10 Signs You Have a Toxic Mother-in-Law

Updated on March 31, 2018
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Lana is a published writer and editor who helps aspiring authors take their writing to the next level.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Can You Do?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2015 Lana Adler

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    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 24 hours ago from California

      Hope,

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

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

      Peace :)

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      HopeToBeHappy 26 hours ago

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

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 29 hours ago from California

      Ytimolad,

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

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

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

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      ytimolad 31 hours ago

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

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      Beckie 4 days ago

      Hi Lana,

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

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

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

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 5 days ago from California

      Hi Beckie,

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

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

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

      Hope this helps.

      Good luck!

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 5 days ago from California

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

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      Ahmet Hakan 5 days ago

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

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      Monster in law x 6 5 days ago

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

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      Beckie 5 days ago

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

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 7 days ago from California

      Many usa,

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

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

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      many usa 7 days ago

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

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 13 days ago from California

      Lynda,

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

      Thanks for the comment!

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      ADP 13 days ago

      Hi,

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

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

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

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

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

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      lynda.house@btinternet.com 13 days ago

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

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

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

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

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 2 weeks ago from California

      Kate,

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

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 2 weeks ago from California

      FHW,

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

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 2 weeks ago from California

      Life without Annette,

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

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

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

      Thanks for the comment!

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      Kate Fulford 2 weeks ago from London

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

      tinyurl.com/readinlaws2018

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      FHW 2 weeks ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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      Life without Annette 3 weeks ago

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

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

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

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

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

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      Amy Lynn 3 weeks ago

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

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

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

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

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

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 4 weeks ago from California

      Dear Ahmet,

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

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

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

    • kalinin1158 profile image
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      Lana Adler 4 weeks ago from California

      Dear From India,

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

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

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

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

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

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      Ahmet Hakan 4 weeks ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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      Ahmet Hakan 4 weeks ago

      That is exactly my mom. You

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      From India 4 weeks ago

      Hello Lana,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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      Nicole 4 weeks ago

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

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      Kate Fulford 5 weeks ago from London

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

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      Lana Adler 5 weeks ago from California

      eesenadee,

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

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

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

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      Lana Adler 5 weeks ago from California

      Alotta,

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

      Stay strong!

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      eesenadee 5 weeks ago

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

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

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

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

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      Allotta Miles 5 weeks ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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      Shelly 5 weeks ago

      This is spot on! Thank you.

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      Lana Adler 5 weeks ago from California

      Hi Sara,

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

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

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

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

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

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      Sara Ferhatovic 5 weeks ago

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

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      Lana Adler 6 weeks ago from California

      TTKK,

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

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      Lana Adler 6 weeks ago from California

      Hi Alison,

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

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      Alison Potts 6 weeks ago

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

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      TTKK 6 weeks ago

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

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      Lana Adler 6 weeks ago from California

      Hi McKenzie,

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

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

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

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

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

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      Chanda 6 weeks ago

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

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      McKenzie 7 weeks ago

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

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      Lana Adler 8 weeks ago from California

      Hi Sandy,

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

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

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

      Hope this helps. Good luck!

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      sandy1 8 weeks ago

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

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      Lana Adler 2 months ago from California

      Hi Krelynn,

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

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      Krelynn2 2 months ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Frustrated!

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      Lulu 2 months ago

      Hi,

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

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

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

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      Lana Adler 2 months ago from California

      Hi TiredOfItAll,

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

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

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

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      TiredOfItAll 2 months ago

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

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      Lana Adler 2 months ago from California

      Wow.

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

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      Christy 2 months ago

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

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      Lana Adler 2 months ago from California

      Dear lostgirl,

      I'm sorry to hear you're having a hard time with your fiance's family. It seems like once they found out about your diagnosis, you've become a perfect scapegoat for them to blame everything on.

      I don't know what to tell you. You're seeing a therapist and taking your meds - you're doing all you can. You're doing more than many others. But these people want to bully you and call you names - that's emotional abuse, and it's not acceptable. Talk to your fiance so he can talk to his family. And whenever you can, move out and live on your own, just the two of you.

      I hope things get better for you. Hang in there. Come vent here if you need to :) Good luck!

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      lostgirl 2 months ago

      I have been living with my fiances family for about three years now first year & half was wonderful and no issues. All a sudden things took a turn for the worse his mother started to bitch here and there nothing big....all a sudden tables turned 360...and it keeps getting worse his family is blaming me for things i did not do example taking a leave in condition which i did not touch or have a reasoning to touch clothes getting mixed little things like this....today it all blew up i was being screamed at for no reason when i start out told them i did not touch anything i always adit when i do something wrong... they say they understand me but they don't im diagnosed with type two bipolar and depression i was overwhelmed one evening i was fighting with fiance i cut myself i went to his mother for help....well she turned the tables on me and claimed im crazy and im a psychopath this really hurt me.... I cant help myself when im depressed i have been going to a therapist and taking medication today all a sudden out of the blue she and her other son blamed for taking something which i didnt and started flipping out on me which got me over worked because i began to cry they both made me feel like shit and all they can ask me if im on my medication my fiance asked me the same question if i'm on my medication i answered yes i have to be its important all they do is make me feel like shit when i try to do anything to make them happy & at the end of the day im the bad guy... ( sorry for my bad spelling and grammar at the moment im upset) i just need help...

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      MD 2 months ago

      Great article Lana!! Thank you for your reply, it actually cheered me up.

