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Does anyone live with their In-Laws?

(41 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Wed 08-Oct-14 20:42:23

I don't know if this is the right place to ask about this but it is kind of affecting me and DH.

Three months ago my MIL unexpectedly died leaving FIL feeling very lonely. He doesn't have any friends (his life centred around work and MIL) and the only family he has is my DH.

FIL is struggling to be alone in the house he shared with MIL and it is also far too big for just him.

He has made a suggestion to DH that we sell our house, he sells his house and we join finances to get a big house between us. He said he will have the modern day version of a 'Granny Flat' so he completely has his own space (I don't actually know much about Granny Flats) and he said he will not impose on mine and DH's space at all.

My DH feels very sad for his dad, obviously, so is thinking seriously about FIL's offer, taking my thoughts into account too.

I get on very well with FIL but I don't know if I want to live with him - even if he does have his own space. He implied that with the set up he imagines (an attached granny flat) he will have his own living room, own bathroom and own kitchen and that it won't really be as though we all live together.

Has anyone else ever been in a situation like this? Both my DH and FIL are grieving and I don't want to be the one who says no if they feel they need to be close to each other.

Meerka Wed 08-Oct-14 21:00:12

Living together is a long term prospect and small irritations can become huge over time. Occasionally it works well, often it doesn't.

Having completely his own granny flat would be essential. Absolutely essential (and make sure it can be adapted for potential increasing disability eg large enough downstairs loo and shower for a wheelchair; shallow ramps; big enough bedroom for a hoist etc). It'd need its own front door.

Longer term who would be expected to handle shopping / cooking / care for him if he becomes disabled? (it's usually the woman).

In terms of getting on long term .. Does your FIL harbour any sexist or other ideas that would get on your nerves? are you roughly on the same songsheet regarding being discreet regarding politics / religion / culturalism / race?

I also think you'd have to encourage him to build his own life. If he relies only on you two for socializing, the pressure is going to be too much.

Does he ever show signs of telling you what to do? If he does, then it's a pretty clear no. If he doesn't understand and respect that you are your own person, your husband is his own person and that you two are an entity then it won't work.

If it came down to a choice between you and his father, whom would your DH choose? (the right answer to that is You).

Do you have children? would he respect your ways of childrearing or would he shove his oar in?

At best, you could have a loving addition to the family. At worst, you could have a poisonous snake in the household. Most likely it'll be somewhere in between. But it can go very, very wrong when older people come to live with a married couple and you need to be cautious. If it goes wrong, disentangling yourselves when you've joined finances to buy a house could be a nightmare.

gildedcage Wed 08-Oct-14 21:02:06

I have done and they are lovely. I wouldn't recommend it though for a healthy marriage.

all sorts happened while we lived there and I felt trapped and unable to express my feelings. Nothing that they did and absolutely no reflection on them. I would never live with family again, even my own mother who I obviously love dearly.

peanutbuttercupfield Wed 08-Oct-14 23:01:30

I did it before. never again
it was horrible and contributed to the awful change in my stbxh.

GoodtoBetter Wed 08-Oct-14 23:20:02

Don't do it. Help him live independently or in shared housing. Don't live with him. I speak from experience.

perfectstorm Thu 09-Oct-14 00:28:48

If your FIL ever needs long term nursing care, you might have to sell that shared home to release his equity to fund it. And he might assume he has no need of such care because his DIL lives in the same house.

I'd suggest you wait a year from the death of MIL and then think again. I also think he'd be a lot happier and better off in a retirement community living flat, where he could make new friends, if his life was MIL and work, and I also think if he moves in the unspoken assumption is that his new life will be your family's.

The sort of place I'm thinking of, if financially viable, also means he's unlikely to ever need a care home, because most people remain independent, active and socially engaged. It's a good compromise. One being built near us has a cafe, restaurant, cinema room, gym and pool for residents, all of whom own their own flats. There's 24/7 assistance on site plus 1.5 hours of cleaning a week laid on as standard, and it's close to a good doctor's surgery, and green pedestrian walk made where an old railway used to run.

You'll end up being an unpaid housekeeper unless it's settled in advance that other arrangements will be made. And how can you have that conversation, when the time comes? Will your DH? Will your FIL accept it? I just feel the fact you are worried and asking advice is indication your instinct is against it, but you don't want to be unkind.

Writerwannabe83 Thu 09-Oct-14 01:15:38

Thanks everyone.

At the moment FIL is only 60, still working 40 hours a week, is active, goes the gym, regularly cycles etc so it's hard to envision him as one day needing care but I suppose it's something we need to consider.

In response to another poster, sometimes I do feel like FIL thinks he knows best when it comes to DS (6 months old) and sometimes laughs/brushes off any thoughts or worries I have as though I'm an OTT mother. Occasionally I have felt like FIL makes unnecessary comments to make little digs about things I do with DS or decisions I make but my DH tells me I'm imagining things. Even before DS was born FIL was acting a bit controlling regarding the pregnancy and what we should be doing and buying in preparation for DS and me and DH had to take a step back because it seemed so overbearing. I also had to ask DH to have a word with FIL when DS was about 2 months old because comments he was making towards me (in relation to parenting choices) were upsetting me.

