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Mother-In-Law Stories Archives 4/1/00
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Two guys were talking at work. 
"I've got a problem," said the first one.
"What is it?"
"My wife has done it to me again.  I'm supposed to buy my mother-in-law a present for her birthday, from the two of us.  And, I am fresh out of ideas.  I mean, it's HER mother, why can't she buy it?"
"What did you buy her last year?" the other one asked.
"Last year I bought her a VERY EXPENSIVE cemetery plot."
"Hmmmm, hard to top that one," said the other.
The two guys couldn't come up with anything. So the son-in-law didn't buy his mother-in-law anything for her birthday.
When the big day arrived the next weekend, she was a bit upset.  At the family gathering for her birthday, she announced out loud to everyone, "Thank you all for the wonderful gifts.  Too bad my daughter and son-in-law weren't so thoughtful!"
Thinking quickly, the son-in-law responded, "Well, you haven't used the gift I gave you last year!"

The doorbell rang this morning.  When I opened the door, there was my mother-in-law on the front step.
She said, "Can I stay here for a few days?"
I said, "Sure you can."  And shut the door in her face.

"David" was the preferred son-in-law.  So, I was called "David" (accidentally) for years ... until he deserted his young wife and three children for an even younger model.  To give her credit, she apologized in general much later.  In the end we appreciated each other, which gives you a happy ending for a change.  So those having it rough - have courage and never bite back!!

My mother-in-law was looking at our honeymoon pictures when she came to a photo of me.  It was taken on the second day of our honeymoon.  I was skinny as a rail and my stomach was as flat as a pancake.  She pointed at my stomach and said, "How many months along were you here?"
Talk about nerve!!!

Note:   This story (plus all responses) is repeated from last week due to recent receipt of a response.

I have been married for thirteen years.  Yet, whenever my in-laws call my house they never say "Hello".  It's either, "Is my son there ? " or, "Yeah, I need my son to fix my sink ."  This really irks me.  I wish I had the nerve to reply with, "Yes, he's here", and hang up.  Any suggestions ?

***NOTE:  Please feel free to respond to this (using our mother-in-law stories submission page) if you have any advice to share.  Reference this story as "Want to hang it up" in your response. 

RESPONSE:  Response to: "Want to hang it up"
I've got one word for you ... "CALLER ID"  The greatest invention known to daughter-in-laws!!  If your husband is home when his parents call, simply hand him the phone.  When he is not at home, simply don't answer it.  My Mother-In-Law also quickly asked for her son whenever she called, so now I just don't answer the phone.  After all, I am not a secretary!!  My Mother-In-Law even once went so far as to call and immediately ask for her son.  When I replied that he was outside at the moment, but offered to go get him ... She tells me that is not necessary ... I can just let him know that her other daughter-in-law had the baby!!  I should think those would be the FIRST words out of her mouth when she called anyone to announce a birth in the family!  But I can JUST LET HIM KNOW! Anyway ... Caller ID has reduced the constant frustrations this woman causes.  Hopefully it will help you.

RESPONSE:  RE: Want to hang it up!
How very rude of her!  Emily Post would not be impressed.  If you get the nerve to pretend that you don't recognize her voice you could try something like this:
You: "Hello?"
Her: "Yeah, let me talk to my son."
You: "I'm sorry, this is the Smith residence.  I think you have the wrong number"
Her: "No.  It's me, MIL".
You: "Oh.  I didn't recognize your voice & you didn't introduce yourself.  Sorry.  I'll get him"

Then, the next time she calls, do the same thing until she gets the point.  Or, you could try what I tried with my MIL
Me: "Hello?"
MIL: "Is my son there?"
Me: "Yes, OH, Hi MIL!  How are you today?"
MIL: "I'm fine.  Is my son around, I'd like to speak to him."
Me: "Sure.  He's around.  It's been a while.  Anything going on in your neck of the woods?"
MIL (getting frustrated): "No.  I really need to speak to my son please."
Me: "I'll get him now.  You have a great day!"

