REAL LIFE ISSUES | “When MIL = Manipulator-in-Law” By Miss S… The First Bloggista of Our In-Law Series!

Alison here.  Pretttttyyy pretty stoked about introducing this new series you’re about to experience, and to see it all coming together is nothing short of a dream come true.  I hear EVERY DAY from brides with in-law questions and issues, and this series was an inevitability.  

Now, I think we all know that there are lovely, kind, wonderful in-laws out there, as well as go-with-the-flow in-laws, and not-very-involved in-laws…. clearly, since in-laws are people, naturally they come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities.  And many make a bride’s transition from girlfriend to wife easy breezy beautiful – even delightful in many cases! – and for these types of in-laws we are beyond grateful.  They disprove the reigning stigma.  Trust me, great in-laws do exist!  

Unfortunately, they don’t exist in all cases.  Even more, they are hardly the exception to the rule.  

Now, without further adieu, I introduce you to Miss S, and her story…

Who am I?

I’m a hard working, chocolate-loving gal who met the love of her life in grad school. I never was the type of girl who daydreamed about her wedding – BUT I saw enough TV shows and heard enough stories to fear having a mean, evil mother-in-law. I promised myself at an early age that I would never, ever let myself marry a guy who had an evil mom…

Fast forward 15 years and here I am with, who I believe to be, the most manipulative mother-in-law on earth.  So much for sticking to my promises.

The problem is I didn’t realize how evil she was until after I got engaged.  I was happily engaged for exactly 7 days before my world crashed around me in ways I had never thought possible.

My mission is to share my story with the hope of helping my fellow ladies out there who are experiencing similar problems. It can be a depressing and heartbreaking time, but remember you are not alone and you can get through this. If I did, so can you!

And a little more about me - Things I love: chocolate, cabernet sauvignon, salsa dancing, eating good food with good company, traveling with my fiancé, the color whiteThings I hate: Obviously, Mean In-Laws

When MIL = Manipulator-in-Law

I used to describe my future mother-in-law as “controlling” and “overbearing.”  Then my fiancé and I met with a therapist who made me realize that she was more than that – she was a manipulator.  And thus, what I call a Manipulator-in-Law (“MIL”).

The art of manipulation is mysterious to those more simple-minded folks like me who would never even dream about purposely hurting others for selfish goals.  However, dealing with my MIL has helped me see what manipulation looks like in real life and how to wrangle yourself out of it, no matter how painful that process might be. A MIL not only makes you feel personally miserable, but can also ruin the relationship you have with your significant other. Trust me when I say it is important for the survival of your relationship and marriage to deal with the MIL before it is too late.

So you may ask, what does a Manipulator-in-law look like?

A MIL can take many different forms. Mine used the following two methods to manipulate my fiancé (1) money and (2) threats to hate me if my fiancé didn’t do as my MIL insisted. The most telling example of her manipulation is the story of my engagement ring. My fiancé used the money he had saved up throughout the years and sold some of his stock investments to buy me a beautiful engagement ring.  He spent months and months looking for the perfect rock for me.  Because his bank statements were being sent to my MIL’s home, my MIL found out how much he had spent on my rock… and was absolutely furious at how much he had spent. It is true that he spent way more than the typical rule of spending two or three-months of your annual salary because he based it on his future salary, not his current. Regardless, the point is that my fiancé spent his own money, not his parents so it shouldn’t matter.  However, my MIL insisted that the money in my fiancé’s bank account and stock investments were NOT his money for reasons that require an entirely separate blog post on how they used finances to control him.  My MIL told my fiancé that she would hate me more and more every time she saw me with that ring. Quite strange that she would hate ME, even though it was my fiancé who picked out the ring, but my MIL knew that my fiancé wanted her to like me so this was her way to manipulate him. She also threatened to not approve the engagement if my fiancé proposed with that ring.

