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Adjusting with mothers-in-law can be hard for a lot of women especially if they sense envy.  So, what are the signs of a jealous mother in law?

There exist more than forty signs of a jealous mother-in-law. So, if you observe any of these, it’s time to build bridges and start fostering a positive relationship.

Wondering, “How Do I Know My Mother-in-Law Is Jealous Of Me?” 49 Signs Of A Jealous Mother in Law

My current blog is an attempt to share all signs of envy that a daughter- in-law witnesses from somebody as important as her mother-in-law and wise ways to deal with her!


She is Pleased, When You and Your Partner Are Not At Ease

If your mother-in-law is happy with the regular tiff you have with your partner, she is surely jealous of you.

Instead of helping you and your partner sort things out, she tries to make it worse with her interference.


She Never Runs Short Of Passing Indirect Comments

“Some women just don’t know how to manage the household.”

Ever heard your MIL passing such indirect comments? If yes, you know for sure that she is jealous of you.


She Displays Unpleasant Gestures and Body Language

Your MIL is always checking you out from the corner of her eye. She always has a very cold vibe.

If that seems to be the case, it is a classic sign of jealousy. In fact, it also is also one of the first signs that your MIL doesn’t like you.


She Offers You Wrong Advice on Purpose

How do you know if your mother-in-law is jealous of you? She would set you up for failure. She will do this by lending you the wrong advice.

Nothing can make her happier than seeing you get humiliated.


She Rejects, Even Your Best Gifts

As a daughter-in-law, there might be moments and instances when you feel like sharing nice gifts with your family. And so that includes your mother in law as well.

However, if she rejects all your gifts every time, take this as a sure shot sign of jealousy.

She might say things like, “I already have it” OR “It doesn’t suit my taste” OR “I don’t need it.”  All of these are traditional traits of envy.


Your MIL Secretly Enjoys Your Failures

A jealous mother-in-law is going to privately feel very good when you make mistakes.

She may fake sympathy, but deep down she likes you facing a defeat.


She Is An Attention Seeker

A MIL who tries to make her the centre of attraction all the time is for sure jealous.

She always strives to steal her son’s attention away from yours.


Jealousy is Apparent, Whenever She Mocks The Way You Parent

One of the meanest things a mother-in-law can do is to mock another mom’s (i.e you) child-rearing skills. This is not just a classic symptom of jealousy but also bad behaviour.

Mother-in-law have to realise that nobody is perfect when it comes to life skills. And to raise kids surely takes time and effort. Thus, to forget that she herself was imperfect once upon a time and judge you is being extremely mean.

By judging you this way, she will distance herself out emotionally. And this must stop from her end.


Anything You Do Is Not Good Enough for Her

A jealous mother-in-law is in a habit of being overly critical of everything you do.

So, whether it’s the way you throw parties OR raise your children, she has an opinion about everything. And she does not forget to remind you how you could have done it better.


You Give It Your All, And She Is Like, “I did this better back in the day” 

Imagine you’re performing a task and decently. Yet, your mother-in-law comes in and tells you how she did it better back in the day!

This instantly points out how your mother in law is jealous behind your back. The best way to counter this situation is to ignore it. After all, she needs to make positive amends in her behaviour and not you.


You Talk Career & She, About Raising Family!

Each time you discuss your career goals to your mother-in-law, does she start quoting how raising a family is more important or how women these days are forgetting all values? Well, she’s just being jealous of you.

Next time she says that to you, tell her, “progressing in one’s career has nothing to do with forgetting values. On the contrary, being financially independent is supporting your partner and family to lead a happy life. And that is the greatest value.

Also, tell her, “raising a family is surely important. However, it isn’t just a woman’s job. After all, it takes two to birth and raise a child.”

Raising a family as parents

Graphical representation of raising families


She Competes Over Small Things!

As a daughter-in-law, have you felt competitive vibes from your mum in law even in matters that shouldn’t be competitive?

Well, this behaviour isn’t just petty on her part but also a major stress enabling factor for a lot of daughters-in-law.

However, you need to be respond tactfully and not react. After all, you haven’t caused it.



You Put All Efforts For Her, But She Doesn’t Care!

As a daughter in law, when you constantly invest time and effort for your family and you’re still under-appreciated, it gets heartbreaking.

The situation gets even worse when you whole-heartedly make efforts for your mother-in-law and she seems to toss them aside. 

I sincerely feel, no person should be taken for granted when they make an effort towards something. And so if this happening to you as a daughter in law, you have got to talk this out assertively when required.


You Opine, But She Doesn’t Mind!

You are an individual having your own set of beliefs and values. And therefore you must voice your genuine concerns and stance.

