While many people have fantastic relationships with their mother-in-law, for some, well, it’s simply terrible. Whether you just can’t measure up to their standards or they’re constantly interfering in your lives, sometimes a mother-in-law can make you want to scream. And, as these next stories will show you, sometimes there’s not enough therapy in the world to make things easier.
Keep It to Yourself
“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” but others simply have no concept of this. This woman’s mother-in-law had a habit of speaking her mind, which didn’t have the best thoughts floating around.
According to the daughter-in-law, it was not uncommon to hear her say: “it’s not that you’re fat, you’re just short,” or “I like you better” than my other daughter-in-law. And, lastly (and most disturbingly) “Does my son hate me? You know I didn’t want him”. Honesty is not always the best policy, sometimes it’s just undeniably cruel.
Way Too Personal
If there’s one major thing that frustrating family members are known for, it’s crossing personal boundaries. When this woman met her future mother-in-law for the very first time, in “the first 15 minutes of meeting” she lifted her shirt and asked for her future daughter-in-law’s thoughts on the strange mole that she had in a, well, very personal spot.
Yikes. Hopefully, her daughter-in-law wasn’t too traumatized by the event and she has since learned to keep private things private. Needless to say, better first impressions have been made.
Do you have someone in your life that you just can’t please no matter how hard you try? For some people, this person is their mother-in-law. This woman decided to put her maximum effort into her Thanksgiving dinner having cooked for nearly eight hours and making multiple dishes. For all of the dishes she slaved over, her mother-in-law came with duplicates of everything she had made.
When her daughter-in-law commented on the excess food she made, her mother-in-law replied that she could just put the food she made away “in the freezer” and use hers! Ouch. Talk about feeling unappreciated.
One of the greatest unspoken rules at weddings is to not wear white, but what if someone not only wore white to a wedding but wore a wedding dress! And, what if that person was the bride’s mother-in-law? Yes, this has actually happened before. This bride-to-be thought she could enjoy her special day with her husband-to-be but her future mother-in-law decided to wear a wedding dress to their wedding.
It’s really hard to give the benefit of the doubt on this decision as it seems like her mother-in-law either wanted to insult her future daughter-in-law or upstage her. What gives?
Getting off on the Wrong Foot
When a couple becomes engaged they field many curious questions about the details of the big day. But you would never expect anyone to question why you’re getting married, let alone your mother-in-law! The bride-to-be in this story was on her way to her rehearsal dinner when her future mother-in-law touched her stomach and asked if there was “something” everyone should know — implying that she was pregnant and perhaps even maybe that’s why they were getting married.
That’s definitely insulting on more than one level! Too bad their relationship was already off to a rocky start.
Her Little Black Book
Some people have a great relationship with their mother-in-law while others can barely be in the same room together. But, for those who have no interest in improving their relationship, the best way to sabotage it is through breaking the other person’s trust.
This woman’s mother-in-law made sure to stay in contact with several of her husband’s exes, even going so far as to try and step up her husband with an ex that was unfaithful to him. Sounds like a pretty awful mother-in-law and mom! There may not be enough therapy in the world to fix this one.
I Owe You
When a couple marries they are often showered with many gifts they can use or just with money that can help them as they begin their lives together. And, typically, parents are the most generous when it comes to wedding gifts. Unfortunately, this woman’s mother-in-law wasn’t quite so, eh, generous.
A week after the two got married, her new mother-in-law sent a note expressing her gratitude at being able to “pay for everything”; however, the gratitude was abruptly cut off when she also included an “itemized” list of everything she had paid for, expecting to be reimbursed.
How Good Is Your Backhand?
Perhaps even worse than an outright insult is a backhanded “compliment” that leaves you reeling with questions. When this woman was a bridesmaid at her friend’s wedding, she showed her dress to her mother-in-law. Her mother-in-law was very complimentary...of the bride’s selection. “The bride did such a nice job choosing dresses because even you look good in this!”. Ouch.
That’s definitely less than an encouraging remark. Hopefully, this was a case of poor delivery, but apparently, this wasn’t her mother-in-law’s first poorly constructed “compliment”. Maybe she’ll give her the gift of the silent treatment.
While many can understand anger for a logical reason such as unfair treatment, hurt feelings, or lack of communication, it’s quite another thing when anger in a relationship comes from completely unreasonable thinking! This poor woman was subjected to her mother-in-law’s completely illogical anger at something she has no power to control...at all.
Her mother-in-law was angry at her because she went into labor and gave birth to her granddaughter while her mother-in-law was on vacation. Does this make any sense whatsoever? She might as well be angry with her granddaughter for entering the world at an inconvenient time.
