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Mother-In-Law Stories
Worst Gift Archives
April 2001
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Worst gift: Posted: 13-Apr-01
My worst gift from my in-laws is NOTHING.  My mother-in-law will give my husband $200 and a card for his birthday, but she won't even acknowledge that I have a birthday!  My mother-in-law and father-in-law are divorced, and I get the same treatment from him.  My father-in-law will send my husband a gift, and he sends me a card.  While my parents actually give all four of us (me, my husband, my brother, and my brother's wife) gifts of equal value, so no one feels left out.

        Signed - Worst Gift Is NOTHING

Worst gift: Posted: 8-Feb-01
During the Christmas that we were engaged, my future mother-in-law (now my evil, evil mother-in-law) gave me four "washer balls" for Christmas.  They are little Velcro covered balls (the size of golf balls) that are supposed to really agitate the dirt out of your laundry, if you use them in the washing machine.  They cost about 25 cents at a drugstore.  That's all I got for Christmas from my MIL before I married her son.  Attached to the "balls" was a note saying, "So that you can get my son's clothes especially clean."  Not only did I resent the cheapness and tackiness of the gift, I was also offended by the implications of the gift.  As a Ph.D. student with career ambitions of my own, I was startled by the implication that I would be nothing more than a domestic servant to my husband, fussing over the cleanliness of his apparel while forgoing any of my own needs.  Has this woman heard of the women's movement?!

        signed - I'm Not Her Son's Maid!

RESPONSE:  I'm Not Her Son's Maid!
Posted: 9-Feb-01
That is SO annoying!  How insensitive and self-indulgent can she be?  It reflects the kind of person she is -- heaven forbid she should think of YOUR feelings, and try to be kind and empathetic to YOU.  So tactless!  You have my sympathy.

RESPONSE:  I'm Not Her Son's Maid!
Posted: 9-Feb-01
Boy, was she letting you know what she thought of you.  Something for you to look forward to once you got married, I'm sure.  I just hope your husband is behind you, because you're going to have lots of fun with that one.  She's obviously jealous of your attainments - rub her miserable nose in it!!

RESPONSE From Poster:  I'm Not Her Son's Maid!
Posted: 14-Feb-01
I'm the original poster of the "washer-balls" story.  I just had to share my newest little tidbit with you.  My DH is out of town for two weeks on business, and I'm in the middle of some pretty intense coursework this semester.  Well, last week, my MIL sent me a recipe for cookies that she said have been highly praised each time she has served them.  She thought I might like the cookie recipe to make some for my DH when he gets home.  Ugh!  I mean I know I'm overreacting a bit, and seeing it all so negatively (but heck, I'm able to chuckle!), but does she see the implications of sending "the wife" a recipe?  Does she understand the old-fashioned gender roles that it brings up?  I mean, it NEVER would have crossed her mind to send her son the recipe, because he's a boy, but she feels free to send it to me because I'm a girl.  Then, she wants me to make cookies for HIM.  So, I'm confused.  Is this a gift?  It only means more work for me.  If she had meant it as a gift, then why didn't she just send me some cookies?!  Now that would have been a welcomed treat!  Ah, MILS.

RESPONSE:  I'm Not Her Son's Maid!
Posted: 15-Feb-01
Your mother-in-law is just trying to "put you in your place" by signing that Christmas card with the "getting HER son's clothes clean" reference!!  OOOh, that really burns me up; every, single, woman in my husband's family (yes, there are LOTS of them) signs cards to me, "Take care of MY nephew", "Take care of MY grandson", "Take care of MY son" ... you would think they think he is a loaf of bread.  Also, the idea that you think she wants you to be his housewife is, more than likely, right on the mark.  I work two jobs (1 full-time; 1 part-time/ Both professional positions), because my husband and I just opened our own business and we need money right now to really get it going ... anyway, I did take Mondays off from these jobs to take care of our business from home.  Well, every chance my mother-in-law gets to make a comment about me "lounging around on Mondays", or "are you sure ****** shouldn't be working EVERY day", she just drives me nuts.  Thank God! she lives three states away.  It's really the condescending attitude that irritates, isn't it.  I'm sorry, I meant to comment on your story, but ended up venting!!!  I hope you stay strong and grit your teeth, you'll need that strength for later!!!

