14 Signs You Have a Toxic Mother-in-Law and How to Deal With Her

Updated on February 24, 2019
kalinin1158 profile image

Lana regularly offers support to women who deal with narcissistic abuse and other difficult family or relationship issues via her blogs.

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 first need to know your enemy, so here are 14 signs you might be dealing with a toxic mother-in-law.

14 Signs You Have a Toxic Mother-in-Law

  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 one 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 makes it clear she doesn't like you. She will communicate to you, in a thousand subtle ways, that you are not good enough for her son or 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. She expects complete subservience. To establish her dominance, she will expect you to please her. That would include adopting her opinions, religion, culture, appearing at every family event, learning her ways of cooking, cleaning and just about everything else under the sun (because her way is clearly better), and, last but not least, giving her grandchildren. If you fail to do any of that, you are indeed a rotten daughter-in-law, and she has a right to complain about you to anyone who'll listen.
  5. She has control issues. If she can't get you to respect her authority, she'll tighten the reins on her son, her other kids, her grandchildren, and as many friends and family as possible. She'll make simple things complicated just to prove to everyone she's the one calling the shots.
  6. She doesn't 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. She plays emotional games. Her narrow 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 an 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 could 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. She's completely self-centered and narcissistic. 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. That includes the people they marry; you. She will never give up trying to destroy your marriage or to control her children's lives.
  10. She engages in smear tactics. If she feels that her seat on the throne is threatened, she will become extremely defensive and passive-aggressive. She will start a smear campaign in her community, trying to turn everyone against you. You'll know she's not pleased when you start hearing all the rumors and lies she's saying about you behind your back. Eventually she'll try to turn her son against you, too.
  11. She's vindictive, spiteful, grudge-holding, and punishing. If she feels threatened by you, she'll figure out a thousand ways to make you suffer for it. Get ready for guilt trips, silent treatments, finger-pointing, button-pushing, and manipulation. She'll turn all of her affection elsewhere just to spite you. She'll play favorites with everyone else, hoping to make you suffer even more.
  12. She shows you a negative side she hides from everyone else. At some point you'll realize that your mother-in-law has two faces: the nice respectable one she shows to friends and family, and the negative, critical, toxic side she saves just for you. And if you tell anyone, they'll think you're crazy for complaining about such a sweet lady.
  13. She acts like she cares (but it's all show). There will be times when she's nice to you (usually, after you've done something she approves of). She might get you a nice gift for your birthday, support your opinion or compliment you (or at least refrain from insults for once). At this point you might be tempted to think that she's starting to accept you as a daughter-in-law, but don't be fooled.
  14. She's just waiting for you to let your guard down. Don't lose your vigilance even when she's on her best behavior. It may look like things are getting better. Then, out of nowhere, she will turn on you again, and you will be reminded that she will never accept you, and you can never have a relationship with her. That's not necessarily a bad thing, by the way.

10 Tips for Dealing With a Toxic Mother-In-Law

  1. Consider why she might be treating you this way. Not that understanding will excuse her behavior, but knowing why she's acting this way will give you clarity and help guide your reactions.
  2. Avoid escalating conflict. Don't let her bait you into an emotional reaction. Instead of adding fuel to her fire, practice de-escalation techniques and conflict management.
  3. Remember that strong emotions make bad situations worse, so learn to detach. Instead of getting your feelings hurt, remember that her attitude has little to do with you. If the conflict is impossible to avoid, go ahead and respond honestly. Don't be rude, but be clear and neutral about your feelings.
  4. Recognize and avoid triggers. You are the bigger person, the one who understands the larger picture, so use that perspective in your favor. If she aways acts out when you're at her house, then don't go over there so often. If she gets weird and controlling around holidays, have an escape plan in place.
  5. Verbalize and enforce your boundaries. Can she drop by unannounced? Can she assert her own religious beliefs over yours? Can she dictate how your parent your children? Decide where you draw the line and don't back down from it.
  6. Don’t pick fights, but stand up for yourself. Let her do all the fight-picking, mud-slinging, and finger-pointing—instead of reacting emotionally or defensively, simply stand your ground. Say, "You clearly have strong feelings about [insert subject here], but I feel differently," or "I'm glad that worked for you, but I prefer to do it this way."
  7. Enlist your partner's help. He must play an active role on your team, helping his mother adapt to her new position in the family hierarchy.
  8. Insist on some physical distance. You don't need to move out-of-state, but you also don't need to attend every little event. Let your husband continue his relationship with his mother, but you don't have to be involved all the time.
  9. Remember that she's probably not going to change. Don't endlessly try to make things better, solve the problems, mend all the fences, and improve yourself. At some point you have to admit that this is the way things are and move on.
  10. Don't let her toxicity poison you. Dwelling on all the negative things your mother-in-law says and does is no way to live your life. At some point, her motives, actions and feelings should fade into the background so you can focus on yourself and your relationship, instead.

On a personal note, I don't expect to be friends with my MIL any time soon, or ever. I think we're too different for that, and at the same time, too similar in that we're both strong women who don't back down. I understand her frustrations with me, but I also understand that those frustrations have nothing to do with me. It's just self-aggrandizing rejection of "the lesser."

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

What About You?

How difficult is your mother-in-law?

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

  • How do I get my spouse to side with me against his mom when he knows I am right?

    I’m not sure you can. In situations like this a husband is often caught between a rock and a hard place. It’s a delicate balance where you want to be neutral yet still supportive of your wife. But your husband made a different choice, and it’s a wrong choice for his marriage. I think he needs to explore why he needs his mother’s approval so much, he’s willing to sacrifice his relationship for it.

  • I've put up with a toxic MIL for 35 years. The entire family knows her game. She has become so emotionally abusive to her son (my husband), that he is experiencing major health problems because of it. (Heart issues/stress related attacks). She is the complete picture of a Narcissistic personality. When we try and completely avoid her/cut her out, she gets 100 times worst. This woman won't go away. What do I do?

    Don't try and avoid her. Go no contact, period. Move away, block her number, stop feeding into her blame games. People with a narcissistic personality can be extremely vicious, abusive and selfish. Do what is best for your family.

  • How do I handle my mother-in-law when she lives with us permanently?

    If there is no other way but to live with your MIL, you have to develop zen-like patience, but also be clear and firm with her about your boundaries. It's your house. Many issues can be avoided or minimized when there's clear communication from the start.

  • I had a discussion with my mother-in-law last year about boundaries, and I feel like they were ignored. What should I do?

    That’s to be expected. Your MIL will test your boundaries many times. You just have to remain firm and remind her of your conversation every time she steps over the line.

  • I have been having an issue with my MIL lately. She never says bad things to my face but always to my husband behind closed doors, and then he will come to me and tell me about what she had to say. We stay on the property and my husband does not want to move because he wants to stay close to his family. It has gone that far as to him saying that he wants a divorce because he can't deal with the tension between his mom and me. Is this normal?

    It's normal for a husband to love, honor and support his wife. Your husband seems to blame you for the tension. If that's how he feels, perhaps he doesn't appreciate you the way you deserve. Do you want to be with him?

© 2015 Lana Adler

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    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      2 hours ago from California

      That's a good point, Grace. I adopt approach #8 quite a lot, actually. The less contact, the better. Thanks for reading!

    • profile image

      Grace 

      16 hours ago

      Very informative article. For me, I think I would adopt approach 8. insist on some physical distance. Spending a lot of time with negative people can affect you terribly, and sometimes you are not even aware of it. So I would ensure that I move on with my life as normal as possible, without her rubbling off her negative energy on me

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      11 days ago from California

      Dear Mawi,

      thank you so much for your heartwarming words. It makes me so happy to know that my article helped someone, even in the smallest way. I wish you and your husband many happy *peaceful* years together! You are making great progress and I know you're going to come out on the other side stronger wiser and happier.

      Sincerely,

      Lana

      P.S. And I've been meaning to watch Dr. Brown's talk on Netflix, this is a sign to do it now!

    • profile image

      Mawi 

      12 days ago

      I heard this recently which put a closure to many of my painful memories and brings peace to my soul : "People who take advantage of others (like a toxic MIL) just demean themselves. They deserve our pity. Not our anger."

      I tried relationship counselling for my husband and myself after tolerating MIL issues for 14 years (We even moved away to another country but still she poisons my husbands mind over the phone asking what I'm doing and what he's doing and what the kids are doing and giving her strong opinions on it. Also I see the same controlling / fighting attitude coming from my husband as well but it seemed to make him miserable as well. It was the same "burn and put medicine cycle" attitude that MIL use on me. I didn't understand why my husband does that to me until I read Lana's article on "14 signs of a toxic MIL".

      It says "9. She's completely self-centered and narcissistic : Like any narcissist, she sees her children not as individuals, but as extensions of herself. She will go to great lengths to correct any "deviation" from the path she's chosen. That includes the people they marry; you. She will never give up trying to destroy your marriage or to control her children's lives.)."

      Just getting the Doctor's appointment put me through a lot of stress with my husband as he was not feeling comfortable to talk about this issue but it also made him stop and think / give serious thought to the issue. We had only two Doctor's appointments and our relationship feels like it's on the path to recovery. We're happy now. It's like an evil spell has been broken. He realized his Mother's behaviour is toxic. He realized that he has not set the boundaries he should have from the beginning. Doctor gave us "homework" :) to watch / listen to Dr. Brene Brown talk on Netlix which helped a lot for our relationship to recover. (There's another Dr. Brene Brown "Ted Talk" as well). Also My family Doctor told me about a good book "5 love languages" where each partner identifies his / her "primary" love language out of five types (touch, quality time, service..). The couple stays happy as long as each other's love tank is full with the support of his / her partner :) It's a wonderful book by Gary Chapman.

      Every child has an emotional attachment to his/her Mother. So I feel sad that my husband lived his whole childhood with such a controlling and emotionally manipulating Mother day after day which I never experienced in my childhood. My Mother is a kind Mother. I wanted him to feel peace in his soul. I wanted him to feel happy. I wanted myself to have the same. And with the wonderful help of this article from Lana and relationship counselling Doctor and my family Doctor, my home is peaceful for my husband, myself and our beautiful kids.

