Whenever I tell anyone this, I generally either get looks of horror or looks of sympathy, with the same tentative ”So, how’s it going?“
I promise you (and not just because my mother-in-law reads my blog) that it’s going fine. Really, it is.
I know what you’re thinking (because people say these things to me): “Really? Really it’s going fine? How is that possible? I couldn’t take it!”
My in-laws are great. They’re easy going and fun, and they have good perspective on life in general. I started dating Ben when I was 16, so I’ve been around a while (nearly 16 years), and they put up with me really well. I am, by far, the most high maintenance person living in the house at the moment (and at the moment, there are eight people).
Maybe I just have the World’s Best In-Laws. In the case that I do, and you are stuck with the Second Best In-Laws, here are some suggestions for how you can make your situation work:
- Be flexible. You can’t go imposing your schedule on other people when you’re living in their house. You like to eat at 5:30 p.m. on the dot? Well, you may need to bend the rules a little bit.
- Accept that people do things differently than you do. Maybe they don’t do laundry like you would, or dishes like you would, or clean like you would. Maybe they only brush their teeth in the middle of the day, and you brush yours in the morning. Whatever. It’s okay.
- Maintain perspective. Do you have a roof over your head and a warm (or cool, whatever your preference) bed to sleep in? Yes? Oh, okay. Then maybe it doesn’t matter so much that you had to wait 10 minutes to use the restroom.
- Keep communication open. Something really bothering you? Then talk about it, nicely, before it escalates into a very avoidable tense situation. You’re not going to win every battle; pick them wisely.
- Remember Colossians 3:23-24
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Have you ever lived with your in-laws (or your parents)? How did it go? What advice would you give to someone going through the same situation?