Living with Parents

mrskennedyOctober 9, 2006

Hi everyone,

My husband and I were doing pretty well until we moved in with my parents when he lost his job. Now we might be expecting a baby, but we hardly talk to each other, even about mundane things, and we haven't had dinner alone for the past 5 months. I've been really stressed and worried lately, and I'm sure he is too, though he doesn't say anything. We used to talk when we first moved in, but we fought occasionally too. (What newly weds don't?) However, every time we did, my parents took sides, and we no longer communicate at all. I want him to help more around the house, because my parents have me doing a lot, and he wants me to be more intimate with him. I'd love to! But with all this stress, worry, and lack of communication, I'm not even attracted to him anymore. We're not getting divorced. But I want to make some progress before the baby is born, and I'm pretty sure one's on the way. (I'll know later this week when I see the doctor.)

I'd appreciate any advice you can give about how we can get our relationship back and make do until we can move out. I hope that isn't long in coming, but it doesn't look like it will happen any time soon, unfortunately. Also, do you think any of this has to do with us living with my parents, or is it all to be expected since we're newly weds?

Thanks for your help.


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Mrs. K,

You both have a lot to deal with, here.

First him: his losing his job, then forced to live with your parents. Now his wife might be pregnant. When you argued, it was three against one.

You: newlywed, having to move back with mom and dad. You might be pregnant. He doesn't talk to you. He's not working.

All of this is very stressful. For everyone.

My advice is: make time for just the two of you. You can do this without having to spend money. The two of you take a walk, or go to the park, sit, talk, reconnect. Do it'll be your time alone. No parents. Just the two of you. Communicate your feelings.

Good luck and keep us posted.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 7:59AM
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Excellent advice Wanda -- Please take her advice, especially about taking walks with your husband.

And you need to tell your parents to keep out of it if you and your husband ever fight at home. You're married adults who need to work things out on your own. The only time your parents should get involved is if there's physical danger.

The sooner you two can get out and get a place of your own, the better. Are you working? (For pay, outside the home?) And if not, why not?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 9:41AM
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I agree with all that's been said above. You need to make time for your husband and you to relate to each other--each and every day. If that cannot happen in the house, you need to take a walk, take a drive, sit in the back yard under a tree.

Your parents shouldn't be taking sides in your disagreements, because they shouldn't know about them. You and your husband should NEVER argue in front of others. You need to keep your relationship issues private, so you can work them out maturely, without others interfering.

How long ago did your husband lose his job? Reading between the lines, sounds like it's been at least 5 months. What's he been doing in the meantime? He certainly should have been able to find a way to make some money in that length of time. If he hasn't found a job, he could enroll in an apprenticeship program at your local community college or vo-tech school--that way he can make money while he learns a career. He could be out every day collecting cans. He could be driving around on trash night, collecting items that can be cleaned, repaired and sold at the flea market on the weekends (I know someone who did that when he was out of work, and it blossomed into the fact that he now owns a very upscale antique business). You and your husband could clean offices at night, he could wash windows for local businesses. There is absolutely always a way to make money for anyone who needs cash. If your husband isn't doing these things to help out, you need to seriously think about his dedication to your family.

With a child on the way now, you need to be a self-sufficient family--you need to be able to support yourselves, the little one who may be on the way, and you need to have enough earning potential to start an emergency fund (there are ALWAYS emergencies with children) and a college fun. I cannot stress strongly enough, as a parent, that you need to get your financial picture sorted out quickly. Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 11:39AM
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" you think any of this has to do with us living with my parents....?"

Probably most of it. Do what whatever you have to to get out of there. Close is fine. Under the same roof is no good. Married people need their own independent household -- however inadequate it may be.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 12:55PM
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Thanks for all the advice, all of you. I didn't mention 2 things: a) we're both blind and b) everyone who lives here works, except my father, who's in between knee replacements; so there's no one who can drive us anywhere during the week. I've begged them to take us somewhere on weekends, but they always get out of it somehow--too tired, other people to worry about, yard work for Grandma, etc. So we're stuck in the house with no transportation, family or public, to speak of since we live in the country. As I said, my husband doesn't have a job. But I'm a writer and medical transcriptionist. I've been taking on more work than I should lately so we can get out of here and to start preparing for the baby who might be on the way. My time is divided between working and doing things for my father. Funny, though, when he asks my husband to do something, he does it. But when I ask him in the same nice voice etc, my husband either doesn't do whatever it is, or grumbles about it, asking why he has to do it.

Someone said we shouldn't argue in front of my parents. We don't. The problem, I think, is that we have our own room, but people are always going passed and listening in. There's a door outside our room that I've locked on occasion, even when we weren't arguing, just for some privacy. But then I got into trouble for locking it, because there's a t.v. and refrigerator in the room next to ours, and others need to use it. Fine, so just ask me to unlock the door! But no, instead there was this big dispute, so I just decided not to lock it anymore.

