It's that time of year again when family from all over gather around the Christmas tree and share the joy of giving. Unfortunately this includes our dreaded mother-in-laws as well. For those who have normal, drama-free relationships with their in-laws, be grateful! When it comes to the holidays ya don't want to be rubbing elbows with these mamas.
"We arrived at my in-laws' house (four-hour drive) for Christmas on Saturday. We were only staying one night and then heading back home. We don’t visit them often, mainly due to my job. I’m an OB/GYN and have very few days off.
We get there on Saturday and my father-in-law is nowhere to be found. This was after my kids hugged and kissed my mother-in-law hello. My husband asked where his father was.
MIL: ‘Oh we have both not been feeling well. We’ve had vomiting and diarrhea for two days. He is in the bathroom.’
My husband: ‘Did you guys eat someone bad?’
MIL: ‘No. Everyone has been sick at the office!’
Y’all. I could have screamed. I nearly burst into tears.
Me: ‘How could you do this? How could you knowingly expose us to something like that? It’s Christmas! And you know I work with newborns and pregnant women!’
MIL: ‘Well if I had told you...you wouldn’t have come to visit.’
My mouth just fell open. My husband told her that it wasn’t right and asked what if her grandchildren got sick.
MIL: ‘They’ll be fine!’
And guess what? On Christmas Eve, I was up with my children. All throwing up. All night long. I woke up this morning and have been vomiting. I’m going to have to let my partner do my scheduled c-section tomorrow. And my kids are unable to enjoy Christmas because of my stupid in-laws. I’m so angry. I just don’t even know what to do."
"I'm just jumping right into what she did because just thinking about it is making me angry.
Mother-in-law is a total witch. I don't mean that figuratively. She identifies as a witch and 'curses' people. Just a very eccentric person in general, but she's just been low key annoying with her behavior for a while. She did try to put a spell on our wedding and ruined it, but that was years ago and the husband and I were very low contact as she lived far away.
My husband and I have an open relationship. We're kinky swingers. What we do is entirely between us and its nobody's business. This is important. We BOTH have other partners.
In November last year, mother-in-law moved without telling us that she was coming. We got the call from her after she'd set herself up in her new house about thirty minutes away from us. Her proximity and lack of anything to do with her life gave her the opportunity to spy on us, and over time, she saw many of our 'guests.' For some reason, she thought they were all mine and could never have been my husband's.
So she comes to my husband saying she believes I am cheating on him at Christmas. He laughs her off and told her that it's not like that. I think his explanation went in one ear and flew out the other.
She then set up a Facebook profile using pictures of her friend's son from the region she'd lived in before moving. She messaged me as this dude. Basically went by for a while and then proposed getting intimate. He's a cute guy, my husband agrees. So, I set up a meeting at Starbucks.
Imagine my surprise when I arrive with my husband and find mother-in-law waiting for us with printouts of all our messages. She waves her proof at us, doubles down on me cheating on my husband, and only stops when the staff ask her to leave. The argument moved to the sidewalk, and we all got very loud. Finally, my husband and I drove off and left her still yelling because she's just stupid.
That was a week ago. Today she called to let us know she's going to put a hex on me to make sure I leave her baby alone and stop ruining his life."
"My husband and I have this board hanging on our wall. It's a list of all the things we want and need, how much it will cost, how much we saved for it, and when we should be able to have it. It has things like new fridge, dishwasher, nice knife set, wish list items, etc. I even include pictures, model numbers, or other specific descriptions for a lot of these items. I'm very proud of it.
My father and his wife come to visit on a semi-regular basis. Stepmom always makes sure to look at my board, comment on it, and express her sadness that we are unable to afford the stuff. Within a week or so, she will buy one of the exact things on my board for herself. Sometimes it's a smaller item like the coffee maker, other times it's larger item, like a motorized toy car for her children. Her buying these things isn't really what bugs me, what bugs me is her rubbing it in my face that she was able to 'get it first' or how I was 'copying' her when I do finally get the item. It's super annoying and childish.
Anyway. I was walking through a local store's Christmas section right after Thanksgiving. I was looking for board ideas and happened upon a giant, ugly, super pricey outdoor Christmas decorations set. Which gave me an idea. It was definitely not stepmom's style. But hey, why not try?
