Oct 302009
 

These tips for coping with difficult mother-in-law problems are inspired by a reader’s question. Her mother-in-law is causing all sorts of problems in her marriage, and she doesn’t know how to cope.

Mother-in-Law Problems - How to Cope When She Doesn't Like YouOne way to cope when your mother-in-law doesn’t like you is to read Reluctantly Related: Secrets To Getting Along With Your Mother-in-Law by Deanna Brann PhD. The more support you get, the better off you’ll be. You’ll never find all the answers to dealing with any family problem in a blog post, but you will get the support you need in a book!

Here’s what my reader said, on my article about coping with controlling parents: “What do I do about my boyfriend’s parents, who don’t like or accept me? They are very clear about their feelings for me, and it makes me uncomfortable.”

If your mother-in-law problems seem insurmountable, remember that this is a relationship conflict that you and your partner need to work through together. This may be the worst problem you face – and it may help you build a better relationship and marriage.

How to Cope With a Difficult Mother-in-Law

Talk to your mother-in-law directly. Dial up your courage, take your boyfriend’s hand, and sit down with him and his parents. Describe how you feel excluded, rejected, and disliked by them. Ask if you’ve offended them. Basically, you’re asking what their problem is – in a gentle, nonjudgmental, open minded way. Ask for three reasons they’re not comfortable with you or your relationship with their son. The first reason or two they give are excuses; the third reason is the closest to the truth.

Don’t expect your mother-in-law to change — or your mother-in-law problems to be solved overnight. People can and do change, but it’s not realistic to stay in your relationship and expect your mother-in-law problems to suddenly disappear! Generally, toxic in-laws won’t do an about face and start welcoming you to their family gatherings. Be realistic, and expect a future similar to your present situation. If you’re not currently welcome at your in-laws’ family gatherings now, you can expect not be welcomed later.

For more tips on coping with mother-in-law problems, read Should You Visit In-Laws and Family Members Who Are Hurtful?

Be kind and friendly, but not a sycophant. “Sychophant” is a fancy way of saying “suck up” or “toady.” My reader mentioned buying her boyfriend’s mother a Mother’s Day gift – this is a very sweet, kind thing to do. But her boyfriend later discouraged her from buying his mom a birthday gift because she didn’t appreciate or want the first gift. If your mother-in-law refuses to accept gifts or have you over for family events or holidays — or if you’ve done everything you can to cope with toxic in-laws — then don’t buy them gifts! Be polite, but don’t try to win them over. Sometimes the best way to cope with toxic in-laws is to leave them alone.

Don’t ask your partner to choose between you and his family – unless you’re married. This marriage tip applies to all relationships! Generally, it’s not a good idea to ask your boyfriend to choose between you and his parents. If you’re married, then your expectations of your husband and your mother-in-law is different. But, girlfriends who ask their boyfriends to make that choice may be causing more conflict than it’s worth. Coping with difficult parents or parents-in-law requires patience and wisdom.

coping with mother in law

“Coping With Mother-in-Law Problems” image by Laurie

Decide what you can live with in your marriage. Are you happy in this relationship? Can you live with your partner’s parents or your mother-in-law not liking or accepting you? You need to decide if this is a small price to pay for your relationship and whether you can tolerate being excluded from or snubbed at family gatherings. After all, all love relationships have their own unique challenges! But if you are seriously upset or bothered by partner’s parents, and if it’s causing conflict in your relationship, then you need to decide what you can do about it. And, what you can do does not include changing your boyfriend or mother-in-law.

If your mother-in-law problems are wrecking your relationship with your husband, read 20 Simple Tips for Communicating Better in a Relationship.

Remember that you can’t change anyone but yourself. Don’t ask – or expect – your boyfriend or his parents to act or think differently. After you express your feelings about how you’re being treated (or mistreated) and after you ask what you did to cause his parents to treat you this way, then you need to let go. You have to let them be who they are.

Your mother-in-law or toxic in-laws may not be able to accept you for who you are, but for your own peace of mind and soul, you have to accept them for who they are.

To learn more about coping with toxic in-laws, read How to Cope With Toxic Family Relationships.

Do you have a mother-in-law problems, or can you offer tips for coping with them? Comments welcome below…

laurie pawlik kienlenI'm Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen - Christian, bookworm, travel bug, flute player, writer, blogger, warrior princess. :-) My husband and I live in Vancouver, Canada with our cat and dogs.

