These Nightmare Fathers-In-Law Turned Their Children's Lives Upside Down

1. Nightmare Fathers-In-Law

Some fathers want to control their children by dictating which schools they should attend, who they should hang out with, and even how they should spend their time.

It is normal for most people to have to consider their father's opinions. However, some people not only have to worry about their own fathers but also their fathers-in-law. 

Marrying into a family can be challenging, especially when your father-in-law tries to control your choices. These real-life stories were shared by people who experienced unusual or controlling behavior from their fathers-in-law or heard them express offensive opinions.

2. Forbidden Crush

My father-in-law is "making the moves" on my sister, and it's making all of us very uncomfortable.

I'm a 24-year-old female, and my sister is 35. My father-in-law is 49. He has never been a great dad to my husband. He was terrible towards them when my husband was a child, and he walked out on them when my husband was around 13 years old. He chose his new wife over his family.

He has made an effort to repair his relationship with my husband over the last few years, and they now have a much better relationship as adults. In September, our only child was stillborn, and at the funeral, my father-in-law met all of my family members for the first time.

That's when things became inappropriate. Since then, he has been constantly chatting with my sister. They both have mental health issues, and she likes to "fix" people.

Apparently, he interpreted her desire to "fix" him as romantic interest. He has been commenting on all of her Facebook posts and messaging her daily with inappropriate comments, such as how beautiful she looks and how he would spoil her with gifts if they were together. He has also shared vulgar memes and tagged her in them.

A couple of weeks ago, he got intoxicated and made a public Facebook post about her, followed by a message expressing his feelings for her. She does not feel the same way.

She has told him this multiple times, but he has not stopped. My husband has not taken any action or talked to him about it, and I am considering discussing it with him myself.

We are worried that he will play the victim and claim that everyone is "ganging up" on him, causing him to leave my husband's life again. However, his behavior towards my sister is making her extremely uncomfortable and causing tension between my husband and me.

He refuses to accept her rejection, and we don't want things to be difficult between them. We have a big family gathering coming up, as well as other family events in the future, and I don't know how to handle this situation.

3. Vacation Ruined

We were on a family vacation until my father-in-law ruined everything in an instant. He lost his temper with his four-year-old grandson because the child ruined his drawing. He then threw a tantrum and caused our vacation to be cut short.

It may sound absurd, but we were all on vacation, and my father-in-law was drawing on paper when his grandson, full of energy, came over and playfully drew over his drawing.

After yelling and swearing at his grandson, he did the same to his son (my husband) for not disciplining his son. In reality, my husband was disciplining his son, but my father-in-law was unable to see that.

However, my father-in-law has a major issue with how kids are raised and believes that all of his children, including their partners (me included), are doing everything wrong.

We go on this holiday every year, and when our daughter was just a few months old, we had to leave early because my father-in-law couldn't handle her crying while we were trying to put her to sleep.

He believed that we were incompetent parents and insisted that we take her out of bed and put her down again later. This led to a heated argument with a lot of yelling and swearing.

For a short period, when he was taking Prozac, my father-in-law was the calmest I've ever seen him. To be honest, I've often wanted to punch him in the face, but I know that would just make things worse for everyone. I want what's best for my daughter and wife.

However, when he starts yelling at the top of his lungs, not allowing anyone else to speak, ranting, raving, and swearing, and then getting angry and yelling "LISTEN TO ME, DON'T INTERRUPT ME!" when someone tries to respond, I've secretly dreamed of walking up to him and punching him as hard as I can.

I'm trying my best to stay calm, but my goodness, he can be such a handful to deal with!

4. Did I Do The Right Thing?

This is a story about my future father-in-law. I wasn’t married yet. We had Christmas at my fiancé’s grandmother’s house on Sunday. My fiancé and I moved out and started living on our own this spring in an apartment, and it’s been great so far. However, we don’t have a lot of disposable income now.

Due to that, we only got Christmas cards with gift cards for everyone in his family. Now, I didn’t hear the comment, but apparently, when my fiancé was handing his dad his card, my father-in-law said under his breath, “I guess the real gift must be in the mail.

My fiance lost it. He told him flat out that we don’t have a lot of money. He should be grateful for getting anything at all. I didn’t know about this comment, and as soon as we left, I ordered a gift basket online to be delivered to his parents’ house because I personally felt I hadn’t done enough.

When my future husband informed me yesterday of this comment, that, combined with all of their other transgressions, made me want to cancel the gift basket because I don’t think they deserve it now.

Sadly, it’s too late to cancel the order or change the address. Well, whatever. It is what it is. I hope they feel like the idiots that they are when they receive it. I hope what I did was actually the right thing.

5. Not Afraid

I have a ton of stories about this monster of a man who I refer to as my father-in-law. At this point, I honestly didn't anticipate having many more brand-new ones, but life is full of surprises. This man has abused me and been nasty to me for a long time, to give you some background.

Never physically, usually in the form of harsh epithets. He has also gaslighted me, made me feel bad for doing things that are absolutely normal, blamed me for his lack of relationship with my son, and other things. It never stops.

In addition, I was carrying twins up until January, when tragedy struck. They were born still. My husband and I were devastated and are still working through our grief and moving on.

He sent me a message that is so upsetting that I will never forget it. Doesn't karma stink, it proclaimed? The worst part is that there's still a lot more to come! identical words. I was furious for a brief period of time.

It was like a PTSD response or something because my adrenaline was running, my hands were shaking, I was afraid, the whole nine yards. But then I realized that this guy is just sad. He’s sick and hateful.

So, I made up a plan for revenge. For the first time in around four years, I decided to post on Facebook. I discussed the infants and the awful loss with all of those friends before mentioning the touching note my father-in-law wrote me this morning. Such actions are not compatible with life in the open.

In the darkness, it thrives. Years ago, I was terrified of him, but not any longer. He has nothing he wants to take from me. He has no authority over me. His family has already messaged me to express how repulsive they find him. He must have heard about my post by this point.

Public humiliation wins the day! In addition, this month marks my son's 14th birthday. Now that he is of legal age, he can learn the truth about his grandfather. So, I'll tell him about it if he wants to. I'll respect that if he chooses not to. What did I tell my father-in-law?

"My son will know who his grandfather is.” He also loved those babies. So good luck to my father-in-law in his future attempts to connect with my kid.

Does he not understand that my son genuinely cares about our family and me? What a moron. He probably has no idea that my son is no longer a sweet six-year-old and that he is now capable of having his own views and opinions.

6. Over-Controlling

The stepfather of my husband, who I generally refer to as "Garden Gnome," is a total jerk. Since the first time I met him, I haven't liked him. For some context, my mother-in-law and Garden Gnome (GG) have been married since my husband was about six or seven years old.

My husband has always experienced mental abuse from GG. Extremely micromanaging and zealous for knowledge of even the most horrifying details. Even worse, GG questioned my mother-in-law if she knew if my husband and I were engaging in unprotected sexual activity. Why do you feel the need or need to know what your stepson and his wife do while they are in bed?

My mother-in-law recently decided to leave the Gnome! She applied for apartments in the area, talked to a lawyer, and she made a good exit strategy! My husband and I were at his grandparents’ place last weekend, and his grandpa told me that GG is always on his best behavior around me because he’s scared of me. Imagine that.

He’s retired, and my mother-in-law is the main breadwinner of the family by quite a bit. They only have a joint bank account. Luckily, my mother-in-law created a secret account that she’s been putting money in for a few months. Thanks to this account, she’s been able to get an apartment in the area.

He got VERY angry that they were going to be selling the house and kept trying to find out where my mother-in-law was moving to. But then, it seemed to settle down for a bit.

He got VERY angry that they were going to be selling the house and kept trying to find out where my mother-in-law was moving to. But then, it seemed to settle down for a bit.

