Recently I read an article on the New York Post and it got me thinking about the whole notion of having a roommate while married. Not long before that I mentioned having my grandmother move in, wondering if I could handle trying to care for her and our daughters. You see, the proposed question was if you would live with a married couple. I mean would you? Unless it is my parents, I am going to have to say no. And, unless my husband and I are just more dysfunctional than I thought, knowing first hand the challenges that come with marriage, the ups and downs that even the happiest of couples must work to get through, I couldn’t imagine having a Mr. and Mrs. as roomies. Picture walking into the kitchen right after they got finished arguing and as a result eating your cereal in silence, awkward they “went to bed mad and woke up mad” silence. Or being kept awake all night because of a colicky baby that is not yours.
But my rationale for why this isn’t a good idea goes beyond the every day occurrences couples face. It’s also the fact that I am not sure I would be comfortable with someone who I didn’t feel I knew that well living in a home with me and my family. I sort of feel like allowing such a thing is asking for trouble. What if your roommate acts inappropriately toward your spouse? While he or she is solely responsible for their behavior it doesn’t mean one can expect you to be comfortable with a flirtatious roommate.
I’ve heard of couples who won’t hire a nanny or babysitter that they think is attractive out of concern that it could lead to marital issues down the road. While I am not sure exactly how I feel about that I am a big believer that you have to be careful of what kind of situations you place yourself in. Even people with the best of intentions screw up sometimes. And I’m not sure, but having a roommate that doesn’t share any of your genetic makeup might be synonymous with playing with fire. And to be honest even when it comes to relatives you have to be careful.
According to the article a request for roommates willing to live with couples is becoming increasingly common. This is largely attributed to the high cost of rent and “low inventory” in many cities. The article also notes that there are “ads from couples who insist on no strangers’ and no visitors crashing on the couch,’ ” or a “lesbian roommate, presumably to ward off any hanky-panky.”
Despite the television show suggestion that “threes company too” I happen to think unless one of the roomies is your child “threes a crowd.” Maybe I’ve watched too many made for television movies but as the saying goes if you play with fire you’re going to get burned. Perhaps not always but who wants to be the poster child for why you don’t agree to having a roommate while married. For more on this story visit the New York Post. What are your thoughts, would you allow someone to live with you and your spouse? Are the financial benefits worth the potential fallout?
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