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Ask A Therapist: Father-in-law Is Ruining My Marriage

Q: My Father In-law has been living with us for 2 years now. What started out as a temporary situation 3-6 months. Has turned out to be a permanent situation. Despite talking to him, he doesn’t help with expenses and hasn’t made an effort to move out.. We just bought a Condo and can’t very well move out leaving him behind like we did once before 4 years back when our apartment lease was up. We just went our separate ways. He’s Diabetic and still drinks and smokes all day long and doesn’t eat healthy. He rearranges everything in the house to the way he wants it. He yells/makes rules to our kids and I don’t like how he favors our youngest 4 year old daughter causing hurt and stress on our 9 year old older daughter. We’ve tried contacting other family members to arrange a living situation where we each have a couple years of responsibility for him but no one is interested. My husband and I constantly fight over him. I feel my only option is to leave him with the kids and start a new life. There has to be some solution I love my husband and we’ve made it this far with our 11 year marriage. There’s got to be another way please help us.

A: Please, don’t leave your family over this! Your first priority is to protect your children and to make sure they have a functional home, not to allow your father-in-law to run your household like a tyrant. It sounds like you and your husband need to get on the same page about your father-in-law living with you ASAP and a marriage counselor may be able to help you come to an agreement. For my complete answer please watch the video below.

Take good care of you and yours!
Julie Hanks, LCSW

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