Have you ever had someone invite themselves to one of your private events? How about your honeymoon? And, oh, what if it was your mother-in-law?! Yes, this unfortunate bride was victim to a honeymoon crash when her mother-in-law knocked on her and her husband’s hotel room door at 5 am!
Was it separation anxiety? A severe case of miscommunication? Hardly any excuse could justify such a shockingly rude move. So, needless to say, this mother-in-law was thinking of absolutely no one else but herself. There aren't many other scenarios that could turn a honeymoon into a nightmare.
Wedding planning can be fun and stressful and joyous and problematic all at the same time. Family and friends often help the couple celebrate their special day including, of course, the future mothers-in-law. This bride received some unnecessary help from her future mother-in-law with her wedding invitations.
She cut her already made invitations up and glued them to birthday invitations. When her future daughter-in-law asked her to stick with the originals, her future mother-in-law became livid, told her side of the family that they canceled the wedding, and instead threw a family reunion that day. Apparently, she never apologized.
While some mothers-in-law can be great to their sons or daughters-in-law, others can be incredibly difficult to have a cordial relationship with. Some can be cold and distant while others can be very, very unreasonable and intrusive. This woman’s mother-in-law insisted that her daughter-in-law stop seeing a male gynecologist and start seeing a female gynecologist.
After explaining that she did not wish to switch, she showed up to her scheduled appointment only to learn that her appointment had been canceled. Why? Because her mother-in-law had called, pretended to be her, and canceled her appointment! We call interference!
As if family dynamics aren’t complicated enough, just add cross-cultural dynamics. When someone marries into a new culture, there can be challenges on both sides to understand and appreciate differences. This woman’s mother-in-law would always speak to her like she did not understand English, even going so far as to explain to her what limes were.
Yes, limes. She would also express undue surprise when her daughter-in-law would explain about similarities in her own country to that in America. Hopefully, her mother-in-law will soon appreciate her daughter-in-law’s unique culture and not be so closed-minded.
A woman and her husband had banned the mother-in-law from allowing one of her dogs (who was aggressive) to come to their home. It had been a standing agreement that the dog would not be allowed near their own dog or baby.
But, when the daughter-in-law had requested that her mother-in-law help her watch the baby while she was gone for a short time, she discovered (via a security camera) that she had brought her aggressive dog with her. What’s worse is that he was very close to their nine-month-old baby!
Be My Valentine?
Valentine's Day is typically seen as a romantic holiday. But this mother-in-law thought it was a holiday where her son should have given her flowers. And, when her son didn’t buy her flowers for Valentine’s Day (a reminder that this is not close to Mother’s Day), she threw a fit!
When her son tried to explain, she even claimed that her daughter-in-law had replaced her in her son’s life and that she would “never” love him as much as she did. Yikes, not only wildly rude but even a bit delusional. Mother’s Day may not be much better.
How Small Is Your Heart?
The couple in this short story decided they wanted to adopt and foster kids, giving them not only love but the best home environment they could. Well, the woman’s mother-in-law took it upon herself to express to her daughter-in-law that she should still be sure to have biological children because “that’s the only one you’ll even love completely”.
She went on to say that adopted and foster children are “other people’s kids that they don’t want”. Sounds like her heart might just be too small to understand the love her son and daughter-in-law possess. How sad.
Happily Never After
When someone close to you is rude and hurtful, it can not only be shocking, but also damaging. When she was engaged, one woman consistently heard her future mother-in-law refer to her as the “first wife”. She would also tell her son to “watch out” because his future wife would probably “get fat soon”.
And, if that wasn’t hurtful enough, she encouraged her son to have a simpler wedding so that he could still get it right for his “second or third marriage”. Sounds like she had no faith in her future daughter-in-law or in her son’s choices. Pretty unbelievable.
One woman was mercilessly slandered by her mother-in-law, even before she married her now-husband. When the two moved in together, the mother of the son told him that he was ruining his life by being with her.
As their relationship progressed, the mother-in-law told the rest of the family that she had dropped out of school and that she thought her daughter-in-law was not going to do anything with her life. The truth is that she could not afford school. Maybe if she had taken the time to hear her story, she would have changed their opinions.
What a Shame
Some couples choose not to have children for a variety of reasons ranging from desiring personal freedom to medical reasons. And, for the couple in this story, their choice had to do with medical reasons. The daughter-in-law had not yet shared with her mother-in-law their very personal reasons for them not having children but that didn’t stop her from shaming them about it on social media!
