Charlotte likes pretty things, and she loves the beach, sushi, coffee and seashells.
It's okay to hate your mother in law. It's okay to hate your father in law. It's okay to hate them at the same time, even if you're 'spiritual', or a Christian, like me.
Controversial. Hypocritical. Wrong on every epic Christian proportion. Maybe the word 'hate' is a bit strong. Actually, no it's not, and I'll explain why. I'll tell you why I loathe my in-laws, and then I'll tell you how I rose above that, and them, in a way that removed that dark shroud from my life.
This article will be divided into two sections. The first section will focus mostly on my personal nightmare. Maybe you will be able to relate, and maybe not. When I was searching for mother in law horror stories online (to relate), I was able to find some stories that were comforting. I realized that I was not alone.
If you’d like to skip to section two, which starts to outline what needs to be done to mother in law proof your life and home, feel free to do so! My personal nightmare with my mother in law is not everyone’s cup of tea, but the tips that I provide are useful for removing a toxic person from one’s life.
Section One: Welcome to My Nightmare
My mother in law was strange from the moment I met her. I stood in front of her to say 'hello' at the first time we met, at her favorite restaurant, for her birthday. She looked past me as it I wasn't there. Fair enough, maybe she thought I was a random stranger. She barely acknowledges me after my husband introduced me, and grilled me about my education and career choice over dinner. Fair enough. After the dinner, she grabbed my husband's arm and pulled him close in a weird way to whisper something in his ear.
Strange. Later, I realize that she asked to see him alone at Dairy Queen later on, but I insisted that I go. What she has to say to him, she can say in front of me. Maybe I was wrong, but I don't care. She wanted to rant (out of her husband's view) about how awful her Hawaii trip went, and how no one wanted her to be in the pictures that were taken.
After that, everything went downhill. I didn't mention this, but she is my husband's step mother, and he has a step brother through this woman. The step brother destroyed things at her home, and since my husband is a great handy-man, he has to fix it. She would call him, regardless of what he was doing, to fix her air conditioner, install a security camera, fix the door that the step brother busted into, fix this, and fix that. House sit for her, feed the cats. It was getting out of control, and I was seeing how she was completely using him for his handyman skills. The strangest part of everything was shocking. She went on another business trip, and she left, in her wake, all her 'adult items' strewn all over her living rooms. It was as if she purposely unloaded a bag full of stuff inspired by Fifty Shades of Gross. In my mind, I thought, "Why would she do this, when she knows my husband was coming over to feed the cats in her absence?" Strange. Again.
At some point, at her arrival. I went to an awkward dinner party she was hosting. She literally pulled me (by the arm, almost dragging me!) into the laundry room to speak complete ill of my father in law. She accused him of being an alcoholic, a druggie. She told me that I needed to force him to leave our home, as he was staying at my husband’s home for several years. Then, my mother in law and her step-daughter got into a verbal argument over dinner concerning the logistics of sour cream's involvement in some kind of Polish dish. She recently had a back tattoo done, and bragged about how much more ink she had, more so than my husband's ink, and mine, combined. We helped her move out of her home, and she purposely had my husband and her help her empty out some drawers where she had many strange, questionable and private lingerie pieces that we really never should have been exposed to.
At some point, her constant demands on my husband and constant insults concerning my father in law were getting out of control. My husband and I had a huge talk regarding her, and her presence in our lives. I Found out that she was supposedly bipolar, and not taking her medications. I found out she was getting fired from her job due to drama that she was causing at work. I found out that she abused my husband in many ways as a child, while treating her own biological son as a treasure. She manipulated her husband at the time (my father in law) to adopt the evil, criminal, abusive step son, but never adopted my husband. I told my husband that he can't cater to her needs, and my needs at the same time. She was being completely intrusive, and she was jealous of my presence, and completely guilt tripped my husband every time he had to tell her 'no'. So he called her, and told her that he has his own life now, and that he won’t' be as readily available as before to cater to her every whim.
She did not like this, and this is where the real nightmare begin. She, and my father in law, decided to pay for a background report and bring up my past marriage life. They looked up my ex's on Facebook. They threatened to report my children for being 'too thin' according to them. They double teamed me on Facebook to insult and threaten my children and myself. The mother in law even resorted to getting new phone numbers to text my husband, pretending to be a scorned ex-girlfriend who missed him. It was completely creepy and unhealthy. She was trying to meddle with our lives, and our minds. It was a dark time in our relationship, as we were still living with the father in law at the time, and he was feeding her information about myself, my kids, and our whereabouts. As you can see, this was taking a toll on our relationships, but that's exactly what she wanted. She wanted my husband and I to break up in order to have him for herself again, which sounds as creepy and disturbing as it was. My husband was a tool, a bargaining chip, free labor, and a guilt trip to use when she wanted something. It's been two years since that drama, and I can tell you that things are better now. Things are better.
