How Do You Live With Your In Laws and Still Love Them?

Live with Inlaws AdobeStock_135171544 copyLiving with your in laws (parents), or having them live with you, is a complicated situation. This is particularly true for those of you who live in parts of the world where this is a common cultural practice. This may work out fine in some households. However, some of you may not find this to be an easy living arrangement.

This whole situation is a particularly perplexing one. The Bible tells you that as a married couple, you are to leave your parents. You are to cleave to each other as husband and wife. (See: Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:7; and Ephesians 5:31.) But when it is not possible to live separately from your in laws (parents), married life becomes more complicated.

Leave, Cleave Yet Still Live Together?

How do you live out the Biblical principle to “leave and cleave” now that you are married? And yet how do you live under the same roof in a peaceable manner with your parents (in laws)? You want to love and “honor” your parents (in laws). You know that is the right thing to do. But when they don’t make it easy, how do you do it?

To be quite honest, we don’t know. This may be an almost impossible situation! And yet the Bible says that with God nothing is impossible! So if there isn’t any other choice you can make in this matter, there must be a way to make this work. It may not be as comfortable as you want it to be, but with God’s help, you can do it.

We Are Promised “Troubles”

The Bible warns us of the tribulations we will encounter in this life. Even in married life we are told “those who marry will face many troubles in this life.” (1 Corinthians 7:28) Living with your parents (in laws), may be a “trouble” that you will need to work through with the Lord’s guidance, and strength. This could be an “iron sharpening iron” situation that the Bible talks about in Proverbs 27:17. This is where you have the opportunity to allow the Lord to bring out His character within you as circumstances rub you in a way that causes sparks. Follow the rules for Holy living that you can read in Colossians 3.

It’s true that the ideal may seem to be that you and your in laws (parents) live in separate households. But the ideal isn’t always possible. So after you have prayed, if you see that things aren’t going to change at this time, the next wisest choice is to make the best of the circumstances you are in, rather wasting energy on complaining or wishing for that which you cannot change at this point in time. There is a time to say something and there is also a time to be quiet and let God say it. (See Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.) Other times God tells us to “be content in the circumstances we find ourselves.” (See Philippians 4:12-13.) And this may be what you are facing at this time. Ask God to show you what you are to do in this season of your life.

Leave Within Your Mind

Keep in mind that you and your spouse can still “leave” your parents in your mindset and in your attitudes. Find ways to cleave together, even if you can’t live apart from your family in your living circumstances. You just have to be more cleaver in how you make this happen —firmly placing the boundaries that are possible. The Lord can show you how to do this.

You may even have a spouse that doesn’t fully join with you in a “cleaving” type of way. And that is most certainly perplexing because this is not how God intended for marriage to work! Our hearts go out to you. But don’t give up. God is with you as you reach out to Him for help. Cry out your circumstances to Him. Ask Him for continual guidance as to how to make the best of a situation that seems to be the worst!

And don’t give up if you pray and God is silent for a period of time. His silence will not be forever. It’s not that He doesn’t hear you. But there are reasons for His silence that you need to accept. He is God and His ways are not your ways. God tells us in the Bible, “As the heavens are higher than the earth. So are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9) “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts. Neither are my ways your ways’ declares the LORD.” (Isaiah 55:8)

If you are wondering why God is not answering your prayers as quickly as you believe He should concerning this problem, consider the following thoughts. They come from the teaching of Oswald Chambers from his book My Utmost for His Highest, (published by Barbour and Company).

Chambers writes:

“We have the idea that God rewards us for our faith. It may be so in the initial stages. But we do not earn anything by faith. Faith brings us into right relationship with God and gives God His opportunity. God has frequently to knock the bottom board out of your experience if you are a saint in order to get you into contact with Himself. God wants you to understand that it is a life of faith, not a life of sentimental enjoyment of His blessings.

“Your earlier life of faith was narrow and intense, settled around a little sun-spot of experience, full of light and sweetness. Then God withdrew His conscious blessing in order to teach you to walk by faith. You are worth more to Him now than you were in your days of conscious delight and thrilling testimony.