RESPONSE:  I'm Not Her Son's Maid!
Posted: 11-APR-01
I know this was archived, but I just got here.  Now, there may be more to your MIL relationship than you've told, but don't get so terribly wrapped up in the gender roles.  Both of those stories (doing her son's laundry, and giving you a recipe to use to welcome him back) could simply be a clueless person's way to let you know that she recognizes your relationship with her son.  Some people's personal biases and experiences in that area are so overwhelming that they blot out the differences that have come in gender roles.  If you were a 1950s housewife, the cookies thing might have been a really nice way to say, "I know he's coming home to YOU."  If you expect her to recognize that you're a 90s & 00s kind of girl, you need to be sure you're recognizing that she isn't.  (but, yes, those washer balls are cheap.)

RESPONSE:  I'm Not Her Son's Maid!
Posted: 12-APR-01
The gift of the washer balls was extremely tacky.  But, I don't think that she was trying to do anything harmful with the cookie recipe.  If these really are his favorites, would it kill you to make a batch for when he returns from his trip??  I think not.  It would just be a nice gesture that shows to your husband that you care, and are glad that he is home.  I agree with another poster that said that while you are a '90's or '00 girl she is not.  A good marriage requires doing little things for each other.  For example, I am a stay at home mom with a college education, my husband works a lot of hours.  Sometimes, in the summer, I'll go and cut the grass and surprise him with it.  Or I'll make him his favorite dessert, or whatever.  He doesn't regard me as a little housewife.  I am his partner, his equal.  I think you need to stop worrying about gender roles and get off your pedestal.

RESPONSE:  I'm Not Her Son's Maid!
Posted: 16-APR-01
This response is directed to the response posted April 12, 2001.  You know, I read your comments, and I have to respond in defense of the original poster.  I don't believe the woman was "worried" about gender roles.  I believe what she was trying to express was the fact that her MIL was trying to define her role as wife in her marriage to the MIL's son.  I don't believe the original poster was putting herself up on a pedestal.  Maybe she just doesn't want to be judged on how good of a wife she is by the sumptuousness of her cookies.  It doesn't make her a worse wife, nor does it make you a better wife, by the amount or quality of baked goods you do or do not prepare.  There are other ways to show someone you care, other than serving up some cookies and milk to your man.  You have to admit, the MIL had already set precedence with the washer balls, which were extremely tacky and cheap.  Maybe you are being a touch too defensive over your gender based role as a stay at home mom.

RESPONSE From Poster:  I'm Not Her Son's Maid!
Posted: 19-APR-01
I'm the original poster of the story, again.  I was a bit startled by the venomous postings in the last few days, though I do appreciate the one sent on April 16th in defense of me.  Of course I do all kinds of sweet, nurturing, adorable things for my husband to make him more comfortable.  I cook every meal; I make nice treats for him; I pack his lunch; I do the laundry.  And I'm just generally pretty darn sweet to him.  I don't think I'm on a pedestal at all, and I don't think he would say I am, either.  In fact, I think I've struck a wonderful balance between my domestic, feminine, nurturing side and my professional, assertive, competitive side.  My complaint, as the responder from the 16th noted, is with my MIL pigeonholing me into just one of those arenas:  the domestic one.  I believe that women can play all kinds of roles and do all kinds of things; but the only signals my MIL is sending me is that, to be a good wife is to be domestic only.  I disagree with her, and have been hurt/frustrated/angered by the implications (covert and overt) of some of her gifts, comments, and behaviors.  I hope that when folks respond to messages on this forum in the future, they'll remember that this site is intended (I think) to provide people who are suffering because of their MILs with kindness, sympathy, empathy, and support.  I don't think this forum is a place for cruelty to each other.

RESPONSE:  I'm Not Her Son's Maid!
Posted: 20-APR-01
I think it is very rude for a person who does not have a busy schedule, (I'm assuming your MIL does not), to tell people who already have a full schedule that they need to do this, this and this, and often times those tasks are very time consuming.  A lot of people, these days, are too busy, and should get rid of some of the tasks they do, so they'll have more time to talk to their family members, and just enjoy their company without tasking going on.  My MIL acts like you aren't measuring up unless you are constantly producing something, yet she doesn't even know her son.  She doesn't know what his ambitions are, what he enjoys, what he doesn't like.  She's spent his entire life trying to decide everything for him, and telling him what he should want, and what he should eat, and what kind of career he should have, and how that career is not prestigious enough, he is better than that.  Now he has ended up in a career that he hates, he can't take a job that he would enjoy and feel comfortable doing, because she would not approve.  My MIL has made more cookies for my husband than you could possibly imagine, but she can't sit down on a couch and listen to what he has to say.

