Author Topic: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house  (Read 26341 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

secretrebel

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1032
Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« on: July 23, 2013, 08:21:13 AM »
Did anyone see Emily Yoffe's recent column on this subject? Link is here: http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2013/07/dear_prudence_my_husband_wants_a_biological_child_with_his_ex_wife.html

Text for anyone with link following issues in quote below:

Quote
Dear Prudence,
My boyfriend of three years and I are in our late 20s and we recently moved into a modest house together in the same town as his parents. Prior to that move, I had my own apartment and he lived with his parents. We recently were away for the weekend and I let my boyfriend give our keys to his mother so she could hang a photo for us that she had reframed. When we returned, our entire house had been redecorated. New photos on the walls, new pillows on the couches, new kitchen items and existing kitchen stuff reorganized. Upstairs there were new pictures over the bed and new towels. All my toiletries had either been replaced or rearranged, including my medicine cabinet. My laundry had been done, with my underwear and bras folded in my drawer. My closet was rearranged. She also went through my Facebook profile and printed off some photos I had uploaded and framed and hung them. I know this seems nice, but to me it just felt invasive. I feel completely violated. I am embarrassed at some of the things she came across (she went through my bedside table and all my drawers). My boyfriend doesn’t see the problem—she’s always been like this with him and I guess he’s used to it—and it’s causing a lot of tension between us. She spent hours and tons of money, so am I being crazy, ungrateful, oversensitive?
—Feeling Violated

The MIL's actions seem so completely over-stepping that it;s hard to think of a positive good etiquette approach for addressing this. Has anyone got any thoughts on how you could explain this is wrong to the MIL or is she just a lost cause?

Stories of over-stepping MILs and how to deal with them welcome! My MIL is lovely but I do find this a fascinating subject.

MrTango

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2480
Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2013, 08:23:39 AM »
In her position, I'd change the locks and let my SO know that if he wants a copy of the new key, he has to promise that his mother will never, ever have a copy in her posession for any length of time.

Winterlight

  • On the internet, no one can tell you're a dog- arf.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10040
Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2013, 10:06:20 AM »
Change the locks. Get counselling. If he doesn't get it, change the boyfriend.

Yikes!!!
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

Thipu1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6966
Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2013, 10:07:45 AM »
This is a case of 'too good is no good'. 

We have no idea whether MIL was sincerely trying to be helpful or if this was a subtle attempt to make your taste conform to hers.  Regardless, she stepped over the line. 

The LW has the right to feel violated and should have the locks changed. 

sammycat

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6223
Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2013, 10:09:25 AM »
Change the locks. Get counselling. If he doesn't get it, change the boyfriend.

Yikes!!!

I agree!

I can't think of a single positive way to spin this.  The MIL stepped so far over the line it isn't even visible from space.

lowspark

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4165
Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2013, 10:12:35 AM »
The MIL did all this in ONE weekend?
And the LW is questioning if this is all OK?

I'm really having trouble believing this one, sorry.

Judah

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4769
  • California, U.S.A
Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2013, 10:38:26 AM »
Change the locks. Get counselling. If he doesn't get it, change the boyfriend.

Yikes!!!

This. My mother's sisters-in-law did this to her once. ONCE. The opportunity for it to happen again was never given.
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

-The Car Talk Guys

SuperMartianRobotGirl

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1121
Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2013, 10:45:08 AM »
It feels like she was snooping and thought "redecorating" would be her loophole. She'd have an excuse to go through everything. I mean, redecorating doesn't usually involve your medicine cabinet and bedroom drawers.

I would be livid.

Asharah

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3973
Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2013, 10:51:04 AM »
Somewhere in the old archives is a story where a woman's new MIL did something similar while they were on their honeymoon. She rearranged the kitchen & bathroom and opened all their wedding presents. Wife was upset, husband thought she was overreacting. She knew he had a large number of women working in his office and suggested he relate the story to them and ask their opinions. Being told by a large number of women that Mommy Dearest was way out of line forced him to face reality and forced him to lay down and enforce some boundaries.
Asharah

VorFemme

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 13202
  • Strolls with scissors! Too tired to run today!
Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2013, 10:53:45 AM »
VorGuy's mother made & hung curtains in his house (master bedroom) before we were married - but he expected that and knew the curtains were coming as he had asked for them (broke college student who needed curtains for his bedroom in his "new" house - he was 22 and using the GI Bill after Vietnam - it would have taken a long time for him to buy any kind of curtains).