GG texted my mother-in-law the next morning to ask what the kids’ names were. We’re trying to convince my mother-in-law to get a restraining order against GG because he has now accused her of mental and emotional mistreatment over leaving him “destitute in his later years.”.

He’s not that old and doesn’t have any medical issues—but it gets even worse. My mother-in-law is a religious leader in the area, and Garden Gnome actually called her boss to try and get her fired. But luckily, my mother-in-law is doing a lot better now that she’s not living with him anymore and is in the process of getting divorce papers drawn up to move the process along.

7. Wanting To Be A Grandfather

Growing up, my parents were extremely awful towards me. Luckily, since I moved out at the age of 17, my dad has been in therapy, and my mom has grown a shiny spine after seeing my two younger sisters and me act like total bosses in the face of garbage-like misogyny.

Still, I’ve lived at least 1,500 miles away from them for the last ten years, so going home for Christmas scares me a lot. Now to the recent story. My dad has a baby fever.

My very intense grandma always believed that it is very important that the three of us get married and have kids as early as possible. 12 years ago, my dad got intoxicated and cried that if he and my mom had only saved up enough money to pay for my wedding, then I would have been married by then. It didn’t matter that I was only 22 years old and single after breaking up with my terrible boyfriend.

I don’t think he understands that his words can be painful, especially since my sisters and I would all like to be wives and mothers someday. So when we were all together, my dad brought up babies again. My middle sister is married to my amazing brother-in-law, and her two best friends were both actually pregnant.

So our dad is going on and on about how it would be cool if my sister and brother-in-law had a baby at the same time to grow up with her best friends’ kids!?

But having read stories of difficult parents and in-laws for a month beforehand, in preparation for my visit, instead of letting the situation get awkward, I loudly blurted out, “Dad! Your baby rabies is out of control!!” in a joking tone.

Everybody looked at me awkwardly. I’m a now-sober former heavy drinker, so I don’t blame them. They had about 12 years of me making Christmas uncomfortable as heck for them.

But I gladly explained what baby rabies is. Everyone else laughed at how funny they found the subject and name. Then they made moved on to other topics of conversation. Thank god.

My dad turned red and asked if he really brings up babies that often. My mom patted his hand and said “Yeah. All the time” and made a joke, lightening the situation while my youngest sister and I teased, “What!? Daily pictures of your grand puppies aren’t enough!?”

Long story, I know, but hopefully a bit of a positive post since I know all the difficult behavior becomes overwhelming at times. Wishing the best to all of you. And thank you all for putting baby rabies and healthy boundaries into my vocabulary!

8. Completely Cut Off

This spring, I cut my dad out of my life forever. We had little contact for about 20 months before and have had a terrible relationship since the spring of 2017. The only reason he's been in my life for the past eight years is that I feel guilty about him.

He treated me badly, endangered my life, and did really horrible things to me for over a decade. To name a few, after I was used by a teenager, he said it was my fault that I was promiscuous because I tricked my poor attacker into cheating on his girlfriend. He felt he had the right to make me his submissive slave because he impregnated my mother. At least he thought so.

After deciding I was fed up with him faking sadness to bother her and trying to get information about me, I texted him asking him to stop asking my loved ones about how I was and pretending while he was still lying and trying to ruin my life.

The reply I just received was: "You forget they are my family too. You shouldn't forget that you owe my existence to me. So accept what I have done." My mom read it and just said, "Block him, he's never going to change."

She's currently trying to distance herself from him as well and get as far away from him as possible. I think she is right. But seriously, it's incredible that he has this sense of entitlement! Because he had intercourse with someone more than 25 years ago, I have to be his obedient slave for the rest of my life now?

9. About Voting

During the last election, my father-in-law filled in my husband's ballot for him. I'm serious. A few weeks before Election Day, he filled out my husband's mail-in voter ballot and left it for him to sign before he left for an out-of-state job.

The audacity! A few days later, my husband told me about it, so we got him a new replacement ballot. We recently bought a house, and we're just waiting for underwriting to be completed.

I'm just so annoyed and angry on his behalf, and like, he knows that it's wrong and that's why he told me, but I know that he ignores it because we're already taking steps to deal with it and it's only a couple of weeks until we don't have to deal with him anymore.

The only thing I really want to do is report him for voter fraud, but I know my husband wants to keep things calm. So when we close, we can load up without too many problems and get the heck out of there once and for all. I’m just raging and wanting to scream. Enough is enough.

I’m sick of him hovering over my husband’s shoulder every time he votes and forcing or trying to force him to vote exactly as he wants him to.

It’s been nine years since my husband could vote, and he’s never been able to vote in peace because of his father’s imposing ways. And I wanna hit his father for it. Just. No.

10. Never Came To See Me

My dad went to one of my dance recitals when I was 12 years old. He told me that I was really bad and when my brother, who was 9, was that bad at soccer, he made him quit because he didn’t want to waste his money on him.

He then added that he would never go to another one of my performances again. He kept his word. Not that it mattered that much. His attitude led to me quitting dancing soon after.

His words stuck with me so much that even five years later when I was cast in my school musical, the very thought of dancing and singing in front of an audience sent me into an anxiety spiral that led to me quitting in favor of a spot on the crew.

My mom, on the other hand, has been to every performance and has had nothing but good things to say since the very beginning. Every play, every school concert, all of them.

In fact, most recently, my school’s Shakespearean play final night was $60 a ticket because of the fancy theater we were in. I told her not to go because she saw the first performance and it was expensive. She showed up anyway, with flowers and offering me a ride home.

11. My Father-in-Law Has a Crush on My Sister

My father-in-law is “making the moves” on my sister, and it’s making all of us very uncomfortable. So, I’m a 24-year-old female. My sister is 35 and my father-in-law is 49. He’s never been a great dad to my husband.

He was terrible towards him when he was a child, and he walked out on them when my husband was about 13 years old. He chose his new wife over his family.

He’s made an effort to have a relationship again with my husband over the last few years, and they now have a much better relationship as adults. In September, our only child was stillborn, and at the funeral, my father-in-law met all of my family members for the first time.

That’s when things took a turn for the disgusting. Since then, he’s been constantly chatting to my sister. They both have mental health problems and she likes to “fix” people.

Apparently, he took this to mean that she was interested in him romantically. He’s been commenting on all of her Facebook posts, and he now messages her daily and makes inappropriate comments to her. Things like how beautiful she looks and how if they were together he’d spoil her with gifts.

He’ll share memes that are a bit vulgar and tag my sister in them. He got intoxicated a couple of weeks ago and made a big Facebook post about her. He then messaged her, telling her how he feels about her. She 100% does not feel the same way about him.

She told him this a couple of times now, but he hasn’t relented. My husband hasn’t done anything or talked to him about it, and I’m getting close to talking to him about it myself.

We’re just concerned that he’s going to pull the “everyone’s ganging up on me” card and leave my husband’s life again. But he’s making my sister really uncomfortable, and it’s causing some serious tension between me and my husband.

He can’t seem to take no for an answer and I don’t want things to be difficult between them. We’ll be having a major family gathering soon, as well as all the other family occasions in between and after, and I just don’t know what to do about this. Story credit: Reddit /

12. He Ruined Our Vacation

We were just on a family vacation—until my father-in-law ruined the whole thing in an instant. He just lost his temper at his four-year-old grandson because he ruined his drawing. He then proceeded to throw a temper tantrum and caused our family holiday to be cut short.

Yes, as pathetic as it sounds, we’re all on holiday and my ridiculous father-in-law was sitting on the floor drawing on paper when his bubbly four-year-old grandson came over and playfully drew over his drawing.

My father-in-law is an artist and takes his drawing very seriously. Fine, I get that this incident must have sucked for him. But instead of seeing that the kid is four years old and dampening his response, he completely flew off his rocker, both literally and figuratively.

