In-laws moving close by

Does it cause marital problems to live close to in-laws

  • yes

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • no

    Votes: 5 100.0%

  • Total voters
Hi all,

I am rather concerned for some of the changes in our family living situation at this time. For the first five years of our marriage, my husband's parents have lived 8 hours away, but we have seen them regularly 6-7 times a year, usually for a week or more at a time.

However, since the birth of our daughter, they have been looking to move closer to us, or to have a second property near us. I am not opposed to this, as I realize the demands of age and other normal life events make this a necessity. However, some of the properties they are looking at have been only 2 streets away, and some have been along the same route that I walk every day. This seems to be too intrusive to me, and I am having a really hard time dealing with the potential effects of them living so close. The level of anxiety I have over it is also causing more friction between my husband and I, because he is frustrated with how much I think and worry about this issue.

I don’t know how to handle this, and I feel as though I am losing all freedom and control over my own life. To have them not just nearby, but neighbors, seems to me to be much too close to be healthy, and a potentially really bad situation. Do you think I am overreacting?

They have few friends here, and already seem to me to have somewhat of an obsession with our daughter. I am concerned that if they live that close to us, that they will be present constantly, with little to no respect for boundaries, with my husband traveling and out of town often and me left to deal with them nearly every day. His mother is also extremely overbearing, and when you try to talk to her about these things, she has heart palpitations and health issues that typically make it too hard to even have the conversation. On top of that, she has a PhD in early childhood eduction, and is always ready to provide unsolicited advice on how to handle, raise, and educate our daughter.

I am concerned about several things. 1.) I do want to do the right thing, and if it is having them live 3 minutes away, then I will respect that that is the case. However, it is really hard for me to understand why 10-15 minutes, which would allow for (I think), quite a bit more privacy and less possibility for intrusion is not a reasonable request on my part. If it’s not, please tell me. 2.) I’m concerned about my marriage having quite a bit more friction if my mother-in-law is living 3 minutes away…there is already more friction just talking about the possibility of her living 3 minutes away, so this seems to me to be a threat to my marriage. Is this an overreaction? Or is it naive of my husband (being an only child, and not the spouse threatened with in-laws living 3 minutes away) to think that it will go smoothly if they do move that close?

I would love the advice/perspectives of other Christians on this issue.


To be truthful no one can really give you a Yes or No to your question and be correct.

First thing you really should be seeking the Lord for this answer and not People.

Second is that it All Depends on You and Your Husband !!

Who will you choose to obey?
God and His ways or what seems right in your eyes or others?

In my experience the best choice is God's ways and Actually walking according to them.

At times it may feel awkward or scary from fear of confrontation But if you will walk in Love and Forgiveness and Make perfectly clear to the in laws how things will be done. In time all will be well.

Make God and His ways First choice and Last choice and Live accordingly.

Don't allow fear of this situation get into your thinking........if you do then you will make poor choices driven from fear.

This can and should be a good situation for you, if you make it so.
First of all...welcome! We are so glad to have you apart of our family!

I have to say i fully agree with fcj. And the biggest and most important thing for you to do is stop the fear. Fear is the biggest enemy that you have at present. Walking in fear will only cause you to make decisions that will be unproductive and hurtful to all parties concerned.

If you can walk in love and according to God's will trusting Him that a good and positive relationship will be created with appropriate will be so. God is very trustworthy! And as you submit to His will, putting all fear will be enabling Him to intervene in your situation in your favor. Something that will bring peace to all.

Blessings to you. You and your family will be in our prayers :)
I would also agree with other responses as well. I think it is important to first seek guidance from God.

However, I will add to what Cturtle mention on fear if fear of something is present then it is the act of the devil manipulating your mind into the thinking the worst to prevent God's absolute best. One thing I have learned is that if God moves us somewhere or moves someone your way then it is for a reason, His reason. Possibly, God my need to use you in their lives or vice Versa. God can see all things that we can not see and knows the future. Therefore, He shifts things around in our lives for His purpose and for our blessings.

