Ask the Pastor: Should I Live with In-Laws?

Q: Do you think it is wise for a newly married couple to live with the bride’s mother (she’s single), either in the same house or in a duplex or two-family house?

"It would be easier to have separate doors and locks, as in a duplex or multi-family housing. Yet if you fear that her mom will attempt to intrude on your marriage, you should make sure that if her mother is your landlady, she respects your doors, your locks, and your privacy. Otherwise, she may be tempted to use her control of the property in order to partially control your life. If you fear that this is a possibility — even if you two think that you could overcome it — do you want to allow this temptation into your mother-in-law’s heart and hands?"

"There are cultures around the world where newlyweds move in with or next door to one of the in-laws. Yet these people usually have defined roles and are prepared ahead of time to defuse conflict. If this isn’t the case with you, then I’d suggest finding other ways to put a roof over your heads or delay the marriage until you can afford your own shelter."

Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

No comments:

Post a Comment