My MIL Has to Follow My List of Rules If She Wants to Live With Us

Family & kids
month ago

When it comes to family dynamics, finding the right balance of respect and boundaries can be a delicate dance. For many, the idea of merging households, particularly with in-laws, brings both potential joys and inevitable challenges. In today’s case, a list was created to foster a peaceful cohabitation and maintain their household’s integrity.

She shared her side of the story.

I will start with the list:

  1. She WILL be getting rid of her dog.
  2. She and her BF are not to reprimand my children at all, and they will be expected to come tell me or my husband if my children are doing something wrong.
  3. There will be a list of people who are not allowed at the house (Their family and their friends).
  4. Me, my husband and my children WILL be treated with respect at all times and I will not be treated like a child.
  5. My husband and I will absolutely be put on the deed as the main deed holder before we move in.
  6. If any of these demands are not held to the highest standard, I will be withdrawing.

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Story: my MIL is getting up there in age. Not old (66) but her health isn’t the best. She has recently asked us to move in with her because she can no longer work, has zero retirement funds, and can’t get around like she used to. She needs help, and we are the only ones who can help her. She has until the end of the month to pay off $12k in back taxes before her home goes to foreclosure.

My MIL by herself is an awesome woman. I love her to bits. But she’s a people pleaser to the extreme, and it has absolutely made her fall into situations that I will never be okay with putting myself in.

Her boyfriend is 66yo “Mason.” A felon. He just got out of prison last year after 6 years on the inside. He decided to go and adopt a 5yo Rottweiler Mastiff mix, and then failed to make any attempt to train the animal. It is now food aggressive, kennel aggressive, toy aggressive, and resource guards everything. He is aggressive and protective over my MIL.

So, the dog would have to go. Under no circumstances will I make an exception on this. My children are small (one crawling) and that animal will not get the opportunity to maul my children. Dog stays, we do not move in, period.

Mason also has an old school style of parenting and on more than one occasion has tried to father my children in angry, outdated parenting style ways. Hence, why I said neither he nor my MIL would reprimand/discipline any of my children in any way, shape, or form.

I stated my name would be put on the deed prior to moving in because it would be me and my husband forking over the money to save their home and frankly, I don’t trust Mason to not try and kick us out after we do so. So if we are not put as the main deed holder, we will not be moving in and she can lose her home.

As for the limit on who is allowed at the house: Mason has a family member that we don’t trust and that he hangs out with often. He seems to think that since the man is in a wheelchair, he is now “harmless”. Absolutely not. He is not welcome at the home.

As for them treating us with respect under all circumstances and not treating me like a child: there have been several times where Mason and my MIL have tried making decisions for me and my husband or told us what to do, and I will not tolerate it.

I presented them the list of demands yesterday and said either my demands are followed or this arrangement will not happen. Mason and MIL are both saying that the list makes them feel as though they are children/guests of their own home and feel like I’ve now decided I’m going to control their lives and have asked to make changes. As in, they want to keep the dog and have stated that we will just find a way to keep the dog separate from us (nope).

Mason also wants his family members to be allowed here but has stated he will keep them in their portion of the house and away from my kids (nope). They also feel they should be able to reprimand and discipline my children if they are doing something wrong if it is “within reason” (nope. I told them they could speak to the parent and that’s final. I said I’m not budging.)

My SIL seems to think I’m being ridiculous. Am I wrong?

People shared their opinions.

  • “If you have to make a list like this, just don’t do it.” AggressiveReindeer79 / Reddit
  • “You say that you like your MIL, but all of the problems seem to stem from the boyfriend living in the house. Seems like the simple solution is to allow MIL, but her boyfriend is not allowed in the home at all.” FilchsCat / Reddit
  • “While your rules don’t sound unreasonable given your explanation, I HIGHLY doubt they will actually adhere to the rules once you’ve paid off the tax lien.” celticmusebooks / Reddit

I agree with another poster. What guarantee do you have she'll put the house in yours and her son's name once you pay the tax lien? 🤔 if the answer is none, you have your answer.

  • “There is no way this is going to work.” Sharp_Replacement789 / Reddit
  • “Seriously, do not move in. Your priority is creating a safe space for your children, MIL and her boyfriend are not going to allow that. SIL can cough up the cash or move in with them then.” a_rose / Reddit
  • “Mason is the biggest problem, but MIL is terrible too. Neither are trustworthy in any way.” Zealousideal_Till683 / Reddit

Setting clear rules for her mother-in-law is not an act of control, but a measure of mutual respect and consideration. These guidelines are designed to create a harmonious living environment where everyone’s needs and boundaries are acknowledged and respected.


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