Horrible Mother In Law - FamilyEducation
Horrible Mother In Law
02/13/2008 at 00:05 AM

I have recently married the most beautiful man.  We had a fairytale wedding in the Greek Islands with 30 of our family and friends attending.  Unfortunatly my MIL was miserble the whole trip, and really has been since we annouced that we were marrying overseas in a non-denominational ceremony.  I'll give you the family run-down.  My husband is the second of two boys.  His older brother can do absolutely no wrong from his mothers point of view.  We announced that we would be marrying in September 2007 when we got engaged two years earlier.  A year later, my husbands brother annouced he would be marrying in August 2007.  If that wasn't enough to make me angry (cutting in on our wedding date), I later found out it was his mother's idea so that her first born could be the first to wed.  They even paid for the majority of his catholic wedding.  On my husbands brothers wedding day we did everything we could to help for the last minute arrangements and MY parents even put up some of the out of town guests.  During our trip away to Greece for our wedding, my MIL and FIL never joined us for group activities including tours, shopping or dinners.  My MIL barely spoke to any wedding guests except for her first born and his new wife.  She even fell asleep at the reception.  First Born did not help at all on our wedding day (he was best man) and his excuse for missing our wedding rehersal was that he was on honeymoon with his new wife and "forgot".  My parents and in laws had come to the agreement that they would pay for the wine which was served at our wedding.  Two months later mum finally recieved payment from them.  When MIL returned she had nothing nice to say about the Greek Islands to her friends.  She carries a whole album of her first born's wedding photos with her, and only carries two of ours which float around in her handbag.  We decided to have Christmas of 2007 at our home as we had just built the house and we thought it fitting to celebrate the first family Christmas there.  We live in Australia so my family's traditional Christmas lunch consists of seafood, salads, cold meats, beer and lots of lazing by the pool.  My MIL was the first to pipe up about not having the traditional roast turkey and when I told her that Christmas was in my house so we were doing it my way she replied "well, as long as we are all together I guess that's all that matters" in a very undermining and sarcastic tone.  Recently she organised a family celebration for her first born (as it was his 30th birthday) which was to be held out of town.  She rang me personally to tell me that there would not be enough room for us all to stay at his house so it might be best if I sat this one out and let my husband attend on his own.  She actually uninvited me from a family function.  It's clear that MIL is not my only problem - First born is just as much of a brat.  My husband sticks by side and is always standing up for me and our marriage but nothing seems to stick.  It's like she doesn't recognise that we are married and that we are a team.  Am I the chink in her family chain?  I need help to understand why she is like this and I need tools to be able to cope.  I can't even begin to imagine what she will be like when we have children.

ok first your husband needs to put his foot down and tell his mother that you are his wife and he doesnt go anywhere that you arent invited, and if she desides that she would perfer that then dont go. i would first talk to her and try to maybe make her relize what she is doing or i would stop assosiating with her (in a discreate way) untill she cooled it. i think that two things might happen, she might would get closer when you pulled away or she wouldnt notice or care. if she trys to get closer, great. if not so be it. im not talking about not going to family functions and all that , im talking about distancing yourself, not getting so involved and not putting yourselves out anymore for their convenince. if your worried about how that might affect your children in the future and their "grandchild grandma" relationship then dont. if she acts this way now then how do you think she would act towards your children compared to the first sons? hell she would probally poke holes in the first sons condoms just so he had a child first. if you distance yourself now then your children wouldnt be hurt if she did that to them later. that is the best advice i can give you and i hope it works out. btw i feel your pain because i have a grandmother aunt and even mother for a while that favored my older sister and yes it does hurt. the worst is that she was a really selfish person and still is. write me with what you think



