One big happy family

It's that time again -- you have a beach house with your extended family or are going away for a week with everyone. Sounds like all would be good and only good times are in store, but not quite. You and your in-laws sometimes butt heads, and to top it all off, they're just really difficult. How are you going to deal?

Extended Family on Beach


Before you back out of the family vacation or decide on medicating yourself to get through it with flying colors, there might be some good ol' organic tips that you can employ in order to refrain from going nuts.

We turned to married folks who have been there and done that. If they can do it, so can you.

Tip 1: Think Positively

Haven't you ever heard of the power of positive thinking? Books like The Secret even dictate that if you think it, it will happen. My friend Lauren, who's been with the same guy for four years, recently went on vacation with her boyfriend's family (his parents, too). She had always gotten along with them for the most part, but sometimes his parents can be a little judgmental. "My worst fear was that his mother would say something that would make me feel uncomfortable, like that she didn't like my outfit or something stupid like that," Lauren explains. "I read The Secret on the plane on the way to Costa Rica, and it taught me a thing or two about thinking positively." Lauren put it in her head that her and her boyfriend's family will have the most amazing time ever and they did. "I think what did it was that I didn't expect them to say or do anything that would make the time uncomfortable," she says. "It worked!"

Tip 2: Ignore

"The worst thing you can do when away with (annoying) in-laws is by letting things get to you," says Cara, who's been married for ten years. "After countless vacations with my husband's parents, I've come to the conclusion that in order to travel with my in-laws, I have to cover my ears and eyes." Cara claims her husband's parents tend to be very inappropriate. "I just turn the other way and do my own thing," she says. "You're supposed to have fun on vacation, right? They have their fun, I have mine."

Tip 3: Make Jokes

Okay, so Cara didn't always have it that good. In fact, a couple of years ago, she had a really weird altercation with a cousin in-law. "Let's just say someone had a little too much to drink and words were said that the person would not have said if she were sober," Cara recalls. "The next day, things could have been really horrible, but I decided to just laugh it off." Cara admits that she sometimes feels a sting when she thinks about that infamous night, but at the end of the day, she knows it was a stupid situation. Should instances like that happen to you while you're away with your in-laws, just laugh it off.

Step 4: Relax

Maybe you're a little uptight yourself? Before you get offended, let us explain. If you're going to travel with your husband or boyfriend's side of the family, it's normal to have some apprehension. Instead of developing some unnecessary anxiety about it, though, just chill out. His family might surprise you. "I always have a good time with husband's family on vacations," says Brenda, who's been happily married for four years. "Granted, I'm lucky because I get along with my in-laws. Just because you don't get along with your in-laws in everyday life, doesn't mean you won't get along when you're away." In fact, some people are completely different when they're away. Just relax and have the best possible time you can have. And if you don't, just make a note to never go away with them again.

Good luck!


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