Respect fromHouse Guests Suggestions for Handling Sticky Issue???
July 20, 2011
Info: my 30 yo never married sister and her boyfriend of one year (divored with two teens--the teens are not coming) were going to visit. I have met bfriend once for about an hour. They can't say with my mom because she won't give up the cats and sis's boyfriend is allergic. that's a whole nother story. I offered that they could stay with hubby, me and my two young kids. I said sis could have my son's room and Boyfriend could have my daughter's room because she has a queen bed and son has a single. Boyfriend is very tall.
I thought this was a nice way of saying, hubby and i don't want an unmarried couple sharing a bed in our house with our children around. Do what you want in your own house or in a Motel, but that isn't an example that we want set for our 8 and 6 yo. Any time hubby and i traveled and stayed with realives before being married, we slept separately. We have also had houseguest that know we don't smoke and would leave and drive around the block to smoke just to be respectufl of us and our children.
I'm not asking if you agree with me or not, but do you have any suggestions for how to handle this. sis is up in arms that I am being "creepy" about this and is now refusing to come, I don't particularly care if she does or not because she has always been a pain in the you know what, but i don't want to totally cut my kids off from her and that might happen if she decideds to take it out on the kids. suggestions??
Just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to weigh in on either side. It has really helped me ALOT. I've come to the conclusion that she is probably mad at my mom and taking it out on me, and bottom line really doesn't want to come. Sadly, she isn't very fllexible nor is she very thoughtful of others. My kids really love her and so far she has managed to have a decent relationship with them, we'll see if that survives. thanks again.
I don't think it is her that is being disrespectful at all. She is a 30 year old woman, not a teenager, and can decide for herself if she wants to share a bed room with her BF. If I was her I would feel like you were being judgmental of me and my relationship, and would not come either. It would be different if they were 17 or even 18, but these are fully grown adults, and to separate them is treating them like they are children. Many couples decide never to get married, but still share a bed.
Your house, your rules. What is "creepy" is that she cannot sleep without him for a few nights. I would love to sleep alone!!
Reread this part of your post....."but i don't want to totally cut my kids off from her and that might happen if she decideds to take it out on the kids". I don't see anyplace YOU are cutting your kids off from her. She would be the one doing it, if she does. If she "takes it out on your kids" the way you anticipate she may, I wouldn't want her around my kids anyway.
I get why you are worried. But, if them sleeping separately means a lot to you, then it doesn't appear you have much of a choice. Simply kindly explain to sis what your reasoning is (the kids and examples set) and let her make her decision. Anything beyond that is out of your control.
I agree with you - your house - your rules! For all the people posting saying you are being disrespectful and you are making this a huge deal that's so not true. You are offering your sister a place to stay for a night - free of charge!! If sleeping with her boyfriend of one year means more to her than visiting you and your family then she is being extremely childish! I do agree with the one poster that said maybe she really doesn't want to come and is using this as a scape goat. I personally would not allow the couple to sleep together in my house. I don't think I should have to tolerate something I disagree strongly with in my own house. Guest or not she shouldn't be allowed to do anything in your house that you disagree with.
Stand your ground. You have young kids, and if she thinks you are being creepy, too bad. Let them pay for a motel.
Letting her "blackmail" you into letting her sleep with a man you have known for an hour just to keep her seeing your kids would be a big mistake. If she is SO self-centered that she cares more about getting her way in your house than she cares about her niece and nephew, then you don't want her to have much of a relationship with your kids anyway.
YOU hold the reins in your house and with your children. NEVER let family be mean to your kids.
Let her be! If she really wants to come, she will respect your rules or she can stay at a hotel. If she is honestly going to not come and visit because she can't sleep with her boyfriend for a brief period of time, then she probably isn't worth the trouble or hassle until she learns to grow up a bit.
Well, you've already made your request and rather than comply, she's chosen to belittle you, have a fit about it and forego a lovely visit with her niece and nephew.
