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Mother-In-Law Stories
Archives 7/15/00
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After reading so many stories about the MIL insisting on being in the delivery room for the impending birth, I had to give you the flip side.  When I became pregnant with my first child, my MIL wanted to be very  involved.  And that was okay.  She provided a lot of support and advice, and made me feel that I was an important member of the family.  The Dr. had given me a due date which I passed on to the IL's, expecting MIL would be thrilled, since the date was her birthday.  Ha!  Unbeknownst to me, the family reserved a cottage for their summer vacation, and insisted that my husband & I make the 4 hour trip.  After all, we needed to relax too.

Yeah, right! The week that they reserved was the week I expected to give birth.  My MIL insisted on speaking to my Dr. to get the go ahead & make the trip.  She was absolutely livid when the Dr. explained that I could not drive 4 hours for a variety of reasons, most important of which was that, if I went into labor, I most likely would have the baby on the side of the road.  MIL was all syrup when she said that she understood, & of course she wouldn't dream of jeopardizing my health or that of my child.  But that didn't prevent her from insisting that there wasn't any reason on earth why my husband shouldn't go with them.  So he did!

Thank God for my mother.  She stayed with me, & made sure that I was not alone.  My BIL (married to my husband's sister) read the riot act to my husband, and pointed out to him that if he had done the exact same thing to his wife, the IL's would have crucified him.  He made my husband realize that he had made a colossal error in judgment, and that he should hightail it home with all speed.

My husband made it home with time to spare.  The baby arrived 2 days later, and my IL's didn't think that I would mind if they stayed on (after all, they were paid up 'til the end of the week). They didn't bother to call me at the hospital to offer their congratulations, or send flowers.  They did manage to go out of their way & stop in at my house on their way home to see the baby.  MIL didn't want to stay long, because she was tired & hungry.  I later learned from my BIL that she was angry because I  "insisted" that my husband cut his "much needed" vacation short & come home.  On the other hand, had I had the baby without him, I would have been selfish and inconsiderate.  Either way, I couldn't win.

  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 "Can't Win, Either Way" in your response.

If I ever meet the person who invented Caller ID, I'd kiss 'em on the lips.  My MIL is the reason it was invented.  She uses the phone as a weapon.
My husband and I have been married for nearly eleven years, and he's the greatest ... except when it comes to his mother.  He will never criticize her to her face.  She lives about 10 miles from us (bummer), and I think five days have gone by in our marriage where she hasn't called.  She'll call at inconvenient times (like dinner, early on weekends, late on weeknights) and always ask the same question: "What are you doing?"  It's a control thing, but if I see her number come up, I don't answer.

The capper was Christmas 1993. We agreed to have lunch at her house and dinner at my grandmother's, about 20 miles away.  Grandma told us to be there before 6:30, since my cousins were visiting from out of state.  So ,it's about 4:00 and we get up to leave.  The MIL acts surprised at this, as though we hadn't told her this several hours ago.  Then, she asks for a ride to her sister's house, which neither of us know how to get to.  Of course, she has to call her sister and tell her she's coming, and, after a few false starts (one of which involved my wrapping a gift for her brother-in-law -- nothing like waiting until the last minute, right?) By now it's pitch black and I have no idea where I'm going.  "Did you pass the park?" she asked.  I replied I had, about half a mile back.  "Well," she replied as though I should have known, "you SHOULD have turned right there."  I slammed on the brakes and said, "Thank you for telling me now."  We finally found the house about an hour later, and this -- person -- has the nerve to ask us to come in "for a minute"!  I couldn't peel out of there fast enough, but due to her inconsideration, I missed seeing my cousins by about an hour.  Would you believe my husband was angry at my irritation?

Since then, she's pulled other fast ones like this, but I've learned to say NO to her -- hang in there, it gets easier!

  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 "Learned To Say No" in your response.

So much to tell, and not all of the web space in the world is enough.  How about just the recent events?  I'll start by telling you all that this woman isn't even my official MIL yet, (not until January) but I'll just call her that for this "rant".  First of all, she complained about my friend bringing her 1 month old son to a birthday party "with all that noise" (the baby slept through 90% of the evening, and when he wasn't sleeping he was eating).  At that time, she told us that (bringing a little baby to a party) "if you two ever do something like that, I'll kill you both".  First of all, we don't plan on children for quite a few years yet, if even at all, and here she is telling me how to take care of them already.  Second of all, my friend felt totally comfortable bringing her little boy to the party, and she made the choice to do so, because SHE is the baby's MOTHER, and here comes this one (MIL) making her sound like a bad mother for that, and THEN telling us that we better not do it.  Well, I can see how it's going to be when we do finally have a kid.  This, and several other "comments" about our future children (like how she's going to spoil them) have made us decide that our kids will have very little time alone with her. My husband-to-be also feels this way, unfortunately.  He grew up hearing all sorts of terrible talk (from her) about his father.  They've been divorced for a very long time, and my hub-to-be gets along very well with his dad.  Despite all the bad talk and manipulation on his mom's part, he loves his dad very much, and he doesn't want his children to have to hear all the bad things that he and his brothers grew up with.

And then there's our wedding. She's hollering at us that we have to arrange a formal portrait of just her kids.  Meaning the bride (me) has to step out of the pictures she's paying about a grand for. (Yes, I did read that story here on the homepage about the bride being asked to get out of her own wedding pictures, and there's no way I'm going to let MIL pull that one either)

It's not so much that she wants this done, it's that she downright demanded it!  Instead of asking us, "Do you think we could arrange ..." or "Would it be ok if ..." she said, and I'm quoting exactly, "I want that picture and I WILL get it!"  She just may have gotten what she wanted had she not come on in such a demanding way.

My (wonderful) fiancé has said that he is going to talk to the photographer and explain that he (the photog) is to take direction from no one but the two of us (we ARE the ones paying for it, after all).

We tried to give her the choice of how she wanted to be announced at our reception dinner (after the wedding).  Her choices were A.) announced by herself or B.) have her brother or another family member escort her.  She chose HER EX HUSBAND (his dad).  We said "no" because he HAS a wife (of 16 years) and will be announced with her.  She went nuts at the mention of us actually including his dad's wife in our wedding.  The two of us get along fine with step-mom, and we like her, so we don't want to exclude her from the wedding (and we're not going to).  After that, my fiancé basically chose for her that she will be escorted for dinner announcements with her brother.  He decided that, since she insists on an option that was NOT open to her, she loses the option to choose.

This goes on all the time.  She's constantly trying to tell us what to do.  We don't actually listen to it, or do those things, but I'm so bothered by the fact that she has so little respect for her son that she comes on with her demands all the time.  He and I are a team, and we ARE about to be husband and wife, not to mention we're actual GROWNUPS, and she treats him (us) like any choice we make is stupid/bad/wrong just because she doesn't agree with it.

He tells me just to ignore her because, ultimately, WE make our own choices, etc.  And I know he's right.  But it's so hard to ignore a lot of it!  It just bothers me because I know that, anytime I open my mouth to stand up for us, it's more and more likely to cause long term problems, and I don't want to put my hub-to-be in the middle of that.  But, at least I know that I'm doing it for us, and I know that we are making our point, whether she listens to it or not.

I'm lucky enough to have a (soon to be) spouse who can see through a lot of the garbage that moms sometimes pull.  From all of the stories I've read here, I know that a lot of you aren't as lucky.

  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 "Doing It For Us" in your response.

Frequent-Fry-Her Highnote PageWhen my SIL had her baby, of course she had the longest, hardest labor and birth anyone has ever had!!!  MY MIL & FIL, along with her M & F and her B and SIL, all when to the hospital, and the first cramp she had and finally were asked to leave her room by the hospital staff.  They kept asking where the doctor was, and didn't they know that she was having a baby?  She's in a lot of pain -- can't they give her something?  The staff told them she's having a baby, and all that was normal.

My MIL called us as they were leaving for the hospital, and was appalled that we weren't going to the hospital too!  My husband and his brother worked at the same place, and my husband would have to do my BIL's job while he was off, in additional to his own.  She pouted a while on the phone, and then asked us, "Do you even want us to call you when the baby is born?!?"
Entry for Future Frequent-Fry-Her PageMy SIL had the whole family with her when she gave birth to their son, and my MIL & FIL sucked it right up.  My husband and I, however, believed that the birth of our son was a private matter for just the 2 of us.

My MIL was absolutely livid, and wanted to know if we would at least call her when we went into labor.  We said no, we would call after the baby was born. (we knew she would come anyway if we called her during the birth).

Well, we ended up having a C section, and we made sure the staff did not let my MIL or FIL into the room in case they showed up.  Our son was born in the early afternoon and taken and put on oxygen immediately.  I, at least, got to touch him, but it was limited because I was strapped down.

Well, MIL arrived just as my H was getting our son from the nursery for the first time, and took him from my H and held him.

My husband was carrying our son when he brought him to me, but imagine my frustration, anger and hurt when she announced to the room (both of our families) that she got to hold him before my family did ----- INCLUDING ME!!!!!!!

You can bet that's the last "first" she has had with our son!
Frequent-Fry-Her Highnote PageMy mother-in-law has a problem with any number higher than 1!  She has 2 sons, and 1 is her favorite -- 2 daughter-in-laws, and 1 is her favorite -- and 2 grandsons, and 1 is her favorite: Unfortunately, my husband, myself and our son didn't qualify for the favorite category!

Whenever the family wants to do anything - we do what the favorite son's family wants to do, even if it won't work for all of us.  For example, 1 grandson is 5 and the other 2.  That's a pretty big age difference, and our son is too young for many things --- oh well! 

The trouble is, if we speak up and say we can't go, they really don't care, and go anyways.  I guess they didn't want us in the first place.  I just feel really bad for my husband.
My mil comes to my house and puts down everyone in the family, everyone.  Then she tells me she hates the way I have my kitchen, so she went out and bought blinds to go in the bay windows, (which I had just bought $200.00 worth of curtains) which she hated.  I was informed last week that she would be by this weekend, and she wanted to see those blinds up.  She hates my sister in law so much that it makes her sick.  My sil has 2 kids by her first marriage, and mil hates those kids and tells them so to their faces.  But, she loves the 3 kids she has with her son.  This woman is so evil, nothing anyone does is good enough for her, even naming our children.
I feel for all who have to come to this particular site to get relief.  I am with you all the way.  My MIL is the only thing in my life that gives me ulcers.  She is a monster.  She is controlling and overbearing, and I'm sick of it.

