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Parent In-laws over stepping the boundaries.

Community Member

In the past, we have had issues where my parent in-laws are to involved in our life and over stepping boundaries. They use to have a say in everything we do, constantly forcing help onto us after numerous polite declines, being involved in decisions that my husband and I should be making as a couple or parents. On one occasion, without even consulting us first, they had discussed between themselves that they would be having our kids for 3 days and us 4 days, for the next 2 weeks. Unprecedented.
I lost my marbles. However, we addressed it with them, result was awkward but respectful. Since then, things have been good but my instincts tell me that they want to be more involved with our life.

Then, this happens!!!
My parents in-laws stay at my house for 2 nights to look after my children while hubby (their son) and I had to travel interstate.
We have always had a guest room in our home, to make sure we can accommodate visitors with comfort and own space/bedroom. e.t.c . The guest room is immaculate, clean linen, wardrobe space e.t.c. All of our guests have stayed in this room and have never had a problem with it.
When the parents in-laws arrived, they set themselves up in the guest room as normal. They have stayed at our house before, so they are familiar with our Guest Etiquette in our home.
However this time, when we returned, my mother in-law told me that her and my father in-law slept in our bed without even asking if its ok or not. My mother in-law made comment that "some people can be funny about it". But they did it anyway.
The bed and bedroom I share with my husband is our own private room, our own space. Its the only place on this earth that we share together and we don't have to share it with anyone else (expect our little ones for cuddles).
I am really crept out by this, I actually cannot sleep in that room now or bed. They whole thing grosses me out. My husband doesn't see a problem with it, but he can see where I am coming from and how invasive it is for me.
In particular knowing that my father in-law is ok with sleeping in his daughter in-laws bed without asking, is next level creepy. And he choose that over the allocated guest bed provided. Worst thing is, my mother in-law knew that not all people are ok with this sort of thing happening, but did it anyway.
They claim to be simple people, respectful people, but I am really struggling with this.
Lost all privacy. What next.

7 Replies 7

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi SummerOz

Welcome to Beyond Blue (BB) forum. People who respond are friendly, caring, supportive and respect privacy.

While I see you are struggling with your parents-in-laws and that you perceive you have lost all privacy, I am struggling myself to know how the forum can help you.

The threads in this forum are for people who are struggling with their mental illness. We provide support in these instances to help people manage their lives.

If you wanted to let us know about the assistance you'd require, then we'd be able to provide a better response to your post.

For instance, do you experience anxiety because your father-in-law slept in you and your husband's bed? I guess I'm from the old school, when I have visitors, I've given up our bed for them. It used to be a practise in the past - generally because the head of the household bed was always the better one. I know things have changed significantly over time, but perhaps for your parents-in-law (because of the old practise), it's not such an issue.

Kind regards


Community Member

Its raised a lot of anxiety within myself, I feel miserable and discounted (not heard or respected) in the family and now the family home. Its creating issues between my husband and I.
I get the old school way and understand every household operates in different ways.
I hate feeling like this. I hate feeling that if I speak up, I become the Vilan.
Instead, I have reached out to now to an online forum for answers.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Summer,

I can understand how this has stirred up a lot of anxiety and tension and irritation and a whole lot of other feelings for you.

Your boundaries have been violated and it feels yuck. You lay your home, your sanctuary open to people and they used it in a way for which they did not have permission. The bedroom for you is an intimate, maybe almost sacred space, and it's been invaded by one who purports to be respectful of people's feelings around the issue.

As Pamela said, not everyone has this outlook about the bedroom, but for your mother in law to say she knows some have an issue with it and then go ahead and do it anyway ... I think it's rude.

I can understand how this is impacting on your feelings of mental wellbeing, because after all this is your husband's family and you feel violated by them.

If it was me, I'd be burning some sage and clearing the energy from the bedroom, opening all the windows and clearing it all from my mind if possible.

I think the next thing is that you will need to make clear your boundaries with these people, very clearly. As they've overstepped the mark in the past, with your children and now the bedroom thing, it's likely to happen again. You and your husband will need to stand united on it ... it sounds like he respects where you're coming from, so that's a great start.

Sorry to hear this has initiated high anxiety for you.

Please keep talking more here, it might help to blow off some steam at least.


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hello SummerOz

Thank you for sharing how you are feeling. It helps me to understand so I can provide a more helpful response.

Anxiety is not easy to live with. I have lived with it for many many years. There is no quick easy stop button. It takes a lot of determination, persistence, time, energy, support. I have all these and still need to do daily things like - slow my breathing.

There are a number of different things that I find very useful in managing anxiety.

1. I go to the doctor and get a refer to a therapist (usually a psychologist) on a mental health plan that entitles me to 10 bulk billed visits.

2. Go to fortnightly visits with the psych. And do my homework. Homework is all part of healing.

3. Learn some self-help techniques, such as slowing the breathing (counting to 5 as I breath in and to 5 as I breath out). I add in a couple of additional counts if my hearts is hitting the roof, for instance - count to 5 while I hold my breathe and count to 5 without a breathe.

4. Have a look at the BB homepage under the anxiety tab 'facts' and work my way through that.

5. Do some grounding, mindfulness and meditation (with yoga). There are a number of very good threads in the forum under staying well for these processes that you might find useful.

The answer to anxiety is not a quick fix. Have a read of other peoples journeys in some of the threads and you will see.

In addition, if you want or need to talk with someone then you can:

  • Call BB Support Service 1300 22463624
  • Call Lifeline 13 11 14
  • Chat on line at BB between 3pm and 12am.

Let me know if you want to talk some more here. Then I'll be around for a little while.

Kind regards


Community Member
i personally think your husband needs to be the one to address this. You need to see it from their persoective too they are dropping everything to ensure that you and your husband can travel. I completely understand boundaries but this needs to be laid by your husband..

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi SummerOz,

I agree with Pamela, if something needs to be said, this should really come from your husband rather than you. These are his parents and it may damage bonds otherwise. That being said, if you don’t feel confident that he will listen to your concerns/feelings and set boundaries with his parents, then your problem may be with him rather than them.

I think this is a very common situation. Some parents are naturally more intrusive in their children’s lives, and the other partner may not be used to that same level. It’s likely that your husband is somewhat used to this level of (over)involvement from his parents, but you grew up in a different household and so you are not. I have had similar problems with my in-laws in the past. But I think the main thing to be mindful of is that they are his parents, that won’t ever change, and that relationship is very important to foster. Personally, I would hate if my partner got a ‘set’ on my parents and didn’t want them involved. You also do benefit from their help. I think it’s important to keep things in perspective (as anxiety can make us lose it), they weren’t being malicious but likely just wanted to sleep in the better bed. I think perhaps limit your contact for a little while if you can, until your feelings settle down a bit.

Also culture is a factor sometimes. For me for example, it is quite common to offer your room to a guest as stated “the better room”. Often in poorer countries there is no luxury of guest rooms and sense of space is not like here...literally a relative may sleep in the kitchen and offer you their bed as that may be the only bedroom.. My relatives when I visit insist on giving me their bed...so I am not too weirded out by it..However, again it is your house so I would say just explain to your husband the situation.