While doing so, if you feel that your opinions are being pinned down then take it as a warning sign of envy by your MIL. You should communicate this to your mum in law because this is not an acceptable behaviour.

It is a well-established fact that once a person is feeling jealous, the first reaction is to put other people down. In fact, an article in Psych Mechanics illustrates this point

Traits of a jealous mother in law


It Is Your Right To Visit Your Parents, But When Your MIL Thinks It Is Hers, It Is An Indication of Her Jealousy

Let’s say your parents reside in the same city as yours and they are hardly 15 minutes away from your place. This obviously means a wonderful opportunity for the daughter to visit them.

So you let your mother-in-law know about it and she is like, I have never visited my home like you do after I got married”

Anyway, your parents are always your parents. So better don’t allow her remarks affect your mind!


Your Mother-in-Law Thinks She Defines Your Life

Let’s say you are driving a hard bargain to finish your MBA so that you can lay a foundation for your career.

Unfortunately, you sense your mother-in-law’s resentment as she often says, “When I was married, I never enjoyed this much freedom as you do”.

Know that her remark is an indication of jealousy, because she compares your life with hers!


You Achieve After Working So Hard But She Hardly Conceives

Behind every achievement are hours and hours of hard work. And they must be acknowledged by your family. However, if instead of being acknowledged, your achievements are being tossed aside as worthless, then this needs to be intervened.

Remember this, each time your achievement is rubbed off as something insignificant by your mother in law, it implies she is secretly envious of your accomplishments because she herself feels a vacuum inside.

Talk to your spouse about this behaviour. Tell your partner how this is wrong at so many levels and must be stopped. After all, your partner is responsible for your emotional well being.


Whenever You Wish To Celebrate, She Doesn’t Deliberate

Consider this – You plan a party in the house to celebrate an important moment, discuss it with your mother in law. In return, she immediately tries to cancel your plans by saying something on the lines of,“Why waste so much money?”OR“No need to plan” OR “We don’t do this here.”

Words like these are harsh and reflective of inbuilt envy against you. Don’t let this go. Stay on it and ask her why does she feel this way? 

Trust me, Objectivity brings Positivity in relationships even if it takes time.


She Is Insensitive, Trying To Make You Negative

It is a well-established fact that jealousy creates negativity in the environment around. In fact, this is why the word, ‘energy’ is often used with negative. And hence, comes the concept of negative energy or negative vibes.

If you’re stuck in situations with your MIL where you feel that you’re absorbing negative energy that is being thrown at you then take this as a symptom of jealousy. 

The best way to deal with negativity being released from an envious MIL is to create a mental barrier. Come what may, do not allow your peace of mind to be affected.


Your MIL Fakes, For Her Son’s Sake

One of the very regular signs of a jealous mother-in-law is when you receive compliments in front of your partner even though you don’t expect them.

Now, why does this happen? This is a classic superficial behaviour whereby your MIL would want to prove to her own kin that there isn’t any animosity between you two.

However, in actuality jealousy abounds in her and she’s just trying to hide in behind false compliments. If you share a better understanding with your husband, he will definitely find this out!


When You Help Her, She Doesn’t Hear!

Nothing feels worse than being poohed by your mother-in-law when you genuinely want to reach out and offer advice. I mean this is plain sad and wrong.

Each time you offer a sincere piece of advice to your mother-in-law and she poohs you, understand that she is envious. 

This behaviour needs to stop. And you must confront her politely yet confidently. Tell her that by poohing you off, she is losing on suggestions that might actually help her.


You Cook Decently Well, That She Doesn’t Even Smell!

Despite the world progressing rapidly, mothers-in-law sometimes have this cringing habit of judging daughters-in-law for their cooking skills. 

This is to say that the entire nature of a married woman is judged just because she cooks differently from her mother-in- law. This isn’t just unfair but also regressive.

High time, mothers-in-law realise that cooking is a life skill and not something specific to women. Had that been the case, some of the world’s best Michelin Star chefs wouldn’t be men.


Self Praising, Is Her Habit!

The most ironic thing about a woman calling herself something on the lines of, “woman of substance” is that a genuine woman of substance wouldn’t do that. Right?

Well, if your MIL calls herself a woman of substance, understand that she is using this as a coping mechanism to hide her actual feelings towards you as well as towards herself.

Indulging in self praise by putting others down is something that only a jealous person does.


She Calls You, ‘Entitled’

No matter how much you sweat it out and toil hard, words such as entitled and ‘privileged’ will be thrown at you by your partner’s mum.

This will be done to demean your hard work and not at all consider you as being responsible. This sort of social attitude isn’t just reflective of envy but outright viciousness.

A human being doing this to another human being really needs to start being a lot more evolved about life and relationships.


She Tries To Imitate You!