My MIL told my fiancé that the only way she would approve the engagement would be under the following conditions: (1) my fiancé buys a SECOND less expensive ring at a price that my MIL sets, (2) my fiancé proposes to me with this second less expensive ring and (3) my fiancé hands over the FIRST nicer ring to my MIL.  My MIL said she would put the first nicer ring in a safe deposit box until she decided that my fiancé was making enough money to afford that ring, and at such time she would return the ring to my fiancé.  Crazy huh? Her plan especially makes no sense considering that the main reason she got mad in the first place was because my fiancé had spent a lot of money on the first ring! If she didn’t like how much money he spent, why in the world would she make my fiancé spend even MORE money to buy a second ring?  It doesn’t make any sense. My analysis is that it was more than about the money – she wanted to be in control of the entire proposal, and she could not stand the thought of my fiancé giving me such a nice ring and giving so much love to another woman. I joke that my fiancé is probably the only guy who had to buy two engagement rings to propose to one girl.

As crazy at this all sounds, my fiancé, a victim of her manipulation throughout the years, yielded to her demands in an effort to make sure she approved our engagement and continued to like me.  But he went along with the plan with an important twist – my fiancé gave me the first ring and gave my MIL the second one.  He was able to pull this off by buying a second ring that was on the large side but of lesser quality (and thus able to fit into the budget my MIL had set).  I’m surprised my MIL hasn’t gotten the ring she received appraised yet.  I can’t wait to see her flip out when she finds out that her little plan didn’t work.

And here’s the worst part – after my fiancé proposed, we called our respective parents to share the happy news.  My MIL asks me on the phone, and I quote, “Do you like the ring? My son spent so much time looking for it.” It makes me sick to my stomach that she would ask that question to my face after trying to manipulate the whole situation behind my back.

Looking back, it really amazes me that both my fiancé and I did not realize how manipulative my MIL was until I talked to my therapist.  We never thought about using that word “manipulator” to even describe her; we always just described her as overbearing.  I guess we were naïve about the whole situation.

So ladies, ask yourself, is your MIL simply overbearing or, in fact, manipulating you and your significant other? Remember, the first step to winning this battle is to recognize that you are in fact being manipulated.  And there’s no shame in admitting that you have been the victim of manipulation.  It’s not your fault that your MIL is so crazy.

So I’d love to hear from you all.  Have you had less than positive experiences with your in-laws?  … what has been your experience?

Thanks everyone, it’s so nice to share my story with all of you!

xoxo  - Miss S

Label(s): Popular *New*, Real Life Issues, The Bloggistas

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328 comments

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  2. Felice on June 22, 2016

    My MIL stole a bag amd some books that my husbands grandmother gave me. She demanded that I give them to her and stated that the grandmother really ment to give them to her. Lol. She also forced my husband to get rid of all of my things I was storing in the garage. She went through them first and stole ridiculous items. My clothes, which she wears daily. My son’s foot prints, blankets, and outfit from the hospital ate gone and probably in her room. All of my sentiments, my son’s things, even some things I made for my daughter, gone.
    Even more horrible, my great grandma passed one piece of jewelry down to me, which my grandma kept safe for me after I lost it at her house. A few years ago, my grandma gave me the necklace, which was so special for me because I didn’t even know she had it all those years. (13, respectively ). The day I wore it to my MILs house, she kept eyeing it, I took it off before going to bed. In the middle of the night I woke up to her walking into my room and the next day it was gone. I don’t know how she found it in the dark. She eventually admitted to taking it to “keep it safe” but refuses to look for it or give it back. When my husband brings it up to her she gets livid and says the necklace he’s describing is a necklace her other son or her husbamd gave her. You do the math, she doesn’t even know who supposedly gave her this identical mystery necklace. I hate her.

    Reply
  3. Sickened DIL on July 21, 2016

    How about my husband receiving a text message like this after finding out my father who lives out of state is here: “I know we all have busy lives, i guess you don’t have time to return texts either. Evidently family day is not important so don’t worry consider it no more. You know our number and where we live”. And all of a sudden she wants family day (theirs) knowing my father is here visiting out of state and they live 20 min away

    Reply
  4. Stein on July 27, 2016

    If you mother in-law is a controlling , stubborn, bitch, my advice to anyone is, NEVER LIVE WITH THEM AT THE SAME HOUSE. The bitch will make you here bitch.

