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I really don't know where to start with the horror stories about my husband's younger sister - let's call her R. I have been married since 1987 and have put up with her completely stunning lack of manners, etiquette, etc. for over 17 years. I recently cut the ties and I have never felt better.

When I married my husband, he was Jewish and divorced and I was neither. He was in the USAF at that time and stationed in England where we met and married in a civil ceremony 7 months later. I was 22 and he was 26, but we were completely in love and still am to this day. Needless to say, his family was upset he had married a non-Jewish, non-American girl but I won them over with letters, etc., - they didn't come to the wedding and I didn't meet them until 2 years later, but I fell in love with my husband's parents and they loved me too. I eventually converted to Judaism and my husband's family couldn't be happier; 2 days after my conversion, we had a small, intimate Jewish ceremony which was beautiful.

When I initially flew to the States to meet the in-laws, R told me that my husband's grandmother called me 'The Slut.' No idea where that came from, I was educated with a great career and had never even met R or the grandmother - turns out that when I did meet the grandmother we hit it off immediately and I loved her 'til the day she died, a couple of months ago.

I could go on and on about R, but will give you a brief synopsis or I will use this forum as a cathartic experience and will be writing this email all day - I kid you not.

My husband and I were stationed in Sicily in 1989 - it was beautiful and we loved it. R graduated from college in the spring of 1990 and came over for a visit as we had had a daughter that past January. After a week R asked to leave early as there were no malls and she was bored. She insulted our very best friends (still are to this day) by being absolutely gob-smacked that they were an inter-racial couple. I was mortified that she would say something and couldn't wait for her to leave. She called our baby fat and we were thrilled when she left.

In July of 1990 I became pregnant with our 2nd child. We called our in-laws to let them know the happy news. A half hour later, NY MIL called back to say that she had told R the news and R was concerned about my ability to be a fit mother to a 2nd child. I cannot write this sentence 14 years later without my stomach knotting up - our kids are the most wonderful, happy well-adjusted young people - they are so lucky that she is not their mother. We knew we were having a son and wanted to name him 'Joe.' We got a call from R saying this name was unacceptable to the family.

I can feel myself getting mightily furious at this point and need to get to the major points. One of the worst things happened in 2000, after R had married, had one daughter and a second daughter in April 2000. In June 2000, my husband's younger brother (there are 3 kids in the family; my husband is the oldest and he is adopted. I believe he has been made to feel this by his siblings) and his wife had their second child; they now had a son to join a daughter. In Jewish tradition, a Bris was to be held a week later in Boca Raton, Florida, where they lived. We live in Colorado and my husband wanted to fly down for the Bris to be there for his brother and new nephew. (When our son was born in February 1991, his brother had been with me for the birth as my husband was involved in Desert Storm. His brother had been very sweet to me and had served as g-dfather at the Bris). Anyway, My husband told his parents and brother he was coming and start to look into tickets. Unbeknownst to us, R had called her parents and had a hold fit - she felt that because my husband had not gone to see her baby in NY when she was born 2 months earlier, he should not be able to go to the Bris, and that we were favoring our nephew because he was a boy. My husband's parents called me at work to ask me to tell my husband he couldn't go to the Bris as it would upset R too much. I am not kidding and my husband never went. I was seething, furious. My husband would never have gone to NY - he has never been close to his sister - or brother for that matter.

In January of 1995 we were back in the US and stationed in Colorado. My husband and I were going through some major crises at this point - and I mean major. Life altering events that would sink any other couple. I was down to 120lbs and was stressed to the max. Anyway, R calls our home and goes off about the fact that her mother had been ill (in all fairness, my MIL has been ill for years and years - nothing life-threatening. I even remember in 1991 that R told me that she wished her mother would just die and make their lives easier - she said knowing her luck, her mother would outlive everyone. Not sure my jaw has ever really made its way back into the upright position) and we hadn't called in 2 days. I could not deal - and handed the phone to my husband who told her not to call our house and raise her voice to his wife. This was a big deal for my husband as he is mild-mannered and avoids confrontations like the plague. R was mad. She hung up the phone, called Daddy and the entire family didn't speak to us for 2½ years, when I again had to make things right with phone calls, letters, etc. I did this mainly for our kids.

Two years ago, the whole family was planning a trip to a resort in Tampa. Following that long weekend, my husband and I planned to take the kids to Orlando for 5 days and then head down to Miami to spend 5 days with the in-laws. R - who lives outside Atlanta with her socially inadequate husband and 2 girls - was so worried that our kids were going to spend time alone with her parents, wanted us to change our dates so we could all be in Miami at the same time. I put my foot down and said absolutely not, the kids deserved to spend some one-on-one time with their grandparents. My husband's brother called later to say how thrilled he was that I had put her in her place.

During that same phone call, R had requested that I return a gift that she had given my daughter about 10 years prior. When my daughter, J, was about one, R had given her some nesting dolls she had acquired during a trip to Moscow with her father when she herself was a young girl. At the time, R was single and I told her that she should hold onto these dolls as she might have kids herself one day. She said no and really wanted J to have them. In 2002 when J was 12, R said she really wanted them back as her own daughter's deserved to have them. Again, I was dumbstruck. I never returned the stupid things - my husband said that if R wanted them back then she should ask J herself. I sometimes feel like sending them to R in the form of fine firewood.....

