The Mother-In-Law Horror Stories Olympics ( Plus Father-in-Law Too)

by Alexis Barad-Cutler


Mom Group was very busy this week sending horrible Mother-in-Law (MIL) stories. We posted most of them on Instagram, but some came in after we had moved onto the next topic — and they were too good not to share. Some stories really stood out as “take the cake, most horrible” in-law stories. As we were talking about our MIL’s, a great question came up: Why don’t we hold the same level of criticism (or any criticism, for that matter) for father-in-laws? As one (nsfmg) member, “K.”, wrote in, “It’s the same thing with Freudian psychology . . . the mother is the source of all trauma and damage done during childhood. The father could have been really useless, but it’s always the moms fault . . . An entire school of teaching based on one man’s misogyny.” So, in the spirit of feminism and fairness, enjoy our homegrown mother-in-law and father-in-law horror stories. Comment below on your favorites!

MIL Horror Stories:

“Regarding MILs, mine planned a baptism for our 2 boys WITHOUT TELLING US! She’s a newly ordained pastor who lives across the country from us. She emailed to tell us she’d be coming on a specific weekend this summer and had reserved time at a local church to conduct the baptisms because “she knows how important it is to us to raise the boys with Jesus”. Untrue, not part of our value system, and overall ENORMOUS overstep of boundaries. Thank god my husband felt just as taken aback by her nutty behavior and not only told her not to visit but cancelled her subsequent scheduled visit. We now aren’t planning to see her until at least Christmas cause neither of us can handle it. I wouldn’t be upset if I (and our boys) never had to see her again. She’s next level crazy.” — L.

“I guess all I would like from her is to love my daughter the way my mom and family do.” — A.

“Oh yes, I've had both my in laws ask why we insist on carseats. Um,  because it's the law and I don't want my baby being thrown from the car? Once, my son was crying, and my MIL said totally seriously; "just take him out of the car seat and nurse him.” We were going 70mph on the freeway! Wtf! How did our husbands survive this craziness?!” — G.

“I thought if I bridged the gap maybe she would love me. Instead it seemed to trigger something in her. She needed me to be the bad guy, so even if I invited her to come stay with us and told her how happy I was she was there, and thanked her profusely for coming, she would tell my hubby I didn’t want her there.  I would send her pictures and updates of the kids, and she would feel sad she wasn’t here all the time and would lash out at me.  Any negative feeling she would have, she needed it to be my fault that she was feeling it.  I gave up that technique, and just stepped way back and let her have the relationship she naturally has with her son, and our children. And he cut her out completely.  I know it’s probably for the best but I still wish she could understand I want her in our lives and I want our kids to know her.  I have a ton of empathy for what she’s been through, and her own trauma. I will always be the bad guy, because she needs that.” — B.

“I'm convinced they have both separately baptised my child in their homes.” — B

“I have a love/hate relationship with my MIL. When I started dating my now husband she was insanely jealous, said some (in my opinion) ignorant and racist comments towards me. She started changing a bit as she realized it was for real. When we got engaged I think she was happy, but happier to see my husband, who lived abroad. I don't think she cares enough for me or my daughter the way she cares for her own daughter's baby. It just feels like she loves only my husband, and pretends to love me and her granddaughter, but who knows? Because if I were to ever say these things to her I would end up like the ungrateful, liar daughter-in-law because she always plays the victim card.” — A.

“My MIL has serious mental health/health/substance abuse issues. I haven’t spoken to or seen her in years and I have no desire to ever have a relationship with her again. My step-MIL (and FIL) was wonderful until we had kids. They blatantly disrespected our parenting choices and started a family fight over it (which my actual MIL felt the need to leave nasty VMs about even though we don’t speak to her). IDGAF anymore. I used to care. But my husband had told me he’s the least favorite kid in a blended family of 5. He was his mom’s favorite and she acts like I “stole” him.” — N.

“My mom is old-school Catholic, my MIL is new-school Catholic and I'm convinced they have both separately baptised my child in their homes. 🤦🏼‍♀️” — B.


FIL Horror Stories:

“I definitely have more issues with him than my MIL. Staying with a man like that for this long has affected my MIL’s self esteem and I think that has interfered with how she’s able to mother or just be confident in herself. The whole family still walks on eggshells with him even as adults. All three of their children married spouses that came from a more stable home life and with more loving, Beta male fathers (I think my dad hung the moon). I’ve been putting off having kids because I’m terrified my husband will let his tendencies to be like his dad come out, and I want to break the cycle. My husband knows all of this and has been going to counseling. I should admit I think my FIL is softening up a bit as he gets older. I like him a little bit more now that I’ve been in the family for 11 years. But it’s still not perfect, and there is still a lot of work to be done.“ — E.

“My father in law (who has fused disks in his back) told me, during active labor (he shouldn’t have been in the room), that women on the Oregon Trail didn’t have epidurals, so I shouldn’t either . . . all while he ate McDonalds in front of me . . . there are so many more comments but this one really left a mark.” — L

“. . . [He] even refused reading my son his bedtime stories.” — S.

“FIL is an absentee dad. He’s Skyped us once in the 15 yrs we’ve been together and 3 yrs since having kids.” — I.

“My husband’s parents are divorced. His mom is fine. But his dad is totally uninvolved. He stops in when it’s convenient to him, and it drives me nuts that he doesn’t put more effort into seeing and developing a relationship with his first and only grandchild (so far). And his wife is not in the picture at all. I just know how much they’re missing and it’s sad that we are not a priority.” — J

“I could write a book about my father in law. My son is the only grandson and there are four granddaughters. All close in age. At 2 years old my son already gets away with so much in his eyes because “boys will be boys”. He recently told my 4 year old daughter that a friend who is a boy was hitting her because he likes her. I about lost my shit!!! Like are you kidding me right now? I told my husband either he deals with that mentality or I will, and it won’t be nice.” — A

“I have no issues saying my FIL is very quick to pass the baby off if he is fussy. He avoids the dirty work, and even refused reading my son his bedtime stories. I saw in that moment how distant he was when my husband was a child.” — S.

Meryl Streep in Big Little Lies./ HBO