What's happening in your life? I welcome your big and little comments below! I can't give you advice, but writing might bring you clarity and insight.

"I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit." - Romans 15:13

In peace and passion...Laurie

  60 Responses to “How to Cope With a Difficult Mother-in-Law”

  1. Dear Camilla,

    Thank you for sharing how you’re coping with your mother-in-law problems! It sounds like you’re doing all you can to set your boundaries and stick to them. You’re an inspiration, and I know our readers will find hope and practical tips in your comment.

    In peace and passion,
    Laurie

  2. Dear all,

    My future mother in law is nosy and thinks she is the best. When she has made a lot of mistakes, and she should not tried to pose as an extraordianry person with all her behavior flaws.

    Actions speak louder than words and she should not say a word about me, when I have behaved decently and besides more decent than her through all the stages of my life. Thanks my parents who gave me good advice and education to be able to make my own decision and do the right thing.

    This MIL is annoying basically, because she has tried to tell my fiance and I apart. She plays the victim, call me names etc. As I said, she plays the perfect, when she has done a lot of indecent things and then she says bad things about me, and gives me advice when I don’t need. Plus, she should not give any moral advice when she has not followed any moral in her own behaviour.

    The typical things that she did/does:

    1) When I met her she tried to sell herself as a nice and caring person. I thought she was like all my potential MIL, honest and decent. However, she wasn’t – She did this to be trust (but at my back, she was manipulating her son against me and telling me bad things about her son to put us against each other)

    *** Never stay alone with the MIL, because she can treat you badly and none can see this. Besides she will use every word you said to play the victim.

    2) She got involved in her son and my relationship. Saying that “she just wants to help”. Lies, she is a very controlling person.

    *****Never accept a MIL in your relationship. Set Boundaries.

    For me, the intrusion was really weird, I was brought up by my parents who educated me to make my own decisions and never got involved in my relationships, because since I was a kid they told what to look in another person. So, I was totally shocked of how manipulative this woman is/was.

    3) She often sends e-mails to her son, about how bad I am and/or trying to make him call off the engagement.

    She even said that he should not marry me, because I am not good enough for him, (well I am an educated professional, I have studied abroad, I have no kids, never being married, etc) she said a lot of hurtful things…Well, she helped me as an inspiration in a way.

    **** Look for articles, evidence about MIL destroying marriages and relationships. Then, talk about that with your partner. In my case, sadly to say, my fiance did not take me seriously at the beginning when I told that his mother was a witch, it was only until I showed him some evidence.

    So, I started to send my fiance articles about “nosy mothers in law”, reasons why mothers in law are nosy and troublemaker, and about how MIL can destroy a marriage etc.

    In the end, he realized that his mother has possessive issues, and that she is a controlling woman. Additionally, he realized that if he wanted to marry he needed to stay at the wife’s side. Because now, the birth or chilhood family will be second.

    3) This MIL is so hypocrite, she did not even have a MIL in her own life, (I am sure,any mother in law would have liked her as a Daughter in law, due to her long story), but she insists on minding my/our couple business.

    Please, don’t let the MIL destroy your relationship, protect your relationship.
    1) Never stay alone with her, Don’t let your kids with her
    2) don’t leave close to her
    3) set boundaries
    4) be polite and cordial
    5) never trust her
    6) explain your partner that he must back you up

  3. This is one of the best articles I have read about toxic in laws. It’s not about not getting on or simply getting unwanted advice from my MIL (that wouldn’t be so bad). It’s despite 8 or 9 years of trying to be pleasant and friendly and nice to my in laws and hoping they would accept me and my MIL still making nasty comments to me. I have finally figured out it’s because my family are working class, not sophisticated or well connected or wealthy that she discriminates against me. She told me in the beginning she thought I was lucky to get my husband – that set the tone for her whole attitude towerds me. She pretends to be nice to me in front of everyone, but when no one else is around she makes really nasty comments to me, attacking the food I serve and telling me I should have a job even though I have two children one of which is in preschool. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t know why I should have to put up with it anymore. It is undermining my confidence and happiness and I won’t have it anymore. I hate the advice that tells you to basically suck it up for the sake of the family. Luckily my husband is supportive.