Worst gift: Posted: 5-Apr-01
My MIL has to be the most imaginative person alive.  Her lies have ceased to be a source of shock: they have been elevated to the realm of fiction, humor section.  Every sentence she speaks has to have something false about it, even if it is something as simple as when she cooked the dinner.  She embroiders facts so much that it appears that she has to live in a separate world of her own, and will not feel comfortable otherwise.  She truly appears to believe all she says, at least till the next lie comes along.  So when she has to give gifts, you can imagine what she does.  She will pass on any old thing, and say that it was specially bought for me.  She has kept the wedding gifts, supposedly on account of family tradition (they don't need things materially), and has used the better ones, or passed them to others, and sometimes given the worse ones to me.  On my last birthday, she got me a pair of gold earrings, really pretty ones.  When I looked closer, I found they were the same ones that my mother had given to my new SIL on her wedding!  All this in full public view, with a smiling face, and the usual platitudes about how important I was to her, and so on.  Was this politics on a deeper plane than I can recognize, or what?  (Perhaps she thought it too cheap a gift.)  She gave money, about one fourth of the value of the earrings, to my sister who was married about the same time as my BIL, and when my sister had come to visit us, she gifted a dress I wouldn't give to my maid.  I returned that gift, for I did not want my sister's new family to comment on how cheap my MIL was.

        Signed - Hilarious MIL

Worst gift: Posted: 4-Apr-01
My first married Christmas, my husband got 2 shirts, a couple of pairs of pants, shoes, etc.  I got a pair of socks!  My MIL said that she had forgotten about a gift for me, but thought that we could SHARE the @!#*%! socks!!!

        signed - Barefooted at Christmas

RESPONSE:  Barefooted at Christmas
Posted: 8-Apr-01
Here is a somewhat similar story.  I got married in May.  My birthday is in June, and my DH's is in July.  We live in another country from my in-laws, which is far from home.  This particular year, my MIL found someone who was coming to our country, and sent along a birthday present (after his b'day) for my husband.  This not only surprised him, but he felt awkward.  My husband hadn't celebrated his birthday in their home for more than 10 years, and nobody ever sent gifts to him.  The particular year that we got married, she sent a gift to her son, and completely ignored me.  I don't know why she did this.  She also writes to my husband and reminds him of her married daughter's birthday and her grandkid's birthday.  And she wants him to send very expensive gifts, or cash to buy expensive gifts.  It's been four years since this happened.  I haven't received a single gift from my in-laws to this day.  But every time we visit, we have to buy gifts for them.  I think of the positive side.  We are not living with them, and are far away in another country.

Worst gift: Posted: 5-Apr-01
Last Christmas, me and my hubby took my son over to hubby's meemee's house ... this woman drives a brand new car, owns a huge brick house w/ the works, everything!!!!! ... We started opening presents, and, as always, my hubby got clothes and a lot of expensive stuff.  I waited to open mine until later, but when I did, oh my god!  The woman had gone to the damn dollar store and bought me 3 bead bracelets for a dollar (I saw the tag) and then complained that she spent too much money.

        Signed - 3 Bead Bracelets For A Dollar

RESPONSE:  3 Bead Bracelets For A Dollar
Posted: 7-Apr-01
Don't worry.  It's better this way.  At least she doesn't burden you with expensive presents and expect you to jump through hoops to thank her.  At least you won't feel guilty because you "owe" her so much.  My MIL gives me too many presents.  We have a little house!  They're kind of a burden.  I wish she'd cut back, especially because they're so poor that they can hardly pay their bills.  I wish you and I could trade places!  I'd sleep more easily if she just gave me a few bead bracelets instead.  Is your MIL overtly hostile to you?  I don't mean to dismiss that problem.  I know that would be tough.

Worst gift: Posted: 6-Apr-01
My hubby is generous with my ILs, and it seems like I'm always thrown on the back-burner.  I got NOTHING for my anniversary, while he paid for their vacation for their anniversary.  I was very hurt by this and told him so.  Of course he doesn't see it that way.  I bought myself a gift just out of spite.  I have been depressed about this, and hubby knows it.  I'm never going to let him forget about it.  There have been similar instances of this happening other times (Christmas, Valentine's Day, etc.).  He gets the ILs nice gifts, and what do I get?  Nothing really special.  On Valentine's Day, MIL gets all kinds of candy, flowers, etc.  I get a card.

