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    • RebekahR
    • By RebekahR 13th Oct 19, 4:29 PM
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    RebekahR
    Mother in law taking photos of inside my house
    • #1
    • 13th Oct 19, 4:29 PM
    Mother in law taking photos of inside my house 13th Oct 19 at 4:29 PM
    So this morning I heard and saw my mother-in-law taking photos downstairs. I was upstairs on the landing and could hear her. I asked who was flashing but she never said anything. So incase I was just making it all up I thought I would check her camera when I went down. Sure enough she had taken photos of all the messy places in my house. The side board with paperwork piled up, the messy kids toys, and the sofa with bedding on. Now seriously who goes into someone else's house and photos their paperwork, and indeed their private space??! I suspect as narcissistic as she is she will have great intentions of taking this home to show her friends and shame me. She detests that I don't keep a perfect house like she does. But seriously this is one step too far and I feel really violated! Or maybe I'm just being ott? ...
Page 2
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 13th Oct 19, 6:38 PM
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    Undervalued
    The trouble with these sort of threads is that we never get to hear both sides of the story!

    The OP presents / spins one set of "facts", presumably in the hope that lots of people will make sympathetic comments.....

    Yes, if the situation is exactly as described them most people would be upset. Being equally disrespectful, such as by going through somebody else's camera / phone without permission, is almost as bad (some might say worse)!

    What the MIL is alleged to have done is not a crime. There might theoretically be some possible civil remedies if she were to publish the photos (even by showing them to somebody else) but I can't imagine the OP is really going to go down that route.

    So, what are the options? Tell her that her behaviour is not acceptable (keeping in mind that the OP's conduct is not great either)? Or the more drastic option of banning her from the house, always assuming the OP's husband will agree as he presumably owns half!
    Last edited by Undervalued; 13-10-2019 at 6:41 PM.
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 13th Oct 19, 6:43 PM
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    HampshireH
    Not really sure why you invite her round.

    Just let the kids see her at her house.

    Surely someone so unhappy about the state of the place would rather not visit anyway.

    Your husband needs to grow a backbone and put his foot down but it does sound like you both accept her behaviour whilst she is there
    • onwards&upwards
    • By onwards&upwards 13th Oct 19, 6:44 PM
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    onwards&upwards
    The best solution here is just not to marry people with unbearable parents.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 13th Oct 19, 6:54 PM
    • 3,474 Posts
    • 5,363 Thanks
    NeilCr
    Meanwhile back in a parallel universe

    I sneak round taking photos and then, conveniently, leave my camera in a position where OP can access it. So either that's deliberate (knowing OP would look through it) or it's remarkably careless.
    • belfastgirl23
    • By belfastgirl23 13th Oct 19, 7:14 PM
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    belfastgirl23
    Just noting that the OP is a long term poster so maybe not fair tarring her with the Bluelass brush.

    I’d feel hurt by this as well - if you’re dealing with the impending death of someone close to you and your husband’s mother is taking it as an opportunity to pick you apart about your housekeeping.

    I think I’d be inclined to speak very directly about it to your MIL. Say that you know she disapproves of how you run your house and that you are choosing not to take this personally or argue with her about it because you think it’s important that your husband has a relationship with his mother and your kids have a relationship with their grandma. Make it really clear that you are taking the high road and being the bigger person (because it’s true). And then say that if you ever catch her taking photos of your house again or going through your things, she will no longer be welcome because that’s plain rude. After all we could all take unflattering photos of family of friends or of their belongings, as far as I’m concerned it’s a breaking of trust if we do so without their permission. As is poking about their house.

    And take care of yourself over the next while....

    • rach_k
    • By rach_k 13th Oct 19, 7:44 PM
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    rach_k
    I'd try having a bit of fun with it. Print out some really unflattering photos of her and stand them on top of whatever mess you have. Print a life insurance form (blank) and a receipt for a spade and tarps... leave them on top of your paperwork. Buy some books with messy or untidy in the title and leave them scattered. Next time, do the same for nosy!