  4. My mother in law doesn’t hate me, in fact over the years she has been quite pleasant to me, but I do notice the difference in the way she and my FIL have treated my brother in law’s two wives. They’ve been far warmer to both of his spouses, have invited them on vacations, and while I’m not treated hostilely, I do feel that they’ve chosen to marginalize me to some extent — thankfully, my husband is a wonderful man, we enjoy vacations together and have a great group of supportive friends.

    I’ve learned not to internalize it over the years, because I think the big reason for the behavior is the fact that my husband and I are childless by choice, while both wives of the brother’s have provided grandchildren. They were upset many years ago when they asked my husband, then boyfriend, in private if I was interested in having children (his response being no).

    I’ve often wondered if they even realize how it appears to outsiders, when they put numerous photos of my brother in law, his former and current wives, and the many photos of the grandkids up, and there is one high school photo of my spouse up (when we have given them photos of us over the years). My own family (who loves my husband, to the point that my mother and sister think of him as their son and brother, respectively) have noticed it as well, without me prompting them.

    It does hurt at times that they regard me as lesser because I didn’t have children, more for my husband’s sake than for mine, but I’ve learned to shrug my shoulders, get along with them well on the occasions that we do spend time together, and disengage from holding myself responsible for their behavior.

  5. I don’t know what’s my boyfriend’s mothers’ problem, she is so confusing. She acts like she likes me when i come around but then when we leave from there house or family gathering. She’ll call my boyfriend to invite him to lunch when she comes into town, mind you she has never been to our house. It just seems like she is really shaddy and fake i can’t deal with it. I really think its because my boyfriend left home and moved in with me to start a life and the fact that i already have a child does not make it better. Also when we were struggling and didn’t have much they would ask him 101 questions as to why he needs the money, knowing at the time i was the only one employeed and utilities were going up due to a third person in the household and his parents took his phone and his car so i had to lend him my phone when i went to work as well as my car. They to never wanted to give him his car back they asked why he couldn’t use my car while i was at work i mean really i can go on and on about his parents but his mother is the CULPRET…. I just don’t know what to do know my boyfriend has bought me a engagement ring she has a problem with that her only reaction when he told her was “WOW” When she was always talking about we need to stop shaking up and get married. On top of that everytime i talk to her she has a uninterested tone in her voice!!!!! And now that were going to soon be married i know its only going to get worse…. please help or give advice. I really love my boyfriend but i cannot handle his mom and his confusing attitude. oh by the way she invited me to go somewhere with her and when that day came she stood me up…. SO CONFUSED WITH HER CONFUSION!!!!!

  6. I don’t know what to do anymore.. I’m about to get marry in 2 days:0 and I have this sister in law that just keeps saying all this things about me.. That I’m cheating on her brother( my fiancé) when he goes to work then I call her to tell her everything.. She goes telling all his family all this things also she tells my mother in law… Now my mother in law believes her n even when I got my sister in law n my mother in law together. I asked my sister in law to tell me all the stuff she’s been saying to my face she started denying everything… Dat she haven’t said anything n at the end I was still the liar… They believe her even though I confronted her I know my fiancé side of the family is not gonna be in the wedding cuz they don’t like me at all cuz if her I never been in a situation like this n I don’t know what to do can some one give me an advice??? Plz

  7. My bf and I have been together for a couple if years now things moved quite quickly abd I moved in with him,now we have a baby that’s 6months old.The problem us HIS MOTHER !!
    My partner said when we first got together that he wasn’t really that close to his mum as he said they used to argue when he lived there and that it only marginally got better once he moved out,however,since I first met her I just felt she was v over powering and nosey and she always tried to make herself seem so nice and genuine that I knew it was the opposite regarding some of what she was really like and I know that she has spoken about me behind my back about lots of things.
    The trouble is we live quite close to his family and his mothers side is a close and large family I feel like everything we do us told to the whole family or posted on Facebook !(I’m not exageratonv it actually is talked about with the family my baby gets passed around like a parcel when we are all together and I dread any event I need to attend where I will need to go with my baby.my partner doesn’t seem to understand why I’m so annoyed but it’s caused many arguments as she always calls and asks him everything about our baby,what we have been doing,etc etc down to fine detail!she even sent me a text recently saying she wasn’t happy about the fact we were renovating not to her speed liking as she thought our baby was suffering for it !the way she gies about things is manipulative though and I really am now finding it so hard to even be around her.I hate the way she disregards me when we take our baby round as she completely takes over and she acts like it’s a major offence if u want to hold your own child whilst visiting them.it’s honestly driving me mad..also the other thing that bothers me is the constant comparisonsaxd by her between myself and my baby and get niece and hers as our babies are the sane age,I feel like moving so far away and not telling her where we are but my partner doesn’t understand and I do feel bad as I know he’s stuck in the middle he’s close to his family as I am with mine but my family totally respect us I just wish whenever she asked him he wouldn’t tell her everything or she wouldn’t ask I just want her to stay out if our lives as I honestly don’t feel at ease ever knowing she might want to see her grandchild since my baby has been born it’s so bad I just want a break !it’s getting me so far down..if anyone can relate or help in a positive way pls do I’m not over reacting this family is too much and his mother is a nightmare it’s seriously affecting our relationship now pls help !

