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.
Toxic PIL question(19 Posts)
Did they show their true colours before you married into their family?
DPs parents used to be absolute darlings, but as soon as our relationship got more serious and a wedding and house was on the cards, they showed themselves for what they are.
FIL is a typical narcissist. MIL is his enabler and backs his every
stupid idea decision. He went through a phase of blanking me, and MIL would talk to me and be normal until he came home and then blank me too. Don't know why she bothers, he treats her like utter crap and will sometimes walk off and ignore her midway through a conversation cos he wants to go play his computer games.
We met very young and DP lived with his parents for most of our relationship so they had some element of control over the relationship, and now he's not under their thumb, they're trying to convince everyone they know that I'M controlling and evil and don't want him to see them. This is because he doesn't go round for his tea every night and wants to spend time with his fiancée How terrible of him, eh?
FIL thinks I've ruined DP because he cooks and cleans, a real man gets his wife to do all that. He also doesn't like that I have a degree and a good job. I earn more than DP right now, but a real woman would have a 'little job' and let her man be a man. He also treats me with respect and asks me if he wants to go out in, rather than just going and not coming back. This is me ruining his social life, despite the fact I rarely say no.
We are TTC, and I've also been informed by PIL that I must name our first born son the 'family' name which is old fashioned and horrible, and our children can't have middle names because their family don't do that. We have our names chosen and have had for most of our relationship, they are having middle names and the first names we chose, whether our first born is a son or not. This is me disrespecting their family and being controlling.
I'm still marrying DP, they are refusing to attend and we both said we didn't care because the family who love us will be there. He does support me and knows his parents are toxic, so it's not too unbearable. We are moving miles away in a few years time for his career and they won't be an issue then as they'll be too lazy to visit us and are so entitled to think we should go see them since OUR house is far away. However, if I had known what crazies they were from the off I don't know if I'd have stayed with him.
Did your toxic PIL show their true colours right away? Would it have changed your mind if they had done?
Mine didn't show any toxicity until I announced I was pregnant with my PFB and their first grandchild.
Were always slightly eccentric but now I avoid them as much as possible. Just seem bonkers now.
Ditto ROARmeow, how funny! Only now we are NC.
I had an inkling but the main comments happened when I had dd
The first time I met my MIL, she commented about my DM and said with horror that they had never been a divorce in her family. Being young and impulsive I replied it wasnt catching, and we've been on the same footing ever since, mutual dislike.
Everyone thinks I'm mad for tolerating them, you see. Maybe I am but I'm marrying DP, not his mum and dad, so as it stands, it doesn't change anything, but I just wondered if knowing sooner would have made a difference. If they'd have been awful from the off, I wonder if they would have driven me away.
OP, what do you mean when you say "everyone thinks..."? Do you mean your family and friends?
Crux of the matter is you're in a relationship with their son who must be a nice fella. It would show just how toxic they were if he could never marry and be happy.
From my experience: if you and your DP are on the same footing and same page about how the PIL make you feel and how to deal with them then it'll be ok. You'll be a team and harder to hurt.
They've actually been better since DS came along, but it was a long 7 years from engagement to getting pregnant of her making snide comments, trying to control me and generally being awful.
Since DS has come along there's been a combination of changes. She appears to have mellowed (she retired just after his first birthday) I've started giving as I got and DH has started standing up to her.
Things still aren't great, and she lets the odd thing slip out (her current issue is competition with my mother over who spends the most time with DS, who we'll get to help once DC2 is born in a few weeks etc) but now DH and I are on the same side (and I tell him EVERYTHING) it's so much easier to bear.
For me it was my DF who got a lot worse when I got married and deteriorated further when we had DD. Like your FIL he has NPD. My DM used to enable him until she had enough and left.
Is it because they see their children building a life of their own so worry about losing the control they crave?
PIL are foul, truly toxic. I was told early on in relationship by FIL, at a crowded family meal " I don't like you" to which I replied "I know and I don't care".
They only got worse over time. Rather than row about their foul behaviour, which we can't change, we have no contact with them
well shot of the mutters. It's no loss.
