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dp has invited his dad to live with us

(13 Posts)
SamN Mon 18-Apr-05 11:08:05

Dp's mum died January last year and dp's dad doesn't really have much in his life apart from family, especially as he has just given up his job. We have a 4 bed house and live nearish to dp's sister (who only lives in a 1 bed flat). So we do have room. He is only 60, though, and in good health apart from high blood pressure and not sleeping well (which I think is psychological). We had already talked about the possibility of inviting him to stay with us sometime in the future.

But I am upset because
(a) this is not a decision we made together. I thought the conversations were along the lines of 'something we may have to do in a few years' time', not something we were going to do right now. However, I never said, "I am not having your father living in this house". So, it appears that the lack of a definite no has been taken as a yes - which it wasn't. Hum;
(b) I've been stressed recently because of ds2's ill health. I'm only just coping as it is and I don't really want to have anything else to deal with;
(c) I'm worried about the practicalities of having dp's dad around all the time. I like him but dp has said himself that he's probably not the easiest person to live with. And I don't think it's going to help our relationship. (dp's and mine, that is). I would be happier with him living in a separate flat nearby even if it will cost more financially.

Please let me know what you think, especially if you or someone you know has had a parent/parent-in-law living with them.

jampots Mon 18-Apr-05 11:13:30

I think you need to discuss this with dh pretty quickly and maybe even take FIL out and look at flats locally with him. There doesnt sound much reason for him to come and live with you other than he's on his own. He's not old or infirm by the sounds of it so think you should stand your ground.

There is no way I could allow that but luckily dh has already told his parents that they'd have to go into a home if the need arose!

pabla Mon 18-Apr-05 11:27:37

I agree with jampots that there doesn't seem to be an urgent reason for your fil to move in now. If he is lonely, maybe you could have him around to dinner regularly, if you don't already do that, or maybe he could help you out during the day, eg help with the school run or take them to the park. If he is not sleeping well, maybe encourage hin to get more exercise/fresh air during the day. Luckily, my parents and parents in law live in another country so hopefully we won't have to face this sort of situation ourselves.

Some people don't mind sharing their home with others, but I'm not one of them. Could never have a live-in au pair for example (not that I could afford one!) Only you can know how it would work for you but if he's only 60 you are making a very long term commitment....

My paternal grandparents came to live with us when I was a baby, mainly due to my grandmother's poor health. My mum has never complained, in fact she said it was nice to have the company (she moved 150 miles to a different area when she got married) but it can't have been easy on her, looking after two elderly people and 5 kids. My nan was housebound most of the time she stayed with us (and I remember bedpans being around!) and I think that was a lot to take on for someone in their mid-twenties.

Blu Mon 18-Apr-05 11:34:28

Does your FIL want to come and live in your house? Why does your dp feel it is such an imperative?
It sounds like a bad idea for everyone, and a bloody nightmare for you. I think you have to be honest with dp, find out what his worries about his Dad are and see if there si some other way of addressing them. Does your FIL own his house?

SamN Mon 18-Apr-05 15:46:04

dp's dad sounded fairly keen on the idea when dp suggested it, said he could help look after the kids. He does own his own house at the moment, about 1 h to 1 1/2 h drive away. I think the mortgage is paid off but I don't think the house is worth very much.

Moomin Mon 18-Apr-05 16:05:06

Is there any way he could buy a flat or something a bit nearer?

The only experience I have of this is dh's parents. When dh's grandma died about 18 years ago, dh's mum and dad took dh's grandad in to live with them. He was about 75, so obviously older than your FIL. His health was ok-ish but he didn't cope very well with his wife dying, esp as she'd always done everything for him and he didn't have a clue how to look after himself. The brunt of the caring fell on MIL (it was FIL's dad) and she didn't complain about it one bit. However, after he died, about 3 years ago now, both MIl and FIL said that, although they loved him dearly, they admitted it had been a mistake to take him in. It put a lot of strain on her especially, and also he'd never gained any independence. He was very reliant on her for everyhting, whereas if he'd lived in sheltered accomm, I do think he'd been a bit more self-sufficient.

My dad is still on his own after my mum died over 25 years ago. He's 79 now and most people can't beleive he's that old as he's so active. He lives 5 mins away in the car and we see lots of him. I love having him nearby but living toegther - no!

I don't think your dp has thought this through thoroughly has he? Good luck with what you decide.

beansprout Mon 18-Apr-05 16:13:30

Sam, I think you have outlined some very good reasons.
You will be at home with your children and so will be spending far more time with your FIL than dp. For this reason alone this really, really needs to be a decision you are comfortable with. There are all sorts of things to consider, e.g. will your FIL support your parenting decisions? Could this put a strain on your relationship with dp? If so, how would that affect your children? Has your dp considered that given your FIL's age, he could be with you until your children leave home?

It really sounds like you have had enough to deal with recently. I really think you need some time to settle back down after everything that has gone on and reconsider the whole thing in a year's time. There doesn't seem to be any pressing need for your FIL to come and live with you now. And yep, dp has already asked him, but he shouldn't have done that, and it is NOT the reason for your FIL to move in. That is just you being bamboozled which is hardly a good basis for the next 20 years or so.

MeerkatsUnite Mon 18-Apr-05 16:44:46


I think you have every right to be concerned; a parent coming to live with your family for whatever reason will put extra strain on all of you. The whole family dynamic will change and at 60 you are in all likelihood looking at a commitment that could last two decades. How does this man get on with your children?. Will he be able to cope with them - and vice versa?. Relatives visiting your house is one thing, having them live with you is quite another. Having had my nan live with us for a short time when she was very ill, I have to say it was hard emotionally for all of us. Ground rules need to be set and enforced.

Your partner may well feel sorry for his father but this alone is not a firm or "good" enough reason for him to be moving in with you.

I think all parties would be happier if as you say he lived close by but separately from yourselves. You need your own space as a family unit.

crescent Mon 18-Apr-05 17:21:26

Sam, Thought I'd give an opinion from the 'older generation'
I'm a grandma and nearer 60 than I admit and consider myself way too young to consider living with my children! 60 nowadays really isn't old!
I have a good friend who had her MIL move in with them when FIL died - that MIL has recently died aged 96!!! At times the lack of privacy nearly drove her mad!
So you could be making a very long term decision to have your FIL move in at this point in time! h
Has your dp really thought through all the implications?

crescent Mon 18-Apr-05 17:22:11

Sorry should have said, friend's MIL was 60 when she moved in with them! So it was a 36 year stay!

darlingbud Mon 18-Apr-05 17:23:41

My grandmother lived with us for 10 years and it was awful. always rowing - mum and dad never got privacy. she became a really miserable old lady and took it out on us. I would advise against it but I don't know you and it is just my opinion.

SamN Tue 19-Apr-05 19:21:29

Hello everyone, thanks so much for your comments which back up the way I was feeling about the situation. Spoke to dp last night. I was anticipating a huge row but in fact he just went very quiet and apologised for having misunderstood the previous conversations. It left me feeling somewhat nasty for having said I didn't want his dad living with us, but overall I'm so glad I spoke to dp at this point rather than further down the line.

Now we just have to try to work out other ways to help his dad to fill up his days - and we're also starting to look (online) at flats in our neighbourhood.

Anyway, thanks again for your support.

Slink Tue 19-Apr-05 19:26:31

Just caught this late, mil lives with us and has done for 11 yrs but i have molded her so she is great also when i was in my 20's i felt i had to do things, now 33 i know i don't and i have dd and dh and she comes well down the line.

glad you worked it all out though.xx

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