10 Signs You Have a Toxic Mother-in-Law

Updated on June 14, 2018
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Lana is a published writer and editor who helps aspiring authors take their writing to the next level.

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 she will expect you to please her. That would include 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. 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.

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."

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

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?

Alas, there isn’t an easy remedy for a toxic mother-in-law.

You could stay the hell away from her. That's a simple and effective strategy, but it‘s not always an option.

You could try to win her affection by appeasing her, like they did with Hitler. Spoiler alert: it didn’t work with Hitler, and it won’t work with your mother-in-law. She already made up her mind about you. I’m sorry but she’s never going to like you.

So what can you do? You can use this as an opportunity for growth.

The truth is, whenever you have a perpetual conflict with someone, or someone pushes your "buttons," it's a good indication that there's inner work to be done. As tempting as it is to blame everything on your mother-in-law, it won't bring you anything but bitterness, anger and a sense of helplessness. Do not fall into the victim mentality!

You can be happy with or without her approval. Stand up for yourself and your kids. Spend more time with people who do love and appreciate you. Do things that make you feel good. Just live your life the best way you can, being your best self.

On a personal note, I don't expect to be friends with my MIL 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 who 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".

Lastly, I find great comfort in the fact that my own mother is a kind, caring, generous woman who's a wonderful mother-in-law to my husband. So that makes my monster-in-law... somewhat bearable, and at times even amusing.

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© 2015 Lana Adler

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    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 40 hours ago from California

      Geeves,

      that's a very accurate and inspired portrait of a narcissist. I can just see your mother-in-law. And you're right, she's not all bad or evil but she does have some severe emotional deficits. She sounds very much like my MIL who I've come to accept over the years as "not all bad" and learned to keep her at a distance as much as possible. I've just realized that there's never going to be a normal or close relationship with her - and then it became much less of a problem.

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      Geeves 46 hours ago

      I am pretty sure my MIL is a textbook narcissist. I don't think she's a horrible person, or all bad, but she definitely has issues that caused huge headaches in my marriage for the first few years. She had a very traumatic life that I believe stunted her growth. The signs are grand to subtle: She can't feel empathy for others. She talks at you, but doesn't want to listen to you. She's easily hurt and never says she's sorry when she's clearly wrong (I have never heard her utter those words). She has no boundaries and is deeply wounded when you shore them up. She cannot stand to be in her own company, alone. She's externally focused -- she doesn't see that the origin of her negative feelings are coming from within -- she assumes it's something outside herself that's causing it (you). She walked out of therapy because the therapist wanted her to accept that she played a role in her fractured relationships. She has a golden child, my husband, and has pictures of him all over her house -- but not the other siblings. Most telling is this: when I asked her what kind of little boy my husband was growing up, I was expecting "smart" or "funny" or "imaginative"... instead she said "he was always so nice and loving to me."

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 2 days ago from California

      Kathy,

      I know how hard it is to stand up to a toxic person (who, in your case, is actually mentally ill). I find that there is a very thin line between toxicity and mental illness so in the end, you're still dealing with someone with severe emotional deficits.

      Either way, good job on standing up to her! Mental illness or not.

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      Kathy 3 days ago

      I, too, have a very toxic mother in-law who smeared my name throughout town and chipped away at my self esteem. Come to find out she is mentally ill. My father in-law moved themselves out of state and have stood up for me many times. I just tired of it and put my foot down with my husband and told him that I want nothing to do with his family except for a few members who knew what I was going through since she destroyed my one bother and sister in-law's marriages years earlier. I just keep going and keep my distance. I finally stood up for myself and wrote her a mean note saying she needs to stay away from me and thankfully my godson and his family are overseas whom I raised and kept him and his family away from them since they may start in on him. I don't mind if my husband sees them when they are out but they are to steer clear of my home and my family due to the fact that they are mean and cruel. I understand where everything is coming from and since after 20 years of trying to be kind and etc. enough is enough.

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      6 days ago

      Very well said.. I suffered from all of these situations. It was too depressing. I can't even tell you how much i was mentally disturb..and my husband thinks that she is very innocent,calm and sweet lady. He never take my side.. Even he talks wrong about me to make her happy.. I am trying to move on. Otherwise it will destroy my life

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      Ahmet Hakan 9 days ago

      Dear Amy Lynn,

      Thanks for your kind support. I really tried my best. My son is really full of love and always hugging me. But you were right, there is God. Somehow we are not alone. God is sending us help, he loves us. I found a place where I can feel well. I will move to this region. I will have less income. Maybe I wll just survive. But ı believe I will be happier. I will pray God to give me a chance to get my family back... There is always a hope...

      Dear Lana,

      I found a job. The salary is very low, and they will give me a room which is 2,5 square meters. But who cares? I feel better. I liked the job and the place. In fact, they are my very old friends... Like a family... I am also grateful for your support...

    • profile image

      Anonymous 10 days ago

      Thanks Lana !

      I will definitely ignore her from now on.. more power to you girl.. Thanks for the advice..

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 10 days ago from California

      Anonymous,

      I’m familiar with what you’re talking about. It’s hurtful, manipulative, passive aggressive behavior that some parents-in-law (or parents, or grandparents!) exhibit. This is a “safe” way to criticize someone without saying one bad word about them. Neat, huh?

      I also think it might be cultural. Like it’s customary for mothers-in-law to denigrate their daughters-in-law, because that’s what their mother-in-law did to them.

      Either way, ignore her. Or do what I do - joke about it.

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      Anonymous 11 days ago

      My monster in law, appears sweet to Me and tells me she is my mother but she constantly brags and praises about how good his elder sons wife(my husband's bhabhi) is,for example she works all day, does cooking and all in front of my husband she keeps praising and is rhetoric about her,she feeds my husband that how useless I am,my husband always yells at Me and gets angry on me ,he is always negative about me.. eventhough I take care of him and has never spoken a word to hurt his family ever ,I respect him and his family but my monster in law I don't understand what she wants..

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 12 days ago from California

      Thank you Been There,

      That’s solid advice, and I can relate to everything you’re saying.

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      Been There 13 days ago

      I feel your pain. I hope your husband is supportive...mine wasn't/isn't. The good news is she revealed herself. Now you know she won't respect anything you ask her to do. The solution is simple. Please, please, please listen to me. 1.Stop telling her ANYTHING you don't want brodcast to the world. 2. STOP caring about the opinion of someone who will NEVER care about you. I'm 29 years into my marriage. I spent the 1st 15 being ripped apart by exactly what you are going through now. It damaged my health and my marriage. We are still commited to one another and we love each other, but there are some areas that will never be healed. Remember, you will be the Mother of her Grandchild...you will control access. So if your husband is supportive that is half the battle. And please stop allowing her to spoil this precious time of closeness with your husband...the more relaxed you are the better for you and your baby. Focus on what is now YOUR family! Good Luck!

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      ajm1996 13 days ago

      I feel like I have no one to talk to about my Monster in law. His mom has always hated me and made it clear from day one. Over the years she’s kept in contact with ex girlfriends trying to get them back together. She expressed her hatred for me many times and has even turned some family members against me. She’s done many more hurtful things but the latest has got me angry, sad, and bitter towards her. We decided to tell the family we wanted to start trying for a baby (my biggest regret now). We have everything set up for it and we own our own home and both work stable jobs. Now after seven months of trying we still aren’t pregnant. We told everyone including my monster in law no baby stuff goes on social media. Not one little bit. Last night I scroll and see she posted an entire paragraph about our fertility problems and how we’ve been trying for 7 months. I was in shock. I begged her to take it down and she argued with me for 2 hours justifying why she should be able to post it. I honestly hate her and now I’m feeling confused on what to do. I don’t want to end a six year relationship over this but she is a lot of baggage. We have both spoken to her before about different hurtful things she’s done and we’ve gotten no where. I would really like neither of us to talk to her again but I know that isn’t right. What should I do?

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 2 weeks ago from California

      Linhere00,

      I've seen this before. Mom in law is cool with a girlfriend, but once her son marries the girl, all the sudden the claws come out.

      You got engaged recently and it's something that can trigger a bit of anxiety in your fiance's mother. She may be acting out her fear of losing him by trying to undermine your relationship. On top of it, she's living with you at the moment, and that can rattle even the most balanced person.

      Give it time. Like you said, she'll leave soon and everything will get back to normal. Good luck and congrats on your engagement!

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 2 weeks ago from California

      Dear Ahmet,

      Congrats on moving out! This is the right thing to do. And good luck in your job search. You can do it! I believe in you.

      And keep your chin up. Don't let negative people get you down.

    • profile image

      Ahmet Hakan 2 weeks ago

      Dear Lana,

      I also decided to move out to my own place. But I lost my job. Luckily I have some job offers from different cities. This weekend I will travel to talk to them. But I am really about to see the bottom of the pit, and I will if I get no results. My mom, my own mom, making every annoying gesture and speech to take my confidence away. I cannot take it anymore...... I wish my former wife also can notice that my mom acted like a mother to her, a friendly mother which she misses, which she never had. We both deserved better things, but life is never fair...

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      linhere00 2 weeks ago

      WOW! I feel forced to write in here if not I am going to loose my mind. I have been with my Now fiance for 10 years and his mom and I have been super close. He proposed in Nov of 2017 and we finally bought a home. She came in from out of state to "help us".. and crap..she has become the most deceiving Bi**h ever! She has cause my fiance and I to have our biggest argument yet!

