Recently when no one was at home my MIL let herself into our house.
When she was in our house she took some of our washing. Ironed and folded lots of clothes and completely rearranged three rooms in our house.
AIBU to have had a total meltdown over this? I can maybe see where she thought she was being helpful and TBH if she thought I was struggling with washing I wouldn't have been that annoyed about her doing a load of towels or something.
But I didn't have lots of washing piled up ( just a few random odd bits at bottom of hamper) and my house was clean and tidy ( all of downstairs, main bathroom and bedroom tidy) just obviously not to her standard?!
I feel humiliated that she'll be telling the rest of her family that she had to do this and that I'm not a good enough house keeper.
I am also angry that she rooted through and moved my personal things ( underwear, toiletries etc.)
DH was annoyed too, I told him to say to his parents but he won't as he doesn't want to get into arguements. He did take our key back though when he was at their house yesterday ( though he didn't tell them)
What would you do? Say something to her? Usually we get on very well but DH and I are quite private and I really feel like she has crossed a line.
I would feel entirely violated. I'd go no contact. What kind of weirdo does this?
Well, if he's taken her key, then that sends a message. When she can't find it, direct her to him to ask why! It's his mother. He can then tell her that BOTH of you were annoyed that she rearranged your stuff.
I wouldn't ask her yourself why she did this if I were you.
I think him taking the key back will put the message across quite well. If she asks where it's gone, you can both explain that it was for emergencies only and letting herself in to rearrange your house and go through your drawers was absolutely unacceptable behaviour. I wouldn't go NC over it but I'd need to tell her it was out of order to meddle in your belongings.
Make sure you put your rooms back to how they were before she rearranged them.
I felt very angry about it so I haven't spoken to her since ( usually would text or see her few times a week) because I would prob have caused an arguement and said something I regret.
I don't want to cause a family feud of any kind but I do feel like she needs to know that it wasn't acceptable behaviour.
I'm not sure how to act next time I see her, do I just pretend it didn't happen? I sort of imagine she's prob thinking I'm very ungrateful for not thanking her.
You can't not mention it! She trampled right over normal boundaries.
'dear MIL, while I appreciate you tried to help, I'm quite a private person and really prefer to do my laundry and decorating myself'
There will be someone along in a minute to say that she was just being nice and you should be grateful because they personally would like some help.
I would feel utterly violated too. I think there are ways of offering help that are supportive and non-critical and ways that are intrusive and horrible. This is the latter.
However, I would leave things where they are. Your DH has the key, she can't come round again without permission. Just don't give it back to her on any account!
I love my MIL but no, I wouldn't tolerate that. I'd have to whatsapp her or something and explain it is not to happen again. Is there any reason you can't do that? Apart from it "causing an argument" which, sorry, she asked for. On no planet is it ok to rearrange people's stuff.
My DM once came to stay whilst I was at work and "helpfully" took all my clothes that she felt didn't suit me to Oxfam - it can always be worse!!
Seriously though - you have to say something. You don't need to be unpleasant about it but you have to let her know she crossed a line and it isn't appropriate.
I would be furious - I wouldnt not say anything.
My MIL crossed a boundary when I was 10 days post birth with DD (she accused me of poisoning her ) we havent spoken about it and I still seethe. It would seem a bit petty to bring it up 2 years later but this event for you is still fresh and should be mentioned.
Just say to her that you do not appreciate that level of help but its lovely to know that if you ever need help with a washing backlog you can drop it off at her house. Its a way of keeping her on a leash.
And never ever leave a key with them.
I don't want to cause a family feud of any kind but I do feel like she needs to know that it wasn't acceptable behaviour
And this is the reason people get away with all sorts of outrageous and bad behaviour - other people dont want to confront them and "rock the boat". Bollocks to that! It enables these people to get away with it! Of course she needs to know letting herself into someones elses house isnt acceptable, never mind touching their stuff!!
I would be unhappy. But I wouldn't be having a total meltdown.