      Thank you Lana. Good blessings to you, your family and lots of love. I'm wishing all married couples in the world struggling with this issue will find peace as I have and enjoy the love and happiness of having a family.

    • profile image

      Gk 

      2 weeks ago

      I have been married for 17 years and I also have a toxic MIL having all the 14 traits.She has always poisoned my husband against me and my parents ever since I got married .THe result is that there is no joy left in our married life we live a lifeless life My husband never stood up for me and always sides with his mother even when she is wrong.she is very intrusive in our marriage finding faults with my house keeping skills as well as my parents( whose house I had left when married)she and husband abuse my father .even today as they are more moneyed .she poisons my school going sons against me I get lot of solace and relief reading such articles that I am not alone suffering in this world thanks a lot

    • profile image

      Rhodora 

      3 weeks ago

      They are most selfish person in this world, no consideration....

    • profile image

      SS 

      3 weeks ago

      This is so true... They are so toxic....they want to destroy the relationship between the couple.shameless creatures on earth who thinks she s always right and knows everything in the world

    • profile image

      Klaudhina 

      4 weeks ago

      I dont know what to do sometimes. It is so clear that my mother in law doesn't like me, first of all she dont have any pictures of us in her house, she never look at me when she is talking especially if is more people in the house she just talk to them and she kind of ignored me. Or sometimes she is really nice in front of others and when we are alone she dont talk to me or ask me how im doing etc,etc she pretty much dont care about what im up to, how is my family, my plans nothing. And every time we have dinner or birthdays at her house i just got anxiety attacks, i try to be nice and make conversation but is like she dont care or she give that look like (you know that im just been polite for my soon ) even in Christmas and my birthday ones she gave me a used staff lol. I told my husband the way i see and feel things but im ended being the bad woman and he get upset with me , but she is so smart that she makes sure that only i can see her subliminal messages. Im a Christian so i pray a lot to God that He c ok n heal my emotions and thoughts but i can help it every time that i come back home from her house i feel this heaviness in my heart and back. Something honestly i think she has bipolar disorder no kidding and i try be patient but other time i just prefer not to be around her and just stay in my house with my dogs and my husband or just go out with my husband.

    • profile image

      Otomita 

      5 weeks ago

      Do any of you have problem with your father in law too? I like him better but he is so difficult and hurtful.

    • profile image

      Toni 

      5 weeks ago

      Great article. My MIL is so awful. Incredibly manipulative and spiteful. I have let her behaviour really affect me emotionally and it has made things difficult between me and my husband as my MIL is so emotionally manipulative. I have absolutely no respect for her. Your article has encouraged me to let go. To be honest I have to laugh at how ridiculously pathetic she is.

    • profile image

      Mawi 

      5 weeks ago

      Thank you Lana. Your article "14 Signs You Have a Toxic Mother-in-Law " brought peace to my soul that I have been looking for for 14 yrs of marriage. I'm so glad you were capable to put those words together because my experience matches 100% to what you wrote. I have nothing to add or take out when I compare with your article. Finally someone in the world understands my pain. I'm so thankful to you and wish you loads and loads of good blessings for writing that article. My husband always ignores me or keep quiet or yell at me or say I will be the same kind of MIL one day :( I will not be a toxic MIL for my boys. I will make sure I never hurt my children that way. I feel free now. Lots of love and thank to you Lana.

    • profile image

      Barbs not taking it anymo 

      6 weeks ago

      So my mil moved in with us by announcing to her son six months prior in a phone call that she was moving in with us. He really had no idea how to say no and felt he needed to help her. I said okay as long as it works. She moved in and proceeded to be a total selfish bitch. She said my dog may jump on her, give her a bruise and she may die because of her medicine. She said either the dog goes or she does, I told her the dog stays. She had a rage fit about how I cooked her steak. My better half had to remind her this isn't a restaurant and she is capable of using the kitchen to prepare her own meals. My better half had to work a month on nights, she proceeded to have rage driven fits of anger with me. Her son has been close to tossing her on the streets. I finally had enough and told her she can no longer behave like a mean child and either straighten up and get out or just get out. She is getting out at the end of the month, my issue is I just want to tell her what a horrible shit she is and how much I dislike her. This last month is the hardest and wish me luck not lashing out at the horrible miserable mil.

    • profile image

      Lale 

      2 months ago

      I love this article, perfect description of my mil...thank you for sharing...more power To you Dear Lana.

    • profile image

      Gone again 

      2 months ago

      Please help. My man is 47 and he could not stand his mother when we first got together, but since the grandparents passed away, for some reason, they have gotten closer. I hate to say it but $$$ is involved handed down from grandparents to her, and he is her only child. Every time she would call him I would have to calm him down because she worked him up so badly. Now he acts like that never happened, and I am out of my mind.

      I use to stick up for her but now that I go around her, because I do love him, I see everything he use to say about her is true. I tried talking to him about these things she does, manipulative, guilt trips, etc. but he then pushed me away. I think I am starting to see him turn into her. We have been together for 12 years now. I cannot and will not bow-down for $$$.

      He has not even married me. I've been with him for 12 years and I have nothing to fall back on myself, but that is what's good about us women, we can bounce back from anything. Now I am going back to school, and am going to try to get a job just so I can make it in this hellish nightmare we call life. I was a single mother when I met him, and he spoiled my child, so I thought he loved him, but now that my child is a teen I see that they have no relationship whatsoever. I have learned so much throughout this prosses. I wish I could go back to that person I was before I met him and say, "RUN!!!".

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      2 months ago from California

      Chattymolly,

      I'm so sorry to hear that your marriage was affected so much by a toxic MIL. I am familiar with the "golden boy" syndrome when the man refuses to stand with his wife out of fear of losing his mother's affection. It's very sad and disappointing indeed.

      I do hope that you'll find a way to let go of the toxicity and detach yourself emotionally from this woman, and whatever else you need to detach yourself from. It's in your power! And I love that you already found a way to treat this as a learning experience, and I'm sure that one day you'll be an amazing MIL. Good luck!!!

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      2 months ago from California

      YLMama,

      that sounds annoying as hell. You just have to work on your skill of - politely - putting them in their place. They'll get the message, you'll see!

    • Deb Vesco Roberts profile image

      Debra Roberts 

      2 months ago from Ohio

      Holy shit, you just described my mother to a tee!

    • profile image

      Gloria Guillen 

      2 months ago

      Yes i had a mother-in-law that was very controlling and dis-respectful towards me and she beat me and threw to kick my children in the air to get me a divorce and tried to poison every time i got pregnant. However, she also was in the black arts where she would do some harm to me on several occasions even at the point of getting my ex-husband to beat me up and he did. Later on through my years, i discovered that she was only after the money because my ex-husband wanted her to get a job not realizing that he couldn't give me money to buy diapers because he told me to ask his mother for it. Moreover, it turns out he was so afraid of her, that he broke down and cried because she had him so controlled (he was 30 years old) that he could not tell me why. Do i went to her house to find out what had happened only to find out that she wanted me to get a divorce to leave him because she knew he was her gravy train. It was me or her and i ended up having my ex-husband into a divorce because he took her side and took the kids and she raised them and tried to prove i was an unfit mother. Not to mention that he pointed his gun at me as a threat.

    • profile image

      Chattymolly 

      2 months ago

      It has been very comforting to read articles and reader stories such as yours about horrible mother-in-laws over the last few years. I am almost 60 and a veteran of a 35 year marriage where the MIL has said and done outrageous things and my husband has entirely refused to stand up for me even though I have told him how it makes me feel; he just tells me to ignore her and gets annoyed and stonewalls me on any further conversation. She has treated my other married-in SIL the same but my husband's brother has always stood up to his mother. My husband seems to be afraid that she will disinherit him or something (he refers to himself as her "golden-haired boy") and refuses to recognise that her behaviour is very insulting on a woman to woman basis. The net result is that I have entirely emotionally detached from him (and her) years ago and I resent him for never having my back and hanging me out to dry all the time and I absolutely hate her guts for having to view my husband in this light as a weak self-protecting man. It's been so long since I felt any genuine affection for him, he is not my hero and I can't remember what it feels like to romatically love someone. He would probably be gutted to know how little I feel for him; I try to see him as a victim of his mother, growing up with a mother who was totally devoid of any empathy or compassion. She has sucked the joy out of the marriage for me. It was bad enough having a toxic relationship with my own mother but now it seems I have been in conflictive relationships with women all my life.

      Most of issues have arisin from her obsession with housework and how I don't run the house "properly" for her son. And her tightness with money, particularly my husband's money. It started with my purchase of a clothes dryer when we were newlyweds living in a flat with very poor acccess to a clothes line. I was also working up to 90 h a week at that stage and did not have time to manage drying clothes on a line. She got very annoyed that I was wasting her son's money on electricty (I was paying the power bills) and that it would wreck his clothes. We are still arguing about it 35 y later. There has been very little in my life that she has not objected too, and don't get me started on her objecting to parenting practices. She referred to demand breast feeding as a "mistake". She was totally against having the baby in our room and talked my husband into moving our first baby into a separate bedroom from our room against my wishes with near tragic consequences so as it turned out she told me later that he could have "personal time" ie have sex (which he didn't get anyway as the baby cried for weeks on end at night and I became so sleep deprived I had thoughts of killing the baby so I moved the baby back into our room so I could sleep and recover); after that the gloves were off and it was my way or the highway as a parent. Our younger child had learning problems and the MIL was very annoyed that therapy was "wasting" her son's money and that if our daughter didn't learn to read, "she could become a hairdresser". How wonderful. A grandmother who didn't care if her grandchild ended up illiterate for the rest of her life, just so long as her son saved his money.

      She spent years going to my husband's business to clean it on his afternoon off and having lunch with him, complaining bitterly to him about me according to some of his staff that I remained in touch with after they left. She destroyed my husband's view of me as a competent manager of our home and undermined and disrespected my authority in my own home. She insulted me time after time by complaining loudly about minor things when she visited. She entirely refused to acknowledge any impact working outside the home in a stressful job might have had on my time and demanded I do things in a very time consuming manner such as ironing sheets and underwear (I refused of course). Always conflict. I just wanted a peaceful home.

