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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? !
Draw back draw back draw back draw back. I can't say that enough times. You will never please them. Ever ever ever. Stop trying. If they hassle you, change your numbers. Get your DP unto counselling if possible, so he can try and stop being afraid of them.
They sound like bloody awful people. You don't want anything to do with them. They will not change.
By "gelp"i mean help! ...Please! Xx
I can see how you feel and why.
It does sound horrible.
Can you try and remove yourself from some of the situations?
It's hard to avoid everything, unless you, and that means both you and your husband cut off all contact.
Try and stay calm and civil.
How is he taking it? I think I didm;t see that in your post.
Can you at least have a laugh about her when you're back home?
Not much help, I know, but I do know how you feel.
Move away and change your numbers, I would!
You can't please them and you don't have to.
Ignore, ignore and ignore.
I would have nothing more to do with them.
Firstly you are going to get some rude responses.
Mainly for the clothes thing, as they're gifts so just accept them and maybe pop DD in them when you have visits if they're that bad!
I do however sympathise, and I think our MIL's act similiar except yours with crying mine with rage. She's not quite as forward as yours though ..
Its a shit situation, YANBU to be upset at you and your families treatment and people like this just arent changable and neither should you try and be perfect.
Thats what I learner anyway. Sorry to hear your situation OP.
I have to ask, this has obviously been going on some time, so why don't you and DH discuss going non-contact or minimal contact with the family? Why have you let it go on this long? The minute they were less than pleased about your pregnancy you should have been having this conversation with DH - why can't he sort it out?
You sound v stressed - is your dh equally upset or does it wash over him?
tbh if they are in Jersey this must be better for you than being local?
how often are they back when wanting unconditional contact - every weekend? every fortnight? once a month?
Would have thought that once every two months was a starting point for contact and unless toxic to the detriment of your child then no need for non-contact.
You sound heavily invested - do not take the calls, do not skype - let dh do all of that and if he is dragging you into it then tell him to do nc himself or stand up for himself. Keep out of it if it is causing rows angst or misery.
As for spending time with dc if they dote on her that is a nice thing - you could give them guidelines for what she likes and needs and let them have her what? 6 times a year whilst you and DH go and have a date. Would that be so hard? then you do not have to stomach her, you and dh get some time, he can give her as a thank you and she gets time with dd.
Unless there really is a safeguarding issue or dripping venom issue then that would be a solution surely? Your dc won't ever get to know her if you are deliberately minimising all contact.
Thing is, I would feel like im depriving my dd of her grandparents, who treat her like gold! My oh hates it and just says he wishes they were normal :/ he says since he moved out after uni they've been a total nightmare. I just don't think mil wants to let go and hates not being able to control.
I lost my father when I was 10 and I Would hate my oh to lose his Parents my choice, I just need to find a way of them seeing us as adults and respecting their son as and adult (he is a very reliable parter and daddy and is a Success in my eyes) they still treat his like a child and his mother regularly sits him down for a telling off when everyone's left the room
I wish I could just run from them
Why should she be grateful for the clothes? Why should she? If this woman is as described, they were clearly not given in the spirit of love and generosity.
So fed up of grown adults behaving like this to family members! Why are they so fucked up?
How horrid. I'm sorry you have to put up with this. What age is your DD? If you carry on trying to please them it will really negatively impact your DD as she will see this unhealthy relationship as 'normal'
If your DH would go to counselling that would be a start. If they demand your time, tell them you're busy. I don't think they will change but if you can get a way to communicate to them that they are welcome to visit on your terms then the ball is in their court.
Alternatively, you could make ridiculous demands of them and cry lots to get your own way to see how they would respond. Good luck, hope it gets better x
MIL sheds enough tears to make an ocean big enough to drown herself in. (Now there's a thought).
Lots of running around them, one way traffic, everything on their terms.
Leave them to their own devices, block their calls.
What do you think they will be like when your little daughter turns into a tantrumming toddler? Or maybe (and I'm just saying this because it's possible not because I think it's likely) turns out to have additional needs at school? Or is a stroppy twelve year old who thinks grandparents are dull? Or a troubled teen?
Will they adore her then, or revert to type?
They reason they were cuntish when your DP moved out is because they lost control of him.
I would always accept the clothes with a smile on my face and would always put my dd in them whem we visited I even had some professional photos taken of dd in an outfit they brought that I hated and gave the photos to them! I am CONSTANTLY being thoughtful, ive just had dds handprint put into a Pandora charm for mil. And I let her take her, everytime she's back...sometimes 2 times a month. My dd is only 1 and she already wants to take her on holiday!
Oh iis petrified of his parents, thats why he doesn't deal with it, he's tried to in the past and they change for a month then resort back to their old ways.
Believe me, I try, he tries everyone tries, it's them. X
My ex fiance's parents were like this and it caused massive issues and I think contributed to his mental health problems.
What does your OH think about their behaviour? He should be laying down boundaries to protect you and your DD. They told you while you were pregnant not to try again if your baby died?! I think you should reduce or stop contact but if that doesn't come from him they will just think you are trying to come between them.
Run away. Move to Australia or somewhere very far away. I am 45 and have been with DH for 23 years and his parents still don't see us as adults- as far as they are concerned they are still in charge. It drives me mad and they aren't in the same league as your inlaws. Run.Fast.
Of course it's them!
They sound poisonous. If your oh is terrified of them, he really needs some help.
Go to Relationships and have a read of the Stately Homes thread. There is some very good advice there.
It's gone on this long because they are awk2 and they are manipulative but they are oh's parents and I can't just not give them a chance to change and cut them out of his and dd's life, instead I tried to compromise and get to know them and make them happy but it's evident they never will be.
