Archive for February 17th, 2009

February 17, 2009

When you are a guest in someone’s home for a few days (or longer) …

by Rod Smith

1. Buy groceries and, after a few days, make a special meal for all to enjoy.
2. If there is a maid, pay her very well when you leave.
3. Schedule some face-to-face time with your hosts each day.
4. Don’t assume the phone or Internet is free.
5. Avoid comparing where you live (politics, economy, crime statistics, way of life) with where you are visiting.
6. Don’t discipline other people’s children, offer your hosts marriage counseling, or criticize the decor.
7. Say “please” and “thank you.”
8. Don’t invade every corner of the home. Clean up after yourself.
9. Don’t insert yourself into every conversation.
10. Create your own schedule but let your host know if you will be home for meals.
11. Realize your hosts probably have to continue with “life as usual” even if you are on holiday.
12. If you are offered use of a car ALWAYS leave it clean and FULL of gas (petrol) even if it was dirty and on empty when you first got the car.
13. Don’t complain about how expensive things are or of the lack of things you are accustomed to having.
14. Don’t ever belittle your spouse, especially in someone else’s home.
15. Leave a gift at the end of your stay.

February 17, 2009

Should I keep quiet?

by Rod Smith

“My brother and family are visiting from overseas. They have been out a lot and we have not seen much of them. I made a comment about wishing we could see more of our brother. His wife shouted abuse, ‘if there’s a divorce, it will be the fault of this family.’ She took the baby and moved out to her mother. Did I say something wrong? Should we keep quiet to avoid further tension?”

An in-law cannot “cause” a divorce – but your words could provoke exposure of the fault lines that are already in the marriage. So, continue to speak up. Speak directly to your brother and let him know you’d like to see more of him during his visit. Avoid using your sister-in-law to convey what you want to say to your brother. She is “laying eggshells” so everyone will “tread lightly” as she attempts to control her surroundings. As she has probably already silenced your brother (although I do not know this to be true) she is now attempting to silence you or at least keep you in check.

In a day or two I will write simple guidelines regarding how to visit family at “home” if you have chosen to live anywhere overseas.