I just think that if the move does go ahead it could potentially be a disaster but I don't want to hurt my FIL's feelings and not do I want to upset my DH. It's really difficult.

As a previous poster said, I think we should probably be helping him be more independent and make friends and have a social life as opposed to letting him hide away inside mine and DH's relationship and put all that pressure on us.

We are all going on holiday together next year for 2 weeks and I'm secretly very apprehensive about that. I have a feeling it will be a fortnight of him belittling me and me being made to feel like a child as opposed to a grown up who knows what's best for DS.

At least the two weeks away should give us an insight into how it would be all living together.... hmm

MummyBeerest Thu 09-Oct-14 01:50:30

Don't do it.

We lived with my MIL for two months. We'd gotten along before that.

We get along now.

Those 2 months were utter hell.

If you "sort of" have issues now, you bet your arse you'll have issues when you live together.

perfectstorm Thu 09-Oct-14 03:22:06

OP I hope you don't mind, but that rang real bells for me because I remember your old thread (because my jaw was on the floor in sympathy!) and to ensure it was you, I searched your username and "FIL" and lo and behold, here it is.

This would also be the FIL who accused you, when your baby was 11 days old, of wanting to breastfeed as a means of control, no? So the biological needs and instincts of you and a baby - a baby whose very body temperature was still regulated by contact with your body - were a challenge to his own control?

I'm not surprised you're worried. I'm surprised you're even willing to think about it. I'm really sorry he's lost his wife, but as the saying goes: when someone tells you who they are, believe them. This can only end in tears, and they'll probably be yours.

rootypig Thu 09-Oct-14 04:27:06

He's 60, fit and well. According to your other thread, you live in the same street.

I don't see the need - or even that it would change much!

rootypig Thu 09-Oct-14 04:28:42

Also at 60 (or 70, or 80!) there is an excellent chance that he'll meet a new partner, however unimaginable that may be for him now.

Writerwannabe83 Thu 09-Oct-14 04:32:40

perfectstorm - of course I don't mind you hearing bells ring, I've probably posted a few times about FIL - there have been lots of times he has tried to exert his authority when it comes to parenting. I honestly don't think he does it maliciously, I don't think he's aware of how he comes across but it doesn't mean it's still not upsetting.

He's now said he wants to go shopping with us and buy us a new car seat which is lovely but I've told DH that's he's got to go with FIL to buy it as I don't want to go through the experience!! I'm pretty sure that whichever one I liked or wanted would be wrong in FIL's eyes. My DH wasn't too impressed and said he wants me to choose it with him but I've said no way!!

Writerwannabe83 Thu 09-Oct-14 04:32:40

perfectstorm - of course I don't mind you hearing bells ring, I've probably posted a few times about FIL - there have been lots of times he has tried to exert his authority when it comes to parenting. I honestly don't think he does it maliciously, I don't think he's aware of how he comes across but it doesn't mean it's still not upsetting.

He's now said he wants to go shopping with us and buy us a new car seat which is lovely but I've told DH that's he's got to go with FIL to buy it as I don't want to go through the experience!! I'm pretty sure that whichever one I liked or wanted would be wrong in FIL's eyes. My DH wasn't too impressed and said he wants me to choose it with him but I've said no way!!

Writerwannabe83 Thu 09-Oct-14 04:36:58

rooty - he does talk a lot about meeting someone else but says he wants a companion, not a partner. I think his plan was always to sell his house as he doesn't want to live in the marital home without MIL and he sees this as the solution. He keeps saying it will benefit me and DH but I don't think DH is thinking too clearly - and it really upsets him to think if his dad being alone and sad so that's probably a huge factor.

Thumbwitch Thu 09-Oct-14 04:41:49

Don't do it.
Really, don't.

Sounds as though he's quite interfering - and if he's on the doorstep, literally, he will be in and out of your house all the time, regardless of whether or not he has his own space. You could be wandering around in your undies and find him having breakfast in the kitchen, having "run out of milk" in his own fridge, or similar.

I have lived with MIL for 6 weeks, when we emigrated over here and before our house was ready to move into - it was only not terminal because we both tried our damnedest to make sure it wasn't, and it was still bloody awful. Ok, that was sharing a kitchen and living space, but still.

You'll find, if he's there, that he'll always be wanting you to pick stuff up for him, or take him shopping, or watch tv together, or or or - you just won't be able to get away from him.

I would suggest you invite him to stay for a fortnight in your current house, then go to stay for a fortnight in his house and see what it's like. That length of time is likely to throw up the sort of problems you'll be up against - and then you can decide whether or not you can put up with it.

Thumbwitch Thu 09-Oct-14 04:41:49

Don't do it.
Really, don't.

