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worst in-law stories

strugglingSM's picture

Since I have the special treat of sharing both Thanksgiving and Christmas with DH's family this year, I'm feeling a little less in the holiday spirit than normal.

I thought I'd cheer myself up, by asking people to share their worst in-law stories. I have some bad ones, but I imagine many of you have seen far worse.

What is the worst thing one of your in-laws (not just MILs or FILs, but also your SO's siblings) has done to you all in the name of supporting Skids...or just in the name of being terrible?

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

After BM ditched the Skids. SD8 got sick like a week later, she contacted BM (behind our backs) then informed DH than SD8 was clearly depressed and BM would be picking her up that morning. SD8 (who was sick) didn't want to go. So she then informed DH that BM would be coming over and hangin out with him and SD8 (I said heck no). She went through with it anyways and BM showed up that evening instead... MIL then showed her into the room we sleep in and she legit sat on the bed... I JUST ABOUT KILLED SOMEONE. DH thankfully got me out of there before I did.

MIL also thought she would suggest BM bring a swimsuit and come swim over at our home during this vist (I was supposed to be at work) and that DH and BM hang out with SD8 together to show the "family isn't broken."

Also at a later date she lectured me on how wanting BM's s*** gone (after they'd been apart for years) was completely unreasonable and how DH and BM should be taking family pictures and Bm should be at all our holidays. Thank goodness DH did not agree....

strugglingSM's picture

I don't understand why some mothers can't move on when their sons get divorced...why do they get so involved?!

Also, why can't people understand that after a divorce, parents should be living separate lives. It's ok for a child to have two families. In many ways, having two separate, happy families is better than having one, dysfunctional, unhappy family!

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

Also add to that tying to inform me how my future household will be ran and trying to convince me because I’m allowed a laptop the EIGHT year old should have her own laptop in her room. I don’t believe in computers in rooms period... I’m standing by that. But I am DANG sick of the crap.

Cara1128's picture

What? Hell no...sitting on your bed...no no..
Bedroom door is locked during the day if anyone is over(ss6 likes to go explore...)

momjeans's picture

My MIL tried to back out of coming over to hang out with our 18 month old toddler, THE MORNING OF my scheduled c-section.

I had to check into the hospital by 7am. Around 5:45 am, MIL sent DH a text stating she wouldn’t be able to make it. I was LIVID. To this day, I’m 99% positive she did this in retaliation because I firmly said no skid at the hospital (c-section fell over skid’s summer visitation) - pre or post OP. I anticipated a very short stay at the hospital, and it was - less than 24 hours. I wanted peace and quiet and no visitors other than my DH and our toddler.

Long story short. MIL did end up coming that morning. Pretty sure DH told her hellfire was about to rain down on her. When she shows up, she wouldn’t even make eye contact with me, acknowledge me, or wish me luck.

But, in true MIL form, about 8 hours later, she did slip past the OB nurse station, despite me informing them “no visitors outside of my husband”, because MIL just had to be the first to see the baby and take pictures to post all over social media. Because grandma of the year. :O

I hate her. So much.

strugglingSM's picture

My MIL has also backed out of watching Skids on more than one occasion for us, always with the excuse that we shouldn't "exclude" Skids from our lives, so should be willing to take them on whatever adult errand or outing we have planned.

My favorite was when we were signing papers for our house. DH had arranged with MIL that she would watch SSs. I had told her what time we would need to leave and about how long I thought it would take. That time arrives and MIL is nowhere to be found and can't be reached. Because every 11 year old wants to sit and wait for an hour while their dad and SM sign paperwork...I was so angry. Now, whenever DH tells me he'll get MIL to help us, I tell him not to, because I can't rely on her.

