Why is it that mothers-in-law display some of the worst qualities humanity has ever seen? Cruel doesn't even begin to describe the torture these women inflict on their families. These harrowing stories left families demolished and lives forever changed. Content has been edited for clarity.
"My now ex-husband and I were going through a divorce and had amicably agreed to share custody of our son. I had moved out of our home due to my ex becoming physically violent with me. He was immensely frustrated that I wanted a divorce. He was a serial cheater, quit his jobs on a whim, and depleted money we needed to pay bills by partying at clubs with his friends. I was physically, emotionally, and financially worn out and enough was enough. One of my dear friends allowed me and my son to share her studio apartment during that time.
The ex and I worked out a shared custody agreement, although the divorce was not yet finalized. We used the daycare center as the 'neutral zone' for pickups and drop offs to avoid unnecessary drama. All went well for a few months and then it happened. My ex had our son for the days leading up to Christmas and was supposed to bring him back on Christmas Day. He called to let me know that he and his new girlfriend were taking her kids to Disney World, and he wanted to take our son. They were going on the day after Christmas and he asked to keep our son for another two days. Although I really wanted to have my son home for Christmas, I agreed to it, knowing our son would enjoy Disney with his dad. So Christmas comes and goes and the day comes for me to pick our son up from daycare and he isn’t there. His dad had never dropped him off. I was annoyed but not too concerned, as I thought his dad had changed plans and just not bothered to tell me. I called his phone and left so many messages his voicemail filled up. Then I went to his work and found out he had quit his job the week before. Now I am trying to swallow the panic that is rising in the back of my throat. I go to our old home and his car is not there. I try to use my old key, but he has changed the locks. I called a locksmith to let me in, saying that I accidentally locked my self out. Since all of my ID still had the old address, they let me in. Once inside, my heart literally sank to the floor. Although the furniture was still there, all other personal items were gone. My son’s room had been cleaned out. My worst nightmare had come true. My ex had taken our son.
So I immediately call my mother-in-law. She and my ex were extremely close and talked on the phone every day. I told her what was happening and asked if she had heard from him, and if she knew what was going on. She assured me she had not spoken with him but would try to reach him and let me know. I then called the police and tried to file a missing persons report. The police stated that since custody was not finalized, there was nothing they could do. Our agreement stipulated that neither of us could take our son out of state without the expressed consent of the other parent, but the police said I would need to prove our son was out of state before they could get involved. Needless to say, I was devastated, scared, angry, and confused. There had been no argument or event that I was aware of that would trigger my ex’s decision. It was all very irrational. I didn’t know what frame of mind my ex was in and feared for our son's safety. When this happened, our son was only 18 months old.
So I hired a detective to find them. All they could tell me was where they had been based on credit and bank card usage (again from my bank accounts). I considered closing the accounts, but was too afraid of what would happen to our son if his dad ran out of money. This went on for two months. Every day I spoke with my mother-in-law and each time she assured me that she had not heard from him but was still trying. And I stupidly believed her. In the meantime, I moved back into our old home, as I was still paying the bills there and awaited news. I was on autopilot, forcing myself to get up, take a shower, go to work, do anything to keep it together. At night, I would lay awake in bed, willing the phone to ring and practice what I would do and say if my ex called. I wanted to be calm. I wanted to stay calm enough to find out if they were okay and then where they were. I practiced this a million times in my head. I would not let my emotions get the best of me. I had a plan. And I would stick to it. Then one night weeks later, it happened. At 3:00 a.m., my phone rang, I picked it up and heard my ex-husband on the line. 'Are you awake?' he asked somewhat nonchalantly. In my mind, I answered him very calmly. I spoke to him exactly as I had practiced. In reality, I let out a blood-curdling scream that was so loud my neighbors heard and banged on my front door to check on me. I dissolved into a heaving mass of anguish and hysteria. My neighbors broke open my door and found me on my bedroom floor. Phone still in my hand sobbing uncontrollably. My ex of course had hung up. And that’s when I lost it. Utterly and completely. I blamed myself for messing up my chance to finally know for sure that my son was alive and well. I was done. There was no more going through the motions after that. I just lay in bed and tried to remind myself to breathe. I called off from work and just lay in bed waiting. I was paralyzed with fear and anxiety. I was so angry at myself for not following the plan. For failing my son.
