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Thread: What is positive house guest protocol

  1. #61
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Dear Gella, it is not up to you to find the solution. Neither of you is right or wrong. There is a difference in point of view and it is a matter of each of you realigning your thinking to find a meeting. You will but it will take some time. You have both invested some considerable time in the marriage which cannot remain static despite how much easier it might be. You are both living beings and will grow through this.

    For you the status quo was reaching the unsustainable point. He had not reached that point because the stress was not on him.

    Remember that we have three levels of intelligence - reptilian which is the fight/flight, the limbic which is the emotional and the neocortex which is the rational. Strong initial response is the basic reptilian, next is the limbic and only then does the rational neocortex come into play in most humans.
    What really mucks it all up is that there is an amygdala attack when the limbic or emotional response is very strong which shuts off the neocortex or rational until the emotion calms down.
    Step back from all of this and do some routine activities, get some support from a counsellor as you are doing and let yourself detach as much as you can. I know that this is easier said than done but try. You do have the right to initiate change when needed. Find the tools you need to make the changes you want to see in the way that works best for you. Be willing to be surprised at your discoveries.
    You chose your partner for good reasons and have continued for good reasons. That does not mean staying static but being open to growth.
    Hugs!!!!
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  2. #62
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    What catherine suggests is sort of my approach, as detailed above. Move out, let husband perform hosting duties.

    Now that we are retired, I am chill about the calls that come out of the blue "Attention!
    Swiss relatives arriving in two days! " with no ability on my part to say "no." But that hasnt always been the case.


    During my last year of work, in a super busy and stress filled time, we got one of these calls. I told DH "they cant stay here" because our house was filthy. He didnt tell them to go elsewhere, and so I told him "you are cleaning this house from top to bottom, I am completely out of this event" and I actually do not remember what happened. That's because I removed myself from the situation, and while I would have been unhappy for someone to stay in our truly dirty house, I didnt control the house, so I let it go mentally. I either stayed at my friend's house or they didnt come after all, I dont remember! Haha. This may be the time that two young men didnt show up or even call us to say they would not be coming after all. Hmmm, that didnt make me happy, either.

    I want to emphasize that all our Swiss relatives are always VERY generous in hosting us Americans. So, I dont feel put upon or used, we have reciprocal experiences.

  3. #63
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    Plan A - he keeps his promise to you of no visitors for a year

    Plan B - he doesn't keep his promise, but you don't do anything with the visits except smile and nod and leave for your own appointments that you've made throughout the entire time of the visits.

    You can't control his thoughts or feelings about the situation. You can only control your reaction to the situation.

  4. #64
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    Just got back from visiting relatives, including new granddaughter, and being the houseguest. What seemed to work:
    I try to buy groceries, pitching in when we go to the store-- so probably paid for 120 dollars of groceries over the week.
    Bought things like coffee and lunches for son and granddaughter.
    Bought some clothes for granddaughters, noting what their mom needed and wanted, rather than just arriving with clothes.
    Babysat.
    Spent lots of time with older granddaughter so mom could sleep.
    Kept room straight at all times as it is on main floor of houseand who wants to look at a messy room?
    Had shower super early before others were up (it is one bathroom house.)
    Cleaned up kitchen a lot.

    They were really sweet and grateful for the help
    They drove me around, provided meals, offered to cook breakfast, we all kind of made our own lunches. They wanted me to stay longer, but had to get back home.

    Went to brother;s house, and they provided meals, guest room, even a ferry ticket. They are very sweet hosts and extremely thoughtful people and actually wanted me to stay longer too. But the really love company and live in an very scenic place, so they seem to enjoy it, and are retired or self employed, so the scheduling is not a problem for them. They are much more extroverted than I, and I would find that kind of company tiring and too much, but they really seem to thrive on guest visits.

    I kept thinking about this thread and making sure I was not being obtrusive--it's a good thread, to try to lay out what works for both sides and what becomes a burden.
    My only problem was the trip felt too long to me--gone almost a week, and would have preferred to be there only three days but they all wanted longer. Next time I may stick to my three day rule, as it's just a long time to be gone.

  5. #65
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Tybee, how nice that you have a new grandaughter!!

  6. #66
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    Tybee, how nice that you have a new grandaughter!!
    Yes, I agree!! And I sure wish I had a MIL like you when I had my kids!
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  7. #67
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    Thanks, guys, she is a little beauty, and a really, really, really easy baby. Catherine, I had a really nice MIL so maybe I am channeling her--she was so thrilled to be with her grandchildren, and so sweet to us.
    Oh--a house guest item I just thought of--they had an in-fan window so you really couldregulate the temp of the room while you were sleeping, and extra blankets around, and the fan also meant you could "white noise" for things like babies crying--I actually never heard anything, although they said they were up a LOT during the night. So a fan in the room would be cool for guests.

  8. #68
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Update: things have calmed down over here and I wanted to give an update since you guys were so helpful to me last week when I was freaking out.

    Let's see. Two things were very helpful: I was able to maintain emotional boundaries around myself. Ie, I was able to separate myself from dh. I did not let his feelings/actions/beliefs cancel or overrule my own. And I was able to respect my reality. Second, I was able to feel compassion for dh's feelings of fear. For whatever reason, he sees setting boundaries as a threat to his relationships. I felt bad for him, and was able to remain emotionally separate from both his fear and his actions as a result of that fear. And, I was able to communicate all of this to dh without becoming emotionally reactive. I was also able to stand up for myself regarding claims that dh made about me. Wherever they originated from (whether fear or anger), I was able to reject them and affirm my right to set boundaries in my home.

    This happened last week, I think on Thursday, and we were able to have a good conversation about everything. He is going to try to honor the one year break from visitors but admitted that it will be very hard. We agreed that his visitors will be his responsibility.

    I ended up cancelling the therapy appointment since we had resolved everything by then.

    Gosh, I thought I had lots to say on this but now can't think of anything!

    I want to thank you guys again for helping me through this. You guys made a huge difference.

  9. #69
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    It is a big change that is evolving and will take time and reinforcing to find the ultimate solution so hang in there.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  10. #70
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    I just got back from a 1- day vacation and saw this thread. It is so interesting. WE invite people to stay with us and tell family/good friends if they ever want to come just ask. We make meals, take them to the sights, have a guest room ready, etc. I always buy plenty of snacks etc and tell them to feel free to help themselves if they get up before I do. We get up around 7:30. When I am a guest I always take the host to a nice restaurant to eat, keep my stuff picked up and let them know when I will be gone so they don't prepare a meal for me if I will not be there. I offer to help and then do as they ask. I like to host people but I have not ever had someone use me and not be a really good friend or close family member. 2 years ago I hosted my 4 friends from HS with their spouses and we had a blast. Everyone pitched in and helped so it was not a big deal at all. Good thing we had our RV for one bedroom. 2 couples stayed at a hotel as we could only fit 2 couples here.

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