“Faith by its very nature must be tried. And the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God’s character has to be cleared in our own minds. Faith in its actual working out has to go through spells of unsyllabled isolation. …Faith in the Bible is faith in God against everything that contradicts Him. I will remain true to God’s character whatever He may do. ‘Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.’ This is the most sublime utterance of faith in the whole Bible.”

Stretching Your Character

It may seem cruel of God to withdraw from you when you are dealing with so many problems. But we encourage you to understand that God has a reason why He allows things to happen in certain ways and times. His silence may be a time when He is trusting you to live by faith at this time. He wants you to cooperate with Him in stretching your character beyond the limits of what you may think should happen. We encourage you to trust His silence and trust His heart. He loves you and knows what is ultimately best for all concerned.

If your spouse recognizes the Biblical mandate to “leave and cleave” and yet you can’t physically live elsewhere at this time, ask God as a married couple to help you. Even if you have to do this within your mind and actions within the same home as your family. God will lead you (at the proper time) as you lean upon Him, rather than upon that which you see right now. (See Proverbs 3:5-6.)

If you don’t have a spouse that at this time recognizes the “leave and cleave” mandate, then ask God how you are to proceed each day under the constraints you find yourself living. God will be your guide. And what you see today in your spouse may actually change in the future. Trust God in this.

On This Journey

To help you further in this journey, we’ve searched for articles you can read that may give you insights into how to make your living situation work. We’ve found a few (and hopefully will find more in the future) that may help you. Even if your circumstances are not the same as in the articles we provide below for you to read, pray and then glean. Ask the Lord to show you what you can and cannot use, and what you can tailor in such a way that they will work in your situation. Open your heart and mind to all of the possibilities that God can show you.

Just make sure that what you use is not contrary to scripture. It is important that you are not allowing your own mind or a contrary spirit disguising itself as “angel of light” (that is working against God’s ways), to fool you. Be on the alert! (See 1 Peter 5:8-11.) Let the Bible, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, lead you into Truth in the decisions you make.

“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Ask the Lord to help you to be strong in doing what is best for all concerned —especially for the health of your marriage.

Heads Up:

We want you to know that one or more of the articles, is not written from a Christian perspective. But we believe you will still find helpful things among all the articles that could help you. Let the Holy Spirit be your guide as to what you should and shouldn’t use. Please click onto the links provided below to read:

Posted on the web site, Sarah Haymaker writes:


From Pastor Walter Snyder, who addresses this issue:


On the web site, Sheri and Bob Stritof address:


On the web site, Be About Jesus, Pat Sieler discusses:


Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.

If you have additional tips you can share, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

Print Post

Filed under: Dealing with In Laws & Parents

Join the Discussion

Please observe the following guidelines:

  • Try to be as positive as possible when you make a comment.
  • If there is name-calling, or profane language, it will be deleted.
  • The same goes with hurtful comments targeted at belittling others; we won't post them.
  • Recommendations for people to divorce will be edited out–that's a decision between them and God, not us.
  • If you have a criticism, please make it constructive.
  • Be mindful that this is an international ministry where cultural differences need to be considered.
  • Please honor the fact this is a Christ-centered web site.

We review all comments before posting them to reduce spam and offensive content.


55 responses to “How Do You Live With Your In Laws and Still Love Them?

  1. (USA)  I’m beyond frustrated!!! I have been living with my inlaws for about a year now. I am very grateful that they have opened their home to us when they didn’t have to.

    A few years ago my husband had an accident at work that gave him five herniated discs, a pinched nerve and a concussion –when it happened. I was pregnant and about due. That forced me to be the sole provider, so he started re-training and I kept my really good job. He went to school while I went back to work. We decided to have another baby and everything was great. We lived in our own home by the way, until a couple of months after coming back from maternity leave, and then they let me go!!!

    I had no warning, nothing. We had till the end of the week to move out!!! Crazy! I never had to depend on anyone. I have worked my whole life. I knew no other house/home because of eight years of living at the same location and in a blink of an eye, gone! My inlaws opened their doors to my husband and I along with our three children. We are thankful but the price is costly!!! With no other choice.

