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Tuesday, 19 August 2008


Mothers-in-Law law are often the butt of so many comedians jokes, sometimes, quite unfairly. There are a lot of good alternative comediennes around but I've yet to hear any of them berating their husband's or partner's mothers.
Why is this I wonder?

Is it because we 'girls ' stand together as the Sisterhood and believe that we are beyond reproach, or, is it because men feel threatened, often by three adult women, influencing their lives; ie. wife, own mother and, mother-in-law?

I have had two Mothers-in Law. The first was a 'She devil from Hell' and the second was absolutely lovely, most of the time, (after all nobody's perfect)!

As I am a Mother-in-law to two Sons-in law, I know I am treading on dangerous territory, but, apart from the occasional, faux paux, usually committed by me when I am trying to be 'Wonder Woman' and getting stressed, particularly when entertaining so many , when they all come to stay at the same time,
I feel we have a good relationship.

I have a great deal of love and respect for them both, so, I dearly hope this is reciprocated. I shall be eternally grateful for my beautiful Grandchildren. They are both good and loving husbands and fathers. I must also say, they are also good and kind to me, and of course, DT.

Which self respecting, Mother-in-law could ask for more......

Sadly, not in the case of my first Mother-in Law!
Oh dearie me no! The She Devil from Hell.

This woman left a trail of misery wherever she went.

I could write a book about the terrible things she did to me.
Her party piece was writing the most appalling poison pen letters to my friends and family, accusing me of being a prostitute, amongst other things.

All this was going on whilst her Son and I were planning to marry. At that time I was a member of the Church Choir and a Sunday School Teacher. Laughable really, but then, not so funny!
My family could have taken legal action against her, but as the wedding was looming, and they genuinely liked my husband-to-be, also, they were concerned for my future happiness, so, they chose not to.

The marriage lasted twelve years.....She got her own way in the end. Sadly, when her Son died last year they were not speaking, she even wrote him a nasty letter when he was so terribly ill. Needless to say, her Grandaughters havn't seen or spoken to her for 25 years. She tried to have them taken into care when I divorced her Son. She wrote one of her infamous poison pen letters to The Social Services, again, saying the most appalling things about me. I believe her ultimate plan was to get custody of them and then, have her Son live with her, together with the girls.This was never going to happen because She and her Son had a 'love-hate' relationship.

Oh boy! Did I stand up to her then.

The Social Worker who visited my home was delighted to meet us and assured me there was absolutely no chance of her carrying out her threats....particularly when I enlightened her with 'The She Devil's' previous form, re the 'letters and accusations'..Crazy Woman...In a way I feel sorry for her, she's missed so much.
She's well into her eighties now and lives alone, without any family or friends to care for her.

Now to Mother-in Law number two.....

Oh boy what a refreshing change...Dear Olive ...

From the day she and Jim (Grandpa DT), met me and The Girls, we were welcomed into the family with open arms.
Olive had the most infectious chuckle and used to say, when reminiscing about the first time she met the Girls,(they already had two lovely grandaughters), 'Yesterday we had two Grandaughters and today we've got five'.

When DT and I got engaged they were delighted and couldn't wait for the Wedding.
Olive used to visit my dear Mama when she was ill and housebound.
Sadly Granpa DT died a few months before we married but, on the day, Olive said, 'Jim is with us in spirit'.
She was a deeply religious lady but never attempted to inflict others with her religious views. It would not have mattered to me had she done so because I had so much respect for her.
Sadly she died many years ago, but she had a good and meaningful life, The Girls and I loved and respected her dearly.

I look forward to lots of comments, especially from my male blogging friends!


  1. I think you were horribly unlucky witht eh first and so you must have been doubly delighted with the second. I have been married twice and divorced twice as well. The First is not worth mentioning, the second was sweet. I miss seeing her actually..

  2. Yes, Trubes. We may have led parallel lives. An Ex-Mother in law of mine also sent poison letters about me.

    I also get stressed when I entertain, but that is because it does not come easy to me. Nevertheless I enjoy it.

    I don't have a lot of family but my present MiL is better than ok. A little fond of getting her own way but with a kind heart and a bit of space for others.

  3. I have no problem with my mother in-law. She's alright really. Tight with the grandchildren and a bit indifferent towards them but generally she doesn't interfere or cause mischief.

    Grumpy Grandad and Grumpy Grandma have retired didn'tchya know ?

    I miss them too actually.


  4. Her party piece was writing the most appalling poison pen letters to my friends and family, accusing me of being a prostitute, amongst other things.