I have obligations here--to my parents and the others who live here, to my husband, to any child that might be on the way, and to myself. And it seems the only ones that are being met are the ones to my parents.

Thanks for all your help so far. Any other insight would be appreciated.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 12:05AM
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I think you have to prioritise.

Your relationship with your hubbie, is the number one priority, sure it is tough living where you are, but you can still work on getting on well with your hubbie.

As Wanda suggested, just step out the door and go for a walk, and talk. Get an agreement with him, like "lets both work at speaking nicely to each other, helping each other" etc.

Establish a common goal, and both work towards it. With your personal lives together, and your work life.

You can still be happy together even with the difficult circumstances.

I would imagine it is very difficult for your husband to be living with his in-laws. Ask him how he feels about that.

I have great respect for you both, I wish you all the best.

PS...let us know if your prenancy in confirmed, okay?

Take care.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 3:52AM
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The issue of boundries between parents and adult children is always a difficult one, especially when the adult children are living in the parents' home. But I think that when the child has a disability, the boundries get even stickier.

When the child is younger, there are things the parents either need to or just tend to do for the child with a disability that they might not do for a child without a disability. It's instinctive and natural for the parents to try to remove as many obstacles as possible to keep their child safe and from being unnecessarily hurt. It sounds like that's what your parents are still doing -- trying to keep you from getting hurt, and not quite relinquishing their caretaker roles. Maybe they unconsciously feel like they have an important role helping you manage your marriage. (seriously) Whether they feel that way or not, they still no doubt feel a strong sense of responsability for your well-being.

The other thing that may be going on is a bit of "payback". I don't mean that at all in a "revenge" way, but rather in a "When she was growing up, we did so much, and now that she's a capable adult and we're getting older, it's time she did the same for us" mentality. Do you know what type of future they had planned for you? I know your future should be YOUR decision, but believe me, your parents had/have a vision for you, and it's one you need to know of. You don't have to choose to follow it -- but if you know what it is, you'll have a much easier time communicating about whether or not you agree with it.

I think it's time for some serious talks -- first with your husband, then with your parents. Time to discuss how and where you want to live your adult lives. Are the two of you able to live independently and raise a child? (It's hard for anybody.) And/or do you have the community supports that will make it possible? You said you live in the country and are "stuck in the house with no transportation, family or public" Are there any stores within walking distance? Other services? Are there agencies that will help with job placement, transportation and housing location? How far is the nearest town or city that can provide some resources and assistance?

You all have some big decisions to make, and it's time for some open, honest and realistic discussions.

(In case you're wondering where I'm coming from on this, I am speaking as the mother of a child with a disability, who, with ongoing community support, may be able to live independently as an adult.)

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 11:48AM
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Hi everyone,

We found out last Thursday that I'm not only pregnant, but that I'm almost 5 months along already! I suspected something, but wasn't sure, since I haven't been sick, etc. But there it is, and we're going to keep the baby.

To sweeby, you're right on in so many things. To try and answer your questions, we've been talking--my husband and I alone and then with my parents, and they don't like what we've decided to do. They're glad we're keeping the baby, but not that we'll be moving as soon as we find housing placement. The nearest city is about 35 minutes away driving, and that's where all my appointments are, so it makes sense for us to live there. We do have support there. My sister and brother-in-law live there, as well as a few friends, and there's public transportation, too. We've lived there temporarily before and done well on our own. It's not that we can't. My parents want me/us where they can have the most input, and where better but in their own house. I don't think they've realized we're grown adults, even though they know it intellectually, and that's hard for all of us. But we have to do what's best for us and our child, and they'll still be able to see us, just not whenever they come down the stairs.

Since we found out about the baby, my husband has been looking for a job and found some temporary work that he can do from home. We've also joined some online groups for blind parents, because there are no local organizations to help out.

We still need to get more financial and medical assistance, but should have both by next week. We will be approved; the government just takes its time doing things. :-()

Thanks again for all your ideas and support. I'll keep you posted with updates.

By the way, we're going to name the baby Aaron Lee Kennedy and just spell it differently for a girl. (We're both hoping for a girl, but we don't know which it will be yet.)

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 2:56PM
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Congratulations MrsKennedy!

It sounds like you're making some big moves in a positive direction. I can certainly understand your parents perspective, but you two need to do what's right for your own little family now. I'm sure they'll drive the 35 minutes to stay close --

Best wishes to all of you!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 9:51AM
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Congrats Mrs K !

Happy times for you in the future, I am sure.


    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 10:38PM
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