Hi Daph,

Thanks for the reply.  I must say that you did make me laugh with the condom remark lol - I can even picture her doing something like that!  My husband actually spoke to his mother the day I posted this and he really dug his heals in.  He told her that under no circumstances is she to call me when he is not home and tell me that there is no longer room for me to stay (after telling him there would be).  He asked her what she thinks I must be feeling and said that she needs to have more tact, especially when dealing with "his family" - meaning me - which was really uplifting.  She got so upset at his assertiveness that she threw the phone at his dad to solve the problem.  His dad just murmered that he would try and sort it out and we haven't heard from them since.  Now I really don't want to go, but the hard thing is that my husband put up a fight for me and it would be selfish of me to back down now.  I would love it if could both take a stand and just not go, but where would that get me?  She would win.  This is about showing her what is right and what is wrong and hopefully she will see the error of her ways and know that she really can't treat people like that.  I am family whether she likes it or not.  So my husband and I will still be going on the trip, but we will now be staying with some friends of ours which really is perfect because she won't get to see us much at all and hopefully she will learn her lesson.  The whole thing is so childish and I feel like I am more mature than her despite our 30 year age gap.  I think you are absolutely right though about distancing myself and I intend to do that by not spending anymore time with them than is necessary.  I will be polite, kind and assertive when dealing with her, but I will not put myself out there to be hurt like this.  I am lucky that they live interstate and our interactions with them are not overly frequent.  I guess I still want to be included though.  I want to be seen as apart of their family, mostly for my husbands sake.  I don't know how I would feel if my husband didn't get along with my family.  I am truely lucky in that respect.  But I still do worry about how I will handle the situation if it gets out of hand again.  She makes me so angry when she favours first born over my husband.  He always seems cool and calm about it but I know deep down it hurts him and I can't stand to see that.  What kind of mother treats one of her children like that?  I will give you a classic example of talk at the dinner table.  Lets call first born FB and husband H.  MIL says "FB just breezed through university and came out with high distinctions in all his subjects.  H attained high distinctions as well, but he had to work REALLY hard for them."  I mean WHAT KIND OF MOTHER SAYS THAT???  How can I make her see what she is doing?  How can I show her that she is being mean?  Is it even my place?  Should I just tell my husband to grow some balls and say it himself?  The last thing I want him doing is fighting with his family.  I'm still at a loss here.  Thanks for the advice on the distance though, I will take it.  I need more though!!


This sounds really awful and I don't think I could put up with it as well as you have done already. In some countries though, the first born is the most important unfortunately. Is this the case here?  Not all old traditions are good ones. I am glad that your husband is taking a stand against his mother though. What does your husband's brother think of all this himself?. Is he comfortable with it?
Good luck to you all. I hope things work out for you


First born is oblivious to anything that doesn't work in his favour.  To him, his family is perfect, loving and caring.  He loves his brother and they are actually great mates.  But he doesn't see what goes on around him.


Wow, you MIL is a piece of work!  How wonderful that your husband has a backbone and stands up for you.  In my experience, you can't do anything to make MIL like you, or be nice to you, or like or be nice to your husband.  I also know how much it pains you to see someone you love and think the world of treated badly.  But you can't control her or her actions, only yourself and your actions.


In the future, you or DH might want to let your brother in law know specifically what you expect of him, such as when he did no work regarding being best man at your wedding.  If you husband does this and does it nicely, it will probably work since your BIL doesn't seem to dislike his kid brother.


And if MIL absents herself from your presence in the future, count it a blessing.  Who lost out when she didn't participate in your wedding activities?  SHE DID!  You may actually be quite lucky there.  Other MILs would tag along and make everyone miserable.  And other friends and family won't look at you weird if MIL never shows up - they will look at MIL as the weird one.


Unfortunately, I think you are right about MIL having no maturity.  She's acting like a 6 YO kid.  Her hubby goes along because if he didn't she'd make his life hell.  Older brother doesn't see any problems, because he's never had to bear anything from her.  And if MIL ignores the future grandkids you and hubby have, thank your lucky stars!!!  Do you want your kids thinking that behavior is ok, or mimicking that behavior?


Good luck!


Hi Auntie Ron,


Wow you hit the nail on the head EVERY time in your post.  Everything you said is just so right!!


I just want to say thank you so much because it feels so great to have someone who is on the same wave length as me - as least I know I'm not the only one!!


It's like you just took a dive into my life because you were spot on!




Hi Auntie Ron and Amy Sarah, I went to google and searched horrible mother in law and you came up! It's great to know I'm not alone. My MIL is just as you described! We got married on 8 March this year and she has tried to cause trouble ever since and was horrid before too. I agree that I can't change her and we have distanced ourselves away from her. Even my husband now agrees that it's not worth explaining why she upsets us, as it makes no difference to her, she just carrries on regardless. I cannot forgive her for what she has done and do not want her to be my friend, however, I'm trying to understand why she behaves like this and what she thinks she will gain? As like you have said, all she does is alienate herself, and make herself look nasty and stupid. I'd be really grateful to hear what your views are on why they behave in this manner? Many thanks in anticipation, Julie x

I am having a horrible and emotional time with my ML.. She is one of the most twisted and narcistic people I have ever run into.. My wife has told me during her childhood she ran away from home a few times and ultimatley ended up on drugs due to her horrible mother.. I have been married for 8 years now and after all the terrible stories I have heard and my personal expireinces with her.. I am just about to lose my mind.. Nobody in the family can reason with her anymore.. She is in her late 70's now.. renting a $900 house, living with her grandson and we don't have anything to do with her.. yet she calls incessantly on the phone and we feel like we are trapped in our own home ! Well I could share many stories about the monster.. and I mean she is a MOnster.. no doubt.. My wife backs me up,, but is stuck in the middle. She doesn't talk with her either.. I can't type anymore on here.. but I need some HELP