      I keep telling myself .. "she's going home soon".. but damn..where did this come from??? We went from "best friends" to not even speaking.. and the worst thing is.. she won't say anything to me or about me to me.. .she waits till I go to work and then she will say things to my fiance.. who is now saying she is simply "concerned" about our relationship. After 10 year she is concerned???

      I have NEVER commented or written in anything like this before.. and now I feel like have to.. cause I am not sure who to vent to or even talk to about this...

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 2 weeks ago from California

      Hi Mel,

      congratulations! This is exciting and a right step forward! Set the tone from the beginning and don't sweat the small stuff :) I wish you love, happiness and peace in your upcoming marriage, and in life!

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      Mel Douglas 2 weeks ago

      Hi Lana thanks for the advice. I just moved out to my own place and fiance followed me. We are getting married the 30th of June in the church office with only his sister and her husband as witnesses. luckily i have not receive any news on how MIL feels about the marraige but really i dont even care. Im just happy Im free of her for now and really hope that in future things would look different. i love my man and seriously I am prepared to fight that lady if she starts to interfere in our lives.

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      cocoamusse 3 weeks ago

      I'm totally agreed with the author!

      Still, I can not control my temptation from time to time which makes my hubby feels really sad.

      I can say that the only quarrel in my family is about MIL.

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      N. 3 weeks ago

      My Mother in Law is a lot of these things and I think would be all of these things if I lived by here. I am working on myself though and going to therapy learning to speak up for myself and not feeling guilty. I just can't take it anymore. I am tired of her this is what's happening attitude without even asking. I'm done. I'm having my second kid and this behavior is over. She can either start respecting me or she's out of my life and DH can handle her. If it's up to him, she'll never get anywhere because he just ignores her texts and calls. So good luck with that MIL.

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      J. 3 weeks ago

      I got 10 out of 10. I don’t have any family. My husbands family is all I’ve got. It makes it difficult and frustrating. I don’t ever feel like I can talk to anyone about it. Hubby sees how rude she is to me and has even said something about it. Nothing has changed and I don’t want to make hubby feel bad or caught in the middle, so I don’t say anything.

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 3 weeks ago from California

      nimz83,

      it's your decision to make. Whatever you think is best for your family is what you should do.

      But from where I'm sitting, yes, it's a very fine decision :) Distance is going to improve your life, and most likely, the relationship with your MIL is going to improve as well. I hope that works out!

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      nimz83 3 weeks ago

      OMG just the article I needed, made me feel sooooo much better....although I have been trying to ignore her and keep myself busy but she keeps interfering by coming in my room or commenting harshly whenever I go out or have fun with kids.....I am planning to separate our houses we have lived together for 10 years hatred is only growing and I don't want my kids to be influenced by all the negativity around....I hope thats a fine decision?

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 4 weeks ago from California

      Mel,

      I don’t think your fiancé is ignorant or blind. He just doesn’t want to be involved. It’s a no-win situation for him: either go against the woman who raised him or the woman he loves.

      It seems like the worst thing she’s done so far is complain about you to her friends. Try not to pay too much attention to that sort of thing.

      Good luck to you!

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      Nicole 4 weeks ago

      Wow, mine is 10 out of 10!

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      MEL DOUGLAS 4 weeks ago

      hi, i am not even married yet, still engaged living in with my fiancee and his mother. Me and him is standing for everything from food to her ciggies. She never has conversation with me, but always have when she complains about him. No matter how hard i try, she always create bad stories about me and shes got a gossip campaign with her so called friends against me. This same so called friends then come to my place of employment to inform me of her gossip. She appreciates nothing and always freak out for the smallest things. She pretends to be kind whenever my fiancee is around, offering me tea and serving me food even when i refuse.

      I inform my fiancee about his moms behavior but he never takes any action. Most of the time i feel like kicking her ass and take my engagement ring of, take my bags and take a hike. I just wonder if my fiancee is just ignorant or blind for all this horrible things his mom is doing. She even used my money my fiancee gave me on Sunday as gift for Mothers Day.

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 4 weeks ago from California

      Amy,

      I agree. Narcissistic mothers-in-law are loathsome creatures. Best to stay away, even if they're "nice" to you.

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 4 weeks ago from California

      Natali,

      that's no way to start a marriage! You're giving this woman waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much power over you. I'm sure she is as bad as you say but come on! Crying yourself to sleep? After one month of being married?

      I know this feels overwhelming and scary but trust me, it will get better with time. Maybe your MIL will take a liking to you eventually (it does happen), or you change your attitude towards her. Worst case scenario, you'll get divorced. But don't give up so quickly! Fight for yourself and for your marriage.

      And if you're so unsure about the future, maybe don't rush into having children.

      Hope it gets better!

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 4 weeks ago from California

      momo1025,

      so sorry about your divorce. Sounds like it's still fresh. I know you're still in pain. But (eventually) you have to let it go. Will he see the truth? Won't he? It doesn't matter. He obviously didn't see it when you were married. And he lost you. No need crying over that guy.

      And I would caution you against putting ALL the fault for the failed marriage on your ex-MIL. When you blame other people for what happened in your life, you end up feeling like a victim, and that's a whole other type of toxicity. Trust me, you don't want that. So take the responsibility for yourself, and admit that your ex-husband had something to do with it, too.

      I hope you'll feel better and stronger soon. Good luck!

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      Lana Adler 4 weeks ago from California

      Sjjnf,

      You know, one year olds are very self-involved creatures. They only show glimpses of their love, and only to the people closest to them. And I don't think they have a capacity for hate at this stage :)

      Is it possible that your son doesn't see you enough? Try spending more time with him, especially quality time: play with him, take him to the park, to the zoo...

      I would also suggest - when you are taking your son back from your in-laws, don't just pull him away while he's screaming bloody murder. Try distracting him with something. Bring a toy he's never seen or attract his attention some other way. With time you'll create a positive association (instead of a negative one that he has now) and he won't be throwing tantrums anymore. The transition has to be gentle but quick, so the baby doesn't have the time to get upset.

      Hope this helps. Good luck!

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      Sjjnf 4 weeks ago

      Im having many issues not with my mother in law but with the whole family. All of the above applies to all of them. But what bothers mr the most is how they take my son from me and when they try to give him back he screams and cries, fusses and throws a huge fit. Arches his back, throws his head back, kicks his legs, throws his arms around. Hes going to be a year old this month. I feel like he doesnt even love me. Like my own son hates me. I dont know what to do. Please help.

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      momo1025 4 weeks ago

      Reading this article confirms that my EX MIL was/is a toxic women!

      She is the reason we are now divorced.

      I love him so much.

      My heart aches for him.

      Will he ever see the truth?

    • profile image

      Natali 4 weeks ago

      Just got married, literally a month ago, and I already feel that the failure of my marriage is going to be my mother in law. The worst part is that I just started seeing what an evil being she is about a few months before the wedding. I cry myself to sleep every night in fear of our future and I fear to death what could happen if I ever have children.

      I hope things get better, and reading that other women are going through similar situations calms me a little bit.

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      Amy 5 weeks ago

      This is so my life too! Awful mother in law but my family is supportive. I know my mother in law will never accept or like me. She is saccharine sweet to my face and lies about me to everyone. Never, ever and I mean never trust a narcissist mother in law. Even when being nice. It is fake. Just stay away as much as possible.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 5 weeks ago

      Lana, do you mind if I say something to Melissa? Here goes: I know that after the glowing comment I made on my wonderful MIL, people probably don't think I'm qualified to say anything, but believe me, I am. If you read my hub on Mother's Day, you'll get a small taste of what I put up with for 10 years. I couldn't leave the jerk of a husband because of constant debilitating migraines, I didn't think I could support my kids. However, when I was forced to have to, I came across quite adequately. My MIL helped me to get away from her son. She loaned me her car and helped with the kids until I got on my feet. I wish I could say that the migraines went away, but they didn't. At least I didn't have to deal with his ridicule while I was in excruciating pain.

      Here's the thing. If your old battle ax of a MIL died today, you are probably at the point where you can never forgive your husband. I know because I was there. He would find some way to blame you for not being "kind" enough for her, so it is your fault that she died. I recommend that you get a strong support system, start by confiding in your family and friends. Even if you haven't, they know more than you think they do. Then get a good counselor who doesn't side with your husband. First go by yourself because if you try to counsel together, he will do all the talking. There is help for people of domestic abuse today, and that is exactly what you are going through. DOMESTIC EMOTIONAL ABUSE. Then take your kids and get out. It won't get any better as long as you stay! Once you are out, don't let him talk you into coming back because he will not change and neither will you as long as you stay with him. I know, been there, done all that.

      Today I just retired from a very successful career, own three houses, two paid for, and have more money in the bank than I ever dreamed I would have. When our son died nearly two years ago he claimed he was too broke to send me any money for the burial. That's OK because I have plenty and can laugh at him in his miserable second marriage now. Get Out Now!

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      Melissa 5 weeks ago

      Just a note to say thank you!! Last night when I posted, I was at a mental and emotional low. I’ve never put it out into the universe. It helped as do your words. Thank you for taking the time to read thru my madness :) I agree, I get upset with myself when I allow her actions and the past to ruin even a second of my day. I know it’s a choice. I work at it daily and I certainly look forward to the day I allow myself to release it all. Wishing everyone who finds their way here peace, strength and love. And thank you again for what you do.

