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Please help!! I have ended marriage, and I don't know I should have...

(36 Posts)
Teawench Fri 21-Jun-13 15:05:52

My head is a hornets nest atm, and I really need some guidance and support. This is going to be an epic post.
I'm very sorry, really need to purge all this, and ask for help. I've no one to talk to about this to tell me if I've finally just gone mad and seeing the world completely distorted.

I've just ended things with my DH, I don't know that I should have, things became too much, and I just snapped. Partly me ending this was due to MIL and part was because of DH.

Me and my DH used to get on brilliantly and also like the best of mates.
We would talk and laugh for hours, but oddly after about a year of seeing each other, he'd never told him mum about us. He finally did, but then......

Before I married DH, his DM said many things about not wanting him to settle down perhaps with just me???
the ones I know about from DH showing me emails at the beginning wish he'd never shown me But I was his first real relationship and even when it made me upset, and I told him he shouldn't have shown me these messages, he felt I should know.

MIL sent him messages saying. "I thought you were happy single." "Why couldn't it be a woman from around here." "Why do you want to marry someone who is older than you??" "Can't you find someone without dc." "You promised you were never getting married."

When he would come to visit me she'd cry her eyes out and tell him she'd never see him again and I was going to murder him. and his mum would txt him many times to ask if he was still alive! Even though he'd come around to visit several times she'd still do this. (I lived quite a distance, and didn't meet MIL until much later).

When she first met me though it was all happy families she seemed to appear to genuinely like me, so I thought maybe I had got the wrong end of the stick. So for her birthday I gave her a pretty ring that had belonged granny that had passed(she knew this) and really just hoped for the best.

She came over every single weekend for several years without fail and sometime stayed overnight, with us having to go out to hers for emergency pipe burst, loo overflows, a man stalking her, Car not starting...etc during the week.

Every single weekend was and still is drama, MIL has some crisis, she is has been chronically ill since I've known her, as least she says so, she seems fine to me. Her car has an issue every single week, She has left several jobs because all of the people treat her so bad, and in debt because of this, DH has given her money when she needs over the years. All her family is horrible to her because of this or that. It's all so exhausting.
MIL started doing stranger things though, well perhaps strange to me???
MIL would call a few hours before coming over asking how everyone was and that's she'd be on her way soon. She would be just having a chat with DH, but she'd always find out from him what I'd cooked and/or baked, and she'd cook/bake the exact same thing and bring it over. And would hassle DH to try what she made and ask how it was?

If my DH would buy me a gift, she say to him, I could really do with that too. (sometimes she get items). Just things like that. After being married a couple months she wanted to take me for a "girls day out".

We went shopping, and sat down for lunch and were chatting about DH and she mentioned to me that her exH accused her of sleeping with my DH.
We'd just married, first thought was...what the hell have I just got myself into.
I didn't believe this but because she said it flippantly and almost as a wind up it did put the tiniest bit of worry in my mind. I didn't know what the hell to say I was so shocked.

That night I tried for several hours to bring it up with my DH but he said he didn't want to talk about anything that had to do with his DF and DM. I didn't just outright ask him, looking back this was a huge mistake. Even though I thought such a thing never happened. Why would she tell me such a thing.

Once we had our DC things even seem to get stranger. She said horrible things to my older DC, and became very verbally abusive to them when we weren't about, the younger ones weren't even safe, she has slapped one of our younger DC, then bounce ball off his head when he was only just learning to stand over 15 times, shoved same LO off the couch. (Older DC ran in and told us).
DH had a go at her but she somehow ended up the victim in this.

MIL continued to come around every weekend until near Christmas a couple years ago, I finally snapped. She had done something to one of my little dc and said more rude things to my older and I said I didn't want her around anymore, I couldn't cope.
She always come and stayed Christmas with us, but I said that year I needed a Christmas to ourselves. MIL was so upset, she called and called DH asking why and what was wrong, and if DH wouldn't explain to her satisfaction she was going to ring me and get it out of me.

