Not everyone is going to get along with their mother-in-law, just ask these people! Married people on Reddit and Quora share the biggest snub they’ve gotten from their mother-in-law. Content has been edited for clarity.
Stealing The Spotlight
“While my then boyfriend/ fiancé and I were dating, I liked his mom. She still is a sweet woman, but most of the time she gets right under my skin.
Soon after we got married, my husband and I traveled for our honeymoon. We had a great time and looked forward coming home.
When we came home and settled in we thought it would be a good time to start opening some gifts from the wedding. They mainly consisted of envelopes and were mainly handed to my mother-in-law to hold on to. Now, I’m not sure that she thought because they were handed over to her, they were meant for her? When we requested to see them so we could open them, she replied telling us she had already opened them and spent some money paying off some bills from the wedding. According to her, she said she did us a favor by paying them for us. I was not only confused, but livid! Who does that??
She continued telling us not to worry because she’d written down everyone’s name and the amount they gifted so we would know… like that’s supposed to justify what you did? I let my husband express how he felt about it, I didn’t want to start drama between us and dropped it. Move forward.
A few months after being married, I got pregnant and she decided to throw me a baby shower with mainly her friends and family. A few of my friends and family were invited. It was a nice gesture and a good turnout. After it was over and days after settling in, she insisted we open gifts as she would like to see what her friends and family had gifted me- and you guessed it! She took over and decided to open every gift I received. My fault for not stopping her and asking her to stop opening my gifts, again my reasoning was I didn’t want to upset her or feel disrespectful. After this event, I began disliking her. I’m not sure how she thought that was also okay. I know I shouldn’t be complaining because I chose to not speak up during when it happened. I felt like she sucked out that moment I should be enjoying. Did she think these were her gifts because it was a shower consisting mainly her friends and family? I never asked her to invite them. She paid for the shower and invited whom ever she wanted.
It went downhill from there. I didn’t like who she was and how she felt she had entitlement over me. When my daughter was born, she held her at the hospital for hours and would only be passed to me when it was time to nurse her. She continued to open every gift that came in for my daughter before it was passed over to me. I don’t like that woman.”
Finally, Out From Her Grasp
“My husband and sister-in-law have been a bit on the bigger since they were kids. His mother has been a size six her entire adult life. My mother-in-law has always used food to replace affection and shame them. There have been times we visited, when she immediately lectured my husband about his weight in regard to their family history of diabetes, then proceeded to push fried food and sweets on him the rest of the visit.
Last year, tired of struggling to lose weight, my husband decided to get bariatric surgery. His mom made this big show of how she was going to visit and ‘take care of him’ after the surgery. Cool. A week before the surgery, we went to see a comedian near her city, two hours away, and came right home, because my husband was on a pre-op liquid diet, tired, and not up for socializing.
The day before his surgery, she called him and told him she’s upset he came to town without seeing her. He calmly explained why we didn’t visit. She then threw in she’s also upset we didn’t see her for Easter, a month prior, to which my husband points out she wasn’t even in town for Easter.
He went for surgery and I kept her updated, everything went well. That Friday, when she’s supposed to visit, she tells him she was in the ER with strep throat and sent a pic of a hospital admission bracelet with no date on it. He called, but she doesn’t answer. That Sunday, she sent him a pic of her painting her house.
The next week was Mother’s Day, which is a tough day for me because I’m estranged from my own mother and deal with infertility. He called her to wish her a good day, and she said she was upset I didn’t call or text her.
She actually said, ‘I know she doesn’t talk to her mom, but she can wish me a happy Mother’s Day!’
During this entire time, she stopped ‘liking’ our pics online. She started texting my husband pictures of weight loss surgery patients with loose skin, saying that’s what he’ll look like. My husband was losing weight and posting sweaty progress selfies from the gym on Instagram.
She texted him, ‘Do me a favor and stop posting those ugly pictures of yourself.’
My husband stood up for himself, ‘I’m sorry you don’t like the pics, but my wife, my friends, and I are proud of my progress and how far I’ve come.’
The next week, she called him and said she’s been in a bad mood for the last month because she had a cancer scare. Supposedly, a psychic told her she was going to get it. My husband knew it was all nonsense, but he forgave her, saying, ‘She’ll never apologize to me. She thinks this lame excuse is an apology.’