    Good Grief! Trubes, how nasty! It never ceases to amaze me. TWHOTBMMIL, (the woman who ought to have been my mother in law) as she used to call herself, was extraordinary. Her son and I never married, but she was enormously grateful to me for a) taking him off her hands and b)providing her with a gorgeous granddaughter.

    One of the many reasons I never married him was "father in law". Charming as he could be, the day after he heard I was pregnant he presented his son with a draft will to sign, leaving everything to his brother and sister and their children. Ex never signed it, but I had a point to prove. My Girl ended up very close to Grandpa, and we had a civil relationship but he never forgave me for "trapping" his son with a baby!!

  5. i have had a different relationship with my first she didn't like me because i am italian and was not good enough genetically for her son...and she was not afraid to say so...then after we married and i was pregnant with her grandchild she taught me to sew my maternity clothes and we became very we maintain a good but not close relationship...but i know she is there for me and i am there when she has needed is more of a respectful relationship...

  6. The worst thing that I can say about my mother-in-law is that, whenever she stays with us, our supplies of tea bags and milk get hit big style.

    I have never known anyone who can consume tea at such a rate.

    So, if that's the worst thing that I can say about her, I guess I'm pretty lucky.

  7. Hi Mutters; Yes I was delighted with my second Mum-in-Law, she was a real sweetie and never interferred in our lives, she was a joy to entertain and I always cooked her favourite food when she visited us.
    Her particular favourite was Honey and clove Baked Ham with Cumberland sauce, Parmesan Roasties and Greens, followed by a home made Strawberry Pavlova.


  8. Hello Wrinkled Weasel and welcome to my site I am truly honoured.
    What a coincidence that your MIL sent poison pen letters about you also. I'm surprised mine didn't choke on her own venom....dreadful woman...she's still alive and 88 years old...Sad sad woman.
    I never used to get stressed when entertaining but I've had a bad year or so, health wise, so that doesn't help...however, usually everything comes right in the end.
    like you ilove entertaining our friends and family.


  9. Hi Kevin Good to hear from you again.
    Sorry to hear your Ma-in-law is indifferent to your lovely boys..She's missing so much. I can't get enough of our gorgeous Grandchildren, we are so blessed. Sometimes happy to wave them off when they go home though. Tch tch! Granny but true!


  10. Hello Lilith: Gosh your Pa-in-law sounds a bit of a mean man. One would think he would have be delighted to have a lovely grandchild on the way. Some people are seriously wierd when it comes to matters of the heart.
    it's good that your daughter has a good relationship with her grandaughter though.


  11. HI Daisy my friend, good to hear from you. i sometime think Mothers-in-law feel threatened by their daughters-in-law and that they are going to lose their son.
    I've had to graciously let go of my darling Daughters but thankfully ,they keep coming back and with the lovely grandchildren too. We are so blessed with all of them.


  12. P.S. Daisy, I can't understand somebody not liking you because you're Italian, that sound almost racist.
    Anyway I've never met you and i think you're there!


  13. I had a wicked MIL, too, but she also poured venom on her son (my husband). I also could write a book about her! Will tell you all about it when we meet, hopefully, next summer.

  14. Leslie: Good to hear from you again and thankyou for your comments. I am really looking forward to meeting you next year and hopefully we will be able to show you the real Liverpool: It is a wonderful City...I know you will just love it.


  15. Your first mother in law sounds awful, I can't imagine why any one would behave like that.

    I don't often see my MIL, she moved to the other side of the country last year making it difficult to visit.

  16. Hello Cherrypie, thanks for your comments, good to hear from you again.
    My first MIL is definitely crazy she insults everybody she comes into contact with.
    She has many strange compulsions such as hygiene fetishes and wipes door handles and taps with neat TCP about a dozen times a day. If anyone used her toilet every imaginable part of the loo would be wiped down with it. I once rinsed my hands after 'paying a visit' and managed to rub some into my eyes..Stupid woman she could have blinded me ...Hmm.. on reflection that was probably her intention.
    I cannot believe how long she's lived, she's even outlived her poor son.
    It's quite therapeutic writing about her as she caused me so much grief.

    Hope you are well, I do enjoy your site, it's most interesting, I visit most days.



  17. Your first MIL sounds horrific and she must have been a sad soul, really, to have had nothing btter to do thn make all your lives a misery. I was uplifted to read of your second.

  18. That's real bad reading about the MIL from hell Trubes. You must have felt so alone during it all.

    MILs can be great though. I actually knew my (future) MIL before starting to go out with the (future) Mrs S, because they ran a pub, and I used to go there every day for lunch...

