Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dealing with an Abusive Mother-in-Law

I got the following info from here (my mother-in-law is abusive, but so is my father-in-law and a few other in-laws [learned traits, I guess], so it's helpful knowledge all around):


While many people quietly suffer critical mother in laws, abusive mother in laws are totally different. If you have been physically or mentally abused by your mother in law, here is how to cope.


  1. If you have been abused by your mother in law, it is not right, it is wrong. No one deserves verbal or physical abuse.
  2. Look to your spouse. Ask your husband or wife how they are going to deal with this situation as it is his or her mother. He should understand the hurt you have gone through and speak to his mother and tell her that what she has done was wrong.
  3. Ask your spouse to keep you away from her. Understand it will be hard for him as well because he would feel torn between you and his mom.
  4. If you feel your partner is not understanding, you need to think about your relationship as well. If you are not getting his full support you will feel helpless.
  5. Cut off your mother in law entirely. Nobody should be allowed in your life who abuses you. Do not try to make amends for the sake of your spouse.


  • Try not to think it was your fault and it was right for your mother in law to abuse you.
  • Tell your partner how you feel.
  • Avoid your mother in law as much as you can till you are ready to build a relationship with her, that is if you think you can.
  • Tell her if you feel comfortable what you feel about what she has done to you.
  • Keep the kids away from abusive mother in law. She may be abusive to the children.


  • Never feel its your fault.
  • Do not put up with abuse from anyone and think it is ok for that person to do that.
  • Abuse is not just physical but it could also be in mental form.
  • If someone is abusing you, they have problematic issues in their own life.

Things You'll Need

  • Power
  • Self belief
  • Support from your partner
  • Support from your parents
  • Sense of humor

1 comment:

  1. I have been married to a wonderful man for 20 years this year. He did however come with an awful lot of baggage considering the relationship his parents had, his mother has now with him and his sister. As of June I no longer have a relationship with her. For all of these years, she has abused me verbally when my husband was not around. On many different occasions I was the victim of her evil. As an example - when i was 8 months pregnant with her first grandchild, my sister in law got married. I was too big at that point to be in the wedding so they asked me to help video tape in places where the video camera wasn't going. At some point during the evening, I realized that my legs had swollen to twice their size and that I couldn't get my shoes off! So, I went and sat down for a little while. She came to me and berated me for not caring enough about SIL and her to even help out a little tiny bit for one night.
    Another time she asked all of the family who had September birthdays to her house for a celebration lunch. She handed all the others a gift and made a special birthday wish to them. I sat there unfazed thinking she's at it again. When I went outside later with my son, she came up behind and me and hissed "What's the matter...are you mad that I forgot your birthday?"
    Those are just two of the many many examples of what she did say and do to me over the years. I am a very strong, independent person and so I never really thought it was getting to me until I had my daughter and she started in on her too. Even at the hospital, in the middle of the night, she came in and said to me "be careful - all little girls are bitches." What on earth is WRONG here?!
    Over the past 12 years or so she has been up and down crazy. Her husband, the sweetest man on earth, died in 2008. She had berated and abused him terribly for 40 years and when he died all I could think was "Thank God - He finally has some peace." she has since gone into crying frenzy, feeling sorry for herself and asking us, begging us, to spend time with her. There were a couple of occasions where I gave in, feeling sorry for her. Of course, the evenings ended poorly, as usual and I was left feeling very drained and sick.
    The final issue arised this past summer when relatives came to town to spend time with us. I invited her to dinner with us. She brought all kinds of food - staple items that everyone has when planning a cookout - like ketchup, lettuce, cheese etc...she even brought plates. I told her I had it covered. She moved all of my food out of the kitchen and placed her food in there instead while I was cooking. Then, while I was preparing food in the kitchen, she went out and took over the grill and started complaining about my cooking methods. I very gently asked her to leave my kitchen and deck and find something constructive to do with herself. She stomped away. Later, the relatives had brought a late birthday present for my son and since he was going out for the evening, they sang to him and gave it to him on impulse in the kitchen. She stood in the doorway seething and said "I have a gift for you too - will you accept a gift from your old grandmother even if it doesn't come with all the hoopla?" Never mind that his birthday was days before and she lives in town and didn't bring him anything or call or anything! He politely opened a card from her and thanked her but I knew he was off-kilter with it all. He's 14!!!! I was getting very upset at this point and I took a few minutes to calm down. I calmly went back inside and packed her food and all that up and asked her nicely to leave. She was shocked. I just said that I didn't think she was enjoying herself and that she probably should go. and I have not spoken to her since. And I won't and I feel great. Get these toxic people out of your lives and go have some fun and be happy!