After yelling and swearing at his grandson, he did the same to his son (i.e. the father of the grandson). He was yelling at him because he allegedly wasn’t disciplining his son. In reality, he was, but my father-in-law didn’t have the mental capacity to see that.

To give some context, there’s my mother-in-law, my father-in-law, my wife, my two-year-old daughter, my brother-in-law, my sister-in-law, and their son and daughter. That was everyone who is on this trip.

The nine of us are all sharing a holiday house, and it’s literally been awesome up till now. The kids absolutely love it, and all but one of the adults are smitten watching the grandchildren, children, nieces, and nephews having a blast.

One of them was having such a blast that he decided to play a trick on granddad, and ruin his drawing! It’s only a drawing, right? Annoying, but kids innocently do that kind of thing all the time, right? His parents are normal responsible parents, and he’s not a bratty kid.

Yet my father-in-law has a big chip on his shoulder about how kids are raised, and how his children and their partners (me included) are all doing everything wrong.

We do this holiday getaway every year, and when our daughter was only a few months old, we had to leave early because my fragile father-in-law couldn’t handle our daughter crying as we were trying to get her to sleep.

We were clearly bad parents and we needed to get her out of bed and put her down again later. It was a big blowout with lots of yelling and swearing.

There’s one common denominator in all this, and it’s my father-in-law. He claims that at the age of 62, he’s too old to change, and that getting angry is a part of who he is. He has severe anxiety issues and sleep problems, but hates medication.

For a brief period when he was on Prozac, it was the calmest time I’ve ever experienced in my life. Honestly, I wish I could just punch him in the face, but I know that this would just be a bad idea for everyone involved. I want what’s best for my daughter and wife.

But when he’s talking at the top of his lungs, not letting anyone else talk, ranting, raving, swearing, cutting other people off, and then yelling “LISTEN TO ME, DON’T INTERRUPT ME!” when someone has the audacity to respond, I secretly dream of walking up to him and punching him as hard as I can. I’m trying my best to remain calm, but holy cow, what a handful he is to deal with!

13. I Hope I Did the Right Thing

This is a story about my future father-in-law. We had Christmas at my fiancé’s grandmother’s house on Sunday. My fiancé and I moved out on our own this spring into an apartment and it’s been a wonderful experience so far. However, we don’t have very much disposable income now.

Due to that, we only got Christmas cards with gift cards for everyone in his family. Now, I didn’t hear the comment, but apparently, when my fiancé was handing his dad his card, my father-in-law said under his breath, “I guess the real gift must be in the mail.”

My future husband heard this, and flat out said that we don’t have a lot of money. We had considered not doing gifts at all, and that’s the thanks we get for still trying to provide something nice?

When my future husband informed me yesterday of this comment, that, combined with all of their other transgressions, made me want to cancel the gift basket because I don’t think they deserve it now.

Unfortunately, it’s too late to cancel the order or to change the address. Well, whatever. I hope they feel like the idiots that they are when they receive it. I hope what I did was the right thing.

I didn’t know about this comment and as soon as we left, I ordered a gift basket online to be delivered to his parents’ house because I personally felt I hadn’t done enough.

14. I’m Not Afraid of Him Anymore

Sooooo, I have a huge number of stories about this monstrosity of a man that I call my father-in-law. I really didn’t expect to have many more new ones at this point, but life is full of surprises. Some back story is that this man has been awful towards me and mistreated me for many years.

Never physically, mostly in the form of extreme name-calling. Some of the other things he’s done to me have included gaslighting, making me feel guilty for completely normal things, blaming me for his lack of relationship with my son, etc. It goes on and on.

Some more backstory is that I was pregnant with twins until January—when tragedy struck. They were stillborn. My husband and I were heartbroken, and are still trying to grieve and move past this.

Anyways, this morning I was at my computer working from home, making my to-do list and relishing the fact that I lost another pound on the scale, when suddenly a Facebook message comes through from my father-in-law.

Now, this is weird because we’re not friends on Facebook, even though we have sent messages to one another in the distant, distant past. Also, I don’t really use Facebook anymore. I haven’t for years at this point. But nevertheless, this man apparently somehow found out about my babies dying.

He sent me a message so disturbing, it’s impossible to forget. It said: “Doesn’t karma suck? The worst part is you still have a lot more coming!” Word for word. I was fuming—but, only for a few minutes.

It was like a PTSD response or something, because my adrenaline was running, my hands were shaking, I was afraid, the whole nine yards. But then I realized that this guy is just sad. He’s sick and hateful.

He doesn’t love my son (his grandson), he loves his possessions and he hates me for taking one of his possessions (i.e. my son) away from him when we moved out of state. He never even asked how my son is doing after losing his baby brother and sister. Sick, sick, sick.

So, I made up a plan for revenge. I came to the decision to post on Facebook for the first time in like four years. I told all of those friends about the babies, the tragic loss, and finished off with the beautiful message my father-in-law sent me this morning. Behavior like this cannot live in the sunlight.

It thrives in the shadows. I was afraid of him for years, but I’m not afraid of him anymore! He doesn’t have anything to take from me. He doesn’t hold any power over me. I’m already getting messages from his family telling me how disgusting he is. I’m sure he’s heard about my post by now.

Public shaming for the win! In addition, my son is going to be 14 years old this month. He’s old enough now to hear the truth about his grandfather. So, if he wants to hear about it, I will tell him. If he doesn’t, I’ll respect that. My response to my father-in-law?

“My son will know who his grandfather is. He loved those babies too.” So, good luck to my father-in-law in trying to have a relationship with my son any time soon.

Does he not realize that my son actually loves me and our family? What a doofus. I’m sure he doesn’t even realize that my son isn’t a sweet six-year-old anymore and that he’s capable of having his own thoughts and opinions now.

15. He’s an Over-Controlling Gnome

My husband’s stepfather, who I usually refer to as “Garden Gnome,” is a complete and utter jerk. I haven’t liked him from the very moment I first met him. So some background, Garden Gnome (GG) has been married to my mother-in-law since my husband was around six or seven years old.

GG has always been emotionally harmful to my husband. Very over-controlling and wanting to know every little detail—and I mean every gruesome detail. GG even asked my mother-in-law if she knew whether or not my husband and I were having unprotected intercourse.

Why do you need or want to know what your stepson and his wife do in bed?! He has also often forced my mother-in-law to wear matching outfits with him every day.

He threw a fit at Christmas dinner over the fact that my mother-in-law didn’t set out the “right” clothes for him that morning, because he had wanted to match. They have a sweet little curly-haired dog.

My mother-in-law went on a trip without GG about a week after my husband and I got married, and had us pet sit the dog because she was scared he’d hurt the dog if she wasn’t there to stop him.

The dog was so matted that it looked like he was covered in dreadlocks. GG wouldn’t allow my mother-in-law to get the dog groomed because it was “too expensive,” yet he had no problem buying an RV that they never use. So we ended up getting him groomed on our own dime.

They had to completely shave the dog because the mats were so bad. My mother-in-law can’t eat gluten due to a medical issue. GG gets very angry that she needs to buy a gluten-free pizza whenever they get pizza, because it’s “too expensive.” So every time we see them, I always bake her gluten-free treats.

GG has also expressed anger over the fact that my husband doesn’t call him Dad. Umm, excuse me? My husband’s father is very involved in my husband’s life and is a wonderful person. He already has a dad, so I don’t know why GG thinks that he should be more important than my husband’s actual dad.

Their house is three hours away, so at least I haven’t had to see them very often, not that this makes the situation any better. Anyway, there is an unexpected bright side—and it’s going to ruin my “father”-in-law’s life. My mother-in-law recently decided that she is leaving the Gnome!

She applied for apartments in the area, she talked to a lawyer, and she made an exit strategy! My husband and I were at his grandparents’ place last weekend and his grandpa told me that GG is always on his best behavior around me because he’s scared of me.

