To think that the mil was unreasonable in this situation?

(119 Posts)
Dummykiss Sun 17-Apr-16 14:34:16

I know all of the people involved, although I am not directly involved, it has hit a nerve with me because mine has done this. I'm supposed to think the dil is the villain but I don't.

So, there's a man, I'll call him Bob. He's in his 50s and divorced with grown up children but had been living alone for a while. While living alone, his elderly mother who lives locally has a key and has let herself into his house regularly.

5 years ago he met a new girlfriend, I'll call her Joan. He asked Joan to move in and get married and they did and they've been married for 2 years.

Joan works full time and one day she came home from work to find elderly mil standing in the kitchen cooking. Joan asks what mil is doing in her house, things are said and she tells the mil not to let herself into her house again. I don't think Joan realised that the mil had been letting herself in.

Now the whole family have turned against Joan. Their opinion is that it s not Joan's house, as Bob owned it before he married her, and that she has no right to call it so, and that as mil has always let herself in, that shouldn't change. Now Bob is also not speaking to his mother, it's unclear why but the family have decided that Joan won't allow him.

MadAboutFourteen Sun 17-Apr-16 14:40:19

Unless Bob told the mil to stop letting herself in, dil should have calmly discussed with Bob and decided together to take back the key.

MrsMainwaring Sun 17-Apr-16 14:41:03

Are you Joan ?

HerRoyalNotness Sun 17-Apr-16 14:41:13

Bob should have either asked for the key back or politely asked his mother to no longer let herself in without them knowing. He should also have told Joan that this had been happening.

Joan does have a right to know who is in her home and when. But it probably could have been solved more amicably without a falling out.

Dummykiss Sun 17-Apr-16 14:42:13

I promise I am absolutely not Joan, but I am a dil in this family and I sympathise with Joan.

BillSykesDog Sun 17-Apr-16 14:43:05

Yep, if this was the status quo, MIL had a key, was under the impression it was fine and then DIL came home and tore a strip off her then DIL was being unreasonable and handled it badly. It sounds like she behaved pretty badly. DIL needs to do some real apologising.

witchofzog Sun 17-Apr-16 14:43:29

I don't think the dil is in the wrong at all and I know I would hate it if my mil just let herself in to the home that used to be just dps before I moved in. When a partner moves in the dynamics change a lot and the mil needs to realise this is now Joans home too. Having said this Bob should have given Joanthe heads up that this used to happen and should also have had a chat with his mum before Joan moved in to make her aware that it would be better from now on not to do this anymore.

NeedACleverNN Sun 17-Apr-16 14:44:37

I think anyone would have had a shock to come home and see someone in the kitchen cooking dinner
Joan had probably said some things she wishes she could take back

However Bob should have talked to his mother afterwards and said that she was no longer allowed in the home uninvited as it was his and Joan's home now

MrsMainwaring Sun 17-Apr-16 14:47:07

Dil is not in the wrong
Mil should have known when he married that the status quo would change

Dummykiss Sun 17-Apr-16 14:50:53

I don't know exactly what was said or how the mil reacted. I was just told that Joan came home early and asked what the mil was doing in her house. From that the family have decided it's not her house.

I'm not sure why Bob hadn't asked her not to use the key anymore. So he's not blameless, but I wouldn't be surprised if he hadn't said it and been ignored.

To me it would be obvious now that new wife was living there that things would change.

RaptorInaPorkPieHat Sun 17-Apr-16 14:51:04

The moment Joan moved in MIL should have known that letting herself in was no longer appropriate. Of course not everyone can figure that out on their own so Bob should maybe have mentioned it at that point.

Joan may have handled it badly, but she's not wrong.

StrictlyMumDancing Sun 17-Apr-16 14:51:58

My mil has a key to our house and let's herself in. It's been that way since before DH and I got together and he owned his own flat.

I have no issue with this as mil only lets herself in to drop things in or pick stuff up or does favours for us.

