Unforunately, not all mothers-in-law are the greatest. These people share the moment they finally told their mother-in-law off. Content has been edited for clarity purposes.
Who Was Worse? Her Stepson or Her Mother-In-Law?
“I am married to a man whose son was seven months old when we got involved. When his son was three years old, we got married. My MIL (mother-in-law) refused to allow my husband’s son to be involved with me, claiming to anyone and everyone that I would not be a suitable mother to him. She was always rude to me in front of the child.
When my stepson was nine years old, he was finally allowed to live with us. He was given a call collect card to use to call his grandmother if I were to ever physically discipline him. My stepson made sure everyone knew I was not his biological mother, did a bad job of raising him, and looked for pity because of my treatment of him.
All my in-laws felt sorry for my stepson by giving in and allowing him to get away with whatever he decided to do despite my husband and my sister-in-law’s husband trying to interject and point out flaws in this logic. They tried to discipline my stepson but that did not help. My MIL and other in-laws continued to blame the delinquent behavior on my treatment of my stepson.
The boy stole from so many places and people, was involved in break-ins, smoked dope, threatened people with knives, lied like no one’s business, and was expelled from every school he went to. Yet, his grandmother always took his side. It was always someone else’s fault and that someone else mostly was me.
I finally made my stand when my daughter graduated from University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and had also won two awards in the process. My husband joyously shared the news with his parents and other family members. A couple of weeks later at a family gathering, my MIL made a statement after she heard a family member congratulate my husband and me on our daughter’s achievements; she loudly declared that my stepson was just as capable of achieving what our daughter had achieved and more if only he was given the opportunity to get the proper education I had denied him because of how I treated him.
I just lost it. I told her in front of everyone who always judged and backstabbed me that I was never allowed to discipline or treat my stepson as any of my own children because he was always seen as to be treated as special. I, therefore, took a hands-off approach because that was what she (my MIL) wanted, no rules, no discipline, and just giving in to what he wanted just as she wanted. Now that he was older and had squandered all his opportunities at a proper education, was it now my fault for not directing and advising him?
I told them I had enough. I also asked if my parenting skills were so terrible, why didn’t they retrieve him that many years ago?
I told her for once I wanted to enjoy the achievements of children I had raised and enjoy my capabilities as someone who was able to raise her children to my daughter’s standards without making this moment about a stepson who constantly reminded me that I was not his mother and taunt me with all the things he would tell his grandmother about me.
I am sure they continue to discuss my incapabilities as always, and I continue to ignore it but never will I in a million years go back and apologize for what I said.”
“Just Because She Will Get Too Old To Have Children, You Wont!”
“My wicked step-mother-in-law leaned across the dinner table to say to my husband, ‘Don’t ever get a vasectomy! Just because she will get too old to have children, you won’t!’
We were at The Cliff House in San Francisco. At that moment, I could’ve knocked her through the glass windows onto the rocks below. My father-in-law looked uncomfortable.
I asked, ‘So are you saying that at some point he should trade me in for a younger model? One who can have children if I can’t?’
She stuttered a bit. I got up, left the table, and went out to the car. Later on that visit, I got them back. We were at dinner after touring a bit. They started regaling us with tales of their exciting trip through South America to Columbia and what a wonderful adventure that was.
I just looked at them and asked, ‘What time frame was this?’
They cheerfully replied. And I dropped the bomb on them.
I leaned toward them across the table and said in a terse voice, ‘While you two were galavanting around South America, your son was 16 years old and living on the streets because his mother had just kicked him out. He had nothing and nowhere to go. You never bothered to find out how or where he was.’
They looked stunned like I had slapped them. But they knew it was true.”
“So the morning after my marriage, I handed over all the gold that my ex-husband got to my mother in law, because I thought that was the appropriate thing to do, and that ‘what doesn’t belong to me doesn’t stay with me.’ I decided I would keep the gold that my parents gave me, and what I got in the marriage, in a joint account with my husband.
So my father-in-law and my husband asked me to get in the car in the morning. We were supposed to go and meet my parents in the hotel that they are staying in.
Now without any prior intimation whatsoever, my father-in-law asked my husband to stop the car at the bank which fell on the way. I was a bit surprised since we were supposed to go to the bank together with my parents. But I stayed silent and asked no questions. My father-in-law went inside the bank and then came back ten minutes later.
