To Help The Red Cross Click Here
Mother-In-Law Mall
A place to find great gifts!
and products related to mothers-in-law and other family members.

Back To Mother-In-Law Stories Home Page
Mother-In-Law Stories
Frequent Fry HerTM
mother-in-law stories bd10358.gif
Welcome To My World!
Age: 32    MILAge: Older Than Dirt

I learned after our 2nd or 3rd visit to the IL's to pack our trash up and take it home with us.  I was shocked the first time my MIL mailed us some very personal items that we had thrown away and told us that she had found them in the trash and wondered if we meant to throw them away.

        signed - MIL Is Trash Picker

I was raised with some very common sense rules.  Things like:  don't call people during dinner time, or don't call people after 9:00pm.

Obviously my FIL was not.  He has repeatedly called us after 10:00pm.  With the way I was raised, if your phone rang after 10:00pm it was an emergency.  I have been shaken out of bed at 12:30am by my FIL.  He just wanted to ask a question or tell me something.

        signed - Don't Call After 9:00pm

RESPONSE:  Don't call after 9 pm
Your story brings back memories -- embarrassing ones.  I had a terrible ex-boyfriend (my husband is COMPLETELY different) who would actually set me up to do stuff like that.  He expressly asked me to call his parent's house after 11 pm, which I wouldn't have done ordinarily -- and clearly, they were thrown off by that call!  I hope I never do that again to anyone.  (He also used to insist on serving me wine before events he took me to where, unbeknownst to me, NOBODY else had any alcohol -- just me, making a fool of myself!  And I'd been naive enough to trust him -- since he knew what nature of the event would be, and I, as his "date" -- had to rely on him as to what would be appropriate.)
RESPONSE:  Don't call after 9pm
I can relate.  My MIL and BIL are vampires (I think).  Neither works (they live off disability and unemployment checks) and they go to sleep at 4-5am and awake about 3-4pm.  Apparently they watch TV or play on the computer all night long.  It is so annoying because DH and I both work in the daytime.  Needless to say, we got caller ID.  If the phone rings after 10pm from their number - we either ignore the call or answer the phone like we are completely asleep.  We like to "return" the call the next morning - EARLY!  They got the hint!
RESPONSE:  Don't Call After 9:00pm
I feel for you.  MIL always calls during dinner.  2 years ago FIL called at 2am on Dec 26 to tell us that MIL was throwing up and he was taking her to the hospital, and he should come down the next day.  He could have called at 7am if he wanted to make sure we were home!!!! 

Of course, my husband got mad when I complained that he should not have called that time of day unless it was life and death and his immediate presence was required. 

It's possible she had gotten food poisoning from her own cooking, but they checked her out and sent her home.  I think they were just calling to make sure that the two of us were home and not at my parent's house.
RESPONSE:  don't call after 9pm.
My MIL wanted to come down after the birth of our baby and live with us and "help" me.  Since we had never been friends, and we both barely tolerate each other, I understandably turned her offer down.  Incidentally, she also said that she wanted to be at the birth of our baby ( i.e. in the room while I gave birth!)  Strangely, this request I also declined, being reluctant to give her the pleasure of seeing me naked and in pain.

Anyway ... she decided that the only way to get her way was to get me to admit that I was not coping after the birth.  I had an emergency c-section due to complications that threatened my life and the babies, and was not in the best shape when I arrived home.  My mother stayed to look after me until I was over the worst.  She would have stayed longer, but I am fiercely independent and felt that I had imposed on her long enough.  She lives in another city and is the owner manager of a large business.

Apart from the usual sleep deprivation, I was fine UNTIL the early morning phone calls began.  I would be woken by the phone every morning by my MIL.  The first thing she would ask was, "Are you coping?"  When I said yes she would sigh and say, "What a pity.  You know that I would love to come down and take care of you."  She didn't care that she was waking me and I told my DH to stop her calling me.  She did eventually.  Then I got an early morning phone call from a friend of hers that I had never met, who had been given my number by my MIL.  She said that my MIL had told her that I would LOOOVE a phone call.  I made an excuse to hang up fast, then rang my MUM in tears.  She told me to take the phone off the hook, and that she would send me an answer phone.  I used it until my MIL got the message and all calls ceased.

