Question:

Good evening,

My boyfriend and I are both members of the Lord’s church and both very faithful.

We have been courting a number of months and have talked bout the future of marriage. I am so nervous about marriage because it is such a big decision and neither of us believes in divorce. We have never been married and both in our late twenties.

His mother and father plan to give him (us) their home in a few years when they can retire and buy a “tiny house” to put on the property. I am not sure when he plans to propose, but he is wanting us to live in his parents' basement until they move out. At first, I was okay with it, but now I am having second thoughts. He assures me that my happiness is the most important things to him, I brought up the idea of an apartment and he says that he would not like the idea because it would be an unnecessary expense. I told him that we could bring this idea up in pre-marital counseling and his response was, “That is fine, but some preachers, I believe, cling too heavy to the ‘leave and cleave’ scripture in Genesis.”

So now that you have the background, will it be harmful to our marriage, or a bad idea for us to live with his parents for a few years? I told him that I feel that, as newlyweds, we need our privacy and I am just afraid that we will not get our privacy there for fear of his parents walking in. I am just stuck on what to do. He is the first Christian I have ever dated so this really is important to me to work this out. I do realize that we will have way more complicated things to discuss. I just do not want to solely rely on his family or my family when it comes to marriage advice. I feel like he does not want to leave the nest.

Thank you so much for reading this. I am looking forward to your reply.

Answer:

A part of the difficulty is that culture is getting in the way. When Isaac married Rebekah, they lived with Abraham, though they likely had their own tents. Still, it was common for multiple generations to live together in various periods of the Bible.

Many homes have a "mother-in-law" apartment. It is basically an apartment with its own kitchen and a separate entrance. If that is how your future in-law's home is set up, then having a locked door between the main home and your apartment doesn't make living there any different than living in an apartment somewhere else. The lock prevents unexpected visits.

With all of that said, I would agree that there are indications that your boyfriend is not independent of his parents. I don't know how much influence they have over his decisions -- that is something you'll have to consider. It is good to get advice, but if the parents are making the decisions, then you should look for another boyfriend because a situation like that would not easily change while he continues to live at home.

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