21 answers

Help with Mother in Law

I have had issues with my mother in law since I married my husband. She treats me like I am an outcast in the family and rarely even acknowledges I am around during family get togethers. I recently told her how I felt and she basically told me that she was not the only family member that felt the way she does about me and that I was just going to have to live with it. I thought I got along well with the others but I must have guessed wrong! She lives 1 1/2 hours away in another State so we typically go there during holidays. Our daughter is 21 months old and the only times she has seen our daugter is when we come to her house for family functions or on the unannounced rare occassion she comes here which is only a handful of times since she was born. She feels that it is our responsibility to bring our daughter (her only grandchild)to her and she shouldn't have to drive here. I think that is really sad and sort of pathetic. She is an energetic well to do empty nester with nothing to do on weekends although she feels I should pack up two kids (one child is from my 1st marriage), drive over 1.5 hours each way so that my child knows who she is. Since I told her how I felt this will be the first Holiday and we received no invitation and no one will even talk to us. My husband supports how I feel but thinks I should just let it all go for holiday sake and just show up to Thanksgiving. How can I show up without anyone even inviting us, we don't even know what time and 2nd why would I want to when I know no one likes me? Am I being childish?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Everyone was so helpful I thought I would let everyone know what I did. After much conversation with my husband we decided to "start our own traditions" as you suggested. About a year ago my MIL forced my FIL to move out. She has NO plans to divorce him since he has all of the money therefore we invited him and his mother (my husbands grandmother)to our house so that our children had some extended family with us on Thanksgiving. Although the mashed potatoes were a little lumpy and the turkey a little dry it was a great day. Looks like I will need some good recipes for my Christmas Dinner!! Thanks to everyone for your advise. I hope everyone had a GREAT Thanksgiving and a successful after Thanksgiving shopping day!

More Answers

Hi Tara,
I must say I feel sorry for you and no I don't think you are being childish! I've had similar situations but I always tell my kids, why force yourself on someone that doesn't want you around?? I just remember the way I dealt with one situation and I remember to this day that you can not change anyone else but you can change the way you deal with people. I also believe like Dr. Phil says that people only treat you the way you let them treat you. I say stay home and have your own Thanksgiving. If you aren't invited then use the excuse that you didn't realize they were having a celebration and even if you did, you weren't sure of the time. You don't need to put up with this from anyone but especially from family! I think you deserve better from the sounds of things. Just my opinion but if you let them walk on you, they will continue to do so.
Happy Thanksgiving! S.

1 mom found this helpful

I had sort of the same situation with my mother-n-law. We had several words and it caused almost daily "fights" in my marriage. But 10 weeks ago unexpectedly she passed away. It has been the hardest time is our lives. I personally feel that alot of things said we stupid, and I do wish she could be here now to see my daughter grow up. I just wanted to tell you all this so maybe you should go and try to patch things up. You never know when the end is. I wish I could have ended thing on a better note.

Good luck and happy holiday! =)
A. H

1 mom found this helpful

Oh, that's a hard one. I too have difficulty with my MIL, though I think things are improving. She is very religious (Catholic) and very judgmental. She is a very conservative Republican and I am a very liberal sort of Democrat (though I don't really involve myself in politics at all). She was very disappointed in her son for marrying me because I was already divorced with two children. I am also 6 years older than he is and I stole her baby boy. We were invited over for Thanksgiving, but my husband's whole immediate family is going away for Christmas and we were not invited. They are going on a cruise. I don't think we would have gone, but it made me mad they didn't even invite us.

I don't think I would go to Thanksgiving dinner unless invited. I'm stubborn and would probably make her come to me if she wanted to see her grandchild. I'm not sure this is the right thing to do, but that's just me. I do feel sorry for your husband who is caught in the middle. Maybe he needs to talk to his mother and smooth things out before Thanksgiving. All I can say is what a b*tch! Some people are just like that unfortunately.

1 mom found this helpful

I don't think you are being childish at all, and no, I wouldn't go. In fact, I don't think I would ever again make the attempt to see her. If your husband supports you, that should be all that matters and do what makes the 3 of you happy.