I should imagine when my dd is a tantrum throwing toddler and a nightmare teenager they will think differently. If she does not obey them and love how they request they will probably treat her as they treat my oh. He feels a failure and is desperate to please...everyone. because of them he is a wetwipe of a man. :L
Just saw your update. Stop trying so hard. It's not you, it's them. I made an effort with my ex's parents, they just saw it as interfering. I think your OH could benefit from counseling. His parents are emotionally abusive and he will have grown up in that environment, being constantly undermined. It must be difficult for him to stand up to them but he needs to find the strength.
Oh and trying to please her won't help. Being the perfect DIL won't help. She won't think any better of you. She sounds controlling and selfabsorbed. Disengage. Stop being available. No means no. Make your OH realise he is a grownup now and they can't control him.
If they truly love their granddaughter they will see her on your terms. They don't. I think you need to put down ground rules and if they don't follow them, go no contact. Do it calmly. Say the hysteria is ott and upsetting. If you can't speak to them write it down. Use examples of their behaviour. They sound unhinged actually but if you approach it calmly then you know you have tried your best. I would also show your DH this thread. Just so you both understand how bad their behaviour is.
I hope you get it sorted op
I think he does need help...it just breaks my heart that he needs to seek counselling because of his parents. ..it should never be that way! X
She's very similar to my mil. I have very minimal contact with her and dh is in agreement. We see her maybe twice/three times a year and that's more than enough.
You need to come to the same sort of arrangement with your dh and if your in laws don't like it, then it's tough I'm afraid. You have to do what's right for your little family.
They've had a chance to change, you said "they change for a month then resort back to their old ways." You say when your DD is older they will probably treat her like they treat your OH. Do you want her to grow up like him, abused and afraid? Of course not so you both need to protect her from them.
This could have been me years ago.
In the end we cut off all contact - there was nothing we could do to please them. We changed phone numbers and didn't tell them when we moved house.
I suspect you will have to go down this route.
Thing is, I would feel like im depriving my dd of her grandparents, who treat her like gold!
Have a look at your DH, then ask yourself. Do you want to turn DD into him? Do you want to pass on the difficulties with them to her????
Because if you make sure she sees them often, they will continue to expect it and will guilt her terribly into doing it. By giving them a large part in her life, you will give them that ammunition.
While they were in Jersey you should have taken the opportunity to move elsewhere.
Beth I'm afraid loads of people need counselling because of their parents. It's much more common than you'd imagine. Being a parent brings out the best in lots of people and the absolute dregs in other people.
My DH has a mother a bit like your MIL.
He has been going to counselling about her (he's 48, BTW!). It really has helped him to be more assertive with her, and to realise that he can say "no" to her.
I really think you need to have a lot less contact with her.
Incidentally, she is great with DD, now, while she is a baby. Babies are easy to control. It's when they start developing a sense of identity that the "tricks" come in. The tricks she has used so successfully on your DH.
Exactly that about babies. Babies are small and cute and easy to control. When a child gets to seven or eight they start knowing their own mind. This is apparently often the stage when emotional abuse starts, when the abuser realises they have lost a bit of control.
You're all right. Guess I was just ignorant to start with and thought everything could be fixed by being nice. I've only done the present giving for their silver wedding anniversary and birthdays, xmas extra but it just makes things worse. :/
Thing is Beth, in your world things can be fixed by being nice, because that's normal and you're dealing with nice, normal people and you sound nice and normal yourself. What you've sadly discovered is that your ILs aren't nice and normal at all. They're twisted.
Your DD doesn't 'deserve' a relationship with these people.
I am usually first to the defence of MiLs on here, but they sound unhinged.
They will damage her. When she is old enough, what do you think they will say about you in her presence?
You need to distance yourselves and then cut them out.
I guess...I just feel like because they can be "nice" when everything is going their way that I would be being selfish to not see them. Maybe I need counselling, feel like it's my fault and that it's us getting it wrong all the time.
We are planning in moving to Australia, but its a long term plan, im currently studying to be a counsellor (ironic I know!) And oh needs a Couple of promotions to be moved there with work. X
What an awful situation. Realistically, you have to cut down contact and treat them to behavioural therapy - everytime you are visiting (visit them, try and avoid the alternative) and they try and sit dh down for a telling off or say something horrible it's time to leave - you've suddenly remembered an appointment/important chore etc. dd's going through a clingy phase so she isn't happy being on her own with gps. Have it on your terms - you can still be nice, anytime they start trying to screech at you, you leave. If they are round yours, go out. Boundaries need to be set.
This is impossible OP, you will never, ever be able to live up to what she wants.
Sounds like she has narcissistic personality disorder.
All these types of people are nice when things are going their way. For some reason they think things are going well because THEY are controlling everything. As soon as anyone else assets any control, or "gains" some attention, that's when they start being poisonous again.Unfortunately the "nice" periods only serve to knock the confidence out if the people they are manipulating.
You really need to understand this, they will not change. Now now. Not ever. This is who they are.
You say you don't want to deprive your dd of grandparents. Really? So they can do the same to her what they have done to your dh.
Stop trying to please them, call them out on their behaviour and when they get aggressive, out the phone down on them, leave wherever you are with them or tell them to leave your home. Don't let her tears sway you, this is a tactic she uses because it works, because everyone lets her get away with it.
Firstly don't tell them about Oz - you don't need the earache whilst things are in the planning stages.
You both need to, in the nicest possible way, become more assertive. Don't leave each other on their own with mil. If she starts being aggressive, pack up your things and go (cheerfully saying "this is obviously a bad time, we're off"). Is she starts on the phone, tell her it isn't a good time and you'll speak later. Stand up to her, but do it together - if your oh is already traumatised he will need your support.