      What gets me is she has had this great life, did not have to work outside the home to raise her children, travels the world, lots of friends, social life etc but as soon as she is home she is complaining and causing trouble again. She recently had her 80th which was pretty difficult to endure. None of her friends talked to me or acknowledged my presence there so I guess she has white-anted me to them as well as to my husband. I am definitely the bad daughter-in-law.

      I am deeply sad and disappointed that she damaged my marriage and my relationship with my husband; she robbed me of this and I hope to get the guts to tell her this before she dies so she goes to her grave gutted and aware of what she has done.

      I am going to be the best mother-in-law one day and absolutely know what NOT to do to my children's marriages when that day comes because I have been taught by the worst.

    • profile image

      YLMama 

      2 months ago

      All-consuming is how I describe it. Always first in line to congratulate my children and won't allow me in unless I push through. When saying bye cause they are leaving stand in front and won't move. When my parents are in the same area always throwing their so called knowledge of my children and their friends in my parents face like they know more and are more important. Get mad cause I invite my parents to do something with me and my children. Have to be involved in everything we do at all times and we are not allowed family time with just us. So tired and not sure how to really deal with this.

    • profile image

      Kimblen 

      2 months ago

      Married to my spouse for 8.5 years i do not call or visit his parents i feel like my spouse mom do not like the fact that i am married to her son and i don't fuck with her i believe also my spouse ( moma's boy) has told her whatever but i dislike the bitch and i have told my spouse he can leave and walk out the marriage today or tomorrow i would not give a dam.Their are issues ....serious issues

    • profile image

      Vicky ma 

      2 months ago

      My MIL has the above 14 sign as a toxic person. She has the phobia of everything. Anything happened occasionally, every time she gets sick, she will think she is been poisoned. Her poison rule exist older than my age. Me and my husband together 5 years. His mothers behaviour getting worse and worse. She always jealous when me and my husband had a happy relationship. She always find ways to blame me and my husband. Even the thing we did is actually good for her, she still find ways blame us. Recently she start her poison rule again. Every time she feel sick she will talk to her son is me did. But she not talk to anyone except my husband. She want ruin my relationship and want my husband find better girls. I told her go to hospital get check and call a police. She don’t want go anything except keep on telling my husband. My husband not listing her, then she blame my husband a horrible son. I’m really tired of her and the life now. It affects my work and life. I want move out 4 years ago. But my husband don’t want leave his old father to his toxic mother.

      I’m really stress out of the life now. What I’m really should do? Anyone have good suggestions?

    • profile image

      Gina D 

      2 months ago

      My mother in law starts arguments in my home, my husband is afraid to tell her no. I'm depressed, I just want to move out the city to get away from seeing her. She tried to tell me I should leave him because nothing will change. Send supper prayers to my marriage.

    • profile image

      Lisa m 

      3 months ago

      My mother is horrible

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      3 months ago from California

      Bellemy,

      good job on standing up to your MIL! One thing: I know it's hard and you need the support but try not to involve your deployed husband in this drama, or put him in a position of choosing between you and his mother. While he's away, you're completely in charge. Don't be afraid to act like it! Good luck :)

    • profile image

      Bellemy marie 

      3 months ago

      My MIL hits every single one of the signs to the extreme! She recently lost my son on cruise ship (My husband is deployed and i was going on the trip with my parents and 4yr old. She invited herself on the trip. Long story ( and many horrible,passive details) short. She lost my son on ship (bc she purposely didnt listen to me when i told her he was in a running phase.) She then disciplined him to a level that most moms would NEVER approve. She over-spanked him hard, she flicked him in the shoulder to the point he had bruises the next morning and she told him repeatedly that "no one cares what he thinks or wants." I told her she needed to apologize and would have to regain her trust. Her response has been HORRIBLE! She believes her actions were justified and will never apologize bc he deserved it. I told my husband that she is not welcome in our home and she my son and i will not come into any contact with her until she apologizes. She has started to lie and bad mouth me to my husband and his family. My husband is on my side of course but is scared of her and refuses to actually say anything blunt or put his foot down. Hes just riding the fence right now. She has such a manipulating hold over him. She is trying to sabotage us bc she refuses to apologize. Im so worried for my marriage..... and my poor hubs is dealing with all this while deployed.

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      3 months ago from California

      Indeed...

    • Enelle Lamb profile image

      Enelle Lamb 

      3 months ago from Canada's 'California'

      I solved the issue through divorce...not nearly as painful as it could have been...very vindicating when her son moved back home again, and again, and again, and again! Karma...such a lovely word...

    • profile image

      ma 

      3 months ago

      Hi.. My mother in law always having illness . And always talk to my husband she's sick no one loves her everyday . I think she's crazy . She always doing self pity. I don't what to do ..

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      4 months ago from California

      Kili,

      sounds like you're dealing with a narcissistic and co-dependent mother-in-law who has no boundaries with her son. Brace yourself! That's a tough person to deal with. Just stay away from her as much as you can, and when you are around her, try the "grey rock" technique, which is simply being as exciting as a rock. Look it up, it's a good tool to have. Good luck!

    • profile image

      kili 

      4 months ago

      i have a mother inlay who is i believe obsessed with her Son? she keeps sending my husband messages that no one will love him more than herself and his sister, she always has something negative to say and when im sick she tells her son she is also sick, is that a way of her trying to get his attention? i need to know because im so over her and i don't know how long i can go on with this?

    • profile image

      StepMOMdone 

      4 months ago

      I had a crazy Bible thumping mother in law that does not like me at all. She lives so far away but managed to do some serious damage to my husband.

      When she came to visit I was so sick of the complete craziness she caused about everything. I was in amazement they spent 5 hours to plan the next day of sight seeing and decided on nothing.

      On the last day trip I suffered through my husband got a work call, thanks babe, and left me with her to rant about gay people. I'd had enough and just flipped. I told her about my many gay friends and even told her I think my daughter might be gay. I knew that would do it.

      My husband later on asked me what I said. I told him he may like playing along to keep the peace but I did not. I now won't have to talk to her for the next 2 days because I associated with people that God didn't approve of. Fine by me. I only can tolerate so much when it's ridiculous and annoying. I'm pretty easy-going I was a bartender for years so that makes it easier to tune out babble. I on the other hand have no problem saying "no" to people. I don't feel a need to do things I don't want to do. I am selfish, I take care myself first because you're no good to anybody if you're not happy.

      My now-husband had a problem with being a people-pleaser. Knowing his ex-wife, I realize he's been around neurotic, narcissic women for 50 years. When you try and please everybody, you stress yourself out and piss everyone off.

      He went "no contact" with his ex which he did the same same thing with her. On our wedding day, I couldn't believe how far she would really go. She did the same thing his ex did, went to the extreme to get rid of me. Not a thought in the world of who she hurt as long as she got her way. What kind of mother texts they're son 15 minutes before he is about to get married. To tell him he's making the biggest mistake of his life? Choose God not her! A selfish control freak, that's who.

      He no longer speaks to her. Even after a heart attack he wouldn't accept her calls. She tried to apologize and wanted to fix things with us. I knew she was just trying to weasle back into his life for her own selfish reasons. I asked my husband "what do you want me to do?" It's his mom, I would have bitten my tongue because it was a life threatening ordeal. That wasn't even enough to make him feel a need to talk to her.

      I was the lucky one, I had a husband that chose me and got the craziness of our lives. I don't envy any women who have to deal with monster-in-laws. Woman who just want to control their sons and have no respect for the woman he loves.

      Mothers are tough, how do you tell someone not to talk to their mother.? I was lucky enough not to even go there. You have to make a decision, do if you want to stick around and deal with the drama? If he doesn't stand up for you then stand up for yourself at least. It's his mommy, but your his wife.

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      Tired of the Hate 

      4 months ago

      Unfortunately I have a classic narcissistic MIL that has hated me from day one. My wedding video has her speaking to us and loudly saying, "When these 2 get a divorce, I want a refund!" What kind of person says that on her son's wedding day to her son and new wife?

      The hatred has continued for 32 years now. She actually shoved me 10 years ago and then lied to everyone about it when I gave her a day to apologize. Nope, narcissists don't ever apologize. She rallied the whole family to send me hate mail and mean phone calls to tell me what a liar I was. After 2 years she finally admitted she "ran into me accidentally" because she realized her son knew I was telling the truth and she risked losing him.

      She disowned many family members and hated her own mother for many years. She was thrilled the day her mother died. It made her so happy to have that burden gone. Her mother didn't give her enough attention growing up. All narcissists need to be number one and the center of the universe. I truly believe her biggest fear is having one of her 3 children turn their back on her, like she did to her own mother. I truly wish my husband would be that one, but he worships her as she requires. We cannot agree on boundaries and have looked into a divorce after 32 years.

      My family of origin is so different than my husband's family. We have gone through all the steps of a divorce now and just need to file. Unfortunately I will get everything... 2 houses, 3 cars, all investments, and alimony too in exchange for his pension. 100% debt free so not much to worry about on my end. He hasn't filed because he loses everything. I haven't filed because I think it aggravates her that I stay.

      It's very sad when a narcissist knows how to truly destroy someone. She is sneaky and a liar too. But my husband refuses to stand up for me and call her out on what has happened all these years. I feel extremely disrespected by his actions and he refuses to ask her to change or at least forgive the past.

      I guess I should just take the money and run? I never thought this would be my future at the hands of an adult bully. But again... I'm sticking around just to keep aggravating her.

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      mike pfaff 

      4 months ago

      I live in Japan and am married to a japanese woman. We have two teenage kids and a mother-in-law that has been living with us from day one. This woman is a true monster in-law. She absolutely has no tolerance when it comes to me. At least twice a week she has a complaint about something. She constantly leaves a wet dish rag spread-out flat on our kitchen counter where food is to be prepared. She does the wash but I am constantly finding speaks of bleach on my clothing. My wife just says that i must have done it washing dishes. Not a chance in hell do I use blech with my best shirts and pants on. So, the old saying goes "fight fire with fire". It worked for a while but, now my shoes are missing,not both but just one. Also, the bleaching is back. Now... she must be using a tooth brush from what it looks like.Tiny little spots instead of drips. She's been trying to get the upper hand for many years. When my kids were tots she would interfer by feeding them which my wife and I wanted to do. So, my wife serves her in her bedroom. I asked her why can't she come and get it herself? Wife says NO WAY! Whenever things are going bad for her I'm The target! Today I had a run-in with her again wrote my wife an email. Doesn't want to hear it. This woman knows she can get away with it becuase my wife doesn't want to hear it. Maybe devorce is the only way, or hopefully this witch dies before me.

