### Author Topic: Setting Boundaries - for someone who just doesn't get it  (Read 12295 times)

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#### snappylt

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##### Re: Setting Boundaries - for someone who just doesn't get it
« Reply #45 on: May 31, 2013, 05:59:05 PM »
Xanne,

I'm one of the posters who replied when you wrote about this topic in January.  Back then I suggested setting a date, and when the date passes, giving everything you don't want to Goodwill.  I suggested letting all of the relatives know about the deadline so that it would be harder for FIL to whine about you not giving him a chance to get his stuff.  (I also told a story from our family about a relative who wouldn't get her stuff and then lied for years that she didn't have a chance to get it before it was discarded.)

I'm guessing now that while you are very frustrated, you just do not have the ____ (determination?  bravery?) to go ahead and stick to a deadline.  I understand that it is probably very difficult to stand up to your FIL after so many years of obeying him.

So, I'm going to build on a suggestion someone else made in this thread.  This suggestion will cost some money up front that you probably will never get back.  But I suggest that it may well be worth it to you to solve your problem.

Here goes:

I suggest that you rent a storage space - climate controlled if need be - for one month.  Then hire a local mover to move the organ and whatever else you do not want into the storage space.  Then send your FIL the storage space rental agreement and tell him that paying the rent after the first month is up to him.  If he wants to keep the organ in storage, fine, it is already there and he can pay for it to stay there.  If he doesn't want to pay storage, he can go ahead and give the organ to the church or sell it - or he can abandon it at the storage place by not paying any more rent.  Whatever he decides to do - it will be his decision and his problem, not yours any longer.

Yes, I predict your FIL will be upset and will likely say mean things.  I'm suggesting to you that maybe it will be worth it in the long run to put up with him being upset in order to be rid of his stuff.  The advantage of this plan is that it gets his stuff out of your house once and for all.

I don't know what this would cost where you live.  I'm guessing in the neighborhood of $300 to$500 where I live (but I don't know, it is just a guess).  I know that is a lot of money, but even if you have to save up for a few months to be able to do this, it puts you in control of your own house and it gets the problem items out of your house.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do (and please come back and let us know).

#### Jocelyn

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##### Re: Setting Boundaries - for someone who just doesn't get it
« Reply #46 on: May 31, 2013, 07:41:08 PM »
POD. Get it to a storage locker, give him the info, let him decide what happens next.

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##### Re: Setting Boundaries - for someone who just doesn't get it
« Reply #47 on: June 01, 2013, 12:37:41 AM »
I concur with SnappyIt. It is time to get this junk out of your house! Time to move the laundry room, the organ, etc so you can live the way you and your DH want.

#### JoW

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##### Re: Setting Boundaries - for someone who just doesn't get it
« Reply #48 on: June 01, 2013, 08:48:06 AM »
A locksmith can re-key a lock.  That is, keep the nice knob and lock, just make it use a new, different key instead of the older one FIL has.

I think the wedding gift door lock was passive aggressive.   It was the inlaws' way of making sure they always had unlimited access to the house, which they always considered to be theirs.  You need to interrupt that.  Re-keying the lock will help, at least a little.

#### JustCallMePat

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##### Re: Setting Boundaries - for someone who just doesn't get it
« Reply #49 on: June 01, 2013, 11:17:32 AM »
Slight diversion but - Reading this just makes me realize again what a good move I made after graduating - moving 400 miles to a job in a new city!  Mom offered to buy a house for me three doors down the street from hers.  I said thanks-but-no-thanks and found a little efficiency apartment in a place I'd never been before - but it was mine!

Now Mom continues to send boxes every month of junk from her house.  "I knew you would want these..." and I can pack it off to Goodwill or move it right to the curb for pickup without any problems.

Back to the thread - I think in this situation I've have been an organ donor early on!

#### cheyne

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##### Re: Setting Boundaries - for someone who just doesn't get it
« Reply #50 on: June 01, 2013, 12:13:27 PM »
I too posted in the earlier (Jan) thread.  OP, how does your DH feel about all this?  Does he want to rid your home of all his parents stuff, or is he hedging?  Does he tell you "sure, let's get rid of it" and then back down when his dad gets mad?  The first thing you do must be to get your DH on the exact same page you are on.

Once you and DH have established that his parent's stuff must go, I would follow snappylt's advice.

I don't believe the items (including the organ) are all that valuable to FIL in the first place.  This isn't about value of the items, it's about control of the house.  Take back your control and your home.  There may be crying, wailing and gnashing of teeth but then it's over and you will have peace in your mind and home.

#### snappylt

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##### Re: Setting Boundaries - for someone who just doesn't get it
« Reply #51 on: June 01, 2013, 04:24:28 PM »
A locksmith can re-key a lock.  That is, keep the nice knob and lock, just make it use a new, different key instead of the older one FIL has.

I think the wedding gift door lock was passive aggressive.   It was the inlaws' way of making sure they always had unlimited access to the house, which they always considered to be theirs.  You need to interrupt that.  Re-keying the lock will help, at least a little.

I had read the part about the door knob and lock being a wedding present, but it went right over my head at the time.  You're right - what a sneaky present - I'm sure FIL kept a key, and it was a wedding present, so I'm as sure as I can be that he assumes Xanne and husband will never dare to replace that knob and lock, so he'll have lifetime access to their home.

