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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5838
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My mother-in-law comes to my house unannounced, tells me

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lt;p>My mother-in-law comes to my house unannounced, tells me I am too fat( I weigh 180 and am 5"9 run half marathons and teach Zumba twice a week), too clean, too strict with my children( I use love and logic parenting techniques). Tells me how to cook better( don't use 425 use 350 it will cook better )-even though the recipe says 425, wash my clothes different( that is too much soap you only need a little). I have asked her many times to please lay off with the comments. She has told us that we need to get rid of our dogs and cats ( we live on a 40 acre farm with two dogs and four cats all outdoor animals) If I don't ask I am not looking for advice. Well recently we finally got into it and she told me she thought I was a lying deceptive little bitch and has for quite sometime and I said she was no longer invited to our house. I left to go get my daughter from preschool and when I came back she was still here 2 hours later.  She told my daughter she loved her and kissed her then she told me "I love you too, even if you don't love yourself".  I just laughed and said "you can leave now" and went inside.  She also told me that I could lock her out of my life but not her son's or my children's.  Since then she has showed up twice unannounced, the last time she told my 7 year old son and 3 year old daughter " I can't come in because your mom won't let me".  This is true but completely inappropriate in my mind.  Her son(my husband) even sent her an email saying she had to call or email me first to get permission to come.</p><p>   I went through three years of counseling also for depression and anxiety. My psychiatrist said I was good and released me from his care about a year ago and she just told my husband that she has seen a counselor and knows she is okay but she thinks I need more! My husband told me obviously it didn't work for her, her counselor is also her best friend which as I registered nurse I thought you weren't allowed to counsel or treat people you were close to due to a conflict of interest. What should I do?  I am thinking of getting a anti-harrassment order from the courts.</p>

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like your husband needs to step in and deal with this. It is his mother and he is responsible for dealing with her. She should not be coming into your home and criticizing you. She is not respecting your home, you or your family.

By your husband leaving you to deal with this situation, it has gotten out of hand. He should sit down with his mother and tell her that she is to respect him and his family. Then he needs to set rules for her to follow such as calling before she comes over, respecting his family and not criticizing anyone while she is visiting. He should reiterate that she is a visitor and not there to tell you what to do. This should come from him and him alone. Otherwise, if he tells his mother you asked him to deal with her, his mother will only blame you and dismiss what is being said. And it will cause more conflict.

Once your husband talks with his mother, have him be sure she follows through with the rules. If she breaks rules, then he is to remind her again. Do not step in and do this yourself. She needs to be dealt with in a firm and direct manner. Keep emotions under control and do not point fingers. If she tries to pick a fight, leave. If she is in your home, ask her to leave. Keep doing so in a firm manner until she does leave.

If she shows up unannounced, consider stopping her at the door and telling her that you are busy and can't see her at that time. Do this anytime you feel you do not want to deal with her. It is your house and your right to have some privacy. If she has a key, change your locks.

Eventually, she will learn the boundaries your husband sets for her. She will also have to learn to respect you and your family and vent her frustrations in another way.

I hope this has helped you,

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