When Your Parents Move In With You And Your Partner

November 23, 2017  |  
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It’s not necessarily pleasant or convenient, but there may come a day when your parents move in with you and your significant other. You might have to take care of both of them when they’re elderly, and find that retirement communities are just too expensive. Or, perhaps, if one of your parents should tragically become a widow, she might move in with you for the emotional support. Maybe your parents just need somewhere to stay after selling one house and before buying their next one. But having parents in the mix—in your space—changes your dynamic with your partner and can be quite the roller coaster. It can also be very nice! Look: it can be a lot of things. Here’s what it’s like when your parents move in with you and your partner.

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You can’t complain about them (as openly)

You used to be able to b*tch, openly, to your partner about your parents. If you got off a phone call or home from a visit with your parents, you could tell your partner all the annoying things they did. You realize just how much you need that vent time when you can no longer have it. Why? Because your parent is in the other room.

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They’ll criticize your housekeeping skills

Of course, they will! Your parents will always be your parents. They’ll always tell you to clean up your room, to buy healthier food, to purchase this piece of art instead of that one and so on. Get ready to feel like your home is actually your parent’s home, and you’re just living in it.

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Having sex is difficult

Getting used to having sex while your parent is in the other room will take some time. And elderly individuals leave the house far less often than you do, so counting on some alone time in the home just isn’t an option.

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You watch your language

You find yourself watching your language again. For some reason, you feel the need to censor yourself—from the topics you discuss to the curse words you use—when mom or dad are in the house.

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You watch your drinking

You also find yourself monitoring your drinking again. You and your partner used to blissfully enjoy a couple of cocktails in front of the TV at night, but now you feel your parent counting how many times you refill your wine glass.

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They butt in on financial conversations

Your parents want to help, so they can’t stop themselves from intruding on financial conversations. When they see you and your partner sitting at the table, discussing investment options, your parents sit down with you. Um, excuse you?

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You and your partner will argue about the bills

You will be feeding your parent, upgrading to a higher internet speed to accommodate her usage, and footing her water and electricity bill. It’s only natural that your partner suggests your parent chip in, but you might feel like your parent paid for the first 18 years of your life, and asking for reimbursement would be inappropriate.

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You’ll feel guilty doing anything without them

Any time you and your partner want to go out to dinner, go to a museum, or go to the movies, you’ll feel like you need to invite your parents. This will be especially true if only one lives with you because the other passed away.

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You may have a built-in nanny/house sitter/dog walker

One of the perks of having a parent live with you is that you have a live-in nanny, house sitter, or dog walker any time you want to go out.

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Or you may need a nanny for your parent

If your parent is, however, quite old or sick, then you have to find a caretaker for her anytime you and your partner want to go out to the movies or go on a trip. This can be frustrating if you purposefully did not have children in order to avoid those restraints.

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Your spare room is taken over

The room you used to use for working on your novel, having friends stay over when they’re too drunk to drive, or create arts and crafts is taken over. You have to find somewhere else to do that now.

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You get bonus bonding time

When your parent moves in with you, you get bonus bonding time. You develop a new type of relationship—a friendship, really—that you never realized you’d get to have. It’s bizarre but also beautiful; you get a second chance at a close relationship with your parents.

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You see how your partner will care for you one day

By watching your partner take care of your parent, you see what sort of a caretaker he’ll be to you one day. You learn a lot about your partner’s patience and generosity through this experience.

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Your partner and parent may bump heads

Your partner and your parent may have had a wonderful, smooth relationship…until now. Now they are roommates and you know what can happen when friends become roommates.

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Finding your rhythm will take time

At first, you won’t know what the protocol is. Do you eat all of your meals together? Do you invite your parents everywhere you go? Do you need to ask your parent before having friends over? Does he have to ask you that? But you eventually find what you’re all comfortable with.

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