Later in the week, the phone rang again. It was my ex. I dared not speak. He asked if I was calmer now, and I said yes. I silently listened on the phone as he tried to explain his reasons for taking off with our son. It basically came down to him having a problem with how I loved and took care of our son but apparently wanted nothing to do with him, and I didn't want our son around him. I just hung onto that phone and listened. I asked no clarifications, I just listened for clues of where they were, and validations that our son was okay. I was able to glean three things from that very one-sided conversation: My son was alive and well, his dad had indeed taken him out of state, and my mother-in-law knew all along what was going on and was trying to assist my ex in getting sole custody.
I thanked my ex for calling back. I asked if he could put our son on the phone so that I could hear his voice. He was sleeping, so we made arrangements for me to call back later that morning. I cannot tell you the relief and joy I felt when I heard that little voice in the phone. I asked if he was having fun and he said yes, but was ready to come home.
I made arrangements to fly out to get him the next day. Once home, the phone rings and it’s my mother-in-law. Which was great, because I had some misplaced anxiety that was looking for a home. She had the audacity to try to defend her actions. She knew her son had no interest in full custody of our son. He never even filed for it. He was quite content with our shared agreement, especially since I never even bothered him about the child support payments he never made. Instead of chasing him for money I put that energy into working my way up the corporate ladder and making a good life for us. I never bad-mouthed his dad to my son.
In the end my Monster-In-Law demanded to know if she would be allowed to see her grandson again. I said, absolutely, but you will need to see me first and explain how as a human being and a mother you could lie to me the way you did. You could have at least let me know that you were in touch with his dad and that they were okay. You let me worry and wonder for three months if my child was alive or dead. And for that you will need to answer. So whenever you are ready, please come see us! She never did. No cards no calls, nothing. Her son followed in her path. He cut off all contact with the only child he ever had. The mother-in-law died last January, and within six months, my ex died. Although I held out hope my son and his dad would reconcile one day, it was not meant to be. Mercifully, thankfully, and graciously life goes on."
"'Get your lazy butt up and do the dishes!'
It was 9 a.m. My significant other and I had been together for three months. His mom had a key to his place. I deep-cleaned the entire apartment the previous night, but I left a few dishes in the sink to finish the following evening. His mom had let herself in and snooped around. She then woke me up by screaming at me to do this dishes. After three months of her psychotic tendencies, I completely snapped at her. I told her, 'I'll do the dishes tonight. If you don't like that, then leave!'
Well, she left. Only an hour later, CPS knocked on our door. 'Someone' had called and said that we were neglecting my daughter, doing illicit substances, and that our place was a mess. I sighed and let the worker in. I explained the incident with my boyfriend's mom. Not even two minutes after I had explained what had happened, the demon herself got back inside. To this day, I still have no idea what possessed her to think this sort of thing would go over well. His mom got in my face and yelled at me about how CPS was going to take my kid, how I was absolute garbage, and how I was going to learn exactly what happened when I didn't listen to her. This poor CPS worker looked at this mom and maintained a look of feigned confusion. The worker asked who she was. My boyfriend's mom snapped back, 'I'm the witch who called you people! You got a problem with that?!'
The worker glanced at me, and I glanced at my boyfriend's mom. I calmly told her if she didn't leave, then I would call the police and use the CPS worker as a witness. Of course, his mom tried throwing a tantrum about that as well. Until the CPS worker spoke up and told her to leave too. As soon as she left, the CPS worker said, 'I just need to swab both your mouths for the substance screening. Once that back, I'll close the case.' Within a week, the case was closed. You'd think that would be the end of the story, right? Well, not quite.
A few months later, we got into it with his mom because she would constantly degrade me in front of my kid. Within a matter of days of this, his mom (no longer having a key), came and pounded on the door. Now, at that point my kid was one year old, and I had started college, and my significant other was working 12-hour shifts due to his work being short-staffed. His mom knew this. He let her in, and she immediately began gathering everything she had lent him for the place. Living room set? Hers. Laptop? Hers. TV? He had to pay her her portion of it. Even the microwave and dishes were hers. The worst part? She apparently had a lien against his car. So she took that. She was determined to make our lives a nightmare.
The next day, I received a phone call from our CPS worker from the prior case. She told me that his mother had attempted to file a report again, this time under a false name. The only reason the worker figured it out was from going to get an in-person statement when she recognized his mother's phone number. The worker was calling to inform me, and to let me know they would NOT be opening the case to begin with, and would not accept calls from his mother in the future. She advised me to get a restraining order, and to not let his mother babysit. It has now been a year since then. He and I are still together, and I sadly never got that restraining order, because I don't want him to have to choose between his mother and myself (he is overly attached because he lost his dad at a young age.) His mother is not as psychotic, but I still refuse to let her babysit, and he and I both refuse to let her help us with anything financially, let alone 'gift' us anything important. He got rides to and from work for a few months, and we purchased a car with our tax return. I still am in college, and my kid is now 'our' kid, who also happens to love nothing more than when his mother comes to see her. I don't plan to fill her in on how his mother has acted, ever. Because as bad as his mother is, mine is worse. Our kid deserves at least one grandparent in her life who (somewhat, in a weird way) cares."
