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He prowls into bedrooms of Mother in Law's house

(41 Posts)
Tillybelle Mon 01-Oct-18 11:33:14

I am shocked. My friend, in her 70s, phoned in distress last night. Her DD, SIL and 2 GS visited for lunch on Sunday. While she was chatting with DD in the kitchen she heard the thumping of SIL’s feel overhead upstairs. This had happened before. He snoops into the bedrooms and her study. She has put a lock on her study because of him! There is a downstairs loo so absolutely no reason for him to go upstairs in her house. She went to the foot of the stairs and he was standing at the top. He just stared at her. She was very shaken up. She does not want to upset her daughter. The first time she was in such shock she could not handle it and let it pass. She found things had been moved and knew he had entered her bedroom and the room of her partner who comes to stay but does not live there. SIL seems a bit OCD, always tidying at his home. She is a very busy lady with many interests and her house reflects this. I cannot excuse this man for any reason. She is getting locks for all doors now. SIL is highly intelligent with a responsible job, very highly paid. I was absolutely aghast, to me this is totally outrageous behaviour. My friend is extremely upset, is she and AIBU?

Tillybelle Mon 01-Oct-18 11:34:15

I need to add, my dear friend wanted me to post this.

Luckygirl Mon 01-Oct-18 11:36:41

Upset? - so she should be!

Grannyknot Mon 01-Oct-18 11:48:40

I don't understand the "treading on eggshells" bit and not upsetting her daughter (she's not the one snooping) - in my house I'd ask "What are you doing upstairs?" or "What are you looking for?" or "Is there something you need?" especially if it's family.

All perfectly reasonable questions ... confused

lottagelady Mon 01-Oct-18 12:00:02

Ugh! How creepy - what on earth is he after, nothing that doesn't fill me with horror - her jewellery to sell on or her underwear to put on! Maybe he just likes looking at peoples houses? Whichever, it's weird and I think her DD should know about it!

Tillybelle Mon 01-Oct-18 12:04:47

Grannyknot Me too - I suggested along such lines. There are reasons though, things are not easy for her. i am hoping she will be feeling confident enough to ask, in a very unemotional way, smiling politely, "What exactly were you looking for upstairs in my house?" However, I think she may not want to rock a rather delicate boat. I really feel for her. She is a special person, so kind and good to people.

Marthjolly1 Mon 01-Oct-18 12:14:09

tinybell it is definately not being unreasonable to be upset. I would be unable to let this happen a second time. No-one should have to put locks on their doors. I would have to ask 'why do you have to go upstairs'? and request him not to. I would also explain to your DD that is not acceptable when there is no reason, OCD or not.

Elegran Mon 01-Oct-18 12:20:32

If she plans something to say, she won't be struck dumb next time, she'll speak out. If he's not stopped he will keep on doing it.

Perhaps the next time she hears unexpected noises upstairs when they are visiting, she could act she is afraid, and say so, out loud "There must be an intruder upstairs! You go and check!" As the oldest there, she is not going to confront a burglar herself, of course! When SiL is revealed, she could say that there is no-one in the downstairs loo, it is empty so he doesn't need to go upstairs - and add with a laugh that the rooms don't need tidying up there either or she won't be able to find anything.

If he doesn't take the hint she may have to repeat the process, and possibly say that she is grateful for him wanting to help tidying but she'd really rather do it herself.

Situpstraight1 Mon 01-Oct-18 12:30:46

She really should have asked her daughter to go up and check that he was ok, or was he looking for something specific? That way the SIL would know that they were onto him. Unless he does it again when they are all together it is going to be a big deal to try and casually bring it up in conversation, meanwhile what if he turns up on her doorstep unexpectedly ? he will scare her to bits.
She really needs to talk to the family about this and not have to put locks on her doors, poor lady.

sodapop Mon 01-Oct-18 12:34:06

Some good ideas there Elegran I really don't see why this lady should have to put locks on her doors at all. Sometimes there has to be a confrontation however tricky that may be.
I hope your friend is able to resolve this Tillybelle.

sunseeker Mon 01-Oct-18 12:38:46

Could she not visit them and whilst there tell them calmly that she is uncomfortable with his prowling around her home and ask his reason.

Could he possibly be checking that everything is OK - roof not leaking etc? Although if she is finding things have been moved that seems unlikely.

Tony2018 Mon 01-Oct-18 12:49:20

Just wondering, would friend have reacted in same way if DD or GC had been in the bedrooms or study? Maybe SiL is just nosy.

MawBroon Mon 01-Oct-18 12:52:09

How about the spy trick of the bit of blu-tack on the door frame? The hair on the edge of the drawer?
Or a note on the bed?
Seriously , you have to be able to trust your family so this needs to be cleared up ASAP

Jane10 Mon 01-Oct-18 13:01:30

Unacceptable! She should speak to her DD about it. After that it's up to her to sort her husband out. If he does it again don't ask them back again. Creep!

