How to Communicate With Difficult Family

family bonding

Honey, didn’t your sister say she was only staying 3 days?”

“Babe, is that your brother grilling outside…at midnight…in his underwear?”

Yep. You know it. It’s that time of year where we are going to be around family. Family Reunions. Weddings. Graduations. Whether you are a newlywed or an empty-nester, you are going to be faced with the fun, rewarding, yet often challenging interaction with FAMILY. How you have dealt with your family, your outlaws (I mean, in-laws) up to this point is a conversation for another time, but right now, I want to share with you how to keep the peace in your home when dealing with family.

Let your spouse know IN ADVANCE the travel schedule, the sleeping arrangements and well…the guest list. Whether it is your side of the family or his, usually the wife is made aware of the details of the event, but don’t leave your husband in the dark. He should know if you want to stop over to an elderly aunt’s house or if your brother wants to ride with your family instead of driving his car. By your husband knowing upfront, you all can discuss it in private instead of having a heated discussion at the event.

Don’t agree to something without checking in with your spouse first. This is the home that you BOTH share and your husband may not be too keen on your smoking cousin staying overnight. Just because they are your family doesn’t mean they should stay at your house. It’s ok to say No if it means your husband doesn’t have to go get a hotel room because he is upset that your niece or nephew can’t be trusted to clean up after themselves or is up late disturbing him while he’s trying to get ready for work. Have respect for your spouse because you want him around after they leave.

Let your spouse know IN ADVANCE the travel schedule, the sleeping arrangements and well…the guest list.

Decide on the budget BEFORE you send off the gift cards/checks. I know your godson worked really hard to graduate from college and that you love him so much, but you have several other events coming up this summer. Be mindful of your spending. 50 dollar gift card here, 80 dollars off of the registry, 100 for all of the family reunion t-shirts for everyone. Yeah…it could get real tight come August. And guess what? A book on resume writing or a photo album still works. Boring maybe, but still some great gifts.

Enjoy every minute of it! We all got sloppy nephews, smoking cousins and grilling brothers or some combination thereof, but…as Sister Sledge taught us, We Are FAM-I-LY. This is the time to create new memories. Let’s just not make the memories at the expense of you or your spouse sleeping on the couch over something that could have been avoided.

Remember, you are not just One Sexy Wife all of the time. During this time of year, you are a travel agent, event planner, personal shopper, chauffeur and so much more. What a blessing it is to live a life that gives God glory and shows your family a lot of love. Happy Summer!

Share your sticky family scenarios and how you dealt with them below!

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