It's her loss and fault and she made it that way. So, I think you should just let it be. Hopefully, she'll realize that she should not skip out on spending quality time with family and will come around. Best wishes. :)
Like another said, your house your rules. If they can't abide by them then they can get a hotel room. Period. If your sister can't understand that then it's her problem not yours. She would expect you to respect her rules so why can't she do the same? I have the same rules as you do. It's a matter of setting an example to our kids. You in no way are cutting your kids from her, she is the one choosing to do this. She is being very immature if you ask me. Stick to your guns.
I just had to add one thing, to me this could be based on religious views but I also see it as a moral issue. So for the poster to say it's based on religious views solely I disagree with.
If you aren't married, you aren't sleeping together in my house! Yes, I said it!!! I don't care how old you are!!!!!!! My house, my rules. I would just tell her nicely that thems the rules and that you would love to see her but if she doesn't want to comply with the rules then that is her decision. I have to say I'm really surprised that she is having a problem with this. Wow! Pretty nervy on her part I'm thinking!!
Your sister wants to visit and can't stay w/ mom. You offered her your home...she can either accept or not. If she accepts your offer, she sleeps where you say. If she doesn't like your offer, she can stay in a hotel, with someone else, or not visit. Plain and simple.
Your issue isn't with her visit or her sleeping arrangements, your issue is with what examples your children are exposed to especially in your home.
Just don't back down if you feel that strongly about it. The sleeping arrangements are ready for your sister and her boyfriend when she's ready to see you and she's ready to respect your household. Surely she can tolerate not sleeping next to her boyfriend (that sounds so juvenile when you're talking about a 30 year old woman who's dating a father, doesn't it?) for a few nights.
If she's that "up in arms" about it then she can rent a room at a local motel. But if she wants to go rent free, then she goes by your rules.
Well, I wouldn't want any man I've only known for an hour in my house overnight, with my children...period. You're not being creepy. She's being immature. It's your house and you should stand by your rules. You are cutting off your children from her, SHE would be doing that. Stand strong, and what happens...happens. If she takes it out on the kids, it's not the kind of example I would want in my kids' life anyway.
If she refuses to respect your feelings when you're being kind enough to put them up in your house, then she's welcome to choose not to come.
If she wants to take this even further by alienating or mistreating your kids, let her be that immature.
I guess you need to decide which is the lesser of the evils: having that example in your house (which you could make a teachable moment about what others do and what "we" do) or risking her tantrum and subsequent actions. Personally, if she's being that much of a brat about it I'd call her out on her behavior and not cave to give her the satisfaction...
Stand your ground, but make it clear that it's not about you trying to keep your sister away from her beau - if it was just the grownups renting a chalet somewhere, you wouldn't try to separate them, right? This is about setting an example for your young children, and she should understand that. If your sister or her boyfriend can't deal with that, then they are welcome to stay elsewhere.
Considering your actual question I would suggest telling her the rason behind your request. If she doesn't understand then offer to help make hotel reservations & make them welcome at your home for visiting & meals.
Opinion- they are adults in a committed relationship but that does not mean you have to condone the behavior! My husband & I slept in separate rooms at my parents' home until we were married despite owning a house together!
I'm on the fence on this one: I really don't think the kids will think anything of it.....in fact, I believe making the adults sleep separate will create more curiousity on the kids' part than anything else. I think you're feeding the fire with your moral demands.
Now the flip side of the fence: it is your home.
& in the end, do you really want to get into a p*ssin' match over it? How much of this is drama on your part.....knowing that they'll be offended by your request? & now that the damage is done, you're in a situation (of your own creation) where you have to choose btwn standing your ground/hurting your sister's feelings......or eating your words/demands. Ouch! Peace.