When I got home I put the set on the high priority section of my board. Going as far to erase the money I had pooled for other things and move it to this Christmas monstrosity so we could buy it sooner. I was hoping this trap would be tempting enough for stepmom, especially if I made this set seem super important.
A couple days after that my father and stepmom visit. Stepmom looks at my board and asks about the set. I gush over it, describing it as the way to make my Christmas dreams come true (I love Christmas honestly). I really lay it on thick.
On Monday we go to visit my dad at stepmom's request. Sure as heck, she bought and put up the entire set. It's ugly and over the top. I hate it. It's hilarious. Immediately she dives into to describing why she just 'fell in love with it' and how she 'had to have it.' Making a huge deal on every little piece and how it was so worth the money. Finally, she concludes her gloat fest with telling me that I really do have great taste and sorry she beat me to it.
'Oh, I don't actually like the set. I just put it on the board and said I liked it to mess with [husband]. He hates the over the top stuff like this stuff. Glad you love it though,' I tell her.
If her smile fell any harder it would have fallen right off her face. The rest of the visit she was quiet, didn't say much. She looked like a kid who got coal for Christmas. My Dad kept asking her what was wrong and got a lot of things like, 'I'm fine' and then finally she got a headache and went to bed early.
She now refuses to talk to me, none of her usual texts or calls. Best Christmas ever.
I would like to add. She put up the decorations on a Facebook sell group this morning for pick up after Christmas. So yeah, definitely the best Christmas ever."
"I have two boys aged 4 and 2. We have a family tradition on my side that a son's hair is not to be cut until age 3. My older son has only had his hair trimmed once on his 4th birthday.
The in-laws have always grumbled and made comments that they look like girls, you can't see their faces and so on. We have always ignored them and told them that's the way it is. Neither of the boys have ever indicated they wanted short hair. No one else in their lives (friends, daycare, random strangers) has ever made negative comments about their hair. The boys went to my mother-in-law's place this last weekend for an overnight visit as we were attending an adults only Christmas party.
She requested that we bring the boys earlier in the day than we were planning on, no big deal more time to get ready and more time for them to spend with their grandparents. As we are arriving at the Christmas party I receive some texts from her with photos of my sons with BUZZ CUTS and a message that reads 'now they look like real boys!' Both my boyfriend and I were so shocked and speechless. We did not reply to the messages. Spent the evening in stunned silence.
We picked our sons up first thing in the morning with hardly any words to them. My sister-in-law was there visiting from far away with a new baby, so we hugged him a bit and went on our way. My poor kids are so upset about the haircuts. Older son refuses to look at himself in the mirror says he doesn't want to go to preschool which he normally loves. He tells me that nobody will know who he is, that he misses his hair and that they began to cut it as they were eating ice cream watching a cartoon. I'm absolutely devastated as is their dad and all of my extended family. We never gave them permission to touch their hair, and I can't believe they violated our family beliefs and values.
There is a giant void in our lives. She robbed me of special time with my children we had a routine with their hair and self care and it is totally disrupted. She took away our family identity. Yes, it will grow back, but for now I don't recognize my own children they've been acting out more, and we are doing our best to communicate to our boys that we love them no matter what and that this fiasco is in no way their fault. Who does that to a child? We are so hurt and overwhelmingly sad. They have the nerve to laugh and be jokey about it and I haven't stopped thinking angry and upsetting thoughts since I saw my beautiful children's sad puffy faces and all their hair gone."
"During Christmas, my boyfriend and I we were unreachable. We decided we don’t want to celebrate at home, instead, we joined our friends and rented a log cabin far away from our town. I finally got a Christmas feeling, it was snowing, we were playing games and giving gifts and doing many other fun things. Christmas was amazing, and we had left our phones at home so that no one would bother us. It was a holiday, after all, we had already congratulated everyone and no one should have a reason to contact us. We asked our neighbor to keep an eye on our house now and then while we’re gone, just in case someone (mother-in-law) shows up.
We returned home on December 28th and our phones were almost bursting from unanswered calls and text messages. We have both blocked my mother-in-law’s number, this was another number but it was her. My boyfriend had more than 100 unanswered calls on his phone, my phone had a smaller number because obviously, she hates me. The texts were like ‘Where are you? Why aren’t you answering? Is something wrong? Has that filthy gay taken you away? Are you alive?’ and so on. Our neighbor also told us that while we were gone, there was this one car that came very often, stopped in front of our house and stayed there for hours. So mother-in-law wasn’t trying to get inside the house, she probably realized that would mean a bunch of trouble for her. But instead of celebrating Christmas like a normal person, she came to spy on us.