It was an insidious form of mental torture.  I will never forgive her.
Worst gift:
My MIL once gave me a wind-up jumping bunny for Christmas.  It was no big deal, except for the fact that it was the only gift she gave me that year.

        signed - Jumping Bunny

When my wife and I decided to marry, we discussed the whole name thing.  She and I agreed that she should keep her middle name and drop her maiden name completely.  Her mother had an absolute fit when she heard about it.  For months my wife would get letters from her mother that were addressed with her maiden name as her middle name.  Before we were married, all letters were addressed simply with her first and last name.  It wasn't a big deal, but it was really irritating.

Finally, my wife had had enough.  They got into a screaming fight.  For the next 2 years, all letters came with her first, middle, and last name with the middle name somehow emphasized.

When our son was born, we agreed to give him my wife's maiden name as his middle name.  It sounded cool with his first name, and preserved some heritage on my wife's side (she has no brothers).  For the first couple of years, all of his letters/packages would come with his first, middle, and last name (middle name was usually bolder or underlined).

        signed - MIL Trouble With The Name Thing

RESPONSE:  MIL trouble with the name thing
I would have you both send her back a thank you note with emphasis on some words (as she does) such as: 

Thank you for the gift.  It means so much to us that you have "rationalized" and feel "EMOTIONALLY STABLE" in letting go of this name "OBSESSION" you have with "OUR SON".  We "appreciate" you "realizing" that there are "BOUNDARIES" in "HEALTHY" in -law relationships.  How nice you aren't like other "MEDDLING" in- laws who treat their own family members with such "DISRESPECT" and "CONTROLLING BEHAVIOR"

Too late to send a thank you for the gift?
Because we no longer travel during the Christmas holidays, we are required to go to the mother-in-law's for Thanksgiving.

This year's trip was relatively un-eventful, with one exception.  Saturday morning my 2 year old daughter got up before we did and helped herself to a cookie in the kitchen.  My mother-in-law caught her eating the cookie and threw a fit.  I came through the kitchen at one point to hear her telling my wife, "That's been a rule in this house since the day you were born.  No one eats anything without asking permission first!"

I continued on down to the basement while my wife smoothed things over upstairs.  Later that morning, my mother-in-law was getting stuff out for breakfast.  She pulled an unopened bottle of apple juice out of the refrigerator.  It had stuff floating in it.  She called me over to look at it.  I asked her how old it was (I knew that she wrote the purchase date and price on everything she buys).  She said that she had bought it in January (11 months ago!).  I told her that I thought it was probably too old to serve.  She said that she would try it and see.  She poured it through a strainer into a serving pitcher and offered me a glass.  I declined as politely as I could (I didn't want to be the next one to catch her wrath).  My wife came in to the kitchen to get breakfast.  I tried to warn her without my mother-in-law's knowledge, but I was unable to get my wife to understand what I was trying to say.  She wound up having a glass of apple juice with her breakfast.

I asked her later how it tasted. She said that it tasted kind of funny.

        signed - MIL Is A Bad Apple (Juice Server)

My wife's grandfather passed away a few years ago.  He was somewhat wealthy and had left a nice inheritance.  My wife's uncle had 2 stepsons that were pretty much ungrateful brats.  The grandfather made no official mention of his grandchildren in his will so that he could avoid conflict over excluding those two stepsons.  Instead, he talked to my mother-in-law and told her that she was getting a larger portion of the inheritance.  A percentage of that portion was to be given to the natural grandchildren in the event of his death.  We had calculated that, based on what my father-in-law had told us, the amount would have been between $10,000 and $15,000.

My mother-in-law told us after the will was settled that nothing was left to the grandchildren, but that if we had any needs we could come to her, and she would try to help us out of the money her father had left her.  About a year later, she got tired of hearing complaints from her kids, so she gave each of them $7,000 and said that was all they would get.

