How to Survive Staying With Your In-Laws In Your First Year of Marriage
STORY: Dawn Hee
17 May 2021
Let’s face it – staying with your in-laws (or worse, a monster mother-in-law) isn’t the easiest thing to do, and is bound to come with its own challenges. You may be deeply in love with your new spouse, but having to deal with the lack of privacy in a communal space is another story altogether. And even if you’ve been on good terms with your in-laws, you’ll still have to adapt and get used to your new family’s living habits, and vice versa.
For the lucky ones who have had a smooth transition, good for you. But if you’re just like most other folks struggling to make it through the first year or until the BTO arrives, here are five tips that’ll help you thrive in the situation.
1. Iron things out with your spouse
Have a heart-to-heart talk with your spouse before moving in with them. This is important as it’ll help set boundaries and expectations. For example, are you expected to help with household chores, is it considered rude to lock your room door, or is there a specific day to set aside for family time? Whether you agree with these house rules or not, you’ll want to work things out and be mentally prepared for little things like that.
2. Patience, patience, patience
Yes, we mentioned it three times because you can never have enough patience when it comes to handling the in-laws. So if something happens to irk you, like the way laundry is done or how common lights are expected to be switched off after 10pm in the house, take it easy. It’s usually not as bad as it seems in the heat of the moment.
3. Avoid escalating conflict
But if an incident does get on your nerves, avoid blowing things up - you don't want your concerns to be taken the wrong way, or put your spouse in a spot. Instead, speak to your spouse about it, and if need be, he can address the issue with your in-laws.
4. Stay out of family affairs
Although technically you are part of the family right now, you wouldn't want to get involved in any conflicts at home or seen taking a side. Even if your intentions are good, stay away from the “war zone” until the dust has settled.
5. Close an eye or two
There's bound to be conflict in a confined space, and sometimes you'll just have to close an eye or two, and live and let live. After all, their living habits are probably going to be different from yours, and they are likely having a hard time adjusting to your presence in their home as well.