That’s right, her mother-in-law made a post sharing her frustration at having two sons and “no grandchildren? Shame on you guys!”. Ignorance certainly isn’t bliss.
Say What Now?
After a couple celebrated their one-year anniversary, they were next looking forward to hopefully having a baby. When the son asked how they should tell his mother if they were expecting, she said that she “would not be pleased” at the news because “she already has two grandkids she has to worry about constantly”.
When her daughter-in-law shared her dream about having a big family, her mother-in-law simply ignored her and continued. Too bad she didn’t tell her kids ahead of time that her role as grandma had limited space.
Make It up to Me
One woman’s mother-in-law couldn’t accept the fact that she didn’t want to wear makeup for an evening out. She knew that, as a rule, her daughter-in-law didn’t wear makeup because of her extra-sensitive skin. The mother-in-law actually tried to do her makeup, claiming that her son would never let his wife leave the house “looking like that”.
The daughter-in-law called her husband into the room and asked him how she looked. “You look great, love” he reassured her. He then became the mediator between her and his mother who was apparently gobsmacked that her son would support his wife.
Having your inlaws tag along for your honeymoon would be pretty awful and it would also be just as awful if they invited themselves along for your anniversary trip. One couple was happily sharing their anniversary trip plans when the mother-in-law piped in, disappointed “Well we can’t go! We already planned a trip that weekend with our friends!”.
The daughter-in-law looked at her in shock and amusement that she even thought she’d be invited (and was probably relieved they “couldn’t go”). Needless to say, this couple will probably keep all of their anniversary trips under wraps in the future.
One woman shared that her husband’s relationship with his mother-in-law was so broken she labeled it “toxic” and the two were past reconciliation. She was even on bad terms with the rest of his family. She tried reaching out to her daughter-in-law on social media but the husband told his wife that she was just trying to manipulate her.
The couple then cut off all connections to her and moved to a new state. A couple of days later they found flowers on their doorstep from the mother-in-law! Very eerie considering it’s unclear how she got their address.
No Sneakers Allowed
Some mothers-in-law are known for their helpful advice while others offer non-stop criticism. From parenting to cooking and even to fashion choices, some opinions are just not always helpful or needed. A twenty-eight-year-old woman decided to keep her style casual for the day and wear a simple pair of sneakers.
No big deal, right? Well, not to her mother-in-law. She asked her what she was wearing, exclaiming “at your age? Are you serious?”. Her daughter-in-law asked what she thought would be appropriate to walk her dog to which her mother-in-law replied “some elegant ankle boots...or shoes with a heel”.
This woman’s mother-in-law made a great first impression by sending a letter that she couldn’t make it to their wedding. After that, she revealed her shocking lack of character when she was upset that complications from her grandchild’s birth took too much of her son’s attention away from her.
But she wasn’t always so overt. She also accepted an invitation to dinner only to arrive while her daughter-in-law was at work so she didn’t have to eat with her.
Now Picture This
Have you ever given someone a gift that went unappreciated? Did you ever discover they re-gifted your gift or even more hurtful, threw it in the trash? That’s what happened to this next woman. An avid photographer, she created beautiful family portraits (which, of course, included her mother-in-law’s grandkids) that she gifted to her. But her mother-in-law had an underwhelming reaction to the heartfelt gift.
A short time later when they were cleaning up, she found one of the photos with her in it, thrown into the trash. It’s hard to think any explanation could justify this heartless action.
Read Between the Lines
This mother-in-law was obsessed with cleaning, including scrubbing her floors with a toothbrush. What’s worse is that she tried to push her hyper-clean ways on her son and daughter-in-law, trying to get them to clean her house by talking about all the “chores” she had to do.
While the couple used to give in to her super subtle demands, they eventually became fed up with her assuming behavior and indirect communication and decided to ignore her constant “complaints” of all the chores she had to do. Maybe she should just hire a maid?
The woman says her mother-in-law wanted an explanation “for everything”. Where she went shopping, why she went shopping, what she was cooking for dinner, how long it took, seemingly every detail. And, she would inquire every single day, throughout the day.
When she woke up, after lunch and a couple of other times. This level of communication sounds exhausting. But, hey, maybe she was very lonely or her life was pretty unexciting? She probably would have done well with a pet to keep her occupied.
Even the messiest person may have their own organized way of getting work done and living their life. The next couple has quite a rude awakening on their 2 am drive home from the airport. The pair had left their house in the care of the husband’s parents while they were on vacation.
When they walked in the door in the middle of the night, they discovered that their whole house (down to the cabinets, drawers, and shelves) had been rearranged. Not a very good “welcome home”.
