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10 Signs You Have a Toxic Mother-in-Law

Updated on September 7, 2017
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Lana is a published writer and editor who helps aspiring authors to 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 and to prove that she was right about you, she will expect you to do things that please her. That would include you wanting to spend time with her, appearing at every family event, learning her way of cooking, cleaning and just about everything else under the sun (because her way is clearly better), adopting her religion and culture, and last but not least, giving her grandchildren when she's ready to be a grandma. If you fail to do any of that, you are indeed a rotten daughter-in-law, and she has a right to complain about you to anyone who'll listen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Can You Do?

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

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

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 have to accept part of the responsibility for your relationship, and I guarantee you, you will grow from this experience.

For example, I'm not always vocal. I don't make more effort to communicate. I react emotionally, and I shut down. In other words, I act like a child. I take responsibility for that, and I make an effort to be more direct, to be aware of my "triggers" and to cultivate a philosophical mindset that allows me to brush things off rather than become hurt and defensive. Useful skills to have in life!

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" fueled by genuine concern for her son.

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

© 2015 Lana ZK

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    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana ZK 27 hours ago from California

      Jenofar,

      your feelings of anger and frustration are certainly justified but there's gotta be a better answer to your problems than murder :) Have you tried meditation? Talking to your girlfriends? Wine? Emancipating yourself? It's your life. Don't let other people run it for you. P.S. And don't kill anyone. Seriously.

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      Lana ZK 27 hours ago from California

      Shelby,

      I know it's easier said than done but you have to establish boundaries with your in-laws. Nosy grandparents will always try to interfere with how you raise your children, simply because they believe they know better. It's up to you to draw a line between welcomed advice and emotional abuse. Good luck to you!

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      Lana ZK 44 hours ago from California

      Hi Shelly,

      reading your comment, first of all, I feel like you are a very kind and patient person. And I wish all good women were rewarded with equally good mothers-in-law, but I've realized long ago it's not the case. Remember the definition of insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result? Perhaps you "trying" isn't working. Let this woman be. Either she'll come around or she won't. But after 20+ years and two grandchildren you shouldn't be trying. Good luck to you!

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      Karen 2 days ago

      My MIL and spouse started communicating after years of no communication when his dad died about a year and a half ago. The first time we went down she kicked us out during a storm. The second time we left it was getting bad. Now my husband goes down for longer periods of time about every two months because she NEEDS him and his help. He has been gone for 2.5 months now and is no longer sure he wants to be married to me. When home she calls 5+ times every single day and they talk nonstop. He got her into a game we play together or used to play together until he went to her house this last time and now neither of them play. Couple days back he was pouring her drinks and said she wanted to buy us a freezer full of meat for well over a thousand dollars. I called him back when she was asleep and said it was too much and got upset. Now he wants a divorce. Says he won't take my BS anymore. His mother hung up phone on me yesterday when I called husband back while he was in bathroom and told me he couldn't talk and she was on line then click. She is buying him thousands in presents and now I can't even talk to him without her in room with him. Closer it gets to me going to get him the more he argues and wants to stay there. He criticizes everything I do, cuts up with his mom, accepts all gifts from her, worried about her health when I have to do a heart test in a few days and he is there instead of home with me. I feel like they both are narcissists. He gave me ultimatum today said he was no longer going to put up with my shit and was done being nice. Said he would come home but would be mean to me and I have to change and stop complaining about his mom. Basically everything I do is wrong and everything she does is okay. He doesn't even believe anything is wrong with my health even though I am having chest fluttering accompanied by breathing issues with this and went to ER thinking I was having a heart attack or something. Now I have to have tests done but he told me he is sorry but doesn't want to hear about it anymore.

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      jenofar 6 days ago

      I dont have any issues with my MIL but with my sister in law. She stay with us..she is married but she stay with us doing nothing she usually sleeps a lot make me irritable always want me to do work or home chores when i see her in my deep inside i thought of killing her. I pursued msc chemsitry but they wont allow me to work. They treat me as maid...non paid maid.my father in law always slams me in bad manner he always treat me as his slave.i want to kill him too.im frustrated my husband didnt even consider anything he just live a life thats it.every day while im doing work im restless.i asked myself this ia what u deserved?

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      Shelby 8 days ago

      I have a mother in law that is always talking behind my back about my mothering skills. She doesn't agree with anything I doo with my kid and r and her mother are akwss Puttino me down and it's starting to really get to Mr cuz I don't bother them I mind my own business and they still Won't Leave me alone. They tell me I need to do this with her or I need to do that but I want to raise her how I want to not how they tell me to. I don't even like the children they raised so why would I want my child to turn out like theirs. But I think they are trying to split my husband and I up cuz I don't listen to them. He always takes their side too. .now his oldest daughter that's 19 is making up lies about me and always tattle telling on me it's just fuckin ridiculous. What should inform I'm afraid mybhsband will leave me

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      NatNat 9 days ago

      Well, got one sweet toxic mother in law, she’s won, my 52 year old husband has never grown up as she has never allowed him, our marriage is ending and she is the main ingredient. Sad story indeed!

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      Mya's mom 13 days ago

      Hi,

      I'm at a point of breaking my husband tells me to brush it off work with her and talk to her but here's what happened I moved outta state to be with my husband and his family she was a complete bitch since day one. Then a couple years went by she knew I wasn't going anywhere and kinda calmed down my dh was like oh see she like you we got engaged she was all tears then I got pregnant a couple months after she kept putting guilt on my husband is she gonna let me be in the room when my first grandson is born blah blah I fell into it and let her be in the room my son was born she would get everything for him no chance for me to buy anything because she would go and buy so much stuff that when I tried to she would be like oh I got my baby that already I started to get mad and I would tell her great keep it at your house we later on took a trip to go visit my side of the family wow her and my sil threw fits the whole time i was still ok with that the trip was ruined but it was to be expected of them we came back my son was sick I asked her one day if she can pick him up from daycare she said yea I told her please be careful when you hold him I don't want yoh getting sick well a couple hours later she replied to a group text saying can you believe her she said not to hold my granbaby how can I not hold him she then realized it was a group text and not a msg to her daughter I was furious I know don't trust her at all I'm completely angry I hate her and to me I felt like that was the last of it I k kw can't sleep I wish she would rot I might be being a little dramatic but I feel I've been silent enough she's constantly talking so much trash about other people and the. Turns around and is like hi hugs and kisses and to me that's disgusting that's the kind of bitch I'm dealing with the one that everyone likes because they don't know her

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      Shelly 2 weeks ago

      I need advise- we've been married 25 years tomorrow. We have 2 beautiful children- 24 yo daughter & 20 yo son- both married, and we will be grandparents in April:) we've never been happier!

      We are a super close family.

      My MIL has never cared for me or our children. She's been very clear about the fact that she only cares to talk to & have a relationship with her son. This is her only son and only 2 grandchildren, although she does have 3 step children and several step-grandchildren, she's made it clear that they are also not her 'real family'

      My husband makes it clear to her that we are a family/united. He turns her down to meet privately, without me or our kids, as she constantly asks to do that & he feels it reinforces her idea that it's ok to not include us & for her to ignor our existence.

      I'm at a loss as to what to do.. I've always made it a point to be sure she is included in any get together a or special occasions we have. I'm at a point to where I just want to stop trying.

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      Mina 2 weeks ago

      Hi I thought this author knew my mil and was describing her to the perfection

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      Warren 2 weeks ago

      While this isn't a compettion I have you all beat. my MIL was never involved in our relationship till my son was born. She went behind my back and begged her daughter to change the name we decided on a month before while never hearing one thing from her till day of birth. My wife was on drugs and had been induced in labor for 2 days when wicked asked her to name after her father. what could I say to my wife who had been in labor three days and was recovering from C-section. I should have gone to the court that day and filed for divorce. Seriously I would end up moving back to NYC from south florida where my dad and his sister lived. To queens, NY and live for 1 year in her building she got in her own 10 year divorce. Everything is my fault and I am a sociopath. even after I worked 17 months for her to her a Certificate of occupancy for her building that was vacant 5 years. I lost 28,500 working for her but was promised monthly destitutions for life, she sold building after 21 months and only paid us 18 distributions. My wife becomes addicted to painkillers, I tell my mil and she tells daughter that I wanted custody and a divorce. I don't see my son for three months and it gets much worse from there.

