Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
I actually hate my mil(427 Posts)
I apologise for the rant but there is a lot to explain!
I hate and I mean hate (silently hate she has no idea) my mil. To be honest from the day I went round the in laws house to meet them they proved themselves to be petty, manipulative, controlling assholes and I should have run for the hills! My mil screamed at my other half, crying and telling him he was a disappointment because he hasn't been over in 4 weeks (he had a rough patch whereby he kept himself to himself) and they could not stand the fact that since he's grown into his own person he isn't doting on them, calling everyday, visiting every week and smothering his mother in presents (she actually brought up that he never buys her anything nice when he visits!)
Since then, they've done nothing but bully him, make him feel worthless and guilty for not being a sporty, wealthy, sucsessful banker who visits his parents every other day. His mother has moments of screaming and crying at us, one of these being when we told them we were expecting...I got dragged on a walk with my mil where I was expected to explain myself fpr being pregnant! She cried and made me promise if my baby died not to try again until we were "ready" (shs meant they were ready, when it was on their terms!) They continued to yell and scream into the night about how awful it was that a 25 year old man is having a baby and he should be focusing on work blah blah blah until I snapped and told her she was a bully.
Since having my baby, she has smothered her...brought her ridiculous outfits (I have a tomboy she doesn't want your pink, fluffy, netted dresses) and manipulate everyone to get her way 24/7. They threw paddys saying they wanted us over every weekend which we tried to do but it's tough when my oh works full time and we only get 2 days together to sort everything and spend family time and now after demanding our time constantly and screaming and crying when it doesn't happen they've moved to Jersey because they've been offered work where they can make loads of money (theyre money obsessed and already have loads) and now when theyre back they want us to drop everything and spend every second with them, that or hand our dd over to them regardless of the fact they have moved away from her and don't know how to look after her and she doesn't know them!
They have been nothing but bullies the whole time I've known them especially my mil who simply cries to get her way and I'm sick of it. They offer no support, constantly nag and when we try to treat them and be thoughtful it goes unnoticed or isn't enough.
If she fell off the face of this earth I wouldn't miss her. If I had listened to her my dd wouldn't be here, if in my vulnerable hormonal state their bullying had got to me I could have aborted her yet they think they have grandparents rights? !
The only thing that has made me want to walk away is the issues with mil and feeling like they will never end. Apart from that me and dp have a very strong relationship, we've been through some awful times and we've come out stronger.
If the woman follows us to Australia I think we will be okay, it's pretty big and we aren't telling her where we are.
Having said that, we may not move, we may end up going NC, she might just spontaneously combust and we won't have to stress about her anymore, who knows, myricals do happen. We are thinking about it, looking into it and going to go for a month early next year to really get a feel for it.
But I get where you are coming from, if we do go it's just me, him & dd if things go wrong it could be complicated, but my life is always complicated & I need to start living it.
Please be very very careful about emigrating when your marriage is not rock solid. Please look into all the legal situations pertaining to your children if you decide to come back, but your DH does not.
You have mentioned quite often that you could walk away and have thought about going it alone, emigration could make this difficult.
Running away is not the solution, either with or without your DH. The world is small.
There needs to be some way to exist with your MiL...NC, DH only contact, whatever, but if you run away, she will follow
I have a friend who relocated to Australia with her dh due to her toxic mother. It was hard for her dh's family but tbh they did understand. She went nc with her mother and her dcs have not had any contact with their gm for over 20yrs. They have been happy, had a great life in Australia, and not had to navigate around the toxic family. The distance certainly made it easier as she'd tried to do it previously but the mother would just turn up, or find out (small town) when they were visiting other family or friends. No where in the uk seemed to be far enough away .
We all missed them, but it really was the right thing for them to do - so good luck in making your decision?
She knows she won't be taking DD, she knows DD goes to my cousin and I'm not budging on that. My DP said last night he will go no contact but he look so hurt saying it, I've told him he can go and see them when he wishes but me and dd are not.
Luckily for us DP works for a worldwide company that offers relocation to various countries. Which involves me leaving my lovely family behind but it will be an experience at least and give us time to distance ourselves from PIL. Unfortunately when we have spoke about emigrating with PIL they've said, well MIL has said "you won't get rid of us" however my fil hates and can not stand the heat, so it may end up being Australia but we will take whoever DPs work offer.
