Vacations are supposed to be a fun and relaxing time for all involved. The chance to get away from the stress and woes of everyday life is something everyone needs once in a while. Unfortunately, these people didn't catch a break!
People on Reddit share how their mother-in-law ruined their vacation. Content has been edited for clarity.
“I Find The Behavior A Bit Stifling”
“My partner and I live in a town where my in-laws live 20 minutes away. They sold their longtime family home and followed us to this town after we purchased a home here. Currently, we see them once a week to give them time with our child, we have dinner or lunch with them, and it ends up being at least a 3-5 hour chunk of time. To me, that’s enough.
Now, my partner and I have found a summer vacation spot where we would eventually like to purchase a second home. Currently, we rent there, and each summer we invite the in-laws for four or five days. Then, they leave, and I don’t have to deal with any requests from them for several weeks, because we are away. This has been traditionally a really nice break for me. I need the break because I just want to go a few weeks without being pressured to include them in everything that we do.
This summer, the conversation changed. The in-laws started asking us if we wanted to ‘go in on’ a second home with them. I told them no, I am not interested, I want my partner and me to do our own thing. So now, they are talking about purchasing their own second home that is in the same vacation spot.
What really bothers me is this ‘following’ they do. My in-laws never expressed an interest in moving to our town until we moved there. Now we all live in the same town. They never vacationed in our vacation spot until we started going there. Now, they have decided they love it and that it’s their perfect vacation spot too. I just wish they could be more independent instead of following us everywhere. My partner has explained that this behavior is very normal. But my parents are not like this, so I find the behavior a bit stifling.”
A Lose-Lose Situation
“My grandparents live on a big lake. They’re in their 80s and retired to the lake decades ago. My family has been going to visit each summer for my whole life. My mother-in-law has asked several times over the years if she can come, but it’s not my house and I have no right to invite her. I also (obviously) don’t want to because she acts inappropriately and has been downright mean to me in the past. I don’t want to subject my elderly family to her erratic behavior.
One day, out of the blue, my mother-in-law texts me saying she’s looking at vacation rentals near that lake (which by the way is about a 10-hour drive from her house) and wants their address. I asked my husband if she had talked to him about this and he was flabbergasted.
We talked about different ways to respond but it really feels like a no-win situation. I don’t want to give her the address. I don’t want her showing up in their small town. I also know if I don’t give her the address, she gets more ‘evidence’ that I’m a controlling person. If I’m direct with her, I have to tell her the hard truth that we don’t ever want to spend vacation time with her. There’s really no way to win here.”
“This Conversation Was The Last Straw”
“My family had planned to go to a lake one weekend. My mom (42), sister (12), brother (15), and brother’s friend (15) were going, and we were meeting up with one of my mom’s friends and their family. Well, tonight my sister told me that she had a conversation with my mom while I was at work, and it was about what I am going to wear to the lake. My mom is ‘worried’ about me wearing a bikini. She thinks my chest will pop out, and that I will look unacceptable. My sister also informed me that every time I do wear a bikini, my mom makes comments to her when I go inside or can’t hear them. My mom talks about how bad I look and how embarrassing it is and tells my sister ‘you don’t want to look like that.’
I do not dress provocatively. I don’t dress inappropriately. I try to be modest and I am very self-conscious of my body. It has taken years for me to feel okay with wearing a bikini. I have gained weight while in college and my mom is constantly hinting at it.
This conversation with my sister was ultimately the last straw. I am a 20-year-old woman; it’s my body and it’s my choice.
I didn’t end up going on the trip.”
Lunch Was Never Going To Happen
“My mother-in-law has a timeshare. She texted my husband saying to let her know right now if we want to use it or lose it. My husband relays the message, and knowing the time-constraint, I just said ‘It’s up to you.’ The truth was, NO. I did NOT want to go, but I just didn’t want to start a fight about my mother-in-law, and we didn’t have enough time for me to say let’s talk about it. So here we are.
The sticky part is, my husband hasn’t seen her since February after an incident. My mother-in-law and I already have a contentious relationship at the point this meeting takes place. My mother-in-law texts my husband that she wants to meet up with just him to discuss her will then take the kids to lunch. They schedule to meet up at a coffee shop. DAY OF, she texts and tells him that they are going to meet at his dad’s house and to not bring anyone. My mother-in-law and father-in-law have been divorced for thirty years, AND his dad isn’t even going to be home so they cannot even go inside the house. They will just have to stand in the yard. I let him know before he even goes that this is a set-up. We are still supposed to go and meet with my mother-in-law to go to lunch, as they are only going to be MAYBE thirty minutes.