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      RG 2 weeks ago

      Wow. I just had a direct conversation with my MIL today that she needs to go to assisted living. After 2+ years of her living with my husband & I, she has taken over my life & household. I hadn't read this post yet, but so much I have read is what I have been going thru- the religious but in ritual only, getting her own way thru guilt/sympathy or $ of which I don't want. I need my sanity/home back. I sucked wind for so long, Wakes me to ask if she took her meds. No sleep in my own home. Acts out to get her way & then if you get angry with her, she becomes a world class apologetic victim. I am a disposable, non person doormat used only to administer all her needs. People looking in think she's a sweet old lady. She is old & I will have guilt putting her in AL but I am only human, not a saint. It is agonizing my husband. It is her happiness or mine. Not a good place for a parent to put her grown child. I never want to put my children thru this.

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana ZK 2 weeks ago from California

      Hi Cathy,

      You may be going through a rough patch, but I don't believe that a toxic MIL can destroy a strong marriage! Reconnect with your husband, repair what needs to be repaired, and always be a united front. Don't give her the satisfaction of tearing you two apart.

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      Lana ZK 2 weeks ago from California

      Amen!

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana ZK 2 weeks ago from California

      That's the topic of my next article :)

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      Lana ZK 2 weeks ago from California

      Hi TTM,

      It's funny how husbands are always like: don't pay attention to her, brush it off, move on...if only it was that easy!

      It's tough when the children are involved...I can't even imagine what I would have done if my MIL treated my kids differently. So far our daughter is the only grandchild, so she gets all the love and affection. If she was in any way mistreated, it'd be so painful. But what do you do? Cut your kid off from the extended family because of one stupid person? I think I'd be willing to do that if things got bad enough. You're right about the boundaries though. That's a good start.

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      Lana ZK 2 weeks ago from California

      Lexie, I think this is the best advice! I still get consumed though, I know I have to work on that. But I also figured out pretty early on that I have to keep my guard up and I have to be firm with her. I know she'll never change, but I can. I can be stronger, less succeptible to her drama. Thank you for you wise words! I needed that.

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      Lana ZK 2 weeks ago from California

      Hi Laura,

      I know your pain. My MIL is ridiculously religious too, only she's more into the ritual as opposed to the spirit of the religion she practices. It's clear to see that there is a huge disconnect but she feels herself to be the righteous one, so there is very little self-reflection.

      I'm wondering Laura, do you feel like it's too late to stand up to your MIL? And if so, why? Because Every time you do stand up to her and call her out on her bullshit and her craziness, you will feel stronger, I promise you that. Good luck, I have faith in you!

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      Tricia 3 weeks ago

      This is definitely just like my on and off boyfriends mother

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      3 weeks ago

      Laura Sandry, you are not alone.

      I am one and a half month away from my wedding and this evil queen is taking my fiancee away to Australia and Japan, and he'll be back one week before the wedding day, leaving me to prepare things alone.

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      Mandy 4 weeks ago

      Hahaha someone saying mil is suffering from mental illness actually there is a research that43%old people suffer from mental illness well seriously telling you I will leave such family and live my life and not give a dammmm about my stupid mil.

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      Cathy Hughes 4 weeks ago

      My mother in law is RELENTLESS! She is making me push myself away from my husband as he doesn't realize the turmoil that woman puts me through....she's a busybody and thrives off of drama not to mention she's nosy as HELL! I fear my marriage is on the downhill slide.

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      Ky girl 4 weeks ago

      I as well have monster in law and find these very helpful. I also agree that removing someone that brings nothing but hate and bitterness into our marriage needs to have distance. My experience has been nothing but miserable she has spread rumors about me. She has said she will tolerate me but doesn't have any reason of why she feels that way. She went 13 years without talking to her son because we got married. She would invite his ex wife over every time we came over and just acted over joyed and left me out of every conversation like I didn't exist. But get this I only was around her for two months and it's been 13 years. We had rough spot in our marriage husband called made contact with them for her to only say that HE was a wh@@$ and laugh about it which really hurt my husband that he's almost 50 years old and she acts this way. That's when we decided she needs to mature and realize her control won't get her any where. So we choose us !

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      Chris alabama 4 weeks ago

      My MIL has been doing everything mentioned and then some, we've been married 30 yrs. and she still is as evil as she ever was and admits at how good she is at it and how she knows how to lie , cheat and steal and make up stories to get her way and she admits she doesn't care one bit who it may hurt. I'm not sure how much longer I can put up with her.

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      Vj 4 weeks ago

      That last part especially! When those good moments happen are when i feel hopeful and try to set up visits, only to regret it.

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      Victoria 5 weeks ago

      What about Toxic DILs (daughter-in-laws)?

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      TTM23B 5 weeks ago

      I am not a professional but I think it was about 3 to 4 years ago when I discovered what my now MIL is. She is a narcissist to a T! She is always so predictable in a sense. You would think it would get easier since I know what she is, but it does not get easier. She has only become more crazy in all of her actions. I really do feel like she will never stop until my marriage to her son is destroyed. She gets crazier every year since nothing has worked so far.

      I cannot tell my husband what I think she is, because he loves his mother. He even tells me "blind, crippled or crazy, she's my mom and she's not going anywhere" I think the only person that could tell him, would be a professional. He says she set in her ways and this is just how she is and nobody can change her. He thinks I should be able to move on from the crazy things she does and says and brush it under the rug like he does. I just can't, I hate this woman more and more. She does not like me because she no longer has full control of my husband. I know this drives her mad. I also feel like she has something against our kids because they are half me.

      What makes it worse is that my in laws are very well off. I secretly feel like this is part of why my husband will never stand up to her, (and his father, because he has no backbone and supports her craziness no matter how outlandish). He's afraid to lose any sort of inheritance. The only good that comes of this is that they live about half the year in a far away state at their 2nd home!

      The most recent incident involved 2 grandchildren, my son (10yrs) and my sister in laws son (4yrs) the details of the incident don't really matter, just the fact that the 4 yr old is her favorite and my son is always blamed for every single incident that happens between the 2 because he's older and the other is just a baby. She got upset that I first told the 4 year old not to hit my son with a hard tool he raised to hit him with. Then not too much later my husband corrected him and told him to stop kicking my sons chair while he was eating. Both his parents ends up lecturing my husband first then pulled me into it. We were blamed and it's our fault because we have a negative attitude towards the 4 yr old. It's 3 adults ganging up on the poor innocent 4yr old. So now my son is considered an adult. It's our fault and has nothing to do with the fact that the 4yr old gets no discipline whatsoever.

      A couple days later They left for a 2 week vacation and on their last day my husband called his father to see if he would be back for an event of my sons that the grandfather attends every year at school. Then he passed the phone to his wife, saying what's that? You want to talk to your mom? Even though my husband said nothing of the sort. She ends up going off on him over the 4yr old once again. Says we need to apologize to him, calls my husband an idiot several times, calls me an idiot and our son an idiot. Also calls us ALL stupid. She even talks about our 20month old and says how he pushes her away and is worse than the 4yr old and that he bites. (he has never bitten her and when he did bite us he was only about 15months and still learning) She says we need parenting classes. And who knows what else my husband didn't tell me. At some point, his dad joined and said not to talk back to her, she's the matriarch of the family and he needs to shut up and listen to her and respect her, etc. Anyways this conversation upset my husband at first. He was more upset than I'd ever seen him before. He said some things that I have never heard him say. He was saying he didn't know where to go from here or how it would be resolved. He said he didn't want to see them for holidays. About a week later he calmed down and just brushed it all under the rug.

      This woman is pure poisonous evil! I was so disappointed when he decided to push under the rug once again. I know the only way to escape the crazy is through boundaries that my husband is not willing to set. He says they are his parents and he will always have a relationship with them. He forbid me from attending the labor day celebration and split the kids. Half the time 1 with me and half the time 1 with him then he swapped them. He made up an excuse as to why I wasn't there, instead of telling the truth. The truth being that I don't want me or my children around a disgusting excuse of a human being.

      I am 26 weeks pregnant with #3 and I'm sure the hormones are fueling my hate for this woman. Pick on my husband and pick on me, but now she's bringing our children into the BS. Which she has before, just not to this extent. She has always played favorites ever since she had more than just my son as her grandchild. I just hope that one day my husband will finally have enough. I think this latest explosion she had pushed him further than ever before.

