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Inlaw Relations/live-in inlaws, how to deal with them respectfully when its difficult


I am having a very hard time remaining calm and respectful when dealing with my husbands grandparents. They live with us, in separate houses but on our property. we bought this property and moved them there because they had gotten themselves into an inadequate living situation due to a series of bad choices over the years. ie. spending ALL of their rrsp's on a vacation, never doing maintenance on vehicles and running them into the ground. stealing from work and losing their jobs. They have severed nearly every relationship with other family members by being critical and negative and making it very hard to want contact with them. so with no one left to help them, they were in a dangerous situation that was not acceptable. My husband decided they had to come live with us, the next day we picked them up and moved them to our then two bedroom house. I sold our house, bought a farm with a guest house that would accommodate us all. I thought everything would be ok.
Now their bad decisions affect my life and I cant stand for that but I don't know how to say no, or make them understand the consequences for me are not fair respectfully. I don't want to seem like a know it all or tell them what to do but they cause damage. They invite strange people into their home, this affects me because they take them into our buildings and barns to show off the animals, I don't want people to see the things we own or disturb my livestock, I also don't want to get sued because someone gets hurt, or robbed. It is a very small town and I have asked them to not share personal information with people, they can talk about themselves but please not us... they tell people things that I would not tell my closest friends and it is embarrassing and puts a spin on the way people interact with us before we even meet them. They overfeed our animals and will not stop, we say they cant have certain foods or can only eat a certain times and they sneak them food thinking that we are starving them, it makes them overweight and unhealthy, and costs us more money than needed to feed them. They do not pay me the agreed upon amount which is as low as I can make it, it only covers what it costs to have them there... barley, I am not trying to make money from them. They will not do maintenance on their vehicle because if something breaks they just plan to use ours.
My question is how can I be firm without being rude. How can I keep myself from reacting in anger or frustration when they insist on doing irrational things. How can I have a healthy relationship with people I don't enjoy being around.


I really think that you shouldn't be the one dealing with them. It should be your husband or your in-laws. It is not reasonable for you to have to be the only one dealing with this behavior. It is important to have boundaries because they make relationships better. That is what you need in these relationships.

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Dr. David Simonsen


I can answer you questions clearly and straight. Let me help you get your in-law relationships figured out. They can really be challenging


I meet weekly with families that have in-law challenges.


B.A. M.S. Marriage & Family Therapy; Ph.D. Psychology

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