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Met DP's mother...She's "difficult" ;. How do I play this?

(135 Posts)
kistanbul Wed 08-May-13 10:02:19

My DP, who is an only child, and I have been together for 6 months and I really want the relationship to work. The main potential problem is his mother.

I, like every women he's been with, am only after his inheritance (her semi in a not nice part of Surrey), but he's too stupid to see it. She threatens to kill herself because she's lonely and no one cares. She cried when she found out I'd stayed the night at his home - a neighbour saw me leave. She makes comments about my appearance (ugly), education (poor), family (common) and has started talking about writing him out of her will. He used to be so kind before he met me, but now she's ashamed of his (unspecified) cruelty to her.

She also has keys to his house, which he gave her when he was having work done, and lets herself in when he's at work; he has asked for them back, but the suicide threats start again, which distract him from the task at hand.

DP moved back to his home town when his father, who died two years ago, became very ill. He sees his mother twice a week and calls everyday.

She's an intelligent, capable women in excellent health, who appears to have lots of friends. I hate that this is relevant, so please don't hate me for saying it, but I own my own place and my family are "posher" and richer than hers.

She is very open about the fact that he ruined her life and career when he was born, so he owes her.

Does anyone have any advice on dealing with her? How should I expect him to behave if we're going to have a successful relationship? Is it even possible to have a successful relationship with someone like that in the background?

I would say run, far, far away. My nan was like this woman. She destroyed my parents marriage and my mother's mental health with it. At one point she actually lived with us. My parents were married for 20 years. My mum maintains that my dad was the love of her life, but those 20 years were hell on earth because of my nan. She died when I was 15, but by then the damage to my parents' relationship was done. They divorced a year later. I have my own issues with my nan, (who in their right mind calls their 7 year old grandaughter a slut? shockconfused). I would honestly get out now whilst you still can, no matter how much you love this man, his mother will ALWAYS come first, before you and before any children you may have in the future.

ImperialBlether Sat 11-May-13 11:32:05

OP, I'm another who would end it. He's 35 and has presumably had quite a few relationships. His mother has been like that with all of them. (Btw I think her bereavement is clouding the issue here - his mother was like this before her husband died.)

If you marry, you realise you will have her for Christmas every year? You realise she will want to come on holiday with you? If you have a child together she will do her best to spoil that happy time. She will get more frail, eventually. You will have to care for her. She is insulting and cruel and wishes her son hadn't met you but she will still want to be with him every weekend and every holiday. She will ruin things for you.

Think about it. He's had relationships and has not managed to 'manage' his mother. Do you really, really think he'll do it now?

I know it's awful to end a relationship where the man is lovely, but he has to be more than that - he has to be able to give you a lovely life together and he can't do that.

There are so many women with lovely in laws - hold out for a man with a family who will welcome you and cherish you.

Run, run as fast as you can!

Darkesteyes Sat 11-May-13 17:20:13

Imperial is right. She is toxic towards you but (and sorry for the bluntness) will very likely expect you to be the one to wipe her arse when she gets old.
The media only seem to cover carer abuse stories when its the carer doing the abusing but in a LOT of cases its the cared for who is being abusive. These are the cases we never get to hear about. The hidden statistics. If you stay with this man there is a good chance you will be one of these hidden statistics OP.

buildingmycorestrength Sat 11-May-13 17:36:54

My MIL emigrates tomorrow and I keep thinking I dodged a bullet with the geriatric care question. You never think of these things in the flush of young love but by God my life would have been awful. And she isn't even an awful MIL.

buildingmycorestrength Sat 11-May-13 17:37:50

Hasten to add I am not heartless and will probably end up caring for my own mum...just a reflection on the wisdom of some posters who have raised this thought.

Chottie Sat 11-May-13 19:36:25

You will have to love someone very, very much to accept there are 3 people in your marriage.......

IJustWoreMyTrenchcoat Mon 13-May-13 00:06:42

She is like my MIL, narcissistic and controlling. She likes to keep her sons and husband wrapped around her finger, despises me openly because I can see her for what she is. She is nice to my face, but slags me off to my partner and his brother. Once, just one she let her mask slip and sent me vitriolic text messages saying she hated me, didn't care if she ever saw me again etc.

Like your MIL, mine uses the guilt trip, how my partner has 'changed', how he used to be so much fun and now he is miserable. Apparently, nobody can believe how badly he treats her hmm. People like them have a script. You will come to know it very well if you stay with your partner, I know exactly how she will react to any situation, it is quite useful to be able to explain to my boyfriend how she will play a situation. I don't think people like her ever change so as others have said you need to decide if it is worth it.

In my case, I think it is. My boyfriend recognises her for what she is, admits she has made him miserable and does not want to continue like that. You will have to set out your stall and be firm, for instance we are expecting our first child and have told her we will not be at hers for Christmas. She had a meltdown at this, but we want our Christmas in our own house. He is definitely willing to distance himself a bit for the sake of our own family unit. This is something his brother is unwilling/unable to do - there is lots of money at stake which gets thrown around as a means of control (issue of inheritance also constantly raised). I couldn't give a toss what she does with her money, I want a happy stress-free life and am not going to put up with her BS just in case.

It hasn't been easy, she has caused a lot of tension in our relationship, but he is becoming better at ignoring her. He used to be really bothered about what her friends and family must think of him, I feel nobody who knows her well is unaware of her selfish side and people will take what she says with a pinch of salt. It will be harder for you as he is an only child, he may well find it much harder to step away.

I wish you luck, you will need it, but only you can decide if he is worth it.

IJustWoreMyTrenchcoat Mon 13-May-13 00:44:52

And yes to Methren my partner also suffers from low self esteem and anxiety - my MIL has the cheek to point her finger at me for this! No, nothing to do with her telling him throughout his childhood he would never amount to anything, or having no interest whatsoever in his education or hobbies. She is completely blind to her failings as a mother blaming me, his friends and colleagues: 'son, why do you let people make you feel this way'. Well, because it is engrained in him.

And my partner also left to his own devices will just do what she wants for an easy life. You will have to stay firm and say no. Then, you will probably get the increasingly irrational and EA text messages and voicemails because you chose to live your own life instead of pandering to the needs of a fully capable woman.

MrsRebeccaDanvers Mon 13-May-13 09:50:50

I have had a very similar MIL for 15 years and wish I'd left my H after 6 months. Even if he moves away she will phone and visit all the time and have exactly the same effect. Your love for each other will die and your life will be hell due to her.

GET OUT NOW WHILE YOU CAN.

I'm very sorry to tell you that but you will deeply regret it if you don't. I wish I'd had Mumsnet for support 15 years ago.

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