    My father in law is an alcoholic, my mother in law is very argumentative and rude, has no manners and is the opposite of discreet. My brother in law lives with us, doesn’t move a finger and is the biggest freeloader you can think of. We live in this house and buy all our food, toiletries, we pay rent etc. (what you would have to do if you rented an apartment exept the rent is a quarter of the rates out there). Now I’m expected to buy food for the whole house and cook for everyone, that is what I think is unfair.

    There are two grown men that do not cook, nor buy any food!!! My mother in law rarely buys food!!! So the food disappears in weeks when I’m supposed to provide for a family of five for a month!!! I’m beyond upset. My father in law is not just an alcoholic, he is unemployed, so I feel for my mother in law but because my father in law is rarely there mentally, she acts as the police with us, nit picking and trying to rule over my family.

    Now my husband is nearly done with his schooling. He has 9 more weeks left, but it has just been eternal!!! Confrontations are the norm and any chance they get they throw it in our face what they have done for us. Im lost. My husband listens to me for a bit and then tells me he is done!!! I’m alone!!! AGHHH!!!

  2. (US)  I wish there was more advice for husbands who have wives that won’t unite with them. I see a lot of advice for women, which I just can’t relate to :/ I live with my Mother in law because she has MS, but everything she does annoys me. I have tried so hard to ignore it, but I am slowly feeling disgusted by the fact that I basically married her and my wife.

    I just want to be with my wife and kids everyday. Maybe I’m just too selfish. I eat dinner with my mother in law every single day and I have to listen to her chew her food :( I was raised not to eat like a cow. What do I do? Eat in another room? If I did, my wife would go along with it, but make sure I feel bad about it every day.

    My mother in law also doesn’t speak very well, because she’s not very educated, and because she spends so much time with my son when I’m at work, he is picking up some of the words that she says like winda, instead of window, warsher, instead of washer, and arra, instead of arrow, and pilla, instead of pillow, and punkin, instead of pumpkin, potota, instead of potato.

    I’m afraid I’m going to lose my mind. I keep hearing the advice to simply “pray”. I sure do hope it’s God’s will that something gets better, and sooner rather than later. It’s been 2 years so far. I can’t even go to the bathroom without putting pants on at night because she is constantly going to the kitchen for some reason. and the the bathroom is between her bedroom and the kitchen. She’ll also “check the temperature” of my sons bedroom as night to see if she needs to turn the heat up or not (she gets cold very easily because she is old).

    Every time I try to be positive and say nice things, she gives me her personal opinion on anything she can think of that relates to what I said. She gives her personal opinion for EVERYTHING. My wife says the best way to deal with this is to ignore it. How many things can I really ignore without missing out on life at home altogether???

  3. (NAMIBIA) Hi all, I just wound up upon this web page now, and hope you can help me. Me and my wife have been married for 7 years, ever since we needed to accommodate my wife’s family, cousins, uncle & now my father in law. I have spoken to my wife, but it is on deaf ears. I’d like to live with her and the kids alone. I don’t have a problem if family members come visit, but their visits are forever. We have to stand all their things in the house, from food to cigarettes. I am so depressed. Is there somebody who can help me or give me good advice? My father in law is working at the moment for big money, but if we ask for help it’s also on deaf ears.

  4. (USA)  Hello, I have an issue at hand in my marriage. I am true Christian but this issue has made me go crazy. I do not hate my mother in law but I do not want to stay with her in the same house. We are in the process of buying a house with my husband and he is planning to bring in all his family to stay with us.

    I am completly going crazy whenever I think about staying with his mother in the same house. I told him that as far as staying with his mother in the same house, I would rather go back in our home country and stay there since we just migrated here. I do not know why some mother in laws want to stick themselves on their children even when they know what the Bible says.

    I do not care about staying with his siblings but even just mentioning about his mom, I feel like my head is paining me. So far my husband understands me but I just feel he will get the feeling that I hate his mother, which is not true. I just want to live a normal married life without any mother in law dictating over my decisions in my house and marriage.

    My husband and I have different local languages. They always speak their language, which I do not understand, so I always feeling odd and insecure. I am going to stand my ground. I am not staying with my husband’s mother, in the same house.