He opened the door of the car, where I was sitting, and asked me to come inside and sign a few papers ‘necessary for the gold to be kept in.’ I was caught off guard because we had talked absolutely nothing about this, nor had my husband informed me about the same. I refused to go inside.
I said, ‘Sorry, Achan, but I shall sign nothing without my parents being there.’
My husband gave me a perplexed look and said something to my father-in-law in Malayalee. Then we drove off to the hotel.
At the hotel, I got into a furious argument with my parents.
I told my father, ‘There’s no way that I am going to give away my gold like that. It’s my security and my children’s.’
They were screaming, yelling, and name-calling. I was deemed as ‘greedy’ and ‘small-minded.’
My dad tried to make me see reason, ‘It just gold, Polly. Don’t behave like this. Give it away. It’s not a big deal. It’s nothing compared to marriage. You are going to a new home, give away the gold, and they will accept and love you. Marriage is all about compromises.’
I stuck to my stubborn self, put my foot down, and refused to yield.
I told my father in a flat tone, ‘Give away the gold, and I’ll take a flight back home right now. I shouldn’t have to fight for my own gold, Papa. You can call me a greedy bull, but I am not giving my gold to anyone. That’s final.’
After I refused to budge from the hotel room, while my father-in-law and husband waited downstairs, my father agreed. He went down to have a talk with my father-in-law, and I don’t know exactly what ensued between them, but he came upstairs with a completely changed mind. He told me that I was correct. What belonged to me should absolutely stay in my name, and there should be no debate about it.
We went to the bank and found out that the papers I was supposed to sign from earlier were to transfer the gold to my father-in-law’s account. I was shocked beyond imagination, because never in my life have I been subjected to such bullying. I was sad because it felt like a betrayal since my husband had told me nothing about all this.
We finally opened a new account in my name and registered my husband as my nominee. The matter was closed, and no one mentioned it again.
I was aware that a woman should always take care of her finances in case things go awry. I knew that life is not predictable, and people, even though you know them for more than twelve years, can change. And that’s exactly what happened. When I fought my divorce case, I asked for the gold that I had given to my mother-in-law, to be returned back. I soon realized half of that gold had been sold off.
My father looked at me in court when he realized this and told me, ‘I don’t know what would have happened if you wouldn’t have been so stubborn that day. We would have lost a lot of money, perhaps my entire life savings.'”
Family Dinner Gone Wrong
“After my husband and I had been married a little over ten years, my brother-in-law (BIL), his wife, and their sons came down to visit us in South Carolina. I prepared for their visit several weeks in advance. I had sent them pamphlets for places we liked to visit so they could plan what they wanted to do. I bought groceries based upon conversations with my sister-in-law (SIL) about her likes and dislikes and those of her sons and husband, and if there were any allergies or food sensitivities I needed to know about. The food sensitivities thing was a big one, because several years before when we were at their house, we were going to go out for dinner. She mentioned several places to go and one of them was Chili’s. I told her we could go anywhere other than Chili’s because something in their food did not agree with me and I had gotten sick from eating at Chili’s on multiple occasions. So, she decided where to go eat and of course, it was Chili’s.
I was a little surprised, but have since figured out that’s how she is, very determined to have her way. I tried to find something on the menu that would probably be okay. I can’t even remember what I got, but I made it just to the front door of their house after dinner before I projectile vomited all over her bushes.
So, the time came for their visit. My husband was off work on the day they arrived, and I got off work a couple of hours after they arrived. When I got home, almost all of the food I bought was in the trash can. She went out and restocked my refrigerator, saying she wasn’t familiar with the brands of food in my refrigerator. Then she demanded I pay her for half of the groceries right then. I was pretty taken aback, but I told her I would be happy to reimburse her for any of the food we ate that she purchased. They stayed for several days. Over the course of the next few days, I made some breakfast and lunches with the foods I had. Foods that were local special brands and things I wanted them to have. I would cook her stuff too, just in case the kids were picky. Almost every day, the kids ate my stuff and just kind of moved hers around on the plate.
When we went out to eat, she found something wrong with everywhere we went. One night, the kids went into the upstairs bedroom to watch TV and they were swinging on the post at the end of the bed and broke it. The bed was a gift from my grandmother who had it in her home for many years. It was the bed I always slept in at her house when I was growing up. The kids were playing on my stairs and threw some things down the stairs that hit the wall and knocked some pictures off the walls. Of course, the glass shattered and I had to vacuum it up so they wouldn’t get hurt. I wasn’t thrilled that she didn’t offer to help, but it was my home. I was the hostess. So, I took care of my guests.
