Of all the relationships in family life, the one between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law is often the most testing.
That’s the reality for one woman who was left in tears after revealing her mother-in-law purposely goes out of her way to make her feel uncomfortable. Writing to The Sun’s advice column Dear Deidre, the 36-year-old woman said she’s been married for 12 years and has two children but things have not improved.
“When my husband and I first went out, his mother told him to dump me because he could do much better,” she wrote.
The woman revealed her mother-in-law recently ignored her at a family wedding, adding: “It was humiliating. She was all smiles to everyone else but not me. She never even said goodbye. I was so upset I cried all the following week.
“My husband is furious. We have not been to any family events since, not even at Christmas.”
The woman said her husband’s mother is now playing the victim, saying she misses and loves them very much.
“I don’t trust her but am I being cruel?” She asked.
Deidre reassured the woman that her mother-in-law is probably just jealous, adding: “But you can decide to let her petty resentments roll off your back.
“Your husband loves you and that is what matters, not his mother’s pettiness.”
It comes after the topic of meddlesome grandmothers lit up the call lines at Triple M Brisbane earlier this year when afternoon hosts Jane Kennedy and Mick Malloy were discussing an anonymous grandmother who crossed the line.
Kennedy opened up the subject with the horror story about a new grandma who snuck into the post-natal ward while her daughter-in-law was still recovering from her caesarean and held the baby before anyone else had a chance.
Perhaps worst of all though was a grandmother who didn’t like her grandchild’s name, so took them to her church and had them christened in her favourite name instead.
“My grandmother apparently was a dragon and hated my mother,” the caller said. “She took my brother to the local priest and had him christened the name she wanted.”
It’s fair to say almost every family will have suffered tensions between relatives, whether it’s in-laws or adult children and their parents. But when a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law don’t get along, the resulting tension affects everyone in the family.
There have been plenty of stories in the past about mothers-in-law and their offspring’s partners fighting it out for love and attention, and the touchy subject was even immortalised on screen by Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez in their 2005 film, Monster-in-law.
More often than not though, the mother-in-law is painted as an overbearing figure who can’t help but meddle in their child’s life, even when they’re just trying help.