There were hints of toxicity before we wed. If I'd known how awful they were (she in particular) I'd still have married DH as I love to feel I rise above it all. I don't really, I seethe a lot, but it's their loss.
Mine started showing it from when we got engaged. FIL emailed Dh to warn him that my plans to do a phd would cost dh money and he might want to consider if that was in his best interests (I think he selectively forgot that I'd only ever considered doing a phd and would only have done so if I'd got funding).
MIL was less obvious as she's a bit scatty/in her own world. She showed her true colours when I got pregnant (2 years after getting married so not totally unexpected). She "was very disappointed and thought it was a terrible idea" and 5 months later when Dh's brother announced his wife was expecting she was "very excited about their news but still not happy about ours"
I don't pander to them and MIL has, in the past, turned on the tears for the rest of the family but I just ignore it. She likes to express an opinion even if she doesn't actually have one - she bases it on whether you've pleased her recently or not so I tend to ignore. When she asks me anything I either give a yes/no response or ramble for a long time until I've bored her into not bothering to give an opinion. It's working well so far , in fact we seem to be getting on better.
I would definitely still have married Dh. Mind you we live 4 hours away from IL's so I don't have to deal with them often.
Oh dear, I think I wouldn't tell them anything until it was a done deal. No need for them to know you are TTC, no need to know what you are calling said child until he/she is born. Tell them nowt!
My PILs weren't toxic so I suppose I can't comment but if yours used to pretend to be absolute darlings, at least you know now where you stand. You may have the most difficult PILs since records began but your DP sounds a keeper, best of luck don't let them spoil your lives.
My DH told me what they were like. And correctly predicted they'd be nice to me as a way of trying to isolate him (scapegoat child). And so it proved. But we managed to keep everything ok on a nicely superficial basis, not seeing them all that often.
I think they very soon worked out DH and I are a partnership not to be broken. It changed his status within the family a lot. He's got a wonderful wife (heh heh) and really lovely kids, how much of a loser could he be? And MIL really wanted a chance to do it better with her GDC than she had with her DC, so she wasn't going to rock the boat.
On the surface I've been all conviviality, but I've never forgiven their treatment of DH and if voodoo worked there'd be some heavily mutilated wax dolls in my bedside table.
I would have several middle names!
My FIL is lovely, my MIL was slightly crazy right from the get-go.
The slight craziness turned into passive aggressive and often downright bitchy comments once the relationship with her son began to get more serious.
Just a few of her gems have been:-
"He doesn't love you y'know. He told me that".
"He'll NEVER marry you".
"He hates living with you".
I now let her barbs wash over me as I see her for what she is and that's an old, bitter, twisted woman in a loveless marriage who is not particularly liked by many including her own children.
She's now in 'nice' mode as OH and I had our 1st baby, but last week I caught her giving my newborn a filthy look and angrily saying " Shut up!" at him when he dared to cry, there are moments her mask slips.
MIL is toxic FIL is the enabler.
MIL has allways been self centred, selfish and rude. It was only when i had dd that she became loony.
Wanted priority, would guilt trip us and made everything about her.
She upped it a gear when we stood up for ourself. The fun started then!
My DH has a toxic MIL.
I avoided introducing him to my DM for a looooooong time in case it put him off. Seriously, it was about three years before she met him. For the first year or so, as he became aware that she and I were not close, I vaguely said we "didn't get along". In the second year he got the full details!
I definitely think it would have put him off in the early days. Not because she's hard work but because he might have believed her shit or at least had a seed of doubt planted before he knew me properly.
By the time he met her not only was he forewarned but he knew that I don't make stuff up; that I have a solid grip on reality; that I am a calm and reasonable person; that I am morally sound. Therefore when she was up to all the usual nonsense of gaslighting, hinting at/implying that I'm bad, acting like a spoilt toddler etc. he saw through it immediately.
He totally refuses to be drawn in. Tolerates no shit at all (of course I still stop most of it going anywhere near him in the first place). He can exhibit all the best qualities of a lump of granite when he wants to. It infuriates her.
DH and I have had a long and happy marriage. That also infuriates her. Ha ha ha ha ha.
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.