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Community Member

My mother in law is controlling, bossy and can’t take suttle hints and when I spell it out to her she tries to rephrase it, hoping I’ll back down and I don’t so then it turns into an argument. My partner says she is only trying to help, but she also makes him the meat in the sandwich between us, he lets her walk all over him, he doesn’t like conflict so he can’t say no to turn. My stomach churns and I get heart palpitations knowing I need to see her or have a difficult conversation with her, I don’t like conflict either but I have bitten my tongue for to long. Any advice 

2 Replies 2

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Kasey, welcome


I've had 4 long term relationships all over 7 years long. So in effect I've had 4 mother in laws plus a mother that is as you described, likely worse.


In terms of my mother I went most of my life confused as to why she'd act like she did eg- demand I break off a girlfriend without giving a reason then blackmail me if I didnt. Ruin my 1st wedding for attention, I forgave her, then 25 years later try to ruin my 2nd wedding before I had to get a AVO to stop her from attending!. Control, manipulation and so on. I havent seen her for 12 years.


Then a friend told me to google - queen witch hermit waif... and when I did I read about my mother and all her characters. Very sad but it was reality.


Baring in mind the above I have to say- you didnt marry your mother in law. That statement is true and you would benefit greatly by taking that approach, to treat her like a semi toxic acquaintance that you only meet up with if you absolutely have to. Such boundaries you have a right to implement and set. However, easier said than done as you are married to her son. Most likely your husband has no idea the extent of the manipulation and bossiness - he'd rather have his mother exist in his life as he is the "golden child" and you have taken away her golden child ... you are "the other woman". Hence the intensity leading to arguments.


To place boundaries in you really need to enforce your new boundaries. If you do not feel comfortable with your MIL visiting your home then ask your husband that she doesnt.. The alternative is to go missing as she walks in the door. A quick hug and "bye, have to go see somebody" as you fly off. It can remain strictly between you and her. Being married to a person doesnt mean you are expected to get along with his family members. So ideally being civil but not allow conversation beyond hello and goodbye, gotta rush off, have a good time... is not being nasty and avoiding conflict. Save up your shopping times for such events. If your husband rings while you are out let it go to voicemail so it allows you time to consider the best response. If his words are like "mum is here, its a bit rude not to be here... etc" then he really is violating your rights not to have a solid relationship with someone that you dont like- simple really. A reply like "are you forcing me to converse with someone I dont get along with". This method of MIL management is such that if hubby is dissatisfied explain it clearly, that you didnt marry her, families have people that you never see eye to eye with and that by pressuring you he is enforcing a relationship onto you and best he just concentrate on him and you.


Like America we also live in freedom. I'm firm on freedom. We have rights and if people were friendly and flexible they wouldnt burn bridges with their attitude.


The thread below deals with counteraction with few words. If you meet with her unavoidably you can use "wit" with few words and let it sink home. If she is arguementive you can go for a walk.





Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

The problem is that there are two matriarchs and no hive can sustain more than one queen bee.
Your behaviour in her house must be abated and accommodating; hers in yours likewise out of respect for this common courtesy.