    Yes, it's childish. No, it won't help. It might give you a giggle though, and it doesn't sound like she's going to change so you may as well have that.
    • Blackpool_Saver
    • By Blackpool_Saver 13th Oct 19, 7:54 PM
    • 6,102 Posts
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    Blackpool_Saver
    Is she after informing the SS's or something?
    Blackpool_Saver is female, and does not live in Blackpool


    • Purbeck
    • By Purbeck 13th Oct 19, 8:20 PM
    • 252 Posts
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    Purbeck
    Strikes me reading through that your husband is one of those whose mother is obviously used to having a tidy home, and that he either let her get on with all aspects of keeping him tidy when he was at home so has no need to do it now he has you doing everything for him, (aside from loading the dishwasher!) or he doesn't do much about the house with you because it's such a relief to have a bit of mess and not be nagged about it?

    Is it just a possible that MIL has OCD, and that the photo taking was done as a reminder to her that others aren't so particular? Or that she just can't break the habit because that's how she was raised ?( or what her own husband expected?)


    I really think you need to discuss this more with your OH, WHY does he do so little? Why does he not tell his mum he likes the more casual way you keep the home? Was she always like this when he lived at home? I am guessing he keeps out of it all 'for a quiet life', but he can't just ignore it if it's upsetting you.

    Another thing you might consider, when you go to her house does it worry her if the children are messy? I've known children who run riot and don't understand how much stress that is on someone whose house is always tidy, or even not tidy but has precious things in it ( and by precious I don't mean expensive).
    • Purbeck
    • By Purbeck 13th Oct 19, 8:33 PM
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    Purbeck
    Sorry just an addition

    "I don't even go in the same room as her when she stays "

    that says to me that the relationship was completely broken long before the photos were taken. You don't like her, she doesn't like you ...or at least neither of you can live like the other does..

    But she does want to see her son and grandchildren...and you presumably want them to see her! So could you not just for the times she's there make some compromise?

    Stuff the paper work in a cupboard ( I do that when someone's coming) throw a duster round, ask the kids to tidy as a bit of a game because "it's nice to make things neat for granny" or some such, and tell your husband that he MUST help tidy up, and smooth things over when she stays :-) Don't leave her time to fixate on any mess, ask her to help make cakes with the kids, take her out for a walk as the children need some 'granny time' and would love to go to the swings with her...some thing to stop her poking around where you don't want her to :-)
    • RebekahR
    • By RebekahR 13th Oct 19, 9:13 PM
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    RebekahR
    Tell her there's two adults living in the house, and the one with the penis is welcome to put a bit extra into keeping it tidy if he wishes.
    (Rephrase if your partner isn't a bloke, obviously)
    Originally posted by elsien
    Ha! She thinks he does everything round here ...! She half gets that impression because I have no support network or family to help so when she is here I stand back a bit as there are an extra pair of hands. Gotta take the rest and break when you can get it :-) But yes most of the time she tells me to help hubby please. You need to work as a team ...
    • RebekahR
    • By RebekahR 13th Oct 19, 9:16 PM
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    RebekahR
    Serious transgression of a visitor's rights to go through personal items and throw things away. She sounds like a domineering MiL from hell. In the short-term could you fit a lock to the door to a room or cupboard where you can stash clutter and paperwork when she visits? In the longer term, I'd be looking at keeping her increasingly at arm's length and asserting control over when she visits.
    Originally posted by coffeehound

    Yes actually. I could rearrange a filing cabinet that has a key. She certainly wouldn't go looking for it. She's a nosey old bat but she wouldn't search only look if its there. Long term we see her every 1-2 months as she lives 4 hours away so thankfully visits can be contained a bit!
    • RebekahR
    • By RebekahR 13th Oct 19, 9:18 PM
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    RebekahR
    The son will have been brow-beaten into submission a long time ago
    Originally posted by coffeehound
    Unfortunately this is extremely true and bang on for narcissism. He has been brought up with this behaviour and thinks its all normal. Like her coming into our bedorom when she wants - oh yes she knocks - as shes opening the door ... Or bringing him coffee to wake him up in the morning. Oh yes that could been seen as sweet. But I don't want waking that early or to have her irritating voice the first thing I hear the second I wake up
    • RebekahR
    • By RebekahR 13th Oct 19, 9:21 PM
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    RebekahR
    You should start treating her exactly as you would a naughty child. If she starts nit-picking about the state of your home (which is none of her business), put your hand up in front of her and say “stop that right now”. If she carries on, just walk away from her and out of the room.

    If she so much as touches any of your private paperwork or belongings, take it out of her hand and say “what do you think you’re doing? Leave our personal stuff alone. It’s not yours”. Do this in the tone of voice that you would use to discipline your toddler.

