Having family close by can be a blessing for some but for others it is an absolute nightmare with disputes wreaking havoc on relationships.
Unfortunately for one worried mother it is the latter, as she struggles to deal with the news that her in-laws want to move closer.
Writing to the Washington Post‘s advice column Ask Amy, the woman explained she will find it hard to cope having her partner’s parents living only minutes away.
“They’re lovely people in small doses, but we lived near them for a year when I had my first child, and Amy – it was awful. They often don’t respect boundaries, and make everything about themselves.”
According to the mum, although her husband agrees it would not be the best of ideas, he doesn’t want to stand up to his parents and say no, with the task falling on her shoulders.
She went on to say how her in-laws are the reason why they moved away and she isn’t sure how the situation will turn out if they were to be in such close proximity.
“I would prefer to see them on our planned short trips two or three times a year,” she explained.
“I want to tell them to stay where they are, but I don’t know how to do that.”
The advice columnist came back with some much-needed advice, suggesting the mother question her in-laws on their choice and find out what they are hoping to gain with the move.
“Your in-laws seem to be fishing for encouragement, but in situations like this, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to bite every hook that dangles,” she replied.
“If they explicitly ask you what you think of the idea of them moving to your town, ask them a series of questions before you respond: Why do you want to move? What are you hoping for? What factors are influencing your thinking?”
After hearing their response, Amy said it would be best to speak honestly and let them know how she really feels.
“After listening to them, you should respond by being completely honest: “We all enjoy our visits with you, but I in particular struggled when we lived close by because I felt you didn’t respect our boundaries, and I often felt crowded out. Living at a distance has been better for our relationship, certainly from my perspective. I don’t know if moving here will achieve your goals,” she suggested.