Oh well.  At least we got to pay off the car.

        signed - At Least We Paid Off The Car

RESPONSE:  Oh well. At least we got to pay off the car.
Sounds like you're mad that You didn't get the money.  Nice that you used your Kids money to pay off your car.  Good way to invest it for their future ...
RESPONSE:  At least we got to pay off the car
This is addressed to the 1st response.  What a b*tchy reply.  If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.  The family car is probably used a lot for those kids, trips to and from school, activities, etc.  It's none of your business what they used it for.  Keep your big nose out of other people's business.
An inheritance is a gift, not an entitlement.  The vultures always come in when someone passes away!
RESPONSE:  paid off the car
When you post on a message board you are inviting people into your business.  MEOW!
RESPONSE:  Oh Well. At Least we got to pay off the car.
This is in response to the first reply:  From what I read, the wife WAS the grandchild and it was HER money to do with as she pleased.  She didn't have to invest it into their kids' future.  If they wanted to pay off the car with it, then they had every right to.  Sounds like the mother-in-law was the one keeping money from the kids.
RESPONSE:  at least we paid off the car
This is also addressed to the FIRST response -- Had you actually READ the original story you would see that it begins "my WIFE'S grandfather".  The WIFE is one of the grandchildren in question, meaning that it was the WIFE'S inheritance, not HER kids' inheritance.  Why don't you actually READ these stories before sending in nasty responses like that.  Sheesh!
RESPONSE:  At least we paid off the car
I wonder if people like you know how disgusting it is to be concerned more about money than the fact that a loved one is gone and is never coming back.  I've lost several family members, and believe me, inheritance was the last thing on my mind.
My wife and I had decided that there would no longer be any Christmas travels.  My wife was 8 months pregnant with our first child.  Her family was welcome to spend Christmas with us, but they would have to do the traveling.

They decided to come to our place for Christmas one year.  The rest of the family decided that they would too.  My wife prepared all the meals ahead of time and put them in the freezer.  When meal times came, she put the main dish in the oven and we had great meals.  She also had arranged to borrow a travel trailer which we parked in the back yard for additional sleeping accommodations.  We were house-sitting for a friend, and put my mother-in-law and father-in-law there.  Everything was planned out and prepared for.

The night before they were all to go home, my mother-in-law and father-in-law were heading out for the night.  I usually tried to give my wife and her mother space when they wanted to talk. They were out on the front lawn talking and I was in the living room watching TV.  I started hearing the volume increasing on the front lawn.  I waited for it to die down, but it only increased.  I got up and went outside.  My mother-in-law was yelling at my wife.  I told her that she had said enough.  She told me that it was none of my business and that I should shut up and go inside.  I informed her that it was my business, because I was charged with the responsibility of protecting my wife, and that at that moment she was a threat to my wife.  She said that she was her mother and that I was just an outsider and should stay out of it.  I told her that she was no longer my wife's closest kin - not any more.  When we got married I became her closest kin.  I told her that if she wanted to have a civil conversation she could stay, but if she was going to yell at my wife she would have to leave.  She looked at my wife and said with a pout, "Well, I guess you just don't need me anymore."

They left town the next day without saying good-bye.

        signed - Stay Civil Or Go

RESPONSE:  Stay Civil Or Go
Your wife is so lucky that you have a spine!  You are also correct that a husband and wife DO comprise a family - which does not include the parents.  Oh, and it looks like you won't have to visit with those ILs again for a while, partly because now you have a good excuse to not invite them!
RESPONSE:  stay civil or go
All I have to say is, see you later to that old hag! ...  Don't feel bad.  Maybe she will be like my mother in-law and just quit coming to visit!
We made the 12 hour trip to the in-laws for Christmas.  I wasn't sure what their traditions were like.  We went to bed Christmas eve without opening presents.  I assumed then that we would be doing the Christmas morning present thing in our pajamas.  We got up Christmas morning, had breakfast, and got dressed.  I was still waiting for the presents.  Around 9:30 am the mother-in-law called a meeting in the living room.  I thought, "OK, this is it.  We finally get to do the gift exchange."

As we all sat down she pulled out little slips of paper and started handing them out.  "These are your jobs this morning.  We need to get the house cleaned up for Christmas dinner.  Each of you will have their own jobs."

My job was to clean the bathrooms and "fluff the towels".

