Cohabitation Tips: Summer at the In-Laws' House

30 April, 2020
Are you going to spend the summer at the the in-laws' house? In this article, Silvia Álava gives you some cohabitation tips.

Family vacations can be very fun but when the days go by and many people are living under the same roof, tension may manifest. What should you do if you have to spend the summer at your in-laws’ house? Keep reading to discover useful cohabitation tips.

The most important advice to improve cohabitation is to maintain a good attitude, create a climate of trust, and make sure family members respect each other. Although you’re familiar with each other, never forget to use “please” and “thank you”.

Cohabitation tips: Summer at the in-laws’ house:

Avoid comparisons

We all know that comparisons are hateful but they’re common in family vacations. In fact, one of the reasons that can cause the most friction with your in-laws is comparisons to your family of origin, in which, of course, you assume that everything is better and that “your” way of doing things is the right way.

This doesn’t need to happen. However, avoiding comparisons is one of the basic cohabitation tips during the summer.

Summer at the In-Laws' House: Cohabitation Tips

Don’t compete with your husband or wife’s family

You’re your husband’s wife, not his mother… or you’re your wife’s husband, not her father or brother. The roles are different, so don’t compete with your partner’s family or feel bad when your partner listens to them instead of you.

After all, certain conversations may evoke the past or a certain gesture of complicity can unite them in a particular way. It’s normal, as all the years they’ve spent together have helped them build a strong bond.

Be open to learning

Just as in your job or in your own environment, you must understand that you don’t always possess the absolute truth. There’s nothing wrong with accepting other ways of doing things or managing situations.

This doesn’t mean you have to adopt them, simply that you recognize them as valid during the times when you have to spend time with your partner’s family.

Keep calm and be respectful

This is a good tip for many more situations but the circumstances may be conducive to remembering that staying calm can prevent an unpleasant or uncomfortable episode.

Likewise, even if a conversation turns heated, it’s best to remember that words forever engrave themselves in people’s minds. Try to be respectful and not hurt others for any reason. Remember that you’re dealing with your partner’s family and, even though you’re in the picture, this will never change.

Above all, never force your partner to choose

Avoid saying things such as “you have to choose between your family and me.” Not only because you may not like their final choice but because you’ll be putting your significant other in an emotionally intense and compromising situation.

Cohabitation tips: Rules and boundaries

Furthermore, each family must establish their own rules and boundaries. Remember to make sure they’re positive and appropriate to each family member and their age.

Speaking with respect is a rule all families should have, regardless of their children’s ages. When your children are small, it means not hitting or insulting others and, as they grow older, to watch their tone.

Summer at the In-Laws' House: Cohabitation Tips

If you have to spend the summer at your in-laws’, it may be a good idea to have a meeting upon your arrival to establish cohabitation rules. In this regard, it’s best to have a meeting with your family nucleus first and, if you’re going to share the house with your grandparents, uncles, or other relatives, have another meeting all together so you can share the rules.

Another of the cohabitation tips if you’re going to spend the summer at your in-laws’ house is to define spaces. It’s important for both children and adults to spend time in spaces they enjoy and feel comfortable in.

On vacation, people are more relaxed and it isn’t necessary to keep the house 100% clean. However, if many people are going to live together, it’s a good idea for you to decide where everything goes to avoid losing objects and, thus, help avoid arguments. Have a place for everything and keep everything in its place.

Finally, we recommend making sure not to keep personal objects in common areas. You should also ensure the environment is relaxing but respectful at the same time.