However if I found her in my kitchen cooking one day without prior warning and no apology then I would develop some serious issues with it too.

Bob probably needs to grow a backbone and apologise to both his dw and dm whilst also explaining to dm she massively overstepped the mark.

MadamDeathstare Sun 17-Apr-16 14:53:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MadamDeathstare Sun 17-Apr-16 14:55:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pettywoman Sun 17-Apr-16 14:59:17

I agree with others. It's DIL's home and she has a right to keep it private if she wants to and tell MIL not to drop by unannounced.

I do feel for the MIL too. If she was unaware her DIL had a problem with a habit she'd had and been encouraged in by her son then it is a bit harsh to get a bollocking from her DIL. Unless MIL is a controlling, interfering so and so in other ways, DIL could've been more polite.

In two years she's not noticed the MIL's visits? Why is that? Are they clandestine, meaning possibly MIL and DH knew they'd annoy? Are they rare? It is hard to judge. I have sympathy for both of them.

NeedsAsockamnesty Sun 17-Apr-16 15:00:06

The only one at fault here is bob.

He should have told Joan his mum did this and given her the chance to be aware or raise an issue.

BackforGood Sun 17-Apr-16 15:02:15

See, I found it weird much earlier on, when 'Bob' was a 50 yr old man with his own home, but his mother came round and regularly let herself in. Am I the only one who said "Why?" at that point ?
Yes, leave a key with a local relative in case you lock yourself out. Possibly even see if, as a one off they would wait in your house for a delivery while you were at work, but the concept of someone else letting themself in and out of my home while I'm not there is very odd to me. (and presumably Joan).

The fact it had seemingly being going on for years beforehand makes it more of a grey area. It would seem that Joan could perhaps have tackled it differently (although I understand her surprise).

Pettywoman Sun 17-Apr-16 15:04:50

Also, she was cooking not rifling through knicker drawers and filing cabinets. I would take it as her trying to do something nice for them both. Maybe misguided but not necessarily malicious.

Does she have a habit of criticising DIL for not feeding Bob properly?

Tiggeryoubastard Sun 17-Apr-16 15:07:42

Mil shouldn't have been there, especially not cooking. But Joan shouldn't have spoken to her like that, using those words. The mil should have been told though.

YouTheCat Sun 17-Apr-16 15:08:37

Why was she cooking?

I'm with the dil here. And Bob should have demanded his key back ages ago.

Dummykiss Sun 17-Apr-16 15:09:28

I think, that the mil had been going in to do a bit of cleaning or cook him some food, leave some milk in the fridge type thing. I'm not sure how Joan hadn't noticed or whether actually the mil had stopped frequently going in, knowing it wasn't appropriate.

leelu66 Sun 17-Apr-16 15:10:16

Is this from an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond?

Is MIL the possessive type or did she have good intentions?

Ideally, the DIL would have waited to speak to DH and asked him to speak to his DM.

Penguinepenguins Sun 17-Apr-16 15:12:17

Why was she cooking? That to me is what is weird

In either case it is now Joan's home and the MIL should respect this.

HidingUnderARock Sun 17-Apr-16 15:12:33

It does seem like this is Bob's fault, and now he is doing his best to put it right, but his family are trying not to let him. He may not have thought it through before, with a family like that, who presume to make his decisions for him, and play social pressure games to enforce them.

How very entitled to tell a wife of 2 years that her home is not her own, and her in laws can just pop in and cook whenever they feel like it without her knowledge or permission.

The MIL is probably quite old, and the change may be disturbing for her, and that may be why her family are rallying round. Also ofc things may have been said emotionally at the time Joan walked in on the situation in her own home.

Facts are facts though. Joan lives in the house with her husband, and whatever the financial facts of house ownership may be, it is her home. Her inlaws need to pull their necks in and try to support MIL in ways that don't undermine Bob and Joan's marriage.

Dummykiss Sun 17-Apr-16 15:12:49

She is definitely the type to think Joan isn't giving Bob enough hot meals.

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