If you’ve watched many sitcoms, you’re familiar with the stereotype of the evil mother-in-law. For the most part, that’s a sexist myth—talk to happily married people, and they’ll probably tell you that they love all of their in-laws.
Of course, there are in-law horror stories, and people love to tell them. Heck, people love to tell stories about women who could have, but thankfully didn’t, become their mothers-in-law. In a recent Reddit thread, the site’s users shared stories about the mothers of their romanic partners. They were every bit as messy as you might expect. We selected a few of the best, then edited them slightly for grammar and readability.
When your spouse’s mom goes baby-crazy, watch out.
“My mother-in-law is obsessed with having grandkids, and is in complete denial that my husband and I aren’t planning on having any,” wrote Bisexualdw. “Last time she visited, she stole one of my birth control pills, I guess thinking that I wouldn’t notice.”
That’s what we’d call a warning sign. Still, maybe she’s just desperate for grandchildren…right?
“My husband’s not even her only kid!” they continued. “He’s just the only boy, so his sister’s kids wouldn’t matter [to his mom]. She recently said she’d pay me $30,000 to have a kid. I said, ‘Raise it to $100,000 and get back to me.’”
Bridezillas are nothing compared to M.O.B.-zillas.
“She made our wedding a completely stressful, sad, and disappointing day,” wrote InfiniteMetal. “She completely ignored my family during the dress rehearsal and then made snide comments to them at the reception.”
“She told the wedding florist that we had decided not to go with the flowers my wife wanted and picked the ones she wanted instead. She told the wedding coordinator that we had scrapped several key elements to the ceremony, so they didn’t happen.”
This devilish mother-of-the-bride didn’t stop by messing with the ceremony, either.
“She stuck her tongue out, put bunny ears on my wife, and generally didn’t cooperate for any of the wedding photos. She said ‘no’ and kept talking to her table when I asked for everyone’s attention to give a toast,” InfiniteMetal continued.
“She apparently had been bad-mouthing me to my wife’s whole family for our entire relationship, and during the wedding weekend, she told them that I was controlling because I stood up to her when she tried to control my wife. (She just went behind our backs and did what she wanted, anyway, so not that it mattered.) She flat-out just didn’t do any of the things she volunteered to help with. She was rude to my guests who tried to introduce themselves to her.”
So how did the poor couple handle this meddling mom?
“This all culminated in us having a screaming match the morning after my wedding,” InfiniteMetal wrote. “The rest of the family is scared of her. They talk about her behind her back and then suck up to her face-to-face. They sided with her in the moment but then told us after that they agreed with us.”
In the end, relationships didn’t quite emerge unscathed, the Redditor wrote.
“My wife didn’t speak to her family for about a year after and barely has a relationship with them now, especially her mom,” InfiniteMetal wrote. “I don’t have a relationship with them at all. It sucks for them because we’re pretty awesome to hang out with and they’re missing out on a relationship with my amazing wife. Their loss.”
Here’s a mother-in-law who clearly needs to invest in a better filter.
“My in-laws are the complete opposite to myself and my family,” wrote aussie_sap. “They are brash and don’t hold back. When we moved into our home, we asked for their help. I just knew something was off that day, so I was trying to be as polite as possible.”
“When my mother-in-law entered our house, the first time anyone had been in there, she yelled out from the bathroom, ‘Oh mate, you forgot the toilet paper, knew you’d forget something!’ I walked in and let her know, ‘It’s all good, I have some in the car.’”
“Her reply: ‘Look, what’s your problem mate? You’ve had diarrhea all day.’ I just shook my head and walked out. Not worth the fight.”
Of course, things didn’t end there.
“My husband knew as soon as I came out something had happened, so he went back in and asked his Mum to calm down and not cause any problems today,” continued aussie_sap. “He later admitted that was THE worst thing to do and he should’ve kept his mouth shut.”
“But I walk back in past her as she mutters under her breath, ‘You sneaky b****.’ I whirl around to get out a ‘What did you just call me?’”
“She replies by screaming on the front porch, ‘Oh f*** you! I will not have you treat me like this in my son’s house. I knew you would take him from me. You f***ing b****!’”
