MIL From Hell: 10 Signs You’re Dealing With A Toxic Mother In Law


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10 Signs Of A Toxic Mother In Law And How To Deal With Her

Having a toxic mother in law can be a daunting experience, potentially straining your relationship with your spouse. Learn the toxic mil signs and how to deal with her.

She always finds something to criticize, sabotages family events, and manipulates her way into every decision. Dealing with a toxic mother-in-law can be a daunting task.

People aren’t exaggerating when they say their mothers-in-law are actually monsters-in-law. While not all of them are wicked, many do drain the life out of you with all their toxicity.

Dealing a toxic mother-in-law can wreak havoc on your married life, and will not just make it difficult for you to have a relationship with her, it will also end up affecting your bond with your spouse.

That is why it is crucial to know the signs that point towards you having a toxic mother-in-law. The better you understand her judgemental, controlling, and poisonous nature, the better you will be able to handle her.

10 Toxic Mother In Law Signs: Do You Relate?

Signs Toxic MotherInLaw How To Deal Info
Mother In Law Is Toxic

1. She’ll never admit it when she’s wrong.

A toxic mother-in-law will never admit she has made a mistake, ever; apologizing is something she does not believe in. Even if she’s made a huge mistake, she’ll still insist that she was right in doing whatever she did.

She would rather put you down, and humiliate you, but being accountable for her actions? Never!

She could start World War III but she’ll still argue that she is not in the wrong, and it’s others who are the problem. She’ll simply put the blame on you or your spouse.

Related: 14 Smart Ways To Deal With Your Difficult Mother In Law

2. She won’t bother listening to you.

No matter how right you are, she’ll simply dismiss your opinion. Most of the time, she won’t pay attention to you just to prove that she doesn’t care about you, and what you’re saying doesn’t matter to her even in the slightest.

For her, you are nobody important or relevant, and all she cares about is her own opinions and judgments.

You could shout in her ear but she’ll just ignore you. If you’ve achieved something, no matter how big of a deal it is, she’ll just underplay it to everyone she knows. But if something is important to her, you can be sure that you’ll hear about it all the time.

3. She’ll never consider you worthy of her family.

You know you have a toxic mother-in-law, when she always makes you feel as if you are not and will never be good enough for her son. nor will you ever be worthy of being a part of her family.

Be it subtly or directly, she will always make you feel unwelcome and unwanted, no matter how hard you might try to impress her and be in her good books.

It will feel like there’s a poster on the front door announcing this to the whole wide world. But don’t let this toxicity get to you. Keep your chin up, and your head held high. Work on your confidence, approach this with humor and make fun of it. She will never be able to beat that.

4. She expects you to be entirely submissive towards her.

In order to impose her dominant nature on you, she will expect you to be subservient to her, and by subservient, you will have to do whatever she tells you to do.

This will include never speaking against her, accepting all her opinions, behaving just like her, and always flattering her. If you go against her, or don’t listen to what she is telling you to do, then all hell will break loose.

You’ll have to be with her, go for every little party she’s been invited to, cook only with her recipes, follow her cleaning techniques, and basically be her minion. Also, you’ll have to make sure she has the grandkids she’s asked for.

It doesn’t really matter what you want and if you don’t do any of these things, you can be sure that her entire social circle will know what a horrible daughter-in-law you are.

Related: 24 Characteristics of Narcissistic Mothers

5. She will denigrate you whenever she feels like.

If she can’t establish her dominance over you, then the rivalry will intensify in her head. She’ll take it all a step further, and keep on belittling you whenever she gets a chance.

It won’t matter that what she is saying is totally false, as long as you are getting humiliated and insulted, she will be the happiest person in the world.

Soon enough, all kinds of bad reports about you will start to come in from every single person she’s ever met. People who don’t even know you will have a very negative impression of you.

She will even try to manipulate your husband into thinking that you are not the right person for him.

6. She will have zero respect for you.

Your opinions, your decisions, your privacy, none of these things will matter to her in the least. She’ll drop in at all hours without any prior notice and she’ll be disappointed that you didn’t roll out a red carpet for her every time. If you do not wine her, dine her, and treat her like a queen, she will come down hard on you.

You could have the cleanest house in the world but she’ll find some non-existent speck of dust to point at and complain about how filthy your home is. She will complain about every little thing, and will not stop until you feel absolutely defeated and heartbroken.

Also, she’ll claim that she loves her grandchildren but she’ll spend a lot of time pointing out their faults to you and criticizing your parenting skills.

Related: How Healthy Boundaries With Your In-laws Will Make Your Marriage Stronger

7. She will emotionally abuse you.

Her toxic nature and myopic mindset will make her treat you horribly, whenever you will refuse to dance to her tunes.

She will subject you to the silent treatment, indirect insults, blaming, shaming, and open intimidation to dominate you, and do her bidding. No matter what happens, she will always expect you to do what she solely wants you to.

In case your husband doesn’t do the same, she will treat him horribly too. In order to make it all the more painful and emotionally traumatizing, she will shower all her love on her other grandchildren, and other daughters-in-law, and sons.

toxic mother-in-law

8. She will pretend to be the nicest person in front of the outside world.

Her social standing is of utmost importance to her and she’ll do everything she can to ensure that she doesn’t lose it. In front of everyone else, she’ll be full of charm and she’ll portray herself as a loving mother to her children.

She will portray herself as a charitable, selfless, and caring woman, who will do anything for her family and their happiness.

Others will find it difficult to believe that anybody including you can have problems with her; she is that good of an actress. They will find it almost impossible to believe that an ‘angelic’ woman like her can hurt and humiliate you like that.

