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10 Signs You Have a Toxic Mother-In-Law

Updated on April 14, 2017

They don't call them monsters-in-law for nothing.

Mothers-in-law are notorious for being controlling, judgmental, critical and overbearing. And like any toxic person, a toxic mother-in-law is a soul-sucking parasite that feeds on your misery. To protect yourself and your loved ones you need to know your enemy, so here are 10 signs you might be dealing with a toxic mother-in-law.

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1. She is always right, without exception. Which means that she's never wrong. She'll never admit being wrong, and she will never apologize for anything. That would surely cause the collapse of the Western civilization, and contradict the premise that she's always right. In her eyes, you (and possibly your spouse) are the only person to blame.

2. She is dismissive. She will ignore you for the most part, conveying that you don't matter to her. She will not listen to a word you say. She'll ask you if you're hungry, hear "no," and still put food on your plate. She'll also disregard any of your accomplishments as insignificant and unworthy of her attention. Only things that have value to her are important.

3. She will communicate to you, in delightfully subtle ways, that you are not good enough for her son, and for her family. She will not say it to your face, no, but you will hear the message loud and clear. Depending on your self-esteem, you will either feel devastated or slightly amused.

4. To establish her dominance and to prove that she was right about you, she will expect you to do things that please her. That would include you wanting to spend time with her, appearing at every family event, learning her way of cooking, cleaning and just about everything else under the sun (because her way is clearly better), adopting her religion and culture, and last but not least, giving her grandchildren when she's ready to be a grandma. If you fail to do any of that, you are indeed a rotten daughter-in-law, and she has a right to complain about you to anyone who'll listen.

Slander is a useful tool in her tool belt.
Slander is a useful tool in her tool belt. | Source

5. If you are still not bending to her will, she will move on to heavier artillery. She will start a smear campaign in her community, trying to turn everyone against you. If she succeeds, those people will start putting pressure on your husband to leave you, saying that they're just "worried about him" and they "want him to be happy."

6. She will not respect your words, choices or personal space. She will come to your house uninvited and unannounced, expecting you to welcome her with open arms and be grateful for the honor of her visit. She will look with disgust at how filthy your place is, and how unmannered your kids are.

7. Her parochial mentality dictates that she must rule by withholding her affection and approval, so she will use silent treatments, guilt, blame and direct intimidation to manipulate you and your husband. If he's not siding with her, she will be punishing and destructive towards him, too. At the same time, she will be demonstratively granting her love to his siblings and your sister-in-law.

8. She loves audience, and she's very concerned with appearances. In public she will enact a charming cultured woman who is a selfless caretaker of her family. She may even be known as a philanthropist in her community. Most people will fall for that. They will not understand what beef you can possibly have with such a great lady. Don't try to dissuade them. Let them stay in the matrix. Let them enjoy their steak.

9. Like any narcissist, she sees her children not as individuals, but as extensions of herself. Everything they do reflects on her, so she will go to great lengths to correct any "deviation" from the path she's chosen for them. That includes the people they marry; you. She will never give up on trying to destroy your marriage, or to control her children's lives.

10. There will be "good days" when she will be on her best behavior and everything will appear normal. You may even be tempted to think that things are getting better. You'll lose your vigilance.Then, out of nowhere, she will turn on you again, and you will be reminded - if you don't know it yet - that she will never accept you, and you can never have a relationship with her. That last one, by the way, may not be a bad thing.

Toxic mothers-in-law require constant vigilance.
Toxic mothers-in-law require constant vigilance. | Source

What Can You Do?

I wish I could tell you that there is an easy remedy for a toxic mother-in-law. Alas, there isn't.

You could stay the hell away from her. That's a simple and effective strategy, but it has its drawbacks. Something to do with the law of attraction - what and who you avoid in your life persists. The more you resist something, the more it follows you. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your mother-in-law is in your life for a reason. Look within and find out what it is.

And to that end, I have to accept part of the responsibility for our relationship because I'm not always vocal. I don't make more effort to communicate. I react emotionally, and I shut down. In other words, I act like a child.

But one step at a time...I don't expect us to be friends any time soon, or ever. I think we're too different for that, and at the same time, too similar in that we're both strong women with strong minds, and we don't back down. I understand her frustrations with me, but I also understand that those frustrations have nothing to do with me. It's just self-aggrandizing rejection of "the lesser" fueled by genuine concern for her son.

Lastly, I find great comfort in the fact that my own mother is a kind, caring, generous woman who's very fond of my husband. She is my angel, someone I hope to resemble as a mother. So that makes my monster-in-law... somewhat bearable, and at times even amusing.

© 2015 Lana Zakinov

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    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 19 months ago from San Diego California

      I really feel for you. I am fortunate that my mother in law is sweet as a kitten and has always been fond of me. In fact, everyone in my wife's family adores me, except my wife of course who lives with me and knows my weaknesses. My mother and my wife get along splendidly, but then again they don't live in the same state and since they are both strong willed women you never know. I really loved your splendidly crafted rant here. Great hub!

    • kalinin1158 profile image
      Author

      Lana Zakinov 19 months ago from California

      Thank you Mel :) You are indeed fortunate. My in-laws live 20 min away, and my MIL often expects us to drop by on a moment's notice, because she cooked something "amazing," which happens a lot, as you can imagine. Well, it least back when we were still speaking.

      Lol the line about your wife made me laugh. Of course she adores you! The weaknesses only make you more endearing to the ones who love you sincerely :)

    • MommaStu profile image

      Mindy Studer 19 months ago from Sunny South Florida

      This was fun to read... I have a monster-in-law. Creates drama, believes herself to be the center of the universe, doesn't understand why my husband can't be at her house kissing her ass all day everyday. Ugh.

      As I always say, it's so nice to know I'm not alone. =)

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Zakinov 19 months ago from California

      The feeling is mutual - it's nice to know I'm not alone :) Sometimes it's a very lonely experience because you don't want to talk to your husband about it - it is his mother after all, and you don't want to talk to other people because they don't understand. But this was cathartic! Thanks for stopping by Mindy, stay strong :)

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 19 months ago

      I am so sorry that you have this kind of mother-in-law. I'm sure one can make life a living hell if the spouse is very close to her. I've been married twice, and I'm very fortunate to have had two wonderful mothers-in-law. The first one was like a second mother to me and helped me raise my children even after the divorce. The second one lived in another state, but she and I got along beautifully. They are both deceased and I miss them.

      On the other hand, I've experienced two wonderful daughters-in-law and one toxic one. My older son is married to his second wife, a very nice daughter-in-law, and I still have a relationship with his first wife and her mother. My younger son wasn't so fortunate, and although I wish that marriage had lasted because he really loved her, the whole family feels a relief that she is gone. This is a very good analysis of the situation some people find themselves in.

    • Karli McClane profile image

      Psycho Free Zone 19 months ago from USA

      Very well written hub. Sounds exactly like my MIL. Fortunately, my husband recognizes her for what she is and refuses to tolerate her abuse. It appears that just recently she has decided to cut both of us from her life, as neither of us are subservient.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 19 months ago from Oklahoma

      I've been around the sort of person you so aptly described in this article. Luckily it isn't my mother in law. Actually, I love my in laws.

      Wonderful read!

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Zakinov 19 months ago from California

      Thank you, MizBejabbers. I agree, good MILs do exist (my mother for example), but I guess I wasn't lucky with mine. And I'm sure she doesn't think great things of me either.

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Zakinov 19 months ago from California

      Thank you, Karli! It's the best validation to know that there are other women like me who are going through the same toxic bs with their in-laws. It's funny, we are in the same situation right now. Neither me nor my husband are dancing to her tune, so she's freezing us out. It's actually quite nice, although I would still like a geographical distance in addition to that.

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Zakinov 19 months ago from California

      Thank you Larry! I like my father-in-law, and I think he likes me too. Although not as much anymore after years of propaganda at home. Plus, he never hears my side of the story, so I think eventually, just to avoid conflicts, he started agreeing with his wife...

    • Karli McClane profile image

      Psycho Free Zone 19 months ago from USA

      Geographical distance is wonderful; my husband and I were lucky enough to live several states apart from my in-laws for the first several years we were together. Re: what you said about your FIL, mine has always agreed with his wife. If he didn't, he would have her nagging at him constantly. Sometimes, when she isn't around, he forgets to be a jerk, but usually he dehumanizes me. He absolutely refuses to use my name when speaking to me, and when he's talking to my husband (about me), I'm always "she", "her" or "your wife", never Karli.

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Zakinov 19 months ago from California

      I can relate. Although my FIL had never been a jerk to me, he keeps his distance and pretty much acts as if I'm not there. And if his wife is around, forget about it... It pisses me off that our relationship is totally my responsibility. He'll never reach out, talk to me like a human being, or just call...It's all on me. So by default, I'm a bad DIL because I'm not around.

      But how am I supposed to be around when she's around? Maybe some people can pretend, or kiss ass - I can't. And I never want to learn. I feel like: if you don't like me before you even tried to get to know me, screw you. I don't want to be around people like that.

    • Karli McClane profile image

      Psycho Free Zone 19 months ago from USA

      I feel the same way. I'd rather surround myself with people who are supportive and inspire me to be my best self. Those who create conflict don't deserve my time.

