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That’s me on the right, paddle boarding on Lake Michigan on Friday. [click to continue…]

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House

I’ve been with my fiancé, “Jim,” for seven years and we have been engaged for a little over one year. When I first met him, I knew how much of a family man he was — it’s one of the reasons I fell in love with him. His family is all located within the same area in the state where we went to college, twenty minutes from our university. I am from a nearby state and moved home after graduation. Jim had never left his hometown and had told me he wants to be close to his family when we finally settle down into a house. His mom died years ago when he was 16 and, unfortunately, his father just passed away unexpectedly a month ago. Jim is the baby of the family, with three older sisters (21, 18 and 16 years older than he is, respectively), all of whom are like mothers to him. We had planned to live in my town for a couple years in an apartment after we are married so we could be on our own before moving back to his hometown and settling down in a house.

Jim made the transition here a few weeks ago to live with me and my family until we get an apartment. He has started a new job, but I feel that he is unhappy and wants to just return to his family. We have also had to deal with his father’s (and his) home, which was left to him and which he does not want to sell. We had agreed that we would eventually move back to that house after a year or two, but, again, I think he is already one foot out the door. I don’t want him to resent me for “taking him away” from his family and friends, especially during this difficult time. But I also don’t want to give up my only hope of us really getting onto our own two feet even if it is for only a year.

When I try to talk to him, he feels like I am putting too much pressure on him. His sisters put a lot of pressure on him, too, and he shuts down. How can we get on the same page where he doesn’t feel that I am taking him away from his family? I love his family and have agreed to move back there eventually. But I feel like I’m stuck. — Feeling Stuck

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Last weekend, we had our first not-just-visiting-family family (mini-) vacation in three years, and it was wonderful. Well, mostly wonderful. I ended up getting sick for a big chunk of the trip, but luckily we were able to extend our stay by one day pretty easily so I got to decompress and relax at least a little bit before we headed home. (That’s us in the picture above — well, three of us, anyway — heading home on Monday.)

And now, in an even more rare occurrence, I’m off for another weekend away. This time, I’m flying solo, visiting Chicago for our annual friend reunion. (And I’ll apologize in advance to all Chicago friends I will likely fail to see; I hear I’m flying into a heat wave, and I fully expect to pick one or two of the coolest spots I can find — a deck chair in the shade, or the lake early in the morning or at dusk — and not budge for the duration of my brief visit, except maybe to grab a cold bottle of beer from the fridge or cooler.) Drew will be on full-time Dad duty this weekend, picking up the slack in my absence, saint that he is. I’m even missing our wedding anniversary on Sunday, which I feel terrible about, but which I will do my best to make up for upon my return. Thank you, Drew, for all you do as my husband, as the father of our kids, as my partner-in-crime on this “journey,” to borrow a Bachelor phrase, that we started years ago. I shudder to think where I’d be (or who I’d be with, let’s be honest) if I hadn’t met you. I don’t show you or tell you enough, but I hope you know how very much I not only love you, but also appreciate everything you. Your kindness, patience, good humor, compassion, and generosity are some of the main ingredients in my happiness, and they are exactly what I hope our kids will inherit as they watch you model them over and over (and I know we certainly give you enough opportunity to practice patience and good humor). We are so lucky to have you.

Happy anniversary to Drew, and happy weekend to the rest of you. Have a great one!

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21filipovicWeb-master768-v2

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

Why (Traditional) Men Want to Marry Melanias and Raise Ivankas

Good news for a lot of us: Study finds that couples who get drunk together have better relationships

Ask Polly: How Do I Dump My Crappy Best Friend?

Apparently, if you want a threesome (or a polyamorous relationship), you should move to Portland, one of America’s most sexually-tolerant cities.

