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Living with In-Laws

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Learn English Via Listening | Beginner Level | Lesson 4. My House

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My wife and I recently bought our first house and her parents are moving in with us due to increasing health/money issues, etc. They've never shown me much respect though, and I put up with it at their house when they had it (rented). But I think that's coming with them into MY house now, and I don't think that's gonna fly. We haven't really moved in yet though. The in-laws needed to be our of their home before us, so they've moved moved in now, busying taking over the house before we can get settled in ourselves.


Here's what happened today. Our son (my step son) acted very badly towards his sister, and then was very rude and defiant to my wife. Obviously he should have been punished, and I for one have no trouble reigning him in. But instead my wife told him "I'm going to tell your grandpa what you did" and took him to have a chat with her dad, completely cutting me out. I felt very emasculated and insulted, as if I'm not the king of my own castle here, as if HE is the ultimate authority here.


That sort of thing wasn't entirely uncommon in their old house, and I accepted it because it was their house and I had to be respectful of that. We'd just tell the kids something like "you're going to get it when we get home". But now that I'M the one providing the roof over all our heads, I still get delegated as a secondary authority at best.


I told my wife, while her dad was having their little chat, that I didn't like this. First, I didn't like how the boy acted. He never pulls that crap with me. He only did it there because he thought he would get away with it around the grandparents, like he's used to at their old house. And secondly, I didn't like how the the situation was handled. I made it quite clear to her that my authority in my house was NOT going to be superseded by people who are basically guests. She later had a talk with our son about the "chain of authority", so to speak, and I hope that won't be an issue again, at least not from the kid's end.


But my father-in-law just has this condescending macho attitude, like I'm not sufficiently a man enough in his eyes, and anything that needs to be handled is bettered handed by him if he's around. He never hesitates to insert himself in situations like that. I can't tell you how many times the kids have been bad, and they get in trouble, and then he comes in and coddles them and invalidates their punishment (like if they were supposed to be standing in a corner of something), and god forbid if they are due a spanking!


My mother-in-law is also pretty disrespectful and patronizing, more so than him, but not so macho and more likely to back down when confronted. I think I'm going to be clashing more with the other "father figure" though. From what I understand, he wasn't such a great husband and father when my wife was growing up. He's nobody to tell me how to raise my kids. And my wife's mom doesn't know as much as she thinks she does either.


I think the day will come when I'm going to have to say something to one or both of them and draw a line in the sand, and say in no uncertain terms that if they cross it, they will be looking for a new home (and fortunately, my dad is in the eviction business and could help out with that).


But I'm not looking to start any fights, and I've been pretty non-confrontational towards them for, well the whole time I've known them. I certainly don't want to have to threaten to kick them out. I don't want there to be fighting in my home, and I don't want my wife to get stuck in the middle of it. But there are some boundaries that they WILL have to respect because I absolutely have no intention of putting up with everything they're used to doing now that my role has become so much more dominant/important.


My wife is the first one in her family to actually own a home, rather than rent, and it's ENTIRELY because of me (not trying to be arrogant, but it's just true). I made all this happen. If not for me, she and her family would still be in the ghetto instead of a nice big house in a nice neighborhood. I'm sorry, but I think I deserve some measure of credit/respect here. And after we finish getting everybody moved, I'm going to expect it more than I have in the past.


I haven't said any of this to the parents really, though I've hinted a little with the mom. I've made it a point to start speaking with her in a more "alpha" sense (not asking, but telling, what's going to happen with certain things. Small things though). But mostly, I've been hoping my wife, since they're her parents, would have some words with them before I have to, because if I have to, I don't think I'll be as nice about it. She prefers to avoid conflict with them too though. She usually lets things build up until she blows up at her mom. It's happened a total of once since we've been together.


I do think I'm going to say something to one of them the next time they blatantly step on my toes, while keeping a cool head of course. I couldn't really tell my father-in-law anything this time because my wife was the one at fault. She brought him into it, rather than him intervening like usual. But she told our son that, after this one time, her dad won't be in the equation for disciplining him anymore.


It will be first her/her mom, and then it can get escalated up to me if he pushes it, and at that point, ..he'll wish he hadn't escalated it. I don't like being the hard disciplinarian type, but ..I do get results. Like I said above, he doesn't pull that crap with me. So my wife listened to my objections and, in theory, removed her dad from my patriarch space. But I don't think HE knows that yet, and I doubt how well he will respond to it when he does.


I'm sure I'm not the only one with in-law issues. Thoughts?


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Living with other adults that make essentially 2 different families makes for a lot of issues. I think it is best for all that it is a temorary situation. You should maintain control of your family and they really have NO say in it. They are NOT the parents.

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Living with "In-laws," or living with another family for that matter, will never be a walk in the park.


I would be prepared for this living arrangement to turn sour, unless you're prepared to deal with the many problems, and challenges that come with it.


I do wish you the best, but don't allow this to come between you, and your marriage!


Take care...

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I think they should be damn greatful they can stay with you! But maybe they are too proud to say thank you etc?


You should defientyl sit down with your wife and explain that you need to lay down some groundrules as it is your house. Speak with her first then go right ahead and speak with them.


You have worked for this house, you deserve to be happy in it! End of!


Good luck!

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