I never felt strongly either way about my mother-in-law before these events, but I emphatically dislike her now. I believe she was triggered by my husband’s choice to improve his life through bariatric surgery, because he was taking away a means for which she was able to control him and make him feel terribly about himself. We are still in contact, but moved over 1000 miles away from her last year for unrelated reasons.”
They Will Never Be Close
“A close friend’s mother-in-law is insane.
Let’s begin with when her husband bought her an expensive jewelry set. Her mother-in-law convinced her to store all of it in her safe deposit box and the bank. She was naive and a little terrified, so she just did it. When her husband came back that day, she told him what happened.
He freaked and said, ‘You know you’re never going to see that jewelry again, right?’
Years later, eventually they were forced to hand it back.
Next, one day my friend tried to patch things up with her mother-in-law, saying that she was sorry for whatever she did and wanted them to start fresh.
Her mother-in-law looked her in the eye and said, ‘You’ll never be my daughter.’
My friend was forced to spend all of her day at her mother-in-law’s house, and one day she said to my friend that she will always remain barren. Spoiler alert! My friend now has an amazing daughter!
The next story was kind of saddening. One day, my friend’s husband was borrowing his sister’s car to get groceries. What his sister didn’t know what that my friend was going too. So my friend’s husband went to pick my friend and his father up. They came back and as soon as they pulled in front of the house, my friend’s sister-in-law and brother-in-law were waiting in front of the house, and they were fuming to say the least! They hadn’t even parked the car yet, and the sister-in-law unlocked the boot, pulled out their groceries and threw them in the middle of the road. She was screaming and cussing and my friend’s father-in-law was trying to calm her down, while my friend and her husband were picking the groceries up.
My friend’s mother-in-law and father-in-law would constantly lecture her and her husband, but one day her husband was on the phone and he looked in distress. She found out her father-in-law was giving him a lecture and her husband was having a heart attack, she put the phone down on them and rushed him to hospital. The next day her husband was still in hospital and she had to have breakfast at her mother-in-law’s.
While they were having breakfast, her father-in-law said to her, ‘Yeah, I don’t know how he had a heart attack or what caused it?’
Her mother-in-law got mad, and said it was because of my friend, and they ended up in an argument.
Lastly, my friend’s in laws wanted to get rid of her badly. So they forced her and her husband to sign divorce papers and to separate, before she could pack up her things they stole them and started using and wearing them. It turned out that the divorce wasn’t actually binding and, long story short, they now live happily. But that is just the tip of the iceberg!”
No, She Tried To Talk To Her?
“I live with my in-laws, and my parents live out of town, several hours away. My father-in-law passed away this past summer. It was devastating for the family. My parents came for the funeral, but given the emotions that day, my parents never got a chance to give their condolences directly to my mother-in-law (though she knew they were there, and also did not acknowledge them—fair enough, it was a difficult day).
In the weeks and months that passed, my parents called her but only managed to speak to my husband. A few weeks after the funeral my father was hospitalized, and that took some time to manage before my parents settled back home.
Given my father’s state, my own mother had a hard time making a trip. Finally, today my mother had a opportunity to come by for a day as a mutual friend was able to drive her down and back within 24 hours. She took the opportunity to come down.
Upon greeting my mother-in-law, when my mom leaned in to hug, she backed away and scolded her. She said, ‘Everyone came and gave their condolences to me except you. You never bothered to call, or to even bother to come and see me.’
My mom was so stunned, all she could say was, ‘I’m sorry you feel that way, but we did try.’
My mother-in-law said fine, and walked off.
Someone came to visit my mother-in-law in her own home, to give their condolences, and she snubbed her. That person was my own mother.
We will never be close, because this is one of many examples where she will never acknowledge the effort that was made, nor acknowledge the intentions of the other person. She will be rude to even my own family, if it suits her, and makes her feel better. My entire wedding was like this. Living with her has been like this. I stopped trying to please her. I told my mom to stop expecting her to treat you anything more than a pebble in her shoe.
She also never called my mom once while dealing with my dad in the hospital, knowing how traumatic that was too. Oh, well.”
Asking A Simple Question
“My husband and I got married in 1993 on our own pennies with a few friends at The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, a place that held a lot of importance to him, and it was fine with me as long.
