The angry mother-in-law and daughter-in-law dynamic is a tale as old as time. No family is perfect, but a line has to be drawn when an in-law’s bad behavior takes a turn for the worse. From manipulative MILs to dislikable DILs, these in-laws share their shady feelings about their family members. Get ready, because the tea is about to be spilled! Content has been edited for clarity.
“I Respected My Son For Staying With Her Despite How Much It May Have Hurt”
“My daughter-in-law was raised in two different households due to divorce. The situation left a great deal of confusion and hurt in her life. Over time, both of her parents dated a variety of people. Several of which left positive and negative impressions on my DIL.
At the time of my DILs pregnancy, she and my son were not married. They were worried about how they would be perceived by the rest of the family once they heard the news. My fiance and I were living in a city further away, and we had not spent much time with my son and DIL as a couple. Upon hearing their news, I congratulated them as any parent would.
I teasingly asked my son, ‘Are you going to make an honest woman out of her to please her mother?’
My son assured me, ‘The plan is in the works.’
Nothing more was said, and we waited to hear when the wedding was going to take place.
One day, we drove to the courthouse to see the wedding ceremony. There among his sister, grandmother, and all of her relatives, my son and DIL were married. During the entire ceremony, there was a noticeable air of separation between us and the remainder of the group.
Fast forward to the birth of my DIL and son’s child, and there were multiple complications. The baby was placed in a different unit of the hospital and on a ventilator. I rushed to the hospital to be with my son and support my DIL. I was admitted immediately, but my fiance wasn’t allowed in by my DILs stepmother’s rules. My son’s father wouldn’t be coming to the hospital at all, so I believed it would have been nice for his other father figure to be present. I was stunned, but I kept quiet to keep the peace.
This situation continued for two days. During this time, both my son and DIL have slept at the hospital and wanted to go home to rest. They eventually left the hospital and had to leave their newborn under a doctor’s care. Within thirty minutes of them leaving, the doctors decided they were going to trial my son’s child without a ventilator. My DILs stepmother texted only my stepdaughter to inform them about what was happening, and not my son. When I realized she wasn’t texting my son, I took it upon myself to let him know, too. Both my son and DIL hurried back to the hospital to see their newborn child again.
The next day, the doctors allowed my son and DIL to hold their child. At this point, my fiance still wasn’t allowed in the room. This same type of distancing continued for the entire next year. My son and DIL would visit, but they would never allow my fiance and me to babysit. They only left their daughter with her parents.
One day I confronted my DIL, and I finally got an answer regarding her nasty behavior.
She explained to me, ‘I have a weird feeling about your fiance. He reminds me of someone my mother dated when she was little who wasn’t a good man. Most women are blind to the signs when they love a man, but I can tell something is strange about him.’
I told my DIL, ‘I am well aware of the signs of a man being bad. My ex-husband wasn’t good to me or my children, and I can recognize the signs at this point.’
My DIL shook her head and sighed, ‘I don’t like the man. I fear him. I don’t want my daughter to be around him.’
I finally gave up on trying to see my granddaughter, as my DIL remained immobile about the issue.
At my son’s wedding, she didn’t speak to me the majority of the time.
When my DIL finally did approach me, she said, ‘I just wanted you to know it was your son’s choice not to bring our daughter to the wedding.’
I just shook my head. I had yet to be anywhere with all of my children and their children. It wouldn’t ever happen, either.
I have since found out my son has spoken to his wife, and he doesn’t agree with her at all. Because of how I was treated in my marriage, I won’t blatantly argue with her. I respected him for standing with his wife despite how much it may have hurt.”
“I Couldn’t Tell Them What To Do”
“I had two daughters-in-law, one ex-son-in-law, and a soon-to-be new son-in-law. Even if my children had brought home a potential partner who I instantly disliked, I would still have made an effort to like them for the sake of my child.
I was always wary of my ex-SIL and shared my concerns about him with my daughter. I always told her he was a ticking time bomb of anger, and it turned out I was correct. Nevertheless, she loved him and wanted to marry him. They had two beautiful children together, and I hoped my gut feeling about him had been wrong.
