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."
"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."
"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."
"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?"
"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?"'"