I wouldn't leave dd with her AT ALL.
And stop with the trying to be nice - trust me, it will not work. I've taken mil out for lunch, driven her to places (she doesn't drive), picked up shopping for her, I've done some of her Christmas shopping, cooked, cleaned, dressed wounds, bought special presents, flowers, made jams and chutneys and jewellery. Doesn't make a jot of fucking difference.
The turning point was when we had a BBQ for dh's birthday and she sat there talking to my best friend, eating our food and drinking our booze! that your first born is always your favourite dc. DH has one older brother . Don't think I'll ever forgive her for that. Thankfully DH was out of earshot.
Support each other, forget about her, she is not important
Oh don't breathe a word about Australia they will go into overdrive.
As previous posters have said, they will not change. I find people like this get a lot worse with age. Your poor OH can't help the fear, its all he's known since childhood.
We cope by having absolutely minimal contact - visits once a year, christmas and birthday cards. To be honest we find this easier than nc as that brings with it it's own issues with wider family, stress for us etc.
And you don't 'owe' your dc a relationship with them. Ours were adoring when they were little, but as they became older and didn't fit into the moulds deemed acceptable the poison and disapproval started. You need to protect her from them.
Australia sounds perfect!
We've already spoken about that, we arent4 telling anyone untill weve sold up, got a visa and are leaving in a month. This is mainly because given the chance they will come too!
Definitely need to be more assertive and work together on it. That's the issue ill be assertive but oh makes excuses instead of saying what he feels in a considerate way, out of fear. He cried the other night when I sat him down and explained that his parents are controlling him and he turns back into a child whenever his mother tells him he's a failure or demands something. Don't think he'd realised until now that he constantly acts guilty even when he's not :/
He really needs to talk to someone. His parents have fucked him up, poor bloke sounds terrified of them
Whatever you do you'll need to do together.
If she starts saying he is a failure, could you be the one to cheerfully decide that you're all leaving? You wouldn't reward a child with an extended treat (your company) if they misbehaved.
And I really wouldn't leave him alone with her. In fact I've gone through similar with DH, he has specifically asked me not to leave him with them so we spent many, many years supporting each other and being joined at the hip
The only thing is, I'm not sure how to start limiting how often we see them. They come back very regularly and last weekend they pretty mich hunted us down. We went out to a play are and told them we were busy that day and they rang obsessively to meet up there! Turned up at the play cafe and insisted that we spend the day with them the next day, we ended Up texting them and saying we were too exhausted (my oh has spent the week in hospital) and we would see them next weekend as its dds 1st birthday. They ignored us completely and only text us today about going for lunch the day before dds birthday and staying overnight. Never enough!
Tried that. She will ask him to come and "help" in the kitchen or I'll pop upstairs to the toilet or to get ready and she'll get at him then. Literally any oppertunity she will take it! X
You need to learn to say no, that is not convenient - perhaps another time.
This is all about control. She has got into the habit of bugging you until she gets her own way.
If you see that she is calling, reject the call. Or put it on silent. If they turn up at your place, open the door just enough to be pleasant and say it is not a good time - arrange something at a time that is convenient for you.
You need to be bloody strong and persistent and in complete agreement but I promise you it will help
And then when she starts crying when we next see her, asking why we wont see her a lot anymore just leave? It's just a continuous cycle of manipulation. X
If they are at yours, when you leave the room, you all leave the room (same with DH) - just leave her sitting there.
Don't meet at theirs - if you can then go for neutral places only.
It may be rude, but leave her completely on her own if you have to. Anything to stop her from spouting her vile shit.
If she asks for help, you all go. Don't let each other out of sight/earshot. Although it would be far easier just to go no contact.
And if she asks, smile sweetly and tell her that you can't trust her not to be nasty. Very, very openly passive aggressive but it might make her stop and think.
you have tried everything and it doesn't work.
you just have to tell them they are not welcome on their terms, you will contact for occasional visits, the contact will be initiated by you
I can't see any other way around it
You can only be manipulated if you allow yourself to be.
If she cries, honestly, so what?
And then when she starts crying when we next see her, asking why we wont see her a lot anymore just leave? It's just a continuous cycle of manipulation. X
Also, you can turn your phones off at weekends. Seriously, it sounds like she's stalking you. Your oh needs help, fast, to get away from them.
God knows why that posted twice.
Anyway, yeah just about not rising to her manipulation I guess. Going to have to go against all my natural instincts to be "nice".
Could turn our phones off, it would solve the problem for a weekend at least! But when we see her she will bring it up and ask us why...then what do I do, lie? Make up some garbage? Or say, we just didn't want to be contacted? Cos that will start hysteria haha!
Shes such a nutter. Never thought id have this issue!
You just tell her that you were busy at the time and not able to take her call. If she presses you on it just repeat "We were busy" ad finitum.
You've just got to say, again and again every time that you turned the phones off because you wanted to relax and then smile at her. It's harder than no contact really. If she acts up, you really do all just have to leave. Even if at your own home. Her behaviour is demented.
Broken record technique - works a treat.
I shall give it a go this weekend. Fingers crossed she doesn't start crying in the restaurant (she never does in public which tells me she has perfect control over it!) X
Rolls up sleeves So they've moved over here eh? Well they're in for a shock of a lifetime over here because unless they are earning shit loads of money life is hard here.
Oh just read that they're back. Send them back here, i'll sort them out!!
Otherwise i think that you are best off speaking to your OH about limiting time spent with them
My MIL is like this. She caused us so much stress.
