DEAR ABBY: Whenever my husband, kids and I go away, my mother-in-law insists on staying at our house. She then rearranges the rooms in my house, moving things to where she thinks they should be. She also manages to leave behind her toiletries in the bathroom.
More than once she has thrown a party for her friends during our absence. It drives me crazy. Going on vacation stresses me out because I have no idea what I’m going to come home to. When my husband tells her I don’t like when she rearranges things, she gets defensive and cries about how she “can’t understand why I hate her.” I don’t hate her; I just wish she would respect my boundaries in my house. Advice? — INVADED IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR INVADED: I’m glad to provide some. The next time your MIL insists on housesitting while you are on holiday, say you have made other arrangements and do not waver. (If necessary, change the locks.)
DEAR ABBY: My husband had a stroke five years ago. I’ve been taking care of him ever since. I recently found out that he cheated on me. I want to get him into a VA home. What form would I need? I’m hoping to avoid a messy divorce. I’m fine if we stay married but no longer live together. He accuses me of “not doing anything.” Our house is paid for and we have no debts. Our daughters are grown and live elsewhere. Should I contact an attorney? — WANTS OUT IN THE SOUTH
DEAR WANTS OUT: By all means, contact an attorney. You have a responsibility for your husband’s welfare. Abandoning him to a VA home may not be the best solution for HIM, even though it may seem like a convenient one for you.