      There is nothing MIL did in my husband childhood that he cannot forgive, including indifference, abuse, neglect, divorces, boyfriends coming and going, drinking, partying with losers every night, conniving, narcissism, and maliciousness. It is only her continued willingness to cause harm that justifies to sever all ties with her. And while my husband well-accustomed to coping with her bad behavior into his adult life, finally he drew the line when he saw her willingness to allow that harm to spread to our own children.

      Our kids have expressed no desire to see or hear from her since we left town 10 months ago. This is based not on anything we have said to them, as my husband and I have told them nothing ill about her. This is likely due to the children having to witness her dramatic, crazed and abusive outburst a day before we left town. It impacted my kids profoundly.

      If she really did love them like she keeps saying, she would not be so eager to see their home broken, and to use them as pawns in her manipulative and conniving attacks towards us.

      Our concern is to prevent the destructive whirlwind she brought into my husband life from entering into the lives of our children. It's sad but it's true her in not being in our lives and not dealing with her chaos, toxic, and drama for several months our lives have been soooooo much better.

      Our kids have expressed no desire to see or hear from her since we left town almost a year a go. This is based not on anything we have said to them, as my husband and I have told them nothing ill about her. This is likely due to the children having to witness her dramatic, crazed and abusive outburst a day before we left town. It impacted my kids profoundly.

      If she really did love them like she keeps saying, she would not be so eager to see their home broken, and to use them as pawns in your manipulative and conniving attacks towards us. 

      Yes, my children are deprived by not having grandmother in their lives, but her absence in their lives causes far less harm than her presence would. None of the rest really matters.

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      iwona 2 months ago

      my future mother in law just turned into a monster recently. his parents made him move out of their house by April 2017 and we did move out together. So everything was perfect until 2 weeks ago. we got engaged in December and decide to get married in September this year. My fiancé has really childish and annoying sister who is 23 years old and I cannot stand her. His mother started saying that she has to be one of the bridesmaid and I disagree with it and told her no that will not happened I do not want her in my wedding party because you suppose to pick people that are the closest to you and she is nowhere near that. Last weekend his mother text him to come over and talk but do not bring anyone with him come alone. Clearly this was about me. so he went I text me after 15 min I am on my way home I asked him what happened and he did not wanted to talk about . I asked again later that they and he said well my dad said that I am not a man because I let you control my life and make decisions for me. and my mom said that you are distancing me and yourself from them and making problems in our family, and that you are not a good person. this been bothering me because we been together since September 2016 and everything was perfect and now because I said I do not want this little wining kid to ruin the best day of my life now I am the worst person ever. They stopped talking with me and they are the ones distancing from me I don't know what to do and I see that my fiancé doesn't like this situation either please help

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      Lana Adler 2 months ago from California

      Hi Lola,

      oh god, living together must be awful. Plus, not having your husband in your corner...I'd say, it's a bigger issue than living with your MIL.

      Unfortunately, it seems that many husbands are like that - they're either in denial about their mothers, or they want to leave well enough alone and "stay out of it," leaving the wife to fend for herself, which is quite awkward and leads to more hostility.

      I chuckled when I read about your MIL insisting on holding your husband's hand when they walked into the service. Boundaries, boundaries! This seems like a stereotypical controlling/possessive mother to me.

      And I can see why you were offended about her slanderous alcohol comment. Ahhhhhhh the irony! First they drive you to drink, then they accuse you of having a drinking problem.

      I would say a different living arrangement is in order, but you know that. I would also say: you don't have to tolerate abuse. If something she says doesn't sit well with you or feels aggressive, shut it down. No one has the right to treat you poorly. Good luck!

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      LolaFalala 2 months ago

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

      This quote hit home. I have a Monster In Law who LIVES WITH US. Imagine if your MIL lived with you. This has put such a strain on our marriage. Since it's my husband's mother, he does NOTHING to shut her and her evil ways down. She's gone so far as to say things about me to my girlfriends. Of course they've come back and told me what she's said--just like she anticipated. I'm not used to this type of drama. She moved in with us against my better judgement. She's complained about EVERYTHING since she's been here. I consider myself a strong and confident person, but I'm not sure how to handle this mess. I asked my husband, why would your mom feel comfortable saying such things? His response..uhhhh, I'm not sure what context this or that was said. I leave it right there because I know I'll never be right and he's obviously not in my corner.

      I could go on and on about her pettiness, but I'm already getting fired up writing this much. Oh, let me add this. I stopped going to church with "them" because she felt the need to hold my husband's hand when they walked into the service--WTF right? I grab his other hand so of course we look like first graders crossing the street. I just stopped going. So the other day, I decide to go and my girlfriend from out of town joins us. Well, another friend joins us for dinner that night (it's my birthday and I had a few girlfriends over). MIL pulls a girlfriend aside and tells her the reason I stopped going to church was because the pastor mentioned something about alcohol a while ago and I was offended because I suffer from a "spirit of drinking"!!! YES, SHE SAID THAT!!! I was livid, offended and embarrassed. Yes, I drink. I drink because she drive me to it! Not to mention, I never drank this much until I met her son--my husband. Well, let me leave that right there. I just wanted to share some of my monster in law nightmare.

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      Lana Adler 2 months ago from California

      Hi Christine,

      boy that is a doozy... In situations like this I often wonder: where is the man? What's his position on this? It's his mother after all. Seems to me like your (future) MIL gave your bf an ultimatum. It's up to him whether to stand up to her, choose you and hope she'll come around - or obey his mother. You can make it easier on him by removing yourself from the equation, sure. At the very least he should shoulder the responsibility for the relationship with his mother. He is a grown man and if he chose to be with you (and not someone his mother picked for him), he should be able to stand up for you.