We dont see her anymore.
They come to visit a lot, they haven't sold the house (houses) they have in england so they go back and forth when suits. Dont worry, they've got loads of money. Alright for some! X
Aye, it's always amazing that, isn't it?
Stick at it. I promise you it will get better in time. It will probably be very tough to begin with, and it may get worse before it gets better, but it will get better
So she cries.
So what? No-one died from crying.
Just look at her pityingly and move the conversation along.
Or tell her to stop being so silly!
All this just makes me determined to get to Oz. I'll just have to follow your advise until I csn escape. I'll be posting again sunday night saying she gone for me across the table because I've told he "no" haha! Xx
Gives her tissues when she arrives, saying "for when you cry", roll your eyes, sigh, walk away.
My mother is very similar to this. When she cries- don't say a word, just get up and leave, no eye contact or speaking - just leave. Unplug your phone whenever necessary. Your DH could really do with some counselling right not - your MIL is really not right in the head - a serious personality disorder I think. I rarely see my mother now - twice a year at the most and the last few visits have been quite stressful. At the last visit she upset my DD age 3 by shouting, crying and screaming at me in front of her - so we left, and have never gone back. I have no plans to visit again - she doesn't even know I'm expecting DD2 soon. Bizarrely, I don't feel sad about it - just relieved and free. I have since found out from relatives that my grandmother (mother's mother) was the same so the buck stops here as far as I'm concerned - no more. No one needs that sort of parasitic relative contaminating their DNA chain.
If being a control freak is a personality disorder she has it. Always an argument when things haven't gone just the way she has in her warped mind. If she had her way we'd spend every spare second with them and I'd sign over my child to her. She is after all Nana as she likes to remind us constantly
No it's not "just" being a control freak. It is far more than than. I know posters on MN chuck the word "narcissist" round a lot, but it sounds like she is one. From what you have described anyway. Google it.
Yeah, she may be Nana but you are Mum and Dad.
Parents trump Grandparents!
Googled it...its like a personality profile for my mil! Ha! Scary!
I have had 27 years of a mil like this. Believe me yours won't change. I have had crying, sulks, manipulation, name calling (she once said to my dh that "she has made you hard" because my dh refused to do as she commanded. My dh picked her up on that.
Funnily enough it is me that gets dh to phone her. Me that buys her birthday/christmas gifts.
YANBU. You and your dh, maintain a strong united pair. Don't let her get to you. Good luck.
Beth can I suggest that you take a look at the stately homes thread in relationships? You might find it helpful. I've only ever lurked (feel bad posting as the narcissist in my family is my aunt so I feel a bit guilty about posting when others have a far more direct connection) but even lurking has helped enormously.
Might also want to consider asking mnhq to move this to relationships - it sounds like you're going to need ongoing support and they're a lovely bunch of posters
Just leave if she is being nasty or toxic. I have an abusive, toxic father so I know how it can affect you. It has been very hard but we just don't put up with his shit - you really don't have to. Living 400 miles away helps of course and I would NEVER leave my children alone with him.
Do you really think you have to put up with this?
I'd post in the relationships in the stately homes thread.
The advice from them is fab. I had horrible trouble with my MIL and i found out with help from that thread that she's toixic.
You'll be given advice on how to handle her.
I will try and find that thread and have a read of it. Im nee to this so no idea how to have this moved x
This is the latest thread with links to previous.
I've reported this to mnhq asking for it to be moved to relationships but I don't know if they will do this at the request of a poster - you may have to report it yourself or they might contact you to ask if it is ok to move it
Okay. Thank you. I will try and contact them. X
Oh, and even through we've suggested stately homes please don't feel that you should post there instead of this thread - the most important thing is to get support? I just don't want you to think that you can only seek that in one place!
Op are you my sil we seem to have the same mother in law expect mine is also a rasicst
Of course. You've all been helpful anyway. Nice to know I'm not crazy!
Definitely not crazy - sadly there are a lot of them about. It's amazing how you can become accustomed to accepting it as "normal" behaviour, it's only when you take a step back and see it for what it is do you realise how manipulative some people can be
Sounds like you have a long road ahead op if you don't take control of the situation.
I know it sounds awful to you to turn your phone off but I think it's a great suggestion. Slowly take the control back.
Perhaps also dilute her company by inviting others over at same time. I have a friend who has difficulties with her il's. We often go for lunch when they are visiting. Likewise they come to us when my il's are here. It works well for us.
Thing is, I would feel like im depriving my dd of her grandparents, who treat her like gold!
Have a look at your DH, then ask yourself. Do you want to turn DD into him? Do you want to pass on the difficulties with them to her????
Because if you make sure she sees them often, they will continue to expect it and will guilt her terribly into doing it. By giving them a large part in her life, you will give them that ammunition.
This is spot on.
Op, being a nice person to your mad in laws actually gets trumped by being a responsible parent to your child.
Its quite weird to read your op because I could have written it almost word for word.
Right down to the disappointed he wasn't a banker comments, and the constant crying which mine uses to get the whole family on side.
I used to think like you - that my DC had to see their GP I also lost a parent...and felt sorry my DC had fewer GP than most.
I also tried to be nice...made effort with bdays,xmas for the whole family....
My DH also crumbles when when faced with them....a total people pleaser.....and every time he sees them he turns back into that meek little boy who had to fall in line....
You can do this the hard way or the easy way. Your DH has a longer road than you to travel down.
It will be much easier if you make the decision yourself to stop this behaviour, to stop these bullies and live life on your own terms.
Once you have that clear in your head....eventually everything else will fall into place.