The reason this works so well for me is because my husband actually thinks I'm being nice to her.  That way, if she b*tches to him about me, he will defend me & say that I was just trying to be nice.  HEE HEE.  She won't dare get very rude to me on the phone because it will make her (again) look like the bad guy to her precious (blind) son.
Good luck! Let us know how the next call goes!
hee hee hee

RESPONSE:  Response to Want to Hang It Up - 
You have the answer; you said it yourself in your note!!!!  When she calls and asks if her son is there, say, "Yes, my husband is here," and HANG UP!!!  DO IT, GIRL!!!  As long as your husband will back you up, GO FOR IT!!!  TRUST ME, she will NOT just call and ask for her son again like that! (But be careful - you may be better off that she does NOT choose to engage you in conversation . . .)

Note:   This story is repeated from 2/5/00 archive due to recent receipt of a response.

I just found this page, and I am very curious to see if anyone has a MIL like I have.  She, to the unknown eye, is very sweet and soft spoken.  But, get on her bad side, and she will go all out to make your life hell, all the while being sugar sweet to anyone else around.  My husband is an only child, and until I became part of his life she was, of course, woman #1.  She would constantly tell me how my husband never put any of his girl friends above her.  When I had my daughter, she was absolutely against my breast feeding.  She said if I did she would not be able to bond with the baby.  She hounded my husband and me about this issue.  But to everyone else she would preach how good it was for the baby, and she hoped I would breastfeed.  A common trait in her manipulative and habitual lying nature.  That is just one example of hundreds of things I have to deal with from her.  When we confronted her on a HUGE lie, she just flat out said in her own words, "I am a good and honest person. You know in your heart I would never lie.  How could you say this to your own mother?"  It all came to a head at one point and I blew up at her.  And, of course, she exaggerated to everyone what was said, and had my FIL right in the middle.  Then, of course, comes the part when she calls my husband and says she is more important to his life than I am, and he better straighten me out or get rid of me.  This went on for 2 years.  We have come to an unspoken truce.  Yet, I still hear about lies she tells about me, and have to deal with her everyday lying and trying to manipulate me into her way of thinking.  I try to just blow her off, but at times it is all I can do not to pinch her head off.  Anyway, thanks for listening, and I look forward to any feed back or suggestions.

***NOTE:  Please feel free to respond to this (using our mother-in-law stories submission page) if you have any advice to share.  Reference this story as "Pinch Her Head Off" in your response.

I can't believe how much like my own MIL yours sounds! (My heart is at the same time lifted and broken to hear so many other women have problems similar to those I have suffered with my MIL.)  I don't have an answer for you - I can only tell you that it helps me that my husband is willing to stand up for me whenever I ask him to, and that usually makes her back down (though she usually pays me back tenfold somewhere down the line).  Also, it helps to stand up for yourself.  I used to just shrug it off, but now I give it right back.  I tried giving it back to her in honest and direct terms, but she only twists my words against me.  I find that what she does seem to respond to is a taste of her own medicine.  If she picks at me or insults me through double-entendre, I shoot one right back.  If she moves my furniture without asking, I get right up and move it back without comment.  These things usually stun her into silence, and I have a good, long, hearty chuckle to share with my friends!  Good luck to you!

My MIL is the most insane person I have ever had the misfortune of meeting.  I will only list some of the highlights of the things she has done to me in the past, because listing them all would fill the site.

When we finally decided on where we were going to go on our honeymoon my wife called her mom to tell her that she (my wife) was going to be able to fulfill her lifelong dream of swimming with the dolphins (the mammal not the team).  Her mother immediately asked if we had made reservations for her (my MIL) and her boyfriend.  After some confusion it became clear that she intended to come with us on our honeymoon!  When my wife said that she couldn't come with us her mother became angry and hung up on her.  It was almost two weeks before her mom would speak to her again.

During the two weeks she went to all of my wife's friends and told them that I was abusing my wife, and that was why they were not speaking.  I was confronted by someone I had never met on the day of our wedding who wanted to fight me due to the horrible lies my MIL had been spreading.  After I calmed the man down and got the whole story he started to understand what was actually going on.  My MIL is an episode of Jerry Springer (minus the sex) waiting to happen.

