The mothers-in-law are the big “hated” by men and women in couples, and have given rise to endless jokes and jokes over the years. However, the tension and discomfort caused by family problems as a result of the bad relationship with in-laws is something to be taken seriously. In fact, many women report stress in their relationship with their mother-in-law, a conflict that is associated with increased marital dissatisfaction, according to experts like Rittenour and Koenig Kellas. Why are relationships with our in-laws often complicated? Are they meant to put stones in our way? Can we do something about it? In this article in Bigmatrimonial: Living with in-laws, we will tell you about it.
Consequences of living with in-laws
Few people would add the presence of their in-laws when they imagine life as a couple. However, due to various circumstances in life, moving with in-laws may be the only alternative that you and your partner have at that time. Maybe you are going through financial problems and your in-laws have reached out to you. On the contrary, in-laws, especially in old age, may require more assistance, and it is you who have offered to help. Whatever the reasons, living with your in-laws or with one of them can be complicated and could have some effects for the couple. The consequences of living with in-laws:
- Pressure to have children , or in the case of having them, intrusion in the way of raising them.
- Belief by parents-in-law that nobody is good enough for their son or daughter and therefore conflict, discomfort or disagreement with him or her.
- Pressure for the adoption of certain religious or cultural norms.
- Imposition of an authoritarian style, based on strict rules, because they continue to see the child as a child, and therefore, treat it as such. By extension, also your partner.
- Disagreements regarding money, who contributes and how much, how to distribute it. In the event that a loan is needed, around its repayment.
I don’t want to live with my mother-in-law
If you don’t want to live with your mother-in-law, don’t blame yourself or be horrified by it . It is a frequent complaint, as mothers-in-law are often perceived as intrusive and controlling. This is true in some cases, as they may have trouble dealing with “empty nest syndrome” or simply not approve of their child’s partner. In other cases, they feel lonely, either because they have been widowed or because their husband does not pay attention to them or does not share their same emotional needs. However, there are many beliefs, sometimes wrong, in society about them, and on many occasions, they are judged beforehand without having been given a chance.
If this is your case, try to remember that it is the mother of your partner, so it is worth looking at the situation from another perspective: is living with your mother-in-law really as bad as you think? Have you known him well enough to firmly establish that he is a negative person? Is it possible that you are being guided by some preconceived ideas? You can try to know it without prejudice . Perhaps, behind her authoritative appearance is a wonderful woman to meet.
In case you already know her and you have had certain discrepancies or some of her actions have displeased you, it is important to understand that people are imperfect and make mistakes. To live together, it is necessary to learn to forgive.
My mother-in-law wants to live with us, what do I do?
If for any of the circumstances mentioned above, you have to live with your mother-in-law, remember that people have a very high capacity to adapt to new circumstances , and even to a complicated situation, as a priori, it could be living with your mother couple. In order for you to learn to get along better with your mother-in-law, in Bigmatrimonial we suggest 8 tips that can help you if you have to live with her:
- Have a conversation before the coexistence begins. It is necessary to establish limits, in which each person in the family unit knows what their role is, what is allowed and what is not. Making it clear what the organization of the home and the upbringing of the children will be is essential to avoid possible intrusions, which later will be more difficult to amend.
- Put yourself in their place. By adopting an empathetic stance, you may appreciate that the bad relationship with your mother-in-law could be due more to a distancing from your child than something personal against you.
- Reflect on your responsibility. Ask yourself what role you are playing in the situation. There are times when a person has done nothing to cause living with the mother-in-law to become tense. However, there may also be situations where you are doing or not doing something that is causing your mother-in-law to be upset. Think again about how you have acted and honestly ask yourself if a third person from outside the situation could find fault. Are you a total victim in this situation? Do you do or say things that could prompt a negative response? If so, consider how you can change the way you are handling or reacting to the situation.
- Contact your partner first. Remember that you are a team, and if your partner feels that you don’t trust him in the first place, the relationship may suffer.
- Find intimate spaces with your partner. With the mother-in-law at home it may seem difficult to find privacy, but it is not impossible.
- Do not enter to argue in any fight. Sometimes it is a sign of maturity to pass up an unfortunate comment. If you can’t let it go, communicate assertively, raising your rights while respecting theirs.
- Try to develop a bond with your mother-in-law: take an interest in her opinion on a news story, ask her about her son when he was little, share a hobby, go for a walk together, include him in family activities.
- Finally, remember that you don’t need anyone’s approval to live your life the way you want. Don’t go crazy trying to get your mother-in-law’s go-ahead. Not caring what other people think of you could be a source of personal empowerment and liberation.
Advantages and disadvantages of living with in-laws
From living with in-laws, both advantages and disadvantages can be drawn. Thus, it is important to know them in advance in order to be aware of what could be expected and to find a solution. Here are some of the main advantages and disadvantages of living with in-laws:
Advantages of living with in-laws
- Economic improvement: if you are the ones who move to your home, it could mean that you do not have to pay rent or mortgage.
- Domestic help : they can help you with childcare and some domestic tasks.
- Children enjoy grandparents: A direct consequence of the above is that children can spend more time with their grandparents, which is enriching for them.
- Better family relationship: you can discover that they are not as bad as they are usually attributed, and establish a link with them, which in turn would have a positive impact on your marital relationship, since it could be very important for your partner to have a good relationship with their parents.
Disadvantages of living with in-laws
- It can affect intimacy: it is more difficult for the couple to have privacy and moments of intimacy when living with in-laws.
- Conflicts arising from attempts by parents-in-law to impose rules and regulations.
- Possible loss of autonomy and independence of the couple.
- There may be interference with the education of children.
This article is merely informative, in Bigmatrimonial we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.
Eric Cameron is a passionate relationship coach and counselor with a focus on helping couples reconnect and build strong and lasting relationships. He has years of experience working with couples and helping them to understand the intricacies of healthy relationships. He also provides guidance on how to maintain a healthy relationship and deal with difficult topics. Eric’s approach is tailored specifically to the couple’s needs and he has a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw upon.