Are really so afraid of upsetting them that you are willing to carry on living this strange half life..why are your own feelings and wants not as valid?
What is the worst that can happen? They dont talk to you, they cut you off?
Don't make any big declarations just promise yourself you will stand firm, and turn down, be busy, make up excuses, avoid phone calls and so on when they try and contact you.
when they interrogate you like employees as to why you didnt answer phone and so on, say busy, didnt see call....lefyt phone at home and so on.
when they say where are you at soft play, you say yes and its not appropriate for you to come...they ask why, jusT say ....because I SAID SO.
I WILL tell you the worst that can happen...that is your DD spends so much time with them she gets brain washed, they gets their hooks into her and expetc to see her lots more.
I have gone through this, its not fun, we have cut visits right down adn yet even after a 3 hours visit once in a while we still suffer with dc moods.
Good luck op, use your anger to initiate change. and move forward.
you are in the driving seat of your own life no one else.
I'd sign over my child to her
Yep! Same here.
She sounds just like my mum.
Stop hoping she'll see the error of her ways, she won't. I bore the brunt of her narcissistic rage for my entire life. I was a fat, stupid, ugly, arrogant, skanky whoreish disappointment who was supposedly set out to tear her apart. When I was pleasing her things were ok, I just had to remember to bring gifts everytime I visited and do exactly as she told me to do. I was terrified of her, I attempted suicide twice.
When my daughter was born something changed within me. She flew into a narcissistic rage one day because I made decisions about where the band were going to play at MY wedding and she didn't agree. She screamed at me that I was an embarrassment and a rude ungrateful little cow (I was paying for the wedding, had turned her offer of money towards it as I knew she would use it as a stick to beat me with). I snapped. I told her exactly what she was.
I got a lot of abuse for months. Threats to come to my house and smash down the door etc. I told her that unless she apologised I'd have nothing to do with her. She has never apologised.
She tried to guilt me into letting her have access to DD, saying that grandparents are good for the child and that I would be depriving DD. Stability, unconditional love and a calm environment are good for a child. Treading on eggshells around a grown woman's tantrums are not.
It's hard OP, I'm 24 and have no contact with any of my birth family. But I'm learning things about myself, I had always done as I was told before and as such didn't have much of an opinion on anything. It's exciting, I come more and more out of my shell every day.
Sorry for waffling on, I guess I'm just trying to say that sometimes it's best just to let go of your dreams of a perfect family.
Oh my word it sounds like you've had a terrible time with your mil...im dreading planning my wedding now ive had to move in back a year due to my studying etc. Mil was overjoyed that she would be in the country by then to help plan and jumped put of her seat to congratulate me on moving it, she wants her claws in that too. Eugh :'( dont even know if I want to get married anymore!
The thought of them influencing my dd in any way gives me the shivers. Id hate her to grow up with the morals they have and/or to feel like my oh feels because of them. I wish I could run away, I would do tomorrow! X
I would explain to DH your worries and maybe show him this thread.
My DH was very much 'but shes my mum and DDs nan' he was putting her feelings above mine.
It really struck him how not normal she is till he saw my reaction to her behaviour. He honestly was brainwashed.
She treated him so badly.
He said he could just ignore it but as it was effecting us and DD he wanted to try and sort it.
It didnt work.
The way she treated us when she didnt get her own way was vile. Guilt trips/manipulation and she would get FIl (her enabler) to also guilt trip us.
She contributed to my PND and honestly didnt care about anything or anyone aslong as she got her own way.
She even told people i had an eating disorder.
Its been 6 months now NC but she threatened me to 'sort it out' a few weeks ago and left it.
Nip this in the bud now. Your family WILL suffer for it.
I showed him the comments and I think he's just embarrassed by his parents. I told him he needs to see a counsellor and he agrees but it doesn't mean he will...I also struggle to work out if hes just going along with what im saying or whether he genuinely agrees. I've made it clear I want to know how je really feels about it all and I wont be offended if he thinks different but i'm mot so sure.
devastated by all this and will start putting my foot down even if he wont. x
Can you put the wedding off until you move to Oz? Or even just go to a registry office and do it your way without telling her? They have no right to be at your wedding if they are going to upset you and you are under no obligation whatsoever to tell them any details about your plans. In fact, I'd be inclined (if you feel they must be there) to keep them in the dark re date and venue, then spring it on them at short notice so they have no chance to influence you or, god forbid, try to disrupt it.
I had to see a counseller due my MIL. She gave me tips on how to be assertive and even gave info to DH.
Thats when things started to change.
It will get worse before its get better. You will get the 'flying monkeys' (her family members) contacting you letting you know how upset she is.
Guilt trips, tears.. the works.
Ignore. Ignore. Ignore!
I had to see a counseller due my MIL. She gave me tips on how to be assertive and even gave info to DH.
Thats when things started to change.
It will get worse before its get better. You will get the 'flying monkeys' (her family members) contacting you letting you know how upset she is.
Guilt trips, tears.. the works.
Ignore. Ignore. Ignore!
Oh bless him
You sound like a good team
I could see a counsellor myself I guess...it may help me to be more assertive in life and perhaps cover other issues but I just feel it's her that's the issue and hate the idea of forking out a load of money to see someome about dealing with her.
I've got my heart set on my english barn wedding with all my family there, otherwise I would. nobody is coming to the actual registry office with us, just to keep them away from our special moment. dont want her there, that would ruin it for me.
I suffer with anxiety. Didnt know it was actually her that made me so anxious.
I saw my counseller through my doctor. It was NHS and it worked well.
She gave me assertive tips. How to respond to her behaviour and all sorts.