So here is a little history I have with R. Needless to say, we are now again not on speaking terms with my husband' s family and I am, frankly, relieved. I never really lived up to their expectations - I never had cards and gifts to the respective kids on time. Sometimes I never even sent gifts. It was never a huge deal in my own family growing up and I am so not close to those kids. I know that I probably haven't been as responsive as I could, but I so dislike R. My friends abhor her and now my kids do, too. I haven't poisoned their minds - I'm a pretty level-headed Mom - but my kids are smart and they see what's going on. My in-laws have been kind and generous to us through some hard times, but every thought and decision they have is governed and dictated by R.

The final story is the worst. A couple of years ago, my husband, children myself were involved in a pretty horrific car accident - on his 40th birthday. Following this, I suffered (and still do suffer with) chronic pain and severe bouts of depression. Never saw the depression coming and it affected my relationship with my husband, my career and my friendships. I basically cut myself off from the world. To cut a long story very short, I crawled out from the fog, 35lbs heavier, and started to prepare for the trial in January 2004 - the other guy was 150% to blame and that was never really disputed.. We had had a litany of combined injuries and emotional conditions and expected a decent settlement - we got an unsympathetic jury and $3,000. I sunk again into the depression and after last speaking to my in-laws on the day of the verdict at the end of January, we never spoke to them again until May. I know this is wrong, but if you've suffered with debilitating depression, maybe you'll understand.

When we called the house on Mother's Day, my father in law went off on my husband, calling hum the laughing-stock of the whole family (really? I think not) and saying he was a disgrace. Bear in mind that they never once called us even knowing I was virtually hysterical and beside myself with pain and desperation. Anyway, we discovered on May 9 that my husband's grandmother (who had been in a nursing home for a few years and was suffering from dementia) had suffered a serious of massive strokes. My husband was so close to his grandmother - in fact the only name she remembered during her dementia was his - and she called everyone this. She was an apparently very wealthy woman and R used to tell us to visit her more often so we could get a cut of the will. Horrifying. I loved Grandma. The most precious gifts that woman gave me was a beautifully crocheted blanket for each of my children. I couldn't care less about her money - nor could my husband for that matter. I had her a beautiful blanket made for her and when my kids went to Florida last fall to visit their grandparents, they took it with them to give to her. My in-laws said no, she wouldn't even know she had received it. I would have taken that chance, quite frankly - and how sad for my kids? I have no idea what happened to that blanket - I bet R's kids have it.

Incidentally, after my exceedingly well-behaved children spent that week in the fall with their grandparents, R called to say that it was a lot of pressure on her parents and that the next time they go it should be no longer than 4 days. This is not what my in-laws had said. R does everything in her power to ensure her kids are 'the favorites.' My 13-year old son has said to me that he know that he is way down on his grandparent's list.

To cut a long story short, my husband told his parents that he would call them back next weekend. All was not well there, but that poor guy was trying. We called back on May 17 and Grandma had died on the 13th and had been buried a couple of days later, as is Jewish tradition. No-one told us - my husband doesn't even know where she is buried - only in New York City somewhere. What?? I sat my kids down and told them, point blank, that I didn't care what they did in their lives that might upset me, I would never, ever treat them the way their father had been treated. They too, of course, were upset that their Nana had died - and no-one had told them.

So I am cutting them off - happily. I don't need the hassle - I don't need any more R stories from hell and my kids do not need this poison in their lives. I have even considered separating from my husband to get away from his family - I am completely serious. I am mightily thankful for one thing - my kids do not share the blood and/or genes of this family.

Thanks for taking the time to read my stories. I know it's long and convoluted, but it has been such a long time coming.......



My family holds grudges for a lifetime, and they may even have animosity towards a child if they do not like the parent.  The biggest evidence of this is the fact that my mother "abandoned" me, and my family felt that I was a burden or an obligation.  I grew up hearing how my biological mother was a loser and I would be worthless just like her.  I grew up feeling like an outcast and hearing how I should be grateful for all that they did for me.  When I had children, I was determined to give them all of the love and self esteem that I feel I never had.

When I moved back to my home town, my husband insisted on moving back to the very same area we grew up in.  There was no reasoning with him, so we bought my grandmother's house.  It was weird being back in the same house I was raised in, but we adjusted.  I knew that it would be rough, but not as rough as it turned out.  Since my grandparents passed away, my aunt doesn't seem to be able to handle the fact that I do things differently and that things have been changing.  It seems as if she wants to keep this house a shrine, since things had been pretty much the same since she was raised in this house.

I tried to allow things to remain as untouched as possible the first year, and I didn't do too awful much throwing out of junk.  I tried to allow them time to see that this is not the same house it had been for 75 years and that I do things a bit differently.  Slowly I added my own touches, but even the slow pace didn't help her to adjust to the idea that her parents are gone and I am an adult with a family of my own.  Two years have gone by, and things have finally come to a head.

I finally got tired of her telling me how she thinks things should be.  Every time she came over, she would tell me how to run my house.  When I talked about taking down the tree in the back yard that seems to be infested with termites, she said there was no reason to get rid of the tree and I had better not touch it.  The bushes in front were diseased, so I dug them out and got the garden ready to plant something I like.  She had a complete fit about why I would throw away perfectly good bushes that have been here for so long.  When I offered to give her some plants for her to put in her garden, she declined.  However, she will tell me not to dare to touch anything. 