THREE HOURS LATER
Husband hasn’t called, text, or anything. I have hungry toddlers I geared up for a fun lunch with grandma. Our oldest needs a paper to be signed at school that husband and I MADE PLANS to sign after lunch. At that point, I just feed the kids and go to school myself. Husband finally calls. She ambushed him. No duh!
Best part? He came home with a bag of pills and weed. Two weeks before this meeting, my husband finally kicked weed. My mother-in-law allowed my husband to start smoking weed at ELEVEN years old. While he had done many other substances over different periods of his life, weed was the one he hung onto. After twenty years and many tries, he FINALLY did it. I was proud of him. Mostly, HE was proud of HIM. He made a long post on FB about how amazing it was to finally be sober. He said that he felt as though he had been in a dark place all this time, and he could finally see the light. I wish I could post it all, but it would be too identifying. His MOTHER ‘loved’ the post and commented on how happy she was for him. Then, she gave him weed as soon as she could!. All under the ‘guise’ of love though… She acted like this was some sort of ‘intervention’ for him. She wanted to talk about his rough childhood, talk about hers, and offered him pills to take because I guess she thinks she’s a freaking DOCTOR.
Now, after eight months, I am supposed to go to this timeshare. I feel like she is going to pull a surprise visit. I’m anxious, not excited, and I don’t want to go. I feel like it will cause a huge fight with my husband if we don’t go, but I feel like we are literally walking into the lions’ den. It also doesn’t help that I don’t feel like I have a supportive partner.”
“I Was So Over This Woman”
“I am not close with my mother-in-law; she has always been snarky and passive-aggressive towards me and openly disdainful of my life choices and my family. I have gotten to the point where I no longer want a relationship with her, but am civil. My husband is not super close with her, but they both have a don’t ask don’t tell mentality when it comes to feelings. She is his only living parent so I want to be supportive of their relationship, but its hard when the cost is enduring her open dislike of me.
My mother-in-law’s birthday was the other day, so we did the right thing and before we booked the trip we asked her if she was ok with us traveling around this time. She said no biggie, she would probably be out of town herself that week, book away (this was in January).
A few months later, she announces she will be going to the mountains the same week as us and in the same location. I am not thrilled with this because she is crazy about vacations, and likes to get up really early and do a ton of activities with us. I vented to my husband and then we tried to focus on the bright side. He assured me we probably wouldn’t even see her.
Fast-forward to July, and she has already decided on three days of activities we are all doing together. I am not happy about this, as we are only here for a week and I would rather just relax and take it easy.
On her birthday, she came over to our rental house to celebrate. Ok, whatever, I got cake. She makes not one, but two, fat jokes at my expense, to my face. One about how I wouldn’t fit in a kayak, and one, while looking at my husband’s photos from the day, saying, ‘Who’s that fat lady in the picture? Oh, it’s you!’
I was so over this woman. My baby bump is cute as heck and I felt great, so back off. When I first told her I was pregnant at nine weeks, she made a point of telling me she never gained much weight with either of her pregnancies.
She’s laughing now, but she won’t be when I am withholding access to her new grandchild.”
She’s Slowly Damaging Her Relationship With Them
“This weekend I (26 F) went on a family vacation with my in-laws. It was pretty nice, a lot of hiking in the mountains and scenic views
But when we got home, my partner (29 M) received a very candid and extremely hurtful email about me from his mother about me. To summarize the content:
I’m a fat, unattractive, unfeminine, unmannered, manipulative slaver girl and how could any man be attracted to me?
Her thoughts were actually pretty graphically detailed. This is an excerpt:
‘She is getting more and more fatty. Her navel spills over her pants more than disgustingly, sitting and standing her chest pepperonis are almost none but below them two proper tires (I would not want to see the figure in a few years) – no femininity.’
So she told my partner that I’m too unattractive to be with him and that he should find someone better to date ‘because the quality of a man’s woman reflects back on him.’
My partner obviously disagrees with everything she wrote, but he’s completely unsure about how he should reply. He was raised to never talk back to her, so he doesn’t know how to talk to her without her completely steamrolling over him. I want to support and help him as much as I can, but I’m not sure what I can do.
What she wrote about me is very hurtful, but what hurts more for me is to see my partner suffer. He’s been upset and despondent about it ever since we got home. She and I don’t speak the same language, so I can’t really talk to her without my partner or his sister translating. Otherwise, I would call her myself and give her a piece of my own mind about her atrociously unmannered and narcissistic behavior.”
“Nobody Has Ever Spoken To Me Like That”
“It all started with a gift. As a housewarming present, my in-laws offered to buy an extra bed for our guest room/ home office. We were too innocent to see their motive.