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      ~A 5 weeks ago

      Well its been less than year and we are living together. the easiest part is she had accepted me and i have accepted her. but the difficult part is, "not in the way we are". its like someone is always watching you and your things and is always trying to correct you, make faces and try to manipulate every smallest thing in your life. sometimes i want to yell at her to just leave me alone.

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      Flanker 5 weeks ago

      I hear you guys and I'm more or less on the same boat too.

      I have just found out that my wife is discussing our private matters with her mom behind my back and that all my MIL is doing is turning my wife against me.

      I feel betrayed by my wife and disrespected by her mom based on what I discovered she's saying about me behind my back but I'll take my time to think because I don't want to act upon my terrible current emotions.

      Any advice is welcome. Thank you.

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      Lexie 6 weeks ago

      This is my life to a tee! My own mom is very kind and laid back. She accepts my husband and he never has to worry about being judged or attacked. My MIL is a serious narcissist. Most toxic MIL are I would imagine. She has done everything on your list including spreading lies about me since I do not worship the ground she walks on. You can never let your guard down. Even when MIL has a day when she is not as mean, if you let your guard down they will walk all over you. Having said that, the best advice is also not to become as consumed by bitterness and hate they have. I keep my guard up by not making eye contact often, talking to anyone else in the room who might be nicer. Don't ever let angry MIL see that you care about her. They thrive on drama and hate. I am also firm with my MIL. I will tell her no a lot. You have to show her you are the boss of your household. You can be firm and polite. Your MIL has no regard for your space so don't feel like you have to comply. Seven years later into the marriage, nothing has changed in so far as MIL is still hateful towards me. I just don't react to her crap and I am very firm with her. Like dealing with a 5 year old. So she stays away from me and tells people I keep her from her grandchildren. Which is untrue of course. But people love gossip. You can only outline a code of ethics for yourself and your family and chose to be someone who does not lie, steal, gossip, etc. I can't change my MIL. She will never change. Just don't get dragged down into the negativity. Conduct yourself with grace and hold your head high in the face of bitterness and hate.

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      Marie NC 6 weeks ago

      Yep, I'm familiar with every single one of these. My MIL is simply mentally ill. She has Narcissistic Personality Disorder and she milks her "victimhood" for all it's worth. She has used every opportunity to manipulate us and undermine our marriage for 17 years. I have a sister with NPD, so I am wise to all of the tactics and she hates that I don't fall for her bullsh#t.

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      Laura Sandry 6 weeks ago

      This past week, my soon to be MIL went too far. The week before Labor Day when my soon to be husband and I were set to go visit my family (who we have not seen in 6 months as we live on the other side of the country) decided to book my fiancé a flight home to see her instead. Keep in mind this was all done without his consent. I confronted her on the fact that I was upset that she did this, and her response was "I am more happy that he is coming home than I am sad that you are upset. We both want him this weekend and I figure it is MY turn!!!"

      I cannot stop thinking about how beyond inappropriate the entire situation is. I can't think about anything else. Any advice or any other soon to be wives going through something similar??

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      Lauragz 7 weeks ago

      My biggest regret in life is not standing my ground where my MIL is concerned. 28 years and 5 children later, she is still toxic. The irony is that she is a Christian. The first thing the bible talks about in a marriage is to leave your parents and cleave to your wife. Why does she feel the need to control other people's lives? No she doesn't live with us. And when she does come over it usually for 2 days. She is good only in SMALL DOSES. I'm so mad at myself to the point I loathe myself. Why do I believe her? Why can't I understand that she is just being who she is? I put my kids through unnecessary pain because I continued to allow her in my house. I don't even know how to forgive my stupid self. Thanks for listening and thanks for the article. Unfortunately she meets alot of the points.

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      Kay 7 weeks ago

      Hello. I can see now I'm not alone. As I read your article, almost everything fits to my future MIL. The best thing is the fact we don't have to live with my future parents-in-law or our finances are independent to theirs. But my fiance can't understand why I don't like to arrive to his parents - especially his mother (who is actually his stepmother but she raised him, since his biological mother is dead). And I'm the person who had some experience with toxic people so I try to avoid them as much as I can - it's the only way to get free. My mother said "Accept the fact she won't accept you ever". And I'm afraid it's true. But still I don't want my fiance to be sad because of that fact. Maybe he cannot see some things but as my mother said "he will see it sooner or later". I proposed to my fiance the solution: if he want to go there, help them (because of their farm) or something - please go. But don't take me with you. Lana, do you think that solution is okay?

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      Lana ZK 7 weeks ago from California

      Hi Molly,

      I sympathize with you. I also feel that at some point being "nice" is a little too late. I can also relate to being married into a family of rage-aholics. And I support your decision to distance yourself from all that toxic emotional sinkhole. You are a strong woman, and I applaud you for living life on your terms. Good luck! And any time you need to vent, I'm here :)

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      Molly Magee62 8 weeks ago

      I sent a comment story about five days ago. Will it get ok'd for here? Hope so. Thanks. Or for the "Five years later" article? Either one works.

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      Prachi 8 weeks ago

      Good to know that I am not alone in this journey...its been only 1.5yrs and we are not staying together but still she tries to sabotage our marriage every chance she gets...

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      Jbf 2 months ago

      It's taken me 20 years to realize this list that I just read in 2 minute

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      Lana ZK 2 months ago from California

      That's a tough one, Vidya. It's difficult to advise not knowing the specifics of your situation. Have you tried talking to your husband about it?

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      Dan 2 months ago

      My mother-in-law is a evil bitter heartless bitch. The only way I deal with her is by just pretending she doesn't exist.

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      A. Khan 2 months ago

      My MIL has all the 10 qualities... Its been almost 16 months that I am experiencing anxiety and fear because of her daily, especially when I am about to enter home after a hectic day at office. She expects me to behave like a slave in front of her. She does not think I deserve to have rest in my room. She always wants me to be alert, active and be an entertainment for her--Each second to keep her in my company. She does not approve any personal space. She expects me to keep praising her, no matter what her behavior is! She does not accept me as an adult human being having my own thought pattern! She does not believe I may have my own ways of doing things. And she is always complaining about me to all family members, especially my husband. I do not say a word in front of her and she complains that I dont respect her and that I dont believe this house as my home, she says I take it as a guest-house... I really dont understand on What basis she gives these statements. She does not have anything to prove these... I am fed up of all this mess!

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      Anna Martinez 2 months ago

      Hi what happened when you know the people and you used to give them hugs every time you used to see them they were my daughter's in-laws this time I felt uncomfortable because I try to reach out and hug them and they give me that shake hands I felt like I was not welcome to my daughter's engagement party I feel negative I feel A bad Vive I didn't feel good knowing that I am a very religion person in positive and l lovely person I felt that was not the place for me to be but I was there because my daughter and engagement party and because my son in-law is a good for my daughter he's a good young man and they're both wonderful and I am glad they are getting married because they have a 4 year old son together and that's my dream for my daughter to get married with the father of her child I think is the proper way if she in love with him she deserve to be married with the men on her life but I feel uncomfortable at my daughter's in-laws house that was weird the whole time I felt negative something negative in the place when I hug the children's before now they shake my hands when I used to hug my son-in-law's mother she shake my hands also when I used to hug the sisters of my son-in-law they end up shaking my hands too when I used to have my son in laws dad he shake my hand too that day it was a weird day I felt like I was not welcome and when you feel like that you not going to have a good day you feel weird but you don't belong there i want to leave the was not for me place is not for me I was there because it's my daughter' i wanted to leave because the other people were negative so anyway what is that mean when people reject you and then they didn't shake my hand the proper way they just barely touching my fingers what is that telling you what is that mean Anyway by the way I would never go to any any parties or anything that my daughter will have in the future I am not going to go to my daughter's wedding I love her to death but to me seeing those people again they bring me negative the whole family I wanted to tell my son-in-law but my husband said just to leave it like that maybe he saw how his family was treating me I told my daughter but she don't care so next time I am not going to be around those people it's better that way I love my daughter my my grandson and my son-in-law I wish them happiness and I only want my daughter to be happy and if those people give her a hard time they will see me again

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      CJS 2 months ago

      I fully agree with this article. I have a toxic monster in law who ticks all the boxes. My son and I will be staying away from her because her existence is very unhealthy in our lives as it causes unnecessary emotional distress.

