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I suspect that my mother-in-law is taking things from my home

I have been married for over 20 years and have lived out of state away from my in-laws. They have visited every couple of years or so. Each time they depart, a few days or couple of wks later I discover an item missing- small silly things like (2) pairs of kitchen scissors, (2) can openers, a peeler, an apple slicer,  usualy small kitchen gadgets, and most recently a knife that was stored n a sharpening holder. When we moved from one home, I found a pair of  my scissors shoved to the back of a top cabinet shelf, which took some effort to get them in there! I have talked with my husband who seems to thinks it funny, but does not deny that she would so such a thing. I think its simple passive aggression, which would fit her very emotionally repressed personality-I am the total opposite. What do you think? Anyone else ever have this problem? We have always gotten along very well and she has always been complimentary about my cooking, my parenintg and my home. Ironically, she is the opposite, mediocre at best cook, her house is a piled up mess-she is definitely a hoarder-she keeps shoeboxes full of junk mail.

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Asked by Zeldana at 7:59 AM on Apr. 29, 2011 in Relationships

Level 2 (6 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • Get a NannyCam. It sounds weird. Have you found the other items? I know my friend's MIL rearranges things and it drives her nuts. She came home one day and opened the cabinet to get a cup only to find her pots and pans. This stuff happened every time she came to visit. Another time she was trying to convince her son (my friends hubby) to rearrange the kids room because she thought the girl needed more sun.

    Answer by Shaken1976 at 8:03 AM on Apr. 29, 2011

  • The only thing I ever recovered was the pair of scissors I found in the top of my cabinets. Sometimes I think she is not all there...I actually have watched her clean off and wash foil to save it and use a damp cloth to clean off a paper tablecloth for saving...they are not poor. When they visit she lines my sink edge with their dirty glasses and wadded up napkins---it's weird! Love to see them-love to see them go!

    Comment by Zeldana (original poster) at 8:10 AM on Apr. 29, 2011

  • I have had to deal with this from my SIL -- I set a "trap" -- that wasn't hard to spot or figure out (like a slip of paper in the closet door to see it had been opened) --- Apparantly, she DID open the door, but the slip of paper blew out in front of her and she figured out I suspected HER of taking things -- so miraculously, things just STOPPED dissappearing! I LOVE the nanny-cam idea! I HATED not being able to trust family members in my home! UGH!

    Answer by BaileysMom476 at 8:17 AM on Apr. 29, 2011

  • it sounds like she is a hoarder. These are classic signs of it. Lining things in your sink. She refuses to throw anything away. You may want to approach your dh about trying to get her some help. This is going to be very touchy for him. But it really sounds like that is what is going on. As far as the taking things from your home you can always keep a good eye on her and approach her calmly when you catch her. I hope this helps.

    Answer by amberpaiz at 8:32 AM on Apr. 29, 2011

  • the only way to get her to stop is to confront her or accuse her, even if she didnt do it. My SIL always thought she could take my kids's shoes and no, she doesnt have any kids. She is also not all there, i finally just decided to keep asking her where they go to. Next time she comes and you have discovered something missing beforehand like your peeler, say "the last time you were here my peeler was gone, do you know where it went?" keep questioning her, don't let things go and keep accusing her to a point where she will get sick of the accusations and hopefully stop. Just be sure that your peeler is gone and missing though, it'd be embarressing if you found it elsewhere and you kept accusing her.

    Answer by americansugar80 at 9:01 AM on Apr. 29, 2011


    Answer by prdVirgobby at 10:18 AM on Apr. 29, 2011

  • She may just be a klepto not really realize that she does it. Talk to your DH, sounds like she needs help.

    Answer by Audrice1985 at 12:36 AM on May. 1, 2011

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