My daughter and SIL were a military family, so they never lived close to home. They only visited occasionally, and there was no way of knowing what their day-to-day marriage consisted of. It was only after twenty years together before she asked him for a divorce, and then she told me exactly what he was like as a spouse.
My daughter has been dating someone new for three years now. Although I don’t agree with some of the choices this man makes, he’s a kind and lovely person who makes her happy, laugh and is completely devoted to her.
As for my two DILs, there were brief times in each marriage when I had small disagreements with each. However, I never disliked either of them. They make my sons happy, are both wonderful mothers, and we get along fine.
If I truly disliked an in-law but couldn’t identify why I would start asking myself some very serious questions. Not about them, but myself.
It could be hard to let go of children when they grow up and go out on their own. My ultimate goal in raising my children, after making sure they knew they were loved, was to ensure they were independent individuals capable of making their own choices. My children have always known I am there for them, no matter how old they are. If they asked for my counsel, they knew I would always be honest with them. But at the end of the day, I can’t make choices for them. I can present them with options, but I can’t tell them what they should do or who to love.”
“I Couldn’t Be Safe In Situations With My MIL”
“I could have written a novel about how much I disliked my mother-in-law, but instead I will just say this.
When a person’s boundaries are disrespected over and over again and their significant other pretends not to notice, they will eventually stand up for themselves.
It may or may not have been a ‘healthy’ way to handle conflict, but removing myself from the toxic environment was the best thing for me to do. My husband didn’t defend my physical or emotional boundaries, so I removed myself from the position. Any self-respecting person would have done the same if requests to cease the behavior fell on deaf ears, just as my requests did.
I tried talking to my husband about stopping his mother from waltzing into our apartment unit unannounced, rifling through our belongings, and taking items to ‘borrow’ without asking. Oftentimes, she would also stop by without asking first, and she smothered me with personal questions. I didn’t have the kind of relationship with my MIL that allowed me to be open with her at all.
My husband relayed these concerns to his parents, and I was told, ‘It’s just how she is,’ and there were zero improvements in the situation.
My next tactic was to try and control the situations I found myself in where my MIL would be present. I tried to discuss the situation with my husband and set a prior plan in place. The plan included how long we would stay and words I could use to indicate when I was becoming uncomfortable. Unfortunately, even though my husband would agree, he wouldn’t stick to the plan. It created a trust issue because I thought I could walk into situations with my MIL being safe, but I couldn’t.
I ended up firmly stating I would no longer visit my MIL. The only way I would see my MIL is if it was at a public gathering where I could escape to other people’s company. It was the last option, as I couldn’t ‘change’ her. My MIL refused to control herself, and I refused to tolerate her barging into my life like a Viking on a rampage.
The situation wasn’t ideal, but I didn’t know what else I could do. The ‘no visiting’ rule also extended to my husband’s sister, who was a carbon copy of my MIL. My husband acknowledges after many years how his handling of his mother lacked foresight, and how I shouldn’t have been expected to deal with her. Basic decency should have prevented my MIL from being nosy, opinionated, loud, overbearing, and manipulative, but it never did.
I’m glad my husband now realizes where he went wrong.”
“She Was A Total Monster”
“I have once been the daughter-in-law, and I am now the mother-in-law. My first MIL was a total monster, and she was extremely rude. She hated me, and I was regularly in tears due to her awful behavior. I put up with her wickedness for five years. I quickly became sick of her behavior, so I divorced her son and never looked back. My second MIL was the sweetest woman I had ever met. She loved me like I was her daughter. Sure, we had disagreements. For the most part, though, I loved her just like she was my real mom. I was devastated when she passed away.
Fast forward a couple of years, and I was now a MIL. I feel like I am the most fortunate MIL in the world. My DIL is the sweetest and most kind person on the planet. She loves family first and keeps the dynamics and differences in our family well-balanced. She has a heart of gold and is great at keeping the peace, but it doesn’t mean we haven’t had our differences.
