Hundreds of Heads


Married? Here’s some advice on your visiting with your in-laws from the book “How to Survive Your In-Laws” (Hundreds of Heads Books,, $13.95), straight from people who’ve done it:

“The first time my husband and I spent the night at his parents’ house, two of his siblings and their spouses were also visiting. Because there weren’t enough bedrooms to accommodate all the married couples, my mother-in-law had the girls sleep in one room, and the boys in another. My husband ended up snoring so badly that his brother-in-law got up and went to sleep in the laundry room; we couldn’t find him in the morning! Get a hotel room, because that’s the only way you’ll have privacy. I used to think the idea of not staying with family was appalling, but it’s the only way you’ll be able to do what you like. Besides, you can visit every single day if you want.”

– Cheri Hurd, Littleton, Colo.


“If you’re going to spend a weekend at your parents’ or in-laws’ house, make sure you and your spouse have alone time. It’s easy to get swallowed up in the family dynamic, so schedule afternoon walks in the woods or something like that to regain yourselves. When we’re at my folks’ place, my husband and I walk to my elementary school and shoot hoops.”

– Anonymous, St. Louis

“Don’t be cornered alone, especially near photo albums! I once got caught hearing hours of stories from my mother-in-law about how bad and disrespectful my husband was. How should one respond? Agree with her? Laugh? I decided to take the safe route and politely nod.”

– Lisa Douglass, San Francisco


“My first husband’s father was a pathologist; he conducted autopsies. He and his wife were big drinkers. One day, we went to their place for an outdoor party. They were using an autopsy table as their bar. I was mortified. The table tilted a little, so if any booze was spilled, it ran down the table into a bucket.”

– Anonymous, Indianapolis

“My wife’s mom visits for two weeks at a time. I’ve started taking the lead to do something fun with her so I don’t always feel like she’s invading my turf. We’ll go to a museum in town that features a painter she likes. That way, I have something to be excited about instead of feeling sorry for myself that she’s here again for two weeks.”

– Tom Fishburne, Minneapolis


“My husband’s brother, mom, and dad came to visit; they were all staying at our house. One night, all five of us were cooking supper. His brother got the placemats out and set four places at the table. They all sat down and started to serve the food, and I just kind of stood there – there was no place for me to sit. That was the last time they stayed here.”

– Jennifer, Las Vegas

Hundreds of Heads Books’ survival guides offer the wisdom of the masses by assembling the experiences and advice of hundreds of people who have gone through life’s biggest challenges and have insight to share. Visit to share your advice or get more information.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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