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      4 months ago from California

      Thank you Kim! You're right, the best you can do is let go of the past and live your life with joy and gratitude. Excited for you!

    • profile image

      Kim 

      4 months ago

      After a 35 yr existence/marriage and raising four children, following and supporting the X goals and career, growing out of my co-dependent role and a MIL who fits every definition listed above I am slowly healing. Divorce final 3 yrs. ago. Made every decision, choice, home care, child care, financial management. In short the main gift of an X who saw his "role" as being gone 11-12 hrs. per day and bringing home a paycheck is I learned to take care of everything so I am strong and capable. But the MIL list above fits to a T and it killed any ability to care for the narcissistic Peter Pan son. I was not allowed to have an identity other than one she approved of and I was supposed to be grateful to just be allowed into their family. I am now 1,100 mi from X, children all far away, financially well off, wonderful home and college town to enjoy with international airport near so I can pursue passion for travel a bit each year. The X found another mother figure and married again last year. That did not go over well with my children but they'll deal with it. I am becoming involved in finding myself again, community and volunteer activities, hiking and reading again. Only email the X when I need something. 5 more yrs. alimony then half his pension and SS. Got half his 401K and all my inheritance from sale of family farm so good interest income. Don't mind being lonely as it is better than being married to someone who made me feel alone for decades. So much toxicity traces back to his mother and her domineering self righteous control issues. It will take a long time to let go of the negative ruminating but I am learning to meditate, do yoga, sing in a chorus again and just try to embrace all my past taught me and live with a grateful attitude. Peace to you all.

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      5 months ago from California

      Hi Fatima!

      I'm not sure I understand your circumstances but you can probably try one of the things mentioned in this article. I'm here if you want to tell me more.

      Sincerely,

      Lana

    • profile image

      Fatima 

      5 months ago

      Hi today I am running away from my house my mon is steel bothering me

    • profile image

      Cassan 

      5 months ago

      JctwilK,

      I am so sorry to read that you are being verbally attacked by these people. I thought, you might use "The logic argument" when informing your fiance. Ask him, in what world would he think this is a proper way to treat a person. Place him in your shoes and ask how he would feel about being treated this way.

      If he does does think it is a problem. I am afraid you may need to rethink your choice. I really do hope it works out.

      When these women try it again, apply the Logic argument on them.

      Tell them to repeat it in front of a friend or your fiance.

      Sadly, enough I am sure they will change their story. Don't be afraid to call them out. I did the same with my former MIL

      Wishing you all the best.

    • profile image

      jctwilK 

      5 months ago

      I have a Step MIL to be, who's 35 year old daughter (step sister) verbally attacked me. The to of them have harrassed me and belittled me for 3 years. How can I get my fiance to understand that this is unacceptable and will not blow over? There is nothing I have done that justifies this type of behavior

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      5 months ago from California

      Anna,

      wow! That IS pretty messed up. It seems to me that your MIL has some features of a narcissistic personality. People like that need and crave the attention, and they will do anything to get it. They're also good at wearing different masks so it doesn't surprise me that there was a dramatic shift in her personality after you and your husband got married.

      I would recommend that you do some reading on narcissistic people, get to know "your enemy." It will help you deal with her behavior. However, narcissists don't change and they're almost incapable of self-reflection and growth. So limit the time you spend together, and when you can't, try the gray rock method. Good luck!

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      Anna 

      5 months ago

      I don't even know where to begin. My husband and i have been Married for 5yrs and she was the sweetest till we tied the knot. She turned into a the wicked witch of the west overnight. She is always talking behind my back and never has anything nice to say. Our whole marriage turned into competition with hers. When we told her that we were pregnant with our first, 3 months later she announces her pregnancy news, our daughters are now the exact same age. The kids are now in competition everything my daughter does hers does better. Instead of being a grandma to her first grandchild, she's rather looks for some messed up way to stir trouble instead. We announced our second pregnancy a month ago her response was she wonders if she's also not pregnant she's been feeling bit off. I can't deal!!!! Please note she is 45yrs of age. My husband and i are both working full time so his always helping with chores around the house, now she's going around telling his family members she feels sorry for him, because he needs to come home from work tired and do washing or still cook supper. I have no idea what to do with this woman anymore. This is just a drop in the ocean of what she has been up to.

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      5 months ago from California

      Dear Riya,

      this is classic toxic MIL. She isn't necessarily saying or doing anything bad to you, but she is making passive-aggressive remarks, comparisons, subtle criticisms etc. In other words, she is putting you down in a way that you can't really accuse her of anything without looking like you're "too sensitive," and "just ignore her" etc.

      First of all, don't feel bad. You've done nothing wrong and it's through no fault of yours that she's treating you like this. Second, understand that if she's trying to put you down, she is threatened by you. And third, have a way to deal with her negativity. If you're feeling like she's sending you those "hidden cold vibes" or she's saying something passive-aggressive, visualize a golden barrier around you that stops her "attacks" from getting through. Visualize in vivid detail her "darts" bouncing off your barrier/shield and flying back to where they came from - her. Then see her get uncomfortable without understanding what's happened. This may sound weird, but trust me, it works.

      Good luck!

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      Riya 

      5 months ago

      I completely agree with every point that has been mentioned above.

      My mother in law matches each and every point described above. When my husband proposed to me for marriage my mother in law pretended to support the most. She kept on pretending for next 1 year, she has never been a domestic person she was all about kitty parties and social events but when I entered the house after marriage although I am working and not a 100% domestic person I sensed some kind of insecurity in her. She started cooking and doing chores at the house which I never heard from my husband before that she used to do as we had 2 maids who use to handle everything around.

      The situation got worst after 1 year when my SIL got married, my MIL started to compare every situation of her with me. Although I never hated my SIL constant comparison made me dislike her. I earn 3 times what my SIL is earning and she is not at all a determined person, she is confused about each and everything in life but my MIL leaves no stone unturned to compare my with her daughter in negatives but when it comes to positive points she hides mine.

      From past few months she started eavesdropping on me and husband(as we live together with my in laws), she will try to brain wash my husband for each decision we are taking or anything which we decide. She keeps on complaining about everything what I do if she is not in the home for few days like towels are dirty, dinning area is messed up but she never notices all that happens after she comes back. She is totally unmanged person but the amount of confidence she has when she speaks regarding my faults when she is following none of the suggestions herself.

      I tried to wait till 2 years of our marriage that may be she is scared to loose her son to another girl or share the house with me so I kept on waiting for 2 years that she will eventually trust me and will hand over the household decisions or atleast will let me share them. She is a complete control freak when it comes to the house and does not want to move a brick according to anyone else. Even if I try to do something for my husband or somebody else she will keep on raising issue on my efforts if I am cooking then you don't know how to grill the chicken let me do it I know it best etc. etc.

      It is becoming totally impossible to live with her, I tried to convey the same to my husband, he supports me but my mother in law has 2 faces one is a soft heart lady which is for everyone else and the other is for me that you are nothing in this house.

      From the constant behavior from my MIL I started feeling sad and depressed all the time, when I tried to share my husband he said you have my full support if she is saying anything bad to you but I am unable to make him understand I am struggling with the hidden cold vibes she has been passing on to me. My husband and I fought multiple times as he is not ready to agree that his mother can act so smart and asking me to ignore which is getting impossible for me.

      Please suggest what should I be doing as my husband is not ready to move out as its our house and my in laws doesn't seem to move to their house. I feel stuck and victimized, please help.

    • profile image

      Sara 

      6 months ago

      Hi have a very disrespectful jealous mother in law we all live under the same roof and she has no respect for her own son and she always dresses like me

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      Tolerant for too long 

      6 months ago

      I have a MIL who exhibits most of these traits. And the events after mentioning we wanted to conceive our third child pretty much became the last straws. My husband mentioned it while helping her with chores and she immediately tried to discourage him because she "thinks two is enough." When we announced I was pregnant a few months later, I noticed the upset on her face, though she covered it quickly.

      During pregnancy, she suggested I have one of her friends who used to be a doula help with the birthing since my husband would be gone. I considered it but in the end I decided not to; everyone else respected that decision, but all the way up to the day I was induced, she threatened to make me choose her friend or someone else she knew (a man who helped birthed his siblings) through text messaging because I drove myself to the hospital. I firmly and still polietly told her no and was so fed up because she wouldn't drop it, I had to ask my husband to get her to stop.

      After our child's birth, she keeps saying she doesn't know why our child would be upset being held by her, though the kids tell me she keeps the baby in the play yard most of the time, even when she could hold the child. When we were moving, our child had his shots, had constipation from starting solids, and of course, stress from not understanding what's going on. When she offered to help, we thought she could hold him while we unpacked. She immediately responded saying we were spoiling the child by holding our baby too much (who was 6 months). We called her out for the rudeness and that she is wrong on spoiling a 6 month old. She responded saying not to get pi**y, and that she won't apologize for her "honest opinion." We told her to prove that a 6 month old could be spoiled as there are studies on this, but until she apologises, we're not putting up with her rudeness and will not visit. We still will be polite to her though.

      Its been 6 months since then and no apology still. My SO and I been married for 11 years and I have seen how she is to people (mainly her sons when they do something she disapproves of) but yet acts like she's doing it because she cares. All of her sons are grown, but heaven forbid they get tattoos or date someone without at least a bachelor's (Something my husband and I don't have, but are still happy).

      I also seen the mentality effect on my husband and a bit on my BILs. My husband suffers from depression (I'm thinking chronic) from feeling like a failure because he's the only one out of his siblings who doesn't have a degree. All the served in the military, so there is proudness for them all, but I can't help but feel it's slightly part of that extension of the parent kind. The MIL initially threw a fit when my SO first enlisted right after high school from what a close friend told me.