I would never have seriously thought about emigrating if it wasn't for them, but it will at least be an exciting experience. Just have to hope DPs work find something soon, the lady he sits next to is being relocated to Australia, I think it takes some time for visas etc to be processed but the company do pay for relocation expenses so that's a plus.
We have considered this many times before, they've just given us an extra shove.
And you need to be clear from the outset - ie that it's a firm no on the DD front - start as you mean to go on. If you start out being wishy washy and "yeah maybe" it will make things harder in the long run.
Beth you're going to have to be strong, love. I'm so sorry
Is there any chance of moving or speeding up your emigration plans?
Soooo... They are moving back to the UK in August ! Because mil is sick of being mistreated by the elderly lady she looks after of which has dementia! Apparently she is very rude and she can't put up with her any more! (Sounds all too familiar)
And she said that not she's back she can take DD because she will only have to work 2 days a week when she returns!
I think I might just emigrate it would be far easier. Anyone know how difficult it is to get into New Zealand?
Having been in the position of being your dp what eventually made me see sense was my dh saying that I could see my parents, as an adult my relationship with them was my choice, however he would not see them and that they were far too dangerous for him to allow his dc to see them. He could not put his dc in danger regardless of the implications for our relationship because as a parent his primary job was to protect his dc.
Knowing he was serious, it finally made me realise how awful they were. Dh was at the end of his tether by then. My dc was older (starting school) and they got worse as he got more independent/less doll like.
If dh had told me I couldn't see them I would have held it against him, but him standing up for his dc (something that I respect and means a lot to me as no one did it for me) was something I could accept.
That was several years ago, I have had a breakdown due to their behaviour and my upbringing and have been left with lifelong mental health issues. However, although it has been heartbreakingly hard at times, i am happier.
And I didn't realise until after we stopped seeing them, the impact on my dc - both in my parents behaviour, and the affect it had on me.
I found the book controlling parents by dan neuarth much better as I could accept the title. I went onto toxic parents later.
Oh and one of the first things I did after stooping contact was get married.
quite why do you think the PIL are entitled to have a relationship with their dgc when they have treated op and her dp so terribly? Why should they be rewarded.
Family's should be a unit. If your hideous to one - you don't get to enjoy the rest.
Do you think it's ok what they have done to op?
Have you ever had any experience with a narc?
Have you ever seen a child emotionally manipulated?
I think your quite the lone voice on this thread. It's strange.
Also I disagree with posters who advice you to make the choice for him. That one could come to bite you in the butt many times. This is a massive decision and it might well be thrown back in your face.
OP, I think you are right that you have to let your DH come to his own decision. At the same time, I think you need to come to your own decision, and stick to it.
The decision I recommend is not to see your PIL, and not to let your DH take DD to see PIL. Your DD is not going to be safe there without you. As you've said, your DH will cave to what his mother wants, and sad to say, MIL will use DD as a weapon in the war to bring you and DH to heel.
What your DH is unreasonable in doing is dropping the decision to visit or not in your lap, or only wanting to visit them with you there. I completely understand why, on an emotional level, he might do this. But it just isn't right to expect you to put up with such hideous crap, or expose DD to your MIL's weird emotional manipulations.
My DH did this to me. Wanting an ally and a shield against his parents. And also taking out on me all the stress and fear and anger that built up when we visited them (abroad, so once we got there we were essentially trapped with them). I had an absolutely royal melt-down (in whispers, we were in PIL's house. Says a lot about how fed-up I was that I even bothered to have a 30 minute row in whispers. It was ridiculous) and told him not to take it out on me, and that unless he worked out a way to function with PIL I was never going there again, and neither was DS. He went NC in the end.
Your DH is just going to have to grow up a bit. He has to make a choice, and take the consequences. There are no good choices, but that's just adult life.
Zazzles thanks for your post, it describes our situation etc wonderfully. I find it hard to find the words to explain to dp so I will show him that, especially as you have been through the same thing
I thought I was doing the right thing by letting him choose, i wouldn't hold his choice against him, ever.