  8. First of all I feel when you marry a husband the relationship is between GOD the husband and wife yes you marry into the famiy but by no means is anyone obligated to have contact if there’s such a dislike for a spouse then the hubby or the wife should keep their relationship with there spouse between the two under no circumstances should the spouse of either side tolerate disrespect from a family member to their spouse it should be addressed if inlaws have a problem they should stay away especially if when they come to visit or call they are disrespecting a spouse a spouse is first regardless Of who doesn’t likes it When you marry you are one no longer two meaning if thigs have to get done financially it comes from both spouses why should a spouse help a family member out when they are getting disrespected so much it’s crazy and to all the controlling inlaws they need to back off it may be your child first no one is taking that away but the fact that the adult child chooses to marry doesn’t give their family the right to meddle and be disrespectful its sad and people need to be very careful about how they treat people it’s also very selfish if you love s yur child you would want to see them happy. And the same goes for the spouse to not divide any family members unless they are being disrespectful then boudares have to be set and followed.

  9. Caityn,

    I met my husband many years ago, and I married him. The mother in law did not like me, still does not like me, she has given all sorts of made up stories, and altered the truth. When we had our first child she informed my huabnd that he shold get a blood test to see if the child was in fact his child. SHe had no grounds for saying such a thing. I dont know what to tell you to do, but speaking from experience, judge things for yourself. I had no one to talk to and it was hurtful. Good Luck.L

  10. I also want to say, over the years she has really not wanted to have anything to do with us, and she has no reason. She is just cold and mean spirited. I also realze it was not their to do anything to support us. But whenever thye have needed us to be of support, we have been there even with all the drama.But ML called my husband offered to assist when he was ill and out of work. It was after she collected lots of information about his situation, then she refused to do anything! SHe is a confusing woman.

  11. Also over the years, my husband did allow some of her behavior. He would try to speak with her, and it did no good. It doe not make anyone feel good to have a person dislike you and have nothing to do with ones children cause she does not like you. I think some of it is mental concerns, that she never had addressed. ML’s marrage did not last as she got married on teh rebound.

  12. I want to know if I am dealing with this in the wrong way. I have had problems with my husbands mother for years. She has lied on me in the past, has given so much disrepsect over the years, even for her own son. To get into this would take so much ime, and I dont have the time right now. Her is waht happened. My father in law died last year suddenly. He lived on his own and had left my mother in law years ago. Well during this time my husband ill and out of work. We could get no help from my husbands family, none. However my husbands mother di call me up to speak to me in a terbbile manner and to inform me what she would not assist. Okay, when my father in law passed, she and he toehr three children took everything. My husband did not get anything at all to remember his dad. There is so much to this story, you would not believe. well here it is mothers day and my husbands mother forwarded paperwork for my husband to give her all rights whatever else esle is left. The information is dated may10th that she went to the court to have this forwarded to us, by registered mail. My husabnd and I are clueless, and we do not know how to proceed. My father in law died with no will. What does she want from us. SHe has been horrible over the years. The social skilss for my husbands family is little to none. I hav tried over the years to just deal with it. But no more. Let me know what to do, there is more.