    Reply
  5. Same boat on July 27, 2016

    First of all…..I’m soooo sorry you have such a terrible MIL! Thank you for sharing your story. You don’t know how bad things are until you experience them yourself. My MIL was so upset she was not present at the proposal that she made her son feel guilty about it. For the record, she was invited to dinner (happened on my graduation dinner) however she chose to go away instead. Her choice plus it’s not about her.

    So shortly after the engagement, she threw us a party. I said no to that date because I was having dental surgery done two days before. But did she care? No! On top of that, she decided to cater the party with a funeral package. Haha. I guess if was a party for her to mourn the loss of her son to me.

    Two days after the party, I got a nasty email that I was cc’d in. She was complaining to her friend that I was no allowing her to plan and make suggestions. Which is not true, we haven’t even started planning plus it was her son that told her to stay out of the planning. She didn’t hit reply all. She entered my name which she denies she did. This pretty much started a war. All I wanted was some space away from her to thinking about why she would write bad things about me. She has boundary issues. I spoke to my friend who is a therapist say it’s pretty common. My evil MIL probably has separation issues and feels that I stole her baby. My fiancé has just realized that he is a victim of manipulation. I think I need to go see a therapist to work out these feelings I have towards my MIL. So to everyone out there with a crazy MIL, stay strong!!!!

    Reply
  6. EXHAUSTED on August 11, 2016

    My fiancé and I have been together for three years. The ENTIRE time she has been terrible to me, not to mention having abused her child most of his life physically and emotionally. Now we’ve been engaged for 2 months, we were planning to get married early the next year but plans have changed as he’s going to basic for active-duty army and we’ve moved up the date. She is not CONSTANTLY trying to tell him not marry me as well as treating me in a revolting way. God, there is so much more I could include but I would be sitting here for weeks typing. How do I deal with her(and her parents as well)?

    Reply
  7. Over It on August 12, 2016

    My fiancée and I have been together for two years and we live with his parents while we look for a house and the first year and a half were perfect and everything was fine and she was so nice and kind and treated me like part of the family but then his cousins were here from out of town and we had planned to go on a date and she threw the biggest fit in the world over it saying 100% of his time needed to be spent with his cousins. So whatever she got what she wanted we didn’t go on our date he went with his cousins. So his cousins leave back out of town and and my fiancée and I went to my moms house and his mom started texting him saying he was choosing us over her, that my and I yelled at her and told her off which never ever happened, and how my mom said he was her son like wtf!?? Over a period of 5 days whenever she wasn’t with him she would constantly bombard him with text terrivle texts saying he wasn’t her son anymore that she hated me and my mom that I wasn’t allowed in the house and on top of that she went and told all of her side of the family and our family friends that my mom and I told her off?? My mom fiancée and I are just baffled at her behavior. Keep in mind that those 5 days my mom and I didn’t talk to her AT ALL and I stayed at my moms house. She finally calmed down a little bit and we thought everything was going to get better and then she starts doing things like bribing him not to marry she offered to buy him a new car! I didn’t do a single thing wrong this whole time and I don’t know what to do about her telling her family members because I don’t want them to believe her. HELP

    Reply
  8. Alert on August 13, 2016

    My fiance is my first boyfriend and I am his eight. When he brought me home his mother was thrilled. Soon after he propose and even though my family and I didn’t want wedding reception since we know how much it would cost. His family keep insisted on it and eventually I gave up. The two of us paid for the whole thing ourselves. His sister came when we book the venue and decided on the catering! Luckily, my fiance agreed to change the catering as we wanted. I agreed to have the matrimony on their church which is ridiculously very far from where I live. At the technical meeting my fiance and his mom came one hour late. She insisted to come with him. During the talks about stove for the food stall I said I wouldn’t want a stove since it’s a ballroom with only one door to in and out. My fiance mother hit the table and shouted to me in front of everyone! Pointing out the fact I am scare of stove and no matter what she wanted a damn stove inside the ballroom!. I was stunned and angry inside. My fiance try to calm me. I was about to stand and leave yet I remember these people had come from far and sat waiting for them for an hour. Leaving in such situation will only be difficult for me. I stay until the meeting was over and sure she got the stove but on the wedding day. The catering staff in charge refused to have the stove for the same reason as mine. Hahahahaha. I try to avoid my in-laws. Only meeting them in several family occasions. For eighteen months of our engagement his family is the one and only reason we fight. So much so that I wanted to cancel the wedding, I didn’t because I am in love and very happy with the man I marry. I lived the wedding vows before we get married. For better or worse. The worse including horrible in-laws.