During that time, things went well. But after we moved to a small town, population 400, and I discovered a dishwasher on the enclosed back porch of our rented house, I realized this was one gadget I had no experience with, and no real respect for in my house. Not knowing how to run it or even load it, I asked my husband, who was also as ignorant on the subject as I was, but we decided since it was there we might as well give it a try. The next situation was: ‘Who do we know who would actually have used one of these and could tell us how it was supposed to be loaded?’
He popped up with the comment his ‘Mother (really, step-mother) had always had the newest and finest furnishings and she would be the best person to know these things. I was very nervous about this since she was supposedly ‘Blue Blood’ from the East Coast in Long Island, and I was more used to living by the skin of your teeth, spending my spare time building fences, loafing sheds and hauling hay for horses, or elbow deep in garden dirt, sweating like a hog ready for slaughter.
I finally got up the nerve to dial the phone and put it on speaker, with my husband standing nearby. I asked her how you were supposed to load the dishwasher. I thought the lady would never stop laughing. I wondered if she was actually going to laugh herself into a heart attack! This did nothing at all to endear me to the woman, and I admit my anger rose to the point of being almost volatile, but I restrained myself. As she explained, I glanced at my husband, who had a look on his face as if he were a child being mocked by an adult. As we hung up the phone, we just looked at each other, turned around and commenced to loading the stupid machine. I must admit we might have actually used it three times and that was all. I was handwashing dishes standing on a kitchen chair at age five, so it was no skin off my back to load the sink and continue doing it ‘the old-fashioned way.’
This was the initial incident that told me off-the-bat, there was absolutely no way I would ever respect the woman, nor would I be getting any understanding from her in return. And I was right, it happened several more times on different items or subjects.
But what really sealed the deal was when I took some home canned blackberry preserves up to them one time. The next time we visited, my husband asked her and my husband’s father how they enjoyed the blackberry preserves we left last time.
She got this God-Almighty open-mouthed expression on her face, and said, ‘That was blackberry perserves? You mean it was really blackberry preserves?’
It was obvious East Coast Blue Bloods don’t trust anything not factory canned. But it was also obvious by her tone, not only did she never taste them, she threw them away!”
Then Why Was She Hounding Him?
“Things with my mother-in-law have always been ‘special.’
So much so, when my now husband and I first began the discussion of marriage, she made a statement of, ‘I better like the girl my son marries, or I will make her life a living nightmare.’
And many times she has done just that.
But my most recent and most unforgivable act is one that takes the cake. My husband, children and I went to the mountains with my parents for New Year’s after spending Christmas with his family. My parents (dad and step-mother) had just purchased a new home and wanted us to come up and stay for a little snow filled days. We were excited to get out of town, and the kids were excited to get to see snow for the first time.
We arrived December 31 and had an awesome time. Everything was great. Except for the dozen plus phone calls my husband would receive from his mother every single day. Unfortunately, on January 2nd, the day before we were supposed to come back home, my stepmother lost a family member rather suddenly. She was a complete mess. I think the one ray of light for her was having the grandchildren there to hug her and help her get through it.
That same night (about 5:00pm) my mother-in-law called again, now claiming her son needed to come home that night because she had a very special doctor’s appointment in the morning and he needed to take her. He explained to her the situation and told her he wasn’t planning on coming home until sometime the next day, and asked why her husband (his father) couldn’t take her. This doctor’s appointment was to get a fourth opinion about a medical condition she believes she has and doctors have no medical reason to believe she has.
She immediately began to go into a co-dependent freak-out. Claiming, she may as well self harm because she has nobody in her life and he doesn’t understand what this medical condition is doing to her. That he simply doesn’t care.
Knowing the situation in my parent’s home and how pivotal our children were to my step-mother, my husband decided to pack them and tell me he was going to head home. That if I wanted to be with my children for the rest of their winter vacation, I had better pack my bag as well. Being as we drove up in a single vehicle, I was left with no choice. My husband drove our family down the winding mountain road two hours home in the dark (He has never driven in snow and somehow, thought this was a wise idea). We didn’t speak for a few days after that, and in fact I don’t believe my father has spoken to him since.