It's definitely something I'll consider, sad to think I will need to seek professional help regarding my in laws, ive never come across people who behave like this and I find it very stressful. They've totally put me off the idea of being married to there son and furthermore part of their hideous family :/
At least your in laws are in Jersey. Mine are similar and only 30 minutes down the road.
I hate them as much as they hate me. Dh refuses to acknowledge how emotionally blackmailing, rude and controlling they are. He just does/says whatever they want.
mil says they foulest most unforgivable things to me to get her own way, and through dh she gets it and it's all sweetness and light again.
I've considered divorce if only to never have to be near them again.
I hate hate hate my in laws.
* I just feel it's her that's the issue and hate the idea of forking out a load of money to see someome about dealing with her*
How funny! I felt the same but if I could have afforded it I would have gone for some counselling to give me structures to lean on in PILS HURRICANE.
My pils drove us both to tranquillers.
Please dont invite them to your wedding, I was under enourmous pressure from well meaning friends who never quite got our situation to invite them, and I cant even bear now to see them in my wedding photos.
we were not talking at the time but we still invited them, we didnt have too, no card...no nice presents..they just ruined it.
please dont have them there on your special day.
partner isn't ready to cut them off. thinks they don't realise their behaviour?! wants to continue to try and "comprise" with them. dont know what I'm meant to do :'(
All you can do is try to cope by avoiding and supporting each other. The right thing will happen at the right time x
Therein lies your problem. Your dh wants to stay in contact. You do not.
You described him as a wetwipe and basically portayed him fairly or not as abused, cowtowed, weak and a people-pleaser. But you also said you would respect his opinion if it was different to yours.
He is saying he wants to compromise. You now need to work out just what meeting halfway means for you all as a family unit.
As I said before it may be that you need to step back from it and let your dh deal with his parents. In terms of what you are meant to do, you cannot force him to see things the way you do. It could be that he just wants path of least resistance but actually does not feel as bad as you think. If he deals with the dp and his crocodile tear mum and then comes back to you moaning or upset then you can turn around and ask him what he is playing at.
Making it into a power struggle or it's them or me type ultimatum is going to cause resentment if he does not want nc. If it that he can stand up to you but not them but wants to stand up to them then clearly he does have issues. But it could just be that he does not see it like that. As for the constant stalking type behaviour - just do not answer the phone. This may seem like a cop-out but so is texting to cancel.
You need boundaries if they are overstepping and that means that when she cries with You don't see us etc that you talk to her like you will your dd when she becomes a toddler, namely that we can't always have what we want when we want it all the time. If she goes nc herself on your ass then that is a desired result in any case.
Best of luck op. You do have my sympathy.
Tell PIL to fuck off and cut all ties.
Have you considered getting him some books on toxic parents and how to deal with them? I read a few good ones whilst trying to salvage the relationship between my mother and I. Obviously as per my previous post we are NC now but as your DH doesn't want that it may give him some tips on setting boundaries etc.
just search "toxic parents" on amazon, loads are available. "You're not crazy, it's your mother" was an amazing one for me (but it is written to a female audience.)
I've seen those books but he doesn't think they are toxic. he said to me last night they are the only family he has ever had up until me and dd have been here and although he is starting to see what I see he has never seen it like that because to him its the norm.
he says he would never let his parents treat our dd like they treat him but if they don't notice their behaviour how is going to do that?
because he knows all the horrible things they've done, I reminded him of them all last night and he looked devastated, he just desperately tries to forget because he "doesn't want tl see his parents as toxic"
if I dont see them, they will want to know why and that woth cause problems for him and his "unknowingly abusive" parents, that he wants to "comprise" with. those people have never comlrimised with their son, like they're going to start now.
they didnt want a son, they wanted an obedient dog...perhaps a labrador would have been better.
I do respect his opinion amd unfortunately he IS all those things. ..he shrinks into those things when he is about his parents which points the finger directly at them.
I wpuld never dream of causing any issues between him and his parents if he wants to see them by all means then do so, but I can assure you when I do not turn up with my dd, give it 2 occasions and there will be screaming, shouting and of course crying, which is ultimately me causing a problem between him and his parents for not being a good obedient child.
I think you need to stay with him then, he's starting to see what they're like but it will take him a while to come to terms with it. As you said, it's all he's ever know, it's normal to him.
As everyone said, put the phone down or walk away when they start the abuse, let him know that you support him so when he realises that they won't ever change he an walk away
it was always going to go that way anyway, I knew it. he cant bare to see the manipulative side to his parents (even though when they are being manipulative he points it out to me ) so I will have to continue to pretend I like thesw quite frankly disgraceful people for his sake.
I'm so sorry Beth.
Ok, he now knows that you dislike them, that they are disgraceful and that there are many, many people on here who are of the same opinion as you.
Is this the first time that he has become aware of the strength of your feelings?
As you've said, this is normal for him. He doesn't know any different. Read up,on FOG - fear, obligation, guilt - very, very interesting and genuinely captures why people stay in contact with toxic people/ narcs.
Changes are not going to happen overnight. And in terms of your role, you cannot change your pil - but you can change how you react to them.
Personally I would still go with the termination of a conversation by leaving/ hanging up when they are rude etc and fuck the consequences. The more you put up with it the longer it is going to continue - why wouldn't it? There are no consequences.
Out of interest, where is fil in all this?
I genuinely think he has been completely brainwashed. We've had arguments with me in tears after his mum has caused an argument and I've pointed out how manipulative she is and it hits him but he just slips back into being the obedient son within months and they too slip back into being the controlling narcs. We've actually told them and I have said to his mother that we can never get it right and actually just want to get along with them and their behaviour changes for a couple of months (means they can control their behaviour)
his father is like my oh is. my own mother who had met them only a hanful of times has pointed out how he is afraid of his wife and would never step out of line. xx
It certainly sounds that way
Do you think that, if you stood up to her even once, it would be enough to instigate long term change? And I mean really stand up to her, no contact at all - even dd?
