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Tips on Dealing with A Toxic Mother In Law


Do you have a toxic mother in law? We discuss the signs that confirm you do, plus share tips on how to manage her horrid behaviour. Take a read now! If a toxic mother in law is not something you thought you’d signed up for when getting married, you’re in for a rude wake-up call. You probably pictured at the very least, having an in-law who respected your relationship, your decisions and you as a person. Finding out that you’ve now got the mother in law (or MIL) from hell can a nasty shock. 


Studies have found that around one-quarter of married women rate their relationship with their MIL as bad or terrible. The burden this causes couples and their family can result in horrific events, such as divorce, separation and the need to move far, far away from the MIL.

However, how do you know if you have a toxic mother in law, or if you’re feeling over sensitive about her? Well, read on, and we’ll explain their common characteristics, plus share tips on how to manage her behaviour to your advantage.  


Relationships are tricky things, especially with it comes to MILs! Often they feel they have a prior claim to your husband, only they can give him what he needs and their word is law. 


Not only is this insulting, but it’s darn right rude too! A toxic mother in law is one which has a harmful influence on your life and marriage because she:

  • Believes her opinions about your life and the way you raise your kids are just as important as hers. She’ll push them forward, regardless of whether you’ve asked for them or not! To handle this, you can either tell her to butt out (in the nicest way), or simply ignore her ideas and make your own decisions. 
  • Finds fault in everything you do. She’s either direct or subtle about it, pointing out that she certainly doesn’t leave dirty dishes in the sink or toys over the floor. Watch out for sarcasm here, as it reigns supreme in monster in laws! Tell her that if she doesn’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all! Failing that, don’t invite her into your home anymore.
  • Believes she is always welcome and turns up unannounced whenever she likes. A toxic mother in law doesn’t respect your space, expects you to welcome her with loving arms and then goes and criticises everything she sees. Tell her that you would like her to wait until she is invited before coming over, or failing that, ring first!
  • Is an expert at gaslighting. This is when she’ll deny any mean thing she’s ever said or done, regardless of the proof! This is aimed at making you second guess yourself and warp reality in her favour. The trick is to remember that you don’t need her to confirm what she’s done: what you know is enough!
  • Has two faces: the nice one she shows everyone else and the horrid one she shows you! Others just can’t believe she is the problem, because she is just so darn nice and therefore it must be you! Once again, just know that your knowledge is enough, you don’t need other people to know how awful she is too.
Having a fabulous relationship with your toxic mother in law is darn near impossible, unless she changes her ways. The issue is, she sees you as the one having the problem, not herself. Your best course of action is to simply accept the way she is, but don’t let it affect your life. It’s easier said than done, so please share your own horror MIL stories with us below!

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