Offer to help book a hotel for her for the night either as a gift from you or if you can't do that then just help them with it.. REally if it that big of a deal for her an they want to be together at night for some "fun' then they shouldn't be at your house anyway. It is your daughters bed, so yuck . Also kids are use to going in there room. What if they woke up at night and went to there room not thinking or even in the morning. just tell her that if you didn't have kids it would be fine "or whatever" to make her not feel judge. Or say yeah I know I'm the prude in the family(even if that is not the case or you dont think that), But maybe if you point out what she is probably thinking it will difuse the situation.
p.s. - I personally would allow it, but it's not my house. I believe people have a right to have things their way in their own homes. Your sister needs to grow up and respect that. She can be without her boyfriend for a few nights, for Pete's sake.
Your house, your rules, I don't see why she's making a big deal out of it, she can still stay at a hotel if she doesn't like your rules. Maybe she really doesn't want to come and she's using you as the escape goat. You can't change people and you sister sounds a little selfish and may take it out of the kids, which is sad. I sure hope she doesn't, I'm sure you've tried talking and reasoning with her. Don't be hard on yourself, you were being friendly and you welcomed her to your house, she's making it more than it is... really, she can't spend a couple nights in a different bed?
Hang in there!
I wouldn't allow it in my house either. ;)
In fact, I think your being rather gracious even letting him in your house and your DD's bed.
Stick to your guns.
Either they follow your rules or go to a hotel (or pitch a tent ;) ) or stay home.
And I guess if she is immature enough to "take it out on the kids" I wouldn't want her around anyway.
While I understand your resonings behind all of this (and totally respect them), I just wanted to point out that what your sister does (in or out of your home) has nothing to do with what example you set for your kids. Do your kids understand what married people do in their beds? If not, then I would say why worry about the example they get from non-married people sleeping next to each other. If they do understand, this could be a good teaching opportunity as far as your morals are concerned. Yould explain to them that you don't exactly aprove of this lifestyle, but that Aunt Susie is a grown up and allowed to make her own decisions and that it is always good to respect that right. Besides, if you give up both of your kids' rooms, where do you expect them to sleep? If your thought was in the living room...do you not expect that the adults will want to stay up and socialize after the kids go to bed? That is kind of hard to do when the social area is the kids' bedroom. Like I said, I don't disagree with your views, just a different way to look at it. You can't control what other people do...yes...even in your own home. The only way you can control it is by saying its my way or you don't stay here...which in turn is going to insult people and cause plenty of friction.
I think you handled it well. Its your house rules and your children will model what they see. I think you did the right thing! I would do the same. Its really on her what she decides to do---you told her how you feel and she didn't agree so she got mad. Write her a email and tell her that you would love to have her stay with you, but those are the sleeping arrangements. If she is not up to it, you would be happy to forward a list of suitable hotels in the area. Its up to her to change---you did the right thing.
I agree with your rules. These are the same rules that I have for my house. Even so, regardless of how anyone feels about your rules, if they are choosing to stay for free at your house, then they need to follow your rules. You have given them ample warning to know how the situation is going to be handled.
I would let the issue drop. Do NOT beg her to come stay. There is no reason for you to cave to your wishes in your own home. Tell her that you're sorry you won't get to see her this time, but hopes she has a safe trip. Do not allow her childishness to affect your kids. If they ask why their aunt is no longer coming to stay, you can tell them that she did not agree to follow the house rules.
She (and b-friend) are guests & should respect you & your hubby's decision. If she is acting immature & disrespectful, that's on her, not you. Try to explain this & don't back down from what you believe is right for your family. I feel the same way you do. We always had to sleep apart when visiting others & we had no qualms about it. While some may feel differently, including your sister obviously, it's still your house & your rules. She should support you, not grumble over a rule that you set & feel strongly about. Good luck!
Sorry, someone else does not dictate what happens in my home. She is entitled to feel that your rules are silly. But you are entitled to have your wishes respected in your home. If they don't like it, then they can go to a hotel like others have said. FWIW, I would feel the same way as you.
Just let her know that you are setting the example of what you expect for your kids. She doesn't have to agree with your standards, but she also doesn't get to subvert them around your kids. (May also want to mention what you would consider okay or not as far as PDA around the kids).