  13. I also forgot to say that im an english size 10 so i dont see how im over weight

  14. Hi All, I too have a monster mil, only i would say she has hit new levels to some of yours. She calls me by my husbands ex’s name, she has put underwear under our bed pillows thats neither hers or mine. She has dropped hints that im over weight she even sent me an email 3 days after our daughter was born saying i needed to lose weight, not to mention the fact that she totaly ruined the birth by causing rows with my husband, mother and mid-wife. She would ignore my daughter unless her husband was there. She put a hat over my daughters head and said her ears didnt need to get any bigger. Then she was calling her the wrong name saying we were pronouncing it wrong, it is my grans name so i should know how to say it. we house shared and we paid all the bills. They kicked us out 2 weeks after my daughter was born. My friend came over to see me and the baby who was 2 days old and she sat in my bedroom all day didnt even offer to make a drink. I have had abuse shouted at me through the internal door that seperates living area which they keep a key to and came and went as they pleased. She put a citric anti-bark spray collar on my dog, use to hit her, put her in the bin and shut her in a dark cupboard. I had to leave the house everyday from 8am to my husband was home from work. I use to shake and almost faint when i needed to use the bathroom in case she got me. I was and still am scared of her and my hubbys dad. There is so much i want to say, i understand how all of you feel, my hubby gets along so well with my family i never imagined that this would happen. We have now moved out and away and we dont allow any contact with us and our daughter however they still managed to find us and still keep pestering us. we no longer speak to them but she still sends abusive emails regualry and only trhis moning she left my hubby a voicemail as a parcel has been sent there for him, could he collect it when we went they refuse to give us it. Im at a loss still. My hair had started to fall out in clumps it is still patching but im getting there. Ladies hold your heads hi because our men picked us to share their lives with, they didnt pick there parents!

  15. CZ4ever,
    I know what u r going thru. My MIL is so mean and hateful. She puts on a front infront of ppl and tries to be miss perfect. She thinks she knows everything about everything and she makes up stuff about me to make me look bad. U cant talk to her about these problems cause she is right and I wrong. She doesnt like it that I do most of my work from home and thinks I should answer to her. My wife(her daugther) and I r so sick of her crazy controling ways we r now saving money to move away where we can live n peace. As long as we r around this lady we will never be happy

  16. I personally don’t give a rats but what my mother-in-law thinks of me. She should worry about how I feel about her. She lives with us because we thought it would help both us and her out by living with us. Well, this has changed recently as she thinks she can spend more money than she can afford and choose to not pay us rent. This has happened 3 times in the last 6 weeks. She pays us $1000 a month…this includes; water, electricity, gas, internet, satellite TV, car insurance, home insurance, rent, groceries, car payment, and among other things paying for her meals when we go out to eat…because she rarely pays for it. If anybody out there thinks $1000 a month is unreasonable please let me know? Because the average per month rent around here is $500 and her car payment is $286…she’s already spent almost $1000 right there. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m at my wits end…I love being home because I get to spend time with my wife and baby girl but then she’s always there and on occasion I can’t even stand to look at her. I often choose to go out to concerts or the movies by myself to distance myself from her. I try talking to my wife but it does no good because she doesn’t realize the damage she is doing to us. I don’t know if she doesn’t see it or what but I wish she would get a clue because I’m almost to the point of leaving.

  17. Hi. I need a serious help, My mother in law she pretend to be very nice in front of my husband and society but when i went to visit her. In absence of my husband, she says me bad things, she put all kind of restriction on me.. where i have to go and not, when i have to go, Even i have to ask her to visit my mom place and book the ticket so i feel bad about it. when i say all things to my husband. he get angry on me and do not talk to tome…She took all my money. she hurts me with her words but i cant speak with my husband too because he is mommy boy…please suggest me.. when i call her she says many bad things ….pls reply…

  18. Help! My MIL is driving me crazy! She makes nasty put downs to me all the time, but never in front of people, then if I bring it up she denies it and says I make things up because I don’t like her! She is right about my not liking her – she is mean and viscous. I am ready to leave and if not for my step grandchildren I would already be gone. My husband of just ignores the entire thing and does not defend me. I try not to keep talking to him about it, but I do tell him, then drop it, but I have gotten to where I will not even stay around her, I make excuses and leave. She called me once to apologize but said “I want to know how we can get past your making up things I say that I did not say”. Some apology! Oh, she lives next door to us, she treats another DIL the same to point that family has disowned them. I am desperate for help, any suggestions would be appreciated.

