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Fiancee's mom wants to move in


Marriage & Life Partnerships Debunking the old-ball-and-chain stereotype one couple at a time.

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Old 8th March 2018, 9:26 PM   #16
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I disagree that it's unreasonable request.

Many cultures and nations do not abandon their elderly in institution like we so often do in the US.

Maybe not now, maybe not yet, but what is the plan for the folks once they get old? This is a real consideration families, including husbands and wives need to discuss.

My brother and his wife took in my mother (before her death), but I was the back up plan. My husband knew this and understood it's something we may need to do.

His sister - and her husband have agreed to take in his mother when the time comes. But if they can't, tag we are it - we will be taking her in (their father has passed away).

Other families live under the same roof before the the parents are too old to care for themselves - they often help with the grandkids etc.

I think it's a reasonable thing, if it is agreed upon. If it is something that is important to her, and her family, and the way she envisions her life, I think it's unreasonable to deny that.

Now... The question is, can there be a mutual agreement? Or did this couple discover that they have an incompatibility - one that means that they can't commit to be each other's partners in life?
I know that my financee and I are reasonable with eachother when it comes to disagreements. We've been through alot together and we won't just give up now all because of her mother moving in with us. We'll find a way around this. I was thinking of letting her mother stay with us for awhile as a visit and see how things go since I haven't personally experienced what it's like being so close to family (I had a troubled past.) Thank you for your advice though!
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Old 8th March 2018, 9:37 PM   #17
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that's the thing, my fiancee's mother is a widow which makes things even more complicated if I say no. I'd feel so guilty if I'd decline her a place to stay. Im guessing it's because she's lonely or something. Nevertheless, I'd have to put my foot down on this and think of something together with my fiancce. Thanks so much for your advice!
Between the two of you, you can supplement her income. Even taking a second job to finance her a place to live is better than LIVING with her. If she's broke, help her get food stamps and low income housing, encourage her to get a job, any job, and then maybe make up the deficit.
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Old 8th March 2018, 9:43 PM   #18
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Remember you are not married to her yet. You don't have to marry her if it starts looking like she's got this whole plan and won't back down.
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Old 8th March 2018, 9:53 PM   #19
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Remember you are not married to her yet. You don't have to marry her if it starts looking like she's got this whole plan and won't back down.
This is VERY true!!

I was a couple months away from getting married (in the early-mid 90's) and she broke it off, because I wouldn't sell a house I was working on (poor housing market at the time). I wasn't going to let her control what I did with an asset I acquired, prior to meeting her.

I healed fairly quickly and had a much better life staying single. She actually did me a favor!! I got a taste of what married life would have been like and I didn't like it one bit.

This would be a HUGE "deal breaker" for me!!
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Old 8th March 2018, 9:57 PM   #20
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One way of telling her that might be hard for her to criticize is if you told her, Look, Sounds like this is not a good time for you to be getting marrried. You and your mom get her sorted out with a place to live, live with her if you want to for awhile, and we'll wait until you have her all set up and established in her new place before we get married and us two live together. We're not in any hurry.

This sounds perfectly reasonable and yet it will certainly get the message across that this is her job, not yours.
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Old 8th March 2018, 9:57 PM   #21
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Between the two of you, you can supplement her income. Even taking a second job to finance her a place to live is better than LIVING with her. If she's broke, help her get food stamps and low income housing, encourage her to get a job, any job, and then maybe make up the deficit.
Curious.... For what ages do you think that this plan is appropriate? 60? 70? 80?

What about loneliness? Physical limitations etc? End of life?

If the girl and her mother are as close as the OP says, at minimum I think he can expect his mother in law to be over a lot.

Gosh, I know I owe it to my father, if the time comes, to take him in. I couldn't just send him checks and tell him to get food stamps.

He raised me, cared for me when I needed to be cared for, and some day I may need to return the favor. Care for him with compassion the way he cared for me.
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Old 8th March 2018, 9:58 PM   #22
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There is just so much I can say about this.

From my point of view, it would not be unreasonable - but that's my old school thinking. I know my wife would not let either of her parents live with us even if their life depended on it.

It really depends on you and how you feel. . . You need to communicate EXACTLY how you feel to your fiance - very clearly.

Regardless if others think it is reasonable or not, it's completely up to you to allow it or not. You are exactly half of the household once you are married. If you do not want another individual in your household, that's up to you.

I have a strong feeling that if you bend now, your MIL will be in your household for a long long time. Typically, that does have pros and cons - someone to help in many ways, and especially once there are kids in the picture, it helps immensely to have someone you can REALLY trust at your home to take care of them. But that is a totally different living arrangement than the typical american household.

You've got a lot of thinking to do. . .
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Old 8th March 2018, 10:00 PM   #23
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. . .

Gosh, I know I owe it to my father, if the time comes, to take him in. I couldn't just send him checks and tell him to get food stamps.

