Are you newly-wed or will you marry soon? You are probably pondering about living with your in-laws while adjusting to married life.
Or maybe your in-laws are asking if they can live with you. Should you let them?
As much as we value family ties, it is not actually healthy to live with your in-laws. There are some problems that could arise, and sometimes they even end up in tainted relationships. It could even threaten your own marriage.
To know why you living with your in-laws is unhealthy, check out the following reasons:
1. Privacy issues
Even if you and your partner have your own room, you’re still not totally free to express yourself. You can’t wear just ANY outfit you’re comfortable in, because you’d have to be a little more demure to avoid disapproving looks from your in-laws.
It’s also hard to deal with marital problems when in-laws are around, so you’d usually pretend to be okay in front of them. You always have to hush-hush in your room to make sure no one hears.
2. Authority clash
If you are living with your parents/s-in-law, you are expected to honor their authority, being the elders. Thus, even if it’s your own house, it would be hard to make family decisions without having to hear what they say.
Also, expect that there would be times when the house rules you created will be overridden. For instance, you may have set a TV watching curfew for your kids, but because they’re backed up by grandma, they get to extend.
3. Culture differences
You and your spouse have come from different backgrounds. You may have lived in the same place or gone to the same college, but there would always be differences. Traditions, principles, beliefs, and lifestyles are some of these.
It’s hard enough to be compromising with one person (your partner) who is different from you in many ways. Now, imagine living with more others like him/her. You won’t always be so sure to be living in harmony under the same roof.
4. Financial matters
Sometimes, it’s not always easy to make ends meet even when both you and your spouse are working. There are bills and rents to pay, tuition fees and allowances, and stomachs to fill three times a day. How about if there are a few more mouths to feed?
Or let’s say you live with your in-laws. Of course, you are expected to contribute to the monthly or weekly budget. However, since you are not in control of the household expenses, it’s hard to save for your own family.
It would also be hard to say “no” if they borrow some money from you. How much more asking them to pay you back?
5. Parenting meddling
Surely you have your ideal or planned parenting strategies. However, living with the in-laws could ruin these. Grannies won’t just stay quiet at the back when it comes to their precious grandchildren, right? They’d always come to the rescue.
The background and generational differences cause conflicting parenting styles. Believing they know better as elderlies and more experienced parents; they could be imposing about following their parental ways. This could cause confusion in the kids.
Please know that you can be a great parent on your own. You know your children better than others, so do not let them tell you what to do.
6. Unfiltered child influences
Aside from parenting intervention, you should watch out for the kind of influence that your in-laws could have on your children. Good thing if you have in-laws who have good moral values. At least your kids will learn positively from them.
However, what if there are some of them who smoke, get home drunk often, or curse deliberately in front of the children? It is not good for kids to grow up in this kind of environment.
One of your responsibilities as a parent is to provide your children with a healthy environment to grow in. Please be aware of the environmental factors that can influence child development.
7. Decision-making interference
Lastly, living with in-laws would clip your wings when it comes to making decisions for the family. Again, you have to consider if they’d agree or not. As much as you would want to exercise your right to decide for your family, you have other people to please.
Whether you like it or not, you have to please your in-laws if you want to live with them peacefully. This robs you the independence to nurture your own family—and even your life—according to your convictions.
Why Live with Your In-Laws Anyway?
If you have decided to get married and have a family, it means you are ready to face the challenges that come with marriage. This includes starting your family independently and with less help or supervision from others.
Moreover, you would never fully embrace responsibility unless you have no one else to run to all the time. You get to find a solution for every problem without relying on others. In short, living independently from your in-laws will make you more mature and responsible.