DH told her if she called me that there would be repercussions. Things were great for us for a while, no drama. She was so angry so she wasn't calling or coming around.
But eventually she started txting DH and she was really poorly. She'd had a minor car collision. This then that. And she was missing DH and DC so we had her come around and visa versus again.

This isn't but a tip of the iceberg. DH told me on a recent visit she sold the ring I'd given her on ebay. She also asked for some of my stuff in the garage, and DH gave to her cause they decided I hadn't used them in a while, and she could make use of. Sigh..... There is so much more.

All this plus his own issues has hugely affected my relationship with my DH. I do love him. He is of the mind now that we are and have been bad to his DM.
That she's would never intentionally hurt anyone and isn't clever enough to do the things she done and couldn't manipulate anyone on purpose, she just isn't clever enough...... DH says. We can't keep her away and DH now feels that I am making him choose her or us. (I have never ever asked him to choose). DH says That MIL has a right to see our dc.

DH had put his foot down this weekend and said MIL must come around as its been a month since he and dc have seen her, or he must go to hers.
I've ended a relationship with someone I love very much, and can't get my thoughts right and dunno what to do?? I've been a doormat for so long, I've never said a cross word to MIL ever. I just am a wuss and I feel even though DH have problems as most couples do, They are much more compounded by all this.
Thank you for reading...

I'm sorry I know I've written so much, I haven't finished my thoughts even, but I'm blubbing like a baby and I need to sort myself before DC get home from school. Really sorry for all mistakes and misspellings.

doormat Fri 21-Jun-13 15:16:21

Well from a real life doormat lol...you have made a stand against your husband and said enough is enough

Up to him now whether he values your marriage and wants to sit down and discuss it properly...and honestly

If he would rather side with his mum so be it but he will end up a sad a lonely man....you have put up with enough far too long

Its down to him now...good luck sweetheart x

Madlizzy Fri 21-Jun-13 15:16:50

I think you've done the right thing, and in your heart of hearts, you know this. The fact that she's actually abused your children gives you the right to withdraw any contact with her. I'd recommend that you get some legal advice pretty swiftly and organise the no contact, as the kids aren't safe in her company.

You've had years of dealing with his toxic mother; all the actions she has done to you and your children are those of a toxic parent. Like all toxic people she has likely never apologised nor taken any responsibility for her actions. She hasn't apologised has she?.

Your error here, if actually that word could be used, was to treat this woman over the years in the same way as you would another emotionally stable family relation. His mother is clearly emotionally unstable and has likely been this way for many years but you did NOT cause her to act like this. You have likely also come from a birth family where this type of dysfunction is thankfully unknown so have found it extremely trying to deal with let alone try and get your head around.

Your DH is completely in the FOG with regards to his mother - fear, obligation, guilt. She has worked on him since birth and he has had a lifetime of such conditioning. He is far more afraid of her than he is of you and always but always seeks her tacit approval, approval btw she has never given. He would much rather upset you than she because he is totally in fear of her. She has done him much harm and continues to wreak havoc on your family.

Your DH needs to realise that his primary loyalty is to you and his own family, not his mother. Whether he will realise that or not is up to him.

DC have a choice too; they do not have to see her at all. Infact I would argue that if she is too toxic for you to deal with, then she is too toxic for your children to have any form of contact with.

How did you end your relationship with DH?.

doormat Fri 21-Jun-13 15:18:46

Totally agree with madliz dont allow her any contact whatsoever x

Some grandparents should have no access to their grandchildren. His mother is a prime example of this.

Teawench Fri 21-Jun-13 15:28:39

Thank you for the swift responses Doormat and lizzy.

Attila how did you know??
She has never ever apologised for anything, ever.??!! She has only been the one done wrong by. It's so mind boggling. DH says MIL doesn't know she's done anything wrong?!? WTF??? and Unless we tell her...which he has and she has only carried on as if nothing has happened.

This trait has also risen in my DH at times. His favorite line is what do I have to apologise for? That is a huge sticking point with me! If you hurt someone with words or do something wrong, flipping apologise, its no different if you bump someone in the street by accident, perhaps more important that it involves people you love. Sigh.....

