My sister-in-law utilizes our car without seeking our consent first

By Thao   March 9, 2024 | 03:17 pm PT
Instead of directly requesting to use our car from my husband and me, she merely informed my mother-in-law that she would take it.

Despite being part of the family for nine years, I’ve struggled to establish a good rapport with my in-laws, particularly my husband’s mother and sister.

Although my husband and I have sufficient savings to purchase our own apartment, we choose to stay with my aging parents-in-law who often suffer from health issues and desire proximity to their children and grandchildren. Living under the same roof as them, we contribute VND10 million ($406) every month to help cover living and food expenses.

We have independently financed a car for my husband’s and my use, ensuring we are not economically dependent on my in-laws, and even offer additional financial support. Nonetheless, my mother-in-law continues to see me as an outsider, showing favoritism towards her daughter.

During the Tet Lunar New Year celebration last month, my work commitments kept me busy until the evening of the day before New Year’s Eve, preventing me from assisting my mother-in-law with the holiday preparations. Nevertheless, I contributed financially towards the festivities by sending her some money to purchase special holiday foods.

Despite my efforts, my sister-in-law criticized me for not supporting our mother-in-law with the preparations, leading her to cook late into the night, though she didn’t assist her mother herself.

Moreover, the most irritating incident occurred during the Tet holiday, which coincided with a two-week vacation that my husband and I took, when my sister-in-law took our car. She did not seek our permission but merely informed my mother-in-law, instructing her to keep it from me, even though the car does not belong to my mother-in-law. I became aware of this only after my father-in-law inadvertently brought it up.

This wasn’t an isolated incident, as my sister-in-law had previously used our car, occasionally obtaining my husband’s permission, yet she never replenished the fuel afterward.

The situation left me extremely upset, and I felt compelled to confront her directly, but my husband discouraged me, worrying it might lead to family strife over a mere vehicle.

How can I ensure that my sister-in-law refrains from using our car without permission in the future?

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