The icing on the cake was when my husband arrived at his mother house the next morning to take her to this ‘very important appointment,’ she acted surprised he was there and casually stated, ‘Oh you didn’t have to drive all the way back down the hill just for me.’
Yet she kept him monopolized for 10 hours that day and multiple time during the remaining days of winter vacation.”
She Acted Like She Didn’t Know
“What she did was have my husband’s dad (father-in-law) write me a letter telling me I was not invited to my husbands’ grandpa (her father’s) funeral. I had a strong affection for this man, we had a connection and he instantly became good friends with my own grandfather at our wedding. My grandpa had passed away a few months before, and so I was really grieving his death. Then to lose my husbands’ grandpa in the following months and see how sad my husband was in regard to both deaths (he was very close with my grandpa) was so hard.
What made it almost too cruel was the fact she was aware of all these things and I had already been in contact with her while he was dying, talking on the phone and offering my support. She started by telling me they weren’t going to have the funeral for several weeks and refused to let me fly down with my husband along with the rest of the family. Then I got a letter a few days later from my father-in-law telling me to ‘sit this one out.’
My husband didn’t end up going to the funeral at all even when I begged him to go (he read the letter). He didn’t say anything, but refused to attend the memorial. I felt like I had done something horribly wrong to have her disinvite me, and I was a bad wife because my husband was missing his grandpa’s funeral because I couldn’t go. She ended up really hurting him by her actions, and I was severely hurt by seeing him hurt and knowing I was a part of that.
After I talked with my husband in depth about it and sought the insight of a therapist, I came to the conclusion I actually didn’t do anything wrong, I hadn’t done some terrible offense that warranted her refusal to allow me to attend. That’s when I got furious inside, she caused so much pain and she caused me to seriously doubt my character and self-worth. Her husband was her partner in the situation. I just stopped talking to them completely for an entire year. They didn’t even apologize or address the issue.
After a year, she took me aside and asked if they had done something wrong. Well, she knew exactly what she had done. But I played along and said I was upset about something but it was in the past and I was not angry at them. Then we all moved forward and I tried my hardest to be the best daughter-in-law I could be. That was for my husband’s sake because he is very close with his parents and I think he couldn’t handle how they treated me. So I never talked to him about it other than let him read the letter. In the end, letting myself forgive them felt good to me. I never got the apology I may have wanted but I did get some closure and I’m so glad I did.”
That’s Not A Family
“I became very ill just after marrying my husband. My in-laws kept telling me ‘get up and take a walk, you’ll feel better,’ and ‘maybe you just need to get out of the house.’ They’d deride me if I missed a family gathering, they’d ask me to babysit their granddaughter when I was too sick to care for myself and my kids, and they’d complain I wasn’t bringing money into the house. Never once did any of them, his two sisters, his brother, his sister-in-law, his nephews, his mother or father ever help me out when I was too weak to get out of bed.
Thing was, I felt very badly about not being able to do all those things as well, and on top of it, my doctors kept calling me a hypochondriac. With the moving among cities we did for my husband’s job, I went through 23 doctors before being finally diagnosed with celiac disease and thyroid disease, about 14 years after first falling very ill. That didn’t mean anything to them, they still saw me as a ne’er-do-well.
I was never listened to in conversations, I was always ignored and interrupted. Nobody every looked me in the eyes during a conversation. It was just awful being at family gatherings.
After being diagnosed with celiac disease, they would invite us and our kids to dinner and just tell me ‘to bring a plate,’ so I could join them at the dinner table without their having to make any arrangements for me to actually eat their food. Even at Thanksgiving, which is very easy to adapt to gluten-free cooking. So if I want to bring a plate of Thanksgiving dinner for myself, I have to cook an entire Thanksgiving meal. We just quit going after his parents died a few years ago.”
He Did What He Was Asked
“When my first wife and I were newly married, her mother and her mother’s second husband moved in with us. I thought this was odd and had mentioned it to my mother. She told me this was a normal thing some newlyweds did back in her day. The new couple would move in with the parents in order to save money for their down payment on their first house.
‘No, mom, her mother and stepfather moved in with us,’ I clarified.
‘Well, I’m sure that can be helpful too,’ she said. .