        Signed - BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER L

RESPONSE:  BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER?
Posted:10-Apr-01
I have two words for your husband, "SEEK HELP!".  Your husband's relationship with his family sounds incestuous.  What kind of husband would get his mother candy, gifts, and flowers, and only get his wife a card?  It sounds like he is courting his mother.  Valentine's Day is for lovers or love-interest, as far as I'm concerned,(other's may disagree).  His relationship with his mother is extremely inappropriate, and it is hurting you. Your husband needs to reconsider his relationship with his family now that he is grown and is able to set boundaries, and the first person he needs to set up boundaries with is himself.  He needs to realize that it is not o.k. to keep giving large and inappropriate gifts to his family,(esp. mum), and to continue to neglect you (by the way, neglect is a form of abuse).  I would consider suggesting marital counseling for you both, and psychoanalysis for him alone.

Worst gift: Posted: 9-Apr-01
This didn't happen to me, but to my good friend.  I'll call her "S".  Her FMIL was never nice to her, and wasn't happy about her son's impending nuptials.  At the bridal shower, all she gave S was a small brown wood box.  Inside were two white and turquoise checked place mats (not even the full set of 4).  The whole thing probably cost her no more than $10.  How insulting!

        Signed - Turquoise Mats

RESPONSE:  Turquoise Mats
Posted:10-Apr-01
You know the situation better than I do.  I'm just thinking that maybe she gave the two mats because there were two of them, they were newlyweds.  In a way, I think I'd like that better than if my MIL gave me four -- because I'd be scared the extra two would be an indication of her eagerness to constantly be having meals at our house (along with my FIL)!!  But if your friend gets a bad vibe from her MIL, there's probably good reason.  I just get nervous when presents are described as signs of someone's bad regard -- people, so many times, just don't know any better (speaking from my own personal poor present-giving skills -- which I hope I've improved!  My husband actually had to teach me that people don't like receiving used gifts -- in our family, we constantly got used gifts, and gave them, and loved it!).  People have different standards about gifts, and it's all too easy to be offended (I think) by really guileless gift-giving blunders.  What one person is offended by, another person thinks is sweet (and sadly, the giver might think what she's giving is a kind, heartfelt gift).  I wouldn't have been offended if my MIL had only given us two placemats (and I love turquoise!) -- she kind of loaded us up with things (what's that word? -- "tchochke?"-- knick-knacks and little doodads that junk a place up and need a lot of dusting), and it was hard to figure out where to store it.  I was a lot more offended by the gift of a breadmaker -- an expensive gift my in-laws couldn't afford, and that I had never said I wanted.  The gift itself didn't offend me (I'm happy enough to have it -- it's just a luxury I didn't need), but their remarks upon giving it, about how "Now you'll never use it -- ha, ha, ha," kind of irritated me.  It was like they were just putting this burden on me, and of course I had to reassure them that I'd use it.  (Can I trade that breadmaker for your friend's turquoise place mats?  Turquoise will be one of our "kitchen colors"!)  I didn't mean to go on for so long about this!  It's starting to seem like gifts between in-laws (and anyone) can be a real sore spot.

RESPONSE:  Turquoise Mats
Posted: 11-Apr-01
What you should do is put that gift away in your house/apt. once you are married, so that no one can see it, but have your other gifts on display.  It will tick her off that you don't care about her gift.

RESPONSE:  Turquoise Mats
Posted: 11-Apr-01
My future MIL gave me two placemats (not four!) and a $4.00 wine bottle opener at a bridal shower.  Nice huh?

Worst gift: Posted: 27-Mar-01
My future mother-in-law came to my wedding shower with no gift!  Now, if that's not bad enough, she came with her DIL (my future sister-in-law) and was bragging about how wonderful her daughter in law was, never mentioning me.

        signed - Never Mentioned Me

RESPONSE:  Never Mentioned Me
Posted: 11-Apr-01
Sorry you had to go though that at your own shower.  When it comes to MILs, I think I have the one that tops them all, and then I read these stories, and she is just right in line with them.  I am glad there is a site for us DILs to vent on them.  I wouldn't have much to do with your MIL, because, trust me, it doesn't get any better.  So detach yourself from them now while you can.