If I were in your situation, I'm not sure what I would do...probably try to move far away (which is my plan if DH and I ever have kids!).

strugglingSM's picture

DH and I don't have any children of our own. If we do, I do worry that his family will be so concerned about SSs feeling forgotten that they will snub our child together. If we do have a child and that does happen, that will be all I need to move away. I won't have my child feel like they are less a part of their family simply because DH's family is dysfunctional and hasn't moved on from his divorce.

blueskies4me's picture

My kids have my mom and my mom is amazing with them, she waited a long time to be a grandma and revels in it. My kids absolutely adore her, too. MIL is not a good person even without the blatant favoritism (and it’s not just my assessment of her attitude and behavior either.) She’s quite horrid to everyone.

My DH gets along very well with my mother and actually wants her to visit more. :jawdrop: My mom isn’t perfect but no one is but she doesn’t undermine us or treat DH badly.

I worry about my mom getting too old or getting really sick. My kids are very young still. Sad

momjeans's picture

And this is just one event that stands out to me.

My MIL (and FIL) have engaged in a lot of backstabbing, manipulative, and passive-aggressive behavior. Always intentional, no matter how innocent or clueless they act. No matter how much my MIL sobs and plays the victim.

MIL and FIL both lack emotional intelligence. I’ve come to the conclusion that they just cannot process the reality of me disengaging from skid, staying disengaged, and having zero lovey feelings towards her.

strugglingSM's picture

My MIL is soooo manipulative. She uses guilt to try to get everything done. I would much rather she would be direct in asking for help.

I try to keep her prying eyes out of our household or only give her a carefully curated glimpse into what goes on in our house. I've become that fake person who is nice to her face, but holds her at arms length behind closed doors.

DH has sort of pushed her away because she meddled so much in his life. I actually try to encourage him to be nicer to his mother and to contact her more, but I can't blame him, since she goes behind his back to talk to BM and tries to get involved in their conflicts on occasion.

notasm3's picture

Some of these MILs should be drawn and quartered. You people are nicer than I am. If someone did half the sh*t that some of these women have pulled they would be DEAD to me.

I have no problem ghosting people who are toxic no matter what the DNA connection to me or my loved ones. I realize that minor children are an exception - no matter how toxic they are. But that's also why I never married a man with a minor child.

I come from a very large extended family - 90% are just great. A few not great but are at least tolerable. But there are a couple that I've been okay with just removing from my life.

I also have a very full social life. I don't have time to keep up with half my friends and family. So no way am I going to waste any time with toxic aholes.

ETA - My husband's parents both died young long before I met him so I've never had a MIL with him. He has 4 siblings. I adore everyone of them and their spouses.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

That's why I told DH we won't be living close to them when we buy. I'm not risking the constant crap or too frequent visits... Oops...

momjeans's picture

I’m not that nice, really. I do think the fact that I reluctantly “welcome” my toxic in-laws into my home, mainly only around the holidays, gives my DH and in-laws false hope that I’m going to put my guard down and play their codependent, passive-aggressive games, though.

My MIL has been on the receiving end of my razor tongue many times - she just keeps coming back for more, unaffected by it, because being numero uno in DH’s life is high on her priority list.

I’ll ignore them all day, while they’re here visiting DH. I’ve even had moments of completely banning them from stepping foot in my house, but the codependency between DH and his parents is some next level BS. I’ve become accustomed to just calling MIL and FIL out on the spot, fully aware that they’ll go all out with their smear campaign, in defense mode.

MIL telling family members that I’m “crazy” or “overreactive” is just code-speak that I call her out on her crap. Lol.

SugarSpice's picture

once in laws supported skids against me i disengaged from them.

earlier i would talk to them on the phone when dh called them. they were elderly and always broke thanks to fil using all the money he earned on vacations and his own sports and pastimes. mil has nothing to show for the decades of marriage but that is another story.

when in laws supported sd in her telling me to go to h%ll to my face i cut off contact. no need to waste my time making idle talk with two old people who did not care about me nor knew right from wrong.

dh x wife had an affair with a married man and left her husband. youd think the in laws would cut off ties with her but sure enough 15 years later they are swapping emails like they were old friends.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Wow, just wow. Don't know if you posters are familiar with it, but reddit has a great sub thread called JUSTNOMIL. Some of these stories definitely belong there.

theoldredhen's picture

My ex MIL, a Protestant religious fanatic despised me for being a Catholic. From the time that my 2 daughters and BIL's son and daughter were little more than toddlers, MIL made her favouritism for the non-Catholic grandchildren painfully obvious. Regardless of the fact that my daughters visited her regularly, never forgot her birthday and were always available to help her out whereas the favoured 2 all but ignored her, my girls failed to make the grade.

