Dealing with your in-laws is a part of being in a serious relationship. Sometimes, you luck out and get the coolest family ever, and other times, you'll wish you could go trade them in for a new bunch of people.
These people had one in-law in particular who made their life an absolute nightmare. The things we do for our partners!
(Content has been edited for clarity)
Glad I Could Cheer You Up
“My brother-in-law is a huge jerk. The guy tries to make everything a competition. When I told him a funny but embarrassing story about myself, he started bragging about how he would never do something so dumb.
I only told him that story so he would relax and stop trying so hard, but instead, it just made him more arrogant.”
Meet My Best Friend, Doctor Jeckyll
“My wife’s childhood best friend (a male) who has been in love with her since he was a kid. They were best friends and acted very much so. I wasn’t jealous, and she very clearly stated that they were just friends early on in our relationship. A few weeks into dating, I finally meet Tony. Nice guy. Very different than myself. We get to chatting and having a few drinks together at our first meeting. My then-girlfriend ducks out for a minute, and he changes like Mr. Hyde! ‘She is my girl, and I plan on marrying her,’ he says. ‘You just need to understand that, and I recommend you just get out of here.’
I wasn’t even fazed by it really, as we were just casually dating at that time. I didn’t mention it to her either. But I stuck around, and we became a couple. He continued to treat me nicely in front of her, but it was clear he wasn’t happy about the whole thing. He finally got the message upon the birth of our daughter that I wasn’t a one-hit wonder.”
Worst Sleepover Ever
“My old boyfriend had the worst family. His mother and siblings all thought I wasn’t good enough for him, even after we had dated for three years. Meanwhile, he was unemployed and failed the same education twice, while I had work experience and two diplomas.
His younger sister was great though, so once for her 14th birthday she wanted to have a giant sleepover, and she invited me. Sadly, I had to work that weekend, so I couldn’t come, but the precious girl moved her party up a week, so I could ask for time off from work. I show up at their house, which was about an hour from my place, to find her mother had decided the sleepover would be at the older sister’s house, and she didn’t want me in her home.
My boyfriend wasn’t even home that day because I came over for his sister. I was about 17 at the time, and the drive home was a bus ride, an hour-long train, and another bus ride at night, so I usually stayed for the whole weekend if I went to his house.
Bottom line: the mother ignored me but let me stay, and I spent all night alone in their house, excluded from a party.”
You’re A Bad Daughter, Unless You Give Me Money
“My wife’s father (now my father-in-law). The man spent every penny he had on nothing (we have no idea where it went) and then sold all his assets as he was in debt. He had access to my then-girlfriend’s bank account and would empty it completely every month.
When we got married, I insisted that she remove his access from her accounts. That caused intense family arguments. During one of the arguments, he asked me why I thought that he had allowed me to marry his daughter. It was a rhetorical question. The answer was so that I could give him my salary and he would give our family an allowance. He claimed it was a cultural tradition, but it was obvious he saw an opportunity to make money for himself. He has mortgaged his house to the hilt and has spent it all (hundreds of thousands with nothing at all to show for it), and now has no money.
At one point he said, ‘I don’t know why I had children if they won’t pay for me to live the way I want.’
I am not unkind, and if he was truly hard up through no fault of his own, I would, of course, help. But he sold a string of properties that he was getting rental income from and wasted the money, and wasted all his investments. If I gave him any money, he would just waste it and then demand more.
I started by giving him money but after seeing what he does with it, no more.
As far as where the money is going, gambling is our best guess. My wife is fine and cool with the arm’s length financial arrangement we now have (he gets nothing). He would have severed ties with my wife if it weren’t that both she and I are doing well financially, so he’s clinging on to the idea that we will support him down the road (we won’t). I love my wife and how balanced she is.”
She Knew It Would End Badly
“My husband’s brother. He’s a junkie we can’t afford to feed and who we can’t emotionally deal with because we have stress from our bills and kids and illness in the family. I think he’s trying to move in right now sneakily and I can’t live with him again. He reminds me of an abusive ex I had years ago, and him being in the same building makes me anxious.
The first time I met him was right after I called the cops on him for laying his hands on his mother. She called me, crying, from the bathroom, because she had told him not to bully her dogs and he had attacked her. The cops made him leave. A few months later he moved back in with her after we had moved in with her so she could afford the bills. I called the cops on him again for putting his hands on a girl he had seen while he was in our house. The police didn’t make him leave the second time. He tried to move another girl in sneakily. We tried to make things work, but after we got our tax return back, our car broke down, and we started looking for another one. He offers to go half and half on a car. I plead with my husband not to trust the brother. He pleads with me to trust him. I relent, and we go half and half on the car. We finally can’t take dealing with the brother after two more months, and ask him and his girl to leave. They take the car, get a title loan, refinance the loan to double what they got out of it, and never pay us back. Then the car got repossessed. We had to scrounge for money to get bikes so we could make it to the nearest grocery store in less than an hour. It was awful.
