The Poison Red Pill, Mother-in-law edition

One of the reasons I am no fan of “Red Pill Women” is their blithe disregard for historical social norms around family relationships while claiming to have rediscovered “Red Pill Truths”.

This post is a case in point.  My responses are in bold

A friend of mine lives with her son, daughter in law, and their two kids aged 4 and the younger is 8 months, both boys. They have the average blue pill life going, and while they are frantically trying harder and harder to work the script, it’s just not working.

They both have better than average jobs. They live in a ritzy neighborhood in a brand new house they just built. They drive brand new cars, wear name brand everything, and from all outside appearances they are a success. Living the American dream.

Except it’s really a house of cards. The couple spends every penny they have and then some. They are fortunate to have my friend living there and taking care of the kids, the cooking, and the cleaning in exchange for room and board because if they did not have that, they would be thousands even more underwater a month than they are.

The blogger “Red Pill Girl” (who is in her 40s) is friends with a mother in law (husband’s mother) who is serving as full time live in household help.  This is important.

Despite this they are busy spending, spending, spending anyway. Planning a two week vacation to Hawaii. Buying a boat. Impressing their friends with their latest and greatest aquisitions.

But the cracks are beginning to show. He confessed to his mother that he hates his life, feels trapped, wants to run away to Hawaii and leave it all behind. He’s even hinted at suicidal thoughts, feeling he is in over his head and despite working 60 hours a week, just can’t get ahead.

This is a classic unhealthy dynamic between an adult son and his mother.  This kind of thing isn’t supposed to be for your mother once you’re a married man.  There used to be broad social norms about how this was inappropriate for his mother to dish to her friend “Red Pill Girl” that Red Pill Girl would have been very aware of and nipped in the bud.

His wife shows little interest in her children, leaving the majority of their care to her mother in law. She pops pain pills and laxatives and despite being rail thin worries that she’s fat. She’s constantly going to doctors, insisting something is wrong, but they can’t seem to figure it out. (I wonder if she tells them about the pills? That may be the problem…) She works in a medical office as an assistant, but she says she wants to do something else, from home, but she doesn’t know what or take any steps to make it happen.

We are not told how interested the wife was in having her husband’s mother move in and take a role as a backup wife, but Red Pill Girl is very quick to note the wife’s lack of child caring as a negative, along with presenting her hypochondria in a negative light and not at all connecting it with the fact that the mother in law does everything house-related, making a point to leave absolutely nothing to her son’s wife except fretfulness and discontent.  The wife is in a bind.  If she’s at home too, what’s the utility for mother in law now?  As long as mother in law makes wife feel constantly insecure and desperate for identity via work, she can continue to be the main woman in her son’s life.  Notice that mother in law makes no suggestions or offers support to getting wife into a work at home position.  And mother in law apparently is too busy talking smack about her son’s wife to her friend to include the wife in the running of the household.

Yesterday, a box arrives in the mail from Blue Apron. Despite the fact that my friend is a gourmet cook who makes everything from scratch, even putting entire meals together ready to just put in the oven and bake, the daughter-in-law decides what they really “need” to make life worth is this dinner in a box that all her friends are doing.

I suppose it’s convenient, it all comes packed together, just what you need, ready to assemble into a “home cooked” meal. But that convenience is expensive, about $40 a day and she’s signed up to get 6 dinners a week. The amount of packaging is another issue, there is an incredible amount of waste associated with keeping all the fresh ingredients cold and protected in transit. All that — trash.

Gee, the wife desperately flails at something she can do for her family that mother in law can’t and isn’t familiar with and she still gets sneered at for doing “what her friends are doing”…by her mother in law’s friend.  Hm.  Interesting.  Also note the complaints about expense when both parents work outside the home and don’t have free time, just income and credit access.  And a mother in law very set on maintaining her role as the household manager and lady of the house instead of the actual lady of the house.

I would predict this couple will soon crash head first into some serious financial problems, and their marriage likely will not survive. Another broken family, thanks to the blue pill. I hope not but all signs say they are hell bent on barreling down this path right toward their doom. Sad.

My friend advised her son, “Finish the landscaping around the house and then SELL IT. Get out from under all this mess and live a simpler life and be happy.”

I hope he listens….

