No matter how hard you try, are you struggling to build a good relationship with your daughter-in-law ? Is she rude and disrespectful all the time, and does she use every opportunity to make it clear that you aren’t welcome in her life?
If you recognize these 10 signs you have a toxic daughter-in-law , it’ll be obvious that your bad relationship isn’t because of you.
You can, and you should, keep trying to have a better relationship with her for the sake of your son and the love you two have for each other.
However, you shouldn’t allow her to keep disrespecting and humiliating you. After this list of signs, you’ll also find some helpful ways to deal with your daughter-in-law and put her in her place.
10 Signs You Have A Toxic Daughter-In-Law
Pay close attention to these 10 red flags that show you have a toxic daughter-in-law . This may help you find a way to build a better relationship with her.
1. She makes you feel like you aren’t part of the family
She thinks that you’ll walk away if you feel like you aren’t welcome. However, it’s your job to prove her wrong.
No matter how much she tries to make you feel like you don’t belong in your son’s life anymore, you should try to show her that you are and always will be part of the family.
If you can’t work on fixing your relationship with her, focus on strengthening your relationship with your son. Sooner or later, she’ll come around and accept that you’ll never leave your son’s and her husband’s life.
2. She constantly disrespects you
This can be very stressful, I know. I assume she does it specifically in front of other people, and that’s what bothers you most because you feel so humiliated and ashamed.
The fact is, she’ll keep doing it as long as she sees that it bothers you. You need to understand that her only aim is to drive you away from your own son.
You need to be prepared for anything. And as much as certain things hurt you, try to behave as if you don’t notice them because that is the only thing that will make her stop mistreating you.
Of course, if she crosses the line and you simply can’t put up with her behavior anymore, then you should talk to your son about it. If he doesn’t do anything about it, you need to stand up for yourself.
3. Her need for control is overbearing
While they were dating, your son probably allowed her to control many things in their relationship. It’s given her the right to think that she can control absolutely everything about his life.
She wants to control his job, their vacations, their kids… Absolutely everything. Unfortunately, you can’t, and you shouldn’t do anything about it because that should be your son’s job.
You need to warn your son about her controlling behavior and hope that he’ll talk to her and ask her to change.
If she promises she will, believe her and give her some time to prove that. However, if it takes too long, or if she continues with her controlling behavior, just ignore her demands and do things the way you want and encourage your son to do the same.
4. Constant blame-shifting
She’s also aware that you two have a toxic relationship , and she doesn’t do anything to change that. The only thing she does all the time is put the blame for this bad relationship on you.
She wants to make you and everyone around you believe that you’re the culprit and the reason you two can’t get along. If you allow her to do that, it’ll create a huge problem between you and your son.
Just pay attention to her behavior in front of other people vs. when you two are alone.
If she behaves all sweet and innocent in front of others and turns into a real devil when you two are alone, it’s clear that she’s trying to paint a different image of your relationship with other people.
5. Gaslighting is her favorite manipulation technique
She’ll do absolutely anything to harm your mental health and make you doubt your own sanity. As I said above, she’ll even try to manipulate you into thinking that it’s your fault you two can’t get along.
She’s so good at gaslighting that you aren’t even aware of what she is doing until it’s too late, and she’s already managed to trick you. In the eyes of your son and other family members, you’ll already be guilty for the bad relationship you two have.
And the worst thing is that you can’t do anything about it because you don’t have proof of the evil, toxic games she plays with you.
See also: 30 Alarming Gaslighting Phrases You Need To Watch Out For
6. She has traits of a narcissistic personality
In the beginning, you didn’t think about it this way because you thought she was just spoiled or overly confident.
She always wants the spotlight, and her need to be the center of attention is unbelievable. Also, it’s like she needs to be right all the time.
She’s arrogant and manipulative, and she just doesn’t seem to have any kind of empathy or consideration for other people.
In short, you’ve finally understood that your son is married to a true narcissist in disguise.
The whole world needs to revolve around her, and the reason she’s so disrespectful towards you is because she knows how much your son loves you, and she is afraid that you might steal her position.
