Why Do I Find My Mother-In-Law So Annoying? (10 Common Reasons!)

Why Do I Find My Mother-In-Law So Annoying

If you find your mother-in-law annoying, you’re not alone.

Mothers-in-law are known for being overly protective of their kids (your partner) and will put them before you.

But don’t worry, I can explain why you feel like this – and more so why it’s OK to find them annoying!

Here are 10 common reasons why mothers-in-law are annoying, and how to deal with it:

Why Do I Find My Mother-In-Law So Annoying? (10 Reasons!)

1. They Keep Butting Into Your Personal Affairs

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that you’re an adult, and you should be able to make your own decisions without your mother-in-law constantly butting in.

Mothers-in-law have an inflated sense of importance and feel like they have the right to speak to their son or daughters-in-law like they are their own children.

This is not the case.

She does not need to mother you or get involved in your personal affairs, whether it includes your partner or not.

What to do:

It can be tough to deal with this, especially if your partner is going to defend her actions.

The best thing is to speak directly with your mother-in-law.

Try to keep calm and assertive, and explain to her that you appreciate her concern, but you’re capable of making your own decisions.

Related Here are some tips for dealing rude or annoying family members.

2. They Always Take Your Partner’s Side

No matter what the argument is, I bet it seems like your mother-in-law always takes your partner’s side.

It doesn’t matter if you’re arguing about something small or big, she will always find a way to make it seem like you’re in the wrong.

This can be extremely frustrating and leave you feeling powerless – but that’s her baby you’re talking about.

What to do:

The next time this happens, try to take a step back and assess the situation.

Is your partner really in the wrong?

If so, stand by your beliefs. Understand that it’s natural for her to take her own child’s side, and if she can’t be mature enough to be independent that’s her problem.

3. They Try Rearranging Things in Your Home without Asking You

If you have your home set up a certain way, it can be really annoying when your mother-in-law comes over and starts moving things around without asking you.

It’s your home, and you should be able to have it the way you want it – not the way she wants it.

But a lot of mothers-in-law feel like they have the right to do this as it’s their child’s home, too.

What to do:

This is another situation where you’ll need to speak with your mother-in-law directly.

Tell her calmly and assertively that you appreciate her help, but you would prefer it if she didn’t rearrange things in your home without asking first.

If she persists, then you can start getting firmer with your words!

4. They Turn up At Family Events Unannounced

This is a common one, and I’m sure you’ve been caught off guard before by your mother-in-law turning up to family events unannounced.

It can be really frustrating, especially if you’re not prepared for her arrival.

What to do:

The best thing to do in this situation is to just go with the flow. If she turns up unannounced, don’t get angry or upset.

Instead, try to be welcoming and accommodating but make a note that you need to keep future events secret or ask your partner to speak with her about it.

5. They Make Personal Comments to You

Personal comments from your mother-in-law can be really hurtful, and it’s not something you should have to deal with.

Unfortunately, a lot of mothers-in-law think it’s their right to make personal comments about their sons/daughters-in-law – whether it’s about their weight, clothes, or anything else.

What to do:

The best thing to do is to nip it in the bud as soon as possible. If she makes a personal comment to you, don’t hesitate to call her out on it.

Explain to her that her comments are hurtful and not acceptable, and she needs to stop making them.

Hopefully, this will make her realize that she needs to think before speaking in the future if she wants a good relationship with you.

Related Here is how you can deal with overbearing parents at 40+ years old.

6. They Criticize You as A Partner to Their Child

It can be really hurtful when your mother-in-law criticizes you as a partner to their child, but this is a common occurrence.

They might not mean it in a malicious way, but it can still sting. Mothers-in-law want the best for their kids, but this often leads to them being a little too idealistic!

What to do:

The best thing to do is to talk to your partner about it first. If they’re okay with you speaking to their mother about it, then do so in a calm and assertive manner.

Explain to her that her comments are hurtful and not helpful, and ask her to please refrain from making them in the future.