  5. (USA)  I got married in May. We moved down to a small town in with my husbands parents so we could go to college. There are no job opportunities down here because there are only 4 stores. My husband and I have been saving trying to move back to our “original” home. But money is tight because of the job situation. And now I am pregnant. We have been here for 6 or 7 months now.

    I feel like I have drifted away from God-having to go to a church of their faith, not mine. I don’t get what I need out of the service. My husband also feels the same way. We dislike it here. And now that we are having this baby, his parents want to buy everything for the baby. And as great as that sounds, my husband and I don’t even get the chance to “parent” this unborn baby. We have the money to purchase all the baby stuff…but when we go to pick it up they get mad and say that they wanted to purchase it. They come home all the time with baby stuff. My husband is an only child…so I can see why they are obsessed with this baby on the way…but its a huge problem because we don’t get to be the parents in this situation.

    Luckily we have all the money we need to move back…the only thing is we are waiting for our last semester to end. Only 4 more months. And the baby will be born right at the end of those 4 months. BUT…when my husband and I move back- 2 hours away from his parents…they are going to be upset. We have informed them of our moving plans and just see it breaking there hearts. There is a lot more too this whole thing. Like, as mothers we like to have our own “nest”. and when I live here, I dont get that.

    I have to follow her rules and her ways of doings things. Like, she never cooks because she hates making a mess. Well, I love to cook because its cheaper than going out to eat. She hates using dishes. She used paper plates, cups, etc. and it becomes wasteful. We disagree so much on how things should run. But I cant say anything to her so I just live with this bitterness. LONG story short, because I feel drifted from God, it’s hard for me to seek His advice; to read his word.

    I really would like a good scripture to read, even if its just about faith, or love or marriage. Because the most important thing is that I draw close to God before this baby comes. <3 God is most important in raising a family and I want to get this right.

    1. (USA)  I know exactly how you feel! I’m due in less than a month, and my husband will finish school in about two months. We decided to move in with his grandparents, because he is only able to work part time, and without my full time job we won’t be able to afford our own apartment anymore. We move in next week :( His grandparents are extremely welcoming, and giving, but just like you said, it’s to the point that I’m starting to feel smothered and like the baby isn’t even mine anymore! I appreciate the help, but as we’re setting things up I don’t even have a chance to give my input before she’s bought and added something else to the incredibly tiny room… I feel like she is the one nesting, not me.

      My husband and I have been married for close to 2 years now, and the entire time we’ve been on our own… it’s just that we didn’t plan for this pregnancy before he finished school, and now we find our hands tied and having to give up our independence. I just feel like there’s too many changes at once, I never wanted kids (I am excited about this one, but it takes a lot of effort to change my mindset about it!). So not only am I having to readjust and see myself as a soon-to-be mother, but also coping with what I fear will be a complete lack of independence by moving in with my husband’s grandparents.

      And like you said, having God close is important to starting a family off on the right foot, but right now it’s hard when I feel angry about not being able to start it off on our terms, under our own roof. It’s difficult to give up the independence I’ve come accustomed to.

  6. (USA)  We have been married for 11months now. Since my wife & I hail from India, we had a traditional style arranged Indian marriage. I knew my wife for almost a year before I married her. When we started to know each other she was in India and I was in working in USA. I visited her couple of times before we got married.

    Right from the time of our wedding both of our parents did not get along well. My in laws were accusing of my parents not treating/respecting them well during the wedding and during the preparation of the wedding event. The marriage went on well. But couple of days after my wedding when I was at my inlaw’s house, my wife’s mother was talking all bad about my parents in very indecent manner. I did not say a word as I was not there to know how the wedding was planned and did not know what went on.

    Soon after this my wife & I left to USA and wanted to start a life far away from our parents. But as soon as she came here, she became pregnant and we weren’t able to enjoy the time as newlyweds. Soon my wife’s mom volunteered to come to USA and take care during pregnancy. As soon as she came here to USA, she acted so nice and caring and all that lasted for a month. She once again started talking bad about my parents in a very abusive manner and she wouldn’t listen to what I wanted to say. She was very mean. I was heartbroken and was worried that I had to put up with her.

