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How Do You Deal With Rude Houseguests, Especially When They're Family?

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Question: How Do You Deal With Rude Houseguests, Especially When They're Family?
"My husband and I just bought a new home. I want it to be inviting to family, but many don't treat our home with care. One broke a cherished memento and acted like it didn't matter. He doesn't supervise his kids and I have to watch that they don't get into anything or get hurt! My mother-in-law broke my recliner. My father has told my mom that he's not comfortable in my home because he thinks I'm neurotic

With holiday houseguests coming, I'm stressed out. Is it bad that I dread entertaining?"

Answer: Dear Reader:

I have a feeling that there's a lot of deep history and complex emotions behind all the parties involved with your question. Since I don't know about anyone but you, I can only offer some practical suggestions for how to deal with things and your understandable frustration.

First, when those wild children visit, hide your breakables and anything else you fear they will damage. As for their safety, it's the parents' responsibility, and if you watch less, they'll probably watch more.

You shouldn't approach your mother-in-law about her rude behavior since you don't have a good relationship with her, and wouldn't want to make it worse. Leave those discussions to your husband.

As for dealing with your father, I would talk to your mom. Since she's the one who felt obliged to tell you about your dad's lack of comfort in your beautiful, new home, you might want to suggest that she host the holiday parties instead so that dad can be more comfy in his own house.

The bottom line is that you certainly have the right to expect your guests to act with consideration of your new home. They shouldn't expect you to be relaxed as you watch them trash all of your hard work and expense. If your family is as thoughtless as you say, I can't blame you for feeling stressed about future entertaining. On the other hand, let me suggest that you look into your own heart, and make sure you're not being overly nervous about things because they're new. Perhaps nobody has been especially careless in your home. Only you know that answer for sure. At times, we all need to remember that things are only temporary, but family is forever. In the end, which is worth more to you - your beautiful new home, or your very flawed family? I can't answer that for you, and I can't fault you for whichever answer you choose.

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