Signs Your Mother In Law Hates You (7+ Noticeable Signs)

Last updated on June 13, 2022 by April Maccario

I don’t know about you, but where I’m from, the mother in law is a major influencer in the family. They are sweet to have on your side, being in good terms with your mother in law makes your relationship with the family a whole lot smoother. It’s like having a new mother in addition to your real mom.

On the other hand, an overbearing mother in law is an exact opposite of what I just described. They make everything unnecessarily harder; you get married with a dream of extending the sweet bond you have with your own mother to the woman that gave birth to the love of your life only to be met by undue malice.

As lovely as it would be to have the mother in law of our dreams, in many cases, wives find their partner’s mother to be controlling and hostile towards them. A poll by women on the parenting website Netmums affirms that one in four women think of their mother in law as controlling.

So, if you have seen signs your mother in law hates you, you can take comfort in knowing you are not alone. If you are not quite sure yet, the following should put your suspicions to rest, one way or another.

8 Signs Your Mother In Law Hates You

1. She doesn’t treat you as part of the family

It’s one thing to bear the family name, and another to feel like a part of it. As I said, a big part of feeling welcome among a group of related strangers is getting along with the household matriarch. Your mother in law understands this, and if she dislikes you, she will do all she can to alienate you.

The family dinners and get-togethers’ that your spouse and children look forward to with glee is a nightmare for you because you know what’s waiting for you there. You feel your mother in law hates you, not because she’s said it outright, but the sense you get when around her speaks volumes. Interestingly, this uncomfortable air doesn’t seem to hang around when she is with other in-laws, just you.

She doesn’t treat you as part of the family

You can also tell your mother in law hates you when she always ‘forgets’ to carry you along on family events. If it’s a must that you be there, she goes through her son to tell you. Oh, and she conveniently omits the details of what you should come along with just to get a kick out of you feeling embarrassed.

2. She goes on and on about your partner’s ex

Signs your mother in law hates you don’t get any clearer than when she won’t shut up about the previous women in your spouse’s life. Every chance she gets, especially when you are within earshot, she finds a way to bring up your partner’s exes and never in a negative light. No, she paints a perfect picture of what could have been if her son had gone for his ex instead of you out of spite.

As a woman herself, she understands how much it hurts to be constantly told you are not good enough, and that someone out there can be a better wife to your partner. In fact, she probably counts on it when she does that. If your husband has introduced more than one ex to his mom, she’d pick a favorite. 

Odds are she didn’t like the other lady as much as she would have you believe, but she knows that hammering on one would drive the pain home better than talking about his exes in general. This is simply a sign she’s trying to hurt you, no one would stoop this low if they didn’t hold some kind of animosity towards you, much less, a mother. 

3. Conversations with you are ‘needs only’

There are mothers who call to check up on their daughter-in-law, those who call when they are bored, and then there is your husband’s mother. A mother in law who hates you will not only never casually call you to make chitchat, she’d probably avoid you like the plague when you have reasons to be in the same physical space too. 

She would also keep conversations with you to the barest minimum, speaking to you only when she absolutely has to. Other times, she would be very comfortable ignoring your existence. More often than not, it isn’t even because of something you did. Some women find it hard to process ‘losing’ their son to another woman, and in many cases, they take it out on the daughter-in-law.

It might also be due to other reasons, including those that are out of your hands. For instance, she might have a particular idea for the person her son should marry, and you may not fit that description. Now that you are here despite her best efforts, she probably prefers to keep her distance so as not to run the risk of humanizing you through conversations.

4. She is quick to point out your flaws

An overbearing mother in law may not talk to you much on a norm, but she’d sure have a lot to say when it is time to criticize. Nobody is perfect, people make mistakes, only your mother-in-law always seems to forget that when the mistake comes from you. Those slip-ups might not even be a big deal, but she capitalizes on them because those opportunities don’t come often.

Sometimes, you don’t even need to make a mistake per se, if you look at anything hard enough, you can find a flaw, and as humans, we are full of them. If every time your mother-in-law sees you, all she ever talks about is what isn’t right about your look, cooking, body, the way you breathe, or whatever, it’s a sign she isn’t your biggest fan.

Some of them might even take their dislike up a notch by adding a splash of petty to the mix. Perhaps, it’s a household tradition that she gets a gift for everyone in the family during celebrations, birthdays, holidays, etcetera. Since omitting you might be an obvious sign she doesn’t like you, she’d probably do something petty like giving you gifts meant to improve one of your flaws, every time!

5. She has no regard for your boundaries

Your mother in law interfering in you and your spouse’s business isn’t necessarily a sign that she hates you. Since most women are convinced nobody can do better than them at taking care of their child, the occasional clash between mother and daughters-in-law is inevitable. Many married women deal with their mother-in-law’s interference at nearly every milestone in their marriage. 

