The pros and cons of living with your in-laws

in-laws

While living with in-laws can be a great experience, it can also be overwhelming and difficult. It is important to know the pros and cons of living with in-laws, before you move in.

Living in the same home with your in-laws can be especially challenging if you are not on the same page as them. Living with them can be very difficult, and sometimes if conflict arise, it will escalate until something drastic needs to happen.

Also, there is always that fear of not being liked and offending them by doing or saying something wrong. For your spouse’s parents, the line between who is related by blood and who isn’t can become very relevant, when other relatives find themselves disagreeing with you, like your spouse’s siblings.

It’s important to keep in mind that the way we see our in-laws may be different from the way they see themselves.

Some rules to follow if you want to live with in-laws:

An easy way to try to keep the peace is by following the few guidelines below:

-Avoid doing anything that might cause friction in the household.

-Don’t bring up topics that might cause a fight, like: religion or politics.

-Be mindful of their personal space and belongings.

-Talk about any issues you may have with someone, with them directly, instead of publicly discussing them (since doing so may hurt feelings).

-Don’t take everything personally.

-Start any discussion about household matters slowly and gradually.

– Don’t make any abrupt comments or sudden changes that may upset other family members.

-Gradually build up trust between you and your spouse’s family members by communicating how you feel about things.

The pros and cons of living with your spouse family:

In-laws have a challenging role to play in the lives of newlyweds. They can either be an asset or a liability. It all depends on how you manage them.

Before deciding to move in with your in-laws, consider their personalities, habits, and other factors that can help you decide if they will be good for your couple and marriage.

In households where in-laws do not get along well, there can be an increased amount of tension and friction. It can also lead to arguments and hostility between relatives which can also affect children.

In-laws are often considered the biggest hurdle in married life. They can be a source of stress and conflict. However, there are some people that managed to do this for years and that say to have benefited from living with their in-laws in more than one way. Below some pros of living with your in-laws are listed:

Pros:

-Saving up on rent.

This can allow you to buy your own place directly one day, rather than lose big amounts of money every month in rent. You can also apply for a mortgage once you secure a good enough deposit, rather than rent a place to stay. Paying for your mortgage every month can be a lot better than losing that money forever in rent.

-You learn to run a household:

you get to share your family’s wealth of knowledge on certain topics like cooking, cleaning, hosting dinner parties, etc. This way you can learn quickly the right way to do things and how to take care of your own home or household in the future. Some may argue that this is not important as you can learn on your own too.

-You grow as a person:

You grow as an individual and learn new skills that will help you adapt to any situation. You are forced to know when to “walk on eggshells”, when to talk, when to wait for the right moment and how to deal with different situations without offending anyone. In other words, you learn to become diplomatic and co-exist with others.

-Reduce your expenses as a couple:

Your spouse’ parents could be more stable financially than your couple as they have been working and married for many decades by now. You and you spouse may need help with buying groceries and other household expenses, if you were living alone. However, since you’re not living alone they can easily provide discreet financial help on this level.

Cons:

-Playing the role of a housekeeper:

If you are living with your spouse’s parents, there are many things that you will have to deal with on a day to day basis. You might find yourself picking up after them, doing their laundry and cooking for them.

You may be under the impression that they’ll help you a lot with these tasks, but what what if you find out it’s the other way. What if you find yourself forced to meet everyone needs for cooked food and having to keep a clean home too.

In the end, you’re the young and more energetic woman in the house, so don’t expect your mother-in-law to do it all for you all, every day and forever.

No privacy for your couple:

The main issue is privacy, which is hard to maintain when you have your parent-in-law living right next door, especially if the relationship between the couple is not strong. Even if it was strong, you may need more space and time to love and tease your spouse the way you want and everywhere in the house, which is not possible.

You will not have privacy since some members of the family live with you and have their eyes on you all the time. This may even make you live with your partner in a rather “formal” way. As in; you will be treating and talking to your partner as if they were an old family member that you respect rather than someone you love and enjoy being intimate with.

You could be a burden too:

You could also cause them to feel like they lack privacy around you. Even if it was their idea to live together and they welcomed you with opened arms, they may struggle to accept that you’re not a stranger but part of the family.

Staying out of their way when they are trying to watch TV or talk about something private, might be hard at times. It is also necessary that you remove yourself from their way promptly, so that they don’t feel like you’re invading their space. 

Your spouse may take their side:

If a conflict or disagreement takes place, and this is bound to happen, you may find out the wrong way that your spouse is not your ally. Your spouse can very likely take his relatives’ side in an argument, which will not only hurt you deeply but affect your relationship too.

In other words, you may find yourself pressured to always please his family members and to learn to make them happy in the detriment of your own happiness, to avoid conflict with your spouse.

Having to tolerate and deal with everyone’s flaws:

Instead of having to learn to deal with your partner alone after marriage, you’ll have to learn to deal with a bunch of people. In a scenario where the couple will start living alone after marriage, you may slowly learn to adapt to your partner’s flaws and needs and to tolerate each other.

However, in a scenario where you’ll live with a bunch of people instead, you may need to learn to tolerate everyone’s mistakes and flaws. This can require a big amount of patience and tolerance. Instead of adapting to one person’s needs and flaws you will find yourself having to live and adapt to your partner’s entire family and each one’s personality and flaws.

Possible long-term consequences of living with in-laws:

Within a week of marriage, a newlywed couple will likely start to experience big difficulties and challenges, if they’re living with in-laws. These are some of the most common problems:

1. Resentment for your partner

2. Continuous conflict over housework

3. Feeling trapped

4. Running out of patience

5. Being misunderstood by everyone

6. Permanent difficulty in negotiating boundaries with your partner

7. Inability to make decisions with your partner, without external influence

Bottom line:

In-laws can sometimes be a major source of conflict in a marriage. This happens because there are differences between people. These differences include family values, culture, and beliefs.

One thing that you can do is to establish the ground rules early on. This includes talking about what you both expect and what your expectations are of the in-laws. If they are not clear already, you could also go over some examples from personal experiences with them to get an idea of how to deal with conflicts when they arise.

The important thing here is for both parties to be open and honest about their expectations before getting married or living together with the in-laws in question.

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