Xanne, when you and your husband are ready to act, add the cost of a locksmith's housecall to the cost of taking control of your house.  Yes, the movers, the storage rent, and the locksmith are expensive.  No, you shouldn't have to spend the money.  But, then again, your FIL shouldn't be treating you this way, either.  I suspect it is the price you have to pay to wrest control of your house away from him.

#### jedikaiti

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##### Re: Setting Boundaries - for someone who just doesn't get it
« Reply #52 on: June 01, 2013, 04:48:52 PM »
Heck, call the locksmith now. Hopefully they should be able to just rekey the lock - that way you're keeping the lovely wedding gift but nobody else has unauthorized access.
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##### Re: Setting Boundaries - for someone who just doesn't get it
« Reply #53 on: June 01, 2013, 04:53:17 PM »
DH is a locksmith. You should call a local shop and schedule them to come on a weekday and re-key all locks in your house.

#### CakeEater

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##### Re: Setting Boundaries - for someone who just doesn't get it
« Reply #54 on: June 02, 2013, 06:22:21 PM »
Getting locks rekeyed before the OP and DH decide on a strategy for dealing with the whole situation seems a bit premature. If FIL doesn't know that anything's changed, won't that be an awkward conversation?

Surely better to have that conversation first.

#### JustCallMePat

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##### Re: Setting Boundaries - for someone who just doesn't get it
« Reply #55 on: June 02, 2013, 09:07:24 PM »
Getting locks rekeyed before the OP and DH decide on a strategy for dealing with the whole situation seems a bit premature. If FIL doesn't know that anything's changed, won't that be an awkward conversation?

Surely better to have that conversation first.

No, I suggest re-keying should be done preemptively before the conversation.  Emotions are going to get involved and likely tempers and voices rise, perhaps leading to concessions and giving in at some point.  Change the locks before all of this and it's done, and FIL will not have access, period, whatever is said in the talk.  If FIL is entering without permission, he'll get the message but should be mention it, he'd have to admit he was sneaking in, putting him in a pretty indefensible position.

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##### Re: Setting Boundaries - for someone who just doesn't get it
« Reply #56 on: June 03, 2013, 10:40:20 AM »
No, no one but the OP and her DH should have access to their home unless they give access to someone. Not premature at all.

#### Twik

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##### Re: Setting Boundaries - for someone who just doesn't get it
« Reply #57 on: June 03, 2013, 11:26:25 AM »
I agree with the rekeying. This is really essential to reclaiming the house as belonging to the OP and her husband, not FIL.

For the other stuff, I agree that the best decision is to either put it in a storage unit, and let FIL pick up payment, or deliver it directly to his home, on a specified day. If he hasn't made plans to deal with it, that becomes his problem.
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#### xanne

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##### Re: Setting Boundaries - for someone who just doesn't get it
« Reply #58 on: June 03, 2013, 12:30:16 PM »
An explanation of the front door lock.  The week before our wedding, the front door handle broke, since we were getting married at home, it needed to be replaced.  FIL had gone with me to the big box store to get a few things and there was only 1 set that would fit the existing steel door.  I don't even like it.  FIL offered to buy it since he and MIL didn't know what to get us.

DH flew to FIL's home state yesterday, to drive up with him for his visit. DH and I are going on vacation shortly after FIL arrives.  I am hoping the organ will be gone when we return, if not, there will be a very narrow window for it to be re-homed.  As much as I would like to re-key, it isn't practical.  FIL does his laundry at our house, pet sits while we are away, and when it gets too hot for the AC in his trailer to keep up, he goes into our house - he has a heart condition and I wouldn't deny him a comfortable place to be.

I think the ultimate solution will be to sell the house, I am looking at 2-3 more years to build something on our retirement property. In a fit of extreme frustration several years ago I told DH that unless something was done with all the crap, my solution was to sell the house to get rid of it all - but DH was working at the time and we could afford to do it.  This summer, the attic and basement will be divested of all the "I may need it someday" stuff.  I will update you as we go along.

#### Mikayla

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##### Re: Setting Boundaries - for someone who just doesn't get it
« Reply #59 on: June 03, 2013, 07:39:00 PM »
FIL does his laundry at our house, pet sits while we are away, and when it gets too hot for the AC in his trailer to keep up, he goes into our house - he has a heart condition and I wouldn't deny him a comfortable place to be.

I think the ultimate solution will be to sell the house, I am looking at 2-3 more years to build something on our retirement property. In a fit of extreme frustration several years ago I told DH that unless something was done with all the crap, my solution was to sell the house to get rid of it all - but DH was working at the time and we could afford to do it.  This summer, the attic and basement will be divested of all the "I may need it someday" stuff.  I will update you as we go along.

OP, having just read this entire thread, I think you're sending too many mixed messages and setting too many indirect boundaries.  For example, obviously your FIL's presence in your home is causing a big chunk of this, particularly since he built that home.  This creates emotional ties that can only be broken with very firm and specific boundaries.  It seems both of you are resisting this.

On the bolded, none of this means he needs 24/7 access to your home.  Window air units are incredibly effective, they're not expensive and he might only need one for his trailer.  Check.  Laundry and pet sitting can be exchanged as services each gives the other.  They still don't require a key, unless he pet sits in the home.  Key gets returned when you get back.  Check.

I'm saying all this because if someone is storing their stuff in your home, or criticizing the way you decorate it, it just isn't that hard to set boundaries.  There's been many great ideas in this thread, and in the other one I skimmed.  So when you say in your title your boundaries don't work because "he doesn't get it", to be honest, I have to say I don't, either.  It seems there's something else going on.