I was an evil mother-in-law 139



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I was an evil mother-in-law. I had no reason to be but I was the sort of mother-in-law you read about in books or see in movies.

My beautiful daughter was 17 when she had her first boyfriend. I was like any mother would be when their daughter first starts dating – protective, suspicious, and a bit worried.

I loved my only child so much and wanted her to be safe with this fella. I didn’t want to think about the obvious but were they going to have sex? Would she be safe? These were just two of the trillions of things I was thinking. I had banned Natalie from having a boyfriend until she was 16 but I have a feeling she defied that with some casual boys but Gareth was her first real one as far as I know.

I would scold him and give him judgemental looks whenever he would come over, and ask him questions. At the time I didn’t realise how truly embarrassing this would have been for the poor boy, but my rationale was that he was dating my daughter, I had to have a say in it. Well no, no I didn’t.

Gareth never did anything wrong to Natalie but there was something I didn’t like about him. I didn’t think he was all that genuine in his intentions with my darling girl and I used this to have arguments with Natalie when I shouldn’t have. You’d think I would have learnt my lesson but it took me a few more years…

Natalie and Gareth finally broke up when she was 19. I saw it coming but Natalie was devastated. I didn’t see why she was getting so upset – she was pretty and smart and would find someone else. But then she told me why they broke up….it was because of me. ME? Why would I break them up? Was Gareth in love with me? I knew he seemed a bit odd! No, it was because I was so rude and horrible to him that he couldn’t deal with it. I had made his life a misery essentially and yet at the time, I was gobsmacked with this ridiculous excuse. I barely consoled poor Natalie and continued to think I was right.

A few years later, Nat met the man she would eventually marry. Doug had a child from a previous relationship and I used this to base my judgements. I was just inexplicably rude to him. Even on the day they married, I refused to congratulate him or pose next to him in photos. I had no idea how unkind I was being until he pulled me aside one day and said, “Trish, why do you hate me?”. I couldn’t answer him. I was lost for words and I didn’t know why. Why was I such a horrible person to Doug? I looked deep inside and a few days later, I went to their house and sincerely apologised. I explained that when you have only one child and are a single mother, you can find it difficult to trust another man. Subconsciously, I wanted to be the only person Nat had and I didn’t want to lose her.

But then I realised, I had gained a son. I was not going to be alone and once I welcomed Doug into my heart, I was able to connect with him properly, and now his little son Mickey is like a grandchild to me. I implore anyone who is the ‘evil mother-in-law’ to take a look at how they’re speaking to their daughter or son-in-law. You are family and you need to show a bit of compassion.


Have you ever been an ‘evil’ mother or father-in-law? Why? What are you in-law children like? Tell us below.

Guest Contributor

  1. I am the evil mother in law..according to my daughter in law, the fact that I have not even entered their house for 20 years, and know nothing about their lives and have not even seen her for 10 years does not deter her. My son too is an only child, he loves this woman and even though I can’t stand her, it is his life not mine and his choice to make who he chooses to have in his life and I have never sought to interfere or alter his decision. I have long ago accepted it but it sometimes it hurts if I dwell on it

    13 REPLY
    • I have not had anything to do with my daughter and son in law. Before my husband died of cancer We had not seen my daughter and her family for nearly 7yrs, after the death of our son my daughter had issues at the time. Angry and upset she was convinced I was a control freak in anger she told me so. We immediately went to her place to talk it over. Her husband met and informed us she did not wish to speak to us. The talk never happened. Invitations to family events declined till her dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I phoned my daughter of the bad news and invited them to visit. For my daughter and husband, I thought it would be good. I think to a point it was. Unfortunately the visits to the hospital and rarely to home were few and far. This only sadden my husband more he was hurt and disappointed. Apologiesing to me every day till he spoke no more. Since his funeral I have never seen or heard from them. I have another daughter but her life is a turmoil, I just stay close enough to be a safety net for her children. One now lives with me. Has so much going for her she is at uni. I too do not interfere and stay well away . I too get upset but family’s change not always for the better. My daughter use to make me feel like I was not good enough. Not anymore they are strangers to me now. The lack of respect and support given to me at the funeral has only reiterated you can pick your friends you can’t pick your relations.

    • So sad, but it should’nt be so – what has happened to respecting ones family, surely times have’nt changed that much. Cannot stand the nonsense of todays evil ways. It seems as parents this is what we have to put up with. But we cannot turn our backs on our children because we CARE……….