My DIL had never been disrespectful to my face, but I’m sure she has complained about me behind my back. But, this was normal. Sometimes, she made me a little upset because I could recognize how she manipulated my son and how I was disregarded. The biggest issue between my DIL and my son was money. My DIL influenced my son to give her family money, while he ignored his entire side of the family. That’s just the way it was, girls always had the home court advantage.
I tried not to let any of those issues bother me, as I knew I raised my son as best as I could. I respected him, and I couldn’t ever do or say anything to put him in a position to choose his mother or wife. My DIL married into the family, and I could never tear apart the family they made because of my words or actions. I had to begin respecting his decisions and choices were now largely influenced by his wife, and not by his mother.
My role in my son’s life is limited now. I had him all of those years, and I had the opportunity to influence his life in a significant way. If I didn’t respect his wife, I didn’t respect him. Recognizing my part was over now was one of the healthiest decisions I could have made.
Nobody loves a person as their mother does, but a mother is not a wife to the same person.”
“I Should Have Kicked Her Out Of My Son’s Life”
“There was nothing my family could do about my terrible daughter-in-law. From day one, she set out to destroy our family unit. When my son and DIL married, she was already pregnant with my grandson. They came to live with my husband and me until they could get back on their feet. My son held down three different jobs, so they did eventually manage to move out.
My DIL is a malignant narcissist with a dark side like I have never encountered before. She ripped apart my son with lies and treacherous tall tales. The lies were so sneaky, that nobody ever saw them coming.
I always tried to keep the peace for the sake of my grandson. I felt as though I had no choice, but it never worked. She used her child in her deceitful little games of tearing our family apart. As her child got older, she even told her absurd stories to them and kept them away from me. Eventually, her son became old enough to make up his mind regarding his feelings about me.
If she wasn’t pregnant, I would have kicked her out of my son’s life right from the start. Hindsight is twenty-twenty.
My grandson is now twenty-one years old and is in college studying to be a doctor. We have cultivated a wonderful relationship. However, I haven’t heard from my son in years. He is still married to the nasty woman and is still brainwashed into believing all of her lies.
I still wished my son the best, and I often mourned losing him to her.”
“She Held A Grudge Against Me For Sixteen Years”
“My daughter-in-law has been harboring a grudge against me for sixteen years.
During this time, I had been making excuses to myself and others about her behavior. I blamed myself and my shortcomings for the distance in our relationship. My son claimed my DIL liked my company, but I knew it was a lie.
Recently, my son and DIL moved to a different city, and she mentioned how she was having trouble finding new friends.
I thought I was being practical when I told her, ‘I have found some good friends through exercise classes. Maybe you could try attending one.’
However, my son and my DIL took my comment out of context. They thought I was being passive-aggressive, but I was only trying to give genuine advice on how to meet new people. My son wound up giving me a serious lecture afterward. Honestly, I was fairly aggressive when I wanted to be, but I never wasted time on passive aggression.
One day, I sought to clarify my remark to my DIL.
When I tried to speak to her, she told me, ‘I don’t want to hear it. You have been insulting me for the past sixteen years.’
I never really viewed myself as an insulting type of person, so I yet again blamed the distance in our relationship on myself. My DIL proceeded to lock herself in her bedroom all weekend and not speak to anyone.
I certainly didn’t need to be my son’s main squeeze, but his wife felt more comfortable marginalizing and demonizing me, rather than being kind.
I loved my son and hoped he was still happy, but I refused to waste any more time on my DIL. The situation was a lost cause.”
“His Parents Never Supported Him”
“I have always thought mother-in-laws had no room to dislike their daughters-in-law unless she mistreated their child. If the DIL was supportive, a good friend, and a good partner, why would a MIL have room to dislike her?
I once had a father-in-law who hated me. He made it clear he would never consider me a part of the family. My FIL told me I was his son’s biggest mistake, and that our two-month-old son was a mistake, too.
My husband now has a better job, is happier, and overall healthier. Why? Because I supported him, stood up for him, and continued to lift him. Do you know who never supported him?
I didn’t do anything besides try to keep the family together, only to get slapped in the face metaphorically by my husband’s parents.
