You are here

Changing locks/passcodes/return of keys

JustAnotherStepMomPNW's picture

Help, I need advice! So, I've explained to DH that his adult children coming and going as they please while I am at work, without a phone call or text, any knocking, communication (especially since they refuse to be civil or acknowledge me) doesn't work for me. My adult children don't have keys or the code and when they come over, I know they are coming. I know it WAS their home. It is not where they live any longer though and I am just wanting more privacy but am feeling like a major biach.....please, if you have had a conversation about any of the above and have advice, I'd love to hear. DH is having major anxiety about them flipping out when they learn the locks been changed. He is currently avoiding the conversation and I've been letting it slide. I had tried to explain to him that if his kids have those things to our home, them my children, their spouses and grandchildren should also have that. He hates "other people" having access. I get it, I HATE coming home and seeing that people have been here while I work. I don't know how to make him see that it's fair for nobody but us to have them, once again, I'm struggling with what is ok and not. I don't give any craps anymore if his kids like me, it doesn't matter if I do something good or bad, I'm always a villain.

susanm's picture

What is it that they are coming in for?  Do they still have belongings there?  Just coming in and out for no reason sounds odd.  I would tell him that he needs to make a decision because you are either going to call a locksmith or give out keys to everyone in the family and half of your neighbors.  He may hate "other people" having access but his kids are other people to you just as your kids are other people to him.

JustAnotherStepMomPNW's picture

Thank you. I dont really know what they are coming for since I'm rarely home. The other night SS came in, walked past the couch after saying hi to his Dad, went to his sisters room and petted the cat, went to the bathroom, grabbed food from the fridge then left. I just hate it. Ugh. 

tog redux's picture

I can’t even begin to imagine people who aren’t civil to me having keys to my home. On what planet does DH think that’s OK? 

They are adults, it’s no longer their home, it’s your home. Even with my parents in an intact marriage, I let them know if I was stopping by. 

The change needs to be communicated to them by DH, but if he won’t do it, I suppose they hate you anyway, so what do you have to lose.


STaround's picture

This is debateable whether she is an adult or not.  They have been married two years, and I could be wrong, but i think he owns the house.  I would not change locks without his say so.

JustAnotherStepMomPNW's picture

Truth! I told him that if he was struggling with how he is "breaking it to them" to just blame me. Ha, doubt they can hate me any more than they already do. 

grace8205's picture

After skid was kicked out in 2015 I called a locksmith and had the locks re-keyed while DH was out of town on business. He came back I told him and he wanted to give his kid a key, I told him no, I don’t have a key to skid’s house he doesn’t need one for mine. I installed a electronic lock and all locks are equipped with smart key system so I can re-keys the locks myself and when we moved I did the same. 

My own son doesn’t have a key either, he doesn’t live here so there is no need. Somethings are worth putting your foot down. This is one of them. 

futurobrillante99's picture

Smart key locks are the BOMB!! I have them in my new house and had them put in the house I owned with XH2, but he wouldn't dare lock his darlings out even when they had been told to stay out of our house while we were out of town (due to parties, etc).  Because he wouldn't keep his kids out, I had to PAY my son to house sit to keep them from destroying the place.

Honestly, I don't think I could live in someone else's former marital home. Even with new guy, he and his wife bought the place over 30 years ago. It's a cute house, but they raised their daughter there and he has everything set up to his liking. His house isn't really conducive to us cohabiting, so if we ever decided to cohabit, we'd have to start fresh with OUR own place.

If your DH won't budge, look into getting your own place for a while.

Sandybeaches's picture

There is no reason for them to come into your home when you are not there.  If they have things there they need to pack them up and take them to their home!!!! 

We have a pool and I used to come home and find that step-daughter had stopped by with her friends when she did not live here since her parents split up.  For this I used the not in the pool when we are not here liability.  It worked for us.  Then she came into the house a few times and stole our change jar once and that was it!  Our locks were changed and the step-kids do not have a key!!! 