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 19 months ago

      but it only seems quite natural

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Zakinov 19 months ago from California

      What does? Animosity between in-laws could be construed as natural, but being a toxic person...that borders on pathology. And although I try to make light of it, it's a serious problem.

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Zakinov 19 months ago from California

      Hear, hear Karli!

    • Iamthatwife profile image

      Maizie 19 months ago from North Western Canada

      I think these women, who consider themselves mother's, are very sad human beings. My mother-in-law has for nearly 25 years worked very hard to paint a picture of me to her relatives and friends where she is the victim and I am the asshole. For most of my young adult life I scratched my head and tried to figure out what I was doing wrong, why could she not see that I was a good person, that I loved her son and that we were happy. A little over a year ago I found out that my husband had been having an affair with a woman who was a very long time family friend. I'm pretty sure that my mother-in-law knew, helped her 'favourite daughter" try and weasel her way into my shoes and hoped that our marriage would end because of it. Much to both of their disappointment, I'm sure, I chose to try and salvage our marriage because I loved him. This so called "friend" was poisoned by my mother-in-law, she on every level tried to convince my husband that our marriage was not worth it, his parents hated me and on and on, why would he want to stay married to a woman like me.

      Some days I feel like after all of this time I should just throw in the towel and call it quits. Problem being...I can't make myself stop loving my husband and I want what is best for my family. I'm stronger than they are, their jealousy and pettiness is just sad, really. I've walked away from both of my in-laws, I can't have them in my life anymore. My husband's father also knew about the affair and figured it was all okay as long as no one found out. He's a cheater too. It's never okay to cheat, or lie, or just in general be shitty to another person you say that you love.

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Zakinov 19 months ago from California

      Maizie, I feel for you. Sounds like you've had many painful experiences with your mother-in-law, and you're still hurting. Some people tell me: "Why do you care? She's not your mother. Just smile and ignore her." I wish it was as easy as putting on a fake smile.

      The sad thing is, they will never understand the pain they cause because, like you said, they consider themselves the victims, and we are the villains who ruined their sons' lives. These women are twisted; this is not normal psyche, in my opinion.

      They feel hurt, too, in their way, or more accurately, they feel threatened. That enables them to see you as an enemy, which is a very aggressive predisposition: everything you do is bad or worthless, your husband isn't really happy, you're a bad wife/mother etc.

      I do hope that your marriage survives and even becomes stronger following this turmoil. It's never ok to cheat, I agree, but if your love is real, it's worth fighting for.

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      BiteyMouse 15 months ago

      My ex came from a wealthy family. My MIL was in the same boat as me. She was not accepted by her mil because she wasnt rich enough. this always bothered her and I guess she thought she could make up for it by marrying her son to a rich girl. But, no, I was just a career girl that loved him with or without money or career. My Mil would routinely call to check the status quo. Anytime I got another job or project she would snap at my ex "So, what are YOU doing to further your career?" (He was in grad school.) I could feel him growing resentful of her and me. A few days before we split up he refered to my last project as my 'Little writing job." He'd never talked about my work like that before. He started sleeping with not one but two fellow students. Everyone who knew us knew, faculty included. I started to unravel. I was being betrayed by him, my mother had recently died, we were in a city that did not respect IR marriage, finding work for me was challenging, I was feeling depressed. Then my mil came across the country for a visit. By the time she left 4 days later we were separating.

      My mil told me she suffered from depression and that it was dibilitating and horrible. So I was surprised when the first thing she said to her son when she entered our house was "well, THIS is cheerful!" she was disgruntled and annoyed that I had painted to house in bright colors. She looked at her son as if he'd allowed me to ruin their plans. We were officially separated 3 weeks later then divorced almost 4 yrs later after he stalled and plowed through 3 different lawyers, that last one a female which I'm pretty sure his mother arranged. I did in fact go through a bad depression at the house she visited and I feel pretty sure she wanted this to happen. My ex and her talked often while he and I searched for our last house/ apt to live in and he repeatedly chose some very dark and dreary places which I rejected. I really think my MiL set me up for the whole crash.

    • kalinin1158 profile image
      Author

      Lana Zakinov 15 months ago from California

      Hi Bitey,

      thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like you've gone through some very challenging times, and tried your best to save your relationship. But it requires the efforts of both partners. A toxic mother-in-law can certainly ruin a marriage but I think in this case your husband is equally to blame.

      I hope you're feeling better now, putting this behind you and looking to the future with optimism. Blessings :)

    • profile image

      BiteyMouse 15 months ago

      Thanks Kali,

      Im remarried now 5 yrs happy. You're right, he certainly played a big part. But when we first met and dated he was in his 6th year of no contact with his mother. I should have run! But I thought he was handling her the best way he knew. Once we got married though she slowly infected our relationship and turned him into the Manchurian Candidate.

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      Missy 9 months ago

      This week has been so challenging for me. I am a newly wed. I love my husband so much. He has three children from a previous marriage. We are in the military and right now the oldest is living with us. It hasn't been easy but we are seeing great progress in his behavior and grades. I do not have a biological child and right now we are trying.

      My mother in law is a tyrant. Since I met her the first time, I could tell she doesn't care for me. It's ok; I am in a relationship with her son. So since Eldon has come to life with us she doesn't approve of how we are perenting. She disapproves of us letting out son go to summer camps, alter sever practice and so on. She is afraid that someone will molest him. I am no stranger to child sexual abuse. It happened to me as a child and I would never let it happen to mine.

      So while my husband is away in school, my son and I are going about our lives and his mother send me messages asking why I block her on Facebook which I never did. Some one my post do not come up for so so quickly she feels I and holding info about her grandchild when I am not. Anyhow, after this I thought I would have a heart to heart with her about my childhood so she would know I have lived through child abuse. That was a mistake. I told her this in confidence and that evil woman took it upon herself to share my abuse and make me a victim all over again with my son mother.

      My son's biological mother demanded we send him back home with out a justification. At that point I knew that my Mother in Law had shared my story with this woman. My son's mother is not educated and makes conclusions from her own thought process and said that I too and a child molester because it was genetic.

      My am so hurt and I feel my so violated. My husband quickly called his Mom and she said that she felt the children's Mom had a right to know. I tried to call her but the coward will not talk to me. It's ok, I cachave a great relationship with my step son and my husband with out my husband's or child biological mother.

      My husband is my rock and I have been truthful with him since the day we became friends and fell in love. I feel grateful that he feel the sense of duty and loyalty to me.

      We will keep on trucking, I will continue to be the best role model to this little boy I am entrusted to raise and make a reproductive member of society.

      I am ok with closing the door, those two do not need to be in my life.

      Thank for reading and letting me share.

    • profile image

      Chrissann 9 months ago

      Oh my goodness that's my life now. I've tried to be the bigger person and apologize for my role in the whole twisting of my words and her comment back was " Its just like you to make this all about yourself !" That wasn't something I'd ever expect and a reply to a sincere apology. She hadn't talked to me in a year and when I found out why I honestly felt bad. However now learning about some disorders I see now where I went wrong. I trusted her and WANTED her to except me and Love me. I'm without parents and my foster parents gave me one hug in three years so needless to say I was just a paycheck. Family is so very important to me and I've always gotten along with all my ex's moms and dads. Even my ex husbands mother called me the "Final piece to their puzzle".

      This man I'm with, we're not married but have been together for six years. We have a four year old boy together and he has an eleven year old Daugher. She and I are very very close and our relationship is super awesome.

      My boyfriend went to see his mom about two years ago to ask a bunch of questions. Including why she never responds to ,y texts, why did she get up from our sons birthday party at a park and leave without saying a word. When he returned home five hours later he was a different man. Cold, hateful unloving and cruel. To this day he's still not the same. I've asked numerous times what they talked about. Noe I get the ol'nothing special. But back the. He told me that they talked about every tin I do to piss him off and everything I did to piss her off. Omg Really?! I'm just so sad we can't have th relationship I so long for in a "mother in law" and my relationship with her son has never been the same. (There are other issues but that's a whole different topic) this woman said to me "What more do you want you already have my son!? And "Stay the Hell away from me," She said those very hurtful and confusing things in 2014-ish she like in your blog has gone from one side to another. Good days where I'm actually visible to her and very bad where I'm ignored even when I speak directly to her. I don't know how to do this passive aggressive crap. I like to talk things out and then have a great day. So very awkward and frustrating. My question is how do I get my guy to come around? He knows she's not right or Knew. He's even gone months not talking to her. Guess who she gets mad at???? Lol Yep Me!! What do I do??

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      Candy 4 months ago

      This is a great article! My mil has done these things since the moment I met her. After about a year of her not getting a reaction, she baptized my middle school daughter without my permission. At this point, avoiding her is my only option. My daughter isn't even her son's daughter either.

    • GARH608 profile image

      Pathways thru life 4 months ago from Mid West

      Great hub. I had a monster in law. My now ex husband appeared to side with her, which resulted in the ending of our 18 year marriage, and we have 3 children together. It's been disappointing.

