Unfortunately, you can't pick where or, more importantly, who your spouse comes from!
Let's take a look at some mother-in-law horror stories.
All posts have been edited for clarity.
"My MIL hated me from day one. She viewed me as the girl who 'stole' her son from her. At the start of summer break, she threatened my kids while we lived in her house. She told them if they ever hurt their father, she would chop them up into pieces. I was downstairs in the house and overheard it. I felt that we would be sitting ducks if I didn’t find a way to get us out. My kids were treated like second class citizens whenever the other grandkids were visiting. My daughter was picked on and my son would talk back to their grandmother to protect his sister. I would tell my husband about the emotional torment.
His answer was, 'I wasn’t there to witness it. Kids haven’t said anything. I’m sure my mother is capable, however, she has always been like that.'
I knew that one day, she would either do or say something to intentionally hurt my children and they wouldn’t be able to defend themselves.
After that, my kids, age eight and ten, and I contacted a realtor to start the process of sending us property listings, since I already had a mortgage pre-assessment based on my annual earnings. At the end, we told my husband we had endured ten years of this abuse and we had had enough. The three of us planned to move out and he had the choice to either stay in the house or come with us. He realized that he would lose his family and found a house for the four of us.
We have been in our own house for two and a half years now. We three have cut out his side of the family completely and are extremely happy. I told him none of his side was welcome in our home. We are starting our real family life. We endured ten years of emotional and mental torment. My kids and I have gone to family counseling and are doing fine. I felt that I had gotten my kids and I out in the nick of time, since they would soon be maturing into their teenage years. They didn’t need to suffer anymore. We have never looked back."
"I've been living with my in-laws for a couple of years now. Most days, we live peacefully and I don't have major issues with my MIL.
I'm five months pregnant now and our baby will be the third grandkid for them. More than a week ago, my MIL started ignoring me all of a sudden. Although all of us were seated at the same dining table, she asked my husband and hers if they wanted to eat or drink something, but not me. She used to call me by name and asked if I wanted to, but not anymore. At that time, I thought it might be just a one-off thing.
But this pattern continued. Every day, she would only make conversations with them and exclude me even though I'm seated right in front of her. Every family meal was just me eating in silence or interacting with my husband. She's the cook in the house and though she used to ask if I was ok eating certain things now that I'm pregnant, she stopped asking me. She just asked my husband if he's okay with it even though I'm sitting right next to him.
This ongoing ignoring got to me and I felt very sad. I told my husband about it and he went to talk to his mom.
My MIL acknowledged that she's been ignoring me, but saw no wrong in that.
She simply said, 'It's best to ignore me because I'm pregnant and am more sensitive to the words she says, that it's better not to talk to me than to scold me.'
To date, she's still ignoring me despite living in the same house. My husband has been put in a difficult position and we have plans to move out next year.
I guess there's truth when people say it's best not to live with your in-laws."
"Back story, I got pregnant on accident with the guy I was dating. My parents weren't particularly supportive, but his parents told me I could move in and they would help us, which was super great, at first. We learned a lot about babies, I had an incredibly healthy pregnancy, and late summer of 2015, I birthed a nine pound, twelve ounce baby boy!
However, the harmony didn't last. Having a baby is stressful, and even though we had lots of help, we were young parents. Raising a child is a daunting task, especially when you still have very little knowledge of adult life in general. The relationship between my son's father and I slowly became tumultuous and abusive. We tried for awhile to work it out, but I left when my son was about a year old.
Although it's difficult at times, I'm proud of the fact that after we split, we've actually built and retained a surprisingly civil parental relationship and friendship. However, my relationship with his family did not smooth itself out in the same way; his mother, specifically, hates my guts to put it lightly.
After our relationship ended, I vented to my younger sister about the abuse. I was hurt. I needed to talk about it. And my sister made the poor choice of telling other people. I'm sure you've heard what can happen when people hear it through the grapevine. Eventually, rumors that he had beaten me up on multiple occasions somehow reached his mother's boss, who questioned her about it at work. To me and anyone closely involved, this was clearly a gross exaggeration. But his mother blamed me for 'trying to trash his reputation.'