He has in the past taken a hard stance to her, but she well at least its my belief she becomes suddenly ill or something major always happens which quells any previous problems.

I'm embarrassed to say how I ended it, its really shameful, but I ended with him by email while he is at work.

He just replied saying "nice way to end things" sad I'm heartbroken.
But I have tried to talk to him, a lot. Sigh I feel so sick to my stomach I dunno what to do, if what I've done is right.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Fri 21-Jun-13 15:29:46

She sounds absolutely unhinged and you have definitely done the right thing. I would have reported her to the police for what she did to your children.

Madlizzy Fri 21-Jun-13 15:49:02

You have done the right thing. Absolutely. As for your H telling you that it's a nice way to end things, he's brought it on himself by disregarding anything you say or do. You have tried to talk to him, he chose not to listen.

Hopasholic Fri 21-Jun-13 15:49:55

I'm not surprised you ended it. How on earth have you managed to put up with it for so long?

What does this mean:'Her Exh accused her of sleeping with my DH'? That your DH's father said she'd had sex with her own son? Eh?

Hope I've misinterpreted that bit

Have some depth of experience when it comes to toxic inlaws. I am sorry to say and your mother in law has read the script.

Your mother in law is a prime example of a toxic parent and how such disordered types operate. Emotionally well balanced people do not behave as she has and continues to do. I would argue as well that your MIL has some type of personality disorder.

You have done the right thing, your DH has never listened at great cost to himself.

Teawench Fri 21-Jun-13 16:03:51

That's what she told me Hopas I haven't any idea why she would tell me this.... We'd only newly married and was my first time out with her alone.

Yes that is what she said. I honestly don't believe something like that happened. And DH did finally have that conversation about a year ago, and he was infuriated she had told me this, DH told me it wasn't true what his DF accused her of.

But why did she tell me that???????? What business or relevance is there in me knowing something like that???

Teawench Fri 21-Jun-13 16:10:30

I think what makes this all the more difficult, is that he honestly believes his DM couldn't harm or intentionally do anything mean or underhanded, he think she is really simple, she does come across as a little dingy, and helpless. Oh god, see...I dunno

This almost makes me feel mad. I constantly have to reevaluate what I've done, or if I've blown her behaviour and actions out of proportion.

Reading "Toxic Inlaws" by Susan Forward may give you some more insight.

Teawench Fri 21-Jun-13 16:13:16

looking it up. cheers attila

Do not forget either that your DH has had a lifetime of such conditioning at his mother's hands and that is very hard to break. He still is very afraid of his mother and has likely gone along with her own mad behaviours out of self preservation and want of a quiet life.

OneMoreChap Fri 21-Jun-13 16:27:32

Sorry, anyone who takes adult parents side against partner is probably not worth wasting time on.

They chose you, not the parent. They should remember that.

Teawench Fri 21-Jun-13 16:36:39

Attila
He doesn't come across as afraid of her as perhaps more persuaded by her, and made to feel guilty. She called 2 nights ago saying she was driving around with faulty brakes and is able to barely stop her car.

She needed DH to sort them out for her, he'd offered to pay to have them fixed, but she felt more safe and wanted DH to fix them for her asap.

Well he certainly has the Obligation and Guilt part of FOG in spades then.

Why did he not tell her to take the car straight to the garage?. Again conditioning on her part plays a role here. She is very dysfunctional and such toxic crap can and does filter down the generations.

badinage Fri 21-Jun-13 18:11:43

Do you think it's possible that your husband has been the victim of sexual abuse by his mother, OP?

AgathaF Fri 21-Jun-13 18:33:48

She sounds awful. In the face of such a person living your life with you with your husbands consent, I really don't know what else you could have done.

Teawench Fri 21-Jun-13 19:37:36

Hi Thanks so much for the responses.

Attila He did ask her why she hadn't and she needs to take it, but she must have kept on, He mentioned she had several excuses, One she didnt' have money, he said he'd pay, but then she'd rather he do it. I don't know, I can't wrap my head around her reasoning.