She never liked me from the time my husband and I started dating.  My husband had two little girls from his first marriage.  When we met, the youngest was only 4 months old.  My MIL used to tell me that I couldn't hold her, because then the baby would want to be held all of the time.  Then she proceeded to tell everyone that SHE raised those two girls, which was a bold face lie.  I'm sure that she tells everyone that she raises our children, too.  She just wants to feel a part of things that are beyond her reach.

The day I had my son (while I was in labor) she refused to come in the room to check on me because my family was in there.  She even tried to ruin the day of my child's birth.  What kind of person does that?  Am I crazy, or what? 

  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 "Am I Crazy, Or What?" in your response.

You guys have helped me with a lot of problems, and now I have a different family problem.  My father, much loved by the whole family, recently passed away, and a lot of the relatives on my dad's side (not exactly invited) came back to the house after the funeral.  We thought it was a day filled with trust and good will -- even a lot of positive growth, and it seemed like it drew us all closer together.  But, after they were gone, my mother and I and my husband felt deeply hurt and betrayed to notice that an ornamental item belonging to my mother, much loved and valued by her (and kept on a high shelf) had disappeared.  It was something several of these relatives had admired in the past, nothing anyone else would even notice.  One of my cousins in particular (ironically, the richest, most sophisticated of them all) had been hounding my mother that day to give her things -- it seems so insensitive, in retrospect, to harass a widow like that on the day of her husband's funeral.  My mom suspects that she took it.  But we are deeply hurt and saddened by this.  We HAD wanted to give these nephews and nieces of my dad mementoes to remember him by, and we were eagerly, and not ungenerously, planning to give them some of his things.  My mom's item might have been taken as a memento of my dad, the person taking it not thinking that it belonged to my mom, not my dad, and was treasured and loved by her.

What should we do?  More than anything, we want peace between us and the relatives.  This is a volatile time, and we don't want any grudges or family feuds to start.  But, frankly, I really hope I never have to see these cousins again -- especially since we now have pretty convincing evidence that we can't trust them not to just take things.  It's been a real heartache, and I'd welcome your thoughts and suggestions. Thanks ....

  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 "Stolen Treasure" in your response.

RESPONSE:  This is a response to Stolen Treasure:
My heart goes out to you.  My sympathies for your loss.  What a horrible thing, to have to go through all this additional inner turmoil on top of everything else.

Your story really struck a nerve with me, because the same thing happened to me when my mother died.  Our house was descended upon by relatives and friends (and who knows what else - I did not even know half the people in my own house, sometimes).  When it all finally ended, we were missing many, many things.  I cannot begin to understand what goes through people's minds when they do something that selfish.  Our photo albums (which I had spent years of loving time creating) looked like Swiss cheese.  Mom was living with us at the end there, so she had her own bedroom set up with lots of her things in there.  Many personal items (that I know for a fact were there) were missing.  She had some personal correspondence (nothing major, some postcards she did not wish to part with) that disappeared.  Jewelry, of course, disappeared, as did several other personal items.

I was devastated at the time.  But ... eventually, I began to realize that these greedy, sorry excuses for human beings could never take away the most valuable possessions I had - my memories of my mother.  Everything else was just "things".  Some valuable, some not.  Maybe they were taken out of greed.  Maybe they were taken out of some need to have something to remember mom by.  Maybe they were just taken inadvertently during confused moments of grief.  Who knows.  I try to think the best of people, yet I am certain that at least a few (and I know exactly which ones, and I even have some proof) were just, simply, greedy.  I believe they figured, mom had no further need for this, and they decided they were more deserving of it.  Pettiness and jealousy!

I thought of a hundred different ways to retaliate.  Public embarrassment, private confrontation, legal action (one legal source even said I was likely to win!).  But, ultimately, I decided to just let it drop.  It seemed to me that, for me, the best course was to follow what I thought my mom would want most.  And, she always preached the importance of harmony amongst family and friends, and made many personal sacrifices to keep the peace.  So, in her honor and memory, I came to peace with the situation myself.

And, that is my advice to you.  What would your dad have most wanted you to do?  I think you will find that, if you follow that road, you will feel best about how things end up.  And, if anyone ever asks you why you reacted that way, you can proudly say, "Because, that's the way Dad would have liked it."  Good luck.
RESPONSE:  Response to response to "Stolen Treasure" -- 
I found your reply a comfort, and I thank you.  I was so sorry to read of what happened to you, too -- and it makes me wonder if this has happened to many other people, as well.  I've been stewing about this for days, trying to think it out -- especially since some of those relatives are planning a trip here, specifically for a time when my mother will be away, and I'm the only one here.  I think I'll share with you some things I finally seem to have figured out, in case it might in any way help anyone else.  And, I think my dad would approve!

First of all, these relatives have no reason to think I'm anything but sympathetic and supportive to them.  I've been verbally positive and supportive always, as well as giving them gifts occasionally, out of the blue, some really nice ones -- heartfelt ones.  So they have reason to think I'm sympathetic and on their side.  I think this will be a good position to be coming from when (if) they start trying to get more things.  I can be very sympathetic and say, "Yeah, that would be great, but my dad wanted to leave everything to my mom, and it just seems like we have to respect his wishes."  Things like that.  Second, I'm also in a good position because I'm not motivated by personal greed.  I don't have any children, and my brother has sons -- and it just seems right that everything (or most things) would end up going to them, eventually -- even my things, eventually, too.  So, helping to bring about the fair outcome for my mother and brother -- doing what my dad wanted anyway -- is a much more powerful position than just sticking up for myself.  Third, we're planning to give the relatives all some pictures and written information about my dad -- great, wonderful stuff we think they'd all appreciate -- and while I'm preventing them as best I can from (that is, if they try) taking more things, I'll know we're really doing something for them that they'll love -- and that also is a more powerful position negotiating with someone -- knowing that, even though they want something you're not going to give them, you're still "on their side" and going to do something good for them. (Does that make sense?)

And, sadly, we have been locking things up.  It just seems better not to even let the temptation arise.  Locking things was NOT in the spirit of my father -- he never locked the house or anything -- but we'd rather do that than go around in a state of grief and betrayal because people have been looting.

You're right.  And thanks for reminding me of it.  People can take things -- even though we'd rather they wouldn't, and I wonder how they can feel good about having something they stole -- can anyone possibly explain that????! -- but we have to remember that no one can take away the sweet times we had, the closeness, the fun.  It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks or does. (I don't think these particular cousins realized how close we were to my dad -- I sometimes think they thought they were as close to him as we were, and more deserving of him (they were cool, sophisticated, and popular; we were "country bumpkins.")  But they're wrong -- they just don't know.  We spent thousands and thousands of days -- laughing, close, confidentially sharing things -- with him; they spent less, I think, than a hundred days with him.  And, he would have disliked the stealing very much, and would likely have even disliked the person for it permanently.

I don't mean to end this on a negative note -- actually, it's looking like it might have a more positive ending than I thought it would, and I have a better feeling about it.  Thank you, respondent, for your comfort and sharing.
I can't even begin to say what a comfort I find this website to be.  Like almost everyone else who has submitted a story, I have a mother in law who hates me.  I have been married to my husband for fifteen years now, and our marriage is suffering, partly because of his inability to see how his mother's grip on him is interfering with our ability to bond as a couple.  My mil has never liked me.  I am older than my husband, more educated than people in her family (I am a college professor) and come from a poor family, while she was raised in great wealth, and still lives on an independent income.  She had a hysterical crying fit the first time she met me, and for years would call, asking to speak to my husband, without even asking me how I was!  Although we managed to get along for most of my marriage, I have come to realize that she has never liked me at all, has felt I am all wrong for her son, and has attacked me to everyone in her family. I am devastated from her cruelty, but filled with terrible hatred for her, too.  I don't know what to do ... Last summer, I volunteered to go stay with my mil after she had knee replacement surgery, when none of her four children seemed to be able to do it.  (I should have suspected something!)  I took my six year old daughter with me -- her namesake -- and experienced two weeks of utter h--l.  She insulted my daughter to her face, criticizing her looks and her manners, said repeatedly she was going to leave all of her money to her other grandchildren, attacked my husband to me, claiming that he was the least handsome of her three sons, and not as smart as her daughter. (My husband is a college coach who is in the top four coaches in his field nationally.)  She told me that the only reason that he was accepted to the prestigious college he attended was due to her intervention (when, in fact, she had nothing to do with his application or acceptance).  She went on and on about how disappointed she was in his choice of profession.
I have taken a whole day to read almost all of the letters here in the archives.  It's sad that people can't just love one another and get along, but that is a utopian dream, or so it seems, and not achievable on Earth for but a few so it seems.

My story, unfortunately, is not different from the masses here.  My BF and I are in our early 40's, and are now living with my mother and my grandmother.  My mother does not like my BF (we have been together for 17 years now, and have not tied the knot)  Mother has mood swings, and every day is a bad day.  She tries to make it that way for all who live in the house, with the exception of my grandmother.  My BF is a happy soul, and nothing can bring him down.  He is my lifeline.  We are sooooo happy together.  My mother tried to BRAINWASH me when we first came here to live, telling me I can do better, I deserve better, a doctor, a professor, anyone but the BF.  I told my BF everything she said, and I was amazed that he still treated her with respect and tried to help when she needed it on her computer.  She, on the other hand, continued with her snide remarks and general unpleasantness.  She is so manipulative and selfish, and I can't believe that my mother could be like this.  I keep thinking that it must be me, something is wrong with me, I am to blame somehow.

Mother plays favorites with my sister and I, and, needless to say, she was so happy when my sister broke off her relationship with her BF.  My mother hates men, all men.  I, unfortunately, let her favoritism bother me to the point of not speaking to my sister.  Mother calls her, helping my sister, who is trying to go to college in Europe.  Sis finally got a job, but she has been living alone, going to school, taking part-time work, and, of course, asking mother for money, which is great, but my mom doesn't have it.  So it comes from where??  Grandmother! - who is 84 yrs old, and they are dipping into her savings.  I have to turn a blind eye to it.  Grandmother says it has to stop.  She had one savings account over 95% depleted.  My Mother takes care of her savings L  You wonder why I turn a blind eye, eh?  Well, you have to know my mother.  There is no way I can even have a say about it.  I have tried and failed.