She complained that my biological mother never helps out, either.  My aunt complains constantly about how my biological mother won't help me pay bills or repair the house.  Yet my aunt goes on vacation every month with the inheritance and never helped me out.  My aunt also complains about how I am a stay at home mother, and she had the audacity to tell me to get off my lazy butt because I NEED to get a job.  However, she never worked while she raised her children.  (When she got a job after her children were grown, she quit because her husband was mad about her not being home to make him meals.)  The complaints go on and on and on and on... 

One day recently, I had enough.  She commented on how bad my yard looked even though I trim it every Saturday.  I wrote her a polite note telling her that I appreciated everything she has done for me but that there are things which I feel strain our relationship.  I wrote that I have heard she is uncomfortable in my home and that I am sorry that my house is not as clean as she feels is acceptable.  I explained that I am raising children, not a house, and a little mess does not bother me.  I also explained that it really upset me that she commented on my yard, and she can feel free to come by and help me out if it bothers her that bad.  I also pointed out that it hurt my feelings that she talks behind my back to family, and things said end up sounding way worse than the situation really is.

She wrote an extremely harsh letter back telling me that she doesn't know whom I "heard" things from, but as far as she is concerned it is malicious gossip.  She said that there is no excuse for allowing children to write on the house, and I am a bad parent. (Never mind that she did a horrible job raising her children and that one child is a spoiled brat who cannot stand to not be the center of attention.)   She said that IF she has ISSUES with me, I can be assured I will be the first to know. I wrote back telling her that the way I parent and the way I keep my house is my business and no one else's and that it is not poor parenting to allow my children to write with sidewalk chalk which can be easily washed off.  I also said that the people I had heard things from were other family members who repeated things I said to my aunt or who said things about my house that my aunt complained to me about.  (The vacuum cleaner being

in a corner of the house and not a closet, for example.)   Well, I have not heard from her since.  I have heard from various members of the family that she is very, very angry, though.  My aunt told everyone that I am a liar and am making things up again.  According to her, I am completely mental and not in touch with reality.  My aunt said she had no idea why I would think she is talking behind my back, and I need to be more concerned with being a better parent and housekeeper.  She said that my furniture is too big for the house (I've had it for many years, and it fit the two houses we were in before we moved here), and I need to buy furniture that fits this house.  She said I need to find a spot for my vacuum that is not in the "middle of the floor", I need to keep my house cleaner (her standard would be to look as if I don't live here), it breaks my family's hearts to see the yard in such disrepair, etc.  She went on and on and on and on about what is wrong with me and with my house and how I had

the audacity to write to her.   It doesn't matter that her house is dirty with only two retired people living there, or that the reason her house is actually clean is because she just came back from vacation.  It doesn't matter that she always had dishes in the sink when I was growing up or that she was a horrible, horrible parent.  She will never be able to see that I keep a cleaner house than she ever did, because her house drove me nuts.  She will never be able to see that I have become a great mother, because I see the negative effects from how she raised her own children.  She cannot see past her own obsession to be the only one right and have everything her own way to see that she treats others very badly.

My husband and I have talked about this, and thankfully he supports me standing up for myself.  Sadly, my aunt will not be allowed in my home until she learns to respect me.  She owes me a very big apology for her rudeness, though I do not hold my breath that one will ever come.  Thankfully, not all of my relatives are as rude.


My niece was getting married and my sister had set her life goal on making this the most overblown affair in the world.  My niece was fresh out of high school and pregnant when the wedding was quickly planned.   

At the time of her first wedding shower I was sick in bed with the flu (I am never sick and I never miss one of these events for anyone in our family).  So for me not to attend would be very unusual and I was feeling terrible about it, but I knew there was another shower coming up and I would attend it.  My sis calls me that I have not called in an rsvp, (which I had with my regrets) I guess she didn't know.    

I tell her I am actually in bed sick.  I mean really sick, I have been in bed for two days already.  She says that I am never sick and she doesn't understand why I am not coming.  I tell her - I am sick as a dog and this ice & snowy weather do not help my misery. I also don't want to drive on the ice, but that next week I will attend the other shower.  She is shocked that I will not be attending both showers!   In my delirious state, I drag myself to the store Saturday morning, get a printout of her register and buy the couple a gift.  Then back home to bed (this is all I can accomplish).  Again, my sis calls Saturday night to see if I am coming - I tell her come and get the gift out of my car, I couldn't even carry it in.  She pleads and pleads for me to come to the shower.  I can't imagine what all the fuss is about but I certainly don't want anyone's feelings hurt, so Sunday afternoon, I drag myself to the shower with the gift.  

Now I am pretty weak because I have been on tea & crackers for about four days and I am running a raging fever, so I can't even carry the big box of glassware into the house.  I ask the hostess to help me get it out and bring it in.  There are plenty of people there so I figured my sis was just panicked that no one was coming.   There is a ton of roast beef and rolls so I wash my hands and fix myself two rolls with beef and find a place to sit in the living room with everyone else that is eating.  Several of the ladies ask how I am doing and I say I have been sick a few days, but I wouldn't miss this shower for anything, when I hear my sis whisper to someone, "she wouldn't miss a free meal is what she means!"  I immediately excuse myself and go home to bed.     