Badinage I really don't think so. I know his DM and DF had a very volatile relationship and break up. I don't know much about it, but my DH was very convincing and left me with no doubts when we spoke of it.

I still struggle to understand a lot of this, its hurt so much. I've tried to put on a brave face for so long and play happy families.

I realise I can't, especially with MIL. I don't like confrontation and am a chicken when it comes to that. Attila you are right and I need to keep that in mind.... it can filter down through generations. That scares the crap out of me.

I can't thank you all enough, for your help and advice. I means so much. x

Madlizzy Fri 21-Jun-13 20:02:42

It only filters down generations if a child lives in that environment or is exposed to it. You're taking steps to ensure that this doesn't happen.

ParsleyTheLioness Fri 21-Jun-13 20:20:55

Tea. My ex-mil had some of this going on. When I met Darling Son, she almost fought me for him, like a jealous lover. She competed with me, as yours has done. Very unhealthy. XH never really stood up to her, and had many ishoos with women. He loved and hated his mother, in equal measure, and transferred that to me... She, and the relationship between them/inability to stand up to her, was one of the reasons we split up after 20 years. Even after separation he had chance to Man Up, get some therapy, sort it out. He chose not to, and I chose not to live that way any more. I am still sad he chose to be that way, but it was his choice. You cannot make him grow a backbone, sadly.

ParsleyTheLioness Fri 21-Jun-13 20:22:00

PS. If your brakes really weren't working, you would not be driving round willy-nilly. You would get to a garage without delay. She's a loon.

badinage Fri 21-Jun-13 20:59:17

Teawench as gently as I can, I'd like to suggest you keep an open mind about the abuse angle, because sadly your husband could have a lot invested in not telling you about it. No more contact between his mother and your children, for example. And when he was with, you'd have possibly insisted in no contact with her at all.

This happens more than you'd imagine and is a particularly big taboo in our culture. Tread carefully, but for your children's future safety, keep an open mind.

ParsleyTheLioness Fri 21-Jun-13 21:11:45

Badinage talks good sense. DH should grow a pair for the DC, if not for you sad

Teawench Sat 22-Jun-13 00:41:31

I've been ill most the night, I gave myself a crackin headache stressing feeling abit better now.

DH txt and we argue tonight badly. I tried to explain, but I'm realising what you said Attila is ringing abit true.
He said great, so you are leaving me because of my mum?!? Who the hell does that...NOONE!
I tried to explain and remind him all that's she done/said to dc to me.
His response was, I can't cut out the woman who gave birth to me, she isn't as bad as that.
I said, I'm not asking you to that is why I've said I'm leaving.
Lots of cussing and anger.
He also has said, that if I leave him, and its because of his DM, he will hate me for leaving him but also hate her and never speak to her again because of this.....???

I don't get that logic?? Why doesn't he just draw the line now or years ago?? I honestly don't want 20 years of this like someone earlier said.

He also said, I can't keep our DC from her, that he would take them around to hers and keep constant eye on her behaviour.

I can't remember what order all this was said now, I'm so completely exhausted I don't think I'll sleep a wink tonight.

Badinage I hope to god you're not right. If you are, how would I ever know? I have to trust what he told me, I must. I remember believing him, and he was so upset that I had even the slightest doubt something like that occurred. He was so furious she had told me that.

You're right IF and I have to believe my DH, but IF I would have cut her out of our lives completely from myself and DC and if DH had wanted anything to do with her still I would have ran for the hills.

Parsley I wish he would too. I really really feel like the bad person tonight.

Thank you so much again,

We are talking tomorrow, any advice, suggestions?

badinage Sat 22-Jun-13 01:02:54

It might be worth giving the NSPCC a ring to have a confidential chat about this. Believe me, they will have dealt with similar concerns before. I don't think you can ever know if someone's an abuse survivor or not if that person is insistent that nothing happened. It's very common for people to be in a fog of denial long into adulthood, but what raised the alarm for me was that your husband took years to talk about the allegation his mother made to you and in fact refused to discuss it with you at the time.

