Cut­ting the apron strings

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Dear An­nie: My moth­erin-law is a widow and lives next door to my hus­band and me. I have never felt like we had pri­vacy, as she would walk over when­ever she felt like it and visit with­out call­ing first.

Even when we were newly mar­ried, she would just walk over to our house with­out reach­ing out be­fore­hand. Now, don’t get me wrong, she is a very nice per­son.

The prob­lem is that my hus­band, with­out even ask­ing my opin­ion, has said that when we build our house, he will put on an in-law apart­ment for her. He acts as if it is just a mat­ter of fact that this will hap­pen.

I fi­nally want to cut the apron strings. Am I be­ing self­ish? What should I do? — Ask for My Opin­ion, Please

Dear Ask for My Opin­ion: Healthy mar­riages have two key in­gre­di­ents: com­mu­ni­ca­tion and com­pro­mise. Clearly, your moth­erin-law is very im­por­tant to your hus­band. Be hon­est with him and say that you love his mother but that she should not just stop by unan­nounced. You can ex­press to him that there is some­thing re­ally nice about a son who re­spects his mother and wants to take care of her, es­pe­cially since she is wid­owed.

If your hus­band is set on hav­ing your mother-in-law law live next door, be clear about your bound­aries.

As for his build­ing an apart­ment for her on your new house, that might de­pend on whether your bound­aries are re­spected.

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