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 5 weeks ago from California

      Melissa,

      Phew...that was quite a comment! Took me a couple days to read it. Just kidding )

      I can tell that you don’t get much validation from your husband because you used every possible example to plead your case. I believe you! It’s obvious that your husband and his mother have a co-dependent relationship and your MIL is just not willing to share him with anybody. She has to be #1 person in her son’s life, and he’s encouraging this behavior for fear of upsetting or angering his mother. Sorry to put it bluntly, but he’s acting like a little boy. He doesn’t stand up for you because he doesn’t think there is a problem. And after 15 years of marriage and 3 kids I don’t think it will change. So the question is: are you willing to put up with this for the rest of your life?

      As for your question...are you wrong to feel the way you do? NO. Of course not. You’re entitled to feel whatever you feel and expect the person closest to you to back you up. However, I will say this: you’ve got to learn to let go. If you’re still ruminating about something that happened over 10 years ago, its an issue on your end. Feel all your feelings FULLY, express them completely - talk, cry, write in a journal, whatever works for you - then let them go. The longer you hold on to hurt feelings, the more powerless you feel. And powerlessness is the most defeating, demoralizing, crippling feeling that becomes a mind trap. The best way to empower yourself is to stop blaming your MIL for all the ways she’d wronged you. Because it doesn’t hurt her; it hurts you.

      Make a decision to let go, and I promise you, your life will change.

      Peace :)

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 5 weeks ago from California

      Treenity,

      I’m not sure what I can help you with :) You seem to have made up your mind. Cutting off all your in-laws (including your husband) is rather extreme if you ask me, but if you feel like this is what’s best for you, it’s your decision. Just make sure it is what you really want and you’re not acting out of temporary anger and frustration.

      Peace

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      Melissa 5 weeks ago

      I'm desperate at this point....to the extent where I went out of my way to google articles and read and read and read to see if I can find a way to move forward with the hurt caused by my husband allowing his mother to constantly disrespect me and justify all of her actions. I don't even know if it's me being unreasonable or her anymore. Married 15 years now to a man that is an only child. We have 3 sons of our own. This is something he hangs over my head regularly when issues arise with MIL...he reminds me that I will be a MIL one day so therefore I should just deal so karma won't kick me in the rear later in life. As much as I get that, I don't see what is happening in my situation as normal personality differences. When we first married, MIL would call 3 times a day/7 days a week wanting asking her son every last detail of what transpired throughout his day down to what he ate, where he ate it and if he liked it. Among other things at the time that I never thought twice about, when we went on family vacations with MIL and FIL my family was never invited or included. However, whenever we went on vacay with mine, they were ALWAYS invited and included. My family was never invited to events with their extended family yet MIL and FIL attended every function on my side. Fast forward to my first pregnancy, I was extremely sick throughout and carrying twins.We owned our business (still do) and were financially independent so I had the flexibility to take time when I needed it. She would make it a point to remind me that all women dealt with morning sickness and had to work. She even gave me the example of a pregnant co-worker she would run into in the bathroom who would throw up and go right back to work. Petty to the point that my husband commented to her that he wanted to gift me a designer diaper bag so she ran out and bought me one from an outlet store and told her son that she wanted me to use the one she gifted. Husband thought it was a nice gesture. Twins ended up being born premature and stayed in NICU for 2 months, coming home on meds, apnea and heart monitors and requiring weekly visits with Pedi and Specialists so we decided I would stay home to care for them instead of hiring someone else to do so. At that point she would call me at home and "encourage" me to look for work outside of our business since we had babies and a second income wouldn't hurt. Also, my husband guilted me to be "fair" so whatever my mother was invited to participate in with the babies, MIL was also invited. She then decided that every Saturday between the hours of 12-4 not a minute before or after was convenient to her schedule and that was designated visit day. Kids are 10 now, I still have her in my home every Saturday and have to work my schedule around it. Again husband supports this. Even when I explain to him that our week days are hectic and I am not always up for her visit. Sometimes I don't want to vacuum and have the house "showroom" ready. Yet I do it, because when she visits she somehow finds her way into every room in our house including our bedroom "to say hello to our dog". I know she is inspecting our house to have her AHA moment because I fired the housekeep we shared. Years prior, she arranged with my husband for her housekeeper to help at our house on her days off from hers. Little did I know the days she would help at my house were also the days my MIL would call her to get the report on what had transpired at our house. I figured this out when she called my husband asking about my sons cough that we hadn't told her about. I asked the housekeeper who told me, "Yes she calls me every time I leave your house". Guilted us into keeping housekeep for years because she was aging, needed the money on her days off and who else was going to hire her at her age. Finally succeeded in amicably separating from that situation and that is the fuel to my fire in making sure nothing is out of place when she visits. Fast forward 10 years and her beloved only child became very ill. My husband came very close to death, spent 2 years in and out of hospital 20+ days at a time and has had multiple life saving surgeries. By this point, we now had 3 kids who my family took care of so I could take care of my husband. I slept in a chair every single night of every single hospital visit spending 20 hours of the day by his side only leaving to shower and visit my kids every day and tell them everything would be

      ok. She would visit, feign headaches or want to make sure she headed out before traffic because Lord forbid she wasn't home by 5pm for cocktail hour. When he was at his sickest, and we were waiting to here if he had made it thru surgery my family and I sat in the waiting room some us needing a bathroom break, food, water, etc but our rear ends remained glued to those chairs to make sure we were present in case the Dr came out to speak with us while she spent her time outside smoking. Never once did she spend a night not even that night when the Dr said he may not make it. My mother did because she knew my world was falling apart and she wanted to make sure someone was there to support me. When her precious son was releases from the hospital she called to let him know she cracked a special bottle of wine during dinner to celebrate. Note: we have not been invited to her home for dinner to date. About a year after that night, we had a chance to go on vacation not knowing at the time that he would suffer a slew of complications and end up sick again. Her birthday falls on a holiday, restaurants are closed on said holiday. I bought decorations, gathered all of my family in the middle of this vacation and reserved a private area at a restaurant on the night before her birthday. She spoke to NO-1, made dinner awkward and miserable as she reminded everyone that it was not her birthday on that day. I would have thought she would have been happy to celebrate her son being alive and having the opportunity to vacation with him and spend quality time after all we had been thru with his health would be enough but she threw a tantrum because her birthday was celebrated a day early and not day of. I could go on and on and on with examples like these including the fact that she has to buy my children's affection, disregards when I ask her not to reward them with expensive things every weekend so that they can learn to earn things but it doesn't stop her. Nothing stops her. Bottom line, my husband is an extension of me. I can put my hurt aside most of the time but I am so hurt by how she has hurt him. I feel so betrayed, resentful and angry. I pray for peace in my heart, I read self-help and motivational articles and books to try to rid these feelings but every time she crosses the line and my husband justifies it, it makes me want to walk away. I ask myself if I am strong enough or willing to endure this. I have layed it out for my husband 1,001 times, raw emotions, begged for understanding and validation to no avail. He will always give her the benefit of the doubt. I will always be in the wrong. I learned this recently, I had surgery. Day before surgery there was a local event that we attend every year. I didn't want to go at all so I could prepare myself mentally and get ahead with home chores since I would be recovering for a few weeks post surgery. He convinced me to go. I asked if we could go early in the day so I could get home and rest. We had to check into the hospital by 6 am the next day. She said she couldn't go earlier because she couldn't miss her hair appointment. He sided with her and told me I was being unreasonable what difference did an hour make he argued. Both him and her thought her hair appt outweighed my need to prepare for surgery the next day. I can't even believe it now that I am typing it to be honest! And what lead me to this blog..Mothers Day. I don't even want to celebrate being a Mom of 3. How pathetic am I? We haven't spoken a word other than fighting for 2 days because he chose my mothers day plans for me which ultimately meet her needs and sacrifice mine. Am I in the wrong to feel the way I do??

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      Treenity 5 weeks ago

      Who ever looks after my Mother in law will get sick! There’s no where to start with her.... her youngest daughter took care of that unappreciative hag gave up the moment she is battling with cancer, her elder daughter was sent to hospital with high Bp handling her and when they pass her to my husband aka me, my domestic helper fled the home and the replaced helper cried to me Everyday. I decided to take things into my own hands and the hag demanded her kids to take her back because I’m bad. I decided to cut off ties with all my in laws and demanded a divorce from my husband. Everyone was on my side... eventually and she was sent to her village. She’s a manipulative and toxic fool. I hate her and she knows it so well that she cannot look at me. Because by God I’ll slam her rubbish in front of everyone and she hates my guts! So now I still want that divorce and everyone thinks I’m mad because we have a happy family when she’s gone! Help

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      Lana Adler 6 weeks ago from California

      Brittany,

      I do have some suggestions at the end of the article...a quick side note though: a manipulative, meddlesome, toxic MIL can have a negative impact on the marriage, undeniably, but can she single-handidly destroy it? I don’t think so. Perhaps you need to do some damage control before it’s too late. Good luck!