But regardless of that, I would be astonished if your husband hadn't suffered emotional and physical abuse in the past, given what you've said about his mother's behaviour and her abuse of your own children on occasions. How old are they now and what are their feelings towards their grandmother? Would they feel able to share their concerns with you now if they had any?

Do you see your FIL at all?

You are not responsible for your husband's choices if he decides to cut out his mother now that you've split. Should he make that (very wise) decision then celebrate it, because that means when he has contact with the children from now on, she won't.

Isatdownandwept Sat 22-Jun-13 01:49:36

She won't change so if you want the marriage to continue then the relationship he has with her must change, and he needs to accept that. If not the cycle continues.

Clearly you must draw a line in the sand to not have anything to do with her for maybe 6 months or more. Same with your kids.

So, I think that the grounds for discussion tomorrow - if you want to give things a chance - is that he must stop all contact with his mother for a specified period of time whilst he seeks counselling for his relationship with her and for his continued acceptance if her bullying and EA.

How he explains this to her is none of your concern, even If he tells her in some way that appears to be detrimental to you, because what is more important is how he deals with her once he has had the scales lifted from his eyes and has had time to process it all. He needs to work out (1) if you and DC are more important to him than his relationship with his mum, then (2) how you define the relationship you should all collectively have with his mum once he's worked out the answer to qn 1.

I wouldn't even begin to try ultimatums of him cutting out all contact with her forever (even if that is your plan) because he is so deep in the abuse i imagine that he isn't going to be able to deal with stuff like that yet. And she will also turn it round to make you look like the grasping control freak, rather than her. Let him have a chance to remove the blindfolds first.

He may choose her over you in the end, but you will at least have tried your best.

I think the best way of dealing with her continual battering at him is to have him forward all her emails/texts etc to you, and have his mobile changed so that you intercept all calls/appeals from her and you then deal with it all whilst he is having counselling.

That's a huge ask for you though and a big emotional commitment. Make sure he's worth it before offering this route through it

deliasmithy Sat 22-Jun-13 08:57:11

This mil woman is completely toxic.

The first part of your story sounded much like mine except that by our wedding DH had to choose and picked me. My toxic mil crawls around in the background but the power has been shifted to me and dh has had his eyes opened to her behaviour. To be fair, counselling really helped with this.

Sometimes people do have to choose in extreme situations and you married DH not his mother.

There's this triangular relationship that happens when you have 3 people. Basically one person takes the role of a victim, one person is then made out to be the attacker and the third person is the mediator. Your mil only functions through being a victim. In order to emotionally manipulate your dh she makes out you have been the one that has hurt her. This forces dh to mediate and resolve it.

I can very much see why you feel you can no longer put up with this and it's very sad that dh is not accepting the level of manipulation and negative impact she is having on you both. If he doesn't get it then this dynamic won't change in the future.

Teawench Sat 22-Jun-13 11:33:46

Morning everyone,
Did get some rest, but woke up a lot. DH is going to be here soon so I don't know how long I will have to type out responses. I just really want to thank you all so much.
You have given me so much better insight, and I don't feel like I'm crazy and its just my perception of how she behaves is bad. (Did that make sense)?

Something popped into my head last night the my DH told me about his childhood I'd forgotten. He mentioned that him and his DS were only allowed to eat whilst at the table and breakfast and dinner were a scarce meal. By Tea they were ravenous. He says one of his major memories of childhood was the feeling of hunger. I remember crying when he first told me this. They were allowed no snacks, and threatened not to touch any of the food. (This wasn't a case of not having money)
DH told me a fair while ago, His DS was so hungry she took a whole packet of biscuits to the loo and ate the whole thing. She blame DH as she scared and DH was told off and was sent to his room for day and evening with no dinner or tea.

badinage
My older DC don't care for MIL, the younger DC 3 & 4 don't mind her. She doesn't come around as much and when she has been, DH, older DC or myself keep an constant eye. There are always minor issue, but no smacks or anything like that since that Christmas. I think my 4y.o dc would tell us if something went wrong.
No, not contact with his DD,
Thank you for your thoughts again x
Isatdown
Thank you good advice, I'd love to give things a chance. I don't believe in ultimatums at all so that would not be a course for me, I don't even like the thought of having to cut someone out of our life, I just truly cannot cope. thank you x

Delia
I've never looks at it like you've described, but it makes sense. I can't understand how she could ever make me out to be the one causing pain. I've never said on mean thing or done anything to give MIL any reason to put herself into victim mode, but that seems to be were she thinks she is?

