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Topic : 04/02 In-Law Threats

Number of Replies: 233
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Created on : Thursday, October 12, 2006, 06:01:07 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 10/18/06) We've all heard of in-laws who don't get along, but these guests say their problems have reached a life-threatening level. Keri and her mother-in-law, Patti, have been fighting for nine years. Patti admits that she's never liked Keri and calls her names, but she says Keri pushes her to the breaking point. Brian, Keri's husband and Patti's son, says he has been caught in the middle but is ready to take a side. Will Patti see how she contributes to the chaos and learn to change her ways, or is Keri really to blame for what's been going on? Then, Chris says his mother-in-law, Cathy, tried to run him down with her SUV. Cathy says she lost control of her car. Chris has filed charges against Cathy. Was this the right thing to do? And, what's happened to Cathy since Dr. Phil producers spoke to her? Could something more serious be causing her allegedly erratic behavior? Share your thoughts, join the discussion.

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October 15, 2006, 4:44 pm CDT

The husband needs to man up!

My husband of over a year has a mother who is considered a classic "toxic" person.  She has been an alcoholic for many years and she has always had issues w/ me.  She is jealous to put it simply.  I did many nice things for her, but nothing my husband or I did really ever mattered.  I spoke up one day when she was causing a scene at a yard sale my then boyfriend were having.  She confronted me about something that was none of her business when selling something and I told her calmly that it was inappropriate and to stop.  It all went bad after that.  My husband just could not see past feeling sorry for his mother and i told him that I would not marry him if my future was going to include putting up w/ all her drama.  He promised me that he would not allow it to come between us and I doubted if this would really hold up.  He has his limits w/ his mother, but has learned to put up a wall when it comes to her beligerance and nastiness.  I always made it clear that I would not allow her to infect my family life, especially my son who was 7 at the time and any future children we had together.  I grew up w/ close family members being drug and alcohol addicted and I have never allowed anyone, including my sister to be around my son when i thought it would be a negative experience.  I know what enabling can do and the damage is not worth it.  It took a little work, but my husband has not seen his mother for 6mos. since our daughter was born and we have a united committment for our family and she refuses to see the damage she causes, even if it means not seeing her son and only grandchild.  It is hard for my husband, but he knows that our lives are healthier without her drama.  

October 15, 2006, 5:44 pm CDT


October 15, 2006, 6:21 pm CDT

Get a lawyer or a good counselor

When I found myself continually being defensive around my in-laws and my husband NOT standing up for me, I would go home crying with my tail between my legs ... alone.  I cried after every visit and did nothing but say "poor me" and was sure there was nothing I could do to make them stop hurting me.  I was very fortunate to learn from a counselor that all of this constant battling between me and my in-laws was indeed "MY FAULT".  Yes ... I finally realized that it WAS my fault ... because I LET THEM INTIMIDATE ME!  Stop the fighting, name calling and get a backbone ... stop LETTING them intimidate you!!! 
October 15, 2006, 9:25 pm CDT

My name is Star Jones, and I am a *lawyer* (not)

Quote From: ronsvulcan

         My wife passed away in May of this year, very unexpectedly.  This was her second marriage as  her first husband was killed in an industrial accident 20 yrs earlier.  When we got married in 1998 my wife never changed her will. The deed to the house is in her name and her will leaves all her assets to her children.  In 2000 she and I remodeled the home and took out a very large 2nd mortgage for over $100k.  My name is on the mortagage loan, but not on the deed to the home and not in the will.  Ever since my wife passed, her parents have done nothing but cause havoc in my life. They want me out of the home because they say it belongs to her children, both of whom are grown and gone and neither of whom has any interest in the home. My wife's daughter, whom I spent 7 yrs loving and supporting and now lives in FL with her grandparents has joined in the fight and is making my life unbearable as well.  The county coroner determined my wife's death to be an accidental overdose of prescribed medications she was taking and heer family holds me responsible for that as well.  Ever since she passed on, my life has been and continues to be a living hell.  If it were not for my familiy and a few close friends, I"m certain I would either be in a rubber room or in the same place my wife is at.
 You do need to consult an attorney.

In most states,  a surviving spouse has inheritance rights to a portion of the estate of the deceased, even if the will doesn't leave anything to the surviving spouse.  You may accept the will as it is, or you may dissent from the will and take your elective share ( and in a few states excercise common-law rights of dower or curtesy.) In many cases that is one-third to one-half of the realty and personalty owned by the deceased at the time of his or her death.
( In other words, it  is impossible in most states to disinherit a spouse completely without the spouses consent.)

