Evil Mother In LawThis site has been really helpful. Shocked to see all the similar stories about passive aggressive mil's.
Most of what I've read is from women who have pa mil's. I'm a guy that's been married 18 years and my
mother in law is no exception. She's the master of passive aggressive behavior. Some examples:
Giving me 10 pairs of underwear (tightie whities) on our 10th wedding anniversary. Keep in mind that tightie whities come in a 3 pack so she had to open the packages to get 10. Not sure what she did with the other 2 pair.
Giving me a bottle of salad dressing that she knows I hate as a Christmas present. (at least I got a gift, right?)
Countless backhanded/ jealous remarks. I recently bought a boat for my family. Her response was "Do you know how to drive a boat?" Knowing that I was a lifeguard at a lake as a teenager (that's how my wife and I met) "You know how to swim?" and "You've water skied before?"
She's very observant of things we purchase but never, ever compliments us on these things. She'll return home and almost immediately buy the same (I mean exact same) item. Last year she saw that we had a new flat panel LCD tv and never complimented us on it. When she got home a few weeks after visiting us, she called my wife bragging about the new tv she bought (exact make & model) saying things like "You wouldn't believe the picture on this new TV" and "You wouldn't believe how little space this takes up". My wife replies "Duh, we have the same TV". MIL insists that her's is better. She has 2 tv's and 3 home stereo's identical to ours, all purchased after ours were. Funny thing is we never brag or call attention to things like this. Our new TV was bought because our old one broke & we needed a new one.
She's been furious over some of the cars I've bought for my wife. Bought her a black Miata for her 30th birthday a few years back. MIL ripped me for buying such an unsafe car, it's too small, you can't put anything in it, etc. Her last 3 cars have been the EXACT make, model and color as my wife has had (yes she had the same Miata shortly thereafter). She'll never say she likes my wife's car but instead will criticize it in some backhanded way. Within 6 months, she'll have the exact same car.
Took an anniversary trip to Puerto Vallarta a few years ago. MIL says "You have to be careful of the people down there", "Can't imagine what you'd do down there" + many other backhanded compliments. 9 months later she took a trip there.
Leaves post it notes for me throughout the house. "Change bathroom light bulb", "Faucet is broken", etc. Funny that things in our house seem to break only when she's there.
I have 2 daughters (9yo, looks exactly like my wife) & (3yo, looks exactly like me). MIL showers 9yo with gifts and almost completely ignores 3yo. Have called her out on this several times but she ALWAYS find a way to victimize herself. "So I can't buy nice things for my first born grandchild?"
Insisted that flower bed in front of our house "would look better with more color". Although she was told not to worry about it & that it wasn't her responsibility, she planted flowers any way. Upon returning home that day she was just finishing up. She noticed that my car had just been washed and proceeded to put her dirty hand print (remember she was planting flowers in a garden) on my driver's side window and said "looks like they missed a spot!"
When they visit, I've repeatedly asked them to bring their luggage in through the front door of our house rather the the garage so that our cars don't get scratched. They ALWAYS ignore this and bring it in through our garage.
I could go on and on. 18 years is a long time to put up with this. She's treats my wife (her only daughter) almost as badly. I'm fortunate that my wife (who I really adore) completely understands.
These are a few of many examples.
Worst part is that my wife and I try to do really well for ourselves. We're by no means wealthy but have been able to live fairly comfortably in the years we've been married. We've never needed or asked for their help or support. Have always tried to tread lightly and be respectful of her. Father in law is her puppet, does everything she wants. They treat our house like a hotel when they are there. Looks like a tornado went through when they leave (they put trash in kitchen sink, spill coffee on carpet, etc.). Have called them on this before. She'll put her coffee cup on a big bath towel when she puts it down and asks "is this ok?"
Upon reading all the profiles & characteristics of passive aggressive behavior, was surprised to see that she looks like a textbook case. Doesn't seem to be a good solution aother than to ignore and/or tolerate.
Glad to see I'm not alone...