First off, I want the world to know that I sincerely appreciate my mother in law for giving birth to my husband. If not for her, I’d probably still be single today (or married to another woman’s son coz YOLO). Kidding aside, I can’t stand my MIL. The least I can do is sit down and have a chat with her whenever she comes over to visit, however, that’s the one thing I find myself avoiding as much as I can. Looking back to the early stages of our relationship, everything was easy. She seemed to instantly approve of me and was eager to know all there is about my entire existence. She even showered me with gifts. Too good to be true. Fast forward to today, I’m writing about this. Turns out I got myself an extra special mother in law from hell.
The (Sort Of) Good Front My Mother In Law Shows The World
She always makes it a point to bring gifts whenever she meets or visits anyone. She likes meeting new people and building connections. Needless to say, she loves conversations, remarkably long conversations. Invite her to any event and you bet she’ll show up. She appears genuine with her religious beliefs and even donated a car to a church at one point (according to my husband). My mother in law does not cut people off from her life even after huge fights, as far as I know. When she comes over to visit, she tries to help a bit with the chores. I can tell she wants the perfect life for her son. She never fails to give us advice about life in general. You might be thinking, what’s the problem with this woman then?
Mother In Law Realness
The sweet and thoughtful woman I met up until the day of my wedding was a fake. I feel like her purpose in life is to bring out the worst in people. As time went on and the more I get to know her, it became clear as day that I don’t like her as a person. She is a pretentious and narcissistic monster. Think of the cliche horror scenes where you see a demon disguised as a little girl crying in the corner waiting for an unsuspecting victim. That’s the perfect way to describe my MIL’s personality. She uses fake kindness to get close to people, and then eat them alive. Unfortunately, I can’t cut her off from my life. Not possible to avoid her presence for as long as I am married to her son.
I’ve listed down some of the awful things she has said and done to me (and most likely to her other adult children-in-law as well). Seriously, moms please don’t be like my MIL:
1. She ruined my wedding (and honeymoon).
Wedding preparations are beyond stressful and my mother in law did not help at all. Not one bit. All she cared about was her custom-made gown and inviting dozens of her relatives that even my husband does not recognize. She replaced our ring-bearer without telling me. On our honeymoon, she traveled to the same city we were in and persistently called her son to ask which hotel we were staying in. She wanted to turn our honeymoon into a family vacation. WTF. My husband and I can’t even process how in the hell his mother thought it’s okay to act like this. They argued over the phone and he told her off.
But wait, there’s more. We got back from our honeymoon, my mother in law was waiting in our home. Do you know what her mission is? To watch me clean the house. She wasn’t there to lend a helping hand.
2. She’s never satisfied.
I found this article and item #4 (complete subservience) perfectly describes my mother in law. She showers me with compliments for things that we have in common or if I obey her demands. Any deviation from her ways and everyone in her circle is going to hear about stupid daughter in law. When I was younger, I put in extra effort to try and please her, however, she never runs out of insensitive things to say. Bad news for her, I’ve reached my limit. The moment she sought out my parents to complain concerning my flaws as a woman, my heart turned cold for this hag. What am I to her, a defective toy? Goddamn.
3. Pushing us to have kids.
My MIL is an extremely religious woman with five children. You know where this is going. Our decision not to make babies is unacceptable for her. She said the whole point of marriage is to have kids to take care of us when we’re old and to inherit our worldly possessions when we die. In one of our many conversations about this topic, I told her the Philippines is already overpopulated. Her response: “You don’t need to think about that. It’s not your problem. When my mother in law asked me for another baby boy [she’s referring to her fourth child], I honored her wish.”. What really grinds my gears is the fact that she’s not even good with kids. Her children grew up with maids. Ordering people around is what she’s good at.
4. Unannounced visits (and entering our bedroom).
On some of her surprise visits, she would bring some distant relative or just one of her acquaintances that my husband and I have never met. She usually does this when I’m home alone. And she expects me to prepare refreshments for her and some stranger. There’s this article that says folding the laundry without permission is a MIL behavior that deserves a punch in the face. Well, once upon a time my mother in law asked one of her random “friends” to fold our laundry without my knowledge. How about a flying kick to the face?
I gotta add one of the most disrespectful things a toxic MIL does: letting herself into a married couple’s bedroom. She would knock a few times and opens the bedroom door herself. This is maddening even more so when she does this early in the morning. Is she checking to make sure we’re making babies?
5. Commentary on my cooking.
When she stays with us for a few days or so, my queen mother in law asks me to prepare specific dishes for her. I’m not an expert cook, but I’ve tasted my MIL’s cooking and it was horrible. Even her son agrees I’m better than her in this department. Still, she acts like a Top Chef judge analyzing how well the vegetables are cooked, or if my seasonings are on point, and providing her expert opinion on what I can improve on. I would be more open to her critique if she’s a better cook, but she’s not. It’s irritating as hell and amusing at the same time when she does this.
How I Deal With My Mother In Law
Considering the 41-year age gap between us, it’s safe to assume that we see the world differently. I get that she embraced what she believed to be the “perfect life”. She probably went through a whole lot worse with her mother in law. I truly believe she wants what (she thinks) is best for us, unfortunately, we can’t fulfill all her demands. I had to slowly create some distance between us by letting her down. In other words, I stopped trying so hard to be her ideal daughter in law. Her son does not stress me out the way she does. So if her goal for low-key meddling with our life is to investigate if her son is happy, then she’s more than welcome to see for herself. And while taking care of her son is my responsibility, pleasing her isn’t.
To avoid listening to her non-stop gossiping, unsolicited advice, and condescending remarks, I keep my distance from her. Turning the TV on with a slightly louder volume than her voice while I take care of the chores usually does the trick of shutting her evil mouth. If it doesn’t work and she follows me around to comment on my housework, I would quickly finish whatever it is I’m doing and go to the bathroom. She can’t follow me there. She also does not disturb me when I’m working on my computer. Actually, she already tried many times to have a conversation with me while I’m busy doing some freelance work so she probably learned her lesson. I can’t talk while I’m working.
In most cases, I’d simply cook or order food (she prefers that I cook though) so there’s something to eat all day and then I’d leave her alone watching TV. Then I’d sit in front of my PC and work peacefully for hours. No conversation between us until my husband comes home from work. He’s aware that I’m uncomfortable around his mother and he doesn’t have a problem with how I deal with her. My husband and I have talked about my MIL’s behavior several times and like 99.9% of spouses with toxic moms, his recommendation is to “ignore her”. Okay then, so that’s exactly what I’m doing. I also discovered that copying how her son behaves around her works wonders. For example, if she bugs me about having kids, I reply the same way her son does. End of discussion. LOL.
I kind of feel bad that I have to come up with ways to ignore my MIL, but it certainly is the only means to handle her minus the drama. I’ve just learned about the grey rock technique or gray rock method as of this writing and I may have been doing it instinctively all these years. My MIL’s visits are slowly becoming less frequent. She still takes advantage of every chance she gets to annoy me, but it’s not as bad as it used to. It’s a bonus that even my husband can’t stand his own mother, making our marriage quite resistant to my MIL’s poison. Still, I’m afraid I can’t be friends with my MIL. The best I can do is not pick a fight with her, and that’s it. She hasn’t asked me to leave her son so I guess we’re still good.