Fast-forward a few months. My mother-in-law was upset with my father-in-law. He had done some things to destroy his wife’s trust. I had tried to be courteous to the in-laws in an effort to change MIL’s unfavorable opinion of me.
My mother-in-law suddenly shows up in town. Her rich brother had paid for her ticket and a rental car. However, she needed a place to stay. She made the decision to unload all of her marital drama on us. She informed us that she had a plane ticket to return home in three days, but needed to be close to her children to find some purpose in her life again. We allowed her to stay in our new guest room with the understanding that she would be gone at the end of the weekend.
My father-in-law soon called and gave us his version of events. He had made an error in judgment. It wasn’t nearly as dramatic as she had made it seem.
What we didn’t expect was she would enjoy our home so much as to cancel her return ticket.
We decided to let her stay until the end of the week. This turned into two weeks, and then a month. All the while my father-in-law was begging us to allow this and promising to pay for the inconvenience. We were desperately poor. We told ourselves that this wasn’t accepting my father-in-law’s generosity, but was compensation for services rendered.
It got to a point where my mother-in-law had almost maxed out her credit card with an obscenely high limit. Her husband called us to ask that we try and slow her spending. While he felt guilty, he was worried about paying off more than $20,000 dollars of unexpected expenses. We agreed to try and distract her.
Around week three, I started finding pills in odd places around our home. I couldn’t identify these so I threw them away. My mother-in-law was becoming more erratic and paranoid. Eventually, she convinced herself she was experiencing PTSD. She then refused to leave her room for two days. Concerned, I knocked on the door of our guest room in an attempt to check on her. She invited me in and we started to chat.
She began the conversation with stories of what other friends and family members supposedly thought of her husband. This promptly turned into a pity party. After a long monologue, she finally let me get a word in. I told her she should try speaking with a mental health professional, and accused her of looking for reasons to be unhappy. I may have raised my voice. I then stated that we wouldn’t kick her out, but we would need her to obey some rules. Part of these expectations was for her to take all of her medications unless otherwise instructed by a doctor. She flipped. She actually said the words, ‘Nobody has ever spoken to me like that.’
I may have smirked a bit and replied, ‘I am simply telling you what I would say to my own parent in this situation. We want to help you get to a point where you can choose what you want to happen next.’
She sat quietly for a moment and thanked me. I excused myself from the room. I soon heard her walk out our front door.
Straight away, I got a call from DH asking me what happened. Apparently, my mother-in-law had called all the family and friends to tell them we were kicking her out in her time of need. We never bothered to correct these rumors. We realized those that had believed her weren’t worth having a close relationship with. I can’t say we have ever regretted how this situation ended. We only regret letting it go on for as long as it had.”
Another Vacation Is Not Happening
“A few years back, my husband and I travelled with his mother and brothers to a small coastal town on the East Coast (US) for a wedding. We were there for a week, and it was the worst vacation I’ve ever taken. Anyway. One evening the family had a get-together and we had to get to the other side of the coastal town where half the family was staying. We had too many folks who had a few drinks and not enough passenger space for all of us, so my husband and I decided we’d take the 20-minute walk across this small town to the other house.
That wasn’t good enough for my mother. Still not sure why this was a big deal, but my gut tells me that she doesn’t want to see her ‘big sho’” boy who she brags about for the length of an entire conversation in every conversation, walking to the party and not pulling up in a car.
Anyway convo went like this
Us: ‘We’ll just walk over. It’s a nice summer night and it’ll be a good chance to see some of this town.’
Mother-in-law: ‘No, we’ll figure something out. Maybe we can sit on laps in the car. Or call an Uber and have it take you to the house.’
My husband and I talk for a second. We’re really sold on taking the walk, maybe going the beach route because the sun was setting.
Me: ‘We decided we are going to walk because we want to, we will see you there in 20 minutes. There isn’t an Uber available and I’d rather not be scrunched in the back seat.;
Mother-in-law puts her hand up in front of my face: ‘Son, call the Uber. Now.’
At this point, a family member stepped in and said so-and-so is almost here and he’s heading to the party, we can just ride in that car. So we did. But wow, I was furious. Her whole family is a doozy though so that was the tip of the iceberg that week. By the end of the vacation, there had been so much bickering and fighting amongst the family. We did absolutely nothing but sit and stare at each other all day every day. Any ideas we had for adventure/activities were shot down because this was her family and therefore (according to her behaviour), her vacation and her rules. The silver lining- everyone was desperate to go home about 2/3 the way into the trip and I can sense that it bothered my mother-in-law that her trip fell apart. My husband hated the trip too and decided any future family trips with his family will require us having our own hotel room and our own itinerary. Worst vacation. Never again.”
