To live and share space with the in-laws may be an inevitable decision you have to make, especially when you or your spouse-to-be is an only child. Before agreeing to live together with your in-laws, you and your partner need to sit down and discuss everything, from what may happen and what you will face. Here are a few dos and don'ts to guide you through your discussion:
Do: Establish Your Private Zone
You may live in the same house, under the same roof, but creating a clear boundary of your private zone is a must. Your bedroom should be your private zone. The same term applies to their bedroom or workspace.
Don't: Change the Family Habit and Tradition
It's their house and their rules. If you want to have different schedule, you can always make your own and discuss it with other family members just to get them informed, but don't force them into following your schedule.
Do: Mingle with Other Family Members
We know it's sometimes hard just to be present in the middle of the living room where the whole family spends Sunday afternoon conversation when all you want to do is to curl up under the blanket in your sweat pants with some great books and hot chocolate. But your presence will show that you belong with them and that is a good thing.
Don't: Let Them See Your Dirty Laundry
Literally. You should clean up after your mess. Go wash your dirty dishes and do your laundry. Better yet, make the time to clean the whole house.
Do: Get Involved Financially
Pay (some) bills. You live there, the last thing you want to do is let them pay for all the electricity and utilities and let them think that you're a freeloader. Make arrangements to share responsibility for household expenses. To get the groceries, for example, is always a nice thing to do.
Don't: Start a Cyber War
No matter how annoyed you are with your in-laws, never write it down and post it on the internet, or any other places where the family can see. Sooner or later, they'll find out and you'll get into trouble.
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