When you live with the in-laws, you have to take ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’. There’s no telling how comfortable or uncomfortable the situation will be until you put yourself right in the middle of it. That’s a rather scary and sobering thought, isn’t it? That doesn’t mean that you have to go into it blindly, though. By considering how living with the in-laws can affect your marriage, you can start to determine if it is the right situation for you or not.
As you’ll see, both good and bad can come out of living with the in-laws. Of course, the overall impact on your marriage should be of paramount importance. You don’t want your relationship to be so negatively impacted that it doesn’t make it.
Consider all of the below pointers carefully before you determine if living with the in-laws is a good idea.
These are 14 ways in which living with the in-laws can impact your marriage:
1. You may get more free time to spend with each other.
If you have kids and move in with the in-laws, you can prepare for them to take a lot of the pressure off you. If you have to work late or just need a bit of time to handle some family chores together, the in-laws will be able to help manage your schedule or handle a few of the tasks for you.
2. There are built-in babysitters readily available.
Have you ever felt that you would rather not make plans or RSVP yes to events because finding a reliable and trustworthy babysitter is just so difficult? Last-minute plans are probably almost always missed out on because of this problem. Most often, this can lead to resentment as one parent has to stay home to look after the kids.
Living with the in-laws means that you have access to a babysitter all the time. All you have to do is ask. This can do wonders for your relationship as a great deal of the stress involved in planning is greatly minimized, and resentment never has a chance to develop.
3. Possible interference in personal problems and disputes.
How frustrating would it be if you are having an argument with your partner and the in-laws keep weighing in? Perhaps they even tell your partner that they are right when that’s not the case. There is always the possibility that the in-laws will interfere in your personal problems and arguments… how would you handle that?
4. You could get positive help with parenting.
Your in-laws might have been wonderful parents, and you may agree with the majority of their parenting ways and style. This could bode well for you if you want to ensure that your children receive a positive upbringing that fits in with your parenting style, even when you are not around.
5. You may have to argue over unwanted interference with parenting.
On the flip side to the points above, you might not agree with your in-laws’ style of parenting, which could cause problems if they try to parent the children in a way that doesn’t sit well with you. While you cannot attack the in-laws with guns blazing, it could cause you and your partner to argue…and it will.
After all, your partner was parented by the in-laws, so it might all make perfect sense to them. On the other hand, you may expect them to put an end to the inappropriate parenting of your children. Cue awkwardness and underlying tension.
6. Lack of privacy could create distance and frustration.
If you and your partner are used to having your privacy, you can expect that to change when living with the in-laws. Nothing is particularly private when you share space with other people permanently. If you feel like you are constantly being watched or listened to, you might change what you think and say for appearances’ sake. In the end, this could cause you to become frustrated with your partner and even cause distance to start developing between you two.
7. Familiarity could breed contempt, causing issues between you.
No one wants their partner and their family not to get along, so if you spend too much time with the family and contempt starts to develop on either side, it is going to put your partner in what seems like an impossible position. When your partner feels cornered or torn between both sides, arguments are going to erupt. This can be detrimental to your marriage in both the long and short term.
8. A lack of freedom may make you push away from each other.
Nothing is a passion and closeness killer like having no freedom and having to answer to parental figures. When you live with the in-laws, there will be a general expectation that you carry your weight and usually let them know where you are and what your plans are. This might be fine at first, but as time wears on, this lack of freedom could end up making you push in opposite directions.
9. You could end up being played up against each other.
If your in-laws aren’t particularly fond of you, you could find that they try to sabotage the relationship. This is the story of hundreds, even thousands, of couples out there. When playing you up against your partner, arguments may arise, you may start feeling excluded from the family, and all while this is happening, you might begin to lose touch with that special bond you have with your partner.
10. You could receive unwanted or poor relationship advice.
One of the worst things that could happen is the provision of poor relationship advice. This could lead to you or your partner making decisions that aren’t actually right for your marriage. You could end your marriage too soon, you could be too hard when you should be soft, or you could be too soft when you should be hard, and so on.
11. The support you get may help your relationship thrive.
Having the support of the in-laws could really spur your relationship on to success. By living with the in-laws, you could get to know them better and become more comfortable with each other, making your partner feel more at ease and “at home”. When this happens, and the family truly supports your marriage and enjoys having you around, your relationship can truly grow and thrive.
12. You will be compelled to spend more family-focused time together.
If you have been worried that your family isn’t spending enough time together because your partner works late or goes out a lot, living with the in-laws can change that. When living with the in-laws, you will be forced to spend more time together as a family unit. Your partner will certainly be obliged to put in the effort. More family-focused time can really bring a marriage closer together.
13. Bonding with their parents might make your partner value your relationship more.
Everyone wants a partner that gets on well with the family. It really means that a person has nothing to worry about if things just “fit”. Bonding with your partner’s parents can seem challenging when you live apart, but when you live together, it can really be a lot easier to find things to bond over. If you do bond and get closer to the in-laws, it will help your partner to relax, and they may even place more value on or in the relationship.
14. You have access to an example of a good relationship.
If the in-laws have a really good relationship, it can prove valuable to your marriage as you have a good example to reference. You can also seek out relationship advice and gather good relationship skills from the in-laws, which would greatly benefit your marriage.
If you are thinking about living with the in-laws, the above pointers can really give you something to think about before you actually take the plunge. Consider them all and give it some thought!