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Moving in with in-laws

Moving in with the in-laws in an old, but still relevant topic in the South Asian diaspora. As normal as it might seem, most women we’ve chatted with do not want to live with their partner’s family. After speaking with more than 100 women, 69% of them said hell no, to living with their in-laws.

Unfortunately, circumstances and/or societal pressures cause many people to move in with their partner’s family, anyways.

To be fair, there are some positive aspects of living in a multigenerational household. These might be some of the benefits that come to mind for you:

  • My partner’s family is so sweet. Living with them will be wonderful!
  • Sharing household duties will make our lives easier!
  • Living with the in-laws will save us money!
  • Freedom!

By all means, these benefits are valid. However, those benefits often come with their own problems, and I’m here to share some short stories based on interviews I’ve done with people who have already been through this adventure.

To be clear, there are many people who end up very happy living with their in-laws. This post is intended for those who may not be as fortunate.

Alright. If you’re looking for some lighthearted comedy about living with your in-laws, keep scrolling down.

If you’re looking something a lot more serious, read this anonymous post about one wife’s in-law journey.

Story #1

It’s one of those nights where you want to wear sweats, binge on hot Cheetos, and watch Bridgerton. Then out of nowhere, your in-law’s friends surprise y’all with a visit! Quick, change the channel before the guests see the Duke make his O-face. Seriously though, you don’t feel like being the “good” daughter-in-law by catering to the guests, but now you feel like you have to.

Story #2

After a couple weeks of living with your in-laws, they start making passive aggressive remarks about you not helping out around the house enough. At the same time, they can’t bare the pain of seeing their 30 year old son put away his own dishes.

Story #3

Finally, you don’t live with your parents anymore. No more making up fake stories, so that you can go out with your friends and get lit. At least, that’s what you thought when you first moved in with your in-laws. Instead, your absence in the household becomes a regular topic of conversation amongst elders in the household.

Story #4

You’re driving home after work. The sun is out, your windows are down, and your music is loud. Sounds great, so far. Then you pull into your driveway and see your mother-in-law putting wet laundry on the cloth line outside.

Surprise! That load of laundry includes all of your intimate lingerie, too. Your mother-in-law looks at you, smiles, and continues to hang your lacy underwear for the world to see.

Note: This scenario has been deeply inspired by the Coaches Don’t Play Podcast.

Story #5

This morning you feel blah. You don’t feel like seeing or talking to other people in the household, and you just want some space. So you choose to go back to your bedroom, lay in bed, and watch Netflix until it’s time to eat dinner.

You go to the dinner table, and then elders start gossiping about you staying in your room all day. They do this right in front of you, as if you’re not even there!

What Now?

So, now what do you do, if you don’t want to live with your in-laws?

The short answer is that it depends, and it probably won’t be easy. If you haven’t moved in with your in-laws yet, then we recommend thinking through the trade offs before moving in. Sure, living with your in-laws might give you a free-ish roof over your head, groceries in the fridge, and all the company you could ever ask for. At the same time, these benefits might also come with a lot of baggage that will either not bother you, or will drive you insane.

If you’re already living with your in-laws and aren’t happy, it might be time to have a serious talk with your partner, so that the two of you can make a life and financial plan that will let you two move out. If your partner is reluctant, then it might be worth seeing a couples therapist.

Do you have an in-laws experience you’re willing to share? Let us know in the comments.

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