"My husband is from Romania, and his mother came to live with us for a year while waiting for her green card. The plan was that she would then spend six months a year with us in America and six months a year in Romania. I knew she was the matriarch of the family, and my husband was her first son, but this woman hated me on sight. She said the most awful things to me. I was too young, too pretty to be with her son for anything other than his money. I told her, 'If you can say that, then you have no idea what a wonderful man your own son is.'
She would do things like go through my purse when I wasn’t looking and throw out my $40 Chanel lipstick. One of the most hurtful things she would do was turn around the pictures I had in the house of my mom, who died at age 34, when I was 12. She pitted my husband against me. She made it out like I was setting her up and lying about it. The final straw came when I came home from a long, stressful day at work. I sat down at the kitchen table to go through the mail. Over the course of the 10 months she was with us by then, downstairs became 'her domain'. I would retreat immediately upstairs to our bedroom and watch TV or read until my husband came home. She made him dinner every night, which I wasn’t allowed to eat with them. He would sit with her and have dinner and eventually come upstairs to greet me. When she went to bed, we were free to go downstairs and watch TV or whatever.
She was most unhappy that I had the nerve to sit at 'her' kitchen table. She picked up my sunglasses from where they were on the table and threw them against the wall, then she started berating me in Romanian. I ignored her and continued going through the mail, which infuriated her. She stood over me and continued yelling. My dog, a little Yorkie who weighs all of eight pounds, was very upset about this. We went through a lot together during my previous marriage, and she is still very sensitive to fighting or yelling of any kind. She stood next to my feet and started barking. As I reached down to calm her, my mother-in-law kicked her. Right in the face. My dog yelped and I could hear her teeth crack together.
I stood up so fast I knocked over the chair. I grabbed my dog and my purse and left in my car. I called my husband who was at work still. I told him, 'This is it. I am going to a hotel. Either she goes, or I go.'
She flew home to Romania three days later. I can handle a bully, but I cannot handle abuse of my dog, and my husband couldn’t either. When it came time for her to have to return to the US due to her green card, I absolutely refused. Her green card was invalidated because she stayed outside the US for too long. I don’t know if we will try to sponsor her again in the future, but it hasn’t come up in discussion lately."
"It was what that witch did to my husband and nephew. Many years ago, my husband called CPS on his brother after first trying to talk to him about how he and his wife neglect their two boys. My mother-in-law knew and frequently talked about their neglect. Five months after the call, and CPS doing nothing, the younger of the two boys died under horrible circumstances, directly caused by the neglect. CPS immediately shoved the surviving eight-year-old child upon us, even though we were completely unprepared to care for a child with special needs. Not to mention, we live in a 700-square foot self-built home in a remote area, which is a two and a half hour drive over a mountain pass from his doctors and medical care.
Knowing that I had a trip planned to be a vendor at a trade show for my small, fledgling business, which I had already paid for and would lose a ton of money if I didn't attend, I called the in-laws and asked if they could help look after the nephew, their only grandson. My husband wasn't prepared to watch him. This eight-year-old wasn't toilet trained yet. He had never been to school. He would poop his diaper, take it off, and smear it on the ground while he played video games. He sobbed every night for the past few days because his horrible parents called and brought up his dead brother. This wasn't really easy to handle for someone who had never been around kids.
Keep in mind that the in-laws are quite wealthy, my mother-in-law has never had to work, and supposedly loved spending time with her grandkids. They could have taken the child and hired a full-time nanny, but here we are struggling to look after him. But my mother-in-law agrees to stay while I am gone. Within three days, the child is in medical distress with the same condition his brother died from. We take him to our local ER (which is forty miles away), and they flew him to the one over two hours away. I still had to leave for this trade show, but the situation has gotten so much worse. My worthless brother-in-law and his wife are saying the child got sick due to our care of him for two days. My in-laws don't even defend us.
