40 answers

How Can I Handle This Tackfully?

We are currently selling a home we built a year ago. I'm not that excited to sell, but my husband is going go school and his program is about to get difficult to keep his current job. So in efforts to make things easier we've decided to sell our house. And well I haven't been too worried about it because the market is lousy and so I thought i'd have a lot of time to comes to terms leaving my beautiful home. Tomorrow I'm reshowing the house to someone that has already seen it. So I'm assuming that they are at least semi interested in it.

My husband and I have been discussing our situation of what we will do when we sell the house. There are some really nice family housing available to students and we are on their waiting list. So here comes my dilemma. My husband apparently has worked out for us to live in his parents basement. That would sound great for most people, but for me there has been a long history of bad blood between them and me. I've always been kind and considerate to them, but they've just never wanted me to be part of their family. Things have mellowed over the last year and they will now atleast speak to me. So I'm torn, I want to help my husband make things easier on him, but I'm affraid to live with his parents. I just feel like I'd be stepping into the lions den.

Sure it's going to help us transition and save some money, but what am I going to do? I have 2 little ones and it's not like I can just live in a room and stay out of their way. I have children, and they being 1 and 3 do tend to cry. I just don't think that i can truly "live" in their house for fear that i'm going to upset them and then it'll be a nightmare. (Noted that his father can be very verbal about his feeling) I never grew up in a family that could be just plain out mean. I want to support my husband, but how do I do that and still stand up for me? Should I just try it and if it doesn't work move? (I hate moving and boxing) Anyone have to do this before?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

For not I'm going to do everything in my power to try to find other housing. I wish that we could rent our house, but we tried that last year when my husband changed jobs and the renters left lots of destruction and ended up 2 months of no pay when they finally left. and they still owe us money I'm sure we will never get. Also, unfortunately the area I live in doesn't have many homes renting for as high of rent as it would take to cover our mortgage. I love the idea, but unfortunately it won't work for us. Thanks ladies for all your input. It's going to be a hard call when it comes to the actual move. I wish there was a easy answer for where we could move that would be really affordable. I'm not happy with moving out of my beautiful home for the second time. It's frustrating. But I will do what I have to to support my husband and help make the future easier financially. The only thing I won't do is hurt my family by putting them is a spot that will hurt them. We'll see. Thanks ladies. oh, and I need to add that we are currently renting our basement to another family just to pay our mortgage.

Featured Answers

Kids needs their own space, I would be much happier with my own small apartment than staying with in laws. Even with the best relationships that would cause stain. I would NOT move into the basement but instead find a cheap apartment close to school,

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Do not move in. Do not move in. Do not move in.

10 moms found this helpful

This is a difficult situation, for so many different reasons. If this had been my life, I would have been very hurt that my husband made this sort of arrangement without even talking to me about it first. I would feel trapped that I was expected to go along with something that I strongly felt would be a mistake. I would also feel taken for granted in my work as a mother, because I was being asked to make an enormous sacrifice; to live in an environment that was not interested or invested in making me or my children feel welcome. I have lived with people like this in the past, and would never choose to do it again.

I think the most tactful way to express your concerns is going to be really identifying how *you* feel, understanding that he's probably scrambling because everyone's in a bind, but that this scenario was not ever on your table of options. While you love him and want to support him in his school and classes, this is a choice that is problematic at best, because it's not going to feel like a good and comfortable environment, and this does effect our ability to parent our kids. When we are stressed, our kids get stressed. (His expecting this of you is a huge pill to have to swallow.) And that you'd like to explore other options before thinking of going down this route.

Then see what he has to say. If you can keep it to "I" feelings/statements, and not throw the kitchen sink at him, but prepare what you want to say with the object that you want him to talk to you, not argue with you, he'll be more inclined to open up--instead of get defensive-- and respond in a way that might be more sympathetic to your situation and positive in result. It's taken me a lot of years with a good man to learn this, so I do want to share!
And not being angry or busy when you talk, but calm and both in a moment that you can focus, that helps a lot too.

Best wishes on your conversation with your man,
H.

7 moms found this helpful

Stay away from the parents house. Don't even try it. Bad blood always resurfaces and gets worse. Keep your distance.

6 moms found this helpful

Does not sound like a good scenerio for your family. I would opt for the student housing...Great that that the relationship is beginning to warm up but if I were you I would seriously set some boundaries and protect your core family. Your DH should understand that. Since you are making a sacrifice for him he should meet you half way and have a game plan for a healthier living arrangement.