Your husband needs to find a way to put his foot down and his wife first!!! Change the locks and pass codes and tell him no more!!! it is not fair to you.  Do you have a pet that you can say your afraid they are going to let them out or some other excuse to give him to tell them?  The pool safety worked for us but we all know that wasn't the real reason they couldn't come when we weren't home....  sometimes a white lie does the tirck and gives a reason without having to tell the truth but still getting what you want...

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

Stepdemon will not have access to my home when he is 18+. Right now, he and/or his asshole Biowh0re “mother” aren’t allowed on my property when he is with his “mother.”

There is a light's picture

Year back I had this kind of disrespect.  ss32 not acknowledging my presence but having the keys to our ho

After a few months of arguing, I simply changed the locks.  I told Dh that I think he is acting unreasonable and being unfair to me.       This is not their home.   

You really need to put your foot down.   

Curious Georgetta's picture

Into the house, it is understandable that he and his children may not and obviously did not expect things to change.

Access practices and policies vary among families. My siblings and I all have keys and alarm codes to our patents:' home. If they are in the house, we would never enter without knocking and waiting to be invited into the house.

If they are out and we have ocassion to need to go over, we do not need permission nor do we need to alert them. We have an understanding among us as to how we  function as a family. This is not an uncommon practice among many families.

However, it is not by any means the only access policy and practice.

Your husband may not want to change his policy.  How do you guys settle any issue on which the 2 of you disagree,?  Do you both accept the fact that each person's opinions and feelings carry equal weight and equal validity?  Neither party is  more important in the decision process.

Maybe you can agree that they will not enter without knocking  of you are at home; actually that is only basic courtesy.

He should not have to change locks keys, or codes . If you do not trust his kids, perhaps you could ask him to put a special lock on your bedroom. This allows you to close off a  space just for you.

If he had moved into your home, would you have permitted him to give his kids keys to your house? Instead, you moved into his house and you want him to take back keys from his kids. In essence, you want  from him a privilege that you in the reverse situation would not have granted to him.

Compromise means that the feelings and expectations  of both parties are equally weighted to reach a mutually acceptable solution.

tog redux's picture

If you EVER agreed that a WIFE'S needs should come before those of the ADULT kids, I think I'd have a stroke.

The OP's DH is the one refusing to let her kids have keys, while he wants his kids to continue to have free access. He should not have gotten married if he wanted everything to stay the same.  It's her home, too.

Curious Georgetta's picture

precedent. I think anyone who think that their needs take precedent in a marriage or partnership should probably remain single. 

The only way to ensure that your needs  and wants should be controlling is to be the only party making decisions in your orbit.

I didn't say the kids should matter more than the wife.

I said that the husband and his views matter as much as the wife and her views.

futurobrillante99's picture

Welp, the NEED for harmony in the marriage takes precedent over the father's NEED to allow his adult children free and unfettered access to the home they no longer live in. He places as a priority over his wife's need for privacy, the feelings of his adult children.

The question is, does he want a happy marriage and home or does he want to indulge his kids?

The needs of his WIFE are more important than the WANTS of his children.

Curious Georgetta's picture

upon  the wife 's position or feelings being controlling  or the deciding factor in every situation?

If so, the OP should have stated that prior to the marriage , and her husband could have decided if he found that to be an acceptable stance for a partner to take.

The OP does not want a partner; she wants a puppet.

The adult way I handling disagreements generally involves discussion and mutually agreed upon compromise.

tog redux's picture

No - but her happiness might be contigent on not having his adult kids barging into her home whenever they see fit. 

tog redux's picture

My right to privacy trumps his right to give his precious babies free access to MY home.

This is reason number 17 why I would NEVER move into the old custodial home. 

Curious Georgetta's picture

enter someone  else 's space is by definition  and circumstances subject to modification.

Why is it so difficult to understand and accept that the husband 's feelings on any subject are as important as that of the wife?

