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Controlling MIL

(80 Posts)
MaisieAva Thu 01-Mar-18 21:44:26

I rarely talk badly of anyone, so it has really upset me that I have these feelings about my MIL and has made me feel like such a bad person. But the feelings are there and real so I need to express them.
So my MIL really stresses me out. What makes matters worse is we live next door to her. When we first moved in, she would walk in un announced and say ‘only me again’. Sometimes if I was on my own it would make me jump and put me on edge. She wanted to clean and tidy the house for some money which I felt I couldn’t say no to, but I’ve had to stop her doing it now. As I just feel like I want to have my own touch on our house. She would do our washing even when she was asked not to. She changed our bed. She put my underwear away in my drawers. She’d walk in when we were winding down in the evening with a pile of our washing all ironed. I mean to some it probably sounds a dream, but it just doesn’t feel right or sit well with me. She would arrange my ornaments to how she thought looked nice. I personally find it dis respectful.
Now she’s not cleaning the house anymore it’s obviously a lot better but I feel like she’s using other avenues to get to me. We went on holiday recently and I walked in to our house on our return to see my fairy lights that I’ve decided to keep on a plant all year round on the floor as soon as I walk in. Apparently they were suffocating the plant and the plant needs trimming. I’m sorry but I’m perfectly capable of attending to that myself. It probably sounds really small and pathetic but it really bothers me.
I know she’s just trying to help but it’s so suffocating. I’ve spoken to my other half about it so it has got a lot better as I think something must’ve been said. But I feel like I’ve made it into an issue now and I’m fearful of her to be honest and feel like I want to avoid her but at the same time scared to avoid her as I don’t want to cause any upset of offend anyone. I just can’t win. It’s all just literally too close to home for me and it’s consuming my thoughts way too much to the point where I’m feeling pretty unhappy.

I know she won’t change...I was just wondering if anybody had any advice?

Thanks in advance

candyloves Thu 01-Mar-18 21:47:54

No advice but I sympathise.
Mine is similar - Always has to be right and project her opinions on every aspect of our lives. DP says she's being 'helpful' and she's 'just interested in what we do'. I see it as controlling, overbearing and nosey.

Aprilmightmemynewname Thu 01-Mar-18 21:48:47

Get her key back ASAP .

user1499333856 Thu 01-Mar-18 21:51:57

What is the reason you live next door to her? Way too close for comfort,

VladmirsPoutine Thu 01-Mar-18 21:52:13

You're in the right place for advice. MiLs are satan. Evil incarnate on MN.

MaisieAva Thu 01-Mar-18 21:53:44

Thanks for sympathising! So nosey - always wants to know exactly what we’re upto and when. I really didn’t think this would be something I would have to deal with! How naive of me?
The thing is she’s brought up a lovely young man so of course I admire her and respect her. Just when I think things are back on track and running smoothly, or I let down my guard - BAM she will do something else that grates on me!

Gemini69 Thu 01-Mar-18 21:56:50

how on earth did you end up living next door to your MIL hmm personally.. this alone would be unbearable for me flowers

Fishface77 Thu 01-Mar-18 21:57:00

Move. This will never stop.
And ever given her a key.

If that’s too drastic start leaving brochures for houses lying around and if she asks why your looking say we need our privacy.

MaisieAva Thu 01-Mar-18 21:57:03

A family project / renovation so to speak. So my other halves family have done all of the work on the house. Which has put me in a position where I feel in debt to them in a way, and makes me feel even more awful for complaining about her sad

Marmalizes Thu 01-Mar-18 22:00:19

If you can. I’m serious this is like living in each other’s pockets. IMO it’s not healthy for any of you. Everyone will be miserable if this goes on. She’s probably very nice and thinks she’s helping but she’s not. She obviously doesn’t understand the boundaries. If you tell her how you feel she may take offence. If you move further away that will give you all the space and independence you need to build your own future the way you want it. Hopefully then you can build a appropriate relationship with her.