Please check with an attorney in your area for specifics on inheritance laws that apply in your case.
However, chances are you do own a portion of the estate.  You may not get the house,  as the other heirs may give you your portion of the estate in other ways.  If the house is her main asset and there is little else,   You will end up owning a large interest in the house.  Even when the will does not leave it to you.  

October 16, 2006, 2:24 am CDT

10/18 In-Law Threats

My story is a bit different.  My husband and I  married 9 years ago.  When we first married, he didn't know where his mother was or if she was even still alive for that matter.  She had given him up @ the age of 11 and sent him to live with his abusive father because 'she couldn't handle or control him.'  His father lived 2 states away.  His father passed away just before I met my husband and he had literally no one at the time.  MY husband was 31 when I met him.  His mother never let herself be known, etc........

Anyway, I could tell he really had a lot of feelings and emotions about her.  I went throught US Search and finally found her after a lot of research.   It turned out at the time to be the most beautiful situation.  Of course there were some unanswered questions and some issues there, but with a lot of talk, understanding and love, it was worked out.  MY mother in law had always been extra sweet to me and thankful to me for helping her son.  He had also had a past that we're very fortunate that he's been able to overcome and she also accredits me with that.  I'm not sure it's fair for me to take all the credit, but I'm certainly glad that I was able to be there for him and able to help.   Well, as I mentioned all had went well until this past June, Father's Day weekend.  We went to visit her and her husband, my husband's step-father in which he considers to be a wonderful man and calls him 'dad.'  I was having a rough time then and was not as sociable as I normally am.  For one, I have bad allergies and they all smoke cigarettes and I kind of distanced myself  while they were smoking.  Then, my mother was very ill, we almost lost her along that time and had to admit her into a nursing home.  I also had other problems to deal with too.  Anyway, she (mother in law) got upset with me and told me my behavior was deplorable that weekend, that I tried to put a cloud over my husband & step father in law's weekend and that I acted like a spoiled child and what a bitch I am, and that 'her 2 men' deserve better than me!  First of all I have issues with that b/c she didn't want anything to do with her son for 20 years and now he's 'her man'?  So, now we've not spoken since June and she's asking my husband what our plans for the upcoming holidays are.  Well, I told him that he's a big boy and can do what he wants to, but I know where I'll be and it sure won't be with her.  I refuse to go around her after her saying the horrible things she did about me.   Also, I have a son from a previous marriage.  He's going to turn 13 next month, the day after Thanksgiving.  Since all this happened, my husband still talks to her by phone.  She's not asked the first time how I'm doing or how my son is doing.  That also hurts me b/c she always used to make such a fuss over 'her grandson'! 

October 16, 2006, 2:43 am CDT


Me and my husband have been married for almost 4 years. My mother-n-law seemed so perfect. She helped plan the wedding and took to my 3 children as if they were her own grandchildren. I thought my life couldn't be more perfect, the perfect husband, mother-n-law (his whole family!!).

Then we got married and expected our first child and then the trouble started. She ran her own in home daycare and watched our 1 year old daughter  (my child whom knew him only as her own father, and he later adopted). We paid her the same as if we were paying another $65.00 a week. Everyday when my husband and I would pick her up his ex-girlfriend would be sitting on the couch talking to my mother-n-law. It really made me uncomfortable and so my husband asked his father if they could ask her not to be there when we would pck up our daughter. He demanded that we shall not tell them who they can have in their home and when..So we stopped letting her watch our daughter and soon my son was born..Right before he was born she had the nerve to tell me his ex had discussed with her if my son was really my husbands and so she questioned that. It really hurt. There were many more issues to many to discuss, but long story short my husband got tired of her trying to hurt our relationship so he cut all ties and our family has been GREAT!! No More Drama!! My husband is a really good man and has had to make the best choice for him and his family. I do believe that there are good mother-n-laws and I wish I had one because family is so important to me.