Okay, so now I'm at the trade show, 1200 miles away, and the in-laws show up at the hospital, staying only for thirty minutes. My mother-in-law doesn't stay to help as agreed, leaving my hapless husband alone with this terrified child. My husband is staying at the hospital as much as he can, occasionally racing back to our house 130 miles away to feed our dog and look after the house before racing back. I leave the trade show as early as I can, and I drive straight home. Meanwhile, I contact CPS and tell them that they need to find better help for this kid, as we are not equipped to handle his physical and mental health issues. They fight me and say that I should move out of our home and financially support my husband and the child if it's so difficult for me. Apparently, they were working behind my back to pressure him into keeping the child. Once again, my rich in-laws do NOTHING. We get a $27,000 bill from the hospital, and we are told that we are totally responsible for the fee and my in-laws shrug it off, saying that it's unfair. These people are so disgusting. My own mother, who was still working full time then, offered to come help us. She didn't even know this child. But the selfish witch couldn't help her own flesh and blood, even though she had no other obligations. Evil doesn't even begin to describe her.
Fortunately, this kid got to stay with an amazing foster family for a few years, in which the mother was trained to work with special needs children. He is unfortunately back with his dad now, but at this point, he is in school and is doing okay. He just turned 18. In terms of that hospital bill, we got Medicaid to pay that bill, since he was a ward of the state at the time."
"I had an arranged marriage. Prior to the wedding, my husband and I went on a handful of dates. I knew my future father-in-law fairly well. He was Dad to a schoolmate of mine, and their household had many kids and always bustled with activity. At this point, my future in-laws couldn’t have been nicer. We made plans for the wedding and a party afterward. They generously offered to pay for everything. My mother-in-law offered their house for the reception and we laughed together as we thought up ideas for music and food. Our original idea was to go to Las Vegas and be married by Elvis. We wanted to begin our adventure together in a memorable way. Up until this point, I believed my future in-laws to be good people. They seemed genuine, and I remember feeling lucky that these people would be in my life. Looking back, I guess it would be at this point that my mother-in-law became insulted. I honestly have no idea what changed. I asked her but was met with ire and disgust. Was I being too extravagant? Was I not inclusive enough of my new family? I’m not sure, but something changed.
The wedding was in city hall in one of the poorer neighborhoods. (The 'nicer' city halls had a long waiting list). I persevered, thinking we would look back on this and laugh. I chose a white dress, assembled some flowers, and had my hair done. My husband and I barely knew each other when we exchanged vows. My mother-in-law was not in attendance. Needless to say, their generous offer for a wedding reception was never realized. My husband was promised a generous salary working with the family. Additionally, my in-laws promised financial help as we started a new life together. That never happened either. Talks became disagreements. Disagreements became arguments. And the heat kept rising. My mother-in-law accused me of extortion, for what I’ll never know. She began gossiping to coworkers and speaking badly of me at my place of work. She threatened me. My father-in-law made it clear that he lamented ever introducing his step-son to me. As time passed, my in-laws became more determined to end our marriage. My mother-in-law came to our home. She screamed at the top of her lungs that they had me investigated and had uncovered something about me. She screamed she was going to get me. Exasperated, I asked my husband to remove his mother.
She screamed at me from the street that she knew people who would take care of me. No one, she said, would find my body. My husband was torn. She would always be his mother, but this marriage was something he wanted. He managed to convince his mother to leave that night. But my in-laws were far from done. I received calls from my brother-in-law, whom I barely knew. He called me names and said I had ruined my husband’s life. He said if I really loved him, I should divorce him. (My husband and I had been married barely a year at this point). My brother-in-law spoke with my husband daily. He convinced my husband to go stay with him for a while. It would allow everyone to step back and take a breath. My in-laws began calling my elderly parents. At that point, my father had had several strokes and needed round the clock care. My mother was his caregiver. My in-laws told them I was an addict who had influenced their son. Wild stories of my being unfaithful and physically assaulting my husband rained over my parents. I had become paranoid after seeing my mother-in-law numerous times parked across the street from my home and work. Regardless if the threat was real or not, I lived in fear.
I began having panic attacks. My health and my sanity were being compromised, and my parents were collateral damage. I began seeing a therapist. I knew I needed help. The doc explained that I was experiencing PTSD and I encouraged me to go the police. I did just that. I filled out the paperwork for a restraining order and made a report of my in-laws threats and surveillance. My husband returned from his respite. My in-laws threatened his job and to revoke any financial help if he returned to me. They told him I was manipulating him and trying to drive a wedge between him and his family. In spite of their efforts, he chose to be with me. He decided to forsake the money and stability they offered. We are together still. We’ve overcome that chapter. Turned the page, so to speak. My in-laws are not welcome in our home. Our marriage, our partnership is far too valuable to us both. As my husband likes to say, we take care of number one and number one. I am his one and he is mine; together we are better. My mother-in-law still invites my husband spend time with her alone. She still wants to talk, see things her way. He politely declines. He knows who she is and chooses not to indulge her."
