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Living Arrangement- What’s Your Preference And Why?

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by ATI, May 29, 2019.

  1. ATI

    ATI Silver IL'ite

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    Hi ladies

    I am considering a choice in living arrangements with ILs.

    1. Current arrangement : ILs stay with us in the US for 3 months and with BIL for 3 months and in India for 6 months . The 3 months they are here is hard - usual drama : causing lots of fights, bad mouthing to everyone, no one can visit us, sitting around with a sad face claiming no one cares ie I don’t take them out and entertain them , finding fault with my kids etc etc. But I can get through it because it’s for just 3 months

    Option 2 : DH is thinking about buying a place for ILs near us (10min away) . The benefit: they won’t live in our house so day to day drama will be less. Bad news : they will become my complete responsibility. BIL will not have to do anything for them ; they will be a part of every occasion in my life and they will make it hard and fight when my parents come here to visit

    Also as they get older their visits will go from 3 months a year to 6 months a year. They don’t want to live in India anymore because they want us to take care of them

    So ... is it better to have them living in my house 6 months of the year and be completely free the other 6 months or is it better to have them nearby all year and just manage with them during parties and functions and weekends?

    DH says it’s my call . He is supportive and knows what they are capable of . At the same time he won’t say no to them wanting to live in the US . He says they are old and they didn’t save or plan for old age so it’s his responsibility . DH has forced BIL to do his 50% share for parents but the minute we get a place For them here BIL will stop helping and taking them for some period of time

    In my ideal scenario ILS are here for 6 months in their own apartment and at BILs place other 6 months. If BIL wants to get them a separate place near him too that’s his problem . Obviously this won’t happen so ....

    My parents visit for a few weeks every 2 years . They won’t move here and have already bought a retirement place in India along with some of my aunts and uncles . So there is no question of what will happen with my parents
    Thoughts ?
     
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  2. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    @ATI

    I think the way to find the best option is to think what kind of living arrangement you would do if you and your husband were to make with your children, a) if you don't have enough money to live on your own and 2) if you have plenty of money to live on your own. In a) above, will you be comfortable to be told by your children that we could buy a house and you can live on your own or live only for 3 months with your adult child or you are responsibility of another child for a specific period. In b) above, will you be fine to be on your own, if the children just talk to you over phone whenever they could even when you get older?

    I am not sure what you mean by "there is no question of what will happen with my parents". Just because they decided to live in a retirement place in India, do you think you have no responsibility towards them?

    In my personal view, money should not be the factor determining how to take care of the parents. Even both set of parents can stay in India as long as physically functional and when they need help from their children, they should be able to do so. Even your parents decide to migrate to the US forever, you should be prepared to meet that eventuality.
     
  3. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Don't focus on trying to predict how much time of the year you can put up with the "usual drama." Play it a bit more smartly. Your aim is to be sincerely helpful to husband as he discharges his obligations while making sure your interests are also protected. Interests such as peace of mind.
    I've learnt that when someone tells me, "It is your call" the offer has some hidden flaws I am ignoring while being swept away in the feeling of power that comes with getting to choose. And once we make the call, we pretty much lose the ability to voice anything negative with the arrangement. We get the response, "You made the choice!" even if the negative would have happened with either choice.

    You can also be supportive, list what all you are willing to do physically, logistically and financially, what level of non-interference you expect from in-laws, what level of "speaking up" you expect from your husband, highlight how much time goes into taking care of parents' doctor visits and other care as they get older, and then tell husband, "It is your call. Do you want to be the only son doing this?" Be supportive and let him make the call. He is the one who needs to figure out he will take care of how his not-exactly-pleasant parents. Your job is to support him. He should figure out how his parents will get around without the ability to drive.

    They are his responsibility does not mean they have to move to the U.S. He should have planned better than his parents did. He should have not already had them visit each year. He should think whether his career will let him spend time taking care of parents.

    About the BIL, if I were in your position, I would tell DH to present this proposal to his brother:
    Dear brother, Help with 50% of the cost of place for our parents near my house. Or, I will pay 100% for the cost of a place for them near your house.

    Let the other party make the choice from a given set of curated choices that are all fine by you.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
  4. alady2018

    alady2018 Silver IL'ite

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    My preference would definitely be Option 2. Having their own place that way it will be close enough so your husband and you can take care of them and also to minimize any repeats of issues you previously faced. Spending time with them during parties and functions will be expected. But for every weekend, could you plan it such that one day is for chores + family time and the other day for spending quality time with grandparents? You can voice it as: Saturday, I will go with kid for class A and take her out for icecream with her friend/shopping/anything you guys like to do. And if possible plan something nice for the Sunday also - like pick up food and do a picnic at the park. That way grandparents have something to look forward to for Sunday and don't feel needlessly left out for the relaxed Saturday you want to spend with you kids and husband. I know you can't do this every weekend - but maybe set up some routine so expectations are set from the beginning.