    If you find stuff in the bin again, keep it for next time she visits, and then pull her up on it. Tell her that she is not to dispose of anything in your house without your express permission.

    Cheeky old bat..she’d be getting a kick up the backside if she did that in my house. You need to start getting territorial in your own home!
    Originally posted by barbiedoll

    I laughed at this but your right actually. She knows no boundaries and has never accepted no as an answer. Even if I've had to raise my voice to her. She even goes as far as to wait until I not there to do things she wants to do. Like the throwing things away ... We have told her time and time again not to throw away our belongings but she starts again with the but you don't need that its rubbish, clutter etc. She genuinely just doesn't understand.
    • RebekahR
    • By RebekahR 13th Oct 19, 9:26 PM
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    RebekahR
    Not really sure why you invite her round.

    Just let the kids see her at her house.

    Surely someone so unhappy about the state of the place would rather not visit anyway.

    Your husband needs to grow a backbone and put his foot down but it does sound like you both accept her behaviour whilst she is there
    Originally posted by HampshireH
    Well this is the thing isn't it. 2 people in the house. Hubby invites her - I never do. I agree as to why on earth she turns up. I keep suggesting a bed and breakfast as she cant stand the place. But she says there is no need for that. Would mean hastle for her gtting from there to our house to see the kids. although we could visit outside the house - too much hastle to arrange for her. WE both tell her off but she still does behind our back even if we have said no to X. She then gets shouted at she might say sorry. And repeat on the next visit ... Hubby owns and pays for the house so technically its his house and not mine!
    • RebekahR
    • By RebekahR 13th Oct 19, 9:27 PM
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    RebekahR
    Meanwhile back in a parallel universe

    I sneak round taking photos and then, conveniently, leave my camera in a position where OP can access it. So either that's deliberate (knowing OP would look through it) or it's remarkably careless.
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    This is normal behaviour for her. She takes over one of our bookshelf to put her glasses, medication, camera, lipstick etc. So its not that its deliberate.
    • RebekahR
    • By RebekahR 13th Oct 19, 9:29 PM
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    RebekahR
    I'd try having a bit of fun with it. Print out some really unflattering photos of her and stand them on top of whatever mess you have. Print a life insurance form (blank) and a receipt for a spade and tarps... leave them on top of your paperwork. Buy some books with messy or untidy in the title and leave them scattered. Next time, do the same for nosy!

    Yes, it's childish. No, it won't help. It might give you a giggle though, and it doesn't sound like she's going to change so you may as well have that.
    Originally posted by rach_k

    This gave me a little giggle
    • duchy
    • By duchy 13th Oct 19, 9:30 PM
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    • 46,881 Thanks
    duchy
    Yes the OP is a long time poster and isn't trolling . <Hi Becca>
    I'd make sure I wasn't dependent on her for any help and arrange for hubby to take the kids to hers instead.
    We had a similar scenario with my Dad's much older sister (she was old enough to be my Mum's MIL ). It wasn't til. I was grown up I realised why although we saw her regularly it was less than once a year at our house. Dad was sent to visit her with us kids and Mum was usually "too busy" to go with us. When I was about 15 she forgot herself and critiqued my Mum in front of me (she was always critical of family behind their back but had the sense not to do it about Mum in front of me. ) when she realised I meant it when I said I wasn't having it (15 years old and no filter) she stopped and never did it again.
    And yes it's about time he grew a pair but if he hasn't done it yet he likely won't so be a bit creative.
    And it's not HIS house, it's joint marital property !!
    Last edited by duchy; 13-10-2019 at 9:34 PM.
    I Would Rather Climb A Mountain Than Crawl Into A Hole

    MSE Florida wedding .....no problem
    • RebekahR
    • By RebekahR 13th Oct 19, 9:31 PM
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    • 13,935 Thanks
    RebekahR
    Is she after informing the SS's or something?
    Originally posted by Blackpool_Saver
    Oh god no. Sounds awful. Thankfully she is very much a sandwich short of a picnic so no way she would even know how to go about that. Not that having a messy house is a crime with 2 small kids. Quite the opposite and much to be expected!



