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Living With In-Laws (11 Tips To Get Along)

by Sonya Schwartz

This is one of the topics married couples love to talk about, especially when it affects them in a negative way and they can’t keep things under control.

Your in-laws could be such a handful even when you had already fantasized about how good staying with them would be. As a daughter-in-law living with your partner’s parents, a lot would be expected from you around the house. Also, you may not feel comfortable with their routines or opinions

So the million-dollar question is, how do you manage to stay with your in-laws without making your spouse feel bad or disrespecting his parents?

Here’s the truth, not all in-laws are bad. Some of the impact you positively, in ways you can’t imagine. So this is more like a bittersweet experience. If you're newlyweds, and you’re bunking at their home to save costs, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. 

Everyone involved (including you), would have to compromise and do their part to keep the household running. So don’t lose courage, read through these tips before you move into your parents-in-law’s home with your spouse. 

11 Tips To Survive Living With In-Laws

1. Be natural

It's normal for people to try their best to be perfect in order to please others or to show how good they can be. Married women do this as well to be accepted by their partner’s mom or dad or to have that perfect relationship with them.

I would say you should remain as natural as you can be. Just take on household chores that you’re capable of handling, especially if you have kids to care for as well. It could be awkward saying ‘no’ to your mother-in-law at first, but she'll grow to love you just the way you are. If you start something you can’t continue, you’ll end up being exhausted and mentally drained. 

2. Set boundaries peacefully

Set boundaries peacefully

Couples who opt to live together with either of their parents should ensure they agree to respect and honor all parties while living in their home. It’s also smart that you and your spouse agree on safe boundaries his mom and dad should honor as well. Events like walking in on you during ‘intimacy hour’ or invading your space should be discussed. 

However, do it as a couple, and do it respectfully. It’s better that your partner is present and does most of the talking while you support him. Your life as you know it is about to change, that includes your sex life, privacy, and even part of your parenting styles may be interfered into.

You may not believe this but most in-laws do not know when they’re crossing boundaries. Whether it’s their house or yours, let them know there are certain issues you’re not comfortable with and you would appreciate it if they respect that. 

3. Let some things go

Not everything is worth holding on to. It’s a general life hack that helps with survival. Sometimes, talking about certain issues could make them worse or bring up bad situations you don’t want to experience; so it’s better to let them go. If you have a bad experience with your father in law, simply discuss it with your partner and try to forgive. 

Remember, make sure you maintain a healthy and respectful relationship with each other. Until you’re able to save and move out, turn off your rude, malicious, or opinionated side and patiently and respectively look for ways to keep the peace. 

4. Avoid unnecessary arguments/fights

Not just with you but with other members of the household. Don’t get involved in arguments or fights especially the ones that do not concern you. Relationships with in-laws are very tricky, but yours doesn’t have to be. So even though someone gets on your nerves a lot, look for reasons to ignore them and try to figure out the cause of the animosity.

As a couple, you have to agree to keep being respectful to one another, his parents and siblings inclusive. If his family tries to get on your nerves, then maybe spending time with your kids or partner would help lessen the pressure. Also, here’s the thing, you aren’t perfect as well. So until you have the money to get your own place, stay humble, and avoid drama. 

5. Hang out a bit

If you’re a working lady, you may have some time off from your in-laws but if you’re stuck in the house all day, it could be a bit hard relating with them. I know most in-laws could demand you do a thing or two around the house, especially if they are the ones footing the bills. While it’s important to help, don’t go over the range of chores you can handle, you’re not a work-horse. 

Mothers-in-law could also demand some level of attention if they’re not working class. If she’s nice, look for a way to connect with her and be cordial to each other. It would make your stay more bearable. But once in a while, try to go out with friends or organize a simple hangout with your husband if he’s willing to join you.

However you want to do it, try to have some fun. Whether you’re working or not, it will help clear your head.