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      Christine 2 months ago

      I can relate SO much to this article! The only difference is that her son and I are still not married but we live together. She hated me from the start because I was not from her country. She is Iranian and I am Lebanese; she even stated her resentment by saying "I've always wanted my son to be with an Iranian"...10 days ago she came to visit us (we live in a different country) so obviously she stayed with us in the house and guess who had to spend time with her everyday? Me! because my boyfriend is at work from 9 am till 7 pm. Every single day she was showing me pictures of this Iranian girl she so adores (the same girl who wanted to marry her son), she was showing me how they are still in contact and how they visit each other blablabla; she moved EVERYTHING in my kitchen to different places because she preferred them that way; she talks about herself as if she's the Queen of England; she actually says that everybody is jealous of her because she can do many things (yeah...cooking, cleaning, working..the normal crap basically). She's even distanced herself from her own husband's family by not inviting them to her wedding, not letting them see their son...You might think that that's not enough for being a true future monster in law; but let me add that today I had an argument with her and told her that this is my house and now she told my bf that if he stays with me then she will disown him. Honestly, I feel very guilty to stay with my bf; I do not want him to suffer because of his mother's selfishness and I really do not know what to do...should I stay with him because I truly do love him or should I just end things? (if i stay then his relationship with his parents will completely end and I know I will feel extremely guilty for that)

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      Lana Adler 2 months ago from California

      Boston Liam,

      thank you for sharing. I'm inclined to believe that this type of solution is the only happy ending there could be when dealing with a toxic MIL. They won't change, they won't take responsibility for anything, and eventually they will start affecting your kids in some negative way. Once you start seeing her behavior for what it really is (abuse) it's hard to tolerate it. And no one should. I wish you and your loved ones peace and happiness, and congratulations on your upcoming addition to the family!

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      Boston Liam 2 months ago

      This article is 100% facts. My MIL has just received the Pete Rose treatment. She is permanently BANNED from the house. We are having our 2nd son March 1st. I have 3 months leave through my job. Our wishes are to spend that time alone as a family. She went on a tear about me being crazy, weird and an asshole. Total disrespect to our marriage, family and children. She has been married 3 times and is extremely controlling. We are from California originally and now i thank God we moved to Georgia from California. She cannot control her daughter anymore as she did for so many years.

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      Lana Adler 2 months ago from California

      MD,

      it sure is a tough spot to be in. I relate very much to your story. I've had a similar realization that my MIL possibly has a personality disorder, and even if not a full blown disorder, she's definitely on the spectrum.

      I know it's a difficult decision to make to go no contact with her but if both of you are on the same page and there's really nothing to be done, it's the right decision. It's just a matter of protecting yourself and your family from the abuse a toxic individual unleashes on those close to them. I mean, it's unbelievable how much damage one person can do.

      Thank you for sharing and I wish only happiness and peace to you and your loved ones!

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      MD 2 months ago

      God is my witness, I treated my mother in law with respect for many years despite having to swallow the endless, jaw-dropping barrage of pointed commentary that has rolled uncontrollably off of her tongue. Despite the endless river of self-centeredness, self-pity, manipulations, narcissism and outright maliciousness, I gave my mother-in-law the benefit of the doubt for 14 yrs.

      My husband had to endure nearly 3-decades before we got married of her dysfunctional personal life beforehand... divorces, boyfriends, drinking, drugs, partying with losers every night, conniving, manipulating, back stabbing gossiping without end, etc.

      She always expected a level of devotion and love from my husband that is unhealthy and unnatural, intended to make up for that which she lacked in other relationships. Resorted to the control games she uses on her boyfriends to get into my husband head. It is very disturbing to witness.

      Finally, my husband I had an "awakening". We realized that she actually wanted our life and our family to fall apart so she could feel better about her own pathetic existence; that she was actually jealous of our happy marriage of 12-years and our two happy and functional children.

      That was the last straw. I realized that my mother in law was far more than just a crappy mother to my husband, she was a crappy person in general.

      I do believe that my mother in law is suffering from psychiatric issues. These issues are far beyond our ability to help her. After dealing with her chaos and drama for yrs, we just can't do it anymore. I hope she get the help she need and take a hard and honest look at herself.

      We decided to sever all ties with her in order to protect our family, and it was not a particularly easy conclusion to come to.

      To those of you who are criticizing the author... my guess is that you are doing the exact same things to your kid and daughter in law. Just remember, you absolutely will reap what you sow... guaranteed!

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      Lana Adler 3 months ago from California

      You’re right. Toxic people come in all shapes and sizes!

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      MrBill757 3 months ago

      Gosh, this sounds exactly like our Millennial daughter and Millennial daughter in law. This article could be easily retitled 10 Signs you have a toxic daughter or.....10 Signs You Have a Toxic Daughter In Law!! Both have done the exact things.

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      oasis1313 3 months ago

      Lana, do you have any advice for how to get your husband on your side instead of on his mother's side? I've been beating my head against this brick wall for over 30 years. She lives in my house, but if it was the Brady Bunch house, she'd be Marcia and I'd be Jan. "It's always Marcia Marcia Marcia." I'm desperate to be something besides a scullery maid (maybe get a promotion to stable hand or something) while she is always the princess, but I haven't been able to figure out how to get my husband to ever take my side, even after all these years. If I say anything remotely negative about her, it only tightens up the umbilical cord. If I try to grin and bear it--well, my MIL can always find more crap for me to grin and bear, so I end up feeling trampled. Is there anything I can do to make my husband mine again?

