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Holidays with in laws -need to say no

(90 Posts)
Gwiz5 Tue 04-Oct-22 21:37:10

Every year ( except covid) I am expected to agree to a 10 day holiday with my in laws . Now they are 76 mil and fil 79 in fairly good health but drink like fishes. We have always had a good relationship however It’s now become apparent that my patience has run dry regarding the near constant bickering , picking up , cooking , repeated conversations, things being broken , lost , excessive drinking and this happens every single time for the last 18 years .
They arrive days ahead , I wait hand foot and finger because the sheer volume of mess they make when doing a simple thing such as a cuppa is literally breathtaking.
I’m day 10 into a holiday with them and have had enough. I’ve come down with a heavy cough / cold but I’m still doing stuff. My hubby does also do things too but it’s his parents so..
Their bickering isn’t funny anymore and it’s scares the crap outta me because my husband is very similar with his reactions .. dear god I actually fear that we will become the next generation of them ..I cannot deal with it.
Anyway I told my husband today I am done I don’t want to do any more holidays with them , that I feel like their carer and I don’t feel like I have had a break at all. And just now they said my sil has invited them for Xmas .. but they expect to stay with us . And are talking about next years holiday ?
I want to say no. I wait to see if they bring it up again when sober .
I do love them but it’s just bloody hard work.

Blossoming Tue 04-Oct-22 21:56:07

YANBU, they sound ghastly. Stick to your guns and tell your husband he must back you up.

Just say it doesn’t work for you, no need to give any reason.

Lucca Tue 04-Oct-22 22:45:09

I simply would not put up with heavy drinkers in my house for more than an evening, I find them revolting especially older people.

crazyH Tue 04-Oct-22 22:50:18

You are a saint ?- 18 holidays with your in-laws !!!!

Callistemon21 Tue 04-Oct-22 22:52:16

It's only a holiday if you have a break and enjoy it too.

Sara1954 Tue 04-Oct-22 22:57:37

Sounds absolutely horrible.
You’ve definitely done your bit, you need to be assertive, let them go and trash someone else’s home, or preferably just stay home and trash their own.

welbeck Tue 04-Oct-22 23:03:03


Sweetie222 Tue 04-Oct-22 23:10:48

If you can’t manage to say an outright no to them how about going somewhere warm and all inclusive … no cooking, cleaning or looking after them. It could even be cheaper than having them at yours.

Better still, just tell them you’re going away, don’t invite them!

SachaMac Tue 04-Oct-22 23:30:42

It sounds like you’ve done more than your share. I wouldn’t do it anymore, holidays should be enjoyable & relaxing. just tell them you are doing something different next year. Life’s too short.

biglouis Tue 04-Oct-22 23:32:39

One way to avoid unwelcome visitors at Christmas is to go away yourself. Or just SAY you are going away.

I used to spend a miserable time every year staying with my parents. Then one year a friend invited me to visit her in Casablanca so off I flew. The next christmas I flew off to Khatmandu. Thereafter I just told my parents I am going to X country. Mostly I just stayed at home and did not answer the phone for 10 days. No smart phones then and mobiles were too expensive to take abroad.

I have become a past mistress at not communicating with people (including relatives) that I dont want to speak to. Just dont make arrangements.

Or better still tell them exactly how you feel!

crazyH Tue 04-Oct-22 23:35:53

biglouis love it !

Hithere Wed 05-Oct-22 00:56:03


Tell your dh the b&b is closed.

Have you ever had a nuclear family only xmas?

nanna8 Wed 05-Oct-22 01:09:39

We went on a cruise one Christmas and New Year and had a fantastic holiday. Maybe consider that ? I used to have occasional holidays with parents/in-laws but we would stay in separate accomodation and that worked. Time for you to live your own life ,isn’t it ? If your husband doesn’t like it, go with a peer group on your own. There are lots of them around catering for just such events.

JackyB Wed 05-Oct-22 08:15:57

If you can't bring yourself to tell them the truth, make something up. Tell them you're going on a walking holiday (as biglouis says, you don't have to actually go.) Or sailing, or climbing - Something that they won't manage.

