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Standing up for myself



For those of you that have a MIL/or stepmom that you don't get along with, how do you stand up for yourself? I am terrible at standing up for myself. I have a stepmom thats been in my life since I was 10 and she's always getting in these sly little digs at me. I've tried standing up for myself against her, but she's so loud its hard for me to be heard. Dad doesn't hear the insults. I also think that when I was a child it was hard to stand up to adults. But I'm an adult now and should be able to stand up for myself against her, but I just can't.

I've really let her insults just go in one ear and out the other even though I know she shouldn't speak to me that way. For instance when she insults my mom's family(they have a lot more money than Dad's side & SM is extremely jealous) I just let it go even though I feel like screaming at her not to insult my aunt, uncle, cousins, & grandparents on Mom's side.

However problems have been arising within the past year because of my husband. DH HATES how SM speaks to me and has told her off on numerous occasions. So now SM hates my husband because he defends me against her. When referring to my DH, SM will say "that guy you married". How would she like it if I said to Dad when talking about her "that woman you married". I know she'd be offended.

My DH has a hard time just letting her insults go. I'm more the kind of person to keep quiet so we can keep the peace in the family, even though I know SM and i don't have a real relationship. I would like to be able to stand up for myself more, but its hard to stand up against a SM who is old enough to be my mom. I'm only 26 and its hard for me to stand up to a woman who's in her mid 50's.

I just dread holidays now. I know if SM says the slightest insult, DH will say something. Its great that he defends me the way he does, but then there's always an argument either between me and SM, or my DH and SM. Dad stays completely neutral and has no opinion.

I think I posted about this before. However its been awhile since I saw SM(4 wonderful months since I saw her last) and I'm nervous about how severe her insults will be at Thanksgiving.


Senior Member

My reply would be something like..

I am so sorry that you are such a miserable person that you have to criticize and insult others! We already have so much anger and hate in this world, it's too bad that it's right here in our home. (something like that)

I am not one to make a scene and I don't like big arguements, so I would use a regular voice and say something like above.

It sounds like she would love to argue with you over everything (anything) but I wouldn't give her that satisfaction.

People will do what YOU let them do to you.<!--misspeak-->
Enough is enough! Let this be the LAST year she makes you miserable! <!--misspeak-->

Or: let your family know that YOU and your DH will be starting new, peaceful traditions on your own.

My MIL is very tacky sometimes and will criticize my husband for everything- according to her, he's a loser because he's only a computer engineer and not a lawyer or doctor! WHATEVER! I have made the executive decisions for the past few years and we no longer have our Thanksgiving meal ruined by her! We started our own tradition and MIGHT visit her in the evening for a piece of pie!:)


Senior Member
Don't let her get away with it!

When she insults you, just say (loudly), "OUCH! That was a really hurtful comment. Did you mean to insult me or do you just not realize the effects you create with your demeaning remarks?" Then walk away, even if she is trying to respond.


Senior Member
I think I'd just give her my best "I'm superior to you" face and say "do you even hear what you're saying?" shake my head, and walk away.

I don't know why you spend holidays with this person! I think I'd find something else to do if I were you. As long as you continue to go as if it's okay to treat you the way she does, she'll continue - and your dad will let her.

Super Sub

Senior Member
This is why I don't spend any time with my in-laws anymore. My MIL would always slip in some kind of comment about me. When she started doing it about my daughter I decided that I'd had enough. I just stopped going to their house when invited and didn't invite them over to ours. My husband and kids still go to their house. (I did tell my daughter that she didn't have to be insulted either and to speak up or tell Dad if MIL said anything to her) They went last year for Thanksgiving without me. It was wonderful. They got to see family and I didn't have to be insulted. I'm still civil to her when we do have to speak. I just try to make sure those encounters are few and far between.

I've had even more practice with this with my own grandmother. She has always been free with her comments but since she's gotten much older she doesn't hold back anything. She flat out insulted me the last time I saw her and I told her to shut her mouth and that she can't talk to me like that. She was shocked and told me that she was my grandma and I can't say that to her. I told her that was exactly the reason she shouldn't speak to ME the way she does. I wasn't taking any C@$% off of anybody anymore. She shut up quick.

Speak up for youself. Tell her that you find her comments hurtful and insulting and that you are not going to put up with it anymore. Then if she tries to keep at it just stop seeing her. She might get the idea after a while. If not you'll be happier without her in your life. Life is too short to spend it with people who make us miserable. That even goes for family!


Senior Member
don't get together

Since she insults both and your husband I wouldn't bother getting together at all anymore. Don't invite them over and don't accept any invitations from them either. If you want to see your dad, get together on your own with him somewhere for lunch or dinner. I personally wouldn't put up with it anymore and it's great that DH supports you.

This is really YOUR CHOICE whether you continue to let her treat you like this or not. Don't give her the opportunity.