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by Abigail Van Buren

Mother-in-Law With House Key Proves She Can't Be Trusted

DEAR ABBY: My mother-in-law has a key to my house. I didn't give it to her. We left a key under the mat one day so she could get in to pick up something because I wasn't going to be home when she arrived. I asked my husband to get the key back, but he is uncomfortable asking.

She and my father-in-law have been in our house twice more in our absence. We were out of town, and we were shocked to hear they had entered our home without asking. It was almost sneaky the way they did it, and when I talked to my husband about it, he was upset as well and took his anger out on me. It ruined our day traveling. We didn't speak the entire two-hour trip back home.

I asked my mother-in-law via text to please let us know when she was entering the house due to privacy and that I was not trying to hurt her feelings. She's now upset with me and says she doesn't know when she will visit us again. I am tired of being the second fiddle to her. Am I overreacting? It seems I can't win with this! -- KEYED UP IN ALABAMA

DEAR KEYED UP: This is not a matter of playing second fiddle or any other instrument. Your husband should ask his mother for the key back. By doing this now, it will establish your independence. If he can't find the courage to insist upon the privacy you both deserve, change the locks.

Read more in: Family & Parenting