However, she did arrive later that day. We were cooking dinner and suddenly we heard someone pounding on our door. I opened and mother was there, looking mad as the Devil himself and was like ‘What have you done to my son? Where is my son?'
My boyfriend heard her yelling, came out of the kitchen and asked her why is she here again when we told her numerous times we don’t want to see her. Mother-in-law was already about to walk past me and my boyfriend was like ‘Did we say you can come in? Stay where you are.'
This offended her a lot, even though it shouldn’t have. She shouldn’t expect him to run and greet her as he has demonstrated his attitude towards her a lot of times. Mother-in-law asked where were we and why didn’t we answer our phones. My boyfriend said ‘We went to another country and got married.'
We didn’t, of course, we just celebrated Christmas with our friends. Before we went to the cabin, we all agreed to leave electronic devices at home so that nothing would ruin the Christmas spirit, and we could really focus on each other. We only had one phone, in case something went wrong. But from mother-in-law's point of view, it was easy to believe because my boyfriend proposed to me this Christmas and his gift was two gold wedding bands, one for him and one for me, with an engraving of my name on his ring and his name on mine. It was just symbolic, of course, we cannot get married legally but it was so nice, so unexpected and made me very happy.
Mother-in-law looked as if a huge pile of snow had fallen upon her or something. She looked at our rings, she looked at us and it felt as if she was considering ripping our heads off. She started yelling, saying things like ‘Oh my God, what’s going to happen to your soul now? Two men cannot get married, it’s an abomination, it’s like spitting in God’s face. God’s anger will fall upon you now, your life will be terrible, Jesus will never forgive this to you! You have blasphemed the meaning of marriage!' and so on.
She was livid, really. And her reaction was kind of amusing to look at because even if we were actually married, there’s nothing she can do about it. She cannot take it away from us, as much she’d like to. No one can come and say ‘I don’t want these two people to be married, divorce them just because I say so!' It’s just not happening.
And then she looked at my boyfriend and said ‘And you didn’t even congratulate me on Christmas! How could you forget your own mother! You didn’t give me a gift!'
He was like ‘You really think you deserve gifts? I don’t think so!'
That made her even madder, and she said ‘Now I’m going to the church, talk to the priest and see what can be done about it. There must be a way to save you, you might need to come to the church. And when I call, you better answer me.'
My boyfriend was like ‘Forget you and the church too.'
I don’t know if she actually went to the church, probably she did, and probably made a fool out of herself unless the priest is just as delusional as she is. I don’t know what she thinks she could do – do an exorcism on us or shame us in front of the whole church – but now that she thinks there’s something legally connecting us, and she cannot just take him away from me, she cannot stand it. She should realize that even if we got married in a different country, our marriage wouldn't be legal here in this country, but she probably doesn’t know that."
"My husband was sick all weekend, so yesterday I ran to Walgreens (which was the only thing open near by) to replace some of our sick day supplies.
You would have thought Walgreens was having a black Friday style buy one get ten free kind of event for how busy it was. I'm waiting in line, and there is a couple behind me with a cart full of spirits. They have other things, but I am distracted by the 8 or 9 bottles of pinot they have in the cart. They're just chatting to each other, but I am so curious as to what all the drinks are for, so I'm eavesdropping. Then I hear this exchange.
Husband: Where's your mom? We're getting to the front of the line.
Wife: Hold on, I'll call her...(takes out phone)...Mom? Hey, we're getting ready to check out here shortly...No, we don't need one...no. I'm not buying it... (hangs up phone) UGH.
Wife: She wants me to buy a shower chair.
Wife: She said I should have one to shower until I'm completely healed. (I have no idea what she's referring to), but I know as soon as I buy one, it will disappear and end up at her house.
Husband: Doesn't she have one?
Wife: OH, NO, NOT ONE WITH A BACK ON IT AND A CADDY FOR HOLDING SHAMPOO. NOT THAT ONE, RAY.
MIL approaches, and I assume looks in the cart.
