I Told My MIL To Get Out After Seeing What She Did to Our House
Building a strong bond with your mother-in-law can be tough, often feeling like an impossible task. Both sides need to invest effort for a successful relationship. But what if a once positive relationship with your in-law suddenly crumbled? Today, we have a story like this.
How it all started.
“I (36F) live with my husband (41M). I have a decent relationship with my MIL compared to many horror stories I hear from friends; she’s pretty sweet and warm. She is, however, a little over-controlling. Overprotective? I’m not sure of the exact word, but she has powerful ideas about things and no sense of boundaries.
For example, when she stays at our house, she takes over the kitchen entirely and insists on cooking all our meals. She cooks wonderfully, but she won’t let me help her at all, and she puts everything away in the wrong places — and then insists that her way is more logical. However, she only really comes for holidays, and I immensely like her. So I don’t mind putting up with these mild annoyances.”
“I’m pregnant with our little girl, who will be born in a few months. This is a miracle. I didn’t think it would happen, incredibly late, but we got lucky. When my MIL heard, she was super excited and said she would come over to help us get ready for the baby.
She offered to stay for the next 6 months to help out because my husband and I both work long hours, and it will be hard to handle the baby. She is also emotionally invested in this because she genuinely sees herself as part of our family. She arrived a few days ago and set herself up, then she started with the cleaning.”
“I like collecting things from garage sales and such. Many people would consider Things like little sculptures, books, baskets, and stuff utter junk. Our house is overstuffed, but it’s reasonably tidy and doesn’t seem like a hoarder’s house or anything. My MIL, on the other hand, likes everything surgically clean.
Yesterday, I came home from work to find the house like a fight zone. She went through my cabinets, cleared out everything she considered junk, and made several trips to Goodwill before I got home. I was furious and asked her why she would ever do this. She said the house has to be tidy for the baby and that it would be ‘dangerous’ for the baby to be in my cluttered house.”
“Then she took the next huge bag of stuff and tried to walk out the door. I lost it and told her she could get out right now. She was shocked that I was serious, and she said she didn’t have anywhere to go, and it was so late. It was about 9:30. I booked her a hotel room and called a taxi.
My husband came home an hour later, and when I told him what happened, he was furious with me. He says I disrespected his mom and was ungrateful for everything she’s trying to do for us.”
Reddit users shared their thoughts.
- My mom cleaned my house once and threw away some stuff while I was at work (she was visiting and staying with me). I didn’t talk to her for almost a year or go to any family events that year. Those were not her possessions to be giving away. She must reimburse you at least, or I’d be filing a police report for theft. Her opinion of what a house is supposed to be like differs from yours; it is NOT her house and stuff, and as an old lady, she should have learned about this as a kid, back when people were strict about manners. methinksdisdumb / Reddit
- Your husband is a bigger problem here, though. He’s got to back you up and be willing to set boundaries with his mother. This is a hill you should be willing for your relationship to die on because once the baby is born, it’s only going to get worse. Ok-Profession-9372 / Reddit
- Show him this post. Tell him you will make a list of boundaries that she will not be allowed to cross if he wants to have her visit again, especially with the baby. Make sure your husband agrees because there will be big problems if he doesn’t. Let her know the boundaries; if she crosses them, she will be asked to leave. doglover507071956 / Reddit
- My mom was a hoarder and would never admit it. Most hoarders won’t. You say most would consider what you collect junk and that your house is overstuffed but reasonably tidy. Red flags to me. I think your MIL was trying to do what my sisters and I so often tried with my mom.
Once we realized after several conversations that my mom would not agree to us getting rid of things, we did it behind her back. I am talking about things like sneakers with giant rips along the side, electronics that didn’t work, things her cats had peed and shat on. It was a dangerous environment for her and my dad to live in. You should have a neutral party come in and judge if you might be a hoarder, and if so, start to get help for it, especially with a baby on the way. StandardBuilding0 / Reddit
- You have full right to set boundaries in your house, and it’s good you finally did. You could cross them more gently. This is a typical overreaction when we don’t react for a long time when something annoys us. You blew up, whereas you could start — months ago — with gentle and kind boundaries. hd150798 / Reddit
- But who in their right mind invites their mom/mil to stay at their house six months before the baby is due? That’s insane, sorry. And with what she previously did, her taking over was expected. (Not her throwing stuff away, that’s also insane.) Whooptidooh / Reddit
Establishing positive relationships with your partner’s family can be challenging, especially when differences or conflicts emerge. Navigating these situations requires patience, understanding, and a willingness to find common ground.