Advice wanted on dealing with a close family member living with someone outside of marriage. My husband’s brother and his fiancé plan to move in together. They plan to marry at the end of next year. They have dated for years, and they attend most every family gathering together. This side of the family is nominally Protestant, but rather secular in their world-view.
A few weeks ago my husband’s parents told us they were helping BIL and his fiance look for an apartment together. His parents clearly support and are encouraging this. We expressed both moral and practical concern regarding living together before marriage to them. Despite knowing our objection, his parents brought up the subject again at a family gathering recently. MIL even asked if my husband and my teenager children would help them move. We raised our objections again, this time also pointing out the bad example it sets for our children since they sought to involve our kids. I think we spoke both charitably yet firmly–this time to the couple too. Our comments were not well recieved. We said enough on the subject and don’t plan to address it any further unless one of them bring it up again. There are obviously other issues with my in-laws which this situation illuminates.
What I’m wondering is how to handle future family get-togethers and how to explain this to my children? We don’t want to shun anyone, but we do not like grandma and grandpa trying to present this situation with uncle as acceptable. We have 7, toddler to teens. We informed our teenagers of the plans, (they overheard part of the discussion), and we made sure they knew we think it’s wrong and why. The younger children are blissfully ignorant for the moment, but I doubt it will remain that way. We see this couple at just about every family get together, and our kids rarely see their grandparents unless these two are also around.