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      M.W. 3 months ago

      I've lived with my mother n law going on 3 very, long, distressing years now. She is 71 years young. She does no wrong, will never own up to any of her actions, she will only speak to me and my girls if my husband is present to put on a good show. Her appearance, and title of an individual is extremely important to her. (Which in my mind can be stripped away from one at any given point in one's life)

      I've been pushed to the breaking point. She isn't the cleanest person and tends to buy materialistic crap to try and fill the dark hole in her very cold heart. She chooses to not wash her hands, she picks her nose and eats the boogers like an appetiser. Gross, just nasty! Anyways, this beast comes out into the kitchen, sees that we are having a snack that involves a bag of chips. I simply asked her to wash her hands before joining in on the meal which, she responses, "I washed my hands before coming out." LIER! My husband, never stands up to her about this situation, just tiptoes around it. Which, I find to be just disgusting, and less of a man. So, I took matters in my own hands. The next day, I go to the store, purchase the same snack items and present it to her. I say, "Well, since you don't like washing your hands. I got you your very own chips and dip. This, way you don't have to ever wash your hands." Then, I walked away.

      Later that same day, she goes to her son, my husband, says, sorry to of have offended you with not washing my hands. He says, you didn't offend me. LIER! Because after she left the room that night, he threw the bag of chips away and dip. Why would someone who wasn't affected by her not wash her hands throw away a half eaten bag of chips once she left the kitchen? This had happened so many times over the years. So, he asked if I did indeed to what she said, I told him yes. I explained, that it's just nasty and disrespectful for her to do that, not to mention, it's wasteful. He says, I was wrong and slept in the guest room and hasn't spoke to me since. I figured if anything, this beast, will now wash her hands since, she witness us discussing/fighting of her actions. Please pray for strength!

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      BrightlyBlue 3 months ago

      When I first met my mother-in-law she was wonderful and was so nice. I thought I was so lucky. Fast forward four years to my pregnancy and getting married. We planned on a small courthouse wedding with just friends and my mom. It wasn't until the day of the wedding that I found out my husband's mother convinced him into not going through with the wedding. She had been talking to him and trying to convince him and What she told me over the phone "you guys are rushing this marriage. Have some kids, live together, and then after five years maybe you guys can think about marriage. But you probably won't even last that long. O and he is not coming so forget about getting married."

      My husband ended up staying at her house for two days but then we met up and ended up getting married anyways.

      That should've been my first clue that there would be problems but I just wanted to believe she might just be trying to look out for her son or something. Now I realize she had been having trouble and doubts about her own marriage, and projected it all unto her son and my relationship with him. Later she tried talking with me saying " I'm just trying to look out for you too because you might regret getting married and etc."

      We have now been married for 7 years now and slowly she has been manipulating my husband every year more and more. At first she started small, some emergency happened and he had to come over right before New Years. We had been spending our first married New Years with my family. All I got was sad looks from my family since he left to go to her. He was in a stairwell trying to get to her apartment right as it was midnight. Thanksgiving, Christmas, she always comes up with something so that he has to go to her but I learned better and my son and I would also come along.

      We moved a state away but always come back for the holidays. I got tired this past year trying to visit everyone on thanksgiving day and Christmas. My mother-in-law finally divorced her husband. So instead of spending most of the day driving around trying to get all four grandparents to see their only grandson on Christmas Day, this year I told everyone we would be spending one full day visiting each of them. That way it wouldn't take a toll on their grandchild and they would get more time to see him. Everyone said ok! I even offered and planned for us to spend two days at my mother-in-law's place. She said great!

      We arrived two days before Christmas and my son was invited to participate in a Christmas play. Both grandmas had been invited to come. Only my mom came. Mother-in-law later claimed she had some other thing planned and couldn't come but asked to speak to my husband. The next day my husband asked what we had planned for that day and I said not much just resting and spending time together. He claimed he had to go visit his mom for atleast two hours. I told him he should atleast take our son as well to see his grandma. She actually came to where we were and looked surprised to see me there waiting with my husband and child. Partially joking I said I was just there to see them off. All she said as OK and took my son's hand and just turned her back on me. I was not invited but I just kept my mouth closed and my husband never spoke up for me. Later when I called to see at what time she was going to bring them back she claimed she had been sleeping but she would bring them. When they arrived my husband pulled me aside and said his mom was waiting outside because she wanted him to come back with her and sleep at her place. At that point I drew the line. I told him No. It was the day before Christmas and he had to be with us when our son woke up to open presents the next day. I told him to blame me if he had to but he would be spending Christmas Day with his son! I mean really what could he possibly be thinking about leaving us to go with his mom. She is a grown woman, our son is a child who I shouldn't have to explain to why his dad wasn't with him on Christmas Day.

      I couldn't believe I had to make that argument. I couldn't even ask him to stay because he was my husband and I wanted him to spend the day with me as well. I was afraid that at this point he would just choose his mom over me. Luckily he sent his mom away. Unfortunately she still wanted him to come over the next day. Just him.

