Home Perspectives Ask Ella Living with your in-laws, can it be done?

Living with your in-laws, can it be done?

962
0
SHARE

Dear Ella,
I’m afraid the housing market is going to ruin my marriage.
Zach and I were married two years ago and have actively been saving for a down payment. We both work, but can’t seem to save enough to keep up with the market.
Three months ago, at Zach’s parents’ suggestion, we gave up our apartment to move in with them for a year to save enough to enter the market.
In theory, it was a great idea. I love his parents and we get along great, but two couples under one roof is rough, especially when one of those couples are newlyweds. Our once-active sex life is practically non-existent and we can’t even seem to argue in private. I feel like a teenager waiting to get caught. How am I going to get through this?
Cohabitation Fizzle

Dear Cohabitation Fizzle,
Living in a big city has its challenges and the real estate market is a big one for young couples. It’s almost impossible to buy even a modest home without help.
Your in-laws have very generously offered what they can, and let’s not forget, they are giving up their privacy as well.
I know you appreciate what they’re doing, but as you said, you still have to get through this year with your marriage and sanity intact. That is not a reflection of you or your in-laws, it’s simply hard to put people set in their ways, requiring privacy, in tight quarters together.
In theory, it’s a great idea, but not without an initial family discussion about boundaries and practical day-to-day living. Everything from shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry and private time, needs to be discussed if this is going to work.
Don’t be shy and encourage them not to be shy either. Time to put everything on the table. Both couples need to state their needs in order to make this work. This plan should be reviewed together monthly and open to revisions.
You will make it through this year. You sound practical and appreciative, and it’s obvious your in-laws are giving, loving people. Generous people will usually find a balance, because they’re already putting the interests of loved ones above their own. You will all make it through this.
As for your sex life, think back to your younger years. Remember how creative you could be? Who knows, you and Zach may spark a whole new passion and excitement. For all you know, your in-laws are doing the same thing!


Dear Ella,
God willing, my wife and I are having our first child in January. I will have a week off work, but Jess will be alone with the baby after that. She is scared and asked me if it’s OK for her mom to fly in and stay with us the first month. In a weak moment, I agreed. We have a bedroom downstairs, so we’ll have privacy, but I fear she’ll take over. The more I think about it, the more I feel this should be alone time for us to find our way as a new family. Can I get out of this?
Need to Renege

Dear Need to Renege
When you decided to have a child, you also subconsciously made the decision to do what is best for that baby, which is why your gut instinct said yes to Jess’s request. Now that your brain has had time to catch up, you’re having second thoughts.
Don’t. Stick to your original gut reaction because that’s usually the right decision.
Your wife will probably be the main caregiver in the beginning, especially if she is breastfeeding. Having her mother there is not only practical support and help, but moral support to give your wife confidence and maybe even a tip or two. You will not be home during the day for three of those four weeks. Explain to Jess that you would like some alone time with her and the baby when you get home. I’m sure her mother will be sensitive to that. And let’s not forget how much extra sleep this will give you if you have to be refreshed for work in the morning. Don’t give up before this even starts. Mazal tov!

SHARE