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      Molly Magee62 2 months ago

      My toxic MIL has never been so very "nice" to me since her son cheated on me and I discovered it by accident just about a year ago... but it's still all about her... "How can she fix it? How can she help?" What can she do to help "us"??? I don't believe for one second she cares about me - she's probably happy as clam hoping this marriage will end. Me thinks she doth protest too much about how "sad" she is about us going thru this.. she has yet to name it for what it is - her son cheating on his wife. It's just a "bad stretch of luck" to her. I don''t read any of what she writes by email or letters because it will just trigger me. Wish she had found a way to be so "kind" back 28 years ago when she started her competitive and controlling ways in our lives as young couple. Her efforts are lost on me now. Literally, four days after finding out her son (my husband) was cheating on me - we had to attend his sister's wedding - at the wedding her psycho sister (my husband's aunt) verbally attacked me after the reception. I was literally emotionally reeling and barely made it thru the day given DDay four days earlier. This verbal attack came at my absolute worst time in my married life. Did my MIL come to my defense and tell her sister to back it down? Hell no, she went in for the jugular along w/her and grabbed me by arm and "escorted" me out of the reception hall when I asked her to ask her sister to leave me alone. Nice, huh??? They are all rage-aholics. They don't drink or use drugs - they rage at each other and I don't feel "part of the family" being treated like they treat each other and have over the years. No thanks. The healthiest thing I've done is distance myself from their distresses but now, given their son's behavior and betrayal, I don't feel badly about drawing healthy boundaries. I no longer socialize them or accept invitation to family events. I don't feel left out because it's on my terms. I invite my in-laws for major milestones.... our son's graduation, our daughter's wedding but I will not extend myself to them like I did previous to his affair. Ever again. And again, I feel no guilt this time. I tried to be a warm, welcoming DIL (was I perfect, did I make mistakes- yes, of course) but my efforts were either taken for granted or not honored. The only upside to his affair is being able to do this and not feel badly about it. She is a control freak and can't stand that her son is now w/unhappy wife and hurt wife and she can't make it stop on her terms. Tough lady - should have taught your son more respect for marriage, vows and honoring his wife and married life. Thanks for chance to vent.

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      Lana ZK 2 months ago from California

      I wish it could be better, too. But we have to come to terms with the reality. Can't expect more out of people than they are capable of. Thanks for reading and good luck!

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      Jeremy 2 months ago

      It's my fiance's mom, she loves me to my face and to my fiance, I give my fiance any and all things she wants, ask nothing from her, yet in 4 yes she has ruined my life, she has had me to lose my 4kids from previous marriage, when we were just fixing to get them back, she had something put in our car and well to protect my new family I had to claim it as mine or we all would've been in trouble, she has had dhs called on us multiple times which we always passed, and of late she had sent my fiance to rehab for having a pain, dr, she has somehow got to where my letters don't reach my fiance at rehab, my calls don't go through, I had to get a new phone because she has had mine stolen, so my fiance can't call me, Fri 3 weeks back I got off work and my car acted funny, apparently all the bolts had been taking out from under the front end and the shop said if I hit 49 or 50 mph I would most likely end up er or worse, so after 3 days I finally got it home, oh and during it being fixed she would never respond to my calls or texts, our house is on part of her property, when I pull up at home she comes out laughing saying oh I made it, I said why was something wrong with my truck, she said no that she had a dream I flipped and died, that was it, we were fighting or at least I was she just kept smiling her fake sweet smile, she said well fiance or not ur just a boyfriend, and love well my daughter is better with it love, sh said as a matter of fact you need to just leave my place till my daughter gets home, and oh she signed ye baby temporarily to her, no way I said she can't because she can't have visitors for another week, she said oh since your so smart, come get him and lave bt as she started laughing again you won't get out of town and you will be under arrest and I will get him anuway, so now I am somewhere she can't get at me and I guess I lost my family, they apparently told her I abandoned my baby and was out hooking up, I am losing my mind, me and my girl are not just a couple we are truly be still friends, we eat sleep play work together, the only fusses in four years is the things her mom stirs up, we honestly have never pissed each other off for something we did personally, I don't know what to do, and where we live is only about 25 people and my mil rums the town basically

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      Rosy 2 months ago

      My mother in law is your exact description. I wish it could be better. I have only once to live so i have to move on

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      Lana ZK 2 months ago from California

      Hi Casandra,

      I'm so sorry for your loss. It must have been so awful to deal with that, and then on top of it, with an intrusive MIL. You didn't fall for any of her provocations, and you stood your ground. That is admirable. Good luck to you! You're so right; life's too short for nonsense.

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      Lana ZK 2 months ago from California

      Hi Kira,

      you are so very welcome! Thank you for the comment. You are not alone indeed :) Sounds like your MIL has an enmeshed relationship with her son, your husband. It's tough, but don't let her negativity affect you. Good luck, stay strong!

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      Lana ZK 2 months ago from California

      Hi Txpapillon,

      good to hear from a future mother-in-law! I do agree, this is a difficult family environment, and not everyone is cut out for it. But if your daughter can set the boundaries with her MIL from the get-go, I do believe it will neutralize some of the poison that the MIL will inevitably bring into her (and your) life. Good luck!

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      Txpapillon 2 months ago

      This is very concerning for me. My daughter is dating a wonderful young man who we all absolutely approve of. His mother is another story though! She went from adoring our daughter before they started dating to an absolutely rude, mean crazy woman once the kids relationship became more serious. This poor boy has to endure his mothers jeckyl and Hyde personality and it is obvious he would just prefer to be with our normal family enjoying a much more stable home environment. The only concern I have about the relationship these young people have is if my daughter can handle this narcissistic woman for the rest of her life if they choose to marry!

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      Kira 2 months ago

      Hello and thank you for this article! I know I'm not alone :) my MIL is similar to the toxic things mentioned and it's good to know I shouldn't let her own issues in her life bother me and male me bitter. We have "Good times" with my MIL but lately she's been so toxic it's making me see her true personality and honestly if my husband never married she would be so happy and Lately I've felt like if I died she'd be sad for maybe a week then be ok because she would have her son to herself. Anyways thanks again for this article!

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      Casandra West 2 months ago

      I have not spoken with my monster in law in a long time.

      She's always tried to control my late husband but he would normally ignore her. There would be times where she would leave at least 10 messages on the voice mail, during the times we would take a day trip.

      But I fast forward to when my husband passed away. Her own sister told me, that the mil had bought a one way ticket to stay with the children and me. The kids and I would not have that, as we wanted privacy during this sad and difficult time.

      Then she was trying to convince me to close my bank account and cancel my credit cards.

      She wanted full control of my life. I ignored her suggestions. The kids and I sat down with her the night before the funeral to tell her to go back home and that we wanted our privacy. She then got nasty with us, she said that she wished one of my kids die so I would feel her pain. How sick is that?

      I decided, I would never have her in my life. She wanted to show the world that she was going to take care of the poor widow and the orphans. What a fake. She's since then tried to bully me and has sent nasty remarks when I sent out a message to all my relatives when I shared a sweet memory of my husband.

      She went as far as getting the autopsy report and sending some details to me. That email was meant for someone else and she left a message saying she had not realized that it had gone to me. I don't believe her.

      Since she lives out of state, my attorney said she can only get an order of protection and keep her away from us when I find out when she will be in my town.

      Relatives ask me what I would do, if she shows up at my house. I simply tell them, I would call the police to take her away.

      One relative have said "that's the way she is." I think, that is just an excuse not to deal with her themselves.

      The MIL even went as far one time to fake suicide. It back fired on her when I convinced my husband to call the other relatives to alert them and sort things out. We were out of the country and my husband could not do much more then tell others. And be on the phone for a very long time with her. I think, she was upset that no one called her or invited her out on New Year's eve.

      I have been teaching my children, that it is not right to have someone give them gifts while bullying the parent.

      The MIL does not care for anyone but herself. I compromised so much for the love of my late husband. I have no allegiance to her. The good thing is that all of her relatives are on my side.

      I will not have any of her nonsense.

