When you marry your significant other, there should be something written in the vows about inheriting family baggage. Before the ink is dry on the marriage certificate, some in-laws morph into outlaws who rob you of your newlywed bliss. Like an emotional black hole, these people are notorious for sucking the joy out of every family gathering. Holidays and celebrations bring out their worst side, causing everyone to drink more and spend an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom.
Family dynamics change once the in-laws drop their dysfunctional baggage at your doorstep. Although there are plenty of instances of close relationships between in-laws, more often than not there’s one who loves to stir the pot and share their cup of misery.
 You know you have a problem if one of your in-laws falls into any of the following categories:
The Attention Seeker:
Everything in their life is far more stressful (and important) than yours. They work longer hours, have busier schedules and no time to relax. Warning: If you are a stay-at-home-mom, this type of in-law believes you do nothing all day but watch trashy talk shows and eat bonbons in-between naps.
The Drama Queen:
These people thrive on family drama. They’re usually unhappy, insecure, pushy people who enjoy dragging you down their emotional rabbit hole. Grab a chair, because whatever stunt they pull at the next family function is sure to rival any episode of The Real Housewives Of New Jersey.
The Overbearing Matriarch:
This MIL or FIL feels that their precious offspring could have married someone better. Your housekeeping and parenting skills will never measure up to their royal standards. You and your kin will always be considered surfs in their kingdom. Don’t bother polishing any crowns because chances are you’ll never wear one.
The Gossiper:
These parasitic in-laws are worse than any flu bug that could inhabit your intestines. They suffer from diarrhea of the mouth and love to watch the shit hit the fan when they talk crap about you to vulnerable family members easily manipulated by their crock of dung. Poo Pourri will never be necessary for these people because they’re convinced their shit doesn’t stink.
The Competitor:
Like a territorial alley cat, this in-law treats you like an intruder and feels they can best you at anything. They turn everything into a competition, making sure you’re aware they live in a better neighborhood, own a larger home, drive the most expensive vehicle and have perfect children with IQ’s off the charts. They brag about salaries, vacations, new wardrobes, weight loss and their child’s latest report card. While they’re busy reminding you how beautiful and special they are, just remember they’re doing their best to mask the insecurities that fester inside them.
In the old wild west, they used to shoot outlaws. In today’s society, the only ammo you have is patience, understanding and forgiveness.
I vote we step back in time.
This article was previously published on www.menopausalmom.com
Marcia Kester Doyle is the author of the humour book, Who Stole My Spandex? and the voice behind the popular blog, Menopausal Mother. Her work has appeared on The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Humor Outcasts, In The Powder Room,  Beyond Your Blog, Felicity Huffman’s What The Flicka?, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, and Midlife Boulevard among others.Find her on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

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  1. I couldn’t help but laugh throughout this whole post. I got lucky and have pretty great in laws but have been to multiple family gatherings where other family members are like some of these. Great post!

  2. This made me smile. For more reasons that one. I hear a lot about these in-laws – and interestingly enough, from the other perspective as well. It’s sometimes tricky to get to who has the most room “to grow”, shall we say??? Thanks Marcia!

  3. This made me smile for more reasons than one, Marcia! I get to hear about these relationships from both sides, and sometimes it’s tricky to figure out who has the most room “to grow”, shall we say? Lol. Thanks for a fun post!

  4. I feel like I read/commented on this blog before…oh no, wait, I LIVED THIS BLOG BEFORE!!!!!! I had in-laws that were all of the above…reasons #837-840 why they are now my ex in-laws. OY! My mother did try to warn me I have to admit but I was young and headstrong and thought love could counter all. Yeah, not so much. The second time around I married a man who is 14 years older and sadly his mother was only around for the first few years. She was a very spry 88 year old by the time she died who was too busy doing her own thing to worry about us 😉 Thanks for sharing via #MidLifeLuv

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