My sister never comes to her house to help with the chores, or to do something for all the financial help.  I asked my mom about that, she gave me a look like, "you must be kidding".  Sis can't seem to think of it on her own, either.  We (BF & I) moved down here to help my mom out with the care taking of my Grandmother.  We had our fears, but we knew how strong we were together, and there were more job opportunities here.  That part has worked out for us!  The family situation has not.  We do all the cleaning in the house, not complaining, but the more we did the more mother heaped on us, until her only job around the house was sitting in front of the computer.  Now, I am in no way lazy, and I LOVE housework, seriously, but after she cooks she leaves the stove filthy for days.  She is the only one who cooks in the house, as we eat out.  When I asked her about it, her only answer was, "when you see it like that, just clean it up"?!?!?  I mean, come on.  She has been like that all her life, and she tells me "people don't change".  Which means to me, "I am not about to change"!

Mornings with her are the worst.  Like a drill sergeant, it's what she wants to have done around the house, and never a "good morning! how are you?"

I try to do most of the work around the home now.  I feel it's unfair for my BF to have to work 8 hours a day and come home to do dishes and the trash, etc.  Mom says, "You are mothering him.  Now he does nothing around here, and you do most of the work."  I just can't believe the way my mother is (and most of it I have not written down).  I thought all mothers were "The Best Persons On Earth".  I was so naive, and I feel stupid for believing that.  For years my mother lied to me, and I believed everything she said.  But, seeing her treat my BF as she once did me when I was a child, and having him confirm my old doubts about her, AND after reading that I am not alone, but that there are others of you out there, I know.

My thoughts now are that we will not have children, and we will get our own home soon, far away from Mother, Sister, Stepmother-in-law, and MIL (his).

Really, it's not as bad as some of the testimonies here, but I feel good venting.  Thank you for this page!  By the way, we are an interracial couple, and if it helps, hang in there, you can make it.  Ciao a tutti
My MIL is something else.  It all started when we were dating and getting ready to go to college as freshmen.  We both chose to go to a school that was 2 1/2 hrs away from home so that we could be on our own.  Just a few months after we moved, my now mil separated from her husband and moved right up here to be with her son!!  She didn't ask him, she just moved up here and moved just a few blocks from campus.  This put a strain on our dating relationship.  I had wanted to see how things would be without our family around, and here she comes moving up here, and she hasn't left since, and that's been 5 years ago.  Of course, it does get worse.  Her own marriage has ended because she has a terrible time with telling the truth.  She will lie about what she had for lunch.  It's just ridiculous.  Well, when we announced we were getting married, she didn't like it, and wouldn't go to the wedding unless someone bought her a dress.  Also, this woman has a terrible time keeping a job.  Anyway, after we got married, her youngest son that was still in high school was living with her.  Three Weeks after we were married, she left her teenage son and ran off to live with her boyfriend.  My bil was not going to have money to pay the rent, and he was not going to school, since no one there was making him.  So, after being married for 3 weeks and both of us being full time college students and working, we had to let my bil live with us.  During this time, which should have been the "honeymoon" period, we were so stressed out, and my mil was out at clubs with her new beau.  It was hard dealing with my bil, because he was angry that he was left, and he had no motivation for school or for anything.  Finally, after all that we did for her youngest son, she never appreciated it or said thank you.  If that wasn't enough, after being with that same, good for nothing, boyfriend for almost 3 years, she finally decided to leave him last week.  We went and got her stuff, and told her she could stay with us and my bil too.
I never knew about this website until now.  I'm glad I found you.  My MIL is so whacked.  When my H and I were dating she would ignore me totally, like she thought I would go away.  She would give presents that were obviously used, which is no big deal.  But she would give my son from my previous marriage considerably less than her own grandchildren.  My son was only 8 years old at the time.  He didn't understand, thank God.  When my H asked me to marry him, I said Yes.  He asked me if I would tell his mother.  I thought that was strange.  But I agreed, not even realizing what I had let myself into.

I got to my MIL's house, and I told her that my H and I were planning to get married.  She then proceeded to tell me she wouldn't accept me and she did not want us to get married.  I was floored.  I couldn't even believe that she was treating me this way.  I went back to my home and my H wanted to know how it went, and I just burst into tears.  But, do you think my H chewed his M's butt for treating me that way?  No, he didn't do a thing.  I should have known he wasn't weaned from M yet.

The day we got married, my MIL told my Mom that they should stop the wedding, and could my mother talk me out of marrying her son.  Needless to say, my Mom just looked at her and walked away.  I didn't even find this out until a year later.

My MIL is still attached to her former DIL, and she has no room for acceptance of me.  She is involved in picking up the grandchildren at her former DIL's house.  She will watch the grandkids for her ex DIL, but when we need someone to watch the kids for us, she refuses or she has other plans.  Which is no big deal, really, we just plan on doing things on the weekends we don't have his kids, or we take them with us.  But it is baffling to us that she won't help us, but will help her ex DIL.  I think she does this to get back at me.

But, last night I just discovered that my H's ex-wife has put their son in special education and my H never even knew.  I asked my MIL how long she had known.  She said, "Oh for a long time."  Their mother is doing the best she can, and she is doing a wonderful job.  I asked her why she didn't tell my H.  That was something he needed to know.  As you know, my H hit the roof.  And he said he wasn't going to his family's house for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  But my husband is full of talk, he will end up going just like he has every year.  I often wonder what kind of family I got myself into.  I think his M is trying to drive us into a divorce.  But I am not letting her destroy the best relationship I have ever had.  So, I will just ignore her and stay away from her.  This is just the tip of the iceberg on all the things my MIL has done to me.  I never knew that there were ill-bred people until I met my MIL.  Well, one good thing is she won't live forever!! LOL.
My husband and I have been married for seven years.  Finding your site was such a relief for me, because I have been wondering for a long time what is wrong with me because of the way things have gone with my mother in law.  When I met my husband it was like a dream come true, and I desperately wanted his parents to like me, and have often wondered if my trying too hard is why things have not gone well.  First, I was a model doing catalogues and some magazine work when we met.  I started modeling very young and my mom and agent were very protective of me, so, even though it might not seem to be the case, I was very naive (and inexperienced) about men when I met my husband.  He is such a good, kind person, and the most handsome man I could have dreamed of.  We really clicked from the beginning, and my family just loves him.  Pretty quickly we knew things were serious and that we wanted to be together.  When I met his mother, she seemed very interested in meeting me, but mentioned, in the middle of a talk about something else, how she had tried to warn her son away from having anything to do with a model.  That made me feel that I had to prove that I was a decent person who did not have a "past", and I had no idea how to accomplish that.  She knew how hard I was trying, and gave me no encouragement.  She participated in the wedding, but did not actively get involved.  Her coolness was obvious when I compared it to the support and love we were receiving from other relatives on his side (his aunts) as well as from my family.  I still get excited in the late afternoon knowing that my husband will be coming home.  When we spent months planning how to renovate our home, and did as much of the work ourselves as we could, all his mom said was that it looked like it came from a magazine (a comment I thought she meant to sound like it was 'fake' and unoriginal).  She repeated that comment over and over to the point that I was sure she meant something negative.

There is a big, beautiful maple tree by the side of of the house, and she frets that my husband will be injured going up on the roof to brush the leaves off, and wants us to cut it down.  She brings it up every season when it sheds, and acts like a Cassandra, able to predict an unavoidable accident.  When he goes up the ladder now to work on the roof, I get unreasonably anxious, like something terrible will happen, and if it does it will be my fault.  My husband is unwilling to hire someone to do the job, and laughs at me for listening to her.  MIL always acts like it is up to me to get the tree removed, and that I am failing to be a considerate wife by ignoring her.

When I became pregnant with our first daughter, my morning sickness lasted for months, and then I did not gain a lot of weight no matter how much I ate.  The doctor said that my health was fine, and the baby would be okay as well.  But MIL kept saying that I must be dieting to keep my figure, and asking (in a worried way) about whether I would have a healthy baby, and maybe I should get a second opinion.  My husband and I would come from a conversation with her quite rattled, and we would have to settle down afterwards and reassure ourselves that things would be okay.  She would also make tons of food, lots of whipped cream desserts and fatty foods which I would not eat because I did not think they were offering enough nutrition (and would also upset my stomach), and she would act like it confirmed her doubts about me.  When the baby was born 7 1/2 lbs and wonderfully healthy, she then started to question my decision to nurse the baby (she never nursed hers) and suggested that, even if I had "enough" milk, that nursing would "ruin your figure" and cause me to sag.  Now, my husband has always treated me like I am the most attractive woman he has ever met, and I have never had to worry about my appearance, so the things she said there did not bother me as such.  It was the fact that she was trying to worry or bother me that was upsetting.  Now we have two little ones, and I am staying home and working part-time from here on a business that my best friend and I started, and she keeps questioning how it will all work and how we will manage.  She told my husband that she thought I would tire of the novelty of minding small children, and he should look into full time day care, as she would not be able to bail us out!  She acts kind of jealous of our life together, and wants to know all sorts of details about what we do and who we know.  Somehow, I feel that our happiness makes her very jealous and miserable, and I almost get the feeling that she wishes my husband could have been her husband.  When she talks to me, I get the sense that she thinks my having him is very unfair.  How can I solve this problem?  I have always thought that there must be a way that I could turn things around and find a way to have a happy life which includes her.  I am so blessed in having my husband and two wonderful children together, we want more, and our life and future is centered around our family and our love. My husband is loyal to me, but I know that he is disappointed that his mother is not closer to us and more connected to the children.  She always does the right thing, and participates in family occasions and celebrations, but there are undercurrents whenever she is around that we wish we could figure out and resolve.  Maybe I am asking too much, but if you ask for the stars you might get as close as the mountain top.  Any advice would be appreciated ...

  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 "Asking For The Stars" in your response.

