Evil Mother in Laws

by wrylilt

Everyone has one - whether they see them or not. And some are good but a whole lot of them are bad!

Throughout history there have been marriages, or at least relationships, in abundance. And where ever there is a relationship there is usually a mother. And a mother-in-law.
You know what they're like - with a few exceptions they're all nice to start with, happy to meet you and tell you how they like your style or how good it is that their son has found you.
Then comes the hard part. Either secretly or in open defiance of anyone being perfect enough for their child - they begin to manipulate you and your partner.

Nice to a Guilt Trip

Some mother in laws may appear nice for the first few years - mine did. I ended up living with her for several years - that put enough strain on the relationship that I no longer think of her as nicely! Others start their reign of terror as soon as they become the mother of the bride or groom - and it doesn't stop after that!

If you find that something about your nice-stylish-happy-perfect mother in law bugs you - you aren't alone. Some mother in laws have subtle manipulation down to a fine art.

  • Try and help them? They're too nice to let you.
  • Don't help them? They give you subtle guilt trips for not helping.
  • Give up? Forever they'll hold it against you.

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Controlling Mother in Laws

The first few times it may not seem like your mother in law is controlling. You were too busy and she didn't want to bother you with a decision. Or she was going to ask you to do it but it was quicker to do it herself. She says she's upset that you'd already made plans on the day she was going to have her birthday dinner - but that's alright, go out and don't worry about her!
Don't be surprised if it feels like she's secretly controlling everything. She probably is - maybe without even realizing it.

Mother in Laws are often not as fun as they look!
Mother in Laws are often not as fun a...

So how do I deal with my Evil Mother in Law?

Great question! And I haven't figured it all out myself yet, either!
The old adage of Distance makes the heart grows fonder is particularly applicable when it comes to mother in laws. The further away they are the happier the relationship!
The most important things to remember:

  1. It's your life and your family. If you have to offend her because you do things a certain way then you'll have to offend her.
  2. Your partner needs to take your side. You and your partner are a family, and your family comes first above outside family members.
  3. Take it in small doses. Set a certain time she can visit - even if that means lying about going out or banning drop in visits.

If she acts like a Child, treat her like a Child

Next time your mother in law blatantly goes over your head or ignores you or does something childish and arrogant - treat her like a child. You might be surprised at the result.
If you talk slowly and firmly to her as well as repeat yourself ad nauseum, not only will she feel that she's not overpowering you - she might just get a bit of a shock at how she's being treated and even stop the behaviour.

I wish you well... with the Mother in Law from Hell

I've been there. I'm still doing that (dealing with a mother in law, that is!) Hopefully you'll eventually come to terms with your own mother in law and even develop a relationship with her. If not, that's fine too. 
Just remember - she doesn't rule your life. Be firm. Be tough. Your own family comes first.

More about the Author

When I first met my mother in law to be at 18, I thought she was great. She was accepting, did everything around the house, didn't bat an eyelid at the fact her son slept with me in her house and was, in my opinion, totally cool.
After I'd been with her son six months I moved into a house with her and her daughter. Don't ever do it! I learnt the hard way that everything had to be done her way - and she was nice to you - as long as you did what she wanted.
My husband had already agreed to pay her and his sister's way through university so we were stuck there while he stayed loyal to her.
We broke up for awhile because of her - I got sick of the way she controlled everything - including not talking to her youngest daughter because she married an older man.
Currently she lives on the other side of the country... but she'll be coming back in six months... scary! Wish me luck!

Updated: 07/23/2011, wrylilt
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barbarab on 08/28/2011

my MIL was always honest..honestly abusive..and let us both know how she felt from the start. for eg when we said we going to get married her resnse was "you'll break up in 3 or 4 yrs just like I did" when we told her I was pregnant she said "What the expletive do you want to do that for?" very strange lady...o the other hand my mother is the woman you depict above...sly, manipulative, vindictive...and she is on the other ide of the country may she stay there! weird isnt it? and as a MIL myself I am on the other side of the country and miss our son and DIL but they are fine, doing well on their own and do not need the extra stress ofparents and in laws no matter how much we miss them...thank goodness for text mesaging...lessens the anxiety of a phone call, gets a faster return than a letter and ends with "love you too!" what more can I hope for?

dustytoes on 08/14/2011

It's really hard to take when your hubby takes mommy's side too. Not good. My mom-in-law was very nice, but my husband never grew up and left her. His parents always came first. Ugh....

mivvy on 07/23/2011

I love your picture of the mother-in-law with the rolling pin. My mother-in-law used to say to my husband when I was in the room as well; tell mivvy to do this or that (with refrence to our children). I am now a m-i-l myself and know what NOT to do

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