Just tell her in a calm way 'thanks but no thanks'
There is no need to get into the arguments your DH wants to avoid. You just need to speak to them together, and to say that you realise she wanted to be helpful but you did not find it acceptable that she came into the house without telling you and rummaged around your private belongings, and that if you wanted the rooms to be rearranged you would have done so; therefore you have taken the keys away. Tell them it's not up for discussion and move on.
This is really not on. Your MIL has major boundary issues.
When you say rearranged rooms, is that as in "was doing some dusting and things put back in slightly different places" or actually moving furniture etc?
One is annoying, the other is totally batshit. Either way, I think you need to say something directly that you weren't happy with her doing this without permission, rather than just brush it under the carpet.
I would be annoyed at rearranging my rooms, but quite frankly, I would KISS anyone who came in and did the ironing. (I tried leaving a window open so that the gentle forest creatures would come in and do my washing etc, but Disney lied. All I got was a kitchen full of wasps . . . AND the buggers didn't even do the washing up!)
Think it needs to be 'said' that key is back with you two and why. Otherwise she may just take it back, without saying anything, then you don't exactly when she'll do this again.
YADNBU!! What a violation and betrayal. And nasty, because it's territory-marking done under the guise of doing something for you, thus making it difficult to challenge. But you of course don't have to toe the line of that unclean logic!
My MIL has helped us out with washing when we were waiting for the machine to be repaired - but she didn't come in and go through it, she said to give her it in a bag. It was our choice what she washed (I didn't put my underwear in because personally I wasn't comfortable with that, and I had enough to keep me going). Clearly there are some people who have no boundaries about people going through their drawers etc - but the safest thing surely is that unless you absolutely know that someone would be fine with you going through their personal stuff, you leave it alone.
This all reads so overly dramatic. Both the original post and some of the replies. No contact? Really? Or maybe the NC suggester is pisstaking, it's hard to tell.
Anyways. Just talk to her like a normal adult human being. "Thanks for the laundry help but I'm not comfortable with you doing it, and I was happy how the rooms were before thanks.' And then continue the conversation in another direction.
I'm seething on your behalf!!
This isn't the type of thing that can be left and ignored, otherwise it would be considered acceptable and happen again (if she were to get her hands on another key). There is no need to have an argument over it but an adult conversation explaining how it made you feel and why it can't happen again - even though her intentions (from her perspective) were 'good'.
Ideally you DH would be having the conversation, but if not then you should - maybe start light hearted saying you thought a backwards burglar had tidied your house and you can't find a thing!!
What LagunaBubbles said is spot on and it's how these sort of people get away with completely unacceptable behaviour. Sometimes though, it's probably better to hold fire for the sake of a peaceful household, but in this instance you cannot possibly just ignore it. How are you going to have a normal conversation with her.
Coward that I am, in these kind of situations I can find it quite difficult to say what I want face to face so find email or text a far better way to say what I want. It gives you the chance to think through how you want to say and to put all your points, she can't interrupt and accuse you of being ungrateful - which will possibly mean you end up apologizing to her - it can't end in a slanging match, although that could happen later, and it leaves the ball in her court to apologize to you or ignore it. If she chooses to ignore it at least you've had your say and she's aware that you are annoyed about her behaviour and that's why your DH has taken back the key.
I would not want anybody, even a designated cleaner, walking in whenever they chose without my knowledge and permission. I would be angry and upset just as you are.
At a push, I could accept someone with a reason for being in the house "helping" - I'm thinking if for example, your MIL always came at 12 on Wednesdays to let the dog out and happened to see unwashed dishes in the kitchen and washed up - I'd still in all honesty see it as a hidden message but I could reluctantly let it go.
But yes, I do think this is a conversation that must be had. What's FIL like?
I'd have gone to defcon 1 in an instant if anyone had done that to me.
If you have the patience, for now keep quiet, then :-
Get a key to theirs.
Do the same when they are away.
See how she likes it.
<evil face emoticon>
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