Mother in Law- Should I move?

Hi All,

I have been married for 15 years and my wife and have six beautiful children.

My Father in law just left my Mother in law. Basically, he said he had enough.

She is very controlling, not in a normal sense either. She will try to control every thought and word. My father in law left and basically said to my wife, that she will have to take care of her.

My mother in law has hurt me deeply. For a while, she was trying to convince my wife that I was cheating on her. She is deeply paranoid. She will not let me in her house if no one is home. Or even if she is home, I am not allowed to touch anything that belongs to her (more or less).

Besides being bossy and controlling she is extremely rude.

I could go on about things she does, but what I am trying to convey is she is not a normal person.

Her two sons could not deal with either and both moved out of state.

When my wife is with her, I am excluded from the group and now that my father in law left, that time is increasing.

Basically, she will put on a guilt trip if my wife is not with her.

So a typical Saturday (I work 60-70 hours during the week), when I able to see my wife and kids, my wife is looking to get with her, which then excludes myself.

The one thing my wife and I fight about most is her Mom.

I really feel like moving, so we can have our own lives, but I also don’t want my wife to feel like she just left her Mom like everyone else has done.

Any advice is appreciated.


I can’t offer any advice on what to do…I will observe that nobody left her. She drove them away.


I will have to agree with a previous poster.

Your mother in law drove everyone away.

She will have to learn this fact sooner or later.

Setting boundaries should be done before your mother in law destroys your marriage.

It seems like she destroys any relationships she has or comes into contact with.


Marriage counseling. You and your wife need to talk together in a space where both of you feel heard.

I’d also add that your wife has been put under pressure from both her parents - her father’s instruction that your wife must now take care of her mother was a terrible thing to do. Support your wife, form a team with her. Everyone else has pushed her into a corner; try to support her in pulling back from her mother. I’d also recommend looking up the term ‘FOG’, which stands for ‘Fear, Obligation and Guilt’. It might help you to understand where your wife is coming from with some of her behaviour.


You and your wife need to go to counseling to get on the same page and set boundaries regarding her mother.


Seems that you and your wife need to come to an accord on this. If you cannot agree, perhaps counseling or an knowledgeable intermediary can help. Moving is just treating a symptom, and won’t fundamentally change the situation.



I cannot upvote this enough.

What her father did was terrible.

What your FIL did was awful…meaning, putting your wife in charge of her mother! Everyone has their breaking point, so I’m not blaming him for leaving.

Your wife should really talk to her dad. Abandoning a mentally ill woman (and, from what you say, your mil does fit the profile), without resources is not the Christian, or even basic human thing to do.

How does your mil keep your wife away from you? Does she say that she wants to spend all this time with her mom??? Did her father just Bully her into it? Does she see her dad anymore?

I agree…you must speak to your priest, or to a marriage counselor. Preferably both!

Your wife, from her point of view, may just see this as you trying to control her. Don’t end up moving out alone. Get some serious counseling!

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Sometimes it’s best to leave toxic people behind and just pray for them. It’s not your fault, or your wife’s, that MIL is mean.
“Safe People” and “Boundaries” and “The Emotions God Gave You” are 3 books that REALLY helped my wife and me through some similarly difficult situations.

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Heck, no, don’t move! Why in the world would you move because of one controlling person? And if your wife won’t stay home on Saturdays, how do you expect to convince her to move? Set a schedule with your wife and be willing to shell out some money for a care-taker to look in on MIL. If your wife is unable, then someone will have to do it.


That’s the way I was thinking. Although we don’t have any idea as to how the wife is feeling about all this. Ideally, it should be FIL who pays for a caretaker, as he did walk out on the marriage. Which may be best for him, not judging here, but he did marry this woman and therefore, has some responsibility for her care.

OP, hope this all works out for all of you! God Bless!

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