For reference, I’m 5’3” tall and 140 pounds, so I’m not exactly physically intimidating. I just don’t hide my resentment for GG and have called him out on his ignorant nonsense before.

So, one weekend, my mother-in-law and GG visited. GG proceeded to mansplain my mother-in-law’s job and how her favorite chair that she sleeps in works. Bruh, you’ve never even sat in the chair!

My mother-in-law called my husband and me the following night and she asked us to come up on the day when she was going to tell GG that she’s filing for divorce, so that there’s a witness if he gets aggressive. We offered to help her move and do anything else she needs.

The apartment that she’s looking at is gorgeous and I’m so excited for her! That weekend was quite the experience. We drove the three hours to my mother-in-law’s house to be with her when she told GG that she was leaving him after 15 years of mental and emotional mistreatment from him.

He took it better than we expected, which isn’t saying much considering that we were expecting him to pretty much ransack the place and attack us.

But at least he didn’t get physically aggressive. He started complaining about their finances and how they’re in debt. Again, they’re in debt mainly because of his purchase of an RV that HE wanted and the house that HE intimidated her into getting.

He’s retired and my mother-in-law is the breadwinner of the family by quite a bit. They only have a joint bank account. Luckily, my mother-in-law created a secret account that she’s been putting money in for a few months. With this account, she’s been able to get an apartment in the area.

He got VERY angry that they’re going to be selling the house and kept trying to find out where my mother-in-law was moving to. But then, it seemed to settle down for a bit. That is, until the next morning…

This man has 12 grandkids and he is so uninvolved in their lives that he doesn’t know the names of the youngest six! One is literally only a few months old. Even I know her name, and I’ve never even seen the kid!

GG texted my mother-in-law the next morning to ask what the kids’ names were. We’re trying to convince my mother-in-law to get a restraining order against GG because he has now accused her of mental and emotional mistreatment over leaving him “destitute in his later years.”

He’s not that old and doesn’t have any medical issues—but it gets even worse. My mother-in-law is a religious leader and Garden Gnome actually called her boss to try and get her fired.

But luckily, my mother-in-law is doing a lot better now that she’s not living with him anymore and is in the process of getting divorce papers drawn up to move the process along. Story credit:

16. My Dad Just Wants to Be a Grandfather

Growing up, my parents were extremely awful towards me. Luckily, since I moved out at the age of 17, my dad has been in therapy, and my mom has grown a shiny spine after seeing my two younger sisters and me act like total bosses in the face of garbage-like misogyny.

Still, I’ve lived at least 1,500 miles away from them for the last ten years, so going home for Christmas scares the heck out of me. Now to the recent story. My dad has “baby rabies.” And “get those girls married” rabies. I don’t really blame him.

My very intense grandma (i.e. his mom) always placed an obsessive level of importance on the three of us getting married and having kids as early as possible. These rabies have been around in my family for many years at this point.

12 years ago, my dad got intoxicated and cried that if he and my mom had only saved up enough money to pay for my wedding, then I would have been married by then. Except for the fact that I was 22 years old and single after breaking up with my terrible boyfriend.

He failed to realize that there were other reasons I wasn’t married beyond their money… Since then, as family friends have grown up, gotten married, and started to have children, my dad has kept close tabs and constantly updated us on every development.

“Do you remember so and so? She was seven years younger than you?…No?…Well, she got married six months ago and they’re now pregnant!!” or “So and so brought her granddaughter over and she’s just the best! I love having babies in the house!”

I get that he’s excited about the idea of being a grandpa, and there’s probably some do-over desires in there since he was so bad when we were growing up that he basically missed out on ages nine through 18 in our lives.

But I don’t think he understands that his words can be painful, especially since my sisters and I would all like to be wives and mothers. So when we were all together, my dad brought up babies again. My middle sister is married to my amazing brother-in-law, and her two best friends were both pregnant.

One has since given birth. So our dad is going on and on about wouldn’t it be cool if my sister and brother-in-law had a baby at the same time to grow up with her best friends’ kids!?

He also asked if we saw all the kids we used to babysit for with kids of their own at Christmas Eve mass!? This comment also made me realize that having 12-year-olds babysitting multiple kids between the ages of two and eight was a really weird thing. Babies, babies, babies!!

But there’s something that he doesn’t know. My sister and brother-in-law do want a baby and have been having trouble getting pregnant.

They had told our other sister and me that morning that they had thought she was pregnant and were so excited to be able to announce it in person over Christmas, but before she could borrow a car and get a pregnancy test without our entire nosy family (myself included) knowing, her period started that day.

They’re positive and hopeful that it will happen soon for them, but they were obviously very bummed and sensitive about the subject at this particular point in time.

But having read stories of difficult parents and in-laws for a month beforehand, in preparation for my visit, instead of letting the situation get awkward, I loudly blurted out, “Dad! Your baby rabies are out of control!!” in a joking tone.

Everybody looked at me awkwardly. I’m a now-sober former heavy drinker, so I don’t blame them. They had about 12 years of me making Christmas uncomfortable as heck for them.

But I cheerfully explained what baby rabies are. Everyone else laughed at how funny they found the subject and name. Then they made some inoculation jokes, and moved on to other topics of conversation.

My dad turned red and asked if he really brings up babies that often. My mom patted his hand and said “Yeah. All the time” and made a joke, lightening the situation while my youngest sister and I teased, “What!? Daily pictures of your grand-puppies aren’t enough!?”

In the last month since, he’s been great in our family chat thread. He was excited that my sister’s best friend gave birth without pushing the whole “But when are YOU going to have babies!?” thing. He has also decided that being a great uncle to my cousin’s kid is perfect for right now.

Long story, I know, but hopefully a bit of a positive post since I know all the difficult behavior becomes overwhelming at times. Thank you all for putting baby rabies, and healthy boundaries, into my vocabulary!

17. I Finally Cut Him Out of My Life

I finally cut my father out of my life this spring. We had been having very little contact for about 20 months previously, after having had a really bad relationship since the spring of 2017.

The only reason he was in my life anyways in the previous eight years, since I moved out at the age of 18 for a whole lot of good reasons, was because I fell for his guilt-tripping.

He treated me badly, endangered my life, and did really terrible things to me for more than a decade. To name a few: after I was taken advantage of by a teenager, he said it was my fault and that I was promiscuous for seducing my poor attacker into betraying his girlfriend.

Yeah, you read that right. After I was forcefully intoxicated and taken advantage of, he called me a bunch of names, blamed me for it, yelled at me, told everyone what a horrible person I was, and made my mother punish me. But that’s not all he did.

He lied to her and told her I had been sleeping around with the whole village, which was not true. He then essentially locked me up at home until it was too late to go to the authorities or the hospital to do anything about it.

He tried to prevent my mother from pressing charges when I was underage and a gang tried to physically attack me for being bisexual, because the lives of the poor gang members shouldn’t be destroyed for attacking a loser like me.

He enabled my brother to physically and mentally harm me for 20 years and tried to force me to continue being mistreated and keeping it a secret because “I deserve it.”

Also, because my not covering it up might destroy the poor guy’s life. He blames me for his favorite child losing friends after he beat me up in front of them.

He grounded me in my room at Christmas so that my brother’s friend could have a “family Christmas” without being bothered by my existence.

He tried to ground me and forbid me to have friends because one dared to tell me it was not normal to be treated the way I was and another one refused to be my brother’s slave. I was 18 at that point and moved out weeks after that.

My dad essentially kept me as a slave whenever my mom wasn’t around. There were times in my life where I was literally starving while he showered his other son with gifts, completely aware of me not having food.

He tells everyone I am insane when I try to complain about any of these things. In the spring, I totally came out of the fog while, at the same time, he started to try everything to destroy my life.

