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How do I handle an interfering mother-in-law?

Q: My husband and I have been living separately with our 5 years old son since 5 years. Now, the last six months my mother-in-law has joined us and since then our life has become miserable. We are staying in one room apartment and don't get time to be together. We cannot even have sex. My mother-in-law has a habit of interfering in everything - whether I am talking to my husband or to my son, she will interrupt and start giving me a lecture as if I am always wrong. Now we both have got fed up with this situation and cannot even go out for a movie without her. Anywhere we go, she has to come with us. Now as we both are frustrated, we have started fighting, which we never used to do. At home, we prefer to stay quiet, because the moment we say anything, it will be corrected. This gives me a feeling that I know nothing. I am a working lady and work in a reputed University. Does anyone know how to deal with this kind of situation? We are really frustrated and my child too has become stubborn since he knows his grandmother is there to save him. He does not behave the way he used to. She will not even sleep early. My husband works till 10 at night and I used to put my child to sleep early at 8 pm so that we get time together. Now, even my son does not sleep and she too will not sleep until we sleep. If we try telling her anything, she starts fighting with my husband, which I don't want. Please help.

A:A confrontation seems necessary in your situation. It requires professional intervention and a family counsellor should be able to help facilitate a discussion. You could also try to befriend your mother-in-law and try to make her feel secure, as her behaviour could be a result of insecurities that come with old age. Think of the positive side of her living with you. After you have established a rapport with her, you could discuss your concerns slowly and calmly with her. Try to use her intervention to your advantage by involving her on your side instead of making this against her. Don't be afraid to tell her that you need to spend some time alone with your husband.

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