RESPONSE:  response to "asking for the stars":
I read this entry and just don't get it.  Your MIL does not sound like too much of a challenge, and your other relationships sound pretty good to me.  You should just be grateful for your good fortune in your closest relationships.  Maybe you are sort of a perfectionist and want everything in your life to be wonderful - and that is something that I have never seen anyone have.  What you describe about your life with your husband sounds pretty damn close to ideal.  If your MIL has personal issues and does not show you much support or goodwill, then that is something she will have to deal with, and maybe you should feel kinda sorry for her.  I think you could spare her some goodwill.  Good luck.
RESPONSE:  Re: Asking for the Stars - 
Your MIL sounds like a combination of my mother and my MIL.  My mother is a doomsayer - everything is going to turn out terrible.  Watch out for this, watch out for that ... Did you hear about this crib, that car seat, etc., etc.  She sees the glass as half-empty.  It's not to scare me - that's just her.  She reads the obituaries every day and is obsessed with death and people dying.  It's sad, but there's not a lot I can do about her.  I know her background and can figure out where it comes from.  My MIL is like yours, in that I sometimes get the impression that she thinks it's unfair that I have her son, and she has stated that she lost her son.  I feel that she looked upon him as a surrogate husband, and she told me as much, having divorced twice.  She is also cool, didn't want to be a grandmother, and didn't behave like one initially, but now tends to do the "right" things.  I also know her background, and try to be as kind and generous as I can without kissing up to her.  She's not a horrible MIL, and it doesn't sound like yours is either.  Just tell yourself that you can't like everyone, and everyone can't like you.  Be nice to her, and recognize that it's good that your husband sees what's happening and you and he can talk about it.
Like many of you, I did not have a problem with my future MIL when I first met her.  On the contrary, I rather liked her, and I was the first girlfriend her son (an only child) had had that she liked.  My impression of her was that she was funny, caring and intelligent.  My first impression of her house was that it could stand some serious de-cluttering and a good sweeping and dusting job.  Oh!  How first impressions change!  At Christmas, 1995, I discovered my (not yet) future MIL was very materialistic, and showed her love with a preponderance of superfluous, low-quality gifts.  I also met her mother at the first Christmas.  She seemed a very nice lady, but I only saw her about four times in the following year.  The next fall, my future MIL's mother had a stroke.  By this time, my future MIL's house had really gone downhill.  It now had an odor of unwashed dogs (she had ten) and unchanged litter boxes (she had about 15 indoor cats).  My future MIL was still very nice to, and accepting of, me.  That Christmas, my husband proposed.  When we celebrated the season at his mom's house, she actually had the audacity to ask me if I had ever seen one person get so many gifts, and if my mother thought so much of Christmas as to buy so many gifts for everyone.  I was appalled.  What do you say to the woman who will be your MIL?  "No, we never have had so many presents, but then, presents aren't what it's all about," or "No, we get a few quality items that we truly want or need."?  I couldn't say anything.  I was 19 years old, and had always been surrounded by loving family.  Things continued in about the same vein 'til 1999.  Her house got smellier, and she continued trying to buy affection with gifts.  He had a daughter when I met him, and she resented the fact that the child was extremely fond of me.

In the spring of 1999, the woman who took care of my future MIL's mother, in my future MIL's city home, quit.  They needed someone to come in, because both her and my husband's stepfather worked.  School was just coming to an end for me (I was 22 and a college senior), so I agreed to go to their house and watch this lady until they could find someone better suited.  I am rather small in build, and can not move her around in her bed by myself, which means I can not change her diaper.  I DID empty the catheter bag, give her medicines and feeding through a g-tube, wash her laundry (but not theirs, though they tried to get me to), and help the nurse on the days she came to provide personal care.  The smell of cat piss and sh*t was so bad, that when I went home, the odor was in my skin, even under clothing.  Instead of the eight or nine hours a day I was supposed to be there, it was more like twelve to fifteen.  I barely had any time to do anything, and they paid us by not charging rent (we lived in his step dad's deceased mother's house) and giving me 50 bucks cash each week.  The cash covered gas and the extra soap from scrubbing twice with every shower.  It gets worse.  Only a few weeks into my "employment" the step dad lost his job.  Could I say good riddance and be done?  Nope.  He had to do "things."  Things which involved sleeping 'til eleven or twelve, and rarely leaving the house to do anything specific or productive.  He was just not home.  The best part?  While they were taking up all my time and I was dealing with eye infections from being around the animals, I was also preparing for my wedding at the end of July.  When I would tell them I needed to not be there so I could do something for the wedding or visit my eye doctor, they would act as though I was putting THEM out!  Well, I got through the summer, was able to wear my contacts and not have puffy, pink eyes for my wedding and TWO week honeymoon, and had the satisfaction of making the step dad (SDIL) take care of the grandmother-in-law (G) for the week prior to, and the two weeks after, the wedding.  I then only worked a couple more weeks, because I had to start Student Teaching that fall.  This probably does not sound like the worst story ever, and I don't think it will, but it does get worse.  Since the wedding, my husband and I have really avoided going to his mom's.  We hit the big occasions:  holidays and birthdays.  I am about to cut back even more, just as soon as I can.  Why?  In May of this year, the piles of old newspapers and magazines that were in front of my MIL's stove, and the papers and empty Chubs containers and other assorted crap that was on top of the stove, had a really bad day.  One of the 20 kitchen cats jumped up on the electric stove and, yes, turned on the burner.  No, the house of crap did not burn down, and no, my MIL is not residing with me.  But, it is almost as bad.  The fire was contained, and there was no structural damage, just superficial.  When the fire department inspected the three story house WITH full basement, they cited them with THREE PAGES of violations.  The health department cited them, as well as public safety.  They could not keep G in the house.  She is paralyzed on one side, and has diminished lung capacity.  The soot and dust from the clean-up would have brought on pneumonia.  They asked if she could stay with us for a few days, instead of going into a nursing home.  (She is, in some ways, childlike and fears the unfamiliarity and strangeness of a nursing home.)  We said yes, for a few days, on the condition that either my MIL or SDIL stay the night to provide most of the care.  Two days after the fire, the hospital bed arrived, and on the next day, G arrived.  After two days, they had only come by to change her diaper, and were saying she needed to stay for about a week until the kitchen ceiling was replaced.  Then it was another week to sand the floors.  As I sit here typing this, there is a hospital bed in my living room holding a woman who is nearly a stranger to me.  There are medicines and gloves and lotions and powders spread across my coffee table.  There are water stains on my hardwood floors, powder everywhere, and probably dried poop in places I do not want to think about.  (I think that people who deal with this sort of thing all the time don't notice when they brush dried poop onto someone's floor, and don't think twice about dropping dirty, poopy laundry straight onto the floor instead of into the handy basket.)  Yes, her room at my MIL's was awful as well.  She shared it with four dogs, who often did not make it outside.  My MIL has pretty much let go of the responsibility for her mother.  One time, she asked if her mother needed cough syrup.  I said, "I guess so."  She said, "Can you come give it to her now?"  Mind you, my MIL was standing in the room with her, taking care of her.  All logic says SHE should have just given her the cough syrup.  They do not come by to visit the poor lady.  They only come when I go tutor, or on days the nurse doesn't come, and they spend time following us around instead of visiting with G.  The diaper only gets changed once a day. On the Saturday before Father's day, they were supposed to come up to let us go to MY Mom and Dad's (whose company we actually miss!)  They couldn't make it 'til after two, so my mom cooked at her house, then transported salad, main dish, homemade bread and two desserts to our house.  His mom was supposed to come over in the evening.  My parents left, and we waited.  And waited.  At 1:00am, we called them.  His mom said that SDIL had gone to get a headlight, and they would be up as soon as he returned.  At 2:30am we called to tell them that G wanted to go to sleep, and had started to cry when we said her daughter still had to come up.  She did not care that it had been almost 36 hours since the diaper had been changed.  They were supposed to come over first thing in the morning to change her and let us go to his dad's.  My MIL called at 11:00 to ask when we were leaving.   I told her 1:00 or 2:00, and she said she'd be there around then.  They showed up at 2:30.  When we left, they were sitting on the couch, still making no effort to change the poor woman's poopy diaper.  It went more than 48 hours.  Tensions have been high.  My husband and I have to remind ourselves not to take it out on each other.  He gets in shouting matches with my MIL almost every other day.  I have stress-related problems with my body, which is significant since I am a very easy-going, caring, forgiving person.  His mother is making it difficult to be nice.

And, then there was this week.  On Monday their lawyer, an old friend of the family my husband had known his entire life, died.  We found out Tuesday while my husband's best friend was here.  The funeral was to be Wednesday morning.  The best friend has sat with G and has been taken advantage of by my MIL many a time.  He also is currently dealing with severe back pains from sitting too much at work.  He did not want to stay with G while we all attended the funeral.  When my MIL came over that night to do her duty, she asked him to watch the G.  He said he had a chiropractor appointment at ten.  She cried, and then said her friend who could watch G was going to the funeral.  She asked my husband if he didn't know anyone else. Well, of course we know other people, but none that we are going to dump the responsibility of G on!  She then asked if I needed to go.  My husband said that no, I probably didn't need to, since I had never met the man, but he wanted me to go and would not go without me.  She said she would call for a nurse the next morning.  The best friend spent the night.  At eight-thirty, while we were getting ready she called.  They "couldn't find a nurse."  My husband asked what we were going to do (remember, he has known this man his whole life) and she said "Well, 'SDIL' and I are going to the funeral, and you said you and (I) wouldn't go if no one could watch G." and she hung up.  That was never what he told her or implied.  Maybe she thought we would be able to talk the best friend into staying, or would just stay home.  She usually does assume that people will rearrange (or in my case STOP) their lives for her.  We were able to get him to stay, and we went to the funeral.  But when we saw them there, we did not talk to them or explain that there was someone with G.  We left them to wonder it we had left her alone ... Not that I think they would have cared.  They are always telling us how important things about G's care are, but they constantly skip, forget, put-off, or overlook these things.

We have been planning since April to go to Tennessee to visit some of my family for the Fourth.  They know this.  Did they push the contractors to do the work in a halfway reasonable amount of time? (I think six and a half weeks is enough to replace a ceiling and fix, sand and seal three rooms of hardwood floors.)  No, they have worried and complained about meeting the code.  I do not care about the work they must do to meet the codes.  It is THEIR fault the house failed so much.  And, my MIL actually yelled at my husband that he had never helped her clean her house.  He said we would have been glad to help anytime in the last few years, but she wouldn't let us throw crap away, only move it to a new location; so the fire code clean-up was her problem.  Instead of having G out of our house for us to leave town, they expected us to cancel and go at another time.  I can not just rearrange tutoring schedules that easily. Now they want to stay in our home.  My husband has been telling them to get G out by today (Friday), but talking to his mother about doing something that does not fit HER priorities is LESS effective than asking your living room wall to move out ten feet, please, because you'd like more space.  I honestly believe the wall would respond sooner.  G is still not gone, so we either cancel our trip, (which we DESPERATELY need) or let his mom stay here.  We told her to put G in a nice nursing home for a few days where, heaven help her, she might actually get all the care she needs when she needs it.  But MIL waited too long to call and can't get G a bed in a nice one now, and none of us have the heart to put her in one of those scary NH's.  So, do we let the woman who says she wants to feel like our home is her home stay here?  We all know what her home is like.  Can she destroy ours in six days?  My husband told her he did not want SDIL sleeping here, and that he expects dishes to be washed after they are used, but will it happen?  I came back from tutoring last night to find the geniuses had shut the door to the basement.  Our six year old daughter knows it is a bad idea to shut cats upstairs and their food and LITTER Downstairs, but I guess this logic evades my IL's.  Any ideas?  Do I take the much needed vacation, and leave my already suffering home in my MIL's hands, or do I stay here and deal with her?  (The most recently projected going home date is now July 11.  Seven weeks and six days from G's arrival.)  Or, do any of you want an extra G and MIL for a week or two?

