STELLAR Readers Share Their Wildest ‘Monster-In-Law’ Stories

Do you have a mother-in-law who absolutely rattles your nerves? You're not alone.

It’s confession booth time, and for our spring issue of STELLAR, some of our gorgeous readers got in touch to share their wildest mother-in-law stories, plus shed a little advice too.

 

*names have been changed*

Nessa, 39

‘On our literal wedding day, my mother-in-law couldn’t even try to hide her disdain. On my side of the room, I could see friends and family with happy tears streaming and huge smiles on their faces. While on my husband’s side, the same… from extended family and friends. Everyone was happy, except the front row. His mother, father, and sisters all sat stone faced. Standing at the alter, feeling the love radiate from my husband and my family… I just couldn’t believe the stark contrast. The wedding reception was great, outside of his family. My mother-in-law avoided me like the plague unless there were photos to be taken. Then, it was all smiles and hugs. It was so disingenuous. After the wedding, my mother-in-law then ‘donated’ our wedding cake to friends and family – about 12 hours after we were married. My husband and I never got to have any of our own cake. She just took it upon herself to dish out a cake we spent €800 of our own money on. Hilarious!’

 

Rebecca, 29

‘I’m 29-years-old and married three years this August. Before getting married, my relationship with my MIL was a bit distant, never toxic or anything that caused me a night’s sleep, but we just simply never bonded and that was OK… I thought. However, once Gary and I got married, everything changed. From the minute we landed home from our honeymoon, it was all about when I’d be providing her with grandchildren and when I was going to quit my “silly” job and do something “proper”. I’m a content creator earning quite a good salary, and in a field I actually love. However, every time we’re over for dinner now, my MIL brings up my husband’s exes and how – in her eyes – they’re all thriving in roles she believes are far more suitable for a married woman. “Did you hear Doireann is after moving dentistry practice?” She’d snarkily say. “In high demand she is,” she’d add, and so these comments would continue. I often just bite my tongue because I don’t have the energy to fall out with her, but when the baby comments start rolling in, and she’s picking apart my career and how I’ll never afford my children’s college with my “unsteady wage”, I have visions of myself screaming at her!’

 

 

Jill, 33

‘My husband and I dated long distance for a few years before I moved to Ireland. Once I started living here and we got engaged, tense issues with my mother-in-law didn’t get any better. She continued to be intent on making me feel very ‘other’. I didn’t feel like I could ever relax my guard around her. When we asked her and my husband’s father to be the witnesses for our legal marriage, my mother-in-law begrudgingly agreed. She then proceeded to ask me if I’d filled my forms out correctly. I (at the time 28-years-old) felt very confident I had. She remarked, ‘well you know, if you’ve been married and divorced before you HAVE to disclose that.’ I hadn’t been married or engaged ever previous to my husband – and she knew that. But she made it seem like I was conniving and trying to trick her son into a marriage based on lies.’

 

Marianne, 40

‘Last year I married my dream man. After a whirlwind 10 months of dating, we just knew this is what we’ve always been looking for, and within the following three months we were engaged and married. We had a super small wedding alongside our nearest and dearest in County Clare, and luckily moved into a house owned by Cian’s family just a stone’s throw from his parents shortly after. To be honest, when I look back on the whole year, it seems like quite a blur, with Covid-19 rife, my relationship with Cian was always protected from the outside world from, and by the time we were married and in our new home, I was looking forward to finally building my relationships with those who mean a lot to him like his friends and family. As restrictions began to ease, his mother started calling over a lot and it was from then I started to realise that she was not ready to see another woman take her place. She would make my husband dinner (at our house!), take his laundry home and bring it back washed, heck – one evening I even came back from work to see her sitting on the couch feet up with her dog on the seat next to her (she knows I’m allergic!) When I confronted my husband about it, he agreed with me that it was right we make living near his mom a temporary thing, you can tell he hasn’t got the heart to tell her yet, but she’s breaking mine!’

 

 

Shauna, 33

‘I’m engaged and my FT (future husband) has been married before which is making my soon-to-be MIL super nervy. Anytime we’re over at her house, and openly chatting about our wedding plans, she interjects and tries to change my mind on certain ideas because he “did that before and it didn’t work out”. From the wedding size, to cake fillings, florist to our honeymoon – she suggests he doesn’t pick a beach destination – again! She is totally ruining my excitement and making me feel like I’m “wife number two” rather than the woman of his dreams, which I deserve to be! I think going forward I need to give her as little information as possible, I just hope it doesn’t all blow up in my face as the wedding approaches and she – inevitably – gets more involved.

 

Sharing advice!

Does it feel all too relatable? One of our readers shares some advice on how she’s handling her current MIL situation! 

‘I think I’ve drawn very strong boundaries and that has helped me try to heal. I started following a mixture of “grey rock” and “VLC (very low contact)”. “Grey rock” meaning you just stay completely neutral or “grey” when she says things that can be bothersome or inflammatory. Saying no or giving a flat reaction gives her nothing to go off of, so she usually picks at one thing (usually my nails or outfit when I do see her) and then drops it if I don’t respond with anything other than, “OK, thanks for telling me”. Then, “VLC” has helped a lot with how she used to bother me with texts or calls. She would text me and ask about things she could easily ask her son, so now I reply with “this isn’t something I actually know a ton about. You can text *husband’s name* and I’m sure he’ll have a definitive answer for you”. She’s stopped with about 85% of the contact because I’m just not giving it the energy it doesn’t deserve anymore. 

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