on being center stage. With being newlyweds who will be seeing eachother for the first time in months, and probably the first time he will be meeting his son I just don't think they need or deserve or have any right demanding that. I don't see it as taking it away from them. I just don't have the energy now (much less will I with a baby) to fight for leftover scraps of attention. I've even suggested letting them go to homecoming and me coming later (again), which broke my heart to suggest, and he hated bc he wants us there, and only us, but just doesn't have the heart to "take it away from momma and daddy." I personally think that if they are logical people (they aren't) it should be enough just to know he isn't in danger anymore, and that in a few short (and perfectly safe stateside) weeks they will get to see everyone and be a part of it, but he is so busy apeasing them, he forgets that he has the right to have time alone with his own family! Again, realistically, they will get thier way (and i will get heart hurt, and it will be a complete disaster), but it's just very frustrating for me.
  • If he wants it to be just him, you and the baby he needs to grow up, be a man and tell his parents that. Plain and simple. If they can't deal, too bad. They need to learn that he now has a family of his own and that you and the baby come first ahead of his parents. its a tough thing for parents to hear and deal with but it has to come from him (not you, or they will resent you for taking their son away) and he has to do it.
  • imageproudarmywife08:
    If he wants it to be just him, you and the baby he needs to grow up, be a man and tell his parents that. Plain and simple. If they can't deal, too bad. They need to learn that he now has a family of his own and that you and the baby come first ahead of his parents. its a tough thing for parents to hear and deal with but it has to come from him (not you, or they will resent you for taking their son away) and he has to do it.

    This. He needs to tell them what he wants. He needs to man up and put you and your baby first.  They treat him and you that way because they can get away with it.  He needs to stand up for you and he needs to start setting boundaries with them.

  • Please don't take offense to this, but have you ever told your DH how you feel in terms of not being invited/included? I mean, really laid it all out for him? I know if this were my situation and I explained myself to DH and how I felt, he would be my biggest advocate. This sounds like a much larger issue than just his homecoming... Are they currently involved in your life at all while your DH is gone, do they want to be involved in your child's life? 

    I'm not telling you that his family should not be there, but he needs to make it absolutely clear to them that if they are going to be there, you and your child are his first priority. You need to be invited places, you need to be included, and sitting in a hotel room is just not an option. That would make me furious on so many levels. 

    Like the PP said, he needs to start setting boundaries. 

  • imagekristane:

    Please don't take offense to this, but have you ever told your DH how you feel in terms of not being invited/included? I mean, really laid it all out for him? I know if this were my situation and I explained myself to DH and how I felt, he would be my biggest advocate. This sounds like a much larger issue than just his homecoming... Are they currently involved in your life at all while your DH is gone, do they want to be involved in your child's life? 

    I'm not telling you that his family should not be there, but he needs to make it absolutely clear to them that if they are going to be there, you and your child are his first priority. You need to be invited places, you need to be included, and sitting in a hotel room is just not an option. That would make me furious on so many levels. 

    Like the PP said, he needs to start setting boundaries. 

     

     

    The issue is way bigger than homecoming. We aren't around his parents much (they live in TN, we are here in NC), but this is usually how it is when we are. It isn't that we aren't the priority. There is just this weird family dynamic there. Like when they are around the literally just expect center stage on everything, and he feels guilty if he doesn't indulge them because "they don't get to see him very often." I have tried laying it out before, and he gets really defensive about the issue. He thinks I am just being mean about them because I don't like him, and he can't manage to see where I am coming from with it. Of course, he doesn't see how dismissive his mother is, or that I am not invited along, because they make it seem to him as though it's my choice not to be involved. His mother in fact called today about the baby registry, and I tried to be engaging and friendly towards her, and she was nothing but dismissive, then of course acted as though I was criminally insane because we do not have a cartoon theme for Lucas' whole existance. They don't usually contact me at all unless he is away and they fear he is talking to me more than he is to them (which of course he is... I AM HIS WIFE), She called twice during training in VA for this reason, but since he could talk to us both a little bit at Viper she didn't call once, not to check on me and the baby, or ask if I needed anything since I was here in NC alone. Our biggest issue in our marriage is the fact that he just refuses to set boundries with them. He has been married before to a girl who wasn't very nice by any account I've ever heard of her, and she HATED his parents, so he thinks that when I say something about it I am being hateful. He feels bad that he doesn't live closer to them, and tries to make up for it by indulging them in whatever they ask of him. And again, I would prefer them to not be there just because that's the way I was raised (that imediate family comes first, and being the first time they are meeting I feel it should be JUST us), but would compromise on it if I felt they would be respectful about it. I just have had too many experiences that tell me they CANNOT just go to homecoming, and come over and chill with chinese take out for a few hours then let us spend our alone time. If they come it will have to be all about them or else they make him feel guilty, and he makes me feel guilty. HE doesnt advocate for me, because he truely just thinks I am over sensative about it and doesn't see how they really are about it. They play the pity card, because of the fact that in thier eyes I get him everyday whereas they only get him occasionally for leave. It plays out kind of like a gory custody battle, except I have to watch my ps and qs and be polite or I am the bad person because they truely make him feel like if he doesn't cater to them than he is a bad son. Personally, I would love to just have a spout of leave where we just go hang out on the beach, or even just at home, or something enjoyable for him and I as well as our dog Jovi (who is forced to sleep in the basement when we are at his parents, which I down right resent). It isn't that I am being a spoiled brat, I just don't like having to fight my in laws for time with my husband. I honestly don't see the situation ended well.

  • I guess what would get me the most about this is the fact that you aren't invited to family events and your DH is okay with you not going. Even if they do spin it to him like you didn't want to attend. Have you ever told your DH that you do in fact want to attend but you feel unwelcome?

    Perhaps this is something that you and your DH need to seek counseling for. He may think that's extreme, but when he sees that you are doing this in order to strengthen the communication between you two he may be more open to the idea.  

    In my experience, when someone comes home from deployment all they want to do is be at home, get lots of rest, and re-acclimate to their surroundings. Hopefully his family understands that as well. 

  • Once baby is actually here I would bring it up again and be sturn.

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