In the seven months we lived with him, he paid his portion of the rent once, because he stole money from some poor girl he met online. I felt so bad when I found out about it. I love my husband, but his brother is one of the three most terrible people I’ve ever met.”
It Was A Wake-Up Call
“My parents! I know this probably shouldn’t have come as a surprise, but they freaked out when I told them I was engaged to my husband. He is black, and I am white, and my parents pretty much don’t know any black people except for him. They had been pretty racist from the start of our relationship, but I figured that by the time our engagement rolled around, they had gotten used to the idea. I was not prepared for the things they did and said after that announcement.
Now I barely speak to them anymore, and I am hoping to continue pulling away from them. Their reaction to my husband was a huge eye-opener, and if it hadn’t happened, I would not have realized the degree to which my parents were manipulative, controlling, and emotionally abusive jerks.”
Wipe That Grin Off Your Face
“His best friend, Tim. Tim was in love with my ex and often begged said ex to send explicit photos of himself. Whenever we would hang out as a group, Tim would be slightly antagonistic towards me in enough of a passive-aggressive way that I couldn’t say anything about it. When I confronted Tim about the photos, he would act like I was making a big deal out of nothing with this stupid grin plastered across his face.
As far as I know, my ex never sent him anything. Still, Tim being a jerk to me and my ex not wanting to deal with it just added to the mess that was our relationship.”
He Drove Us Crazy
“My wife’s older brother. He’s an annoying 30-year-old that lives with his parents. He has multiple children he doesn’t support. He believes I ‘owe him’ because I’m ‘banging’ his sister. Once, this moron was getting pulled over by police for speeding, and he panics and tries to run from the cops. He gets arrested and sent to jail.
The worst thing he ever did was truly sickening. When we bought my wife her car, an Infiniti coupe, he ‘borrowed’ it and went and traded her brand new rims and tires for some crappy 20-inch no-name rims with old, worn-out tires on them.
That was the angriest I’ve ever been in my life. I was working at the time, but when I got home, we drove to the in-laws. He cried and played the victim, said he was only trying to do something nice.
My wife didn’t let me file a police report. The father-in-law gave his son like $600, saying he was putting the moron to work in their family business. We ended up having to pay for the rest. A few months after this, the moron tries to get my wife to give him the no-name rims because he wants to sell them.”
I’ll Take Care Of Your Kids, Since You Can’t
“My brother-in-law. He’s a drinker, and an egotistical, selfish jerk. He and my wife have a special relationship because they didn’t have the greatest childhood. So I let it slide when she went out of her way to take care of his kids (the mom is working on her problems) including buying them back-to-school clothes (he makes a comfortable six figures), so the kids wouldn’t go without them.
I decided I was done with him on Thanksgiving, which happened to be my birthday. He stopped by after dinner with his then-fiancée completely sloshed. He kept on talking to my chest, creepily giving me tight hugs, and saying inappropriate things. My sweet wife had no idea what was going on because he was trying to entertain one of the kids and convince him he wasn’t hammered. When I told him to get out of my house, my wife finally realized something was wrong. I told her about it after he left, and she was angry and embarrassed. I’ve barely spoken to him since then, and he just thinks I’m a jerk.
Luckily, he started arguing with my wife after that because she wouldn’t help him break up with his fiancée, so they’re not talking anymore. It’s peaceful in our house.”
A 45-Year-Old Spoiled Brat
“My ex had the most blisteringly awful mother I could imagine. She was an only child and had type 1 diabetes, and unfortunately, this meant her parents had coddled her throughout her entire life. Even in her 40s and 50s, she behaved like a cross between a spoiled 6-year-old and a ‘mean girl’ high-schooler.
She was always sick, and always with something new. She had doctors appointments every week or two. Every time I saw her she had something else, from thyroid issues that proved ‘it’s not my fault I’m heavy,’ to low blood pressure, to when she declared herself legally blind. This was amid countless colds, mystery illnesses, and temper tantrums that were somehow a medical issue.
When I first met her, I felt terrible. But over the years, it became exhausting. She was never too sick to go on vacation, as her husband would take her four times a year and she’d miraculously recover in time. Then, she’d come back and claim ridiculous stuff like the ‘dirty Egyptian banknotes’ made her sick. This is how you know she was real, because who could make up something that stupid?
