My mother in law is a manipulative, undermining piece of work. This probably won't be my only rant on here.
Last year my husband started presenting symptoms of a mood disorder. We live almost 2000 miles from family, so I was basically on my own out here trying to deal with his often times erratic and chaotic behavior. I knew he needed to get in and see a doctor, but he was in denial that there was a problem. Figuring I needed backup, I called his mother and explained what was going on. She was a good sounding board and we communicated daily. That was a change of pace for us since there had been incidents over the years where she clearly overstepped her bounds and refused to apologize. For the sake of my husband, I wanted to keep the peace with her so I tried to put those incidents behind me.
I was on the phone with her during a particularly bad episode with my husband. He had finally agreed to see his psychiatrist but he was having a total meltdown. He was sitting in his car all day in a complete daze when he started yelling about how he felt everyone was ganging up on him and only wanted for him to be committed to a psych ward. While this was going on, his mother was asking me to put him on the phone. I asked him if he wanted to talk to her and he refused. I told her it would be better to let him calm down a little and that's when she said "you know what? You need to stay out of this. He needs his family now." I wanted to cry. Here I'm dealing with the chaos of a mentally unstable spouse all by myself. I had been his loving, supportive, caring spouse for 8 years and had been there by his side through everything and this woman has the nerve to tell me I wasn't his family? I told her that her comment was incredibly out of line and I deserved an apology. She ignored me and almost a year later, she hasn't apologized.
Shortly after that phone call, I decided I was finished with her. I tried time and time again to forge a good relationship with her and every single time, she has managed to say something hurtful or will behave in a way that undermines my role as my husband's wife.
The other painful part of this is whenever my husband is experiencing a manic upswing (he's medicated but still finding the right balance his meds) his first call is to his mother to complain about some made up conflict where he's the victim and I'm the instigator. She never bothers to find out if any of this is true or tells him not to involve her in our personal business. No, she gleefully engages in the trash talking and gives him whatever messed up validation he's looking for. I'm just finished with the whole thing and I just want to wash my hands of the both of them.