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How should I handle this situation with my mother-in-law?
My husband and I bought our first home last year. When my mother asked if she could stay with us if she ever left my step-father, I said no. My husband and I never wanted anyone to live with us again. We like our little family, us and the pup and kitty, and our quiet, boring pre-children life. My mom was hurt by this, of course, but she’s very hard to get along with and I know it would put a strain on my marriage.
This past weekend, my husband’s mom and her boyfriend of 14 years split up. She was a wreck. Well, she hasn’t told any of the family because none of them liked this boyfriend and she isn’t ready to give them the pleasure of knowing the relationship is over. There’s no one that she can stay with while she gets on her feet unless she were to quit her job and move one state over to stay with a friend. I love my mother-in-law and if anyone were to live with us, she’d be my choice. However, we don’t want this to turn into some permanent situation.
We could actually use help financially. We’re currently spending more than we make. My husband offered his mom our spare bedroom and garage for her stuff and asked for $100/week in “rent.” However, I graduate from college in December and once I secure a job, we won’t want a roommate. Normally, I have no problem laying out guidelines and making my needs very clear, but she’s in such a fragile state that I don’t want to tell her she has to be on her own two feet before the end of 3 months. I also don’t want to give her the impression that she can live with us forever, not that I believe she’d think that in the first place. I’m just bad at knowing what I should/shouldn’t or can/can’t say to a person going through what she’s going through. I’ve never been there and, quite honestly, I don’t even know what to say to her when she becomes upset and cries about all of this. I mean, what can I say?
The decision to let her stay has been made, but how should I go about everything that goes along with having an extra person living with us? I’m worried that my mom will be insulted when she finds out about this. We won’t let her stay, but my mother-in-law can? It’s sort of a kick in the face.