You invite your in-laws into your home for no other reason but to, at least, attempt to earn their respect. But just because you are providing them a courtesy for shelter (whether for a common get-together or in a time of need), that does not mean they will automatically show you the respect you deserve.
The following stories come from people who opened the door for their relatives (not by blood) and unleashed a nightmare into their home and vented their frustrations to Reddit. These are the rudest things people saw their in-laws do as guests in their house. Believe it or not, mother-in-law stories are just the tip of the iceberg.
"My in-laws hated me. We invited them over for Thanksgiving dinner. Upon arrival, they asked me to leave and come back a few hours later. They wanted to 'follow their tradition of preparing the meal alone as a family.'
They had very poor social skills and anxiety, which was a big part of this. They definitely meant to throw shade, but they didn't anticipate it being a showstopper. My tactic was to sit them down and flatly tell them they could stay for the dinner as we planned it or they were free to go do dinner their way at their house. I think they chose the latter that time. They did the same when they said they'd only come to Christmas if no one exchanged gifts in their presence.
They are now my ex-in-laws."
"We live in North Carolina and got hit with a hurricane. My sister-in-law's place got wrecked and we let her stay with us for a little while. After about two weeks, she started taking Adderall, amongst a slew of other meds and was getting really messed up on it.
She started locking herself in the bathroom and sleeping on the toilet. She would leave the door open and fall asleep while smoking outside. She would also, often, pass out on the floor in random places and leave pills scattered all over the floor. Not to mention, we have two small kids running around. When we asked her to stop taking the pills, she freaked. She told us she was going to claim residency at our place and that my wife was only with me because I had money. I told her I was done and it wasn't safe for our kids. She had to go. She ended up saying my wife was dead to her unless she took the kids and left me.
Needless to say, she chose to stay. Now, we don't have to deal with her sister's problems anymore because we are dead to her."
"My husband and I were buying my mother-in-law's house because, as she claimed, 'It's too big for my empty nest.' She stayed with us while she found a new place. It was not a big deal. I had just had my son at the time, so it was convenient to have family to help me while working.
Then I got a kidney stone. They gave me a crap ton of pain pills when I first went in the ER, along with an IV of Dilaudid. Two days later, I had taken 25-plus doses of Percocet and was still in the worst pain of my life. I went back to the ER and it turned out that I had a blockage and my kidney was failing. They sent me home with 20 more pills. When I got home, I told my husband that I needed surgery the following day. He said that he could not watch our son because he had school.
By the next day, I had taken three pain pills total of what the ER gave me the second time. My husband went to work and I dropped our son off at his great grandma's house. I had the surgery and got home that evening to find only FIVE pills of Percocet in my bottle.
I swear my mother-in-law stole my Percocet. My mother-in-law was the ONLY ONE HOME while I was in surgery. I never said anything to her. My suspicions were confirmed in my mind when she got some for a random surgery and tried to just give them to me."
"I paid my sister-in-law to housesit while my wife and I were on vacation. We paid for her ticket to fly out to us and for her return ticket, paid her for the housesitting, and took her out to a very nice restaurant. We also paid for her groceries while she was there.
We had two cats and a dog at the time. The dog also had a daycare that he could go to and we told her if she really needed to, she could drop the dog off at the daycare for the day. But, the dog had really bad separation anxiety and needed someone at home. He could not and would not tolerate being in a crate or being locked up. He would usually destroy something at the minimum or pee or poop somewhere.
It turned out that she spent more than 50% of the time with the dog in daycare and just hung out and did whatever in a nearby town. We also found out that she, basically, ate out every day she was there. We had all kinds of useless, unused groceries at the end.
The next time, we got my brother-in-law to housesit. He was nowhere near as bad, but it was abundantly clear that he let the dog walk around outside without his boots. His paws were pretty raw from not being in boots and walking around on his bare paws in snow. He also did not clean up the dog poop. Luckily, it was a huge open field, but I was stepping on dog crap for months afterward. He only had to watch the dog for a little bit.