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      Lana ZK 2 months ago from California

      Angel, I think if I was in your position, I would have done the same. We just recently had our first child. Right now my MIL adores her (she's her only grandchild so far) but if that was ever to change, I couldn't tolerate her being treated differently from her cousins. If you've addressed it and it had no effect, there's really no other recourse. It's her loss, I'm sure.

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      Angel 2 months ago

      I have a toxic MIL too and have found that limiting my time with her has made a difference. When my husband's sister had children she no longer showed any interest in our kids. I tried to address this but it didn't make any difference. I made the decision to limit contact when my kids noticed she was giving much more expensive gifts to my niece and nephews (in front of them). Now, years later, she continues to try and manipulate my husband by threatening less inheritance and creating drama. We really only spend Christmas Eve with them and one weekend with them in the summer. I'm thankful that my kids have a much better relationship with my parents!

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      Lana ZK 3 months ago from California

      Hi Dej,

      this is a difficult decision that only you can make. It's hard living with a MIL because as is often the case, there can only be one woman of the house...

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      Lana ZK 3 months ago from California

      Sounds like this woman put you through a lot of pain, Robbie. So much so that you were finally forced to cut her out of your life. In some cases, this is the best scenario. When all else fails, you have to do what you have to do to protect yourself and your family. Good luck to you )

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      Lana ZK 3 months ago from California

      I'm glad you've had this validation, Andrea. It sounds like it was very difficult and hurtful not having the support of your husband, but the truth is finally out! And like you said, you've learned a priceless lesson. Not to mention, you've persevered and came out stronger and wiser.

      I'd like to note that you do sound like a mental health professional - maybe a possible career path for you? ;-)

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      Lana ZK 3 months ago from California

      You're not alone cedarpost...Which is of some comfort, hopefully :)

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      cedarpost 3 months ago

      This is my situation. :(

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      AndreaW24 3 months ago

      Today was a turning point for me. My toxic mother-in-law who I personally diagnosed as a psychopath 22 years ago when I finally found out about personality disorder/sociopathy (I am not a psychiatrist - have read many books on psychopathy), my mother-in-law is the real thing. Today she was finally certified by psychiatrists at a hospital on Long Island, and then transferred this afternoon to South Oaks Hospital in Amityville, NY, that specializes in extreme psychiatric cases. After 35 years of being married to her co-dependent son who always defended his beloved mother for 7 years at the beginning of our marriage, after she set me up as the villian and herself as the victim (switching roles), after her attacks, my loving husband would accuse me of seeing everything in black and white, of being stupid and "misunderstanding" what she said, of not having a sense of humor because he wanted me to think she was being funny (gas lighting), and of misconstruing her attacks. When his blaming me didn't work he would resort to his co-dependent tactic of playing the sympathy card to break me down - his mother was having a bad day, didn't feel well, was having a lapse, etc. All I ever wanted him to do was to tell her to stop her miserable behavior, but he never did and flatly refused. My husband said it was up to me to deal with his toxic, dangerous mother. What bull. Psychopaths are dangerous and terribly abusive - she was certainly unpredictable, nasty, plotting, etc. She scared the hell out of me. She was literally dangerous. And because of the fear and the fact that the anticipation of her being around me was making me literally sick, I finally cut her off as well as her co-dependent daughters after 5.25 years of the attacks and emotional abuse. You see, they were all on her side. And yes, I'm sure they all wanted to get rid of me. Including my husband who I'm sure they convinced to leave our marriage. In fact, at his sister's wedding he left with an old girlfriend for a couple of hours - he was in the process of leaving the marriage. Another time, 2 years into the marriage he was going to quit his job and move with his mother to Connecticut to find a doctor who would cure her made-up orphan disease. When I asked him "what about me?" he answered that I was like a cat - I'd land on all fours. Real nice. I look back on that and wish I left then. His behavior was terribly hurtful. I was living in a psycho drama and very confused about what to do. I didn't know I was dealing with a very sick, toxic mess. At the time when the worst was going on I was trying to figure out how to solve her behavior and get her to stop her attacks on me. Never did solve it. You can't change a toxic lunatic. MIL's modus operandi was extreme - she pretended to be dying the first 2 years of our lousy marriage (lousy because she was wrecking it), and when that didn't work she began to stare daggers at me and wish diseases on me to my face for the next 3 years. Whenever my husband would leave the room, and it was just her and me, her voice would drip with hatred and her eyes shone. When my husband would reappear, all of a sudden she'd turn into all kindness and innocence. (One time when we were newly engaged she attempted to create a fatal car accident - she merely took advantage of a very dangerous situation on the spur of the moment - luckily my sister-in-law remedied the situation otherwise she would have been killed in the bad accident too). It is so wonderful to finally be vindicated after 35 long years of marriage to a man who has been in denial all of his life about his vicious mother. After today he has to face facts. My best advice to a young woman who is getting serious about a boyfriend is if your gut tells you his mother/family doesn't like you, run. If I had to do this all over, I never would have dated this man and certainly would never have married him had I known the truth. My lack of experience with insanity/mental cases proved to be my downfall, and I just didn't see the misery coming, nor did I understand it until years after the bulk of the awful attacks ended. In case you're wondering why I stayed after all the misery, the punch line is that the psychopathic MIL finally confessed to my husband after 7 years of the misery she caused. We began to rebuild the marriage, and today have 2 great kids who hopefully will never have to go through any of this crap. I've learned a lot - to forgive, but never to forget - no repeat performances of this disaster.

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      Robbie 3 months ago

      Remarried at 37 with a MIL from HELL. From the beginning i got terrible vibes from my husbands mother...16 years of insults, backhanded jabs and very calculated comments..almost pre-planned to let me know that I'm not good enough for her son and for her. No sticking up from my husband..did i really need to ask? Fights between my husband and I in an otherwise perfect marriage due to her mistreatment of me EVERYTIME we were together. Having the same background and having a second marriage, i thought she would be understanding of my situation..but it was quite the opposite. Instead of her becoming a solid supporter in my life, she used my insecurities to her advantage. Still extremely close to my first MIL who is 93, i never dreamed i would be in such a sick situation...i put up with it for 16 years...trying to poison my older son against me by saying to me constantly.."he's not that bad"....insulting my sick bi-polar mother by asking me how my father puts up with her (even though they were married 57 years and very happy)...hinting to me constantly how i should not allow my husband to give me money for my children...telling me i did not treat her grand-daugthers fairly because they had to share a room when over our house very part-time (even though my sons shared full-time)..always giving a gift followed by an insult...telling me how she HATES PINK and knowing it was my fav. color...knowing i don't like blue and giving me blue crustly old beaded necklace for my 50th BD ...bringing up my husband's ex and telling me what a wonderful person she was (even though she cheated on her son,)...refusing to drive with my parents to my house after her husband died because "my parents stay at my house forever"....avoiding kissing me hello when i came over to her house, but happily kissing her son in front of me right after....questioning my son "really earned all of his awards" at his graduation party...telling me that her friend is upset her son is marrying a woman with three kids...HELLO!!!.....telling me she never asked her second husband for a penny to help with her mother and it's "always best to not allow your husband to help you,"....ignoring my youngest son and treating him like he is non-existent..constantly having to hear about her perfect granddaugthers to the point that i had to sit there and listen for hours until my smile was hurting...never shutting up that she got her masters in education, bragging about herself constantly...hating her stepdaugters to the point one had to move out of her home at 18, telling me i should do something with my hair..telling my daugther her eyebrows are too dark...telling me it's not necessary to redo my house...telling me at every happy event something nasty about my mother (always whispering it in my ear when at my happiest) "what's wrong with your mother, she looks ill" when my mother looked beautiful that night. avoiding saying hello to my parents as much as she could....but her REAL talent was her timing of the insults and jabs. She was an expert and knew when to strick!! Like a snake....Straw that broke the camels back..whispering in my ear after my father was struck on his bike Oct of 2014 and passed six weeks later and suffered severely.."IT ONLY GETS WORSE." NOT ONCE BUT FIVE TIMES....this was less than a month after my fathe perished... Leaving my children out of invitations but inviting her grandchildren to dinners (that was the only thing i put a stop to even though it was still attempted 16 years later) Screaming in middle of her country club at lunch with tons of people around "DO YOU HAVE YOUR PERIOD" in front of her husband AFTER my husband leaves the table, because of one incident when i was being quiet because of having so much anxiety being around her. I'm sorry but this is a very sick individual. She hated every woman who came into both her son's lives and husband's life at one point or another. Little did I know my turn was next. Little did I know i was a HUGE SITTING DUCK waiting to be abused for years...Pretending to like her and smiling so phony it hurt my face and drained me every time we were together. Bringing up the ex whom she supposedly hated knowing we were at odds and telling me what a wonderful person she WAS...SHE MADE ME SICK. HUGE fights between my husband why he wouldn't stick up for me. NEVER ONCE apologizing when she knew i was upset with her....she's a very sick individual. PS i fucking got her out of my life. I HAVE NEVER BEEN HAPPIER. MY HUSBAND AND I HAVE NEVER BEEN HAPPIER...after my father's tragic death i decided i had enough. i didn't want her ruining anymore of my wonderful memories i was trying to make for my family. I didn't want to look at her ugly stick up her ass face..I didn't want any more jabs coming my way when no one was around..i didn't want to have any more panic attacks in the bathroom while at every meal with her...i didn't want anymore insults every time i saw her..i didn't want to feel like i was being made to feel like a piece of shit...i put up with it for `16 years. lastly i didn't need her in mine or my children's lives with her fake niceness... she's 90 and i could care less about her whatsoever. she cut her nose to spite her face because i will NEVER be there for her. Mostly importantly she could care less that i eradicated her from our lives except for not being able to come over for holidays or spend them with her son and grandchildren. Let her scrounge around for a place to go..she only has a few friends left. let them put up with her shit. (oh yeah, she doesn't abuse them) she brought it upon herself not ever thinking anything could happen to her and that i would never kick her out of our lives. what goes around comes around...karma is a bitch and so is she. I have no regrets and if you are thinking or wishing you could do the same but it's going to haunt you..think again...you are the one in control when push comes to shove. don't be afraid or feel the slightest bit of guilt if you have been abused by your MIL. Even if you have a huge conscience like me... she was not the grandmother of my children, she was not my blood...who is this fucked up person..NO ONE, that's who!!!! it's her loss because i'm one of the kindest daughters.. and it goes against my nature..but i learned that you can only be so kind for so long and have to think of yourself and your mental health. DON'T BE AFRAID TO KICK the bitch to the curb. it's YOU who will suffer if you don't. Yes it's your husband's mother..SO WHAT. if he isn't willing to stick up for her to the umpth degree what choice do you have??? And why should a good husband have to be put in that situation when it's not in his nature. People hurt their children all the time when the want to get divorced because THEY WANT TO BE HAPPY...THIS IS THE SAME THING. what's worse??? you tell me!!! After keeping a diary of 42 major incidents over a 16 year period the writing down of these incidents confirmed what i felt. I feel for any woman who is a good person trying to make their marriage and family work and they have a sick MIL destroying every attempt at happiness you make. is it really worth being miserable. I THINK NOT. GOOD LUCK. EMPOWER YOURSELVES and do what you need to for the sake of your family and your marriage. YOU'RE WELCOME