RESPONSE:  Never Mentioned Me
Posted: 12-Apr-01
My feelings were hurt for you when I read your post.  Here's the thing: if your MIL is someone who is that catty, unkind, and tactless (to be so obvious about saying something like that, clearly excluding you), she isn't capable of being a good MIL to your future SIL, either.  People who pit people against each other can't be a good friend in any way (that's my opinion -- I've seen that kind of immature behavior in the past, and those people are bad news.)  Just block her out, and think of the people who love you.  She clearly WANTS to hurt you.

Worst gift: Posted: 11-Apr-01
My mother-in-law and I really don't get along.  She definitely let me know how much she didn't like me this year for my birthday.  She bought a baby lamp, and four 18mnth old dresses for me (I have a one year old daughter).  My name was on the gift bags and everything!  Then, she asked if she could have our daughter at her house for a week for Easter.  She didn't invite us!

        Signed - Shocked She Didn't Invite Us

 
Worst gift: Posted: 20-Dec-00
I really don't know where to begin, since my MIL does awful things to me on a daily basis.  I will just start with the latest thing that has set me off.  I have always gone out of my way to get my husband a very thoughtful gift for Christmas.  And, until recently, I thought that he had done the same.   Now I have found out, through my own mother, that my MIL has been buying my gifts.  Most of them my husband doesn't even see until I open them.  I would prefer that he not get me anything if he can't take the time to go pick it out himself.  When I found this out, I let him have it.  So, he has now decided that he should have been the one getting my gifts.  But, he doesn't understand why I got so angry, because it wasn't like he even asked her to do it for him.  He said that she has just always done it.  Which makes it even worse.  Now I know that every gift he has ever given me wasn't actually something that he picked out.  I don't know, maybe I am overreacting, but when you constantly have a MIL voicing her approval or disapproval of your decisions, the little things set you off the most.  I really care about my husband, but I can't continue to pretend that it is OK for his mother to constantly interfere in our lives.  He has made it clear that he would never hurt her feelings, but mine are hurt on a daily basis.  First, by the things she does or says, and then by him because he won't take up for me and tell her that it is not OK to treat me so badly.  I have told him repeatedly that I am only one hurtful episode away from packing my belongings and letting her have her baby back.  I don't understand why he can't see the way the things she does has affected our marriage and our love for each other.  I have lost a lot of respect and love for him, which I don't think I will ever get back.  If anyone is, or has been, in this situation, I'd really appreciate any advice you could give.

        Signed - Sick Of Being Hurt - All My Gifts Ruined

RESPONSE:  Sick of Being Hurt
Posted: 23-Dec-00
You really have my sympathy -- I was furious FOR you when I read your story.  Do you sense that your husband loves you?  If so, maybe you can work things out (with a counselor?).  My mother-in-law is also incredibly intrusive and nosy, and all over my husband's business.  But he really didn't notice how objectionable a lot of her behavior was until I told him.  So I guess good men can be pretty clueless about their mothers.  But you have all my sympathy, and I wouldn't blame you if you did pack your bags.  He really is going to have to get a clue and change things to keep you. (I know the feeling about letting her have her baby back.  My DH is 33, and his mother still gets a big Christmas tree so her baby can come over and decorate it.)

RESPONSE:  Sick of Being Hurt
Posted: 6-Jan-01
I won't begin to try to relate some of my MIL stories.  She passed away 15 years ago, and good riddance.  My husband gave me some advice on handling his mom early in our marriage, and it took me many years and many tears to heed it.  He said I couldn't be hurt by her unless I allowed myself to be.  He was right.  I continued to be miffed by her actions, but never to the point of being hurt by them.  She was never going to give up her only son, so I learned to live with that idea, and our marriage survived, in fact thrived, because I stopped reacting.  (We're working on 38 years!)