We were doing pretty good, not a lavish lifestyle by any means, but comfortable. All that changed once the in-laws moved in. They didn’t pay rent, they didn’t buy groceries, they didn’t clean up or help with the kids, nothing. I had to start taking extra hours at work, just to make ends meet. After a 60-hour work week, I would get myself a case of drinks for the weekend, and my wife enjoyed a bottle of rye.
Two months in, my in-laws informed me the polite thing to do would be to offer to pick up a case for them as well. Money became so tight we were forced to move to a bigger city, where I had found a higher paying job. Unfortunately, that also meant a higher cost of living, higher rent, all on top of having to rent a truck to move the in-laws stuff to our new house.
It got to a point where we started to fall behind on rent ant utilities, but I just kept working as many hours as I could get. I was determined to get caught up and ahead. I brought up the idea with my wife maybe her mother and stepfather could maybe start chipping in on the rent and utilities, or maybe start looking for a place of their own. Big mistake. Of course, there was a huge argument when her mother found out. She said if I was so unappreciative of them, I should just move out.
But anyway, I had to work the next day, so nothing got resolved. I did my banking on my lunch break as usual, and noticed the rent was paid early. This was odd and I didn’t want any mix ups, so I called the real estate office to inquire if I could pick up the receipt after work. They told me no rent had been paid, I still owed $1,200 for the month.
When I got home that night. I broke the bad news to my wife so we could figure out what we were going to do. My wife told me not to worry, her mother had offered to take the rent up to the realtors office. She was ‘helping out’ because of the argument last night. Upon hearing us discussing them, her mother came running in. I asked her for the receipt or the money back.
She was adamant she had paid the rent that morning and couldn’t get a receipt because she wasn’t on the lease. I told her I had called the realtor at noon and no rent had been paid, so could I have my money back for the rent.
She got this hugely offended look on her face and thundered, ‘How dare you check up on me!’
The rent had been blown in an afternoon, and I never saw it again.
She said so many inappropriate things during the course of this, but that last one is the one that sticks with me to this day. Of course we got evicted. I got another house to rent and of course the in-laws tagged along. My marriage ended shortly after that. Due to a fight caused by my mother in-law, on the phone, coaching my wife what to say.
My wife told me to leave, our marriage was over, and I calmly agreed. I had enough. I called a buddy with a pickup truck and started loading my tools and clothes. The whole time my wife was on the phone with her mother crying, ‘He’s really doing it, he’s really leaving, what now?’
In the end, she was bawling and begging me not to go, saying her mother told her to say those things.
I replied maybe if she had asked me to stay BEFORE I had my stuff loaded, I would’ve considered it, but now I was packed, ready to go and I was going, as per her demand 30 minutes ago. After five minutes of my wife on the phone with her mother, frantically demanding she fix this, she thrust the phone at me saying her mother wanted to apologize.
‘That’s not necessary,’ I said.
Like I said, I was going! My wife convinced me to hear her mother out because ‘I owed her that much.’ So I took the phone and said hello. Her mother had this to fix everything and make me stay. ‘You really are a piece of trash if you leave my daughter with three kids.’
I gave the phone back to my wife and said, ‘She wants to talk to you.’ Got in the truck and never looked back.”
Party For One
“I share a birthday with my sister-in-law. I had been in the family for YEARS at this point and had two children, our birthday twinning was no secret. My husband one day said we were going to go celebrate our birthdays at his mother’s place, which was totally fine with me, at this point I had no issues any with these people. My sister-in-law and her family live several hours away and I was happy to share the day. Upon arrival, I knew exactly where ‘our’ celebration was going to pan out.
Hubby had been invited to celebrate my sister-in-law’s birthday, not mine. He just assumed it would be for both of us. I didn’t say so much as one word when I saw the big cake in the middle of the table saying ‘Happy birthday, sister-in-law’ (in full form, with her name), no mention of me. I sat through an enthusiastic round of the birthday song, and watched her get her gifts and cards. I had enough quickly after that, not even a causal happy birthday greeting from anyone in his family. I gathered my kids and as we were leaving MIL hit me with, ‘oh I guess it’s your birthday too,’ and walked away.
This was the beginning of the end of my relationship with most of his family. I could tell stories for hours about what finally nailed the coffin shut, mostly on my relationship with my sister-in-law, but that pretty much ended me being welcome for any occasion. I know it kind of seems petty, but it was a snub that hurt my feelings nonetheless.”