We’ve all heard those mother-in-law horror stories, right? Well, get ready for a rollercoaster of empathy and eye-rolls as we dive into some real-life moments when people were already dealing with tough times, and their dear old mothers-in-law didn’t exactly sprinkle fairy dust on the situation. Grab your popcorn and prepare to cringe, because it’s about to get real. All content has been edited for clarity purposes.
Table of contents
1. “My MIL Stole My Chemo”
“I have been fighting cancer for the second time in my life. I was first diagnosed at 14 years old, fought it, and won. I thought everything had been fine until recently when I went to the doctor. I had everything checked, and surprise, I had cancer again. Though my second diagnosis was only stage 2 cancer, my oncologist warned me the cancer was aggressive and important to act fast.
So, shortly after my diagnosis, I had my surgery. Afterward, I started chemotherapy. The doctor decided on oral chemotherapy pills I could take at home. I only had to go to the hospital to do blood tests and scans every few weeks. While taking the pills, I became quite weak and lost a lot of weight. Some days I felt better than others, but sometimes, the simplest chores felt physically impossible.
The other day, my mother-in-law came over to visit. She knew about my diagnosis. I was on the couch reading while my wife was doing something around the house.
My MIL walked over to me and said, ‘Look at you! Laying around like you’re on the beach! Aren’t you ashamed of yourself? A grown man laying down in the middle of the day while your poor wife is working like a slave!’
I replied, ‘I just had chemo. I have a headache, I’m nauseous, and I don’t feel good.’
‘A young person like you should be able to beat cancer without drugs. You can’t cure yourself with those chemicals! You should only be using natural products!’ My MIL replied.
Later in the day, my MIL was talking to my wife in the kitchen.
My MIL told my wife, ‘You shouldn’t let him take chemotherapy pills. It’s poison! Doctors nowadays are stupid. He should be taking herbal treatments instead.’
Last time I checked, my MIL didn’t go to medical school. She was the furthest thing from a doctor, and she tried to be smarter than she was.
Luckily, my wife shut her up quickly and said, ‘Stay away from things you know NOTHING about.’
The next day. I was going to take my chemotherapy pills as scheduled. I took the pills once per day and preferred to take them in the morning so I could sleep better at night. However, when I walked into the bathroom and opened the cabinet, there was no trace of my chemotherapy bottles. They were gone.
I asked my wife if she moved the bottles, and she said no. We looked around but shortly realized it was pointless, as there was no way they could have fallen out of the cabinet. We didn’t have children or pets that could have taken the pills. Suddenly, my wife remembered how just before leaving the day prior, her mother asked to use the bathroom. My MIL could have easily taken the bottles with her, considering she was talking about the toxicity of chemotherapy.
My wife turned into a dragon. She was almost spitting fire as she got dressed and stormed over to her mother’s house. I had never seen her so mad before. She came back half an hour later and told me she demanded the medication from my MIL. Eventually, my MIL admitted she took the bottles and threw them away. The medicine was gone, and we couldn’t search through every garbage truck in the city. The fact my MIL stole my medicine blew my mind. My wife and MIL had a huge argument, and my MIL thought she did me a favor.
She told my wife, ‘It’s not the cancer killing him, it’s the pills! I got rid of them and saved your husband. And you thank me by insulting me?’
Because of my MIL, I missed a dose of chemo which was very bad. I had to see my oncologist immediately. When I told him I needed more medication, he was incredibly confused.
He asked, ‘What happened to the pills I already gave you? You couldn’t have used them all already.’
‘Well, you see, my MIL stole my chemo,’ I replied.
He looked baffled as if the fact someone would steal someone else’s chemo was ridiculously stupid.
My oncologist prescribed me new bottles of chemo and a schedule on how I was supposed to take it. Afterward, I kept all of my medication in a cabinet with a lock. Even though my wife swore my MIL would never step foot in our house again, I was a nervous wreck afterward.”
2. “She Made My Life Hell”
“My mother-in-law was found guilty in the death of her grandchild, my daughter. My daughter was 2 years old at the time. My husband and I let my MIL babysit her while we were at work.
