My husband’s son and family live with us

March 3, 2021 by No Comments

Dear Sam: My husband is very good hearted and so am I. The problem is that we really have no marriage because his 36 year old son, wife and 3 kids live with us. His son’s wife finally left, taking the 3 children with her. She couldn’t continue living like this either. However, his son has no intention of ever leaving. He has been living here without contributing a dime. I had my own home but gave it up to live here with my husband. I really feel that the only room in the house where I can have any privacy is my bedroom. His son’s family still have the other 3 bedrooms filled with their belongings. There is also constant turmoil going on between my husband’s son and his wife. My husband won’t say anything to his son who really needs to grow up and get his own place. My question to you is, “Can I make this marriage work?” I feel like I am losing my mind. What should I do? I don’t want to leave my husband but I can’t go on living like this. – Lisa

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Dear Lisa: You are absolutely 100% right feeling like you do. Unfortunately it may come down to making your husband choose between you and his son. This cannot continue. I believe that all parents should help their children out but for only a limited amount of time. When my daughter graduated college she came home and we told her that she could live with us rent free for 6 months. Then she needed to find a roommate and be on her own. She will tell you that is the best thing we ever did because it forced her to become independent, knowing that she had to concentrate on building a life for herself. Your husband needs to give his son a time limit and tell him that the two of you need your privacy again and this can’t go on indefinitely. It’s not healthy for anyone, especially his son, who needs to find a place of his own. One of the reasons his wife may have left him is because she couldn’t respect a man who would not contribute to the basic needs of his family, which certainly includes a home of their own and food on the table.

I understand that this young man is hurting and your husband doesn’t want to turn his back on him. He doesn’t need to do that immediately but if he said that he was giving him 90 days to get his own place, that would be very fair. So, to answer your question, I don’t think you can make a marriage work when your wishes and needs are not taken into consideration. Your husband may have to feel what it’s like to lose you before he understands that the two of you need your privacy and he is doing more harm than good taking care of a grown man who needs to stand on his own two feet. – Dr. Ellen

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