Your son’s girlfriend has moved in. Maybe it was your idea, and you’re thrilled to have them both around.
Maybe it was far from your idea, but you have to make the best of it. Here are some tips for dealing with what can be a difficult situation for everyone.
My Son’s Girlfriend Is Living With Us
Even if you like having your son’s girlfriend there, it can be difficult to live with someone who’s not a family member. How you handle this situation depends on why she moved in. Was it a necessity or a choice? There are several reasons she might be living in your house.
Why Did She Move In?
She doesn’t have a place to live.
If your son’s girlfriend doesn’t have a place to live, that shouldn’t be a red flag. It’s hard to find affordable places to rent. Maybe she works hard but just can’t pay the bills on what she’s making. Her parents may have kicked her out, or she may have lost a roommate situation. Helping her out gives her a chance to save money and get back on her feet.
The flip side of that is someone who lost her place to live because she was irresponsible with money, had too many wild parties, or trashed the place. You need to find out. You don’t want the same thing happening at your house.
Her parents can’t take care of her.
It’s surprising and sad to learn that some parents just aren’t suited to the job. Your son’s girlfriend could have a home situation that’s intolerable for many reasons, including substance abuse, neglect, and other really bad conditions. Opening up your home to her is an incredibly kind, generous act.
If her home life is really out of control, moving in with you might save her from a life in foster care. If she’s still a minor, consider talking to her about becoming an emancipated minor. That way, she can make her own decisions about where to live and how to conduct her life.
This is a situation that could present some real complications. If she’s pregnant, are she and your son planning on staying there after the baby is born? Are they counting on you to provide free child care? What are the expectations here?
Are you all right with helping them raise their child? If you have room in your house and you don’t mind having another child there, this could be an excellent arrangement. It provides a safe home for your grandchild, lets you spend time with the little muffin, and allows your son to continue working or going to school. If helping them out is a huge burden for you, you’ll have to come up with an alternative.
Is This a Temporary Arrangement?
Your son’s living situation with his girlfriend might be temporary. If it is, ask them for a timeline of their plans. Are they planning to live there just until they save money to live somewhere else? Are they staying until they finish school? What is the plan?
If they are planning to stay permanently, that might be fine with you. You might like having them around. You have help around the house, and having other people around can help you feel safer. You’re never lonely if your family is around. If you and your son’s girlfriend get along, this could be a great arrangement.
If you don’t get along or you don’t want her there for any reason, it’s your house. Tell them to start making other plans. Give her a deadline to move out. She and your son will fight you on this, so be prepared to stand your ground.
Set the Ground Rules
Whether the situation is temporary or permanent, you should set some ground rules from the start.
- Will they pay rent or utilities? Will they chip in for groceries?
- Cooking, cleaning, yard work, and laundry are everyone’s jobs. Decide how you’re going to split these chores. At the very least, they need to keep their living area clean.
- If they’re in school, they need to stay in until they graduate. If they’re able to work, they need to find jobs.
Living with strangers is never easy. If your son’s girlfriend has moved in, you can make the best of the situation by setting out the rules from day one.
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