The last time we needed someone to watch the house, we asked her grandparents' adopted kid to babysit. He is freaking phenomenal. I always try to pay him as much as I can reasonably afford. We also buy him as many groceries as we can. He's celiac, or gluten intolerant, and the stuff he's required to eat is expensive. He follows every instruction to the letter and calls to ask a question if he's confused on something or if anything doesn't go according to plan, such as if the dog is not pooping or is acting weird. Plus, he is sort of a shut-in, so all he does is sit around watching YouTube or playing video games."
"My mother-in-law is an incredibly rude guest. She behaves very badly. Whenever she is called out on her behavior, she has a meltdown.
For example, my wife and I had just had baby #4. The baby was very ill when first born, suffering respiratory arrest multiple times and constant apnoeas that would cause him to go gray and floppy. He was in and out of the hospital for nearly seven months. He and my wife basically lived there while I would split my time between working, the other three kids (all under 4), and visiting the hospital every day. One day, I finished work and went to pick the three elder kids up from the nursery and take them home to feed before we all went to visit their mom and the baby in the hospital. When I got home, my mother-in-law was standing there waiting for me with a bag full of cleaning goods.
Thinking that she had come over to help out with housework, I began to thank her, but tell her it was not necessary. I was going to catch up on the housework when the kids were in bed later. The house was by no means a disaster. I had merely not vacuumed or done the washing up from breakfast yet. I had to get three kids to nursery and then get myself to work, after all. But, this wasn't her intent at all. Instead, she thought she would help by buying some cleaning goods and then supervising me as I cleaned the house to make sure I did it properly.
For context, my mother-in-law is a certified hoarder. Her house is rammed with random crap that she just will not throw away. When we visit her, it takes nearly 20 minutes to clear space on the sofa to sit down, her carpets reek of dog pee, and every surface in her home is piled high with random crap. As one can imagine, I was pretty ticked off at this act of hypocrisy. We ended up having a disagreement, which resulted in her storming out, screaming that I was an 'ungrateful scumbag' in full earshot of the kids.
Another time, we invited my in-laws over for a barbecue. I spent a fair whack of money on ingredients and hours prepping and cooking the meat. My wife had made a variety of salads and side dishes, too. As we all sat down at the table ready to eat, everyone except for the in-laws looked satisfied. They just sat there, looking angry. I asked them what was up. They told me they could eat the food as there was no beetroot in the salad.
'Don't you know we only eat barbecue if there is beetroot with it?' my mother-in-law said. 'I bet if I were a freaking vegetarian, you would cater for my dietary needs.'
No amount of explaining to her that a preference for beetroot with meat is not a dietary requirement would get her to change her stance. They both refused to eat any food at all. For years afterward, she would bring up 'that time I invited her over for a meal and then refused to give her any food.' She likes to twist things more and more toward her narrative each time.
I have another meal-related incident, which, this time, took place at Christmas. I grew up in Germany and one of my absolute favorite parts of Christmas dinner was my grandmother's homemade rotkohl. I now live in the UK, but knowing this, my wife had called my grandmother and asked her for her particular recipe so she could make it on Christmas Day and surprise me, a really lovely gesture.
Of course, my mother-in-law was there to ruin the moment. She threw an absolute wobbler that she was being served 'freaking German muck' at a 'traditional English Christmas.' All the food was in serving dishes with guests being able to help themselves to the bits they did or did not want. She was in no way obliged to eat rotkohl. She went on and on about how it was disrespectful to those who died in the war to serve German food and that I was antagonizing her by serving it, despite the dish being a complete surprise to me.
No prizes for which way she voted in the referendum."
"Some of my wife's family came to visit. The idea was that, on their way to the Smoky Mountains, they would stop and visit with us for a day or two since we seldom saw each other and our house was on the way. It turned out that was total crap. They just wanted to use our house as a free hotel, which, to a degree, is fine. I don't mind lending a room to a family member. But, they were not even remotely cool about it.
First, they called and asked if we could have something for them to eat because it would be late when they arrived and had no time to stop. I decided I would make lasagna since I'm kind of known for that in the family. I spent around $60 and several hours to make two big pans of lasagna since it would have to feed several people. They showed up with Chic-fil-A bags and said they had already eaten.