This momentarily slipped my mind.  Our six-and-a-half year-old daughter stays with us on the weekends.  Her mother has her bedtime at 9 for the summer, which is late, but she can tell time, and we don't want to be the mean ones.  His mother insists on coming between ten and midnight unless she has to arrive earlier for me to go tutor.  The first weekend she showed up at ten.  We had just put our daughter to bed.  (it is hard to remember to send her to bed with it so light out and us accustomed to staying up so late waiting for MIL.  We also try to let her stay up a little later on the weekends during the summer, since it is supposed to be fun to stay with us.)  Since the child had not fallen asleep, and I stupidly believed this G keeping would not go on for more than a week or two, I allowed MIL to go kiss her goodnight.  An hour and a half later, she finally left the child's bedroom.  She has no regard for the child's need to get to sleep.  While, yes, we do let her stay up late, we can tell when she needs to go to bed, and we send her there.  There have been occasions where I needed to take her back home and it was late, because I had to wait for MIL to arrive before I could leave.  I told her we were leaving, and she just sat down and began chatting away with our daughter.  Lately, she has been arriving after Daughter is in bed.  I tell her she's asleep, and she acts so disappointed.  So I point out that, if she came during normal hours when one would expect a child to be awake, she could spend time with her.  After catching on that the child would be asleep when she arrived and that I would not wake her, she started trying to wake her.  When she arrives on nights that D is here, she rings the doorbell, then immediately bangs on the door.  The only possible reason for all this noise is that D will wake up and I will let MIL spend time with her.

  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 "First Impressions Change" in your response.

RESPONSE:  This is a reply to "First Impressions Change"
You sound like a very intelligent woman, but I just can't understand how you can let that woman take such an advantage of you.  I, too, have a MIL who is very controlling, manipulating, and dirty.  My only advice to you is: STAY AWAY!  Make arrangements YOURSELF to send dear Grandma to a place where she can be looked after, because you know MIL won't.  You are way too young to commit to this situation, and PLEASE don't let MIL (or SDIL) dump on you again.  Simply tell her, "I'm sorry, but I can't take care of YOUR problems."  -  I am not going to tell you "good luck" because I know you can do it.
RESPONSE:  Re: 1st Impressions Change:
I don't want to make you feel bad, but what type of husband do you have that he wouldn't change his grandmother's diaper after 48 hours?  You've stated that you're small in stature, so perhaps you can't (and I guess it's not really your responsibility), but it's not sexual, the woman needed her diaper changed, your husband should have done it.  I can't imagine anything more degrading, more dehumanizing, than sitting in your own waste, and not being able to clean yourself, and having so-called loved ones not clean you because they're grossed out, or because someone else is supposed to do it.  Yes, your MIL is a pit, but your husband is no prize either.  I know this is a board where we share camaraderie, but when one of us (DIL's) is wrong we should say so.  That is how we learn and grow.  If I'm wrong, then someone please correct me.  I feel sorry for that lady.  She'd probably be better off in a nursing home - even the scary ones - they'd probably only wait 36 hours to change her diaper.
RESPONSE:  Response to First Impressions Change.
Regarding your daughter, you CANNOT let your MIL just come over whenever she wants.  She has to understand that the child needs to sleep, and that is it.  You want to see your granddaughter?  Come over at 7:00.  That's it.  But you have to be strict about it.  You can't give in.  You give them an inch, they take a foot.  As far as G, she needs to be with people that can give her constant care.  People that will change her diaper more often than 48 hours later.  It is not healthy for her to live like that.  They may not like to be in nursing homes, but sometimes it is the best for them.  And, you definitely need your vacation.  Let them stay with the G for the week.  When you come back, get rid of all of them.  Have your husband tell his mom you need your space as a newly married couple.  That's not fair to you.  And if you have to, you two make the arrangements for a nursing home.
RESPONSE:  This is a reply to First Impressions Change.
You do have your hands full.  I would have to clean that lady's house for her.  I can not stand filth.  Did your husband have to grow up in that mess?  I feel sorry for the poor grandmother too.  I am a certified nursing assistant at a nursing home, and that lady is being neglected, that is against the law.  If your MIL is not going to give her the care she needs, then she needs to be in a nursing home.  There is no excuse for anybody having to lay in their own mess for such a long period of time.  Somebody needs to take responsibility for that poor little lady.  Sounds like your MIL doesn't want to be the one to care for G.  There are good nursing homes out there, you just have to look.  Well, good luck to you.
RESPONSE:  ref 1st impressions change
You need to put G in a nursing home - whether it be a nice one or not.  And then let MIL take the responsibility for removing her/upgrading her as necessary when a bed becomes available.  If you don't do this, G will never leave.  Your in-laws sound exactly like mine, and they will never stop dumping on you until you put your foot down.  Then take your trip - you need it, and don't allow G back when you return.  It is too disrupting for you now to have her staying, by the sounds of things.  And DON'T even consider having dear old MIL and SDIL to stay while you're away - if they have no respect for their own property, what kind of respect are they likely to have for yours?  They have already shown how little they respect you by dumping G on you and not living up to their side of the bargain.  So put your foot down NOW, and make them sort themselves out.  It's not your problem, don't make it so.  And, I know it sounds cruel, but it doesn't seem to me that you have a choice.  You deserve that trip, without the worry of how much damage they are doing to your home, take it.
RESPONSE:  Response to Response to "First Impressions Change"
Someone replied and criticized my husband for not changing the diaper.  I should have mentioned that G is with-it enough to be EXTREMELY self-conscious.  She refuses to let him be in the room when it is being changed, and is horrified at the thought of him even helping his mother with it (he has offered).  My MIL knows how proud her mother is, and knows that she would not have let him change G.  (G communicates by swatting at you, yelling as best she can, and hitting you with a pillow if you make her mad.)  He really is a winner.  He apologizes to me for his mother's behavior every day, and thanks me for putting up with MIL's stuff for the sake of G.  We try to put our feet down, but, as I said, a wall would react faster.

By the way, I did have my vacation, and was rested enough not to burst into tears when I came home and found my kitchen a wreck.  My husband DID make her clean it up.
I've known my fiancé and his family for ten years.  I've had problems with his mother for about nine years.  The father, maybe a little less.  Sometimes I wonder why I stay with my fiancé, because his family gets involved with our lives.  We are to get married next month.  We're kind of backwards - I mean, we have a beautiful four month old baby girl - and now we are deciding to get married.  Anyways, the parents don't agree with our marriage.  His awful mother has always been jealous of our love.  She does not like any females.  There are so many problems that I have with this woman, I could write a novel.  His parents are hateful, and think that I'm trying to keep my daughter from seeing them.  I wish that she would never get to know these strange people, but out of respect for her daddy, I will let her.  I pray every day to forgive them - it's not working yet, but I hope soon.  I know I will never have a sincere relationship with them.  I just wish things weren't so complicated.
It pains me no end to read such stories of "evil" mother-in-laws.  I loved my previous, now deceased, mother-in-law.  Even after her son and I divorced, she and I remained friends.  Her son was always very rude to her, and I had created a bridge that allowed them to communicate for the 14 years we were married.

Now, it seems, my sons second wife finds me threatening.  She has twisted the things we have warmly (I thought lovingly), discussed, and presented them in such a way that my son, for the first time in his 30 years, verbally attacked me.  I was accused of insulting his wife, him, and so on.  I was attacked by my daughter-in-law, and accused of not being, "that wonderful, strong, accomplishing, pedistalized, wonder-mom," my son had built me up to her as being.  My second marriage is to a delightful, but traditional man.  He and I got together when my son was 18.  My son seemed happy with my choice, and left home at 20.  My spouse has three children by his first marriage.  He has a warm friendship with his first wife, which is something I am very comfortable with.  Meanwhile, my son's first marriage failed, he had an affair with this second-wife, and proposed to her before he had started divorce proceedings with the first.  Two days after the ink was dry on the divorce, he married my current daughter-in-law.  Believe it or not, both my spouse and I adored this young woman.  In spite of the speed of their attachment to each other, I knew how unhappy my son was with his first wife (there were no children).  We embraced the new wife open-heartedly.  My spouse was asked by my son to be best-man at his second wedding.  I helped with all of the wedding stuff, in spite of the miles between us, including the cost of the rehearsal dinner, and a big monetary present.

My spouse and I "gifted" the down payment to my son and daughter-in-law's new home together.  When we came up to see the new home ... presents and things in hand, we thought everything was OK.  But after we left, all hell broke loose.  The accusations of things in the past from my son ... the accusations of criticizing his life, wife, and the painful recriminations went on over e-mail for 9 months.  I have maintained a policy of apologizing, without admitting guilt.  Things have improved with my son ... but we have lost something very precious.  I feel lost to know how to reach either of them.  I have only one child, so it hurts just that much more.  Now, my son has informed me that his wife is pregnant.  I am both ecstatic to be a grandmother, and afraid of not being allowed contact with my grandchild.  I feel hostage to my daughter-in-law's whims, an emotional prisoner to the pain of being shut out from my daughter-in-law's relationship.

So, all of you unhappy daughters-in-law ... do you feel threatened by knowing that someone you love just wants to share a little of your life?  Letting go ... little by little ... loosing, and resigned.

  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 "DIL, Do You Feel Threatened?" in your response.

