A Visit from the In-Laws

So, as a relationship expert, I do more than just date coaching. I help those already in relationships, as well as teens, parents, employers, et cetera. We solve issues in their relationships regardless of what those issues may be.

Today we tackle a tricky question that I am sure will provoke lots of opinions.

Hee Hee Hee In-laws coming to visit.

Last week I had a very anxious wife ask me if it was okay for her mother-in-law to always assume that when they visit – trips are generally planned, but rather last minute – they stay at her home. She felt that her in-laws should at the very least offer to stay at a hotel sometimes. She asked if it were appropriate for her to request this of them, since her husband did not agree and did not see the issue with his parents staying in the guest room on occasion.

I laughed. I mean, a good deep stomach chuckle came roaring out of my mouth at this age-old issue. Like many relationship issues, this one depends on your situation.

I was raised in a small home with a big family and everyone slept everywhere, whenever they showed up. Uncle Mickey would come from Virginia at 2am and sleep on the porch, and Aunt Marion would get in bed with Grams… after waking us up by throwing rocks at the windows. They always decided the morning before that it would be fun to drive twelve hours for a surprise visit. All us kids would pile on the floor, legs on faces, feet in ribs, no sleep and lots of noise, but it did not matter because we were all family, and that’s what family did. They just made it work. And so, I guess I feel the same about this.

What’s the big deal with your husband’s parents staying in your guest room when they come to visit? At least they visit! Lots of people just don’t visit at all and you may have no relationship with them because if that. So, is it better to allow them to stay with you to keep the peace with them and your husband, or should you just ask them to stay out of your life entirely?

You must learn to pick your battles in life and this doesn’t seem like a worthy war to me. Especially when your husband seems to want his parents to stay. They are coming to be with you and your family.

My mother-in-law visits and says she just wants to see us and be in our daily lives. She wants the fighting, the mess, the showers, the laundry, the meal times, the dog walks, the school pick-ups, the grocery trips, the homework, and all the other stuff. She wants to experience the daily activities we would do more often together if we lived closer, but we don’t, so we should make the best of the little time we do have. It seems harmless, and if you aren’t going to die because of it, you should just allow them to stay and be grateful they care enough to make the trip.

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