Sounds as though he's quite interfering - and if he's on the doorstep, literally, he will be in and out of your house all the time, regardless of whether or not he has his own space. You could be wandering around in your undies and find him having breakfast in the kitchen, having "run out of milk" in his own fridge, or similar.

I have lived with MIL for 6 weeks, when we emigrated over here and before our house was ready to move into - it was only not terminal because we both tried our damnedest to make sure it wasn't, and it was still bloody awful. Ok, that was sharing a kitchen and living space, but still.

You'll find, if he's there, that he'll always be wanting you to pick stuff up for him, or take him shopping, or watch tv together, or or or - you just won't be able to get away from him.

I would suggest you invite him to stay for a fortnight in your current house, then go to stay for a fortnight in his house and see what it's like. That length of time is likely to throw up the sort of problems you'll be up against - and then you can decide whether or not you can put up with it.

MexicanSpringtime Thu 09-Oct-14 04:47:27

Well the normal advice for recently widowed people is not to even consider moving until a year has passed, because they are not yet in a proper condition to think things through properly. And as a person of 62, I really think he is being very premature in thinking about a granny flat.

So no, don't do it. Probably when he is about eighty, you will find that you have to start looking after him, but not at sixty.

Iflyaway Thu 09-Oct-14 04:59:45

When I read your OP I thought of him as being about 80....

60??

I'm less than 6 months off my 60th, no way ever would I be expecting to move in with DS - who's at uni!

I live a full-on life, lots of interests, good social life, travel loads etc.

He sounds like a sad character and horribly controlling. Don't move in with him whatever you do.
He'll have you running around domestically for him too. And telling you how to bring up your child.

I took care of my aging parents and am a LP. It really was a hard time.
You have no time for yourself any more, just taking care of others.

GoodtoBetter Thu 09-Oct-14 07:38:31

Are you the poster with the husband who is messy and won't clear up? To the extent you went and stayed at your mums? Don't become skivvy for him AND his dad. Because that's what it will turn into. Agree wholeheartedly with previous posters. You don't have to go along with this idea you know it's perfectly reasonable to say no.you have no obligations to have him live with you.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 09-Oct-14 07:42:12

This has DFS written all over it - disaster from the start.

I would be wondering on a wider level exactly why your FIL does not have any friends. He is likely to be completely antisocial and has become far too dependent on his son. Now that his wife who likely kept him in check has passed away, he now has free reign to start imposing.

His dad has already tried on more than one occasion as to how to bring up your child which is a red flag in itself. Do not do this to your child either.

At 60 there is no need for him whatsoever to move in with you people; he will continue as well to undermine you at whatever opportunity presents itself. His dad basically wants someone to look after him now he is on his own. There is nothing at all here to indicate that he moving into a granny flat with you people would at all be a good idea. Its a terrible idea.

BogStandardOldWoman Thu 09-Oct-14 07:59:28

No no no no no.
My ex and his wife did this in exactly the same circs and it actually works well for them. But your FIL sounds a different kettle of fish. If he upsets you now, what on earth will living with him be like??
You now have to manage your DH, who may see it differently. Don't get drawn into 'you're imagining things' 'he means well' etc. How you feel is how you feel, even if FIL isn't setting out to upset you.
Please don't do it, be strong.

Lottapianos Thu 09-Oct-14 08:12:31

Absolutely not OP. It sounds like a dreadful idea. Even if you all got on like a house on fire I would advise extreme caution, but he sounds like an utter nightmare. I feel twitchy on your behalf just thinking about it! Do not be guilt tripped into this by anybody. You owe it to yourself and your future sanity to put your foot down.

Meerka Thu 09-Oct-14 08:28:21

sometimes I do feel like FIL thinks he knows best when it comes to DS (6 months old) and sometimes laughs/brushes off any thoughts or worries I have as though I'm an OTT mother. Occasionally I have felt like FIL makes unnecessary comments to make little digs about things I do with DS or decisions I make but my DH tells me I'm imagining things. Even before DS was born FIL was acting a bit controlling regarding the pregnancy and what we should be doing and buying in preparation for DS and me and DH had to take a step back because it seemed so overbearing.

Absolutely no way live together.

if you can't say no to your husband outright without causing upset, suggest giving it a year as recommended. But the 2 weeks away should be enough. He's at the start of the grieving process and things are sometimes different then but the previous track record is more than enough to say No.

Stand up for your life, write, because on track record if your FIL moves in you'll be a skivvy in your own life and fighting to be any sort of independent woman at all.

MorrisZapp Thu 09-Oct-14 08:42:52

Look, you need some perspective here. I can see it might be awkward turning down, say a dinner invitation from your recently widowed FIL.

But no awkwardness need surround a request that you sell the house you love in and move. No reasonable person asks another person to do that. For the future, if and when FIL actually has care needs, it's an interesting idea. But he's closer in age to Kylie Minogue than Ming Campbell and can make his own arrangements for now.

GoodtoBetter Thu 09-Oct-14 08:46:25

Well said Morris.

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