October 16, 2006, 6:21 am CDT


I'm in my 14th year as a public school teacher of computer applications courses which means I teach middle school and high school age students.  Teachers that have been in the headlines recently, including one in Arkansas, that is only abour 45 minutes from where I teach, give us teachers with morals, character, and integrity a bad rep.  I say these teachers, men and women, need some serious help and should not be allowed in the public classroom again.  As a widow of 2 small children, one of each, it is frightening to think of who they might encounter in the classroom.
October 16, 2006, 6:38 am CDT

other side of the story

Quote From: rautcr

I can't wait to see this show!  I have a daughter in law from hell! I contacted the show and told my story and decided because of the grandkids, I had better pull back. I have bent over backwards to try to welcome her into this family. I have showered her with love and she continues to be a smart ass. She is jealous of the relationship I have with my grandkids. My son and I were once very close and she trys to destroy that relationship too. I bite my tongue constantly with her. Her own family ignores her and she has no friends. Think she'd figure it out. She has cost me to miss one of my grandchilds birthday for the last 3 years. She ruins every holiday. Just when I think she is starting to change, she pulls something. I promise, I am a good mother in law and have tried and tried with this girl, but I am not going to take the disrespect any longer. I feel bad because I know my son is in the middle and is torn. Any suggestions?
What in your opinion is her side of the story? The only suggestion I could make to someone who talks about her daughter in law the way you just did (behind her back)... there are two sides to every coin.
October 16, 2006, 1:06 pm CDT

Why can't we all just get along?

I was a widow for ten years and raised eight children to adulthood, or very close to adulthood during those ten years of widowhood. I have two surviving biological children, four children who I am legal guardian of and two step children, one who is an disabled adult and I her conservator. While I am far from perfect, I try to see the good in people and to give others the benefit of the doubt. I do not like to judge others, and try hard not to. Over a year ago I met a wonderful man and we are about to get married on November the sixth of this year. When we first got together his twenty seven year old daughter behaved as though she was thrilled for her father, wanted a friendship with me, and begin to refer to me as her child's grandmother immediately. She was constantly wanting to "help" me out, as I had moved to a new area far from my family and friends, where I had lived the past thirty five years. She is a single mother, works nights as a nurse, and her father had been providing full time childcare for his (our) grandchild from her birth. She is now nearly three and she has had me for a full time grandma this past year, with me helping in her childcare extensively. I came to love my fiance's daughter, she seemed like a sweet and very adorable young woman, and I really love my new grandchild. I give my heart fully without reservation, and if I get hurt then I get hurt, but if I don't love then life has been a waste.


Well, my fiance and I recently found to our profound shock that this lovely young woman has been plotting from the time I arrived her to "get rid of me". No, not to kill me (I hope!), but to get me to leave or if that failed to instill doubt to my character to her father so he would set me aside. At first we were very close and I know now she used that "closeness" to discover what she could about me, my life, my hopes, my dreams, and my fears. She then began to drop verbal "bombs" in the middle of a seemingly friendly conversation, and then would go on as if she had not said a word. I found out she was calling her father and telling him twisted versions of our conversations and lying about things I supposedly said and did. Due to our close relationship and open communication my fiance realized that what she said and what she did was not matching and she was the one who was behaving inconsistently. I also found out later on she has behaved deplorably while younger, betraying family members, and behaving in very selfish manners. Her father had hoped she had outgrown these behavior tendencies but was slowly realizing she was back to those behaviors. He still hoped that it was only due to her feeling left out or insecure and that as time went on she and I would find our footing together and she would see I was not attempting to separate her from him, but was actually trying to encourage their relationship to be even closer than before. It was a nice hope and one which caused him to not warn me he suspected ulterior motives on her part in befriending me, so I was at a disadvantage in my dealings with her. I am not angry with my fiance as I would have felt the same way if one of my own children were having difficulty in accepting my fiance in my life. However, as his daughter realized that her actions were not achieving the results she was seeking, that I would not be "run off" she upped the ante and began a series of very ill behaviors. She planted a recording device in our sofa while she was in our home as a trusted and valued visitor. She taped us in our private moments and then tried to use those conversations to show her father I was a "liar, a manipulator, and out to use him", quote unquote.