The reason I picked this tale of a dishy, manipulative mother in law to discuss the problems with Red Pill thinking is that this entire post is presented to us by the mother in law’s friend as *#(%@)%)% “Blue Pill Problems”.  What colored pills have to do with your mother in law moving in and taking over your house is apparently not on the radar of this Red Pill Woman.  That is, this has very little to do with sexual dynamics of the normal sort.  And in times past, let’s call them Blue Pill days of yore, what this mother in law was doing to undermine the household and marriage would be considered socially unacceptable and she would be judged poorly for it by other women, not lauded as some kind of saint.  

What’s going on here is well known as a mother-in-law problem and there are several different approaches by culture for dealing with pushy and domineering mother in laws, but when one is blinded by the poison of Red Pill thinking, it’s impossible to see the actual problems that family has (as presented in this post from a third party) and instead it all becomes about how the husband is too beta and the wife just isn’t submitting enough.  Which is not quite what the problem is there.  

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45 thoughts on “The Poison Red Pill, Mother-in-law edition

  1. Well said. The red pill girl ideology is simple, just find a wife to shame, mock, and ridicule, and than you will get lots of daddy attention from the so called red pill men.

    It’s somewhat tragic but a bit humorous, too. Actual men secure in their masculinity would never allow that dynamic to take place in any setting. They are wise to the ways of women and do not allow such childish power games to develop. Both Red Pill Girl and MIL are playing pretty princess games with the son, as in “I’m the prettiest princess and he loves me more than he loves his wife.” Healthy women don’t play those games, but broken ones sure do.

    Like

  2. Good find!

    I haven’t read any of the commentary (which I expect will be richly entertaining), but here are some thoughts on the original post:

    1. Why the heck is the couple’s a blue pill/red pill issue? It sounds like a case for Dave Ramsey and family counseling (Step 1–stop complaining to your mom who lives with you about your wife–talk to your wife and Step 2–find a condo for your mom in Florida). I feel like making this a blue pill/red pill issue is all smoke and mirrors to cover up the fact that this is just a classic MIL/DIL conflict and that the MIL has inserted herself between the husband and wife.

    2. I expect a big part of the appeal of the two weeks in Hawaii is getting away from MIL–and that’s possibly true of a lot of their other out-of-line spending as well.

    3. This couple’s two children are small and this is one of the typically most difficult times for a couple–even without a critical MIL in residence.

    4. I like the idea of downsizing. I suggest a smaller house without a bedroom for MIL.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Now I’ve read the TPC post.

    I also deduct HUGE points from MIL for betraying her son’s confidences and private information about her DIL to MIL’s friend. That alone would be reason to boot her out in my book.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Now that I’m reading the thread over there:

    1. Nobody is criticizing the MIL’s encroachment yet. As TPC indicated, in Red Pill Land, as long as you’re criticizing another woman, you’re golden.

    2. I’m from a family full of male workaholics and I scoff at the idea that 60 hours a week of work is absolutely crushing this guy and making him suicidal. It might be 60 hours of work + long commute + parenting little kids + wife/MIL issues that is crushing him, but I doubt that just the work is doing that. Also, come to think of it, as long as he’s working, he doesn’t have to be home with his wife and mom at the same time.

    3. The blogger wrote this in the comments:

    “My friend is not only an amazing cook, she’s an Italian cook — which is like over the top cook. I think it is more about a power struggle between the husband and wife than anything here, the wife wants it all and she wants it now. Very entitled. Not good. She’s 1st generation Russian. Apparently they met when she saw him in a club and came up and sat in his lap. He feel for her right off. She’s very much a spender, he tries to make her happy, but it’s just more, more, more… Sad. She’s not a happy person either, despite all she has. I don’t think she has any idea what’s wrong — she’s living a very empty superficial life. Looks good from the curb, tho!”

    a. Maybe DIL doesn’t want Italian food every freaking night? I know I wouldn’t.

    b. So much for the myth of the amazing magical Eastern European woman.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well I would have been happy to tell the friend to tell the MIL to butt out, she’s overstepping her boundaries, but of course I am persona non grata in the red pill arena and can’t comment. So here goes, tell Mama to leave her son and his wife alone. I know she thinks she’s helping, but she’s robbing both the wife and husband of their power. Also, it would be awfully hard to be attracted to a man who still needs his mama like that.

      Like

  5. Yes, this everything is either a red pill or blue pill issues is like black and white thinking. Everyone sure loves their colors.

    “Another broken family, thanks to the blue pill.”
    Whatever happened to blaming sin or satan or just plain old worldliness for broken families. That is what makes the red pill cultish.

    “There used to be broad social norms about how this was inappropriate for his mother to dish to her friend “Red Pill Girl” that Red Pill Girl would have been very aware of and nipped in the bud.”