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      Riyanka 4 months ago

      My mother in law is very abusive, she always insulted me in front of relatives and even in front of the house maids, she use slungs against me and my parents. She called me and my parents by different names which are very insulting. We are living in the same house where my husband spent a lot of money during the construction of the house and now she wants us to leave the house because she can't tolerate me. She is getting more abusive day by day and even tried to attack me physically. I don't understand what to do, we are not in a position to move out of our house right now cause we already have spent our entire savings in the construction of this house. Please suggest me something.

    • kalinin1158 profile image
      Author

      Lana Zakinov 4 months ago from California

      Thank you Candy!

      That was certainly a bold move on the part of your mil - to baptize your child, let alone a child who has no biological relation to her. And I completely understand your urge to avoid her. Sometimes it's a way to go - if it's not a big deal because you don't see each other a lot, and if it doesn't create tension with your spouse. In all other cases I would encourage you to be upfront about your feelings...

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Zakinov 4 months ago from California

      Thank you, Pathways thru life!

      So sorry to hear about your marriage... I know how destructive a monster in law can be to a relationship. In my humble opinion, a husband should never side with his mother against his wife. I understand your disappointment. Better luck in the future, eh? :)

    • kalinin1158 profile image
      Author

      Lana Zakinov 4 months ago from California

      Dear Riyanka,

      I feel for you. I know how painful it can be to live with an abusive relative; in this case, a mother-in-law.

      It is a difficult situation; one that cannot be resolved until you and your husband move out and live on your own, or your MIL moves out. I believe living with the parents is very detrimental to the marriage, and to the psychological well being of a couple. In the meantime, talk to your husband. Let him know what's going on; it's his mother after all. Abuse should never be tolerated, especially one of the physical kind. Good luck to you! Stay strong

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      Mister Hardlife 4 months ago

      This is very similar to our situation to a certain degree. My wife and her mom doesn't get along at all, but MIL wants to control everything in her life including me and our 5 kids. She has us at her beck and call, she wants us to drop everything (including my work) to drive her places, clean, cook, do home improvements and so much more!! She wants to control all aspects of our life including our finances. MIL wants my wife (which includes me) to send money to her relatives (which live in an asian country, don't want to mention which) who have the means to make a living but rather live off of MILs monthly contributions (they love to kiss her @**). MIL is also a bi-weekly bingo player and plays at least a few hundred per day. She loves to shop and buy expensive things (jewelry, bags, etc.) for herself. That is her perogative, she can do whatever she wants with her money. But when MIL sees us buy toys for our kids or buy ourselves things, she says were wasting money (she would rather see our money in her pocket for her bingo or relatives fund).

      She also calls everyone stupid and she is the smarted person in the world. She says she accomplished alot in her life (she married a retired military man with a hefty retirement account plus disability). My father in law (my wife's stepfather, her bio dad just didn't cut it for MIL) just goes along with it (she calls him stupid in public, I feel so bad for him). He doesn't even have a say for his own money, he asks permission to buy himself stuff. FIL once added his biological son's (from a previous marriage) children to his will and MIL got furious and took everyone out including my wife and just had MIL as the only beneficiary to everything.

      MIL had us watch one of her homes, but made us pay for everything (from all of the mortgage to upgrades and free labor from me to fix, repair, paint any and all things to make her house perfect... she even made my kids pull weeds with they're bare hands! Its amazing because she pays her relatives big $$ just to change a light bulb). She made $150,000 out of the house that she made us pay for everything and fix up for her and didn't shell out a penny to our family of seven!! I only have a small online business, that barely makes enough to feed us, let alone upgrade a whole house for profit! Not even a thanks for the hard work, she made us feel that she was doing us a favor by living there (she has another big home back in the home country and all her relatives live there for free including meals, utilities and everything!!). They used some of the money to pay off they're California home and use the rest for bingo and to go home to the home country for 6 months to show off how rich she was and be "Queen Bigshot" and belittle everyone. She'll hand out money to anyone that kissed her butt enough...

      So my wife was furious with MIL for a very long period of time, but things eventually calmed down and we were living in an apartment at the time and she wanted to get into a house. Our credit wasn't doing so well due to having to charge up our credit cards to fix up MILs first house and not having the means to pay it (its either the credit cards or the kids get to eat, literally). She asked her mom to use her credit, (she was very hesitant), with us footing all expenses (inspections, down payment, etc.) All she and FIL did was sign a few papers (she complained about that too). We lived at the house for a couple year and paid for everything as usual plus upgrades. MIL and FIL agreed that all proceeds would go to my wife if the house ever sold. Low and behold, we sold the house for $40,000 and they want to keep all the money... My wife is not talking to them and is just barely coping now. We're a struggling family of seven and her MIL doesn't see that. MIL says that I should get a regular hourly job (I make 50 to 60k a year and she wants me to quit that to do my former job as a pharmacy tech at $18 per hour, wheres the logic there?) and maybe I can afford to take care of your family. What she doesn't see is that I do take care of my family PLUS her (the queen), FIL, her bingo habit and her 13 brothers and sisters and their kids and their kids kids!! We give up! Somebody help!!

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      lin kelly 4 months ago

      I hate my mother in law. She gas moved into my home knowing she doesn't like me. She called me a B@$#, dirty, and a monkey. She has 4 sons but clings to my husband because he is the only one who doesn't see her evil ways! I am on the verge of divorce and she is happy! This woman has told my husband and brother in laws she should of gotten an abortion everytime she is mad at them. And dogs them out. Expects me to kiss her butt because I am married to her son. Told me I treat my mom better than her (she is my mom who loves me, you hate me...demon lady). Expects my husband to pay all her expenses because she refuses to work at the age of 49. But my husband who I love hasn't had a stable job in 2 years so I am forced to be the bread winner. She shows favoritism with grandkids and did I mention hates that I have a better relationship with her mother and sister! She hates when they come around me or the children saying that my kids are her grandbabies and if she doesn't want some one around them then that should be so. She is crazy! It's so much I am screaming as I type this....ugh...so if I want a piece of mind I now have to give up 7 years of marriage because he has chosen his toxic mother over me!

    • kalinin1158 profile image
      Author

      Lana Zakinov 4 months ago from California

      Dear Lin Kelly,

      thank you for sharing with me. And wow...this is rather extreme. I am so sorry that you have to deal with such an abusive MIL. She decisively fits a definition of a toxic person, and people like that are only happy when they're making others miserable. I think in your case it's best that you keep distance from your MIL, which is pretty difficult to do if she's living with you, of course. In this situation a husband has to step up and ask his mother to leave. Why isn't he doing that? You say you love your husband but...if he's chosen his mother other his wife, I would question if he's the right partner for you...Good luck, and stay strong. Let go of the toxic people in your life, or learn to ignore them...Or better yet, kill them with kindness :-)

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      Raz 4 months ago

      Omg... this is exactly proving me that my mil is toxic! Each and every point is happening with me. She sucks my soul and energy out! I tried and tried with her. I've tried being so good. It's not good enough. I got to point I just want to relax and lay back and not always feel like I need to be alert of her. That drove her crazy. She wants me to know that she comes first to her son and he loves her most. I respect a persons love to their mother but do not put in my face trying to prove I am not worthy of his love. She is psychotic. I really do think she is. We live with her. We got married 6 months ago. So we've been living with her for about 6 months now and it's a living hell! I can't take it anymore. I feel like this is getting in between my husband and I. I want to move out but I know he loves his mother and is scared of leaving her alone. She always makes him feel like she's lonely and has nobody. And he has such a good heart that he falls for it. I don't know what to do. And she always is upset from me and I don't even know what I'm doing wrong. I clean, cook, try to be as good as I can be but it's not good enough for her. I'm so tired of this. I don't know if I can take it any longer. I've come to a point in which I just hate her. I've never hated anyone ever before. I don't think I've ever felt hate like this before. I dislike things but her I hate. I can't do this anymore.

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      Lana Zakinov 3 months ago from California

      Dear Raz,

      I feel for you. I can't even imagine how hard it must be for you to live with your toxic MIL. And to have the very beginning of your marriage tainted like that, the time that should be the happiest for you and your husband...It reminds me of a saying that when you get married, you don't just marry a person, you marry the whole family. Oftentimes that includes a hostile mother-in-law.

      It seems that she feels like she has to compete with you for your husband's affection and assert her number one place in her son's heart. It's so typical...Unfortunately, in some cultures it's traditional for a new wife to move in with her husband's family, or for a mother to move in with her married children. That "close quarters" situation gravely exacerbates any tension that is bound to exist between the women. And like with any abuse, it's a repeating cycle. If you ask her about her MIL, I'm sure she would tell you that her husband's mother treated her badly. So hopefully when you're a MIL, you don't treat your daughter-in-law the same way. Stay strong, talk to your husband about what's bothering you (without directly attacking his mother, he will not like that), and hopefully at some point soon you can start your own family and live separately, as any young couple should. Good luck to you :)

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      Barbara 3 months ago

      Well - it is easy to blame mothers in law, but there are times when a daughter in law is a vicious one. I loved and respected my mom in law, and we were good friends. Today, I am a mother in law of a vicious, passive-agressive DIL, who hates me just because I exist....So - I think that discussing bad DILs may be helpful.

