The relationship between a person and their mother-in-law can be a complex and delicate one. While many individuals are fortunate to have loving and supportive mothers-in-law, there are others who encounter toxic dynamics that can strain the family dynamic. In this collection of stories, people share their experiences of discovering their mother-in-law’s toxic traits and behaviors.
From manipulative tactics and passive-aggressive remarks to boundary violations and relentless meddling, these stories shed light on the moments when individuals realized the true nature of their mother-in-law’s toxicity. Prepare to be both shocked and validated as we delve into the experiences of those who have encountered challenging mother-in-law relationships.
These stories serve as a reminder that toxic behavior can exist within family dynamics, and they provide support and understanding for those who have faced similar struggles in navigating these complex relationships.
All content has been edited for clarity.
The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree
“My ex-MIL was a piece of work. My ex-husband was a horrible excuse for a human being. An abusive narcissistic sociopath would be the best way to describe him. For almost 10 years he broke me down and made me feel like I was worthless. I remember at one point I had just accepted that it was my life and that I wasn’t worth anything more than how worthless he made me feel. The last couple years we were together we lived with MIL. She watched firsthand how he treated me and never said a word. Just made excuses. Example. The time he put me through a window and I had to be rushed to the hospital with a major head injury.
They had the most messed up toxic relationship I’ve ever seen. The way they would fight, the things they’d say to each other, and the fact that it was just normal to them is mind-blowing. She never held him accountable for anything, everything was always everyone else’s fault, never a consequence, and ultimately she created the monster.
After yet another incident where I had to go to the hospital and be stitched back up, I had had enough. Something clicked inside me and I was done. For the next month or so while I tried to find a place for myself and my children life was next-level. His anger intensified by 10. But his bullying wasn’t working, my mind was made up and I finally took my kids and got out of that house.
After I left he kept trying to convince me to come back. He tried every tactic he knew but I stood my ground. After many failed attempts in those last 2 weeks to get me and my kids back to the house alone and realizing it wasn’t going to work, the selfish a*shole committed suicide. I’m sure if he had got us there he would have taken us with him. He did it in a way that he could cause as much pain as possible to his mother on the way out. He left me to have to try to explain to 3 kids why their father was gone. Selfish right to the very end.
I ended up having to plan his funeral, tell his kids and deal with all the bullsh*t that comes along with someone’s sudden selfish passing.
The day of the funeral rolls around and it’s one of the worst days of my life. I’m standing by the casket hearing 100 times over ‘so sorry for your loss’. Then all of a sudden some girl he had cheated on me with and her friend cut the line, came and got into my face while standing next to the casket, and started telling me I was nothing among other things. My MIL was only standing a few feet away. Me obviously upset and many other people were horrified by what just happened.
She turned to the girls and said, ‘Make yourselves comfortable she’ll just have to deal with it.’
I didn’t expect much from that woman but are you kidding me? I made it through the rest of the day because I had to.
Her disrespect continued in the days after the funeral. And when I said something to her about how she’d been treating me and that it wasn’t acceptable, her response was, ‘I’ll treat you however I want and it’s gonna be like this because you need me. I have rights!’
Nope! Wrong thing to say to me. I’d been through enough. I informed her that no, just because her son treated me like sh*t doesn’t mean she was entitled to treat me that way. I told her I’m the one with all the rights and she had none. I told her I don’t need her, that she and her toxicity would never be welcome in my kids’ lives.
MIL tried getting a lawyer to force me to let her see my kids. Didn’t work out so well. She knew she couldn’t say I was a negligent mother and ended up getting a harsh reality check from her lawyer. She has no rights!
It’s been over 11 years. I’ve stood firm on that choice. I raised my kids and made a great life for us all on my own. I’m proud of my kids, they’re amazing people and would not be who they are today if their father or MIL had anything to do with it.”
She Changed Her Tune A Few Times
“My mother-in-law – who I did become very good friends with, in the end, complained to her friends that her son could have done better for himself, as I was just a shop girl. She knew I worked for Marks and Spencer, a big British retail chain.
While I was at her house one day, one of her friends said to me, ‘I hear you work for Marks, dear. Where?’
‘In London,’ I said.
‘What do you do?’
‘I’m in charge of Men’s Shirts.’
‘All of them. 250 Home Trade, Canada, Paris, and Brussels and Export. I’m the Distribution Manager.’ ( Not a glamorous job on the fashion side, but not a St.Michael shirt moved anywhere without my team’s saying so.).
MIL then changed her tune and started telling everyone that I had a very important job at M&S. A bit of an exaggeration, but it was a responsible and well-paid job. Appearances mattered to her.
After we were married, she then complained that I came home very late on a Friday night, and her son had to get his own dinner because I sang in some choir.
When she discovered it was the BBC Symphony Chorus, it became, ‘We’re watching the Proms tonight on the TV. It’s my daughter-in-law’s choir, you know.’
The sad thing was that it shouldn’t have mattered if I was Store Sales Staff – and I was, during my management training in the company, with a great bunch of people – or if it was the local Church Choir. Her son loved me, I loved singing, and that should have been enough. After I produced the longed-for grandchildren we eventually became good friends, and she was a fabulous grandma to them and her great-grandchildren, who adored her.”
She Sounds Like A Piece Of Work
“My husband and I married young. He was from another state. His brother was living in my state and dating one of my best friends. When we married my husband chose to live in my state. He knew his mother would never let us live in peace.
She did come out for her grandchildren’s birth. She was critical of everything I did but I expected that and different let it bother me.
When our youngest was 6 months old, my husband was killed in an accident. I had him cremated, strike one. We held services in my state, strike two. It was not a Catholic service, strike three.
She exploded in the middle of the memorial. Pointing her finger at me blaming me for her son’s death. I made him live in my state. He was working late because I wouldn’t quit school and be a real mom. It was horrible. My oldest was 5 years old and he was traumatized by the whole thing.
The odd thing is I ended up moving to her state. Not for her. My brother and sister lived in that state because of the people they met through my husband.
I attempted to let my children visit. On one visit I had to call the police because she wouldn’t relinquish them. She called me a bad mother and would not give them back.
The last time I had to pick up my children at the hospital. Arguing with my oldest she fed my youngest a peanut butter sandwich. My then 6-year-old had to use an EpiPen on his 1-year-old brother. Who has a severe peanut allergy. She yelled at me in the hospital that I made the baby this way. Security had to take her out.
She and her husband are on court-supervised visits. Because she tried to get custody of my children.”
That’s A Wild Thing To Ask
“If you’re familiar with U.S. popular culture, you’ve at least heard about Howard Stern, the self-proclaimed King of All Media. Years ago, before he became famous, Stern was the morning D.J. at a local radio station in my home city of Washington DC.
Stern did comedic bits during his show, and I was once a guest and participant. The experience was fun, and it’s now a great memory.
I was at my in-law’s house, sitting around the kitchen table with a few family members and friends. For reasons that I don’t recall, Howard Stern’s name popped into the conversation. I began to tell my story about having been on Stern’s show.
My MIL interrupted me and asked, ‘Did you have implants back then?’
I stopped speaking and stared at her, incredulous. She went on to explain, with all those people present and listening, that Howard Stern has only attractive, buxom women on his show, and I’m clearly neither. Then, she changed the subject and started boring everyone with whatever she wanted to discuss.
Amazing as this may seem, that wasn’t the rudest incident I’ve had with MIL. MIL truly can’t understand why I don’t like her, or why I wish to have nothing to do with her.”