When In-Laws Should be Outlawed.

Dear Relationshipper,

My husband's job takes him out of town for 4-6 days at a time.  He comes home and gets about 3 days before having to leave again.  When he's home, we like to spend the time together because we've been married less than 2 years and we still feel like newlyweds.

Our main problem is his family not understanding this and he's ready to erupt because of their invasion of our space.  His mother has a key to our house which we gave her for emergency use (she obviously doesn't know what "emergency" means) and she uses the key to come in when we don't answer the door or the phone.  She gets really upset when we're there too!  His brothers and sisters also feel free to show up when they feel like it.

We've tried inviting them all over for dinner once in a while and that just seems to whet their appetites to come around more.  They don't seem to understand subtle hints/comments and while I know they love him and miss him, they're aggravating him tremendously.

Should I just let him blow up at them so they see how much it bothers him?

Cramped by In-Laws,
Lee, MA

Dear Cramped,

I wouldn’t suggest that your husband “blow up” at his family, but he definitely should talk to them.  Everyone should be expected to have a certain degree of privacy in their own home – and his family is obviously not granting him that right.

Encourage your husband to speak with them maturely and with compassion.  Instead of bottling up his anger, he should let it out mindfully.  The point it not to shun his family, but make them realize the effect off their actions.

Have your husband spell out to them, in a kind manner, that he looks forward to having dinner with them on Sunday night, but because he is away so much, he prefers to spend most of his time with you.  He can also explain to his mother that if he does not answer the phone or door, it is far more likely that the two of you are enjoying your time together rather than you are in trouble of some kind.

Finally, he should explain to her what “emergency” means!  No entry unless there is a life at stake or she has been explicitly instructed to enter!

Don’t push his family away; simply hold them off from barging into your home whenever they feel like it.


Got nosy in-laws?  Tell me about them at: lisa@relationshipper.com!


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