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I'm a single mom for 2 kids. My husband passed a decade ago. Lets name my sons: Arno 34 and Bob 31. Both married, moved out and have a kid each. Bob and his family have settled relatively far away. But I do visit them and they visit me.

Problem is with Arno's wife, who lives nearby (40 mins away) We've had few unpleasant conversations and unpleasant days in the past. I've requested them not to visit me. May be if we stay apart for few months, things will cool down and we might have a better relation. Still they keep coming, asking for money, verbally abuse me, controlling my friends circle, snatching things from me, hide things (eg: tv remote, ac remote, keys etc), yup! very very irritatingly silly to deal with!

I'm self made, worked hard in my own days, very independent. But now I want to lead my retired life peacefully and quiet. But this is been happening for a long time and now I've really given up on them and I just want to be left alone. They become reckless and scare me sometimes. I'm just fed up of them and their behavior.

When I request them not to come, their response: This is my father's/father-in-law's home, I will/can come, you can't stop it.

I've tried all possible ways to explain them what values in life are, how I treated my in-laws, how my husband (when he was alive) treated my parents. What we would teach their kids if you keep doing this. But none seems to be working, they are not getting it. How do I keep myself from them bullying me?

PS: I live in southern part of India, Bob and family are affectionate towards me, but I've been living in the same home for pretty much my entire life after marriage and I don't want to leave my home/friends/circle from the place I currently stay.

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This answer is being given by someone unfamiliar with the laws and customs of India, so it may or may not apply.

You have a right to peace which is not superseded by the rights of others to invade your home. You (and your husband) paid for your home, you own it (do you own it by law? Does your son have a valid claim to any of it at all?) and it is the place you have chosen to live. Take a stand (which you have done) and set boundaries. If you're unfamiliar with healthy boundaries, please read about them. It will help you navigate the lack of respect being shown you by your son and daughter-in-law.

If your son and his wife have keys to your house, you can have the locks changed. They will be unable to enter your house in the event they show up uninvited. If you simply explain every time that you will not allow them into your house uninvited, eventually they should get the idea. If they're shouting at you through the door, put on some loud music or earplugs, then apologize to the neighbors later on if you feel the need to explain.

Initially, only meet outside of your home. Let it be known beforehand that verbal abuse is not acceptable behavior, and if you are visiting with them (at their home, a restaurant, a park, or other) and they become abusive, excuse yourself and leave. Again, if this happens often enough, they will get the picture (or should.)

You've tried the explaining route and the setting-an-example route (how you treated your in-laws.) Now it's time to enforce your own rules.

You run the risk of alienating your son and his wife even more, but it sounds like a bad situation already.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

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