Astonishing as it may be to read, there was a poll on Netmums that concluded that one in every 4 women in a total of 2000 women respondents felt that their mothers-in-law were ‘controlling’ in nature. Since a daughter-in-law is new to the family, it gets all the more stressful for her to make things work.
Eventually, it leads to frustrations, resentment, frequent arguments with the husband, and in worst cases, the end of a marriage.
That, my friend, is the work of a manipulative mother-in-law who hates you so much.
15 signs your mother-in-law hates you
Before you start feeling like a shitty, worthless mess, and get into circumstances where it takes a toll on your relationship with your husband, identify these signs in your MIL. If it seems the signs define her, then my friend, you need real, serious help in dealing with her.
1. By default she is always right
There is no argument to this one.
She can never be wrong. And even is she is, no one dare say so. Period.
2. She ignores and dismisses you completely
You are simply not worthy of her attention and are insignificant to her. She would not listen to you even when you are talking to her. She will blatantly ignore you and pretend to do her nails. If you happen to air an opinion, she will dismiss it right away.
This is a clear indication that she harbours toxicity towards you and hates you immensely.
3. She never fails to highlight your flaws
Whether it was the cake that had cracks at the top, or your blemishes, she never fails to highlight your flaws. And she even does that in public. To top the insult, she even offers you advice and may even buy your skincare cosmetics (for those blemishes).
And, apparently she is as flawless as a goddess.
Related reading: My husband’s family considers me their servant
4. She passes rude and snide remarks when no one is around
Being critical about everything you do is one thing, but passing rude and snide remarks the moment the two of you are alone just takes the hatred to the next level. And no, she won’t insult you in front of the whole family; after all, she has that image to maintain, plus she’d never show her son how much she truly dislikes you.
Instead, she will say hurtful and mean things to you when you are wrapping up the kitchen and no one is around. It spoils your mood for the night too, probably what she wants.
5. The concept of ‘boundaries’ is alien to her
Despite your repeated reminders, she fails to respect your personal boundaries, and well disguises the interference as ‘love’ for her son and you. So much so, your husband tends to believe that she is just being thoughtful, loving and caring – and this is imprinted in his mind at a subconscious level. Every time you say something against her, he will quote these incidents and dismiss your claims.
Make him remember that an adult’s first loyalty should rest with their life-partner.
6. She is least interested in your life
To ask someone about their day and ask questions pertaining to someone’s life is a relatively easier way to let them know that you care. But not your mother-in-law. She never asks how your day went, why are you happy today or what caused that bruise just beneath your eye. She is least interested in your affairs and never asks you about anything. She may also not be supportive of your job if you work, and may constantly nag you or demean your work responsibilities.
7. She belittles all your accomplishments
Whether it is your academic excellence, laurels in sports or the current ‘Best employee’ award, everything that you have ever accomplished is simply irrelevant. She will leave no stone unturned to make sure you understand that all your accomplishments mean nothing to her, she is not proud and she simply doesn’t really care. This will act as a blow to your confidence too, something that she actually wants.
Try staying sane by telling yourself that she probably felt bad about everything she’d ever done in her life.
8. She has a thing to undermine you
She has a thing to sabotage everything you do and undermine all your efforts. Whether it is the long-awaited vacation you have planned or your parenting choices, a jealous mother-in-law would want you to fail, and weaken all your efforts. The environment around you will reek of negativity and because she is into hyper-competition with you, she will try her best to make you feel less in everything – confidence, ability, power and intellect.
9. She insults your family
She is so insensitive towards you that she will not hesitate to pass rude remarks and insult your ethnicity, your religious beliefs, and even your family. She may not say nasty stuff directly, but in indirect way; sometimes even as a backhanded compliment. You may not even realise your family has just been insulted.
This sounds cheap, but a mother-in-law who resents you completely will have no boundaries to stop her.
10. She speaks about your husband’s exes enthusiastically
This one would hurt a lot, but would also leave you with no doubt that your mother-in-law feels you are not deserving of her son. In a way, it is also disrespectful and demeaning. If she even compares you to any one in particular, it is outright rude of her.
Tell her it hurts and she should refrain from doing this. Or, if you can, ignore her when she talks crap like this.
Related reading: 8 times movie mothers-in-law were worse than your real MIL
11. There are no pictures of you and your husband
In this age of prints and pictures, you have photos of everything. Even what one eats and what one pees (okay, not literally). The thing is, if you notice not even a single picture of yours in her house, then you need not make any second guess – she definitely hates you. Look at that wall! It has photos from all stages of her son’s life, the relatives and everyone else – but none from the marriage or after that – when you were by his side.
Think about gifting one to her?
12. Playing the victim is her favourite sport
You know what her favourite sport is? Playing the victim card! This card lets her have all her son’s attention (and even the nosey neighbours). The moment something comes from you, she plays this card shedding crocodile tears and involving the whole family so that you can labelled as a villain. She will garner sympathy and give you a winning smile after all is over.
She is really jealous of you, see if it makes sense.
13. She competes with you in everything
Whether it is the way you dress, or the way you talk, you will find someone is always trying to compete with you and win. A jealous mother-in-law will compete with you in all that matters, cooking, vacations, beauty and what you read and do. She feels threatened by you and would do everything that you can to make sure she wins.
It can be a very, very unhealthy competition that can suck the family’s happiness.
14. She does not like you to be a part of family gatherings
This one is aimed at maligning your social image when it comes to the family get-togethers. A mother-in-law who hates you would conveniently forget to invite you for family gatherings or simply not tell you a key aspect of an expectation. She may never mention that your husband’s maternal uncle is a diabetic who has no sugar – and when you offer him a cake you may be ridiculed for not knowing.
And of course, you are plainly forgettable to her. The worst part is, your spouse may not even see this is happening unless you speak about it.
15. She vehemently complains about you to her son
Not in front of you; she’d never want you to counter her allegations! But when she finds him alone or he has had an argument with you, she will sit him down and tell him how hard she is trying, but YOU. And believe me you, she will have a long list of complaints which she will fervently discuss with her son. Because the man is already upset with you, these complaints work as fuel to the fire and he may even become indifferent for days.
And there you are, wondering what just happened.
These signs leave one with no doubt that your mother-in-law is not your biggest fan. Even if your husband believes otherwise, you know that weird feeling that you get when she is around. The best advice would be to try and make amends with your MIL, and have an amiable equation with her. Not an ideal one, but a decent, respectable one with agreed boundaries. But before you start with working on that, you need to know whether your MIL totally hates you or is just being the classic version of her breed. The above signs will help you identify a toxic mother-in-law who resents you to the core.
Sometimes, there is not much you can do, and just make the best of whatever you have. Let go.