On Wednesday, three days after the shower my sister calls me at work to let me know all the neat stuff my niece received and then asks if there is anything she can bring me for my flu?  I tell her no thank you and I won't be attending the next "free meal" shower and hang up. I have yet to receive a thank you note from my niece or any indication of an apology from my sister.  I am still crushed over her comment and attitude.


When I married my husband, he was 41 and I was 23.  This was almost 6 years ago, and we are still very much  in love, despite his hateful mother.   She seemed very nice to me, at first.  Her husband and I get along famously, this could be the reason for the sudden about-face.   A little history:  her younger son (my BIL) has a daughter who has THREE illegitimate children, and no husband in sight.  At one point, the authorities took her children away, and no one  could take them, so my husband and I decided to open our home to them.  They lived with us for 7 months, during that time I made sure that they were loved, cared for, fed, taken to the pediatrician, etc.  Also, I had TWO sets of professional pictures taken of them, and sent copies to MIL and other relatives.  They eventually went back to their mother.   

Fast forward a few years.  We FINALLY become pregnant (after years of infertility) through in-vitro fertilization.  She hates that her "bloodline" is contaminated with the likes of my son.  (I'm Asian)  I've sent her numerous photos of him, several portraits IN FRAMES, yet when we visit them, all the frames have their other grandkids pictures in them.  And there is not ONE picture of my son anywhere.  They have yet to ever give him a gift of any kind.  Not for his birth, nor any of his birthdays, or Christmas.  Nothing.  Normally I wouldn't make a big deal of this, but they constantly buy gifts for all the other grandkids, even the ones they have never even met.   The last straw was when we were there for a family reunion.  By 2 pm, there had been NO food provided for anyone.  I am a touch hypoglycemic, and began to tremor.  I asked if I could make a sandwich and was told NO.  Then, she went into the kitchen and made sandwiches  for 14 people.  Except that there were 16 of us.  My poor son and myself were left out.  After everyone had eaten (including my husband, but he didn't know what had transpired) I said, "Could I possibly make something for myself and my son?"  And she said, "Oh, I didn't know if you people would eat sandwiches.  I don't keep any rice in the house." 

Thankfully, I had packed a cooler full of food for us since we had driven hundreds of miles to get there.  So my son and I ate and were fine.   However, they will no longer have the privilege of seeing the wonderful little boy who will surely grow up to have better manners then they showed.   Thanks so much for the site!


 In 1998, myself and my family decided to go to Sicily for the summer to visit the paternal side (my dad's side) of the family. After about a month, my Sicilian grandmother fell ill and had to be hospitalized in a town that was a half hour drive from where we were staying. As my father was very close to his mother, he usually bummed a ride from his brother or friend, or borrowed a car to drive up to visit his mother. 

One time I decided to go with my dad to visit my grandma in the hospital. During this whole ordeal, one of my cousins (in the same town) was getting married, and his parents practically drove to the other side of Sicily every other day to find the perfect wedding dress for the bride to be (note: my cousin was the groom, but in Sicily, it is traditionally the groom's side of the family that buys the wedding dress). So that day, my dad and I got a ride with my uncle, his wife, and their daughter. We left our town at about 5.00 pm and arrived at the hospital at about 5.45ish, and it was decided that my dad and I were to visit my grandmother, while my aunt, uncle and cousin went dress shopping. It was decided that we would be picked up at the hospital at 7.00 pm. 

The visit went great. But 7.00 came and there was no uncle to be seen. He must have been running late. Fine, whatever. But 7.30, 8.00, 8.30 and 9.00 come and go with no uncle to be seen. Visiting hours had ended at 7.15 and the nursing staff was trying to get my grandmother to go back to her room with no avail. Understandably, I (at that time 12 years old) was become quite frustrated. Fortunately I was entertained by my dad and grandmother cursing my uncle. It was about 9.20 that I decided that I would wait at the entrance to the hospital parking lot for my uncle to come. As the hospital was quite large, I didn't get there till 9.30 when I saw my uncle pulling in. I ran hurriedly to my dad and grandmother so that I could have a front row seat for the impending fireworks. However when my uncle arrived, he was alone (my aunt and cousin were waiting in the car). He simply peeked his head in to the door to tell us that he was here and wanted to head home. What happened next really baffled me. He did an about face and left! He didn't even say hello to his sick mother. AAAAHHHH! What a way to treat the woman that raised you, and housed you and your (LAZY) wife when you didn't have the money for your own place. Needless to say, the ride back was one huge shouting match.  



Great site!!  I discovered this site about 2 years ago while planning my wedding.  I now check in every 6 months or so to read all the updates. is my story.

I met my SIL when she was just 13 years old.  So, at that age, I took no offense that she wasn't very social with the adults when we visited the in-laws.  Well, as the years passed and SIL got older, her attitude got worse.  She used to come up from her basement bedroom to at least say hello when we arrived, now, she NEVER even looks our way when we are up for the weekend.  I have known her for 6 years and she has never said more than 6 words to me in the whole time.  (She doesn't really talk to the rest of the family either, so like I said, I take no offense). 