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      Lana Adler 6 weeks ago from California

      Roy,

      How kind of you to wish her a painless death :)

      I know it’s frustrating as hell, especially if she’s messing with your custody case, but I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: a toxic MIL cannot destroy a strong marriage. Everything you’ve said may very well be true, but it can’t all be her fault. I suggest you quit blaming your ex-MIL for all your misfortunes and start taking responsibility for the part you may have played in the dissolution of your marriage.

      I wish you a peaceful resolution and a life away from toxic people from here on out. Good luck!

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      Brittany Wicker 6 weeks ago

      Me and my husband both have a toxic mother in law. The 1st 3 I read on here is his mother to a t. Wow. I'm not so sure it hasn't already destroyed our marriage. What should I do??

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      Roy Johnston 6 weeks ago

      so I am a man, but this has happened with my now ex's mother and me. she was disapproving at first and was no longer part of our lives for a few years, but after the death of her own mother contact began with her and my ex again. low and behold 2 years later I am no longer with my ex and in a grueling custody battle and false accusations of domestic violence along with a campaign by her mother to make sure everyone believe I am no good like she always said I lost my job, because I work in a customer service field and my customers mostly know her or her acquaintances, my current significant other received and anonymous letter online about how I am abuse and a drug addict alcoholic, leading to 2 days ago her telling a court deputy, at my restrainingorder court date, that I was high on drugs and smelled of alcohol, both of which were untrue, as the deputy said I don't smell anything, but I still insisted that they do a blood hair urine and breath test to prove I was not, passed the instant drug test, the lab will be back before the next court date, and the breathalyzer was 0.00 so it made her look the fool but she is already saying how I cheated the tests, the only way to deal with a narcissist mother in law or ex mother in law, is hope your God gives her a sudden and painless death

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      Lana Adler 7 weeks ago from California

      Luna,

      it does seem like this type of mother-in-law is quite common, doesn't it? :) Alas...

      My MIL is also Jewish so coming from different cultures and religious backgrounds definitely plays a part in it. In the beginning I was even expected to convert but now I think she made her peace with my religious (or lack thereof) beliefs.

      The passive-aggressiveness is tricky because you never quite know how to respond to that. People always say: ignore it, but I think it's easier said than done. For the most part, I do let it go (because it doesn't really matter what she thinks) but if I feel like she crossed a line, I will confront her. Usually it's met with silent treatment and such, but it does get the message across.

      Peace :)

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      Luna 7 weeks ago

      This feels like you were writing specifically about my mother in law. My husband's family said from beginning we were a bad match from the beginning because I'm a middle class Catholic and they wanted him to marry a wealthy Jewish girl. She will call and say oh I'm coming to stay at your house for a week on these days, clear your schedule and have my husband call off work. She passive aggressively does nothing but complain about me, my cooking, my house, and my children the entire time she is here. She even told my husband to break up with me when we were teens because I was just a phase for him. Well it's been 11 years and 2 kids later. I don't think I'm a phase.

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      Otomita 7 weeks ago

      I disagree with DHW a Marriage is about the two people on in it period. you are not necessarily marrying he's or her family that's just a saying! We don't choose who we got as parents but we can choose who we marry or our friends.

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      Jamie 7 weeks ago

      There is comfort in reading this article and comments. Ty

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      Lana Adler 2 months ago from California

      Hope,

      I understand how you feel. I've been through this many times, even though my husband is supportive too. But nobody wants to be caught up between two people they love, and no one wants to hear bad things about their mom, even if they totally agree and see it, too.

      Look, it's a delicate balance. On one hand, I do believe that it's a job of the children to set their moms straight when they're crossing a line. On the other hand, I think it's best to try to avoid situations where your husband has to choose a side.

      Peace :)

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      HopeToBeHappy 2 months ago

      I don't exactly know if it's me or her.Its getting confusing now. in the beginning I was too naive. It was only after my son's birth that I realised that she had been manipulating me for so long. But I have no qualms now for I have been quite upfront about it with my MIL since then from time to time. The problem is I am scared I am getting into frequent disputes with my husband. I know he is very understanding,caring and supportive. He even sides with me most of the times. But I know he loves his family and because of me he is getting away from them. It pains me to see him like this. makes me start to feel all the guilt. I have even started to question myself if I have taken this too far.

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      Lana Adler 2 months ago from California

      Ytimolad,

      So sorry about your marriage. Yes, sometimes toxic MILs win. But eeeeh....maybe it's for the better?

      And forgive me for saying this but I don't believe that a mother-in-law, even the most evil one, can break up a strong marriage. Is it possible that there were other issues there?

      In any case, try to leave all this behind you. Cheer up :) At least you won't be related to that woman anymore. And in the future maybe stay clear of mama boys :)

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      ytimolad 2 months ago

      I thought when I met my husband and seen he was close to his mother that it was a good thing...WRONG! I should NEVER have married him. I call them Norma and Norma. She is a bible thumping hypocrite christian and I am not religious. So of course I might as well be the devil himself. My husband has never gone to church since the day I met him, he is accepting of others...her?? NOPE. If you don't accept jesus as your lord and savior you are the devil. She was furious that he married me. She has done NOTHING BUT try to talk him into leaving me. She even told him he should annul our marriage so it was like it never happened. (btw, she's on her 3rd marriage) Well. she won. We are getting divorced. He is doing this for her of course, because he should never have married me with out "consulting" with her first. We have been togeither 9 years, married 4 and a half. She told him she wouldn't leave him anything when she died. When he told her we filed for divorce, her response???? "good, now you can find a god fearing woman who is evenly yoiked, you know what I mean?" I hate her and I hate him for not being able to stand on his own two feet with out MOTHER there to support him. I wish we had never met. Congratulations you old hag, you got what you wanted. You, a "god fearing christian woman" broke up a marriage that didn't suit YOU. How very christian of you.

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      Beckie 2 months ago

      Hi Lana,

      Thank you for your support! It is nice not to feel alone on the matter. We are living in the apartment that my husband and his family have lived in for more than 5 years because his father was sick and it is close to the hopsital. After my father-in-law passed away my husband decided to stay and look out for his mom and as a wish fulfillment for his father. My husband and I have been married fro 3yrs and it is overdue for him to make his own life,but it just so happens we are stuck at the moment.

      My MIL revels in the fact we are struggling because it makes her feel superior. I could not fathom how a mother is willing to kick her son when he is down. I know that my MIL will not change, but I need guidance I suppose in making those changes in myself. I have read countless articles saying to be kind and ignore people like this, but because in the beginning I wanted to please my MIL and get a long with her I fell into that toxic cycle within myself. I looked up the grey rock method and found that I have already tried this. If she doesn't get her fix of "I am better and superior" she will MAKE something. This is what I mean when I say she is a person of chaos. My husband and I have taken care of her when she had a virus that kept her in bed for weeks all to be repayed later with arrogance and smack downs. I have always like taking care of people,but I have learned with her that people like her will take advantage of genuine hearted souls. She is a type of person who will push you down then give you a hand to make herself feel better. All I have been trying to do is to be civil at this point,but I have succeeded in being firm with her before because she was trying consistently to get in between my husband and I.

      Just wanted to say thank you again for your response! My heart goes out to those who have a troublesome MIL. I don't understand why it is so hard to fathom that a MIL can be toxic for some. There are people in families who are like this not just MILs. This is an article about toxic MILs. For Monsters in law x6 - No one is saying this is "you". Yes, people are talking out of their "own" experience and that is what brings them here. No one is saying that all MILs are horrible.However, it does not mean that there aren't those that are. If this offends you then why are you here? People have a right to voice their need for help and support. You have no right in making others feel less just because you are a MIL of 6,it makes you seem bitter. I have met others who have wonderful MILs and Im sure everyone would wish to get along with their family,but sometimes it isn't possible so out of desperateness you seek a place to find support. I wish you a wonderful day.

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      Lana Adler 2 months ago from California

      Hi Beckie,

      So are you actually living in your MIL's house? Or is she living with you?

      I believe everything you're saying and you're justified to feel the way you feel, but if she's actually helping you out in your difficult financial times by offering her home, a little appreciation will go a long way.

      Second, if you are living in her house, this is not a time to assert yourself. This is a time to bite your tongue. When you do move away, it will be easier to have some emotional distance from this toxic situation. That's my advice to you: stop focusing on your mother-in-law and all the ways she is a...goblin, as you put it. She is who she is, nothing will change her. The only thing you can change is how you react to her. For example, if you believe your MIL is a textbook narcissist, try the grey rock method.

      Hope this helps.

      Good luck!

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      Lana Adler 2 months ago from California

      I speak of toxic people, people with severe emotional deficits. It goes without saying that not all mothers-in-law are toxic or difficult. Cheers!

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      Ahmet Hakan 2 months ago

      I really tried to see the light, I tried to be optimist. But my wife left my son to us for months, and my mom gone crazy. She wants me and my son away from home. I will look for a new house and I have a very limited income. I am divorced, because I did not want my son see my wife shouting, now he sees my mom shouting.... I think I have 2 toxic people around me, trying to take all my light away. But I have to find my way for my son even in the dark...

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      Monster in law x 6 2 months ago

      I am a mother in law to 6 people. I think you speak off your experience alone and that’s is SAD!

