My MIL Keeps Comparing Me to My Husband’s Ex, and His Reaction Makes Me Want to Cry

6 months ago

When we get married, we expect our relationships with our spouses’ relatives to be warm and cordial. But all too often, this special bond between in-laws never occurs. In some cases, the actions of a spouse’s mom or dad may even make a marriage fall apart. Today’s featured heroine is seeking advice on how to get out of a messy situation that her MIL created in her family, and we strongly feel for this desperate woman.

No one could’ve predicted this level of tension in this woman’s family.

A woman named Sarah wrote to us in order to share a complicated life situation she and her husband are facing at the moment. She started her letter on a very warm note. Sarah wrote that she, 35, and her husband Alex, 37, have been happily married for 7 years now. They met each other on a dating website, and their love story quickly progressed. At that time, Alex was freshly divorced after what he claimed was caused by his ex-wife’s infidelity. Sarah recalls that Alex didn’t seem very sad about his divorce and eagerly started a new relationship with her, proposing to her after being together for just 6 months.

The woman’s mother-in-law proved to be a difficult person.

Sarah continued to recall a red flag that she initially ignored at the beginning of their relationship. When she came to Alex’s home for the first time, his mother, Sophia, seemed like a very nice woman from the start. However, she did one very peculiar thing — she showed Sarah photos of Alex and his ex together.

Sarah wrote, “Sophia just took the photos out from the drawer and started showing them to me as if there was nothing odd about this act. I felt totally disturbed by this and asked why she was doing this. She grinned and said that her son’s ex had always been like a daughter to her and that I would never be able to be as good as she was.”

Sarah wrote that she didn’t expect this, but at the same time, she didn’t want to escalate the conflict. Moreover, she thought that as long as her husband didn’t care about his ex anymore, she would also let it go. Unfortunately, she was terribly mistaken in thinking so, as things went too far right after their wedding.

Married life was almost ideal for Sarah, but there was something that spoiled it all.

Right after their wedding, Sarah and Alex moved into the house that Alex inherited from his grandparents. They’d meet up with Alex’s mom on holidays and family occasions and everything seemed fine, but Sarah’s MIL never missed the chance to say how her son’s ex was better than Sarah. She did it in the presence of the whole family, and Alex never stood up for his wife. When his mom openly said that his ex was “elegant,” while pointing out Sarah’s casual outfits, it was the last straw for the new wife.

She wrote, “I was quite mad at these constant comparisons, it felt totally rude and impolite, and I asked Alex to back me up. He said that I was making a stir out of nothing and that I should sometimes listen to his mom. He mentioned that there are things he would also like me to copy from his ex-wife, like her cooking habits, her style, and her views toward having kids. I was completely heartbroken by his words.”

Now the woman feels like her family life is over.

Sarah revealed that all the times her MIL compared her to her husband’s ex have piled up in her mind, leaving her feeling very out of place in her own family. She also shared that, despite her husband’s warm and loving attitude, she can’t forgive him for not taking her side in her silent conflict with his mom. Now she’s seriously considering a divorce and doesn’t want to ever see her MIL again. She explained that she hasn’t spoken with Alex about a possible breakup yet, but she’s planning to do it in the near future.

Sarah asked us for some advice, hesitant if she was right in assuming she had no future with her new family. She also mentioned that almost all of her friends and family supported her decision to get a divorce, all saying the same thing: their marriage was doomed because there was no support from Alex, and his ex would always be present in their family against Sarah’s will.

We recommend Sarah to talk to all parties involved in the conflict.

Thank you, Sarah, for your trust and for telling us your complicated story. We’d love to share our thoughts with you, and maybe you’ll find them helpful as you make this important life decision.

  • First, you didn’t mention if you ever tried to talk to your husband in private about the whole situation. We’d advise you to do this and to tell him openly how you feel every time you’re compared to his ex.
  • Second, we’d recommend you to try and talk to your MIL too. We understand that you feel like she’s plotting against you, but at the same time, she may not even realize how it hurts for you to be constantly reminded about this other woman. She and her ex-DIL may have had a close relationship in the past, so try to respect your MIL’s friendship with that person and show it while you’re talking to her.
  • And, last but not least, we’d advise you not to jump to conclusions when it comes to your family. Your husband still remains faithful to you and doesn’t maintain any contact with his ex. So, before considering a divorce, try to think about if your reason for wanting a split is strong enough and if the situation is actually as hopeless as it seems.

Here’s yet another dramatic story of a woman who kicked her 72-year-old MIL out of the house, and now her husband is furious with her.

Preview photo credit Avin Ezzati / Unsplash


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