Well, the first thing that really got my goat was, on my wedding day 2 years ago, I was getting ready before the ceremony in the SMALL room the church provides for the bridesmaids and  the bride to get ready.  SIL comes storming in with a towel wrapped on her head and proceeds to push me (the bride) out of the way, plug in her hot rollers and start doing her hair.  Ok, the only thing I really needed to do is put my dress on, but come on, a little courtesy!

The second thing that happened was during SIL's High School graduation this past May.  DH and I drive up for the ceremony which was on a Saturday afternoon.  Before she leaves the house the plan was figured to be this:  After the graduation ceremony, the parents would seek her out, say their congrats and then she could hang out with her friends for a while.  It was requested by her mother that she come back to the house ASAP so we could do the cake, gifts, and pictures before she left again for the All Night Celebration at the school.  She shows up in a tizzy because "we all left her there by herself and didn't talk to her afterwards."  Well, Ok, I'm sorry you feel shafted, but she never talks to us when we are at the house why is she going to talk to us when her friends are around at school??  So, she finally calms down and she proceeds to open cards and gifts.  (DH and I were very proud of the gift we got her.  She is going away to school in the fall so I bought her a big Rubbermaid tote and supplied her with towels, hand towels, washcloths, dishrags, shampoo, conditioner, face soap, hairspray, Tylenol, Band-aids, Q-Tips, Febreeze, Candles, Picnic Plates, Bowls, Cups, Silverware, Napkins, Gum....You name it I thought of it!) All in all, the gift was about $130.  (Keep in mind that DH and I just bought a house last year and are in the midst of remodeling), she opens it up and says "Oh, well at least I won't stink".  Huh??  She then said Thanks, and tossed it aside.  We could've given her a card with $10 and received the same reaction.  That $130 would've went a long way on the house.  To add fuel to my fire, we still haven't received a Thank You note and this was over 2 months ago. 

Some people just don't get it!


My significant other, whom we'll call "John," and I were invited to his family reunion by his parents.  The reunion was being held out-of-state and was about a 9 hour drive for us.  John's mother doesn't like me as you will soon see in the story that follows. 

Three weeks in advance we announced our intention of attending and his parents asked us to call his younger brother and his wife to coordinate plans.  Said brother, whom we'll call "Bob," lived a short 2 hours away and in the same state.

John called Bob and Bob said right off the bat that they were not planning to attend.  John made it clear that if Bob changed his mind, we would need to be notified A.S.A.P. because we planned on bringing our dogs with us.  Bob also had 2 dogs and we knew that our dogs and his dogs would not get along.  Plus only one couple could fit in their parent's small house.  

We informed John's parents that we had coordinated with Bob and family and that they were not coming.  We accepted their invitation to stay with them.  All was quiet for 3 whole weeks.

We took days of from work, got the car ready to go, and less than a week before the reunion we got a phone call from John and Bob's parents.  Bob had changed his mind.  John said that was great and that he would be glad to see his brother.  Then the bomb dropped.

Instead of asking us if we could accommodate Bob and his family they told us that they "preferred" them to us!  Can you believe that?  How rude!

We, at the last minute, had to find a place to board our dogs, incur the extra expense to do so and scramble to find a place to stay.  The boarding facilities were packed as it was summer and near the 4th of July weekend, so we had no place to leave them.  I offered to stay home and care for them while John went ahead.  John decided not to go.

Bob did not even have the courtesy to pick up the phone and coordinate with us as we had been kind enough to do with him.  Nor did he apologize that his last minute change in plans prevented us from coming.  This whole family is etiquette challenged apparently.

It gets better.  Then John's mother, who does not like me, told the entire family that I called off the trip so that she didn't have to explain her rudeness.  That's okay, we sent out a family newsletter that stated the real reason so she couldn't cover up her lack of manners.        




My friend's grandmother had terminal cancer. A few months before she died, the entire family gathered at her home. She was not wealthy, but had a lot of antique furniture. She announced at this gathering that she had put a piece of tape on the bottom of each item of furniture with the name of the person she wanted it to go to after her death.

So one of my friend's aunts (a daughter of the dying woman) proceeded to immediately get down on her hands and knees and, in front of her mother and the entire family (about 70 people), look under each piece of furniture to see who was getting what.


Your website is the BEST!!!! I’m always glued to my desk reading any new story, and have re-read more than a few of them! I was so flattered to see a couple ditties that I sent it posted! (The baby shower one makes me super glad nobody in my family is very computer savvy – they’d be SO upset if they read that one because it’s glaringly obvious it’s MY family! Bwahahaa!!)

My sister had visited from two states away, we’d spent the day driving around, chattering, having lunch, shopping, girl stuff. She’s married with kids, so her visits to me are rare indeed! Anyway, she was due to fly back the next morning, and we ended up at my apartment deciding I’d drive her back to my dad’s house where she’d been staying during her whirlwind trip, and Dad would take her to the airport to catch her early flight of course. My then-boyfriend called and we decided HE would drive us to my Dad’s house then the then-boyfriend and I would go do something. Fair enough.

We get to my dad’s house (my parents divorced when I was about 18, he basically immediately remarried, the 2nd wife is one of the big reasons for the divorce) and we three are standing near the front door, saying our goodbyes, laughing, you know. The then-boyfriend is literally jingling his keys and we’re about to turn and walk out the door when the 2nd wife skulks in and sizes up the scene.