6. Be firm and confident

Remember, you grew up in a separate environment from your husband so your beliefs and perspectives on some things may differ. But don’t let his family intimidate you with theirs. Tell them you respect theirs but you would rather stick to your way of life. 

Don’t get me wrong. It’s different if you’ve discussed with your husband and you both have agreed to compromise on some aspects for each other. If not, stand your ground on your decision and don’t seek approval for anything that does not directly concern them.

7. Be nice to them

Be nice to them

You create harmony by being nice to people. Take some time out to know how they’re doing and if they are ill, take care of them. Offer to help whenever you can and do it willingly. I know female in-laws could be so happy if you get them thoughtful gifts on special occasions like birthdays.

You could also go grocery shopping with them if you both don’t mind. If you feel happy enough and your in-laws are fine with it, you could try making a special meal for everyone, go to the movies together, or go for a walk. It would help strengthen your relationship.

8. Respect them

Everyone loves to be respected including you. Some of the little wars we fight are a result of disrespect. Just as you want them to respect your space, try your best to respect theirs too. Don’t take anything that belongs to them without their permission.

Yes, you’re trying to earn your respect but as they say, respect is reciprocal. You have to give it to earn it. Respond to their questions and greetings politely. It doesn’t mean you’re under their control, it simply means you value them as your family.

9. Don’t go beyond your limits

This is where I want to talk about offering help beyond your limits. If money is still tight for you and your partner, then take on one or two responsibilities that won’t stress you out. Paying the utility bills or buying groceries once a week could go a long way. 

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10. Let them in on certain plans

I’m talking about plans that have to do with them or your personal plans that may most likely affect them or their environment. There are a lot of scenarios that have to do with this.

Let’s say you’re living in the same house with your in-laws and you’re a baker. You have a few pastry jobs to deliver and you need to use the kitchen. You should give them a heads up so it does not come as a surprise to them because they could also want to use the kitchen at the same time. Who knows? You could get extra help from them too. 

Remember, in their home, your husband is not the ‘man of the house’. So, just telling him about such plans won’t cut it, let them know as well. 

11. Enjoy your stay

I always suggest this to people. In every tough situation, try to have some fun. It could sound harder when you imagine it but trust me, it works all the time for me. They could be annoying sometimes. But like I said earlier, it’s a bittersweet relationship.

Create that happy space for yourself. It’s about your happiness. You may be there for years or just days but you should be happy during your stay with them. Suggest fun games, family vacations, family get together, or festive season celebrations. Learn their language and culture if it’s not the same as yours. Trust me, you’ll make more room for happiness and peace of mind.

FAQs

Is it a good idea to live with in-laws?

It depends on you, the type of man you married, his family, and the situation you find yourself in. Weigh them all and decide if you would like to stay with them or not. I would say it’s not bad to live with them but again, weigh the options.

Does living with in-laws affect marriage?

I feel many things affect marriage especially if it’s an early one, but I’ll say it does. It may not affect the marriage negatively but it would still add a little bit to it. Different happenings would make the couple either grow stronger or apart. 

Why are mothers-in-law jealous?

Mothers-in-law are jealous because it’s not easy for a mother to easily let go of her son and have another woman take care of him. This is due to the time and effort she invested for so many years. So it’s hard to see him give them divided attention and sometimes less than it used to be before you both got married.

What to do if your in-laws are ruining your marriage?

This could happen if they know a lot about your marriage. So, I would say you should limit their contact with your family and the kind of information you let out. Or, you could simply tell them you can handle a situation and would let them know if you need their help.

How do you tell if your mother-in-law is jealous of you?

Her emotional attachment to her son who is your husband will become unbearable. She would also try to impose her ideas and suggestions on him without considering your feelings or thoughts. And depending on the scenario, she could also disrespect your boundaries.

In Conclusion 

Families are meant to be bonded by love and harmony and I’m sure you’ll be fine after trying the tips I’ve listed above. Did you enjoy reading this? Feel free to share it and drop a comment below.

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Sonya Schwartz
A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

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