6 moms found this helpful

How did he "work it out" without talking to you first? I think I would be very uncomfortable with the two little ones trying to live with in laws. And basements are not real safe places to sleep with little ones either - I don't care if it's a nicely remodeled basement or not...it's a basement, so the air they are breathing is not the best and how do you get out if there is a fire? You are already supporting your husband by selling your almost new house and moving somewhere cheaper. If there is any way to keep your family in its own home, even the family housing at the university, that would be best. Hopefully you can talk him out of this - I don't know why he talked to his parents before he talked to you anyway. Whatever happens, I wish you the best of luck and better days ahead.

6 moms found this helpful

Do EVERYTHING possible to make sure you don't move in !
Your in my thoughts and best of luck

B.

5 moms found this helpful

Don't worry about tact! Tell him straight out how you feel! He should never have worked this out without your okay and he certainly should know that if there is bad blood between you and his parents that it would be a bad situation.
You can still be supportive without having to move in with his parents. You WILL be stepping into the lion's den and this big life change should be agreeable to BOTH of you, not just your husband.

Tell him what you need. He needs to respect how you feel.

5 moms found this helpful

BLECK!

Don't DO it, there's GOT to be a better way!

Don't worry so much about money right now, it WILL get better, I PROMISE!

(Tactfully? Hmmmm, no, babe, that's not gonna work for me, surely you understand why, right?)

:(

5 moms found this helpful

share your feelings with your husband and ask him if he will be willing to look at other options. I wouldn't do it unless it was the LAST resort. Your feelings are valid and it will make things more complicated. I am sure you can find something affordable without having to move in with them. Good luck!

M

4 moms found this helpful

You say you want to make it easier for your husband but living in a house you are not comfortable will never be easy on him. Speak up and tell your husband you don't like the idea of living with his parents. Look to rent a house or condo for the time being.

4 moms found this helpful

I would talk to him about how it's more than just money. You need space from each other to have any reasonable relationship. And YOU tell HIM that while you appreciate the offer, you think it would be better for ALL of you if your family lived on its own. Be gentle but honest. If it won't work, don't pretend it will.

If you get other housing, he can tell them that he's thankful for the offer, but something with a bit more space became available and you (plural) are going to take it.

You are already supporting him with the house sale and move. He can support you by taking housing that doesn't involve driving his wife (or parents or kids) crazy.

4 moms found this helpful

I love my in-laws but I would never live with them for more than 2 weeks. It just isn't a healthy arrangement, in my opinion, unless it is absolutely necessary.

You've got to talk with your husband and let him know that moving in with his parents should be a last ditch option. Do it for the health and sanity of your relationship.

4 moms found this helpful

Communication is key!!! You NEED to tell him how you feel and let him know you are NOT comfortable with this change.

I don't understand exactly why you are moving - you are downsizing because your husband MIGHT lose his job?

However, your question is about moving in with your ILs...I personally wouldn't do it. Supporting your husband means to tell him the truth. Explain to him that :
you are NOT comfortable with moving in with his parents - given the past history
your kids will make noise - are his parents prepared for that?
What are their expectations?
What are YOUR expectations?
How long does he expect this to go on?
What will he do if there is a problem?
How will he handle his parents if they are rude/mean to you?
How will he expect you to handle the situation? It's not fair to you to walk on eggshells.
How long is the wait for family housing in school?
is it possible for you to get a job and maintain the mortgage while he is in school?

I love to move - I'm a military brat and moving helps keep me in focus and not get too much stuff!! I've lived in the same place for 14 years and WOW!!! it shows!!!

At one point in our marriage - I told my husband I would downsize so that he could become a consultant within his own business...he decided against it and we stayed put. I get the urge to move every 3 to 4 years....I do enjoy the "purging" process and I enjoy meeting new people!!

I truly hope that you are able to sit down with your husband and get your feelings out on the table. it's not easy because it's HIS parents, but it MUST be done!!

4 moms found this helpful

Maybe get a cheap apartment til your student housing comes through.

4 moms found this helpful

I would NEVER move in with my in-laws (unless about to be on the street of course)and I get along with mine! She is like a second mother to me. I would do whatever you can to avoid moving in with them.