Before any of us can say a word she says quite clearly “You’re not staying for dinner, are you? We don’t have enough for EVERYBODY!”  

You know you hear about conversation coming to a screeching halt like the room becomes filled with ice-water? This was it. My then-boyfriend was totally appalled at her, and without further ado wheeled around and bolted for his car. I said rapid goodbyes and left my sister to enjoy dining with my dad and his horrid wife. (She told me later they had scrambled eggs and bacon for dinner????)

Please note my dad has always been in a lucrative field and not that he’s stinking rich (maybe he is? I don’t know) surely this was just beyond the outer limits of anything appropriate! (plus I was brought up to not ‘pop by’ at dinner FOR dinner – if I had – I would have hosted dinner out or SOMETHING, after all!) All I was doing was dropping off my sister!

I don’t suppose it’s my business to be horribly concerned about their finances, but having been nearly totally vegan for many years, any time I am invited for dinner they serve meat and plenty of it. It’s always a BIG SURPRISE to them that I load up on veggies. I’ve heard “What? You don’t eat meat?” so many times maybe it ought to be a song or something.

I could launch my own webpage with completely true stories about his horrid wife, but nobody tends to believe them, but I don’t think you could make up a lot of this stuff, but having read a lot of other people’s stories, I’m surprised people are so surprised!



The first time she married, my mother had the misfortune to pick a man who, eight years and two small children later, decided he didn't want to be a father after all. I was only a few months old when they divorced, and my older brother was three. After two years of doing fine on her own, Mom met and married a wonderful guy, "Ted," who promptly adopted us. Together they gave us a younger sister, "Jen." I never discerned any difference in the way Dad treated the three of us. He was the only man I could ever remember calling my father.

Our relatives on Dad's side, however, were a little more concerned about maintaining the line of distinction between blood and adoptive kin. I was oblivious to this treatment when I was younger, but as we grew up, I started to notice how my grandmother's and aunt's actions commented not-so-subtly on my brother's and my adoptive status.

At a certain point my grandmother stopped sending my brother and me birthday presents (or even cards!), claiming we were too old for them, though she continued sending them to our sister for many years after Jen had reached that same age. Lest you think my indignation here is all about material gratification (or lack thereof), Grandma showed her preference for Jen with countless other small favors over the years. For example, she let young Jen play roughly with an antique doll I had been scolded merely for touching the summer before. Grandma also made it very clear that any "heirloom" type objects from Dad's side of the family ought to go to Jen so she could hand them down through the "family line."

Grandma was never a very pleasant old woman, though I'm sure she meant no harm. Our aunt, while nicer to deal with, made remarks that were much more insulting and insidious. In practically every conversation I've had with her since I reached the age of 14, she has referred to my dad as "your dad--oops, I mean Ted." She does the same thing to my brother. In her mind, it's as if once we reached puberty our adoption didn't really "count" anymore, or as if since we aren't little kids anymore the whole family can just stop pretending he's really our dad and we should just address him by his proper name already. I mean, I know our aunt's relationship with her own stepfather (who did not adopt her) was a bit rocky, but HELLO, way to project!


I love your site!  I’ve spent hours sitting here reading, and my legs are cramped from being in one position for so long!

Regarding my aunt A, whom I met for the first time the day before my stepmother’s funeral and the very first words I heard this woman speak were “So, (my dad), what of her stuff did you get?” (!!)

Every time the family gets together, she monopolizes conversations, pretends I’m her best friend apparently because we’re closest in age (or were, until the wedding), and regales everyone with details of how nice her house is, how wonderful her daughter is (she’s not) and how much better off they are than everyone else present.

Fast forward 5 years or so.  My Dad is getting remarried to a beautiful, wonderfully thoughtful, generous and no-nonsense person.  Beautiful invitations; family from all across the country is invited.  (side note, 100 + RSVP in the affirmative, approximately 48 show up.  Jerks.)  Included with the invitations is a letter with details on the wedding, reception, lodging, etc, that Dad & Mom have arranged at their expense.  One of the details is that there will be shared meals in both of the houses, and that some may want to get together and be provide different meals for the house you’re in.  (In my house, we all pitched in for groceries & took turns cooking & cleaning).  On the response card, A writes “I do not wish to cook for the house guests”.  This is fine, if it’s her opinion/wishes, but to write that on the response card for the wedding????  We were all appalled at that, but not necessarily very surprised.  Mom’s lingerie shower was the night before the wedding – the only time available, logistically – and A made sure we all knew how much she spent on her gift, and that her husband wanted to know if she got the same thing for herself!

In her favor, though, she behaved perfectly during the ceremony, and not too obnoxiously during the reception.  How she got drunk with no alcohol in the house is beyond me…

Thanks for taking the time to read this – if nothing else, I feel better!