    My parents came to visit my child from India during Christmas and things started to fire up again. I wanted to bring things back and compromise both the families but it ended up getting worse. My parents got insulted and couldn’t stay in my house for more than two days. She is very talented in turning around a conversation in such a manner to make you look as if you have committed a crime and my wife believes to what her mother preaches and accuses of my family. Even my mother in law has accused me of not treating her well during her stay which came to my astonishment.

    My wife’s relation with me is getting worse because of my in law and her preaching about how bad my family is. The real problem is we both did not have a chance to spend time together and understand each other and all this problems had down poured on us. I have been asking GOD to give me strength and support and knowledge to handle the situation. I love my wife and want her not to speak bad of my family and understand me. Please give me feedbacks if you had been through a similar situation of have some wise thoughts.

  7. (INDIA) I’m in a similar situation: I came from the USA to marry my Indian fiancé. I’m not Indian. In my culture once you get married you live in your own house with your new husband, but here it seems it’s the norm to live with parents after getting married. I don’t like it at all. First of all I can’t communicate with my in-laws because they don’t speak English. The father did speak a little but now he is mad at me because we had a religious conversation where he offended my Christian faith and even called me an idiot. Since that day he hasn’t said a word to me because my husband called him out on it.

    Life is miserable, since I have to stay with them all day long while my husband works. He comes home very late. I’m not allowed to make any meals because the mother has lots of rules and prefers to make all the meals. I just stay in my room all day long until I’m called to come have lunch or whatever meal I’m suppose to have. I never thought it was going to be this difficult. I’m ready to throw in the towel. But since I love my husband so much, for his sake I withstand all of this.

  8. (USA) My husband and I married a year ago. It was my mother who opened my eyes that I love him. She supported us… she is the first one who cried everytime we are having some pity fights and when we reconcile. She’s also the last person who feels good about it. I thought she just loved us and wanted the best for us. But she was so close with my husband. It seems like they are the ones who are in a “relationship” and not me.

    After the wedding my mom wanted to come with us on our honeymoon. She was upset, but later on she realized that she was totally wrong to feel that way. (BTW, my mom and I are ALWAYS together, from the beginning, especially when we came here to the US 3 years ago). Maybe that’s the reason she feels that way because she is so used to it. And so, after few months (she lives with us) she and my husband are still getting along. They will have few fights but they manage to get along.

    After we moved to a bigger house, that’s when everything changed. They will fight often, my husband starts talking to her, making comments how he does not like her telling me every single detail how to do stuff, chores in the house. She gets offended and that’s where they start not talking to each other for weeks… for months, even though they are in the same house (and so my torments begin, especially since I am pregnant).

    Up to now my husband apologized. He told her directly that he wants privacy. He wants to have his “own” family (implying that we want to move). I think that’s what shocked her the most. So, she told him that “if only I knew what kind of a person you really are, I wouldn’t let you marry and take away my daughter, you are not a real Christian.” That left them with deep scars, especially my husband.

    He stopped singing for a month with the praise and worship team. Since then every time they are together or will utter simple words, it feels like there’s tension. I don’t know what to do. Now I’m almost ready to give birth to our child; we have to move to another country because he has his orders and we have to leave my mom who is crying right now as I break to her the news. She’s telling me how she wished I did not marry him, that he is not the right one for me.

    I love my mom so much, and I don’t know what to tell her, what to explain to her. Is this how painful it is to start a new life? When I was still a child so dependent on my family… it felt complicated to follow their rules, what not to do. But now that I am an adult, starting to make a new life with my own family, it seems like it is harder to make a single step.

    1. Hi Alexia, I HIGHLY recommend that you read through the “Dealing with Parents” topic. When we marry, we’re supposed to leave our parents, as far as being emotionally tied to them to the degree we were before we said, “I do” to our marriage partner. That original family tie is loosened when we say our vows. We’re then joined together as husband and wife –to begin a new family unit –two units (hopefully, side-by-side, but not joined in the same way). We’re to cleave together as “one” in marriage partnership with our spouse –not with our spouse and our parent(s). It’s not that we aren’t to love our parents after we marry. And it’s not that we can’t interact with our parent(s) or even have them live with us. But all of that is to be done with boundaries in mind; we aren’t to be tied to a parent like we were before marriage.