I am not saying that either of them is absolutely right or wrong. I am saying that the solution lies in compromise.



tog redux's picture

Because this is not an EQUAL needs situation. This is not, "Well, should we go for Chinese food or Mexican food?", it's about her fundamental COMFORT in her own home vs. his need to not upset his precious babies. 

She is willing to compromise - that they are allowed in the home if they ask ahead of time.  He is NOT willing to compromise. He wants everything to stay the same.  So I'm not clear how you've decided OP is the control freak here. 

futurobrillante99's picture

It was implied "I had tried to explain to him that if his kids have those things to our home, them my children, their spouses and grandchildren should also have that. He hates "other people" having access."

tog redux's picture

She most certainly did say that. Go back and read it with an eye towards fairness, not towards blaming stepmothers. 

Winterglow's picture

Yet again, you are comparing apples and oranges. Intact families and second families do not live by the same rules and standards.

Imagine your sister gave her key her mother's house to one of her daughter's boyfriends to come and go as he pleases ... Still not the same thing but it's closer than your examples.

Curious Georgetta's picture

are only symptoms of a larger problem  The same issues could involve money or time spent with kids or a myriad of other issues.

The OP and her husband have no conflict resolution strategies in place.

Simply stating that I am the wife and my feelings should matter more is not a reasonable way to resolve this conflict.



Winterglow's picture
  1. Conflict resolution strategies? Well, she suggested that what was good for his kids was good for hers ... and he refused. 
  2. Your solution of locking everything that is of value to her in her bedroom is not going to make her feel more comfortable in her own home. 
  3. What is to cripplingly difficult about calling ahead if they're going over there? What are h is kids going to be doing that they don't want her to know about?

Curious Georgetta's picture

are doing anything that they don't want her to know about?

People who themselves do not engage in untoward activities are not so quick to suspect others of that behavior or motivation.

If the dad has never found or discovered  them rummaging through his belongings, why would his children be suspected of that now.

My parents live in an area that is central to much of the daily activity of myself and my siblings. It is not unusual for any one of us to pop over to relax between meetings. Most often,  the house is empty or the cleaning person is there.

My parents would probably be offered at the suggestion that they needed notice of should be concerned that we were alone in the house.  

A starting point would be for the OP to meet with the kids and express her feelings and privacy concerns and ask that they call ahead before they come over.

These concerns should be stated by the OP as these are her concerns as opposed to shared concerns.

Winterglow's picture

Well, OBVIUOSLY they've never been caught rummaging or poking or snooping because nobody knows they are there!

And, for goodness sake, stop harping on about your perfect intact family because it is absolutely not relevant here.

hereiam's picture

I take it that neither of them live there anymore? If it's not their home, they don't need a key and have no business just letting themselves in, anytime they please.

Yes, many parents let their adult kids keep keys to their home for emergencies or what not, but these are not the OP's kids and that changes things a little. She has the right to not have people coming and going from her home, especially people who are not related to her and who outright disrespect her.

Not sure how the intruders leaving a note would make it all better.

OP, your husband can explain to his kids that since they are now adults and no longer live in the home, they no longer need a key and there is no reason for them to come over when nobody is home. That he would appreciate them respecting his and his wife's privacy. It's really not that hard. I mean, they are supposed to be adults, right? They should get it.

The thought of giving his kids boundaries and demanding respect for his marriage gives him anxiety? Geez, I'm so tired of these people who are so afraid of their own damn kids.

He doesn't have to say, "Hey, you are no longer welcome here, ever. We are changing the locks because we hate you." He seriously does not know how to have an adult conversation with his adult kids?

tog redux's picture

Yes, I don't get this either. Why can't he tell his kids that things have changed and their access will now be by approval?

I also don't get why the OP can't put her foot down and insist on this happening, tout de suite.  

momjeans's picture

I’m 100% for you changing the locks. 