A few years ago, my granddaughter had fun during a grandma visit by making a tick mark on a pad of paper every time that the favoured grandchildren's names were mentioned. As I recall, it was approximately 60 times during a 2 hour visit.

My daughters try to find humour in the flagrant favouritism but I know that it has hurt them deeply. It's not nice to make physical comparisons but my girls are both slim, fit, attractive, well educated and successful. The preferred grandchildren are morbidly obese, did not finish high school, are often unemployed and are rude and entitled. If ex MIL had been aware of how they ridiculed her behind her back, she would have been shocked.

Over the years, she has spent tens of thousands of dollars on her favourites, buying them vehicles and providing downpayment for mortgages. My girls received, at most, $20.00 cheques for birthdays and Christmas. One of the best side effects of divorcing my first husband was removing myself from his horrible mother. I only wish that my children could have done the same.

Ispofacto's picture

Killjoy is such a brat, that even her own family has nicknames for her: SIL and her family calls her "Little Brat", XMIL (Killjoy's maternal grandma) calls her "Bratty Brat", and MIL's nickname for her was "Little Bitch". I kid you not. Killjoy has no idea, they never say anything to her face.

MIL has spent hours regaling me with stories about BM and Killjoy from before I came into the picture. MIL is not BM's friend by a longshot, thank god. MIL farking hates BM, and honestly, sometimes I think she hates Killjoy by association, but maybe partly also because, well, Killjoy really is a little bitch. And MIL is furious with DH for marrying BM and having a child with her. MIL is a strong preference for SIL and her family. That may be because of DH's poor choices, but according to BM, the favoritism was always there. BM is a victim, so I really don't know.

There have been times when I've felt that MIL's condemnation of Killjoy was just a little too harsh, colored by her hatred of BM. In the past, MIL had made it clear to me that Killjoy is not my responsibility and she wouldn't blame me at all for disengaging. She brought it up first, I didn't. I was sticking it out though, at the time.

When I first came into the picture, the ILs were so pleased and so friendly. But the constant drama with BM and Killjoy was very depressing for me, and I had a hard time coping with life, and wasn't responsive enough I guess, and now they are still kinda friendly but not as nice. Me and DH also have a different style of relating to people than some others do, more on that later. Maybe it would have happened anyway, I don't know, but things cooled off. But then MIL started going on and on about what an asshole DH is, and she told me these stories over and over again, and they were all so petty and ridiculous. Like she'd get uber pissed about how much she hates the way our house is decorated. Wtf? I really don't care if she likes the way our house is decorated, she doesn't have to live there, but it hurts my feelings about how hateful her attitude is toward DH, because he really is a nice guy, and he loves her dearly, even if he's a bit of an airhead about sending cards and whatnot. More on that later.

But it's almost like MIL's just pissed at the world, because she also went on and on about her break with her former BFF, about how the woman came to visit MIL at her new house and didn't complement how the house looked. And I'm not sensitive, but I thought, how hypocritical, here she is getting pissed that someone is uncomplimentary about her house when she's directly throwing shade at mine, and I've never been anything but kind to her, despite the fact that honestly, I think her house is tacky, but hey, I don't have to live there, so I told her it's beautiful.

