20 Jan
Why Are Mothers-in-Law Such Hags?

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I am engaged to marry in August. It is the 2nd marriage for both of us. I have two sons ages 18 & 14. He has one son age 4. His former wife is now re-married, but his mother still insists on having her in our lives. She went to the hospital when the ex-wife had her child with the present husband, who is no relation, and my (future) mother-in-law buys that child gifts. Yet, she refuses to acknowledge my children whatsoever!! She has even refused to come to our home for a holiday dinner if MY children were going to be there!

Am I right for hating this woman?

Signed,

Future Daughter-in-Law to a Hag

________________________________________________________________

Dear Future Daughter-in-Law,

Of course you are right for hating this woman. It’s in the marriage by-laws, for crying out loud. Well, maybe it’s not, but at the very least we whisper the vow   “and to hate your mother” right after we promise to love, honor and cherish the groom, right?

Yet hating our mothers-in-law lumps us in with one of life’s biggest clichés. I don’t know about you but I really hate living a cliché. Also, I want to make sure you’re actually complaining about your mother-in-law NOT coming over to your home. I’m confused – is that a problem? Unless you need her visits as an excuse to drink, and if that’s the case, how dare she ruin that for you!

I don’t understand why there is tension between wives and mothers-in-law other than it’s some sick yet deeply embedded power struggle. (And a lot of mothers-in-law are hags.) This conflict appears to be part of the human game, but the good thing about being human (other than opposable thumbs which serve us well when holding a wine glass) is we can make a conscious choice to play along with the power struggle or not. You can play along, in which case you’ll have a lot of company but not much fun. Or you can decide not to get in the ring with her, go about with your life and be happy.

Happiness really is the best revenge against hags.

Signed,

Heather, TMH

15 Responses to “Why Are Mothers-in-Law Such Hags?”

01.20.11#1

Comment by Alexandra.

Came running over here when I saw the MIL’s are hags post title.

Yes, I just hope I”m not thought of that way, but I know I prolly will be.

Nature of the beast.

Heather, where are you? Your old email doesn’t work!! Alexandra (i miss you)

Yuliya Reply:

I totally read that as “nature of the breast”

01.20.11#2

Comment by The Flying Chalupa.

Opposable thumbs – hilarious. MILs – not so hilarious, but (hopefully) avoidable.

And I always thought sticking a knife in someone’s gut was the best revenge. Huh.

01.20.11#3

Comment by Bean.

I get why ignoring your kids is a problem. I wonder, however, if it’s a problem for your kids. Have you asked them? Because they’re old enough to recognize that she’s a hag and not want obligatory gifts & attention from her.

And I am a firm believer that MIL problems, if addressed, need to be addressed by her SON. Not you. Otherwise you look like the troublemaker, and the two of you don’t look like a team.

Nic Reply:

I agree with you on both points. Well put.

marathonmom Reply:

Yup, lived that one. DH wouldn’t stand up to his mother about anything. Sons and the apron strings – OY

01.20.11#4

Comment by Albug.

Bean, great advice, I totally agree. I am both a Mother and MIL. I did not get along with my MIL. I found Being cheerful and stupid confused her and made things much easier. I chose not to play her game. However, I have always been grateful to her for two things, she raised a wonderful man (my husband) and she taught me how a bad MIL acts so I have done the opposite with my DIL. Cheerful and stupid, that’s my advice. One other thing, do you know any of your MIL friends? Probably not, try to think of the former wife as a friend of your MIL that you don’t know, perhaps that will help.

01.20.11#5

Comment by Plano Mom.

Sounds like MIL is grieving the loss of what she saw was a perfect marriage. Sounds harsh, but ridiculous, right? Give her time and she’ll realize she’s being ridiculous.

Keep inviting her and including her in YOUR family, and when she says no, don’t plan for her and have a great time anyway. When dealing with a self-centered person, the only one aware of your feelings is you, so why waste your time on bad ones?

01.20.11#6

Comment by annie.

My husband once told me that if i cheated on him, he’d forgive me. If i turned into his mother,he’d leave me.

Best advice ever – he knew i’d never cheat on him but I took that as a valid warning. Take the high road, do not sink to her level and move on. Obsessing about her actions only make them a bigger part of your life.

Be civil, tolerate her when you have to, then make fun of her behind her back with your husband 😉

01.20.11#7

Comment by Diane.

I’m the exception, I know: my MIL is fantastic. But I know plenty of MILs that are hags so I use them as a chance to be grateful for my fortune and as a cautionary tale for when I become a MIL, God willing (I have 4 kids that are semi-normal and hopefully able to get spouses). I did hear from my BFF, recently divorced when her lyingratbastardofahusband cheated on her with a much younger woman – that his parents wanted to get her in the divorce. I’m not saying that’s what happened with our letter writer but the fact is – families can sometimes bring out the best and the worst in people.

01.20.11#8

Comment by Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him.

I think women let their husbands off the hook too easily with this issue. He needs to champion for you so the mother realizes how important this is to her son. But I should just shut up. My MIL is nicer to me than my mother.

Plano Mom Reply:

Yeah, I realized after putting in my two cents that I should make it clear that my MIL is awesome, and would pick me first in a divorce.

01.22.11#9

Comment by soccermomwkids.

MIL are just there to nag u truly! But they mean well.

02.02.11#10

Comment by hellotoes.

I agree MIL are just plain nasty Mine takes the cake greedy bossy and curl and my husband doesnt see just keeps saying try to get a long. My son was born the day after her birthday and she truly believes that i did everthing in my power to not have him share her birthday,picked my wedding party and does everthing she can do to belittle me at family functions even the ones i am hosting. I have already explained to my son take your wifes side even if shes wrong and Iam right. and he is welcome to remind me of this if need be.

06.27.11#11

Comment by My Babysitter's More Mary Poopins Than Mary Poppins | The Mouthy Housewives.

[…] to TELL you about it? I do believe she’s just entered the annals of The Mouthy Housewives Mothers-In-Law From Hell, Volume […]

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