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Holiday in-law help

Ah, the holidays – when you get to spend copious amounts of time with your partner’s family no matter how well you’ve managed to avoid them the rest of the year.  So what’s a girl to do?

  • Realize that it is one day out of your entire life.  Even if it’s more than one day, you have 365 days each year – it’s better than gnawing off your leg to escape.
  • Agree with your partner the arrival and departure time.  Ten minutes before it’s time to go, nudge your partner to start saying their goodbyes.
  • Don’t allow yourself to be baited into reacting.  It takes two to argue.  Ignore and avoid as much as you can but have an emergency let’s-get-out-of-here phrase with your partner, such as, “Oh, suddenly I don’t feel well.”
  • If they’re staying with you, you do get to make the rules but try to be as generous as possible.  Take an active roll in selecting arrival/departure dates (“We’d love to have you longer but our schedule is just crazy before the 22nd.”).  There is nothing that states that you have to spend every moment with your guests, if they refuse your overtures of day trips, don’t hesitate to leave the house if you feel the need.
  • If you’re staying with them, do your best to limit the amount of time you’re there.  Plan day trips.  Make a ritual of going for a drive each night to de-compress.  When you need to, stay in  your room with a headache.
  • Keep your irritation away from your partner (he’ll feel the need to defend), instead, vent to your best friend – just make sure the in-laws aren’t within earshot.

It can be difficult when you don’t see eye-to-eye with your in-laws but they are your partner’s family and they won’t be going away any time soon.


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