DH’s anxiety regarding them “flipping out when they learn the locks been changed” doesn’t trump your desire for privacy and overall comfort in your own damn home. 

ndc's picture

I don't think it is appropriate for adult skids who don't live in the home to be dropping by and letting themselves in without notice if either of the homeowners has an objection to it.  I do think your husband should be putting a stop to this practice.  If he won't, my inclination would be to set up cameras throughout the house so that I at least know what the skids are doing while they're there.  I would consider it a huge breach of privacy to have adult skids (or even bio kids) in my home when neither my husband nor I is there, unless I know exactly why they need to be there and I've been asked and given permission ahead of time.

futurobrillante99's picture

Both my adult children (who don't live with me) have keys to my home. They both live across the country now, but when they lived nearby, they would ASK or let me know they were stopping by for something. I never came home to find someone had been in my house without my knowledge.

It's a healthy boundary to set with adult children as I'm sure they wouldn't like to come home to their house and realize someone had been there without their knowledge or permission.

Siemprematahari's picture

This is why moving into a home that was shared by the X and the kids is not a good idea. Is getting a new home a possibility? The kids may "feel" they have the right to come in and out of the home because they were raised there and feel they have a say. Your H not addressing it is going to bite everyone in the @ss.

disrestep's picture

I'd then tell my DH again it is an invasion of yours and his privacy that adult skids just come in announced. It's just plain rude and wrong. I'd tell my DH in so and so date I'm getting the locks changed and that's it. 

Who care what the adult skids think about it. It's your and your DH's ho e not theirs. How would adult skids like it if you just barged into their homes like they do to you? I hope you don't have any pets they could accidentally let out.

I'd also remind my DH the way they treat you, which is all the more reason why people who disrespect you should not be allowed to come and go a spouse they please in your home, nevermind have access with keys.

good luck going forward.

simifan's picture

I'm wondering what they are doing/leaving that you know they have been there. Do they eat all the food? Leave a mess/dishes? I think this is your starting place. 


LOLA_EG12's picture

Ohhhhhhh no. This would not fly with me as well. Hell I dont enter my parents home until they open and I used to live there growing up. That is so disrespectful. We just changed the code on our house too because 1 it needed to be changed and 2 we didn't want ss to know it anymore. He's only 11 but as fucked up as his mom is we are not taking any chances anymore. Our ds6 knew it as well and we wont be telling him the code cuz he might tell ss. All in all I agree with you. That wouldn't fly with me either.

shamds's picture

To your home (meaning your kids) but his kids its ok??

skids coming over uninvited to do nothing except stomp on your privacy and boundaries just to let you know they can doesn’t fly for me. People generally visit for a purpose, to catch up with parents, have dinner or lunch because they were invited, family gatherings or birthdays etc. Noy to just come in and invade someones boundary

i lived overseas with my husband for 4.5 yrs. every year we flew back to my country to visit my dad and stay in my childhood home. Its still my home and dad always says this and i am always welcome but i am always informing well in advance when i go, not show up uninvited or all of a sudden. 

Thats just basic manners and courtsey

Winterglow's picture

"I figure, they’ve made it VERY clear that they have no desire to live here and don’t consider it home. So that means they don’t get the in and out privileges of residents."

This is absolutely the kind of reasoning that OP's husband needs to hear. Why indeed should they have the privileges of residents when they are not, by their own choice?

SacrificialLamb's picture

All of our kids are adults and I can't imagine any of them just entering our home. Fortunately DH and I are on the same page with this.  I would just change the locks and say tough.

In the meantime, since you don't know what they are doing when they are at your home, Wyze cameras are on Amazon for only $25. Super easy installation. You can put in a mini SD card that records continuosly. You get notifications when there is movement; you can change the sensitivity of the detection and you can also watch what is happening in your home on your cell phone real time. I installed several because we have a lot of animals. But I guess skids are another form of animal.

CANYOUHELP's picture

Cameras stop a lot of things, best move I ever made!

Be different if I could sneak in their houses whenever away, but seems I have never been offerred that option --as SM. Then again, I want to be a million miles away from them, so cameras keep the  step family honest.