Have you ever felt that you were planning a family event OR helping a family member in need OR perhaps you’re preparing a tasty meal for the family on your own and your mother-in-law immediately copies your idea? 

Well, there couldn’t be a more obvious sign of jealousy. But this is sad at so many levels. Reason being, your mother in law should realise that she is loved by everyone. So why copy for approval?

Seeking approval from your own family by copying somebody else’s noble gesture is just terrible. Seeking approval must stop. Hence, talk to your mum in law at a human level and convey to her that seeking external validation isn’t good.


Stop seeking approval by copying gestures because you're jealous


No Doubt She Targets You With, Uncalled For Remarks!

If you find yourself in a situation where unnecessary snarky comments are being passed at you by your mother in law, she is displaying envious behaviour.

In fact, being overly critical and passing snarky comments is one of the clearest signs of a jealous mother in law.

Do not allow your MIL to hurt you this way. You need to sit with her maturely and tell her how this isn’t right and must be stopped.


She Finds It Harder, To Tolerate When You Spend Time With Your Partner

As a married couple it is your legit right to spend time with each other. And not just time, quality time is what you deserve with each other. 

Therefore, if your mother in law seems to have a problem with her son and you spending time, too bad! You are meant to spend time. That is why you got married in the first place.

If mothers in law have a problem with their sons getting spending time with their partners, don’t get them married. I mean what more do I even say here!


Your MIL Never Maintains Your Trust!

If you have faith in your mother in law and reveal something to her, you will most certainly expect that she upholds your faith. However, if she snitches behind your back and makes your secret public, she is jealous of you.

Nobody and I mean nobody should ever break trust that too within the same family. And so, if your mother in law indulges in behaviour that breaks all faith in her, she needs to introspect.

You on the other hand need to maintain a safe distance.


She Never Misses A Chance To Voice Against The Way You Dress

Every person has their own unique sense of wardrobe and fashion choice. Nobody should be judged for what they wear.

And so, if you as a daughter in law are judged for wearing a particular outfit by your mother in law, she is both jealous and insecure. This is sad.

Your body is yours and so are the clothes that go on it. Therefore, scanning you from top to bottom and judging you is plain wrong. Please don’t ignore this. On the contrary, deal with it confidently.


She Asks Out-of-Place Questions

If you feel time and again that your mother in law makes an attempt to dig your past life, be assured she is jealous of you.  Your past is yours and it is way behind you.

Do not ever feel intimidated by your past because whatever you are today is because of the success and failures in your past. This is true for both professional and personal matters.

In case you were somebody else in the past, so what? That was your choice back then and to be in a family is your choice now. So don’t let that burn you down.

According to an article highlighting the importance of ‘moving on’ by Kelly Rudolph

Your past doesn't define you


She HURTS You A Lot

No matter how much patient a person has, ultimately by constant provocation, the patience will run out. 

If your mother in law indulges in behaviour where you are provoked a lot and she keeps saying hurtful things, she is most certainly jealous of you.

You need to discuss this with your partner and take a stand on this unruly attitude.


She Often Talks, About Your Husband’s Past Matches

One of the warning signs of a jealous mother in law is that she constantly shares all past matches for your husband. This is done to hurt you and make you feel small.

But you know what the truth is, you landed with your partner and he’s happy. So no point overthinking about who else could have been with him.

Do not fall in the vicious trap of a petty conversation. In fact, take your husband into confidence and ask him to intervene with his mother. Your respect as a woman matters.


She Is Not Happy, When Her Son Makes You Happy

It is no wonder if your spouse surprises you time and again in some form or the other. Your marriage and the love that binds you both often call for it, isn’t it?

Say your spouse does a surprise cake-cutting for your birthday and gifts you a lot of things. In such cases, have you noticed your MIL’s reaction?

If her response is something like –

“Have you ever done anything at all for your Mother all these years?”

OR “Do you even know when my birthday is?”

Then for sure, your mother in law is envious of you. Just ignore her comments as it is not at all good for your mental health. On the contrary, know that a Happy Mother in Law would appreciate her son’s gesture and appear sportive of his actions.


She Regrets Her Marriage Life, In Front Of You

A husband and wife relationship, especially during the initial years of marriage would for sure be overflowing with love.

Say your spouse hugs you every time he leaves for office; that too in the presence of your mother in law. In that case, if your MIL says, “Look at your father. He does not even know what Love is”, don’t you see it as a sign of envy?

On the contrary, a happy mother-in-law would encourage your relationship with your partner and doesn’t show any form of regret!


She Compares Her Spouse Against Yours Over Little Little Things

Say your spouse comes to you with tickets booked for your favorite movie. OR he plans an amazing anniversary getaway without your knowledge. Wouldn’t that get you over the moon?