  19. hi all, wow! i must say i feel so sad that so many people have such issues withe their in-laws. i feel for all of you. i have a situation as well.I have been dating my boy freind for a yr en some months now, the thing is there is a girl in his life that he dated before me, ths girl has a child with another man who rejected responsibility but my boyfriend said he would take care of the child as tho it was his, thats nice of him, i have no problem with that. they broke up en we started dating his mother has head of me but we have not yet been formally introduced, the problem i have is that his mother would like her son to marry the other girl tho the son tels me he doesnt want to marry her but me. his mother likes this other girl so much, how do i get to win his mothers love as well, i would like for her to give me a chance as well.

  20. Hi I have read this article and felt that some of it was relevant so I decided to comment. I am single so I dont have a toxic mother in law but my brother does. He has been with his wife for 12 years and married since September 2011.February this year he welcomed his first child with his wife and he had an argument with the mother in law one weeks after the birth of his son and a second argument 5 days later. She was watching him and commenting on what she believes he is doing wrong and he felt she was belittling his ability as a father and she event as far as grabbing the baby out of his arms and told him he was mad. They had been staying with her because work was been done on their own house. Chaos erupted and my sister in laws family went crazy ganging up on my brother and he felt he needed helped and got my parents involved. Neither i nor my other brother got involved. We felt it was best to stay out of it and not make things worse. To this day nothing is fixed because the mother in law wont admit she was wrong and to top it off my sister in law is believed to be suffering from post natal depression and her behaviour is very strange and its down to her mother who is a control freak.She fails to realize her grandson has a father and thinks her daughter can make all the decisions about the baby.My family roughly see the baby once or twice a week for maybe an hour or two in total.We cant babysit him as according to his mother we dont know him but she wont give us the chance To make the situation worse my brother was verbally abused in his own house by his mother in law. She could not look my brother in the eye when she called him a liar. When you cant do that you know wrong but dont want to admit it. I believe marriage exists between 2 people and a third person hanging around is not good and my family needs to get the in-laws to back off.

    Its strange that in the 12 years they have known each other they never argued but when they live together for a number of days they fight. Its safe to say there are people you can get on with but not live with.

  21. Where to begin?

    Have been married to my wife for over twelve years. We have three great kids and my wife and I both have decent careers, all things considered with the economy. I love her and our kids more than anything else, of course.

    Just about the only tough part of life is having to deal with a mother in law who, from Day One, has found numerous opportunities to put me down, argue at family events, create conflict between family members and in general, to be as difficult as she possibly can.

    To give some history on her life, she had three kids with her now deceased ex-husband. He became an alcoholic during the marriage to her and I understand why this may have happened now.

    My wife’s sister lives in another state and her husband cannot stand our mother in law. My wife’s brother has been in an on again, off again relationship with a woman for years and she and my mother in law cannot stand each other. Basically, my mother in law is not happy with any of the three of us.

    I have been described by close friends as a great family man and I try to be as available as possible to my wife and kids. My wife and I both work but yet we manage to make time to go to our kids’ school plays, honor roll programs, sports events, family time virtually every weekend and in general, the kinds of things that a healthy family does with one another.

    So, what’s the problem? The short answer is..my mother in law. Whenever she is around, there is a high probability for discord and for her to manipulate situations to her convenience.

    Just to put this into perspective, here are a few examples:

    1. When our first born child was delivered, we were in the recuperating room at the hospital and my wife, my mother in law and I were having a conversation. I forget exactly what the topic was, but I clearly remember her telling me, “You’re not important anymore”. I will never forget that she said that.

    2. At her house one year for Christmas, she yelled at a family member and myself because we were not cleaning the dishes as she liked. We were using hot water, dish soap and sponges, so to this day, I have no idea what the problem was.

    3. She likes to embarrass my wife and me in front of other people. She likes to point out how rough her life is and how easy “all of these people” have it these days.

    4. I have had friends who have met her the first time, some for just a few minutes who quietly say to me later, “What is the deal with your mother in law?” after she has said or done something that is rude to someone at a social event.

    5. She is obese and has had heart surgery; nonetheless, she loves to eat fast food. On the occasional time when she may watch one or more of our kids, the restaurant of choice for her is McDonald’s, despite me asking her on many occasions not to take them there all of the time.