    Yes, and the amount of detail sharing here…and her relaying all this online is another form of gossiping. Telling her she pops pain pills…jeesh.

    Anyone notices the amount of stories and friends these women have? Its like they always have a friend to conveniently fit every single scenario?

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Yes, and the amount of detail sharing here…and her relaying all this online is another form of gossiping. Telling her she pops pain pills…jeesh.”

      Right. And some of this information sounds like the product of snooping through medicine cabinets.

      “Anyone notices the amount of stories and friends these women have? Its like they always have a friend to conveniently fit every single scenario?”

      Yeah.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. “They are fortunate to have my friend living there and taking care of the kids, the cooking, and the cleaning in exchange for room and board because if they did not have that, they would be thousands even more underwater a month than they are.”

    Fortunate? At what cost though. Of course the friend though would never be blamed for the possible break up of the marriage. Its the blue pill! A case could be made that the MIL is enabling. It appears she is helping just like it appears this family has it all together, but the help is an appearance. It helps to break up a relationship.

    As much we talk here about how much women could use more help, certainly you need to be wise about the type of help you invite into your home.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The funniest part is that the men take a woman’s word on another woman’s word. LOL It’s third hand gossip and hearsay probably veering into calumny.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Booky, they only take a woman’s word if the woman is telling them how horrible another woman is. If they were telling them something good, then the men would accuse them of lying. I know that at least one of the manospherians is Catholic and makes that very plain; yet he curiously hasn’t said a word to this “lady” about her gossip. If it’s true, it’s calumny; if it is not true, it is detraction. And both are mortal sins in Catholic theology depending on the maliciousness of the person doing it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I doubt this story is true. Either it’s completely fabricated, or the person telling it is embellishing massively on a situation she knows about.

    I think you’re correct that this would be a weird dynamic if it were true, but most situations like this irl involve career women who are perfectly happy to have the livein help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think at the very least it’s all being filtered through the storytelling lens of the enmeshed Italian mother in law who is just trying to protect her darling little son from the pain-pill-popping woman who is hurting him so!

      Which is why I am surprised there is no paragraph about the wife’s vagina having teeth.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. More:

    1. In comments, the Blue Apron orders have put mom into such a snit that she’s stopped cooking and cleaning. So, it looks like the home team has scored a goal!

    Russian Wife 1 Italian Mom 0

    It looks like there was some point to the expensive Blue Apron order!

    2. On reflection, there is a common Russian family format where mom and dad both work full-time and grandma is in charge of the home front. (Or, alternately, mom works full-time, dad is out of the picture, and grandma is in charge of the home front.) This family may be getting their cultural scripts confused.

    3. There’s no way that the Russian wife is behind the drive to buy a boat. Hawaii, sure, the boat, no. (Or I give it a 10% or less chance of it being her.)

    There’s a really obvious thing going on in the story given where all the “bad” stuff is automatically assumed to be the wife’s doing, as if the son just accidentally wound up with a new car and expensive clothes. (There are families–like my own–where the husband almost never buys himself any clothing, but in that case MIL would have to acknowledge that DIL isn’t completely useless, since she’s buying the son’s clothes for him.)

    I believe psychologists call this splitting: the son gets to be all good, while all the bad stuff gets blamed on the wife.

    4. If the MIL got her druthers, her son would do what MIL says and DIL would do what the son tells her to do–so Red Pill as submission to MIL

    5. I am often puzzled by talk of “designer” clothes. Every piece of clothing has a designer. What are we talking about? Also, it’s often possible to get nice stuff at excellent discounts, so you can’t really tell how much people paid. I often hear people judgily mentioning this, but clothes really aren’t a major expense in the modern American household–or not as much as they used to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Anecdote alert:

    I was out for a jog a couple weeks ago and passed the house of a family we do not know at all. I recognized the (very) old woman sitting outside on early mornings when it is cool enough to be out there, but I’d usually wave or make some other gesture of acknowledgement and keep going. She would do the same.

    On this particular morning she kind of flagged me down because she needed someone to talk to. I didn’t really have time for that but I felt like it would be the neighborly thing to do.

    She started right in on her son in law being a ?!*): and how she has no idea why he doesn’t like her since she never says anything out of order. He may be a so and so (I certainly had no way of knowing) but it wasn’t lost on me that she shared the fact that she is living in his house with him and her daughter.