We lived with those curtains until we moved out and rented the house - for all I know the renter (who bought the house from us about thirty years ago) still has them in her bedroom.  Or replaced them after buying the house - I don't know nor do I care.

But - unless your MIL is one of the designers on a tv show whose taste you've enthused about (there are a couple of designers on HGTV that I would LOVE to have redo my house) and you haven't ASKED to have the house redone - then the boundaries that have been crossed are way, way too far out to be believed.

Seriously - her MIL is completely out of touch on how to treat her adult son and his SO - what would she have said to HER MIL thirty or so years ago if the same thing had happened to her house with FIL? 

The keys need to be changed, the moat needs to be stocked with alligators and piranha, and MIL needs to have everything that wasn't agreed to (the pictures that were mentioned) taken off the walls, the throw pillows off the sofa, etc. and taken back to her.

Going through the underwear drawer, the laptop, the nightstand, and tossing out the DIL's personal things (it sounds like some VERY personal things) is the kind of thing that STALKERS do!  NOT your SO's mother!
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 10:56:10 AM by VorFemme »
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Cherry91

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 740
Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2013, 11:00:01 AM »
WOW.

I would be furious. I have real issues with people being in my private spaces when I'm not there as it is.

The time and effort spent, and fact that she gave a reason to be entering the house all indicate that this was a completely premeditated thing - this wasn't spotting a stain on the curtains and deciding it'd be a nice gesture to change them so the couple didn't have to deal with it when they got back.

The changing of the pictures and other items was the MIL marking her territory. She is trying to take control of the couple's house now that the son is out from under her roof.

doodlemor

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2301
Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2013, 11:05:42 AM »
WOW.

I would be furious. I have real issues with people being in my private spaces when I'm not there as it is.

The time and effort spent, and fact that she gave a reason to be entering the house all indicate that this was a completely premeditated thing - this wasn't spotting a stain on the curtains and deciding it'd be a nice gesture to change them so the couple didn't have to deal with it when they got back.

The changing of the pictures and other items was the MIL marking her territory. She is trying to take control of the couple's house now that the son is out from under her roof.
[/b]

Very sage comment.  Poddity pod pod.

The LW better be prepared for more battles - this is likely just the beginning.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 31815
Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2013, 11:48:16 AM »
I can see my MIL doing my laundry, thinking that she's doing something nice. She used to make my bed every time she was left alone in my house until I told her specifically to stop, that I didn't like it the way she made it (not enough covers in the right spot) and that (1) it was more work for me because I had to undo the bed to put the covers on correctly; and (2) it made me annoyed because it felt like a criticism, and I didn't want that dynamic between us.


Bookgirl

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1506
  • Read The Hunger Games. Trust me.
    • Zo- Be Designs
Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2013, 12:08:12 PM »
My MIL, on one visit, rearranged our Tupperware cabinet.  I got really upset about it and told DH so.  He was also bothered by it so he spoke to her and told her that it was overstepping and to not do it again.  And she hasn't.  It was a small thing and other people might be thrilled but it felt like a criticism to me.  In my head, I know that she was just trying to be nice. 

I can't imagine coming home to a house that has been completely rearranged like that. 
RIP to my blog

I play with paper, scissors and glue and this is where I Facebook about it:
http://www.facebook.com/ZoBeDesigns

my cards and papergoods: www.ZoBeDesigns.etsy.com

Reika

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3088
Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2013, 12:13:15 PM »
Just reading that made me see red since I'm a very private person. What the MIL did was inexcusable and I freely admit WWIII might've erupted from her actions.

Talk about rude and intrusive!