    I can still recall her going upstairs (pub you see), to relay my first invitation to get her Daught out to a party...

    We've been good chums ever since!

  19. I get on with my mother in law like a house on fire, thankfully. I can only imagine how dreadful a situation you found yourself in.

    On the one occasion when I had a prang with MiL, the ferocity of my reaction to her very poor behaviour shocked her deeply. The relationship was restored gradually from then, but is stronger for all that. She has been the model of tolerance when my own behavior has been caddish.

  20. Hello Welshcakes; Good to hear from you.
    Yes my first MIL was a demon although, I sort of feel some pity for her after losing her only Son last year, that must be hard to bear.
    I believe that her husband died recently too, so she's totally alone.


  21. Hello Scroblene: Yes I did feel alone at that time, paticularly when my ex wouldn't stand up to her, when she was being so vile.
    Nevermind my second MIL was lovely and I still miss her now, we were good friends and she was so supportive to us all.
    Your MIL sounds good, you got of to a good start as she was playing matchmaker, so you'd obviously been P.V'd before taking her Daughter out....good move...saves trouble later.


  22. Hello Idle,
    Good to hear from you again.
    I can't ever imagine you behaving like a Cad, however we are all capable of behaving badly at times.
    Glad you are on a good footing now with your MIL now, does make life easier!
    I often read your Blog, must pop over now to see how life is in Idle land.


  23. I get on great with my MIL, Mavis. We have great fun when we are out together, always referring to each other as "Mrs Nesbitt" It sounds simple, but hey that's the best humour there is.

    Great post, boy have you been through the woods.

  24. Hello Denise, Good to hear from you.
    Yes I suppose I have 'been through the woods', It's amazing how resilient we all are in times of trouble.
    My 1st MIL was even mentioned in my divorce papers.
    After I'd been to Court to finalise the divorce I remember laughing with a friend at how I'd divorced her, as well as her son.
    Little did I know what was about to follow when she tried to get my Darling Daughters taken into care by the Social Services.
    She was soon to find out what a formidable opponent she had in me...I should have stood up to her sooner than I did!
    I do enjoy your Mrs Nesbitt site it's superb and needless to say, I just love your Dawgie Wilma.


  25. I am so happy to met someone who has went through so many of the smae things I have. But my she devil mother in law has 4 daughters to help her in her handiwork.
    They have treated me like dirt the whole time John and I were married, and still try to, but we refuse to have anything to do with them. They still try to cause trouble even though he died 6 months ago. They are the 4 she devils. My mother in law died 12 years ago.
    xoxo Nita

  26. I have a Chinese/scouse mother in law...lots of mutual incomprehension...but the Chinese love of family overcomes all...I feel kind of lucky!

  27. My MIL was very hard to figure out. I never knew if she liked me or not, but I pretty well figured that no woman would be good enough for her sons, so I didn't fight it and we got along when we were forced to be in each others company...which wasn't often as we lived pretty far away...but all in all, I sort of liked her, I knew she had had a hard life and so overlooked many things. I am kind to my DIL's, and I love them...I tell them so frequently. They are the only daughters I have, and since I have to share them with two other women (lol) I try not to be jealous. I'm so sorry about your first MIL...some women have hearts made of concrete...nothing can penetrate...they are to be pitied if not scorned...I wish wonderfully kind and loving M'sIL for your children...they so deserve the best

  28. Red Tin Heart: Hello Nita and welcome to the world of Trubes;
    It is strange how some women can be so bitchy, I put it down to jealousy. I feel quite sure that my 1st MIL was insanely jealous of my youth and love for her son. She never did get along with other women and was a real 'vamp' in the company of men. She even made a pass at my father at the wedding, fortunately my mother didn't notice, she would have been horrified. I had a feeling then the marriage was doomed!
    I have had a full and sometimes chequered life but wouldn't change much of it apart from the @she devil MIL...hey ho i was rewarded with a lovely second husband and lovely kind MIL.
    I have been reading your site again today and i do feel for you in the loss of your dear husband, times must be very difficult for you and i am thinking of you and your family.


  29. Hello Thud: Good to hear from you again:
    A Chinese Scouse MIL, how wonderful.
    We often visit Chinatown in Liverpool, the food is, as, I'm sure you know, is wonderful.
    We also love The Tai Pan on the Liverpool Dock Road ...superb.
    I bet you must go to Chinatown in California which i believe is fantastic..lucky you.
    I visit your site 'Over the water' and am particularly enjoying stories of your exploits in California..
    Things are really booming in Liverpool despite the UK recession. The new liverpool One Shopping project is fab and the Matthew Street Beatles festival was marvellous.