"My husband passed away October 22, 2019, at 6:10pm. It was a Tuesday. He was in ICU at a long term care hospital. The thing my mother-in-law did? She denied me the chance to say goodbye, or even try to change his mind. The following events are from what little she told me when I arrived, after he passed. Bobby had been on and off intubation (where they put a tube down your throat to breathe, because you’re unable to on your own) for weeks. His mother was visiting him every day at this point. She’d decided to blame me a couple years before while he was recovering from a quadruple bypass and they discovered the cancer. I was somehow responsible for him being so ill (because I magically gave him cancer I guess), and so she turned NASTY towards me. When we were both there with him, she was snarky and rude to me, to the point it made him uncomfortable and stressed him out. Many times, he asked her to not act like that, but she did. So I didn’t want to ruin his visits with her or cause him stress when he was needing to focus on getting better and stronger. In August, I took to just visiting him in the evenings and overnight when I knew she’d be gone, since she didn’t like driving in the dark.
I’d been away from him for a week because I had a respiratory chest cold thing with a fever, and that’s a huge no-no to come around someone as ill as he was. Because he was intubated, they kept him pretty sedated, plus he couldn’t speak on the phone. So, we hadn’t spoken in eight days. Sunday my fever broke, and I went to visit him. As far as I know, he wasn’t aware I was there, he was heavily sedated that night. Monday I woke up with a fever back just under 100. I debated going, but was scared to put him at risk. Didn’t see him. That Tuesday morning he was back off the vent but (according to her) he’d had enough and told them to put a 'Do Not Resuscitate' on him. His mother was with him at the time. She said they asked him several times over the course of an hour, and he kept true to his request. They then gave him some morphine to relax him and make him comfortable. It still took several more hours after that before he passed away. I got the call at 6:40 p.m. from the hospital staff when I was about to walk out the door to come see him. She couldn’t even be bothered to tell me herself.
All that time she was there with him and never called to tell me what was going on so I could come and see him one last time or say goodbye. Keep in mind, he and I had been together since high school, December 21st was our 28th anniversary. Yet she acted like I had no right to talk to him or say goodbye. I had to produce our marriage certificate for the staff at the last few hospitals, because she would tell them we weren’t really married and she should be the one they went to for medical decisions when he was incapacitated.
Oh, and here’s where she added one last insult to injury. When his health had started to go downhill rapidly in July and he was in ICU, she told him (with me in the room more than once) that he didn’t need to worry, she’d already prepaid for his final details since he asked for a simple cremation and no service or fuss. She chose the funeral home, which I was fine with since she paid. Except when I went there two days after he passed away to go over everything, they informed me she’d come in and rescinded her plan, so now I was responsible. So let's just dump several thousand dollars of unexpected expense on top of it. And he’d been sick for years, so there was no life insurance money, savings or retirement plan funds left by then. I had to swallow my pride and grovel to family for help, so he was taken care of, no thanks to her.
It’s still a raw subject and I struggle with the guilt some days for not trying to reach out to her like he really wanted. He didn’t want either of us to be alone once he was gone, but even living alone, with no one around, my life has been better without her negativity. Of that I am positive."
"She took my husband’s ashes away. From the moment I met my husband’s mother, I knew she didn’t fully accept me. Mind you, we were both teenagers, and I had a son from a previous relationship. I would never call it a mistake, because my son is a blessing. My son was 3 months old when I met him, and we moved in together when he was about a year old. He actually moved me into his home, as we had nowhere to go, being so young and inexperienced. My husband loved my son very much, he fully accepted him, and asked me to let him give his last name to my child. I agreed. Over the years, my mother-in-law and I had our disagreements, but I always went the extra mile. I so wanted her to like me. She was my husband’s mom, after all. To her credit, I could tell, at times, she was trying too, but she would end up commenting or doing mean things in different settings. Maybe she just didn’t want her son to turn his back on her, since he did always give me my place.
Fast-forward to a few years ago, my husband developed an addiction to drinking. He’d always bring up issues from his childhood, including a previous assault. His mother never believed him. That, mixed with so many other things from his past, drove him deeper and deeper into his drinking problem. We started arguing quite a lot because of it, and I guess that also made him feel bad. I never left his side, however, and would carry him when he was too wasted to drive. I’d carry him in the house, so he wouldn’t sleep outside, including once when I was heavily pregnant with our second child. I loved him so much. I wanted him to quit, and every single member of his family would encourage him with words to do so. But they would still bring him drinks and enable him in other ways. It got very bad during his last few years, he got 2 DWIs and went to jail several times. I’d roam the streets at night looking for him, as I worried about his whereabouts and well-being. I’d knock on her door at night to tell her he still wasn’t home, her response was, 'What do you want me to do? May God help him, he’s a grown man.'