She also thought that non-Christians shouldn’t get time off work at Christmas because ‘they’re always on vacation when they have their fake Christmases.’ Because she’d never worked at a real job, you could try to explain to her that if somebody did take a vacation for Eid or Hanukkah, they’d have to use their paid vacation days whereas most places shut down over Christmas.
Even though the woman was in her early 50s the last time I saw her, she still regularly had her lunch brought to her by her mother. She also had her breakfast prepared for her by her husband. Worse still, her daughter was born with an extremely mild physical disability (the most significant impact it had was that she had a bit of a limp) and my ex’s mother had gradually been coaching her into the same sort of hyper-dependence. She went from being an average college student to somebody who is too scared to catch a bus and refuses to drive because of her ‘condition.’ The daughter is now in her thirties and has her dad give her rides to and from work each day.
I can’t describe how happy I was when I realized that this woman would no longer be in my life. It was like waking up one morning and realizing I could fly or something.”
She Crushed The Dungeon Master
“Rather early on in our relationship, my husband-to-be lived next door to his best friend. His best friend lived with his older brothers, and they all played games together.
Well, I don’t play games, whether they are of the video, board, or the emotional variety. Not to say I don’t like games, it’s just not a hobby.
My husband wanted to include me, and while I seem closed off and shy, I’m quite open. So he invites me to play Dungeons and Dragons with them. Sure, I’ve never done that, but I’m a creative type, so I’d think role-playing might be enjoyable for me.
I don’t know when exactly I learned that you sit still and only speak when spoken to when you are a guest, but it’s pretty ingrained in me. Also, I expect there to be minimal clutter when people are expecting me (not spotless of course, but ‘making a path through clothes in the living room’ is… not my idea of tidy). This may be why I seemed so standoffish when I first arrived, but I did not like that my husband’s friend’s older brother, we will call him ‘Subject A,’ immediately commented on me being shy.
I don’t like being called shy. I am not shy. I would tell a random stranger exactly what I thought about their outfit, was it tactful to do so. It is usually not. I am not shy. I am superficially polite.
But we continue this routine, once a week or so, of going to play ‘D&D’ with Subject A as the Dungeon Master. I ignore the overly scandalous ‘warrior’ woman drawing that he has constantly displayed on his monitor because that is not my business. I ignore the fact that half the game he talks about this ‘chick’ at work who is into him, but he’s not interested because she ‘isn’t that hot.’ Sure, buddy.
I ignore a lot of little things he says and does that irk me and give me bad vibes. They are just little things, and my husband-to-be is having fun, and he wants me to have fun, too. So I brush it off and enjoy the jokes and the game.
Well after about two months, so maybe six or seven games, one character has died and been replaced, and Subject A is just in a foul mood or something. Any joke, any dilly-dallying or nonsense is rubbing him the wrong way, and he is punishing our characters.
We are sneaking in somewhere to get someone out of jail or something, and there is a room where all the inebriated people sleep for some reason, and my character is the first to enter. So subject A has one of the non-playing characters grab me, saying something crude. It was mild enough that no one else seemed to catch it but lewd sufficient that my adrenaline kicked in saying ‘threat.’ It did not help that he did not waver eye contact with me as he said this.
I decided I would make it clear that I would take none of his crap. As a cleric in the game, and using a pun I could not resist, I ‘maced’ the dude in the face.
He got mad and had a dragon appear and burn everyone and everything.
We stopped playing D&D after that.
Some bad things came out about him later, and when I mentioned that last D&D session and how creepy he always was, my husband finally got the mace joke. Only took him five years.”
She Shouted Until She Got What She Wanted
“My ex-girlfriend’s sister is among the worst people I’ve ever met. Going back a few years, she was an utterly self-absorbed 19-year-old with very little empathy and even fewer morals.
She was a savant at pushing people’s buttons; she knew what to say and when to say it to dismantle your self-confidence thoroughly. She also had no trouble with doing so at the drop of a hat.
Any time she felt she wasn’t getting her way, she would argue and argue to the ends of the earth until everyone involved caved and gave her what she wanted. This was one way her nastiest powers, and it served her exceedingly well.
She would also fly off the handle at the whole family with little warning. She was convinced that, as a worldly and intelligent 19-year-old, she should be afforded every freedom and every measure of respect. She flatly refused to take on any of the responsibilities that come with adulthood, including but not limited to cooking, cleaning, or contributing to household finances, despite living with her parents whose budget was already stretched.