Heaven help me with my loss of good sense, but over recent months, I've allowed myself to be enjoined in a couple of e-mail wars with my MIL.  I will share with you one such debacle, which seems just the place for it.  The day after having had a chuckle with my MIL, by phone, over my husband's occasional absentmindedness, I received an e-mail from her in which she now, suddenly, "gently" chastised me for having made noises of mild dissatisfaction over some of my hubby's recent exasperating but harmless foibles - driving a perfectly dry car directly into a flood (the car was OK, and so was he), driving 2 hours to bring to our brother and sister-in-law our daughter's old crib for their imminently due child, and forgetting to bring parts of it that were right next to the parts he took, etc.  She scolded me for failing to appreciate how much her poor son has on his mind and how hard he works (I am formerly an executive career woman who has in the past six years been an at-home mom ,and have in the past two years started my own business at home, with my husband now the primary "breadwinner"), and how much he has done for me and my parents (rest their souls, they were both very ill at the end of their lives which came 8 months apart).  The kicker is, my MIL actually BLIND CARBON COPIED him on her e-mail to me, as if to make sure he would know who of us was the shrew and who was his real ally!  My poor husband has suffered enormous frustration and humiliation at his mother's antics, but this ticked him off plenty!  I mean, the woman tried to create friction in our marriage (not a singular occurrence, mind you) - how could she possibly think that she would be doing her son a favor???  SHEESH!

This is a really cool website.  I was really amazed when I read the letter about the MIL calling to announce a birth in the family, but asking for her son, instead of telling her DIL who answered the phone.  My MIL did the exact same thing when my SIL had her last baby.  It's nice to know I'm not crazy.  I find that the best way to deal with an obnoxious MIL is to always look your best and act totally in love with her son when she's around.  Of course, it took me a really long time to figure this out.

I have a doozie of a mother in law.  I cannot begin to tell you all of the things she has done to me.  I don't know how someone can seem so sweet and then be so incredibly selfish and cold.  When my husband and I were dating, she always talked to me about how I need to take care of my skin so that I can look young like her.  Come to find out from my sister in law that she has had TWO FACE LIFTS.  She also constantly recommends that I try her diet.  Then, when we told her and my father in law that we were getting married, they tried to talk us out of it.  She bought me this little children's book that makes sounds when you push them, it is a Disney book because I used to collect Disney things.  So I am reading it in the den of their house and my husband is pressing the buttons, and after I leave they have this huge discussion with the whole family about how I "completely humiliated" my husband, and that I have "absolutely no respect for him".  At our wedding, she wore B L A C K.  She is constantly trying to clean my house when they come to visit, and then checks everything when they come back to make sure I haven't messed it up.  If she ever calls to ask me something and doesn't like my answer, she calls my husband as soon as we hang up and asks him.  This is so childish!

When my baby was born, she seemed to get very upset and argumentative when anyone said he looked like me, and still does to this day.  I have told her at least TWENTY times that we don't cover the baby up with blankets because that is how so many babies died of SIDS, instead we dress him warmly.  WHAT DOES SHE DO EVERY TIME SHE VISITS?  After we have gone to bed, she sneaks in there and covers him up!  One morning I woke up and he was crying because he was all tangled up in a comforter!  Even my husband has told her, and yet she refuses to pay us any mind.  She acts as if she is the mother of my child and wife to my husband.  For Easter, she brought my son marshmallow bunnies and was upset because I wouldn't let him have them.  HE HAD JUST STARTED BABY FOOD STAGE 1!  She kept trying to feed him, and I swear she would have given him a bite of steak if I hadn't been watching!  When my husband and I mentioned that we might take our son to Disney next year, she quickly informed us that we couldn't take him because he would be too young and we would have to leave him.  AND YET, SHE EXPECTS US TO DRIVE EIGHT HOURS TO VISIT HER.  She gets pouty and gives us such guilt trips for not coming to visit.  That drive is very difficult for a baby, and not to mention us!  She and her husband travel constantly.  Practically every weekend they are somewhere else.  Let them come here!  But then, that is not the greatest thing in the world either.

She went on and on and on for months about how we needed a sofa sleeper for them to sleep on when they came.  So, with a new baby and not much money as it was, we managed to come up with enough to buy a sofa sleeper so she would hush.  What does she do?  COMPLAIN THAT IT IS NOT COMFORTABLE AND THEN SLEEP ON THE COUCH!