Section Two: Mother in Law Proof Your Life and Home
Step One: Remove the Mother in Law from Your Life
If someone has a tumorous growth, what shall they do with it in order to stop its progress? It shall be removed, and that's what we did to the tumorous growth in our lives called 'mother in law'. After the call where my husband FINALLY stood up to her, we removed her. She harassed us, threatened us, messaged us through different numbers but she was removed, and no longer part of our activities, lives, planning. Removing someone from your life is simple, and not simple at the same time. The person must be removed from your life by a lack of communication, and even by distance. The person has to be removed from social media accounts, blocked from the phone, and even have those who are close and loyal to her blocked and removed as well.
Step Two: Make Facebook and Social Media Completely Private
Do not post where you will be going, or what you will be attending. Do not post information if people related to the mother in law are anywhere on your Facebook. Facebook needs a lot of work to make it private. It's better to remove the 'cover page', as outsiders can see who 'liked' it, and the cover page can't be completely blocked. Make the main image of the Facebook page set to 'friends only', as well as any other pictures that were used in the past as a main picture. Utilize all private settings on Facebook to make sure that nothing can be seen to someone not on the friends list. This is important, as a mother in law can try to use anything against you. In my case, my father in law and mother in law were working together to try to find out what school my children go to. This is scary, Frightening and bone-chilling. To check your Facebook settings, ask to see your Facebook through a friends Facebook, so you can see what needs to go private. The only thing you should be able to see if a blank cover page, and a main picture, and that's it. Anything else can be used as ammunition by the evil mother in law. Do not go on rants or threats on Facebook concerning the mother in law. These can be used later in court against you, especially if someone on the friends list 'tattles' and feeds her information from your own news feed.
This series of events led me to block my father in law, as he was her main source of information, and partner in crimes against the daughter in law.
Step Three: Get On the Same Page
Have a heart to heart with the significant other about the mother in law. Initially, my husband tried to side with the mother in law, which made me feel so angry and hurt. I thought, "Can't he see how she's hurting me? Can't he see how this behavior is bizarre?" Talking to my husband about his past, about her past, about his relationship with her and how unhealthy she was towards him helped open his eyes to her truths. I pointed out how she hurt his dad, and how she hurt his relationship with his biological mom. It was discovered that she threw away letters my husband would write to his biological mother, and even threw away letters that he was supposed to receive from her. She called the biological mother and lied that my husband never wanted to see her again. To me, this is abusive, damaging, and hurtful and finally my husband was able to see why this woman was a cancer in our lives. IF the spouse does not see any issues with the mother in law, this WILL cause problems down the line. At the time of all this drama, my husband and I weren’t' married yet. To be clear, we did not invite her to the wedding, even considered security for the wedding in case she tried to show up, sabotage me or attack me. Decide if action will be taken together, or separately. In our situation, my husband first reached out to the mother in law to tell him he was done being her puppet. She snowballed violently after that phone call, but it was one step towards the disintegration of the relationship we had with her. Acting against each other’s wishes, as a couple, will lead to marriage and relationship problems later on down the line. Again, if the spouse does not believe there is a problem, counseling may be required, or the relationship will truly suffer.
Step Four: Bring Up a Restraining/Protective Order
This is used to protect one from someone else who is stalking you or causing you to be harassed. It also helps to protect from violence. It can also be known as a Stay Away Order, or even a No Contact Order. A judge can use this in a criminal court to let the person know that they are not to come near your, harass you or stalk you and that if they do, criminal charges can be brought up against them. Text messages are considered harassment, as harassment is defined as contact that is not wanted and that is repeated.
Step Five: Document Any Harassment and Stalking
Harassment has to absolutely be documented, especially if you would like to obtain a Criminal Protective Order. It's best to not respond back to the harassment, except to warn them that you wish to not be further harassed, and that you may be getting a No Contact order soon. Document and print all forms of harassment, and write dates and times on them, and keep the organized in a folder or binder. Take pictures of anything that seems strange, and keep the organized. It's almost as if you're keeping a scrapbook to protect yourself against your mother in law. It's not fair, but right now, it's life and reality so document everything that is said, and don't throw verbal or physical punches in their directions. I know you want to, but it's best not to. I noticed that with my mother in law, she was fueled from attention to her tantrums. The anger of other people or their visible hurt pleased her. Do not let the offender know that your life is being darkened by her presence, even though it may well be feeling that way.