RESPONSE:  Sick of Being Hurt
Posted: 30-Mar-01
I can really relate to your story.  I could have written it.  I also found out that my MIL was buying and wrapping my gifts that my husband was supposedly buying and giving to me.  What tipped me off was the one gift I received, it was a Charles Dickens book, The Scrooge.  I had absolutely no idea why he would get me something like that, for neither he nor I would read anything like that.  I like mysteries or nonfiction, and he doesn't read hardly at all 'cause he is a telly addict.  What was more was the condition of the book when I opened the package.  It was dirty, and I mean dirty.  I had to brush the dirt off of it, and the pages were warped and water marked.  I would have been impressed if it was a first edition, and I checked to see if it was, but alas it was not.  LOL.  She is the boot fair queen.  She buys everything from the boot fair, Christmas gifts included.  I have to say that I was really disappointed, first of all in my husband for not being considerate to shop for me, and secondly, with my MIL for wrapping up a book for me as a gift that was so damaged - it should have gone in the rubbish bin.  This is only an example of the literal garbage she has tried to wrap up and pass off as new merchandise to us.  I must add, she is not strapped for cash.  She once wrapped a tattered, filthy Minnie Mouse stuffed animal and gave it to my newborn daughter as a gift.  I'm sorry, I was brought up never to give someone a used gift wrapped as new, unless it was something collectable.  I'm not above shopping at the bootfair and finding a bargain, but I would never give something I bought used and try to pass it off as new, let alone in the condition of the gifts she gives.  She was very insulted when my husband asked her not to give our daughter used merchandise.  We also had to tell her several times not to give gifts to others in our name.  She was also wrapping up garbage and giving it to the other children in the family, i.e. nieces and nephews.  We had to tell her that we were very capable of buying and wrapping our own gifts and giving to others, and that she did not have to do so.  On several occasions I had given her gifts to give to the other children in the family, since she would see them before I would.  I later found out she withheld the gift from the one child, and had distributed the gift to another child for whatever her reasons were.  I thought, "What are you?  The gift police?"  She is literally trying to control the gift giving that goes on in this family.  I find it quite insane.  I feel that I am fair in my gift giving to all the children, and she does not need to monitor and correct my actions.  I no longer speak to her due a multitude of other incidents where she interfered in my marriage.  My husband and I are now left to pick up the broken pieces of our marriage and attempt to reconstruct some happiness in our lives.  We were literally on the verge of divorce when my husband realized that he must put his wife and child first.  Hopefully, it won't come to those extremes in your marriage.  Good luck.

RESPONSE:  Sick of Being Hurt
Posted: 1-Apr-01
Why are good men so oblivious to the fact that mothers are so manipulative, controlling, overbearing, backbiting, etc. - you know, the list goes on ... and on ...  I have never had any of the problems that I have now with a MIL.  This is a second marriage for me, and my ex-MIL for 8 years was wonderful.  Not all MILs deserve a bad rap.  Hell, even my ex-boyfriend's mother was cool.  Tomorrow, I am telling my husband that we need to separate for a while.  He needs to get some counseling so that he understands that it is not up to him to solve all of his mother's and his sister's problems.  It's tearing our marriage apart.  These women have managed to alienate every DIL married to these brothers.  That's OK with me, because I prefer not to associate with evil people.  I have made that clear to my husband.  He, on the other hand, insists that I be more understanding of the way they are, and accept it.  (He's been battling them for 20 years.  They alienated his first wife too!)  What's wrong with this picture?  Why is it that everyone else gets along fine with everyone except for these two trolls?  There seems to be a pattern.  Well, I'm sick of being hurt, too.  The only difference is, I'm not putting up with it.  Tell your DH to sh*t or get off the pot!  I'm doing just that tomorrow morning!  I'm sick of it!!

RESPONSE:  Sick of Being Hurt
Posted: 5-Apr-01
My husband does buy his own gifts for me.  If his mother did, it would be obvious immediately, as her taste is loud and obnoxious, just like her, and she would buy the cheapest thing she could find, as she is also cheap.  What struck me is that she is being so "helpful," but in actuality, is being very controlling.  My mother in law is very controlling, and of course my husband perceives it as "helpful," and what is wrong with me??  I, too, would be very hurt to discover that anybody but my husband had been buying gifts, and that he "passed them off" as something he bought!! Especially my mother in law!! I could also relate to your posting in that my husband, too, is willing to hurt me and allow his mother and family for that matter to hurt me, yet we can never upset or hurt mother. We can't say a harsh word about mother, and believe you me she is harsh and hurtful. I don't know why some men are like this, and I really wish I had known this before marriage.  I have contemplated packing my bags on many an occasion to be rid of that witch.  I guess I don't have a solution for you, you just sounded a lot like me.

RESPONSE:  Sick of Being Hurt
Posted: 8-Apr-01
Where do I begin.  You have every right to feel the way that you do.  I have a meddling MIL too.  My best advice is to stick in there.  Someday, your husband will realize what a wacko his mom can be, and side with you.  He needs to first realize that, as a married couple, you are a team.  And any cr*p that she gives to her daughter in law, she gives to her dearly devoted son.  Stand up for yourself.  Your job in life is not to make her happy.  You need to have respect for every decision that you make, not to placate her.

