It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time visiting the in-laws or whether you’ve done it every year for the past 10 years, there is lots to bear in mind. Unless by some freak of nature your in-laws behave exactly the same as your family then there’s a high chance they do things a little differently and that can leave room for some awkward moments.
I’ve experienced both ends of the spectrum. My parents live away and Clint has stayed at their’s many a time and I’ve also lived with his family before, so I’m well placed to talk about the do and the don’ts when it comes to visiting the in-laws. This is why I have put together some tips based on my experience of visiting the in-laws.
Remember that it’s only short term. Unless you’re living with your in-laws, then your stay is likely to be short term. And you can put up with most things for a short period of time. So, rather than getting annoyed about your partner’s family having loads of rules, or having to go to bed early to not wake the rest of the house up, just remember that it’s only for a few days.
Don’t argue in front of them. It’s best not to have an argument with your partner in front of their family at any time, let alone when you’re visiting their parents. A lot of parents will always tend to take their child’s side, even when they are wrong so it’s best to keep these things between you two. Also, you don’t want to risk saying something you will regret in front of their family. Clint once told my Dad I was a bitch while we were having a drunken argument, safe to say that it didn’t go down well.
Make compromises, while remembering your worth. If you want to get along with your in-laws then you need to respect that you’re the ones going to visit them and even if they do be behave totally different to you, you still should make an effort to fit in with their lives. That’s not to say you should be a total doormat though, know when to stand your ground!
Always remember where you are. Never forget what’s appropriate at your in-laws. As much as you might find your partner irresistible, their parents probably do not want to see you all over each other.
Walk away when you’re upset. This goes back to the point about not arguing in front of your inlaws. If you’re upset because of something they or your partner has done, rather than getting upset and causing a scene, just walk away. Once you’ve calmed down and thought about it, by all means, call them up on it but taking some time away makes sure you do it from a more rational place.
While these tips make a good guideline of what to bear in mind when visiting the inlaws, from my experience, everyone is different and in-laws are actually one of the most difficult parts of being in a relationship. But, anything you can do to make visiting the in-laws go smoothly will pretty much always work in your favour.