Then, they went immediately to their rooms upstairs - not to sleep, but to watch TV without hardly saying a thing to us besides, 'Hi, how's it going?' Then, in the middle of the night, one of them got cold and turned the thermostat up to about 77 degrees. The heater ran non-stop for hours and hours. We woke up darn near in a sweat. When they woke up, they asked if I normally cooked breakfast.
'No,' I said, 'not on weekdays because I have to go to work.'
They gave dejected looks. I thought, Fine, I can make breakfast.
'Would you guys like waffles or eggs and bacon?' I asked.
They said eggs, so I made a crap ton of eggs and bacon. I just left it there for them because I had to go to work. When I got home they hadn't even touched the food I made. The kitchen was an absolute disaster because they decided they wanted waffles instead and helped themselves without even asking, dirtying every dish in the house and ruining my waffle iron because they left it on until it automatically shut off. By then, they had burned the batter until it was fused to the thing. The whole house reeked of burnt waffles for two days.
They also, clearly, scratched my wife's car as they left because it was in the driveway and, coincidentally, had a huge scratch where maroon paint had rubbed off. Guess what color their van was? I asked them about it and they said they had no idea how it got there."
"My in-laws insisted on coming to 'help' after our newborn son died. They bought a puppy ON THE DRIVE TO OUR HOUSE. There I was, two days postpartum and grieving, and they showed up with this tiny, warm, sweet thing that they kept calling their new 'baby.' They couldn't understand why I wanted nothing to do with it.
That night, the puppy was keeping them awake, so they took it downstairs and locked it in my half bath. Directly under my bedroom. I woke to the sound of whimpers and crying. I cannot even explain what that did to me. That was 12 years ago. I still loathe that dog with every fiber of my being."
"My mother-in-law, a compulsive drinker, begged to be invited to stay at our home last Christmas. My partner agreed on the basis that she would not drink in our home during her two-week stay. She did actually manage this but, by the end of it, she was craving hard and was thoroughly unpleasant to be around. It was at this point that her ride home, her son, fell ill enough to be admitted to hospital. Upon realizing that she wasn't going to be able to go home and drink for a few more days, she declared that she would go and buy herself a bottle of red.
My partner told her that, while she couldn't stop her from doing this, she would be extremely disappointed if she did. A blazing row then ensued with the mother-in-law screaming at my partner that our house was like a prisoner of war camp. She said that she hated it there, that we were forcing her to live like a prisoner, that my partner was mentally ill and 'needed help,' etc. I wasn't having that so I went downstairs to her and calmly told her that I will not have her speak to my partner like that. I told her that I understood that she didn't want to be in our home, so she would be leaving that day.
She could choose to stay in the local hotel that my own mother had stayed in just a few days ago or to get on a train home, with me paying for whichever option she chose. My partner interjected that she didn't think it was a good idea to force her mother to leave. We would all just have to tolerate each other for a few more days. I told my mother-in-law that I would defer to her daughter's decision, but that I didn't want to hear any more shouting.
Instead, she started ringing around the rest of her family, telling them that I had been violent toward her and that she needed to be picked up because she was scared for her personal safety. She ended up being picked up by her ex-husband, who dropped her off at his house and then went straight to the hospital (alone) to visit their son. When he got back, apparently, the first thing she said to him was to ask him if he would go back out and buy her a bottle of red.
To this day, she still tells people that I threatened her with violence and that she is scared for the safety of my partner. I'll be seeing her again this Christmas, but not at my home, thank goodness."
"My mother-in-law flew across the country to come to stay with us at the end of my fiancée's pregnancy to 'help out.' She has a nasty stank of entitlement, likely due to her husband being a former Marine.
She thinks that she could just do whatever she wanted. From the things I have heard about my fiancée's past, she has never been exactly the best mother and is responsible for a lot of the issues my fiancée faces on a daily basis. I've never really been her biggest fan and was very wary about her being around my newborn.
I took my fiancée and our one-week-old daughter to my parents' house for dinner one night. I later came home to her mom wasted on the couch with a few of her friends in my apartment that she didn't bother to mention she was bringing over. She begged us to bring the baby to her and said some awful things to my fiancée when we didn't let it happen because she was belligerently inebriated. I was peeved and told my fiancée that the baby and I were going to bed because I didn't want to be rude to her mom.
