Last summer, my DH’s sister was in a bad relationship and needed to leave. His mother convinced him that the right thing to do would let her stay with us. SIL is a difficult, unhappy, and selfish person, and we’re not close, but DH felt like he needed to help his sister out, so I reluctantly agreed.
After four months of her (and her kids who she has joint custody of) staying with us, and slowly turning our lives upside down, DH put his foot down and asked her to move out. Naturally, she got upset, but did move out.
She wasn’t able to move all of her stuff out, so we agreed she could leave the “big stuff” at our house until she could rent a truck. Her stuff sat in our basement for three weeks; we could never get a hold of her and she never called us.
Finally, one Saturday, while DH and I were out running errands, she pulls up to our house with ex-boyfriend and his truck. My 14-yr. old son and his friend were just returning to the house when they pulled up. SIL asked my son if we were home; he said no, so she walked up to our garage, punched in the code, and walked right in. They got some more stuff out, then left before we got home.
When we got home, we noticed some of her stuff was gone, but there was still a lot of it left. DS noticed our confusion and told us what happened. I was a little upset that she had gone into our house without us there, so I texted her with a short: “Hey, noticed you came and got some of your stuff. Next time, could you call beforehand? Thanks.”
Her return text was not nice. I can see now that my text could be read as harsh and cold, and I was sorry that I upset her with my request, but nothing I said after could calm her down. She felt that because she still had some of her stuff here, that she technically still lived here and could therefore just walk in even if we weren’t there; I disagreed.
My question: was it wrong of me to ask her to call beforehand to make sure we were there? My own parents call to ask to enter our home if needed when we’re not at home, and DH’s parents have a similar rule, so I didn’t think our rule was out of the ordinary. Was I out of line? SIL is not speaking to us and the rest of the in-laws have “cooled” towards me. I could definitely use some advice! 1013-13
Change your entry code immediately. Your SIL’s trashy ex-boyfriend now knows it. And if SIL has a key to the house, change the locks, too.
Your house rule is well within reason and family custom so just ignore the drama. Just be sure to be available for SIL to come get her stuff so that you are not nagging while making it hard for her to do so. And I suspect the “cooling” you perceive from other in-laws is actually their attempt to disengage from this particular drama as well.