When In-Laws Move: Tips For Adjusting To Closer Proximity

Consider the pros and cons of living with in-laws or having them live closer to you and discuss the same with your spouse. Setting healthy boundaries with in-laws can help you, in the long run, to prevent a mental breakdown and avoid unnecessary conflicts. Other factors to consider are maintaining privacy, avoiding getting between each other’s conflicts, and learning how to share responsibilities. If things go out of control, don’t hesitate to talk openly with your in-laws or consider a family counselor.

If your in-laws suddenly announce they want to live closer to you or move in with you and your husband, it’s difficult not to feel betrayed.

And how you handle your particular situation might differ depending on why your in-laws wish to live closer to you or move in with you. It could be due to financial reasons or requiring taking care of someone.

It’s easier to lose your temper and foresee a lot of conflicts, but not every situation should be considered bad.

There’re different ways to handle it, so let’s look at how you can manage yours better!

Pros of living with in-laws

In-laws don’t always have to be termed monsters, and it would be wrong to see only the disadvantages of their being around.

There are multiple situations where they might be helpful that you don’t realize right now.

1. Helpful in raising grandchildren

They’ll help raise your children. Grandparents are a big help when you want to go away with your spouse somewhere while they take care of their grandchildren.

There’re times when we feel burdened with lots of responsibilities in our lives. Even an hour of peace is a blessing during those days.

This blessing can be afforded if you’ve in-laws nearby as you can hand over your children’s responsibility to them for a couple of hours.

They can pick up or drop children at school when you’re sick or running late for the office.

Of course, this will help you get more intimate time with your spouse and help you focus on your job.

2. Your kids will know their grandparents

One of the greatest wishes for any grandparent is to see their grandchildren as often as possible.

You can’t deny your children also love playing around with your grandparents as most often they are loved unconditionally and don’t get scolded by them.

Their relationship can be pretty special. Having grandparents around can also mean getting to listen to exciting stories.

3. No trouble in finding babysitters

Sometimes parents can’t find a babysitter and, as a result, have to cancel their plans. But in certain emergencies, your extended family can rescue you.

A young toddler girl is playing at home with her grandparents, who are watching her while her parents are out

It’s always nice to know you have a backup option with in-laws if the babysitter isn’t available.

Who better to leave your child with than their grandparents? It’s so much better than trusting a stranger.

4. Sharing household chores

One benefit of living with in-laws is sharing the household chores. If you’re bringing the groceries, your MIL can cook the meals. If you’re doing the laundry, your FIL can help fold them.

By sharing the household chores, you get more time on your hands to focus on your child and your work.

For working parents, it’s a boon, and you won’t have to consider leaving your job or neglecting your children.

If you like doing one thing and hate other household chores, you can automatically receive help from your in-laws.

5. Financial help

In this economy, it’s not easy affording a house and raise a child. With everything becoming so expensive and jobs not guaranteed, living with in-laws and getting more income is better.

Of course, it’s beneficial only if at least one of your in-laws is working. With more income, you save more and find ways for better expenditure.

Cons of living with in-laws

Jumping to the cons of living with in-laws is what we do first, and there’re reasons behind such adverse reactions.

Of course, we don’t want our personal lives invaded by our in-laws, nor do we want them to dictate how we live our lives.

So, it’s crucial to think about negatives with positives as well.

1. Invasion of privacy

When in-laws start living near us, there’s still scope for handling the situation better since they won’t be with us 24/7, but when they live with us, it’s a different story altogether.

Invasion of privacy becomes more personal when our living style completely differs from our in-laws.

For example, your in-laws might love getting up early, but you sleep in because your routine allows you to do so. They might see this as being lazy and a lousy spouse for their child.

Of course, you have an understanding as a couple, but your in-laws don’t see that.

It becomes challenging to make them understand because, according to them, what you’re doing is wrong.

What you see as fun would be seen as being irresponsible or childish on their side.

When living styles are polar opposites, you wouldn’t want them to live with you as it’s an invasion of your privacy as a proper adult.

2. Trouble having company over

You have to say bye-bye to Friday night’s hangout with your friends. When we don’t have children at the beginning of the marriage, we want to hang out with other couples too.

Not always do you want to go clubbing or eat out at a restaurant. Sometimes you want to make a specific homemade dish or order in and chill at home.

With in-laws, it’s impossible and a huge inconvenience since asking them to go outside for a few hours or remain in their room is weird.

3. Nagging from in-laws

Most in-laws don’t often see their child and spouse as proper adults, so they give plenty of unsolicited advice.

Mother-in-law and father-in-law are both sitting down and looking noticeably irritated

It’s nice to hear one or two helpful pieces of advice when needed, but it becomes annoying when they give unnecessary advice.

As an adult married, you wish to live your life on your own terms. Even if you’re making mistakes, you want to learn from them by yourself and grow as an individual.

Unsolicited advice from in-laws can feel like a parent dictating how to live their lives to a child.

This can majorly impact your mental health.

4. Home doesn’t feel like home

As a couple, when you move into your own home, you have a say in how you wish to decorate it and how to live in it. With in-laws, all that goes out of the window.

You might want a mini bar in the drawing room, but your MIL hates the idea, so you give up on it. The same goes for how you manage your kitchen.

