Working with my daughter-in-law: how she made my life hell

I have experienced the wrath of my daughter-in-law in a few different ways over the past six years. 

The worst stage was after I secured a part time casual position as a fashion stylist for a ladies fashion boutique in Adelaide CBD.

She worked for the same company, as second-in-charge, here in our home town. Whenever I saw her she would have sarcastic digs about my age (60+) and would start to assert her authority over me at family get togethers. She fell pregnant and when it was time for her to take maternity leave I was transferred to the local store to work, not as 2IC but as a casual fashion stylist. Prior to her leave starting she told other casual staff things about me and that was the beginning of the end for me. 

I have extensive experience in retail and my sales were the highest or second highest for the store most weeks. This made some rather jealous and DIL would visit the store when she could and find out my stats and what I had been doing work-wise.

Well, when she returned to work, things got so much worse.

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Firstly she stopped contact between my grandchildren and my son, so it was only by phone or Facebook that I got to find out any family news. She didn’t even tell me my granddaughter was in hospital.  

Within the first three weeks of her return to work I supposedly had five customer reports against me for poor or rude service. That is more than I had in all my working life. I had several “talks to” from the store manager about in-store business that had been talked about in another town, turned out it was DIL’s own mother telling her friends. 

After that, it seems whatever I did was not up to standard, my hours were cut back despite my sales record. Final straw was a Sunday shift with a new casual staff member, despite having a busy non-stop day in the store, this staff member reported me for everything I did and said. She must have been taking notes. I know I had been set up, no way of proving anything. I was guilty with no chance of proving my innocence. 

The next day I received a phone call from the state manager to come in for a chat. I did, only to have this “report” read out to me, most of which was lies, and had been embellished by the DIL who knew exactly what management would take as unacceptable. The wording was just how she speaks. The knives were truly out and the DIL was behind it all, she is a drama queen, she makes up thoughts in her mind and is so convinced they actually happened and is very good at convincing other people they actually happened. That was what I was up against. Intimidation and bullying, the worst I have ever experienced.

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I ended up resigning, which is what she wanted, might have surprised her at the time. I was not asked to resign, but I know the intimidation and bullying would not stop, I did not need that in my life. 

I also received a terrible SMS one Sunday afternoon, accusing me of deserting my son and grandchildren, I did not reply to that but instead sent it to my son who was working, would come home every 10 days, he was furious as she used the children as blackmail against me. They live within 5km of my place, it was three months before I saw my grandies. That was nearly two years ago, since then she has been sarcastic and intimidating in so many ways. Still don’t see much of the children, I only get invited around there when it is a birthday for one of the grandkids. 

We had words late last year and she told me she knows me well enough and knows how I think. My reply: “you don’t know me at all or you wouldn’t say that. Oh well, things will be very interesting in the future then, won’t they?” was her reply. With my son away she has kept the children at her parents place so I don’t get to see them. My son has returned home from working away so hopefully I will get to see the children more often.  

Chatting with him about the situation, I told him of the last conversation between DIL and myself. His comment was “Mother, I think you have called her bluff”. Maybe I have, only time will tell.

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Was all this bullying? Well it sure feels like it – being intimidated and manipulated by someone and giving up a job I really liked because of her behaviour to me is bully tactics. She has lost a friend and support person. 

The ironic thing is she has now left the fashion shop. Bring on KARMA I say.

Tell us below: have you ever been bullied by a family member? What happened?