Jane10 Mon 01-Oct-18 13:02:28

I meant this snooping behaviour is unacceptable not MawBroon's suggestions!

DanniRae Mon 01-Oct-18 14:41:22

I can't believe that as soon as she heard him walking about upstairs she didn't immediately go up and see what he was up to or at least say to her daughter "Why has 'John' gone up stairs?"
What is the problem? I must be missing something here?? shock

Grannyknot Mon 01-Oct-18 15:18:45

Danni from TIlly's reply to me I think there's a bit more to the story...

But I'd do the same as you, I'd be standing at the bottom of the stairs with my hands on my hips saying "What the heck are you doing up there?!" grin (not to make light of the situation).

Katek Mon 01-Oct-18 15:33:34

Sounds like he’s eyeing up the inheritance so to speak. I have a sil who actually started clearing fil’s bookcase and throwing things away when he was on holiday. It didn’t end very well, fil was very upset and angry as you’d expect.

muffinthemoo Mon 01-Oct-18 15:46:07

Absolutely outrageous behaviour.

Can she tell daughter that there can be no more visits at her house unless the prowling issue is addressed?

Completely unacceptable.

BlueBelle Mon 01-Oct-18 15:51:46

It might not be anything sinister but certainly not normal behaviour I don’t understand why Tilly just looked at him and said nothing I d have said ‘what do you want upstairs can I get you something’ and why are you expecting your daughter to speak to him I do not get that at all, you saw him, you ask him
Strange all round

Googoogoo1 Mon 01-Oct-18 17:06:05

Very difficult. I can quite understand why she didn't say anything. I think I might be the same, just wouldn't want to rock the boat so wouldn't say anything. If it happens again I think I would have to say, can I help you or get you something. It really is an unpleasant situation and depends what the relationship with the daughter is. If good, perhaps she could tactfully ask if she knew any reason for it.

Tillybelle Mon 01-Oct-18 17:46:29

MawBroon " *you have to be able to trust your family*"
Well said! That is the crux of it! I thought by writing to you all I would get a common-sense range of views I could help my friend appreciate. I am hoping she is reading this. I think she is in shock and perhaps scared of a row or bad feeling. I cannot be sure. To have to lock up your upstairs rooms is really extreme, I think. It is still bothering me a lot. Do you think our children's generation (40+ somethings) think they run our lives and can do what they like? It is so disrespectful! But trust is the most essential thing, you are completely right.

Tillybelle Mon 01-Oct-18 17:56:10

BlueBelle Actually it was my friend who is going through this and who phoned me for help. She was in shock, even hours afterwards. I said shall I ask Gransnet as she doesn't use any social media. I can both imagine both saying "What did you want upstairs?" and being struck dumb by the unbelievable rudeness of it. Indeed I have had some things happen when I should have made a very pertinent reply or asked the right question but all I did was just stare in disbelief and shock. I do identify with her feelings and about trying to deal with it. She does not want her daughter put in the middle between her mother and husband and is troubled in case her daughter is coping with other strange revelations of his behaviour but keeping going bravely. Very difficult for her.

Tillybelle Mon 01-Oct-18 18:10:25

Katek Crikey! I would have made sure he knew he had been struck out of the will!!
My reactions are very like muffinthemoo but then it didn't happen to me in my house. My feelings of outrage are for my friend and I feel it is completely unacceptable behaviour with no excuse, something one learns from about the age of 5, but then if it happened to me, I might feel frightened in truth. This man is very tall for a start.
I am sure all these replies will help my friend.
Incidentally, she did ask me could he have Autistic aspects or be on the spectrum. I've met him long ago and never picked this up. I did research in it so am pretty clued up. I still say, even with Autism spectrum disorder, it's inexcusable! My feeling, I am very sorry to say, is that he is judgemental about her life, which is busy. She is involved in a lot of charity work and works selflessly for others, so has a lot of things pertaining to this and is always busy. He has a meticulously and pristinely tidy and neat home where it is hard to imagine anyone making a cake and spreading flour around. He is always making his house bigger and better. My friend's house is truly a comfortable home. I think he is snooping so as to gossip about her house and criticise it, perhaps with his wife but more likely with his geeky friends. It's the only thing that fits my knowledge of him.

Cherrytree59 Mon 01-Oct-18 18:59:58

I agree I would be there with my hands on hips
And a "Yes. Can I help you?"

However I do understand that with him standing at the top of the stairs looming over her together with the fact that he is quite tall could make your friend feel at a disadvantage.

If she was to wait until he was seated (no longer having the height advantage) stand in front of him (the School Mistress approach).
And politly ask if he was looking for something in particular?

Other than a lock on the door (sad in your own home) I would suggest keeping personal papers, money and jewellery etc in a lockable filing cabinet.

Tillybelle Is your friends Sil completely unaware how heavy footed he is?shock