Fast forward a few months to them moving into a new house. I was to the point where I wanted to slowly fix the relationship between her and I. So, I bought her a cheesecake for Mother's Day, pretty inscription with frosting on top and all. About a week later, I'm thinking we can talk soon, and bam, my son's father lets me know that his mother doesn't want me in the new house. Ever. Not to even go to the bathroom when I'm there to pick up or drop off our son.
She pulled a full 180 a day or two later, likely realizing she was being ridiculous. Today, though, it is still quite icy between us. It's sad to me, because I was willing to work something out where there was understanding and forgiveness between the two of us. However, it seems she would rather stay bitter. I'm not going to try and rebuild a bridge when there is still fire burning on the other side."
"I come from a very close knit family and had a very close relationship with my grandmother, who at 98 was in failing health and had been moved into a hospice, and I had just received contact from my family that she was fading quickly and to try to get a flight home ASAP.
My husband organized a flight for me for the next morning and during that day, he told me that our neighbour, not family, had dropped dead suddenly.
That evening, my MIL came into our house to speak to me and I mistakenly thought she was going to see if I was okay and dealing with everything. Instead she demanded I accompany her next door to pay my respects to the widow and sit with her and the rest of the mourners. I had never met this woman in my life. I politely declined, saying I didn’t feel up to it and I would on my return.
I flew home, made it just in time, within hours of her passing and stayed until the funeral. During this time, no phone calls, no text messages of condolence, nothing from my husbands parents or siblings. The only communication was a brief text message from my FIL to my dad saying “ sending condolences” and it wasn’t even his mother!
Upon my return, the morning I arrived back home, my MIL rushes into my house and yells from the doorway, 'Go to the neighbours house and pay your respects.'
I thought to myself, this is the height of cruelty. She hasn’t said a word to me, her DIL, about my loss but is worried she will lose face by me not showing up to the neighbours for her acquaintances to see.
So I said loudly and firmly, 'No!'
She slamed the door and left.
I told my husband that I was not going to go to the neighbours until she said something acknowledging my grandmothers passing to me and he said, go ahead that’s fine.
This charade went on for almost two weeks. Daily bursting into my house demanding my presence next door, sometimes twice daily and cursing me under her breath in her language when I refused. She has before and since said and done countless other yuck things, but this one stands out as the most hurtful, narcissistic and callous example."
"I lived with my in-laws for a total of ten years. We tried to get a place of our own on numerous occasions, but my mother-in-law eventually convinced my husband to re-mortgage her house in his name, promising us a deposit for our own place after five years. It never happened. We were stuck there.
At this time I had two boys, fifty weeks apart. When I was about six weeks pregnant, my eldest was about four months old. I got him dressed and put his dirty clothing folded neatly on the stairs with the intention of taking it up to put in the laundry basket in the bathroom as it had to go there. Anyway, I got busy with my day, hadn't needed to go upstairs for anything, and forgot about it.
My mother-in-law came home from work and said, 'Clearly you can't cope. You should get an abortion.'
I lived with her, her husband, and three sons. I would vacuum at least twice a day, polish, cook the evening meal, do the laundry which included her eldest sons' skid marked boxers, clean the bathrooms, and also worked part time in the evening as I wasn't allowed a day job.
When she got tipsy, I was accused of being lazy and ungrateful. She allowed my husband to be a verbally abusive prick and would continually support his behavior.
She undermined my parenting decisions at every opportunity. She wouldn't let me nurse my children, she gave my eldest a cig burn 'accidentally,' she lost my eldest in a shop in a busy city center, she hit my eldest, she referred to herself as 'mum' to my young children, and finally, when I found the courage to leave, she threatened to fight me for full custody of my children.
One day I found the strength, packed our things, and got out. That day only my husband was home, he was sulking and hungover. My mum had stayed with us, had witnessed an argument the night before, and supported me. She knew my mother-in-law wasn't great, but I never told her a thing about her or my husband until that night. We packed as much as we could fit in the car and went back to my hometown, 150 miles away. Within a day, I'd arranged a place for us to live, sorted school, and finances.