    I kid you not ... This woman once asked me (when pregnant with my first) how the baby breaths in my tummy. I nearly spat my tea out and had to ask her to repeat the question!
    • duchy
    • By duchy 13th Oct 19, 9:44 PM
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    • 46,881 Thanks
    duchy
    It's a moral and social crime though !
    Bearing in mind this isn't a one off but even before the OP got married the MIL was inappropriate and overstepped and it has clearly continued it's a very tough situation if the OPs husband won't say anything (and mean it).


    The trouble with these sort of threads is that we never get to hear both sides of the story!

    The OP presents / spins one set of "facts", presumably in the hope that lots of people will make sympathetic comments.....

    Yes, if the situation is exactly as described them most people would be upset. Being equally disrespectful, such as by going through somebody else's camera / phone without permission, is almost as bad (some might say worse)!

    What the MIL is alleged to have done is not a crime. There might theoretically be some possible civil remedies if she were to publish the photos (even by showing them to somebody else) but I can't imagine the OP is really going to go down that route.

    So, what are the options? Tell her that her behaviour is not acceptable (keeping in mind that the OP's conduct is not great either)? Or the more drastic option of banning her from the house, always assuming the OP's husband will agree as he presumably owns half!
    Originally posted by Undervalued
    I Would Rather Climb A Mountain Than Crawl Into A Hole

    MSE Florida wedding .....no problem
    • RebekahR
    • By RebekahR 13th Oct 19, 9:45 PM
    • 5,723 Posts
    • 13,935 Thanks
    RebekahR
    Strikes me reading through that your husband is one of those whose mother is obviously used to having a tidy home, and that he either let her get on with all aspects of keeping him tidy when he was at home so has no need to do it now he has you doing everything for him, (aside from loading the dishwasher!) or he doesn't do much about the house with you because it's such a relief to have a bit of mess and not be nagged about it?

    Is it just a possible that MIL has OCD, and that the photo taking was done as a reminder to her that others aren't so particular? Or that she just can't break the habit because that's how she was raised ?( or what her own husband expected?)


    I really think you need to discuss this more with your OH, WHY does he do so little? Why does he not tell his mum he likes the more casual way you keep the home? Was she always like this when he lived at home? I am guessing he keeps out of it all 'for a quiet life', but he can't just ignore it if it's upsetting you.

    Another thing you might consider, when you go to her house does it worry her if the children are messy? I've known children who run riot and don't understand how much stress that is on someone whose house is always tidy, or even not tidy but has precious things in it ( and by precious I don't mean expensive).
    Originally posted by Purbeck
    He is used to it from how he was brought up and is more than happy to let her do stuff. He on occassion might empty a few bins and throw the hoover around on a weekend. But not regularly. The mess upsets him too tbh however smallest has just started school so declutter is under way. And will resume once nans flat etc is sorted. All parents know these early years are so damn hard. Oh she certainly has OCD. Seriously generic mess gets her all worked up and panicked. Even a speck of dust or fluff on a hoovered floor and she will have to get down and pick it up. In her family line the women did everything and the place was kept spotless and the men were looked after. So for her it's how she was brought up. But I honestly can't relax when she's around it's all so panicky. In all honesty I feel for her that she cant see and relax and just ignore a pile of something on a table etc. Must be horrible living like that. Her own husband (died a couple of years back) was kept under hte thumb by her and she did hte same to him. Throw his things away, tell him he had too much stuff, choose his clothing and meals daily etc. Hubby keeps out of stuff because he jsut doesnt see it as a big deal. To him its normal. As for taking the children there that is nothing short of pure hell ... As babies they were fed by her (even when they could do it themselves as toddlers) she sat with kitchen roll in her and the slightest mess on their face, hands or the tray was wiped immediately, they are only allowed out 1 toy at a time tto play with, if they go in her immaculate garden in bare feet in summer shes sat by the door with a bucket of water and a towel to wash their feet before they go in and this year when we went up she locked the door so they didn't sneak in and they weren't allowed to go in for a wee. She said they were going in too much and told my youngest to go and wee behind the garage! When hubby went in for something I told the kids to come with me and we went up stairs and I played jigsaw with them and kept them in. It was so damn horrible to be locked out. Yes it's her house and we need to respect her wishes but to go to the lengths of locking visitors out is ridiculous! Yes your right about kids can run riot. It's worse tbh because she won't allow them sufficient toys out ot play with and entertain them so of course they are soon bored. She still has baby toys and expects a 4 & 7 year old to play with them. We took up more age appropriate stuff and she went mad that we were taking more clutter up
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