MaisieAva Thu 01-Mar-18 22:00:44

I like the house brochure idea! I just don’t want to become bitter, so I do think moving might be the healthiest option! Something to aim for I suppose smile

Mintylemons Thu 01-Mar-18 22:01:05


MaisieAva Thu 01-Mar-18 22:03:37

I literally have got to the point where I am struggling to get up in the morning because I know she’ll be wondering exactly what time I am leaving for work etc..

acornsandnuts Thu 01-Mar-18 22:03:45

This is my mum but with my sister. She tried it with me and it broke our relationship when I put in boundaries.

My sister has embraced it. My mum is basically the unpaid help and I’m sure she bows out backwards as she leaves for the night.

dingdongdigeridoo Thu 01-Mar-18 22:05:55

You need to move ASAP. Living next to family who have no boundaries is just going to get worse and worse. Put some distance between you.

NewYearNewMe18 Thu 01-Mar-18 22:13:18

I wouldnt call it controlling - interfering yes, controlling no.

No one has picked up on this - is she short of personal money ? She wanted to clean and tidy the house for some money

See if that was my Mum I wouldn't have an issue at all .... but I would with a MIL, I understand where you are coming from.

JaneEyre70 Thu 01-Mar-18 22:14:50

Change your locks and get a bolt from the inside. If she comes in, it's on your terms not hers. Your house, your rules.

Dontoutmenow Thu 01-Mar-18 22:16:13

This is why we live overseas!
Take the key back,and get your other half to man up. He’s essentially choosing his mum over you...

RabbitFoodist Thu 01-Mar-18 22:25:34

You are not being unreasonable. You are entitled to boundaries and space and basically a life of your own as an adult. Some people just don't understand boundaries. I had the same with my mil and in the end it ended the marriage.
Start by getting the key back. I would even change the locks if it came to it.
If you can go for a trip away with your partner to get some time to think and discuss.
Personally my partner refused to address the issue. My life became closer and closer to 'Everbody Loves Raymond' (painfully accurate sitcom) until I left. He moved in with his parents for 4 years and has only recently got a place of his own.
You know how it feels awful - that's because it is awful! YANBU at all!

fusushumi Thu 01-Mar-18 22:28:05

She sounds quite possessive of the house itself, as if it's her space rather than yours - could this be because it was a family renovation project so she's having trouble letting go and accepting it is now yours?

aproblemsharedandallthat Thu 01-Mar-18 22:42:51

Definitely get your key back but saying that, she may have taken a copy! Maybe get the locks changed? Make up something about one of you lost your keys and was worried someone would use it (ironic)! Or you could kill two birds with one stone and change the locks and if/when she asks just say that you wanted to get the locks changed so only you and your DP had a key. Gives you the chance you tell her that your house is your space. Will also show your determination and assertiveness which may make her reconsider her actions. Good luck! smile

BackforGood Thu 01-Mar-18 22:43:03

How does she 'just walk in' ? confused
Do you not lock your doors?
I think that's a pretty easy solution to the issue of her walking in.
If she is using a key, then take the key back - say if she can't respect boundaries then she can't have a key. Not really difficult.

Everyone should be entitled to relax in their own home. Doesn't matter if she is a MiL, a friend, a sister, or whoever, nobody should just walk into someone else's home unannounced and uninvited.

LexieLulu Thu 01-Mar-18 22:54:36

Lock doors, take back your key, get locks changed etc.

user1499333856 Thu 01-Mar-18 22:58:48

I had this problem. I deeply regret not kicking off about it sooner. It impacted my relationship with my newborns and I still can feel resentment towards my husband if I dwell on it. Ever present, overbearing suffocation from my husband's 'well meaning' family.

Get your keys back. Lock your doors. Do not over share. Get your house back under your control. If your MIL turns up then you need to tell her it is not convenient. Ask her to call first. Make your husband run plans by you before they are agreed. Do whatever you have to do to send the message back that you are in charge of your life. As a couple and an individual. And if it causes offence then too bad. People like this have no boundaries, so its probably best to be blunt.

SciFiLover Thu 01-Mar-18 23:06:34

Lock your doors and leave the key in so she can't use her key... If she knocks then you and DH start moaning loudly, she'll probably be horrified / embarrassed and think twice before going around unannounced! Haha.

AND MOVE! thanks

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