Dear Blake,

My mother-in-law recently moved close to us. What drives me crazy is her entire focus is on us! She walks right into our home, although she has been asked several times not to. She goes through my things and takes whatever she wants without asking. I can never relax unless my husband isn’t home and I have locked the doors so she can’t barge in. When he is here, she comes over, walks in, and if we have company, thinks she should join our guests. I feel like the bad guy, but I just want what most people do — to feel content in my own home. What else can I do?

Signed, Rhonda

From Kalamazoo, Michigan

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Dear Rhonda,

Dealing with a mother-in-law on any issue can often create long lasting friction. In your case, not dealing with this issue might cause you to eventually get arrested for an aggravated assault. Here are some things you can do. Tell your husband that if he doesn’t tell her to respect your privacy, that you’ll tell your mother-in-law some embarrassing intimate secrets about him, that’ll make her wish she would’ve left him in the nursery the day he was born. Keep a list of the things she takes without asking, and at the end of each month demand full payment or you’ll sue her in small claims court. Invite some of your close friends over, and tell them beforehand that if that irritating old bat tries to join in, to say extremely malicious things about their mothers-in-law, and then you tell them you’ll trade with them in a heartbeat. But if you don’t want to say anything that will hurt her feelings, then this is what you should do. Wire the front doorknob so that it emits about 50,000 volts of electricity. After she’s knocked unconscious and resuscitated by paramedics, tell her that if she ever comes over and your husband is not home, to call 9-11 will be your “option”. I hope this helps.