Make it clear you also have your partner’s best interests at heart, and that you’re both better off working together and not criticizing each other.

7. They Behave Passive-Aggressively Towards You

This is a common issue a lot of partners face with their mothers-in-law.

Passive-aggressive behavior from your mother-in-law can take many forms – from the silent treatment to making snide comments.

It’s not an easy thing to deal with, but it’s important to remember that it’s not personal (I hope!).

What to do:

The best thing you can do here is be the bigger person and try to diffuse the situation.

If they’re giving you the silent treatment, don’t sink to their level and start ignoring them, too.

Instead, try to engage them in conversation and see what’s going on.

As for snide comments, just let them know it wasn’t nice to say what they did and move forward.

8. Your Partner Will Not Do Anything About Their Behavior

It can be really frustrating when you try to talk to your partner about their mother’s behavior but they don’t want to do anything about it.

I know they’re stuck in a tough spot between the two of you, but they need to step up and do what’s right.

What to do:

The best thing you can do is talk to your partner about it again.

This time, make it clear that you’re not going to tolerate their mother’s behavior any longer and that something needs to be done about it.

Tell them you need their support in this, and if they’re not willing to help then you’ll have to take matters into your own hands.

9. She Still Has Control Over What Your Partner Does

If your mother-in-law is still controlling what your partner does, then I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this is a problem.

It might not seem like a big deal at first, but it can quickly become an issue if she’s constantly telling them what to do or trying to control their life.

What to do:

The best thing you can do here is to have a talk with your partner about it.

Tell them that you’re not comfortable with their mother having so much control over them, and ask them to please talk to her about it.

Hopefully, they’ll be able to explain to her that they’re an adult now and can make their own decisions.

Related How to break free from controlling parents as an adult.

10. She Plays the Sympathy Card and Gets Away with It

This is a common issue I see a lot of people have with their mothers-in-law.

If your mother-in-law knows how to play the sympathy card and does it when she wants to get her own way, this is a toxic behavior that becomes incredibly frustrating.

She’ll use it to get out of doing things or to get your partner to do what she wants – regardless of what you want or what is best for you and your partner.

What to do:

The best thing you can do is to call her out on it when she does it.

Tell her that you’re not going to tolerate her using the sympathy card to get what she wants, and that if she wants something then she needs to be honest about it.

This sounds harsh, and it’s going to be difficult to do, especially if your partner does not support you.

But you absolutely have to put your foot down and stand up to her if she’s trying to manipulate a situation by seeking sympathy.

How many of these commonly annoying things mothers-in-law do applies to your mother-in-law?

I’d love to hear about how you’re handling your own situation. If you have any tips – or maybe you just want to vent – please drop a comment below!

Image credits – Photo by CDC on Unsplash

2 thoughts on “Why Do I Find My Mother-In-Law So Annoying? (10 Common Reasons!)”

  1. My MIL drives me nuts. She’s like a child. She doesn’t work or do much of anything, but won’t prepare food for herself and always whines about how she should eat more vegetables but it’s too much trouble to prepare them. Her iron is low, and she won’t eat right to fix it, but eats a spoonful of molasses each day instead. Ewww. In our vicinity, there are these caterpillar hairs that cause a poison ivy-like rash, which she has. The state has advised people not to hang laundry on a clothes line because that’s the most common way to get the rash. She’s known this for years, then refuses to use her clothes dryer. My BIL brings his own sheets when he comes to stay with her. Then she complains about her rash. She’s probably the most boring person I’ve ever known, and stupid. She lives nearby, yet when my kids were young never asked to spend time with them, nor did she offer to help us as a 2-earner couple. In other words, she’s useless, boring and stupid. And I can’t get her out of my life! Thanks for letting me vent.

  2. I can never pinpoint exactly what it is about her that just boils my blood but she does pull the sympathy card, A LOT. I do think she has a lot of control over my partner but I think that’s mainly his fault as a mommas boy. I really love him but if this continues, I might have to call it quits.

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