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      Beckie 2 months ago

      My mother-in-law is a complete goblin! My husband and I are going through a tough time financially so we are stuck with her. Since day 1 she tried to put me against my husband and when that didn't work she tried it with him. I have developed severe anxiety because of her. I promised my husband for better or for worse and I intend to keep it. She has always done a smearing campaign on my husband and myself. My husband trys to be a good son and it just feeds her ego. I have defended him many times and she doesn't challenge me on it,but goes and make herself the victim with everyone else. She is an insecure person who abuses psychologically and emotionally. She is a narcissit to the T. She is a person of discord and chaos. My husband and I have a great relationship,but are at our wits end. I don't have another woman to talk to because the women around me are seriously off the loop and just like her. She wants to cling onto her son because she is afraid of being alone and not having someone to control and manipulate. What I have in my favor is that I know she is spinless and stands for absolutely nothing but her ego,but everyone and everything is in her favor. I am at my wits end and still learning how to approach this. My mom is a more suttle version of my MIL,but she has similar tactics as well. I find it revolting to the point of me getting nauseaous. My husband defends himself and she immediately gets defensive and calls men abusive. Her husband was the most respectful man,never was abusive,never yelled unless she pushed him to it. May he finally RIP. She bring out the worse in people so she can use them to victimize herself. I desperately would appreciate any advice of how to assert my position in this household until my husband and I can get out. I am the only one who can stand up to her,but it becomes draining to always be on guard. I am not a cold person,but that is what she forces me to do to keep my sanity. I am a straightforward person,but know that this could also get me into trouble later. Help please!

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      Lana Adler 2 months ago from California

      Many usa,

      I sympathize with you. It must be so hard for you to see your child being treated differently by your MIL. It seems to me like she's playing power games and taking out whatever issues you and her have on your child. That's just stupid and potentially harmful to the child.

      You know, you can tolerate a lot of things but when the kids are involved...It's a different story. If it were me, I would probably not try to bring my child around someone who acts as if she's "too busy" to see him.

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      many usa 2 months ago

      My MIL goes so far as favoring grand children she has not connected with my baby who is 2 years old now. she always blame me saying i do not bring him around but each time i ask her if her grand child can come over she will makeup an excuse and pretend like shes busy. she will also tell me sometimes to bring my baby over in two weeks but she will let me know but that never happens, my baby is a good child and does not cause any problems, my baby is very quiet most of the time. she will take care of her other grandchildren except for my child, right now shes not talking to me or i guess giving me the silent treatment, shes angry because her son always chooses my side when it comes to situations she even went so far as to tell me that nobody can ever love her son the way she does i never understood that comment because of course i know that she is his mother i am not here to replace that position but why would she even have to make that statement smh. I would decide to stay away from her but at the end of the day she is my husbands mother, its very stressful.

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      Lana Adler 2 months ago from California

      Lynda,

      no one here is bashing all mothers-in-law. This article is about a rather extreme case involving a toxic person or a personality disorder.

      Thanks for the comment!

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      ADP 2 months ago

      Hi,

      My marriage is almost 1 yr and a half and i've been observing my MIL. And on reading this post, she has most of the traits mentioned.

      For no reason she doesn't talk to me, takes me as a stranger, make bad comments, didn't even care to give me a gift since am married but she has to gain all attentions and even asks for gifts!

      I have always been polite and well behaved with her. Don't know what happened at once, she talks well to my other SIL but not with me and my husband even noticed that but is unable to ask her mom why.

      Because of such behavior i started to hate her because she showed in front of other people that she is not interested to even reply to me when i am talking to her. This hurt me

      And now i am not interested to go to her place often and stay for weekend so she is showing her anger to my husband and hence spoiling my husband's mood. That happened today and my husband went to sleep without talking to me. What is driving me crazy is that my husband knows EVERYTHING because everything happens in front of him.

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      lynda.house@btinternet.com 2 months ago

      I agree with the comments of FHW. When you marry into a family you have to accept the whole family. You can’t say, I married the son but I don’t want anything to do with his mother. Otherwise you are also a diva. It seems to me that often the wife is jealous and threatened by the relationship a son has with his mother. Remember, wives, you too will be the mother in law one day. So many wives keep complaining about their MILS behaviour to their son. She is his mother ..... why try and put him in the middle. I agree that none of us should tolerate abuse or angry behaviour. But tolerance and trying to see things from another’s point of view are the key.

      There is not always a correlation between age and wisdom. So sometimes the younger person has to manage the situation.

      I have to say that almost every mother I know has niggles about their daughter in law ..... and almost every daughter in law I know has niggles about their mother in law. It must be based on the idea that these wives and mothers both think they have an ownership of the man in question!

      It takes co sideration and tolerance on both sides where possible, but if one party is not wise enough to deal intelligently with the situation, then the other has to take the reins. If they are both unable to manage the situation ... all hell breaks loose and permanent family rifts ensue. It’s an age o,d problem!!

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      Lana Adler 2 months ago from California

      Kate,

      congrats on becoming an author! Your book sounds interesting, I should check it out.

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      Lana Adler 2 months ago from California

      FHW,

      I agree about accepting your spouse's family, but you should never accept mistreatment, let alone emotional abuse.

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      Lana Adler 2 months ago from California

      Life without Annette,

      having a toxic MIL is bad enough, but growing up with a toxic mother must be a very difficult and painful experience. I'm so sorry! But you still grew up a strong intelligent woman, and that's a testament to your spirit.

      You're so right, it should be the spouse's responsibility to keep their parent in line. But it so rarely happens! Usually the husband just says: "I don't want to get involved" or "Don't pay attention to her." Umm, right.

      And no one can "turn" your child against you. The parent-child bond is very strong, nobody can break it unless it's already broken through years of abuse.

      Thanks for the comment!

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      Kate Fulford 2 months ago from London

      This article describes my experiences well. So well in fact, that it prompted me to write about them & it became a novel (In-Laws & Outlaws)

      tinyurl.com/readinlaws2018

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      FHW 2 months ago

      When people complain about their in-laws, it sounds like one of two things happened from my point of view:

      1) They married the wrong person. Because when you marry someone, you marry their whole family. Accept this fact and deal with it.

      2) They are not living up to their obligations (yes, obligations) as a member of their spouse's family. Let me expand on this: When a man asks a woman's parents for her hand in marriage he's saying "trust me, I will take care of your daughter, treat her and you both with respect, and will do my part to integrate nicely into your family". When a woman marries a man her obligations to him and his family are the same as described above. The issue arises when people start to think that their marriage is about them, its not. Yes, the relationship between two people is about them, but it also extends to family members.

      So enough with bashing your in-laws. If you married up, you're lucky that your significant other and his/her family took a chance on you. If you married down, there's nothing stopping you from leaving your current situation and marrying at your level (at least).

      Often times, people in dysfunctional homes will opt to stay together "for the kids". Newsflash: you are not doing your kids any favours if you married a low-life and his/her family members are also low-lives. You cannot elevate an adult to another level of class, behaviour and dignity, it just doesn't happen. Leaving a loser is the best thing you can do for yourself and your kids.

      Not all people are meant to be married and certainly not all people are mentally fit to have children. The sooner people can realize this in themselves, the more likely society and the world in general will improve.

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      Life without Annette 2 months ago

      Wow, almost to the letter, the descriptions of the toxic mother-in-law fit my mother. (Throw in childhood neglect, abuse, exposure to dangerous predators, and Munchausens by proxy to flesh out the rest.)

      I opted for estrangement; she set up a situation that gave me little alternative if I wanted to protect my children, my marriage, and myself from her dangerous, vindictive manipulations.

      As far as toxic in-laws go, anyone with a parent who behaves badly toward their spouse has a duty to put up boundaries, up to and including estrangement. An adult child's first loyalty belongs to their spouse. The Bible repeatedly drums home that lesson with the words "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."

      It's not enough to invoke grandchildren as a reason to keep an unrepentant in-law in the mix. If ignored or permitted by their own child, the in-law's continued bad behavior will poison their child's marriage and be a destabilizing force in the grandchildren's lives.

      I pity the aging parents too foolish to understand that trying to tamper with their adult child's marriage/spouse will only yield bitter fruit. Apparently they all go over to web pages about estrangement of adult children and bellyache about how their daughter- or son-in-law poisoned their child against them, and how they've been unfairly relegated to the margins of their children's and grandchildren's lives.

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      Amy Lynn 2 months ago

      Ahmet, my heart is aching for your pain. I wish that you may find peace in this world, even with all it's ugliness. I hope that you and your son can move beyond your experiences of negativity and emerge on the other side encompassed in all your bright shining light that is you, your purity. Teach your son that in life, people whom act in those ways are not in any way the world should be. This world is cruel, and you may not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but maybe you be the change you wish to see. You might possibly find a place that offers healing for you & your son in a safe place. Maybe a counselor or a place of worship (if that is an option).

      I genuinely hope you may find serenity amidst your suffering, strength to trudge through the battle, and courage to change what you can.

      I know what it's like to feel so overwhelmed and powerless over a situation that drains oneself of all positivity and love. I know how debilitating it can be; how the pain is so excruciating that you feel you haven't the strength to move forward. I face these feelings on a day to day basis. I hope you may find peace and love and joy. These things are stronger than hate and envy and chaos which cannot exist in the light of love; the purest light of love admonishes the darkness.

      Know that you are not alone in your struggle to overcome that darkness. The dark is strongest just before the dawn. It is always coldest right before the light illuminates the dark.

      "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference..."

