My mother-in-law speaks ill of me to neighbors

By Huyen   May 19, 2024 | 03:20 pm PT
Despite her outwardly pleasant demeanor towards me, my mother-in-law often speaks negatively about me to her friends and relatives behind my back.

My husband and I have been married for two years and we live with his parents, along with our one-year-old child, which sometimes leads to inevitable conflicts.

Since the birth of our child, disagreements on how to care for the baby have become a frequent source of contention between my mother-in-law and me. While she does not confront me directly, she often calls and complains about me to her sisters and friends afterwards.

I once overheard her saying: "A daughter must be taught carefully."

"Otherwise when she gets married, she’ll end up just like my daughter-in-law, who is not only ignorant but also argumentative," she continued.

Her words infuriated me, leading to an argument after which I was compelled to apologize for being "disrespectful," while she also admitted her fault and promised not to speak badly of me anymore. However, I still harbor resentment towards her and generally try to minimize our interactions, rarely speaking to her despite living under the same roof.

On her part, she does not openly show any dislike towards me. In fact, she behaves as if she loves me "like her own daughter" and has even offered to help me find a job using her connections from her previous teaching career. She has promised to secure a position for me as a preschool teacher at a nearby school, which would be convenient for managing childcare.

This leaves me wondering if my mother-in-law is aware that I still accept her help despite my feelings of dislike. Moreover, I question whether continuing to live this way implicates me in owing something to my husband’s family.

What do you think? What should I do?

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