      She has other sons who were with her during the holidays but my husband is the only one that is married. And I don't know why but it's really strange to me atleast why she does what she does during the holiday. Anyways the next day was Christmas Day, we watched our son open presents and later I had planned for us to go see a Christmas tree. I noticed my husband kept on checking his phone so I asked him what was going on. Apparently his mom had gotten one of his brothers to text him and continued to ask him when he was coming back to her place, and that she was getting mad, etc... At that point I ignored him and his question of when he could leave to go see her. Later I got feed up and said once our son went to sleep he could leave. I don't think he gave me a second glance and rushed off to his mom's place.

      Later one of his brother's let me know that their mom was mad at me but didn't tell me why. My husband was just silent on the matter and left town before New Years. Apparently the two days my mother-in-law had previously agreed to spend with us weeks before, were no longer good. She had to work those days. I offered for us to reschedule or something but all she said was "we will see."

      And after the stunt she pulled Christmas Day, I'll be honest- I did not call her to reschedule. My husband has gotten so use to not knowing what to do that by this point he just does what she says. Maybe if I had spoken up earlier in our marriage things might be different but now it's too late. She does little things to make it seem like she is nice to me in front of her son but then its like she is treating him like he is a teenager and he has to do what she says.

      After another stressful Christmas for my husband, because he has no idea what to do in these circumstances he declared that he would be spending next year's holiday in any other state, far far away and that we were welcome to follow him. At first I thought he was joking. Now I see he is serious and in reality I am completely on board. Perhaps this will become a regular yearly thing. I just want to spend one Holiday without stressing about my mother-in-law and what she might do. Honestly I do worry about what she tells my husband when I am not there ( since she never wanted us to get married in the first place).

      In front of others, she is a wonderful mother-in-law and grandmother. But these last few years she started to make small back handed compliments just to me and then straight up blamed me for ruining her son's life and started yelling at me. But she only does this when no one else is there to witness it.

      My son loves all of his grandparents and always wants to see all of them during the holidays but next year we will definitely be away. And the years following that we will see.. It's really sad to think that we will have to be away not just from my parents and family, but even my father-in-law (who is nicer to me than my mother-in-law) all just because of the circumstances and things my MIL does.

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      Lana Adler 3 months ago from California

      Natalia,

      I understand how you feel. It’s not healthy to hold all that in for such a long time. Of course, she won’t respond well to you asserting yourself but you will feel better.

      From my experience, if I blow up I feel relief but I also have this unpleasant aftertaste because I’ve lost control. I feel like I could have said things differently if I was calm and just talked about specific things that bothered me.

      So try to be calm. Stay with the issue. Set up a boundary (I’m not comfortable with you entering our apartment when we’re not there). Expect that she won’t take it well. Repeat as needed. Good luck!

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      Natalia 3 months ago

      I am my fiancé’s first girlfriend, first everything. We have a child together and we’re both happy with each other. In my case, it’s not just the mother in law, it’s the whole family! But the MIL makes my life a living hell. I used to rent out their first floor apartment along with my fiancé, it was horrible. She would go into the apartment to grab cooking ingredients without asking for permission while we were not at the house, tell me how to care for my child or tell me i was wrong if i said my son was sick. Allowed her oldest son and his girlfriend to beat me up in front of my own apartment then blamed me for the whole thing. Has attempted several times to break up us up... She causes a lot of fights between my fiancé and I and it’s just horrible! It’s about to be 6 years that’s I’ve been taking her crap and I honestly don’t know how much longer can I take before I blow up on her.

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      Lana Adler 3 months ago from California

      Jasmin,

      who knows why she does what she does? What's on her mind? In my experience, these toxic MILs are rarely rational people with a good grip on reality. You can be the best woman in the world, still she will find something to criticize just so she can feel that she's better than you. It's not your fault!

      Plus, you're living together, so that makes things so much more complicated.

      Hopefully, soon you and your husband will live separately. It will make it much easier to get along with your MIL, or at least to tolerate her unsavory behavior. There's nothing like distance to make a tense relationship ... slightly less tense :) Good luck, stay strong! Thank you for reading.

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      Jasmin 3 months ago

      Thank you for this article. You are right. I live with my mother in law and its a total nightmare.

      I looked after her, was there for her, her own daughter doesn't even care about her. But did she ever appreciate me? No.

      She is doing everything she can to break my marriage. She is constantly bad mouthing me to anyone who listens as you rightly said.

      Its so hard. I work full time and to come home and listen to her complain non stop. The second she sees me. She starts complaining.

      And yes as your article said, she is ignoring my husband, and getting his siblings to advise him that they care for him and how I am not right for him. Your article is so right.

      This is not life.

      I don't hate her. I done more for this woman than I did for my own mother. Thats the saddest thing.

      Please pray for me.

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      Lana Adler 3 months ago from California

      Christine,

      you are lucky your visits are bi-annual :) that's the upside. The downside is...well, you're familiar with the downside. I guess you're never too old to be mistreated by your mother-in-law (sigh) But you're not alone, that's for sure! And it's not your fault, no.

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      Christine del Mirador 3 months ago

      Just coming out from my M-I-L's territory after our bi annual visit... As cries and screams are filling my head after the 48 hours in her company.... I read your article with relief... I almost have a smile of my face. Maybe it's not totally my fault if I'm treated like a unruled 10 years old even if I blew 53 candles yesterday (an image... I didn't get the cake nor the candles

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      Demaque 3 months ago

      I have experienced all 10 of these from my witch in law. She is horrible beyond imagination. My wife just won't be told but its because she does most of those things behind her back. She also treats my wife like crap. I am giving it another 12 months as I wont live in hell and I will do all I can to get my kids away from her for as long periods as I can.

      Shes probably the most disgusting and venomous creature I have ever met.