It was summertime, and my MIL’s house was next to a pond. My daughter loved water, and bath time was her favorite time of day. My MIL and daughter were outside by the pond when my MIL remembered she needed to take clothes out of the dryer. She left a 2-year-old alone next to the large body of water. My daughter’s child-like curiosity resulted in her getting into the deep part of the pond and drowning. All because my MIL considered the clothes in the dryer an important enough reason to leave a toddler unsupervised.
When my MIL realized what happened, she started calling for help. A neighbor heard her and called an ambulance, but it was too late. My MIL begged my husband and me to not get the police involved.
She cried, ‘I was only gone for one moment! I feel even worse than you do! Calling the police won’t bring her back!’
Of course, we had to call the police. My MIL was charged with criminal negligence and sentenced to 3 years in prison. In my opinion, it was too light of a punishment.
Recently, my MIL was released from prison. My husband was the first person she looked for contact with. He never once visited my MIL while she was locked up. It didn’t matter that she served her sentence, my husband and I would never forgive her for what she did.
I couldn’t bring myself to have any children for a long time. But eventually, I got pregnant again. Last summer, my husband and I welcomed our son into our world. We weren’t going to tell my MIL we were parents again. However, she found out when she saw us walking with a baby stroller.
So, my MIL got in contact with my husband. First, she cried about how hard it was to spend three years in prison.
She whined, ‘I couldn’t believe you would lock up your mother. You abandoned me!’
Then, she started asking if our baby was a boy or girl, and when she would be able to meet them because ‘she wanted to take care of them so much.’
My husband immediately replied, ‘This is OUR child, and ours only. Our son doesn’t have a grandmother. He will never in a million years be around you.’
Shocked, my MIL wailed, ‘You both are so evil and cruel! Are you going to hold what happened against me forever? I did my time. You can’t be so heartless.’
Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I could even leave my son alone with a babysitter, let alone my MIL.
‘You won’t have access to the baby. End of story,’ my husband replied, ‘I don’t want to speak to you ever again. Do something useful with your life and leave us alone.’
My MIL wasn’t having it. The same evening, she came to our house asking to see our son again. We didn’t let her come in, and obviously, she got even more angry.
‘You lost all rights to see our children when you let our daughter drown,’ I told her, ‘Some things just can’t be forgiven.’
‘If you don’t let me see him, I’ll go to court and demand legal permission to meet the baby,’ she replied.
I didn’t even think she could do such a thing. Given her criminal record, I didn’t think the court would let her anyway. I was just amazed at my MIL’s sheer shamelessness. She knew she tore my family’s lives apart 3 years ago. No parent should have to bury their child, but my husband and I had to because of her.
The worst of all, my MIL had the nerve to visit nearly every day and continue asking. She made my life hell.”
3. “I Looked Into Pressing Charges”
“When I was younger, I wasn’t dealt the best hand in life. I had to deal with a lot of terrible situations no young person should have to deal with. My only real escape from life was my hair. I knew how silly it sounded, but it was true. When life started to fall apart, I’d turn to my hair and use it as a medium to control and reflect on how I felt. I’d cut it, dye it, style it weird, and it’d make me feel better.
In 2011, I gave myself an 80s-like purple mohawk. The style involved shaving a good portion of my hair. It was truly the last time I felt like I WASN’T in control of my life. Since then, I let my hair grow without much messing with it, other than regular maintenance.
This year, after the birth of my third child, my hair reached the length of my thighs. To me, my long hair was a reflection of how far I’d come with my overall mental health and happiness. It was very important to me.
Now, with three children under 5 years old, my long hair was usually kept in a ponytail, braid, or bun. For some reason, this was extremely annoying to my husband’s stepmother. Every time I saw her, she’d bring up how much of a waste my hair was on me.
‘A mother shouldn’t have a rat’s nest on her head,’ my step MIL would say.
She was annoying, and I ignored her for the most part. I knew she just wanted attention, and I refused to give it to her. Until yesterday.
I was sitting on my father-in-law’s couch feeding my youngest and having a pleasant conversation with my husband and FIL. I felt a tug on my hair, and before I knew it, I heard scissors close. I looked back and found my MIL standing behind the couch holding a large portion of what was my bun.
The three of us just stared at her, then at each other. It was like looking at a cartoon villain. I was devastated and trying not to cry in front of our children.
My husband yelled, ‘What are you doing? Are you insane!?’
My 4-year-old began to cry, followed by my MIL tearfully claiming, ‘It was just hair, it’ll grow back. We thought y’all would laugh at the joke.’