Really everything he could think of. Some incredibly terrible things. You would think he was fine with me cutting him out. He didn’t try to have a relationship with me anymore and instead tried to destroy my life. But no.

He feels that he is entitled to having me as his obedient slave because he impregnated my mother. At least he thinks so.

After I decided that I’d had enough of him pestering her with his fake grief and trying to get information about me, I wrote him a message demanding that he stop asking my loved ones about me and pretending to care for me while still lying about me and trying to destroy my life.

The answer I just received: “You forget that those are my loved ones too. Also, you shouldn’t forget that you owe your existence TO ME. So accept what I do.”

My mom read it and just said, “block him, he’ll never change.” She is currently working on moving out herself, and getting as far away from him as possible. I think she’s right to do that. But really, that sense of entitlement that he has is unbelievable!

Because he had intercourse with someone more than 25 years ago, I now need to be his obedient slave for as long as he lives?

18. I Want to Report Him for Voter Fraud

My father-in-law filled in my husband’s ballot for him during the last election. Yes, for real. He left for an out-of-state job a few weeks before Election Day, but before he left he filled in my husband’s mail-in voter ballot and left it for him to sign.

The audacity! My husband told me about it a few days later, and so we got him a new replacement ballot. We just bought a house and we’re just waiting for underwriting to finish so we can close.

I’m just so annoyed and angry on his behalf and like, he knows that it’s wrong and that’s why he told me, but I know he’s ignoring it just because we’re already taking the steps to deal with all of this and now it’s just down to a couple of weeks and then we’re gone from having to live with him.

Curse him for hovering over my husband’s shoulder every time he votes and forcing or trying to force him to vote exactly as he wants him to.

It’s been nine years since my husband could vote, and he’s never been able to vote in peace because of his father’s imposing ways. And I wanna hit his father for it. Just. No.

I just really wanna report him for voter fraud but I know my husband just wants to keep things calm. So when we close, we can load up without too many problems and get the heck out of there once and for all. I’m just raging and wanting to scream. 

19. He Never Came to My Performances

I feel that I should name my parents. So my mom is Darkness, it’s an inside joke. But my dad is Ego, because it’s his biggest feature. My dad went to one of my dance recitals when I was 12 years old.

He told me that I was awful and that when my brother, who was 9, was that bad at soccer, he made him quit because he didn’t want to waste his money on something he was so bad at.

He then went on to say that he would never go to another one of my dance recitals again. He kept his word. Not that it mattered much. His harsh words led to me quitting dancing soon after.

His words stick with me so much that even five years later when I was cast in my school musical, the very thought of dancing and singing in front of an audience sent me into an anxiety spiral that led to me quitting in favor of a spot on crew.

My mom, on the other hand, has been to every performance and has had nothing but good things to say since the start. Every play, every school concert, every recital, all of them.

In fact, most recently, my school’s Shakespearean plays final night was $60 a ticket because of the particular theater we were in.

I told her not to go because she saw the first performances and it was expensive. She showed up anyway, with flowers and offering me a ride home.

20. I Had an Accident and He Never Forgot

I am a 21-year-old male. When I was six years old and in First Grade, I once accidentally pooped my pants because I was too shy to ask the teacher if I could use the restroom.

When I did it, I came up with a plan like, “Okay, I am going to poop my pants and I’m going to try to make it through the rest of this school day. Then when I get home, I’m going to dump my underwear in the trash.”

However, this plan didn’t quite work out. Other kids knew I had pooped myself because they could see poop stains on my pants and I knew I was stinking.

My teacher called my mother about it, and my mother had to leave work early to come and get me. She escorted me to the bathroom, cleaned me up, and gave me a new pair of underwear.

When I look back at this incident, I laugh. Because it’s a funny story now that I’m all grown up. However, my father is still very negative about it. To this day, he often makes comments like, “I can’t believe you pooped your pants in school.

What the heck is your problem? When you pooped your pants that day, I knew there was something off about you.” I can’t believe he’s holding something against me that I did when I was SIX YEARS OLD! I pooped myself because I was too shy to ask the teacher if I could use the bathroom.

However, I was only six. It was first grade. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only child who ever pooped or peed on themselves. He’s making me feel abnormal about something I did when I was a little kid.

21. My Father-in-Law Hates Cats and Me

My boyfriend and I live in a small apartment side building on his mother’s property that she’s letting us live in. Before we had gotten the cats, we consulted with her and she said it was fine. She loves cats and adores ours.

My father-in-law, on the other hand, hates both cats and me. So we knew right from the start that there could be some issues ahead—but we didn’t know how bad it would get.

We had managed to keep it all a secret, until yesterday when we were cleaning out my father-in-law’s van so that they could go on a road trip for my mother-in-law, who has terminal cancer.

My father-in-law asked my brother-in-law where the scratches on his chest came from. Without thinking twice about it, he says our cat did it. No hate for my brother-in-law. It was an honest slip-up, and clearly not meant badly in any way.

My father-in-law absolutely blew up. He started cussing my boyfriend out and telling him to get the cat out. He literally said he would cut the cats’ heads off if we didn’t get rid of them.

I slipped upstairs to hide our favorite cat since he only knew that we had the one. Everyone was screaming. My father-in-law tried to hit my boyfriend, but the others stood in between them.

All of this happened in the driveway, in broad daylight. My brother-in-law offered to take the cats for protection, and went to his house to get a carrier. While he was gone, my mother-in-law pleaded to my father-in-law to let us keep the cats. Bless her heart.

I hate that she was put in the middle of this on top of dealing with her illness. Whatever she said must have worked, because we are now allowed to have the cats.

The thing is, though, that we still don’t trust my father-in-law, and we need to install some kind of cheap surveillance camera or device somewhere in the apartment to make sure that nothing happens when we’re not around.

In our state, it’s a very serious offense to harm or kill someone’s pet. So if he or one of his employees breaks in to try and do anything, we want a video recording.

22. He Hates Me for Wearing Makeup

So this happened a couple of years ago, when I was first getting together with my girlfriend. I’m a young male that happens to like makeup. Actually any accessories, but that’s beside the point.

My girlfriend, who also adores makeup and who’s absolutely thrilled to be able to dress me up nicely, was going to a pre-planned party with some of her old high school friends that night, and since we lived apart at that point, I stayed in her room for the night.

So I make plans with one of my mates from the area and forget to wash off the nail polish that my girlfriend had put on me the night before, before I exit the house.

We hang out for a while, but his girlfriend comes and picks him up after her shift at this restaurant she works at, so we part ways relatively early in the evening.

I then go home to my girlfriend’s house and spot her parents drinking in the living room. I announce to them that I’m home and that I’ll be in my girlfriend’s room if they need anything.

But her parents are intoxicated at this point and in the mood to mingle, so they wave me over and offer me a glass of something to drink. Me being “the new boyfriend,” I see this as a good opportunity to hang out with them in a less formal setting. I accept their invitation and sit down at the table with them.

OH MAN, have I lived to regret that decision. My father-in-law, immediately spotting my nail polish, goes on a rant about how ugly makeup is for men and starts passive-aggressively threatening me, saying stuff like,

“If I saw you at a bar and didn’t know who you were, I can’t promise you that I wouldn’t beat the heck out of you.”

Yeah, that’s a normal thing to say. So me being rather non-confrontational in this sort of situation, I try to leave the conversation as courteously as I can, saying that I’m sorry he feels this way and that I won’t be making any trouble for him and the family.

However, as I try to leave the room, my mother-in-law, completely absent from the conversation until now, runs over to stop me, saying that I deserve an apology and that I should rejoin the table.

This would turn out to be a futile exercise and another excuse for my future father-in-law to escalate the situation even further. Immediately as I sit down again, he asks me if I’m hiding something from them, suggesting that I’m a “closeted (insert offensive slur here)” and that my girlfriend is covering up for me.

