Your In-Law Holiday Survival Guide

November 24,2021

In-laws are tricky. Holidays are tricky. Put them together and you’ve got some truly stressful situations. In this episode we are once again going ‘advice column-style’ to help some of our audience members sort out their frustrations. We’re talking a lot about boundaries and communication, and even if you have typically stress-free holidays, this episode is definitely entertaining.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

Here’s a glance at this episode:

[6:40] What ARE boundaries? Are they rude?

[10:13] Listener Story #1: “My in-laws really dislike me. Things have always been kind of negative between us but it blew up at our wedding…”

[17:08] Why it’s so important to be on the same team as your partner

[22:24] The last resort — and why you don’t have to force yourself into a bad situation

[23:52] Listener story #2: “My mother-in-law is never satisfied with the amount of time we give her. She always wants more…”

[27:25] Our advice for story #2

[30:27] Listener story #3: “I grew up with divorced parents and was entirely raised by my mom. The way she loved us was so compassionate and physical in a safe way…When I spend time with my husband’s parents it’s really hard…their love feels superficial and I feel like they like to express their care through gifts. This sounds great but comes with a lot of stress for me. I feel like I owe them in return.”

[31:20] What to do when people are speaking different Love Languages

[35:20] How to deal with receiving gifts when it doesn’t come naturally

[39:35] Listener story #4: “My sister-in-law and her husband are gracious enough to put us up in a spare room whenever we come home for the holidays…I’ve never really felt comfortable staying at other peoples’ houses and would much prefer a hotel room…My wife is concerned that staying elsewhere would hurt her sister’s feelings…Am I the bad guy for wanting to get a room?”

[41:09] How to communicate wanting to do something that’s more comfortable for you and your partner

[45:54] Listener story #5: “My in-laws…automatically think their family should be the priority, and it’s hard to plan things with my family without upsetting them…How do I approach asking for flexibility without offending them?”

[46:44] The reality around “fairness”

Links & resources

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I'm Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist and writer specializing in helping you have more fun in the bedroom.

I have bachelor’s degrees in human sexuality and sociology from Brown University, and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. I’m also a licensed psychotherapist. I’ve been working in the sex therapy field since 2002 and have been featured by The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, and many more.

If you’re interested in improving your sex life, you can work with me via my online courses or personal coaching sessions. I look forward to supporting you in creating the sex life you’ve always wanted!