mother in law

Even you combat vets out there need tips to help you survive a weekend with your in-laws. There are few phrases more terrifying than when your wife or girlfriend looks over at you and says, “Honey, my parents are coming to visit.” Your first instinct may be to hide under the bed, crying and muttering, “Why me? Whyyyy?”, but pull yourself together, soldier. You can get through this; you just need a solid plan. This list of four tips to help you survive a weekend with your in-laws will give you the tactical advantage that you need.

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Overtime. Look, we all know that the weekend is supposed to be the time to relax and unwind after a long week at work, but relaxation is out the window when the in-laws pay you a weekend visit. God forbid they want to do more than just come see their daughter and actually want to do things together with the two of you. That’s a special kind of Hell. In order to avoid that scenario, offer to work some overtime. Seriously, work can’t be worse than staying around those people. You’ll earn some extra money, and maybe you can take another day off during the week in exchange for working that weekend day. Then you get to enjoy your day off in peace instead of listening to stories about people you’ve never met and don’t care about.

zombie mode

Zombie Mode. This tip is a little bit more of an advanced survival technique. Also called “Zen Mode”, this is when you essentially let your mind drift while you slip into a type of waking coma, where the nagging criticism of your mother-in-law melts away. This one takes some practice to get right. Everyone else might wonder why you’re sitting on the couch, slack-jawed and drooling, but at least you’ll spare yourself the agony of paying attention to the in-laws.

fake illness

Illness and Injury. Do your in-laws constantly complain to your wife about how lazy you are, despite the fact you bust your butt all week to bring in the bacon? Well, maybe the answer to surviving the weekend is to prove them right! It sounds crazy, but just listen. They’re going to call you lazy and good-for-nothing no matter what, right? So if you actually pretend to hurt yourself or get sick, and then spend the whole weekend laid up in bed, what’s the harm? It’s not like their opinion of you could go any lower, so screw them and spend your weekend watching TV in bed. If you go for the gold and really look super sick, no one will dare come near you, and you’ll enjoy your peaceful weekend. Just remember to hook up your Xbox 360 or PS3 in case nothing good is on TV.

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The Bender. This is an extreme measure, but if your in-laws are so bad that you just can’t bear to be around them for even one second (no one is going to blame you, by the way), then you need to stay away all weekend. How? The bender to end all benders, baby. On Friday after work, you and your friends get wasted. Beyond wasted–intergalactically messed up. You wake up in a random hotel with no idea how you got there, and you spend the rest of your weekend trying to find your way home. Your wife may be mad at you, but at the same time, she may just be glad that you’re home safe and sound. This is pretty much a one-time use trick, so save it for a visit that you really want to skip.

These visits are a part of relationships, unless you’re lucky enough to have married an orphan. You’ll have to face the in-laws at some point, but with a solid battle plan you’ll live to see another in-law-free day. Stay strong, stay focused, and keep your eyes on the prize, and you can survive any weekend with your in-laws.