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.
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!
Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!
Shame on the parents....I would not allow anyone to smoke in my home. I really don't know of many hotels/restaurant that allows that either.
Those "parents" apparently are very self-centered and do not care about the child's health, let alone theirs. I would not try to appease them by taking them to an upscale restaurant. This would be like begging them for forgiveness for the wrong they did while staying in their DIL
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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:
Dear Readers, , My x-girlfriend who lived with my son and I for 16 years died of cancer. Prior before we knew she had cancer-she moved out because of an addiction problem. We did stay very close before she died. Her x-husband an attorney took over her finances and the burial arrangements. I being financially set was okay with that, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.