Step six: "Any Further Contact from You is Unwanted"
Text or message the offending in law this: Any contact form you is unwanted and will be considered harassment. Further harassment from you will be documented, and will result in a No Contact Order issued by a judge. This clearly lets the in law know that you do not want to be harassed or contacted by them. In case this situation ever gets to court, you can say that you did let the offender know that you wanted to be left alone. Save the text message you have sent. Take screen shots just in case.
Step seven: Report to the Police
Police departments usually want at least three documented instances regarding unwanted contact to take the situation seriously, or to charge someone with stalking. Keep in mind that police personnel may not be able to do anything until the stalking has elevated to a higher, scarier level, so be prepared. Consider arming yourself with a pepper spray vial or pepper spray gun. Ask the police what they recommend that you do to keep track of the stalking incidents, and when to call for help or how to develop some kind of safety plan.
Step Eight: Install Cameras
My husband and I installed cameras around our home, and we even got a mechanism known as the RING which shows you who is at the front door. We were afraid that she would try to harm us in some way, especially since my father in law threatened to hurt me. The threat included this: "Anyone who comes between me and my son shall perish." Again, scary, frightening, and disturbing.
Step Nine: Change the Locks
This is something that is quite often forgotten. Who knows who has a key to the home? For all I know, my father in law, while living here, got copies of the home key at Home Depot. I didn't want to risk it, so we were able to find a new kind of lock that we are comfortable with to avoid issues with my in-laws conspiring against us, and trying to enter our home.
Step Ten: Install a Home Security System
If they did try to enter our home, they will be shocked by a loud sound, and possibly police officers, as we decided to get a home security system. We make sure to set it every night, and every time we leave the home, and keep it set in the mornings as well. A home security system is a great idea all around, but it's really excellent for keeping evil mother in laws at bay. Ask if you can have a security check done within the home. This is a service that ensure that there are no recording devices hidden within the home.
Step Ten: Arm Yourself
Not everyone is comfortable with a deadly weapon, and that's okay. In extreme situations, one may benefit by being armed, especially at the home. But if there is a threat by the mother in law at a public place, it's best to consider something like pepper spray. I considered getting a pepper spray gun, as it has a very long range of one hundred and fifty feet, and shoots out pepper spray rounds that are not lethal. They are proven safe, reliable and don't have a kick back and they can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/ychwv78c In a tense situation, a gun may not be a good idea. Anxiety, threats, uncertainty and weapons can make for a terrible stew. So it's best to educate oneself on ways to be armed (non-lethally) against a potentially violent mother in law.
Step Eleven: Do Not Instigate
Do not make a fake social media account to message or mess with the in law. Do not instigate and exacerbate the situation further with threats or any kind of harassment, as these can also be used against you. Do not 'poke' at the person, do not leave threatening voice mails. Do not instigate them at all.
Step Twelve: Meditate and/or Pray
Meditation sounds like something awkward to thrown in here, but it was helpful. There are many meditation apps that can help center oneself and even calm oneself down. A mother in law can create a lot of tension, sadness, worry, anxiety and anger. Medication helps to control breathing, and thoughts through promising a moment to yourself to channel hate and anxiety away for a while. If you’re spiritual or religious, prayer is important. Prayer may help to assuage feelings of guilty, hate or anger. I felt guilty hating my mother in law, and felt guilty for the darkness she brought into my mind, heart and life. Even two years later, I struggle to forgive her in my thoughts, especially when I hear about how she is trying to ruin the lives of others in situations that have nothing to do with me. Meditation and prayer is a great way to create mental distance from the mother in law.
Step Thirteen: Move
This seems drastic, but we have considered it. We wanted to move from this home, and we will soon. We would like to start over in a new life and home, away from the evil step mother. We never want her meddling in our lives again, or trying to stop by to 'visit' or offer a false apology or spoilt olive branch. At this point, I never want to see her in my life again, and I'm perfectly fine with being as far away from her as possible. Right now, we live in the same city, but it feels as though she's just a stone's throw away from ruining the life I have with my husband by wreaking havoc in our lives. At the new location, obtain a PO BOX to attempt to protect one’s home address from being known right away.
Step Fourteen: Seek Counseling
A situation like this can harm a family. To be honest, my husband and I almost broke up over the drama with his mother in law. Initially, he felt torn because he was so used to being a mat for her to step on. He was used to mistaking her constant need for his handyman skills as some form of 'motherly love', but he was confused. He came to realize she was using him. I truly wish we sought counseling at that time, and we did truly consider it. Because we didn't get counseling, our healing, as a couple, took a long time. The trauma that the mother in law caused was a wound that has not completely healed, even two years later. I feel that I should have sought individual counseling, for myself, after the ordeal, as I still feel quite traumatized after it.