    Reply
  9. Lexi on August 13, 2016

    My MIL is a bat shit crazy woman. She stole my fiance’s truck by forging his signature, notarizing it herself (she is a notary), and then having her other notary friend notarize her own signature. She is constantly telling my fiance that he is a shitty son and that he never does what she wants him to and is just so awful. Every time that we go over there, so that my fiance can work on her house, she always wants to bring up our wedding and what SHE wants done. Every input that I give about what I want done, she shoots down as if it is her who is getting married. I am a full time student and my fiance is putting me through college. My first year of college, I made all of the payments on my own and I worked in order to be able to do so. It was the most stressful thing, so my fiance told me to stay home and he would help me so that I can focus on school. His mother, on he other hand, is so outraged that I quit my job and I haven’t tried to get a different one. I hear about how I need to get a job every single day from her. It is hard working full time while going to school full time. She just does not understand it. She is so controlling over every aspect of our lives. She wants us to live with her because she is so jealous that we get along with my fiance’s dad and we want to live with him. She is upset that my fiance has dinner with my family and that she isn’t invited (like why would you be invited?? You are too crazy) AND.. she even lied to my fiance that his grandma was sick and dying with stage 4 cancer in order for him to drop everything and go to his mom’s house. When he got there, his grandma was up and walking just fine and said that he didn’t need to go over because she just cut her leg and had to have the doctor clean the wound. What kind of a person lies about someone having cancer in order to get attention?? I sometimes wonder if it is even worth having such a permanent tie to a woman who is so awful. How could a man so amazing and sweet have come from a woman who is nothing but a liar, cheater, and thief? I will never understand how one person can have so much bitterness and hatred within their body. You best believe that my children will NEVER EVER EVER EVER be left alone with that INSANE woman they will have to unfortunately call… Grandma… :(

    Reply
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  11. suzana on August 25, 2016

    i need to vent and i really dont do it very often first off all im sorry for my ad english im from italy but i only finde this page to tell my story about my in laws im feeling down, i had a fight with my mother in law , beter to say she had a fight with me she can not stand me from
    the biginin when we change cuntry we lived all together she turned all the faM. against me and throw me and my husband out off home i was 21 after 1 year she said im sorry becaus i was pregnant and she wants to be part off the fam. but all this tim i saw anger in her eyes like but i got mature i had so much in my life going on i had missccarige she was not there she didnt evan call me to chek up on, so 1 week ago my sister in law own a restoran she calld me pls can you come help us i said yes but indont know what to do with my kid she was take her to mom i was like i think she made clear that she is not babysiting her she said inwill call her so she refused i was like i will bring the kid and help you sooo when i got there it was full of ppl so i just stard helping her and in one time i saw my mother in law said i will take the kid i really wanted to say no because you sead no hours ago so but i remain quite to not make her angry so when i finished i got my massag chekd she sand me 4 a massage telling me that i didnt want to talk to her that im this and that so i got te her home and asked her whay are you acting like that she start sceraming in fort of my kid and i told her i didnt see you so she opend the door and told me get out i was are u sure you did this one time im not going back anymore she said get out i got out and start crying my sisters in law calld me at told me that thay are sorry my hubby wich allways stayd quite was very upset, i dont know what to do im feeling sooo down and sad i need your advice ladis how to close this story and move on with my life she made me sufer a loot

    Reply

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