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      Lana Adler 2 months ago from California

      Dear Ahmet,

      I can't imagine that you're going through but it seems like you're at a very low point in your life, and you feel alone and helpless. I just want you to remember that no matter how bad things get, your son is the light of your life, and he wouldn't want you to hurt yourself.

      When you're with your son, give him all your love and attention, regardless of who's around. You have to be strong for him.

      And don't assume that all women are evil. When you're ready, you'll find the right partner for you and a good stepmom for your son. Have faith. You're not alone and there's a plan for everyone, including you. Just don't give up.

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      Lana Adler 2 months ago from California

      Dear From India,

      I'm all for women standing up for themselves. Good job on not silently accepting shitty behavior!

      But I find that openly confronting toxic MILs, and particularly getting loud and aggressive, doesn't always work in your favor. They're too good at covert warfare (passive-aggressiveness, smear campaigns etc.) so in the end you'll come out as the one who's wrong.

      Right now I think you're giving her exactly what she wants. You said that she did the same thing with her MIL, and it worked. Now you fit into that mold. This is inflating her ego and enabling her to continue playing the role of a victim.

      Think of it this way: Every time you get angry and vocal with her, you're giving her ammunition. That's not a problem if you don't care what people think, but if you do (and it seems that you do), I suggest you change your tactic with her.

      Don't let her get a rise out of you. You can stand up for yourself without getting angry. Look into the gray rock method. And expect that she will talk badly about you regardless :)

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      Ahmet Hakan 2 months ago

      That is exactly my Mom. But you guys may not believe what happened, she is a verrry perfect one, she convinced my wife to get divorced. And she did it. We are divorced. She convinced me to pay highest alimonia to get rid of her, I was really fed up with my wife. I accepted. She also cut all my other ways of getting any other income. I ended up with living with her just to be able to see my son. Cos my income is not enough to rent another house and my wife will not allow my son there at weekdays. Besides my mom takes my son from the school 2 days a week and I arrive home late.

      Briefly, my life is a hell. I am the slave of my mom. She has no mercy or rules. I explained my wife, at the beginning of my marriage, I must stay away from my mom. But my wife misses her mom too much, she acted as the mom figure she is missing and satisfied her. She became her inevitable. Unfortunately, she was also not a good person. She still ignores her son. I keep on asking my son "didnt you miss your mom?". He mostly says "no".

      I feel like I am at the bottom of an abyss. My mom really sucks my soul, takes all my energy. I really hate seeing her face whenever I share a moment with my son. My hands are really shaking when she is added into my holly moments. She harressed me every minute in every ways for years, I mean my mom. Leaving my son with him is the biggest torture.

      What about his mom? Because of me, my son will have a psycho mom. I lost all my belief to women. I love kids too much, more than anything, but I cannot think of having another family. The price is too high. I feel like all the women can turn into a psychopath. My wife always shouts me. She learned it from my mom. She studies me by using her. All my life, I lived the same movie, the same day. Just like the movie of Robbin Williams, but my day was not peaceful. My wife even punched me on my face, when I was sleeping next to my son in his race car bed.

      I am really vulnerable when I am around my son. And she attacks whenever he is around. Nowadays, I can avoid her, but this time my mom is around. I do not know which one is worse...

      My Dad died because of lung cancer. He visited all the cardiolog doctors, because of his heart problem. But it was not his heart. He lost one of his lungs. I know what he experienced now. I have panic attack. Whenever the kids are around, these people attack really intensely. You cannot defense yourself, and the stress ruins your body. Most probably he also had panic attack and thought that he had heart attack. On those days panic attack was not known in my country.

      When panic attack is strong people use tranquilizers or alcohol. My dad used to smoke. He did not get divorced. He never shouted my mom. He really hated our mom, she did every annoying things everyday to my father. But my brother, who is also a psychopath (sometimes attack people, at his last fight, all the bones of his hand were broken), accepts my mom and pretends like he loves her to get money from by using his kids as an excuse.

      Things are weird, but right. My mom turned my brother against me. Nowadays I am really all alone. Guys, these can be my last words. I try to stand strong, just for my son, but it happens suddenly as you know. I cannot remember any happy days from past. If my memory makes another block and I forget the existance of my son, I can easily commit a suicide. That is why I feel grateful if you have read the things I have written.

      My mom made a perfect plan, kept myself just for her. She ignores my brother, she does not like him that much. Because she knows that he is also a psychopath and dangerous. I am the innocent and the idiot one. Easy catch! I planned to scar my face many times and I planned to be a bad person. But I could not. I am in the spider web of this witch now. So guys, never underestimate them.

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      Ahmet Hakan 2 months ago

      That is exactly my mom. You

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      From India 2 months ago

      Hello Lana,

      I don't know how you can put it any better. This is exactly happening in my family. After 8 years of snide comments, emotional blackmail and guilt ride from my MIL, I finally started to stand for myself. But now that has made matter worse since heated arguments happen and I am also very vocal when I am angry.

      Now what she does is, she drives me to a point when I start speaking up and after the argument, everything that I said would be passed down to the entire neighborhood. Obviously how she treats me is a secret to them.

      She has been doing this for years with her mother in law. Every fight that she had with her own mother in law, has done the rounds in the neighborhood where SHE was the victim. Even now in our arguments she portrays herself as the victim.

      Neighbors don't talk to me anymore. She is 65 and I am 37. I have my whole life to live in this same house. This is India and this is my husband's ancestral house. We won't disown it.

      My husband and kids love and respect me. They are happy with all my personal and professional accomplishments. And lucky me, my husband referred to me as a real asset in life after 10 years of marriage. I couldn't sleep due to happiness on that day.

      But she gives and entirely different light to the people outside our home.

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      Nicole 3 months ago

      This is my MIL, but she goes above and beyond these traits to the point that I truly suspect she is a psychopath. I feel sorry for her in the sense that she would rather rage a 1 sided war against me, then not focusing on trying to have a relationship with her 3 grandchildren. I finally don't have to unwillingly interact with her on a weekly basis, because we moved several states away, let me tell you what a difference this has made!

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      Kate Fulford 3 months ago from London

      A well rounded article - covers so many angles & outcomes. And describes my experiences well. So well in fact, that it prompted me to write about them & it became a novel (In-Laws & Outlaws)

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      Lana Adler 3 months ago from California

      eesenadee,

      I sympathize with you and I agree, people need to be realistic before getting married. About everything. But like you said, in the early "blissful" stage we tend to turn a blind eye to the bad stuff and hope for the better. It's hard to see the red signs and predict the true impact your future in-laws are going to have on your marriage.

      On a personal note...I feel saddened by your comment because I can feel the pain you went through (or still going through).

      I get a lot of comments on this article but I don't think anyone ever expressed regretting the marriage because of a bad apple in-law. I'm sure the thought occurs to all of us at some point though...So you're not alone. We all feel that way sometimes, but hopefully that feeling is transitory. And in the end, it all works out for the best. Hang in there!

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      Lana Adler 3 months ago from California

      Alotta,

      I couldn't agree more. The goal here is to create distance (both physical and emotional, or at least emotional) and just live your life the best you can, enjoying the company of people who do love and respect you, and not letting those other toxic people have any effect on you.

      Stay strong!

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      eesenadee 3 months ago

      FOR ANY PERSON WHO HAS NOT YET WALKED DOWN THE AISLE...

      I beg you to look carefully into the depths of your souls before you're willing to live with this the rest of your life. It WILL have an enormous negative affect on your marriage. 100% Guaranteed.

      Right now for you, life may seem pretty good and your future in-law may be somewhat tolerable at this time (although you did pull up this article for a reason). But still when you're early on in a relationship things always seem blissful. However, Cancer has a tendency to spread -and quickly for that matter. Not only dealing with your mother in law, but your future spouse probably has a lot of his mother's character instilled in him, and I can almost guarantee he will NOT stand beside you, and even may possibly jump on the bandwagon and join in on the bashing. After all, he too, I'm pretty sure is afraid of his own mother (though his ego will never admit it). If you take a stand for yourself, you will most likely stand alone and become their prey. ..and in turn will have to live with the repercussions. In the end your marriage could possibly end up a very lonely one filled with anxiety and low self esteem.

      This is my life. Every detail of all 10 signs the author wrote rings 100% true in my own situation. If I could turn back time, I would have been much more attentive to every red flag God (and my internal gut) has given me. ...and I would have put on my best running shoes and ran as fast as my legs could carry me. Instead, I made a horrible choice and married him anyway.

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      Allotta Miles 3 months ago

      I have been married to my husband 30 years. My relationship with my husband has been awesome. I am his third wife. His first two didn't work out partially because of his mother. She has hated and tried every woman he has been with. She is never happy with my husband and only happy with his spouse when she becomes an ex.

      I tried so hard initially to please her. I came into this relationship with a child, so did my husband. It started poorly. She didn't realize I was a woman with a career. She got in my face and told me no family money was coming to me or to take care of my child. She told me to give up my child because she didn't want my husbands life to be difficult raising a step. in the mean time I was supposed to put her grandchild, my step child on a pedestal and worship them.

      It hasn't gotten better. I have just learned after all of these years that she will never be happy. One Christmas I hand selected items that I knew she loved personally and had a custom gift basket made. She passed it off after opening it, barely looking at it. When I tried to point out how it had her favorite things in it, "she yelled at me quit bringing that basket back over to me, I see it!"

