(Closed) Bad first Thanksgiving with MIL

posted 4 years ago in Married Life
Post # 3
1603 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@NV1285:  … sorry, I got caught on one part; “because she wasn’t invited to the wedding due to my parents’ limits on the guest list” doesn’t mean she wasn’t invited to YOUR wedding, to her son, right?

Post # 5
1603 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@NV1285:  Oooh, okay! That makes so much more sense, hahah.

I’m just actually getting used to the splitting holidays thing, and I understand where you’re coming from–FI’s family can be a bit much for me (though probably just because I’m a huge introvert)–but unfortunately I think it’s just part of life. I mean, I definitely wouldn’t make it a point to spend every Thanksgiving/Christmas ONLY with her, but it is important to involve her. Is there any chance of you hosting one of these holidays at your place and inviting your family as well as her? Then you’d have a bit of a buffer, at least!

Post # 6
9827 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

@NV1285:  Your husband needs to deal with this and talk to her about what is and isnt an acceptible way to treat his wife. He also has to tell her to let the wedding stuff go. Its over, you’re married, she got half the guest list. Done done done. 


Im sure shell just martyr herself, but thats on her. She can come around when shes ready to be respectful. 

Post # 7
3081 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

O dear, I really, REALLY don’t have any advice. But my gosh that must be so hard, For everyone involved. 

Your Mother-In-Law, who I can’t stand the thought of given what you wrote above but am trying to be compassionate about, must be miserable, sad, and lonely, and very very nervous of losing what’s left of her family. Not that she’s doing anything to help her cause. 

Your husband must feel caught in the middle at least a little bit although he sounds like he is being supportive of you. 

But you, I really feel for. 

My dad died a few years ago so in that sense my mom is alone as well. And my mom is bitter, manipulative, controlling, unpleasant to be around, etc. But I have two sisters, so at least it’s not just one child bearing the brunt of all this. Even in our situation, holidays are awful though. And when we have tried to bring my mom to my IL’s holiday gatherings, on the one hand it’s a relief that she has somewhere to be, but on the other it totally screws up the great dynamics my in-laws have and makes everyone feel on edge. So you’re right, it’s not fair for your parents to have to host all the time.  

You really are stuck in such a hard place, and I’ve been wracking my brain to think of helpful advice, but I have nada. So you have my sympathy, and if I think of anything insightful, I will definitely respond back. 

Post # 9
5959 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2018

@NV1285:  Oh honey…that’s just the pits, and I’m sorry.  There’s just nothing more difficult to navigate than a needy and mean spirited Mother-In-Law, but guess what?  You don’t have to take one more drop of her venom, you don’t have to listen to one more rant about how alone and sad she is and you certainly don’t have to tolerate her bad mouthing your own family.

Its time to assert your own power, your a grown a capable woman who can certainly stand up for herself.  In preparation for this Christmas visit, you might want to sit down with your husband and let him know that this holiday season, the gloves are off.

Set up in your mind where the line is, and when she crosses it, you just give her a shove back over to the safe zone, you don’t have to shout, be mean or angry about it, but a little nudge that lets her know she’s gone too far can be very effective.


She comes into the guest room you’ve prepared with great care and concern for her to enjoy and says some horrible thing about it.

You say:  “I’m so sorry you don’t like it, I’m sure you could find a hotel nearby if this is inadeuqate.”

That’s a perfectly nice and reasonable response to her ugliness and the underlying message is, “If you don’t like it, LEAVE” but nicer.

Post # 10
68 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@Nona99:  +1000

This exactly, OP 🙂

Post # 12
9827 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

@NV1285:  Well she needs to be put in her place and he has every right to! She was in your home and you are his wife now- and she needs to be treating you like the daughter she never had NOT the woman whos taking away her son.

Definitely let him deal with this, and he should put her in her place kindly but firmly and SPECIFICALLY. 


she needs to:

-let hurt feelings about the wedding go. You did your best to be fair while honoring the kind of wedding you want- and she can tell her friends that werent invited that.

-not act resentfully or passive aggressively towards you- no texts, no comments, no ignoring you, certainly not disparaging your home, methods, or the holiday you prepared. That is SO out of line for ANY guest. 


Youre a young couple in an apartment and Thanksgiving is no small expense or effort- it was deeply hurtful for her to treat you like a criminal for hosting her for the holiday and your husband should absolutely, specifically, address that. The bottomline needs to be,

“mom, I cannot have you disrespecting or being cruel to my wife. We want to have happy holidays and we want you to be a part of our family- but to put it bluntly if you dont have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. My wife wants your love and approval so badly, and worked so hard to put on a nice holiday, one that we can barely afford at that. She was so hurt by your comments. If you cant be kind we’re going to have to start making holiday plans that do not include you. “







Post # 13
3081 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@NV1285:  Gosh, I didn’t mean to make it about me but thank you very much. 

I read @Nona99:  ‘s response and I really like it. Approach it in a balanced way, try to keep emotion out of it but be ready to respond quickly when she’s out of line. Don’t let yourself be a doormat for this woman any longer. I do caution you to be careful to not seem passive aggressive or sarcastic – as that would put you in her league.

Something that has helped me (right or wrong) is knowing that I have the power. Your Mother-In-Law cannot control you, and quite frankly you’re the one who has it all – a great family, the love of your husband (her son) and a home that you are thrilled to spend the holidays in. SHE is the one who needs YOU. 

I also agree that you need to get your husband on board with your plan, but at the end of the day, just go into the rest of the holidays knowing that you aren’t going to take her shit and you’re going to be really firm, yet compassionate and fair. 

It doesn’t solve the long-term problem of knowing that you and your husband are entirely responsible for her holiday plans, but it should maybe get you through these holidays! 

Post # 14
4432 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2013



Post # 15
8661 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

@NV1285:  i am really close with my mom but every holiday since i started seeing Darling Husband, my mom gets really jealous and thinks i am going to leave her and want to be with his family only. 

my family is really just my mom and brother and my brother lives far away so i get it.  but every holiday, Darling Husband and I have invited her to join us at his family’s house.  she still thinks she is going to be left alone.

thanksgiving is my mom’s holiday and it has been our tradition to travel somewhere.  Darling Husband started joining us 3 years ago and it had worked out well so far.

your Darling Husband needs to talk to her.  if it is only her, can she be invited to your family’s dinners or holidays?


Post # 16
7220 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2015

@NV1285:  I know your family does your own thing but is there any chance at all that they’d be willing to have one more at the table? It sounds like she’s lonely and wishes she had more family. If she feels a part if yours there may be less pressure on the two of you. I know every family is different but at our Christmas along with my aunts uncles and cousins there are my aunt’s ex and his new wife, my cousin’s husband’s cousin and another cousin’s best friend with her kids. 

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