Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Feeling like a political prisoner at the in-laws' house

Carolyn Hax on

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi Carolyn:

My husband and I have planned a vacation in a few months that includes spending several days with his parents. I love his parents. In the 10 years we've been together, they've been nothing but pleasant.

That is, until about two years ago when they both retired, giving them way too much time to spend watching the news and on social media. My mother-in-law spends all day on Facebook. Both have become very vocal in their political beliefs, which are on the opposite end from where my husband and I sit.

We are going to be spending at least three, possibly more, days in their home on this trip. I would shorten it, but my husband only gets to see them once a year. A hotel room is not an option as the small town they live in doesn't have one and the closest are too far away to be practical.

I combated the political talk on our last visit with a "no politics" rule, which mostly worked. But they've only gotten worse since then. My husband can't have a 20-minute phone conversation with his mom without it turning to politics. It's all she has to talk about.

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I know this trip is months out, but I'm already starting to stress about it. Any suggestions will be helpful.

-- Political Prisoner

I'm sorry. I think we all can relate at this point.

But: By dwelling on this now, you've extended an uncomfortable several days into months of stress.

...continued

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