This is just a drop in the bucket, I know others have it much worse, but my problem is that I don't want to hurt her feelings, which tend to get hurt very easily.  I am trying to get over this since she has no consideration for mine.

I have recently learned one very important thing.  I married my husband, NOT his family.  I had never seen it that way until recently.  Now I know that I don't HAVE to pursue a relationship with her.  All I have to do is be cordial and polite.  And if sometimes my hand gets a little numb when I see it is her calling on caller id and I cannot answer the phone, then that is okay too J.

RESPONSE:  Response to Doozie of a MIL who wore BLACK to the wedding - 
My MIL wore a VERY uncharacteristically conspicuous low-cut wispy red dress with white polka dots (she usually dresses in earth-tone linens!), and was so full of valium I though she'd fall over!  By the way, your MIL tops mine.  Each incident you told tops the prior one - DOOZIE is an altogether too-kind way to describe your MIL!  My heart goes out to you DESPERATELY.  I only hope your husband takes your side.  That, and my own sheer determination, is the only thing that has kept me from losing it totally where my MIL is concerned!

My MIL is a great lady.  She is what I always wanted in a mother but never had.  She treats me as if I am one of her own children.  Which is good not bad!!  She calls sometimes just to see how I am doing.  Something that my mother never does.  She is a great friend that I can talk to whenever I need to about whatever I need to talk about.  She is a great grandmother to our daughter.  She is just a wonderful person and I thank the Lord that she is my husband's mother.

Note:   This story (plus responses) is repeated from two weeks ago due to recent receipt of a response.

My future MIL is a tyrant.  She is so possessive of her son that she brainwashes him until I can't get him to agree to anything.  It took two years for him to get up the courage to tell her that he was going to marry me.  She convinced him as a child that marriage was bad and that he should never leave his mother.  Well, we are finally engaged with the date set and the church and reception hall booked.  But the latest crisis is that she doesn't want him to move out of the house!  We have to put our future on hold because she doesn't work, and she takes money from her own son to help "pay the mortgage".  Mortgage?!?!  Then why does she spend hundreds of dollars on wall hangings, Christmas decorations and other things that are not that important.  She gives him a sob story that she will be out on the street if he doesn't give her money.  Meanwhile, I haven't bought myself a new pair of shoes in about a year, because I am saving money so that we can move in together to our own place after we marry!  I know the next thing will be that we are not allowed to have kids until she says so because she thinks she's too young to be a grandmother!

***NOTE:  Please feel free to respond to this (using our mother-in-law stories submission page) if you have any advice to share.  Reference this story as "Mortgage Paid" in your response.

RESPONSE:  RE:Mortgage Paid.
My situation is not quite as bad as yours, but my husband (one of eight kids) supported my MIL for almost fifteen years before we married.  She still looks to us for support.  Her family and the other sibs support her in this effort (none of them want to do it).  It has taken years to "wean" my hubby off his bad habit of giving our money to his mom, but I have made some progress.  Here are some suggestions: put as much in your name as possible to keep him out of temptation's way.  Keep him in the dark about finances so that you can save as much as possible for you two while letting him believe you are nearly broke.  When he starts in on how bad he feels for his mother, start doing some exaggerating of your own about what you need and how bad things are for you. (Don't ever put her down, just use her tactics.  If it works for her it may work for you.)  Finally, act toward her in a very loving manner even if it galls you.  Try to get her on your side as much as possible.  Do nice things for her, flatter her.  If all else fails, go ahead and make promises and then just let the ball drop.  Ooops, sorry Mom.  We ran out of money, guess you'll have to pay for your own trip to Hawaii! (After a couple of times with this tactic, she will stop asking.)

My mother in law even moved in with us once.  I put her to work around the house and wouldn't budge an inch on a single issue without my husband's being involved.  She had little chance to work her "magic" because I would make sure there was a conference about everything.  I constantly cried poor mouth too.  She got sick of it and moved in with her sister.

