in-laws have no boundaries.... (long)

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-19-2012
in-laws have no boundaries.... (long)
Sat, 12-21-2013 - 7:25pm

I moved into my husband's 4bed house when we got married in July. I just finished law school and my loans are crazy so I have to wait a few years before we get a new house. His mother has lived with him the past 3 years due to financial/ "health" issues (She's only 58 and I think she's way too needy for her age). I won't go into detail about this b/c I'm learning to let my resentment go esp b/c once my LO arrives we won't have child care costs or have to worry about daycare treatment. 

Moving 1 pt his sister & her children lived with him too. Well they no longer do but never changed their address and still have a key. They come and go whenever they like and it drives me INSANE. His sister is 15 yrs older than us and thinks this house is partly hers because she helped him decorate & gave him financial advice. (just an old bitter lonely woman.) After 7 years of knowing me they don't like me now b/c he and I had a fallout last yr about living with his mom so she doesn't even speak now when she comes. Even though his family does NOTHING to help us with his mom. Interesting right!!?

Well I am private and like to be left alone when I'm home but he's a helper and let's ppl pretty much do whatever they want. I plan to discuss this key situation with him and I know ppl's families can be touchy subjects (it has in the past) so I'm trying to find the best way to approach this. If it doesn't change I will seriously go crazy and want to leave. Any suggestions?? 

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sun, 12-22-2013 - 12:15am

You've known this man at least 7 years.  His family was there before you.  It is HIS house.  You KNEW what his relationship was with his family long before you married him, yet you chose to marry him anyway, move into HIS house, and let him help (or wholly) pay your bills. You denigrate his mother, yet plan to make her your unpaid nanny.  You are a piece of work

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2013
Sun, 12-22-2013 - 4:15am

Just be open and honest, but kind.  Don't let your feelings for his family spill over into your conversation.  You are newly married and have a right to expect some privacy.  Perhaps together, you and your husband can find another solution for your mother-in-law.  

Avatar for jamblessedthree
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Sun, 12-22-2013 - 9:33am
Debt aside, get out of the house and establish your own life if you can't take the surroundings you're in. Do you feel responsible for his mother? I don't get what's so crazy now that you didn't know when you moved in last Summer esp given his mother has been living there for three years. I have inlaws that don't like me so I get how that can be but they are not responsible for you living your own life or your happiness or sense of belonging. A little respect goes a long way, I'd start there if you really want to get around whatever it is that's eating at you...



Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sun, 12-22-2013 - 7:02pm

It sounds like before you got married you knew how his family acted, and how your husband responded to their behavior. Did you and he talk about how it would be after you moved in? Did you assume that they would all leave you two alone once you were married? Does your MIL still live with you? Does your husband see how their actions upset you?

When you talk to your husband stick to how you feel about all of this but be very careful not to attack or say derogatory things about his family. 

If your MIL is going to be the 40+ hr/wk babysitter you should expect that she will have some strong opinions on how the child should be raised. If you disagree with her ways, well good luck, especially since your dh doesn't seem to stand up to her. If you are not paying her then you will not be in the position of an employer telling an employee how she wants things done (which is tough when a relative babysits anyway). It sounds like his family will be getting more enmeshed in your lives after the baby comes.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013
Mon, 12-23-2013 - 10:27am

As far as your sister-in-law is concerned, you need to speak to your husband. He needs to explain to his sister that you are his wife. It doesn't matter if she likes you or not, but if she's in your presence, she needs to be pleasant and respectful to you, which means saying "hello." I had to speak to my grown daughter several times about the same issue, of how she treats my husband, her stepfather, and am now seeing results. You also need to tell your husband that you're a couple now and need to set house rules. You are now the lady of the house and you want people to call before coming over. He needs to tell his sister this new rule. Tell him not to say it's your decision. He needs to know that you two are a couple and the decisions come from teamwork. So what if she's pissed off. She doesn't like you anyway and holds grudges and tries to torture you by ignoring you.  As for the rest of it, his mother living there and the financially strapped years ahead, you should probably get some books from the library about dealing with living in a home with an extended family.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2014
Thu, 01-23-2014 - 12:48pm

Personally, I don't think your response is fair or kind.  This is clearly an educated lady and her expectation that marrying someone after 7 years would mean that she would become his #1 priority is not out of line.  Every wife should expect that and vise versa.  Yes, they probably should have discussed his mom living with them - but she says that she is coming to terms with that and that she also can see a benefit as her mil would help with child care down the road.

This is not HIS house - it is their house.  And, she has every right to expect that a sister who once lived there would not just assume some rights to the place now that she is gone and a wife lives there.  I agree about the privacy thing  - I'd have the locks changed.  I would set the boundaries and DH should respect this.

Don't forget, he also knew her for seven years and knew that she was an educated person and a person that was private...why should she have to give all of who she is up?  Why is the family not able to realize that a man and a woman who form a marriage now should put all of their attention into building that life and building a family.