The woman in this story had a very critical boundary crossed by her mother-in-law that even impacted her and her family’s safety. Her mother-in-law insisted on dropping by the house whenever she felt like it but the worst part was that she made copies of their house keys without their permission. Pretty creepy, right?
It doesn’t end there as she also believes that doors should stay unlocked so family members can visit any time — not a good idea. Needless to say, the couple changed their locks and probably hid their new sets of keys.
Who Asked You?
Meddling. Make no mistake, it’s different from “helping” someone and it rarely adds anything positive to a situation. A meddling mother-in-law is probably not a well-liked mother-in-law. One woman’s mother-in-law would grill her about her life, collecting as much information as she could so she could then offer her “helpful advice” about anything and everything that didn’t meet her standards.
Even for things as seemingly inconsequential as where the cat’s litter box was placed in the house. Unsolicited advice certainly gets old quickly. Hopefully, this mom-in-law can get a life of her own and be content with her own business.
A Bad Memory
Other than breaking someone’s trust, one of the other most hurtful things family members can do to one another is to be insensitive to a past trauma. One woman refused to eat pork due to a traumatic incident involving her pet pig as a child. Even after being together for almost 10 years, her mother-in-law paid little attention to her daughter-in-law’s dietary restrictions and would consistently cook meals with pork, even after she repeatedly explained her past to her.
She noted that other family members were conscientious about her porkless diet and didn’t eat it when she was around.
There are toxic relationships and then there are some that are downright dangerous. One woman’s ex-mother-in-law (and we’re sure she’s thrilled she’s the “ex”) was extremely hostile to her and made sure to tell her that her daughter-in-law had “ruined” her son’s life after she got pregnant.
She “accidentally” scorched off all of her daughter-in-law’s hair, even though she “was a licensed cosmetologist”...hmmm. But one of her worst offenses was when she kicked her out of the house and “set her belongings on fire”.
It’s Only a Game
If your mother-in-law happens to be the sore loser in the family, then game night can be a nightmare, or at least it was for this couple. The family was playing Monopoly when the mother-in-law excused herself from the table.
The rest of the family assumed she had gone to the bathroom and, when she didn’t return after some time, one of the family members played in her place. When she finally reemerged (from a nap) she was furious that someone had replaced her and “shook the board”, sending the money and playing pieces flying. Game over.
Don’t Be a Burden
While loving family members usually do their best to not be an undue burden in each other’s lives. But this mother-in-law must not have gotten the memo. After moving in with her son and daughter-in-law, she didn’t do much around the house to be helpful or even considerate.
The daughter-in-law noted that she clipped her toenails in the living room, rearranged the dishes, constantly burned food (which set off the smoke alarm), and parked in the driveway so that she had to move her car every morning so she could leave.
The One Kids Rule
Before this couple tied the knot, the son’s mother tried to get the two to sign a contract agreeing to only have one child. If they agreed and signed, the mother-in-law would pay for the wedding. Yes, you read that right.
It’s unimaginable where her reasoning comes from, but it’s safe to say that she definitely crossed a line. Maybe she can sign a contract of her own agreeing not to interfere in other people’s personal lives?
A Major Violation
This next mother-in-law decided to memorialize her daughter-in-law’s grueling, four-day delivery on camera. Did we mention this was without her permission? That’s right, the mother-in-law decided to secretly film her daughter-in-law’s private struggle and then proceeded to share some of the footage with people she barely knew. Yuck!
The disrespect is nauseating. Her daughter-in-law only found out about her mother-in-law’s documentary debut a week later and must have been horrified when she did. It’s highly doubtful she would have wanted the same thing done for her.
Editing the Guest List
Wedding planning is a super stressful business as it is. One woman’s mother-in-law decided to take care of the guest list. And, by “take care”, we mean she decided to invite 80 extra guests to the event! Did the couple even know these people? Who knows! But what they did decide to do was elope so they wouldn’t have to deal with their involuntary wedding planner anymore. Sounds like a good plan.
The mother-in-law then had to call and cancel the wedding for all of the guests including the extra 80 of course. It’s a wonder the couple ever came back.
The MIL Next Door
Families that live geographically close often have a great relationship. But, for those with difficult family members, living so close together can be a major disaster. At least, it was for this woman. Every time the mother-in-law went out of town she expected her son and daughter-in-law to take care of her house, without even asking politely. She would also drop by consistently, unannounced.
Sounds like both a bad neighbor and a bad mother-in-law. Family members take advantage of each other because their family certainly aren’t good family members either. Maybe it’s time to find a new neighborhood.