When you are in a state of bliss and your MIL says to your partner, “Your father never takes me anywhere like you take your wife”, how would that go with you?

Anyway, if your MIL is not happy for you, then it is her problem. So better ignore her remarks!


She Can’t Stand It, When Your Partner Compliments You

Once my spouse was telling his mother that I prepare Mor kozhambu (A South Indian Gravy that is taken with rice) really well.

My MIL instantly reacted, “Have you not been eating what I had been cooking all these years?”

Obviously, such remarks only indicate a mother-in-law’s envy. To save your sanity and respect, it is better to not pay heed to such comments.


She Often Interrupts, Your Couple Space

Let’s say whenever you are having a serious discussion with your partner, your MIL breaks into the conversation.

And she keeps voicing out her opinions to your partner against yours. Is this not an action born out of jealousy?


She Demeans Your Choices For Her Son

Let’s say you go out shopping with your spouse and MIL. You choose outfits for him and ask him to trial.

But your MIL puts you down by saying, “I don’t think these colors would go well with him” and ask him to try her selections.

I know it could be so annoying but it just points out her jealousy!


She Often Disrupts Your Personal Time

Consider you are getting ready to go on a car ride with your spouse.

Unexpectedly, your mother-in-law comes out and says, “I am coming as well”. How would you take it?

If a mother in law decides to even disrupt a husband and wife’s privacy, it is undoubtedly indicative of her jealousy.


Your Husband Helps You, And She Is Like, “Have You In All These Years Ever Helped Me Like This?”

Let’s say you are hosting a dinner for your friends and your partner is helping you out with the chores.

Your mother in law notices this and comments, “Have you in all these years ever helped your Mother like this?” 

This an evident sign your MIL doesn’t like it. Just let go, it doesn’t even matter!


Your Mother-in-Law Cannot Digest IT, When Her Son Cooks

Let’s say your MIL visits you for a few days. Observing your partner cook dinner for you every day, she criticises him, “Have you in all these years ever cooked for your mother like this?”

This is pure jealousy. Anyway, I truly hope a time would come when MILS could make peace with their sons’ cooking habits! After all, we are in the 21st Century!


She Doesn’t Like it When Her Son Helps Your Parents

Consider that your spouse gifts your father OR his father in law a smartphone on his birthday.

Coming to know of this, your MIL says to your partner, “Your father never bought anything for my parents”

This is jealousy in ridiculous form!


She Plays Victim In Front of Her Son

One of the classic signs of a jealous mother in law is when she tries to play a victim all the time.

She does it in order to grab her son’s attention as much as possible. Don’t be worried. She is just feeling insecure.


She Purposefully Ignores You at Family Gatherings

Every time you are at a family gathering or party, your MIL starts to ignore you. If you have faced a similar situation, you know for sure that she is jealous of you.

She also tries to change the topic,  every time someone in the family has something good to say about you.


She is Ungrateful For Your Sacrifices

Every time you do something nice for your MIL, she doesn’t as much thank you for it, let alone be grateful.

If your mother in law is being ungrateful for your sacrifices for the family, she is exhibiting one of the classic signs of jealousy.



She Tries To Manipulate Her Son 

A jealous mother in law is manipulative. She can do it in a number of ways.

She may lie about you to your partner OR try to dominate him OR she adopts the good old passive-aggressive strategy to change his ideas about you.


She has No Pictures of You

Imagine visiting your mother in law’s home to only find that she doesn’t really have any pictures of you at her house.

She has plenty of pictures of your partner and other family members but she has made it a point not to keep or display your pictures.


A Jealous MIL Gives False Praise and Backhanded Compliments

“I never thought you could decorate your home so well, good for you”, if you hear these kinds of sarcastic compliments often from her, she is undoubtedly jealous.

Most importantly, she can easily bestow false praises and backhanded compliments even at your most important achievements.

Experts suggest that you shouldn’t let such negativity ruin your beautiful moments, because it isn’t your fault. This kind of jealousy stems from a person’s own inadequacy as illustrated in an article in Check it out for more insights!

Signs of a jealous MIL


She Keeps Talking About Your Mistakes

One wrong step OR failure in your life, and your MIL will go on and on about it.

Words like “I told you so,” are her favourite. She will not even miss one opportunity to hold you accountable and remind you even your tiniest of your mistakes.


This was it for this blog. I hope by now you have understood all warning symptoms and signs of a jealous mother-in-law.

Having said that, not every mother in law is envious. Some are kind, compassionate and outright adorable. Feel free to read these 19 inspiring traits of a great mother-in-law. Trust me, it will refresh you.

Is your mother-in-law jealous? Share it in the comments below!