      One Christmas she blew up at me after I had what I thought was the perfect Christmas at our home. We had invited her to spend the night. After having too much to drink, she brought up something from years ago that she had misinterpreted and tried to pick a fight. My husband came to my defense. She got so angry, she said she would disinherit him. "He took her home, kicking and screaming like a child." She left the country and we didn't see her for 3 months.

      She still brings that night up 22 years later. She brings up every difference of opinion in the past out of no where.

      She always creates triangles with other willing family members. Usually those benefiting from family money. That is how she has control. The money doesn't give her any power with us. She hates it. My husband and I are always at the long end of the triangle. While she bonds with (usually a female) family member to talk about us.

      I have been gut punched by this lady so many times in my life. She has a borderline personality. Between she, the exes and the adult stepchild (now with multiple children just like them), our marriage has always been underfire. We just join forces and become stronger in spite of them. That pisses them off that much more.

      You can't control them. Don't let them control you. It isn't easy. It is very hard. At some point you just have to claim your own happiness and let them live in their own created drama.

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      Shelly 3 months ago

      This is spot on! Thank you.

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      Lana Adler 3 months ago from California

      Hi Sara,

      thanks for sharing your story (a quick reminder though: paragraphs are our friends :))

      It's always tough when the relationship with an MIL or a future MIL is not exactly what you thought it would be. Perhaps you envisioned having a close bond with her, like what you have with your own mother. But instead you got this woman who is treating you poorly even though you've made every effort to be "nice" and helpful.

      What can I say? Your mother is right about keeping "a distant, simple relationship." That's all you need with her. Keep it simple, keep it distant. And don't let it become an issue between you and your fiance. That is unnecessary. Understand that whatever she says is just her opinion, and it's irrelevant.

      There's no magic formula here. You just have to accept her for who she is, and adjust your expectations. Trying to confront this type of person is not really helpful because they will deny, deny, deny. trying to please her is also futile because it's never going to be good enough.

      So just keep your distance. And by "distance" I mean emotional distance. Don't take anything to heart. Treat her with respect but don't allow her to influence you in any way. Hope this helps. Good luck!

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      Sara Ferhatovic 3 months ago

      To start off, I really enjoyed reading your article, it definitely made me feel like I wasn't alone in my situation. I want to thank you for that. I would like to share my story and just let all my concerns out. My fiance and I met about a year and 3 months ago. Soon after I immediately met his mother (his father worked in a different country, so I didn't get to see him at all). At the beginning, I actually liked his mother even though it seemed like she had anger issues, for instance, she would get insanely pissed for the smallest things, but I thought maybe she was having a bad day which caused her to become stressed. My fiance and I shortly after that got engaged because we didn't want to wait any longer for many reasons, one of them being that we live far away from each other in different countries. While I was visiting, I didn't want to stay with them, like sleepover stay at their house, but his mom was super welcoming and ecstatic about it. I was naive at that time, and decided to stay for a while (which was one of my biggest mistakes). It was honestly like a living hell, I've seen things I wish I have never seen and would rather not mention on a public website, but to summon it up there was constant yelling and cursing almost every day I was with them, even experiencing her throw ashtrays at walls, I mean it was too much to handle. A lot of times, she would talk to my fiance and tell him behind my back how I was not playing my "role" in being a good daughter in law, even though I was constantly helping her in house cleaning, taking care of my fiance's little brother when she was at work, and even buying and cooking food most of the time. I never once did mention that to her, I was just being myself and trying to always help out, it's just who I am as a person. Other things that got me super concerned was the fact that she was going around and talking really bad things behind my back to her family and eventually spreading that to my family. I was accused multiple times by his family and questioned by mine (my family never believed the rumors, they were just so shocked that such accusations were going around). Other things that happened was the constant borrowing of money, she always borrowed money from me and believed I had enough to the point I was spending it lavishly on anything and everything (I feel like she thought this because I live in the US). When really in reality, I had just enough for vacation time with my fiance. But I was such a stupidly nice person, I ended up helping her out all the time with finances, and in the end she never payed me back, which honestly I don't care about money at all, but it just hurts to see her take advantage of me in that way. At this point, I was so fed up, pissed, hurt, sad, all these emotions were becoming mixed. So I decided to sit down with my fiance and have a long chat, basically I told him that I was being treated unfairly by his mother and that I was hurting deep inside. He acknowledged the fact that she isn't a perfect person and she has stress problems in life, with her husband working far away, raising her 3 year old child alone, etc. In a way I understood everything because she acted like this from a day to day basis, not only was I experiencing this but my fiance and his brothers were experiencing the same thing too minus the whole money situation and the rumors. My fiance told me it was something they had to get used to and they did. Nevertheless, I was determined to pack my things and just leave, I mean I would still come and visit every three days or so but I just couldn't stay there, it was too much. In the end it just got super worse, it was like the more I was trying to push it aside and forget about it, the more it started resurfacing and affecting my relationship. Fast forward 5 months when I returned to the US, I never talked much with my MIL, but my fiance and I were constantly fighting over it, to the point my MIL and I got into a serious argument for the very first time as I was speaking to her over the phone. I was determined to spill every single thing she did to me right at her, only because it was seriously affecting my relationship with my fiance. It did not end well at all! My fiance started believing a lot of negative things she was saying about me, which I still feel like he was put under a lot of pressure but I still have a hard time understanding. We ended up calling it quits for about two weeks. After that we started talking again, but this time starting everything fresh. My mom was also aware and hurt by the entire situation, she and my MIL ended up talking about everything that went on. To this day, my mom still warns me not to ever sleepover stay at their house when I do visit and just act like "it never affected me" and to "keep a distant, simple relationship". Today my fiance and I have both our ups and downs, but thank God it's not as bad as it was. I keep a distant relationship with my MIL, only communicating on special occasions and holidays. The only problem now is I'm going to visit my fiance soon, and I still don't know what approach is best for me as I will most likely have to go visit my MIL from time to time. My mom is actually planning the trip with me as well, so maybe it will be easier when I have her by my side. Let me know what you think, and thank you for your time Lana, I appreciate it very much.

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      Lana Adler 3 months ago from California

      TTKK,

      you are so welcome! To know that my writing helped someone feel less alone means everything to me. I hope you find a way to resolve or improve a difficult situation with your MIL. Peace

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      Lana Adler 3 months ago from California

      Hi Alison,

      than you, I'm glad you've found this helpful. I went through a similar learning process, which took years, because I've never dealt with a toxic/narcissistic person before (well, not to that extent). But it was worth it. As they say, knowledge is power. It won't help you change her, but it will change your reaction to her. Cheers!

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      Alison Potts 3 months ago

      Thank you for this article! I have, after much research and drama, realised that my mother in law is a toxic, narcissist person! So much of what you said is so true for my situation! How a mother can try to destroy her child happiness is beyond me!

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      TTKK 3 months ago

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts in a clear and concise way. This post helped me feel less alone and has given me thoughts about how to move past a less than an ideal situation.

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      Lana Adler 3 months ago from California

      Hi McKenzie,

      thank you for sharing. You know, it's always difficult for me to give advice because only you have the ability to fully grasp the situation you're in and ultimately it's up to you to make the decisions that are right for you. But I'll tell you what I think.

      First, I feel for you. That does sound like a difficult situation to be in. This woman is going out of her way to break up your relationship and to ruin your reputation. She even goes as far as harassing your parents. And all of you are ignoring it? I say, it's time to stand up for yourself. I agree with Chanda, the harassment needs to stop, period. Make her understand that if she doesn't leave you and your family alone, you will be forced to take legal action.

      You ask: "Is my boyfriend dishonoring me by choosing to have relationships with people who make up new and ridiculous reasons to hate me every week?" No, he's probably no dishonoring you. Cutting all ties with his parents - that's a lot to ask of any man. I never advocate that. If your BF makes that decision on his own - fine. But if not, if he still wants to see his parents from time to time, that's fine too. He might eventually realize that the relationship is too toxic to continue, OR they might come around and accept you as his choice. Either way, don't get involved in that. And especially don't put pressure on him to choose. If you do, he will resent you for it.

      Next, you ask: "Is he dishonoring me by putting our life together/starting a family on hold in order to keep the peace with such mean-hearted people?" Now that one's tricky. He might be dishonoring you here...That's something you need to discuss with him. This is your life, too. If he's putting the brakes on marriage because of his parents, that's one thing. But if he's stalling for some other reason and using his parents as an excuse - that's another case altogether. If you're ready to get married and he's not, he needs to tell you that. Because the way I see it, the relationship with his parents is already crappy, so what's he scared of?

      I hope that this situation will get resolved in your favor. Good luck!

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      Chanda 3 months ago

      Hello McKenzie, I think that for the most part your BF did a great job by cutting her off and limiting his contact w her. Don't get mad at him, if you guys are happy then forget her. Block her ignore and tell her you will file charges against her for harassment if the emails don't stop.