My MIL is really a character, she is a 55 year old woman with absolutely no common sense or manners. My husband and I had a beautiful baby girl in October of 2003. Since my brother was in Iraq and he was coming home for the Christmas Holiday we decided to baptize her during that time (since he had to return to Iraq at the beginning of January!) Well my parents flew in from overseas just for this occasion (and to also be with their children) Had my brother (from Iraq), SIL and the kids drive in from "T" and my other brother flew in from "F". (Some places changed to protect the innocent)

My first surprise was the my MIL had kind of complained about when my daughters baptism was to be held (um it's not your decision!). When the day comes for my daughters baptism my MIL and Grandmother-in-Law are a little late (okay - happens to all of us but you do have a cell phone!) We are all waiting, they finally arrive, no apology from MIL but grandma proceeds to apologize for her, no problem it happens, we all get in different cars and drive to the church. It was a lovely baptism and then we all head back to the house (MIL in tow). I am a very good cook, I planned out a very exquisite meal, so everyone could enjoy it. My mother and I cooked all morning for this very special occasion, planning carefully for the main courses and desserts as my Dad and MIL are diabetic, so a few of the desserts were sugar free. We had a beautiful spread and had set out the nice china and everything! To my amazement my MIL piled her food on her plate (mind you she is diabetic and while we cooked a nice meal you still have to watch the quantity). My mouth just dropped as so did everyone else's, as she had seconds! Not that it's wrong to have seconds (I had made more than enough food), but we are not talking about small portions here. When time comes for dessert I had made a pumpkin cheesecake, that is in my opinion, pretty good (especially since I had made it for my father and MIL (low fat ingredients and Splenda). My MIL take a huge piece and BITES into it THEN proceeds to chew (twice) and SPITS it back onto her plate and proceeds to say in a very loud voice "OHH, NASTY, I DON'T LIKE THIS." puts that plate to the side (remember food had been regurgitated back onto it), leaves it there, gets another plate and gets some apple pie (which I had also made for them). We are all dumbfounded. I can't believe the manners of this woman. She continues eating as if nothing has happened. I hastily get up and take the plate away before we all lose our appetites. My husband is astounded but is in utter shock and VERY embarrassed by his mother's behavior. He apologized profusely, as did his grandmother (she actually called later on that evening to apologize for her daughter, that she had not been raised that way!), I proceeded to tell them both that it wasn't their fault, it was her!

EXCUSE ME... I have always been taught that if you didn't like something when you bite into it you pretend to have a bite or two and apologize and say that your eyes were bigger than your stomach and you are just to full to eat it. I still believe that is rude but it would have been much better than to do what she did.

Guess who cooks every Holiday meal. I do. And she still complains that I don't make things that she likes (I try believe me I try to make food that she will enjoy, everyone else does). A few years ago I had made a very nice leg of lamb (it was very expensive especially for me and my husband) but I wanted to go all out.. she didn't like that either, go figure.


I do not believe that anyone could top my father-in-law in rude and crude behavior.  Here’s just the tip of the iceberg.  On the day my husband proposed to me, my father-in-law, whom I shall affectionately refer to as “Earl the Pearl”, felt compelled to share with me the story of “the most beautiful wedding” he had ever attended:  my husband’s wedding to his first wife.  I got to hear all of the details of that beautiful “backyard affair” – which was catered by my mother-in-law and this gem of a father-in-law.

After crying all the way home in the car, I vowed that I would never feel the same about that man, EVER!

About 1 year later, my husband and I had a baby – a beautiful girl.  When our daughter was still very young, about 2 months old, my husband took a picture of me diving off of my father’s dock in my bathing suit.  When my father in law saw the picture and I entered the room, my father in law said to me,  “Hey, you want to see something really disgusting?”  I asked him “What is it?”  He handed me that very picture of myself diving off the dock.

This man should go down in history as the rudest, crudest human being in existence.  He passes gas, burps, and sneezes all over the dinner table.  He serves meals and sticks his fingers into the food he is serving to people.  He is the most disgusting vile human being I have ever met.

I hope this gets submitted.  It sure felt good to write it!!!


My husband and his brothers planned a surprise family reunion and 80th birthday dinner for their mother. She comes from Europe, so we chose an award-winning European restaurant for the dinner. When the salad came, her sister loudly proclaimed it "terrible." Next course, equally loudly, "This, for an appetizer?" And the elegant, multi-layered cake? "Too dry." This agonizing aunt disappeared for long stretches during the dinner, She came back smelling of smoke, but she was gone so long, smoke breaks didn't quite explain the length of time. The next day we realized that she had been studying the menu and adding up the cost for the dinner, because she said to the honoree, "You know, for $1,000, they could have done a lot better." She may be the rudest woman I have ever met, and I hope never to be in the same room with her again.



A little background is needed for this story. My parents had five children and our family's (both sides) have never been particularly close. My father's family never got along with him very well, and my mother's family was never visited by my mother or any of my siblings in over fifteen years (we were between five and ten at the time, so we really didn't have much say in the matter). They've never met my two younger sisters and never bothered to contact us more then once a year, and never visited us once. My oldest sister had a daughter, and because she never had much of the extended family relationship that she'd always wanted and she wanted her daughter to have one, she renewed contact with my mother's family in the hopes of building a family bond for herself and my niece. A little late, but better then never.

She never expected to get accepted right away as a close family member, but what shocked us was the reaction we did get when she and I went to visit. Not only were we not really considered family, we were viewed as the 'spawn' of the 'kidnapper/brainwasher' and not really our mother's children. This wasn't even hinted at, but told openly to our faces. We're in our early and mid-twenties, it wasn't like we had much of a say in the matter of visitation while we were still with our parents! That was bad enough, but to make it worse, our married cousin (his mother and our's are sisters) asked my sister out on a date in front of his six year old son. She turned him down and he asked her again, in front of his son again. What kind of example is he setting!

