By Josephine Oguntoyinbo
Do you have in-law living with you ? This is neither new nor strange because in-laws are crucial part of your spouse’s life, which makes them a crucial part of your life as well.
In-laws end up living with spouses due to financial difficulties, stress, ageing parents among other reasons, this can cause some challenges, but if well managed, living together have several benefits.
Therefore, having your in- laws to live with you can be very interesting at times. Mother in- laws are the ones who mostly live or visit couples because this is not common among men. The period of their stay would either build a strong relationship or be totally destroyed beyond repair. To make the best use of this period, the couples and in- laws must be willing to make things work.
Though it is not easy to balance your needs with the needs of others, especially the needs of the entire family, but creating harmony is possible while living together, through perseverance and love.
In-laws living with couple has its advantages and disadvantages on the marriage, children, couples and in- laws (grandparents). This could be pleasant and end well if both parties can help each other. For everything, there is also a disadvantage. In relationships there are always conflicts and negative effect but it could be avoided.
When in- laws are around, they can help to prepare meals for children when they return from school, and cater for them while their parents are away at work. This has some advantages, as children will gain a good bond with their grandparents, thereby, creating lasting memories about a beautiful childhood.
Children could learn their mother tongue and the Africa cultural values from their grandparents. This value helps in shaping the lives of children as they grow up and face challenges of life.
Despite how good this sounds, there is the danger of parents/in-laws becoming excessively involved in their married children’s private life. Sometimes with the best intentions, parents pry into their children’s marriages, and want to run their homes the way they ran theirs and adopt the old ways they raise their children in the past. This could become a problem and cause unbearable clash on a daily basis.
However, this does not mean parents’ experience is not worth listening to, but couples need the necessary space to build their home and set the standard they want to adopt to train their children. There will always be disagreements about how to raise the children. In- laws want to influence the way couple train their children which will be different from how they did in their days. The constant presence of in- laws interfering with the up -bringing of children may continue to cause conflict.
Meanwhile, the presence of in- laws has a way of curbing the excessive behaviour of couples. Couple will try not to fight or have arguments that will make them interfere. Also if the quarrel between couple is getting out of hand, they can give advice and lead the couple back to the right path. Parents will remind them of the importance and values of having a peaceful marriage. They could call the couple separately to talk sense into them, remind them of their roles and this could help save the marriage.
The disadvantage in this is that in-laws can begin to interfere in an unhealthy way in the marriage. They may begin to take sides and this is the beginning of problems in marriages.
As much as they are reliable assistance at home, they could also be a burden because they are totally dependent on the couple for feeding, accommodation, clothing, and shelter among others. The money that the couples could have saved or used for investment are diverted for temporary needs. For in-laws that are old or dirty, they add to the tasks of the couples rather than relieving them of some burden.
When in- laws have one reason or another to live with their married children, both groups must be willing to work together to have a pleasant relationship and live peacefully. After a while, they should return to their base. This helps all parties to respect each other. If for any reasons the in- laws must live with couples, it should be in love and unity. They should see this period as an opportunity to spend quality time together, thereby creating a good memories for all.
Above all, to keep your relationship with your partner intact as you get along with this, you need to continuously set aside a date to guarantee uninterrupted leisure time for yourselves.