This was supposed to be an angry, self-righteous post which would help me experience catharsis through typing words on my screen. I was going to come out on the other side feeling much better, stronger and relieved. Luckily, this kind of post isn’t necessary. I don’t know why, but I know that something has changed.

My MIL and I have a history that goes beyond the usual MIL-DIL dislike. She was there when my first daughter was born. She was there even though I  had specifically said that her presence was unnecessary. She was there. She even held my leg during pushing. The idiot of a midwife kept referring to her as “my mother” to which I always replied: “this is NOT my mom!!!!” I wish I had enough strength to get out of the delivery room.

The brutal, 40 hours long birth left me traumatized, and at a complete loss. I was unable to walk for two weeks, but my parents-in-law expected me to clean their house while they were caring for my daughter. They expected me to receive guests and tell everybody how wonderful it was to have my MIL by my side. They expected me to be grateful and happy, but I was frustrated, exhausted, and slowly spiralling into depression. Again, I don’t know why I didn’t say anything, maybe I was too busy keeping myself alive.

When we finally moved out of her house and set up home with my husband, I got a little bit better. But recovery was long and painful, and even while writing this, I have flashbacks. They’re not as bad as they used to be, but they’re still there. They will always be there. But I am learning to deal with them.

And my MIL is also learning. She stopped calling me after I specifically told her not to. She stopped (or almost stopped) giving me parenting advice when I told her I am overwhelmed with parenting advice and don’t need hers. In fact, I can say that she is a great mother to her children, and a great grandmother to mine.

But I think what finally made me realize that I am no longer angry with her is the Skype call we had yesterday. Looking at her, I didn’t see The Woman Who Did All These Horrible Things To Me. I saw a woman who, even as a grandmother, is missing her mom who died a while ago.

Her vulnerability, sadness and confusion shocked me. I have forgiven her long ago. But this time, I decided to give her a break.

Make no mistake, we are not best friends. I will never be the daughter she never had. I will never trust her fully. I will never let her forget that I am the mom, not her. But maybe we can work it out somehow. We will not be intimate. We will not be thrilled to be in each other’s company. But we will be kind and polite and give each other presents, and celebrate family events. We will just smile and have as good a time as possible, without hating each other.


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  1. Do you feel guilty for not really liking them and not enjoying spending time with them?

  2. I tried for 7 years to get along with my in-laws. Sometimes it just isn’t meant to be when you never live up to their standards. Constantly being put down or being compared to how they did things. Nope. They can keep their emotional abuse and I’ll be on my way. Husband can bring kids to them and I’ll have no problems staying behind.

  3. Hmm….sounds exactly like my MIL. She stayed with us a month before delivery because she didnt want me to go into labor alone while hubby was at work…at least that was her excuse. She was no help then, and no help now. Her visits have increased since the baby was born. Sleeps in until 10 and hardly helps with anything. She relaxes on the couch all day like she’s at the Ritz waiting for me to cook. Drives me up the wall!!! I’m not sure how long it will take for me to get over the anger. I’m so dang angry I wanted to drop several f-bombs while writing this.

  4. I hated my MIL. It has been 21 years and I am waiting for the day that I don’t have to see her again. All her 3 sons marriage failed. None of them are happily married. The last one even divorced twice and now is in the 3rd marriage with 2 kids but the wife is not living together with the family. My marriage is also in the edge of breakup. She is really a curse to the family, she will constantly get herself drunk, start to image herself as the victim of some events then start all the accusing and scolding. Cutting up my FIL’s clothings, smashing dishes and even taking knife to cut the sofa up. If we are not her house to get scolded, then she start calling up to start her scolding and cursing. Why her liver is so strong despite all the alcohol that she constantly drinking????

  5. I read this expecting some real pure hatred, and it wasn’t what I got. My boyfriends mom isn’t my MIL yet, but she has done some pretty unforgivable things. I don’t trust people easily and I trusted her in the beginning, I guess because I wanted her to like me so badly and she did, at least I thought so. I told her some pretty deep things about me and opened up to her and she used all what i told her against me and tried to make my boyfriend see me as a horrible person, who has a lot of baggage. I tried constantly to be cordial with her and to just be n her good side, but it felt like walking on eggshells. She was very inconsistent with her feelings towards me, meaning that some days she was my friend and couldn’t wait for my boyfriend and I to get married and have kids, and other days she didn’t want him to be with me. Recently, I helped her and my boyfriend to move out of their old place and into a new home, and she kicked me out and aided in me getting fired from my job(we worked at the same place). She wouldn’t have been able to afford her new place or even be in it without me. I still feel pissed towards her and I don’t think I will ever like her, but how do I deal with her, because she is important to my boyfriend. I want to forgive because forgiveness is right, but she’s said some horrible things about me and I don’t feel like she even deserves a minute out of my day. I want to get over this and move forward, but I really don’t know how..

    • I wonder if you’ve married your boyfriend by now… My advice to you just based on reading your comment, is DONT MARRY HIM. Seriously. I am 12 years into my marriage with an emotionally abusive, manipulative mother in law and I have to deal with her even more than before because we have kids now. Also, this is the woman who raised your boyfriend. All those patterns you see in her behavior? The same patterns – or the fallout of them- are going to manifest yourself in your boyfriend the longer you’re married to him. Find someone who comes from a healthy family with healthy attitudes and practices.

      • Rachel I totally agree with your advice “ On how the mom views you will rob off on your future spouse. I’m 4 years into my marriage and my husband and I went our separate ways because of his greedy money hungry jealous mother hatred for me, not being able to use me. Every day she has mentally food fed her Son lies about me and her hatred for me..@Asha run while u can….

  6. Thanks that was exactly my idea of dealing with my mom in law because she has said somethings that will never allow me to forget or put my guard dowm

  7. Still working on forgiving the woman but prefer to keep my distance because of the hateful things that came out of her mouth. I don’t have the heart to be her friend but time will teach me to be amicable as this article displays.

  8. My MIL is equally devil… They r all after money…. They come to see baby n purchase all there things even soap….we have to take care of all there expenses…. Plus they want to be bossy….. Y can’t they be normal n understanding

  9. I truly, truly, hate John’s mother. I hate her and I wish she never comes around me and my husband. She is evil and she is nasty old lady. She only brings negativity to my family. I wish she never comes around me ever again. She needs to stay the duck out of my life once and for all!

  10. I wonder now in March 2018, a year after you wrote this post, if you still feel the same way – not feeling any hate? I have gone through similar phases (none lasting more than a few days) where i forgive her, hope that maybe there is a way out for us, but there is always something else that happens, which brings all the hatred back and more. I have even stayed away from her for a period of a year or longer, but there is always something that demonstrates that i was not wrong in feeling the way i always have for her.

    Forgetting and forgiving is not as easy as it sounds.

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