1 mom found this helpful


My Dad's mom was always mean to my mom and I. My mom wouldn't go to Thanksgiving because she didn't want to put up with it, so that left me to be the sole focal point of her mean remarks and jabs. My grandma also lived about two hours away. I would not let my child go without me if I were you, but I probably would just drop Thanksgiving with them this year and have your own happy, stress-free one myself.

My family goes to my SIL's for Thanksgiving, and she almost always puts me down, and makes remarks about the dishes she asks me to bring. But I go because I don't want my children to be the brunt of it (and my husband won't let us skip it). This year I'm telling her politely that 11 years of it is enough, knock it off and grow up.

Also, my MIL hardly sees our children, and she's only 45 minutes from us. At first it hurt my feelings (and my husband's when she wouldn't come to see our second baby at the hospital) but we've moved on and don't worry about it. It's her loss, not ours (or yours). You can't teach an old dog/MIL new tricks so just enjoy your children all to yourself. They're only little for such a short time, and trust me, they'll enjoy spending quality time with you so much more than being drug 1.5 hours to a grandma who doesn't really care about them.

So . . . up to you of course, but go with your heart. Good luck and keep us posted!

Dear T.,
I am not really in the same boat your in. My husband is though. My family can't stand him and they all ignore him completly when he comes around. Matter of fact they pretty much ignore me and my daughter now too. I know that my brother and his wife and boys have all kinds of family dinners and outings all the time and don't invite us. When I ask my mom about why we aren't invited she tells me " Its really no big deal" When I have a celebration I feel that I should invite them. I know the minute they show up that My family will no longer even be spoken to. My husband and I end up sitting at the opposite end of the table talking to each other. We get to laughing about many times. We can do t his at home cheaper. I still get so upset about it, when I have to much time to think about it all. If they don't want to be around you then don't. Why make yourself and your family have a bad time. Stay home and enjoy each others company for free.
If they want to see you or talk to you they know your phone number and address. Let them come to you and the H with them. Life is to short to have to spend it with people who don't like you.
Yes, I must admit that for my daugher I am sad. I really thought that since she was the only grand-daughter that my mom would pay more attention to her. NOT! She has her nose burried up my brothers two kids butt instead.

Anyway I hope you find peace some how or a happy medium. I don't know why your husband wants to drag you off to where your not wanted. Why not stay home and start your own traditions. This year we are going to my husband sisters house for Thanksgiving. I am nervous about the change, but, the company will be better. At least I won't be sitting at the far end of the table talking to my husband because no one else will takl to us.

I hope you have a happy holiday. I am glad your husband supports you with this. Many times its stuff like this that breaks marriages up.

Good Luck

Family Outcast Too

Well, after briefly letting myself believe that we were going to have quiet holidays at home this year, I will be going to the evil-in-laws and to see my step-monster and I will put up with them for one day. I have, however, stopped the over nights and if they want to see my children, they can come to me. If it fits our plans we will go see them, but I am NOT making extra trips with children in tow, it is too hard on them. The grown ups need to act like it and realize you need to do what is best for your kids. Good Luck.

I'm so sorry you're in this situation. Difficult families are always harder at the holidays.
I think your husband needs to stant by you and support you and his immediate family. You both need to create your own holidays and traditions. You can't do anything about how someone else is going to feel about you - you just need to live your life. A grandparent relationship can be a wonderful addition to a childs life (but not served up on the cripped back of the mother). If you provide a happy home for your children they will not "suffer" from not having a relationship with their grandmother - it is her who is missing out.
Stand your ground and build your own happy life.
Good luck!

No, you are not being childish. Your feelings are hurt. VERY understandable. My exmother in law was exactly the same. My exhusband is still my best friend and his mother recently passed away. Even our daughter would call her "mean grandma armada" because of the way she acted towards me.

I suggest for your husbands sake, you go to the holiday celebrations, grit your teeth and make nice. She can act or be demanding, but its not about her. It is about the people you love. In the end, you will shine and she will look petty. I know its hard but it is worth it.