    I listened for a few more minutes and then asked her if it was okay for me to pray for her. She agreed and I prayed for her, not forgetting to thank God that her son-in-law and daughter had taken her in to care for her in her later years.

    Stories bad mouthing daughters or sons in laws as recounted by their MIL should be taken with a very, very heaping teaspoon of salt, forget the “grain”.

    More than that though is the fact that this particular story has nothing at all to do with red or blue pills. It’s a tale as old as time: Once upon a time there was a meddling mother in law…

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have a much happier anecdote:

      There’s a homeschooling academic family down the street. Dad is white and an academic, mom is Chinese. They recently had their fourth child. I don’t know if her parents have moved in, but I’m pretty sure that they did at least temporarily, because during the school year, when I was doing my early morning drop-offs, I often saw the grandparents tooling around the neighborhood with the baby in a stroller. I see a lot of the family (including grandpa) out doing yard work. I also often see the whole family (including grandma and grandpa) at the college cafeterias where we are also regulars.

      (I think the oldest child is a tween, so this is not a family with four tiny children.)

      Liked by 2 people

      • I do know two young wives who have great MIL’s. I know they exist. I just don’t think they’re the best people to trust when it comes to the negative traits of their child’s spouse.

        And said children need to find someone else to complain to besides their mom about their spouse. When the argument is over and everything is right as rain between the couple, the parents have not forgotten that crappy thing their kid told them that their husband or wife did.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Elspeth said,

          “I do know two young wives who have great MIL’s. I know they exist. I just don’t think they’re the best people to trust when it comes to the negative traits of their child’s spouse.

          “And said children need to find someone else to complain to besides their mom about their spouse. When the argument is over and everything is right as rain between the couple, the parents have not forgotten that crappy thing their kid told them that their husband or wife did.”

          AMEN!

          I also have an excellent MIL, but it has taken 2,000 miles of distance, 18 years of marriage, three lovely grandchildren produced and reasonably competently parented, some sad stuff involving another in-law, and a lot of growing up on my part to make that happen. (The last few years, we’ve started doing a yearly weekend in Seattle with me, MIL, and our two biggest kids and we’ve had great fun.)

          Good in-law diplomacy/management is crucial and yet I feel like it’s one of most neglected areas of family life.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Yes. The ONE thing I brought alone from pre-marital counseling was “don’t badmouth your husband to your mom, because she’s never going to forget.” aka don’t go crying to mama, little girl…

          Liked by 1 person

    • This bit from Dalrock is really, really silly:

      “Ironically the reason wives find themselves powerless against their mother-in-laws is their having taken on the power position in the marriage. Once they did this they created a de facto matriarchy. As the more senior member of the clan the mother-in-law outranks the wife. ”

      If the wife actually is in charge at home, she has a lot of different levers at her disposal, including the various nuclear options (no sleepovers with the kids, no Sunday dinners with mom, we’re doing Christmas and Thanksgiving with my family, we’re moving three states away, we’re not going to visit unless you do XYZ, etc.). If she isn’t able to pull that off, she isn’t really in the “power position.”

      (I’m not endorsing any of those measures, just mentioning that there are a lot of buttons available to push if the wife is actually in charge at home.)

      Like

      • If a wife is having a lot of trouble with her MIL then her husband has probably placed her at a disadvantage by telling her that she needs to get along with his mother. This gives the MIL a lot of room to meddle while the wife tries to get along with her anyway. The husband should be telling his mother that she needs to get along with his wife. Wives already have plenty of natural motivation to get along with their MILs.

        Like

  11. If MIL is making her daughter-in-law’s life a living nightmare despite DIL making every attempt to be a good wife and keep the peace, then the blame and responsibility lie with the momma’s boy. He needs to fix it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Even if the daughter in law is not a good wife the mother in law needs to stay out of it. Good wives aren’t made overnight. A MIL’s interference is unlikely to improve things and will probably make things worse. The son needs to tell his mother to butt out either way.

      Liked by 1 person

    • One of my relatives is friends with a woman from a very traditional Pakistani family. When she got married, her ILs decided to be closer to their son, moved in, (there’s a huge “son” thing in that area of the world) and then proceeded to meddle in their life. I found out the wife eventually told her husband to tell his parents to gtfo or there was going to be something serious going down. Needless to say, the momma’s boy cut the apron strings and the couple found a new home.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. By the way, there’s an actual book on Amazon entitled “A Son is a Son Till He Gets a Wife: How Toxic Daughters-In-Law Destroy Families.”

    SO many one star reviews!

