My mother-in-law thinks she can rule our household after coming to live with us

DEAR DEIDRE:  MY mother-in-law thinks she can rule our household after coming to live with us when her husband died.

What’s worse is my husband seems to agree.

I’m 34 and my husband is 36. My mother-in-law was suddenly widowed three months ago and left very hard-up. She’s 68.

I cook all our meals and do chores while she watches TV. We have no privacy.

The final straw was when she rearranged everything in the lounge and bought a garish new rug.

I asked her politely to return it to the shop where she bought it.

This has turned me into public enemy number one.

My husband takes her side. I’m ready to run away.

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DEIDRE SAYS: Tell your husband your marriage is on the line.

Reorganise so that your mother-in-law has her own eating and leisure space.

Turn it into a bed-sitting room she can decorate as she chooses.

Maybe agree you all eat a cooked evening meal together but she sorts her own breakfast and lunch.

Bereavement counselling from Cruse (cruse.org.uk, 0808 808 1677) could help her. Encourage her to find new interests too.

My e-leaflet Fifty Plus has lots of ideas.

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