When I met my mother-in-law for the first time, I was blown away by her infectious energy. She was so different to my own mum. In fact, she was different to any woman I had ever met.
I thought the world of her.
She was full of fun; she was hilarious and adventurous, brave and unapologetic. She was interested and interesting; she was involved and invested. She made me feel welcome right away, and we fell easily into a great friendship.
She could be intense but at the time, it was part of her charm and she doted on me. It's slightly embarrassing to admit but her interest in me made me feel loved and seen.
Watch: The worst thing I ever said to my mother-in-law. Post continues below.
In the first couple of years of my relationship with my now husband, my relationship with my mother-in-law went from strength to strength. I loved her dearly.
I went along with almost everything she suggested when we were with her, thrilled to have such a close bond with my partner’s mother.
But soon after my husband and I got engaged, things slowly started to unravel.
The first red flag was when she contributed financially to our wedding. I was thrilled. My husband had his reservations, but we went ahead.
Like any newly engaged young woman, I was over the moon and beyond excited to plan our big day. I had dreamed of my wedding day for years and couldn’t wait to bring my ideas to life.
I had gone shopping for material one afternoon to make the bridesmaids' dresses.
Excited when I laid my eyes on the beautiful chiffon material the exact shade of blue I wanted, I rang my mother-in-law only to be told she had already bought purple satin material for my bridesmaids and was already getting the dresses made.