“All the while, she’s making her way down my driveway screaming bloody murder. I yelled back, ‘Don’t bother coming back in until you apologise.’ She then sat in her car for two hours refusing to speak to her son or me while telling everyone else there that day that I had started it all. A wonderful start to our new home.”
Apparently, you don’t even have to be married to have these problems.
“During my junior year of high school, I was really depressed and isolating myself from everyone around me (bad, I know), including my ex,” wrote TartWithACart. “I ended up in therapy and was fine. But before that happened my mom got a call from my significant other’s mom saying that she and the dad were concerned.”
It’d be nice if they were concerned about their child’s depressed partner. That wasn’t it, unfortunately.
“The SAT was that coming weekend, and they worried that if I broke up with the significant other beforehand, it would affect his score,” continued TartWithACart. “So she asked that my mom prevent me from breaking up with him until after the exam for the sake of his score.”
“I didn’t find this out until three years later when my mom told me, after the guy broke up with me. Oh, and he left me because his dad suggested it and his family agreed it was a good idea.”
This is the kind of offer you definitely can refuse.
“I’m divorced now, but when I was married, my parents-in-law offered (as a gift) to pay for me to have a vasectomy,” wrote another unfortunate Redditor. “At the time, I wasn’t planning on getting one, and neither my then-wife nor I had breathed one word to them about our future plans to have kids or not have kids.”
The story gets even worse, if you can believe it.
“My ex-mother-in-law kept trying to set my (now ex-) wife up on dates with guys from her old neighborhood who she went to high school with,” the Redditor wrote.
Even pregnancy is no defense from the inconsiderate mother-in-law.
“I had lost a lot of weight from morning sickness, and I hadn’t eaten all day,” wrote a Reddit user whose account has since been deleted. “Plus I was in the midst of other medical problems. I had an important doctor’s appointment that day, and prospects weren’t looking good.”
“I went to take seconds for mashed potatoes since I couldn’t eat the main course (meat). My mother-in-law basically said I eat too much and that I’m disrespectful. So I walked out.”
The poor mom-to-be tried to remove herself from the situation so everyone could cool down, but the mother-in-law wasn’t having it.
“I walked a few blocks when she cornered me, asking for an apology,” the Reddit user continued. “I told her no, in swears. She proceeded to tell me how I needed to be drugged because I’m going to end up as an unsuitable mother. Later, she apologized for real, but I’m less trusting, and I never eat at her house anymore.”
Trust your mother-in-law; she has better taste. Or so she says.
“My ex-mother-in-law used to redecorate my house when we weren’t home,” wrote sammy_nobrains. “I’d come home to new curtains, new kitchen table, a new stove…sounds sweet, right?”
Apparently, not so much.
“She just pushed herself into every aspect of our home life,” sammy_nobrains wrote. “I’ve been divorced from her son for almost 10 years, and she still cleans my 15-year-old son’s room when we’re not home. He lets her in because she’s picking him up for the weekend. I finally told her off when she cleaned our other son’s room, who is completely unrelated to her. She’s incredibly intrusive.”
Here’s another wedding horror story. We’re beginning to sense a theme.
“My former mother-in-law (whom I do love, and love legitimately—far more than I like my former husband) was, when we all first met, incredibly narcissistic,” wrote esk_209.
“The night of our rehearsal dinner, she stood up and said that she wanted to say something. We all assumed she was making a toast. What she actually wanted to do was tell us all that on the Wednesday following our wedding she was getting married.”
“None of us knew she was even dating anyone. Then, at our wedding the next day, she wore her wedding dress—a white mini-skirt suit. Several of the wedding pictures are somewhat confusing if one didn’t know all of the parties involved.”
This story shows that at least things can get better…after a break-up.
“My significant other’s parents are [freaking] angels. They’re perfect, and I love them, and I cannot wait for them to be my in-laws,” wrote a Reddit user whose account has since been deleted. “My ex, though. My senior year, I dated a guy whose mom made him dump me. Then, a few years later, [my ex and I] were friends.
“His mother didn’t recognize me. I have no idea why since I hadn’t really changed. She was trying to hook me up with him, bragging to me about all the ‘investments’ she had made for him since he was a baby.”
“She said that, despite him not ever having a job, his net worth was so high she had to pay taxes every year on the investments. She was a tool, and so was her son.”
