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Thread: Our neighbors are my parents!

  1. #1

    Our neighbors are my parents!

    Hey all, just looking for advice on my current situation.
    Backstory: My parents have two houses built on a 5 acre plot of land-- one they built about 13 years ago and a 115 year old farmhouse, which I grew up in. When they moved into the newer house after it was built, they started renting the smaller farmhouse out to different couples. Fast forward to about a year and a half ago-- my husband and I are wanting to save for our own property. My parents offer their rental house which is unbelievably adorable, is away from the city, has land for our dog, space to garden and entertain, has two bedrooms and two bathrooms and is far less expensive than any apartment we've rented previously.

    Here's the thing: While my parents are loving, generous and ridiculously kind people, my husband is getting overwhelmed by the lack of boundaries that we have with them. They've always had an "open-door" policy to friends and family and they don't mind when people visit unannounced or come into their space. My parents often walk over to our house and into the garages because much of their lawn equipment and hobby equipment is over here. My dad has recently taken up pottery and has set it up in our garage and is in there daily. He has had a few neighbors stop by and it makes my husband feel trapped and that his privacy is violated. My dad is also a busybody and will finish projects that my husband doesn't (i.e. repotting something that he has dug up halfway and walked away from, or finished tiling a walkway that he hasn't) and my husband becomes irritated that they are completing something that he should've done in the first place. My parents just like to help and have always been very relaxed and I guess that's why I don't have much of an issue with it, but I can understand how someone that's not used to that, would be.

    My husband is so upset and is desperate to move because he feels he doesn't have a say in what goes on here. I'm a little irritated because I want to save money and I also know we won't find anything like this home elsewhere and frankly, I don't want to move again!
    Any ideas on what to do or what kind of boundaries to set?!

    You should also know-- my parents love my husband and he loves them! I think he just loves his privacy more ;)

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Capricorn3's Avatar
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    The fact that it is your parents property means they have every right to do as they please. I can totally understand why your husband feels the way he does but there are only two options: 1) ... learn to accept that this is how it's going to be for as long as you live there. Or 2) .... Find your own place.

    You also say: ..."I don't want to move again!" Do you mean you want to live there, on your parents property for the rest of your life? If so, is your husband aware of this? If not, maybe it's time you tell him. This could make or break your relationship/marriage.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    I see both sides of this problem. You can either hope your husband can accept your dad's help or you can move. With luck you can have a talk with your parents about boundaries. Maybe get them to call you before they head over. Maybe have them come only after a certain time of day. If your husband knew he would have his time to himself at certain hours, maybe that would work.

    Until you talk to your folks, nothing will change.

  4. #4
    Silver Member LootieTootie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Capricorn3
    The fact that it is your parents property means they have every right to do as they please. I can totally understand why your husband feels the way he does but there are only two options: 1) ... learn to accept that this is how it's going to be for as long as you live there. Or 2) .... Find your own place.
    The saying is true with adults who live under their parents roof. Why my mom said "don't like me barging in to your room, find somewhere else to live." Even when I moved out, I had an opportunity to work with my mom at her company and be her boss. Fat chance your parents are ever going to stop being your parents so I declined.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Lambert's Avatar
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    Move.

    It's not fair to expect or even ask your parents to change. You are living in their house, on their property.

    Your hubs might be a great guy, but if he wants to be the man of the house, then he should get his own castle... they're doing you a huge favor so you can save money. you can't have your cake and eat it, too.

  7. #6
    Super Moderator Capricorn3's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Lambert
    Move.

    It's not fair to expect or even ask your parents to change. You are living in their house, on their property.

    Your hubs might be a great guy, but if he wants to be the man of the house, then he should get his own castle... they're doing you a huge favor so you can save money. you can't have your cake and eat it, too.
    ^ I agree.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if I'm understanding this correctly. Your husband is upset about your parents finishing work that he doesn't finish?

    Why doesn't he just finish the job or start early in the morning and finish it by the evening with breaks inbetween? I'm thinking of the tilling here in the yard.

    I think both of you as a couple need to sit down and listen and communicate with one another. Work this out in a less heated and ultimatum-y fashion.

    It sounds like your parents and your husband have different work ethic and on top of that your parents are retired? Semi-retired? They may have much more time on their hands than you or your partner.

    Bring the resentments down a little by communicating things out and find ways to compromise.

    To me, this sounds more like a time management issue and disorganization/miscommunication. It can be helped.

    Once the both of you are calm you might want to talk about what parts of the house are just yours and your husband's. Create some boundaries, theoretically and physically!

    Stay calm. Be kind to one another! You're family.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Well he knows your parents so he knew what he was getting into. Tell hubs to take up golf and stop puttering around your parents guesthouse as a hobby. He needs to create his own space and boundaries.

  10. #9
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    Did your husband ask his landlord ( your father ) if he could tile a walkway?

    It sounds to me like your husband doesnít respect the boundaries as a tenant but expects your father to respect boundaries as a landlord?

    It doesnít work that way!

    He has cheap rent and there is a non monetary price to pay for that .

    Your father is only in the garden ! Itís not like he is walking into the bathroom while he is showering!!!

    You are renting the house not the land. Remind your husband of that!!

  11. #10
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    It sounds like your husband is perfectly fine with the trade off of paying rent elsewhere and having enforceable privacy rights. That is ultimately what this is all about, not that he doesn't have a golf kit. Not wanting people coming into and hanging out in the garage or wanting to be able to partition his tasks as he pleases without someone else finishing his work for him are both perfectly respectable wishes. Not a whole lot of people would be comfortable renting a house while other people have and regularly exercise unmitigated access to the yard literally right outside their windows. That would be a way different feel than simply having the walls of an apartment. It sounds like he's grounded enough to know the issue isn't your parents, but your living situation. You on the other hand want to set boundaries for your parents on their own property.

    It's really one way or the other here. You stay and put up with it, or you move. It's time to sit down with your husband and figure out the best course of action for your marriage. If you're dead-set on staying in your parents' guest house until you two can buy a home, then be prepared to defend just that. A lot of people don't share the same value in being beholden to parents for the sake of saving money, and if that's the hill you want to die on, you need to defend your position just so.

    Your position isn't unreasonable, but neither is his. Some people's sense of dignity goes further beyond simply maximizing EOM savings than it does for others. At the end of the day, you're really not in any position to dangle a "boundaries" carrot when it means policing what your parents do on their land and property, so it's hard to see any sort of middle ground.
    Last edited by j.man; 06-24-2020 at 09:28 AM.

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