Not Time to Party
Having a baby is a major life change and you would think most anyone would know this, including a mother-in-law. But this poor, exhausted woman’s mother-in-law had little sympathy for her after she had just given birth. She “insisted” that her daughter-in-law put her recovery on hold and come show off the new baby at a pool party.
Unfortunately, the new mom received little support from her husband and she was nearly pressured into going. The wake-up call came for her when she realized she was still needing to wear absorbents for her recovery and finally said “enough is enough”.
Please Ask Permission
One woman had her mother-in-law pretend to take her kids for a walk while actually plotting to get the baby’s ear pierced. Piercing a baby’s ears can be a controversial topic but this mother-in-law was dangerously out-of-line. Thankfully, the store manager refused to pierce the baby’s ears, which only made the mother-in-law angry!
It’s certain that the daughter-in-law’s trust was totally gone after that and it was probably a long time before she let her take the kids again.
Call Me Mommy
Sometimes the infuriating behavior of one’s mother-in-law can be because of her own unresolved insecurities. This woman noted that her mother-in-law asked her own grandkids to call her “mommy”. That’s one way to confuse a child. The daughter-in-law was not ok with this but, when she shared the news with her husband, he didn’t see the problem.
Apparently, it was some bizarre family tradition and he also called his grandmother “mommy”. Um, what? Not only is it very strange, but it’s too bad her husband couldn’t support her in wanting to be the only “mommy” to their kids.
The Damage Is Done
One woman recounted how she and her husband had an “emergency trip” and had to leave their children with the mother-in-law. While the couple addressed the urgent situation, the mother-in-law told their young kids that the parents would never return because they were dead! What a trauma for the kids who probably fully trusted their grandma.
When the parents did return and learned about what she had done, the mother-in-law admitted that she said it as revenge for a past grievance with the daughter-in-law. Why not just address it with her daughter-in-law instead of scarring your grandkids?
The daughter-in-law caught her future mother-in-law trying on her designer wedding dress. Awkward...what’s worse is that her mother-in-law got stuck trying to get out of it and ripped the dress! We certainly hope it was an accident, though trying it on certainly wasn’t.
The cherry on top was that the mother-in-law “couldn’t afford” to pay for the dress and did nothing to mend it. Sounds like the two got off to an incredibly rocky start.
New moms deal with a whole new set of insecurities and vulnerabilities and the least family members can do is try to help out...unless you're this woman’s mother-in-law.
After her baby was born, the new mom was admiring her new baby like any mom would when her mother-in-law would say “that was enough” and to “stop looking” at her baby. She also told her daughter-in-law she had “bad milk” and it almost seemed that she was trying to make her feel like a terrible parent. Sounds like there was only one terrible parent in the room.
You would expect that the best wedding gifts of all would come from the parents of the bride and groom. This daughter-in-law had always had trouble with her future mother-in-law and their wedding day was no exception.
When the couple opened their wedding gift from her, they were appalled to find they had been given two old boxes filled with trash. Trash! Old bills, towels, dirty clothing— the works. If it wasn’t clear that the mother-in-law didn’t approve of the two of them getting married, this “gift” took away all doubt.
Blame It on the Dog
This couple stated clearly that they did not want children but it wasn’t enough for this mother-in-law. After repeatedly complaining about her son and daughter-in-law not giving her grandkids, she referred to their dog, claiming that if they didn’t have him, they’d have kids. The old dog had become like a child to the couple, but he had no impact on their family planning.
After another argument, the mother-in-law yelled at the dog and kicked him aside. When the daughter-in-law protested, she only remarked on how slow the dog was. Now imagine what she’d be like with her grandkids.
One woman recounted how her mother-in-law would not leave her young son alone at a family gathering as she spoke loud, baby talk right into his face. Afraid, the child gripped tighter to his mom, which only made her try harder. The mother-in-law then began following them around, constantly trying to touch the son and continuing to speak obnoxious baby talk.
To make matters worse, she chastised her daughter-in-law for not putting a hat on the toddler, even though the family lived in the hot South. It may be a long time before they go to another family gathering again.
Is She Even Family?
A single father recounted the day when his wife left him (at twenty-one years old) and their newborn son. The man says his mother-in-law would often mention how her daughter should not have had a baby at 21. Years later, the mother-in-law appeared on their doorstep and acted like nothing had ever happened and was offended when her grandson treated her like a stranger.
When the son communicated his feelings of pain and abandonment over his mother leaving (who was now married with two kids), she only justified her behavior by saying she didn’t “want to lose her freedom.”