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How far away should you live from your in-laws?

The in-laws. Regardless of whether you love them or feel iffy about them, they are your spouse’s parents.

There is a saying that ‘when you marry, you also marry the family’.

Unless your spouse has cut off ties with their family, you will have to talk to them about how you feel about their family’s presence in your lives, and this question:

“How far away should you live from your in-laws?”

According to a survey done by Ally Bank in the United States, 27% of the 2,000 adults surveyed said living 15 – 45 minutes away from their family would be the ideal distance from in-laws.

There is no exact science to this, of course. Often times, compromise is involved. Before you rent or buy a house that you’ve estimated to be 15 – 45 minutes away from your in-laws, here are 4 factors to consider first:

1) How’s your relationship with your in-laws?

how far to live from in-laws
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Perhaps the most important thing to do is to honestly and frankly assess your relationship with your in-laws.

First, do you like them, and do they like you?

Do you feel like you are on truly friendly terms with them?

On the flip side, are you both just tolerating each other because you share a common important person (their child/ your partner) in your lives?

Now, if you have a great relationship with your in-laws, you can definitely find a place that is near to their home to live in.

Not too near, of course. Nothing destroys a relationship more than having to interact more than you really should.

Even an offhanded well-meant comment about how you can be a better partner to their child can come off as truly offensive to you.

However, if you’d like to see them enough to have regular planned organised family outings with them, then it stands to reason it’s more logical to live about 10 – 20 minutes away by car.

If you are just tolerating your in-laws because you love your partner, it may be best to live at least 60 – 120 minutes away. No one will pop in on each other unexpectedly, and you can still show up for the really important family events with plenty of mental preparation beforehand.

Most importantly, remember that even if you cannot be nice, do be civil. You do have to see your in-laws as long as you are married to your partner.

2) How do your in-laws feel, and what do they want?

how far to live from in-laws
Photo by Robert Stokoe from Pexels

It is easy to decide whether you want to live near or far away from your in-laws, but it is also important to consider your in-laws’ feelings.

You may have ended up with in-laws who wish that you wouldn’t bother them too much. They can be the kind of people are perfectly happy to live their own lives separate from that of your spouse. Meeting up just once a month sounds good to them.

In this case, living in the same neighbourhood with your in-laws won’t create any boundary issues. After all, your in-laws are probably hoping you would respect their privacy as well.

Then, there are those with in-laws who want their child to live nearer, or even with them. If you have such in-laws, there may be some difficult discussions to have with your partner and their parents.

It is important to establish that your marriage with your partner (and your living decisions) should only be discussed and decided by the both of you.

3) What does your partner want?

A marriage is a union of two people. In addition to having frank communication about what you want, you need to ask your partner what they want, too.

Your partner may want to live with their parents to look after them. At the very least, they want to be near enough to go to their parents’ house frequently to check in on them.

It will be great if your desires are aligned on this matter. However, if not, there will be a need for compromise. Try to find the best middle ground between the both of you.

4) Can you afford to live away from your in-laws?

In this current economy, more and more people are moving back in to live with their parents all over the world.

Your in-laws may be able to help you and your partner ease some of your financial commitments. In this case, if you do need your in-law’s assistance a lot – such as babysitting your children – it would be better to live near them.

In addition to considering everyone’s feelings, it is also prudent to be realistic about the situation and think of what you and your partner can afford to do.

When you consider all of the above and have found the best compromise, that would be the best distance for you personally.

Found a new place to live? Liven up your living room by getting beautiful fabric slipcovers for your sofa – ones that even your in-laws will approve of when they come to visit:

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