There’s a widely held notion, especially in this part of the world (Africa), that most in-laws are bad and mothers-in-law especially are the stuff horror movies are made of.
First of, I want to say I don’t subscribe to this notion. I personally have wonderful in-laws and also have people with similar stories around me.
Let me also say that a lot if the times, life gives back to you what you put out. Should you give out negativity and expect to be treated nicely? In people’s defence, they only pass across their veiled defensiveness and hostility because they expect to be treated badly by their in-laws. However, since these in-laws are also humans, they will mirror your actions right back to you.
That being said, research has shown that it is not advisable you live with your in-laws, no matter how great they are and these are the chief reasons put forward for this viewpoint.
Why You Shouldn’t Live with Your inLaws
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The Bible Commands It
How? Where? – You ask
Ephesians 5:31 commands it
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
Did you read that? It says a man shall leave his parents and become one with his wife. Now, while this verse didn’t categorically say to “not stay with your inlaws” , it just goes to reason that doing this would be the logical thing to do as you’ll get to understand in the next point.
Staying with in-laws Puts a Lot of Strain on You
No matter how accepting your in-laws are, it’s never the same as living on your own and it’s especially hard for the woman who was “brought” into the family.
In most African homes where the woman is seen as a second-class citizen and has to constantly be at the top of her game, staying with in-laws puts a lot of pressure on her as it opens her to undue scrutiny where every of her faults can be seen and criticized.
There’s Always a Silent Battle Going On
No matter how old a child is, he is never fully grown in the sight of his parents. Most fathers are usually more laid back about their emotions and would let the man be, but it’s a little harder for the mother and most likely would be more in her son’s business even if she doesn’t mean to.
With this, the mother and the wife of the man would be in a silent (subtle, semi-hostile, or openly hostile) battle for the man’s affections which can make the situation more complication.
Absence Makes the Heart Fonder
Have you ever stayed away from your parents and gone back after a while? The reception you get is usually a step short of royalty visiting.
When you stay with in-laws, this treatment is missing. You see each other all the time and this familiarity erodes that cautious treatment you would otherwise get.
How to Get Along with Your In-laws if You Absolutely Cannot Help Staying Together
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So, if you find you have to stay with in-laws to save cost as you build your own house, or you are a little pressed for cash and cannot afford a place of your own right now, here are some tips you could practice to make your stay more pleasant and enjoyable.
1.Understand the Home is Theirs and You are a Tenant
This understanding is key to having a wonderful stay. Accept there can only be one captain in a ship, and unless you are bringing the bulk of the upkeep money, they call the shots.
So, you might want to “stay in your lane” and follow the rules of the house.
2.Opt for Some Absence
In no way is this suggesting you play mind games to garner respect, but you might want to consider being away from the house a little more, doing something productive.
3.Bring ‘Something’ In Regularly
Bring something to the table regularly, no matter how small. No parents wants to continue fending for a grown child who is fully capable of taking care of himself. It’s worse when you are an in-law.
Ensure you make some sort of contribution to the upkeep of the house and do so on a regular basis so you don’t get seen as a liability.
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4.Become Handy Around the House
Make your presence so felt around the house that you become somewhat indispensable. Help out any way you can, offering your services when it’s needed so you become sort of indispensable around the house and also make your in-laws glad.