Are You Living With Your In-laws?

December 3, 2008, 5:17 pm

“Are you Living With Your In-laws?”
By Jenna D. Barry

Do you live with your in-laws? If so, you aren’t alone. People live with their in-laws for several reasons. Newlyweds often do it to save money for a house. New moms (and/or single parents) do it so they can have help with childcare. Sometimes elderly parents move in with a son or daughter when they can no longer take care of themselves. And during poor economic times, some families move in together to survive financial hardship.

Some people enjoy living with their in-laws. There can be many mutual benefits for everyone involved. I personally would rather set myself on fire than move in with my in-laws, but that’s just me.

If you are considering moving in with (or closer to) your in-laws, then you need to evaluate carefully whether or not that is the best solution for your marriage. Here are some things you should consider.

1. Unite as a couple. When you marry, you are supposed to transfer your loyalty from your parents to your new husband or wife. Your behavior plays a key role in how well your spouse gets along with your parents. You and your spouse must make each other a priority. If your husband, for example, always says “no” to you in order to say “yes” to his parents, then don’t even consider moving in with them if you want your marriage to last.

2. Evaluate the personalities of your in-laws. Are your in-laws respectful of your needs? Do they treat you as an adult? If so, then perhaps it would be all right for you to live with or near them for a while. However, if your in-laws are controlling, intrusive, and/or manipulative, then you might want to consider moving to France (unless your in-laws live in France).

3. Communicate honestly. Regardless of who you are living with, it’s important to have an open line of communication. In-laws are no exception. You will need to discuss your feelings, needs, and expectations instead of holding grudges or gossiping behind their backs.

4. Draw boundaries as needed. Any great relationship needs healthy boundaries. Because all of us were raised with different definitions of “normal,” it may be necessary to discuss your expectations about issues like privacy, childcare, phone calls, money, etc.

Decide as a couple what is best for your marriage, and realize that you may have more options available than you think.

Jenna D. Barry is the author of the book, A Wife’s Guide to In-laws: How to Gain Your Husband’s Loyalty Without Killing His Parents. (

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You can have a GREAT marriage, even if your in-laws aren't so great!

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You may be quick to blame your in-laws for your marriage problems, but in reality the biggest part of the problem isn't your in-laws, it's your husband's loyalty to them.  When a man marries, he is supposed to transfer his loyalty from his parents to his wife. His behavior plays a key role in how well you get along with his parents.  The goal of this book is to help you gain your husband's loyalty.

If you are in need of hope and encouragement, this book is for you!  Jenna Barry offers hilarious, heartfelt advice about how to have a terrific marriage in spite of difficult in-laws.  As a wife who has personally experienced the despair that comes from having an unsupportive partner, she suggests specific things to say and do to gain your husband's loyalty.  This book won't teach you how to become best friends with your in-laws, but it will teach you how to think and behave in a new way so they no longer have any power over you.  A Wife's Guide to In-laws has over 40 cartoons, two fun chapters written just for your hubby, and worksheets to help the two of you reach loving compromises about common problem issues.

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About Jenna

As a wife of 22 years, Jenna D. Barry (a pen name) has learned how to gain her husband's loyalty through communication, persistence, and a whole lot of love.  She has familiarized herself with the needs and frustrations of other wives by participating in on-line in-law support groups and by talking to marriage therapists, friends, family, and co-workers.


Jenna is the author of the book, A Wife's Guide to In-laws:  How to Gain Your Husband's Loyalty Without Killing His Parents. She has been a radio guest on The Mike Bullard Show and her articles have been published in newspapers, websites, and magazines worldwide.  She writes monthly articles for Hitched Magazine and has been quoted in The Washington Times,, The London Free Press,, etc. She leads a support group for daughters-in-law right here.



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