MIL: Jesus Christ, how much do you plan on drinking this week?
Husband: Some of these are gifts. Some are on sale. Some are for me. I took the week off.
MIL: I don't know what a person needs with all this hooch.
Wife: How long are you staying this week, Mom?
MIL: Until Sunday.
Wife: Okay, hold on...
Wife walks away and comes back, and I hear glass clink.
MIL: What is god's name did you grab more for?
Wife: I thought you were going home Friday. Now I'm ready for the weekend.
I laughed out loud. My bad."
"In August, my husband's parents said they wanted to visit for Christmas. I'm not wild about this, because Christmas is my favorite holiday and I don't want their whining and nagging here for it. We decided to discuss it. A lot of their visit was pending whether or not my husband could time off work. They kept pressing us for an answer. A few weeks later, husband gets a text saying 'We bought plane tickets for X date to Y date. We'll see you then. Don't worry about taking time off, we'll see you whenever you have time.' So hubby shrugged, was kinda mad they bought tickets without discussing dates with us first, but decided to stop trying to get time off work since they clearly don't care about his schedule.
Fast forward probably about two weeks and mother-in-law asked my husband if he had managed to get that time off work...because she wanted to buy plane tickets. Hubby was like 'Uh, you guys told me you already bought tickets. What happened to those tickets,' She said they had never said that. Husband sent her a screenshot of the text. She continued to deny it, because she's delusional. Then she admitted that they had never bought the tickets and asked again if he had managed to get the time off work. He said 'No, based on your statement that you had already bought the tickets and to not worry about it, I didn't take the time off work.' She was mad, and said they would now be driving so they could 'play their visit by ear.' I pointed out to hubby that was a blatant manipulation to try and get the outcome she wanted and felt like she deserved. He agreed and was angry at his mom.
Fast forward to yesterday. My husband gets a call from his mom and dad. Wanting to know AGAIN if he had gotten that time off work. He said no, he still hadn't. Then they informed him that because of this they would no longer be visiting for Christmas. Oh no. We're so sad. Neither of us had wanted them to come. Here is where things get dicey.
They told hubby that they wanted a better relationship with us (which is weird because they never talk to us) and they wanted to see the kids more. They informed us that there is a family reunion this summer and they invited us and our children (10 & 8) to attend. Then they told us that while we were welcome to come, the kids WOULD be attending, because they would be coming to our home state and taking them back to theirs (1000 miles away) if we wouldn't bring them ourselves. They informed us that they would no longer be accepting no for answer, so we had to agree. At this point, husband was about 2 minutes away from work so told them they would talk about it later. He's angry. They have asked us to send the kids to them before and we told them no. We don't trust them because they don't watch the kids very carefully and take every opportunity to spite our rules for the kids.
I told husband, 'Were they somehow awarded joint custody and shared parenting decisions for our kids and we aren't aware? They get whatever answer we give them and the answer is NO.' He agrees 100%. He said he was so stunned in the moment he just hung up with them. But they basically implied they would kidnap our children if we didn't hand them over willingly. My husband is ready to go North Carolina with them, but he still wants things to work out. That tiny little unicorn in his heart won't die, because he loves his parents even if they are awful. I can't get over the fact that they threaten to take our kids away. 'I won't accept no for an answer.' YES YOU WILL. No is the answer you get."
"I will share a tiny bit of our holiday mess. We had to ban my mother-in-law from all holidays that require extra 'belief' because she just couldn't handle it. She has to have credit for being in the know, so she would tell the kids things like what presents were still unopened under the tree or where eggs were still hidden. I would get so angry (like seriously? Are you trying to ruin their childhood?) and she would cry because I was so mean. At Easter, she ended up packing up and rushing out because I hurt her precious feelings so much when I told her that she had to shut up because my son is really bright, and he was picking up on the fact that she had something to do with hiding the eggs in the first place. (To be fair I tried hints and being nice, but she wasn't getting it, I finally snapped and really did say shut up.) It was the ONLY time my DH got behind me, and we both agreed, never again - she was banned from all future holidays.
Ya'll have no idea what a victory that was."
