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My Monster-In-Law Hates Me But That’s Totally Normal — Says The Therapist

  • 6 min read

If you’ve ever felt your mother-in-law hates you, you’re not alone

I chose my life companion. I just wasn’t expecting to get a monstrous mother-in-law as a free gift …

She seemed happy, casual and cool

At the beginning of our relationship, my mother-in-law and I got along very well. My husband and I were newly in love and although I said we should take things slowly and concentrate on us first, I met his parents early on. They had four tickets for a concert and we went together. They seemed happy, casual and cool.

I had previously experienced supposedly cool parents who wanted to be friends with their children but who suddenly freaked out and made their opinions known. But newly in love, I had better things to do than worry about than that.

Wonderful years of togetherness passed, during which we often met his cool parents. Then, on holiday in Italy, he got down on his knee and proposed to me — and that event transformed my mother-in-law into a monster-in-law.

The metamorphosis was slow but steady and then our issues really took-off.

By default, she is always right. Period.

Here are some of the many issues we mentioned to our therapist:

  • We wanted a small wedding. My MIL insisted on inviting a whole host of unknown relatives.
  • My husband once forgot his parents’ anniversary and we, as their children, were admonished. We were informed that this mustn’t happen again and that we should honour that day until the end of our lives. (What did I have to do with their wedding anniversary? I wasn’t even their child!).
  • A few hours before I went to the hospital with my waters having broken (I was long past my due date with our son), my MIL complained that my husband wasn’t planning on coming round on Mother’s Day.
  • When I gave birth WITHOUT any painkillers, she knew nothing better than to tell me that there are women who are not in so much pain — despite her. She suffered the most when she gave birth to her child.
  • She was the only one who wanted us to visit THEM instead of visiting us in the days after my son’s birth. She felt offended for days.
  • Since then, she’s shared various pieces of unwanted, irritating advice about how to parent my child and manage my marriage, each of which felt like a slap in the face.

We had to be quarantined together as a family

When we had to be quarantined together as a family because we had tested positive for Covid, she made our days even more hellish. She did not help in any way, instead blamed us for several things. This prompted my husband, who was totally devastated by the situation, to do a telephone therapy session.

When my husband described our situation to the therapist: the once-cool mum who wanted to be a mate turned into a monster, the first thing the experienced therapist said was: that’s totally normal!

Our therapist’s analysis of my mother-in-law’s transformation into a monster

The therapist explained that the problem stems from the mother’s possessiveness of her son. As soon as he got married, she started feeling insecure about her role and position. She felt threatened by me. She became cunning and jealous of me as the woman in his life and couldn’t tolerate her son showing love and attention to me, as his wife. Because, to her, she is the most important woman in his life. Period.

She started competing with me for her son’s attention, trying to prove that he still thinks she’s Number One.

Meanwhile, I’m not worthy of her attention — even though I gifted her a grandson. She seldom asks me about important things in my life. Instead, she imposes her advice about parenting, disguising the interference as love to her grandson. Indeed, my monster-in-law tends to believe she is thoughtful, caring and loving. At least, that’s what she says.

The desire to give advice is itself a symptom of disapproval.

John William Mackail

She sheds crocodile tears and I’m labelled as the villain

The moment I say something serious to her or ask her for help or advice, she sheds crocodile tears, and involves the whole family and her nosy friends so that I can be labelled as a villain. Yes, playing the victim is her favourite and only sport, despite competing with me in diverse sectors such as cooking, beauty, fashion, either by making rude comments or saying nothing at all. And she wants to be the winner. All the time.

It’s only human, but it sucks

The therapist says that my MIL’s behaviour is only human.

In her view, I took her son and brainwashed him.

She exclaims to my husband: ‘I cannot recognize you anymore!’ whenever he is not the same opinion as her.

She’s losing control of her son, who is just evolving into a wonderful adult, father and husband. But she needs someone to blame for this totally new situation; that her son isn’t no longer dancing to her tune. Moreover, the therapist suggested that my husband had been an essential part of her married life.

When my husband moved out, they bought a dog. But this pet can never fill the hole in their marriage.

Final thoughts and question

At the end of the call, the therapist said that ideally, they should do group therapy themselves, preferably with me and my husband. But since they aren’t currently open to this, we will have to cope with her behaviour in order to not destroy our confidence or ruin our happy marriage and family life.

She is sucking our family’s happiness because she wants to put me or us down. But I’ll be honest: it’s not easy to make sure her behaviour doesn’t affect our mental health.

Maybe you are/have been in a similar situation. Do you have any advice for us? I would really appreciate reading from you!

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