He must feel terrible, if someone was to tell me that my mother was a narcissist I think if have a melt down. I really feel for him but at the same time his naivety is frustrating because it affects us. He has decided not to see them this time, I know how this will go down.
Attila your post makes perfect sense, I have shown him many things that people have said regarding his parents / our situation but I can imagine he will continue to desperately change his parents because he is in denial about them never changing.
It's difficult for me too, I lost my father at the age of 10 and I can't bare to think that I would pressure him into losing both of his parents.
I know it's not rational but there's still that hanging over me.
I've only read a bit of your original post, OP, and none of the replies but felt compelled to come on here and say that you are definitely not alone.
Otherwise this merry go round will NEVER end.
op I fully understand where your coming from BUT I think your both backing him in to a corner.
On this occasion, make the choice for him. THEN get him some counciling. He will pick his DM every time because it's all he knows.
I know your stressed out, but imagine how he must be feelng. Knowing what he must do being against years of manipulation.
Take the load off him on this occasion and decide for him, tell him YOU choose not to go . Then get him councilng.
Beth and Mr Beth (he certainly needs to read the following).
You Mr Beth are an adult child of a narcissistic parent who is as a result paralysed by guilt, obligation and fear.
Begin working through the grieving process - allow yourself to grieve the parent you never had.
Read more about grief and grieving.
Acknowledge that you've never learned how to properly deal with feelings, and begin to start working through these feelings.
Work toward loving that little child inside you in the ways your Narcissistic Parent never did.
Stop hoping that your Narcissistic Parent will change - he or she will not change.
Remind yourself every day that you need to take care of yourself - those needs for self-care are incredibly important.
Remember - you matter too. A lot.
You do not need to harm yourself or hate yourself. You're a great person, worthy of love and devotion
Stop being afraid of your Narcissistic Parent - you are an adult, you survived hell, and you need to reclaim your life as your own. Start by erasing that fear.
Get rid of that feeling of not fitting in or belonging. It was put there by your Narcissistic Parent and it's got to go.
We are none of us alone - that means you, too!
Find and connect with other Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents.
Find a therapist who specializes in treating Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents.
You're probably still afraid of "getting into trouble" thanks to the way your Narcissistic Parent treated you. You're an adult now, and you don't answer to anyone but yourself.
Release some of that anger. Smash some plates. Scream. Hit a pillow. Anything to let the anger of being an Adult Child of Narcissistic Parent out.
Learn to be autonomous - start by making small decisions for yourself, and learn that you - yes YOU - are in charge of your own life.
You are more than worthy. No matter what your Narcissistic Parent told you, you are more than worthy.
Guilt. Ah, guilt. The best friend and worst enemy of an Adult Child of Narcissistic Parents. This may be the hardest of all the feelings to fight against, but you must. When that guilt is gnawing away at you, tell it to piss off!!!.
His parents shouldn't need 'handling', does he not see that is not normal or how adult children/parent relationships work?
OP, I've just read your whole thread, fuck me what a drama! Your MIL is a toxic, manipulative narc who has emotionally abused (yes, emotional abuse!) your DP his whole life.
I am the adult child of narc mother, narc grandmother and narc sister, with a schizoid father (and enabler) who recognises everything in your posts. The guilt your DP was made to feel by his mother is the same thing my mother used to control me as well. It has taken me a lot of positive self talk to remind myself constantly that I do not need to feel guilty if I don't want to do what my mother wants me to do.
You and your DP need to remind yourself constantly "I do not exist on this earth to meet the expectations of others, and other do not exist to meet my expectations". Because this is what narcissists do - they foist their expectations on you and expect you to meet them again and again and again. And because they are emotional black holes, their demands are never ending. This will never stop. They will never stop.
It took me a long time to recognise that my mother was the source of all the issues. My father and grandmother were her enablers, and nothing you said could ever convince my narc mother that she was wrong. Things came to a head at one point - I had been setting very simple boundaries in place for my mother, and for once she was actually complying. It all went to pot when she asked me to do something for her and I said "No" - it was like a red rag to a bull, and she went off on one of her narc rages. She shouted at me until I cried (I am in my 40's btw, and she still treated me like a 10yr old), and I went NC that very moment.
