There’s nothing wrong with hosting family. In fact, in our African cultures, living with your in-laws, especially those who aren’t that well off financially is very common. But what are the pros and cons that come with living with your in-laws? From the many stories I’ve heard from friends and even complete strangers, married couples who take in their in-laws have bigger problems in their marriage than those who choose to live alone.
Here are four reasons why you should not live together with your in-laws:
All couples, and especially new weds should be allowed to have their private time together. But with your in-laws constantly around, you may not be able to spend quality time with your spouse at home. And even though it’s your house you’re living in, you’ll have a hard time telling them to give you time alone.
Too much familiarity can breed contempt
When it comes to in-laws, no matter how awesomely cool they are, it is always better to keep a safe distance. Before marriage, you might be the nice girlfriend who is such a pleasure to have around. But a few months into the marriage, you might become the lazy daughter-in-law who refuses to clean up or the wife who can’t cook. Your beautiful relationship would then go down the drain.
They’ll expect you to answer to them
You might be grown-ups already but to your parents, you will still be the children. It might be great to be treated like the little princess when you are young – but not when you have a family of your own. For example when you decide to take in your mother or father to live with you, they will expect you to still answer to them even though it’s your house. It’s even worse when you live in your in-law’s house. This is because it gives them a sense of authority over both of you. After all, it is their house. So it has to be their rules.
You occasionally feel trapped
Living with your in-laws won’t give you total freedom. You would have to tiptoe around them to be sure that you won’t be offending any sensibilities.
If you think that living with your in-laws is hard, just wait until you have children. As first-time parents, your in-laws will be seeing you as a rookie in the avenue of parenting. They won’t be able to resist butting in and giving advice even when you don’t want it. All of a sudden you may find that they are the ones raising your children instead of you.
You will be forced to pick sides
Take this scenario: You invite your mom to live in with you for a while. Then after some time, there are some arguments in the house between your mother and your husband. Whose side will you take? Think about that. This will ultimately cause more tension in your marriage than you expected.
Again, in-laws are great to have Sunday lunch with. But living with them is another story. Don’t make it any harder for you and your spouse. Don’t live with the in-laws.