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      Michelle 3 months ago

      I received a gift in the mail from my monster oops I mean mother in law. Tell me, how disrespectful for her to send it to my maiden name? Her excuse to my husband was "I forgot" and he said she genuinely sounded like it was true. So my question to him was "did she forget we were married? " he said no I don't believe so. So tell me, how can she forget I have the same last name as you and her. Lol last year when she sent me a

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      Lana Adler 3 months ago from California

      Dear CLJ2017,

      hardly anyone likes to be in a company of people who are dismissive and rude towards them, so I understand how you feel. Personally, limiting the time I spend with my MIL seems to do the trick for me since cutting her out of our lives isn't an option. She is your husband's mother, and once you have a child, she'll be a grandmother. And yes, it's a whole new can of worms! Things most likely WILL get worse, but you can handle it. Don't let her boss you around, but also choose your battles. In the end, you determine how much of an influence she has on you. Good luck!

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      CLJ2017 3 months ago

      I could really do with advice on this! My MIL is the most narcissistic person I have ever met! She dislikes me and everything about me.. she isn’t dismissive, rude and often speaks in her native language around me. She will only communicate in her native language via msg never in English (And she has lived here for 25 years) myself and husband ready for first baby.. I’m dreading her! She messages him everyday and tries to control and manipulate his emotions.. I’m stuck and would love nothing more than to cut her out altogether but obvs can’t do that.. yet!! I see it getting worse but he seems to fold around her, like she scares him.. help!

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      Lisa Mc 3 months ago

      My MIL 1000 fold (Bible Quote I believe) in this article. After 25 years I had enough. Remove toxic MILs from your life!!!! First stress free Christmas (2017) in decades. Amazing. Best gift I have ever received.

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      Cassandra 4 months ago

      Good for you "Not Today".

      Stand your ground. It is important to clip this nonsense in the bud. Be sure to set your house rules in your home. I am sure, she will want to have some say so in your own place.

      Oh goodness, do not compromise.

      Stay strong!

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      Not Today 4 months ago

      I have been with my husband for 4 yrs and we recently married this year. He is an only child with his mother raising him herself (needless to say, you can imagine how spoiled he is). Well two weeks after we married, he propositioned me to move in with his mom which was on my birthday. Of course, it started a huge argument. I couldn't understand where and why he would come up with an idea like that. Turns out, his mother was behind it all. I guess he was supposed to move me in so she could control him, me and the marriage. There was no compromise from me on moving into her house. She has been in his ear the entire time of our relationship. I have been an unwilling participant and extremely reluctant to have a relationship with her. She is a compulsive liar and very manipulative.

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      Anonymous 4 months ago

      My mother in law is manipulative and toxic. I have been with my husband for almost 5 years and now pregnant with our first child. She won't communicate with me and constantly complains about me to my husband.

      She went through a bad divorce with his father (25+ years ago!). Rather than working through that difficult time or trying to help herself, she only continues to play victim and live in her own constant pity party. Her younger son does not have a great relationship with her because of her choice to live like that. Unfortunately, my husband took on the role of being her rock and she relies on him for everything. She is retired, but in good health and very capable - but has a weekly list of to-do's for him. She expects to be including in everything we do, even things that should be just the two of us.

      We have a great relationship with his dad and step-mom, but they are often overlooked because God forbid we leave his mother out of something. She behaved terribly at my bridal shower and wedding because his stepmother was there. She won’t talk to me and will gossip about me and his stepmother to my friends instead! I am dreading the baby shower for this reason and can’t even think about once the baby is here. He has had conversations with his mother about the fact that she will have to be around his father and step-mom in the future, but she expects him to prepare her emotionally for every event.

      It tears him apart to have to deal with all of these. He does not want to create controversy or upset her, but it is not his job to take care of her emotions. She needs to grow up and learn how to deal with this as an adult. I have a low tolerance for people that act the way she does and I hate how it affects my husband. I cannot tolerate her conspiracy theories and the stress she creates, especially being pregnant. I have tried to talk to my husband about the 3 of us having a conversation about communication and expectations, especially for after the baby arrives. I just don’t think it will help if he sits there in silence. She does not care for me and that is fine, but when she is concerned that that may affect her relationship with our child, I can only feel that she is bringing it on herself.

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      LostMom 4 months ago

      My MIL is a total pain in the butt! And unfortunately my husband is spineless! I grew up in an abusive family which I didn't realize until my late twenties because it was "normal". I tried to fix my family for years, but there was no hope for them. During that time, the MIL always seemed "interested" in the happenings with my family. I thought she was trying to be supportive. Two years ago, I finally left my family after something horrifying came to light.

      It didn't take long for her to sink in her claws. As I was trying to wrap my head over the traumatic crap I went through, there she is going around telling all of my other in-laws I deserved what my family did to me and I was the cause of it. Yes, because a small child asked her parents to lock her in the basement without food, water, and access to a bathroom was all of my doing-and that doesn't include all of the verbal, emotional, and physical abuse I endured throughout my life at their hands.

      To make matters worse, she berated my kids (her grandkids) and made them fear her because of her own anger issues. When I told my husband everything she said and did to me, he did nothing and won't do anything! Yet he fights with me because I do not get along with her! WTH! These past two years have been hell. Other than my kids, I feel as though I have no one. My heart is broken.