I invited her into my new home in an attempt to make things easier for my children in the hope she could be mature. She spent the whole day making snide remarks and trying to guilt-trip me for making her son make maintenance payments. She was never invited back again. I have since got a sign in my hallway advising all guests to 'Be nice or leave'.
So in a nutshell, the meanest thing she ever did was not allow me to be a happy mother for the first five years of my children's lives. I left eleven years ago. She still tries to use me as the family scapegoat but I have no contact with that family now."
"She said that her grandchildren are not my husband's children, and discussed it with the entire extended family, despite the fact that I had agreed to have DNA testing done to confirm paternity, on the condition she pays for it.
I have a serious health condition with my back, supported by medical investigation and reports. She outright said to both me and my family that I am lying and faking it, there is nothing wrong with my back and I paid the doctors to write the reports. Note I am not wealthy, nor could I have faked my CT scans or X-rays or their reports as I do not have access to the people that prepare the reports. Regardless, she thinks she is better qualified than any specialist to diagnose and treat my health issues.
But what hurt the most came on holidays. For family get-togethers at Easter, Christmas and Birthdays, she bought lavish gifts for my sister-in-law's children, and absolutely nothing for my children, she did not even say happy birthday on their birthdays. That is something I cannot excuse, even though my children are now adults.
I know my MIL is toxic, I also know that she is bitter with life, and although I feel her treatment of me and my children is not only unwarranted but extremely unfair, she is still my husband's mother and the grandmother of my children, I tolerate her for that reason alone. Between us, there is no love lost, we do not speak to each other unless it cannot be avoided."
"My son was five when I got married. I knew there was bad blood because she was snarky the night before the wedding and I told her to catch the first broom back to San Diego. Fast forward to me having ‘her’ granddaughter. We received Christmas gifts but my son’s wasn’t in the card. He didn’t get anything from her so I gave him my money.
She would fly my now ex-husband and my daughter to visit. By then my son didn’t care he was ignored but I said when our daughter figured how messed up the woman is we would be done, so enjoy that trip!
It only took three years until my daughter asked why her brother couldn’t come.
I said that’s it, last flight.
We spent two weeks on vacation in Los Angeles the following year. My MIL's mother was furious about her behavior and demanded she fix it.
Oh, we said our peace but basically, it just proved blood is all that matters.
My daughter barely talks to anyone in that family because to this day they ignore my son.
I'm glad I'm so far from that toxic environment."
"Prior to having my son, I suffered through many many miscarriages. Which my MIL knew about. It was such an emotional struggle for me and of course, took a toll on my husband even though he did his best to always be positive and optimistic for me.
Every month she made it her business to ask if I was finally pregnant. When her friends became grandparents she would complain that everyone had grandkids except her and said it’s like I was taking forever. She would just make snide remarks to my husband when she knew she was on FaceTime or speaker phone. She told my husband about all of his friends back in their hometown that had kids already. She asked me to get checked out by the doctor. It literally made me feel like I was worthless and it humiliated me.
Then towards the end of my pregnancy, she kept telling me about the baby she had that was delivered stillborn. She has five kids and instead decided to tell the story of the stillborn only. She also talked about how many women die in childbirth. Yes, all true but I was already on edge so she could have tried to be a little more positive.
I tell myself every day I’m going to try my hardest to be an amazing MIL and never put anyone through what she did to me."
"My wife’s sister’s husband passed away from brain cancer. Her mother, who had been living with them for over twenty years, went to the viewing, but would not go to his funeral a block away.
Apparently, at the viewing, she said to a grandchild, 'So it takes someone to die for you to see me?'
The grandchild said, 'It’s not about you, grandma.'
So she pouted and wouldn’t go to support the daughter who had been supporting her for over two decades.
She even told her daughter, 'You can’t grieve as much as I can, because your dad and I were married for 60 years before he died, and you only got 35.'
We were all furious at her, and she died a horrible death eight years later."
