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Section: behavior, manners, relationships, marriage, family

Dear Ann Landers,
My in-laws have a habit of coming to our home without calling first. There have been times when my mother-in-law has called me on the phone "just to chat" and never says a word about coming over. Then, she shows up at the door 10 minutes later with a goofy grin on her face. I'm sure she enjoys these surprise attacks. My husband has asked his parents politely several times to call before coming over. One Sunday morning, they dropped by, and he refused to let them in, saying it wasn't a good time. You'd think they would get the hint. They didn't. I have come home from work on my lunch hour to find them in the house. We also have come home from work and seen evidence that they had been here. My husband gave them a key to our previous house, but when we moved, I refused to let them have a spare. However, there is a key that we keep hidden outside for emergencies, and my husband told his parents where it is. He said apologetically, "They might need to get into the house in case of an emergency." Ann, what can I do about this galling situation? I'm at the end of my rope and totally out of patience with my in-laws. Please advise. I no longer can think rationally about this problem. -- Ohio Nightmare Without End

Dear Ohio Nightmare,
Your principal problem is not with your in-laws; it's with your husband. Telling his parents where to find the hidden key was nothing short of a betrayal. Find another place for the key (not the mailbox or under the doormat -- that's the first place thieves look). Inform your husband in no uncertain terms that he is not to tell his parents of the new location. If your in-laws show up again on a Sunday, tell them bluntly that you are not ready for company and to phone in the future, please, because you cannot entertain them properly when they just drop in.

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A Note from Margo:
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!

Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!

Reader Comment
They make hide a key boxes with a combo you could use. Very handy and safer than just putting it somewhere.

Reader Comment
Back when this article was written times were very different. We didn’t have hide a key boxes and family always had a spare or knew where it was kept in case of an emergency. I miss reading her articles. It would be nice if it should original published date

Reader Comment
Sounds like you need to start “Naked Sunday’s”!

Maryann's Comment
Make new keys. They may have made copies. I cannot imagine why a woman (or man) would put up with this nonsense for so long. These people are nothing less than home invaders. When they show up without calling, she and her husband need to be united in their determination to refuse to admit them EVERY time.

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Deming NM's Comment
Call the cops and have them hauled off. Get a new lock and don't give it to your husband: he can knock when he wants to come in.

ELLEN's Comment

Reader Comment
YAY! I agree with Ellen's comment and have repeatedly stated the same thing. Get these goofballs off this site! They should put this crapola on their Facebook page, not on Ann Landers column!
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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:

Dear Readers,
, My x-girlfriend who lived with my son and I for 16 years died of cancer. Prior before we knew she had cancer-she moved out because of an addiction problem. We did stay very close before she died. Her x-husband an attorney took over her finances and the burial arrangements. I being financially set was okay with that, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Nobody gets to live life backward. Look ahead, that is where your future lies."
-Ann Landers