Signs of a Toxic Daughter-in-Law
Navigating the intricate dynamics within a family can be tough, and one of the most delicate relationships that usually requires careful handling is of a mother-in-law with her daughter-in-law.
Sometimes, a mother-in-law may wrestle with the unsettling signs of a toxic daughter-in-law. Firstly, a toxic daughter-in-law may display consistent criticism and disrespect, continually undermining her in-laws.
This behavior can create distress and tension within the family unit. She might even manipulate her spouse, controlling his decisions and isolating him from his family. These signs of toxicity can put a strain on relationships.
This is why we’ve decided to look into the telltale signs of a toxic daughter-in-law. While it’s important to remember that not every daughter-in-law falls into this category, recognizing these 11 signs can help address issues when they come up.
She treats you better in front of your son
This first one might just be one of the biggest signs of a toxic daughter-in-law. Does your daughter-in-law act differently in your son’s presence vs when it’s just you and her in the room?
It could be that she’s nervous and feels more relaxed in front of your son, or it could be a sign that she isn’t exactly your number one fan. Yet, if it’s just you and her, and she isn’t obviously anxious or uncomfortable but says little to nothing, it might be a sign she has toxic intentions.
She never shows any compassion towards you
No matter what you seem to be going through, she never shows any kind of empathy or compassion towards you, and she rarely turns up to help you.
As a key member of your family, if you detect that she barely cares about you and your well-being, it’s a sign of a toxic daughter-in-law and that she might not like you.
At most, she might give you a quick call, but that’s it. She won’t show any genuine concern towards you and what you’re going through.
She’ll keep on living her own life without a second thought because you and your issues don’t hold any value for her, and even if something happens to you, it won’t affect her too much.
She only responds through texts
She might be busy, or she might not be the sort of person who likes to initiate communication. If she responds to your texts and calls fast and is being nice, there’s nothing for you to worry about.
But if she always has your son talk to you or if she’s snappy when she talks to you, don’t dismiss your instincts. That’s definitely a sign of a toxic daughter-in-law.
Power and control are vital to her
If your daughter-in-law constantly needs things to go her way despite the consequences, she’s most likely toxic. She only follows her rules, and it’s always her way or the highway. This behavior shows her controlling nature and her necessity to micromanage every person’s actions.
She’ll make it seem like she’s very organized and structured, the perfect wife and mom who’s got it all together. She ensures total control over every aspect of her family’s lives and won’t allow you to change that. She’ll always want to be the one who determines:
-What the family eats.
-How the family dresses.
-How they handle their finances.
-Where they go for vacations.
She makes constant excuses about not visiting you
Your daughter-in-law probably doesn’t like you if she continually finds ways to avoid you. For instance, she only visits if you live close by.
Or, if there is a significant geographical distance, and she never makes arrangements for you to see her, this is another major sign of a toxic daughter-in-law. No matter how much time you give her, she won’t compromise her time to be with you.
She’s never wrong when she argues
Always making your son feel like he’s at fault and can never do anything right is a sign of a toxic daughter-in-law. Even if he’s justified in his behaviors and feelings, she’ll find a way to turn the tables so that it looks like she was right all along. And forget about ever getting an apology.
If you’re lucky enough to get one, it’ll usually be a dismissal or half-hearted excuse during which she’ll still maintain that she “technically wasn’t wrong.”
She’ll try to create issues between you and your son
One of the biggest signs of a toxic daughter-in-law is when she always tries to keep your son away from you, manipulates him, and turns him against you. She might say that you’re too needy or clingy or you don’t give them enough space.
The stories never stop, and before you know it, you hardly see your son anymore, except for maybe a couple of times a year. She’ll emotionally brainwash and blackmail him by talking about you behind your back.
Even worse, she might even convince him not to support you financially anymore if that’s the case now. She’ll try to limit how much time he spends with you and manipulate him into ignoring you entirely.
There might even come a point when your relationship with your son will decline so much that he might even cease contact with you altogether.
She’s judgmental and negative
She’s settled in her beliefs and pessimistic in her views. She’s two-faced with others. She’ll act pleasant when in the company of people, and then, as soon as they’re gone, she’ll start tearing them down or sharing things about their personal business.
Another sign of a toxic daughter-in-law is that she can never genuinely be happy for other individuals and will usually immediately point out any flaws she can to diminish someone else’s happiness and achievements.
She makes your son and grandchildren spend the holidays with her family
Not that it’s a bad thing to spend one’s holidays with in-laws, but you might begin to notice that your son has been spending every single holiday with his wife’s family over the past few years.
He hardly spends Thanksgiving or Christmas with you and merely sends a card to wish you happy holidays. You understand that now that your son’s married, it’s essential for him to spend some time with his wife’s family, as well.
But it seems as though he has forgotten about his own family and never shows any interest in spending time with you. Your toxic daughter-in-law will try to alienate your son from his family and will always monopolize his time.
Even when there’s room for compromise, she ensures you never get to see him during special occasions.
She likes playing emotional games
She controls your son by playing emotional games when she’s not able to control you. She questions his love for her and tries to make him choose between you and herself.
If that’s not enough of a sign of a toxic daughter-in-law, she also always urges him to take her side in disputes even when he disagrees with her.
Your son comes to see you without her
Does your daughter-in-law stay home whenever your son visits you? Obviously, people are busy with work and other aspects of daily life.
But if there’s a pattern of her not coming to visit you, and it’s always just your son, there’s a strong possibility that she’s trying to avoid you and it’s sign of a toxic daughter-in-law.
For example, if your son visits more than half the time without her, she’s actively striving to avoid you at all costs. But if it’s less than this, maybe she truly does have prior commitments.
If it seems like you can relate to all of these signs of a toxic daughter-in-law, we highly recommend you seek help. Maybe talking to a therapist can benefit you. If you don’t wish to go that route, why not try out journaling to put your feelings on paper?
What are your thoughts on this article about the signs of a toxic daughter-in-law? Be sure to let us know in the comments.
Meanwhile, Psychology Diary has much more to offer. For instance, we urge you to also read: Having Trouble Earning Respect From Others? These 7 Simple Behaviors Could Explain It