I kinda wonder if she was just being defensive, because sometimes DH will stupidly throw a casual accusation out there about MIL or SIL not being reciprocal enough about visiting and whatnot, or being fair regarding attending the nieces/nephews/grandkids events. Well, they live a lot further away from us, and MIL and SIL live close to each other, so of course SIL's family gets to see MIL/FIL more. And the relationship between MIL and SIL is not fraught with BM drama, so of course MIL's going to gravitate in that direction. DH made poor choices, I understand that. Lately I have been asking DH if his mother has always been so petty and mean. He says he thinks so, but maybe part of it is her declining health.

Well, when I'd finally had it with Killjoy, I thought if anyone would understand it would be MIL. So I poured out my heart to her. And she accused me of lying. Now I am largely disengaged from her. I'm not even sure I will attend xmas. I am never grateful enough for the gifts she gives me. I always like them and say thank you, I guess I have to wear them and display them every time I see her? I really don't want gifts, it's not worth the drama. I've noticed the gifts are starting to become passive aggressive. I wouldn't be surprised if she gave me a goodwill ashtray, like some others here have posted. BM was always an as$hole to everyone, never liked any gifts, and I wonder sometimes if MIL has just developed a distaste for any DH wife, or maybe MIL is just really touchy and sensitive about gift giving. I probably won't go, I'll do ANYTHING to avoid drama.

Sometimes I wonder if these DHs of ours learn their dysfunctional partner picking from their origin families. Likely so.

Regarding our different style of relating. DH and I are both generous people, we don't get mad about petty issues, and we normally don't hold grudges. We think greeting cards are trite. We love to give gifts, and don't care if we get gifts in return. Spending time with people we love is the best gift you can give us. We are very affectionate. We are well off financially. We are nerds. We like books. We don't decorate with flare. We are practical. We are straight shooters, we don't play games. We don't like drama and games. Personally, if you are into games, I will ghost you, DH won't. We don't care if we receive greeting cards or gifts or even phone calls for our birthdays or father's day or anniversaries, or whatever. Our lives are busy and we get to that stuff whenever we have time, or not. I frequently forget my own birthday. As an adult, it doesn't matter to me, it's just another day. My kids visit when they can. We're super flexible. We celebrate holidays and birthdays whenever. No one bickers, ever. We love and cherish each other.

MIL must receive a card on or before her birthday, no exceptions. She gets uber pissed if she doesn't. Forever. She gets pissed also if we are not adequately reverent of SIL's family. Forever. So I have taken on that duty, because DH is an airhead and thinks it's silly. I'm prone to agree with him, but that's how MIL is. DH wants to celebrate with her in person next time he sees her, which may be a month later. I'd be fine with that, she's not. I've written before my feelings about anonymous gift giving. It goes against my grain to send people gifts when they don't make an effort to visit, but whatever.

And now about SIL. DH and I started dating in a February, and moved in together the following November, so I was very new to the family our first xmas. SIL cried poor and requested the adults not exchange gifts, which was fine with me. I don't need or want gifts, and I don't mind giving them or not, whatever makes others most comfortable. Anything is fine with me, except drama. And drama is what I got. Xmas arrived, and SIL presented us with a token gift, something inexpensive. Well, of course, we didn't have a gift, because she requested no exchange. Well, FIL called a couple days later and said SIL was angry, because we didn't give her a gift. She couldn't tell us herself. Wtf. I was inclined to ignore this stupidity, but I called Omaha Steaks and had a giant box of steaks delivered to her house. It was expensive, but I don't give a shit, I just want the bullshit halted. But that left a lasting impression. Welcome to the family, now let the games begin.

Months after that, MIL was complaining about SIL making poor financial decisions (maybe MIL is just catty? She talks about friggin everybody, but YOU are not allowed to.). After xmas, SIL and her husband had bought her a large diamond ring, a brand new Harley for him, a stone firepit for their backyard, and expensive vacation, and had a stone mailbox installed. I told MIL, I don't want to hear anymore about how poor SIL is. I don't care how she spends her money, I'm just pissed about the drama. I told MIL that when I was in her favor, but she probably developed a grudge about that later. Whatever.

