Is it my duty to let my in-laws stay in my house?

@cream97 (29166)
United States
April 10, 2008 7:08pm CST
My father-in-law and mother-in-law don't have a place to stay of their own. They are living with their daughter. Their daughter is planning on moving out of her apartment really soon. She has told her father that she will be moving. I am afraid that they will be coming this way to stay. I have no room for them. I don't have a bed that they can sleep in. I sleep on my couch. I just know that my father-in-law is trying to inch his way over here. He has already stayed the night before in my house. He did not even ask me if he could stay. He just made himself at home. I am uncomfortable letting someone stay in my house. We just moved here. It is like he really don't want to move. For a year now he has moved from place to place to live. I am afraid that he will be coming this way. I know that he is already comfortable being in my house because he acts like it. My father-in-law is a senior citizen. My mother-in-law is 56 years old. They lost their home due to late payments, foreclosure, so to speak. He took out a second mortgage on his house. What should I do. They have already gotten evicted out of his nephew's house a couple months ago. I hate to see them not having a place to stay, but I can't help them here. Staying with me is not going to make him become self-sufficient. It is past time for them to be on their own. What is the best solution for this story? And no, me and my mother-in-law could not live in the same house either. In the past, she has been very mean to me. So I know I would not want her here, interrupting my life. They are not clean and I can't take care of grown folks who are capable of taking care of themselves. It is pathetic. I don't want to be mean but I am sorry I can't help them. I wonder why their other oldest daughter would not be willing to help them out.
8 people like this
15 responses
• United States
11 Apr 08
Is it your duty? No. But some cultures and societies say yes it is. Perhaps you need to let your husband/wife talk his his her parents. I am sorry I did not look at your profile. This day and age, hearing that someone has lost their home is not at all unusual. do you believe in karma? Or reaping what you sow? I am not at all telling you that opening your home is what you have to do, I just want you to look at them not as in laws but people who just may need some help. Do you want to see them in the streets? Is there another alternative? Can you help point them in another direction? Can you take them to places they might find help other than your home? You might some day be in their shoes... God forbid.
3 people like this
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
11 Apr 08
I have been in their shoes. Many times. It is not fun staying, back to back with other people every time you look around. As far as bad Karma is considered, they put this on themselves. Before their son got locked up, they used to treat him bad. They would run him from there house and call the police on him. It would be 90 degrees and above hot outside and they would not let him come in the house to get some air. He was very hot, getting all dark and sweaty. He would have to sleep in his sister's car outside. He would be thirsty and hungry. They, my mother-in-law and my father-in-law, has treated their own son like a dogg. Now, shall I say God forbid.... that they may never run into this themselves, but now they have.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Apr 08
HEY don't shoot the messenger... You did not say any of that in your original post.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Apr 08
okay fine put them out on the streets like the dogs they are.
1 person likes this
@sunkissed (4332)
• United States
11 Apr 08
Well it sounds to me like you really do not have the room for the in-laws in the first place.And if the MIL has been mean to you in the past, there is no way that you should have to have them living with you. It would cause to many family problems and maybe even wreck your marriage. i am sorry that they are in this situation. But being that they are senior citizens and are probally on a fixed income, I would assume that there is some sort of program out there to help them get some sort of housing.They need to try to help themselves.
3 people like this
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
11 Apr 08
My mil has almost wrecked my marriage before, being all jealous and all. I refuse to put up with this crap, again. We get along better, without her living in my home. I lost part of my self-esteem when I was living with her. She would say the meanest things to me. I can't take a chance anymore, I have to watch my back and not let down my guard with her.
1 person likes this
@se7enthbird (8327)
• Philippines
11 Apr 08
me and my wife and son are living in a apartment. my wife's mom is living with her older sister, and my mom is living with my sister. my dad has a different family living with my step mom. my mom is half body paralyzed due to heart attack. me and my wife talked about this already that if ever this situation happened we will do anything and everything but will not allow any relative to stay with us. sorry to say but fued do really start when relatives comes to stay. its either they will be bullies or just say that everything we do to our child is wrong. i would also hate to see my inlaws or my own mom not having a place to stay but i will rather talk to my siblings if this happens to my mom.
