Help! My SS's visits are a nightmare!
I need advice to deal with very stressful visits from a grown step-son, his wife, and my husband's former inlaws. Here is the situation: My husband of one year lost his former wife to cancer three years ago. He has two sons in their late twenties who live out of town. I have a teenage daughter who lives with us. As soon as we got married last year we began to remodel his huge old farm house where the boys grew up. I was fearful of moving, changing, or getting rid of something that would upset the boys. Even before we got married I was concerned about this so I brought it up at our l premarrital counseling with our pastor. She suggested I write this to the boys which I did. I got not response. So I asked my husband to talk to them. They said they were fine with whatever we did.
I'm sure you can see where this is going. My husband's former wife allowed the boys to live like slobs. The house looked like a tornado full of their stuff with legos everywhere. Despite the fact that they had been gone for years, they still had clothes from their teenage years and older items that mice had gone threw. We cleaned, ripped up carpet, threw out trash and boxed up what was salvageable. Things were painted and remodeled. Then the boys came home. One freaked out. He immediately wanted to know what I did with his stuff. He pulled out all the boxed up stuff, dragged it out throughout the upstairs. Then he and his wife left for their home out of state. So I cleaned things up again.
Ever since there has been tension and anxiety. We don't talk. I keep busy and try to stay out of their way. They now have a baby and came for the past week. The day before I got the house ready, put clean sheets on their bed. Spent the entire day making a big dinner for them. They also along with my husbamd invited my husbands former wife's mom and sister (the other grandma and aunt) to come down to visit for the five days son/daughter-in-law, baby, and their dog would be with us. The aunt and grandma showed up to dinner two hours late, expect to eat after I just cleaned up the kitchen, and walked in my front door with two photo albums of the late wife to show everyone how much the baby looks like her. Needless to say that was not a good start to the visit.
The tension during the week continued to build. I avoided everyone as mich as possible (they know I have a VERY small family and aren't used to crowds. We had an open house for friends/family to see the new baby. I got a sheet cake and got everything ready for that. An hour after the event was supposed to end, the house was still full. I went upstairs with a guest and my daughter to watch tv. The stepson came up and asked if he could have the room so he could play video games with an old friend. They are almost 30 and had the whole house! So my daughter and I left. The night before their flight, the daughterinlaw approached me with, "can I have a word with you on the porch?" I said you can talk to me with my husband. She said we don't feel comfortable here. You avoid us.
That is true. I do avoid them because I don't want a fight and I feel provoked. Also, I am not used to a big family and need some quiet time. Plus the whole situation with my husband's former inlaws makes me very uncomfortable. How can this be fixed? Is there any hope? I have a very srong feeling of trying to escape their presence. How can I deal with this? But most of all, my husband is now not talking to me. This bothers me the most. How can I heal this? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.