9. She is exceptionally narcissistic.

Like a true blue narcissist, she always tries to control what others are doing, so that nothing they do can ever have a negative impression on her.

She will expect everyone, including you to abide by her rules and conditions, and will hate it if you decide to go on a different path other than the one she has chosen.

Whenever she feels that she is losing control, she will engage in smear tactics and will try her level best to turn everyone she knows against you. She will spew horrible lies about you, just so people hate you and stay away from you.

She will also go to great lengths to even turn her son, and your husband against you by saying horrible things to him about you.

Related: 9 Types of Toxic People That Will Rob You Of Your Happiness

10. She will pretend to care about you.

There will be days when she will be really nice to you (maybe because you have done something that she wanted you to do), and make you feel like a part of the family.

She might get you something nice, or take your side in some matter, and you will feel that finally, you are going to have a healthy relationship with her. But, hold on.

In such situations, no matter what happens, never let your guard down; she is just fattening you up for slaughter. The moment she will see that you are being vulnerable and open, she will strike you where it hurts the most.

The harsh and sad truth is that she will never consider you a part of the family, and will always be up to something or the other to make you feel unwanted, and harassed.

How To Deal With A Toxic Mother In Law?

1. Think about why she treats you horribly.

Even if you understand why she treats you the way she does, her behavior will not change. But once you have an idea why she is being horrible to you, you will be able to tackle her better. Knowing how her mind works, will help you deal with her taunts, and insults in a more effective way.

And the more you understand her, the better you will be able to predict her moves. You might never be able to change her as a person, but what you can do is know how to navigate through her mind games and politics.

signs of a toxic mother in law

2. Try to practice detachment as much as you can.

Again, you might not be able to change her toxic ways, but what you can do is detach and distance yourself from her toxicity. The more you react to a narcissist like her, the more it will affect you.

How she treats you has little to do with you, and everything to do with her. Keep that in mind, and never let her destroy your peace.

The moment you feel an attack coming, steel yourself and remove yourself from the situation. Don’t engage, don’t react, and most importantly, don’t get into the mud pit with her, because that is exactly what she wants.

3. Stay away from conflicts that might escalate very quickly.

Every time she passes an insensitive comment about you or behaves in a passive-aggressive manner, remember that she is simply trying to bait you and lure you into a fight with her.

A toxic mother-in-law’s whole agenda is to pick fights with you all the time, twist the situation, and then portray herself as the victim.

Stay away from any fight that might escalate at the drop of a hat, and you will see how irritated and defeated she will be. Escalating conflicts are her way of destroying your image, and mental peace.

Related: 15 Things Manipulative People Do to Try to Control You

4. Identify and circumvent triggers.

Remember that you are a better person than her. You are the bigger person in this scenario, and never ever stoop down to her level.

One of the best ways of handling a toxic mother-in-law is by identifying triggers and then avoiding them. Knowing every trigger will help you predict what is coming,

If she insults you in some way or the other every time you visit her, then reduce your visits or stop going over altogether. If she tries to dominate you in social situations, then stay away from her, and mingle with people on your own.

If she is someone who hates it when you give your opinion, then don’t get into any kind of argument with her.

5. Don’t get into conflicts, but take a stand for yourself.

No matter how much you fight with her, it will be of no use, because she will always find a way to insult you. Be smart about her and the situation you might be in.

Let her indulge in all the dirty tactics, smear campaigns, mud-slinging, and finger-pointing; you stand your ground without compromising on your dignity.

Never let her pull you down to her level, and make you do and say things that you will regret. Maintain your self-respect and honor, by not giving in to her manipulative and horrible tricks.

Related: 15 Red Flags Of Manipulative People

6. Set strict boundaries.

One of the best ways to handle a toxic mother-in-law is by setting boundaries, and no matter how much she might try to emotionally blackmail and manipulate you, stand by your boundaries.

Don’t give her free reign and make her feel that she can do whatever she wants to do, just because you have married her son.

Can she come over anytime she wants? Can she tell you how to raise your children? Can she decide what kind of a wife you should be? Can she dictate whether you should be a working mom or a stay-at-home mom? It’s important to draw strict boundaries, to keep toxic people in line, and out of your life.

7. Take the help of your spouse.

Your spouse can play a huge part in keeping your mother-in-law’s toxicity in check. If he is oblivious to her shenanigans, then make him understand what she is doing, and how everything is affecting your mental peace. He needs to be on your team, and not play along with his mother’s games.

He needs to make her understand that you are a part of the family now, and you don’t deserve what she is putting you through.

Your spouse needs to make her understand her revamped position in the family hierarchy, and always take a strong stand for you, whenever you are being put through something unfair.

8. Know that she might not change. Ever.

Do not keep on trying to change her, and her poisonous nature, because chances are she will never change her ways.

You might keep on trying to solve all the problems, try to straighten out all the fights, and even try to improve yourself by giving her the benefit of doubt, but the truth is that she will never change.

After a point, you need to accept the fact that you cannot make everything and everyone better. So it’s better to accept something for what it is, and focus on yourself, and your marriage.

Related: 13 Ways Emotionally Intelligent People Handle Toxic People

Dealing with a toxic mother-in-law can be a hell of a task, but no matter how tough it might prove to be, do not let her get to you and your relationship. Remember these pointers and don’t let her toxicity and manipulation bother you anymore.

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  1. Minnie Avatar

    Thank you for sharing. A lot of what you put here has hit me. Everything you said has opened my eyes and I hopefully can stay calm and follow your wonderful direction.

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