    • no your loss Beri Vera, you have no empathy for others, these ladies are telling you their stories, they don’t need you callous comments and you work for Human services?..so sorry to all of you

    • I have three boys I try not and get involved in their lives and never been a “helicopter” mum I believe life teaches you lessons for a reason! I have lost each one of them at different times due to their partners!! All have come or are coming back! I think in future I will be the mother inlaw from hell!! As some of these selfish money grabbing females need to know my boys are my children and I will be defending them to the death in future!
      If these people put themselves in your shoes for just a day things may change dramatically.
      I just hope they have as “happier” ride with their in-laws as we have

    • With 5 sons & 1 daughter I have all lovely daughters in law & son in law except one detests me as she doesn’t want our family in their lives. 4 little grand daughters I am not allowed to see. I still love them dearly & all my 13 grandies the same. I mind one sons, 3 boys a few days a week & the eldest often pops in to c me & stays over. His sister from another relationship adopted me as her Nanna too. So I am very blessed. Had to let the nasty one go. She ordered me never to visit them anyway. Was pleasant to me at one sons wedding last yr. I had said it was their wedding & all should get along. But she upset a few by her remarks about one being a vegan & tried to get me on side Which surprised me no end) saying things about the youngest daughter in law, see that, did u c that? I said what am I seeing? She said that my son was doing everything for the baby. She did nothing all night. I said they work that out themselves & take turns & walked away. And tried to upset other guests too. It’s how she is. Sad.

    • It’s sad when you have only one DIL and she doesn’t speak but at least I see my lovely son and grandaughters. It’s her loss.

    • I always tried to be a good mother, mother-in-law and grandmother, I always felt I wasn’t good enough but was grateful to see me grand daughters. I have not seen my grand daughters for 7 years and it breaks my heart, my son just stopped coming. I have picked myself up, I can’t change how they feel, I hope I might see my grand daughters one day. God bless all mothers.

    • All so sad to read mothers not included in children’s lives. Would kill me.
      I’m blessed with kids who love me and include me and my mum in everything. We are all close. Daughter and Son I L. Son and D I L and 4 Grandkids. Lived 1 st away from first 2 (daughters) and minded sons two young boys 3 times a week and now live with daughter. Family is so important. We have our disagreements but the love is there. Never give up.

    • Oh Libby, how sad. This must hurt your son so much. It is never too late to make things right, if your son loves her couldn’t you take the steps try to heal the relationship, it is never too late, some one has to be the bigger person and you would have a lot to gain….

  2. I had an evil mother-in-law.

    1 REPLY
    • I had a good mother inlaw I was very distraught when she died and I tried to model myself on her, she was more of very good friend to me. But things sometimes in life don’t work out as planned

  3. I had a great mother in law, she had the worst mother in law. She was a real cinderalla her stepmother hated her. So she became the best mother to her sons and that carried over to the extended family, lucky us.

  4. Think this would stand true for all us loving over protective parents of teenage girls. !! I know I prob wasn’t evil but sure I scared more than one male away.

  5. I would like to know how many have dreadful daughters in law. So much is written and said about mothers in law and often it is not their fault.

    5 REPLY
    • I had the mother in law from hell and the mother to go with it. not your choice to make with your childs partner so you have to just cope and be there when you are proven right.

    • thanks Morvyth for recognising in takes 2 in any relationship. If one person is not willing to be a friend, there is not much the other person can do

  6. I have a wonderful, beautiful daughter in law who treats me with love & respect. She is a great wife & mother & love her like my own. ! Well done Son u chose well.!!!

    7 REPLY
    • I love to hear the comments about women who love and admire their children in law. I am lucky, mine are great and they are terrific parents. I am glad my kids chose their spouses so well.

    • I love all my childrens partners and all 4 couples get on well together. How lucky am I? I doubt that they think of me as the mother in law from hell because I mind my own business. They are adults and parents themselves and don’t need me putting in my bit. I’m just there if they need me. Love them all

    • I have a wonderful son inlaw. He is so considerate and respectful but I wouldn’t expect anything else as he is the same with his parents. My newest son inlaw is wonderful with my youngest daughter, I respect that BUT there is something. My daughter inlaw, and it’s obvious to other members if the family, is all for her family, never been invited to a meal, or told when our grand daughters dancing or other events in her life is on. But I’m over it. Our son doesn’t call in to visit by himself, his dad isn’t In 100% health, it seems

    • Helen there seem so many parents & grandparents in the same situation as yourself. I feel so blessed & yet so sad that everyone can’t have what I & so many others have. Can’t they understand the importance of family.??!!

  7. My second MIL was like this. Only she never changed.
    She is now 91 and has to be kept restrained in a nursing home as she has alziemers (spelt wrong) and became abusive and uncontrollable.
    I say this is her punishment.

  8. Possessiveness is one of our worse traits, and sometimes it does rear it’s ugly head. At least this lady realised and what could have cost her dearly, turned around and gave her much love.
    I hope this little story makes women aware, don’t do what she did!

  9. Yes I had a mother in law who actually asked me to break up with her son. I tried but he was determined to marry me and he did bless him.

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