      It makes me sad when she tells my kids they must get a bachelor's and tried to change their dreams of jobs to something degree related, they're not even teens!! My kids look at me sad thinking they have to, but I tell them every time we leave not to worry about her and to follow their hearts. Their dad and I will be proud of them no matter what and will handle her when she acts up. But I'm done with being tolerant now and so is he.

      I get she had a hard life growing up and whatnot. But I'm tired of being disrespected for decisions she does not have a say in the first place. I'm fine with disagreements, but I expect to still have my decisions/choices to be respected. And to stop disrespecting those who don't have degrees.

      I told my husband to whack me across the head (figuratively obviously) if I ever act like her when our kids are grown.

    • profile image

      Casandra 

      7 months ago

      Trust to the lord and be natural and the karma back in to her.

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      7 months ago from California

      shanderson,

      that's the right attitude! Once you find humor in the situation that bothers you, you find freedom :)

    • profile image

      shanderson1020@gmail.com 

      7 months ago

      I have given up and checked out of the relationship. I feel better and find the whole thing amusing now.

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      7 months ago from California

      Desiree,

      this is some serious family dysfunction! I'm so sorry you have to deal with this.

      I do agree with you, you need some serious help. There isn't a quick fix for any of this, other than a divorce. People in these situations have therapy for years before they can even get to the point of confronting the malignant narcissist in their life. And that's assuming that your husband is interested in getting this kind of help. At the moment he's just not strong enough to stand up to his mother.

      It has to come from him. He needs to realize that he needs help. You can be there for him but don't try to "fix it" for him. Ultimately, it's his cross to bear. Try not to get emotionally invested too much, just keep the distance as much as you can.

      Hope it gets better,

      Lana

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      Desiree Baca 

      7 months ago

      What should I do I have a narcissistic mother-in-law who always brings down my husband she tells him things like she wishes he was never born she hates him and he’s a pu***. Every time him and her get in a fight she brings me and my family into it for one she doesn’t even know my family because she never wanted to meet them she told her son she didn’t have a desire to meet “those people “ it’s getting to the point were she is going to be the reason why our relationship does not work. I see a ton of things online saying that he should just cut all ties with her but when I tell him about it he doesn’t listen to me. He will get in a big fight with her block her number and then the next day he will go running back to her and making her feel like she can keep controlling him. She’s constantly asking for favors to borrow money for alcohol . His parents are alcoholics day drink about a 30 pack of beers a night and his mom takes about 10 shots of fireball at night . The only time she wants to call him is when she’s drunk. I need some serious help I’m not sure what to do anymore I love this man but I don’t even know if I could be with him because of her .

    • profile image

      zil 

      7 months ago

      Mine is all 14 too - we are No Contact for the past 7 years - Bliss!

    • profile image

      zil 

      7 months ago

      Hi Everyone, the article is one of the best ive read. We are now 7 years no contact with his mother. Bliss! No idea until after wedding the fusion and control of this woman to her children and worse - my DH inability to see how dysfunctional this behaviour was. She tried to control me and that did not wash at all. Lucky for me id been married before and now at age 45 (DH 40) Im nobodys puppet. Still it got worse when I set boundaries with her. Knowing I was not easy prey - she banned me from her house and he still felt the lifelong obligations to the tedious and regular family gatherings at her home. Whilst i was banned - he was terrified of standing up to her (enmeshment is seriously difficult to see or break away from - cult like psychologically speaking). My luck was that he hated her so much. Still that was not enough for him to stand up to her after 40 years of cultivating dependancy on her. He has very good job - head of his dept.40 staff etc so such a strange juxtaposition for me to witness this highly skilled professional - terrified of saying no to his mother.!! Long story short - escalation over 12 months culminating in no contact which she then had us followed by her 'flying monkey' relatives. Final straw. I gave him a choice - go to lawyer - take out a No Contact letter or Im out of here. Im not living my life this way. For anyone here who loves their spouse - for marriage to work - the love MUST be two way street. Spouse comes first. No discussion - no 'marry me marry my family' NO. This is very serious psychological damage. You owe it to yourself to feel emotionally safe. If you are not emotionally safe then you are not honouring yourself. Anyway - NO CONTACT letter drawn up. Posted by registered mail. that was 2012. Best money ever spent.

      Warning: She went into overdrive. Smear campaign against her 'beloved' son. Both his married siblings and his 3 cousins instructed to side with her. They tried everything - threatened he is out of the Will, his sister told him he was no longer going to be godfather to her kids. On it went. I had already warned him this was likely to happen. It has been hard on him losing his family BUT he has slowly gained his mind.

      His people pleasing behaviour has slowed, lots of therapy to help him understand that his fear of saying no to anyone for anything is no longer needed. Its been a long road but inching towards mental health and a happy marriage

    • profile image

      MARIE 

      7 months ago

      Mine is all 14, wow!

    • profile image

      sidra 

      7 months ago

      plz comments on mother in law

    • profile image

      Meredith 

      8 months ago

      Too bad my biological mother also exhibits all of these. I'm f*****.

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      utir 

      8 months ago

      My bestfren's mil is saruupnakha and the rest of the family is way too awara.. Her brother in law, is that early man who never grew after that stage, as he was the b.c till now. Her father in law is such a characterless man that he still leches and having affairs with , I don't know what sort of 70's club women. The root cause of the whole sharma disease is her MIL and FIL, i would like to give them away the award of Best Conspiracy Cookers in the house of train train and Pagal Ghar.

      I'm just so pissed with their tantrums and the way they show the fake love to their son's is way too frustrating. If there are any kidnappers, who are reading this then brother's pls help your Indian sister and apart from her husband just take everyone and dump them in some haunted cave.

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      Odette 

      8 months ago

      My ML is the fakest person I know she manipulates and lies and about me and the children she has gone as far as to enlist the help of my husband's brother to continue her campaign of hate and to destroy my marriage

      My husband is clueless to her doings or his because he is such a gentleman he does not see the bad in the world

      I do not know how to deal with the most evil person I know

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      kate00123 

      8 months ago

      My MIL - I will read and research and try to find ways to help my children, husband and myself. You see, my MIL was never "mother of the year" The week my now husband and I decided to be a couple was the same week my husband started to speak to his mother again after over a year of no communication. She has always made sure he felt last in line. She ran up cell phone bills in his name to over 3000.00. She won't even say sorry! For the most part, she ignored us if it wasn't showing us where we stood ( at the bottom )- It was difficult. One day the sun's rays shined just for us, she moved out of state! Sadly it did not last long. ( Mind you he was working at a base 45 mins from here- he had not seen her in a year and we never heard from her, but he tried to contact her for lunch as it was his birthday- No, she would not go see him. Fast track to her homecoming- We had gotten married and he had adopted my daughters- She did not like that at all! (mind you she is a stepchild and she had remarried after her husband left her over her cheating habits ) Anyway, she made sure we knew she did not like my daughters and me. She would brag to a 3 and 6-year-old about how much fun she had taken her blood grandchildren to a fun park and the rides they had gone on. Oh, I'll take you one day- NOPE never happens- A lot of mental abuse latter and making sure my husband knew that she has to come first at all cost- If it was not about her she didn't care! So about 2 years after we got married we got pregnant yay! He called her soo happy- after he spoke to her he was so depressed he would not even eat. Once we found out it was a boy- That's when it got horrific for me- She turned an entire family gather on me- 4 mths pregnant - said I had sent text messages to an adopted family member ( I did not even know these people) saying she was not welcome--- and a lot of hurtful things- I'd never ever say _ She tried to get my husband pissed- He told her to wait there and came to get me- I was so caught off guard - I had no clue why these people at this party seemed to hate me- well I was about to find out- as I entered the room- He let me in on what she had said I done. She walked in swearing it was me, she saw the texts- I asked her what was the number- I asked her to call the girl into the room, I offered up my phone for the girl to call the number that had sent all these awful things. She refused and would not let anyone tell me who this girl was. She just said I did it and she didn't like drama so she wasn't going to "let me show it was not me". The next day she called my husband trying to make out like she knew I was mad, It was not her fault and I had put her in the "dog house" - She wanted to make sure her son wasn't mad- He said no-it's okay- (broke me) She kept this up trying to split us up- for mths- using my husbands stepfather to take him on car rides trying to talk him "out of being we me" She tried- picked fights ...destroyed me emotionally at my baby shower, made sure she was apart of it and when she asked me what I wanted and didn't want- she made sure the list of wants got tossed- The new to-do list was what I did not want! Even to the point of yelling at my sister and mother- why? because I told her I would eat anything but mint! Hate it and so does my husband. Welp, she brought mint cupcakes ( where do you even find those?) My sister ran to get me a cake and his mother lost it! She hated the fact that I wanted to breastfeed -breast only- bought bottles just to be safe- I told her this and told her we didn't need any more bottles- BIG mistake because other than a kit to clean his manhood after his first big "cut" All I got from her and her mother--Bottles big bag of bottles and in the video of the baby shower- They looked at each other when I opened them and smiled- Told my husband they wanted pics of him feeding the baby- It has been a long hurtful battle and my husband has always wanted her attention even to the point of her saying "I just want to know if I will be in my son and grandsons life" We have told her time and time again that it's not okay to treat our girls like they don't matter! He didn't even notice I lost it! - freaked out on him- when he told her yes- because my daughters older by now had been standing there- tears in their eyes- But time after time- he says he is done but she calls him crying and blame- he is right back- This last time she called him on his B_day he did not answer- ( First call on his birthday in 6 years) He knew she wanted something- So she calls his dad- her x-husband crying pouting and belittling us- So, in short, he talks to my husband about - your mother is your mother and you only get one- to answer her when she calls and always text her back. My husband seemed like that's what he wanted to hear- ( She is justified because she is his mother and she can do what she wants) He doesn't want to deal with her guilt- The easy thing is to bend to her will- and his dad gave him the get out of jail free card- Mind you his dad's mother is just like my husbands mother and his dad has not been able to keep a relationship and is unmarried and unhappy. He told my husband that he has a mother just like her and that's how he deals with it- lets her do whatever-goes with the flow- When I said "yeah, looks like that worked out for him" He ignored me! What do I do??? Feeling helpless she has split us up before-

    • profile image

      Seema 

      8 months ago

      Actually the matter is about my mother in law and rest of family member I married I had one daughter my married had 5 years in between this 5 years she never expect me as his daughter in law I do many kind of trials to do my best but everything get worst me now from last year me and my husband we differ from them because we thing this is better from us but my want is this possible that my mother in law start a new relation ship with me

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      8 months ago from California

      Robin,

      This type of behavior is certainly unpleasant. It’s passive aggressive, emotionally abusive, not to mention - rude. Although it also depends on where your MIL is coming from. Perhaps in her culture as a younger one you are supposed to address her first, as a sign of respect. But more likely, it’s just her way of showing you her disapproval. Either way, it’s worth bringing up.