    Love from a slightly damp City!
    P.S. Hope little miss OTW and Mrs OTW are well and happy.

  30. Hello Sandi, Good to hear from you again.
    I make special efforts in my relatioships with my three sons-in-law/partners, They really are nice
    guys and good partners to my daughters. We have lots of family socialising together and believe firmly that all of us sitting around a table enjoying good food and wine encourages harmony in our relationships.
    It's amazing also, how well behaved our grandchildren are when sitting around the table as they're only young, Molly aged 4, Freddie aged two and Olivia aged two and a half.
    Mealtimes are made to be fun in our house, 'Happy Table, Happy families'!

  31. good tomeet you trubes! Where from I wonder? I don't have a MIL as she died just after Imet my now husband. As for entertaining - well, Himself is in charge of that. Mine is very low key whereas he likes it high key!

  32. Trubes...thanks for the good coincidence Princess OTW will be showing off her tan in Tai pan sometime in the next couple of weeks.

  33. My second Mother-in-law is a Saint ( well not a saint but quite nice).

    I put a corn broom on my ex mother-in-laws bed. She was really getting up my nose. With a note attached to it. This will save on your Bus Fares.

    The next two weeks of her visit was bliss, she didn't talk to me.

  34. Hello Flowerpot: Thanks for your comments.
    I havn't a clue how I encountered your blog Site, but will do some research when time allows! Anyway, I enjoy reading it and, welcome to my site.


  35. Hello again Thud, Who knows we may just meet in the Tai Pan. I'll let you know when we're going again.


  36. Tarf: I liked the idea of the Corn Broom, how subtle... I'm not surprised your 1st MIL didn't speak to you for two weeks...Very funny, though!
    Ironically My 1st vile MIL was called Witchy Poo by the three girls, we should have made her a corn broom, then, she may have just got the message. On reflection, I don't know how I tolerated her behaviour over the years, she wa a complete nightmare.

    I hope you are having some success in selling your Condo...The market is flat here, thanks to the inept Government and the so-called Credit Crunch!

    Love to you and Ginny,

  37. Good grief, your first MIL sounds like a horrible woman! I don't understand how or why someone would behave like that!

    I was lucky with mine. She tried to interfere a bit when we were first married, making comparisons with the way she and I did things, etc, and also when the children were born, but I would just smile and nod and do things my way, and we got along just fine. I never thought she liked me much, though I was very fond of her, but apparently she thought I was wonderful.

    Isn't it a shame we sometimes only find out after someone has died, what they really thought of us?

  38. Hello Jay: Welcome to the world of Trubes and thankyou for your comments. It is a pity about awkward MIL,s particularly if you have the wrong conception of their feelings for their daughters-in- law. I found out recently that my first MIL really liked me too...albeit she had a very strange way of displaying her feelings for me!

  39. I'm so glad you wrote this, Trubes. My sort-of MIL is quietly and politely bitchy to me. I would be happy to never see her again and her selfish bastard of a son.

  40. Hello Phillipa and thanks for your comments.
    I think i've opened a real 'can of worms' here!

    What is wrong with these women? One would think that they should be happy to see their beloved sons in happy stable relationships, without doing everything in their power to wreck them.

    There seems to be a thread running through here.... nearly everyone with MIL trouble is separated or divorced from the 'wonderful sons'.....Hmmm, I wonder why?

    Sad dysfunctional mothers create
    sad dysfunctional offspring. IMHO!

    Hope you and the children had an enjoyable summer holiday. Pippy....All back to school
    today ?


  41. Tommorow, Trubes. today was an 'inset' day. When I was at school the teachers taught the three R's (albeit badly on occasion - I remember many failed literacy experiments.) and I've been in correspondance with Chris Bryant regarding the Telegraph article about a cross party initiative to introduce sex-ed to four year olds. More about that later over at my place (and the notice that Aldi are going to sue me and send the baliffs in for parking over an alloted time in their car park. Oh what joy it is to be home :-/ )

    I think you're correct about the MIL makes the man. My ex was failing at work (we were introduced by a colleague and i had the inside gossip) and he was having to spend extra time to make things right. His mother was apalled at the company doing this to her son. She couldn't conceive that he could fail or do anything wrong. And neither could he. In fact she calmly sat there, watching my children play, and commented that her grandson, who had just got #3 pregnant, really loves his children (she looked at my ex, her son) but there is obviously something wrong with a lot of girls today as men don't stay with them (she looked at me while saying that, and smiled). I smiled back and suggested that if there was something wrong with the girls then perhaps it would have been sensible to have found that out before getting them pregnant. I then smiled at my ex.

