My husband and I had been married for 12 years when his parents decided to live with us five years ago. I have nothing against them, but this arrangement is not comfortable at all.
If they were staying just for a few weeks, that would have been fine with me, but it’s been this long. Sometimes I’d feel like taking a break for a few days, enjoy my house, do some errands, but the idea of spending that time at home with my in-laws around, instead of just me and my children, makes me decide “wag na lang.”
My in-laws don’t have their own house, though their pension is big enough for them to rent or buy a decent home if they wanted to.
My husband knows how I feel but refuses to say anything about it. I feel he’d rather that it’s me who gets hurt than tell his parents to be on their own. He cannot even tell any of his siblings abroad about this problem because I think he’s ashamed to do so. We argue about it but I always just let it pass and look at the brighter side. My husband is their only child in the country.
I honestly feel this is so unfair to me. I had no idea his parents will retire with us. Why do I have to adjust to them instead of enjoying my privacy in my own home? I’ve done it for five years but it cannot be forever. Am I being selfish?
Selfish? No way!
It is a difficult environment for a wife to live with in-laws, no matter if it’s the in-laws who are given the favor. One or the other will feel the discomfort or unjustness of it, (no matter if it’s imagined) and here, it’s you!
It would have been easier if you were living with your parents in their house. There, it’s a given that the de facto queen bee is unquestionably your mother!
But with your in-laws ensconced in YOUR house? Not a good idea. It may be your house, but after five years of feeling like it’s getting to last forever (your words), clearly you feel your privacy is already compromised. You’re never relaxed. You’re consistently on guard with your choice of words to whomever, lest they’d feel it’s directed at them. Your impromptu amorousness with your husband in the kitchen or stairway gets stifled—the spontaneity lost and gone in a moment. That and other pockets of crisis already ingrained in your memory, like it or not.
You begin to question who you really are in the pecking order of your own household. It’s only your dear thin-skinned husband who can unravel this knot. He must talk to his parents alone and lay out to them this festering five-year-old muddle.
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, remember? Clearly this arrangement is not fatal. But your husband should love you enough and be sensitive enough to feel the rippling tension in the atmosphere to know that something is amiss. Does it have to be written in black and white for him to do something? Your turning the other way to dispel your weariness is commendable. But for how long can you keep up this charade?
You’re just human, in case you forgot. And being selfish to save your sanity is a worthwhile coping mechanism, not a crime.