Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.


Community Member

My MIL is staying from out of town.

its fine to start with. But she has been here for over a week now and plans to stay another a week!

it's too much. I enjoy my alone time and need to relax. But she is constantly fluttering around the house. Asking me every hour of I want a coffee. Etc etc just constantly being around

Every time she out stays her welcome. My mental health already strains the relationship I have with my partner. When I have asked him to tell her to leave in the past it turns into an argument and I am made to feel like the horrible person.

i am just so annoyed that she thinks she is entitled to stay with us in our SMALL home for so long.

We don't have kids but if we did she'd be the type of MIL to stay for weeks straight after the babies arrival. Just the thought frustrates me. But like I said I have tried to make my partner put up boundaries with no luck or support from him.

Hpw to get her out? I have already started using up all the hot water in the mornings and doing other little annoying things.

8 Replies 8

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello Gabeppp, it sounds like you don't mind your mother in law staying for short periods, but after a while you feel like your space has been invaded. On top of that, you're unable to find a way to communicate this effectively with your partner or your mother in law.

I'm not sure if there's details missing from your story, but I have to admit I'm struggling to find anything there that justifies the label of "monster". Fluttering around the house and asking you if you'd like a cup of coffee sounds more to me like someone who is desperate to feel useful... in other words, a typical mum!

I'm interested in hearing more about the discussions you've had with your partner around this issue. How do you think you would feel if your mum was staying, and your partner was saying to you, 'tell her to leave'. How do you think you would react? I'm wondering what other ways you might try to communicate your needs that are different to what you've tried already?

Community Member

Thanks for the reply JessF 🙂

When my own parents stay it is only for two nights maximum (they live the same distance away as the in laws). My parents come for a catch up and maybe an activity and then they are on there way. If they stayed longer I would be comfortable with telling them. Once they were even going to stay in a hotel instead of with us. I guess because they also like their privacy and space to relax.

I don't find the fluttering around the house useful, it's annoying and interrupting to what I am doing. I.e reading to relax.

As she has already caused so much conflict between me and my partner in the past by our staying her welcome. We made a agreement to only allow both sets of parents to stay maximum 3 night, and they have to tell us when they are planning to leave rather then just the usual 'I'm not sure we don't need to hurry back home'. I am annoyed because he hasn't stuck to the three night rule.

its unfair for our home to be used like a holiday place and for them to think they have a sense of entitlement to it

Community Member

Hi again Jess

I didn't justify the Monster in law part at all.

Its the constant unsolicited advice, the having to be involved in every conversation I have with my partner, the fussing and taking over my home, (yesterday she even washed my underwear which was TO far) I am very capable of running my household.

I have not even had an hour alone with my partner for the last week, my partner feels the need to involve her in EVERYTHING we do when she visits.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Hello Gabeppp, sorry I missed your replies.

So it sounds like the arrangements for your parents stay are quite different from when your partner's mum comes to stay, that you both perhaps have different relatinshiops with your parents and how involved you both expect them to be with your personal lives. Perhaps you even have different values around this.

What steps do you think you could take to set some more satisfactory boundaries on these visits in the future?

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Gabepp, welcome

I know where you are coming from and I think your need for a stable relaxed environment has compounded the problem. In your world you cant be controlled or crowded.

The ither side of this is her intent. She means well but she is also unaware of her impact of smothering.

Also your husband sees no harm in her staying and for this reason I would suggest you visit a counselor. ..sounds dramatic but he has to see what impact she has on you.

Either that or you need to approach her about her length of stay. Maybe over one of those cuppas?. Tact might not be enough however to stem upset. Approach the topic with compliaments first then mention the quiet lifestyle you need for your condition. "So would you take offence if your stay in the future was limited to 3 days...?...like all my relatives do for that reason?

I'm concerned you and your hubby cant come to a compromise because by him being stubborn it means you are number 2.

The following thread refers to in-laws. You might get something out of it. Use google

Topic: in-laws the best approach- beyondblue

Tony WK

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello Gabeppp, I hope that you still checking on your post as it's been a couple of days since we heard back from you, however the feeling of being intruded upon is awful, because when I was married my wife would bring anyone into our house, plus we had two separate borders at different times, but they only annoyed me, because one young chap thought he knew everything and would take over everything he could and he controlled my sons in what they did and how they felt, so after a couple of months I told him to move out by tomorrow.
This is slightly different to your situation but the principle is the same, I loathed every minute of it, especially when I was struggling with depression.
I don't care whether it's your own mum or your MIL they are intruding into your privacy, fine 2 or3 nights is OK but a decision has to be made, by you, sure you can do it in a pleasant way, but how you do it she will be upset, just as you rearrange the furniture/ornaments back to where you want them, and not the way your MIL has decided where she thinks they would look best, or having a meal planned for between you and your husband, but instead your MIL cooks something instead.
If your husband is mummy's boy then it definitely has to be done, and if she gets cross with you then she won't come and visit you, sounds cruel, but it's your marriage and your life that you need to live. Geoff.

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

I'd like to expand a bit on what Geoff and I have suggested. Re: Geoff said

"If your husband is mummy's boy then it definitely has to be done"

I said "Also your husband sees no harm in her staying and for this reason I would suggest you visit a counselor"

My mother was very similar. When my first wife and I had our first child my daughter had Cholic. She wouldnt feed on the breast. The crying went on for 3 months. It was hell. We had doctor care and the visiting nurses. But we also had my mother. Although I was 33yo and wife 24, we all knew nothing according to my mother who had zero experience with Cholic.

In the end we caved in and fed the baby formula. It still didnt work but it made breast feeding more difficult. The nurses were fuming. My wife lost something crutial to her happpiness...to be able to breast feed our child. My then wife took a long time forgiving my mother over the level of interfering. And it was one of maany incidences that sowed the seeds for our severing of her from my life.

It was but one example. Your husband should in the least respect that your castle is your home. You are adults and have rights. In the end your intolerance will turn for the worse and ties will sever....possibly including your husband to you because your feelings are not his priority....

That is the main issue you have and if not sorted you have bigger problems than a smothering MIL.

If you suggest counseling and he refuses to go then go anyway but, when he asks "how did it go" dont discuss it. He can enquire by attending because all you will get is arguements.

Tony WK

Hey and welcome Gabe;

I've read thru these posts and tend to agree with Jess, though the guys have some good advice too.

I don't think I know a person who finds it difficult to have people stay over for a long period of time. The issue of feeling invaded and a lack of privacy/solitude, tends to peeve us off.

Personally, if my mum stays more than 2 hrs I'm needing med's! lol

Communicating your needs is the only way to get what you want. And most of all, please don't sweat the small stuff ok; the devil's in the details.

If you want privacy, say so. "I'm feeling a bit 'thingy' and need to lie down. Could you wake me in an hr please?"

Or; "It's time for my favourite show, could you all keep it down while I watch TV?"

People are basically the same. When we don't create boundaries, routines and rules, there's too many options. That's where arguments can flare up. I define how my home's run, even with my mother. She complains and tries to intimidate me with her 'mothering' techniques, only to be faced with the N word...No!

It's all in the way you communicate.

If you don't want her to stay for much longer, bring it up at the table in front of everyone. Chances are they'll be at odds with who they're going to offend so will try to manipulate each other. Don't put it onto her or hubby either, speak from 'your' perspective because they can't argue with that. - "I'm beginning to feel quite overwhelmed with the whole thing. I feel like my home isn't a peaceful place anymore."

Just a thought...best of luck...