    Like

  13. She’s found another convenient anecdote friend!

    “I recently met another SIW, this one in her mid-40s. Yesterday she shared her story with me, an all too typical one. She was engaged at 22, but her mother advised her to break it off, “not marry until you are at least 30.” So she did that, went to college, built a high flying career at a well known tech start up you likely use everyday, was paid very well and got some gravy train stock options to boot, bought her own place, travelled the world, and told herself, “I can do it myself! I don’t need a man!””

    https://notesfromaredpillgirl.com/2016/06/13/another-siw-tale/

    I don’t know about you gals, but whenever I meet a new acquaintance, I immediately spill my guts about all my regrets about my wasted life…

    Ladies?

    One thing that makes this story really, really suspect to me is that her heroine has supposedly spent the last two decades working in tech.

    It’s not like she was working as a librarian at a convent girl’s school…

    Related:

    http://www.theonion.com/article/woman-at-farscape-convention-has-dangerously-infla-1169

    Liked by 1 person

    • “I don’t know about you gals, but whenever I meet a new acquaintance, I immediately spill my guts about all my regrets about my wasted life…”

      It’s somewhat funny, but if you visit one of those sites and say something like, “life is good, my marriage is amazing, and I love being a woman,” you’ll get kicked out immediately. No angst, drama, and woe. 🙂

      Like

    • Yeah, who could ever find a man in the tech industry? It’s whatever the opposite of a sausage party is!

      I’m guessing what happened (if the story isn’t total bull, which it might be) is the bloggeress met a reasonable happy single woman in her forties, chatted to her for a while about her life, and from that spun a “I’m so sad because NO MANNNN” tale that she thought her readers would lap up.

      Also, a “a high flying career”? 1987 called, it wants its cliches back.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Seph said:

        “Yeah, who could ever find a man in the tech industry? It’s whatever the opposite of a sausage party is!”

        Yeah. There’s a line from an old Scott Adams book where he says that female engineers are sexually attractive from the age of consent until several hours after natural death.

        “I’m guessing what happened (if the story isn’t total bull, which it might be) is the bloggeress met a reasonable happy single woman in her forties, chatted to her for a while about her life, and from that spun a “I’m so sad because NO MANNNN” tale that she thought her readers would lap up.”

        Yeah.

        If she wanted a husband and kids, she could have had a husband and kids at any time in the last two decades. (Maybe not biologically her kids, but some kids.)

        Like

  14. This column makes me think that really one should consider the relationship the prospective spouse has with his/her parents. Like it or not, once you’re married, you marry into that family and, to a certain extent, the dynamics.

    It’s very interesting how the mano-folks are quite silent on their relationships with their families/in-laws (unless it’s with rather thinly-veiled contempt that the parent’s are too “churchian” blah blah blah). There’s a lot of talk about how the non-existent prospective wife should be firmly under her father’s boot, but precious little else.

    Presumably none of the parent-types have consumed any/enough redpills to set any decent sort of example anyway.

    Anyway, back to my original thought….one really should look at the dynamics between the prospective father & mother-in law and what kind of marriage they have; is the prospective spouse on good terms with both parents; do they appear welcoming to a son/daughter in law… These are important things to consider. I was actually blessed with extraordinarily wonderful in-laws and to this day (even thought their son and I are divorced) I maintain an excellent and close relationship with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maeve said:

      “There’s a lot of talk about how the non-existent prospective wife should be firmly under her father’s boot, but precious little else.”

      I think that shows a lack of worldly experience.

      It isn’t very nice for a young husband to find himself out-manned by daddy, when his wife is daddy’s little girl. (For extra fun, go work for your wife’s daddy!)

      “Anyway, back to my original thought….one really should look at the dynamics between the prospective father & mother-in law and what kind of marriage they have; is the prospective spouse on good terms with both parents; do they appear welcoming to a son/daughter in law… These are important things to consider.”

      Yes. It is possible to manage a situation where the in-laws are pouring boiling oil and shooting flaming arrows from the castle, but that’s not ideal.

      There are some families that are just not prepared to bring in-laws into the family. And there are others that are much more welcoming. But the amount of distance is a little hard to gauge, especially when coming out of different cultures. (I’ve married into an “ethnic” family. I’m from a WASP family and need a lot of space–it’s taken a while to iron that out.)

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Part Deux…

    The hubs actually paid me a lovely compliment the other night and said he really wished his parents could have met me and that he thought they would have loved me.

    Liked by 4 people

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