The first time I met my MIL before my husband and I were engaged, she had broken her foot. No other family members thought to help her out when she was injured, so I did. Even though I helped her until she was completely healthy again, I was still the bad guy.
If a MIL ever disliked their DIL, they needed to reevaluate why they don’t like them versus their son’s feelings. If your son was happy with a woman, the MIL has no good reason to hate their DIL.”
“She Handpicked Her Children’s Spouses”
“My mother-in-law detested her two daughters-in-law and one son-in-law. Her youngest son married a woman from Spain while he was in the service. I was from the South and my husband’s family were New England natives, so they already didn’t like me. I, too, met my husband while he was in the service.
Her daughter married a man who was an apprentice printer, and he was a good man. None of us were terrible husbands or wives, and we eventually figured out our MIL didn’t like us because she already had her children’s spouses handpicked.
The man she picked for her daughter to marry was on his way to being the town loser, but he still adored her daughter. He and her daughter went on one date, and she immediately hated him. The girls she picked for her son weren’t interested in him, and they didn’t like the girls, either.
All of us spouses had to pretend we didn’t know our MIL hated us. Our sister-in-law from Spain never actually figured it out on her own. English wasn’t her first language, and she didn’t understand some parts of the conversations we had with her. Her husband or my husband had to translate for her to figure out what was going on.”
“I Kept My Mouth Shut”
“I had a crummy daughter-in-law.
I eventually learned I had to treat her with politeness and respect. I had to include her in every family gathering including my son and the other female relatives in the family. Smiling when I saw her was the best option, and I always asked how she was doing. If she said anything I didn’t like, I kept my mouth shut.
I learned I had to treat other people with kindness and respect whether I liked them or not. I always used kindness, civility, and gentleness.
If she ever said something unkind to me to my face, I responded with, ‘What you said wasn’t very nice. Please don’t say things like this about me in the future.’
If she persisted in being rude, I had every right to leave her presence. However, for now, I am learning how to be a more kind person.”
“My Son Had To Learn His Lesson The Hard Way”
“I have always believed my children were allowed to make their own mistakes.
Out of the thousands of divorces that have occurred in the past year, I could bet their parents told their children, ‘Don’t do it,’ before getting married.
However, I believed it was my children’s life and their chance to learn their lesson the hard way. If anything, it gave them experience in dealing with people.
In the past, my grandfather hit the ceiling when he learned I was dating my husband to me. At the time, I believed he was wrong. I eventually learned he was correct, and my husband treated me poorly. I was too young to understand what he understood to be true. It was my life lesson.
When I dealt with an unfavorable daughter-in-law, I had to use grace and finesse. I had to treat them with the same love I had for my son. Being polite to her and supportive to him was my best move.
Even though I thought my intuition was right about my DIL, my son had to learn his lesson and have a big letdown.
Either way, it goes, be love.”
“His Mother Absolutely Smothered Me”
“It’s hard to say if feelings against mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law are warranted or not. Sometimes, these types of relationships can be tricky.
If I ever felt like my DIL was a truly awful person, I would have to get the rest of my family on board. However, I have always thought treating someone I didn’t like with kindness was the best option.
One time, I had a fantastic boyfriend. However, his mother smothered me. She knew my work schedule, and my days off, and planned out all of my days for me. The situation was not okay.
Even though she was terrible, I was still sweet to her. Since I treated her with kindness, there was no way she could have sent negative energy back to me.
I made my way out by keeping my friends close and my enemies closer.”
“She Made Me Feel So Unworthy”
“My mother-in-law was despicable.
Typically, I was nicer to others when they were nice to me. I respected people who respected me, too. However, my MIL was neither nice nor respectful. She was flat-out fake. My husband told her exactly how to handle me, and it was by staying out of my life and business.
She wanted access to her grandchildren after years of never caring about them. Before this, she completely ghosted our family. She would never come to see my husband and I’s child unless our kid asked to see her.
I wish she would have never made me feel so unworthy. She lost her son and grandchild by making me feel the way she did.
All MILs need to be prepared to undertake an honest reflection if they dislike their daughters-in-law.”