On the day they left, she didn’t say ‘Thank you’, ‘Goodbye,’ or anything else other than telling me what I owed her from the itemized list of everything eaten that she had bought; right down to four slices of bread from her loaf of bread to two tablespoons of mayonnaise. She divided it all up and gave me a list. Not wanting to cause a scene, I gave her the money. Never mind she didn’t offer to pay me for anything her sons had destroyed in my house. I gave her the money and they departed.
Fast forward six months to Thanksgiving at my SIL’s house and the subject of the visit came up. She just sat there rolling her eyes. I told everyone I couldn’t wait until the rest of the family would come to visit whenever they could.
My nephew piped up and said, ‘Mommy said we are never coming back to your house until purgatory freezes over because you were a bad hostess.’
She couldn’t reach over fast enough to try to put her hand over his mouth to shush him and tried so hard to backpedal and say she never said that. The whole family started laughing because they know how dramatic she can be and she always has to be the center of attention. I told her I was just dying to hear her account of the visit and then I could give my version. She was so mad she started shaking. She finally got up and left the table.
She returned and started telling everyone they knew how picky she was and she had just tried to help me out by buying things she knew she would like so I wouldn’t have to worry about pleasing her.
I had finally had enough and said, ‘I don’t worry about pleasing you. That’s an impossible task and the only way to be sure you don’t have a bad time at my house again is for you not to come back.’
Needless to say, in the past 15 years she has never come back. And she will never be invited back to my home.”
They Weren’t Animal People
“My wife and I acquired an awesome mini-Goldendoodle puppet about 14 months ago. We brought him on vacation last summer which included a visit to my mother-in-law and stepfather-in-law’s house. I had my reservations about bringing the dog. These two in-laws are not animal lovers. I asked my wife repeatedly if she was sure they were OK with us bringing the pooch and she kept saying it would be fine.
My mother-in-law tried her best but I quickly got tired of her shrill obsessing over what the dog was doing or even what he might do. Our dog has this habit of standing on his hind legs to put his front paws on your waist to say hi or even give hugs. The first time he did that to my mother-in-law, she acted like she needed smelling salts and a fainting couch even though it was clearly a sign of affection. My stepfather-in-law was even worse.
He was snarly and rude and refused to even let the dog sniff him which is how dogs get to know and trust people. He stomped around acting like we were just letting the dog chew up shoes, pee on the carpets, and steal food off the table. Our dog did absolutely none of those things.
I dreaded being around this guy. Like if I was in the same room with him, I was terrified the dog might do something the man didn’t like and he would lose his mind. He would get angry if the dog even wandered near him. I grew angry that I felt so threatened being in someone else’s home that I sternly told the wife we were never bringing the dog back to that house again to endure that kind of babyish behavior from a seventy-something man. She agreed.
I stupidly texted my wife’s sister, who could generally be relied upon to commiserate about issues with her mom and stepfather, that I hated being there and wanted to go home as soon as possible. The sister blabbed that to my mother-in-law.
I was embarrassed but I told her honestly, ‘You’ve tried your best to accept the dog and I appreciate that, but your husband is genuinely making me uncomfortable and the dog’s never done a thing to him to deserve his hostility. I’m not bringing my dog back here and if it means I stay home while the rest of the family comes out, so be it.’
I would not apologize. I would not back down. I would not change my mind.”
Mother Like Son
“Ten years ago, my husband fell into what appeared to be a mid-life crisis. He became withdrawn, unhappy, and unfulfilled with life in general. He emotionally disconnected from his parents first, then my family and his friends, and then from me and his kids. It was like a switch was flipped and he became another person overnight. At 40, he quit his job as a managing director for a big company and he started his own company which based him frequently overseas in Poland. With that, he withdrew from us more and more.
By 2017, I started to suspect an affair and finally caught evidence of this mid-2019 after his constant denial. He’d been on two trips to the Mediterranean with his present affair partner while pretending to be hard at work in Poland. I also found evidence of expensive gifts purchased for his affair partners since 2017. He told his parents about the affair and they were pretty upset with him but weren’t surprised due to the way he had been acting for a long time.