Journey123's picture

My step daughter who is an adult broke into our home and lied about it I called the police she had text me and admitted doing it the police went and arrested her .but her dad called and dropped the charges. since we have been married she has had about 9 cars he purchased for her that she was to pay back and never has. she would have them anywhere from a week to a month and then sell them and he would buy her another. she has stole money out of my purse my jewelery and has taking things she wanted out of the home and lied to him saying she didnt. I have 3 adult step kids that are the biggest joke and out of 11 1/2 years he has never stood up for me. thats another reason I'm going with the divorce.

Rags's picture

Does anyone tell their neighbors, friends, family, etc.... that they have rekeyed the locks?  For sure I do not.

So, call the locksmith, rekey the locks, clear all of the codes from the alarm system and electronic keypad locks, and let the Skids learn when they come over at inapproroptiate times.

Keep it simple.

stay or go's picture

I agreed to live in DH house while kids were in school and we rent my house. SS 18 just graduated high school so now the house goes on the market. I don’t want a his or hers house, I want an ours house to build our life with no history of previous marriage.  And SS kids will not have the code. It’s hard for them when it’s their childhood home to feel like they can’t come and go like they always have. This is the reason for the new house. 

jam's picture

When I married my dh I sold my home and moved into his home which was also the first familes home. Hind site being 20/20, I would have been happier if we had sold both homes and bought a home together.

Since our home was the first families home, my skids kids would come to the home as if they owned it. They would walk right in unannounced. They especially liked coming over when neither of us were home and would help themself to what ever they wanted and NEVER return those items. They would have friends over and NEVER clean up after themselves let alone clean up after their friends.

I could NEVER just relax and feel safe in my own home. It was like always being a quest in someone else's home and worse than being a quest was the fact that the skids treated me as an unwelcome quest. To them I was just another piece of property that their dad owned and since they owned their dad I was something they could use. My things became their things. I was just the cook, maid, and another source of income. Nothing more.

My OSD once got angry because she came over and opened the cabinet to get a cup but the cups had been moved to another spot so she has to open another cabinet door searching for a cup. She then states to me "I don't know who moved the cups, you or dad, all I know is I just want a God D___ CUP!"

My MSD came over and did her laundry and simply leaves with my garment bag. MSD also came over once and helped herself to our campfire marshmellow sticks & took them to a friends. THEY NEVER RETURNED ANYTHING

SS came over and help himself to my dh motor cycle. At that time SS was living in our rental free of charge. All he had to do was pay the utilities. When he moved out, he left the place totally trashed, left us with a large utility bill, stole the washer & dryer and we had to go and get the motor cycle. 

Once while dh & I were both home, the skids walk right in and help themself to some movies to take to a friends house. All the movies were mine. (My dh did not have any movies because the ex took them all in the divorce).  As they started to leave with the movies, I told them I do not loan out my movies and I took them back. I really hated their arrogance and total lack of respect. 

This was my home. I should be able to set my home up to my liking. I should be able to feel that my things are safe. I should be able to take my bra off and get my comfy cloths on but I was in a constant state of not knowing when the skids would pop in. 

Currently MSD has had nothing to do with us for 10 years, SS is on the 3rd estrangement. I am actually to the point that I don't want them to come back into my life. I am enjoying the peace of their absence.

OSD now only comes over about 2 or 3 times a year and she lets us know when she is coming over. Also they have stopped spending the night. I still do not look forward to their visits because of the history. After years of me having to put up with wet beds when OSD & her kids would come over, I think OSD got offended when I finally got the support of my dh and won the battle of sgkids will wear pullups when they would sleep over.

My DH & I have lived in our new home for about 6 years now. It has taken years but I am finally feeling safe in my home. I can run around naked if I want. I don't have to be concerned about skids just walking in. I don't have to be concerned about skids helping themself to my/our things. I no longer have to put up with wet beds.

OP, you should be able to feel safe in your own home. You should be able to relax in your home. You should be able to not have to be concerned with when and who is just going to pop in on you. The skids will fight it and be angry, but the locks NEED to be changed and bounderies NEED to be set. The skids need to grow up and just get over it.

Good luck!!!!