3 people like this
@madlees (1381)
• India
11 Apr 08
Dear Cream, Where is their son that is your husband? you have not mentioned about him at all. he has to decide what he has to do. If he is not there then why should you about his parents inching their way towards your parents. If your hubby is not there with you and you are alone you do not have the responsibility of looking after his parents. But you could always think of older people who have lost their home and everything and doesn't have a place to stay. Can you do something about them? If they can be arranged to be put into the old age homes or something ike that.. It would be good. But always remember, we don't know what life holds for us. One day we'll also come to the old age, God Forbid you do not get into their shoes.., if we do not have a home for ourselves to go what will happen?? Please dear, don't be like others who think of their inlaws as out laws. She might have ill treated you but can't arrangge a place to stay for them?? God Bless you dear
• United States
11 Apr 08
"God Forbid you do not get into their shoes.." careful tread lightly....
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164447)
• Garden Grove, California
11 Apr 08
My dear you should not have to house your in laws.what is up with their oldest daughter? Why cant she take care of them? I worked when I was fifty six so whycan mom in law get ajob as well as pop in law.It sounds like they were not very good at budgeting their fianances. I worked up til I was eighty so if I could do that why cannot they get jobs and care for themselves. it should not be your problem.
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
11 Apr 08
Their oldest daughter lives in another county. She has a husband and a son. I was told that she will let then stay to her house for a month, but at the same time, she will be making sure that they find a place to stay. She said that her husband is not going to put up with them being there. My fil has his own business. My mil does not work.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Apr 08
That is certainly a very hard situation for you to be put in, and it seems very unfair. I think being kind, and giving of yourself is wonderful, but you already sleep on your couch, doesnt sound very reasonable to me. I think they need to get the help of social services involved, if no family members are left to help them. I am not really for people living off the system, but it is for people who need short term help to get back on their feet. They certainly sound like they qualify.
2 people like this
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
11 Apr 08
Yes I agree, totally! They should take advantage of this situation. My fil has a reputation of having too much pride. I believe that is what has gotten him into all the mess he is in now. He never wants anyone to do anything for him. He'd rather suffer the hard way, then have someone help him. And the bad thing about this, is my mil has no choice but to go along with it.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Apr 08
It is not your duty to take care of your mother-in-law and your father-in-law. They are full grown and there are places to go for help from the state. The thing about it is you said that they are not clean and your mother-in-law was mean to you before. You don't have to put up with that. It is your house and you don't need that kind of stress on you. Years ago when my son and his wife got married and came to live with my husband and I and boy it was very stressful. My daughter-in-law didn't pull her weight in helping keep the house clean and slept all day. When they moved out I was the happiest women alive. Since they have moved out my daughter-in-law and I get along great. You don't need the stress so don't let them do this to you. And you have the say because it is your house.
1 person likes this
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
11 Apr 08
Thank you, I totally agree. I am not going to put up with my mother-in-law and her mess. I lived with them for five years. And if I had a book I could wrote all topics on her and the mean things she has done to me. There is no way I can let them stay. I will find them some help before that happens. My mil likes to talk a lot. Plus my fil. I am a quiet person. They have to go!
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Apr 08
So you are saying that you have lived, with these folks people for five years? Was it in their home?
1 person likes this
@Lindalinda (4112)
• Canada
11 Apr 08
It seems to me there is no room in your house for extra people. Your mother in law is still young enough to get a job, at least a part time job. Also I would check into getting geared to income housing for them. If this fails they probably have enough money to get a small apartment for themselves. If this fails your husband and his siblings should get together and agree to pay some money towards their rent each month. I think we have a duty to help out aging parents, but taking them into our own place is not always the best solution. It can lead to arguments, heart ache and rift in the family. If you are approached help them find a solution that does not entail living with you.
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
11 Apr 08
This indeed I will do. Taking them in is not the best solution. It will lead to problems. I am a quiet person, I know how my mil is. She will ruin my marriage if I let her. But that is never going to happen.
1 person likes this
11 Apr 08
you're an american and you have different ways of dealing with your in-laws...in our country, philippines, sometimes we don't have any choice but to accept in-laws in our home. especially if they're homeless. but these days, before we do that, we usually settle and put certain limitations. they could stay, but they're not suppiose to run the household much less our lives as a couple...there'sonly so much you can do and you also have your family to worry and think about.