He raised me, cared for me when I needed to be cared for, and some day I may need to return the favor. Care for him with compassion the way he cared for me.
I totally agree with you, but this is not the way that modern american culture thinks of it. If it was, then long term care would not be a booming business. . .
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Old 8th March 2018, 10:37 PM   #24
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I am not sure if you are American or Filipino since you've mentioned "Cebu" as your place, but we're talking about culture here. Filipinos have a very family-centric culture and unless your wife grew up in the States since birth, she won't understand why you won't let her Mom lived you guys. This is a typical set-up in the Philippines but I understand why non-Filipinos reject the idea. Americans have a very independent upbringing (e.g. You let your infant/toddler babies have their own room vs. Filipino Parents won't let them sleep alone until they're 8-10 years old.)... okay I can go on and on about the difference but again this all boils down to culture.

Tread lightly but prepare that this might not work out for you.
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Old 9th March 2018, 12:04 AM   #25
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If she's Filipino, she will do it whether you want it or not and she will send your money to her family on a continual basis. My cousin is in that situation. She works but she won't contribute a penny to her own household and when he was in the hospital after losing his leg on a motorcycle, the insurance check came in and she sent that to the Phillipines to her family there. He needed that money, obviously.

So unless she's very Americanized or never lived over there so that her customs are not their norm, the only way out of this is not marrying her. It won't stop with her mother.

Nothing wrong with having different culture and customs, but this is one that does not mesh at all well with American customs from I can see. It's too costly and too invasive. The part I don't get is my cousin's wife was dirt poor and they were used to living on nothing, so I'm sure he thought that she'd be satisfied with just sending them $50 every now and then, but no, she send everything she can put her hands on to there and to SF, where most of them are coming over to. Can you imagine supporting someone living in SF?
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Old 9th March 2018, 12:05 AM   #26
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Recent change, nobody even said she was old. They're young newlyweds. She's probably 40. Even if not, I'm 65, working two jobs supporting myself and living alone since the 70s. I'll have to get a small place at some point and afford home care if I don't just keel over nice and quick.

Last edited by preraph; 9th March 2018 at 12:09 AM..
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Old 9th March 2018, 12:34 AM   #27
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Don't even be polite about it or give her the idea maybe someday. Tell her, No Way I'm living with your mom --- ever!" It's a totally unreasonable request. She probably wants her there so they can tell you what to do together. It's not reasonable in the least so don't feel bad about saying No Way.
Yes to this ^^^

Make sure you're firm when saying NO!

Remind her that you're marry her - not her Mom!

Be ready to call it quits if she insists. Marrying someone shouldn't include family coming along.

Her Mom may be a widow - but she's an adult - an adult who's lived long enough to figure things out for herself.
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Old 9th March 2018, 12:36 AM   #28
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If she's Filipino, she will do it whether you want it or not and she will send your money to her family on a continual basis. My cousin is in that situation. She works but she won't contribute a penny to her own household and when he was in the hospital after losing his leg on a motorcycle, the insurance check came in and she sent that to the Phillipines to her family there. He needed that money, obviously.

So unless she's very Americanized or never lived over there so that her customs are not their norm, the only way out of this is not marrying her. It won't stop with her mother.

Nothing wrong with having different culture and customs, but this is one that does not mesh at all well with American customs from I can see. It's too costly and too invasive. The part I don't get is my cousin's wife was dirt poor and they were used to living on nothing, so I'm sure he thought that she'd be satisfied with just sending them $50 every now and then, but no, she send everything she can put her hands on to there and to SF, where most of them are coming over to. Can you imagine supporting someone living in SF?
This is true. Is your fiancé Filipino? If so, expect to have any and all of your earned money go to her family.
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Old 9th March 2018, 8:27 AM   #29
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I strongly disagree with those advising you not to be polite about saying no. We're talking about your FI -- soon to be wife & her mother. For heaven's sake you must be polite! Why on earth would you marry somebody you can't even speak kindly too? Ugh. However, polite does not mean milktoast. You have every right to say no; just don't be a mean spirited jerk about it.


Living with mom after marriage may be a cultural norm for your wife so you are kinda fighting an uphill battle & something like this could easily become a deal break so diplomacy may be in order.


I suggest you look for a compromise. If you can't afford a guest house (& really who can?) what about a 2 family, something with a MIL suite, or even possibly trying to get MIL an apartment in your building or on the same block . . . close but not too close if you know what I mean.


When my mother died, I talked to my husband about having dad come live with us. The 3 of us had vacationed together, even sharing a hotel on rare occasions. DH & dad got along great. I was surprised when my husband said Hell No to living with my dad. But DH immediately offered selling our house to get a 2 family. He simply wanted that demarcation & wanted to be able to close a door to get fully away from my dad. It was a reasonable compromise IMO.


My advice: talk to your FI & try to come up with a solution that works for everybody. Remember she is your life partner. That means you make decisions together.
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Old 9th March 2018, 8:56 AM   #30
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Remind her that you're marry her - not her Mom!

Be ready to call it quits if she insists. Marrying someone shouldn't include family coming along.

When you marry, their family becomes your family. It's a package deal. Anybody who doesn't understand that shouldn't be married.


When my parents were dying, DH stepped up to take care of them.


We recently bought a 2nd house so his mother would have a place to live.
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