She was only supposed to be there for two weeks. She ended up staying for almost two months. I found out later that she had only bought herself a ticket to get here and was 'waiting for her tax returns' to get her ticket home. The returns belong to my father-in-law since he was the only one who worked, but she got them deposited directly to her account and blew a bunch of it right away. I ended up having to pay for her plane ticket home.
Our wedding is coming up and she already invited herself to stay out our new house during that time. My fiancée promptly told her that she will be staying in a hotel and we will not be paying for it."
"I could write novel about all the rude things my in-laws have done in my home. They bring their dogs, even though they have been asked not to. We already have two large dogs. Their dogs are old and don't tolerate the playfulness of mine. It's basically asking for a dog fight.
I also have expensive dishes and my mother-in-law makes comments about it all the time, as if I'm a spoiled brat or something. I make good money and I can buy whatever I want with it. She feeds her dogs out of my bowls and I feel like she does it because she knows I don't like it.
The last time they were at our house, we were out of town. They got a hotel, but they spent most of their time at our house. When we got home at one in the morning, my sink was completely full of dishes. They had used every single one of my plates, forks, knives, spoons, bowls, cups, all of it. The sink was so full they had started stacking dirty dishes on the counter next to the sink. A few things were broken. I cleaned all the dishes before I went to bed. I can't stand dirty dishes left in the sink over night.
The next day, they came by on their way back out of town and dropped off MORE of my dishes and silverware that they had taken to their hotel with them. They just dumped them into the sink for me to clean. They were only in town for, maybe, a day and a half. How do you use a 12 person plate setting in less than two days? How many meals did they eat?"
"My ex-wife's sister used a $150 chef's knife to try and crack open a coconut in my kitchen. She dented it all over and also bent the tip somehow. She, then, said it must have been a cheap knife because her sister in Thailand cut them open super easy with a cleaver. It was not even the ruining of the knife that annoyed me the most. It was her implication that it was a cheap knife cause it could not crack open a coconut.
There are knives that you use for very specific things, such as sushi, for instance, which, if you don't wipe them after every slice, they become ruined for cutting sushi. Knives like that can cost multiple hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars, depending on quality. My knife was not crazy expensive or anything, but she didn't even give a single crap about it. That was what bothered me the most.
She is easily one of the rudest people I've ever had the misfortune of staying in my house. One time, she was staying with us and I was working every day outside of the house. I had made a large pasta dinner that I was planning to eat for the rest of the week so, as soon as I got home, I could heat it up and relax and wind down. Upon returning home, I found the food nearly gone, but not completely gone. There were about two forkfuls of pasta and some sauce left.
I was furious. I ate what remained and just threw the stuff in the sink. Generally, our rule is that if you put it in the sink you have to do the dishes. Since I only had the final bite of food I paid for and prepared, I think she was assuming that I was going to clean it all up as well. She actually came and complained at me later on because 'no one was doing the dishes.' This came after she ate nearly all the freaking food. I almost yelled at her right there. I just said I was not doing it because I didn't finish it. Whoever left that tiny amount of food left was going to do it and I didn't care if they rotted in there for an eternity.
The insane thing about her is she will destroy the kitchen making a meal for everyone, without using ingredients she purchased, and then act like she did the world such a huge favor that she would not have to clean up. It was almost to the point at which we should feel grateful to even be in her presence. One bright side of my divorce is that I will never have to suffer her presence ever again."
"I had the in-laws over for the big family dinner on Christmas Day. My brother-in-law turned off the Christmas carols I had started playing on our stereo and turned on our TV so he could watch the game without asking if it was OK. I turned it off.
'We're leaving the TV off today,' I politely told him.
He stomped away in a huff with his wife (my husband's sister) trailing after him, wringing her hands. Then, she turned back to us.
'He wants to watch the game,' she said. 'Don't you want your guests to be COMFORTABLE?'
I said to my husband later, 'The next time we're at their house, I'm going to turn their TV on to watch Doctor Who. If anyone protests, I'll say, "Don't you want your guests to be comfortable?"'"