19 -I would not mind having my in-laws living close to me, but not in my home
Home > Departments and Ministries > Family Ministries > Dear Dr. Smith >
.
19. Good day Dr. Smith!

My husband and I have been married for almost 6 years and have two beautiful children. We are happily married and like every couple, we have our differences. My husband wants his parents to move to the U.S. Financially, we are not very stable because we have several school loans to pay off; so that means that if they move to the U.S. they will have to live with us in our home because renting an apartment for them would not be affordable for us, plus food, medical expenses, transportation and furnishing their apartment.

My relationship with my husband's parents is a pretty good one, but I'm not sure I want to live with any in-laws or even with any other family member. I don't want to make my husband feel badly about this situation and I don't want him to think I'm rejecting his parents. I would not mind having my in-laws living close to me, but not in my home because I like to have my space and my privacy.

Am I being selfish? What should I do?


Dear married for 6 years.
Regarding the issue of your husband wanting his parents to come and live with you, here is my take on it.
The notion of your husband wanting his parents to migrate should be commended. However, several issues need to be resolved before such a vital move is made.

How long will they be living with you? If it’s for more than one year, it’s not a good idea. And even a year can be a bit too long. Great relationships with in-laws can be ruined with too close a proximity.

Are they of age to work, and if so, do they have work authorization? If they do, then their coming should be to set up their own little nest, and in that case you should be more than willing to help them out temporarily. I would suggest however, that a specific time frame for their stay be agreed upon.

If they are coming to stay permanently, they should have some assets that they are bringing with them. This should help to defray the expense of rental, furniture purchase, etc. and should not be totally your husband’s responsibility.

If they are not coming to work and they will be depending solely on both of you, then you both need to sort this through thoroughly and carefully, because it may cause a lot of problems and heated arguments later. I urge you not to be insensitive to your husband’s desire to care for his parents, if they are old and need help. That is part of his God given responsibility.

You mentioned liking your own space and privacy. While I do not know the size of your home, I would urge you to reconsider this concept and make sure it’s not narcissism. If your in-laws are of the “meddling” type, then yes, they may cause havoc on your marriage. However, if they are not, then they might keep the space given them and not interfere.  Whatever the arrangements, I would hope it’s not for a long time, unless they are incapable of taking care of themselves.

I wish you God’s greatest blessings and as you discuss this matter with your husband, I pray that everything will go smoothly. Be blessed and take best of care.

Dr. Smith