These guys are why NYC’s single women are screwed

Not sure why, but I had a feeling this might appeal to some of you: Denver’s Appeal to Millennials? Jobs, Mountains and, Yes, Weed

Why You Should Absolutely Wait Until After 30 to Get Married

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to wendy@dearwendy.com and, if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

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woman at door

My husband and I have been together almost ten years, have been married ten months and have just purchased our first home. His mother, who lives a few miles away, is driving me NUTS. My own mom also lives a few miles away, but she would never in a million years do any of the things my MIL does. For example, a few years back she spent the night at our house because we were supposedly closer to her morning appointment and she wanted to avoid traffic. To my surprise, she didn’t leave in the morning before me (I left at 9:30AM); I had to leave her alone in my house for a few hours. When I arrived home from work, I found she has taken laundry out of my dryer, folded it, and put it away (even my panties), and she had also even made my bed. Well, that was just a taste of her overstepping.

More recently, upon finding out we were buying this home, my MIL offered to rent our basement to “help” with bills. We politely declined her offer because we don’t need help with bills, our mortgage is cheaper than the rent we had been paying, and we make a decent living. I was confused about why my MIL would even want to move into her adult son’s home with his new wife, especially since we don’t have kids nor plan on having kids. Well, now she wants to help with projects around our house. My husband mentioned an idea of putting a garden-type sitting area for me in the back of our property (we have an acre) and now my MIL stops by unannounced all the time with plans for the garden/sitting area, even though I’ve told her multiple times this project will not take place this year, if ever.

Additionally, we don’t have a plan for landscaping yet — we are just cutting grass and concentrating on inside work. Well, she isn’t taking the hint and now is making plans for MORE gardens on my property, all of which I have to pay for, because she’s on a limited budget. She wants to put two gardens in my back yard, one in front and, of course, the sitting area. I don’t want ANY gardens now or maybe ever; I work a lot and don’t have time to keep them maintained. When ready, I would like to research low-maintenance landscaping.

Yesterday morning, I woke up to a text from my MIL asking if I would leave the front door unlocked so she could use my bathroom while working on my front garden. Confused, I called my husband to inquire about the situation. He said that there was no plan for her to come over but that, when she had stopped by unannounced over the weekend, she had asked him our plans for front landscaping and he replied that nothing was taking place until fall but maybe we would weed sooner to clean it up some. Then she said, “Oh, maybe I’ll help weed.” I told my husband he needs to talk to her because this is making me uncomfortable; he immediately became defensive and said, “Talk to her about what?” I said: “About her showing up unannounced all the time and not getting permission for these projects she is running with. We need to set boundaries!” He became even more defensive and said I have a problem with his mother and she just wants to help.

Well, I returned home after work to find the front of my house GUTTED and she even pulled out the one flower I liked. I told her I loved the bleeding hearts in front because they reminded me of my grandmother and now they are gone. I feel she did this out of spite.

My MIL also calls my husband almost daily asking when we are installing rope on the clothesline in the backyard because she wants to dry her clothes on it as she loves sun-dried clothes. I find it strange this woman thinks it’s okay to bring her clothes to my house to dry in my backyard, and I’m also not cool with it. I was going to keep the clothesline, but now I want to rip it out of the ground because I don’t want to see her granny panties swaying in the wind from my kitchen window.

I think my MIL is jealous of my mom because my big-mouth husband told her my mom gave us the down payment for our house, plus she paid for our 25k wedding. I believe she is trying to somehow make up for not being able to help financially by “helping out” in other ways. I honestly did want her help with the front of the house because she knows a lot more about plants than I do, but now that this has happened I’m starting to feel resentment and don’t want her help at all.

When moving, I also made my mother-in-law cry by telling her I didn’t need or want help packing my house for the move. She told my husband that I make her feel worthless because I don’t accept her help. I stood my ground by saying it’s nothing personal against her, but I don’t want ANYONE’s help, not even his because I want to pack my way. I had help with a previous move and it was more work to give directions than it was just to do the work myself, plus I couldn’t find anything for MONTHS.

What do I do?? How do I get my husband to understand my feelings? How do I set boundaries with my MIL to make it known it’s not cool she stops by unannounced and is running with these projects? My fear is that if I don’t pay for the material she wants for the projects, she will then say I’ll have to pay her rent or pay her back. I just don’t know what to do. Any help you can offer would be great. — Needing Boundaries

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