T., Have you considered staying in a local hotel? Use the ruse that you hate to crowd them but do want to attend. This way you spend time with the family and then have a sanctuary to go to at night to recupe. My husband & I have found that this works very well with family gatherings. When the kids were little we just told them that it was easier with the kids so they had wind down time & space. People actually buy it. It gives them a secret out too. This also gives you the chance to say when enough is enough and you get to leave when the little ones get tired or stay and let them fall asleep. (you are in control) If your husband wants to stay past "kiddie bedtime" then a family member can drop him off.

May cost you a little cash but may mend the family ties.

At least think about it. Your husband obviously want to have time with his family. Put the shoe on the other foot. I have been there too but you have to find a way to deal - for everyone's sake.


My own mom is gulty of being an MIL from hell. When it boils down for her no one is good enough for my bro and he isn't good enough for them. She knows his bad side.

You deserve to be treated better. Have you tried acting as if you love her? I mean LOVE her. take pics, send them, haul the baby out there a few times for no good reason. Ask her for advice (they LOVE that one) Think of yourself as an MIL, wouldn't you love a daughter or son in law who looked up to you? Oh and don't complain about the drive to her just ask if she knows a cure for falling asleep at the wheel (just kidding!)

No, you're not being childish. The only one who would be missing out if you stop driving all over the planet for her is HER. You're not responsible for making sure SHE knows her grandchild.

Your husband supports you, and I think you're right on the money being tired of her nonsense. Why should you go somewhere where you've been TOLD you're not wanted? Spend the holidays with your own family and friends and start your own traditions. You don't have to accept disrespect for the sake of the holidays. In the spirit of the holidays and of just acting like decent people, THEY should be the ones changing their behavior.


WOW...seriously, that sounds very similar to my inlaw situation. The mother-in-law definitely hates me, and the others just don't acknowledge me so as to not tick her off. My advice is to not show up - a husband's job is to help protect his family, and if he cannot get his mother to change her ways then the only way to protect you is to not make you go to the holiday. When we ran into this situation last Thanksgiving, I told my husband that he is a grown man, and although I didn't think he should go to his parents (only I was not invited, he was), I could not stop him - however, I refused to join him and would not let my daughter go. I could go on a lot about inlaws, but I don't know how bad your situation is with them. Feel free to message me if you want to chat more :)

my m-i-l has been extremely rude to me for the last 3 1/2 years my husband and i have been together! it is a very hard thing to deal with. the only advice i have it to never let the upper hand and have any justification to talk about you. i would not go to thanksgiving dinner because i would be very uncomfortable. encourage dad to take the child around family so they can not say you are keeping the child from them and hopefully at some point it will all fall into place! best of luck!

I would go for my husband. Maybe you could call her and ask what she might like you to bring, and what time dinner is to start.

You are not being unreasonable. I wouldn't expect someone to come to me when they had two kids, and I only had myself. If she cared enough to see her grandchild - she would come. She will hurt herself more than you if she can't suck it up. You could tell her you are sorry she feels that way, but you don't feel that way.
Good luck to you and I hope your family has a safe and happy time.

let her ignore you, and be thankful for it, i think! better no attention than nasty little remarks. if no one invited you to the 'family' thing, don't go. give 'em a call after dinner, so your husband and kids can talk to their gramma n all, if they want. or some other momma said let your husband and kids go alone. or maybe your side of the fam is having a gathering? call and tell your MIL 'well, we'd like to come but we're going to spend this year with my family, thanks anyway though.'

I do not currently have a mother in law. My ex mother in law was great and I looked to her alot for advice. She had a saying "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." I found this to be very rewarding. Big the bigger person and if your husband thinks it is ok to show up to dinner then do it. If someone says something about why you are there then he will know and he can stand up for you. Maybe you can settle the matter at hand and go on with life. I have heard another saying "Kill them with kindness" this works also! Good Luck and keep us posted.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello I'm sorry your Holiday's are filled with stress! I would make sure my hubby knew how I felt and then tell him if you want us to go pick up the phone and ask your mother why the heck you have been left out of the celebration? It's his mother and your his wife she should be the one to deal for the sake of her son!!!!!! If she wants to see more of her grand children she can pick up the phone and make a date and trade this time she comes out the next time you drive out and so on! She must think she is punishing you in some way by not being a part of their lives but the truth is she is missing out and it must hurt your husbands heart to know that his mother dislikes you more than she loves him and that is a problem, maybe he should confront her about it! I hope it all works out for the best!