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      Lana Zakinov 3 months ago from California

      Hi Barbara! Thank you for your comment. Absolutely. Anyone can be a toxic person. Sometimes a DIL is a vicious one, as you've said. But I think a far more common situation is when a mother in law will have a problem with her son's choice, or initiate a power struggle, or try to sabotage his marriage...And the comments women leave here is a testament to that. Perhaps, a toxic DIL is a topic for another article!

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      Jamie 3 months ago

      You could not have explained a toxic mother in law any better. It is what my own, precious and not overbearing mother warned me about before I got married to my husband regarding his mother. The toxicity started very early on in our relationship and seems to get quieter but also more vengeful. And then you mix alcohol into the equation with my mother in law and you purely get a monster. It's heartbreaking that my husband probably never had a good example of a mother growing up. I hope he sees and sticks to the idea in time that if she isn't going to at the least add something positive to this marriage then she needs to learn the hard way and be cut off. 6 years of this nonsense is absolutely enough!

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      Lana Zakinov 3 months ago from California

      Dear Jamie,

      I'd say you're ahead of the game because you've identified who you're dealing with. That's half the battle. So many women let their toxic MIL get into their head. They start doubting their self-worth, their husband, their marriage...Ultimately questioning if it's all worth it. It is, if you've got a good man with a listening heart. Stay strong and know that nothing lasts forever. One day she won't be part of your lives anymore. But before that, maybe some sort of resolution is possible. I would also encourage you to speak up, respectfully but firmly. Things tend to get really weird when they're quiet. Good luck!

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      Alyssa 3 months ago

      I have a narrcistic MIL. I feel for those of us who have to deal with this issue it sure is not enjoyable! I never noticed much of her behavior till after our son was born. Wanting to control what I want for my child. Major jealousy issues! She lies so much she can't even remember the first lie she told you. The list goes on. But I will not tolerate it for the sake of our son. That behavior is toxic so I limit our time with her. That's the best way it has worked for us arguing isn't going to solve anything. Even though we limit our time she'll still throw jabs but that's okay it's her lost in the end and her own doing of why we don't come around

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      Ruth101 3 months ago

      This article really helped me alot omg I was able to show my husband it helped him realize what was really happening he noticed before but now he really sees how his mother is to me and him shes also codependent parent ive been going through it really bad the last few years im trying my best not to let her get to me but its so hard bc I really love her son and our children he even has another child by another woman the mother hasnt been in his life ive been with his son since he was 1 1/2 hes 12 yrs old now shes the sameway with him bc it was the first grandchild and his mother has nothibg to do with him but hello woman I've been with him hes got amother i have a son to he was 2 when we got together hes going on 14 next month his father died when he was 7 mths old then we have 2 girls together she says she has special love for her sons first child.she doesnt love the other children the way she loves him the kids are and get very upset with this woman.im so scared if we don't get or stay away from this woman ima lose my husband i try not to put him in it but she want let us have alife its always negative with her.thanks this article shows me that im not crazy like she is always saying

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      Lana Zakinov 3 months ago from California

      Dear Alyssa,

      i understand your frustration. I agree, arguing isn't going to solve anything. Both parties have to be willing to listen and be receptive, not just attack each other. When you're dealing with a narcissistic person, that is never the case because they're always right. It's especially tricky when the child is involved. i would still encourage you to be upfront with her. You have to establish the boundaries for her behavior, and stand by them. You do have control over the situation. Good luck!

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      Lana Zakinov 3 months ago from California

      Dear Ruth,

      You are certainly not crazy. When I first wrote this article, I had no idea how many women had the same experience with their mothers-in-law. The stories are almost identical, with both sides embittered and unable to resolve the issues. I could tell you: it's not your fault. I could tell you: cut all ties with her. Or I could tell you: it may get better. At the end of the day, at some point in the future she will no longer be around. Permanently. How do you want to remember her? What do you want to tell your children and grandchildren about her? Can you honestly say that you've done everything you can to mend your relationship? Find common ground? Communicate your feelings openly and respectfully? If you've answered "yes" to all these questions, then without a doubt this woman is horrible and should not be allowed to walk the earth. But if not...try. Try again to rise above the resentment. Extend an olive branch. And if nothing works, then it least you know that you've done all you could. Good luck, and stay strong!

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      jason loeb 3 months ago

      My mom has been driving my wife and I crazy. Been married for 3 years had so many family issues due to my moms manipulation. We have a very close family and my mom wants to control us all. My wife tried having a conversation with my mom which has turned into a 4 month ordeal. My mom has pitted my 3 siblings against me (none are married). My wife does not want my my mom alone with her only grandchild due to all the issues we have and it drives my mom crazy. Going over my parents house tomorrow with my siblings to try and rectify this crap. My siblings think I owe them an apology and threatened me that I might not be invited to my sisters wedding. My mom is the only issue of my life and marriage.

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      Obie 3 months ago

      Oh my gosh this writing hit the nail on the head! Tad relieved its not just me

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      Sara H 3 months ago

      I have the same experience with my mil. Whenever my husband has a different opinion about things, she gets all worked up and tells my sister in law about it. She also said she wouldnt mind telling us both to leave if his behaviour doesnt change. But if my sil does anything to upset her then she calls my hubby and complains about her to him. She has no one else to talk to so she badmouths them both to each other causing the brother/sister relationship to fall. Shes got major issues. (Even with me, if i got to that, id be typing out an essay here)

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      Paul Smith 3 months ago

      I'm in the same boat with my mom. She's decided that my wife just "did care enough" and has completely excommunicated us from her life. She even moved and didn't give us an address. Super sad. I miss my mom but not the manipulation or emotional abuse. Glad to see we're not alone.

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      Lana Zakinov 3 months ago from California

      Hi Jason,

      I understand what you're going through. It's a very difficult situation. I do hope it turns around though and your family becomes whole again. But if it doesn't, and if you feel that your mom is the only source of drama, take a break from her. Some distance might do you good. If nothing else helps, time and space might. Good luck!

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      2 months ago

      My mil has been living with us for almost 12 years! She's young, healthy and doesn't suffer from any disabilities. For me, I have peace when she's not around.

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      Rina 2 months ago

      Hi , points 1,4,6,7,8 are completely applicable in my case .I have been married for 18 years nw but still i cant make any decision on anything .She is too controlling and i think in years to come i might go into depression.No matter how hard i try but not able to handle her and live in peace.She lives with me and my husband kind of know everything about her but still there is nothing which could bring relief to me .I have stopped talking to her but still most times i fall prey to her dramas and mentally torturing mind games .I think i m not strong enough to not let bother myself because of her .I really dont know what to do so that i can live my life .At times my husband also indirectly stops me doing things which he think might not be approved by her . One of such things is going out with my friends .Its is disturbing and all her acts or toxic behaviour destroying my mental wellbeing .Somebody tell me how can i ignore her and keep myself strong by not reacting to her indirect torturing skills.

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      Lindsay 2 months ago

      Thank you for this. I'm in the middle of the storm. After 13 years of getting emotionally abused I quietly removed myself from situations. That of course, only made it worse as I'm being "disrespectful and a little snip."

      Trying to always find the humor so I don't lose my mind.

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      Angelica Medina 2 months ago

      Nice to see I'm not alone

      My monster in law doesn't like me but wouldn't say it to me but says it to others

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      Lana Zakinov 2 months ago from California

      Dear Sara H,

      it's so typical for toxic MILs to pit siblings against each other and to talk about* people rather than to them...It all comes down to the need to maintain control over the situation and to never be directly challenged in their righteousness. Unfortunately, this behavior is often too ingrained to change...

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      Lana Zakinov 2 months ago from California

      Dear Paul Smith,

      I'm so sorry that this is what it came to. This is sad...But not unusual. So often a toxic mother (or mother-in-law) will go to extreme lengths to play the victim and to withhold her time/affection from those who she perceives had wronged her. In your case, she moved away entirely...An ultimate silence treatment. But when things are tense, some distance might be good. Just don't fall into a guilt trap :)

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      Lana Zakinov 2 months ago from California

      Dear Rina,

      I'm so sorry to hear about your challenges at home. I can't imagine living with a MIL that's so abusive and controlling. I know it may not be possible but I would definitely try to live separately. Living together with your in-laws is just unhealthy, and it makes it that much harder to maintain any kind of mental self-sufficiency. Have you tried talking to your MIL? Or call her out on her behavior? I know it's hard but you have to speak up to her, calmly and respectfully, even if your husband can't.

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      Denise 2 months ago

      I must say I feel much better knowing I'm not the only one everything mentioned is a direct reflection of my mother in law. She even made up a story saying that I didn't greet her a day before my wedding mind you she said this to my husband a week after we got married. Lucky for me my husband is a very open and honest person and he knows me in and out so he didn't believe what she said. She was also mad at the fact that I am nice to my father in law and not to her mind you I tried to hug her and she stood dead-still so I made up my mind that never again. Lately she's been fake as hell never once made an apology for the lies that she told. Like you luck for me I have an amazing mother who absolutely adore my husband so I normally call her when monster in-law throws one of her tantrums, she is a pain in my ass. Life being as hard as it is who still invest in people with evil intentions? Not me that's of damn sure.

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      Lidija 2 months ago

      This describes my mother in law perfectly, especially from #5 and down. I am looking to move again because she followed us from GA to FL and now from FL back to GA. I swear I cant get rid of this women, I never hated anyone this much. How could someone so evil give birth to someone sweet such as my husband.

