Your relationship with your in-laws is one of the trickiest relationships that you will navigate in your life. It’s more challenging than the one you have with your partner, and it’s certainly more stressful than dealing with a teenager who suddenly wants to grow up too soon. If you’re always walking on eggshells around your in-laws, that’s because you haven’t set what kind of a relationship you’re going to have from the start.
Resentment starts when there’s something that you haven’t agreed on like whether they’ll stay with you or build their own granny flat kits in your backyard so that they can be around the family. Some in-laws will offer to stay with you during a tough moment in your married life, such as having a newborn in the house and working at the same time. You may be glad that the help is being offered, but that doesn’t mean that you want to live in the same house as your partner’s parents.
But how do you tell them they can’t stay in your home?
Ask Your Partner to Do It
These are your partner’s parents, why not let him deal with it? But first, ask your partner if he understands why you don’t want his parents to stay in your home for an indefinite time. He might argue that it’s best to have help for your newborn child, but stay your ground and refuse to surrender to his arguments this time. Many marriages can’t survive the presence of in-laws in one home, and that’s because the other partner always felt left out and unappreciated.
Explain the Reasons Truthfully
Talk to your in-laws and explain truthfully and kindly why you can’t accommodate them. Don’t make up stories. Don’t tell them that the house is being renovated and that you can’t welcome guests just to get away from the fact that you need to give them the talk. While there’s always some degree of pain when being told “no,” if your in-laws are even half-decent, they won’t have an issue with you indirectly, saying you don’t want them in the house.
If possible, tell them the real reason this isn’t healthy for the relationship. Tell them you’ve seen other families that were torn apart because they all lived under one roof. You don’t want that to happen to you. Tell them that you respect and honor them too much that you don’t want to have any issues with them.
Do Not Invite Them Over
To avoid this kind of situation in the future, never invite them over. While it is generally okay to have them for a short time like during the holidays, never make it a habit to invite them when there is no occasion. In fact, don’t invite them at all. That will set the boundary and the limitations of staying together. If it doesn’t become a tradition, it will be less likely that they’ll think about staying with you during the holidays or any other days of the year.
You may be surprised that your in-laws will understand you perfectly. While it is never easy to deal with your relationship with your in-laws, there’s just one rule that you need to remember: Always be honest and respectful. These two things will do wonders for your relationship.