'I've been living with my in-laws for six years and I can't take it anymore'

The Mirror’s resident agony aunt, Coleen Nolan, advises a reader who is has reached the end of her tether after living with her in-laws for six years

A file image of fed up woman
The reader says she can’t stand living with her in-laws

Dear Coleen,

I’ve been married for nearly 10 years and for six of those we’ve lived with my husband’s parents, who are a nightmare and I can’t take any more of it.

When we moved in, it was only supposed to be for a year while my husband built a new house for us, but because of financial problems, it never happened and we’re still stuck here.

His parents don’t care about their home and the place is constantly a tip, but I can’t say anything about it because it’s their house, so I end up doing most of the cleaning and tidying because I can’t stand to live in the mess.

We have two young children and it’s not good for them to have to live in this chaos either.

Whenever I bring it up with my husband, he just says we have no option at the moment, so it seems he’s happy for us to continue like this, even if it means I’m miserable and our kids don’t have their own home and bedrooms they can decorate.

My in-laws don’t help with the kids either and still treat them and me like lodgers. I’d love some advice on how to get out of this.

Her husband says they can’t afford to move at the moment (file image)


Getty Images/Westend61)

Coleen says,

Well, firstly you have a roof over your heads and if your in-laws hadn’t offered to help out, where would you be?

Of course it’s natural to want your own home for your family, but you have to remember that it’s not your in-laws’ fault you’re there and it’s their home so they should be able to live how they want.

Maybe the reason it’s so messy is partly down to the fact there are six of you living there.

As much as they’re hard to live with, I’m sure this wasn’t their plan either. Some parents would have said no to you moving in.

Try sitting down with your husband, without blaming him for your situation, and talk about a plan and a timeframe.

If you can’t buy, then could you afford to rent somewhere for now?

I get that it can be stressful – my eldest son and his fiancee are moving out this month after living with me for five years, and although we’ve coped really well, there has been strain on both sides at times, but equally there’s been gratitude.

I think you have to explain (calmly) that you’re worried the situation will affect your marriage because you’re so unhappy, and while he may be OK with living with his parents indefinitely, it’s not your family home.

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