Oopsadaisy1 Wed 05-Oct-22 08:22:13

If you are on day 10 and are unwell *Go To Bed*and stay there, if your DH is so keen on being with them, let him sort them out.
Then just say No. things will only get worse the older they get and then one day they just won’t go home and you will end up caring for them. 24/7.
Time to get your big girl pants on.

M0nica Wed 05-Oct-22 08:32:40

If you have been doing this for 18 years, you are all 18 years older than when it started. 20> 40, 30>50. Just tell them, if you need to give a reason, that as you get older you no longer have the energy to cope with everything - and your present cold is an indication of this.

Tell them, that infuture they will be welcome for a weekend, but you cannot manage any longer time now, and blame your health.

I do not know how old your children are, but I would not want heavy drinking grandparents round them for 3 weeks at a time, especially as they approached ther teenage years.

notgran Wed 05-Oct-22 08:53:22

Sounds horrible and you have done your duty for long enough. In your place I would have to tell them with your husband backing you up, I am not enjoying this long time away with you and this won't be happening in future. This Christmas you must go to your daughter's as we are spending it on our own and may go away, yet to be decided. It's direct and they may be offended but they will presumably get over it and you will have your peace back. I have done similar things so that when the children were very young we didn't want to spend our Christmas time again at the other end of the country at the in-laws. I simply said it was too much of a rush and as we were both working we wanted to just enjoy Christmas with our children alone. Thirty plus years on we still do this. People were upset but got over it.

Granarchist Wed 05-Oct-22 09:15:37

I did 17 yrs on the trot with my in laws. To be fair they did live in the Balearics and had all the toys! But ....... every single day we went to a beach and every single day I was expected to make up a picnic lunch for up to 10 people. Individual sandwiches for all. I lost it at the end and on the plane home when my OH said what a wonderful time we had had - I explained that a kitchen was a kitchen, cooking and preparing meals was the same in either place - despite the better view! But the long term outcome has been that my eldest DD is a dab hand at picnics and when staying in France with her lovely inlaws she has carried on the tradition and they love her for it. So not all bad.

Cabbie21 Wed 05-Oct-22 09:17:26

If a holiday with them is essential, ( is it?) can you make it strictly on your terms? Not in your house, not self catering, or you will still be doing all the running around.

luluaugust Wed 05-Oct-22 09:47:34

DH and I are your in laws age and quite honestly I don't think I could cope with 10 days with the family. I fear you have done too much for them. Make your own arrangements as my DC do.

Luckygirl3 Wed 05-Oct-22 09:59:42

Like many of us on here, I am a MIL. I have had a few holidays with family, but now that I am on my own I feel very strongly that I do not want them to get locked into feeling that it is a set thing and that they have to ask me every year. So I am trying very hard to find hols that I can go on alone so they know I am catered for and not reliant on their kindness.

It is hard on both sides of this fence.

Mollygo Wed 05-Oct-22 10:21:00

Some sound advice on here. If they want to meet up and you can afford it, go somewhere all-inclusive for a much shorter time, or at least somewhere where you can’t do the cooking and running round after them. Somewhere where you can retire to your own room when the bickering starts and drinks are expensive. Obviously each couple paying their own way.
For now, as Oopsadaisy1 said
If you are on day 10 and are unwell Go To Bed and stay there, if your DH is so keen on being with them, let him sort them out.
Get well soon!

Gwiz5 Wed 05-Oct-22 11:14:34

My children are very grown and it’s just us adults. I have a drink or two but it’s always curtailed because I don’t like to get drunk. It’s not happening again. I have made that clear !

Septimia Wed 05-Oct-22 11:19:14

We holidayed with my parents and in-laws (sometimes together!) and with DS and DiL. No problems. We sometimes went off to do different things rather than sticking otgether all the time and often took it in turns to cook the main meal.

However, we didn't do it every year and it wasn't our only break.

AnnieJM Wed 05-Oct-22 11:57:03

10 days doesn't sound much of a holiday! A definite no - and if your hubby insists on it, go on a solo holiday, while he goes!

Although I speak as someone whose in laws had passed away before I was married - so no real experience!