    She tends to bitch through her son who berates me for somesuch after a visit. like wearing my engagement ring (so bad mannered of me) I should have guessed when we were dating - I was read the riot act for turning up on a motorbike (like I'd just shat on the lounge rug or something). The signs are there Trubes, we just ignored them. I have no idea why.

  42. Crikey Pippy, You're ex MIL sounds also as bad as mine, but without the poison pen letters.
    Mine even tried to have my Brother-in-law sacked from his job to make a vacancy for her son, who worked for the same company, by writing one of her 'letters' implying he was embezzling company funds. Fortunately she was rumbled but needless to say this caused a rift with my Sister, temporarily, i'm pleased to say.

    Witches from Hell indeed!


  43. Witches from hell, Trubes!

    (Who make devils of their boys)

  44. you know I have heard of nightmare stories like first mother in law was fantastic....still is an amazing woman in her 80's now....she still sends me birthday cards and christmas cards...we talk occassionaly on the phone...wonderful lady.....

    My current mother in law is very different....she has been kind to me....but I have heard stories from my husband and brothers that she was not so very kind to their wives.....with one daughter in law the mother in law and daughter in law got into fisty cuffs....not good....she has done some things I don't approve of and my husband has called her on it....but all in all she has been fairly reasonable.....

    I know one day I to will be a mother in law...having three girls...I will eventually get my sons...which is how I am hoping it will be...being the opinionated person I can be I will have to tread softly...who knows maybe they wont marry at all...guess I will cross that bridge when I get to it....

  45. Wow! The first one sounds mentally deranged. She should have been so happy that her son met and married a lady like you! And what a weird thing to do - send poison pen letters? Some people are just weird. I would like to hope that any future Mr Mermaid might have a lovely mother who, even if she doesnt like me, at least loves her son enough to respect his choice of a woman and who I can get on with. There's people and there's people... as Anne of Ingleside would say: "they are either of the race that knows Joseph, or they are not.". I think you are of the race that knows Joseph... :)

  46. Helo again Smalltown, (M
    ary Ann), good to hear that you have a good MIL now, well worth waiting for. I enjoy having sons-in law, they're grand. One of them Mick, has aa Aunt who lives on Vancouver island, in the south. I met her recently when she was visiting Liverpool. She's 84years of age and travelled all that way unaccompanied, terrfic lady!


  47. Mermaid, my friend, you're back, hurrah!
    Yes, first MIL was a nutter, still is from all accounts!
    When you meet the future Mr Mermaid
    Make sure you PV his Ma!
    I knew that she was a lunatic but didn' t do anything about it and, her son, sadly, inherited a few of her manic ways too.
    Hindsight is a wonderful thing, dontcha think ?


  48. I have had two mother in laws...first was awful to me, and when I got divorced she blamed me for everything, and one day I had a phone call in which she apologised to me. She is now in her lates 70's and not well, I do keep in touch now and again, maybe for the sake of my ex father in law, who was great. And they like news of my boys and their children. My second mother in law is amazing, we have such a laugh, go shopping..afternoon in the garden with wine and when my husband and I were going through a very very bad patch, she was a rock.

    I am not sure what category I fall into..somewhere in the middle. I have two sons, one is married and one lives with his effectively two daughters in law, I find it extremely hard, I would say it is easier to have son in laws ...

  49. Hello Anne, Sorry i am late in replying too you , just picked up your comments...Good to hear from you and welcome to the world of Trubes...i've enjoyed reading your site and see that you are a formula one fan although it inot quite 'my cup of tea', my lovely son-in-law Dean just loves it and indeed anyhting to do with cars.. He's just bought himself a new Porsche. We're off to see them (Daughter Kirsten and Molly and Freddie) in Bramley Surrey this
    coming weekend, can't wait.
    Re your comments about having sons, thus, eventually turning you into a MIL, I think the most crucial point is knowing when to let go of your chldren. I love my sons-in-law very much and am delighted they are such good husbands and fathers'.


  50. Hi Di...Thank you for your great comments/replies on here and my blog :-)Yes letting go is hard...might just be I don't get on with a lot of females :-) :-)

    I have not heard from WL but I was reading this blog.. and she has said that Welshcakes is still in hospital having lots of tests. She is missing Simi very much and is longing to be home and well again.

    Sorry I know no more than you do. I will keep an eye on Liz's blog though, I do pray that she will be Ok.

    Take Care Anne x


I usually like to reply to your comments but for some reason when i do post a reply it just diappears, any advice would be most welcome,Thanks Di x

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