Advice Column: Response to “Closed In”

Dear Hailey,

My spouse is from a small tight knit family with no extended family. We were recently invited to go with them from CA to AZ for a visit to the Grand Canyon. We agreed to go, took the time off work and got everything in order to make it happen. One day before the event, her family decided it would be a good idea to get an RV instead of staying in the hotel we had planned. What should I do?

Closed in

Dear Closed in,

I gather from your letter that you aren’t on board with the idea of staying in an RV with your in laws. It’s always frustrating when you have agreed to do something a certain way, and then it gets changed all of a sudden. Especially on the eve of the trip.

A family vacation is one thing, but all staying together in an RV is definitely something different entirely. If you aren’t comfortable staying in an RV with your in laws, you need to communicate that.

Talk to your spouse first. Find out how she feels about this. Let her know this is something that you aren’t comfortable with. Whether it be the lack of privacy that is causing you stress, or simply being closed in together in a small space. Communicate that to her. Then approach this together with your in laws as a team.

It’s always good to approach these things with compromise. If they are wanting to sleep and travel together in the RV, then maybe consider offering up that you and your wife can travel in the RV, but you will sleep in a hotel. Maybe you could rent an RV of your own and wagon train with them. Offer up whatever compromise you are comfortable with.

Ultimately, you need to decide if you would rather power through this trip in a situation you aren’t comfortable with, or have an upfront conversation. The conversation will probably be more uncomfortable initially, but it will be shorter than an entire trip.

Family situations can be delicate and stressful. Approach it with openness, and a willingness to compromise. Good luck, and enjoy the Grand Canyon!

Hailey

Posted in Q&A

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