My advice... Pray, Pray, Read the Word, and Pray! Sometimes, I even go on a fast to help me gain guidance and understanding!

I will be praying for you as well. :)
I think that you need to set some sensible boundaries early on. Agree them with you husband .So for example, they dont just come round without asking you, they need to make sure its convenient and agree a time and day. There is nothing wrong with wise boundaries, remember the bible says that we must leave our father and mother and join to our spouse. You must always put your spouse and children first. You say that it will be their second home, so does that mean they will only live there some of the time?
Hi Jewels3141,

I see this thread was started in January and no more posts from you since then so just in case you check it just want to say now because I just came on board here last really depends upon the in-laws as well as yourselves and each situation can be different. In some countries it is the norm for family and extended family to live in a large house with a separate section for the in-laws. Not usually so in our culture. I believe it would be economically more feasible if it were more accepted and practiced here. And older folks wouldn't feel quite so abandoned as many are.

We moved ten miles from our adult daughter, her husband, and family ten years ago and have tried to respect their privacy. Actually over the years this did enable us to give much needed support to them, not just the other way around. And because it wasn't given without prayer and forethought it was received. But, we were always careful not to push advice down their throats... There were sometimes problems but workable as we stretched a bit and learned when it is best to keep distance and when to draw close. You do need to discuss certain boundaries that you both need. Like we don't show up on their doorstep without first calling. Actually we usually wait for invitations just like we do with friends.
It is all part of Christian love and understanding. We are family!
peace and prayers....sandpiper.
Growing up, my grandparents lived on the other half of the duplex that my mother, father and I lived in. It worked for us because my mother worked (at a time when this was not the norm), and I had my grandparents to take care of me during the day. I remember my father sometimes saying that he felt we were too close to them, but the advantages were tremendous in terms of child care. My grandparents were very good about it: they never came over unless invited and kept to themselves. They did not impose themselves on us in any way and the situation worked. Part of this was cultural - they were European as was my mother, and where they grew up it was not unusual for multi-generational households to exist successfully. North American culture is less open to this arrangement, but economic times are slowly changing this attitude where we see more and more adult children and their children living with parents under the same roof.

The whole basis of success in any situation is that boundaries are set and agreed upon early in the process. These would need to be established ideally before the in-laws choose and buy their house. When done in a loving manner so that it is made clear that these boundaries are being made to avoid future conflict, the hope is that your in-laws will respect your privacy. They may just want to live closer to give themselves a greater sense of security as they get older. I understand that you are mortified and imagining the worst case scenario. With careful, loving negotiations and open honest dialogue, you can make your fears known ahead of time so that the best case scenario can be realized. Without knowing all of you personally, there is no way to predict the outcome of this arrangement, however should things become "sticky", there is always the option of utilizing family counselling to mediate a resolution that is satisfactory to all. As always, a loving understanding attitude is helpful when approaching this type of situation, as of course, is prayer. Right now most of your trepidation is based upon fears, and the fears are based are things that are imagined and do not yet exist. There is the possibility that your in-laws are reasonable people who are fully cognizant of the issues involved in living close by, and they may well be sensitive enough to police their own behaviour so that they do not overly impose themselves upon your lives. Anything is possible. Without open discussion, everything is conjecture.

In the case of our family, the arrangement was amazingly successful, so it is quite possible to live close to in-laws, have them help out as needed, and yet not feel like your privacy is being seriously impinged upon. It just all depends upon the personalities and attitudes involved. My genuine hope for you is that everything works out and that you find that having dependable childcare so close at hand turns out to be a blessing. I sincerely hope that you are able to lay the early groundwork necessary so that everyone is in agreement and is on the same page right out of the chute.
" My genuine hope for you is that everything works out and that you find that having dependable childcare so close at hand turns out to be a blessing. I sincerely hope that you are able to lay the early groundwork necessary so that everyone is in agreement and is on the same page right out of the chute.

I agree, setting the boundaries and other shared things from the beginning is good, that way everyone is on the same page; but it does depend on both parties being consistent and keeping the agreement.

Prayers it all works out!