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Mother-In-Law Stories
Archives 11/13/99
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While my husband and I were visiting in our hometown, my mother-in-law called me over to my sister's house and asked me if I planned on coming to dinner that day.  I told her yes.   She had the nerve to tell me to make sure I called first, because my husband's first wife was coming, and she did not want to upset her!  Can you believe that?  Talk about not being a part of the family.  This upset my husband so much, we did not visit for quite some time.

My husband and I have been married one year.  We have a new business, and struggle with money all the time.  Two days before her actual birthday, we gave my MIL her birthday gift.  It cost $30, which is a lot for us right now.  As we were walking out the door, she told my husband that she knew we would be back on her actual birthday, so we could bring her another present.  What did my husband do?  On her birthday, he ordered a very expensive flower arrangement.  I told my husband that his mother sure knows how to manipulate him.  He didn't talk to me for two days.  Last year we bought her 18 kt. gold earrings.  Her only comment, "Oh, more earrings." 

My husband and I fight over two things.  One is his mother.  In August, her new car was stolen and burned to the ground.  She asked us if she could borrow one of our cars.  We loaned her, at first, our old pickup.  She didn't like driving this one, so my husband made me loan her my new car.  I had to drive our junker to work.  She was only suppose to borrow our car until she found a new one.  She had our car for three months.  She had the nerve to call me and ask me if she could keep my car indefinitely.  She didn't want to have to go out and buy a new one and have to make payments and insurance premiums.  In the meantime, my husband and I are struggling to make our payments and premiums.  We have fought, and not talked for days over this.  I feel she uses us and manipulates my husband.  He never sees it.  The other day I had to drive thirty miles to pick up antibiotics for my elderly mother because she has pneumonia.  My husband said I couldn't take my car because he did not want unnecessary miles on our car.  But his mother can put 400 miles on it to visit her daughter.  I did finally get my car back.  How?  Behind my back, my husband bought his mommy a car with funds from our company.  Now, we are a couple of thousand dollars overdrawn, and we need to pay taxes, payroll, insurance, fuel, etc.  I absolutely HATE this woman.

My mother-in-law just announced a week ago that she was looking into buying a house just down the street from us.  I about had a coronary (if that's how you spell it).  Not only would she be living alone in that house, which you are able to view from our porch, but she would live with her pregnant daughter (my sister in-law who just quit her job and is lazy).  The worst thing is that my husband will not tell her not to move there!  I think she should have at least asked if we would mind.  Blahhh...What do I do? I've only been married for three months.

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

I have the Mother-in-law from Mars, have been married 15 years, and still can't get used to it.  When she first visited our newlywed apartment, I came home to find the kitchen cabinets rearranged to her way. (I put them back to my way without saying anything).  She "surprised" us with a visit from out of state on our first wedding anniversary (I overheard her explaining on the phone - "I'm here visiting, so they wouldn't have to be alone on their first anniversary").  She has just moved to my town following my father-in-law's death.  I went grocery shopping for her, got EVERY item on the list.  I got a phone call a little later - she screamed at me that I didn't get her her sweets!  I should know that she needed THOSE (weren't on the list at all).  She moved to a much smaller place, but insisted that all her stuff from her former home be moved to town (rakes, shovels, broken appliances) - I had those things put into storage and she had a screaming fit for not keeping it all (47 boxes worth) in my basement.  She gave my daughter some good china, but we are NOT to use any of it - it's for after she grows up (10 years away).  She has told my husband what a lazy good-for-nothing wife I am.  I work 10 hours/day as a manager outside the home, am involved in community service, kidstuff, kid homework - and sometimes, I even rest. But I am a complete dropout at cooking - I don't dirty up every pan in the house, I don't iron the shirts (they're sent out), I don't clean the house all by myself (family members are assigned their jobs), and I don't run around doing anything for anyone that anyone is capable of doing him/herself.  I have learned over the years to just say: Um, Oh, uh huh, and then just keep doing what I do, hearing the flack, and then just keep doing what I do that is meaningful to me.  She just can't stand that I'm in charge of me and she isn't.

