Cutting the apron strings
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.