"A brief run-down of holiday micro-and-macro aggressions, all from my mother and aimed towards my husband (although I occasionally got hit with splatter damage):
The last Thanksgiving before she died, the entire family was NC with her due to her rudeness. Except me, because I was an idiot and didn't escape fast enough. I brought her over a plate of food from the dinner Husband had made. She raved about how good it was, until I let slip that Husband had cooked most of it. She got up, went outside, and scraped the plate onto the ground for the dogs to eat.
She shamed hubby every chance she got because he talked about liking spirits and smoking pipes. He started making a point of pouring a finger and packing his pipe whenever she tried to come over.
My mother made a point of asking, loudly and in front of the whole family, when we were getting divorced. At every single holiday gathering. She only stopped saying it in public when he finally shot back, 'Depends, are you divorcing your husband yet? You obviously hate him.' We were permanently uninvited from family holidays at that point.
My husband never received a gift during Christmas from anyone in my family, upon my mother's orders. My father and siblings would sometimes try to sneak a gift in after New Years, under the guise of it being my husband's birthday - these attempts were successful only about a quarter of the time.
The second Christmas after we were married, we were allowed to attend but told only to get gifts for Nephew per my mother's instructions. Awesome! Who doesn't like getting presents for a two year old? This rule was apparently only told to us, however, and we looked like morons for not bringing gifts for everyone.
Neither my husband nor I were allowed to attend the first Thanksgiving or Christmas after we semi-eloped (his family was in full attendance, my family didn't find out until 4 months after the wedding). 'You didn't let the family know you were getting married, so you aren't part of the family anymore!' This also caused us to miss my nephew's first birthday party, since his birthday is a week before Christmas.
Refused to allow him to attend any family gatherings, even after we had been dating for several years. Doubly egregious in light of her insistence on having my brothers' girlfriends du jour attend Christmas and Thanksgiving. Part of her life-long quest to make anyone female into a golden child and anyone male into a scapegoat."
"I'm approaching the fourth Christmas of my relationship with my future husband. Every year his mother does something to prevent us from seeing each other.
Last year after a domestic violence situation (between LooneyLinda and her older son) she claimed she needed constant protection to save her from her older son whom she refused to press charges against (to create uncertainty of when he'd be released from jail- convincing my partner that his brother could return any moment).
It didn't take too long for me to explain how for him to get a restraining order for her against his brother. Unfortunately that didn't happen in time to finally spend Christmas together.
I don't expect to see him on this Christmas either. But he's helping me face my own family for thanksgiving, so I'm thankful for that.
My mom loves to manipulate people with food, and thanksgiving is the day for that. When I was younger she decided she no longer would go to her family's large gathering, that we'd gone to a few years in a row, because of 'all the drama' and complaints about her siblings, their partners, and children.
When I'm around 13 she hosts her own Secret Thanksgiving (that's the official title) and competes with the family gathering she refuses to participate in, stealing a few of the guests.
She continues to compete with the other dinner for a few more years, trying to steal more guests.
Eventually she's no longer able to convince people to stray from the big family get together and instantly becomes a victim.
EVERY YEAR, EVERY HOLIDAY, EVERY FAMILY GET TOGETHER SHE IS SO UPSET.
I'm 27, you guys, she never talks to these relatives or tries to make plans, never invites them to her home. But It's been over a decade of this nonsense. She doesn't even call around holidays to generally discuss the holidays.
And at this point it's mostly just my mom's one brother and his only child, who is in her 30s, and her husband/kids/mother/step dad, maternal half siblings, and a few other randoms. (Randoms like the sister Petty Confetti hates even more than the brother who's hosting the dinner she's not invited to) It's mostly his daughter's dinner with her family, at his house. *
'I've never even been invited to family thanksgiving since (a couple years before she lost her one-sided competition) and it's like I'm not even a part of MY OWN FAMILY!'
'I don't understand why these people who aren't even family get invited and I don't!'
'I don't even want to cook dinner for all you people! I'm just a slave! You all treat me like a slave.'
'Do you know if your SO is coming to dinner? Why didn't you invite him? Of course he's invited! He's coming right? We're all family.'
She goes out of her way to try and force people who she hates, that hate each other, in the same room, and then avoid talking to anyone. She just hides in the kitchen until people have juicy drama and then she expects me to deal with all the loose ends while she inserts herself into conversations that she'll use against people later...
She ruins thanksgiving for me every year, but the rest of the family creates enough problems of their own to show her up."