Mothers-In-law From Hell
Fairlady|October 2017

Family can be tricky at the best of times, but there seems to be a particular set of tensions when it comes to women and their mothersin-law. They’re not all bad, we know that. But in the interest of having a good vent (and getting some wellearned sympathy), we asked you to share some of your horror stories – and boy, did you deliver!

Liesl Robertson

MY MOTHER-IN-LAW (MIL) IS A VERY GOOD COOK, but I’m also a bit of a Jamie Oliver wannabe in my own right, and people love my cooking. They often come back for second helpings. But when she comes over for dinner, she loves pretending that she’s almost too scared to taste my food, even going as far as trembling slightly when she brings the fork up to her mouth.

MY HUSBAND HADN’T SEEN HIS MOM IN QUITE A WHILE, and during that time he’d picked up a few kilos, which is normal – life happens. His brother, meanwhile, had lost weight. So they met her for lunch and without batting an eye, she said to his poor brother, ‘Oh, I always thought YOU were meant to be the fat one!’

I GOT MARRIED ON FRIDAY THE 13TH AT THE MAGISTRATES’ COURT – you’d think that would have been enough of a subtle warning as to what would transpire that day. As my husband (now ex) finished saying our vows in front of our nearest and dearest, I heard a yowl, then a howl, then a clatter of footsteps down the corridor – it was my mother-in-law, fleeing the scene, sobbing in horror at the fate of her son. That was pretty much to be expected of her – what I didn’t expect was to see my husband go running after her. The first two hours of my married life were spent husband less as he consoled his mother in the car park of the magistrates’ court. Needless to say it didn’t last.

SHE’S OBSESSED WITH PHOTOS, and spends hours trying to set up the perfect moment. The problem is, she insists on doing this just as your overly tired child is screaming to go to bed. She had five hours to capture the moment and the perfectly behaved child… but it’s better to wait until the awful daughter-in-law wants to go home. Then the tired children are dragged out of the car, clothes have to be put back on and hair combed for the perfect picture.

AFTER DATING FOR A YEAR, MY THEN-BOYFRIEND PROPOSED TO ME, and a week later we had dinner with his folks. His mother: ‘You know, I had visions of my son’s wedding and the wife I saw looked just like you. Except her hair was longer than yours, she wasn’t as dark as you and she was thinner.’ Me: …

I HAD SPENT MONTHS LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT SWIMMING COSTUME, and spent a fair amount of money on the one I eventually settled on. When we went on holiday, my MIL kept begging me to let her try it on. First of all, I hadn’t even worn it yet. Secondly, hygiene?! Every time she asked, I changed the subject, but she didn’t take the hint. After the fifth time, my husband had to step in. He said, ‘Mom, it’s gross. You can’t try on her costume, get your own!’ To this day, she still doesn’t think there’s a problem with trying on your daughter-in-law’s swimsuit. Did I mention we’re not even the same size?

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