Nevertheless, the reasons have their roots in science is no excuse to flout people’s boundaries. It is one thing to criticize your looks and all that, but another ballgame when she won’t stop undermining your parenting skills or something equally personal. Even the most caring of mothers know there is a line they wouldn’t want someone else to cross when it comes to running their home affairs. 

If your mother in law crosses this line as she pleases, it’s more likely due to a problem she has with you than her being oblivious to its existence. Not to dismiss those with noble intentions but, mean mothers in law do this to spite you. They know an ordinary set of eyes may not see this invasion of privacy as much more than a sign of love, and complaining only makes you seem like the evil one.

6. She shows everyone else off but you

You know how parents freeze memories in pictures and put them up on the wall? If your mother in law is like that too, then it’s an easy tell. Obviously, framing every single memorable picture may crowd the place, so most families settle for framing mostly the milestones in their lives.

From the birth of her kids to the death of her grandparents, if your mother in law is anything like most, she has photos of different stages on her wall. Birthdays, graduations, a couple of firsts, and your husband’s photos literally tell his story on the wall of his parent’s house. One that nobody needs to ask before they can tell these people are proud of him.

She shows everyone else off but you

If despite this pattern, your wedding pictures don’t make it to the wall of fame, you need to ask yourself what’s different. If a picture of him with his prom date is still on the wall and the wedding frame has just him, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that your mother in law hates you. 

In the same vein, if your mother in law hates you, best believe she won’t be showing you off to anybody in real life either, even if she does everyone else.

7. She is only nice to you in front of other family members and in-laws

You know I actually respect an in-law who hates you, tells you to your face, and even tells other family members too. This puts it all out there, and you, at least, know where you stand. Some don’t make it that easy, what with their mixed signals and whatnots. The type that gets you searching for signs your mother in law hates you one minute, and by the next, you think it’s probably all in your head.

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Although, in situations like that, as the direct recipient of her lukewarm attitude, you know it’s not just in your head. The warm times only come when other family members are around – if treating a person as a decent human being counts as warm. 

I wouldn’t presume to know the mind of a mean mother in law, but this eyeservice is a pathetic attempt at showing the people she knows can take your side, that she is kind to you.

8. She trivializes your achievements

When your mother in law hates you, it isn’t enough that she avoids you like the plague, she also tries to avoid talking about what you do, with you, at least, especially if you excel at it. Activities involving her grandkids might interest her, but it sure wouldn’t make you best friends. 

More so, she might be all caught up on your progress, how hard you work, how much you earn, your ambitions, but you wouldn’t hear her bring them up in an encouraging manner. Only when it’s time to use them as a tool against you during her critiques. You could literally make history by accomplishing something that’s never been done before, and you’d be lucky if you got an “and so what” response from her. 

And this isn’t about being an overachiever who it takes a lot to impress, other people could do less, and she would go all out to celebrate them, but that promotion or degree means nothing because it has your name on it. Still looking for a sign that your mother in law hates you? What else would make someone resort to undermining another’s effort for no apparent reason, if not that?


What do you do when you don’t like your mother in law?

Find out what it is about your mother-in-law that you don’t like. Then let your spouse in on it, in a gentle way. If it is something that can be changed, discuss it with her, with your partner’s support. Or better yet, have your partner do the talking, if she doesn’t change, distance yourself from her.

What is a toxic mother in law?

A toxic mother-in-law is one you could never please, a woman who treats her children’s spouses in a way she could never treat her own. A toxic mother-in-law is manipulative, and she tries to use her child’s love for her as a tool against his wife. 

Why you should never live with your mother in law?

Living with your mother-in-law breeds excessive familiarity, and familiarity breeds contempt. It is hard to establish boundaries when you live with her, and people run amok without those. In addition to the stress of assuming multiple roles at a time, scientists say living with your mother-in-law can have dire consequences on one’s health. 

How do you know if your mother in law is jealous of you?

You can tell your partner’s mom is jealous if she competes with you in your own home. She would fight you on every decision you make and capitalize on your errors. The concept of personal boundaries would seem lost to her as she would interfere with everything you do, including those that obviously don’t concern her.

What is a narcissistic mother in law?

A twisted sense of entitlement to her son is a dead giveaway for a narcissistic mother-in-law. She believes only she has the right idea on how your home should be run. She would be all up in your space, and if she can’t control and criticize you physically, she’d try to over the phone.

All In All

There you have it, signs your mother-in-law hates you. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but if reading through this list painted an image of your spouse’s mom in your mind, it’s probably because it’s true. 

I hope you benefited from this list, don’t forget to comment and share the post if you liked it.

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April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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