A woman has found online fame by offering advice to anyone suffering at the hands of ‘toxic in-laws,’ after she cut contact with her husband’s parents.
Stephanie Ferry speaks openly on TikTok about her tumulus relationship with hubby Josh Ferry’s parents in the nine years since they’ve been together.
The 28-year-old says things got particularly bad when the pair got married five and a half years ago and began putting down ‘boundaries’ with her in-laws.
The accounts manager now speaks out about dealing with problematic in-law relationships online, in the hopes of helping others set ‘healthy boundaries’ for their marriages – while also mocking her mother-in-law in the clips.
However, Stephanie’s mother-in-law tells a very different story, claiming she has always respected the couple’s boundaries and insisting her daughter-in-law simply wants her son to herself, while branding the TikTok videos ‘unforgiveable.’
In one clip Stephanie compares herself to evil supervillain and ‘goddess of death’ Hela from Marvel movie Thor, in the eyes of her in-laws.
Stephanie, from Colorado Springs, US, said: “It became more hostile when my husband started setting boundaries that were healthy for us, our marriage and him.
“It all fell apart because they didn’t like that they couldn’t control us or him anymore. Anything my husband said to them they thought was because I told him to.”
The couple got so tired of the conflict with Josh’s family that they took job transfers and moved 1,000 miles across the country to Colorado for their own space in November 2017.
They also imposed the ‘boundary’ that the in-laws had to communicate with the couple only through Josh after Stephanie was branded ‘the b****’ by her mother-in-law.
However, Stephanie’s mother-in-law said: “I’m not the monster she paints me to be. My son and I were very close and had no issues until he met Stephanie. Then the issues began with boundaries and accusations.
“I don’t know why she feels the way she does because whatever they required of me I did and I’m thousands of miles away so it’s not like I can just show up on their doorstep. I used to send them presents and they said that was crossing boundaries and asked me to stop so I did.
“I did call her ‘the b****’ in a text message because I had just had it with everything, which unfortunately ended up being sent to my son instead of another family member by mistake and I did apologise several times for that. There’s a lot of twists and turns in the stories she tells and a lot of untruths.”
Stephanie now speaks out about her experiences online and hopes to encourage others to put ‘healthy boundaries’ in place to protect their relationship, insisting ‘it’s okay to say no and take a step back’.
She advises people going through similar difficult in-law relations to prioritise their partner and marriage above all else.
Stephanie said: “You don’t choose your family but when you get married you are literally choosing one person that you want to be with every day until you die. Given that large commitment that is marriage you really have to prioritise each other over everyone else.
“People online say ‘I’m going through the same thing and my husband or partner will only take my side behind closed doors to not upset their mum’.
“What I say to that is that your partner needs to support and prioritise you and that needs to be communicated to everyone because when you get married you become one unit, a team, and you have to keep it that way.”
Meanwhile her hurt mother-in-law says the ‘toxic in-law advice’ videos are ‘unforgivable’ and are only making the already bad situation worse.
Stephanie’s mother-in-law said: “Those videos are just trying to alienate the family further apart and they have. The things that were posted on social media are unforgivable. Prior to that I offered to fly out weekly to seek therapy with both of them that they declined.”
After years of conflict, Stephanie and her husband Josh cut contact with his family in June this year and haven’t spoken to them since.
The pair insist that the relationship is unsalvageable and have decided to move on with their lives and ‘heal’ from the family drama.
Meanwhile, Josh’s mother has been left ‘devastated’ by the loss of contact with her son.