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      Dej 3 months ago

      So I have been living with my boyfriend for 3 months now... his mom lives here... He works very hard to sustain the home because I am not working at this moment will be finishing my degree next year. She does not work either and is very young and healthy to do so. I have a 6 year old daughter that is not his child and he takes care of her.at first when we got here she was nice but now I feel like we are in a competition. My boyfriend use to give me money to pay the bills and take care of the house.. before I came she was the one who used to do it but suddenly now he has stopped giving me the money and gives it to her.. she is lazy and does nothing around the house.. she communicates with his ex on a daily and I feel like they have conversation's about me.. I love my boyfriend and we have a good relationship but I'm wondering if I should let go

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      Lana ZK 3 months ago from California

      Hi Rowen,

      another co-habitation gone wrong...I'm sorry to hear about your situation. There's really no magic cure other than moving out and living on your own. Good luck!

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      Lana ZK 3 months ago from California

      Hi Jessica,

      ex-mother-in-law? Man, you really can't get rid of this woman, can you? Sounds like she doesn't have a lot going on in her own life so she has to meddle in other people's. Although you can't change her, when it comes to children it's up to you as a mother to set the boundaries. If there's something you're not OK with in how she affects them, you have total power of NO. Good luck!

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      Lana ZK 3 months ago from California

      Thank you, Dreamer. It must be so hard to live with a toxic MIL, day in and day out. I feel for you. And I'm guessing, when you live together is when you need boundaries the most. But that's a particularly difficult equation, one that has you considering divorce. Perhaps a less drastic measure would be moving away? I know it may not be possible right now, but I hope that sometime soon you will find a way to have distance from your MIL, literally! Good luck.

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      Jessica 3 months ago

      I feel your pain. My ex mother in law is the worst she tried to control me even though her son and I are divorced she manipulates my children and buys their affection with gifts. She meddles on my new relationship and even calls her at work!!! When will she leave me alone!!!!!

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      Dreamer 3 months ago

      This article is so good. I am really sorry about all of you that have the same situation. Its like a pic of my MIL. I have two little kids and sometimes after 8to 9 hours of work I don't want to return home, only because I know she is there. Sometimes I felt that the best to do is to divorce because we only have one life to live.

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      Lana ZK 3 months ago from California

      Hi Shawnaziegler,

      all ten, huh? So you hit the motherload, so to speak :) I sympathize with you completely. From my experience, you cannot change the other person, you can only change your own attitude. Try not to engage with drama and know your triggers. Your MIL knows how to push your buttons; know what the buttons are and be ready. When she comes at you casually dropping passive-aggressive remarks, take a deep breath and...smile :)

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      Lana ZK 3 months ago from California

      HI Jean,

      thank you so much for your comment. You highlighted a very important issue - taking responsibility for your part of the problem, working on yourself and getting out of the victim mentality. When I first wrote this article, I was just venting. And maybe wanting to feel like I'm not alone. But now that I've read so many stories of various "monsters-in-law," I want women to feel empowered to take control of the situation, at least emotionally. And the first step is taking responsibility. You're a positive example of someone who'd done this, and came out on the other side. So impressed with you!

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      Shawnaziegler 3 months ago

      It is so nice to be able to read all your stories. My Monster hits all 10 numbers exactly! She is a horrible person and blames me for taking away her son. She calls him for everything and expects him to wait on her hand and foot and to compromise his marriage for her! My husband and I have been together for 10 years and married for 7. Before our wedding my MIL created a fake email address to herself, telling her to back off and stop planning my wedding. It called her names and was really horrible. After doing some investigating I found out the password to the fake email address was hers! After being confronted she blamed my brother in law for everything. Slime ball! From that point forward she has done everything in my marriage to create drama and problems with me and my husband. As I sit here typing this I am wondering if it is easier to throw in the towel and let her win, but then I am compromising myself and everything I believe in. Its so sickening to me that these MIL's actually brain wash their children into thinking poor them and feel sorry for them before they can even think about our feelings! I have a 4 year old son and I promise myself everyday that I have to deal with this overbearing women, that I will never do this to him. Shameful!

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      Jean 4 months ago

      I work with mine. And for many years had thought I was the cause of ALL of our problems. Although it is true that I've contributed my share of issues, once I became more mindful and conscious of the issue - I fixed what I could on my end and let her still struggle with being a nice human.

      she has degraded, we've lost people at our family shop - let her husband verbally berrate me - and her son - and lets her son do everything he can to keep her happy rather then look for her happiness in other avenues. We have risked our shop numerous times because of bad decisions she has made or put too many responsibilities on both of our plates - when we did not agree to them. This business btw both her and her now deceased husband (my husband's step father) both ran the business into the ground. We left well paying jobs to help - only finding myself still with no benefits - he has a 401K but none of our employees do? He has stock options - but none were ever delivered to me. I am expected to go along with their decisions or - I get the huffy silent treatment. Where she goes through my office intentionally ignoring me - busting through doors - talking with our employees happily. I am the "child" to her in this situation. And if this tactic didn't get results, she would bad-mouth me to everyone who listened - while playing the angel to the community and our son. I have a daughter from a first relationship - who she treats poorly. Along with my sister. I would sometimes feel guilty that she had nobody at the holidays and invite her over. This all stopped after she went off on a tyrant and started verbally berating everybody.

