Working with my daughter-in-law: how she made my life hell 362



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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.

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.

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.

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? 


This writer has chosen to remain anonymous.

  1. A brother who bullied me into doing only what he wanted to do with or for my mother, because he has control. Even to the point of when you can an cannot call her. My sons stopped calling her because of this. I gave up in the end as she does whatever he says. I left town without telling them because of it and now I am the worst person in the world.

    3 REPLY
  2. This daughter in law has some serious mental problems. She will lose and in a big way, her marriage will break up and she will lose her friends if she has any. She is a bully with a capital B

  3. I know how you feel that type of thing has happened to me by the time you realise they are doing it it is to late to stop them and you don’t like to blame someone unfairly

  4. You are the victim of narcissistic abuse. Google it.
    You won’t win. This personality type is so far removed from how you behave and are, in your innermost being, that you will never understand it. The more you protest and try to out maneuver, the more difficult it will become.
    Both my DILs are similar, with the result that I have elected to go no contact, as it’s too painful. I figure the grandies will seek me out in the future if that is what is meant to be. Frankly I hold out no hope, but I refuse to constantly put myself in a position to be repeatedly hurt.

    1 REPLY
    • Well said, Chris. These people are more evidence of what happens when children are overindulged and allowed to think they are the centre of the world when they are growing up. So sad that parents’ good intentions really rob them of the ability to see that everyone has a right to a place in the world without being seen as a threat to theirs. I wonder how their children will fare as the grow up – will they pose a threat too! “Do unto others …” springs to mind.

  5. I had a number of intimidating incidents with both my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. They used to wait until my husband was away and then start. Was told at one stage i had no right getting pregnant-at that stage i was 2 months along the way and they knew that. When my husband died unexpectedly in 2012 i received an email from my SIL husband outlining how evil i was – on the day of the funeral. Our marriage had lasted 35 years and i am so pleased that they live 700km away.

  6. I have a sister who believes everything her 4 daughters say, or make up, AS i supposedly spoil my kids, Her husband says he has told her not to believe the kids as they are not always right, but it is 5 against one , he gave up. We don’t speak now, was told a year later my daughter left the Club after Xmas dinner too early & didn’t say goodbye, WE had been there for 3 hours & most were going, &her kids were in a line most of the time queuing for drinks, Daughter & gr/son were bored, as they don’t drink, I stayed as I knew I would be in trouble. They had 50th Anniversary party & when only my son & I were invited , was told why. I have always preferred to keep the peace ,whatever for the family, but as I m on my own now I stand up more, I don’t need a keeper.

  7. I can relate to that in more ways than you would know, to an a degree my daughter-inlaw did something similar to yours. She wanted me to buy her a computer. I am not in a position to afford that, she was not even married to my son at the time, when I sad no She got very nasty and told me I was a bad mother. It really upset me, my son is an only child and when she hung up I rang my son and I was not nice. I have tried my best with her and failed..I accept that now. She is his choice in life but does not mean that I or you have to take abuse

  8. Never upset the DIL. The children are used as her weapons. I too dont know what I have or haven’t done…missing two smiley little faces

    5 REPLY
    • <3 Jenny Anne Collier. I haven't seen my daughter nor her son for over 10 years now! SIL can be just as nasty!

    • Anne-Marie Bland. The hurt doesn’t ever stop. My son is not even married to her. She bullies you down Now he has no contact with us including his brother and sister. We were all so close. Worst is we don’t know what to do

    • I feel your pain. We have a dysfunctional and fractured family. The hurt is constant. Doesn’t seem to upset those causing the pain. Just have a good cry, then get through the day and keep busy. Tell yourself you don’t care if you have to. I do this all the time to get me through the hurt. One day what goes around may come around to them.

  9. I have a daughter in law who has successfully manipulated a situation, which l had nothing to do with, stopped my son from having any contact with me or our family for over 5 years – he now has two children which l don’t see, and l assume the grandchildren have no knowledge of me, l still love and miss my son

  10. you have my total sympathy – hopefully things will improve with your access to your grandies. It sounds as if your son hasn’t had the wool pulled over his eyes

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