      She caused a scene at our wedding and left, not that she just left but she made his sister and his niece leave because she was her ride. He doesn't have to much family so this was really hard.

      She uses and abuses people, if you give tis women a broom it would fit her perfect!!!

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      Joannadee 2 months ago

      I thought that this was a problem unique to more traditional cultures but I was sadly mistaken. This is a wholly universal problem and I can relate and sympathize with you. I am of Asian ancestry and it is a very misogynistic culture. What really makes it worse is the expectation that they physically live in and do move in with their son and his family. The dil' s life is miserable on a day to day basis till they die. They will under no circumstance move out of that house because they have the support of their son 100%. There is no aspect of everyone's life that they do not want to control. They are outwardly very sweet, smiling but inwardly seething with rage and would rather see you dead or their son marry someone who is more moldable and amenable to their line of thinking. In their own wild fantasy they have even lined up one or two women who fits the bill for him and encourage him to call them. That's what I have to put up with.

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      alecia 8 weeks ago

      It is nice to know I am not alone also. The problem is me, my fiancee and our daughter live with her and she treats me like dirt. My fiancee has seizures that are caused by stress that his mother causes. she acts like we are best friends one second and the next she is threatening me telling be that I am a piece of crap and I'm a horrible mother. When we are fighting she even takes it out on our 2 year old daughter and won't say anything to her for days at a time. I feel like that is wrong on her part to treat her grandchild like that. She treats her daughter the same way she treats me. What mother tells their child that if they had the chance when they were younger that they would have given her up and not taken care of her. I believe my mother in law has mental issues.

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      Julie Williams 7 weeks ago

      My situation is totally different than most. My mil thoughout my 47 years of marriage until 2 years ago I called her my second mother. Her first husband & her had a very bad relationship. He died at 50 and she remarried. The second husband & her got a long for a while and the bottom fell out. She would tell me how horrible he was then he would tell me how horrible he was. I believed her. Fast forward to two years ago & he dies, we move & she has her own place. She now is 87 years old and I currently babysit for my one year old grandchild. The baby is now 21 pounds & I asked her not to pick her up- I would have her sit & bring baby to her. She constantly did it anyway each time me telling her not to do it. We had the baby outside and I asked her not to take her out in wet grass. She did. She coerced me into pulling in cemetery where her first husband was buried & she wanted to get out. I told we didn't have time & she said I'm going to do it anyway. She did. Felt like driving off & leaving her. Overheard a conversation between DH & her talking about me. I left. He calls me up and said he was sorry & he would do anything if I would come back. I told him I wanted him to back me up. He & my daughter talked to her & he did side with me and she was told she would not pick the baby up again & she agreed. Is she bullying me? It is so hard to convince anyone she is because she puts on the facade she is sweetness that she did me for years. I made a statement a couple months ago I wish I could die, jokyingly & she said I wish you would.

      What is worse she acts like a devout Christian. She puts all the blame on me. The last time she picked her up I lost it & yelled Don't do it! I apologized & she refused to accept my apology. She is making me into I was all wrong & she was innocent. We had to buy a new car because my husband was in a accident in her older car. He received money for injuries, she gave him the money from her car & we cosigned a loan for half of price of car. I overheard her telling him that the car was all his and she was glad he had his own car now. He had not told her we had got a loan & I told him it wasn't any of her business but to tell her we cosigned a loan. He said it didn't matter what she thought-that everything with us is 50/50. For a long time I thought I was overreacting & it was my imagination. We are't young chicks & I'm tired of the riff raff.

      After my daughter & husband talked to her she now she says she is going to a nursing home & she isn't speaking to me. My husband isn't in great health-my daughter told her it would put a extra burden on him & her response was he didn't need to come & see her. She also is telling my husband that I don't want him coming down there & when he takes her to the store that I'm going to be mad which is the far from the truth. Where do I go from here? I am at my wits end. Do I walk after 47 years?

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      Sarah L 7 weeks ago

      I relate to this so much. My MIL has to make everything about her. She is a miserable,selfish monster. She is so good at manipulating people into doing things for her/ feeling sorry for her.

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      Paula 6 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      I'm surprised I had missed this hub all these months, but I'm here now and have much to add.

      As for my late mother-in-law, she was very nice sometimes, tolerable at other times and none of it really mattered because 1) We didn't interact often enough for anything to become a major issue. 2.) I am not easily intimidated by anyone & can handle myself quite well in most all circumstances. Mother of my husband or not, I'd have made the facts and the rules clear to her quickly and painlessly. She would absolutely know her place and her limits in my life. (My husband backed me always 100%) This never became necessary anyway, fortunately

      At this point in my life, I AM the mother-in-law.....to 4 wonderful, lovely women whom my sons chose & I love them as daughters.

      I'd merely like to suggest to ALL Mothers-in-law, exactly what their attitudes, behaviors & positions can be and should be for peaceful, loving & healthy relationships within the family.

      Mom, here's where the lines are drawn. While you'll always be "Mom," he/she has a spouse now, a partner, lover, friend and confidant. Hopefully this person was their choice and they have a good solid marriage. Respect and accept your son or daughter's choice. Whether you happen to "approve" or not....be civil and courteous at all times, if only out of love & concern for YOUR child (and of course the grandkids you may have). Absolutely do not interfere in their choices, decisions, plans or intentions. It is their life. Understand I am referring to normal people and regular everyday lives (seriously flawed individuals or where danger exists are not included here)

      Keep your opinions to yourself UNLESS requested. Offer your help but don't force or intrude. Treat your grandchildren all equally, especially if there are bio grandchildren as well as step-grandchildren.

      When you speak of your son or Daughter-in-law, be kind......tales are repeated, especially the ugly ones! Know your place and your limits and just be a nice, happy grandma that the whole family can be excited to see. Smile a lot!

      If you can't do these simple few things for the sake of peace and a sign of respect to your son or daughter....Shame on you! My advice would be you cut the damned umbilical cord and tape up the nasty mouth!! ...........Just do it, MOM!

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      Rita 5 weeks ago

      This is so scarily accurate,every single point in this article applies to my MIL,I feel bad for DH cause she's always out to hurt and manipulate him. I am at my wits end, I want to write her an email to tell her how she makes me feel less than human,but I don't want to give her ammunition against me,you know "proof" that I'm actually as horrible as she says I am. I don't know what to do,could you please advise?

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      Cassandra West 5 weeks ago

      Oh my goodness, I am not alone.

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      Lana Zakinov 5 weeks ago from California

      Dear Rita,

      I'm so sorry to hear about your challenges at home. I can definitely relate to the MIL that's manipulative and controlling. Actually, I've thought about the same thing myself - writing her a letter, telling her exactly how I feel. Instead, I wrote an article about it. That was my relief. I just felt like if I sent it to her, it would open a huge can of worms and will probably be perceived as an attack.

      I'd say: definitely write it, but don't send it right away. Sit with it. See how it feels. You can always send it. But I would say that just the act of writing it all down, putting it in words can have a healing effect. And next time your MIL does or says something hurtful, calmly call her out on it. Address the issues as they occur. That's my position. But you know better than me or anybody. Do what feels right to you. Good luck sister!

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      Lana Zakinov 5 weeks ago from California

      Dear Paula,

      what a lovely message! I wish my mother-in-law could read this :) As for your own experience, I wish I did that from the beginning - establish rules and limits. I didn't, so that was my first mistake. I guess I was still hoping that that woman would like me, so I kept my mouth shut and barely spoke up about anything. If I was mad, I'd just fester in solitude, or together with my husband, until the anger fizzled out and became resentment.

      You did it the right way. And now you're a wonderful mother-in-law! I'm sure your sons and daughters-in-law are lucky to have you. Thank you for the wonderful thoughtful comment. It brought a smile to my face :)

