Dear Massi, I am living with my in-laws. My husband is the eldest and he is the only son that is married.

My mother-in-law is fine with me when we are home, but as soon as me and my husband make plans to go out, she starts acting really needy. She tries every excuse to get us to not go out.  She pretends to be ill.

She says she has palpitations or headaches but never goes to the doctor. We end up sitting with her watching dramas and there really is nothing wrong with her.

Her behaviour is ridiculous and it’s so obvious she is faking it, but I can never say that to my husband and he is too blind to see it for himself.

I don’t know what to do, she’s always ruining our plans.

Massi says , It seems your mother-in-law is feeling insecure and left out.

Whilst her behaviour is unfairly imposing on your life, try and reassure her that you value her company. Perhaps suggest taking her out with you and your husband occasionally so she feels included.

You can even ask your husband to take his mother out himself so they can spend quality time together.

This will allow your mother-in-law to see that you do not feel threatened by them spending time together.