A week after the affair discovery, I asked my husband to give me some space and so he decided to return to Poland. He could have stayed here in South Africa to give me space, but his affair partner was in Poland. While my husband was away for three weeks in Poland, his mother (my mother-in-law) contacted me about a speeding fine that my husband had received in her postbox, not in our own postbox. She told me, quite aggressively, that we needed to get our own postbox. She then proceeded to use the phone call to tell me exactly how she felt about my husband’s behavior and his affairs.
Verbatim she told me, ‘I know my son and my son doesn’t behave like this. So you need to look at yourself, because you’ve made my son behave badly and run away. You should be supporting him through this tough time.’
With that, she slammed down the phone. I was very upset. My husband has been diagnosed as a covert narcissist. His mother suffers from NPD (Narcissistic personality disorder). I’ve dealt with 25 years of control, manipulation, tantrum-throwing, criticism, lack of empathy, her way or no way. I’ve just bitten my tongue my entire marriage, just bottled up and allowed my husband to be at his parents’ beck and call every weekend. Even when we had kids.
In June this year, I filed for divorce. I told my husband to tell his parents that I had filed because of his ongoing affairs. It was about time he was held accountable.
His mother then asked to speak to me. Typically, with the usual non-empathetic self-centered attitude, instead of showing compassion for the situation, all she could say to me was, it’s important that the children still have two sets of grandparents so I would need to bring them around. Only thinking about her needs as usual and not about the fact what the children and I have been going through with my husband’s abandonment.
I responded no and that my husband must do that.
She responded that he wouldn’t because he never came around.
I informed her that I’m the one who has always made the effort with visits, entertaining, gifts, etc. That my husband just doesn’t care. That now it was time her son stepped up because he needed to start being accountable for his behavior and for his life. That was in June of 2020 and, since then, I’ve shut them out. They have been completely draining. Now it’s time for them to see what their son is really made of. Of course, he never contacts them.”
Was It The Bride’s Wedding Day Or The Mother-In-Law’s?
“It was my wedding day. It was a Hindu wedding that his parents insisted we have, which my husband and I were fine with, even though two weeks before this, we’d already had a court wedding with just the judge and the two of us.
The first issue was turmeric. By tradition, turmeric is smeared all over your face before the wedding to make you more beautiful, or glowy. This was told to me by my MIL (mother-in-law) and the aunties. This was a hard no for me. First, I have atopic dermatitis and many allergies and sensitivities. Being allergic to pollen makes me sensitive to other stuff like fruits and certain spices, too. It’s called ‘cross-reactivity.’ I didn’t want to risk getting swollen, red, and itchy because of the spices on my face.
Also, I’m so pale that if I was smeared in turmeric, I’d turn yellow as if my liver is failing. So no thanks.
In the end, I did agree to a very small smidgen of diluted turmeric paste on my cheeks. To keep the peace, since it was so very important to my MIL.
Another issue was my hair. My MIL wanted me to dye it dark so that the gold jewelry would look better on me, but I’d always wanted to have my natural hair color for my wedding, so I definitely wasn’t going to dye it. Eventually, she gave up on the idea. Maybe because both my husband and his brother agreed with me.”
The Worst Grandma Award Goes To Her
“My ex-husband and I divorced and he moved in with his parents. The kids would stay there with him two days a week. My ex-MIL (mother-in-law) is very manipulative and basically took over parenting from my ex-husband. Even my ex-father-in-law said he acted more like their sibling than their dad.
After a while, my daughter would call me every time she would go over because grandma would expect them to clean the whole house while she didn’t lift a finger and their dad wouldn’t say anything against his mom because she is disabled (although she can work in the garden and other physical things she claimed she couldn’t clean the house). I had seen the house, there was a mess everywhere, and it wasn’t the kids’ mess.
Well soon after, that grandma started talking badly about my daughter, who was about 12 at the time, saying that she will never amount to anything, just like me. My daughter who has my attitude (yikes!) would tell her off. Then when ex-MIL would yell at her for talking back, my son would stick up for his sister and yell at grandma. So she basically made their lives a nightmare because she couldn’t manipulate them like she did everyone else. I finally had enough of my daughter being called useless and her having to call me every single time she was there with something going on.
When I went to pick up the kids, I told grandma if I ever heard from any of the kids that she said anything to them being useless or not amounting to anything, she would never see them again. She tried to deny ever saying anything or making them clean, but I told her that I would always believe my kids and I know how she really was so don’t bother lying to me.
