In-laws moved in and I can't take it anymore - FamilyEducation
In-laws moved in and I can't take it anymore
01/04/2013 at 10:48 AM

This is kind of a long story so here goes...My husband and I bought a house together after we worked so hard for five years to save up enough money. We lived together for over a year before we got married in July 2010. Two months after we got married, his parents moved in with us.

They did not plan their finances very well and when they were both laid off (they work at the same place), they had no money to fall back on and were kicked out of the place they were renting. When my husband and his parents talked about them living with us, both my husband and my in-laws guaranteed me that it only would be for 6 months. They promised to find jobs and move out after 6 months. I wanted to help them because they had no where else to go so I let them move in.

When the 6 month mark came, I asked my husband why neither of his parents seem interested in moving out like they promised. He got angry that I was even considering kicking HIS parents out of our house and we had a huge argument about it. Well, I want to think I'm a reasonable, patient person so I sat down with my husband and his parents and we came up with another compromise. His parents can stay for another 6 months. But they MUST actively look for work. If they don't have anything by the end of 6 months, they're out. No questions.

Well, July 2010 was over two years ago, and guess what? My in-laws are still living with us. And to add to it all, I lost my job recently, my in-laws are still unemployed and my husband has to pay for everything now until I can get back to work.

I found living with my in-laws while I was employed to be awkward, uncomfortable, annoying, and irritating at the best of times. These were kind of minor things, like my belongings being moved without my knowledge or permission. My MIL hogging the meal preparation. My FIL being obsessed with watching sports and occasionally tying up our TV for a whole day.

In the last few months since I've been unemployed, I rapidly found out how intolerable living with my in-laws has become. Now that I'm not making money anymore, I get constantly criticized. I get told that I'm not doing my part because my husband has to pay for all of us now. I am demeaned and undermined in my own home constantly. I feel like an unwanted child because I'm criticized all the time in MY own house. My husband and I are rarely intimate anymore. When my in-laws aren't criticizing me, they are arguing with each other. On several occasions I have had screaming arguments with my husband because of his parents living with us and he refuses to kick them out. On a couple of those occasions I packed up some bags and actually stayed at my parents' house for a couple of weeks before I inevitably return to even more criticism.

I am at my wit's end. I want to think of myself as a patient, understanding person but from the looks of things, my in-laws are not going to move out at all and I don't know how much more I can take of them. At this point, I am contemplating a divorce just to get away from my in-laws. Is there anything I can do short of getting a divorce?

You may have lost your objectivity. It isn't your problem, it's your kid's problem to solve. Have you asked them how they feel? What don't they like about her? Is it a problem during play that could be fixed? Whatever it is, there's a healthy way to deal with conflict and communication... and "hiding" to pretend you aren't home isn't going to solve anything. It's actually cruel to this girl and in the end it is going to teach your kids to hide from communication and be dishonest-- even though that is not what you intend. Teach your kids to answer the phone and do their own "dirty" work, my mother would have called it. It is perfectly fine to say "I don't want to play today/I'm watching a movie with my sister", ect... Remember at age 11, friendships flux ALOT. One week they're friends, the next not. Be wise and be kind-- these people are your neighbors and you have to live together for who knows how long.

I totally understand what you are going through. My son went through with one of those annoying friends. I watched and listened on how my son handled it. You'll be surprised how kids can maneuver this tricky situations. Just remind your kids to try to put themselves in the shoes of the other kid. How they would like to be treated if they are on the other side of the situation. Always be truthful but use kind words. My son was able to tell the other kid not to be annoying so that other kids will play with them. And the other kid started behaving. Maybe role play with your kids and see how they respond and you can guide without putting words in their mouth. Good luck!