Dear Mrs. McVeigh,
My sister-in-law does not seem to know boundaries when it comes to dropping by not invited. For example, if she drives by and sees that we are entertaining, she will randomly show up, and sometimes with some of her friends. We live in the same neighborhood and our children attend the same schools, so she thinks that she should automatically be included when we have people from the neighborhood over. She even has the nerve to comment negatively about some of our friends while they are at our house, and will pull me aside in the kitchen and ask me why we would invite them over. Then she somehow got my husband to give her a key to our house for “emergencies,” and feels free to use it if we do not answer the door within a few seconds when she comes over. I am so sick of the situation, and my husband will not talk to her and tell her to stop, because he does not want confrontation. What do you suggest that I do?
Sick of It Sister in Law
Dear Sick of It Sister in Law,
This is a tough situation to handle, and I understand your frustration. First I would find an excuse to get back your key. Short of changing the locks or distracting her while she is at your house and taking your key off of her key chain, I would find a way to get it back. Next, I would tell her ahead of time when you were having an event, and tell her you have the maximum amount of people attending, and so sorry she cannot attend as well. Also, tell her that you know she dislikes several of the people who are coming. Add that you want to “make it up to her.” Suggest a specific date that you can have her over, and ask her whom else she would like you to invite. It sounds like she does not like being excluded, so try to give her attention – but on your terms – not hers.