If she doesn't like it, she can stay somewhere else.
Have you explained to her why you offered up two separate beds, or do you hope she will just "get it?" I don't think a childless couple should be expected to understand your rationale. Make sure you tell her that you are just trying to avoid questions from your kids about why auntie and her boyfriend slept in the same bed. You want to set a good example and you have every right to do that.
As someone who is not religious your reasoning seems silly to me. (I'm assuming you are only because this is usually a religious thing). I don't understand why you can't just talk to your kids. Don't you think you could say something like we don't approve but they are guests etc. How old is your sister. Don't you think its kind of a moot point.
You just should have never offered knowing they would expect to sleep in the same bed. Your feelings are your own but you should have said I don't mind you sleeping here but here's the way it needs to be. Let her not come, I would choose to stay another place if I would have traveled with my fiance' and a relative tried to impose a rule like that. She probably feels like you are treating her like a kid which you are by the way you talk about her so it's probably best she just not stay with you.
Your sis should be considerate of your small children. Sounds like she does not understand or chooses not to. You have to decide where to draw the line. If you haven't explained to her then please do and never assume she can read between the lines. This always creates problems. I know you don't want to keep her from your kids but sometimes we have to recognize there are people in our lives we do not want to have a large impact on our kids. Unfortunately most times it is family. I have had to cut contact with parts of my family because the chaos they always bring and I was tired of feeling in a state of emergency all the time.
Be polite but do not back down.
You have put the ball in her court and it is her decision whether or not to accept your hospitality....
There are plenty of motels available for them if this is so important....you make the rules in your own home......this has always been our rule.....next month our son will marry and they can share a room next time they visit overnight! That's just how it is......
I respect however anyone wants to live their life that is not a danger to others - outside of my home. But I will not bend to an "everything goes" mentality in my own home. That leads to kids growing up to believe anything is okay & the complete erosion of all moral standards in society.
We had the same rule & it was sticky as well. We lived together, got married & had kids. But it was over 10 yrs from the time we had our own place out of town until our oldest was old enough for us to feel the need to have unmarried couples not sleep together. We also never slept together when we visited others. The biggest problem was my mother-in-law. She was adamant we not sleep together when we visited her. But when we had the same rule for brother-in-law & his girlfriend years later, she went ballistic. But we stood firm & BIL & his gf still came & had a great time. It was much more MILs issue than BILs. Now they're married & sleep together. I'm glad we stuck to it to teach our children the value of marriage and that living together is not the same thing.
Do they live together? If so, it would seem odd to me, as a child, to know they lived together, but had to act as if they don't when visiting.
Your house your rules. However, I don't agree with your rule. Like another post said, she is 30 not a teenager in a long term relationship. And as another said, it actually brings more attention to the situation. But you should always do what is comfortable for you...
Stick to your guns!!!
It is her choice if she wants to be a part of your life.
It is not asking to much to respect your rules for a few days
otherwise she will walk all over you
She is always welcome to pay for a hotel.
(your place is free so she can be a little accomodating by abiding by the rules. )
I agree that you can always set the rules in your house - I won't allow smokers in mine, even when I didn't have a child. But that's b/c even secondhand smoke can be harmful and of course leave a stench on fabrics. I do find it odd that so many people think a piece of paper is the dividing line between what's right and wrong in whom we sleep with and how not having it will harm anyone. To me, a loving relationship sets the best example, no matter what the legal status.
However, you were gracious enough to offer them a place to stay and even said the arrangements up front instead of it being a surprise so they can take it or leave it. It's sad that if she does come there will be tension between you from the very beginning - her feeling that you don't accept her choices or even just that boyfriend and you feeling that she does not respect your wishes or your family structure.
She might also feel a little miffed that both of her family members have put strings on her visit, whether justified or not - cats come first in your mom's house; your rules come first in yours - and isn't feeling very welcome. That could tend to blow things out of proportion.
If and when she comes, I wish you both a good visit.