12 Signs You Have A Jealous Mother-In-Law & What To Do About It

What to do when you have to deal with the many terrible traits of a jealous mother-in-law.

Last updated on Nov 24, 2022

jealous mother-in-law Everett Collection / Shutterstock

Pop the champagne — you got married! But now you might find yourself dealing with the many terrible traits of a jealous mother-in-law.

After a mother gives her precious baby away they might get jealous of all the love that they used to get from their son now being given to you and now they become resentful toward you.

However, it's not your fault her son chose you — he's at a point in his life where he's ready to give someone else his unconditional love.


There are lots of other reasons a mother-in-law could be jealous of her new daughter-in-law that could include feelings of abandonment and loss, her feeling like her son stopped talking to her when he met you, and lastly, she could even feel intimidated by you.

RELATED: The Exact Moment I Cut Off My Mother-In-Law's Toxic Behavior


How do you know if your mother-in-law is jealous of you? Check by familiarizing yourself with these following jealous mother-in-law signs.

12 Signs your mother-in-law is jealous

1. She doesn't respect your boundaries.

A jealous mother-in-law will never respect your boundaries and you will find yourself constantly getting frustrated by this. She still thinks she makes the rules and doesn't care about your opinion, wants or needs.

She shows this by speaking over you, not listening to you, discussing family plans without you, showing up completely unannounced, and frequently invading your privacy.

2. She tries to take time away from you and your husband.

She will always want to spend every second of every day talking and spending time with your husband. You might feel like she's trying to alienate you and that she doesn't respect your time or relationship with her son.


Of course, she will play the role of the victim by saying she just wants to spend quality time with him. However, there is a line here, and now, you both know she's crossed it.

3. She talks to your husband behind your back.

It's not like your partner has to tell you everything he talks about with his mother. However, he should tell you if she is talking about you behind your back, as it's not fair to you. You can't have a say in a conversation where you aren't included — plus, this is clearly her way of deliberately trying to put you in the worst light possible in front of your husband.

There's another trust level between you and your partner versus the trust between them and their mother. Usually, the bond between you and your partner is stronger, as it's normal to complain about parents with your significant others. This could potentially create a rift between you and your mother-in-law that could become a very complicated, sticky situation down the road.

4. She speaks to you through her son.

This is called triangulating someone. She speaks to you through her son because she doesn't respect you enough to talk to you face-to-face.


This can be exasperating while simultaneously causing you to do the same thing in response, because of the petty nature of this behavior that results from triangulating. She could further separate you and her son by doing this, as it puts stress on all three of you.

5. She drives a wedge between you and her son.

Some mothers-in-law can be very toxic. They will literally do whatever they can to drive as much distance between you and her son so that you two will arrive at an impasse and simply want to give up.

6. She pits you against your own husband.

If she dislikes you or is jealous of all the time you're spending with her son, a toxic mother-in-law will use every manipulative trick up her sleeve to pit you and her son against each other.

She may also try to spark arguments between the two of you, and this could result in a divide between the two of you, as well as you and your mother-in-law.


jealous mother-in-law signs


7. She sabotages your plans.

She may interfere with your plans, or purposefully interrupt them, in order to test your loyalty to her while also working to create tension. This can become untenable if it happens frequently because it can cause you to become more distanced from both her and your husband.

8. She ignores you.

Your mother-in-law may ignore you at family gatherings, parties, and more if she doesn't approve of you and wants her disapproval to translate to causing marital problems between you and your husband.


She will try everything to exclude you and never give you the time of day, as she will always ignore you and not engage in conversation.

9. She creates a stressful environment.

She will try and make your life a living hell if she doesn't like you and will make you so stressed out that you just want to scream and rip apart everything within arm's reach.

She will try her best to keep you in a constant state of stress by overwhelming you with her presence, her changes in plans, her frequent inconveniences, and her interference in your marriage.

10. She speaks badly about you to other people in your family.

Whoever else is in your partner's family, whether he has siblings, cousins, aunts, or great-great grandma Trudie, who's nearly deaf in both ears, your mother-in-law will make certain to talk trash behind your back and attempt to persuade the entire family to stand loyally behind her on her side of every story.


She is making a calculated attempt to drag you through the mud to ensure that your husband will stick by her side — not yours.

11. She incites chaos so you can't seem to do anything right.

You feel as if you literally cannot do anything right because your mother-in-law is always telling you you did something wrong or that whatever you did wasn't good enough. Or she gets in your way everywhere you go with her meddling ways.

Nothing you do ever gets her stamp of approval, and she doubles down by ruining your attempts to ever get anything done. Understandably, it's driving you insane. (Just what she wanted!)

12. She constantly criticizes you.

She is always criticizing your work or your efforts to be a part of her family. She will make rude, critical, and passive-aggressive comments to your husband or other family members, and make it exhausting to endure her one-note negative attitude and jealous, spiteful feelings towards you.


RELATED: My Mother-In-Law Made Me A Better Wife

How to handle a jealous mother-in-law

In order to handle this toxic situation with your mother-in-law, there are some things that you can try and do to mend things between you and her and try to manipulate her into liking you, and perhaps even not being so jealous anymore.

The first thing you should do, if possible, is to try to ;understand where she's coming from and the cause of her feelings. Consider her behavior and identify what her triggers and insecurities are. This should give you some insight and clarity about why she's being so spiteful toward you and jealous of you — and it may help you get a sense of how best to let her know that you want to try bridging the gap between you.


You want to try and develop a strong relationship with her so she can learn to love and trust you. In order to do this, you have to give her a lot of the attention she is seeking which, of course, won't be easy if she is actively working to create a toxic relationship between you and your husband.

According to Clinical Hypnotherapist and Family Expert, Keya Murthy, the way to handle a jealous mother-in-law is to be blunt, open, and frank. "The way to win an enemy is not through aggression or flattery but communication. Talk to her and include her on occasional family outings."

Another effective plan is to include her in your family and treat her like you would any of your own close family members, so she doesn't feel like an outsider around you. Let her know that you acknowledge her relationship with her son and that you're not at all trying to jeopardize it or take that away from her.

"When you marry a person, you marry into the family. A jealous mother-in-law is an insecure woman. Do what you can to make her feel secure while maintaining your boundaries. Be friends, do your best, and forget the rest. When you fuss too much over her, you give her more power," says Murthy.


If you try all these things while also openly communicating with your husband, avoiding conflict, and coming from a place of compassion and good intentions, it should help your mother-in-law become more comfortable with you, stop feeling threatened, and begin to see you as someone she no longer wants to exile, but include in her family.

RELATED: 5 Reasons To Love Your Mother-In-Law, Even When It's Really Hard

Megan Hatch is a writer who covers pop culture, love and relationships, and self-care.