Married Monday: The Ranty Bride, House Guests, and Sharing Your Space

Heads up, Tulle Nation – The Ranty Bride needs you! She's been married to her very own The Boy for almost a year now and they really like each other. But (and there's ALWAYS a "but") she's got an issue and needs some help figuring out how to handle it. From Liz:

"How does someone with Social Anxiety deal with a husband who
LOVES houseguests? And being a houseguest?

A key factor for him in buying a house is having dedicated
space that makes it as comfortable as possible for people to come visit all the
time. Me? My idea of hell. And it's not anything really particular about his
guests (other than we don't really know each other, so I'm not comfortable
walking around in a towel or telling them to fend for themselves – as I would
with my sister or a close friend). Also, they want to stay for an extended
period of time, not overnight (which would be more ok with me).

It probably wouldn't be so bad if I had the vacation time to
take off when people are visiting, like they will be in a few months. But, I
can't. I will have to work the whole time. I have a routine in the morning
before work and any disruptions throw me way off. It drives me CRAZY when my
husband leaves late and pesters me, let alone people who want breakfast and to
chat. I like my space at night. I like to unwind and breathe, not have my
husband and cats and NOW MORE PEOPLE up in my business.

His thing is that the people who would come visit will only
do so if they stay with us because that's just what they do. Asking them to
stay elsewhere would insult and offend. They invite us to stay with them, too,
but the last trip I pushed for a hotel just to have some privacy/room to
breathe. So, it's not like I'm holding them to some standard I'm not willing to
follow myself. Hell, I'll PAY for the hotel if it means I can get ready for
work in peace.


Being Married, House Guests, and Sharing Your Space
Image Courtesy of: Miranda Laine Photography

Wow. This is one of those Things About Being Married That No One Tells You About. Because there's just no good answer to this one – someone is gonna be unhappy (you, him, your guests). This is going to require compromise and some uncomfortable discussion. Here's my thoughts/options for you:

  • Straight up tell his guests (or have him tell them) about your Social Anxiety. Explain that it is the reason that you're uncomfortable having long-term house guests and why you need your own space. Have your doctor write a note if you need to.
  • Compromise with your husband. You can have X number of house guests for X number of days, X number of times a year. Marriage is about compromise on BOTH sides. If you give a little on your end then he needs to do the same on his… and BOTH need to stick to the decided upon schedule.
  • Be the one who organizes the guests and gets them into a hotel room. You may have to make up a reason though so feelings aren't hurt. Tell them you have a cold or the cats are sick or something. Do the same thing for everyone and do it so often it becomes the norm and they stop asking to stay at your house. *A side note, often people want to stay at your house NOT because they like you but because they can't afford a hotel. Offer to pay for one with a pool and dirty movies and see how quickly they want to give y'all your space.
  • Get your own hotel room. Your husband wants the company? He can have the company. You can have room service and a maid. If he's unhappy, revisit the above options.

Listen, I hear your pain. I am a hardcore homebody and have my routines. It frustrates me when The Boy sleeps in on days I have to work or doesn't go to bed at his normal time. Doesn't he understand that I have a ROUTINE?!?! It completely throws me off and pisses me off more. And houseguests? No. I'm not into it. I don't like chitchat. I don't like people sitting in my spot on the couch. I don't like wearing pants. Luckily for me, The Boy is pretty understanding so we don't have lots of long-term guests stay with us (and the ones that do know I'm weird so they leave me alone). The point? We each know how the other feels about it and created a working compromise to deal. I'm hoping that you and your The Boy can do the same.

How about it, Tulle Nation? Any advice for The Ranty Bride? Have/are any of you in a similar situation? How can she tackle this problem? Thanks for sharing your thoughts!