When it comes to marriage, in-laws can play a significant role in the success or failure of the relationship. Sometimes, they may see red flags that their children are blind to or choose to ignore. In a popular online thread, in-laws were asked to share the moments they realized their kids’ marriages were doomed, and their responses were eye-opening. From secret texts to infidelity and lack of communication, in-laws can see warning signs that their children may be unable or unwilling to acknowledge.
1. The Repeat Cheater
“Was the sister-in-law. The first time she and I went somewhere together she said, ‘Your brothers kind of been upsetting me off lately. Do you think I should cheat on him again?’ To which I asked if he knew about the others, and she informed me he did not. I told her, ‘He will now.’ They divorced shortly after,” one woman recalled.
2. The Not-So-Covert Gold Digger
“Sister here. Thankfully this marriage never happened; the relationship ended shortly after the proposal, but I knew my brother’s fiancee was a gold digger within an hour of first talking to her. My brother makes a ton of money, and I’m pretty sure that she latched onto him because she wanted him to pay her credit card and student loan debts. There were so many red flags; I’m kinda shocked that my brother managed to ignore them all.
When I asked her what she liked about my brother, she said, “Uhhhhhh…. well, he has a really high-paying job, and he’s good at fixing things, so he’s pretty useful, hahaha!!” She also kept talking about how she was taking time off from medical school, and it became really obvious to me that she was trying to use marriage as a way to drop out of medical school completely and live off of my brother’s money.
She also spent the entire time talking about designer bags and dresses and how she’d been taking out loans to buy herself thousands of dollars worth of bags. I hung out with her for a few hours, and by the end of it, I was 100% sure she didn’t like him as a person at all. I ended up telling my mom, who told my brother, and he confronted her, and she admitted to all of it, and they broke up,” another sister-in-law shared.
3. The Alcoholic Bum
One daughter-in-law shared her opinion on her mother’s new husband. “So my mother recently married a man that she knew in high school (they didn’t see each other for 20 years, then reunited and got engaged within 3 months). He had no car, no job, and was living with his dad at 40 years old. She didn’t even know he was an alcoholic until after they were engaged. He slurred through the vows at their wedding!”
4. The Complainer
A brother-in-law shared an experience he had with his sister-in-law. “I was the brother-in-law. She would call me all the time when I lived in Maryland to complain about my brother. When I lost my job and moved back home, she was constantly pulling me aside to have small conversations.
When we went out one time, she sat down next to me and asked me which guy in the bar I would be okay with her cheating on my brother with.”
5. The Insensitive Liar
“The red flags were many (and neon, possibly visible from space), but the biggest one for me was the day I first met her. She was younger than me (my brother is 10+ years my senior), and she asked me if I thought he’d get a credit card with her. She had a laundry list of things she wanted. I did the math, and they were in excess of 10K.
If there is a runner-up flag, it’s the day my dad died about two months after I met her (and four months of brother and her dating). She went to her boss and started a fight, losing her job. She demanded to ride in the family car (cause girlfriend of 4 months totally counts, apparently).
She told my brother she was pregnant that same day (she had told me at the first meeting that she knew she could not get pregnant at all). They were engaged on the day of the funeral. She also tried to walk off with some things my very upset mother gave her (I put them back) and called me the b-word twice. I was in my early twenties and had just lost my father. Such a nice woman.
They just divorced this year, from what I hear. She’s got some new boy toy, and I hope someone stops her before she sucks him dry, too,” one sister-in-law recalled.
6. The Unreliable Junkie
“My sister dated a guy for years. It was rocky and not healthy in any way, but it was by far the best relationship she’d ever been in. I was coming around to the possibility that he might become my brother-in-law.
She dumped him. 2 weeks later, she moved in with a guy who was still very much the junkie she had been trying to stop being herself. He told my Mormon parents stories about wandering around the highway on acid and being cursed in Africa. He had an explosive temper, zero prospects or desire for prospects, and brought out the worst in her. They got married 8 months later.
They stayed married for a decade. She stopped doing drugs (but still drinks, although only occasionally to excess), finished school, went to nursing school, and got her master’s. He kept a job for a few months once. When he fell off the wagon again and stole and sold a bunch of her stuff and then broke into my parents’ place to steal and sell their stuff, they finally divorced. He kept stalking her for a while, mainly looking for fix money. Haven’t heard anything recently, probably because she has a boyfriend who is interested in being a better person and truly cares about her and her well-being,” one person shared.
7. The Angry Nut-Lover
“It was the holidays, and my sister and her husband were buying gifts at a mall. They stopped at a little cart selling spiced nuts. They bought some. They also each got to have a sample. She was holding both his and hers, and he asked her to hold some stuff for him and to free up her hand; without really thinking, she ate his sample nut.
Even though they had just bought a package of them, he lost his mind about it and wouldn’t speak to her for the rest of the day because she ate his sample. His anger was always disproportionate like that. I knew it couldn’t last much longer at that point,” another in-law shared.
8. The Pre-Wedding Regret
One person told the story of their aunt, who announced right before she walked down the aisle that she knew she was going to regret marrying her husband.
“Legendary family story is when my aunt was finishing getting ready the morning of her wedding and turned to my mom and said, “I know I’ll regret this.” And walked into the hallway to wait to walk down the aisle. My mom tried to talk to her and tried to talk her out of going ahead with the wedding, but she shooed her off and got married.
She knew what she was talking about. Within a year, he’d cheated on her, and within a few years, they’d finally divorced. The guy still comes to some family events because they had a kid together, my oldest cousin, and the weirdest part is he acts all buddy-buddy like he’s still part of the family. Oh well.”
9. The Man-Hopper
Another person told the story about their cousin, who married so many men in a short period of time that the commenter didn’t even bother to show up to the most recent one.
“My cousin got pregnant at 16 and married the father at 17. They were split up 8 months later and divorced on their one-year anniversary. She proposed to her next boyfriend a few months after that but accused him of cheating on her and broke off the engagement less than two weeks later. She then met and married another man a few years later at age 21, remained married to him for three years, and then filed for divorce, stating that ‘she wanted to divorce him before she did something she would regret.’
A few weeks after that, she was pregnant with the child of her fourth man/significant other/beau (at this point, it doesn’t really matter what you call them). She married him at 26 years old. I skipped the wedding. My mother called me after the wedding, angry that I hadn’t bothered to show. My response only made her madder-
‘Mom, we both know she’s just gonna have another one in a few months.'”