Visits with in-laws are often difficult times for couples because there’s always someone in the family who annoys or offends you. In today’s example, Christine and Jeremy are planning a week at the cabin with his whole family. Jeremy has a great family, but it includes two family members who think it’s good fun to make racist and sexist remarks.
This couple’s usual pattern is for Christine to let Jeremy know how much she dreads going, and point out how inappropriate it is for people to behave this way. Jeremy’s response is to dismiss her concerns and defend his dad and uncle because “they’re from another era.”
My suggestion to Christine was that instead of stressing out for weeks before the trip, she send Jeremy an I Have a Request Ecard letting him know what he can do to make her feel better. Here’s how her finished Ecard looked, followed by a glimpse at the checklist she used to create it.
Because Christine’s request did not include an attack or criticism of Jeremy’s family members, his response was to reassure Christine that he did respect her and would say something privately to his dad and brother about this.
Obviously, Jeremy could not prevent his dad or brother from making comments anyway, but the important thing to Christine was that he cared enough to speak to them.