Considering FIL moving in with us


My wife and I are considering offering to have her father move in with us. This would be because he has made some horrible financial decisions in his life and has a gambling addiction, and is now deep in dept. We don’t want to enable him, but we can’t let him end up on the streets either. I’d like to hear from anyone else who may have been in a similar situation to see if there is anything we are not considering.

We are consulting with a lawyer to ensure that his debt does not transfer to us, but if anyone has any information on this to share it would be appreciated.

More so I want to hear from others how this may affect our personal and spiritual life. For example, I’m sure I will be jealous that he will now be able to spend more time with my daughter than I do (she is 33 months old). My wife and I will have less alone time. He will likely get on my wife’s nerves (being home during the day). We want him to understand that he is not to gamble under any circumstances, but how do we treat a grown man like a child. Do we threaten to kick him out if he gambles? If it’s an addiction is it reasonable to think that he won’t fall a few times? (I’m not legitimizing it, just trying to get a handle on how tough to be with him). Do we force him to get a job to keep busy during the day?(he is in his late 60’s and retired a few years ago. His pension and SS could be enough to live on if he was careful with his money).


Just some questions -

1) Is he a good babysitter - because well since your daughter is not old enough to understand gambling his past issues may not count him out. As long as he is receiving treatment then maybe thinking of him as a sick uncle post-chemo might be good advice. Besides - you could think of this as saving money and gettin your wife some time out for some girly stuff that at this point she may need and might feel guilty admitting too.

2) Is he Catholic - if not a good babysitter rquire service.


Do you know you FIL well enough to know he will not be a bad infuence on your daughter.

My FIL was a gambler but he had other vices too and low morals. He would have been a bad infuence on my children. I was always uneasy when he was around my children.

Is he seeking treatment for his problem?

Is this a new vice or has he always been like this?

Does you wife have unresolved issues with her father that living with him might cause her undue stress or grief ?

Just some things to consider...


I personally wouldn't put my marriage or my children under the strain of a family member with an addiction. I'd try to help but I wouldn't have them move in. It seems if his addiction was under control, he could live on his own. If he isn't willing to get help for his addiction, I don't see how him moving in with ya'll would fix that? I would worry about enabling him. I hope ya'll find a good solution.



My SIL and her husband moved her father in with her. But in her case all her children were grown and out of the house. He had a fair amount of debt and liked to do a bit of gambling. When he moved in (after having some medical problems) he gave up his car.

In their case her father pretty much signs over all his social security/pension checks over to her every month and she gives him an "allowance" with which to do as he wishes. At this point he spends much of his time playing on his computer.

I don't know if your FIL would be willing to let you and your wife handle his finances? If he can stop the gambling then perhaps each month he can have a certain amount of money put into checking account with a debit card which would limit how much money he can spend?

Of course I am just addressing the one issue. You have to consider other issues. And your child/children are young.

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