SIL is always pissed at DH about whatever petty issue du jour MIL is pissed about that happened 20+ years ago. Disputes about candy bars. Stupid shit. Wtf. I don't care. They bicker whenever they get together. It's stupid.

It's a shame, because my own family lives far away, my own mother is dead, and my father has dementia, so I kinda wished for an extended family. Maybe I'm too sensitive.

Cara1128's picture

Thanksgiving yr.1(also around my birthday)-mil invites hubs and me over telling us it was just going to be us so I could get to know her.
We geg to her house she is not there.
Arrives with BM2 and Ss3 in tow.
Mil and BM proceed into the house to commiserate leaving SS3 outside for hubs to watch while frying a turkey.(!)
I said nothing but told SS3 to go inside with mommy everytime for 2 hrs
I stayed outside with hubs
After 2 hrs of this charade BM2 decided she wanted to go home(mil drove her bc she does not drive or own a car at 30+ ys old) bc SHE was feeling unwelcome.
Why bc you have to take care of the child you spawned while i get to relax bc Im childfree...I drank beer too and ate and told hubs to have fun and we did...yup that happens when MIL decides to spring crap on me
Many more stories exist too many to iterate here.

Myss.Tique D'Off's picture

My current MIL is crass, brash, opinionated and loud. It wouldn't be so bad if she was clever or coherent. Unfortunately, to me her thinking and opinions are borderline offensive. At least IPOD-H has not inherited these traits from her. (This is IPOD-H's mother, not the MIL of my first marriage who is quite lovely.)

In the run up to Brexit (UK decision referendum to stay or leave the EU), many people had many different opinions on the subject for many different reasons.

We were having brunch at my house one Sunday, with some of my family members: my household, my folks, and two of my brothers and their wives and kids. On IPOD-H's side it was MIL, FIL, IPOD-H's sister and her husband and SD.

I was in the kitchen preparing food so this is what I heard. MIL who should know better than to discuss politics with a group of people she doesn't know well, was holding court, railing against all the damn immigrants and foreigners who steal jobs. Kind of the "go back to where you came from" attitude. Britain is full: get out! It is worth noting that every single person in the house on that day was a British citizen. However, what MIL did not know, was the history of my family.

Both my parents (born after or during the war - WW2) had one immigrant parent. Both my Grandfather's served in World War 2 and married foreign brides. Both my grandpa's were British. My Grandmother's were Greek and Swedish. My SIL who was at the brunch is originally from the Bahama's (you can hear by her accent). My son is half Swiss. So not being content to insult people she knows nothing about, she complained to me afterwards my family were not very receptive to her speech and went to look at the plants, flowers and birds in the garden... How rude they are! (I am surprised they remained as restrained as they did because I know these people and I know quite a few of them would have ripped a new one...) From my family I learned they left it because my mother gave everyone the hairy eyeball! (Signal for SHUT IT!) My mother told me afterwards: not worth it to engage an ignorant drunk. (MIL had been hitting the champagne hard that morning... Lovely!)

So add this to MIL's hypochondriac personality of always being dead and half dead - and wanting to be a patient of both of my brother's who have had the good sense to refuse. Suffice is to say that invitations are declined when MIL is around or there are short drop by appearances before they leave if MIL is going to be there.

Cara1128's picture

Oh yeah...one more bc i just can't help it.
When hubs and I were just dating and he lived in his own place i met his nom briefly when she showed up unabounced with a bunch of stuff and both ss12 and stepbro(bm2 first child unrelated to hubs but like a son to him).
We shook hands then immediately she started conspiratorially whispering to me all of hubs' shortcomings. He was this he used to do this blah blah on and on while he was in the bathroom(lol).
He came out and she immediately stopped pretending nothing happened.I was stunned but didn't let on and did not have any doubts about hubs as a result of her whispers.
Why would you do that to your own child?(that was my only thought as she was speaking)

momjeans's picture

SugarSpice - my in-laws seem to favor DH’s ex too. So bizarre, considering she cheated, got pregnant, had an abortion, reconciled with DH, cheated some more, then ultimately left him.

