1. Stay in a Motel: Yes, your Mom and Dad bought a five-bedroom retirement home so you would all come to visit. Stay in a Motel anyway. And Mom and Dad? Save yourself the money and buy a retirement home with one bedroom and no pull-out sofa. It is cheaper to put your kids up in a Motel than to pay for the extra Real Estate. If you aren't sleeping, eating, showering, and shitting in someone else's house, the amount of tension is a lot, lot, less. Plus, you have time alone with your spouse and less time spent with relatives.2. Limit Exposure: With my late alcoholic Mother, I found a two-hour visit was optimal. Anything longer than that, well, she'd be in the bag and start raging. If you have to travel a long distance to visit, stay in a Motel or Hotel, and visit relatives only for two hour intervals or so. Beg off on the grounds that the spouse needs a nap, or you always wanted to visit the Toothpick Museum nearby. Anything - anything - other than laying around the house for hours on end with relatives.3. Have Your Escape Pod: Never ride in the back of your parent's car, once you are an adult. Bring your own or rent one. That way you can get away without a hassle. Staying in the house and not having a car means you are trapped with crazy relatives and bad things will happen.
4. Be Prepared to Walk Away: If you have relatives who abuse you physically, sexually, emotionally, or financially, just be prepared to walk away and move on with your life. Your childhood family really ends when you turn 18 years old and reach the age of majority. At that point, you should be living your own life and starting your own family. For some reason, our generation seems "stuck" in Brady Bunch mode, and unwilling to move on, even 20 or 30 years after they have left home (of course, some never leave home!).