    Why is this ideal situation not possible? Why not start talking to the BIL from now onwards - as you start looking for a place. Tell him that you guys (husband and you) are planning on how to prepare for parents to move to US permanently and that you might be getting a place for them to stay. Ask them - how would they like to plan things out? Staying 6 months at other son's home will definitely be a change that is good for your in-laws too - to have a change in routines of day-to-day life.

    It is great that your husband is understanding and is seriously considering the option of having them stay separately. Hurrah to understanding spouses.

    Even if your parents have a retirement place planned, why not tell them to visit for longer? Your husband seems understanding enough and maybe able to value the importance of taking care of both set of parents as much as is possible. Kids also get to increase face to face time with grandparents - most importantly kids watching father and mother take care of both sets of grandparents with equal gusto.
     
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  5. Amica

    Amica IL Hall of Fame

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    I can't agree more. The determining factor should be how they treated their children/children-in-law and what kind of relationship they forged with them.

    @ATI, ITA with @Rihana. Your DH and BIL should be the ones taking care of your ILs. Your role should be a supportive one.

    Let your DH figure out if he would prefer to chauffeur them around for 6 months of the year or for 12. Don't let them count on you for care-taking. You can always pitch in later if you want to, but don't let them plan on you doing their job for them.

    I'm not sure of the math here. I would have said DH and BIL should split the cost 50/50 regardless of where the parents live.

    I imagine your ILs will be bitterly unhappy if you set them up in an independent apartment even if it's in your neighborhood. IMO, a good option would be to carve out an IL suite with a separate entrance in your house. That would give you some privacy. And they could still visit your BIL for 6 months of the year.

    This.

    @ATI, kudos to your parents for their retirement planning.
    .
     
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  6. SinghManisha

    SinghManisha Platinum IL'ite

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    Your call ? Remember , with power comes responsibility. Let husband and BIL run the show 50:50 ( mortgage/ rent/ living expenses/ health insurance) I like the 10 mins away idea better but with boundaries / expectations set before hand.
     
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  7. Desiindian

    Desiindian Silver IL'ite

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    OP, They are his parents, he is responsible to take care of them everyway. Why is he asking for you opinion? Is he giving you options to look after their need from the same house or in different house? Tell him clearly what help he could expect from you, let him decide where they have to live. IMO, better you don't make the choice of separate house, one day or other it may backfire on you.
     
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  8. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear OP,

    Reverse situation had happened to me in my personal life. My mother, after my father's demise, had enough wealth to lead a life of her own even though she chose to live 6 months with my older brother in India and six months on her own in my father's home. We were living in the US at that time. I realized that she needed only emotional support and financial support only if it is absolutely essential. Accordingly, I decided to provide what she needs from time to time.

    However, my parents-in-law had only child in the form of my wife. They had lived in a joint family for 25 years consist of my father-in-law's parents, brothers' family, etc. My FIL's father had a major financial crisis and ended up selling all of his real estate which would be worth several crores now. When his mother sold the house, he came out with very little wealth. He also performed his daughter's wedding elaborately despite my dad's request to make it a simple function.

    Eventually, my FIL retired and didn't have enough money to survive on their own. I have provided financial support for them since 1990s when they lived in India and asked them to visit the US to spend time with their daughter every two years when we visited them every two years. When my FIL died, I brought my MIL to the US and she currently lives with us here for the past 5 years.

    That is why I have written money shouldn't be the factor to determine how to take care of the parents. There may be situation when both set of parents may need help from the children. Respective children should be able to help, if needed but the decisions must be taken by the respective children (you in your parent's situation and your husband in his parents' situation).
     
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  9. senorita2019

    senorita2019 Gold IL'ite

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    I would have them with you with 6months and another 6months of complete freedom.
    If you look at it, only mon-fri you will have peace but usually mon-fri is hectic with jobs, school,classes,gym,cooking, cleaning etc. Weekends, long weekends etc are the real break and if they are nearby you wont have real break.

    They will surely come to your home for weekends and all vacations. They can even say at one point that they are lonely in the apartment and move in or too sick and want to move in etc.

    better to establish - 6months of taking care of parents and 6months of being fully free to what you want.
    Whether they are in India or in BIL's house is their problem. Also paying rent, energy, grocery, insurance etc is big expense. Not sure why your BIL wont pitch in
     
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  10. Shreema86

    Shreema86 Platinum IL'ite

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    They live in house 10 min away and u see them every other weekend for one day. Negotiate this with ur hubby.
     
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