Beware, here comes one hell of a rant, but I need to get this off my chest.
I am an introvert who has lived on my own since I was 18 (just shy of a decade). I've gotten very used to doing what I want, the way I want, when I want to do it. Even growing up, I had a small family and was able to spend most of my time alone. My living situation has recently changed in a drastic way, and while I've been handling it well, for the most part, certain things are really starting to get to me.
My SO and I moved in with his family in order for all of us, his family members included, to save up some money, and it's really helped us all out financially. I appreciate that they were willing to invite us to go into getting a house with them, but as someone who is very used to having my own personal space, living in a full house (7 people, 2 dogs, 2 cats) with a lot of different personalities is getting to me. I'm, especially, finding that I'm clashing with my SO's dad. He is a, self admitted, control freak who is very anal and particular about the way things are done, and I'm admittedly very set in my own ways and used to doing things without comment or criticism from others. I've, honestly, never had to deal with someone micromanaging me. I'm trying to be patient and understanding, but certain things are just driving me up the walls.
For instance, I can't go into the kitchen to prepare food without his dad following me out, watching everything I do, and then commenting on or criticizing the way I do it. It doesnt matter that I say thanks for the advice, but I like my way. Every time I make food for myself, I have to hear about how I'm doing it wrong. Even if he doesn't have a comment to make, he just watches me when I'm in the kitchen. He will, literally, come to the kitchen any time he sees or hears me go there. I hate that I can't just do what I'm doing without a pair of critical eyes on me. It's at the point that I only go to the kitchen when I know he's asleep or gone.
I also try to watch what I eat. I'm by no means a health nut. I just know that diabetes, obesity, and heart disease run on both sides of my family. I try to be a little conscious of what I put into my body, and I control my portions. I mainly do this by not using a full size dinner plate when I eat and always having some sort of vegetables with my meal. SO's dad has made it a habit to continually question me about my food choices and suggest that I don't like his cooking because I don't engorge myself on his meals. I don't know how many times I need to explain that I'm just trying to be healthy.
It's not just me that is apparently eating wrong. I also happen to be feeding my dog the wrong food, the wrong way. He's a grazer. Always has been. He has zero health or weight issues, yet SO's dad says I should change his food and start feeding him on a schedule. Okay, fine, I gave in because I know how to pick my battles. My dog has now gained weight (which is fine as long as he doesn't become over weight) and has had diarrhea for the past week. I have also never given my dog table scraps and have, therefore, never had a problem with him begging. SO's dad insists on giving all the animals bites of food from his plate, so now my dog has started begging for food from everybody when they sit down to eat. It's annoying, to say the least.
According to SO's dad, I also wash dishes and do laundry incorrectly. (He knows this because he has stood over my shoulder, watching and analyzing me, while I've done both) I use the wrong oil in my car. (I get my oil changed professionally, but he knows better than the mechanic) And my medication isn't good for me. (He also knows better than my doctor, apparently) If I stay up late, he comments on it. If I wake up early, he has something to say about it. If I sleep in, he asks me why. If I drink a few beers, he has a snide remark to make. I feel like my life has gone from me just doing my own thing, to me suddenly having to explain, defend, and have a full on discussion about any and everything I do. I've never been in this situation before, and honestly don't know what to do about it. I think this situation would be trying for anybody, but the fact that I'm an introvert who genuinely just wants to be left alone makes it that much worse.