RESPONSE:  Sick of Being Hurt
Posted: 8-Apr-01
If you leave and let your MIL have her son back, she will win and get exactly what she wants.  Don't let her win.  I finally learned that my husband was never going to stand up for me, so now I do it myself - if she is toxic in your life - remove her from it!  It says in the Bible to honor your father and mother - NOT your FIL or MIL - God isn't stupid.  Get caller ID, don't see them, and do your own thing for the holidays.  I started planning our vacations during the holidays - that way, if my MIL tries to bulldoze me, she can't.  You took vows to your husband - not to your MIL - no one ever said you had to be nice to her and like her.

Worst gift:
Well, I think I have a doosy ~ My mother in law came over to my house 2 1/2 months AFTER my Bd and gave me a BD card, and told me that she also got me a major name brand cosmetics gift certificate for my BD, but she heard I just ordered a bunch of it.  Never said another word.  Never gave me the gift certificate or anything!!  Oh, and when I ordered my stuff from this cosmetics company, it was 2 weeks prior to her coming over 2 1/2 months after my BD ~  On top of that, every time she sees "US" (my family), she ALWAYS, ALWAYS has stuff for my husband and our child.  Then she tells me the stories on what she was going to buy me.  Funny, huh???
3/30
        signed - The Best Gifts from My MIL

RESPONSE:  The Best Gifts from My MIL
Well, on the bright side, you don't have to write her any thank-you notes!!!
3/31
Worst gift:
I haven't submitted here in a long time, but the worst gift that I got from my MIL was a nice black eye two weeks before my wedding.  Then she took a razor to my wedding dress.
3/28
        signed - Black Eye Bride

RESPONSE:  Black Eye Bride
WHAT?  I'm sorry, but I must hear the full story on this!  I missed your first post.  What did she slash your dress for?  Did she give a reason?  Did you still marry the guy?  What did he do about it?  Sorry, I got a bit overexcited there.
3/29
RESPONSE From Poster:  Black Eye Bride
I'm the original poster for Black Eye Bride.  What happened was, my DH and I were renting a house from my MIL (big mistake).  We were both working two jobs, going to school, and supposed to be fixing this hell hole up so she could sell it.  It should be noted that my MIL is a raging alcoholic who also has schitsotypical personality disorder.  I had just cleaned the house, and had left a lasagna pan to soak, and had gone out with my husband, BIL, and our roommate to get movies.  She had been drinking, and was fighting with my BIL.  We left, and she then called my parents and basically said that I was a whore, etc., etc.  And, when we got back, she was scrubbing the lasagna pan and muttering about me.  She started in on me and my husband.  My husband told her that she needed to leave 'til she could behave appropriately.  At that point, she sucker-punched me, and also hit me in the breast and stomach.  My husband did nothing, and our roommate pulled her off of me.  I didn't hit her her back, because I didn't want to hurt her.  I wanted to call the police and have her arrested, but my husband wouldn't let me.  We left and stayed at my parent's.  That night, she took a straight razor to my wedding dress and a lot of my other clothes.  This is just one of the many horrible things that she has done.  To answer your other question, yes I am still married to him, but I think, sometimes, that this incident has wounded our marriage in a way that can never heal.  I think that he should have let me call the police.
3/31
Worst gift:
Last Christmas, my fiancé's parents gave me two books about finding Jesus, a 6-video compilation about the life of Christ, a religious calendar, and a pamphlet about our life with God that we are soon to enter into.  My fiancé is religious but does not believe that I need to take on his beliefs, and we have had open communication about our expectations about religion/spiritual aspects of our life for 3 years already.  However, his parents have different expectations, and they were not subtle about what they expect from me!  They have also given me Rosary beads with a booklet of instructions for their use, a nice cross to wear, and a plate with the Our Father written on (with which they said, now you must pray this every day ...)
12/22
        signed - Praying For A More Thoughtful Gift