While we were staying with my in-laws, I spoke about a new flavor of ice cream stating out loud how great I thought it was.  A few days later, my mother-in-law purchased a container of this ice cream.  After announcing that morning that we would be leaving their home two days earlier than expected, which was not received nicely (we had stayed over a week, and they never once offered to take their grandchildren to a park or any other outing), my husband went to get some of the new ice cream after dinner, but could not find it in the cellar freezer.  Two days later, as I promised my husband I would, I found the container of ice cream wrapped in a non-see-through bag, on the bottom shelf, stuffed behind a frozen turkey!!!  As I see it, the main issue with in-laws is control.  If they can't have it, they'll make your life miserable, but at least it's your life!

I always invite my in-laws over my house for dinner and to visit.  They have only been over our house a total of 3x since we got married and bought our house (and it has been a year now!).  Anyway, my mother-in-law always comments on how we never invite them over!  When the truth is, we do, and she always seems to have something better to do I guess, because she says she has plans!

My mother-in-law is just awful!  First of all, we are different religions and nationalities, so of course we disagree on just about everything including traditions.  My husband and I had a beautiful wedding (following my religion).  My husband doesn't like his religion anyway, so I was lucky to not have a problem as far as following my religion for both our wedding and raising our future children.  But, his mother did.  But, it's our wedding, and our kids, so it's our choice.

She criticizes everything I do, and I do feel as though my husband could defend me a lot more often than he does.  But, of course, he is close to his mother, so he hardly ever says anything, except for religion.  He agrees with me in front of her on that.  She believes that (in her original country) when a guy proposes to a girl, the mother of the guy proposing is supposed to know about it first, even before the person he is proposing to knows.  This makes no sense at all to me, since I am the one he is asking to marry, not her!

And, she also believed that she should be the one to pick out my engagement ring! Luckily, my husband didn't agree with that either.  So, he picked it out himself, and I am glad cuz it came from his heart.  I told him that if he had his mother pick it out, I would have made him return it and pick out another one, because I think that is wrong because it should only be either him or myself and no one else!  Again, my husband agreed with me on this, and didn't do what she expected him to do, and so she didn't talk to us for 2 wks!  Immature and stupid!  Also, on top of that, she was mad cuz she claimed the engagement was totally unexpected!  Which was kind of hard to believe, since we had already been going steady for 2 years, and he told me how he always told his mother how he knew I was "the one" right from the beginning!

Anyway, she tried to get me to do our wedding the way she wanted it (her way) which, since we were entirely paying for it, should be done the way we want it, and she shouldn't have a say in it!  We just basically disagree on everything!!  We don't fight, just disagree.

She isn't so bad, now that we are married, but sometimes, of course, she can still say and do things that make me very mad!  She never got her license, nor did her husband.  So, whenever she needs a ride, which is quite often, of course she calls us and she expects us to drop everything to be her taxi!

Not to mention, she is very unappreciative as well.  Sometimes, I feel as though she is the "wife"!  I am very happily married, by the way, this is just the only thing my husband and I sometimes argue about.  Even though he does agree with me sometimes, he doesn't always let his mother know that, because he has no backbone!

Anyway, getting back to my mother in-law - it was always important to me to be close to my mother-in-law, but she is so impossible to get close to!  I have done so many favors for her that I can't tell you how many times I did things for her (hardly ever being able to say no) and of course she didn't even say, "thank-you"!  I also buy her things that she likes, just to try to be nice to her, and try to get close to her, and kinda put the past behind us.  And she is just impossible to get close to!

My husband tells me all the time that she really does like me, and says she tells him all the time that I am hard to get close to, because I won't let her be 
close to me!  Which, by the way, is the complete opposite.  The funny thing is, her other daughter- in-law she is really close to, and they have more disagreements than we have, but yet she seems to be close to her for some strange reason.  She has no consideration for others, and doesn't have manners.

I know it's terrible to talk about my mother-in-law like this, but it really bothers me that she can't be anything like my husband.  I actually was told by the other daughter-in-law that she talks about me when I am not around!  Her other daughter-in-law can't stand her either!  

I really don't even understand how my husband turned out so well brought up, and sweet with manners, and a lot of appreciation for everything I do for him, and just basically anything and everything he would do for me or anyone!  While his mother is the opposite!  And how he could be so close to his mother when they are so VERY different!