4 moms found this helpful

Please share your feelings with your husband NOW. He needs to be fully aware of the situation he is putting his family in. Since he was raised in "the mean family," he may not realize how abnormal their behavior is (and I'd be very tactful about that part in the conversation), or the extremely vulnerable position he's putting you in.

As part of a military family, I've bought and sold several houses. If the buyer isn't in a "must move now" situation, you may be able to negotiate staying in the house and paying rent to the new owner for a few months, or delaying closing, or something.

If you must move in with his folks to keep a roof over your head, work out with your husband ahead of time how you will handle difficult situations with his parents should they arise (such as your kids being normal toddlers and their not tolerating it, or the way they do or don't interact with you). Also, working together to figure it out, set a time limit. You cannot afford for this situation to become permanent. Your hubby should not be allowed to use "I'm studying," as an excuse to disengage from the situation. If he's taking you into the lions' den, then he needs to act as primary lion tamer!

A friend of mine is in a similar situation (hubby in school, mortgage) and the way they solved the problem was to rent out their house for the amount of the mortgage payment rather than selling. Have you considered that possibility? You could live in student housing while he's in school, and then return to your home when he's done and employed.

4 moms found this helpful

Personally, i think you should rent your beautiful home with the hopes that one day you can move back in. And I would look for student housing. Or perhaps rent a cheap apartment, condo or half a duplex.

3 moms found this helpful

I wouldnt do it. You read all the horrible posts from gals on here that are stuck living with their husbands or b/f's parents. None of them are good stories, they are ALL horrible because you need your own space to thrive. I would do what I could to find my own place no matter how humble rather than live with family if you can.

3 moms found this helpful

Don't do it! Don't put your kids through it. They need their own home, not to feel like a visitor in someone else's. You need your own space too, this will cause real trouble in your family, its not worth it.
Tell your husband no, explain the reasons, tell him you are grateful he found a solution but you are just not comfortable with it.

3 moms found this helpful

Don't do it. I thought that my husband and I and our kids (6 and 3) got along well with my parents. We moved in with them last summer when we put our house on the market because our realtor said the house would sell better without us in it The thought was as great of a prospect as our house was it would sell within a month or two and we would be in a new place quickly. The housing market went from bad to worse pretty much as our house hit the market. We stayed out of my parents house as much as possible and pretty much went to only sleeping there and eating breakfast as early as possible and leaving for the day. My parents picked at every thing we did and my Dad's bona fide grouchy old man status deteriorated to insufferable. We moved back in to our house after two and a half months when the school year began (in the best interest of the kids) and my son is afraid of Grandpa and his horrible attitude at this point and my parents can't stand my husband now more than ever. I don't think my kids or my hubby did anything particularly bad or disturbing my parents just have not let go of judging them after living with them for two and a half months. In this bad market we ended up not selling and have pulled from the market until the market improves and the kids are old enough to help more in keeping the house more picked up for showings. I will never again live with my parents under any circumstance

3 moms found this helpful

NOT a good idea. I lived with my in-laws for 3 years which was 3 years too long. We had only planned to live there for a couple of months until we could find afforable housing....it took us 3 years to get out. And I LOVE my inlaws and they love me, the fact is, it was their house, not mine...so we had no say in anything. Even though we paid rent for our room, we had no say in decorating it...all our stuff was in storage, and we used their stuff...so bed, closet, desk, etc...all theirs. It never felt like home because the only thing of "me" in it was my clothes and a few books. We were treated like kids....had weekly "chores" that we couldn't just do on our own time. It had to be when they wanted it done. And we were expected to go by their schedule of eating, going to bed, etc....and to socialize in the evenings by sitting and watching tv with them, which my father in law is a huge soccer fan and that's all he will watch, which we don't. So even in a BEST case scenario, it's not ideal....you want to have your OWN living space, your own rules, your own LIFE, but when you live with parents, that just can't happen. Plus, you said you have children....they will most likely interfere with that if you are in their home. You will be under their roof, so it will be their rules. And if you are just now getting to the point where they will talk to you, do you really want to risk what relationship you've built for a bit of money saved? I think you need to have a serious talk with your husband and tell him that while you appreciate his wanting to save money, it wasn't fair that he arranged this without discussing it with you and that you are really uncomfortable with the idea. Tell him WHY you are upset about it, and then tell him he needs to tactfully tell his parents that for the sake of the relationship, you will be finding somewhere else to live.