I convinced him to go to rehab about a couple of years ago. When I told my mother-in-law, she became happy and when she went to talk to him about it, she said, 'You don’t need that, I know you can do it on your own, you’re a strong man, why would you go so far, all alone?'
They cried together, and then he told me he wasn’t going, that he would prove to me that he could stop. He was wasted by 11:00 a.m. the next morning. On April 4th, 2019, he became ill, seemingly out of nowhere. He’d dropped a lot of weight and seemed frail, but he was always happy and never stopped working. He started throwing up blood and became weaker the next day. I had gone to work that morning, and his mother called, saying he’d asked for me to come get him, because he felt like he was dying. I came home immediately, and had to drag him to the car, as he still did not want to go in. What I thought was a simple overnight stay, turned into him being admitted, then the doctors saying they’d done what they could, but they didn’t think he’d wake up.
The doctors said he’d suffer if we kept him hooked to the ventilator. His family wanted me to make the decision, and I told them I couldn’t. I didn’t have the courage. I didn’t want him to suffer, but I didn’t want to disconnect him. As a family, they decided taking him off was the best decision. I stupidly agreed, despite not being sure of my personal decision. I wanted to say no, because only God knows if he could have made it back. But then again, it would’ve been cruel to keep him alive on a ventilator. He passed away on April 14, 2019. He was 32. it was the hardest day of my life. I lost a part of me that day. He didn’t leave a written will, and did not specify where he’d have wanted to be buried. He said different things to me each time, like spread his ashes or keep them home, among other thoughts. His mother says he told her he wanted to be buried in Mexico. He never mentioned that to me, not once, in all of our conversations about it. He spoke of dying quite often, almost as if he knew. He said he knew he wasn’t going to live long. I’m not saying that didn’t happen, that he didn’t say that to her, just that he was a very sick man who was wasted most of the time, so, we don’t know what he actually wanted.
I came home one day, and she and I were home alone. I peacefully asked her to please consider coming to an agreement, and having him buried here, at the church he so much loved. She became defensive and said, 'My decision has been made, there’s no way back.'
We then argued and I told her how I felt this was personal, and that I felt she was doing it, because she didn’t like me. She brought up many mean, personal things, including how I’m not his wife because she didn't see us as married, and I had no rights to an opinion. His death certificate listed me as his wife, as we’d been together for 16 years. She also brought up things that had nothing to do with the situation, and how during all this time, I hadn’t lit a candle for him. I brought home many, but she always wanted things done her way. How was I supposed to light a candle if she always had one lit, and we couldn’t light more up 'because the house could burn'? I called the funeral home to see if anything could be done to stop them from getting a permit to transfer the remains, and the lady said, 'I’m sorry, I thought you knew. They have everything set, and the permit has been issued.'
That broke my heart. I’d said I wasn’t going to fight over this, that I’d let God handle the situation, but that was too much. I went to her and said, 'I know you’re taking him, I’m going to take some ashes to keep here, and then you do what you want.'
When I took the urn, she became livid and started trying to take it away from me. She wanted her son and daughters to be present to be there and make a decision as a family. People that, although I don’t doubt loved him, failed him while he was alive. They ignored and even stopped taking to him over petty stuff. I called the cops to mediate, in order to avoid further damage. She called her son to come get her and she took the ashes. When the cops arrived, she was gone. They asked for my side of the story, and asked if I wanted the car tracked. I said no. When they finally got a hold of her, she started to tell her version, which started off fine, but then escalated when she told them I’d pulled out a knife, or other sharp object, and cut her hand. They asked her if she wanted to press charges, and she said, 'No, it may have been an accident.'
I never wanted to take him away. As a mom, I’d never do that. I only wanted to bury him here, close to everyone that loves him. No one in his immediate family lives in Mexico. Only cousins, an uncle and distant relatives. His parents live here, too. Why would they want to bury him there? I don’t understand. I left that house that day with a broken heart, and a fake smile on my face in order to be able to raise my three kids on my own, with my head high, knowing I did what I could to keep him close. What hurts the most is that I’d graduated a year prior. I had some money saved up and we were supposed to finally start looking for a home. To this day, I don’t know where he is buried, and I have no closure. My kids and I can’t experience whatever feeling of peace bringing flowers to a grave or decorating it brings to a grieving heart. I do know God is good and have kept my faith strong. I hope to see him, again, someday."