Is it possible I am at all being unreasonable?? Truly? To be fair, things are not as bad as they used to be, but for me the damage is seriously done. She is still having crisis all the time, and depending on DH for a lot, She rings/txt him a lot saying she has no money, the most recent the brakes on car issue..
We don't go around and she doesn't come as often now as it used to be. But I don't want to go through it anymore.
Does that make me bad on any level???
I also don't/didn't want to give her and time the opportunity to return to how bad it was.
DH seems to think in the past I've just been to unforgiving, but how can you forgive someone unless they ask for it??? (I know you can but it doesn't hurt if they realise this). I suppose I'm not much better as I'm to upset over it all still. sad
Thank you all again, I need to get sorted and will be back later with update.
xx

AndTheBandPlayedOn Sat 22-Jun-13 12:58:34

Imho, YANBU, you are not wrong, or bad on any level. Tbh, the red flags were there before you married him.

Mil has driven you away. It has been her obsession since the moment she found out about you. Your dh is so completely engulfed by her, by whatever mechanism -FOG, culture, habit, mil's psychosis, fnancial abuse, etc...it does not really matter why. She has dismissed and diminished you, degraded you, made you invisible. Ok, so the "game" is over and she has won. You get it. Backing away from this is really the only way for you to survive, recover, and maintain your own self esteem and mental health. Your dc need their mom to be healthy: you are doing the right thing.

There is more on deliasmithy 's triangulation. Google "drama triangle" (sorry, techno thing is beyond me doing a link).

Your dh has utterly failed you. He is incapable of creating and maintaining healthy boundaries for his mother to protect his marriage relationship. He has known this would be a problem from the very very beginning, Tea. That is why he did not tell her about you for so long, as well as showing you the emails: he was saying "this is what you are getting yourself into here". He pretty much was saying then that he is his momma's boy and nothing is going to change that, ever. Tough lesson to learn.

Enough is enough. You have NO need to second guess yourself and this decision.

CinnamonAddict Sat 22-Jun-13 13:40:48

Tea, keep an open mind about the sexual abuse thing. If there is any truth in it, your dh will have buried it very very deeply and of course will be convincing about denying it.

Have you asked your sil about their childhood?

Mil sounds toxic. I'm sure you have only told us a fraction of what's been going on with her over years.

Nothing is ever her fault, she never apologizes for anything... well, I think that may be because if she admitted what she had done over the years she would not be able to look into a mirror again. Self preservation.

Don't be a part of this. If your dh cannot see this, he needs an eye opener. Maybe the break up will provide this.

SugarPasteGreyhound Sat 22-Jun-13 14:37:05

There is only one thing you need to say to your H:

If you insist on your mother having contact with our children,despite the fact she has been physically and verbally abusive to them, then I have no choice but to leave you. Our children depend on us to protect them and if you would rather prioritise your mother instead of their welfare, then it is up to me to stand up for them.

deliasmithy Sat 22-Jun-13 16:36:04

Teawench - you don't need to have actually done a single thing for someone to play a victim and put someone in the role of aggressor. These kinds of people either don't know how normal relationships work or it is so deeply ingrained and utillised because it is effective at manipulating. It's clever if you think about it - what better way to destroy your son's relationship than getting him to pander to your needs and start thinking his partner is awful? Totally messed up.
Whilst this woman is clearly selfish and manipulative, your oh is choosing to respond to it.

As an aside, my mil was completely fine when dh and I were dating and ok when living together. When we got engaged it all changed and I was viewed as a threat. This caused strain between us. A short holiday with my family and counselling made him realise his dm was making him choose between us. I thank my stars he chose me. You and your family should be first and not runner up.

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