The merest suggestion that she should contribute meaningfully in any way was met with an outburst, which did not calm down until the suggestion was retracted. When told she could contribute or leave the household, she would rant and rave that her parents still had a responsibility to her and they could not kick her out, despite her previous assertions about being a worldly, intelligent, and independent woman.
She would frequently take the opportunity to dine out at the family’s expense, refusing to understand why we thought it poor form to order three of the most expensive drinks on the menu and three courses on top of that. While my ex-girlfriend, myself, and the other sibling strained our budgets to ensure we paid whatever we could, whether we were asked to or not, she would negatively react if asked and scarcely offer to add so much as a 20 to the total sum.
In the event something went wrong, she would explain furiously and at length why she was the only one affected. She was the only one who had places to be and things to do. Everyone else was held responsible for ensuring her needs were met, regardless of whether or not the issue was within their control. When someone pointed out that they too were disadvantaged, she would snap, maintaining that they couldn’t possibly understand the position she was in and the pressure in her life.
It’s been a few years since I’ve been in contact with the family. I do hope she’s grown up and done a little introspecting, but in all honesty, I highly doubt it.”
Look In The Mirror And You’ll Find The Problem
He’s in his early 30s and has already had three failed marriages. He’s religious enough to believe in the ‘sanctity of marriage,’ but somehow tying the knot so that you can jump in the sack without sinning is okay.
He constantly tries to get me to be BFFs with his wives because we’re both women, so naturally, we’ll get along. Sorry, I’m not down to hang with your schoolmarm of a wife.
After his relationships don’t work out, he becomes bitter and misogynistic, to the point where my father-in-law had to sit him down and tell him to stop treating my mother-in-law like crap or he’d kick him out of their house. He refuses even to entertain the idea that the reason all his relationships fail might be him or his eagerness to rush into them. I’m not saying the women he marries are faultless because they’re rushing too, but wow dude, learn from your mistakes. You don’t both have to be idiots; it’s possible just to say it’s too soon.
He also thinks my husband is a bad husband. I remember one time we were north of Toronto at the end of winter for an event and I wanted to buy a sweater because the zipper broke on the one I’d packed. Naturally, my brother-in-law happened to be shopping with us that day and told my husband not to allow me to buy it (but enthusiastically told him to buy himself a video game, because personal entertainment trumps staying warm in Canadian winter). I purchased the sweater with my money while my husband explained to his brother that I don’t need permission to buy an article of clothing.
And on top of all that he’s so pompous. He’s constantly injecting himself into conversations he has nothing to do with just so he can hear himself speak, yet is never willing to consider other viewpoints, opinions, or facts. If anyone talks about a hobby or interest he doesn’t share, it’s ‘stupid’ or ‘a waste of time,’ and he won’t hesitate to say that.
The worst part is that, by extension, it makes me dislike my in-laws. Every time my brother-in-law starts talking about getting married to his current gal, my in-laws become ecstatic instead of talking through with him why he wants to get married to a girl he’s only been talking to online for two months or telling him to slow it down a bit.
Thankfully, my husband finds it all ridiculous too. It was part of the reason we decided to move away from our hometown so we could just not deal with it anymore. Now, all we have to do is keep him as a Facebook friend but block his posts.”
Don’t Talk About Being A Firefighter
“My wife’s parents. Both of them. In their eyes, her brothers and sisters have perfect lives. Meanwhile, we have been married 15 years. We were the last ones to marry (my wife is 14 years younger than her oldest sibling), and we are the only ones still married. My ex-brother-in-law would get a citation for getting busted with a bag of pot, and they would ignore it. Then they’d ask my wife, ‘why doesn’t your husband ever get awards for being a firefighter?’ The brother-in-law had tried to be a firefighter years earlier but failed the exam. It was a family secret because they didn’t want me to look better than him.
I’m in a union, which they hate. Meanwhile, her parents faked a disability to get assistance, but they call it their pension. Her dad never had a job for more than a few years. They cheat on their taxes because they believe income tax is not constitutional.
Her siblings homeschooled their kids, while ours are in public school. My ninth grader is two full years ahead in math. Both kids are in the gifted program. Both are in orchestra and sports. The oldest is one merit badge away from becoming an Eagle Scout (at 13 years old).
I can’t stand my in-laws. My kids and wife can’t either. We are going out of town for Christmas just so we have an excuse to be away. We have to explain to our kids every time they visit them how some crazy conspiracy they brought up is not true.
My wife doesn’t want to write her parents off completely. We don’t understand why her parents think it is appropriate to talk politics with an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old.”