I am in Barbados at my second home with my husband, our 8 year old son, my step daughter and my parents.
My husband is surprised that my parents have not contributed much. They see it as a holiday that they were invited on and so are in holiday mode. My Dad barely empties the bins and basically tidies up his own stuff. My Mum lost her Mum the month before the trip so is grieving and not fully her usual self. My husband likes a really clean and tidy house and can get anxious about money. My parents have not offered to contribute anything to living costs.
I arrived and my husband started telling me about all of the gripes he had and mentioned that he had made very big hints to my parents about how much it costs to run a second home, and tidying up around them. I went for a walk with my Dad and gently asked him to do a bit more since we are all here together. the last week the atmosphere has been off with neither side really talking to each other. It culminated in an argument where my parents accused my husband of making them feel uncomfortable and unwelcome and picking at them since they got here. My husband feeling hurt, sad and disappointed that they would think that of him and me in the middle.
Now it’s like living in a very uncomfortable neutral zone. I told everyone last night that I was feeling sad because I couldn’t understand why it all had to be so dramatic, over the bins, tidying and money. It’s like living in the Big Brother House. Each side says the other has disrespected them and isn’t listening to them and they don’t feel heard.
I don’t want to ask my parents to leave because that feels like the wrong thing to do. They could stay with my Aunty and they have already made arrangements to leave a week earlier than they were going to so they can stay with her. It means that we all have 5 days living together soon. My husband is literally not speaking to them. He is not saying hello or goodbye and is sitting in a different room from them. Just now my Mum made lunch for everyone which I see as her peace offering, even though she did not verbalise it that way, just that she had made lunch for everyone. My husband said to me he didn’t want any then took my son and daughter out for food and left the house.
It’s so awkward and it’s now a really shitty end to the holiday.
My question is how can I look at this differently so I’m not making myself a victim, which is making me feel powerless. I feel like I’m stuck in the middle. I have to choose a side and back my husband or my parents. I’m not even sure what boundaries I have here. What is acceptable to me or not? I can’t imagine me in this situation as I wouldn’t behave like either of them are. I would always respect my husband’s parents and give them the benefit of the doubt and allow for them being how they are. I would never over stay my welcome even at my kids homes. I would be sensitive to the fact that they have their own family and may not want Mum around the whole time even if they had initially invited me.
Ok that’s it. How do I stop acting like a child and a victim?