    6. There are frequent situations where she questions why my wife and I do things a certain way. While I feel that we don’t need to explain our family’s decisions, we often find ourselves doing so. Then, she goes into a protracted lecture about how things were done “back in her day”.

    My wife will occasionally set her straight, but in general, I seem to be the only one in the entire family who has the backbone to tell her that she is out of line. It’s gotten so bad that I cannot stand to look at her if I am in the same room with her at times.

    I firmly believe that she is upset that her children have all found significant others with whom they will spend most if not all of their lives with and she is a bitter person because of the cards that she feels life has dealt to her.

    I know that some people would say to just go talk to her and sort it out, but she is a person who never sees herself as anything less than perfect and righteous. Doing so would be a waste of time and probably would make things worse. An honest person can say “I’m sorry” when they have wronged another but I have never heard this woman apologize for anything to anyone. She is miserable in life and will likely die as an unhappy, obese person in her home by herself.

    Please let me know if any of this sounds familiar in your own situations. I just have no idea how to effectively deal with this situation. Thank you in advance.

  22. I wish I could have consulted on-line advice as a young woman. Thirty-two years into a mostly good marriage, I have to admit that the pain and damage from a pretty awful mother-in-law have been more than I would have ever agreed to had I known from the beginning what was in store for me. At the risk of being called manipulative, I think if I had it to do over again, I would take a break for a few months until the dust clears so that choices between mother/wife are apparent. This would allow a young man to mature in his understanding of why he chooses one way or another, and allow the in-laws to reflect upon what kind of love they have for their child. If it is truly a valuable connection, they will make room for someone with some differences. If not, everyone deserves to realize that and move accordingly–geographically, breaking-up, or moving on. In the sense that my marriage has survived, I guess you could call it a success. But having tried everything previously described, ignoring crap, trying to please, not attempting to please, not talking or attempting to talk on a regular basis, going for therapy, not going for therapy–I tried all of these things over the years for not a while, but for several years at a time. Really, none of them made a difference because the woman is truly personality-disordered. The final error I made was letting her move in with us because she needed help caring for her husband, a sweet, kind, gentle soul. This was the worst hell of all. Never, never consider doing this one. The one clear answer is to move the boyfriend/husband into a mature understanding of why he is making choices and what the actual compromises will be in his life. Anything that disguises that will be no favor to anyone, including him.

  23. im in a relation for 1year 4months but my boyfriend’s mother hates me like hell i dint even do anything.. She would always accuse me of possessing my bf..she is so rude n mean n alse very harsh.

  24. it really breaks my heart when i see this, i was hoping after years of dating and having my heart broken i would fall for someone who was my parents type and whos parents would also agree – but its not quite like that no one wants us together. hes a of different religion and race and his parents believe and remind him hes wasting time, my mother does also my dad on the other hand has his bits to say but none so damaging as my mom and his parents. his parents met me only twice and i believe its also his fears why that number is so low..we still decided to stay together and he sometimes worries me if im going through all this for no reason since hes easily swayed by other decisions…i often feel its just a matter of time before he starts swaying on his parents decision of me also. our biggest concern is religion; since he practices his faith and i dont there is already enough conflict in what kind of wedding there will be or what our children will follow. chances are we might be expecting but i fear so much to have children with him versus just taking all this heat myself and leaving, the last thing i want is to bring a child into this mess especially if i feel hes not YET 100% on portraying me as his wife to his side of the family. its only when we meet strangers hes introduces me as his fiance and typically he gave me a ring but its not an engagement ring at that either i guess it was a x-mas gift and the way it was given to me was on a horrible event of him lying about his ex gf. im not sure what to do if im pregnant but lately im not as happy as i hoped we could have been. im just wondering for all you women out there, as far as the torture from the in laws – is he even worth going through all that trouble for?

  25. My boyfriends mother approached him and told him to breakup with me because all im in for is to screw him over and take his money which I dont understand cause im the one bringing in the paychecks and foodstamps, she also says i overexxagerate my pain from my cyst, and kidney stone…. we are wanting to get married soon how do we tell her without her attempting to injure us both? we also think im pregnant should we tell his parents soon??? HELP!!!!!

