People in their 50s and 60s have their routines set in stone and their opinions must be taken into consideration at all costs. Otherwise, you’ve just made an enemy for a lifetime. After our wedding, my husband and I decided to live with his parents until we could find a house. We have always desired a property in Arizona and from the moment we found our Scottsdale real estate agent on RealEstateAgent.com, we knew it wouldn’t be long before we moved. But still, we had to make sure that our marriage survives under that stressful home environment for a couple of months.
So, the big day arrived. Our lease agreement expired, so we packed our things and knocked on my in-laws’ door. They knew that we would not be staying with them forever so they were very welcoming and such a pleasant company. We kissed goodnight and with that kiss, the magic has vanished by the next morning.
First of all, his dad woke up at 6 a.m. and prepared a coffee with an Amtrak engine. I thought he woke up the whole neighborhood. Then, he went to the toilet several times. And because it was next to our room, we could hear every flush of water. One hour later, my mother-in-law woke up. Without knocking on the door, she came in to say “Goodmorning!” and asked us what we wanted for breakfast. Then, she started to sneeze in a row like a broken engine due to her allergies. I and my husband were lying in the bed, looking through the ceiling, wondering whether we will manage to survive their morning habits or not.
Thank goodness, we have managed to pass over that experience, and we have recently celebrated our third anniversary. Would I ever live with my in-laws again? Yes, but here’s what I would do. Just in case it will ever happen again, I made up this stressless guide to living with your in-laws and I hope you’ll find it helpful.
Let them cook
I know, many couples enjoy spending time together in the kitchen, cooking and chatting away. We were one of those couples. But we realized that we could spend our time in better ways by letting his parents cook for us. I was open about the foods I liked and the ones I simply couldn’t put in my mouth and they complied. Cooking made them feel useful. Besides, his mother was a sucker for compliments.
Share household chores
I tried to make myself useful around the house every day. If I was not sure what I should do, I would ask. (And nobody said I shouldn’t do anything.) Home maintenance is a task that goes on forever and must be split between each member of the household. A schedule with everyone’s responsibilities would be very helpful.
Cover some costs
Living with your in-laws isn’t completely free. Of course, you can save a lot of money in this living arrangement. But you should try to cover some utility bills and buy some groceries from time to time. My in-laws were saving a lot of money on food by growing vegetables around the house and we also plan to have a few raised beds for our own organic garden.
During the time I spent with my in-laws, there were topics I wish had never been opened. Some discussions ended better than others, but I knew that there is no point in making a big fuss of anything. Your points fade in front of their “school of life” and they always know better. Also, try to support your spouse and his/her ideas. Remind them that you two are a family now and you know better what’s right for you. But do it in a respectful way. And one last thing: don’t take to heart what they say.
Make room for intimacy
First, ask your in-laws to always knock on the door. Then, don’t feel embarrassed to lock yourselves in the bedroom. I have to admit that our sex life was almost non-existent at that time. If you don’t feel comfortable knowing your in-laws are just next door, spend the night in a hotel room. Have a city break. Or send your in-laws on a short holiday! Keep the spark alive with date nights, too. Go on a walk and make out on a riverbank at dusk. Don’t let your in-laws put an imaginary wall between you two. Find time to make each other happy because life is way too short!
We are now enjoying the privacy of our house near the Sonoran desert. I’ve regained my man! Yey! And I’m saying this because the hardest part when living with my in-laws was to see how my mother-in-law treated her son. She wanted her boy back. And I wanted my man to be by my side. Full time! Sometimes I felt like my husband loved his mom more than he loved me. From this perspective, living together with your in-laws is definitely dangerous and unhealthy. That mother-child connection has to disappear. As a wife, you have to be the first woman in your husband’s life. Period.