“I Couldn’t Take It Anymore”
“I am the only child of a single mom. I lived at home until I became engaged to my partner at 21. We met when I was 19, and my mom decided ‘he’s just not for me.’ Meaning her, not me. I didn’t let this deter me however and continued to date him. We’d been together for two years when we decided to take our first vacation as a couple. Mom was against this from the off because of course, she wasn’t invited. This woman seriously expected to join us on our first vacation together! I finally managed to placate her with the promise of a girly weekend after I returned from vacation with my partner.
I am a huge animal lover and grew up with a dog and a cat. During my first birthday as part of a couple, my partner surprised me with the most gorgeous rat. He was rarely in his cage as I kept him in my bedroom and always had the door closed because of the cat. Mom wasn’t that keen on the idea of having a rat in the house but she soon became quite taken with him herself. Or so I thought.
With me soon to be going away for two weeks, I talked mom through how to look after Ratatouille and explained that he’d need his food and water refreshed daily and that his cage would need cleaning every three or four days. She seemed quite happy to do this. So my partner and I set off on our dream vacation to Hawaii, and mom actually seemed quite happy for us when we left.
Whilst we were away, I would either text or call every day to make sure that she was okay and to check on Ratatouille. She claimed everything was fine, Ratatouille was fine, cat and dog were fine, everything was just as it should be.
Our vacation was wonderful, SO proposed on our last night there. It was magical. We returned home tan and carefree. I couldn’t wait to see the animals, especially Ratatouille. As soon as I walked in the door, things just felt ‘off.’ Mom was jumpy, almost manic. I soon discovered why.
This woman, this psycho disgusting piece of trash, shut my bedroom door the minute I left for vacation and that door remained shut the whole time I was gone. Not once did she feed Ratatouille or refresh his water. When I walked into my bedroom, the smell hit me immediately. My poor boy, my lovely little rat was dead. She had intentionally just left him there to die as she ‘felt left out.’ and ‘couldn’t believe we didn’t take her with us when we know how much she’s always wanted to go to Hawaii,’ and she ‘didn’t think he would die/’
As you can imagine, I was hysterical. My partner was absolutely raging at her which she used as proof as to why she’d decided ‘he’s not for me’ when first meeting him.
That was it for me, after years of this woman’s selfish, nasty, vindictive behavior, I was done. I didn’t even unpack, I left with my partner that day and the only time I went back was to collect my things and take the cat and dog.
Myself and SO discussed going to the police but I knew it would just prolong having to deal with this vile woman and I couldn’t take anymore.”
Caught In A Lie
“We have two house cats that were our purrbabies before I inexplicably got and stayed pregnant, which we didn’t think was possible. We both love them like our kids.
We recently went on a ten-day vacation, and my mother-in-law promised to feed our cats while we were gone. She offered, we gratefully accepted.
We also have nanny cams all over our house, which I highly recommend to everyone regardless of kids. You’ll be surprised how many times you use them, from cleaners who are finished a little too quickly, to wanting to make sure you turned off the oven or closed the front door. Extremely useful!
So, my husband checked our cameras and discovers seven days in, no one has been inside the house! So my husband sends my mother-in-law a very friendly email reminding her that we’ll be gone another three days and asking her to check up on them as soon as she can. He didn’t let on that we knew she’d not been going every other day like she’d said when I confirmed everything with her the day before we left.
Did she forget? If so, she’s got the memory of an ant. But that’s an insult to ants.
Was it purposeful? One of them, her least favorite, has cancer, and the vet said about six months ago that she had weeks to live and suggested we euthanize immediately. She even showed me a scan with tumors riddling all major organs. Maybe she thought the cat would die, and she would not have to worry about feeding them.
She didn’t say she was ill or had any other problems going on. We haven’t asked directly because we were wondering if she’d lie and try to cover up her error. BINGO!
Here is the real kicker; her response to the email wasn’t, ‘Oh my goodness, I’ll run over right now (about a 15-minute drive) and make sure they’re ok!’ It was ‘Okay, I’ll go over tomorrow afternoon after Bible study.’ My husband wanted to leave our vacation early because of her!
Luckily, the nanny cam showed she finally sauntered over that next evening, the day before we got home. So when we arrived everything looked normal.
Remember I said DH didn’t let on we knew? Well, she lied and made out like she’d been going every other day. The cats were okay (one of our kitties chewed open a bag of emergency dry kibble and they feasted together!), but it’s our relationship with my mother-in-law that is in the emergency room!”