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.