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      Saran 5 weeks ago

      Thank you so much for writing this article. It's nice to know that I am not the only one in the hands of a rude MIL. I could relate to every point you mentioned in this hub. To my conscience my MIL hates me. But she very well covers it up in front of her son by showing him that she is trying to take good care of me. Never forgets to bully me behind his back. She can never accept the meal i cook and will try to make few alterations in the menu, thereby taking over the kitchen. She always checks on my attire and whether it's good or bad, she comments on it which I am not comfortable with. For family functions, she'll question me what iam going to wear or she'll get me traditional clothing suggesting me to wear that for the next family event. I even remember that, when me and my husband were visiting their place once, she phoned me to tell that I have to dress up good/pretty since I am visiting their place. FYI, I am not a homeless person if that it what you are wondering about. I think it's her way of telling me that I can never look pretty in her eyes. Whenever she visits our place she cooks, cleans and rearranges stuffs in my kitchen by telling, "this is where you have to keep this, so that it's easy for you to move in the kitchen". By cleaning, I wish I could say she is helping but, definitely not. She is constantly cleaning just to show me how it is done and to keep me in the kitchen itself. My husband has a sister who is in college. To add insult to the injury, she always compares me to her daughter which is miserable. She would ask me to get clothing brand suggestions from her daughter which to me is insulting. I don't live under the rocks to know what is in trend and whats not. She even mentioned that her daughter has a good habit of washing her inner wears everyday by hands and I don't(damn! I do wash my innerwears. Not by hand but laundry). She'll always try to get me into an argument and whenever she gets a chance, will try her best to prove me wrong. When iam about to be done with my meal she'll try to put more food on my plate telling me to eat well. Initially I thought it's maybe out of affection. She even broke that hope by telling that I made more food than required, help me to empty it. Sometimes it'll feel like the ship is sailing smooth. She will sit and talk with me like a normal human being, which I will not lie about, will feel good. I would even think things are getting better. Maybe, she is not bad afterall. But, before I could get my hopes high she would destroy it with her toxic words. Out of the blue she would pop one or two out of her mouth to make me feel down or angry again. That's when I know it is how it is and to accept the way she is. I love my husband. I don't know whether it's possible for me to love her with my full heart after all the hurting things she has told and did to me. I've heard it somewhere, "if people around you hate you, ignore them coz if you start hating people who hate you, the hate will consume you too". That's how i've become now i guess. My feelings towards her turned numb. I don't love her nor hate her. In front of her I manage very well by putting a smile on my face. But when I am alone I cannot think about how sorry I am for myself, just to break down and cry in peace with nobody watching. I cannot complaint to my husband every time about her, after all she is his mother. But he would deny that coz after everytime we meet with them, there would be an argument about how unkind his mother is to me. Sorry, can't help it. :D Not sure why the relationship between MIL and DIL has to be like this. I am a loving person. I was excited when we got married. Was even ready to call my MIL as "mom". But didn't expect that she would hate me this much, bully me, disrespect me, ignore me.. Just because of what? I married her son? Taking good care of him? Loving him everyday?. It's not my mistake that she thinks that I replaced her. If she was not ready to let go off her son, I would say why did she got him married in the first place. When she got married she too took away someone else's son to start a family. I think that's how human cycle works. I don't know whether she'll realise that ever. Hate her for filling my heart with hatred.

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      Lisa 5 weeks ago

      This all sounds so familiar! My Mil has hated me for 30yrs and I have put up with her vile temper and her manipulation of my relationship with her son. I am not a bad person but she made me out to be one, spreading lies about me when all I tried to do was to make her happy. Having many arguments with my husband about how he doesn't stand up for me and all the evil things she has said about my family and me, it all took its toll and I ended up with a mental health disorder. I hate this woman so much for what she has done to me and I have threatened to leave my husband now as he has disrespected me too many times. I don't know what to do any more.

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      Lana Zakinov 4 weeks ago from California

      Hi Lisa,

      I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. Although I haven't been married for 30 years, I've been through everything on the list and know how devastating this is. You're right to expect support from your husband. However, from my experience it's better if you stand up for yourself. It's the only way to deal with a toxic mil. And in perspective, keep in mind that your mil is not going to be around forever. One day it's gonna be just you and your husband. Do you still love him? Do you want to be married to him if his mother wasn't an issue? If the answer is yes, perhaps there's sense in sticking around. If not, maybe your marital issues are bigger than your mother-in-law. Have you considered marriage therapy?

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      Sara M 4 weeks ago

      My mother- in- law has shown almost every one of these toxic behaviours towards me. She makes me feel bad all the time. Even though I try to ignore her hate towards me and try to mend bonds with her she tries to hurt me with her words. But she acts innocent in front of her son. So my husband thinks that's just his mother's way of telling things and she doesn't mean any harm. To his eyes, she is always an innocent mom.

      You are lucky that you and your mom are too close. For me, my mom doesn't agree with most of the things that i say. My husband always fails to defend me in front of his mother. I have to explain him all the wrong things she is saying(in front of his eyes) that he says he doesn't see. After my explanation he gets it and tries to correct it the next time. But every time my MIL comes up with a different approach to hurt me. Obviously he doesn't get it and I have to explain it to him again. Then he'll say I'll try to avoid these kind of scenarios next time and will try to protect me from her, which he fails to do every single time. And I am tired of explaining things to him. I am drained in fact. I don't know anymore whether he doesn't understand really or he just tries to ignore it. I even told him that he doesn't love me the way I love him. About this, he completely ignored and told me he loves me truly. I feel if he loves me with his full heart he would see it and wouldn't mind to defend me from his mother. I am mentally drained. The hope that is given to me lasts only for a short span of time. What would you do when life is hurting and you don't have anyone to talk to. Let it be your husband or mother or friends(which is none for me). Even when you have everyone but nobody feels the need to put you together when you are broken, what would you do??? Help!!!!

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      London 4 weeks ago

      I'm not married but my boyfriends mom and family have some serious issues. One minute they speak to me and the next they don't. My boyfriend lies and tries to act like everything is good but I can always tell and then he basically says he doesn't know what I'm talking about. I feel like I can even talk to him about anything because it makes me wonder if he is plotting against me with them. Anytime I do anything nice for him his mother gets upset. She makes comments about him not eating her food or he has changed since he met me. Smh. She is such a jealous person. He is a twin and his brother and girlfriend act like they don't like me either. I have done nothing wrong. I don't hang out with his family because I don't trust females but also because his family is drama. They all talk bad about each other and then they act like they never said anything. I don't like that fake shit. Just be one way. If you don't like me I can respect you for that and go about my business versus you speaking to me then 5 mins later you are giving me dirty looks. I ask myself all the time am I wasting my time. Am I making the wrong decision by being with him. I have never dealt with this before because I don't stick around to find out if a person family likes me or not. I really don't care but my boyfriend is very family orientated. I'm not a family person but I am trying and I hate it because I feel like I'm trying to force people to like me. It makes me feel stupid. Some days his mom will make dinner and she feeds me but for some reason all of a sudden she won't cook just so I won't eat her food. It doesn't bother me but why not say what your issue is with me. Now if I approached her and asked her or his family what is their problem, they are going to lie about it. That's how they are. His family treats him fucked up when he is in need and I always come to his rescue because he is my best friend before anything.

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      Lana Zakinov 4 weeks ago from California

      Hi London,

      you're right, that family is drama! You're not even married and already there's a lot going on. So you do have a decision to make, because, trust me, this sh*t gets deeper after you're married.

      I can certainly relate to your situation. I married my husband despite the drama, although I only now see how dysfunctional his family really is. And now that we have a child, I struggle with the question: how much of it do I want to her to be exposed to? Is that really a good environment to grow up in? So those are some of the questions you might be asking yourself down the line... Just a heads-up :)

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      Lana Zakinov 4 weeks ago from California

      Hi Sara,

      your message gives me pause because I feel your pain. Not having someone to talk to must be very lonely indeed. Sometimes even when we are in a relationship we feel isolated because the issues we deal with are not something we want people to know. Or we fear that we won't be understood. You're right, I do have a supportive mother, but I've experienced this isolation, too. Because I don't want to burden my mom with these petty squabbles. I don't want her to worry about me, thinking that I'm unhappy because my husband's mother isn't nice to me.

      I know it doesn't seem like it now, and you feel alone, but you are stronger than this. This woman will not break you. I don't care what she says or how she says it, you are way-way stronger than this. You are not broken. You are not weak. So find that strength within you and tell yourself: "This woman cannot hurt me. She has no power over me. No one has power over me."

      And if you need to talk to someone and there isn't anyone around at the time, write...That always helped me. Get your feelings out, describe what you feel, describe everything that happened between you and your MIL. It will bring you some relief. It will give you more clarity. It *may even give you the courage to be more assertive with your MIL. You don't have to be rude to get your points across. Even if it falls on deaf ears, you'll feel better. Good luck, stay strong! And if you need to vent to someone, drop me a line, I'm here :)

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      Eleanore Ferranti Whitaker 4 weeks ago from Old Bridge, New Jersey

      I got along with my MIL better than I did her son. She was the mother of 8 children, my ex being the oldest. My mother was widowed when we were young. So, she had to work and was too tired to teach me things my MIL did.

      I ended up with my Mother being jealous of my relationship with my MIL.

      I never for a minute thought she was in any way "competition" to me. In many ways, she was the reason for my prolonging the inevitable divorce.

      She was the most kind, honorable, truthful woman with so many domestic talents I would not have learned, if not for her patience in teaching me.

      She could have given Dr. Spock a few lessons in managing infants.

      My ex, ironically, preferred his father, although he had trouble getting along with him too.

      I never look at anyone in an instantaneous negative light. I know that each individual comes with a special set of assets to their personality.

      My MIL and I were as different as night and day and yet, she was a wonderful teacher. She could give lessons on being a wife and mother. That's how good she was at it.

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      Linda 4 weeks ago

      1,2,3, and 9 describe my M-I-L perfectly. She is the worst thing about my marriage, and my husband is her biggest enabler. In the 21 years I have known her, she has never asked me once how I am doing or said anything remotely kind. She gushes over how "wonderful" my husband's brother's wife is in front of me, yet, said husband's brother and his wife only have to deal with her once a year. She visits us at least every other month, sometimes, usually for 10 days at a time. Last year, she clocked 90 nights in our guest room!

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      Last para was ridiculously funny! 4 weeks ago

      So your mother is an angel...get her a son and a daughter-in-law... then watch her turn into monster...you women are beyond reasoning...