    • profile image

      Anthony Ramsay 

      8 months ago

      The truth cannot be hidden forever, no one is perfect, even parents have had issues with their parents when they began their journey! Treat people how you want to be treated, no matter the race, color, religion, politics or anything else that devides the human race! Two souls meant to be intertwined can never stay apart, this is Universal law! If the mind is strong enough nothing will alter this quantum state of vibration! Those who say the Sun and Moon cannot exist in the same sky are the ones who will never survive an Eclipse! If it ordained the sun will reach in to an abyss until they pull their moon back into its light!......no matter how many you have to go through! When you fear nothing love always wins!

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      anabel 

      8 months ago

      I had issues with MIL since she started coaxing us to give her grandkids after a year we got married. I agree, that it is a norm to have kids and every parent loves or hopes to be a grandparent but she took it to whole next level, I'm not sure if it's appropriate to mention it ; she even advised not to use restroom after intercourse. Constant reminder on weekly basis, hinting that I'll delay having kids if i look for jobs or pursue studies. Giving examples of other people who had trouble conceiving cause they waited too long or bad family planning choices etc . By the time i was married, i was just 24 years old and my husband's 27 its not like I was about to hit menopause or my husband was really old, we were young and healthy. After be ridiculously drained and vexed for no reason, we finally decided to have a baby. Then things got even worse than i ever imagined. I thought she would be grateful and extremely happy to finally have a her wish fulfilled. She just kept seeing the baby as extension of herself, her obsession peaked so much that at a point i felt like i was just a 'medium' to give her a grandchild. I obliged to fulfill her every wish about how to raise the baby, including how longer should i continue to breastfeed, what kind of lotion i have to use on baby, herbal/ folk remedies she wants to use for my baby, ordering me not no use disposable diapers because the baby might get rash, how much solid food to feed ... etc. If i say my opinions or express that it might not be the right thing for my baby, she holds a grudge on me instantly. Making stinging comments on my parenting, and making me feel like i'm a lesser mother myself. If i was unhappy about it, and moody, my behavior was complained to my husband. Making him feel like his wife is not liking the presence of his parents. After my child was around 6 months old she blatantly told me that it's time we have another child and argued with me that there was no need for your body to recover from previous delivery, i have had an emergency cesarean with my firstborn.

      (Although we did wait longer to have to have a second child, we were constantly reminded all over again, . I have been married since 9 years and i took enough crap, the only reason probably me an my husband are still together is because we live separately far away from inlaws. Because of all this, our marriage was tested too, to a point that my husband even used the 'divorce ' word. I'm still trying to recover, find emotional strength and detox myself .But i know it's a constant battle to be fought for no fault of mine. I keep choosing happiness that i deserve, and I'll keep doing what i think as their mother is best for my kids.

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      Robin 

      8 months ago

      How do you handle your mother in law when she ignores you? When I walk into a room she will not address me I will have to address her. If I walk past her, she would not even look at me unless I addressed her first. What is the etiquette on those types of situations.

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      TonyaTheGreat 

      8 months ago

      What if your MIl writes this about you, and your son finds it while she is visiting: The situation

      I have been trying for over a decade now to have a loving relationship with Tonya but she makes it so hard. I'm not sure what started it off, her dislike of me, but most times I can find an excuse for her behavior be it the painful separations when Rob was deployed or something else I wasn't aware of, even hormones. When Rob was in Iraq we developed (in my mind) a good relationship supporting each other but when Rob was on his way home for a break, Susanne had just called me sobbing on the phone Gary was very ill this is when Leukemia was first suspected and I shared this with Tonya but her reaction was so inappropriate that I took the phone away from my ear as I couldn't listen, when I picked it up again she had calmed down and we ended the conversation, maybe I missed something then by not listening. We went to Maryville then to see Rob, trying not to take up too much of there time together, she showed me the guest room she had decorated , it was lovely and I said so I also said Martha Stewart would be proud ( for some reason she likened me to Martha Stewart) once again an inappropriate reaction she said and I quote " there she goes again insulting me" and she ran out of the room. Being in the emotional state I was in because of Robs deployment, I was devastated and this along with realizing she was making Rob think we hadn't been supporting her was more than I could bare. This stress along with the stress of Iraq put me into a very deep depression. Little did I know that this behavior was going to be a pattern for many years to come. We met in England for Sarah my nieces wedding and it started with one of her glaring hateful looks, then the hotel employee told us our Son had our room and we said that wasn't a problem, the next day he stopped us and asked us if we had switched rooms and we said no it wasn't necessary, at that point Tonya came rushing towards us and said it wasn't our room my niece Sarah had personally arranged that room for them once again we said it wasn't a big deal our room was fine. Needless to say she was not happy. During this time together two particular events were quite hurtful and that's putting it mildly. We went on a hike in Derbyshire with some of my family and Tonya neither spoke or came near us the whole time, afterwards we went for a Pub lunch, some ordered desert including Tonya, my sister-in-law Sue and I decided to walk across the street to get post cards for my granddaughters and then caught them up as they came out of the Pub, it was at this point Tonya ran up to me and said something teasingly about shopping just a few inches from my face but I think looking towards Sue so I said she wasn't shopping I was getting cards for Ellie and Kate she interrupted by saying everything's not always about you Chris and rushed away I thought she was trying to tease and stuck my hiking stick out and she turned and grabbed it and said look everyone Chris's beating me with a stick then she said I will never go on vacation with you again. This all happened in minutes and was so silly no one paid any attention. A few days later we were out for dinner with Clive and Sue, Rob and Tonya and Rob went to get drinks and suddenly out of the blue Tonya turned to Malc and in a loud voice told him what a terrible driver he was and then accused me of beating her with a stick, this in a restaurant full of people and in front of my family and then she pretended to cry, I could barely breath I know my blood pressure was up I felt as though I was going to have a stroke . Just thinking about this has given me nightmares.

      Eventually I persuaded myself not to let her upset me, at least not enough to put me in a depression. I've noticed over the years how she manipulates Rob into thinking the situation is caused by me. I've noticed two distinct personalities.

      Tonya attacks me every time we meet, most of the time I don't know what she's talking about, she also says hurtful things such as ( I asked Rob if he wanted to send you a gift for you're birthday but he said no I wouldn't want her to start expecting something ) . She sends all my gifts back or gives them away including things I've sent for Bax. On Robs 40th birthday he came home for a break ( just after, he was in Afganistan on the actual day ) I painted him a picture of the Smoky Mountains it has never been seen again.

      The situation never changes, it's broke my heart emotionally and literally. The weird thing is it seems to be a manipulative game to her and every time she's nice and I warm up to her she does it again.

      This is a shortened version of the last decade.

      Chris.

      Part Two

      In conclusion my thoughts are, do I put up with hurtful behavior listed below.

      Return, give away, pass on gifts given with love even a special painting I did when Rob was in Afganistan.

      Asked not to go in the kitchen .

      Criticized for everything I say.

      Ignored when I attempt to join in a conversation .

      I accept that any kind of advice or help is not appreciated however I do not accept being spoken to as if I don't know anything. The hateful looks and condescending manner I cannot tolerate and intend to walk away any time that happens. Tonya has said on occasion she has friends my age but I would be willing to bet she doesn't look or talk to them the way she does me.

      Lastly I don't know what this is all about, what terrible thing did I do to make her hold this grudge for over a decade and when is it going to end , life is too short to waste it this way.

      2016

      We have travelled to Bulgaria to spend time with Rob and family. The week is going very slow she just told me we send everything to the wrong address and they don't want us to send anything Rob and Baxton don't like cards and they don't need anything, as usual she criticizes everything I say and do she spends a lot of time trying to spoil our relationship with Rob, she is very disrespectful. My God I don't know how my Son puts up with her she is a bitch and she never stops talking.

      I'm feeling a bit like I did as a child when my Dad was in one of his moods and the best thing to do was keep out of the way. I just want to go home. I hate it here.

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      Speaking Of Mrs. I'm In Capable 

      9 months ago

      This article is SPOT on accurately relatable. Personally, I have made effort to make adjustments to manage and maintain peace with my MIL despite her narrsistic behavior. Espisode after espisode, year after year, I have tried to set my dignity aside (especially out of respect for my husband.) Sadly, her behavior is beyond TOXIC!!! She will never admit or apologize for the crap she has pulled. She has the maturity level of a troubled 11 yr old, insecure, caniving, spoilt brat... out right mean girl. Her go-to words while being confronted Is; "I am in capable of hurting anyone!!!" She has said some messed up stuff including; My spouse lacks supportiveness he is in denial about her behavior. There comes time when enough is enough. I have tolerated it too long, essencially it has done nothing but empower her to continue. I want to grow and move in a different direction and she is not in that happy plan. When it comes to our children...they are better off not having her as an influence I would rather her not rain on our thriving family. She is selfish and jelous she hates me so why would i trust that she has my kids best interest at heart. She plays games and uses kids as tools. I am not interested in her tatics we are better than that. I want nothing to do with her.

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      A. 

      9 months ago

      @Dickensface, I need some of the spiritual teachings you have found. Do you have anything that you recommend people can read? I want to be free of the pain I feel surrounding all I have been through with my husband's family. I like your analogy of winning the lottery. That's a good one. We can only control ourselves and our own emotions; but when you've been so horribly abused wow, I mean, it feels like there is comfort in the hatred, yet the hatred also tears a person apart inside. My MIL comes from a very privileged family in Singapore, she moved to Canada and hated it here. All the hatred she felt towards this new place she heaped on my immediate family and I. No matter how loving and welcoming we were it was never enough. I'm so angry! So, I need your spiritual way of life. If you can recommend any books to read, I'm open. Blessings to you.