      This used to bug me - however, I have found a way around. I don't let her silent treatment bug me - unless it affects the shop. I am not included in on any financial decisions unless they've screwed something up and need my advice. Me holding this place for them - both her and my husband - has cost me many years of depression and mental injury. Eventually it gets to a point where you have to put your foot down. In this relationship - and in many - the husband tries to play the peacekeeper - and in mine is more connected emotionally to his mother. We did not sign up to become the second women in marriages. We were partners.

      These days i feel more empowered and have started my own business. I still place hold at the family's - however, I feel more in control of the situation. At this time we have chaos again at the shop - we continue to hire in wrong - getting a cycle of people who stay or in this case possibly sue our workers comp after a few months of employment because she wants to "help" everybody at our expense. This is what happens when you deal with a "god" - at least in her eyes.

      What decisions I make from this point I know are my responsibility and will create a ripple - like every decision does. However, I wanted to chime in and let others know that they're not alone. And there is hope after. Get yourself out of that mentality as quickly as you can and focus on yourself. Not even your husband - in some cases they are a major part of the issue

      Love this article. Thank you

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      Tameka Jamison 4 months ago

      Im going through the same thing ive been with him for 6 years and nothing will change i try to stay away from her

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      Lana ZK 4 months ago from California

      Wow, hi, Charli1986...

      I've heard/read many tales of toxic MILs but this one has got to be one of the worst ones. I mean, on the one hand, I see a mother who is clearly terrified of losing her son, and she clings on to him with all her might. On the other hand, I see a vicious narcissist so caught up in her web of control, she's destroying any chance of happiness he might have had. Like you said, a very unhealthy enmeshed relationship.

      I feel for you. You love the man, but he comes with baggage: a crazy mother. It's a tough one...I mean, we've all been there to some degree. But in your case, I think the real issue is the relationship between your bf and his mother, not you and his mother. Unless he starts seeing this as an unhealthy dynamic and starts distancing himself from her, I don't see how the situation can change for the better....

      And don't think because you're a psychologist that you can fix it for him. It's on him to do that. He should also tell his mother to stop bashing his gf while he's at it. Either way, it's going to be an uphill battle for you. If you think he's worth it, proceed... and good luck! I have a feeling you'll need it.

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      Charli1986 4 months ago

      I have been with my bf for 6 months, good friends for over a year... He is Australian and has a mother desperate to get him back home. Before and during our relationship has spent every call and message writing poems about her love for him, persuading him to come home, emotional blackmail, guilt trips, treating him as the "golden child" etc. His response with relationships was to revert to "I'm a commitmentphobe" and go through a trail of women, some of whom he doesn't know the name of, so as not to commit so he can go home to her love.

      Enter me.... a 30 something blonde pretty psychologist. Within a few weeks of being with him I got to video-chat her. I got labelled a "Barbie" and he was told to "dump me and come home to mum". I got told how his lifelong enmeshed relationship with her means he doesn't even know if he wants to be in a relationship or can be, because he feels that being so is being disloyal to her. Result: insecure girlfriend alert.

      I put some strong boundaries in place. Asked him not to discuss me or our relationship or his past relationships with her (she often also brought up his ex gf and asked how she was, including whilst I was sitting next to him on Skype - his mum also told him that gf was ugly and told the gf that she shouldn't expect a future as he would leave her for Australia with mum). I also decided that if I was going to be insulted and alienated, that I would also not give her ammunition by talking to her on Skype anymore.

      I encouraged my bf to maintain regular calls with her and prompted him to ring her regularly. The last time I spoke to her I'd made a effort at his request to pop on to Skype quickly to say hi. It had made us super late for lunch with friends, but I said "don't worry, Skyping you is more important"... It was meant - I don't want my bf missing his weekly contact with her as it's also important for him.

      The first time I skyped her came the Barbie bashing. This second time, I've been labelled as not genuine and "insincere" and that she has bad feelings about me.

      She now Skypes him and I'm usually there but do not go on the camera or participate, so is Miss Pleasant. She uses subtle insults e.g. calling him a "ventriloquist" because he looked at me when in the background and she decided I was controlling the conversation. The new pattern is that shortly after their calls she with call him on the phone or email him to slag me off. If she's in a better mood she'll tell him "you've changed" "I'm worried about you" "she's controlling you". She also now rings him during work so I'm not there, to slate me.

      As our relationship deteriorates because of her influence, my boyfriend randomly becomes spiteful, stubborn and refuses to talk about other things .... Being cruel usually correlates to a recent conversation of some kind with his mum. The pressure on him must be enormous, but her toxicity is taken in by him ad he in turn spurts it at me. I have no doubt that this is her intention.

      Yesterday she rang him to tell him that me saying that Skyping was important was "insincere"... that I have a "hold on him" and that it will affect him leaving to go back to her and that I'm "controlling him".

      Today I've been abandoned after a breast biopsy when he should have come over. He has a few things to do admittedly, but he's also called and told me about the above conversation. He's off on a holidya on his own tomorrow, so I have no doubt this was all well-designed to get back to me and cause me to be fearful and insecure whilst he's gone (she also told him that she knew it would all get back to me, but that he wasn't allowed to tell me - clearly her intention).

      We both took a leap of faith on this relationship coming out of difficult pasts and being single for some time.... so it meant a lot to us. I love him dearly. This woman is destroying it from afar, when all I do is try to support him and all I get is cruelty and a disloyal partner, out of his guilt to her, as my reward.

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      Lana ZK 4 months ago from California

      Dear madelineG12,

      reading your story, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry! "the coffee cup boogar incident" lol. My MIL never did THAT (to the best of my knowledge anyway) but everything else matches to the t.

      And I have to tell you: you rock!!! You have done what so many DILs are not willing or daring to do, which is: 1. get the support of the husband (even by threatening to leave); 2. keep the MIL in check. I like what you said about becoming the alpha (you have to, or she'll walk all over you) and telling her "no" like a dog lol. Good analogy. But when she acts decently, you reciprocate. I like that too.

      Honestly, I think you're in a much better place than most women who tell their stories here, and I commend you for sticking to your guns and taking control. I know it's still unpleasant (the passive-aggressive comments, the undermining, the unwanted advice etc.) but if there is a way to deal with it, I believe this is it. Your story confirms that I'm on the right path, even though I'm being accused of being "rude" sometimes, even by my own husband. But he is supportive though, and I am taking a more assertive stance with my MIL, but also reward her when she's nice. Thanks so much for sharing!

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      Lana ZK 4 months ago from California

      Dear Patricia,

      that's quite a story you told. It seems that living with your in-laws is weighing heavy on you, and for a good reason(s). I can only admire you for the selfless caring person you are and wish that your husband gets better so that your living situation can change. Stay strong sista!

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      Lana ZK 4 months ago from California

      Absolutely! It applies to sons-in-law as well, although some issues I would say are more specific to DILs...I had to look up #8 lol. It's a good one! That's the one that gets people confused, because she's all about what people think of her. #10 is a bit pessimistic, but hey! You never know. I might be wrong on that one. There's got to be some people out there who totally mended their relationship with a toxic MIL, and are now great old friends! Though I find it hard to believe...

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      Lana ZK 4 months ago from California

      Hello, person screaming at me from under the bridge! Nice of you to join the conversation. Sure wish you didn't open with an insult, but I guess my article got you emotional. I understand. It's an emotional topic. If you'd like to cool off and start again, I'll be happy to respond. Cheers

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      Lana ZK 4 months ago from California

      hi Candice,

      you're right, it's sad and unnecessary, and unfortunately, there isn't a quick and easy fix for this. And maybe there's nothing to fix. Just try to be patient and not too involved emotionally. If there's one advice I can give after reading hundreds of women's stories, it's this: don't take it personally. A LOT of women are in similar family situations, and it's not their fault. It's not because you're not good enough, not worthy etc. Chances are, it's not about you at all.

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      Patricia 4 months ago

      Firstly thank you Lana for replying to the other comments, that was very nice of you.