Step Fifteen: Consider Forgiveness
Something I really hated about my mother in law is how she made me feel, internally. I felt that she robbed me of my sunshine and feelings of tenderness and love. She blindsided me with hatred, racism, and through backstabbing. She robbed my children of a potential grandmother, severed the growing relationship we were having with her husband’s family, and overall destroyed the inner peace I felt. It’s hard to forgive someone who texted your husband, pretending to be a scorned ex-girlfriend for the purpose of creating havoc within our marriage. It’s hard to forgive someone that paid for a private detective and for background checks just to stalk my ex’s on Facebook, and have ‘trash’ on me to share with my husband. Luckily for us, I was honest with about my past relationships, financial situations, and life. When I think about forgiveness, it’s a complicated through process. What is forgiveness? Forgiveness is to pardon the person that has offended you. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you have to be buddy-buddy with that person and invite them back into your life. Forgiveness means letting the burden and darkness go from your heart, and letting that hate fly into the sky. It is a conscious decisions to let go of feelings of revenge and resentment toward someone that has caused great pain. Forgiveness does not mean to condone, promote, excuse or forget the actions that the person did against you. Forgiveness is good because it allows you to be released of the darkness, which is a mental prison. The mother in law should not have any more power over your mind, and forgiveness allows you to no longer to be a slave to the mother in law’s wake of mental destruction.
The past year without my mother in law has been a huge burden off my shoulders. I truly believed that I had to spend the rest of my life with my husband pretending to like someone that I truly never will. Pretending to like my mother in law would have been a huge mistake, as resentment, hatred, anger and other ugly feelings would rise to the surface and engulf my heart and spirit in ways that should never be possible. Maybe your mother in law is making you feel the same way. Maybe you are tired of pretending, and plastering on a fake smile, and attending events while secretly dreading the whole promenade. It’s time to stop pretending, and time to take action. The first step begins with being honest with your significant other, and getting on the same page. This may require counseling. As I mentioned, I still feel that I require counseling after the trauma she put my family through in the past two years. I do still live in fear that she will rise up in our lives again. But it’s better now because I have protect my home, life, children and family from this woman. I hate set the boundaries and made the consequences clear. This woman’s presence in my life has darkened my spirituality in many ways, and I still do not know how to forgive her. Sometimes I feel I never will, but forgiveness is a discovery that I am still exploring. When forgiveness happens, it will be for myself, but it will not be to allow this woman to ever enter our lives again. Our times are completely severed, for life.
Ultimately, I can understand, in some dark way, why my mother in law hated me. She hated that her step son loved another woman. She hated that I was not Caucasian, as my husband’s parents wanted him to marry a Caucasian woman. She hated that I already came with 'baggage' (kids). She hated that I was stealing her free labor away, and in essence, stealing him away from the 'family unit'. Sometimes I wonder what kind of mother in law I would be to my son's girlfriend or wife. In the end, cruelty can come in many forms, either mental or physical. This woman put us through mental torture, and I hate to admit, but I suffered many breakdowns and drowned myself in tears. I wondered whether I should stay with my husband, or whether I should go. I wondered if my children were safe. In the eyes of my in-laws, I am, and never will be, good enough for my husband. I still feel that my mother in law is a danger to myself, and my children. It's to the point where I have considered getting a concealed carry permit, and purchasing a gun that I can live with, after taking the proper classes, training, and experience, of course. I am sad to finish this with saying that this is my life with my in-laws, and this is my reality. Maybe your reality is similar to this as well. I hope some of these tips shared on this article help cope with an evil mother in law in some way.
For those who feel that they are being stalked, harassed and threatened by their mother in laws, I found a stalking impact box for victims at Action against Stalking. It can be found here: http://www.actionagainststalking.org/stalking-victims-impact-box.html It increases awareness on what stalking is, and how to protect oneself and offers support services to victims.
© 2018 Charlotte Doyle
peachy from Home Sweet Home on June 21, 2020:
Oh dear, I am so sorry to hear your mother in law is treating you super badly. SOmething is mentally wrong in her head?
Lana Adler from California on February 27, 2018:
What a gut wrenching story...I can relate to the mental torment you're describing. But I'm glad you found the courage and the resolve to remove a toxic MIL from your life. And it's amazing that your husband was on the same page. Most women in a similar situation aren't this lucky. Thanks for sharing your experience, and encouraging other women to take control of their toxic predicaments.