"They had a dog named 'Chica.' They weren’t very nice to the dog. They called my sister 'Chica' also.
I suggested my sister do more than sit on their floor, just like Chica.
My sister lost her first baby at seven months pregnant. She laid in the basement, unconscious, and almost died.
The in-laws said she murdered her baby.
The doctors determined her baby only had three heart chambers.
My sister’s second child came home from the hospital all rosy cheeked and beautiful. Until she died that night. The police came and arrested my sister.
The in-laws showed up to create a scene.
It was quickly determined that her baby only had three heart chambers. My sister was released. My sister and her husband decided to give the body to pediatric heart research.
The in-laws refused to leave until she got that body back, put it in a box, and shoveled dirt over it. Imagine my sister’s state of mind and the added stress of having to deal with her in-laws. After a few weeks they gave up and left. Sadly, they arrived home safely.
My sister’s third daughter was fine. She asked me to be her godmother and they had the baptism where the in laws insisted, Columbus, Ohio, not Boston where my sister lived.
It was handy for me as I was going to Ohio State. I arrived at their house by bus and rang the bell.
The mother-in-law answered the door, looked at me, and said, 'I don’t want you in the same house as I am in.'
It was hot so I just pushed past her. She left and did not come back for the church service.
The MIL lavished gifts on that child. My sister’s next daughter was treated like week old garbage. When they made their obligatory annual visit monster-in-law would hang pictures drawn by the first girl up and tear up the younger’s drawings calling them trash to her face.
Finally, my sister had enough and let her husband make the annual roast with his mother alone.
No matter what my parents thought or felt, my father would never have allowed my mother to treat my sister's husband the same way. I married a man with two children who were treated with the exact same love and affection as the other grand kids.
Why didn’t her husband do anything? He was and is the sweetest guy. He always said he was so short because his mother raised him in a cage in the basement. Everyone laughs but me.
I think it was the truth. I waited tables with a girl whose day job was father in law’s secretary.
The stories she told.
The monster-in-laws both died but not nearly soon enough. Needless to say, they went unmourned in our family."
"My MIL is undoubtedly the worst person I have ever met. She has done everything in her power to sabotage my marriage and my relationship with my husband from day one.
She even got started before my marriage, by complaining about the expenses for the numerous and lavish parties his family wanted to throw for their guests, although we made a generous contribution. Then she threw tantrums when I was pregnant until I walked out of the house.Then she threw a fit when my child was two and I wanted to get back to work.
My FIL would throw separate tantrums of his own.
She lied and complained about me at every point. She would even scream at their staff then blame me.
I tried to defend the staff and calm her down but she screamed at me instead.
She turned the story around and made me the villain of the piece in front of my brother-in-law.
Unfortunately for her my daughter overheard and told me.
When I relayed this to my husband he refused to believe it, got angry, and cancelled our plans for lunch and going to flea market for my daughter.
I long for the moments when we can get away from her but somehow she ensures she makes us miserable at every point. We don't live with her anymore, but have to rely on the family home in emergencies. She ensures that we regret it every time."
"After my husband died, the children and I were traveling from Texas to California. We were planning to pass very close to my in-laws place as we traveled. As we had enjoyed many previous holiday meals there I asked my mom-in-law whether we could drop by for dinner.
She told me no, because they were expecting guests.
I guess that is what I get for exposing her other son as the creep he was.
I was just surprised that she was so willing to lose contact with three-fifths of her grandchildren.
The apple does not seem to fall very far from the tree I suppose."
"I was seven and a half months pregnant with my second child. My husband was working three hours away and just coming home on weekends. A stressful situation.
One day, my husband and I had an argument over the phone. When I drove an hour to pick up my one-year-old daughter after I got off from work, my MIL refused to give her to me.
After threatening my husband a divorce and guarantee he or anyone in his family would never see the baby I was carrying, my daughter was delivered to me.
Even though it was resolved and things were smoothed over, I never saw my MIL in the same way again. I always hated what she did, as a wife and mother she should have never done such a thing."