At least once a year, BM will create a new FB account and “friend” them to play games. BM loves to comment on photos the in-laws post of them and skid, while here for Christmas visitation: “Oh, that looks like fun! I wish I was there spending it with you guys!”

Um. What?! BM is now 5+ years removed from being DH’s estranged wife. Lives 2000+ miles away. And despised spending the holidays with them back in the day when things were supposedly “good”, per DH.

Also per DH, BM would open a gift, and if she didn’t like it, she would hand it back to MIL, instructing her to return it - that she didn’t want it. Such a perfect and loving good Christian, that BM.

Christmas is... entertaining with my in-laws. I avoid getting together with them at all costs, but they always finagle a quick visit to exchange gifts and for their photo ops with our toddlers to post on social media. It’s all a sham.

Gifts? It’s a hit or miss if I’ll receive some sort of passive-aggressive gift or not. I generally get a few from them, and generally the one gift I don’t want to immediately toss in the trash is something only DH knows I like or want. So, how do you think MIL knew? DH, of course. It’s so obvious he begs her to play nice. The look on MIL’s face is always priceless. The look of gifting something nice, that you didn’t want to buy, to someone you despise.

While I am perfectly content with not getting a gift al all, I DO look forward to that moment all year now, because it’s visibly so painful for MIL to see me happy. }:)

strugglingSM's picture

My worst MIL story was the time that she called DH and said to him, "I've just had a long talk with BM and she said, and I agree, that StrugglingSM is a big cause of the problems between you and her. StrugglingSM should sit down with BM and work out their differences." This was just days after DH had asked her to stop talking to BM, because BM kept threatening to take him to court. This was also months after DH and I had seen a counselor because BM's behavior was threatening our relationship and MIL knew about it. MIL emailed both of us to "see if everything was ok" after our counseling sessions and I sent her a curt email basically saying we'd get through it, but BM was a big problem for us. After MIL told DH that she and BM agreed that I was really the problem, I lost it and almost cut MIL out of my life entirely.

After that, I kept MIL at arms length. I'm still friendly to her face, but I don't share anything with her. I think MIL likes to feel needed and BM makes her feel more needed than either DH or I do.

BM is terrible to DH and was abusive throughout their marriage and after their divorce, but MIL still goes out of her way to tell DH how thankful he should be for BM. She told DH he should send BM a mother's day gift and also is always encouraging him to help BM out, even though she knows that BM is constantly using the children as a weapon against DH. BM even told DH that she wasn't going to let SSs go to MIL's party (which was on her weekend), because he "didn't ask nicely enough." But of course, by all means, don't support your son. I also think that MIL is like BM in many ways. She belittles DH and has told him he's a "terrible father". Meanwhile, BM is a manipulative, needy, adolescent mother who doesn't require her kids to do anything in school and lets them do age inappropriate things, but according to MIL, she's MOTY.

momjeans's picture

Our MILs are a lot alike.

Their issues are rooted in the fact that they’re insecure, codependent enablers. They habitually cross boundaries and hold everyone else, but their own child(ren), up on a pedestal.

I guess I’ll never understand. It’s why I went low contact, and try to go full fledge no contact with my MIL, as much as humanly possible. She’s the “problem” right alongside BM.

StepMat789's picture

This is by far the funniest, not the worst...At the age of 26 and having just given birth to my ex-in laws first grandchild....my size zero ex mother-in-law gave me Slim Fast, Wrinkle Cream and a shirt that was 2 sizes too small. Merry Christmas to me. Now, I am not one to be unappreciative, but it was all I could do when I opened her gift to not run into my room crying. I find it flocked with humor now.

strugglingSM's picture

Whoa! That's terrible! That sounds like something my friend's mother would do. At one point, my friend said to her, "if you keep talking about my weight, I will stop talking to you!" My friend does not need to lose weight.