I don't want to bore you, but I wondered if this might help.
When I was a child (certainly no older than 3) there was a massive argument between my mum and dad and maternal grandparents. Grandma was a bit of a narc, grandad just did anything to keep he peace. She had been causing trouble all of mum's life, real pita, controlling, manipulative etc etc.
There was a "straw hat broke the camels back" event. She and grandad turned up at our house with grandma demanding to see DSis and I (only grandchildren) and my dad forcibly stopped her from entering the house. He slammed the front door so hard that he broke it. Grandad ushered her away, I can still remember he looked so angry, I'd never seen him like that before.
As you do when you're a child, it was one of those memories that is way at the back of your mind and I never really thought about it again.
It's only in the last few years that the memory has surfaced and I've spoken to dad about this, and he told me what happened afterwards.
There was nc with grandma for a month, grandad was furious with her and made her apologise. He blamed her for creating a situation that could compromise him seeing his granddaughters.
She was still a pita, and the arguments didn't stop completely, but they were greatly reduced. According to dad, she knew that it would be far worse for her than it would be for anyone else if she stepped out of line again, so, like your mil, she was able to control her behaviour. And she realised that, in order to get what she ultimately wanted, she had to control her behaviour.
Fwiw DSis and I utterly adored grandma and grandad. I miss them every single day. But that relationship would not have been possible if grandma had been allowed to treat DSis and I in the same way as she treated my poor mum.
I suppose I'm writing this to try to offer you some hope. It took mum years (33) and a bloody supportive spouse to be able to stand up to her. But things did change. I'm not sure the FOG ever left, but the dynamics of the relationship changed and, once grandma knew that she was not in control, her behaviour started to change.
Sorry, that was an essay
Thanks, that all sounds very familiar to me and there have been occasions when shes been laying in to my oh where I have stood up to her and remimded her that actually she is very luck to have such a great son and the things she is saying aren't right. I've even told her she speaks to him like dirt and I don't want to be around when she acts like that, she will change for a month or so but she will eventually after a few months of not getting her own way throw one of her massive strops.
I think the only way is for me to be more assertive and oh to do the same and continue with that, need to stop bending over backwards for them and treading on eggshells and if she throws a paddy to just remove ourselves.
its just so much easier said than done, sometimes it's hard to get a word in edge ways when shes demanding our time etc and she csn be so persistent and it gets so akward we botb cave!
I know - written down/ in theory everything sounds so straightforward. Achieving it, and having the persistence though is another matter.
Perhaps persistence is the key here. When she starts to deviate from what you find acceptable, there is a consequence.
It might also help to reward good behaviour. Now I'm not suggesting that your mil is a dog (well, actually..... ) but if a dog does what you ask it to then you will reward with a tasty treat/ playing/ tickle behind the ears. Could the same work for mil? If she behaves then dd makes her a special picture/ you give her a bunch of flowers/ you rub her belly and tell her she is a good girl? When she misbehaves, you withdraw contact.
yes. thats a possibility! Perhaps by being so overly nice after a period of her causing chaos I'm infact rewarding her behaviour.
perhaps me constantly trying to give her thoughtful gifts makes me look desperate for her approval and furthermore puts her above me.
I've recently discovered she absolutely hated dh's ex and realised it's because she was a labrador that did exactly as she was told.
Absolutely! Stop the continued niceness - if she is a bitch then she shouldn't get a dentastick!
It's understandable though, if you're faced with someone difficult then I think it's human nature to be as nice as possible and try to pacify them. But she's manipulative, so to a certain extent you need to play her at her own game
I have no experience with toxic relatives, but ohfourfoxache's advice to treat her as you would a dog - reward good behaviour and punish bad - sounds spot on. It may be that once your DP sees you standing up to her and getting the desired results he may feel strong enough to do the same.
please stop contact. it's not healthy for you dh or your dd so just stop seeing them.
you aren't depriving your dd you are protecting her.
sounds like your dh is a damaged man, you need to protect him from the cause of that damage. make that your job not appeasing your mil.
and you sound like you have tried op. good for you but now it's time to get tough for all your sakes.
But DH isn't ready to go nc yet body. Unfortunately the decision isn't just down to op (although it would be far easier if it was)
right sorry missed that bit. op I don't know it's difficult.
what would your dh do if you said you weren't seeing them again. would that shock him into seeing them for what they are? sorry if this has been already discussed.
yes agree also with Ohfourfoxache approach too.
ONE Of you needs to shore up and say no enough, this is not going to be your DH.
One of you has to say stop.
its not going to be him.
Otherwise hello years of misery in your marriage, ending in divorce.
Your DH comment...they are the only family I have had...
is ridiculous...most people until they marry and have their own DC, also, have only had their parents and sibs. stupid comment.
if your wishey washy following his wet wipe lead you are going to get nowhere.
you have tried different tacs with them and nothing has changed.
do you know why?
because your pils dont respect you,
they dont like you, they dont respect you and they think they are superior to you and until very short time ago they had 100% control over their son..and still have 99% control now, and you - just fall into line also.
you said yourself you are overly nice to her.
what motivation here is for them to even begin to look at how they treat their son?
the only slight pull you have is their GC. and withdrawing contact.
you have to be the one who says to your DH....I understand their your parents and their treatment of you is al you know, its like stockholm syndrome...that is what you have.
I your wife can see its not healthy, nor the way they treat us.
