In-laws’ habit creates toxic smokescreen

Dear Amy: My in-laws have recently relocated to a town approximately seven hours away. They are very excited about retirement and about their new home, and they are hoping that we will visit often, including over holidays.

They used to live closer to us and when we visited, we would stay just for the day.

However, now with the travel distance my husband wants us to stay with them for two (or more) nights. My issue is that my in-laws are both heavy smokers.

I find the cigarette smoke very offensive and toxic. Getting a hotel room for these future visits is out of the question.

I fear that this will be a wedge in my marriage and that it will possibly divide us during holidays.

I need some advice on how to approach this without “calling in sick” each time we are invited to stay with them.

— Smoke-Sensitive Wife

Dear Smoke Sensitive: You are presenting your dilemma and then dismissing the most logical solution to your problem, which is for you to say to your in-laws: “I hope you understand my choice, but I really struggle being around cigarette smoke. I’m eager to see you and spend time with you, but I know it would be best if I stayed overnight in a hotel during our visit. I’m looking forward to our time together.”

This simple, polite, statement of fact is nothing more than a summation of your own needs.