Your in-laws dictate everything, and it soon starts feeling like a burden.

5. Raising children

Every in-law loves their grandchildren and wishes nothing more than to see them each day and spend as much time as possible with them.

But with such a lovely relationship also comes parenting tips. It can be challenging for in-laws to understand that they’re no longer parents but grandparents who should leave the parenting to you.

As time changes, so do parenting. You have to adapt to the current time.

For example, if your in-laws are biased against a particular race, but you want to raise your children to love and respect everyone, irrespective of their origin, it can be challenging to find common ground.

For in-laws, it becomes difficult to leave the parental authority and become fun-loving grandparents.

How to handle living with in-laws?

Maintaining your relationship with in-laws is tricky but don’t forget they’re your spouse’s parents at the end of the day.

You can’t be disrespectful towards them, so creating healthy boundaries is the only way to handle such a situation.

1. Talk to your partner

It’s incredible how many of our fears and worries dissolve when we share them with our partner and get a positive response or comfort from them.

A young married couple is having a discussion about the wife's parents moving closer to them

Things suddenly become much more manageable because we know our partner is standing right by us.

When your in-laws tell you about moving close to or with you, the first thing is to talk to your partner about it.

Don’t go unprepared or lash out at them about what an inconvenience it is for your in-laws to move in.

You have to take a positive approach toward things. Talk about the pros and cons mentioned in this post and add to your own list suited to your unique situation.

Your partner won’t see a problem with their parents moving in, but when you discuss how it will affect your lifestyle, they might reconsider their shift.

2. Setting healthy boundaries

Even if your in-laws move in with you or close to you doesn’t mean you have to give up your life or be miserable. There’re ways to create healthy emotional boundaries with your in-laws.

With boundaries, both parties can understand each other better, avoid unnecessary conflicts, and get peace of mind.

You can set some ground rules on household chores and how having some personal time apart from family time is necessary.

3. Finding privacy

Our privacy can be invaded when in-laws come live with us, but it’s still better when they live nearby.

In situations like in-laws living close by, you can set some rules about how they should always ask before coming over to avoid interrupting your personal time together.

If they turn up at your house each day to see their grandchildren, then set specific days for playtime with them at their house.

This way, they get to spend time with their grandchildren, and you get time away from kids.

4. Stay out of each other’s lane

Couples can have conflicts and might argue as they don’t agree on some issues.

This is pretty normal, but what’s not normal is your in-laws jumping in on such conflicts and siding with their children, ultimately making you take the blame.

This can happen when in-laws are living under the same roof.

A young married couple is having an argument while the husbands mom watches them from nearby

Whatever conflict exists between you and your spouse, your in-laws shouldn’t butt in. Unless your spouse is letting them know that’s a different problem to deal with.

Similarly, your spouse’s conflict with their parents is not your job to butt into. Let your spouse handle the situation themselves, but if they come to you for help, only then advise them.

It’s easier for children and parents to get back into the same old pattern of fighting over issues, and handling such situations might sometimes need a professional’s help.

Stay in your lane and resolve your conflicts with the person you have a dispute with.

5. Sharing responsibilities

Just because your in-laws are living with you doesn’t mean you’ll also do their chores. If they’re coming to live with you, it should be clear beforehand that responsibilities will be shared.

If one person doesn’t like doing dishes but like doing laundry, let them handle that task. This way, one person won’t be burdened by everything.

Especially your spouse, don’t let them put off their tasks on their parents.

Once you let that happen, that responsibility will automatically transfer back to you if your in-laws move out or don’t remain anymore.

6. Fight back when necessary

Don’t oppose each and everything your in-laws say. For any relationship to establish, it needs time, love, and energy.

You won’t feel close to them automatically, so defying them is easier. Similar for them as they have to welcome an unknown person into their family.

Find ways to spend time with them away from home and get to know them for a better in-law relationship. Of course, similar efforts need to be made from their side.

When disagreeing with some issues, try your best to resolve issues.

Unnecessary fighting back on each issue would create distrust. Find things you genuinely believe you can’t compromise with and keep your feet rooted in them.

Once or twice, everyone makes mistakes. But if you see it becoming a habit after two times, don’t be afraid to talk about it.

Don’t let things go if it makes you uncomfortable, and tell them why they shouldn’t do it.


Is it required to stay with in-laws after marriage?

Living with your in-laws is not compulsory, but your partner should be with you.

It would be best not to force your partner or beg them to live separately, which can destroy your married life and have serious repercussions.

How do I adjust with my in-laws after marriage?

Even if it’s once, having one face-to-face meeting with your in-laws is better. This is a way to get to know them and judge their thoughts about your life if you marry into this family.

If you don’t get enough chances to meet your in-laws before marriage, you can try to understand them afterward. Spend some alone time together. Your in-laws also need to make similar efforts.

Only by spending time with each other will you learn their personality, likes, dislikes, and how they wish to live.

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Hi! I’m Saumya, writer and editor at Marriage & Bliss. “To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow—this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.” —Elizabeth Gilbert. Every marriage faces pitfalls, be they internal or external, and with my words, I hope to help couples find possible solutions and mend their broken relationships. After all, a successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.
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