RESPONSE:  Re: DIL, Do you feel threatened?
Your dilemma seems different, but I haven't heard the other side to your story either, so it's hard to say whose fault it is that you're not getting along.  Sometimes we say and do things that we think are innocent and harmless, but that others take offense to.  Maybe your new DIL is insecure about what you think of her because she was the mistress and the "other woman".  Maybe she's overly sensitive that you won't like her, and has misunderstood some of your remarks.  If I had broken up a marriage (which is something I would never do by the way), I would be paranoid of what others thought of me.

I am a new DIL, and I honestly don't feel threatened by my MIL at all.  I feel like it's the other way around.  She's overbearing, hurtful, critical, and uses guilt to manipulate.  I'm not trying to say that you must be threatened by your new DIL, but my advice would be for you to do some "soul-searching" and think about what you have inadvertently said or done to her.  Ask yourself if you would have been offended if your new MIL had said that to you.  And in the future, just try to be a friend to your son & DIL, instead of a "mother".
RESPONSE:  Response to "DIL, do you feel threatened?"
I'm sorry you got stuck with such a terrible DIL.  Sometimes the package doesn't come in the dear old MIL package.  However, I do feel the DIL/MIL relationship is a complicated one, and my own MIL is depressed, and sadly not the woman I met 8 years ago.  We've gone from having a very supportive relationship to one fraught with tension, mostly because she is unwilling to take her medication.  My MIL does say many things to hurt my feelings, and, for most part, does not even notice herself doing it.  Most of the time I just keep my mouth shut.  When I do say something, I am a most terrible DIL, and I say terrible things to her son to turn him against her, when all along his anger with her has everything to do with his childhood, and nothing with my relationship with his mother.  When I found this site, I was curious to see if there was a similar site for MIL's to vent about DIL's.  Sadly, I didn't find one.  So, go figure.  Maybe, just maybe, it's not us DIL's, but our MIL's who are unwilling to share.
RESPONSE:  Response to "DIL, do you feel threatened?"
You sound like a great MIL.  I wish my MIL was half as nice as you.  Hang in there.  The TRUTH always prevails in the end.  Best Wishes!!
RESPONSE:  response to "DIL, do you feel threatened?"
I wonder about how honest you are being.  It is natural, when relating events, to tell it from our perspective and to want those hearing our side to sympathize with us - but - there are a few items that make me question your version of the events (and only you and yours really know the deal ...)  For instance, you said your son was fine with your remarriage, "My son seemed happy with my choice, and left home at 20."  Well, I would worry about a young man, barely grown-up, moving out - especially if it happened around the time of the remarriage.  Maybe you could review that part of things ... Also, when you give details about your boy's relationships, it seems you gave details that do not relate to any kind of problems with you, but rather suggest they have moral imperfections, and sounds like gossip: "my son's first marriage failed, he had an affair with this second-wife, and proposed to her before he had started divorce proceedings with the first.  Two days after the ink was dry on the divorce, he married my current daughter-in-law.  Believe it or not, both my spouse and I adored this young woman."  Saying "believe it or not" makes me question your real feelings.  Are you saying that she was a tramp?  If you "adored" her, then she must have had some pretty engaging qualities, or is she also a world-class actress and fake?  Also, it seems that the problems you are describing have more to do with your son than his wife, but that maybe you are blaming her for putting ideas in his head?

When you say, "I am both ecstatic to be a grandmother, and afraid of not being allowed contact with my grandchild" that sounds like a realistic concern.  Let me tell you, at this point, that my MIL did not want to let go of her son when he got married, and our relationship (which started out on VERY good terms) became rocky.  It came to a head with my first pregnancy, when she wanted to determine her role as a grandmother, without regard for the fact that I was pretty preoccupied with figuring things out (and wanting to really be happy) as a new mom.  She started getting anxious during the pregnancy and asking, "when will we see you?" and wanting us to give specific guarantees of when (we don't live that close - over 5 hours away - and were broke and working like nuts).  When the baby was born, there were problems with the birth, and my husband had no time off, so we asked them to wait until the next weekend to come and visit (so we could have time to settle in as a family - I was worried about how to settle in with too much going on, and wanted to focus on the baby).  Well, she phoned up and announced, "I am coming whenever I want to see my grandchild!" and was as good as her word.  She came up and wanted my husband to meet them at the train station (leaving me alone, with the baby only 2 days old).  As far as I was concerned, that did it for me.  I was like a turtle that pulled inside its shell, and it took over 2 1/2 years for me to even feel like seeing her again.  I told my husband he had to choose between her and me (she phoned him, and I listened on the extension as she told him that I needed psychological help and was a sick woman - should I mention that I was still all stitched up and on fire "down below" and emotionally wrecked from all I had been through?).  She was more concerned about being a grandmother than with being a support to our new and struggling family.  Well, it is 20 years later and we all get along very well now.  I stood my ground - I love my husband very much - and she had to back down or lose out.
Well, as I've posted before, my MIL gives us the silent treatment for years on end.  But new events have risen.  A couple of weeks ago she took her husband's car, took it for a drive down the main street, stopped at a phone booth, spoke with her daughter and told her she is going to run this car off the road and commit suicide.  She never succeeded in doing this, but she badly damaged the front end of her husband's car.  In any case, she was having marriage problems, and in my opinion, because she couldn't get any answers from him, she wanted to draw his attention and do this (not a suicide attempt in my eyes).  Anyways, about a week later, they let her out of the mental ward of the hospital, just in time for a family party (yes, again).  Now, keep in mind, SHE STILL has yet to speak to me.  I walked into her house about one month ago, for the first time in over a year, and not only did I not get a hello or good bye when I said this, but never got invited into her house either.  I ended up sitting in the hallway on a bunch of stairs.  It was quite the site to sit there for 1/2 hour and not speak to anyone else but my SIL.  More recently, on our way to this family reunion, my husband told me that his mother feels that I have taken her grandkids away from her.  Because of me, because I have not allowed her to see them.  Well, in the past she has made promises of taking my children out, has made promises of making plans with me, and has never ever kept them.  I have always told her, "sure just call me and tell me which day you would like to go out."  But that's never happened.  Now, for over one year she refuses to call my house or visit because she says I make her feel unwelcome.  She is finally talking to my husband, all because he brought the grandkids over one day.  She has gone and changed the story around now, and is blaming me for not allowing her to see her grandkids.  She doesn't seem to remember all the promises she's made, and let my children down.  This has made my children dislike her, and they now call her "mean".  When she was in the hospital, I was told by my husband that the good thing for me to have done was to take our youngest child and visit her in this hospital.  But I reminded him of how "NICE" she was to me at her house when I visited.

Anybody have any advice as to what to do with a MIL that changes the story around and places the blame for her mistakes on her DIL all the time?  It's getting to the point that I feel so left out, and feel my husband is siding with his mother, which he claims he is NOT.

I have no intentions of kissing anyone's feet, or rolling out the red carpet either.  No matter what I do, I'm always picked on, and always disliked anyways.  I don't hate my MIL, just dislike how she treats everyone, and if things are not done her way, everyone else is the bad person, and she is always right.  If things are not done to her liking she stops talking to you.  Then, she changes the story and blames you for it.  GEEEZZZZZZ, somebody should have left her in that hospital!  NO?

  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 "Won't Kiss Her Feet" in your response.

RESPONSE:  Response to "Won't Kiss Her Feet"
Be strong!!  You know the truth.  I KNOW it will be difficult, but try to keep your calm.  It might take a hundred times, but every time your husband brings up something and it appears he is taking the MIL's side, calmly explain to him your reasons for doing things.  Just keep repeating yourself, and let him know that it upsets you that he would take his mother's side over yours.
I am 6 months pregnant with my first child.  My MIL has insisted since the beginning that she wants to be in the delivery room.  I have told her, "NO!" a hundred times.  It doesn't seem to sink in.  I finally asked her why she wants to be in the delivery room.  (Does this have anything to do with supporting me, or caring about what I'm going through?  I don't think so.)  Her response?  "I want to see the look on my son's face."  And she assures me it's not because she wants to be the first one to see the baby.  I don't remember ever mentioning that topic, so why she brought that up is beyond me.  (Maybe that's her real motive.  Who knows?)  Anyway, after having a little blowup at her place a while back, we finally got it straightened out that she is not going to be in the delivery room.  (Even though she says she still wants to be.)  My husband has been supportive, and he got on her telling her to drop the delivery room thing.

She keeps pushing for me to go back to work after the baby is born.  She wants to baby-sit.  However, she keeps bringing up how she's going to spank the baby.  I tried subtly to let her know that I wasn't comfortable with her talking about spanking someone who has committed no offense and isn't even born yet.

Now she's not talking to me, which is fine with me, except that I feel bad for my husband.  He is an only child, and she has already told me that I don't understand how hard it is for her to "lose" her "only son."  Last I checked, he wasn't going anywhere.  When I brought this to her attention, she said she never sees him.  I asked how often she wanted to see him, once a week?  She said, "no, at least once a month."  When I reminded her of all the times she's seen him since last summer (which turned out to be at least twice a month if not more) she just stammered, "oh, I guess I forgot."

She tries to make us feel guilty because we did not want to use my husband's crib from 32 years ago (yes, she saved it!) for our baby.  I told her it wasn't up to today's safety standards, and she still said, "We'll see ... I may just use it when the baby's here with me ..."  When I first told her I was pregnant, her reply was to ask if my husband was ready for this?  When I told her the ultrasound revealed that the baby is a boy, she said," I wanted a girl!"  When we decided to move our wedding date up by 7 months, she was the only one who asked if it was because I was pregnant.  I told her I was not pregnant, but she continued to ask every time we talked to her.  I got pregnant 3 months after we got married.  The baby is due a week and a 1/2 before our first anniversary.

The dilemma is, now that she's not talking to me, because I called her on some of these issues and confronted her on a few "little stories" she told, do I invite her to the baby shower and let her decide what to do?   And, if she doesn't talk to me for the next 3 months, should I be forced to have her show up at the hospital when the baby is born?  She has already told my husband that he had better call her and my FIL (to whom she is still married, but he must agree with every word she says for it to go smoothly) when I go in to labor.  I hate to see my husband hurt, and I don't want to keep her away from her new grandchild, but she makes me really uncomfortable.  I have let her know that "the ball is in her court."  It has been over a month, and she has not tried to contact me.  However, she does call her son when she knows I'm at work.

