In-laws or Out-laws?
Would you live with your in-laws or live separately? We speak to South-Asian couples to find out their reasons for staying or leaving
The 21st Century holds a new way of thinking and living with in-laws after marriage is now changing.
Young couples are supported in moving away and settling down in their own homes.
The once ‘picture-perfect’ joined family living situation now allows for freedom and flexibility.
But is moving away from in-laws always the best decision? How do you decide to live separately? And does it impact your relationships?
We asked South Asians to speak up about moving away or staying with their in-laws after marriage.
‘In-laws Anonymous’ let them speak their mind freely without the judgement of their families or others.
Male, Age 26, Single
“I would never let my wife stay with my parents. Even being single, I can see how much of a problem it would be. My mother often uses emotional blackmail techniques on myself and my younger sisters, so there’s no way bringing a new person in would survive!”
“My ideal situation would be to have a small marriage, buy a house together, move out right away and live freely. I wouldn’t cut off connection with my family, I think setting healthy boundaries is a good thing and I think it would work well for my family and my wife living separately.”
Female, Age 32, Married
“I lived with my in-laws for 5 years and it was full of happy and colourful memories. I have a mother and father-in-law and two younger brothers-in-law. I come from a small family myself, and they always made me feel welcome and happy to be part of the family. I would say, my in-laws are modern-thinkers, my mother-in-law is a doctor and father-in-law practising GP, so they’re pretty busy with their own schedules.”
“I did move away with my husband after my first was born, just because it felt like the right thing to do. It gives us a chance at independence, to build a solid foundation for our children. But we love our families and the bond we have, so we’re always over visiting every weekend!”
Female, Age 23, Married
“My in-law situation was messy, painful and I decided to move away as soon as I could. My in-laws seemed nice, and we got along well, like family before the marriage. But leading up to the wedding, my mother-in-law accused me of making her son spend too much money on the wedding ring and ‘using his money.’ We were both at university at this point, and I was putting most of my money towards saving for a home and the wedding. Two days before we were to get married, my in-laws called off the venue for the wedding and moved everything to their home and told us after they had done it. They forced me to wear my bridal lehenga I had saved for the bigger wedding, and I had to cut a lot of my guest list, which was extremely painful.”
“Moving away has been the best thing for my mental health and my relationship with my husband. He understands what I went through and supports me fully. I have control of how things are run, and we both have the freedom we deserve. My own parents have never been fully supportive, and it feels like I would have left one toxic home just to go into another.”
Male, 36, Single
“I’m scared to move out of my place with my parents. But who lives with in-laws these days? I want to be able to provide for my family financially and be there for them – like shopping and errands. But I can still do that by living separately. I think both partners should make the sacrifice to move away from home, begin fresh, learn, and grow together. It’s unfair that only she must move away and leave everything behind. I think being on the same level is important.”
The decision to stay or move away after marriage is an extremely important one, and is going to vary for each person.
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