My wife and I decided that we would no longer spend Christmas at her parent's house.

        signed - I Fluffed The Towels

When we got married I was 22.  My wife was 23.  During one of our visits to the in-law's house I wound up talking to my mother-in- law by my self.  I thought the conversation was going well.  I was trying my best to be civil, respectful, and polite.  At one point, I mentioned that my wife and I enjoyed taking long motorcycle rides.  She froze in her tracks, looked at me with a scornful look, and said, "Oh, we don't let our girls ride on motorcycles."  I had to bite a hole in my tongue to prevent myself from telling her that it wasn't up to her.

        signed - had to bite a hole in my tongue

We were married at the end of November.  We had abstained from intimate relations until after marriage.  We were expected to attend the family's Christmas gathering 1,000 miles away.  We maxed out the credit cards, and flew out to my new Sister-in-law's house.  Those in attendance would be my older sister-in-law (the hostess) and her husband and 2 kids, my mother-in-law & father-in-law, and my younger sister-in-law.  My mother-in-law and father-in-law no longer share a bed (I can't say that I blame him).

There were 2 spare bedrooms and a hide-a-bed in the living room.  Guess who got the hide-a-bed ... yep, the newlyweds.  I found out that my mother-in-law had thrown a fit and demanded that she and her husband get a private room, and that it would be best for the single younger sister-in-law to have her own room.  I'm pretty sure she was just wanting to try and prevent my wife and I from consummating our marriage.

        signed - consummation prevention

I knew this was going to be a long hard road when I received the response from my in-laws to my request to marry their daughter.  My father-in-law to be told me that I shouldn't expect "permission" any time soon because her mother would need time to "get used to the idea."  The next several months were filled with vicious phone calls and accusations of pregnancy.  We were told that they were not going to pay for the wedding because they had paid for her college education.  My parents paid for the reception and we paid for the wedding.

A couple of days before the wedding my father-in-law to be asked (at his wife's request) if we would be staying around after the reception to have dinner and spend some time with their family.  I told him that we had reservations and a long drive, and that I didn't think it would be a good idea to hang around after the reception.  His response was, "Oh, the hormones are really flowing, huh?"

As we were ready to leave the reception and leave for our honeymoon, my mother-in-law came up and whispered something to my wife.  On the wedding video it looks very touching ... like mother's last words of advice or something.  Actually, she was saying, "Well, I hope you know what you think you're doing!"  That was the only time during the entire wedding festivities that my wife cried.

        signed - Only Time Wife Cried At Wedding

The Sister Knot, Apter
The Sister Knot
Why We Fight, Why We're Jealous, and Why We'll Love Each Other No Matter What

Secret Paths: Women in the New Midlife
Secret Paths
Women in the New Midlife

Working Women Don't Have Wives, Dr. Terri Apter Working Women Don't Have Wives
Professional Success in the 1990'S

To See More Books By
Dr. Terri Apter
Click Here.

           Back To The Top - Click Here

Search this site or the web powered by FreeFind

Site search Web search

All advice on this website is for informational and entertainment purposes only.  All responses are from reader submissions unless specifically noted otherwise (such as Dr. Terri Apter advice page).  We do not endorse any of the advice.  We provide it to you as a service.  We can neither guarantee the soundness of the advice, nor make any claims as to the outcome of following this advice.  We provide it for your entertainment only.  Should you choose to follow any of the advice, it is solely at your own risk.  This is not intended to substitute for obtaining advice from appropriate sources and/or professional counseling.  We recommend you consult an appropriate professional, counselor, and/or a trusted advisor before taking any action based on this advice.  B A Squared, LLC and make no representations or guarantees regarding any information dispensed on this site.

Your privacy is important to us.  Click here to view our Privacy Policy.

Copyright 1999 - 2011, B A Squared, LLC.  All rights reserved.  Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of B A Squared, LLC is strictly prohibited.  All materials submitted (written or otherwise) to become the property of B A Squared, LLC.  Submission of any material (written or otherwise) constitutes your permission for B A Squared, LLC to use, edit, reproduce and publish this material (in whole or in part) in any way it deems appropriate, and releases B A Squared, LLC from any and all liability associated with the publication of said material.

CONTACT US: To contact us for any reason, please use the email form on our Help Page which you can get to by clicking here, or email us at