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      Bayareamom 4 months ago

      I have a MIL who, just a few days after I gave birth to our son, told me to my face that she didn't think I should have married her son. She told me that she felt her son wasn't ready for marriage, much less a family. She said these things to me shortly after my husband had gone to work that morning, knowing she could safely say these things to me once he was gone.

      She had been with us in our apartment, allegedly to 'help' with the baby, but literally all she did was tend to the baby. She didn't help with any of the cleaning, she didn't cook one meal for us, and in short, she tried bonding with the baby in a way that was more than a little creepy to me (for lack of a better way to explain it). She is of a different culture; she is Japanese, I am Caucasian.

      I should have seen all of this coming. Immediately after our private wedding ceremony, she burst into tears. NOT the sort of 'I'm so happy you both are now married!' sort of tears, but the sort of tears as when you realize this person is crying because of unhappiness. I tried hugging her immediately when she started bawling, and thought perhaps she was just a little overwhelmed. But no. Two months after our wedding (we had been together for over three years before we married), I became pregnant with our son. Every single conversation I had with my MIL, she would ask how the baby was doing, which was fine in and of itself, but I noted after a few more phone calls, that she would never ask how I was doing during the pregnancy. Not one question was asked as to how I was feeling, etc. Which of course, really hurt my feelings...

      For a few years, I tried very hard to make amends with her. I had never met her prior to our wedding. I literally met her the night before our wedding. Finally, after wasting years' worth of conversations with her on the phone, I realized our relationship was never going to be 'of the heart.'

      So I let go. I have no relationship with her whatsoever. Her choice, not really mine. I feel so much better for having the sense to let go of this very toxic relationship.

      My heart goes out to all those here who have experienced similar situations.

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      Anonymous 4 months ago

      My mother in law is crazy she curses me out and belittles me at every corner, she is a monster in law I don’t know what to do, why so much hatred I have never been nasty to her until she dammed me and my children who are from a previous relationship...please HELP!!!!

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      Lana Adler 4 months ago from California

      Vika, I understand how you feel, wanting to get away from it all. And you're absolutely right: trying to please your MIL doesn't work....it only causes more stress because now your well being is dependent upon approval from another person. Compared to that, avoidance is healthier. Of course, now she wants your attention more than ever :)

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      Vika 4 months ago

      This is incredible how accurate the article is. I feel this is exactly what's going on in our family. I am using the avoidance strategy now and it's not perfect but I am in a much better emotional state then when I tried to play by my MIL rules and hoped she'd accept and love me for who I am. I don't mind her spending time with her son but it seems she wants my attention more than his and all I really want is for her to leave me alone. I love my husband so much but sometimes I can't handle his family and want to get away from it all.

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      Neha 4 months ago

      My mother in law is a psycho path and selfish; she can destroy everything when thing not goes on her own destruction way. Can hurt her own child also.

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      Lana Adler 4 months ago from California

      Hi Jamie,

      I know what you mean. It's not in my nature either to be hyper vigilant...I agree, it's hard. When you're always expecting an attack, defensive becomes your MO, and it's not fun, not to mention exhausting...But maybe instead of getting defensive or hitting her back you could just stay true to yourself? You're a gentle sensitive person. Next time you feel attacked, tell her: It hurts my feelings when you say/do this. Honesty can be disarming. Peace, stay strong :)

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      Jamie 4 months ago

      Terrific article. Summed up nicely. Yes, I could be positive and say she is teaching me to be more assertive, but by God it’s hard. Her attacks surprise me every time and I curse myself for being unawares and backing down. How can one be prepared? I’m not used to being hyper vigilant. She’s too hard and I’m too soft. I’m a deer in the headlights every f’ing time.

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      Felicity 4 months ago

      Cheering you on, Cassandra!!

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      JC 4 months ago

      I’ve been in relationship with a man for almost two years. His mother is making me want to end this relationship. I love him but I can’t stand her, she’s very overbearing, judgemental and very rude.

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      Priya 4 months ago

      My toxic mil stays with us,each n every statement mentioned in this is applicable to her.

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      Cassandra 4 months ago

      I do not have any contact with my former mother in law.

      My husband passed away suddenly and she wanted to take over my life, my finances, my whole world. and show the world she was taking care of the 'poor defendless widow and her two kids'.

      She was always difficult to deal with when my husband was alive. The kids and I were not going to have any of her shenanigans, especially when we wanted our privacy.

      I have since unplugged the house phone and blocked her number from all of our cell phones. She kept calling the house numerous times to the point where it just got creepy.

      She would send hurtful texts, emails and phone messages.

      But now, she has resorted to having other people contact my under-aged son or using different phone numbers.

      At one point, a family friend disclosed that the mil had asked her to gain information on me. The mil is also checking our fb accounts to see what we are all doing. I rarely post anything, but really? At what point does is this not stalking? I have changed all the private settings.

      She even had some of her friends try to get on my other work related accounts. These are people who would not give you the light of day much less be your friend?

      I am doing my best to raise my kids knowing, that it is not ok to be taking gifts and money from a person who acts like a bully to their mom. I am grateful that my kids are also on the same page. I have explained it all to them and even offered to show them all the evidence.

      At a recent family gathering, many family members (who are on my side) have asked if I have gotten a "No Contact" court order. Now, it may seem like a good idea.

      I compromised to much when my husband was alive, he too tried to keep her at bay. He also thought, she was overbearing.

      The mil's own daughter has told me that her mom is a narcissist with a borderline personality disorder. The former mil goes into conniptions, because I dared to say, 'No' to her.

      Yes, it is sad that she lost her only son. I lost my husband and father of my children. But it still does not excuse her nasty behavior towards me.