      I just need to share my story. Its weighing heavy on me for quite sometime now. Me and my husband are now living with his parents and it is affecting my peace of mind. They are not cruel or anything but very controlling. For eg. I can only dress up a certain way, go out around once a month that too only after being accompanied. They sometimes scold and mostly criticize me for small mistakes with household chores and other irrelavant things like leaving my mid length hair open. Ughh! My own parents raised me to be an independent woman. If this had happened couple of years ago i wouldnt have taken any of it but now things are complicated. My husband suffered severe brain injury nearly two years ago. He is not the same person anymore. Though he loves me still he cant see whats happening to me and wants all of us to live together as one big happy family. I cant blame him as he has significant cognitive deficits. I really really tried and and wanted to be the best wife and daughter in law but they r making it darn difficult. They even manage his money which is fine but withdraw much more than what is spent. And yeah his money is used for paying all the bills including grocery. For the whole family. No kidding!!! His parents have money and regular income. We all live in hubbys house. I am not allowed to go for work. I wouldnt have listened if not for hubby, he cries and begs me to be his care giver. Doesnt want anyone else. I cant hurt him. I wont be able to live with the guilt of abandoning him. So i have no income for now and feel quite bad for being dependent on him financially. Sometimes when i buy a good shampoo or anything little with my own saved money even, in laws always comments. They always check what i buy. Always! These many years and still i havent seen much of the city.( i am from another state) They mostly always take me to the local hypermarket. We are not poor but when it comes to me i dont know what happens to them. When we eat they always give the better portion to hubby and mother in law and buy stuff according to their likes. And then they tell him they r doing so much for his happiness. He seems to believe them. I am hoping one day he will get better and then i can take a stronger decision. I dont want their relationship to hurt because of me. And one more thing my parents in law have terrible ugly fights with eachother regulary almost every other day so we as a family are not a very happy one. Its quite difficult to love them.

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      madelineG12 4 months ago

      I hate to tell you this but, the chances of a truce are 0.

      However, I can tell you that it could possibly get better for you. Depending on how much you try. Mind you, this solely depends on if your mil has a severe chemical imbalance or head injury. In that case, you are sol.

      A little of my experience. My mil hated my guts, put snot on my coffee cup when I walk away for a moment, growled at me with her teeth like a freaking dog! Before we were married, she told me that my hubby loved HER, he takes care of HER, and he will never leave HER. The emphases on HER, just wow! The impact that she thought she was making, what a joke. One night she made us all a big dinner that for some reason she didn't eat. She is a die hard nose picker, so there was NO WAY I was putting anything she made near my mouth. Well, my hubby was the only one that ended up eating it and guess what? He was throwing up and having severe diarrhea all night. And here is the kicker, I was 8 months pregnant! Yeah, I'm not stupid. Fast forward. I deal with these type of things and rude passive aggressive comments for months until one night I was fed up. I told my hubby (while packing) that I was leaving. I told him thatI leave now, or we find a place and move out together asap. Ultimately I gave him 8 weeks to the day. If we weren't out, that was it. I'm known to stick to my word and he knows it.

      We are out now, years later with 2 little boys. My wacko mil comes around hating my guts every step of the way. But here is the thing, over time living on our own I have practiced becoming the alpha. At first she came over unannounced thinking she could tell me how to raise my kids, she'd rearrange things in my kitchen, undermine me with the kids, and when I'd say she couldn't take them, she'd start putting on their shoes! Now? Oh no no no haha. If she gets too comfortable I shadow her to the point of annoyance. If she tries to do something I don't want her to, I physically block her and firmly tell her no like a dog. Same goes for anything else. I am completely on top of every word and move out of her while she is here, and the second she attempts to misbehave, I call her out and let her know what she's trying to do isn't going to happen. With the kids, with my husband, with even my kitchen utensils. She acts like a child and now I treat her like one to accommodate. Well.. ok I treat my kids a hell of a lot better lol.

      My husband completely backs me up here. In the beginning he didn't! I told him about the coffee cup boogar incident and he didn't know who was telling the truth. Until he caught her in the lie.

      Here is the thing though. When she acts decent and isn't going through my stuff, saying rotten things, and all that other nonsense she does, I match her demeanor. It's only when she gets rotten that I need to play alpha with her.

      Some people may not have their hubby's backing. Well let me tell you what I told him when I threatened to leave him because of his mother, and what got him to finally stand up for me. I told him that its (will be) his job as a husband to protect me, his soon to be wife. Even if it is from his own mother. In getting married he agrees to put his wife first, and if he can't do that, he fails miserably at being a husband. Thus, I didn't want a crappy husband that puts me second to anyone.

      Further, "Telling me (your wife) to "ignore" your mother says a lot. It says that I have to fend for myself and you don't care enough about me to protect me."

      "You've proven you really don't care about me, so I'm leaving."

      (That and I compared him to his own dad.....low blow which I regret still. His dad ditched his mom for another woman. My husband then babied his mother and took care of her for years until I showed up. Mind you, she's perfectly functional, she just likes her son to spoil her with money. I made a joke along the lines of him being gone and our son growing up without a dad, because my sons own dad picked his mommy over his own wife. )

      Ok that was mean. But I'm not going to lie and pretend to be perfect on here. Anyway, that's the story.

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      Tex 4 months ago

      This is easily translated for the son-in-law.

      #8 and #10 are my favorites.

      If things are calm and she is being nice to you, watch your six.

      That is when the insurgents attack.

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      Haley Rowland 4 months ago

      You sound crazy! It's probably not her it's you. Why wouldn't you include her in your life. Oh wait it's you that thinks you are too good for her. Good luck you are on the way to being a nasty MIL yourself. Karmas a bitch and you are writing your own script

      You know she is 50% identical to your husband and 25% identical to your children. If you don't love her you hate them as well.

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      Katie Mason 4 months ago

      I have the MIL from hell. No exaggeration!!! She is controlling, judgemental, thinks everyone has to bow down to her, she can not get along with anyone, her children fear her, she treats her husband like garbage etc etc. She especially LOVES to hate me. Out of all of her children's significant others, she finds great pleasure in causing me grief. Although I want to point out she has had issues with every single one of her children's significant others. She doesn't have normal friends. The types of people she associates with are dysfunctional beyond belief. I have never seen her have a genuine relationship with anyone. She doesn't get along with her own brothers and sisters, her husbands mother or even allows her husband to see his ONLY biological son and grand daughter. Her husband has to cater to her children and grand children. The guy works 2 full time jobs and she takes ALL of the money. He even has to ask her for $5 for a pack of smokes with HIS own hard earned money. My MIL refuses to even get to know my mom or my family. She doesn't think its appropriate to have any contact or relationship with them even though me and my significant other (her son) have been together 9 years and have 2 children together. When we have events or b-day parties for my kids, my MIL will not associate with anyone in my family. She sits with her daughter in a corner somewhere. My MIL has targeted me since the very moment I have walked into her sons life and labeled me as the "bad apple" for no reason. I had to put harassment charges against her a few years ago because she would come to my house and verbally attack me and leave nasty voiemails on her sons phone. She in return went and filed for a PFA against me and her own son and made up all sorts of lies. Even had sheriffs come to our house and take away all of my significant others hunting rifles. She "claimed" in the PFA that she was afraid her son was going to shoot her. Mind you, no threat of ANY sort was EVER made to her. It was her way of retaliating against me. Still to this day she verbally attacks me and calls me horrible names. Not one person in her family sticks up for me. My MIL persuaded her entire family including aunts and uncles, cousins, you name it, to think I am an evil horrible person. Worst part about this all is that my significant other keeps her around and still talks to her. This woman is ALLOWED to talk to me like garbage. I don't know what to do? Family events are coming up. Do i go even with her being there? Do I ignore her?

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      Candice 4 months ago

      Oh my word you just described my monster in law in all those comments. I don't know what to do. I just want everyone to get along and be a happy family. Now my sister in law is not talking to us either. It's so sad and so unnecessary. How do I fix this

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      Lana ZK 4 months ago from California

      Hi Sonia,

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

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      Sonia Chavez 4 months ago

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

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      Lana ZK 5 months ago from California

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

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      Lana ZK 5 months ago from California

      Hi Melissa,

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

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      Cassandra West 5 months ago

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

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

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

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      Melissa Jordan 5 months ago

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

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      lh05 5 months ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      P.S. sorry for my long rant

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      Ckfgirl 5 months ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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      jojo 5 months ago

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

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

      But thanks for writing this. love it.

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      Pathways thru life 5 months ago from Mid West

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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      Riceball 5 months ago

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

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      Lisa Leigh 5 months ago

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

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      Julia Frances 5 months ago

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

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      Pathways thru life 5 months ago from Mid West

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

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

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