Mother in Law Too Affectionate?

Updated on March 26, 2013
K.S. asks from San Jose, CA
15 answers

There's no way for somebody to really see what I'm talking about without actually seeing what I do but ill try to paint the picture. My mother in law has always been jealous of me. We were so close before I got married and then all of sudden it's like she hated me or something. I don't get it. She's a pretty bad alcoholic so I know that contributes to her mental state and some of the rude things she says or does.

Anytime were all together my mother in law is so touchy feely with my husband. It's not that I'm not an affectionate person. I am. But this is just creepy and I really think she does it to make me jealous or something. As we were leaving my husband had his back to me and my mother in law saying bye to his sister and my mil had her two hands wrapped around his back and then started rubbing his back. She was so close to him that her body was touching his butt, just hanging all over him from behind. That's not even the creepy part. She was looking at me while she was doing it, just smiling. I know she was drunk so that's why she was just staring at me but I've just had enough. I think truth comes out when your drunk. Anytime she's touchy feely and my husband can't see where she's looking, I swear she just stares at me to see my reaction. I don't think it's me over reacting anymore.

After we left the restaurant, we were putting our daughter in the car and my mother in law runs out and says " I need to talk to my son". Really?? She tries to hug him and my husband says "to let go, your drunk". Then my mil says "don't you love me anymore" and then says " can I still be your mommy?" This is just too much. We got a long amazingly well when I was just dating her son. I don't know what happened but every time were together now I feel like my mil is so touchy feely with my husband. My husband was telling my sister in law last night how much it bothers both of us and now she's going to tell her mom which I know then is just going to do it more to make me mad.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Very good point Elyse. If a dad was doing it to the daughter then people would notice more.

Featured Answers



answers from Oklahoma City on

I think I would find a spy cam that went on reading glasses or something. That way hubby could see how she's acting when she's doing that.

Is he comfortable with her actions most of the time? But just not that one? How does he get along with her normally? I'd show him the video of her smiling smirk and then he'd know how twisted she really is. Good Lord! She's nuts!

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answers from Washington DC on

Ignore the show! She is just a sad, lonley old drunk. Its not like its some other woman that actually is trying to steal your man. Don't let it rattle you. Respond with pity vs. anger.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

If you think she's doing it to get a rise out of you then turn away and don't watch her do it. She can't get to you if you don't let her.
The more important question here is how does your husband really feel about it? He's the one who needs to set boundaries, and he needs to do it directly, not through you and his sister, that's just going to create more drama.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

My MIL is also an alcoholic and this sounds so familiar.

If you husband will stand up to her, then your work is done. *You* cannot change her behavior, and she's cast you as the bad guy, so don't waste your breath or efforts. She will only twist your words to suit what's already happening in her head. Alcoholics like this will not be receptive to their villain (I ought to know).

Never leave her alone with your kids (you probably already don't) since her judgment is suspect. And talk to your husband (only) about what you feel. It is up to him to stand up to his Mom without bringing you into it.

If possible, see if HE will get into counseling, because no matter what he says, it is probably not new for his Mom to get drunk and inappropriate with him, and he may need to coaching in how to handle her.

Remember, there is NOTHING you can do about her behavior - this is all about her - so try not to let it eat you up.

ETA: I *wish* we would all look at Moms doing this to their sons the same we'd see it if Dads did it to their daughters. It is beyond creepy; if it started when our husbands were kids (and in my case, I am sure it did), it verges on criminal. So be gentle with your husband, because she probably hurt him with this behavior before you even came along. Good luck!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

She's drunk and inappropriate. It's sad and pathetic. I would go with your husband to Al-anon to get tools to deal with this. It's stress that he doesn't need. Don't give her the reaction she's looking for, cause it sounds like your hubby isn't pleased with her either. Just look at her with pity or ignore it. She won't get what she's looking for and you'll have more peace of mind.

