My wife and I recently had relatives visit us from out of town for a week. When we started making plans for this, we immediately remembered the last time we had company visiting us for an extended period of time and, more importantly, the stress it put on our marriage both from the way our budget was stretched tighter and from having to work around extra people in our small home. Even when we weren’t bickering as a result of this, we were pretty much too tired and stressed to do anything together as a couple and it took several days after the company left to get things back to normal between us.
This time around, we were determined to prevent that from happening again and took three major steps to prevent our visiting relatives from causing us any significant marital issues.
The first thing we did was make sure they stayed at a motel. Yes, when we did this, we did feel like we were being a bit rude at first. But, by doing this, we were able to have at least a couple hours to ourselves each night and some time each morning to catch up on our daily chores like dishes and paying the bills. It also allowed us to keep our daughters’ nighttime routines in place so we didn’t have issues with them not getting enough sleep (which would have caused even more stress).
One thing we did do was help our relatives find a motel they could easily fit into their budget. And, if we wouldn’t have been able to do that, I was prepared to help them out a bit if needed since it would have been more than worth it.
Another thing we did was make sure most of our meals were homemade. The last time we had relatives visit us, we ended up taking them to all the local restaurants. Even though they paid their own way, it did get pretty expensive and our budget is already tight enough. This time around, we went out for dinner one night but made sure all our other meals were made at home. This was both more affordable and healthier.
Last, we found activities we could do that were free. We obviously wanted our guests to have a good time. But, again, we didn’t want to stretch our budget to the point it would cause us extra stress so we looked for things we could do in town for absolutely no money. This included a walking tour of our downtown area and a visit to some of our local parks. They still managed to have a good time without us having to spend a fortune on admission or gas.
Thanks to these steps, our relatives were able to enjoy themselves while they were visiting and, because we had some of our normal routine still intact and weren’t spending more money than we could afford, my wife and I managed to stay happily married. If you have relatives coming to visit you for an extended period of time, I recommend trying these things.