  26. OMG!!! Its really terrible what mother inlaws are doing to us because we all tend to get into relationships with nothing but love and all you get is cake on your face.. Well I too am stuck in a more or less similar situation where,I am a Southj African woman(tswana to be correct) I have been dating this guy for almost 11yrs we have a 18mnth old daughter. We love each and were supposed to get married last year but things didn’t go as planned because of his mom. Oh well,at first things were fine she used to be nice and until I was pregnant,she never said a word or congratulated us(it didn’t really bother me because one of her daughters was pregnant too so I guess she was concentrating on her while my mom was happy for me)..The baby was born n still nothing,her son had to force her to come see the baby(in our tradition its after a month),and guess what that was the last time she came n she only lives 5 mins away from me,everytime she sees me she pretends n says she will come but a year down the line still hasn’t pitched!! When they were supposed to come pay lobolo(negotiations for marriage) and damages(what a man has to pay for empreganating a girl before marryiage) she said its just too much for her son and her and must help her support her 2 daughters(talking about 33yr old and a 25yr old both have kids)and I must take care of our daughter alone. Since then no phone call or questions about the grandchild!!! Burt in any case I have learned to accept because he is there for his daugfhter and me!!!

  27. My boyfriend’s parents live with us for free. In six months they have taken over the house. They are the worst roommates imagineable. We pay for everything. They even hide food and coffee (that we pay for) that they don’t want to share. They have a nightmare shitzu and they hate my normal dog. They run up the power bill, drink all the time, play two tv’s loudly all the time, and leave their clutter on every surface. Please dont let thus happen to you. My boyfriend promised before they moved in that no matter what our relationship would always come first and he would talk to them or even throw them out if they became a problem. Now he is saying the opposite things, like that I’m going to have to move out now because he will not tolerate me complaining about them. Our relationship is basically over and my life is temporarily out of order. Don’t believe a guy when he says he’ll put you first, don’t let your partner’s parents move in for free, don’t give up your life-long plans for them! Save yourself!

  28. Hi, I have dated my boyfriend for eight years now, and I am at a lost to what I can do. My boyfriend is rather controlling, and makes demands to my everyday life. I am very close to walking out of the relationship. I graduated a year ago, and I am doing my master’s right now. Here is the problem, every since high school I’ve worked. Since graduating from college to now (ten months), I had a temporary job and now I am not working. My boyfriend and his parents are demanding that I move into their home to get a job in the area. I can’t live with his parents because they are controlling, to the point I am told when I have to shower, which is ridiculous because I am twenty four years old. I can’t live with someone telling me that I am not allowed to visit my family either. I don’t know how to politely tell them to “eff off.” What would be the best course of action?

  29. my fiance mom wont let me around for holidays or his birthdays nothing with family functions….and my fiance doesn’t seem to care…well hes very laid back…we get along for a yr then she will kick me out of the family again…im angry at him bc its like he doesn’t care…he says she never wants to see you again…he says it like he enjoys saying it….every time she calls him it just makes me cringe…idk what to do..

  30. As I read all of these problems, and responses – as well-meaning as they are – I can tell you that as someone who’s had several mothers-in-law, I’m smiling to myself thinking, this is an age-old problem that goes back since forever, in all cultures. In some countries the MIL is even expected to “punish” her daughter-in-law (funny how it’s always HIS mother) and treat her harshly; make her wait on her hand/foot etc.. Here’s my take: boyfriends/husbands who don’t seem to “get it” that their beloved is being mistreated by his family, whether it’s his mother or sister or whoever shunning you, goes over to see them without you, has little respect or even love for you, and is telling them (with his actions) that their cruel behavior is acceptable, and you should consider getting rid of him. Would he love you if you did that to him? Of course not. He’d feel like a dishrag. If he’s the father of your child or children and there’s more at stake, I’d ask him why your little family with him doesn’t seem to be where his loyalties lie? They had all their lives to create their own families. And I’d never talk to in-laws, or prospective in-laws, asking them what’s wrong. I’d keep my distance and make them come to me. After putting up with 3 hypocritical mothers-in-law, I decided to take matters in hand and with my behavior, trained my last one to earn my respect, not the other way around. I was polite and wouldn’t speak much to her. Now that the shoe was on the other foot she had to work on getting into MY favor. There’s an Oedipal thing that goes on with many of these women and there’s nothing you can do about it. The one to work on is your guy – it’s easier for him to pretend that you are the problem, or that there is no problem, when quite frankly his loyalties should be with you. Btw I have been happily married to the same man for 23 years. It’s him, not her.