His wife is taking a different route, trying to psychoanalyze me and asking if I was ever mistreated by my peers in elementary school, since I look the way I do. At this point, the “conversation” is rounding its second hour, and I am not being allowed to leave the room. Well, I start making mistakes. I take the bait.

I tell them that it’s none of their business whether or not people mistreated me in elementary school, and I ask her father why my orientation is so important to him. This was the match that lit the kerosene-soaked bonfire.

My future father-in-law stands up, walks over to where I am sitting, calls me a slur once again, and shoves me out of my chair.

I, believing I’m about to be beaten up, maneuver myself out of the room as quickly as I can, run down to my girlfriend’s bedroom, lock the door, and dial up my girlfriend who unfortunately doesn’t pick up her phone.

So, I don’t know anyone in the area, outside of the person I met up with that evening, and I don’t know what to do. I call my parents, but it’s late at night at this point and nobody’s awake.

Not that I had any time to make plans for a departure, as my mother-in-law suddenly comes down after a few minutes and starts crying on my girlfriend’s bed, demanding that I comfort HER.

She cries that she has been terribly embarrassed and inconvenienced by the situation upstairs. To this day, I don’t know why I even let her into the room. After half an hour, she finally leaves the bedroom, and I’m left to my lonesome in a house with two intoxicated sociopaths.

I’m not proud of it, but having no other viable options, I just go to bed, hoping my girlfriend will be home early the next day. Thankfully, she was. I tell her everything and she proceeds to pack bags for us to go to her grandparents’ house, who to this day are none the wiser about the state of affairs at her parents’ house.

So, yeah. That’s pretty much how my introduction to my girlfriend’s family got started. Since then, we’ve gone very little contact with them. And, thankfully, our relationship has never been better.

23. He’s Mad At Me For Doing the Right Thing

I accidentally broke my mum’s favorite mug. Her boss’s wife had bought it for her, and it was an expensive brand, so I immediately ordered a replacement for it. It arrived today, and my dad asked what the parcel was.

When I explained that it was to replace the mug that I had broken, he said “I hope it’s not that one with the guy sitting on the bench.” And when I said it was, he said, “Would she really have missed it?” Maybe she wouldn’t have, but if she broke my favorite mug, I’d hope she’d replace it, so it goes both ways.

He’s now mad at me for…… doing the right thing and trying to be a good person? We’re only in the second week of him working from home and I’ve already had quite enough of it.

24. He’s Corrupting His Grandchildren

My father-in-law has a history of testing boundaries. He loves to talk about “corrupting” his grandchildren and telling them they don’t have to listen to their parents, etc.

A few years ago, he fed my first child “little tastes” of food when he had explicitly been told not to because she was too young. As a result, I now hover like a helicopter every time he, or pretty much anyone for that matter, holds my baby.

We went to Christmas dinner at my sister-in-law’s house, and my father-in-law had my baby. I was trying to keep an eye on my two-year-old and also get a bite to eat for myself. Somehow, I lost track of him and the baby at one point, and when I found them, they were in the kitchen.

I am stressing out, so I figure the best route is direct. I point blank ask him if he has fed my baby anything. His reaction was SO awful. He snarks back with “What, are you gonna smell his breath to check?”

I don’t like playing his games and I can’t be sure that he is teasing, so I take my baby back and return to my seat. When I look up, my father-in-law is putting his coat on and screaming at me, “WELL, IF YOU’RE GOING TO BE A RUDE IDIOT LIKE THAT, YOU CAN JUST STAY THE HECK AWAY FROM MY HOUSE AND MY FAMILY!”

And he storms out. Obviously, this got everyone’s attention, so they ask what happened. Most people seemed to be a bit more on my side, but I don’t know how they really felt because he wasn’t actually around to influence them or make anyone feel the need to voice their support of him.

I did, however, get a lot of “He was just kidding, you know how he is” type things, as well as “I think both of you could have reacted better,” etc. Luckily, I have a wonderful husband, He doesn’t like that there was drama, but he actively has my back on this.

He spoke up in my defense immediately, and he privately spoke to his mother about it at the first available opportunity. He feels that his father has put us in a bad situation. When my father-in-law says or does things that we find inappropriate, especially regarding our children, my options are limited.

Speak up for myself and risk disrespecting him, or let it go and let him get away with his nonsense. My husband thinks I probably did what was best for the situation. Most of his family lets his father do and say whatever he wants all the time.

My husband has always butted heads with his father, but their relationship has improved significantly since adulthood. We aren’t sure where this leaves us just yet. I’ve suggested accepting the ban on coming to his house, rather than a full no contact situation.

We would still see each other at other family get-togethers, but my husband isn’t ready to go that far yet. He says we also won’t accept a rug sweep where everyone just pretends nothing happened, so we need to have some kind of sit-down discussion about the situation.

Sadly, knowing my father-in-law, an actual apology is completely out of the question, so we aren’t setting our bar very high. I think I’m going to request that this discussion take place at a neutral location. We’ll see how it goes.

25. He Doesn’t Understand Children

My father-in-law is offended by his nine-year-old granddaughter. He has been the bane of my existence our entire marriage, which is over 20 years old at this point. He’s one of the most self-absorbed, entitled, and selfish people I have ever met.

He’s the man who said he didn’t need a seeing-eye-dog because, “I have my wife.” Yeah… One day, I went to drop off my youngest son at my in-laws’ place, which is a once-a-week thing.

My youngest daughter, who is nine years old, said on the way over there, “I can’t wait to see Grandma and ask for a popsicle!” We drive up and I send the kids in. I’ve been teaching all day and my feet are DONE IN, so I stay in the car and wave goodbye to everyone.

A few minutes go by, and my mother-in-law comes out. We chat for a minute, then my daughter gets back in the car and we head out. The next day, my husband gets this text from his father: “I want you to know that I am not happy with your daughter.

When she came over this afternoon to help her brother bring his stuff in, the first thing she did before even acknowledging your mother or saying hello to her or giving her a hug was asking if she had a popsicle.”

It went on: “She ran by me without even acknowledging me or saying hello to me or hugging me and she just ran and got her popsicle. When she ran by me I said, ‘Well, hello to you, too,’ and when she came back then she finally hugged me.

I want you to know I am not happy with her. I think she can be, and a lot of times is, a rude person. She was rude to me and your mother today. I’m not mad at you. I just wanted you to know how your daughter acted today.”

Seriously. SERIOUSLY? So much no. Was she rude? Yes. Was she “I’m a 24-year-old entitled adult who does not have to speak to anyone to get what I want” kind of rude? Heck no. She was a “nine-year-old kid who is oblivious” kind of rude. Did she need to be called out on it? Sure.

You know, because she’s a child?? My husband said, “She feels very comfortable at your house and so doesn’t feel the need to be extremely formal when she comes over there. Though if you would prefer that, we can teach them to be when they come over there.”

His response? “I don’t recall telling you that she is a rude person.” WHAT? Those were your EXACT WORDS. They are literally RIGHT THERE IN WRITING, in the very conversation we are still having!! He did later say that he got his wife to read the message back for him, and realized that he did say that.

He apologized, which I really appreciated, but the fact is that this is what he really thinks. He said, “She’s more interested in getting something for herself than she is in being nice and polite to people like me and your mother.”

This is getting long, so I’ll wrap up with a couple more thoughts. What’s with the “your daughter” and “your mother” stuff? Why can’t he just say their names? I don’t understand what that’s supposed to be communicating.

And finally, the “I’m not mad at you, I just wanted you to know…” thing. Do you think I give a freaking flying flip whether you’re mad at me or not? I’m mad at YOU for the way you’ve spoken about my daughter!!

I mean, how does a person get to that age without realizing that this is not normal behavior? I don’t think I’m overreacting by being annoyed about this whole experience.

