Q A few months ago, you answered my letter asking for advice regarding a situation involving my hateful mother-in-law, whom I suspected of tainting my food or drink at family functions at her home.

You had suggested swapping plates with my husband to see if my mother-in-law would react. However, as you noted, that would have required bringing my husband into my confidence. I didn't feel it was wise to do that, because he already didn't believe that his mother treated me badly.

The next function was at Easter. She provided a traditional prime-rib dinner, set up buffet style, and I could see no way that could be problematic. However, when we arrived at her home, the dinner table was set with place cards and in front of each was a ramekin of horseradish sauce and a small pitcher of au jus.

When nobody was looking, I switched the ramekin and pitcher between my husband's place and mine.

After my husband and I returned home, he became wracked with diarrhea, but I wasn't ill at all. In the morning, I told him that I had switched the horseradish and au jus. He looked at me with such hatred in his eyes that I knew he had known all along what his mother was up to. His only words were to accuse me of poisoning him.

I quickly packed and raced out of there. I've hired a divorce lawyer, and I won't be looking back. Thank you for your advice and concern.

A I so appreciate your giving us this chilling, stomach-turning update. Thank goodness you got out before your mother-in-law's condiments turned lethal. When you confer with your divorce attorney, do ask about the possibility of criminal charges.

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