Some of us hit the mother-in-law jackpot, marrying partners whose moms are as warm and loving as biological parents and quick to lend a hand when called upon.
Unfortunately, not everyone is quite so lucky. Below, HuffPost Divorce readers share the most obnoxious behavior they had to deal with from their former mothers-in-law.
1. She kept pushing Santa on her Jewish daughter-in-law.
“My ex mother-in-law really wanted her holiday traditions to take root in our home. Even though I was Jewish, she gifted me with a steady stream of craptastic Santa statuettes, tree ornaments and Rudolph tea towels. When I asked why, she told me that it was ‘the woman’s job to make the home,’ adding that I shouldn’t mind the Christmas themes because ‘Santa wasn’t religious’ and ‘Besides, you’re not, like, a serious Jew.'” — Deborah
2. She had absolutely no filter.
“My mother-in-law told me the following things, without provocation: ‘Nancy, it’s not that you’re fat, you’re just short,’ ‘I like you better than Kathleen (her other daughter-in-law), you don’t have a big nose,’ and ‘Nancy, does Bobby (my ex, her son) hate me? You know I didn’t want him.'” — Nancy
3. She felt her son wasn’t getting enough home-cooked meals.
“After 22 years of marriage, I found a Post-it note in the bathroom from my husband saying that he was leaving and would be moved out before I got home. I tried to reach my husband by phone but was unsuccessful, so I called his mother. She screamed over the phone that I refused to make him dinners (I did, but he didn’t come home many nights until after everyone was in bed). She yelled more insults with me holding the phone about 12 inches from my ear. Too bad she stated that only her son ‘matters,’ not our kids. The boys were in earshot.” – Wendi
4. She couldn’t part ways with her son’s ex.
“My ex-husband was married prior to marrying me. His mother kept their wedding pictures on her living room walls. When asked why, her response was, ‘We knew her before you and she will always be a part of this family. Isn’t she beautiful?’ During our marriage, the ex-MIL also made sure that her son’s ex-wife attended family functions where we were present as well. Needless to say, he remarried again after I divorced him. Third time’s the charm, right?” — Tiffany
5. She criticized her daughter-in-law over FaceTime.
“My former MIL contributed to her son’s magnified sense of self and his firm belief that he was incapable of making mistakes. When we would face certain trials in our marriage, he would turn to her for advice. Advice that was, unfortunately, given over FaceTime conversations a mere one room over from me. As he relayed the fight of the week, she would cut him off a few sentences in, only to reassure him that he did no wrong. He was free from all blame. And the problems stemmed from one person: me.” — Elizabeth
6. She teased about wanting custody of her grandkids.
”While I was pregnant with our first child, my mother-in-law would make rude comments about how she wanted to keep my unborn child every weekend and how much she would help and teach me. Now, after being divorced for eight years, she has has absolutely nothing to do with them. Rant done!” – Jaime
7. She wanted to be addressed as “hey you.”
“My MIL insisted on being called Mrs. [X] while were were dating. As soon as we got engaged, she sat me down at her kitchen table and said, ‘Now, we can’t have you calling me Mrs. [X] anymore. That’s too formal for family. What do you want to call us?’ I answered that I would be happy to call them by their first names. She replied that ‘the mister and I do not do first names.’ I responded that I was uncomfortable calling them ‘mom’ and ‘dad.’ Meanwhile, she introduced herself to my siblings and friends by her first name and never once corrected them. Annoyed by the inconsistency, I called her by her first name. She called my husband and complained I had disrespected her. When we sat down to talk it out, what I thought would be an airing of griefs and reconciliation turned into a huge, heated argument. She finally screamed at me that I needed to ‘respect the pecking order of the human race!’ My husband got involved at one point and asked her what I should call her and she said, ‘[husband]’s mother’ or ‘hey you!’ and hung up. So, ‘hey you’ it was… until the day I got a divorce!” — Jill
8. She was racist.
“My ex mother-in-law told my husband to leave me because I couldn’t have children. She also felt that Blacks and Arabs shouldn’t marry. After two years being divorced I’m still angry we did not get counseling.” — Charlotte
9. She encouraged the divorce.
“I am unquestionably certain that my mother-in-law played a part in my divorce. When my ex told her he wanted to divorce me, rather than express sadness or concern, she just said, ‘Oh, honey it’s OK.’ There was no suggestion to try and make it work. She told me her son probably wanted to end things because I decided to go back to school and not simply work a job I hated. She was definitely not ready to let go of the control she had over him. She didn’t understand the concept of a man leaving his father and mother to make his own family.” — Meagan
10. She would stroll into her son and daughter-in-law’s house unannounced.
“When I was married, my in-laws lived a couple of blocks away. On multiple occasions, my ex-MIL would walk their dog and let herself into our house using the electronic code without calling first. Thankfully, she never walked in on us in a compromising position but shouldn’t she have called before walking in? What’s worse, my ex refused to change the code so she would stop.” — Heather
11. She was the stuff of nightmares…literally.
“When I was pregnant with my first child, my mother-in-law tried to make so many decisions for me that I had nightmares about her kidnapping my baby. When I finally got my ex to talk to her, she cried and said that if it wasn’t for her there would be no baby! I guess my participation in the process wasn’t necessary!” — Patty
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