During all this her daughter and I formed a strong loving relationship. She spent half her time in our home and she was happy with us. Her mother has a problem setting boundaries and in providing consistent reliable discipline and so while with her mother she does not behave as she does when she is with us. With us she is a very well mannered and behaved child, does not throw fits or hit or kick us as she does with her mother. We had tried to help her see she needed to set firmer and more consistent boundaries and discipline, yet she refused to listen, instead accusing us of thinking she was a "bad" mother. As we had her half the week we strongly felt it important we all be on the same page with her, yet her mother pretended to do so and secretly did not follow through on things we all discussed and decided was the best course of action. Well, turns out she resented us for the fact we were better able to control our grandchild than she was. She was very angry with us for 'showing her up". She believed we just wanted to show her we were better parents than she was and put her down. We couldn't have been farther from that than the North Pole from the South Pole. We just wanted to ensure our grandchild who we were helping raise was as well adjusted and happy as possible. We had no idea for the longest time that her mother resented us so deeply. She would say how happy she was to have us help her with her child, that she would not have been able to keep her if not for her father stepping up and providing free childcare and how happy she was her father finally found happiness.


We found out that this young woman had thought she had "run off" the last woman her father had been dating. Due to this mistaken belief she felt empowered to do it again. It would not have mattered who the woman was and I try to remind myself of that every day, any woman would have been subjected to her animosity and cruelty. She wanted to keep her father single so she could inherit his estate at his death. It was all about his money. He is heartbroken and she has removed our grandchild from our care, refusing even to tell us who is caring for her. My fiance is the only male role model she has had in her short life and she lived with him half her entire life and then does not remember a time she did not have her Gamma in her life either. To subject her child to the loss of such important and integrated loving people in her life is a crime I just am having a difficult time forgiving her for. This little girl loves us and probably feels lost without us. I hurt to think of her grieving for us, missing us and not understanding why we are not there any more and why she does not come to our home, her home half the week.


I simply am having a difficult time assimilating how selfish and cruel this young woman is, how calculating, and how horrid her behavior has been. She does not care if her father is happy, she would prefer he be alone the rest of his life if it means more income for her at his passing. This is beyond selfish to me. He is a wonderful father, stayed married to his ex for twenty years longer than he would have chosen. Just when he realized what a mistake he had made and was getting ready to tell her he wanted a divorce she announced her pregnancy and he knew then he would not be getting a divorce as he would not be a "weekend warrior" father and not a day to day influence in their growing years. So, as he knew he would be married to this woman at least twenty years as he knew any other children he would have in his life would have to be with her. So, they had two more children, a son and a second daughter. The one under discussion is his second daughter and middle child. My fiance is a mild mannered man, not one who is prone to fighting or augments. He was subjected to twenty years of a loveless marriage and seven years after the divorce his ex, though remarried, is still actively bitter and vindictive. He wanted a civil relationship but she and her parents refuse to allow it. He is not perfect and made his own mistakes and takes his own responsibility and takes them seriously. While some would say you should not stay married for the sake of the children, there are times when you should. If there is not active abuse, just a lack of love on the part of his wife, he strongly felt he helped create the children and so he should be a full time father not a part time father. He put the needs of his children before his own. He was not an unhappy man, he had his children, he just wishes his ex was able to love. Some people are wounded and so do not have a strong capacity for love and just don't know how to be loving or unselfish. He tried hard to make things work and only gave up two years prior to the divorce. I admire him for this and am so pleased to be able to love him as deeply as I do and offer him the love he missed out on all those years.


I fail to understand any person claiming to love somebody wishing that person harm, to try to ruin his relationship simply so she can inherit a larger portion. She kept going on about him spending his money on me, yet we tried to explain to her I have my own money and we spend it on each other, as couples do.


All this is so sad and heartbreaking, especially for our grandchild. Thank goodness the State we live in has grandparent rights. Our grandchild should not have to suffer the loss of two deeply committed and loving grandparents simply because her mother has emotional problems. She needs us and as her mother is the one who initiated my becoming her child's grandmother we fully intend to ensure this young child is not scarred by our loss. We hope the courts will impose counseling so we can perhaps get past this ugliness. Sometimes courts do good work and in this case protecting a child's best interests is a good thing. We hate that it has to be this way, but we are darn sure not going to allow an innocent child to suffer such a major loss and to have major separation and abandonment issues.


I truly wish we could all just get along and be happy for those we love when a chance for a happy marriage comes about, instead of fussing and worrying over money. I know wishes are a dime a dozen, but I sincerely wish this young woman had been honest in her offer of friendship. We could have had a great relationship and her child would have also benefited as well. This is just so sad and horrid.