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      Lana Zakinov 4 weeks ago from California

      Hi Ewent,

      yours is a wonderful example that a good relationship between MIL and DIL is possible. Not all mothers-in-law are toxic, of course. And we do have a lot to learn even from the most negative individuals. If nothing else, how not to be like them. My MIL is a wonderful teacher too, though she doesn't mean to be teaching in that way. Still, she has her moments of kindness, care and brilliance. I'm not blind to that. Thank you for your comment :)

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      Lana Zakinov 4 weeks ago from California

      I never said she was an angel...I said she was *my angel. And she does have a son, and a daughter-in-law she cherishes. So I guess "we women" know what we're talking about after all.

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      Lana Zakinov 4 weeks ago from California

      Linda, lol my condolences ) 90 nights does seem rough. Yes, it's the old "divide and conquer" tactic. It's really effective, too. She doesn't have to be directly derogatory towards you; all she has to do is demonstratively praise your sister-in-law. Same effect - except no one can accuse her of being mean to you. I'm very familiar with that. My response - I join in and have fun ))

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      Lana Zakinov 4 weeks ago from California

      Saran,

      first of all, thank you for sharing with me.You are def not alone, and your feelings are absolutely valid. And I think you've hit a nail on the head when you said: "It's not my mistake that she thinks that I replaced her." I do believe that is the root of the problem. At the end of the day these "toxic MILs" feel threatened and insecure, even though they act very superior. There's a new woman in her son's life, so she's not his #1 anymore. So in order to still feel important and needed, she has to put you down. I've seen it first hand. My husband is very independent, so my MIL really turned on him. Thinks everything in his life is s**t because from young age he moved out of his parents' house and started making his own decisions. He doesn't *need* her, and she needs to be needed. It got even worse when we got married. But his brother has a much better relationship with their mother because he needs her, and knows that he does.

      You're also right about it being a cycle...your MIL was probably mistreated by her MIL, so she's repeating that pattern, whether consciously or subconsciously.

      About the hate...no one can fill your heart with hate without your consent. You don't have to love her but...hate? That's too strong of a word. I think you're not giving yourself enough credit. Your heart is capable of so much light... It seems like it's filled with hate but it's not. You're just hurt. As your sense of self becomes stronger and you learn to become more assertive with you MIL, the feeling of hate will diminish and it will be replaced with pity, or even sympathy. Because in my experience toxic MILs are deeply miserable people...

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      Sara M 4 weeks ago

      Thanks for the time you took to read my comment and thank you for your kind words. I literally cried reading your reply. This is how emotionally weak I've become. Breaking down and crying behind closed doors has become a common thing for me these days. The only reason she takes advantage of me and bullies me is because I am not rude and assertive. I am not that kind of a person. Whenever I try to be assertive, she thinks something is wrong with me and pretending to care, she asks me what's wrong with me or why am I sad.

      I've heard people say I am a very cheerful person when I talk. But with her it's becoming hard to show my real self. I am even scared that I may loose it forever because of her. It's hard to smile to her face these days. Physical abuse is something that can be shown and can be explained that's happening to you, and who is doing this to you. But psychological abuse is something that cannot be proved and it's hard to set belief that I am being abused as these kind of abuse doesn't leave any physical marks for proof. Either the person listening to you can think of you as crazy or someone who makes a big deal out of something thats nothing. Unless and until the person talking to you really cares about you its hard to explain what you are going through and to be understood. Especially when the person abusing you is good to others. In this case its my MIL. Its hard even for myself to explain why his mother is being rude to me and on the other hand being super nice with him. My problem sounds like a loop, a mommas boy who wouldn't take any steps to defend me coz his mother would get hurt, inlaws(MIL/FIL) who does emotional blackmail and manipulates him, and my parents who thinks their kid should adjust in any kind of scenario as they think they should not be the reason for breaking my marriage. Psychologically abusing inlaws, verbally abusing parents and a husband who thinks there is no problem with my life(its only true when it is just me and him without his parent's interference ). I don't know how sick and twisted life can be. Life is becoming meaningless Lana. I am scared that I may loose myself or go crazy in finding the answer for the purpose of my life.

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      Pathways thru life 4 weeks ago from Mid West

      I have still been reading along at some of the monster in law journey's. It really isn't a fair way to go through life. I hope young children do not watch their grandmother treat you this way. Especially, granddaughters. There has to be a way to stop the cycle. If not for ourselves, then for them....You do not want a clone of this to do to someone else....

      That has always been an issue of mine, having had two daughters....

      This can destroy families. Maybe there is a form of In law therapy??

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      Julia Frances 3 weeks ago

      Thanks for this read, it's helped me enormously. My MIL drains me of everything, her opinions her loud voice, her sense of authority. My in laws are all very much academics, I would say she is very much an academic snob. I didn't go to university and in fact I suffer from dyslexia and dyscalcuia. She loves doing sudoku, crosswords and this is something I struggle with. I'm a loving, quiet and kind person and my fiancée says these are the most important qualities but I can't help to feel like she doesn't see me as good enough with no academic qualifications. They love playing card games and I often feel nervous about playing as it's never relaxed then Recently, she's told me I've got to learn to be good at playing cards if I'm marrying into the family! What should I say to that?! With the wedding planning she hates the fact I'm paying for a wedding dress she deems as too expensive and that the wedding isn't all about me. Of course I would never even dream of even thinking that. She digs away at my self esteem and when I'm round her I'm quiet, shy and not at ease! I feel like my personality is squashed. I just wish she'd accept we are different and that she can't make into someone I'm not

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      Lisa Leigh 3 weeks ago

      After learning about personality disorders it became very clear to me why the relationship with my now ex mother in law was so difficult. Every single one of these listed above I have endured by her. It's very difficult to understand is how a mother could willingly cause so much harm and pain to her own son along with her grandchildren. Though once I was able to understand NPD it became very clear to me how she is able to act this way to not only me but her own children. My ex and I continue to have a relationship with each other though she absolutely goes above and beyond to make it as difficult as possible. I have been no contact with her for over a year and I have watched her attack her own son to try and break us. Thank heavens he is slowly seeing the effects of a dysfunctional childhood and toxic parent and what she is deliberately trying to do to us. She despises me, because I caught onto her and I know what she is all about. I am a threat to her. Prayers he and I continue to make progress with OUR children and our little family and can continue to dodge her evil web..

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      Riceball 3 weeks ago

      Thank you so much I thought it was only me.. I almost cried reading this unfortunately I have no way to escape my MIL right now. I'm almost at my wits end...

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      Pathways thru life 3 weeks ago from Mid West

      Good for your husbamd to open his eyes. My ex husband never did....We have been divorced now 6 years this July. After finding out that I am an empath, it has taken me awhile to adjust to what she did to my family....but I now walk away from crap....I have to....I am not taking on other people's problems like I did in the past. There has to be a limit for me, and my ex husband refused putting boundaries on his mother. Didn't leave me with many choices....

      My parents and brothers helped my ex in laws move....I took that on....by asking my family in the first place....

      Now, my in laws are divorced. I don't know what woke my ex father in law up. I sure think he is happier now. My problems with him were because her behavior was tolerated and he tried helping her get what she wanted. Now that she isn't around to infect his life....I'm sure life is much easier on him.

      Me?? I'm living, and I got the dog, which is a positive for an empath. I have a new sister on law that works for my office and 2 nieces....one 3 months tomorrow....the other is almost 2 1/2 in July....then my other brother and his gf gave me a soon to be 11 yo nephew and a 4 yo niece....Certainly not a replacement for not seeing my own kids for 4 years....but when they are 23, 19 and 16....I am sure they are plenty busy....Just like I try to be....

      I also have a bf of almost 2 1/2 years....off and on discussion of getting married....My hope was to have my 23 yo son walk me down the aisle....I guess if they can't be there I have no real desire to go down that path again....

      They do say empaths do bettwr by themselves....but unfortunately Epileptics do not....

      So keep it together....it is worth it if your husband has opened his eyes....KUDOS TO YOU!!

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      jojo 3 weeks ago

      I can totally relate to this. I also have a TIL that lives nearby. Since I have learned to speak your mind, I tried to talk to her about why she talked behind my back. and VOILA! Everything went dramatic and she directly played as a victim, that everyone against her and nothing she did was ever good. Afterwards I am just living in this cold relationship between me and my TIL.

      One of the reasons why she acted toxic after I got married to his son, is most probably that before she was very close to his son and I came to his life and suddenly she was not the number one anymore. Contrary to her, I do not like attention, but just like all the common ground things with TIL, they love to be worshiped, their way of cooking, their delicious pastries, their way of gardening, everything needs to be appreciated and complimented which is very irritating for me.

      But thanks for writing this. love it.

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      Ckfgirl 2 weeks ago

      All of my in laws did a complete 180° the moment my husband proposed 15 years ago with them becoming very resentful and threatened by me. My husband was supporting his entire family at the time including his uncles and his mother's lazy boyfriend unbeknownst to me. I was originally drawn to him because he appeared to be a strong, hard-working man who loved his family and would put all my needs first at the time we dated. He turned out to be a severely brainwashed little boy with no backbone.

