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Updates & Follow-Ups: Monster-in-Law

By Amalah

An update on this situation here, about an abusive MIL with a child still in her home.

Hi Amy,

An update post from a couple of weeks ago made me realize I am long overdue in writing you a thank you for posting my question regarding my abusive mother-in-law. While I knew in my heart that something needed to be done, reading your response and the comments gave me the courage to really put my foot down with my husband, not only about my daughter but for his sister as well. I was prepared for the conversation with him to be difficult, but he said he totally agreed with me. Just like that. No arguing, no making a case, just “I totally agree with you.” His sister is no longer in the house with the MIL (she’s the only sibling but I was trying to change things around to seem anonymous) and my husband and I are doing everything we can to help her and make sure that she stays safe and that she knows that we are here for her and are her support system. It’s been hard for her. She feels like she has no parents and is angry at her mom for doing what she did and at her dad for not protecting her, but she’s seeing a therapist and I know she’ll make it through. It’s been hard for my husband too, realizing that his mother can’t be trusted with anyone’s child, including her own, but he’s seeing someone as well and working through it.

My MIL did come for her visit as scheduled. It was…stressful and not fun for me or my husband, but she was actually really good with my daughter. But I stuck to my rules and we did not leave the baby alone with her, despite her numerous pleas for us to go out and have her babysit, and we made it through. It makes me sad to think that I’ll never be able to leave my daughter with her grandmother, but I think it’s important for her to know her and have some type of relationship with her. Thankfully MIL lives across the country so we’ll likely only have to deal with this once a year or so.

So, again, thank you so much for posting my question so quickly. Sometimes you really need to hear that you’re doing the right thing.


Thank you so, so much for writing back. I’ve thought about your situation so many times over the past few months, and your sister-in-law’s wellbeing was very heavy on my mind while writing my responses to “Concerned.” I’m happy to hear that she’s safe and once again, that other people were willing to step up and intervene and do the right thing, even when it’s difficult.


About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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Thank you so, so much for writing back. I’m so glad things are going better for your family and that your sister-in-law is getting help. Just as a warning, sometimes this sort of thing can be a two steps forward, one step back sort of thing. Your sister-in-law might also unleash or direct her anger in all sorts of inappropriate directions. You’re still doing the right thing. My mother-in-law told me a story about her father. He had a half sister who was much younger than him. Their dad and her mom had been fighting horrifically and basically ignoring their… Read more »