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
11 Apr 08
Yes there is so much to think and worry about. And there is certain restrictions that they need to follow.
1 person likes this
@mi2ok02 (406)
• United States
11 Apr 08
No it is not your duty. It is their duty to get a job and pay for their own bills and housing! I could see if you had room or if one of them needed to live with someone because of age or health that they could not live on their own but this is not the case. Talk with your spouse and voice your opinion and say NO! If they need a place to stay, then help them find shelter at a homeless shelter or something else. Help them apply for state aid to help them get a place, j0b and food stamps, but don't let them move in.
• Philippines
11 Apr 08
hi, im new to mylot and was exploring the site and this discussion caught my eye. im from the philippines and here its practiced that when the parents grow older they would be living with their children. but different strokes for different folks right? in your case, you feel uncomfortable having your in-laws live with you, and the lack of space that you have. why not talk to your partner about the situation? it is a partnership after all, and communications have to be open to better understand each other. or why not sit your in-laws down and tell them about the 'lack of space' situation and help them look for a place they could stay permanently? or tell your other half to talk to his/her older sister and come up with a solution to the problem? its their parents after all, and it is their responsibility to help family out in times of trouble right?
@angelface23 (2498)
• United States
11 Apr 08
I was about to say yes until I read further. If they are digging themselves into this hole and getting kicked out of other family members homes. It is not your responsibility to help them. Plus you said you don't have room for them so you dont' have to feel bad sending them away. maybe if you want to invite them over for dinner once to to make sure they are eating if you are worried, unless you think they will never leave.
@p_vadla (1687)
• India
11 Apr 08
This is a problem we are facing today in most of Indian families, in the first place. It is not confined to you or perhaps to your friend. The supreme court of India had declared that children have to be very caring to their parents. Parents can complain to the police if they are maltreated by their wards.It seems you already decided not to allow them to your house. In old age, any parents-in-law do the same. What they are supposed to do other than turning to their children. Their stay can help your children better in making them secure these days.It is not that I am taking a stance against your view. It is the time we come out with some creative solutions to such problems. We have to question ourselves as to what we would do if we were in their place ? Or what would you suggest for your own parents.What is the best way to keep them safe without any body getting hurt. Appointing a maid exclusively to take care parents is one way. Every body has to contribute to this end. We also have to question our parents-in-law or parents as to what they had done to their own parents? This enhances their perception of realities without unduly critical of their children. It also makes them prepared for the old age maladies.They have to be turned to their inner selves philosophically. These problems are nobody's doing. It is the effect of globalization and competitive environment. In the name of development, we are gradually loosing ourselves.
@maddysmommy (16233)
• United States
11 Apr 08
Since they are your in-laws, where is your husband in all of this? how does he feel about his parents being left behind in the cold, when the daughter moves out of the apartment? is there any way the in-laws can keep the apartment the daughter was in and continue living there? if not, are they able to down-size and find a much more cheaper place to stay? are either of them still working or are they both retired? is there any way you and your husband and his sister, can help out with the rent payments and things if they are not working? any chance of getting financial help for them? They must of done something to either upset the daughter or it's just becoming too much of a burden to take care of them. That's a tough situation to be in. The thought of leaving parents out in the cold with no place to stay (despite their past) doesn't sit well with me. I don't think I could live with myself knowing my parents where in the streets and here I was in a warm home with space to spare - that's just me.
@tessah (6621)
• United States
11 Apr 08
from the way it would appear.. their oldest daughter isnt willing to help them out because they arent very good houseguests, and sound like they lack any sort of manners. no, it isnt your "duty" to take care of them, or let them even spend the night. if they were ill, and thats why they needed to be there cause they needed to be taken care of, itd be different, but theyre homeless due to actions of their own, and have worn out their welcome with anyone that has been willing to help them until there are none left. if theyve been removed from every place theyve stayed at, theres a reason. as youve already said, you dont have the room for them anyway, so you can decline assistance on that basis alone without actually having to say "no way in hell do i want you in my house!"