When you’re living with people who seem to hate you, every day’s a struggle.
“I’m currently living the situation,” says Suedemaster. “I moved to a new state to end my long-distance relationship and start real life with my boyfriend—soon to be fiancé. I’m staying in a room at [his] parents’ home until he graduates in August and starts his internship. He lives here too, and we’re saving up to be on our own and have some emergency fund money. I’d been on my own for three years prior to this.”
So, why’s that a big deal? Suedemaster says her mother-in-law-to-be isn’t exactly tolerable.
“She makes up lies about me and tries telling them to him. She is the most passive-aggressive person I’ve ever met; I’ve caught her gossiping about me multiple times. She tried to deny it, tries to make me feel bad for ‘changing her son,’ when in reality he’s never put up with her bulls***.”
“My boyfriend backs me up 100 percent, but it sucks to feel so uncomfortable to the point that you stay in your room or the game room whenever he’s not around and she’s in the house. She complains about her health, and she eats the [worst] diet and won’t listen to anyone’s advice or suggestions.”
“She seems pretty bitter about her own marriage, and it’s obvious based off of the way she treats her husband and her entire family. Zero respect for anyone, yet demands respect. Constantly tries to make my boyfriend feel bad for offering to pay for his schooling at university, yet makes comments about all the things she would buy if she wasn’t paying for his student loans, etc.”
“She tried saying that when she gets old, she’ll be living with us, and I laughed very hard at that. I’m awake right now because she snores like a f****** chainsaw. Save me.”
When someone gets you a gift, you really know where you stand with them.
That’s not always a good thing. Strap in, because this story is long—and awful.
“I am divorced now, but my ex-MIL was a strange bird,” says FlanneryOClowder. “For starters, the ex-in-laws liked shopping for gifts months or even years in advance. For the first several holidays with my ex, I received gifts that they had picked out for his ex-girlfriend.”
“It didn’t go so far as to have her name on the items, but they were very clearly intended for her with her favorite colors and motifs (stars and moons) all over everything. I guess they assumed the items were generic enough that I wouldn’t know, and maybe it was my ex’s fault for telling me so much about his ex-girlfriend, but I knew these were leftover gifts from his last relationship!”
“I dutifully and diligently wrote polite thank you notes and then either sold or donated the items, or gave them to my ex if he found them useful.”
“Fast forward to after the [wedding], and the gifts got stranger. My ex-husband had gotten a vasectomy, but apparently never mentioned it to his parents. Okay, it’s a private thing, so I can see why you wouldn’t bring it up.”
“However, one Christmas, my ex-MIL gave me a maternity top and a giant folding screen with room for 15 photos in it. Along with these came a huge box of stationery, replete with baby announcements and thank-you notes. Eep.”
“Finally, in terms of gifts, my ‘favorite’ was one year when the ex-in-laws went on and on for months straight about juicers. ‘Oh, they are so great, and you can put anything you want in them, and the juice is awesome.’”
“They talked about recipes, and the [manufacturers], and where to snag good deals on fruits/veggies, and everything was juicers, juicers, juicers for months on end. So, it’s Christmas time, and they slide this huge, big, heavy gift across the floor to us. We look at each other with this knowing glance of ‘here comes our juicer’ and begin to tear into the wrapping paper. When the paper was gone, our gift was revealed: an air compressor! Wee!”
“I could make a whole separate post of weird situations and strange things she said to me, but the gifts always stuck out in my mind as extra odd. I know it’s the thought that counts, but I spent a lot of time wondering what the heck she was thinking!”
Money can’t buy happiness…apparently.
“Back when he was my boyfriend, my first husband and I were given contracts by his mother spelling out the financial benefits of us breaking up,” wrote nevertruly. “If we would agree to break up and sign the contracts, he would get his college paid for and a new car, and I would get $10,000.”
“Even after we both refused, after that, she actually came to the house we were sharing and explained that I was an unacceptable girlfriend for her son. She offered me additional money and a new contract for $20,000. Yeah. She was my mother-in-law for nine years after that.”
Given that they’re apparently split up now, we wonder whether she wishes she’d taken the money. Then again, experience can be invaluable—and once you’ve dealt with nasty in-laws, you realize that you don’t just marry a person; you marry their family, too.