Whenever you post a pic on social media , she always has an ironic comment. You’ve also noticed that she is trying to make fun of you on other people’s pics too.
I know it isn’t easy to put up with it all, but for the sake of your loved one, you need to have patience. If it really bothers you that much, speak to your son about it and let him know how much it bothers you.
If he doesn’t do anything about it, you should find a way to put an end to it. Simply hit the block button, and let her make fun of someone else. Or, find another solution but DON’T EVER descend to her level and make fun of her.
8. She talks behind your back all the time
Your family members , friends, and even some of your neighbors have told you that she’s been talking trash about you behind your back. This is what probably hurts you most because you know you didn’t deserve it at all.
However, it shouldn’t bother you that much. Your loved ones know you, and they’ll never believe her lies.
They’re probably familiar with your situation, and they already know what your daughter-in-law is trying to do. You should let her keep bad-mouthing you because it will only speak volumes about her character.
9. She always shows up unannounced
I know how frustrating this can be. My DIL tried to do the same thing to me. However, I showed her that it didn’t bother me, even though it really did, and once she saw she couldn’t hurt me with it, she stopped doing it.
I behaved as if I didn’t see what was going on. I tried to ignore it as much as I could and let her have her way. And you should do the same. Eventually, she’ll realize that she doesn’t gain anything from it, and she’ll change her behavior.
I showed up unannounced at their place only once, and she freaked out. Maybe that scared her, and maybe that’s another reason she stopped with those unannounced visits to our place.
10. She tries to turn other family members against you
If they have kids, she’ll try to turn them, your own grandkids, against you. And she’ll also try to affect the other family members and drive a wedge between you and them.
The fact is, family life is never easy. There are many relationships that need to be nurtured constantly, and it gets even harder when your kids grow up and your family gets bigger.
And the worst thing is when some of your in-laws don’t want to accept you as part of their family even though you’ve shown them they’ve been welcome from day one.
She probably won’t succeed in turning those other family members against you if you have a good relationship with them. So, try to ignore her and focus on maintaining good and stable relations with other people inside the family.
How To Deal With A Bad Daughter-In-Law
Of course, you should try to fix the toxic relationship you have with your daughter-in-law . However, if that isn’t possible, here are some effective ways to handle her and keep your relationship intact.
• Try to understand her reasons for treating you that way
Maybe your daughter-in-law isn’t toxic after all… Maybe she simply doesn’t like you and doesn’t want you to be part of her family.
Now, if you want that to change, you need to understand what caused that aversion from her side. Maybe you did something that hurt her in the past, and she can’t get over it.
If you realize that some of your actions were wrong, you should apologize for them and ask for her forgiveness. That should help your DIL leave it behind, and then you can work on building a healthy relationship between you two.
• Avoid getting into conflict with her
Dealing with a difficult daughter-in-law is the worst. She constantly picks fights with you and tries to show you clearly that you aren’t welcome in the family anymore.
I know that can become overbearing, and it can drain you up emotionally. However, you need to avoid getting into unnecessary discussions with her. Not because of her, but because of your dear son.
The truth is, your fights with her will hurt him the most. He will feel torn between you and his wife, and sooner or later, he’ll feel like he has to choose and make a decision between you, his mother, and his wife, the woman he loves.
He might be aware of his wife’s toxicity; however, she’s his partner, and he can’t give up on her. On the other hand, he won’t be able to give up on you either because, after all, you are and always will be the first woman he ever loved.
Just thinking about having to make that awful choice will break his heart.
• However, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself
Avoiding conflict with your DIL doesn’t mean allowing her to talk badly about you in front of other people. It doesn’t mean you should allow her to treat you badly in front of your family members or at important family events .
No matter the circumstances, you should never put up with another person’s mistreatment and disrespect.
Whether it’s your loved one or son/daughter/ sister-in-law or your husband’s mother , you need to stand up for yourself and show others that you won’t allow them to treat you like an outsider .
Actually, you won’t allow them to treat you in any other way than you deserve to be treated.
If you allow them to disrespect you even once, they’ll see it as a green light to repeat it again and again. In the end, that will result in damaging your own emotional and mental health .
