8 Signs of a Poisonous Mother-In-Law and 6 Ways to Beat Her at Her Game

Angelina Gupta
poisonous mother-in-law

“He might be your husband but he is my son first.” How many times has your mother-in-law reminded you that your husband is her “property” and made you feel like a nobody? You are trapped with a poisonous mother-in-law, who has her mind set on poisoning your marriage.

When you are married, things aren’t as easy as marrying the person you love and having a happily ever after. It happens in a perfect world based on chick flicks but this is reality. When you are married, you don’t just marry your husband, you marry the entire family and you need to dedicate your life in keeping the entire family happy. But what if you dedicate you entire life to the family and still feel like an outsider?

8 Signs of a Poisonous Mother-In-Law

How many times have you said, “I hate my mother-in-law?” Well, who loves a jealous and manipulative mother-in-law? A toxic mother-in-law will make you go through tons of misery and will drain all your energy, leaving you in a load of pain. This will eventually affects your relation with your husband and you will find yourself all alone in a marriage that has been sucked out of all happiness. It’s almost like having a Step Mother! If you want to save your marriage, you need to recognize the signs of a poisonous mother-in-law.

1. She is always judgmental

Every opinion of yours is judged. It’s as if all her critical abilities all of a sudden heighten when you open your mouth. It doesn’t stop there. Any chore you do will be judged. She will even judge the way you walk, talk and even laugh. She never does that for any other member in the family but when it comes to you, she is at it non-stop. Be prepared to listen to a lecture on behaviour and mannerism.

Judgemental MIL

Judgemental MIL Image Source

What is it, the 19th Century?

2. She will bitch about you in front of her friends

Whenever her friends will come over for a social gathering, your toxic mother-in-law will be ready to bitch about you and make sure you hear it. Why, she clearly hates you. She is indirectly taunting you and wants you to feel small and embarrassed.

3. She is Mrs. Nosy Parker

You will always find her around, especially when your husband has come back home from work. She will come into your room to strike a conversation with you and your husband pretending to be friendly. She won’t give you both space. It is because she is just a jealous mother-in-law who can’t bear the fact that you are spending more time with her son.

4. She loves it when you make mistakes

Mothers-in-law enjoy a sense of superiority and always want to be the head of the house. The moment you make even the slightest mistake, you will see her smirk thinking that she is winning the game. You may not be even thinking of any game in your mind but that isn’t true in her case.

5. She is always right

No matter what decision she takes or what opinion she has, she is always right. Your mother-in-law will want you to agree to whatever she says because in her dictionary, the word wrong isn’t there, unless she has to use it on you. Such a toxic mother-in-law will never accept her mistake and will expect you to apologize even if she is wrong.

Related reading: My mother keeps complaining about her daughter-in-law for no good reason

6. She will play the emotional card

If at any point she feels that she is losing the battle she will play the emotional card to get the family on her side. She will bring up the past and remind everyone of what she has done for the family, forcing everyone to go on a guilt trip. Your manipulative mother-in-law knows which cards to play to not let anyone know she is playing mind games.

MIL plays emotionally

MIL plays emotionally Image Source

7. She holds grudges

A disgusting mother-in-law will always hold grudges against you for the smallest of things and will keep sending you on a guilt trip for the rest of your life. She wants you to drown in misery and she enjoys being the reason for it. No matter what you do to make her happy, she will always want to make you suffer by holding grudges.

8. She will appear sweet in front of everyone else

A vindictive mother-in-law will never show her true colours in front of the rest of the family. She doesn’t want to taint her image of being the ‘perfect woman’ of the house. When she is alone with you, she will shower you with her taunts and will make you want to run away. This is exactly what she wants. She wants to make you feel unwanted so that you don’t come in between her and the rest of the family. You will always remain an outsider to her.

Related reading: It’s not the mother-in-law but the father-in-law who’s the villain in my story

6 ways to tackle a poisonous mother-in-law

Poisonous mothers-in-law are like the thorns you get when you are gifted roses. It is your choice whether you want those thorns to prick you or want to cut the thorns off the stem. If you want to live a peaceful and happily married life, here are 6 ways to tackle a poisonous mother-in-law.

1. Talk to her

Sometimes, things as simple as a short talk are enough to sort things out. There might be some deeper reason for her behaviour which she hasn’t shared with anyone because of which she is acting out. This transition is new for her as well and she might be thinking that everything around her is falling apart and she is losing control to you. It’s better to talk to her and assure her that you aren’t there to take her position in any way.

Talk to her and sort things

Talk to her and sort things Image source

Related reading: 10 thoughts that come to your mind when your mother-in-law announces her visit next month

2. Talk to your husband

Sometimes talking to your husband helps as he isn’t present when incidents at the house happened and thus he has no clue about what goes on between you and your mother-in-law. Men hate being the rope in a tug of war but do not make it sound like that. Ask him how you can keep your mother-in-law happy and win her heart. He might have a few tricks up his sleeve.

3. Include her in your plans

Sometimes, you feel that your mother-in-law isn’t giving your husband and you enough space because you aren’t the one initiating the plan and involving her. She can sense that you are not comfortable having her around when you are with your husband and she takes advantage of that to frustrate you.
If you include her in your plans with your husband continuously, after a point she will realize that her presence doesn’t affect you and she will eventually give up.

4. Ignore her

If her taunts are unbearable to your human ear, ignore her. If she sees that you aren’t paying attention, she will try harder to piss you off. After some time when she sees that her cribbing is having no effect on you, she will eventually get tired and stop.

Related reading: How I stood up to my mother-in-law and kept my dignity

5. Kill her with kindness

Kill her with kindness

Be kind to herImage source

You are a bride of the 21st Century. You know better how to fight back! Identify her vulnerable parts and kill her with kindness there itself. If she taunts you about the way you buy readymade spices and do not grind the spices yourself, give her some spices to grind saying that you want to learn from the expert. If she taunts you about how bad you cook, tell her that you are relieved because you thought that you were a worse cook than that. Come up with sassy remarks and it will leave her bewildered.

6. Have a weekend getaway

It is important that you and your husband have enough time away from all the family drama. Make sure that you both spend quality time as it is an essential part of a marriage. Take short trips away from your toxic mother-in-law. It will refresh your mind, boost your confidence and will also strengthen your relationship with your husband.

Toxic mothers-in-law will always come gift-wrapped with your marriage and dealing with them is a brain game. If you want to beat your mother-in-law in her game, be smart, silent and always have a smile on your face. Never give your mother-in-law the leverage by giving in into her emotional plays.

Always be a step ahead and focus on your marriage and other family members rather than a poisonous mother-in-law and you are good to go.

My husband only listens to his mother and keeps me away

How my mother-in-law and I bonded over coffee

Five best situations when mothers-in-law suck the life out of you

You May Also Like

Leave a Comment


Be a part of bonobology for free and get access to marvelous stories and information.