advertisement
Question
Posted by: Dunno | 2012-05-02

Mother-in-law

Ai, the age-old question.... How to deal with a mother-in-law that simply does not (want to) realise there are boundaries. She stays with us bus does not pay rent as she cannot afford it, but has money to waste on frivalous do-not-need to haves, she is a hoarder, she is messy, she does not respect anyone''s privacy.
Hubby''s point of view  you cannot change her at her age, just deal with it.
It is not fair to expect me to cook, clean and feed her with NO contribution from her side.
It has come to the point where I have to taking calming meds, are snappy with my kids as I am constantly agitated and this obviously affecting my relationship.
How does one deal with this?

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

In my experience ALL mothers-in-law recognize boundaires - their own. It's just Other people's boundaries they don't recognize.
A problem with the sort of set-up you describe is that it often arises almost by accident - either it's not expected to last long, or nobody thinks of the implications of it lasting long. So nobody negotiated proper rules and boundaires from the start.
Its more difficult to introduce rules later, but still possible and worthwhile. She needs to be gently reminded that she is a GUEST who does not pay her way, and should respect the needs of her hosts. Although you are not asking her to pay rent, you do expect her to contribute towards household expenses rather than spending whatever funds she has on unnecessary things.
She should be given a specific and limited amount of space, and told that she cannot hoard, and if there are newer things she wants to keep, she must select older objects to give away. She must not be messy and must clean up any mess she makes, as well as sharing household chores.
And privacy is not negotiable. Maybe you need at times to lock your doors so she cannot intrude, until she learns that she cannot barge in when she pleases.
Maybe your husband is giving up too easily. You don't mention her actual age, but at any age one can learn these fairly simple things, unless one is seriously dementing.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

1
Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012-05-02

In my experience ALL mothers-in-law recognize boundaires - their own. It's just Other people's boundaries they don't recognize.
A problem with the sort of set-up you describe is that it often arises almost by accident - either it's not expected to last long, or nobody thinks of the implications of it lasting long. So nobody negotiated proper rules and boundaires from the start.
Its more difficult to introduce rules later, but still possible and worthwhile. She needs to be gently reminded that she is a GUEST who does not pay her way, and should respect the needs of her hosts. Although you are not asking her to pay rent, you do expect her to contribute towards household expenses rather than spending whatever funds she has on unnecessary things.
She should be given a specific and limited amount of space, and told that she cannot hoard, and if there are newer things she wants to keep, she must select older objects to give away. She must not be messy and must clean up any mess she makes, as well as sharing household chores.
And privacy is not negotiable. Maybe you need at times to lock your doors so she cannot intrude, until she learns that she cannot barge in when she pleases.
Maybe your husband is giving up too easily. You don't mention her actual age, but at any age one can learn these fairly simple things, unless one is seriously dementing.

Reply to cybershrink

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
advertisement