• Don’t let her affect your self-esteem
She’ll most definitely try. She knows that by making you doubt your confidence , she can manipulate you easier. It would allow her to shift the blame for your toxic relationship onto you.
That’s why you need to establish your own support system. Find someone you trust and let them be your confidant. Talk to them and tell them everything about the relationship with your DIL .
That’s the best way to protect your self-esteem . Show her that you know your worth and that no one can manipulate or play with you.
• Always be the bigger man
In life and every situation life gives you, you should try to be the bigger person . Look past it all and simply focus on your priorities.
I know that some people don’t deserve your kindness, but it’s actually the most powerful weapon you can use against them. It’ll hurt them more than revenge or insults.
• Don’t let her come between you and your partner
In- law relationships can be really difficult sometimes. Whether you have a bad relationship with your daughter/ son-in-law or your mother/ father-in-law , you should never allow them to stand between you and your family.
You need to stick together, no matter what. Your love needs to be the strongest of all, and it really needs to be unconditional and unbreakable.
Whatever you think about her or, for example, her parenting style , or her behavior towards your son, you should keep it to yourself. If you constantly speak ill about her to your son, it’ll seem like you’re trying hard to separate them.
• Set boundaries
Whenever someone affects your peace of mind, you need to keep them at a safe distance and set strong boundaries with them. Don’t let them come too close because their toxicity may rub off on you.
Of course, you can’t behave like she doesn’t exist, but you can avoid her as much as possible. If she is giving you a hard time over social media , you can simply block or unfriend her.
For your own well-being , you need to set boundaries with toxic people . Otherwise, they will damage your emotional and mental health .
• Don’t let her toxicity poison you
When someone tries to belittle, humiliate, or disrespect you, it really starts affecting your emotional and mental health, especially if it’s someone close to you.
Sooner or later, you’ll reach a point where you want to hurt them back in the same way they’ve been hurting you almost every day. And that is precisely why you should never allow it to happen.
If someone behaves badly towards you, let them show you their real face. Don’t even think about getting revenge because that’s a job for karma.
She’ll be a mother-in-law someday to another woman, and maybe that woman will treat her in the same way she’s treating you right now – that will be her karma.
• If you can’t change it, accept that she doesn’t accept you and learn to live with it
If your little ‘ monster-in-law ’ doesn’t want to work on fixing your relationship, no matter how much you try to change her opinion, you really have no other choice but to accept it.
In that case, work on strengthening your bond with your son. You need to show her that you have such a strong relationship with your son, a relationship that nothing and nobody is able to damage or break.
Forget about her and try to ignore the little things she does to irritate you. Just focus on your son and let time take its course when it comes to the relationship with your daughter-in-law .
See also: The Best List Of Boundaries For Mother-In-Law : 15 Limitations
What Happens When You Have A Toxic Daughter-In-Law?
Unfortunately, her toxicity will soon start affecting your own life and maybe even the relationship you have with your son. That kind of scenario is almost inevitable.
She’ll be the cause of most of your conflicts with your son. And, of course, your son will never choose between you because he loves both of you, but those two kinds of love are very different.
She won’t consider you part of her own family, which will probably affect your relationship with your son.
You’ll know that it isn’t fair because you didn’t do anything to earn her rejection, but you need to understand that it isn’t your fault. No matter how much she keeps rejecting you, you shouldn’t blame yourself for it.
She’ll try very hard to stand between you and your son, her husband, and ruin your relationship. If you don’t stand up to it, she’ll eventually succeed in her intention, and both you and your son will end up hurt.
On The Whole
Have you recognized these 10 signs you have a toxic daughter-in-law ? If you have, I feel for you. That kind of burden is so familiar to me, and believe me, I can feel your pain.
We all know how strong a mother’s love is for her son, and it hurts like hell when someone comes and tries to ruin that love. However, trust me, your son is in an even worse position than you.
Now, you have two choices… Either you can accept that she doesn’t like you and try to keep your relationship with her outside of the relationship with your son, or you can try very hard to get her to like and accept you.