Confessions of a Newlywed: We're Living With My Mother-in-Law

couple in empty houseIt's not that my husband and I try to keep it confidential, but it's something we won't bring up unless asked ... We're a bit embarrassed and frustrated by our "dirty" little secret. But maybe we shouldn't be, because it's something that 25 percent of people are doing and supposedly 80 percent of Americans approve of ... I'm talking about how we, as 30-something newlyweds, are technically "boomerang kids," living at home.

See, my husband was a homeowner prior to and right on the brink of the '08 crash. After that, we moved into an apartment together for four years. But when we got engaged, our insane neighbors were driving us nuts, and when we couldn't find another place we felt comfortable with before our lease was up, we moved in with my husband's mom. It would only be for a month or two, we said. But then we thought about how we could save for the wedding and future if we weren't paying exorbitant rent elsewhere. So, two months turned into six, and now, a year and a half.

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I know, crazy. But the thing is ... as much of an absolute headache as it can be at times, and as much of a toll as it may be taking on our newly-wedded bliss, we're doing it to set ourselves up for financial peace of mind down the road.

Also, we've tried to move out, believe me! We thought we'd buy, but being tied (by work and family, friends) to living in one of the most expensive areas in the whole country, our options are currently a bit limited in that department without finding ourselves house poor (which is pretty much our worst nightmare). And we've been looking at other rentals, but it's been one disaster after the next ... The last place reeked of cat urine, the previous was right on top of the train tracks, and the one before that, mold in the walls. Ugh. And we always keep coming back to the same thought: We're far less stressed and actually happier with my MIL than spending to live in a crappy apartment or being strapped to pay for anything other than a mortgage.

Not to mention that -- gulp -- it has been a pleasant experience in many ways. We love her house in general, its location right on a park, my MIL goes out of town for several days on end quite frequently to help care for our nieces, and come on, how could we complain about how she helps us with cooking and cleaning? Okay, yes, we want our own kitchen again and to be able to use those lovely gifts from our registry ...

And obviously the kitchen isn't the only thing. We also miss having unlimited privacy, even just the space to call our OWN. We mourn it daily. And I worry we're missing out on precious time spent alone together before we become parents. But we are going to have all of that and LOT more, and in a way that is more concrete, because we stuck this out and saved and made the right choice for not just our immediate but our future happiness. And hey, anyone who believes the time when you're newlyweds is the only opportunity for bliss is missing the big picture.

What sacrifices have you and your partner made for your future happiness?

 

Image via Beau Lark/Corbis

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