She eased up for a few months, then one day, I get a call from my oldest daughter screaming for me to come get them now. Either she was calling the cops or running away. I told her to call the cops if she needed to and that I was on my way. When I got them, my oldest daughter and son ran out of the house. I walked in as my daughter was telling me what happened.
She is extremely short and couldn’t reach the cabinet to get a cup. So she climbed on the cabinet to get one because they refused to buy her a step stool. Instead of asking her to be careful or to get down, or getting the cup for her, Grandma grabbed her by the neck and yanked her down choking her. My ex-husband didn’t say a word and claimed he didn’t see it, so she called me. My ex-MIL started screaming at me that I was a horrible mother and was raising entitled brats.
I grabbed all of my kids and threw them in the car as their grandma screamed to get out and never come back. I told my kids don’t worry about it.
I told my ex-MIL, ‘I don’t feel like going to jail today. You’re not worth it, but I will be filing a police report and you’ll never see the kids again.’
Then I drove straight to the police station and filed that report. The Court order states they can’t live at or visit grandma’s house. And she hasn’t seen the kids since that day.”
Just After The Funeral
“On 12/21/10, my husband was laid to rest. When I got back to our home after, I found his daughter, a niece, her hubby, and our pastor from church, all seated around my dining room table. Each held a piece of paper. So I asked what was going on.
I was informed that on each sheet of paper, were the items my late husband said they could have, and I was to gather them up, and bring them to ‘my guests.’ I knew this was a lie. So, I told them to just sit tight, it might take a few minutes. I calmly walked into my bedroom, picked up my .357 Smith and Wesson, and very calmly, pointed it towards each and every one.
I told them they had bout 15 seconds to get out of my home. They scrambled, but they got out. I had already been robbed of several thousand by my step-daughter, so I was determined no more. I went that afternoon and took out ‘permanent no-trespass’ against each one, which is still in place today. One can only take so much, but stealing from the one left behind, there’s a special place for them.”
“She Drove By Our House Everyday, But Would Maybe Visit Once Or Twice A Year”
“Her son was toxic. When I was four months pregnant, I left with my dog, my nightgown, and my preggo belly. After the situation had calmed down, he signed off all parental rights and all visitation rights since there would be no support money paid. He avoided court in the matter but sacrificed his son. That said, I told my in-laws they were on thin ice with being allowed time with my son. I didn’t trust that my mother-in-law wouldn’t take him to see that prick. She infrequently requested time with him. Usually when a relative was visiting her. She liked looking like the dedicated grandma. She drove by our house every day, but would maybe visit once or twice a year.
So, one Friday evening, she called and asked to ‘borrow’ Scott, as though he was a wheelbarrow or garden rake. I asked where she would be taking him. She said that her dad had passed away, and she wanted to take him to the funeral. At the time, Scott had just turned two. Since my son had never met the man, why on Earth would she even ask to take a baby to a funeral?
I said, ‘No.’
I repeated, ‘Absolutely no.’
Then she asked if I would possibly bring him to the gathering after the funeral so her sister from Oklahoma could meet him.
I said, ‘I would consider it.’
I called her early the next morning and said I would bring Scott by the gathering for an hour. I specifically asked if her son was going to be there because I would not bring Scott if that was the case. She said she hadn’t spoken to him in a year.
The following day and my spidey senses were going nuts. But, as I promised, I dressed him up cute and took him. She was waiting outside and snatched him away.
I said, ‘ONE HOUR!!’
And away they went. I had a book in my car, so I just settled in for an hour of reading. I was parked across the street at a park and casually glanced at the arriving guests. Few minutes have passed and I looked at my passenger window. My former sister-in-law was standing there crying.
All she said was, ‘She invited him.’
I was out of the car and across the street. I saw her pulling my baby from group to group like he was a cute plaything.
I went to her, looked her in the eye, and said, ‘You messed up. You lied to me like you’re lying to all these people. You suck as a grandmother. You drive by our house every day and only stop when you need a prop to show off.’
She was so taken aback.
I continued, ‘Your piece of garbage son broke me. He didn’t care about this child, or about me.’
My voice was low and controlled, but I realized the room was silent. My sis-in-law had taken Scott out toward our car, and I followed them. All eyes were on me.
I figured I had the floor, so I said, ‘You didn’t ever take Scott to meet the man you’re burying today. You only wanted him here to make you look good. How’s that working out for you now? You’re done playing grandma with my sweet boy. DONE!’
As we drove away that day, I saw her son arrive. Thank God, as usual, he was late.”