As far as the wedding, she criticized everything, and she was the only one to do that.  Everyone else agreed that our wedding was beautiful.  She had told me before the wedding that I am too obsessed with Royal blue, and I picked too much of that color for our wedding.  I said, "well it is my favorite color!"  And she said, "I know, but everything's blue!"   Well, my husband and I paid for the entire wedding, and we liked it, and that's all that matters! The only thing we agreed to do for her, well, actually my husband agreed to this, is to have prime rib because she believes in impressing her family with expensive meals and fancy weddings!  He agreed that this was wrong, too, but let her win on this one.  I told her, if people were just coming to the wedding for the prime rib, then I wouldn't want them there at all, because it's not very nice, and obviously they should just go to our wedding for us, not for the meal!  And she told me I didn't understand, because weddings are just supposed to be that way!  Anyway, the wedding is over with, which, unfortunately, it was over way too fast.  But, the only good thing about it is that I don't have to hear about that from her anymore.

Now we have other problems.  She calls us 3x a week, early in the morning on weekends, and very late at night on weekdays, and I think that is very rude.  When I answer the phone half asleep, she apologizes for waking me up, but yet still does it.  I believe she is doing it on purpose just to spite me and get me mad, but my husband claims she just forgets it's too early for us!  Also, whenever I pick up the phone, she doesn't even talk to me she, just asks me how I am doing and if her son is there!  How rude, huh?  I am supposed to be her daughter-in-law, and she never will have more than a 5 second conversation with me!

In the past, she opened up our mail that still got sent to her house, after my husband and I bought a house.  For some reason, some of the mail still went to her house (where he lived before we were married!).  Then, she would lecture us on our bills, which is really none of her business!!

Well, I guess I will wrap this up, since I typed so much already, but anyway, as you can see, there are a lot of things that aggravate me, and a lot of things we disagree on.  But, yet, I still somehow wanna be close to her. Sometimes she can be nice to me, and actually sometimes I think she is trying to change for the better.  And then the next day, it's like back to the same old ways.

Please HELP me and give me some ADVICE!!  I don't know what to do!!  And as long as I am married to her son for the rest of my life, I need to somehow build a good relationship with her, since she will be my mother-in-law for as long as I am alive!  I just wish she would try as hard as I have to get close to her!  Thanks so much for your time and for any advice you might have for me!  At this point, I am desperate to find any other things I could do or say to get her to be closer to me!  Do you think it is hopeless?  I also would like to do this for my husband, because he means everything to me.  And I know it is also important to him that my mother-in-law and I are close, because it would eliminate some disagreements with his mother and I.  Thanks so much!!

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

Response Received
Below is a Story Previously Run
Along With a Recent Response Received


My future mother-in-law is so very overbearing and manipulating and controlling, and my future husband is so very clueless, I am embarrassed. She has a lot a lot of money and loves to throw it around and show it off.  She wanted me to have my wedding gifts sent to her house, and she was going to put them out on display and have a "sip and see" where people came over and had a drink and checked out all the presents!  Has anyone ever heard of this?  I think it is so very tacky.  AND even though we put their names on the invitation (because they are paying for half the wedding) she wanted HER address printed on the back of the envelopes.  Have you ever????  AND, a bunch of her friends are throwing us an engagement party, and she didn't even ask me, but one night we went over there and she had all these gifts lined up, and SHE had already bought the hostess gifts that are supposed to come from me and SHE wrote the poem to go into the gift!!!  Have you ever heard such shameless controlling behavior????  I am going NUTS!!!  If anyone has advice, please send!

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

RESPONSE:  Golly, seems like just yesterday (but that was nearly 15 years ago).  It doesn't get better.  My mother-in-law wanted to give me china for our wedding gift.  I told her my pattern.  She told me I picked too expensive, and that I would HAVE to choose a lesser pattern.  I told her no, I LIKED my pattern, just give me LESS of it, because I'd rather cherish a few pieces than choose something else.  When my first child was born, she told me she had, "checked out the diaper services" and that that's the way to go.  I said that was nice that she called around, but that I had made another choice (disposables).  She had all the info on bottle feeding schedules, I chose breastfeeding....Every step of the way, maintain your integrity, and don't think you have to please the woman.  (Also, she wanted the great gift display too - I said I didn't plan on that - that what with all the wedding rush, it'd be too too much to try to fit in).  Good luck. !  Stay true to yourself and it is not impolite to be assertive.


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Secret Paths: Women in the New Midlife
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