Just be sweet as sugar to her and never have a bad word to say.  Even if she has something nasty to say, just smile sweetly and say, "Now, Mom, you know you don't mean that.  Please let me get you some more cake."  Get control of the finances and force her to be above-board in all her dealings.  Ask a lot of questions, bluntly.  That usually changes the subject quickly.  If she breaks out the croc-tears, stop any discussions immediately and take her in your arms and say you will talk about it later.  Never try to persuade or argue with a crying mother-in-law!

Maybe I sound like a brown-nosing phony, but I have found it is better to go with the flow than to try to turn the tide.  Complaining makes you seem shrewish, and your husband will respond in kind.  When MIL is drowning in sugar, believe me, she will either start looking very suspicious to your hubby or she will just go away.  You are as smart as she is, don't let her beat you.  He is your man, and for his own good, give the man a life!  Good luck!

RESPONSE:  This is for the woman who is about to Marry the guy who's mother controls him and doesn't want him to move out.  Run.  Run away as fast as you can.  I am a man who's first FIL had similar control over my first wife.  The first year we were married, she informed me that I couldn't claim her on our taxes ... because he was going to do it on his.  To avoid an argument, I let it go.  I should have seen it coming ... when we were planning the wedding, I wanted to pay for things ourselves ... but her parents were offended ... so they paid for everything ... and they made all the decisions ... and told me what kind of tux to rent and when to show up.  When I was unable to go home with her during the holidays because of work ( I was a law enforcement officer, and had to work) they suggested to her that I was not really working, and was probably spending the holidays with "someone else".  This was a recurrent theme for us ... right up until her dad and brother showed up with their pickup trucks to pack all her stuff and take her and our daughter home.  I allowed them to leave with her ... my daughter stayed with me.  If your boyfriend can't muster the intestinal fortitude to strike out on his own with you and stand by your side in your defense ... you should find someone else ... it will never ever change.

Unless your husband-to-be is FULLY prepared to DEFEND you (and himself!!!) against his mother's intrusions and disrespect, I sadly must tell you that my advice is to RUN, far and fast, without turning back.  I have a terribly intrusive, critical, possessive mother-in-law who does everything to undercut my self-esteem and peace of mind.  What saves me from complete despair (and even greater damage than she has already done to my feelings) is that MY HUSBAND IS ON MY SIDE, and is prepared to cut her at the KNEES if she goes too far!

I had the mother of all mothers in law.  At the invitation of my (now) ex-wife, this glorious woman came to live with us less than three months after we moved in together.  Here's some highlights of our time together.  She lived on welfare because she suffered from every ailment known to man, including the good ones like "chronic fatigue syndrome".  Her main occupations were playing cards and drinking tea.  She also had a fondness for psychics and fad diets.  She decided to re-unite with her estranged husband who had been recently released from a maximum security penitentiary where he was serving a sentence for second degree murder.  He moved in with us too, and when they split again, he moved into our garage.  He liked to gamble, and I remember him coming home one morning with a big rug rolled up on the roof of his car - booty from a card game.  Then, she encouraged her psychopathic son to quit the army and come and live with us too.  Now there was a man.  He had a passion for hookers, glue-sniffing, and guns.  One time I found a loaded rifle on his bed.  "The dog could have stepped on the trigger" I protested, but she refused to criticize her wonder boy.  This trained killer almost murdered me one day, grabbing me in a chokehold in front of the bathroom mirror.  I saw pure pleasure in his eyes as he slowly tightened his grip around my neck.  It was interesting that my mother in law had the bright idea of me taking out a life insurance policy on myself (something my ex eventually nagged me into doing).

There's more:  Psycho's alcoholic ex-wife moved in too.  Then left.  Psycho started feasting heavily on my beer.  When my sister came for a two week visit, he knocked her up.  Oh, and at one point I was the only one with a job.  No matter how I pleaded with my wife, my mother in law, or any of them, I was wrong, I was imagining things to be worse than they were.  Now, years later, I ask myself, "what could I have been thinking to put up with all that?"  I have no answer.

My MIL is too cheap to make a long distance call from across the country.  My husband has a toll-free number at work ... She speaks with him more frequently than her own husband.  I guess I'll never need caller ID!


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