      That is a natural progression of what it is to be “married.” You and your mom are not married in God’s eyes; you and your husband are married. And your mother needs to understand that. You and your husband allowed your mom to live in your home –that was generous, but that home is not your mother’s –it is yours and your husband’s. Your mom is an invited family member –but she is not part of your marriage unit.

      I greatly sympathize with your mom. She loves you. And she and you had a lot going on in the past that made your bond even stronger. I can truly see that and understand that. But when you married, whether it was to this man or to another, your mom, if she wants to act like a “real Christian” (as she’s accusing your husband that he is not), needs to step back and let YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND live your lives together as YOU AND HE decide. YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND are to decide how much you invite her into your lives. She is not to shove her way into your marriage and is ESPECIALLY not supposed to divide you in any way. That’s the way it is with marriage.

      As you read in the “Dealing with Parents” topic you will see that it’s best for YOU to be the one to deal with your mother, as far as the way she tries to interfere in your marriage relationship. Her role is to be supportive of you and your husband –to help you to stay close together in partnership. If she says or does something that hurts your husband, or oversteps her boundaries in this “supportive” role, then you need to deal with this. Please don’t make him do this. You are his marriage partner –his cheerleader (as he is to be to you –especially in how he would deal with his parents).

      When you marry, you enter into the adult world where you have to make mature decisions and act upon those mature decisions as a grown-up. As far as how to approach your mom, you do it tenderly. Even grown-ups are allowed to cry; so it’s ok to grieve with her. You are going to have to move away from her and it’s only natural that your mom and you will miss each other. But your first obligation is to your husband. Talk to your mom, grieve with your mom, but cleave to your husband. This is one of the tough parts of being married. You will have a lifetime together with your husband of going through tough times (and yet some GREAT times). As difficult times emerge, you unite and do your parts in getting through them together.

      Your mom has put unusual pressure on you –especially in this early stage in your marriage. That isn’t how it’s supposed to happen. I’m sure she didn’t do it to be a terrible person, but that’s what she did. I just don’t think that she understands this biblical part of marriage. She’s having a tough time letting her “little girl” grow up and have a life that isn’t glued to her mom, but rather is cleaved to her husband. But it is time. You are married. You shouldn’t live the life of a little girl tied to your mom’s apron strings when you are a married woman –leaving your husband out on his own. It’s time to cut those former primary ties of your youth, because they are now unhealthy –you’ve outgrown them now that you are married. And you need to instead find a way to enjoy your mom as the grown up woman that you are to be –a wife who loves her mom but isn’t allowing her mom to run over her and her husband (and soon to be born child).

      You will be having your own family soon –that you will raise (a true blessing). Your mom had her time to raise you. She needs to let you raise yours. She is to be the supporting mom, mother-in-law and grandma now, but NOT the ruler of your family. She now has a different role. And I can tell you as a mom and mother-in-law and grandma that while there is some transition that goes on in letting go, it’s a healthy one –one that God ordains as we marry and have a family. Being a supporting mom and grandma can be a FUN and enriching role, if you let go and let God help you. I hope your mom is able to do that. But even if she isn’t, you need to do your part in approaching your married life and your mom as maturely and lovingly as God would have you. I hope you will. I pray for you and for your husband and for your mom and for this precious child –that you will work this out in partnership with God. “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ –to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11)

  9. (INDIA) Hi, everyone! I am married about 1 year and some months. My mother-in-law is so rude to me. After marriage my husband went to his work back and I was alone with my father and mother-in-law. My father-in-law is a govt. employee. That’s why I am alone with my mother-in-law and then she used abusive language for me, my parents and for my city also. And many other things she used to become dominant on me.