26. He Wants to Know My Location at All Times

Background: My dad has some mental issues. While he has his moments of crazy, they often come from being raised by my horrible grandparents. I know that my dad has good intentions, but he doesn’t have a good concept of normal sometimes.

For reference, I am an adult and have been one for a while. Now, here comes the twisted story. My dad has a club that he attends and is very active in, made up of mostly older men united by a common hobby.

They lost contact unexpectedly with one of their members for a week and were very concerned until he could be located. This club’s solution was for everyone to voluntarily share their location via a location-sharing app. Keyword: voluntarily.

But my dad now wants to make another group with the same app for just my immediate family to share our locations with each other at all times. I do not want to do this, because when I was a young adult I fought very hard to not have to send them a check-in text every night.

I know if I give my location, my dad will check it every night to make sure I got home, and if I am anywhere unusual or out later than he thinks I should be, he will text me about it. I know because that’s exactly what he used to do and why I made this boundary in the first place.

It also bothers me that instead of asking me if I’d be okay with doing that, he said “I am asking you to do this,” which with him really means “I am telling you to do this, but I’m trying to be polite about it.”

I see the point of knowing a family member’s location if they are on a trip somewhere and I voluntarily check in when I am traveling long distances.

But I am an adult and I feel like my parents knowing my location all the time would be infantilizing. They see it as being able to find me quickly if something really bad should happen to me.

Am I being the jerk here by not wanting to install the app? Is there a middle ground where I can maintain my sense of privacy while still soothing my parents, and especially my dad’s fears?

Is there a polite way to maintain my boundary or am I being paranoid? Apparently, he tried to volunteer me to join the group, without my consent, even after my mother told him not to ask as she thought I’d say no.

When I did initially say no, things were rough. He first tried to argue, to which I said I wasn’t changing my mind, to which he claimed he wasn’t trying to change my mind.

If past behavior holds true, that will be the last I hear of it until the next new way of creepily stalking your family arrives on the scene. Thank you all for listening. Y’all are good people.

27. He Never Asks How I’m Doing

I’m currently a little over five months pregnant and I haven’t gotten as much as a “how are you doing” from my dad. But my mom and dad still talk regularly even though they have been divorced for 14 years.

And if my dad isn’t complaining about his current wife, he’s talking to her about how excited he is to be a grandfather. Weird coming from a guy who literally doesn’t speak to me.

In fact, on the rare occasions that our paths do cross, he treats me like I’m still 12 years old, so I’m not sure where he’s getting these ideas that he’s gonna be an active grandfather in my child’s life. His wife also just gave birth, so at the age of 28, I’m a big sister…again.

I called my dad to congratulate him on his new baby, and he said thank you. He was trying to make small talk about his new child, then the conversation turned to,

“Oh, I can’t wait to babysit my first grandchild, take her to do activities that a parent would usually do, and for her to have play dates and sleepovers with her uncle,” basically parent-free visits.

I’d like for my child to know her young aunt and uncle, so I’m not opposed to play dates, but I told him over the phone that I’m not okay with unsupervised visits, so sleepovers would probably be a no.

Also, you live an hour away, so it’s inconvenient for you to babysit. He just went silent and said we will see about that.

My father never made the effort to interact with me after my parents got divorced, didn’t try to get to know my husband, tried to make any milestone I had all about himself, and just doesn’t even know anything about who I am as a person.

So I don’t know if he’s going to try and treat my daughter as a do-over. To make matters more difficult, my mom keeps saying that I need to give my father another chance.

28. He’s a Yeller

So this one actually has a somewhat happy ending. My father was always a yeller. He loved to go nuts on everyone, and scream and tower over my mother and me. He never physically hit me, but the mental and verbal mistreatment was always pretty darn rough.

It all came to a head during my junior year of college. I attended a university that was about two hours away from my hometown. My parents had ended up splitting up during my freshman year, and they were living apart at this point.

I would mostly spend breaks with my mother, for obvious reasons, but I kept trying to make things work between me and my dad. My mother decided to divorce him, which made my dad’s anger problems even worse. To the point that anything would make him go off.

Now, I was formally diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and PTSD during my university days. At the time of my junior year, I had just started taking antidepressants.

They really messed with my energy levels, and I was tired all the time anyway. Well, all of this leads up to say that at the end of one of my visits, it was my dad’s turn to drive me back to university.

Now, we were meant to leave early in the afternoon. But I woke up feeling very sick. Both my mom and I let him know that I was not feeling well and would be late getting to his house.

I stayed in bed most of that day and was finally feeling well enough to travel by around 4:00 PM. So at that time, my mother packed me up, and drove me to my father’s house. That’s where things took a turn for the worse.

Now, when I got there, he was clearly very angry. So I did my usual stay quiet and scrunch up to stay small routine. I quickly grabbed my things that I’d left at his house and we started the drive back. About ten minutes away from the house, I realized that I had left my medication behind.

I asked my dad to turn back so I could get it. His reaction was truly vile. He started shouting full volume at me. His car, I should mention, was a two-seater convertible. It was a very small car and we were very close together.

So he’s shouting at me at the top of his lungs, gesturing in my face, and I’m just trying to keep it together. The second we make it back to his house, I get out of the car and slam the door. I honestly did not mean to slam it.

My hands felt numb because I was that afraid. And in the scariest tone I ever heard, he called me a jerk. I ran full tilt inside the house and locked myself in the bathroom.

I was crying and having a panic attack. I refused to come out and he was banging on the door. I demanded to speak to my mother. He called her up. I heard him speaking to her but the sound was muffled.

He came back and said, “Your mother doesn’t want to deal with you! She isn’t coming to get you. So you better come out and get in the car. Now.” Now, my mom has had her bad moments from time to time.

And I was so panicked and upset that I didn’t question it. We drove back to my school and he dropped me off in front of my dorm. He took my bags out of his trunk, tossed them on the ground, and drove away.

I called my mom once I got inside and asked her why she hadn’t come to get me. That’s when I found out the devastating truth. She had no idea what I was talking about. Turns out my dad had never actually told her about the situation. She had no idea that I had been locked in the bathroom, nothing.

He had lied to me. And that was it. That was the final straw. I wrote my dad an email. It was long and I detailed every hurt and major issue that he had ever caused for me. But I ended it by telling him: Today I was terrified of you.

I believed that you would have hurt me or done even worse to me. And you lied to me to get your way. Something you have never done before. And something you promised you would never do. You broke that trust and now it is gone.

I told him he needed serious counseling. And he would never be allowed in my life again until he got help. I told him he would never walk me down the aisle at my wedding. That if I had children he would never see them. Not unless he changed. And really changed.

Then I went full no contact. For nine months, I didn’t call, text, or email him. Nothing whatsoever. If he tried to reach out, I ignored him. I was in therapy then and used that to help me deal with it. Nine months later, I was in a play at my university. It was a bit part, nothing special at all.

But my dad had seen it advertised on my university website and had noticed my name in the cast list. One night, after a show, I walked into the audience. I was going to go out with friends to eat.

But I got an unexpected surprise. My dad was there. He was holding flowers and gave them to me. I was speechless and a little afraid. But then my dad, on his own volition, apologized to me.

He got choked up and was fighting back real tears. He said he was very sorry for what he did and that my words had hurt him. But he also said that he had taken a step back and looked at his behavior, and he was horrified by what he had become.

He told me that he decided that he loved me more than wanting to be “right.” He had sought out a therapist and had been in counseling for the past eight or nine months. He didn’t force his company on me.

He just apologized, told me that he was getting help, and told me that he would always answer any call or communication from me if I ever wanted to reach out.

That was nearly ten years ago. I checked up on his claims, and he was telling the truth. He and I had a couple of sessions together where I went and talked to his therapist with him. My dad has never tried to justify any of his past behavior or mistreatment. He never blamed me again.

