Living With In Laws
How To Survive Living With Your In-Laws
Living with your in-laws does not have to be a nightmare. Many people end up in this situation for a large variety of reasons and most even survive. Financial difficulties, new babies, new houses being built or someone having poor health are all common reasons why this arrangement occurs. Regardless of what your particular reason is for living with your in-laws, going into it with a positive attitude will really make a huge difference. Keep in mind that others around you can pick up your mood and how you really feel about something.
Set Some Boundaries
It may seem rude to set boundaries ahead to time before you are actually living with your in-laws but it can help more than you know. If everyone knows who is responsible for taking out the garbage, cleaning up after dinner, etc., then there is never any question. You may also want to agree upon one night a week that you and your spouse spend alone together. This way, your in-laws do not suddenly feel like they are being shut out if the two of you go out to dinner together or spend the whole evening in your room watching old movies.
Don't Take Things Personal
Not everyone has in-laws that are a joy to be around or that keep their comments to themselves. Whether they are really out to get you or if you are just feeling paranoid, don't take everything that they say to heart. Could they be hard on you because they see real potential?
They may feel that since you are living with them, you want their advice on everything as well. Try to just listen to what they say and move on. If you allow it to eat away at you, there is a good chance that you will take your frustration or hurt out on your spouse which will do nothing but cause more problems.
If they say something that you are really having a hard time letting go, wait until you are completely cooled off and talk to them politely. The last thing that you want to do is start an argument, this will only make living with your in-laws unbearable.
Even if your spouse is having an argument with his or her parents, try to avoid getting pulled into the middle. Your spouse may try to make you take their side by this will only cause you to have issues later. While your spouse and your in-laws will likely resolve their differences quickly, they may hold a grudge toward you.
While you can voice your requests asking that no one walks into your room without knocking, etc., be polite about it. The less that you can avoid any type of confrontation, the better off you will be.
Help Out Around The House
If you see things that need to be done such as cooking, emptying the dishwasher, feeding the dog, washing the floor, etc., take care of it. If you were not living with your in-laws and if you and your spouse had your own place, you would have to take care of the daily upkeep. It is not the job of your in-laws to wait on you and clean up after you, even if they tell you that you are guests. Also, don't look for recognition or expect a thank-you every single time you help out either.
Chances are, your living arrangements are not permanent, go out of your way to just be nice. Keep in mind that they may not necessarily want you living with them either but their generosity has extended you a place to live. Sometimes too many people under one roof and not enough room can cause a generous amount of stress for both parties. Try to focus on the fact that you won't be living there forever and that should help you survive your extended stay.