Photo Credit: Sean Murphy/Riser/Getty Images
No family is perfect, but the break-neck speed of the holidays magnifies even the smallest issues. With a string of major family dinners looming, many iVillage women are already bracing for year-end confrontations with their in-laws.
Some suggest that it’s best to plaster on a fake smile:
“As for your kids and their grandmother, stay out of their relationship. Don't let them know your feelings about your MIL. Stop the honesty. It only backfires.” -- deenow17
“I accepted very early on that we'd never be close, but I was okay with it since I have a great family myself.” -- hopeful123
“I just bring a lot of wine to the holiday events. It helps me deal with all the stress!” -- JoJo
But sometimes, we just can’t escape the drama:
“I was taken aback when I saw I'd be sitting next to my father-in-law at my aunt's long dining table, but was prepared to play nice for the sake of the holidays. FIL wasn't so impressed. When he saw he'd be sitting next to me, he turned his seat so that the back of the chair faced me. He ate with his arm on the dining table, his plate in his lap, facing the person on the other side of him for the whole evening. Everyone at the dinner just seemed uncomfortable, but no one brought it up.” -- star_jasmine
“Dear Husband had [a fight] last night via Skype, which seems to be the new tongue-lashing tool that MIL has taken advantage of. She brought up Thanksgiving, Christmas, and threw in a post-Halloween lecture for good measure.” -- ellefun
“It's so funny to me how MIL can offer up her advice and opinions so freely to me, yet if I ever uttered one word of advice regarding her oldest son (the 50-year-old bachelor at her hip), she'd be all over me!” -- doxie64
“I've had frank conversations with my kids and I've always encouraged them to have a good relationship with their grandparents. But the sad truth is that if you don't do it their way, you are treated differently. So if that's their dysfunction, my kids will know that this is wrong and that they do not have to play a part in it.” -- summergirl 123
“I usually simply respond right to their face, ‘Wow! THAT was rude! You get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning or something?’ Luckily, there's usually somebody else in the room who overhears and gives them the big old fish eye look that asks, 'What did you say that was so rude? You better watch your mouth!'" -- sillysadie
Not to brag, but I really lucked out in the in-law lottery. (I think I have a new item for my ‘What I’m Thankful For’ list.) Did you luck out, too, or do your in-laws totally stress you out during the holidays? Brag or vent here!