Late 20s and taking in an in-law - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Late 20s and taking in an in-law

My husband and I have been married for 2 years and are in our late 20s. His father recently passed away and we have been trying to figure out what life will look like for us in the future. We decided that for the time being we would stay with his mother. Its been two and a half months and we have decided to sell our house, move in with his mom and live together from now on. I am going through a lot of emotions. I am sad over loosing my father-in law. I am upset over having to sell my house - the first we bought just for ourselves. I am stressed because now we are paying 2 mortgages before we sell. I am angry at my mother-in-law. She is in her early-mid 50s and insists on living with us. I cant imagine my life going forward. I have to share almost every moment with her until its time for us to go to bed. She treats my husband like a child and I feel like the third wheel in this already constructed family. I know my husband is stressed and heart broken over loosing his father at a young age. I dont want to add more stress in his life. I dont know what to do. In my perfect world, we would go back to normal. My husband and I would live on our own. But if we did that I know my husband would regret it. I've made a lot of sacrifices for my husband in the past but I just cant get over this one. For context, my mother-in-law is super sweet, cooks, cleans and is generally a nice person. As a 20 something I miss my independence and this time of just being with my husband. Beyond that I'm scared to get pregnant and bring a child into the home. My mother in law has a habit of taking charge and being the "mom" of the house. I feel like I've reverted back to adolescence with her here. I know she desperately misses my father-in-law who she really took care of. This isnt the life she had imagined either. I'm torn- what do I do?

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 05:49 PM
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Re: Late 20s and taking in an in-law

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Originally Posted by afndic View Post
My husband and I have been married for 2 years and are in our late 20s. His father recently passed away and we have been trying to figure out what life will look like for us in the future. We decided that for the time being we would stay with his mother. Its been two and a half months and we have decided to sell our house, move in with his mom and live together from now on. I am going through a lot of emotions. I am sad over loosing my father-in law. I am upset over having to sell my house - the first we bought just for ourselves. I am stressed because now we are paying 2 mortgages before we sell. I am angry at my mother-in-law. She is in her early-mid 50s and insists on living with us. I cant imagine my life going forward. I have to share almost every moment with her until its time for us to go to bed. She treats my husband like a child and I feel like the third wheel in this already constructed family. I know my husband is stressed and heart broken over loosing his father at a young age. I dont want to add more stress in his life. I dont know what to do. In my perfect world, we would go back to normal. My husband and I would live on our own. But if we did that I know my husband would regret it. I've made a lot of sacrifices for my husband in the past but I just cant get over this one. For context, my mother-in-law is super sweet, cooks, cleans and is generally a nice person. As a 20 something I miss my independence and this time of just being with my husband. Beyond that I'm scared to get pregnant and bring a child into the home. My mother in law has a habit of taking charge and being the "mom" of the house. I feel like I've reverted back to adolescence with her here. I know she desperately misses my father-in-law who she really took care of. This isnt the life she had imagined either. I'm torn- what do I do?
My family have a saying”Don’t bury the living with the dead”.
If you move your mother in law into your home I can’t see your marriage lasting twelve months.
Your mother in law is still a relatively young woman and she could live another thirty odd years,do you want to grow old with her.You need to stop the sale of your house and if your husband wants to leave then let him.
Honestly op,this is a life sentence you are looking at.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 05:58 PM
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Re: Late 20s and taking in an in-law

You have made a massive mistake. Its very important for a married couple to have their own home and privacy. A parent should never live their whole life though her children, she is still young. Where are her friends? Hasn't she any hobbies or interests? Clubs? Other family members? Does she work?
I am 61 and there is no way that I would ever expect to live with my children. I love it that they are independent.
If she was a very old lady say in her 80's or 90's who couldnt look after herself that is different but she is only in her middle age.


A man must cut those apron strings and join to his wife. She may insist that you live with her but she cant force this situation unless you both allow it.

Why did you agree to moving in with her? Regardless of how nice she is, its not fair that she has imposed herself on you. Its not as if she is old and needs care, she may well have at least 30 years so will she want to live with you all the time you bring up children?And beyond? You have to sit down and tell him that this cant be a long term thing. She will never get her own life if you stay. Maybe agree to stay there till 6 months after the death and then move out. If she has no life then encourage her to get involved in things and make more friends. Otherwise even if you move out she will be dependant on you for the rest of her life.
If he refuses I recommend MC. In laws can destroy a marriage if there are no boundaries. He has to take a stand.

As for her taking charge and being the mum of the house, well it is her house so she is allowed to. That's why you shouldn't have sold you own home.