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      9 months ago from California

      Dickensface,

      Thanks for sharing your perspective, it’s a breath of fresh air. I love what you said: “Spiritual way of life clearly explains that it is a very punishing for a person who is caged in these mean thoughts all the time.” If we can find a way to feel compassion for them, we will flip the situation on it’s head and change the whole dynamic of the relationship.

      Great points!

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      Dickensface 

      9 months ago

      This article is spot on the issue about toxic mil and also how to deal in a situation like this.I have been facing such a narcisstic mil and pil both from the last 25 years but somehow my husband make up for it. We have been also residing in almost separate countries but she still use to bad mouth about me. I wonder how can she invests so much time in criticising me but later on i found that she is like that with almost everyone. Initially I used to feel that something is terribly wrong with me as my husband used to join the gang. After sufferring abuse from his brother n ma, now he has changed so much for better. I have been heavily into spiritual teachings so that a model detached life can be lived effortlessly always. Now I can see the dramas and meanness from a neutral point of view and I have accepted that she will never improve or change towards me. Spiritual way of life clearly explains that it is a very punishing for a person who is caged in these mean thoughts all the time. One can only feel pity for such a person. I have also realised during these times that if I don't give her any reaction and try to overlook the whole drama by giving her some hints as well, then the negativity rain and the insults slows too. I believe that having a happy and healthy family in law is like lottery, either you win it or loose it and live with it. It is also very rare, winning a lottery. Breaking a marriage on thinking that next time you may win it, seems very unpractical too. I have decided to live with it and I have listened some very horrible stories about mils of distinct caste and even continents. There is definitely some very mean human being behind that vicious personality. I have freed myself from such souls and feel a lot of happiness now. The article written is exact picture of my mil and pil seriously and I have tried getting rid of them by looking as a onlooker and not a person in the midst of the tsunami. A great help for a lot of females who cannot figure out what to do in these type of situations.

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      9 months ago

      Gossip is my mother's in law damn i hate the woman so badly

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      Melissa 

      9 months ago

      Wow! This is exactly how my monster in law acts! Since I have given birth she has not given me or my family time alone! She always has to be in charge and she is very controlling! In the being of my relationship with her son we were good friends. As soon as I said I do! Everything changed! I wish I could keep my son away from her. SHE IS NOT GOOD FOR HIM! SHE IS ALSO VERY SELF INVOLED!

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      Kjs 

      9 months ago

      Thank you for this. Agree completely. It’s already been an extremely hard road for my marriage and raising my son but it’s post like this that remind me to stay strong!!!

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      Tori 

      9 months ago

      This article is 100% my soon to be mother in law. She hates me for no reason except that she thinks I am taking her son away from her. I have only been kind, nice and respectful to her since the day that I met her and she has done nothing but treat me like complete crap. She only has two sons and is divorced and I swear she wants them to replace the role as her husband. She wants them to do everything for her- drive her places when she can clearly drive herself around. I do not go to her house anymore because she treats me as if I am non-existant- she wont even speak to me. If I ask her a question (even if other people are around) she will ignore me as if i'm not even there and change the subject- i cant help but just laugh to myself. She now has somewhat of a relationship with his brothers girlfriend and she does whatever she can do to rub that in my face. It is painful being around her- so I usually avoid her at all costs unless it is an event and there are a lot of people there so they can witness how rude and mean she is towards me.

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      9 months ago from California

      I agree, Scott. It’s none of her business! And good job on the boundaries. That’s the only way to deal with an invasive in-law (besides having no contact at all, of course). Keep it up! Just keep it cordial ))

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      Scott Palmer 

      9 months ago

      My mother in law is extremely invasive, she calls my fiance about 20 a day and constantly tells him what to do with his life. I have told her this and been relatively straight forward with her about her behaviour but I believe that she has some sort of mental defect because she will not listen to anything that I say. We have had to put limits on boundaries because she constantly wants to visit us and stay over at our house but I think that an hour visit will suffice. She constantly complains to us about money and being able to afford things because my fiance isn't the best financially but when I told her that I can pay for everything she misinterprets this as if I am demeaning him and questions whether or not I actually respect him. This severely angered me and I responded calling her a moron and she doesn't know anything and quite frankly that what goes on between me and her son is none of her business.

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      9 months ago from California

      Shannon,

      I believe that you’re not exaggerating.

      And it doesn’t surprise me that when you called out your MIL on her victim behavior, she had a negative response to it. Victim mentality is a form of narcissism, and narcissism is such an insidious condition...

      It’s a tricky situation. On the one hand, you don’t want to feed her victimhood by listening, empathizing, pitying...on the other hand, if you point out her issues to her, she’s likely to reject it, blow up and/or demonize you.

      It’s a delicate balance. Acknowledge her feelings but don’t encourage them. Stand up for yourself (if she’s blaming you) but don’t take it personally.

      You’re dealing with an extremely fragile ego here. Her victim mentality is a cover for her feelings of inferiority, so don’t push her too far, it’s just gonna trigger her defenses. Realistically speaking, she won’t change, so keep that in mind and dont spend much time ruminating over her words and actions. Don’t let her pull you into her world.

      Good luck!

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      Shannon 

      9 months ago

      My mother in law is the victim. No matter what it is, she has been wronged. I make a better meat loaf; She'll never be able to cook again. I sing a song she likes while cleaning; She now hates that song and it's all my fault. Tonight, I introduced her to Star Trek fan fiction, because I know she loves Star Trek and writes her own from time to time. She was so upset that she's not the ONLY person who writes that she's going to burn everything she's ever written. I wish I were exaggerating. It would make life so much easier if I was the on over reacting, but she got ANGRY at me for showing her a fan fiction website. It's insane, She's INSANE. This one had me so angry I finally called her out on her vitcimhood.. bad idea. I don't think this will ever change, and I'm going to be her bad guy forever. HELP!!

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      Natalie 

      9 months ago

      How can I set boundaries if my MIl lives in our basement? She come up whenever she pleases.

      Once she was upset and actually asked to come up while also playing the victim and making us feel bad...

      I need her to move out ASAP.

      My husband doesn’t understand

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      Arl 

      9 months ago

      i respect my mother in law but i don’t like her. In the beginning it was ok but later she tUrns out to be manipulative. She even told me she don’t want we will have a baby, can You imagine that??? When her husband died, my husband took over everything even to go the atm machine to withdraw money my husband and her sister do that for her, she is like a spoiled brat kid. The worst thing is we live in the same big house, i wanted to move but my husband dont want. Sometimes when we go out to go fitness and not coming home for dinner she is already murmoring why we always go out and not staying home. When i go alone and i want my husband pick me up even it’s already evening, then my mil arrived setting in front with my husband.. This woman really is truly a bitch!

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      Armine 

      10 months ago

      what about if MIL jealousy leads her husband and son to act against the daughter in law ? MIL will go to the bed room of the couple while they are sleeping and her son wouldn't utter a single word , this happened for 5 years till they had a baby , after that the bed room door remained always open !

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      mark alt 

      10 months ago

      Great article Lana. Since spiritual health and emotional health go hand-in-hand, this can really help people find freedom. Having worked through many of those issues as a couple, I can attest to what you wrote. Thank you!

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      10 months ago from California

      Jess,

      It’s up to you, of course, the types of relationships you can accept. From where I’m sitting, if you feel like the issues with your MIL don’t go that deep and can be resolved with better communication, you’re right to insist on something genuine.

      But if you’re dealing with a toxic MIL, a “fake” mutually courteous relationship is the best case scenario, in my opinion. It doesn’t mean that it has to be on her terms though! You standing up for yourself and creating a boundary let’s her know where you stand. So it may be fake on her part, but you can still be honest and true to yourself.

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      10 months ago from California

      @hethazariya,

      I understand where you’re coming from and admire you for your patience. When you have a toxic MIL, you’ll often hear people say: go with the flow, don’t pay attention to her, laugh it off. But it’s not that easy.

      I find that a firm and polite approach works for me. Something like: I appreciate it but no thank you. Or: appreciate your input but we’re going in a different direction. Don’t ever give her a chance to attack you for being rude or ungrateful. But don’t be a doormat either, or she will trample all over you.

      Good luck! Hope it gets easier.

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      hethazariya 

      10 months ago

      Not all but some on the list is my mil. She is generally nice and caring and known to be like that by people who knows her. But for me I find her also to be manipulative, insensitive and controlling. Especially when I had my baby. Don’t really have much choice living with her as my husband was transferred to her state last year, we had and still have financial issues and I was going to be on labor and to top it all my husband is currently having mental health issues so I have to be more patient with our current living situation. Yes I am thankful that she is helping us in a way to get through but sometimes I can’t help it, I get irritated (I always keep it to myself) when she tries to tell us what to do with our child. She thinks she knows everything. The fact is she never experienced having a child on her own coz she married at a later age and adopted her niece and nephews(they were alreadyat their teens when the adoption got approved). She claims she knows coz she took care of her younger siblings being one of the oldest in their family.

      One time my baby at about 3months was crying so hard and she insisted that we give water. When his ped told us not to, she even asked the ped beforehand about it and was told not to give water and yet she kept bugging us to give our baby water. As a first time mom I rely on doctors order and what experienced moms tell me so I did not follow her but she was so adamant that she argued with me and she made me cry. She always compares my baby with other babies. Especially when it came to breastfed babies that to her they are bigger and way healthier. It hurt me & made me cry a lot every time she says things like that(my baby was on supplemental feeding as I had very poor milk supply).

      Everytime she wants something done her way, she says something to manipulate me and my husband into following her. My husband always tell me to just go with the flow, to let her coz she has cancer but I had to tell him no, I just can’t let her get all she wants especially when it comes to our child. She doesnt up front use the “I am sick card” but everyone knows about it that it makes you feel guilty not to give in to her wants.

      Now that my baby turned 1 I can feel more things are going to be more difficult with her. I now struggle with her persistent persuasion to attend her church. I am the only one who isn’t a member of their church and I know for a fact that she is manipulating my husband to get our child in their church. I have apprehension coz I don’t believe in their beliefs and practices and the fact that she doesn’t and wouldn’t consider my feelings or opinion regarding the matter.