He had a darn good therapist and saw them for several years. My fiancé and I are not going to be having children. But my dad will be walking me down the aisle at our wedding. My mom will be too. My dad has helped me move across the country.

He has financially supported me and has talked me through anxiety attacks and depressive episodes. He has learned to be patient and is kinder than I have ever dreamed possible.

And it’s all because he decided that he loved me more than being right. That his love for me was more important than his anger. So if you made it this far, thanks for sticking with me!

My dad is one of the very rare problematic parents who actually became a good one through hard work and serious effort. And it was because he took a long hard look at himself and chose his daughter and love over rage. The end.

29. He Loves to Guilt Us

So the relationship between myself, my boyfriend, and his father is, uh, precariously cordial at this point.

My father-in-law uses the fact that he helps pay for my boyfriend’s truck, insurance, and phone bill to intimidate and guilt him into spending inordinate amounts of time “helping the family,” which is usually just a guise to get my boyfriend to spend time around him because he has zero friends of his own.

More notably, he tries to lasso us into babysitting his elementary school-aged daughter, AKA my boyfriend’s half-sister, who he has limited visitation with. He wants us to do this so that he can go on dates or attempt to go to the gym.

Afterward, he got upset at us—and the way he lashed out was devastating. He emptied out my boyfriend’s bank account. This was all because we did not swing by at the drop of a hat to babysit for him the day before our finals last December.

After that incident, we took several steps to distance ourselves from him. We got a new bank account that he doesn’t know about or have access to. I started a new higher-paying job and I let him know that my schedule is no longer open to random babysitting requests at the last minute.

This resulted in him being left high and dry several times when he wanted me to help him with his little one. For the most part, he pulled back after this and things were okay for a while.

I didn’t see the little one or my father-in-law until her birthday in May, and that was mainly because I actually wanted to see her. She can be a little brat, but I can’t deny that I do care about the little goof.

In June, though, we did agree to help him watch the little one in the mornings so that he could go to the gym, as he had her for the entire month.

He initially wanted us to do this for free, but I flat out said that this wasn’t an option, given the gas per week that we’d be paying for in order to help him out.

He agreed to fill up our tank once a week. We drive a truck, so this was actually a good deal for us. Plus, he also agreed to pay us $250 for our time each month.

At times, he took advantage of our generosity and wouldn’t return to the house until 2:00 in the afternoon, which was three hours past the previously agreed upon ending time.

However, the biggest benefit that my boyfriend got out of this was that his relationship with the little one has made significant progress. Her mom talks very badly about my boyfriend to her and it hurt him to have his little sister disdain him so blatantly.

But by the end of June, she was excited to see him daily and to hang out with him by going to the pool, playing video games together, biking, etc. During all of this, my father-in-law has been in a custody battle with his ex-wife, who is a major jerk for a variety of reasons.

He initially just wanted more time with the little one and tried to settle out of court, but that didn’t happen. So now they’ve been in and out of court on a constant basis for the last year or so at least.

They’re reaching the finale though, with temporary custody orders scheduled to be made in the next month or so. This brings us to what he did last night. He made the most nonsensical proposal to my boyfriend while I was at work.

Prior to my boyfriend moving out of his father’s house and moving in with me, he managed to hook his father up with a fellow college student to rent out the extra room in their house too for an extra $400 a month.

After my boyfriend left, the student continued to rent from my father-in-law and has been doing so for about a year. We’ll call that student “A.”

My boyfriend and I were initially renting a room from a friend, but we recently moved into an apartment very close to our college campus that has a ton of amenities and locational benefits that will help us save even more money.

We have two other roommates, but they’re seldom here and it’s been wonderful having our own place so far. Yesterday night, however, my father-in-law told my boyfriend that he was worried that his ex-wife would try to use the fact that A was still living in father-in-law’s house to keep him from getting more time with her.

His master plan was to ask us to take A’s place in his house for $400 a month, and then he would give A $500 to take our room in our new apartment.

Y’all. When my boyfriend told me about this, I had to stop myself from straight-up going off on the messenger. Never mind that I pay $200 more than A does a month for our apartment, so there’s no telling if A would even be willing to pay the extra money.

Not to mention the extra $500 wouldn’t do much for him in the long term. But that’s just the first problem.

Even if I were comfortable moving into his house, which I’m not, we would not be saving any money because the extra gas and Lyft and Uber expenses would quickly eat through our entire budget.

On top of this, the bathroom attached to the room does not have a functional toilet. A uses the one downstairs, and my father-in-law has told A that if he wants the A/C lowered then he’d have to pay extra for it.

I can already tell you that I’d have to pay extra because the second floor gets unbearably hot during the summer, and I’m not going to sweat in my sleep every night.

So effectively, he’s asking us to pay him $500-ish a month to live under his rules. Now, the easiest thing to do in my humble opinion is to simply talk to A, explain the situation (which he already knows about to a good degree), and let him know that if the courts deem his presence an issue, he will be put on a 30-day notice to leave.

He rents month to month, and there is no signed lease. My boyfriend’s younger brother, who will also be attending our university, will be back from service training in the next few weeks, and he can stay in A’s room. Bam, problem solved.

However, my father-in-law doesn’t want to lose the $400 per month if he doesn’t have to by prematurely evicting A, hence spoiling his brilliant freaking workaround.

Despite my boyfriend trying to tell his dad that these ideas and schemes seem overly complicated, he refused to listen and instead asked if we could come over on Saturday morning to talk about it.

I am so ready to take him to task over all of this nonsense and let him know that not only is his plan convoluted and absurd, but that there is literally no net benefit for me or my boyfriend to go along with this.

Our entire life would be more expensive, more stressful, and more inconvenient. Trying to finish up our schooling while dealing with his incessant lectures and blatant time-wasting would not exactly be a walk in the park either.

We also highly suspect he’s pushing my boyfriend to do this because then he’ll have all his kids under the same roof again. And as I’ve stated before, this man has no friends, is lonely, and is obsessed with trying to force his idea of being a family onto his children.

He’s made multiple attempts and comments to my boyfriend about him moving back in, but each time my boyfriend shuts him down. He’s almost certainly not going to take our refusal well, but I really don’t care at this point.

I’m not your daughter and you don’t pay squat for me. I have zero obligation to put my own life into a more difficult position just to help you out, when you won’t even treat my boyfriend and me as adults with our own priorities and our own free will. 

30. He Lives in Our Backyard

My father-in-law and I do not have a good relationship. Last night, it finally escalated. He lives in our backyard still, but we mostly had a silent understanding that we would keep away from each other as much as possible to keep the peace and spare my wife any hardship.

I’d do my best to keep up with household chores and work, and he pays for our groceries in lieu of rent or anything else.

The reason we have this arrangement is that he hasn’t been working on our property like he originally said he was going to do to earn his keep around here. What pushed him over the edge last night was that two nights ago he bought dinner for all of us.

I went and picked it up, but did not take his food out to him right away. My reasoning for this was because A) I genuinely thought he was going to come into the house and get it,

and B) I was on the phone with my wife trying to find out if she was going to be stuck in Seattle overnight in the middle of some chaos, because the curfew was blocking her path to the ferry terminal, so I was feeling rather anxious and distracted by that.

Last night, he came in fuming about his food not being delivered to him while it was still hot. I tried to explain to him the reasoning for why that happened and I sincerely apologized for the confusion. His reaction was truly horrifying.

At this point, he reached out and put me in a chokehold. I fought back and he wrestled me to the ground, continuing to attempt to choke me out before my wife came downstairs and broke us up.

She said that was fine and that she would back me up if I ever felt that I needed to do that. 12 hours later, I’m anxious and shaken up. I already had to take my emergency anxiety medicine. And I’m finding it hard to concentrate on work today.

I’ve already informed my closest friends of what happened and they all agree that I’m being too lenient and should have called the authorities on him right away.