"Gloria is my husband's stepmother. We have only seen her one time in over ten years. I really hoped, especially for my husband's sake, that she would decide to continue the relationship the last time they met at a relative's house. That didn't happen. My husband's birth mom died many, many years ago, so his father remarried. My husband's birth mom was very abusive, so my husband really needed a solid mother-son relationship. Gloria was well aware of this. She and my husband has many great times together, and we all had such a wonderful time with her at our wedding. About seventeen years ago, after relocating to a new city, we were trying to get settled while my husband put in extra hours at work. I was at home raising an infant with special needs. We didn't know anyone in this area! I hard from a relative that Gloria was coming to visit and stay with us for a week. Her dates were iron clad. I was surprised and a little confused that Gloria didn't contact me directly. The week she arrived was honestly not great for us. My husband wasn't available at all that week, and the part-time nursery school closed that same week. Eventually, we did hear from Gloria directly. She emailed my husband, saying that she 'would not be visiting people who did not welcome her.'
I immediately called. She didn't pick up. I left several kind messages and emails. I even wrote a handwritten note, apologizing and explaining the situation with love. Crickets. Nothing. For years, Gloria has childishly 'punished' me and my husband for simply suggesting we visit at a time when my husband was more available. I heard through my husband's relative that she always acted wounded and insulted. What did she get as a result? Never knowing our two amazing children who have grown up to be incredibly accomplished and loving. She never extended again any kindness to a wonderful man who could so have used some motherly love. This is what hurts me the most.
My own mom is the kindest person in the world and calls my husband her own son. She sends him thoughtful gifts, calls him, and visits us as often as she can. She understands the situation and couldn't be more thoughtful. We were so happy to see Gloria that one last time at a relative's house. I immediately sat down next to her and talked with her. My kids were wonderful to her. I could see the hop in my husband's eyes. We felt pretty good about how it went down. She even joined the other relatives to wave goodbye to us as we drove away that day. We made it clear that we would welcome her anytime!
Nothing changed. The entire situation is so sad. She is getting older now, and has missed out on so much. I think that Gloria was really looking for a way out. She has her own children and a family. We were just extras."
"One of the meanest and hurtful things my mother-in-law did to me was when I'd just got engaged, and she asked to see my ring. I held out my hand to show her my ring, and at that point she just grabbed ahold of my hand and started pulling on my finger trying to pull off the ring. At first, I wondered what on earth she was doing. Then she said, 'Let me have a close look!' in a raised voice. She was angry, that was plain to see. I pulled my hand back and started to remove my ring and handed it over. Straight away, she put the ring on her finger and held her hand out to admire it. Then she went over to her husband and said, 'Look Harold, look at the ring we've bought her!' She was very angry and she glanced over and smiled at me. I couldn't understand what was going on. I said, 'We've just bought it,' to which she shouted, 'No, you've not bought it. We've bought it.' I looked over at my future husband for his reaction. He just carried on reading the newspaper.
I really couldn't understand what was happening. 'Why do your parents think they bought my ring?' He looked up and said, 'I have no idea.' Then his mum started shouting, 'You still owe us £600 from when you were 21!'
Apparently my future husband borrowed £600 towards his first car when he was 21. But what hurt was that was over 15 years ago. They decided never to remind him before that point. Then she threw the ring at me. Then she went upstairs and then came back down and said, 'Here's your engagement present!' and she threw a box on my lap. I looked and it was an old dusty box. It had written on the lid 'Tina' (who was my partner's ex). I lifted the lid, and there was a set of three cheap sauce pans. I thanked her. She replied, 'It’s from his last engagement to Tina.'
She then added, 'Would you like to see that ring?' I was gobsmacked. 'When my son got the ring off her, he gave it to me.' I thought that was very odd. Surely if you end your engagement, it’s better to sell the ring than give it to your mother. I made my excuses and said that I had to leave. Once outside I hit the roof. 'How can you let your mother treat me like that?!' I screamed. He then said, 'Do you remember before you met my parents I told you and warned you?' I said, 'Yes, but you made it out they liked to impress everyone by getting their silver out. Why haven't you paid your parents back before now?!'
He simply said, 'I can't even remember borrowing £600 from them.' I said, 'You don't forget about lending money.' He told me how they write it in a book and they constantly remind you when you borrow any money from them. He said, 'I know for a fact I owe them nothing.' I told him to go up and sort this out. Then he told me something else, which in a way explained it all. A few months ago, he'd been given a large sum of money from an insurance company for his injuries in a road traffic accident. The morning he got the check, his mum told him never to tell me about the lump sum payment from the insurance company. She told him I'd only try to spend it. She made him promise not to tell me. I was so hurt, I couldn't believe my future husband thought that of me, let alone his parents. I said, 'Surely if you truly borrowed money from your mum, why wasn't it paid back years ago or when you first got your lump sum? Why have they brought it up now?'