October 17, 2006, 7:10 am CDT

10/18 In-Law Threats

Quote From: rautcr

"I can't wait to see this show!  I have a daughter in law from hell! I contacted the show and told my story and decided because of the grandkids, I had better pull back. I have bent over backwards to try to welcome her into this family. I have showered her with love and she continues to be a smart ass. She is jealous of the relationship I have with my grandkids. My son and I were once very close and she trys to destroy that relationship too. I bite my tongue constantly with her. Her own family ignores her and she has no friends. Think she'd figure it out. She has cost me to miss one of my grandchilds birthday for the last 3 years. She ruins every holiday. Just when I think she is starting to change, she pulls something. I promise, I am a good mother in law and have tried and tried with this girl, but I am not going to take the disrespect any longer. I feel bad because I know my son is in the middle and is torn. Any suggestions?"   -Where is your ownership of the issue? You didn't do anything wrong, your DIL is just psycho IYO I take it? I'd like to hear the other side of that story too, Just reading your post makes me cringe for your DIL because reading into what you wrote I think there are probably reasons for all that stuff that are partly your fault and you're just not fessing up.   Maybe you should ask your DIL nicely what you did to offend her so. I'd bet she'd have an answer for you quick and in a hurry. Besides that your son is a big boy, he makes his own decisions. You need to realize your son has his own nuclear family now that should come WAY before you. Get over it he's not your litle boy anymore, he's a grown man, your relationship with him is probably sour because he's standing up for his wife which is exactly where he should be IMO. I say your son deserves a pat on the back and your poor DIL probably deserves a medal. Far too many times we as DIL's try to be nice because we don't want to be labeled the "Evil DIL" and we get trampled on. If she's being a smartass maybe there's a reason. I'm sure she didn't suddenly develop an attitude without ANY provacation. As for your grandkids, remember being a grandparent is NOT A RIGHT IT'S A PRIVLEDGE. If you can't figure out a way to make things work with this family then I guess you don't love or want to be with them that bad.   To any MIL's or IL's that happen to read this board if you want to have a good relationship with your DIL's and their family (i.e. nuclear family) then you need to remember a couple of things: We are not here just to please you! We have our own lives and stresses and things to do. Call before you drop by, ask if you can visit or if we will visit you DO NOT DEMAND A VISITor just drop by! This is so annoying.   If we want your opinion or advice we'll ask for it otherwise butt out. Don't expect to be in the delivery room, it's uncomfortable and you better than anyone should know that childbirth is an experience that doesn't need extra stress. Don't bug your son for a play by play of what's happening if you are not in the delivery room but are INVITED to the hospital. When he has a chance to take a break without leaving his wife in labor alone, he'll let you know or have a nurse tell you. If you're a smart IL you will let your Son and his wife decide when a visit is appropriate and you will deal with it without being a child about it. Don't be offended if you are not asked to come stay and help out the first couple of weeks and don't insist if you aren't invited. You know the week after you have a baby is not pretty and for some DIL's they may feel uncomfortable having you there. If you are asked and do want to go help, HELP- DO NOT PLAY HOG THE BABY and make a woman who just had a baby cook and clean for you. You should be there to do whatever you can to make her life easier if nothing else than to thank her for bringing your gc into the world. Understandably you are excited about your grandchild but if you can't help DON'T COME! We are not your sounding board if you gossip about other family members we know you are talking about us behind our backs and it will put us on the defensive. Always remember our children are OURS, NOT YOURS. They do not belong to you. You don't own them or us. Whether or not you agree with our choices doesn't matter a bit, they are ours to make, you had yours when you raised your kids.   Understand that your son has his own family and they should come before you. He may always be your baby but he's now somebody's husband. Don't play tug of war trying to compete and try to make yourself a higher priority. Someday your children grow up and become their own people, that lead their own lives and why a mother's love is always welcome there is a point where it becomes too much and it's clear you still haven't come to terms with your child "leaving the nest". Get a hobby enjoy your life, enjoy your children and grandchildren but learn that the more trouble and drama you cause for your child and his family the farther you are going to push yourself away and the more you are going to lose in the end.   I don't mean to make it out like all MIL's are the devil and all DIL's are perfect, but it's hard for us, we are new in your family we haven't had 20-30 years to get used to your behavior and I think that most mothers want to automatically assume the worst of the "outsiders". Watch what you say, if you offend- apologize. Even if you didn't mean to. For all the MIL's out there including mine that are not like some of the MIL's in these stories, thank you. Thank you for not being a nutt job and driving me crazy, for giving my family some space and not expecting anything and letting us give our time and affection as we are able instead of demanding it when we don't have it to give. You're very appreciated.   April
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