Help! My mother-in-law won't stay out of our bedroom (LONG story)

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Quote Originally Posted by fedupmama View Post
I'd like to start by saying I'm new to the MIL forum thing, so I don't know all of the abbreviations and stuff yet (please bear with me).

Anyway, I've never had any major problems with my MIL until this week, and I suppose that's because she has never stayed at our house since my boyfriend and I have been together. We have a newborn son who is only 2 months old and they live fairly far away, so they decided to come stay with us for a few days to spend time with their son and grandson. At first things were going smoothly, they arrived on Christmas eve and we exchanged gifts and spent time together talking and watching movies. However, the next night we were all in the living room, except for my boyfriend who was in our bathroom, when my MIL gets a call from her sister and begins walking around our home while talking on the phone. This is pretty normal, I myself do it, but then she just walks into our bedroom (still on the phone) and I hear her open the door to our bathroom while my boyfriend is using it. He yells at her to get out and she comes back out into the living room seemingly unfazed by it. I was irritated by this, but I tried to ignore it because a) she has a reputation for being scatterbrained and I tried to tell myself she was just distracted and wasn't really thinking about where she was going and b) my in-laws used to live in our house when my boyfriend was still a child, so I thought maybe she just slipped up from being used to going wherever she wanted in the house when she lived here. Fast forward to the next day my boyfriend leaves for work at 7AM and I try to go back to sleep for a little longer after feeding and changing my son. Around 8AM I'm awakened by my MIL opening the door to our bedroom and barging in without knocking or asking permission. Her reasoning? "I need you to show me how to use this remote." I was pretty sleepy and out of it, so I just helped her with the remote and went back to bed thinking I wouldn't be bothered anymore after that. At 8:30 she barges in again this time just to go look at my son in his bassinet. At this point I decide I need to make it clear to her that she can't keep barging in so I say, "I'm trying to get a little more sleep while I can, we will come out there when I get up." She says ok and leaves. Again at 9 she comes in complaining that she is cold and we need to turn the heat up. After this I gave up on getting anymore sleep, and my son and I went into the living room. About 10 minutes go by and my MIL says in a snotty tone, "I thought you were going to try to get more sleep." I chose not to reply because I knew if I did I would say something very hateful. I decided to wait until my boyfriend got home from work, explain the situation to him, and have him talk to her about her behavior because I read it's best to let your significant other deal with their own parents because they're usually more receptive to their own child rather than their child's significant other. Fast forward to my boyfriend coming home after he spends some time holding and playing with our son I pull him to the side to talk. I explain that his mother has been constantly barging into our bedroom without knocking or asking if it is okay to come in. To my surprise he just says, "Oh, you know how she is." Um, no, I obviously didn't know she was incapable of respecting boundaries or privacy. When I tried to push the issue and explain how upset I was he told me to "ignore it" because they're only here for a few days. The next day she didn't barge in at all, so I started thinking she had came to her senses and realized how rude she was being. I was wrong. The day after that she barged in on me while I was getting dressed. I was in my bra and underwear and she stood in the doorway talking to me while I was visibly uncomfortable struggling to hurry up and get my clothes on. I was furious, so I made up an excuse about having to go meet my mom somewhere, grabbed my son, and left. I came back after my boyfriend got home from work and once again pulled him to the side, and although he appeared uncomfortable with what had happened he still insisted I ignore her. I decided since he was home I would take a nap while he watched our son because I hadn't gotten much sleep the night before. When I woke up from my nap I went to our bathroom to wash my face and saw my MIL's face wash sitting on my sink. I was really mad because I had cleaned the guest bathroom and put fresh towels and wash clothes in there for my in-laws to use, there was no reason for her to walk through our bedroom and into our bathroom to wash her face. I washed my face (using my own face wash) but when I went to pick up the brand new white hand towel I had placed on the counter earlier that day to dry my face I discovered it was soaking wet and covered in makeup. That was the final straw for me. I marched into the living room holding the hand towel and demanded to know who had used it (even though I already knew the answer I wanted to hear her admit it so I could really let her have it). She kept her mouth shut and pretended not to hear me, clearly a sign she knew what she did was rude/wrong and completely disrespectful of our personal space and our boundaries. I asked my boyfriend to give me my son, went into our bedroom, and locked the door. Not even 5 minutes later I hear the sound of someone trying to turn the doorknob. This goes on for probably a full minute, followed by my MIL calling in to me, "I think the door is jammed, I can't get it open." Too furious to speak I just sat there in silence and I guess she went back to the living room. Later my boyfriend knocks on the door and I unlock it so we can discuss everything. He apologizes for his mother's behavior and tries to make it sound like she doesn't understand what she's doing is disrespectful and upsetting to me, and also tries to say she probably feels that it is okay because she used to live here and she was used to using that bathroom when she lived here. I explain to him that she very well knows what she is doing and how it makes me feel, she just doesn't care and feels entitled to do whatever she wants when she wants because she is used to having her way in everything. After awhile he goes back out to the living room and I lock the door once again. Once again, after some time has passed she tries to open the door again, but she seems to come to the conclusion that I am not unlocking the door and she is not getting in, so she leaves without saying a word. Tonight when my boyfriend came to bed he said she was complaining about not being able to get in and trying to say she thought she left her toothbrush in our bathroom (which was a lie, she just wanted an excuse to get in). At that point he finally told her that she and her belongings had no business in our bathroom or bedroom, and she stormed off to the guest room to pout without saying anything. They are supposed to be leaving sometime tomorrow (actually I guess it would be today since it's the early hours of the morning) but my boyfriend has to work and I have to take our son to his doctor appointment. It infuriates me knowing that most likely as soon as we are both out of the house she will go roam around in our bedroom and bathroom for god knows what reason. I know it's his place to deal with his parents, not mine, but I am really fed up at this point and I am tempted to demand they leave before I have to take my son to his check-up. Does anyone have any advice?

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  1. Reston36's Avatar
    You handled the situation fine and its terrible your MIL did not get the hint. Any mother in law should attempt to respect boundaries and privacy for someone that is new to your life. The fact that she kept trying to open your bedroom door after you confronted her only shows she only cared about acting on her own interests and not respecting your privacy.

    I think all you can do is be transparent with your boyfriend and be stern with MIL when she crosses the line.
  2. Mathew23's Avatar
    This is terrible and this is the first time I've come across such a situation, I think you should make it clear to your husband about this.
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