RESPONSE:  Praying For A More Thoughtful Gift
Everybody has their religious preference, but maybe they were just trying to include you.  It could be worse, trust me!
3/30
RESPONSE:  Praying For A More Thoughtful Gift
They weren't trying to include her.  They were trying to tell her, "This is the type of person you have to be in order for us to think you are acceptable."  I am a very religious person, yet there are many religious settings that I do not feel comfortable in at all.  This is largely due to the fact that many of these people act like, "YOU MUST CONFORM AND BE EXACTLY LIKE US."
3/31
RESPONSE:  Praying For A More Thoughtful Gift
I know it could be worse; that's true.  But I sympathize with the poster.  It's just one of those little things.  I don't expect everyone to have sympathy with this, either, but my husband loves to go to church (his church since childhood), and I don't feel comfortable there at all (he LOVES it, and I would never ask him to switch churches -- I wouldn't feel comfortable in any church!).  It's not that I'm not a spiritual person, or don't believe in God -- I just hate going to church.  So my husband goes occasionally, and I go very rarely.  (I did like his priest, who married us, and went more often on that account -- but didn't hit it off so well with the current priest.)  Anyway, the last time I went to church with him -- about a year ago, for a special event he was part of -- my MIL (who also goes to that church) kept whining at me and pestering me about how I should go on Easter, how I never had been there on Easter.  (I've been there for other holidays.)  She must have brought that up four or five times, with increasing whining, unhappy pressure. My husband and I have been together nearly six years, and it amazed me that she'd be keeping track of the fact that I'd never been there on Easter!  I barely remember that myself.  It kind of horrified me that she kept pushing, pushing, pushing -- pestering me over and over again -- to come to church on Easter.  Let me just add, too, that she's told me she thinks the Bible is boring (I find it interesting) and that sermons are boring, too, and that she basically doesn't pay attention.  But I'm the bad one for not going to church!  (I don't have a horrible MIL -- we recently spent a very nice day together -- but this is just to register my sympathy for the poster over this church issue, which has been a point of contention for us, as well.)
4/1
RESPONSE:  Praying For A More Thoughtful Gift
In my opinion, whether or not people are kind to others is a lot more important than how many times they have attended church or temple, etc.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in this world who spend their time at a house of worship, yet treat others very poorly.  There are also many people in this world who are very gentle and kind to others, and they don't go to a house of worship at all.  I think many churches and temples attract people who are very traditional and want to keep everything the same.  Many of them do not welcome people who are original and creative, or have new ideas about how services should be conducted, or how children should be taught, or how to look upon others who do not have the same lifestyle they do.  If you love variety or originality, you are likely to be bored out of your mind at many churches or temples.  I have heard many sermons during my lifetime.  Most of them are not very insightful, and I've heard the same ones over and over and over.  Once in a while, I hear a really good sermon.,  One that really touches my emotions.  Those times when I do hear a really good sermon are the few times that I've felt like my trip to church that day was worthwhile.  I usually just go because I feel obligated.  I am appalled, however, by how most people in society treat each other these days.  I think a lot of it has to do with two incomes being necessary in most households, and understaffing at the job and at the places where we shop.  Stores usually don't have enough employees, and that causes the employees and the customers to become angry.  Being pushy or rude in situations like that, however, makes the situation worse.  Yet, many people resort to that type of behavior.  I think our society really needs to learn to be more patient.
4/2
Worst gift:
My MIL, who always thinks she gives the BEST gifts at holiday time (I am Catholic, DH is Jewish), gave to me - not DH and me, but just me - a book called "Haikus for Jews" and fridge magnets with Yiddish words.  Talk about a slam!  Last b'day she gave me a book worth about $10 (saw the reduced sticker) and DH got a $75 gift certificate.  I'll keep you posted, 'cause my 40th is next month.  Can't wait to see what's coming.
4/1
        signed - Taurus

Worst gift:
I suspect (with good reason) that my MIL is a shoplifter.  So, anything I get for a gift is probably stolen merchandise!  It's always small enough to fit in your hand.
3/25
        signed - Five Finger Discount

Worst gift:
What my mother in law does with her gift giving is worse than not giving a gift at all.  She'll buy a gift for her least hated daughter-in-law of the week.  Then, she'll run off to the hated daughter-in-law of the week and tell her how she loves the other one so much, gave her this beautiful gift, and that she was so happy.  Then, when she's sick of the daughter-in-law she liked for the week, she does the same thing to another one.  Why can't she just stick her gifts up her *ss?  Ladies, be grateful that your MIL doesn't give you jack.  It's better than what this woman does!
3/26
        signed - How Low Can Ya Go!

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