T. M,
I feel you girl. Here is the best thing to do. IF you do go because of TRADITION'S SAKE. YOU go in be your same old NICE AS PIE self or NICER! And show everyone, you are the bigger person. Take a small gift too "for the Hands that worked so hard" type of thing. Your Husband will be so proud of you.

Do NOT listen to this women, she is just trying to JUSTIFY her own actions and behavior by saying others feel the same way. She may have indeed being talking about you so others are NOT SURE what to think. SHOW them it is HER. By coming and being warm and friendly and helpful. EVEN if you are dying to say something DON'T!

Usually it has something to do with you having children from a privious relationship and them having to act as grandma to all.

Do not let her ruin your families holiday.
Maybe NEXT year have it at your house and invite her and the family and see who shows up. Then you and your husband can decide on future holidays together.
Make sure you let him know you are HURT she couldn't be woman enough to show up at your house next year if that is the case.

The more you and your husband talk the better. One day this woman will be gone and you will be rid of any problems, Don't have regrets. And don't let your husband be angry with you because you do not want to be a party to the holiday with the family, that will only cause big problems. If you act like NOTHING EVER HAPPENED, then SHE looks like the OGER (she sounds like)!

Hope this helps, been there and probably there on Christmas again. Be thankful your mother-in-law did not make you mis-carry your child as mine did to us to keep my husbands ex-wives indiscretions secret!(All came out in end due to her behavior.) The whole family heard stories about me too. And I showed up last christmas with gift in hand gave her a hug and laughed and smiled. The FAMILY was amazed as she sat away from us and made remarks about my niece who was born a week before my due date. My husband and I were/are still, both hurting and the family saw her true colors showing up after a 33 year absence, to be vindictive. I too have two children from a privious marriage, I heard the uncle, NOW dating my mother-in-law (they dated in early years also--maybe while married to my husbands father? She told me this BEFORE I EVER MET MY HUSBAND AS SHE AND I WORKED TOGETHER)say things about my children calling my husband DAD. Uncle was told to "SHUT UP & mind your own business that is up to Sam!", after my KEEPING MY CHIN UP so to speak- eloquent attitude toward the situation.
I even impressed my husband. MOST FAMILY IN MY COURT NOW!
At least the ones who count!
I give the Credit to the Lord for I alone could not pull that off, and I pray two years after the loss, and one year later I can do it again if need be.

Any Questions just ask, I can probably answer them.

Good Luck,your in my prayers.

I agree with Heidi S. You could drive to her once awhile for no good reason. Sending her some cards, pictures of the children and the children's funny drawing! It shows you do care the relationship with her. You can only do so much, the rest of that your husband's family have to decide.

I don't understand why older people are so immature sometimes.
That is a bad war to fight between in law!

My mother in law has been wonderful! However, once awhile i receive some special treatment that i dont' deserve! It doesn't matter how good or bad your mother in law is, she isn't your own mother and she won't treat you fair like she treats her child( your husband or wife). I always think if it isn't all about my two chidlren( her grandsons), me and her has none to talk.

Ha, ya your situation sounds like mine. My bf's mother doesn't like me and the rest of his family I'm sure are fake and act like they do yet don't. They live 2 1/2 hrs away and rarely come see their 3 grandkids who are their only grandkids also. We also just take the kids to visit on holidays only and I pretty much just do my own thing when I'm there and wear fake smiles and be cordial, because sometimes that's what you have to do when you have kids because the more family they are close to the better, despite how you may feel about them personally. Since you told her how you feel which you should; and she wants to be immature about it and not invite you guys to Thanksgiving.. I'd say it's up to your husband to talk to her on that one because it's his mother. That way you can have your little holiday time get it over with and your husband will feel better about the situation also and you won't be wondering if you're bein childish as you say, which you're not.

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