Maybe I’m just being moody, but I’m curious if anyone else has faced a similar situation and how they handled it. In my household, it’s quite common for my sister-in-law to show up unannounced or with very short notice on a Friday night (sometimes even on Saturday). She brings along her 7-year-old daughter and occasionally her husband. What bothers me is that I’m always the last to know, and when they arrive, we almost always end up getting takeaway, even though I may have already prepared a meal or was planning to. It’s an unexpected expense that I’m not always keen on.
On top of that, it’s a Friday night after a long week, and I don’t necessarily want or appreciate the company. My brother-in-law helps himself to my beers (which doesn’t bother me much, but he rarely brings his own), and my sister-in-law rummages through our pantry, claiming, “Oh, but I paid for dinner,” as if that justifies helping herself to whatever she wants. It really frustrates me when she opens things up or eats without any consideration. Meanwhile, her daughter plays with our kids, and they all get wound up, disrupting our bedtime routine. The 4-year-old sometimes gets upset when they leave. There’s a lot of noise and mess, and the worst part is that they almost never help clean up or contribute in any way, even with the mess from the takeaway meal we just ate. They usually rush out around 8-9 pm, leaving a trail of chaos behind. Additionally, my sister-in-law often annoys me with unsolicited and cheap advice, especially regarding our kids, even though she doesn’t follow her own advice or interrupts me with irrelevant comments when I’m trying to wrap up work at around 5:55 pm.
Another issue is that my wife is a real sweetheart, and while she generally agrees with me, she doesn’t want to upset the family dynamic because we’re all close. However, their behavior is causing problems for us, leading to arguments as I try to make my point. I’ve suggested that we need to establish some boundaries for the situation, especially when it comes to mealtime, and particularly requesting some notice if she plans to visit. I’m willing to have that conversation, but my wife doesn’t want me to. Any advice on how to navigate this situation?