Advice on How to Live with Your In-Laws

Advice on How to Live with Your In-Laws

By Francesca Di Meglio,

People end up living with their in-laws for a variety of reasons. Either one of you is having financial difficulties and living together helps you save money or someone is sick and requires special care or your culture requires that you live together. Whatever the reason in-laws live together, it is never an easy life. You’ll probably get on each other’s nerves. There will be times when either or both of you wants more privacy or independence. And resentment will likely build.


Still, living with the in-laws will only work if you put in effort and prepare properly. Here are some ways you can make living with the in-laws easier for everyone:

Set boundaries: (...) The important thing is to create some guidelines that will help you get along and feel comfortable regardless of who is living with you.

Find privacy: (...) All the better if you and your in-laws can have your own apartments with little kitchens within the same complex or building. Then, you don’t have to see each other all the time, and it is like having your independence but still relying on one another or fulfilling obligations.

Stay out of family arguments: (...) If your husband or wife starts fighting with the primary family, stay out of it. Go into another room and try to breathe. Let them ride it out together. Sometimes, the arguments happen just until everyone gets used to living together and finds his or her own rhythm.

Pick your battles: (...) It’s consistent behavior or comments that you have to address.

Ask for help when you need it: (...) Your marriage should remain the number one priority.

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  1. Hi Renee,
    Thank you for your hard work in setting up this site, it is much needed!
    I wanted to ask a question regarding my mother in law, whom i have a good relationship with. You said above that you should ask for help when you need it. My MIL is elderly, late 60s, and has other daughter in laws as well. I do my best to serve her whenever possible. i don't live with her unlike her other DIL, but we (all the DILs and sons) meet together for a family meal on sundays. this seems to be putting a burden on my dear MIL and i think its time that we DILs put in some effort and shared the chores including making the sunday meal. i have suggested it previously but the other DILs have said they can't cook. do you have any suggestions?

  2. Thanks for the comment - watch this space...

  3. Hi Umm Z!

    I have answered your question in my my latest article, please check out: "Helping Out The Over-Burdened Hostess" - Category: In Law Articles.