What happened after that was a series of visits by my father (she would only 'allow' him to stay 30 minutes), visits from her (in which I never allowed her in my house), calls, letters etc etc none of which I answered. One memorable time, the parents spent 45 minutes knocking on the doors of all my neighbours asking them about me. Just madness. Oh, she also left a message on my phone saying "Your father is in hospital", but there was a smug, self-satisfied, I've-got-you-this-time, tone to the message, so I called the hospital instead.
Five months after the initial drama, she apologised. She left a phone message saying "I am sorry that we fought", not "I'm sorry that I shouted at you and upset you". As you can see there is no changing a narc, it is a personality disorder that is unchanging, inflexible and rigid. At first, I had decided to NC for 3-6 months, which turned into a year, and now is over 2 years. I now have a calm and happy life, where I can find pleasure in the small things, without drama being created at every turn. I know you are finding it hard to go NC, but I hope that you and your DP eventually find the strength to do so.
Oh dear beth, you really are caught in an awful situation. I'd be tempted to reply to hid message "the option to stop seeing them is the only one which will ensure our dd does not suffer. Maybe the shock of us refusing to see them and play their games might, just might, make them re-think their behaviour and change. They have not done so to date, despite us trying to make them see things from our point of view, we cannot keep putting ourselves and dd through this for no discernible benefit."
It would be a terrible shame if the only way to protect your dd would be to leave your dp, but I understand it maybe your last hope.
I don't know of he would, occasionally when we have had really heated arguments he's said we both need to so we know how to "handle" his parents.
Maybe he would & I think when I get paid I'm going to order that book.
This must be so hard for him and make him feel so awful, I'd feel so disappointed if my parents made my life so complicated and put me on this sort of position. It's truly devastating.
He didn't fully acknowledge that question, his reply is posted below.
Found the issue, dp replied with this.
"No I know all that, I really do. And it kills me, so much. It seems we have two options, to persevere and keep trying to change them or at least make them see our point of view or to stop seeing them ever again."
He thinks he can change them/ that they will ever see things from our point of view.
Would he be willing to see a counsellor?.
He really does need to see a counsellor to unpick this relationship with his parents but there are caveats to doing that. He would need to find a counsellor that has no bias about keeping families together despite the presence of mistreatment. Also the first counsellor he sees may not be the right one.
In a small way he has made a decision re not wanting to see them today. Its baby steps; do not forget that this man has never really been given any opportunity to actually ever become his own person with his own mind; his role in their eyes is to serve them.
If I knew him I'd be handing him a copy of Toxic Parents for him to read.
It could be argued as well that if you did split up they would win. You were planning to marry at one stage; these people are actively wreaking your lives. Its both yours and his role now to not let that at all happen.
If that involves both of you going no contact with his parents so be it. At least no contact means that.
Re this comment:-
"I've also asked if he wants our dd to feel how he feels because of them but I just feel like I'm fighting a losing battle".
What was his actual response to your question?.
This is so difficult. I asked him whether he really wanted to see them and to be honest with me and he said
"I don't know really. They are my parents and don't know whether never seeing them again is the right thing. But they cause so many issues with us and with their behaviour which they fail to recognise. I don't know." And said he didn't want to see them today but didn't know how long to leave it. I pointed out that we have already cancelled our wedding because of them and what else he was willing to sacrifice because of their behaviour but I'm getting nowhere.
I certainly do pick them.
I've also asked if he wants our dd to feel how he feels because of them but I just feel like I'm fighting a losing battle.
It would be easier for us to split up, that way I can be the nasty mother who stops grandparents seeing their grandchild because I never have to see them again, but looks like dp will always put them first, we argue every week but he gets to see his parents but he won't just go and see them alone, if I don't go he won't...putting everything onto me.
What Miggsie wrote.
"He seems to think it's easier to tow the line than cut them off"
Yes exactly but that is hurting him as much as his own family unit now. He needs to properly realise that but he does not. He is very much a product of his own parents self absorbed upbringing.
He is still very much under obligation with regards to his mother, she also has made him feel obligated to her. This narcissistic woman truly does specialise in making the two of you feel like utter crud and currently at least she is still succeeding.
The only way forward is to go NC with her. Neither of you will get any peace otherwise and she could well go onto destroy the precious relationship you both have together. You've already cancelled the wedding because of her, what else will you have to forgo?.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.