3 moms found this helpful

You're on the waiting list. I believe that it will take a while for the house to actually sell, especially if the folks that buy it need a contingency to sell their own house. Between all the paperwork, inspections, etc, you might actually be able to move into that apartment.

I would put most of what you own in storage - meanwhile, go through all your stuff and get rid of everything you don't really need. That way moving isn't as hard.

I have to say that I really think that moving into your inlaws basement is a recipe for disaster. I hope you don't have to do it.

D.

3 moms found this helpful

I think your instincts are right on. Even in the 'best' of family relationships this situation is tough - lots of people in one place with little ones. I would try to find another alternative - renting? Maybe you can find a place that would still allow you to save a bit, but have some sanity. Don't put your family at risk - and put your kids (or you) in an environment that isn't healthy ("mean" as you describe). I'd try to work out other options. Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

Kids needs their own space, I would be much happier with my own small apartment than staying with in laws. Even with the best relationships that would cause stain. I would NOT move into the basement but instead find a cheap apartment close to school,

3 moms found this helpful

If your in-laws went through a time of not even talking to you, then I say you should not live in their house. It sounds like you are doing a lot for your husband...living w/ his parents when things have been bad w/ them is maybe asking you too much. Are there any alternatives? I fear you will be miserable there.

3 moms found this helpful

Do not move in with them. If you move in and decide to move out because it doesn't work, that might make the relationship between you and your in-laws worse. Is your husband in grad school? If so, can he get a fellowship or research/teaching assistantship that waives tutition and provides a stipend?

3 moms found this helpful

DON'T DO IT! You and your husband need to make a different plan. You are not being unsupportive by not living there. You cannot be there for him if you are living in World War III. For him to study and finish his program he needs you there and strong not fending off the craziness and feeling angry.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

Ok, I love my inlaws but I could never live with them. When we were buying our house, it was not move in ready. To avoid living with his parents and paying rent and a mortgage at the same time I busted my butt to get our hosue where we could live in it. I had 4 weeks to turn this house completely around, and I did it. I was tired, cranky, and every inch of my body hurt but I didn't have to live with his parents!
Walking on eggshells with two babies won't work. Just tell him your fears, and that the two of you need to discuss alternate housing first.

3 moms found this helpful

I agree with Tracy, below. It sounds like the beginning of a disaster.

2 moms found this helpful

Honestly, I would rethink how much easier things would be by reselling the house. Are you sure that you have exhausted all options to be able to keep your home?

I personally would not move into my in-laws, and they are wonderful people. I have struggled and squeaked by to keep my own space (and I am a single parent) because I am an adult and parent now, and that is my responsibility. I have rented single rooms and tiny studios just to have my own household, and have worked my way up to be in a much bigger space now. It always amazes me when I hear about couples that move back in with their parents to save money...because they have twice as much earning power/child care ability that I do and they are not able to accomplish self-reliance independently. Sometimes I have to work three jobs and go to school full time to get it done, but I get it done.

My suggestion is to find other ways to save money. You are not guaranteed when (and if) your name will come up on the family housing list, so in reality you would be stepping into an undefined time period at the in-laws. And if these people hated you, why would you ever want to live under their roof and rules?

I am more than sure you and your husband can get by without moving back in with his parents. I am more than sure you can tell him that this is not an option for your family, that it is up to the both of you to provide for your children. It is not up to his parents nor their responsibility. It is just a disaster waiting to happen, and I also think his parents may respect the both of you more for choosing to run your lives independently.

Unless you are absolutely homeless, I would not walk into this lion's den. And.....I am sure you can find another basement apartment in town to rent rather cheaply and still be able to maintain your own household and sanity, or perhaps you could rent out your basement in your home to make ends meet:)

2 moms found this helpful

You would benefit by having this discussion with your in-laws. Tell them your concerns-ask them to think about it for a while before they decide-right down to the little ones and their occassional crying. I'll tell you one thing-I would move heaven and earth to have my Grandson under my roof!

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with Julie R. It's odd he has worked it out and your not okay with it... did he talk to you first? You should try and move somewhere cheaper. I live with my folks while I'm in college full time and sometimes I have to get on my dad because he'll joke about the cats around her (like taking the cats out back) or encourage my daughter to be bossy and I have to have a talk with my dad because I get to undo the bad habits he taught her. It's irritating. He rarely does it anymore thank goodness. It just shows ya that people who live together can overstep each others boundaries without knowing it.