Last edited by Diana7; 02-05-2018 at 06:39 PM.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 06:09 PM
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Re: Late 20s and taking in an in-law

I think taking in your parents is an honorable thing to do. It's what I would probably do in your place, but your concerns are valid.

The people whom I know who succeed in multi-generational living have a way of separating themselves from each other when necessary.

It's usually too much trouble to have separate kitchens, so meals are often communal time. This works out fine, especially if you MIL is a generally good person. Otherwise, you need spaces where you two can be alone and unhindered. My best friend has lived with his wife and parents in the same house for over 30 years. Grandma/grandpa have the upstairs, friend/wife have the downstairs, and for the most part they respect each other's right to their respective spaces.

Mom will need to have a separate place where she can have her own music, television, reading, whatever space that is comfortable and to her liking that she controls. A large bedroom or a den if you can buy extra square footage with your combined assets. Then there must be a spoken agreement that allows you to disengage with each other without hurt feelings. Then you have to be willing to pull the "tonight is alone time" ripcord so everyone knows the score.

It is more work, but it doesn't mean the loss of your husband. This single family dwelling thing is a relatively new idea in the world. Most of the world in history and most of the world today doesn't have the resources to not cohabitate in some form, so there's nothing here that's not doable if you're committed to making it work.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 07:26 PM
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Re: Late 20s and taking in an in-law

This is a poor decision. Your MIL is too young to need to live with someone, and in a year or so could even start dating again. If she does, then you'll be in the way, and she won't want you around. Regardless of that, this is a huge stress on your marriage, and there is absolutely no need to move in together. In 20 years or so, perhaps having her live with you would be okay, if she needs some assistance. Until then, though, she doesn't - and so soon after your FIL's death, decisions are being made based on emotion, not reason. Don't. Do. It.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 09:44 PM
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Re: Late 20s and taking in an in-law

Why don't you keep your house and rent it out?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 09:54 PM
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Re: Late 20s and taking in an in-law

I'm sure it's a tough situation.. Why can't MIL get an apartment near you? Both your husband and yourself can spend as much time with her as necessary but still have your own house. Don't feel bad, she is still very young to be living with you.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 10:15 PM
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Re: Late 20s and taking in an in-law

We moved next door to my in-laws almost 20 years ago. They have their own space and when my father in law died, we were close enough to help, but far enough that everyone had their own space.

My in laws, and now my widowed MIL, leave us alone. She’s been an awesome neighbor! Would never work with her in the house though. I’d say your MIL should move to an apartment near you, OP, and you guys keep your house.

Just a thought...
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 10:54 PM
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Re: Late 20s and taking in an in-law

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Originally Posted by Diana7 View Post
You have made a massive mistake. Its very important for a married couple to have their own home and privacy. A parent should never live their whole life though her children, she is still young. Where are her friends? Hasn't she any hobbies or interests? Clubs? Other family members? Does she work?
I am 61 and there is no way that I would ever expect to live with my children. I love it that they are independent.
If she was a very old lady say in her 80's or 90's who couldnt look after herself that is different but she is only in her middle age.


A man must cut those apron strings and join to his wife. She may insist that you live with her but she cant force this situation unless you both allow it.

Why did you agree to moving in with her? Regardless of how nice she is, its not fair that she has imposed herself on you. Its not as if she is old and needs care, she may well have at least 30 years so will she want to live with you all the time you bring up children?And beyond? You have to sit down and tell him that this cant be a long term thing. She will never get her own life if you stay. Maybe agree to stay there till 6 months after the death and then move out. If she has no life then encourage her to get involved in things and make more friends. Otherwise even if you move out she will be dependant on you for the rest of her life.
If he refuses I recommend MC. In laws can destroy a marriage if there are no boundaries. He has to take a stand.

As for her taking charge and being the mum of the house, well it is her house so she is allowed to. That's why you shouldn't have sold you own home.

I made this same mistake. I had my mother in law and seven other women [sister in laws] and female children in the house for about a year. I ate well, very well.
And I ate a lot of crow. I had to fix not only my wife's problems but everyone else's.

I managed because I had boundless energy and enthusiasm. My spouse carried her share of the load. And I knew that there was an endpoint. Well, a better endpoint. We still were tasked to help them out financially, for a few years after.

This....This is the nub of the stick that pokes me in the eye when the light of day energizes my optic nerve....SunCMars.... The Allegory of the Cave--> On this, I did a '180' and stepped out. The Lion in Winter. Invictus..By Will, Shall.
The Host, Rd is ill, any years left, remain now, in doubt? Red Dog is now lost to us.
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