She can just be so pushy, and I am tired of it.  When I was 2 months pregnant, she bought me maternity clothes that are 2 sizes too big, and then wondered why I didn't wear them out to dinner that same night.  (They still don't fit at 6 months pregnant.)  It is nice to have a break from her, and thankfully she lives a little more than an hour away.  But I am stressed out that she will show up at the hospital and try to take charge.  Thankfully, my family swears they won't let her near the delivery room.  But, do I have to see her after just having had a baby if she doesn't make any effort to make things better between now and then?

  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 "Deliver Me From This" in your response.

RESPONSE:  Response to "Deliver me from this"
Going through labor and delivery is a very private thing.  You stick to your guns on this!!  We have a 5 month old, and when I went in to be induced, we told the hospital not to tell anyone we were there.  Several people called and asked if we were there, and because we told them we didn't want people to know our business, they told the callers that "no one was there under that name".  They put some kinda mark by your name if you tell them to, and whoever answers the phone tells them you aren't there.  It was the smartest thing we could have done, and I don't regret it at all.  After the baby was born, we called everyone and had the privacy block taken off.  My MIL gave us my husband's old cradle too, and it's up in the attic where it belongs!!
RESPONSE:  Response to "Deliver Me From This":
Maybe you could suggest to your MIL that it is about as appropriate to be present "to see her son's face" when you give birth as it would be to be in your bedroom watching his expression as her grandchild was conceived ...
RESPONSE:  response: Deliver Me From This
Oh, man, do I feel for you.  I am married to an only child also, and his mom forced her way into the delivery room when I had my son.  Even though she knew we didn't want her there.  She claimed my doctor told her that, since my mother was there, she had every right to be there.  Anyway ...

I think it has more to do with control than anything else.  If you were having a girl she would want a boy.  With mothers of only children (especially sons) they cannot stand to see them with anyone who will become more important than mommy.  Invite her to the shower or she will totally make you out to be the bad guy.  Just make sure you have a few reinforcements there with you.  Good luck, and I hope all goes well.
RESPONSE:  Response to "Deliver Me From This"
It sounds like your MIL is putting you through hell at a time that should be really joyous.  But what can you expect from them?  It happens to all of us DIL's, I think.  The hospital I delivered in only permitted two people, whom the mother specifies, to be back in the labor and delivery area, and no switching between relatives.  My suggestion would be to see if the hospital you are delivering at has a similar policy, and to make this decision before you go into labor.  In other words, if you don't want her back there, she won't be allowed, just give the heads up to your nurse to see it enforced.  Good luck, and congratulations!
RESPONSE:  deliver me from this
MY RESPONSE TO YOU on this is ... STICK TO YOUR GUNS!!!  My own mother wanted to come into the delivery room also, but never did because I didn't allow her, even though it was fine by my husband.  It's a private matter between husband and wife,
and has nothing to do with the in-laws, whatsoever.  This is YOUR moment and your HUSBAND'S moment, NOT your MIL'S!  She's had her days, now it's your turn.
RESPONSE:  Response to "Deliver me from this"
First of all, my sister is a nurse, and she informed me that NO ONE is allowed in the delivery room if you don't want them.  (Believe me, I asked, having had the same problem.)  The last thing the doctors want is for you to be ticked off.  As far as the Baby Shower, invite her.  She is your husband's mother.  Leave it up to her if she wants to be immature or not.  This will set the tone for the next event.  If she doesn't come, you can honestly say you tried, and it will be your call whether or not to invite her to the next event.  As far as the crib, if she wants to use it over her house, let her.  I don't think she would intentionally put your child in it if she thought it would be harmful.  Now if it looks unstable, explain this to hubby, and let him tell his mom.  But just remember, YOU will be the mother and your husband the father.  The decisions WILL be yours.  Let your MIL talk all she wants.  In the end, everything will be up to you.  Try not to stress about it.
I am writing this story in need of some advice.  I have reached a point in our relationship where I don't know which way to turn.  I have been dating my boyfriend for three and a half years.  During this time period, I have had very limited contact with his parents, because they live 3 hours away and rarely come down to visit his home.  I, on the other hand, have never really felt welcomed at his parent's home.  For instance, my boyfriend always says that I have an open invitation to go up with him to visit, but I would feel more comfortable if they or even my boyfriend would specifically ask me if I would like to come up for the weekend. He thinks this is too picky on my part, but I just wasn't raised where I should invite myself somewhere where I'm not invited or at least where I feel that I'm really wanted. 

When we first started dating, I used to feel like his parents liked me, but that has changed over the last few years.  I believe the majority of the problem is that I'm one religion and they're another.  My boyfriend told me, once, that she had warned him to not get too involved with me because of the problems my religion caused.  Their whole family is very involved in their church, which my boyfriend continues to attend, even though it's 3 hrs away.  He goes up every other weekend for church activities and to see his family, which has been a cause of stress in our relationship.  It is so hard to work around that schedule, especially when both of us travel with work and events (weddings, work parties, etc.) usually come up on the weekends.

I believe his parents give him a guilt trip and put a lot of pressure on him to be the "perfect" son, since their other son is the complete opposite of my boyfriend and is a constant headache.  My boyfriend is their oldest son (in his early 30's) and is 9 years older than his brother, so he's always been the responsible one that has it together and cares about the family.  Although my boyfriend would never admit that they put this kind of pressure on him, or tell him he has to do any of the things he does.  I get the feeling that he often does it out of obligation, and maybe even a little bit of fear of his parents - not that he'll admit to it.  He would never speak even the slightest bit nasty of his parents or family.  In his eyes, they never do wrong.

His brother causes a great deal of problems in our relationship, as well.  They completely baby his younger brother, and let him get away with everything.  In their eyes - he does no wrong.  They pay his way through everything, and they don't understand why he is so irresponsible.  Then, when he got too out of control for them to handle, they made my boyfriend take his brother into his house and set a good example for him.  They wanted my boyfriend to hopefully rub off on their other son, but never took into consideration the strain that puts on my boyfriend (not to mention us).  My boyfriend has to do all the housework and all the yard work around the house.  The brother doesn't respect anything, and is constantly punching holes in the walls, messing up the plumbing, etc.  I don't think it's fair that his parents have washed their hands of their parental duties and passed them on to my boyfriend.  My boyfriend is tired of having to put up with his brother, but he can't face his parents to tell them.  He says he has to do it because it's family and they were nice to him when he was in college (his brother is in college).  They all think things will change when he graduates, but not only is he taking his time (since there's no motivation for him to leave the comforts of a home where everything is done for him and everything is paid for) I don't believe they will just cut him off once he's out of school.  His brother never gives my boyfriend my messages.  He's always rude to me on the phone and has hung up on me on several occasions.  But, when my boyfriend talked to his parents about his brother hanging-up on me - (four times in a row one recent night) his parents supported the brother's rude behavior and blamed me for actually calling back.  They said that it was spiteful of me to call back after he'd hung up on me the first time.  They thought I should just have waited and talked to my boyfriend the next day.  I never received an apology from anyone.

Then, the latest problem occurred this past weekend.  My boyfriend went home for Father's Day and we got into an argument Sunday evening on the phone.  My boyfriend ended up hanging up on me.  I have just had it with these rude and disrespectful actions towards me.  The thought of hanging up on someone has never crossed my mind.  I've never hung up on anyone before, and I can't imagine being that disrespectful and rude to someone - regardless of how upset I am.  I was so furious with him doing that that I called back his parent's house.  It was right at midnight (but my boyfriend calls my parent's house later than that on a regular basis) and his mother answered the phone.  I apologized for calling that late, but asked to speak with my boyfriend.  She said she wasn't sure, and then returned to the phone and said that he didn't want to speak to me.  First of all, I was enraged by the fact that my boyfriend acted like such a teenager by putting his mom in the middle of something that's not her business.  Not only should he have handled the call, but I found it very humiliating to have her come back and say he didn't want to speak to me.  As if that's not bad enough, she went on to say that she didn't appreciate me calling their home, and that they wanted to go to bed and that she was going to hang up, and before I knew it, she hung up on me, also!

I am at the end of my rope on this.  I don't know how to handle this situation.  It never occurred to me that my boyfriend and his brother's rude behavior was learned from their mother, but how can I get them to see that it's wrong?  I don't know how I can make at least my boyfriend see that this is completely UNACCEPTABLE behavior, and that I cannot tolerate being disrespected and humiliated in this manner.  My boyfriend said that there really wasn't much of a conversation to have with his mom at that point, so it was okay for her to do that.  She just did what she had to do to get to sleep.  I am floored by this, and can't imagine being treated this way anymore.  I know it sounds corny to say that I love this man, but I don't know what I'm supposed to do with my feelings for him.  I believe having his support is extremely important for the future, and especially in a marriage.  I would have to have his support in order to continue with this relationship, but I honestly don't know how to go about it getting him to understand this.  He sees his supporting me and not his family as a betrayal to them, since they're "family".  And frankly, I don't see that he would be capable of standing up to his parents.  I believe that I deserve an apology, and want my boyfriend to confront his parents for me, but don't think it would happen.  Up until this event, we were planning on getting engaged over the next couple of weeks.  And now, I don't even know where we stand.  I would appreciate any words of advice on this matter.  I don't know what else to do. Thanks.

  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 "Boyfriend Not Confronting Parents" in your response.