    And now I am with my husband but we have to go to in-law’s family for celebrating festivals. But I don’t want to go there. I am afraid of my mother-in-law. My in laws have no manners how to speak or not. They are Educated illiterates. They always want to make me diapointed. I don’t want to go there…But my husband wants to go when ever he gets some leave from the office. He is the only son of his parents; that’s why I can’t stop him. Please tell me what should I do…Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. (SWAZILAND) I have been married for 5 years. I live with my in laws. The main problem is that my mother in-law always ill treats me and my daughters with with my stepson’s behavior and my husband sees nothing wrong about this. He always decides everything about his son with his biological mother and mother in-law without my knowledge. On the other hand he doesn’t buy even a vest for my daughters. This realy irritates me and I feel fooled, like they never broke their relationship and I am an outsider in this marriage and family. I’m going insane. Please help.

  11. (US) I have the same situation as you only I have 2 kids one is 8 months old and the older one is 2 yr old. My kids and I have to live with my in laws during my husband deployment and yes it is not easy. I feel that we are unwanted and what make it worse that I can’t drive so I depend on them to get anywhere. Both of them are working and the only days we can go out is on the weekend. My FIL decide where and when we will go. If he doesn’t want to go then we all have to stay. He loves his pets more than his grand kids and it bothered me everytime he rejects my oldest son who wants to play with him. My son needs a male influence something that he is missing because of his daddy is on 1 yr deployment. It helps me a lot to read this website and your stories makes me aware that I am not the only one. And yes I am struggling with this everyday but I know that God plans something beautiful for me and he will give me strength to go through this. Thank you for sharing and I pray God continue give you strength you need.

  12. (SOUUTH AFRICA) I’ve been staying with inlaws for 6 years. Everything is always about my mother in law playing on my husband’s feelings. My dad in law left cause we did not want him to drink and smoke in the house. Me, as the wife, appears to always be the bad one, no matter how hard I tried to keep our relationship right. Dad in law came back after a year cause things were not going his way. Everything is comfortable for them and they haven’t paid rent for this 6 years. My hubby bought and paid for everything so his dad is back.

    My hubby gave a few rules for his dad to abide by but he’s smoking and drinking again. We have 2 kids, 4 and 6 months. I don’t feel like staying here any longer. I am depressed and feel trapped. I have so much anger inside me right now. I’ve asked God to forgive me for feeling this way.

  13. (UNITED STATES) Hey I need advice. I’m living with my mother-in-law. She says one thing behind me and one thing and in front of me it’s something different. I can move in with my mom. But I’m stuck in the middle cause neither she nor my fiancé like each other! And the horrible part about it is I’m staying in his brother’s room where there’s no privacy. I also have my 5 month old in the same room! Advice please :/ This is stressful.

  14. (AUSTRIA) Hi to all, I just wanted to share my story. I’ve been with my husband 6 years and have 2 kids with him. He’s working abroad where he lives 8 weeks abroad and lives 10 days at home. Me and our kids are living with his parents.

    I dunno if I’m just an overreacting woman or not, but I feel suffocated here. What I’m seeing here is that I’m the only one who’s doing household chores. I’m feeling that I don’t have freedom if my husband is not here. I do everything in the household, and I feel like I don’t belong here. It’s very hard for me to live with them cuz if I want to go somewhere they ask me why I want to go there; who’s there? And what time will I come home? And if I do a small amount of shopping to buy kids wear, they’re asking me about it. Why are they annoyed? That’s what I don’t understand.

    It seems my husband doesn’t get my point of view, cuz I told him I want to move out –just with us. But his parents think it’s better to stay with them so they can help me. But it’s not true. I’m helping them instead. I’m stressed everyday, and am feeling suffocated.

    1. Hi Nadine. I’m thinking your in laws believe that they are helping you out financially and have invited you into their home to live so you might not be so lonely without your husband –their son, living with you every day. They probably think they’re doing you a favor in all of this. I’m also thinking that they believe that in exchange for them opening their home to you and your kids, that your taking care of household chores is only “fair.” I wish that both family’s would have discussed this before you moved in as far as expectations, but it is what it is. If that’s their reasoning, I can see their point of view, but I can also see your point of view.

