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'Went to dinner with my MIL and things took an unexpected turn when she threatened me.' UPDATED

'Went to dinner with my MIL and things took an unexpected turn when she threatened me.' UPDATED


"Dinner with MIL took unexpected turn."

My MIL and I went out to dinner as my husband and my FIL were out at a concert together. They are from out of state and were staying with us for a few days. My MIL is intense and does not hold back on overly displaying how much she loves her son. Well, at dinner after three martinis and me completely sober as my husband and I are TTC, she looks at me and goes,

“If you ever break my son’s heart I will kill you. I mean it. And (his sister) will too. She watches a lot of dateline.” I was so stunned that she said this after six years together and understanding how strong our relationship is (her words in another conversation: “I couldn’t have asked for a better wife for my son. You two are a perfect match and so blessed.”)

Unfortunately, I was so stunned that I did not respond the way that I wanted and kind of babbled on something about not needing to be worried. I told my husband this and he was appalled.

My question is, when she undoubtedly says something offensive like this again, is there a way to respond that is stronger and defensive of myself? I just really can’t believe the tone with which she said it and while this is not the first time she has said it, it felt intense.

Yikes. What do you think she should do? How would you have handled this? Commenters weighed in:


Omg that's horrendous!!! I would state clearly that you understand that she thinks that kind of statement comes from a place of 'love' and being a protective mother but if she ever threatens you again you will go no contact and her son will most likely follow suit. I'm so sorry you had to see her true colors like that!

Large_Alternative_78 said:

Don't be anywhere with her alone.In fact you should be NC immediately for her threatening you. I'd have jumped down my Mother's throat if she ever dared to speak to my wife like that.


I had that happen. I just looked at her and calmly asked, what the hell is wrong with you? Were you born in a barn or on a raft?


Just look at her dead in the eye back “give it yalls best shot” and laugh but your eyes dead stone cold.

And said:

"I just really can’t believe the tone with which she said it and while this is not the first time she has said it, it felt intense." I feel like you really buried the lede here. SHE HAS REPEATEDLY THREATENED YOUR LIFE?

What the actual hell, girl? You and husband need a reality check. This behavior is not acceptable. MIL goes home, now. He can let her know that he's thinking about how he wants to handle this, but for now she's in a time out.

Don't fall for the "I was just joking!" - that's what abusive people always try to get away with. It's not a joke, because it's not funny. I hope your husband is on your side in this. She's going to freak out, because these types always think they're entitled to access your baby without you being involved. Assholes, in other words.

More comments with OP's responses:

Don't be with her alone and go no contact:

"I agree with you. I think my husband needs to say something. I told him not to because they only see each other a few times a year and I do not want them to fight while they are under my roof but there may be no choice when something like this is said."

Well she certainly shouldn't be around any future children:

"And the stress about how she will act around my future child is already in full force. I think the point about how disappointing it is will also be key. Thank you so much."

Two days after her original post, OP shared this update:

I first want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for the many encouraging comments. This whole experience was a major wake up call to not allow someone to speak to me this way and reevaluate boundaries/people pleasing tendencies. It also makes me realize that I am not alone and I have several strong women in this community who stand up for themselves and are learning these lessons too.

I would also like to add that never did I feel my life was in “danger.” I understand the severity of what she said, however dramatic is her middle name and this phrase is something I have heard her say to many others including my DH’s friends (for taking him on a hiking trip- woah, how horrible) and myself. This does not change how seriously we reacted to the comment.

So flash forward to the day they left (the morning after the incident and the morning that I posted), MIL begins to send text after text with the most effusive love and support you could imagine regarding her stay with us and our loving home. We ignore them because we are both working and also who cares?

The plan was for my DH to call her after work. She knows something is up because now she is calling ME (I let it go to VM) and having her husband who rarely messages me to see if I’ll reply. My husband calls her as soon as he gets home and absolutely blasts her.

While he was firm and calm, there was no mistaking that she was silent while he told her how unacceptable, disappointing, disturbing, and unnecessary that comment was. Her response? “That’s just how I talk.” DH explains that no one speaks to his wife like that and no one understands her disjointed state of mind except for her. The call ends.

She calls him back ten minutes later (classic move once she’s thought about what manipulative thing to say) and we ignored. The following day rolls around and she calls again, this time saying that she was joking and we took it the wrong way. DH leans into her again and we decide that I will never be left alone with her. The hilarious thing about it is that dinner was the first time we were ever alone.

DH finally lets me know for the first time ever that he has understood his mom’s games since high school and that it is partly the reason he moved out of state. It goes way deeper than this but wow- eye opening. For now, I am NC with her and it looks like husband will be too. Monster in laws are no joke. Be safe out there and thank you again for your support.

Here are some more relevant comments:

Many people are happy and relieved OOP's husband stood up for them:

"Thank you very much for your support. Totally agree. I know that he loves his mom. This does not mean boundaries cannot be set but I can only imagine how I would feel if I had to speak this way with my mom if she were to god forbid say something so unhinged.

Unfortunately, my FIL does not stand up to her and this is a pattern I have witnessed for years. My husband’s words: no one keeps her in check aside from me. I think you are right about no longer staying in our home. It felt like a generous arrangement to begin with but now they can figure it out. It’s a shame because I would love for us to be a “happy family” but that is just not possible with her."

100% MIL was lying about 'joking':

"I completely agree with you about the “joking” comment. This excuse has also been used when she sent me a weight watchers promotional email and when she told me my own mother being very sick a few days before my wedding was attention seeking. Ahh, the list goes on. My DH has no more rose colored glasses on for her bullshit! It feels good. Thank you so much again for your support."

Sources: Reddit
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