      Yes she may not be all that was described on the list but she is still a toxic mother in law for me. Sorry, I just wanted to share the situation with my mil coz it’s been making me feel irritated and depressed a lot. I just don’t know how long I can handle it :’(

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      Anon92 

      10 months ago

      Hi Lana,

      Really needed this article right now! My MIL really is a bully and pushing away her son! I am finding myself loathing her more every day which is not something i want! I really appreciate what you said about not letting it poison me. I am a really happy, positive person, but recently ive just been filled with hate! I think my MIL has a secret problem with her sons sexuality and after 5 years of us being together the cracks are starting to show!

      After reading the article i finally feel like im not crazy as the world sees her as a lovely down to earth woman; but i see straight through her!

      Thanks for this article! Im going to start standing up for me and my boyfriend, and show her that the pecking order has changed!

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      10 months ago from California

      Annette,

      Sorry my comment was cut in half for some reason...

      In the second part I was telling you about a helpful technique that I used myself to let go of past hurts.

      It’s very simple - you write a letter to your MIL. Write as honest and as raw as you can. Don’t hold back! Tell her everything you wish you could have told her when she was around. Tell her how she made you feel. Tell her how she affected your life. Tell her what it taught you (if anything). Then finish with “I forgive you” (if you can).

      Hopefully it will help you release the pain )) Maybe not completely and immediately, but it will help, I promise. Peace ))

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      ANNETTE BULLIVANT 

      10 months ago

      All 14 describe my Mother in law she has been deceased 6 years the pain keeps returning how can i remove it completely

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      Otomita 

      10 months ago

      The thing is when we let go of the hurt we forget and let our guard down and then they hurt us again.

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      Julia 

      10 months ago

      Everything on this list is my mother-in-law. I have also tried everything on the list of tips. Unfortunately it won't ever change things between us. The damage is done. She will always cross the line and I will always stand my ground. It is sad as I previously had an angel for a mother-in-law who treated me like her own daughter. Her loss.

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      Jess 

      10 months ago

      Love your articles on mil issues all other articles are unrealistic basically expect us to deal with our mils like toddlers. My mil is very toxic. I.e she wanted to call a meeting to discuss my rudeness because I told her no for the first time in 10 years. I've learnt to understand her and then I don't take things so personally I have told her from now on if she wants a good relationship with me the balls in her court but I will not tolerate her tactics anymore. She went as far to let me know she only wants a fake relationship for the family's sake. I can't accept that because I find it hard to play fake. Am I wrong?

    • profile image

      Cara Ancevic 

      10 months ago

      Unfortunately, this list describes my mother. I have been getting better at detaching but all in all, it is simply very sad.

    • profile image

      ANNETTE BULLIVANT 

      10 months ago

      My Mother in law passed away 6 years ago for 38 years of my married life she made it very difficult she turn people against me my husband (her son) couldn't stand by me he was afraid of her now i still carry a lot of bad memories & pain just want it all to go away

    • profile image

      Anthony. 

      10 months ago

      Lana. Totally agree. Nobody, "absolutely nobody" especially MIL's should ever be allowed to get away with that. I recently had a female family member telling outright lies to my kids, I never even warned her, I just cut her out my life, and she knows why. I just know she won't even think of doing that again.

      I could have warned her first, but thought what's the point ? She already proved who she is by doing that.

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      10 months ago from California

      Dear Disgruntled,

      I absolutely completely totally agree that MIL’s behavior was unacceptable. This deserves a serious conversation and a stern warning at the very least. She has to hear - loud and clear - that bashing the parents to their kids and suggesting they should move out as soon as possible is NOT ok and will not be tolerated. Any questions or concerns should be addressed directly with you, like you said. Seeing grandkids is a privilege, not a right. If something like that happens again, I would not hesitate cutting them off.

      Then, of course, you need to address it with the kids...and ideally, have grandma talk to the kids too...just letting them know that what grandma said wasn’t true. She made a mistake and she’s sorry. But will she do it? Not likely.

    • profile image

      Disgruntled 

      10 months ago

      We send my 3 stepdaughters to my MIL & FIL’s house for 3 weeks in the summer for the last few years as their bio mother is not in the picture. MIL has also for the past 2 years visited for a week at our home. We live pretty far from each other and they regularly turn down spending any type of holidays or special occasions with us, blaming my FIL’s health. They were not supportive when my husband divorced his first wife, both emotionally or financially but comment on it as if they were by his side the entire time, which has always bothered my husband, since he was a single dad, working full time, with no family assistance whatsoever but he lets that go and is the bigger person. Fast forward to us picking the kids up from this summer break and we found out that they have been telling the kids that we are alcoholics and they just need to bear it for a few more years until they can move out. We were completely shocked when our eldest told us what they had said about us. We drink, are social and unfortunately had 2 events at our house when MIL was staying with us so she seems to be basing her judgment off a 10 day period 7 months ago? We honestly haven’t even had a gathering at our house save for my husbands birthday party in January but since she is never around, she wouldn’t really know anything about our lives. We are very involved with our children and are present at everything they participate in and even coach their sports teams. We both work full time and have given us all a beautiful home and life so i’m not sure where she gets off slagging her son who is probably the best, most kind, funny, loving and energetic father anyone could hope to have. I could understand if she wanted to pick on me but for her to pick on my husband behind our backs to his children and then smile and make nice with us, having never brought her (unfounded) concerns to us personally, instead choosing to dump toxicity on our kids, is beyond me? I feel awful for my husband and would like some feedback on such an unusual situation and person...

    • profile image

      Angela 

      10 months ago

      Great article! My future monster in law perfectly fits the jar. I'm living with my boyfriend for like 2 years and half now, BUT not as a partner, but a BOARDER, I'm paying my rent here, if you ask me why I'm here? Well my boyfriend decided to stay here I don't know maybe he just wanted a setup like this. His mom is very "ugh" narcissist, she doesn't compliment me, she even wanted to compete with freakin problems! Like literally she wanted to show everyone that only her family suffers from problems, that's an irony though because she's very self-aggrandising, I can't even understand her, she's very arrogant and that really f*cking annoys me! My mom used to be strict but I know, my mom will not do this to my boyfriend because she's a very respectful woman. It really turned me off when my boyfriend's mom told her sister in law that she'll throw away my child (if i'll have one) that's really sad and she's been talking shit behind my back. Sigh, please help.

    • profile image

      Anonymous. 

      10 months ago

      Lana. If people have a toxic mother-in-law, this is a really good article to read.

      Just picking up on number 1 reason, "she is always right, without exception"

      She'll never admit being wrong and never apologize.

      You know, i would say that describes about 90-95% of the world population, but the interesting thing is, we always expect the other person to know better, the emphasis is always on the other knowing better, making an apology and taking the initiative. Out of around 200 countries worldwide, theres only a handfull or two which is actually free from conflicts and wars. I would say all that comes down to not knowing how to make apologies or being able to see our own faults.

      Paula who posted on one of you're articles may well boast about being a good "mother-in-law" and "grandmother" but on other peoples threads she says "l will not make an apology" because of the words she used, and how they effect others. "Tell you what" the day everyone starts to practice what they preach, that will be the day wars "Cease to exist"

      Also noticed, No matter who you listen to, what you read, what forums you visit, theres always big contradictions in what people say, if not in a logical sense, then our motives and behaviors contradict what we say in one way or another.

      Oh, i made one or two spelling mistakes, i wonder though, are we going to focus on what people say ? Or there spelling ? That will reveal something of our own character.

      "Carl Sagan" said "Human beings have a demonstrated talent for self-deception when their emotions are stirred" that is so true, the only issue is Carl made the same mistake himself in his book "Cosmos" he could not accsept that the fossil record during the cambrian period never supported evolution, and said, could not a competent god design the intended species ? On that basis he chose to reject the posibility of higher intelligence.

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      11 months ago from California

      End of my rope,

      This is a difficult situation. I completely understand why you want no contact with her, especially when it comes to your child. It’s your right as a mother, as well as your husband’s.

      But now it seems that your husband is changing his tune and considering letting his mother in again.

      I would say that you both have to be ok with that decision. He can’t make it unilaterally when the child is involved. And if you do decide to give her another chance, it has to be on your terms. Come up with a set of rules and be super clear that if she breaks any of them, the contact will be terminated. And have your husband supervise the visits. Start slow. And remember that you don’t owe her anything. Grandparents are not entitled to time with their grandkids, especially when they disrespect the parents.

      You’re in control. You can agree initially to keep the peace in your family, but you reserve the right to say no the moment she oversteps her boundaries.

      Good luck!

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      11 months ago from California

      Soulsparked,

      It looks like you have a tough decision to make. And you’re the only one who can make that decision.

      I can tell you that even the most awful mother in law is tolerable when you have a supportive partner.

      I can also tell you that being in a relationship with a narcissistic person is no walk in the park. But you already know that.

      You already have your answer. You’re just afraid to admit it. Don’t be scared. You deserve everything you dream of.

      Good luck. I hope everything works out in your favor :)

    • profile image

      End of my rope 

      11 months ago

      I've posted here before and have actively followed the comments over time. This post strikes such a chord with me.

      Since my daughter was born almost six years ago, I have slowly cut all ties with my in-laws. My MIL's egregious acts (fake suicide attempts when she doesn't get her way, threatening to cut her son out of the will, smearing my name to extended family, blatantly crashing through our authority as parents, etc.) are unforgivable. Her issues have only gotten worse - attempting to manipulate her granddaughter against her parents - and I've had to put in place a no contact rule with our child.

      Two years have gone by, and she wants back in our lives. My husband just met with her to discuss ground rules. I have made it clear that I want absolutely nothing to do with her. I wish we could stay "no-contact" but my husband is adamant about keeping a relationship. (Honestly, I think it's because of an inheritance, but because he *actually* loves her.)

      Sadly, I don't have the confidence and trust that my husband is capable of upholding our family values when he is alone with her. He's coming home today - and I'm just waiting for the shoe to drop. After six years of dealing with this toxic/abusive dynamic, I'm ready to call it quits. This kind of stress just isn't worth my mental health, happiness and physical well-being.

      Any advice?

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