      Somehow, these expectations need to be discussed and put out in the open. I believe you and your husband need to talk about this. And then afterward, you should join together and somehow talk to his parents to see if that’s their take on all of this –for clarity. Clarity is important. You and your husband then need to talk about whether the emotional price you’re paying in feeling this resentment toward them is worth the financial “benefit” of your living with them. If not, then moving out may be better than allowing resentment to build more and more until you don’t even want to be with his parents –the grandparents of your kids. If you see that the price isn’t as bad as you have previously thought, after talking with each other and with them, then work out some of the details of this and boundaries and “requirements” you both need put into place. This would be good for both families. If not, then you need to move.

      As far as their asking you where you’re going, one of two things appear to be happening. It may be that they are treating you like someone they feel responsible for, who lives in their home and they are taking on the role as your “caretakers.” If so, they will naturally want to know where you’re going, why you’re going there, and when you’re coming back. It’s either that, or they’re thinking that’s only common courtesy that you let them know where you’re going and when you’ll be back because you’re part of their family unit while you’re living with them. Even my husband and I do this with each other, and we did this with my brother when he was living with us. It’s not that I’m my husband’s keeper or he is mine, or my brother’s, but we can better plan things for our own schedule (such as if dinner should be held or if we will eat without the other, etc.). It’s also human nature to want to know these types of details when we live together. It’s part of the dynamics of living in community together. Their motives may be much more pure than you realize, or not, I’m not sure.

      But because you’re an adult –one who wants more independence, it may seem imposing. Again, if you think all of this out, talk with your husband about this, and talk to them –you’ll have clarity and then you can decide if you want to continue living with them under the circumstances. Living together has some benefits, but it also has negatives. Nothing is totally free. If you determine you don’t like the negatives, then you may need to move out. Please know, however, that you will then take on different benefits and different negatives. But you will need to decide which of these options you can best live with. I hope you can and that your husband eventually gets it, as far as what you’re feeling.

      I’m thinking your husband doesn’t understand it because he has different experiences and perceptions of all of this. He just can’t see your side because he doesn’t have a duplicate mind as your and he may not see what the big deal is. It’s not that he’s right and you’re wrong or you’re right and he’s wrong, it’s just different. But somehow, truth needs to come to the surface and faced and figured out as far as what to do about it. His living condition may be working for him, but at this point, you don’t feel like yours is. If you can change your mind on this, then that’s the way to go, but if you can’t, then necessary changes need to be made. I hope you can eventually come to an agreement on this. And I hope that whether you continue to live there or move, that family ties will not be broken and will be ok. May you all find a way to live peaceably, as a family.

  15. (PHL) I have come across this website when looking for advice on how to deal with the present situation I am in right now. My husband is an only child; even before we got married I already accepted the fact that he was an only child and have not tried to compete with love/attention from his parents.

    After 3 yrs of being girl/boyfriend, I got pregnant. What had happend was all wrong in the eyes of everybody but we for ourselves decided to get married. Before we carried thru our Plan A to get married, we went to meet/consult the aunts of my husband, but we were advised not to get married. I guess my husband was also afraid of what his parents would do in this case. We didn’t take his aunts’ advice, we got married civilly without his parents. 3 yrs passed and my husband came back from working in another country… me and my daughter still lived with my parents in the province.

    After 2 yrs, I decided to resign from my very rewarding work just to be with my husband. Even before we left my parents house I already told my husband that I want only us in that house but it did not happen as his parents already made changes on that house. I accepted the situation and stayed there for 2 yrs. I also felt neglected, feeling that I have to serve them, clean the house, do their laundry. I got early delivery of my 2nd child at 34 weeks. I felt even though my husband is there I really felt he was not there for me during that time.

    Well, I am an independent woman and never let the situation worsen, even my parents already advised me to leave that house. When the time came that I felt so much depression/stress/suffocation I left the house my husband agreed with me; they say I’m being disrespectful to them and I am really decided that I will never come back and stay with his parents because this will just create friction of the past. We started a new life as husband and wife. My husband adjusted himself in the situation.

    Now my husband is feeling lost… he loves his mother so much as he loves us but as I can see he really cannot stand by my side because he knows he’s going to hurt his parents. Today he is there with them. I tried to understand him even his parents cannot understand us. I feel depressed as I am not used to not having hubby on my side but still as hubby says he will still keep the faith! Thank you for hearing me out!