I Refuse to Be Treated Like a Maid Just Because I Live Rent-Free

Family & kids
3 weeks ago

Starting out as a recently married couple isn’t easy, especially with a baby and living in your in-laws’ house. This is the situation for 19-year-old Rain, who often clashes with her mother-in-law over house rules. Rain feels distressed, and when she decided to speak up, things took a turn for the worse. She reached out to us for advice.

Here is Rain’s letter:

You live there without having to pay rent, so I think it's normal for you to help out around the house!
If you don't agree with that, you should live on your own.


Dear Rain, thanks for telling us your story! We have some tips that we believe can be helpful to you.

Have a clear, calm conversation.

Schedule a time to talk to your husband privately in a calm way. Express how deeply hurt you were by his and his mother’s actions. Use specific examples, such as how your belongings were packed without your consent.

Emphasize the importance of standing united as a couple, especially in front of family, and discuss boundaries that need to be respected by all parties involved.

Seek mediation or counseling.

Consider involving a neutral third party, such as a counselor or mediator. This person can help facilitate a constructive conversation between you, your husband, and possibly your mother-in-law.

Mediation can provide a structured environment where everyone’s concerns are heard and solutions can be proposed with guidance from a trained professional.

Explore temporary housing solutions.

Look into temporary housing options for you and your baby. This could include staying with supportive friends or family members, or researching local shelters or housing programs that cater to young parents.

Having safe space outside of the current tension-filled environment can provide you with the breathing room needed to assess your next steps.

Know your rights and options.

Educate yourself on your legal rights as a tenant and as a spouse. Even though you may be living with your in-laws, there are still legal protections that may apply to you.

Consult with a legal professional if necessary to understand what options are available to you in terms of housing, child custody, and financial support.

Gwen is another young woman who has a tense relationship with her mother-in-law. During Gwen’s baby shower, her MIL presented her with a humiliating gift, and things quickly escalated. Here is the full story.

Preview photo credit user18526052 / Freepik


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