RESPONSE:  Re: Boyfriend Not Confronting His Parents.
Run, do not walk, RUN as fast as you can.  This man has made it clear that he does not respect you.  His younger brother hangs up on you because he knows as much.  If you do no feel comfortable visiting his parents, it's because your intuition is telling you something.  Cut all ties to this man and tell him why.  If I am wrong, and he does love you, he will straighten out his family and demand that they respect you.  If you marry him now, with his family behaving in this manner, you'll be letting them know that you are willing to be their whipping post, and you have no respect for yourself.  I'm sorry to be so blunt - but I've been there before, and I wish someone had pointed it out to me.  P.S. Your boyfriend sounds like he has a lot of growing up to do - 30's or not.
RESPONSE:  In Response to "Boyfriend Not Confronting Parents":
I am happy for you, in a way.  Why?  Because you are finding out both your boyfriend and his family's true colors BEFORE you get married.  My first inclination is to tell you to dump him, immediately.  But, on second thought, I would suggest counseling for you both.  He is so enmeshed in his family's obvious dysfunction, which is evident by him getting his mother (who he knows doesn't approve of you) involved in your argument.  That was an act of sabotage on his part (sabotaging any future relationship you could have with them), and does not lead me to believe that he has any real long-term plans with you in his mind.  It seems to me that a man would not turn his parents against someone who he cherishes enough to marry, who he would normally be protective of, and who he knows will have to get along with these people for a long time.  He HAD to have known how his parents would react, it's like adding fuel to the fire.  Also, him not inviting you up to visit them seems indicative of his lack of long-term plans with you.  The fact that his family is close is not the issue, some families spend more time and are closer than others.  But, the fact that he's not including you in that closeness speaks volumes (and no, I don't think you're being picky by wanting an invite).  If you had just met, I could see the reluctance.  But years later, and after talking about becoming engaged?  It seems as if he has chosen his family over you.  I hope I'm wrong, for your sake.  At the very least, he has a horrendous amount of immaturity and rudeness, and yes, it does appear that his brother and him get it from the parents.  Do you really want to spend the rest of your life dealing with that, and shielding any children you may have from it?  Please, really think it through before becoming engaged and marrying this guy.  Many, many of us are women who didn't know just how bad our in-laws were until we were married.  I'm sure some of us would have still married our husbands had we known, but you have a choice!
RESPONSE:  Response to "Boyfriend Not Confronting Parents"
The first thing you need to do is distance yourself from your boyfriend for a few days.  Spend time with other friends, and remind yourself that you are a valued individual either way, with or with out him.  Then, try to imagine your life without him.  I know right now it may seem impossible, but try.  As someone else wrote, at least you found out how the family life is Before you got married.  In all your writing, you did not go on much about what a great guy he is, there could be an underlying reason it did not occur to you to mention it.

The next thing you need to do is consider your religions.  How incompatible are they?  Are you both some version of Protestantism?  For instance, I was raised Southern Baptist.  My husband's mother was Methodist.  My husband does not feel very at home/welcomed/comfortable in my current church.  Since our basic beliefs are compatible, we are now "Church-Shopping" closer to home.  My Dad was a minister, and I have heard him counsel enough couples, and speak on marriage enough, to know that you need to come to an agreement on when, how, and where to worship.  Have you attended his church?  Remember, no one keeps anyone out of church.  If you try his church for a while, and still do not feel comfortable, ask him to try churches nearer to where you live.

On the issue of him saying that his family is most important to him.  Use the fact that he says he is a religious person.  Remind him of Genesis 2:23-24, "(23) And Adam said, This is now bones of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. *(24)* Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."  Right there in the first book of the Bible it says that he should LEAVE his family and cleave (hold fast/tightly) to his WIFE!  If he can not see reason through this scripture and calm discussion (do not stoop to putting down his family), then I do not feel he is half the man you believe him to be, and you need to get out while the gettin' is good, and just be thankful there were no marriage vows or children involved here.  Whatever happens, I am sure things will turn out for the best.
RESPONSE:  Re: Boyfriend Not Confronting Parents
You simply cannot allow your boyfriend or his family to treat you in this manner.  You are an adult, and you are entitled to be treated as such.  It is unacceptable for his family to hang up on you - it doesn't matter what reasoning is behind it.  Like you, I wouldn't dream of hanging up on someone that I had any kind of respect for.  So, here's the moment of truth: they probably don't think too highly of you if they would do that to you.  Sorry ... I know that's probably not what you want to hear, but their actions show a blatant disrespect for you and your feelings.  The fact that your boyfriend would involve his mother in your fight shows that he's still attached to his mother's umbilical cord (so to speak).  Is that what you want from a husband?  Do you really want some namby pampy guy who's going to run and hide behind his his mama's skirt every time the two of you have a fight?  Please reconsider this guy.  He seems all wrong for you.  You sound like you have your act to together, so don't sell yourself short.  You deserve much better!
This is the first time I've visited this site, and I am really relieved to find other people with MIL problems.  I'm not really sure where to begin, except my problems with her have been going on for 18 years (as long as we've been married).  They more-or-less came to a head last summer, and it was to the point of not speaking for 6 months before she would admit any fault or apologize.  We have a place at the lake which my husband had before he met me.  The problem is, his parents also have a place there.  They were never giving us any privacy, and dropping by uninvited all the time.  They are retired, and have all the time in the world to visit with friends, whereas we both work full time and only have weekends.  They would continually impose on us and expect to be waited on, and stay all evening.  Finally, we had to say something, and she in particular was so offended and horrified that she didn't speak to us (which kind of back-fired on her, as it was very peaceful for us) and started to write letters to my husband.  These letters usually contained derogatory things about me or my family.  She, herself, comes from an extremely dysfunctional family, and uses that constantly as an excuse for her awful behavior.  I thinks its a cop-out, and am really tired of it.  Fortunately for me though, my husband is totally supportive of my feelings, and knows all too well how his mother can be.  He can block it out, where I can't.  I end up stewing and getting really upset about the whole thing.  She is never wrong and never sorry, so nothing ever gets resolved.  What do you do about a MIL you have to be in contact with all the time?

  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 "Constant       Contact" in your response.

Where do I begin?  This really does seem to be therapeutic for me.  I will try to give the condensed version.  My MIL problems really began when I became pregnant.  My husband (H) and I were not yet married, though we had discussed the possibility.  When I got pregnant, my in-laws decided it would be best for us to get married a.s.a.p. because they were worried that my pregnancy could cost my FIL his job.  You see, he is the pastor of a very strict church.  So, my MIL planned a big wedding in two weeks.  We were married two weeks and one day after I got the pregnancy test.  I feel like, since that day, I have lost all control in my life and my associations.  Of the 80 guests that came to the wedding, only four were from my side of the family: my mom, dad, sister and brother.  My MIL picked out everything except the colors.  She made the guest list (all her relatives), picked the music, and the wedding was held at their church in another state (far from where we lived, so my friends could not make it).  I really would rather have eloped, but the big Christian wedding was forced down my throat.  I heard my "Wedding Song" the night before the wedding, and I was offended by the lyrics: "Woman draws her life from Man and gives it back again."  When I told them that I didn't like that message, and that I think women give life (birth) to men, they told me: "It's a reference to Adam and Eve." (Of course, I knew that, but that didn't make it less offensive to me).  End of discussion.  Then, on my wedding day, I asked my FIL if my brother (13 years old) could be an usher instead of just lighting the candles.  My FIL yelled at me:  "Your brother can't even handle lighting the candles!  How's he going to be an usher?"  I started crying right there - on my wedding morning!  I guess I should have run and left my H at the altar!

I think things really got bad during the pregnancy.  I had extreme morning sickness, and actually lost 25 lbs. during the first TWO trimesters!  They had to give me I.V.'s because I was dehydrated.  I couldn't keep ANYTHING down, and they finally put me on drugs because the baby was at risk.  I was slowly starving to death.  At one point, my H complained to his mom (he never should have!) that I was just lying around in bed all day, and she told him that, when SHE was pregnant, she worked all the way through the pregnancies!  But she was never that sick - I swear, I was starving to death!  She made a point of getting involved and telling my H that I was not "keeping my end of the deal."  As if marriage is a business contract!  Throughout the pregnancy, she scrutinized every decision: my decision to use cloth diapers, not to circumcise my son (she cried over that decision) and not to use a pacifier (you would have thought I was beating my son!).  I gave birth in another state, and she really wanted to come for the birth.  My husband thought it would be too stressful for me, and since we didn't know the exact day the child would be born, he told her not to come.  She is mad about that to this day.  The person at the birth was my husband - that's how I wanted it!  I didn't want to be a circus side show.  If I wanted anybody at the birth, it would have been my mom, but she wasn't there either (everyone lived far away).  They first saw the baby when he was two months old, and I remember that they thought I was being immodest when I breastfed him in public with a nursing shirt.  So, I covered up.  I really tried to please them as much as I could.  My MIL even pried into our love life, and to keep her happy, I would tell her, "Oh, yes, we're having sex.  Oh, yes, we're using birth control ... etc."  Now, I know I never should have answered those questions - it is none of her business how often we have sex or what method of birth control we use!

Everything continued like this until my son's first birthday.  My son's birthday and my husband's graduation were just one week apart, so we planned to celebrate my son's birthday and then fly out for my husband's graduation (he was finishing up long-distance).  This was our first big mistake - one week with his parents was way too long.  On about the fourth day, at my husband's graduation, my MIL blew up at me with very little provocation.  She called me a "little girl" and told me I was trying to sabotage her son's education (actually, it was the opposite, because I was a major help to him).  She told me it was my fault her son hadn't found a job yet! (imagine that!).  She told me I got into college on a "government quota" because I was "white, rude and from Minnesota" (I really didn't know they had a quota for that J).  The most hurtful things she said were about my family.  She tried to say that I was a bad mother (completely false) and she said, "Even your mother can't stand you!"  That couldn't be further from the truth, but she is very jealous of my close relationship with my mom.  She said about fifty other mean things, and I kept a list.  My husband and I went to marriage counseling for 3 months after that incident, and agreed that we needed to set boundaries.  We didn't see them for 6 months after the attack (we live very far away).  We also got a number with a special ring so that I wouldn't have to talk to them when they called.  Incidentally, when I tried to tell my FIL about the things she said, he didn't want to hear any of it.  He said, "That is between your MIL, you and God."  Of course, given his profession as a counselor, he SHOULD have at least listened to my side of the story.  They are both very good at hiding behind God.  I have since learned that he agrees completely with his wife (maybe he has to).

This is getting very long.  To make a long story short, we went down there this past weekend (they live 6-7 hours away), and we had another fight - this time, it was both my MIL and FIL against my husband and me.  I now know that they blame me for anything my husband says.  When he's mad at them and says mean things to them, it is my fault.  When he can't find a job, it is my fault.  They told me: "The wife is supposed to settle/calm her husband down."  Of course, if you believe that Eve was the downfall of humankind, then it is easy to blame the wife, right?  This thing has gone too far.  They have said things I can't possible forgive, let alone forget.  This problem with my H's parents is destroying our marriage (which was rocky to begin with).  I really need some advice here.  I have given them so many chances to try to get along, and they just can't control themselves.  I can tell you this, they really are crazy (literally).  My MIL had an encounter with a serial killer from the late sixties.  Nobody in my FIL's family can stand him!  He hasn't had a relationship with his brothers and sisters for years ...

I can tell you this - it's not just me.  I need some advice on how to deal with crazy people and how not to let them under my skin.  What can I do?  I feel like they are tied to me forever because of my son!  It's the worst feeling!

  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 "Son Ties Us Forever" in your response.

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