Per your SWH - sounds like hubby's sister is an enabler and trouble maker. He should probably stop talking to her about this stuff.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Your MIL manipulates your husband, and he is the one who is going to have to set boundaries and stick by them. I suggest he go to some Al-Anon meetings to get support so he can learn strategies to deal with his alcoholic mother.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Your husband needs to sit down, one on one, when she is sober, and talk to her. He should talk to her about 1) her alcoholism and the need for treatment, 2) how she appears to others when she is drunk, 3) his feelings of being creeped out by her behavior, 4) the fact that he is a grown man and no longer needs a "mommy," and 5) respect for others.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Loves you before, hates you now is an example of black and white thinking which is indicative of mental illness, which she is self medicating with alcohol. Try to get her to see a counselor. Easier said, than done.

Your H is creating a triangle with his sister and mom and that's a good way to cause trouble. Stop telling her things that will get back to her mom.

Look on and check out the symptoms. Look for communication techniques and boundaries help. Good luck.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

If your husband is uncomfortable with his mother's actions he needs to speak up and tell her to knock it off - when she's sober.
He should say "Mom, I always love you but I don't like the way you act when you've had too much booze. I can love you without loving the booze and what it does to you.".
Video her when she acts up so you can show her what she does when she's drunk.
When she's sober it might make a difference but it won't change her behavior when she's inebriated.
It may be that when she starts drinking that you and Hubby need to get up and leave before she gets too soused.
I think both you and your husband might benefit greatly from attending some Al-anon meetings.
When you are dealing with alcoholism if just helps to talk to people who've been through this.
Try not to feel mad at her when she does this.
Feel sorry for her - she may not want your pity.
And if nothing else happens you can be secure in the knowledge that you will out live her and someday she won't be around to act like a drunken idiot.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I think since she is behaving toward your DH this way, it is his place to tell her to back off. He needs to tell her she's still his mom but that her behavior is inappropriate. Her asking a grown man if she can "be your mommy" is a bit over the top and he needs to do more to put distance between them. If it were my DH I would say, "I need to talk to you about your mom..." and point out how it looks and ask him for his suggestions to fix it. He's said things like "let go, you're drunk" so he knows she's not always appropriate. You and he might also make it a point not to go somewhere with her where she might be drinking. If she's an alcoholic, consider going to AlAnon to help yourselves know how to deal with her behavior. It's not just that she does this, is that she is an alcoholic.

The "good" thing is that he IS bothered by it and wants it to end. The bad thing is that he isn't telling her himself and he needs to also be aware that she might spout of nonsense and he just needs to ignore it. SHE is violating HIS personal space.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

Alcoholism is a progressive disease-generally-and it seems as though it has gotten worse the past couple of years-coinciding with your marriage, etc.The myth is that people say and do things while drunk that represent truth and how they feel. It's actually the opposite-people will say and do things while drunk that they would never do while sober. Your MIL would never attempt to seduce your husband while sober nor try to make you jealous. If that's the case-you have a much bigger problem. She loves her son and hopes that he loves her. She is not jealous of you-she is just someone who drinks too much and behaves inappropriately. Someone needs to confront her and encourage her to get some help. Wherever you live in the United States, you can get help with addiction. Best of luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

your husband is the one that needs to say something if it's bothering him.
He's a grown man. He doesn't like it he needs to say something!
"um, mom. Get off of me"
See, it's not that hard.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

Leave it alone. IF your husband has an issue with the way HIS mother shows him affection then that is something that HE needs to address with her. It is absolutely none of your business how the two of them are together, that is their relationship. Different families have different ideas about hugging and touching, some people love that physical contact while it makes others uncomfortable. Regardless of where your husband falls into this it is for him to decide, and to talk to her if there is an issue.

added, I don't agree that people would "notice more" if it was a dad with his daughter. Many dads are very affectionate to their children and there is nothing wrong or creepy about that.

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answers from Boston on

Gross. My MIL is just like yours only she has always disliked me. Mine gets my husband all the time at family gatherings. She is usually drunk, in a corner with my husband whispering and holding his hand and one on his leg. Make me want to puke. He usually tried to find me and then gives me that SAVE ME look. I do , he is very sweet to her. He never would want to hurt her drunk feelings. Me I have no problem. She is a drunk mess and says mean and hurtful things all the time me.
Good for you and your husband for not wanting to take this anymore. It's sick and disgusting.

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answers from Rochester on

She sounds like a drunk who needs some help. Time for an intervention, or for your family (you, your husband, and children) to absolutely back out of the picture. Time for ultimatums.

1 mom found this helpful
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