When this woman is annoyed with her MIL, she asks Reddit:
While I was home alone, MIL let herself into our home using the code BIL gave her when he fed our cat while we were on vacation. He gave it to her when he couldn't come over one day.
We had no idea. I don't know if she knew we weren't supposed to be home at that time, but I ended up staying home.
She and my husband planned for her to drop something off at 'some point' in the coming days, but they didn't plan a specific time bc if no one was home, she was going to drop it off outside the door. I vaguely knew of these 'plans'.
So after she surprised me with her unexpected presence, I sort of lost my cool. First, because I was startled and a bit scared for a second (I always know when my husband comes home by the sound of the garage).
Second, not surprisingly, she has a huge problem with boundaries that husband deals with. I raised my voice asking why she was here, how she let herself in, then I told her she can't just do that, and that we're going to change the code.
She herself was stunned by my reaction (probably bc I've always been super nice), tried explaining herself (she didn't want anyone to steal the empty Tupperware she was leaving).
She said she's never let herself in before. She started tearing up, apologized, then left.
She is highly sensitive and kind of fragile. If my husband tells her he can't do yet another thing for her, she will tear up and weakly say 'oh, th-that's ok...'.
The entire family believes it’s manipulation. He's learned (through therapy) not to immediately cede to her when she does that.
She called husband crying, told him I screamed at her, insinuated she was 'crazy', and made her feel 'very, very unwelcome.' Last part is true, but the first two are absolutely not, but I believe if anyone raises their voice at her, she perceives that to be “screaming”.
She kept on telling him he can't let me talk to her like that (I don’t think in a sexist “keep your woman in line” way, I think it was more “she knows I’m sensitive so she can’t talk to me that way” way.)
Husband is behind me, but I can tell he's just worn out. WITAH for losing my cool in the moment when husband wasn’t there to intervene?
NTA. She let herself in using a code to the door you had no idea she had been given and did not have permission to have. You had every right to be upset. And, under the situation, you also had every right to make her feel unwelcome.
At this point, you have no idea who else BIL or MIL might have given the code to.
NTA - I don't think you should have to temper your reaction just because she is 'sensitive'.
You were startled by what you thought was an intruder in your home and then irritated to find out it was a family member who let themselves in without permission or even notice - you reacted the way most people would.
She needs to look to her own actions if she doesn't like the consequences. She KNEW that she did not knock/ring the bell to see if either of you were home before she let herself in.
She KNEW that she did not get the code from you or your husband or have permission from either of you to use it. She cannot just do whatever she wants and then cry fowl when she doesn't like people's reactions.
Yes, maintaining boundaries is hard and can feel exhausting. But dropping the boundaries and letting people walk all over you is not better. You have every right to talk to an intruder in your home any way you wish.
NTA but not an “ideal” response. You MIL has no boundaries at all. That acting fragile BS is entirely manipulative. Oh, and she’s worried about the Tupperware being stolen? Ok then.
I don’t blame you for being startled and pissed off. Ideally you might have stayed very calm and asked her not to let herself inside using the code (then change it!) but that’s in an ideal situation.
If your MIL is so sensitive she needs to stop acting like an AH or she’s going to piss people off.
One more thing- your MIL should NOT be whining to your son about this issue (triangulation). She needs to work this out with you directly.