      I will not be subservient to her.

      I am a solid rock that bends to no bully.

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      KN 4 months ago

      My husband and I were struggling and went a yr w.o a car. Taking our kids everywhere on the bus even in winter. As soon as I started working I bought a car. When I told her we were getting a new car she just looked at me. Everyone else I told said it was good a good thing and was happy for us. That’s one incident.

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      4 months ago

      I worked with my "mil" and her son my boyfriend. Met them both and work ans fell in love and started dating after a month. Before we started dating i made it clear that we needed to have a conversation with his mom first before anything were to go further as i didnt want to lose respect from her or my job. She stated she was ok. We worked over a year together. As of late, she has been very cold and uninterested in me. Putting all hee energy imto her son forgetting about all the hard work ive put into the buisness. Promised me a raise i never recieved in sept. Had a meetimg in oct. And she stated they couldnt do it at this time and would revisit in dec. I did many things for her that were not in my job description. Making calls for her art and school. Staying up till2am helping her cook for the grand opening. Putting in countless over time and free hours. Because i figured its family and im so invested in my career. I spoke with her and told her i want things to be equal. With her son myself and another coworker. That ive done many things had a promised raise and wasnt happy anymore. She fired me thru text message in a different language of 8 text messages that i had to google translate 1 at a time. I was jealous ans not working well with others she said.

      I feel so bad for my boyfriend. He tried to stop it from happening. He obviously loves his mom and the buisness. Trying to be on both sides saying its 50/50 both our faults. She was posting things on fbook about me with no names (thankgod) saying whats its like to meet a manipulative person there motives and what to look out for, and other horrible things. I know im not that kindof person. But it sure makes u start questioning yourself. Ive been so hurt and depressed over all of this. Eating feels like a chore, anxiety, crying, im just so hurt that she would just come out and fire me like that and say the things that she has said without a care in the world. And even more so...im trying to be so strong for my bf because he is hurting like crazy through all of this beimg stuck in the middle. There is obviously so so much more to all of this..but id be here forever writing lol. Thanks for listening. Its good to get it out.

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      Lee 4 months ago

      Well I'm so frustrated I have lost all hopes.. I love my boyfriend but his mother is driving me mad... we all live together and she has no boundaries she acts as if she is a sidechick... always competing and making so angry... I love my boyfriend and I'm sure he does too our relationship is always fun and exciting he takes good care of me and my daughter that's not his... we want to have a baby we have been trying for months now but nothing I don't know if it because of this tension in my head I can't relax to make this baby... I need help !

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      Kay 4 months ago from New Zealand

      The bitch MIL started when I had my first child. Partner and I asked for some simple help which then turned into complete controlling. She took over as she did everything all I was was the milk truck, even then as soon as baby latched on she would go that's enough and snatches baby away . No matter what I said it was always wrong. I never did anything with baby even when I tried I'd get you don't no what your doing. Then I got if you don't care for this baby I'll take u to court. I was shocked that she could say such words I lost total confidence, my baby didn't no me, because MIL would be right there every single time. I'll get her you don't no what your doing, baby way losing weight, and suffered from acid reflux. At 3 weeks I went and got help still then everything I did was wrong. The people don't know what they are talking about they were karitane nurses. I went there for six weeks and then the nurses referred me to a mothercraft unit. Right up to the day I went MIL said are you sure your making the right decision. I said yup and off we went. Which I gained confidence and I New my baby I so wanted to go home I felt awesome and in control. Life was great I felt like a mummy but it wasn't even 10 months and back comes the controlling cow. Baby's first birthday she packed a shit because she wasn't centre of attention. Baby would go and stay during the day with her, I had baby in a routine that worked great. Well MIL said when u walk thur that door it my rules I'll do what I want feed baby what I want. So guess who was getting confused the poor baby. By then I blew my stack and everything came out I felt relieved but now she is trying to make my life hell, telling people she is the baby's mum as she looked after baby and I'm nothing. If I could go back I would change everything.

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      May 4 months ago

      My mother in law is dead now. Throughout the whole time that my husband and I have been together, she has tried to break up our relationship because she didn't think I wasn't good enough for her family, including her son. She was looking for a certain type of woman, OR... She could have had an unnatural attraction to her son, because she used to act like a crazed side piece, and she once even asked me what was he like in bed? She also used to ask me more than once if I like my brother in law. Once when my husband and I were dating, and another time sometime after we got married. I never did anything inappropriate towards his brother, but his brother has done inappropriate things with me. Acting as if he was trying to get me to think he liked me, to try and manipulate me into trying to seduce him. I feel like it was all an act, and I feel like deep down inside he secretly liked me, too. Which totally weirded me out. But, I still feel like his mother put him up to a lot of it and then gaslight me when I approached him about it, asking why was he behaving that way towards me... Turning it around on me, making it seems as if I was the one coming onto him. It was very, very weird. It hasn't happened since their mother died at all. Now we are just genuinely cool with each other. Not besties, or anything.... But we are just nice to each other now. When his mother was alive, my husband's brother lived with us and he used to try to catch me in awkward positions, and has even caught me in the middle of getting dressed, and I had no bottoms on... He went and told his wife about it, and his wife made her comments, and it was like he was trying most of the time to make it seem as if I was trying to come onto him when it was the other way around. It was very, very strange... Now my brother in law and his family moved out of the house, and there is so much peace in the house. No one is always in our business or anything. I am so glad I no longer have to deal with those things anymore.

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