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      McKenzie 3 months ago

      This is a long 1 but I TRULY need some good advice. I've known my boyfriend for 15 years. We maintained a close friendship from 4th grade throughout college together and began a serious relationship after college. Prior to our relationship, his parents were always pleasant and had no issues with me, invited me around often and were even friends with my parents for years. We had been exclusively dating for 3 years and decided to move in together. The day my boyfriend told his parents, his mother went from loving me to hating me and began bombarding my boyfriend with long emails. She put down my profession as a teacher, called me a loser, accused me of having motives to become pregnant to "trap him," and slandered my parents. She told my fiance that if he decided to live with me, she would come up with a plan for his entire family to ruin our relationship *yes, she explicitly said this in writing.* My boyfriend was infuriated and cut ties with his mother as a result. After becoming estranged from his mother, both of his parents began sending my mother and father many ranting emails, text messages, and even leaving voicemails on my father's work phone blaming me for ruining their family. This persisted for months. My boyfriend and I grew up together in a small town *which is now thousands of miles from where we live* and my boyfriend's mother has made it her mission to slander me to everyone we know. I've gotten calls from people I haven't spoken to in 10+ years asking me "what the hell is going on with his mom?" It's truly embarrassing for me because I flee from gossip and drama. My parents nor I have never ONCE responded to any of their terrible messages. My boyfriend's parents have never tried to contact me personally, just harass my family. My boyfriend and I have been happily living together now for years and have talked for years about wanting to get married, yet he is reluctant to even get engaged because he fears his family's reaction. My boyfriend still goes to dinner once or twice a year with his parents *he and his mother have very limited contact* and I am never included or invited to go anywhere with them. I've never encouraged him to disown his parents, but I feel crumby about all of this. I have no intentions of being around his mother, but I have no intentions of "making him choose" between the 2 of us exclusively. Should I put my foot down and ask him to choose? When *if ever* would that be appropriate? Should I try standing up for myself or just keep ignoring their attacks? Is my boyfriend dishonoring me by choosing to have relationships with people who make up new and ridiculous reasons to hate me every week? Is he dishonoring me by putting our life together/starting a family on hold in order to keep the peace with such mean-hearted people? ANY advice at this point is valued!

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      Lana Adler 3 months ago from California

      Hi Sandy,

      Oh man. I have a lot to say but I'll start with the bottom line: you don't have to talk to her, you don't have to visit her. It's your right, it's your choice. BUT it will affect your relationship.

      If you want to be with this man, some type of quasi relationship with his mother would be nice. I know she gave him some meddlesome "advice" that you didn't like, but remember: he asked her for it. So maybe ask your fiancé to not discuss personal stuff with his mother anymore.

      Moreover, use this as an opportunity to establish some boundaries. Like: if you have an issue with me, I'd appreciate it if you talked to be directly. Because whatever she does now, she'll do worse in the future. So be firm and direct from the beginning. That's what many women with toxic MILs wish they would have done.

      Hope this helps. Good luck!

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      sandy1 3 months ago

      My fiance came back to me and told me some very disgusting advice that his mother gave him.Since our engagement we have moved in and i have attended quite a few dinners with her and she is very passive aggressive.Because of this I am not at all comfortable to be alone with her without my fiance present.Recently,her son went to her ask her for advice about very simple issue like best ways of communicating with your partner.He ask her that because he wanted another female perspective to work on our communication .She used the opportunity to put doubts in his mind by telling him that we moved in together too soon.She called him crying that i dont go out with her alone which made him feel bad .My fiance is very soft and gentle and she is encouraging him to"put his foot down " and "be firm" with me .Its not like he and i are having any major problems.We are very happy and looking forward to planning our wedding and having a child .The reason why I fell in love with him is because he is soft and gentle so him being the opposite will cause us issues.She doesnt know that he has told me these things and since she said these things to him behind my back I realize that she is more distant but now i know why.Ive been in alot of bad relationships in the past and finally found my peace.I dont want it to be disturbed by anyone.I dont want to have much to do with her anymore.I want to keep my distance too because I dont have time for that.The advice I want is ...how do I skip out on visiting her or seeing her when there are special dinners ?Do I have a right to choose to not speak with her anymore?I really dont know how to approach this?I am not ready to forgive her for giving toxic advice that could have ruined my relationship.

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      Lana Adler 4 months ago from California

      Hi Krelynn,

      thank you for sharing. This is certainly a frustrating situation. You're right to be upset about your daughter being treated differently than your stepson. Favoritism is not okay!

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      Krelynn2 4 months ago

      My mother in law became a monster 1 week after our marriage when she used her house key (my husband forgot she had) and let herself in with no notice. She came in as we were sitting at our table eating supper and began going through our mail!? Needless to say this didn't go over well.

      Fast forward 5 years, and despite my tolerance and respect towards her, she has become worse.

      She plans vacations and excludes our household entirely with the exception of our step son. He didn't tell us last summer he was going anywhere until she picked him and his girlfriend up for a weeks beach trip. My husband didn't even know but never says anything to her. She invites my step son to eat out or at her house while our family ( my husband, myself, and our daughter) are always excluded.

      I admit I quit putting is in her sights to cause pain. It's not healthy. Our daughter has full scholarships to her university and is an honor student who works and earns her keep , while she pays for our step sons education, apartment, and his every desire without him lifting a finger only for him to fail. My husband is still silent.

      All of this combined with elaborate gifts and exclusive behavior towards our daughter and is have been tolerated.

      The worst part is now I'm having a knee reconstruction done and my husband is killing himself to take care of me and not one time has she called and checked on me at all. She lives across the street. I am about done at this point. Putting her at an arms length is not enough. I am thinking of cutting her out of our lives entitle!

      Frustrated!

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      Lulu 4 months ago

      Hi,

      What you wrote was so inspiring. I wish it's really that easy to just look at the bright side. Anyways, here's my story. I am not married nor engaged yet. I have a very happy family, my parents accepted my boyfriend wholeheartedly.

      Meanwhile, my BF's parents are separated. He lives with his mom and his sibs. Also, he is the bread-winner of the family. During the first year, it was all okay. Her mom was nice and we were getting along well. It all started here, we went on a date then he accompanied me home to make sure ill get home safe like he always does. We live 16km away from each other so he rode a cab on his way home. Then he got into a car accident that night but nothing serious. Thank God he was safe. Then I got a text from her mom blaming me for the accident. Since then things have changed. I wanted to visit her mom but he wouldn't let me, he wanted things to cool down.

      Just a few months ago, I got a message from his mom telling me that I am a whore and I am just after his son's money. I don't know where all of that came from and my BF was surprised by his mother's message as well. Personally, I feel like she doesn't want to lose his son esp he's the family breadwinner and she feels like I'm taking him away from him. Do you think I should still continue this relationship? Hope you can reply. Thank you.

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      Lana Adler 4 months ago from California

      Hi TiredOfItAll,

      Great name, by the way. Aren't we all? :)

      I can relate to the situation you're describing. You do need thick skin not to be affected by it. But reading your comment, I was a little confused - you say you do have thick skin, but at the same time it sounds like it does bother you. Understandably so.

      It also sounds like your MIL is actually trying to get a rise out of you, repeating critical things until she gets a reaction. If that's the case, I would say, don't give her the satisfaction. Have you heard of the gray rock method? It's the technique they use with narcissists. Be as exciting as the gray rock - no reaction, no emotion, nothing. Eventually she'll get bored and leave you alone.

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      TiredOfItAll 4 months ago

      Been married for 2 months but living together for 2 years and my mother in law all she does is criticise me. About cooking and about my house. She invites herself even when I tell her I'm studying for my exam. If i do something well it goes unnoticed but her children when they do something well it's praised. She complains about her sisters but then does a complete 180 and complements them. I'm not into the fakeness it visibly irks me. It's gotten so bad that I don't spend time with her anymore. I don't want to. When all I would hear is complaints, negativity or the same story over and over. She constantly tries to make me feel bad but I got thick skin I just ignore her comments then she repeats it till I acknowledge her. Smh.

    • kalinin1158 profile image
      Author

      Lana Adler 4 months ago from California

      Wow.

      You're right, Christy, this is a whole other level. Two NPD mothers teaming up? Scary stuff. I can see why you and your husband want nothing to do with either one of them. And I commend you for treating them both with kindness, regardless of the treatment they've shown you. You're awesome!

    • profile image

      Christy 4 months ago

      Well I will add that not everyone who has a narcissistic mother in law has a caring & kind mother. For those of us who do not have kind mother’s, and in my case also has a mother with NPD, the process of awareness & healing can be at a whole other level. I’ve been little to no contact with my mother and her family for 4 years. My husband and I spent 15 years in therapy untangling financially from his NPD mother. I’m so proud of my husband and I. We did it consciously & kindly. We’ve treated my MIL with respect and kindness no matter how terrible she’s been to us. I understand she’s not going to ever like me because she won’t ever be able to dominate & control my life & family again. After a huge screaming episode at me at my house when she showed up unannounced. I received a shocking half assed (mostly because she embarrassed herself) admission of her criticism and apology letter to me. So I reached out to meet with her and resolve what happened and move on since she was so sorry. She wasn’t. She refused to meet with me. My husband just had surgery. She lives 3 blocks away and nothing from her. Not even a text, email or call wishing him well. Oh and my mother decided to become friends with her after years ago I told her what my MIL was doing. When I confronted my mother, she denied it and made one of her “I love you!’ promises to not make plans with her outside of family functions. She has. So they are friends and we have little to no contact with them either of them. Although they both totally don’t understand why we are so mean to them and don’t let them see our son. Who by the way they never call or try to see.

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