Does holidaying with your in-laws sounds like Chinese torture? For some, holidaying with the in-laws sounds like the worst holiday ever. The reality is though, that when you took the oath to love and cherish, in there somewhere it should have mentioned the fact that you would - at one time or another - have to holiday with your beloved’s folks too. If some QT with the ‘out-laws’ makes your palms sweaty and your throat instantly dry, fear not dear reader. We have some tips on how to not only survive, but enjoy, a holiday with them.
Don’t try to change them
Acceptance is the key when it comes to ensuring you have a great holiday. Accept that they have their ways, and you have yours – and, most importantly, it’s not your job to change them. A little acceptance will go a long way. Psychoanalyst, Bethany Marshall Ph.D says, “you’re not going to change his family just by marrying into it, so don’t even bother trying.”
Find common ground
You fell in love with their offspring, so at least you can agree they did ‘good’ there. It’s important to share in the little nuances that the in-laws might like to practice, to show them you’re willing to partake in the family rituals. Learn to love the cheap wine they like (or at least try), ask about who’s winning the golf, or join them in watching their favourite ‘soapie’ each evening – the gesture will go a long way in showing them you are willing to try.
Do cool stuff
When planning the holiday itinerary, plan to do some excursions and outings that you all might enjoy. Get out of the house for a while and plan to see a movie, sports event, exhibition or show in the area. Maybe take your mom-in-law for a girlie day out with manicures and pedicures, or take your father-in-law to the pub to watch his favourite soccer team play.
Keep the lines of communication wide open, and don’t sulk or harbour resentment for the entire holiday. Talk about frustrations with good intention, and aim to have honest heart-to-hearts when needed. Learn to ‘shut it’ when you should too.
Take some “you” time
Make sure you take some time-out just for you, your spouse, and your children. Whether it’s a walk on the beach, a visit to the shops, or a family round of 30 Seconds, make sure you get some time to touch base, talk about any issues, debrief, and reconnect without anyone else watching, every day.
Holidaying with the in-laws can be a great test of will and patience, but it can also be a great opportunity to connect with your partner’s parents, and get to know them on a deeper level. Reciprocate, and allow them to really get to know you better too. There’s one guarantee for practicing these tips on your holiday - your spouse will love you even more for trying.
Date Published: 25 October 2017