AnnLanders.com - Advice for your Everyday Life
Section: addictions, manners 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
Please tell me if I'm wrong. My wife's parents called last week and asked if they could stay in our extra bedroom for the night. They live in the suburbs. We get along well, so naturally, I said yes. My wife and I had been planning an evening out, and my in-laws offered to watch our daughter so we wouldn't have to hire a sitter. It seemed like a very convenient arrangement. Here's the problem. My in-laws smoke. They know we do not tolerate smoking in our home, especially now that we have a young child. When my wife and I returned from our evening out, it was obvious that my in-laws had been puffing up a storm. Also, there were ashes on the sofa where they had been sitting. I was furious. When we asked them about it, they became angry and started yelling that our rules were ridiculous, and that they should be allowed to smoke in our home if they want to. Then, they left in a snit and have threatened to cut all ties with us. My wife and I are not anti-smoking crusaders, Ann. We don't mind if friends or family members smoke, but we don't want them doing it in our house. I don't believe we are unreasonable, but apparently, they do. My wife loves her parents, and other than this issue, we get along just fine. I certainly don't want our daughter to grow up without her grandparents, but I am concerned about my child's health and do not want her around all that secondhand smoke. How can we repair this rupture and have a good relationship again without caving in on the smoking issue? -- The Son-in-Law

Dear S.I.L.,
You have every right to tell your in-laws they cannot smoke in your home, and they should respect your wishes. To maintain cordial relations, I suggest you offer to take them out for dinner at an upscale restaurant, and try to find one that allows smoking. (Many don't.) That should do it.


"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful."
-Ann Landers