1 mom found this helpful

I am currently living in your situation. I would just be up front with your in-laws and make sure they understand that your kids will cry. Talk to them about everything that you think might be a conflict once your there so you have already come to a decision on things. It is easier if done before then while you are there. It is hard but if you have already talked about things and remember why you are there and it is only temporary, not forever, you can do it if you need to.

1 mom found this helpful

Some people have to see to believe. So while you know that you living there won't be a happy affair, your inlaws will have to help your hubby see the light. I would go on a trial basis of say 2-3m and then re-evaluate then.

That way you are trying, and the inlaws feel like they are helping you out, and its a short term situation.

1 mom found this helpful

We lived with my husbands parents for a summer while my husband was in school. At the time I also had 2 young kids. I get along great with my in-laws but it was a very long 3 months. I am grateful they were willing to help us out and grateful the kids had some fun times with their grandparents but I still think having your own space is a better arrangement for the entire family. If you end up moving in, be prepared to make some major family adjustments to your family routine and scheduling. You will have to consider all who are in the home. Get your own place if you can. Moving in will only make a bad relationship worse.

1 mom found this helpful

Oh boy- I don't think it's a good idea. Your gut seems to be telling you it's not, either. There's supporting your hubby, but at what cost? There are limits to the sacrifices you can and should make. Make it clear to him that you are willing to support his schooling, but that there are limits to what is reasonable to ask of you. You are already selling your home, that's HUGE. Yes, he it is reasonable to ask for your support. No, it is not reasonable to ask you to turn your life upside-down and be in an unpleasant situation for a year.

Look how many posters said that they wouldn't do it, or have done it and regret it, and lots of them said this despite really liking their in-laws! That should tell you something.

Make it clear to hubby that you are willing to talk about different ideas, but you would like this one off the table.

1 mom found this helpful

Whoa, wait a minute. Did he make this decision without consulting you? That's the primary issue. Even if you and your in laws got along great, the executive decision is a problem.

If you do decide to move in with them -- and for the love of Carmen, please don't if at all possible -- you and DH are going to have to set boundaries. Babies cry - deal with it. If it's too upsetting for your FIL, then he doesn't have to extend the invitation.

Good luck!

I lived with my inlaws twice... the first time I was pregnant with my first. It was a royal nightmare... completely awful, almost destroyed our marraige.

The second time, we had two children, and a few years had passed so I had gotten closer to his parents and we had gotten our communication down better.

That last time was wonderful, I was almost sad to leave when we got our house. So, what I'm saying is, if you guys can go in and talk to them, lay out ground rules and what the expectations are on both of your sides and try and get along, it CAN work... for at least a short period of time.

Since it's a basement, do you have your own washing/kitchen/entrance and such? I know a lot of Utah basements do. if so, it may even be better than you thought if you try and live as secluded as possible.

Even if you got along with them famously, it would still be a hard stretch for everyone I think. And in this case, I think it will be disastrous for you in particular, and probably also for your family/marriage.

My instinct is to say, find other housing and do not live the in-laws. Explain to DH your thoughts on this: 1) you wholeheartedly support him in his decision to got through this program. But then tell him that you are just now, after X years, not feeling the cold shoulder from the in-laws, and that this will probably ruin it completely-if not forever then for a very long time.

Take the $ and buy a smaller house and buy one where you're paying a whole lot less in mortgage fees or rent an apartment. Yes, you won't save as much, but by the same token, you will be a whole happier and more sane.... and money cannot buy that.

Well you should lay out the lesser of two evils...can you afford to rent a place...would it be a good healthy clean environment to live in on a sort of temporarily 'fixed' income, per se? Would it be more better (yes I know that's bad grammer) to just be the bigger person & accept living at your in-laws for just the temporary time it'll take? If you choose to move in w/them, just keep in mind...it's only temporary. Offer to help out as much as you can to let them know you're not unwilling to reciprocate on them allowing you to live there. Also, even if they say something mean or condescending towards you or your family, just be the bigger grown up & say to them "yes, I'm sorry about your inconvenience but we are really grateful that you have allowed us to live here temporarily until your son can finish his schooling and we can get re-settled". Acknowledging that they are the head of household & that it is indeed 'their' home & offering to help as much as you can (even w/little ones needing you all the time) will hopefully show them that you're not planning on just living there w/o offering to 'earn your keep'. Hope this helps, good luck!!

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