But then more truths came out. Every time my future husband took me out anywhere, he always told me not to mention it to his parents, which I thought was strange, but I just thought he liked to keep it private. But I found out the truth. No matter where we were going out on a date, his parents expected to be invited and if he didn't, they made his home life a nightmare. I was shocked to hear how controlling and nasty they had been, but I knew they hated him having any life away from them. They liked him to be their chauffeur, without me hanging around. I said maybe it's just me they hate. He said they are the exact same way with every girl that he's dated. I thought surely he is joking. But I got to know the family very well, and no, he wasn't joking. In fact, it was very creepy the control they had on my partner. I still can't understand it now.
The first thing I asked him to do is to pay them the money back, which he did. Then I told him he's got to stop hiding his life because it upsets them. I told him you’re not a little boy anymore. You’re a grown-up man. I never got on with his family. They hated me no matter what I did or said. I did it all to try and get on with them, but there was no way I was going to let his parents rule us. When I used to refuse to go along with his mother's plans, my boyfriend would lose his temper and start punching things. In time, the things became me. I ended up moving out. I was given emergency housing for me and my son. The day I moved out, he moved his mother in. Then she took him to try and get custody of our son. I told him he could keep everything, just leave me our son. But that wasn't enough, he wanted me to have nothing. His mother paid all his legal bills. They told me so many lies, but the truth will always come out. I was lucky it did. I still have my son.
The most important lesson some parents need to make is letting go of their children and letting them have a life and grow. Some parents damage their children. It’s so sad when a grown man still craves love from his parents, because he’s always felt like his older brother is loved more than him. So he constantly is trying to make them happy, but no matter what he does, they don't care apart from their next day out that he takes them on. He is like a scared little boy in a 54-year-old body. So sad. I don't think he'll ever get away from their grip and will definitely not get the love he deserves from them. I've never known a family that never hugs or kisses each other. Their lack of affection is mind-blowing."
"When she came to visit from Florida, she brought her own towels and sheets. My house was never clean enough. Sometimes she’d leave them behind and say, 'At least she has some nice new towels now.'
She would talk about me in front of me like that. For example, 'That dog must love being scratched with those short little nails of hers.'
She expected me to sit in the back seat to let the men ride up front. Also, she watched the food at dinner and would put her hand up to block me from serving myself if one of her sons had not had their second portion yet. You’d think we were poor or struggling financially. We were not. She had orange eyebrows! She had them tattooed on and over the years they had faded and had been re-tattooed until it was pretty much all I could see on her face. After two kids and ten married years, I did what I wanted. I drove or leapt into the front seat whenever I had the chance, helped myself to whatever I wanted to eat at the dinner table, and did my best not to let her get to me.
We were so different. She was pathologically clean and me, well not so much. I preferred my kids to be outside and getting dirty. She ran to the pharmacy for every ailment, and always got doctors to prescribe antibiotics, even if it meant switching doctors over and over. I agonize over the thought of taking one aspirin. She died last month and I think about her all the time. It’s incredible to me how things can change. She got divorced about a year before I did. She developed brain cancer soon after her divorce was final, she attributed it to all the stress from the divorce. We began talking more, then having real conversations. She and I always had our biggest blowups when she visited for the kids' birthdays, yet she said that when she looked back on everything, those parties I threw were the best memories of her life. This is making me cry as I type it.
She regretted being afraid of living her own life for so many years, hiding behind her role as mother and that now it’s too late. I was able to say one thing I know is true: that many people have remarkable careers and accomplish amazing things yet become alienated from or mess up their kids, and that is a far graver regret. I said she will always be remembered as a devoted mother who put her family first, and that is a wonderful way to be remembered. She said that her wish for me is to find the love I’m looking for.
The other crazy thing that happened: my 9-year-old daughter climbed into bed with me last month sobbing. She’s never been that inconsolable. I was at a loss, so I just held her and listened. She finally blurted, 'Grandma Carol is dying and I’m not ready to let her ago.'
I kept saying that we will call Grandma in the morning and that she can tell her how she feels. The next morning my ex called to say that his mother had died in the night. My daughter was adopted from Kazakhstan and is not blood related, yet she is connected in more ways than I will ever understand. Carol remembered me in her will, alongside her boys and her grandchildren. I think about her and my grandmother Veryl all the time, reminded of the precious time I have left, and to do my best not to let my ego interfere with what might really be going on with people. We follow our grandmothers into the future and take them along with us too."