I live 7 hours away from my in laws so we rent a car each time we travel to them. I have a situation that keeps coming up and don’t know how to deal with it. Whenever we go for yom tov to my in laws, my husband’s married sister makes her plans for yom tov based when we are traveling-her in laws live in same city as us. The issue is that I get nauseous in a car and don’t feel comfortable with anyone in the car then. Also its a long trip, so I usually like to sing but wouldn’t be able to if passengers come along. I told them Pesach before we rented a car that I dont travel well and they just dismissed that I said anything and they got a ride anyway. Now they wanted to come along again and told them again that I don’t travel well, especially that I’m pregnant. I’m fed up how to deal with it…
Any tips how to tell them no without hurting their feelings?
It is hard to give advice without knowing who your in-laws are, and their temperament, or the overall relationship that you have with them.
There are most probably other ideas but here are two suggestions. Either you can have your husband speak to his sister, and explain to her that you are pregnant, and that you get very nauseous during the ride and it is embarrassing for you if you have to throw up, stop the car in the middle etc. (This is even better if they don’t know this yet, that you are pregnant, and he is letting them in on the situation.)
If you think that nevertheless they will still be insulted, then you have to weigh the situation, if it is worth hurting your relationship with them. The trip is only a few hours, but the lingering animosity that it can bring will not be worth it.
One other point, if you do decide to take them, work on doing it with positivity, and not begrudgingly. If you have to do it, don’t let the yetzer hora cause you to do it, with a sourness in your heart, as this will eventually hurt your relationship with your sister-in-law (which is always a nisayon to maintain). Put into your mind, that if for peace’s sake, you have to do it, then it is ratzon Hashem, (even if your sister in law should have gotten the hint) and you will not only get rewarded for the hachnosas orchim, but for 100 hashnosas orchim. We know that a mitzva done with difficulty is worth 100 times the same mitzva when it is easy. This is definitely difficult for you, and if you have to do it, then do it with a smile, not only an outward one, but an internal one too.
Right now, it is less than two weeks to Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur and we want all the zechusim that we can get. I once heard a beautiful idea from R’ Zaidel Epstein zt”l (whose yahrtziet is this week). The gemora says “kol hamavir al midosov, maavirin lo al kol pisha’av” a person who overlooks his midos, then hashem will overlook his aveiros! Generally, this is understood that if a person is insulted, and they nevertheless “overlook” it and don’t get angry etc., then in this zechus Hashem you over looked your honor, I will overlook you aveiros. R’Zaidel zt”l said that the gemora doesn’t say, that it is specifically when a person is insulted, rather when a person over comes their desires. In your case it would be your desire to have a more relaxing, peaceful drive to your in-laws, and you are willing to overlook, your wants, then Hashem will IY”H be mochel your aveiros. It may sound funny, but allowing them to come along, happily, can end up being exactly what you need when we ask Hashem for a year of bracha, simchos, shalom, parnossa, and good health.
If you can handle it, it might just be worth your while.
Hashem should send you and your family a kesiva vchasima tova.