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A GIFT FOR HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW
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
"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
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
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:
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
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
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
***NOTE: Please feel free to respond to this (using
stories submission page) if you have any advice to share.
Reference this story as "Pinch Her Head Off" in your response.
RESPONSE: Response to PINCH HER HEAD OFF -
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
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
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.
RESPONSE: REFERENCE: Mortgage Paid
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!