Now whenever this side of the family is brought up, I make banjo plucking sounds.


My husband and I each have a nephew who recently graduated from high school.  Naturally, it was assumed that we would attend the graduation of his nephew, "David," despite the fact that we have lived four hours from him and his parents for the past 15 years and not once have they ever come to visit us.  However, my nephew, "John," personally came to our house with his parents when they were in town on other business, and invited us to his graduation.  Of course, we accepted his invitation.

Well, when my MIL heard this, she freaked.  It was absolutely necessary that we go to David's graduation because the whole family would be there.  My husband informed her that we hadn't even been invited and that we would be attending John's graduation (which was the same weekend).  My MIL suggested that I go to John's and my hubby go to David's, which of course he refused to do, God bless him.

A couple of months before the graduation weekend arrived, my husband left his truly horrible job (which is another plethora of etiquette stories in itself) and was out of work for about six weeks.  During this time, the price of gas rose to nearly $2.00 a gallon, so we ended up not being able to attend John's graduation (which would have been about a 12-hour drive each way) after all.  My sister and my nephew were disappointed but very understanding.

My MIL is still punishing us for not going to David's graduation.  When she and my FIL visited recently, she had all sorts of snide little comments to make about that, all of which I ignored completely.  But the last straw came when she refused to tell us where David had decided to go to college because we hadn't gone to his high school graduation!!!  Talk about mean-spirited.

Interestingly, this is the same woman who advised my husband right before our wedding not to forget that I have family too.  Sheesh.



I've never liked my SIL, but I have tried very hard to be nice to her because she's married to my husband's brother and I try to not be hostile to family members.  Because of this decision, I have had to put up with the following over the years:

When I attended my BIL and SILs wedding, I had been dating my husband for a few years but I had yet to meet any of his extended family.  I literally knew no one at the wedding but my husband (then boyfriend), his parents, his other brother, and the bride and groom all of whom were in the wedding party.  After the ceremony was over the wedding party was taking pictures in a private room at the reception site, which is not an unusual practice.  But when the pictures were taking excessive amounts of time (they were in the private room for more than 4 hours while the rest of us had cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, my husband expressed to his brother (the groom) that he felt uncomfortable leaving me alone for that amount of time and he wanted to bring me in to the private room with the people I knew.  My SIL threw a fit about this yelling and screaming that he was trying to spoil her special day, yet her own sister's date for the wedding (not even a

boyfriend) had been in there the entire time and when this was questioned she said, "I just don't want her in here and I'm the bride so that's final."

Fast forward a few years and you have the announcement of her pregnancy during her sister's wedding brunch.  As she was making the toast she announced that she was pregnant, just so she could steal the spotlight from her sister.

Shortly after having the baby she started spending excessive amounts of time with her family and excluding her husband's family from their lives and from the baby, but I bit my tongue because I did not feel like it was my place to say anything....until the "family birthday party" incident.  She had another baby just shy of three years after the birth of the first one, and on his first birthday they had a party.  Since he was born on New Year's Eve the party was not the actual day of his birth, but was the weekend following.  During the birthday party I was talking to her sister and she commented that the cake was not as good as the one that they had at the "family birthday party" that took place on his actual birthday.  I was surprised to hear this had taken place and asked casually who had attended.  It turned out that her parents, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. had all been invited and attended a "family birthday party".  The

problem was half the family had been excluded from the celebration.  I was hurt and angry that we were not included in the term "family" despite the fact that the children are as much our nephews as they are her sister's.

And now it appears that she is passing on her bad behavior to her sons.  At our youngest nephew's second birthday party our older nephew (A) got very upset with my husband when my husband seated himself on the sofa in the family room so he had a place to sit while eating dinner.  A had been sitting in the room on his own chair watching TV and promptly informed my husband that he needed to leave because A does not like him.  A was, at the time, almost 5 years old and certainly old enough to comprehend what he was saying, but my husband decided to ignore the "he should know better" factor and instead just said, "A, I'm going to sit here and eat my dinner.  I'm not bothering you."  At which point A got off his chair, came over and kicked my husband and told him once again to leave.  My husband explained to A that it's not nice to kick people and he was his Uncle and was not going to hurt him.  At which point A kicked him again and started yelling at him, "You're not my real Uncle and Mommy says I don't have to be nice to you.  She says I only have to be nice to my friends and my family and you're not my friend or my family."  I walked into the room and saw this so I grabbed my SIL and pulled her into the room to see what was happening.  She started yelling, but not at her son.  She started yelling at me and at my husband for upsetting her son.  She pushed us out of the room and said, "Don't go in there if it bothers him.  He's only 4 years old and you're old enough to know better."  I don't know what planet she was raised on, but IMHO 4 is plenty old to know how to behave decently and is certainly old enough to know that you don't kick someone just because they don't do what you ask.  But the part that really bothered me was what A said.  He had to hear that from somewhere and my guess is it was from his mother.  I think it's her intent to raise him to be as obnoxious as she mother like son. 


Page Last Updated May 18, 2007