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What Should She Do With a Bully Mother-in-Law?

Ms. Vicki

Ms. Vicki,

I have scrolled through your responses to so many different people and it seems like you have the same views on things as I do. That's why I'm coming to you for advice.

My husband and I just got married almost four months ago, and he left for basic training for the Army in September.

Ever since he left, his mother has been bullying me non-stop over Facebook, calling me a horrible wife, saying she wishes her son never married me and that she will do everything in her power to still be control over her son and his life.

Lately, I just ignore the messages and I have told her that my husband will deal with her when he comes home for Christmas. I'm just so in shock that she is acting out like thi,s especially since she's never had a problem with me until we got married and he left.

Any advice on what to say or what to do? Thank you so much!

-- Irritated

Dear Irritated,

My goodness! I would be irritated, too.

However, I'm not surprised. People are using social networks to bully, intimidate and threaten others every day. Honestly, I wish that Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg would charge per page and per post.

It really wouldn't matter how much he charged either --let's say $5 a month per page and $1 per post. We would see an immediate decline in Facebook bullying and the numbers of people who had an account would decrease, too.

It's like the social network sites give people a sense of power and control. I hear so many people say "this is my page." They don't care about relationships, they don't have jobs, they don't have a car, or a house. But, they opened a social network site so that makes them accomplished.

Now, about your mother-in-law: unless I'm missing something, she sounds very immature. It sounds like you don't understand why she flipped the switch on you. Before you married her son, you were good but after he married you, now you're a bad woman.

Here's the deal, don't play those games with her. I think you should go further than ignoring her. If I were you, I would discontinue the social media account. The account is not a life necessity. This way you don't have to deal with her complaining and saying "you blocked me." The deal is that you have closed the account.

I hope your husband will talk to his mother about her behavior. He should do it, not you. In the meantime, don't get into any arguments with her. I wish you the best and a great reunion with your husband.

Let me know what happens.

-- Ms. Vicki

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Contributor

Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, has been the Dear Abby for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology.

Ms. Vicki appears regularly on Military.com and in the Fort Campbell Courier. Her column has also appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Looking for advice about your military life? Email Ms. Vicki here. Find Ms. Vicki on Facebook here.  Find Ms. Vicki on Twitter here.

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