      I'll do my best to sum everything up. We got engaged, all of a sudden his mom needed to speak to him on the phone the whole time he was with me (even that they lived together), his uncles wanted to party with him on days they knew we had dates, and soon we began having our dates with his family. I later found out he took his mother to get my engagement ring with her picking what she wanted me to have, they also agreed on a date for our wedding without my knowledge. We decided to get our own place in a months time after getting married only for each of his siblings and mother to give excuses and non-existent emergencies as to why they needed to temporarily move in with us when the time came. My mil found our first place herself and made it her own when we moved in. A few years and a few moves later, we were finally in law free with our first baby on the way.

      There were improvements to our marriage so we began our search to buy a home while pregnant. I noticed he wasn't taking my wants into consideration so we bought something I wasn't really happy with. It had smaller housing next to the main house on the property that his family took up residence on. They were incredibly disrespectful during that time so when the recession hit, we lost that property a year later in 2006 much to my delight. I was probably the only wife who couldn't be happier about losing her house. Sad, I know.

      My husband and I came close to a divorce shortly after with him swearing to change, begging for another chance and that it was all about me from that point forward. I know what you're thinking, that he didn't really change. Actually he really did. I think when he saw how serious I was about the divorce, it shook him to his core. He took my old engagement ring that I hadn't worn for a couple of years after finding out who picked it, and replaced it with a more expensive one that was to my liking. His family still tried to weasel their way into our relationship like clock work but my husband finally had it with them at that point and didn't fall for their "emergencies" any longer.

      About 5 years ago, my husband decided to cut his entire family out of his life after a bad argument he had with them (except for his mother), he really speaks to no one now with the exception of her. Because of that, my mil tried her normal tactics of guilt and manipulation by threatening to move back to her country, he told her that's her choice and paid for her ticket. She moved and only visits twice a year for a few weeks each time and has been respectful while shes here. I thought she was finally getting it but lately, she seems to be manipulative when my guard is down after knowing we're buying another house this summer. She knows I don't trust her and resents that I've never left my kids with her or allow her to be an authority figure in their lives.

      My 9 year old son has a severe peanut allergy and my mil asked if she could eat her sandwich she brought on the counter. I told her yes but to clean the countertop when she's done, she agreed but didn't seem to like me telling her that. When she was done eating, the space was clean, then she wiped it like I told her to and it had peanut butter streaks all over the table. I recleaned it and said no more peanut butter in this house. Now, I catch her rolling hers eyes behind their backs when my kids have shown her awards they've gotten. One of my children's ribbons they got for spelling that was hanging is gone now after her hearing the story of how long it took for us to get it for him. I don't have evidence but I know she took it.

      I told my husband what my gut instincts are telling me and he was crushed. He didn't accuse her, just told her maybe it fell in her bag and if she could check since her travel bags were near it. She said no but then immediately said she feels "really bad" just from him bringing it up (what she always says when she does something wrong, manipulation to shut him up). He believes me but he's not sure how to handle this without evidence. I want to make sure he lays down the law with her with or without it, I don't want her here unsupervised any longer or at all if I had it my way. She doesn't care about us but when's he going to see that, it shouldn't come from me but this is our home and my child's life at stake because she's so jealous and malicious. Advice please.

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      lh05 2 weeks ago

      It is so sad to know that so many people are going through this, my story is still hard to talk about without breaking down and crying.

      As a young girl I would pray I would find my soulmate, I was 19 and he was 23 when we found each other, it was kismet, his cousin married my cousin and we met at the wedding, but we had crossed paths other times before, not knowing we grew up a few streets away from each other and attended the same Junior high School before I moved with my family across the country. When I was 15 I visited my Country, (we are from the same country) he tried speaking to me but I was only 15.. then fast forward 4 yrs later we meet at a wedding and hit it off right away.

      We had a love so strong that we felt like one person together and incomplete without one another...we had a long distance relationship for 4 yrs while I was finishing college, I would visit him and stay at his house where he lived with his parents....his mother was so controlling she would tell me that if I loved him I would quit school to be with him, constantly call his phone anytime we were out also made her husband call....caused huge fights along with her husband if we refused to attend any parties or events she wanted us to attend, sabotaged a trip we planned and forced him to cancel his ticket.

      It was so bad I developed anxiety from having to walk on egg shells and afraid to say no in case she caused another fight or turned her son against me which used to work because he was raised to never say no to them, she would even turn her other son against me.

      She would unlock our door with a butterknife and get mad if we locked our door. I moved in with them so him and I wouldn't have to fly back and forth so much, either way in my culture the woman moves in with the husbands parents, I would stay because my husband would say it is temporary and he did not want to live with them, which they would tell him he can't make it out there without them that he will fail and that he is selfish for wanting to leave them.

      I would catch her going through my things, checking to see what new things I bought, checking my husbands pockets for receipts to see where we ate, wearing my jewlery without asking.....telling me I looked like the Adams Family because I am dark featured and refused to lighten my hair with some highlights....tried to break us up countless times, would say we can't get married until she says so.....there is really so much to this story and it only gets deeper and darker.

      After everything my husband and I finally found the courage to stand up to her and stop all toxic behavior we moved out, it's gotten a lot better now that she sees her son no longer stands for her crap and she is skating on thin ice with him she's changed. My husband was a child of severely narcissistic parents and because he was so loving and caring and has the biggest heart, I chose to stay in the chaos and help him.

      As much as I love him, today at 32 I resent him and myself because I held off having children which I wanted to start younger, I always wanted to have lots of babies with him but because I had it fixated in my mind that she would take over and control my babies, I became so weak, a person I have never been, now I am pregnant and was diagnosed with ptsd and depression, I am in therapy because of my deep and heavy resentment for allowing most of my life to be sucked away by this toxic woman. I hope I can find that girl that laughed so much and found joy in every little thing, I miss her.

      I tried for years to get close to my MIL but I never could understand why no matter what I did it was not enough, I wish I was able to just ignore her and be strong but I still to this day cannot understand why or how I got so lost but I look forward to a happy me again. It's sad what evil people exist in this world, the things they do to others should be considered crimes they should be charged for.

      P.S. sorry for my long rant

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      Melissa Jordan 11 days ago

      I have a mother-in-law who has been awful to me throughout the years. my husband and I have been married for almost 13 years. he has a drug addiction to hydrocodone and I have a restraining order on him now because he threw a metal pan at my face from 15 feet away. He was arrested on April 9th and the first time I saw him in court his mother was following him around like a lost puppy. Since then she has paid for him to file for divorce. Her and my sister-in-law are a force to be reckoned with. They have never included me in any fun family functions. I believe they are enabling my husband with gifts or drugs or money because he chooses to spend time with them and not me. When I tried to share my feelings to my husband he always told me I was crazy and I jealous b**** we have two beautiful boys together and they have not tried to contact the boys since the restraining order and the family can just Travis is on the restraining order. My mother-in-law goes to the quilting class at my church mind you none of them attend church or believe in God and she was there the other night when I had a board meeting she totally gave me the cold shoulder. We have kids involved and I fear my husband will never speak to me again because of the negative thoughts my mother and sister-in-law and brother-in-law put into his head about me. I totally believe this is the difference between Godly and worldly people it hurts so much

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      Cassandra West 9 days ago

      First of all, I am so sorry, that we all have to be going through this monster in law grief.

      Things got from bad to worst with the fmil after my husband passed away.

      Life is too short to be putting up with these monsters in your life.

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      Lana Zakinov 6 days ago from California

      Hi Melissa,

      I know how painful this situation can be, especially when children are involved. I pray that everyone involved can find a peaceful resolution that benefits your children, and that you and your husband find a way to co-parent without the in-laws getting involved. Stay strong!

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      Lana Zakinov 6 days ago from California

      I'm so sorry about your husband Cassandra...And you're right, toxic people are probably not worth the grief they cause and the time we spend thinking about their words or actions.

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      Sonia Chavez 3 days ago

      I have the worst monster in law. Recently my husband was admitted to the hospital to get his appendix removed. His first surgery, unfortunately I was at work but called my dad and he went to his side until I got out of work. Well the mom was livid I was in the waiting room while my husband was having his surgery. I was in the waiting I saw her and greeted and she was rude and said I have nothing to say to you. Then I was thinking to myself good. Well that wasn't enough she decided to verbally attack me. Screaming calling me names and telling me that I am not a good wife for leaving her son alone. I had to remain calm because we are in a hospital I wanted to yell at her and call her names as well. I however composed myself and decide that she was being toxic and my husband didn't need this type of behavior. So I decided to have her escorted out the hospital. Was that wrong of me to do? It was my husbands first surgery and I really didn't want that negativity around. I have been a good daughter in law. I never once disrespected her and for her to do that to me, I was already worried for my husband. I know it was just an appendix but still it's surgery.

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      Lana Zakinov 24 hours ago from California

      Hi Sonia,

      Escorting her out of the hospital was a balsy move, I'll give you that :) Of course, her verbal attack was uncalled for, so perhaps you were right. On the other hand, to her it only proved all those things she was yelling about you. I do agree with you that it's best to remain calm. A toxic MIL can be irrational and completely unpredictable. Her emotional outbursts are typically aimed at the person she finds easiest to blame. You can't always tell what's gonna trigger it. But if one person stays calm and collected, it's much easier to diffuse the situation. Good luck!

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