The whole situation fell apart with my husband arguing on my behalf, my children and I crying, and my MIL sobbing. The entire time, my FIL was trying to calm us all down. We ended up leaving, but not before he told his dad to divorce his stepmother.
As soon as we got in the car, my husband began frantically driving around looking for a hairstylist who could take a walk-in appointment. Luckily, we found one, and the stylist was talented enough to salvage the hair I had left.
My MIL sent me a couple of half-hearted apology texts saying, ‘Sorry, but don’t be a baby. Hair does grow back, you know.’
I never wanted to speak to her again. After getting my hair fixed, I even looked into pressing charges. Good riddance, MIL.”
4. “My Wife Isn’t Sleeping In The Garage”
“The last few months of my life have been awful. Near the end of last year, I lost my house to a freak accident. I lost almost everything I owned. It was a stressful time for my family of four.
We were out at a school recital when we received a call from our neighbor. When we returned, our entire house was up in flames. The fire department tried to save what they could, but the damage was terrible. We ended up selling the property and moving because the repairs amounted to rebuilding the house.
I had been married for ten years, and my mother-in-law never liked me. However, I didn’t expect her to act the way she did during this time. I always believed even if she didn’t like me, she’d help me in a time of need. After all, I was the mother of her two grandsons and the wife of her son. I was wrong.
On the night of the accident, we needed a place to stay temporarily. My husband suggested we stay with his mother for the night. It was late and made sense to both of us. So, we drove over to her house. My boys were half-asleep in the backseat, and we left them in the car while we went to speak to our MIL and explain what was going on.
At first, she was sympathetic to our situation. She said she didn’t have a problem with my husband and sons staying, but I would have to make other arrangements. My husband lost it with her.
He yelled, ‘You’re being so unreasonable! Our HOUSE just burnt down!’
Despite this, my MIL refused to budge.
She replied, ‘She isn’t truly family, and I wasn’t happy with you marrying her in the first place. Your wife isn’t my responsibility.’
We left and slept in our car, and we got a hotel room the next day. My MIL began calling and inviting us to stay over again, and even graciously permitted me to sleep in the garage for a few days.
‘You’re being disrespectful. My wife isn’t sleeping in the garage,’ he told his mother.
‘Well, I think you’re taking my generosity for granted,’ my MIL replied.
She then offered to keep the boys so they wouldn’t have to stay in the hotel, but we rejected her offer. We heard nothing from her for a few days until we learned she had been badmouthing me to everyone. My MIL claimed I was tearing the family apart with my ‘grudges.’
From her point of view, she’d opened her house to us in an instant, and I turned her down and forced my family to stay in a cheap hotel because I didn’t like her. My husband set the record straight, but my MIL didn’t ease up. She went as far as filing an official complaint with the fire department claiming I had caused the accident purposefully to destroy the house.
I was taken in for questioning, and I understand why due to the nature of the allegations my MIL made. However, the allegations were cleared when the investigation proved the fire was an accident, and there was no way someone could have deliberately caused it.
My MIL later showed up at the house while we were trying to see what could be salvaged. She made more disparaging comments about how we ‘shouldn’t be upset,’ because these were just ‘things.’
Yes, they were things. I wasn’t upset about the stove, couch, or bed. I was upset about the arts and crafts projects my sons made for Mother’s Day each year. I was upset about losing irreplaceable family heirlooms. I was upset about all of the memories we lost. The house was a fixer-upper when we bought it, and we did most of the restoration ourselves.
My youngest son had a gaming console, which had been left at my MIL’s house a week before the accident. My sons had been over for a weekend with her and took the gaming console to keep them occupied. My MIL claimed she didn’t have it and we must have taken it back. My son argued with her, and she gaslit him to the point of tears.
She said, ‘You losing your gaming console isn’t my problem. It must have been lost in the accident.’
Eventually, the truth came out about how my MIL gave the console away after we refused her initial offer of hospitality. For my husband, this was the last straw.
Shortly after moving to our new place, we cut all ties with my MIL. She tried to get our address from family members but hasn’t had any luck. My husband made it clear he’d have no problem cutting off anyone else in the family who gave her our address or contact information.
If my MIL couldn’t support us at our worst, she didn’t deserve to be there at our best.”