I your wife am saying enough, no more.
You carry on seeing them if you wish but I and your DD will have no part of it any more until their behaviour improves and that could be years.
I will not subject myself or my DD to them any longer nor do i want dd to hear and witness the low esteem in which they hold you in.
you have to stop caring what they think of you,,,,and start caring for your self and your dd.
* but ohfourfoxache's advice to treat her as you would a dog - reward good behaviour and punish bad - sounds spot on*
Disagree with this, have been in same position and tried this it doesnt work becuase they dont think they are doing anything wrong..they see themselves as superior..all that happens is you give an inch they wade in every time nad take a mile. they are too strong willed...which is why we are all in this mess with pils like this in the first place.
the only soloution is for op to withdraw, with dd and not see them and put foot down.
I do feel for you OP. YANBU and I think you recognise the situation very well. I would seriously go to speak toa counsellor and have a private rant where you feel you won't be judged.
I have experienced manipulative bullying from my mil since I got engaged to DH 18 years ago. Many times I've considered and even discussed us splitting up because she causes so many problems but then she would win. I now have to remind myself when I am in her presence to step back and think this is HER not me. That is a first step.
Second step, please do sit down with DH with notes and set out a plan that will make things better for you - and therefore hima nd you all as a family. You do have a right as his partner to set some groundrules. (My groundrule now is she doesn't babysit here as I can't cope with her going through my stuff). You need some groundrules to try to improve your situation and enable you and DH.
And draw back. Make excuses (period, flu, tummy troubles....) anything to avoid going................ I know I can cope with visiting about once a month. THEN I need a break. If you can build more space between meeting her, you have time to get over the last incident.
I hope you find some peace. I do understand what manipulation is like. Big hugs to you OP. x
But if DH is "forced" to have contact on his on then it could actually make it worse for him. She will have unfettered access and will continue with the manipulation/ put downs etc.
So far op has been very, very nice to her. This is despite the fact that mil is a bitch. Ergo she has "gotten away with it".
By changing the approach it might be a way of affecting change without subjecting DH to the misery of putting up with her by himself
yes but that this put down etc is un acceptable has been brought out into the open, it might be quite good for him to go there alone and get more of it and hopefully one day when he sat there getting verbally attacked he may think
what the fuck am i doing here, i could be at home right now with my amazing dd and wonderful wife....and yet here i am sitting here like a lame duck taking this....thanks mum no more....
he has to make his own choices and he has to - like an alcholoic want change himself.
Haven't read full thread but my DMs mil and mum were a bit like this. My DM asked me once why I didn't do more with my Nan, the truth was I saw how much grief my mum got and decided to stay well away. If I were you I would stay away too, they don't get better with age.
Keep showing him the updates on this thread.
It took my DH 3ish years to realise how his DM is behaving in not normal!
You and your DH sounded like us. Arguments, tears etc all because he puts her above you. He is brainwashed.
But. He has started to see what she is like.
You dont have to see her and neither does your DC. Whats she going to do? Cry? Throw a strop?
Tell your DH that this isnt healthy for you as a couple.
You have my sympathy OP.
How far advanced is your Australia plan? Unless you can say that it's guaranteed within a particular timeframe, say 6-12 months, then I'm concerned that you will focus on that and be more willing to put up with horrible treatment in the meantime and the timeframe could merrily slide away into the future. In other words, unless you can say "within definite X period we'll be shot of this", you could put up with a great deal of grief for a year, 2 years, more years, etc getting more frustrated all the while.
Making a move like that motivated by running away isn't going to provide the firmest base for settling there. You really will benefit from putting your foot down and obtaining more control of your family life before you make this kind of move.
We'll move this to Relationships for you now OP.
I have similar in laws, we've withdrawn from them, they get minimal visits ever six weeks or so.
It started when we met, they wouldn't have chosen me, they loved the previous GF ( my DH didn't)
They became frequent popper inners when we had our first baby. Would push past me in the door, and would overstay their welcome. They wanted the baby, ignored me. Cried when they couldn't have their own way. tried to just roll up and take the baby out. We stopped the popping in, it was so selfish and rude.
They often interfered with our marriage, we decided it needed to stop.
Be strong and minimise visits.
I'm totally torn. I don't know what is right and what is wrong anymore. all I know is they are bad for our relationship and furthermore my family whilst they behave like they do. unlike my dh Im aware no amount of comprising will work and they'll never be happy with whatever we do.
I'm just stuck on what to do about it. Australia is a while away yet, ive got at least 3 years left of my studying maybe longer so it's definitely not a wait it out situation!
dont know whether leaving dp to it is a good idea or not as it leaves him vulnerable to further emotional abuse...maybe that is what he needs but I worry it will take him having some sort of breakdown because of them to finally let go and I don't know what mil might convince him to wkth out me there.
very complicated, awkward and stressful situation. x
could someone attach the link to relationships? when I search "relationships" it comes up with loads of threads...confused about where this post is being moved to? x
thank you. spent the afternoon with my aunt and cousins. madr me realise how normal they are and wierd il's are! dp is so relaxed, shame he cant be like that about his parents!
Sorry about that.
Anyway, sounds awful ad I do feel for you.
However, I did note that you said that that your dd doesn't want to clothes that she buys you because they are pink and fluffy and she is a tom boy.
Then you say she is 1!! My DD is 1. No ways on earth does she even have any idea what she is wearing, let alone if it is pink! this did make me think about how you are with your mil as well.
as I say, when she gives me these clothes I say thank you, theyre lovely and put her in them every time she visits.
my child is simply a tom boy who would rather jump in puddles, play with cars amd trucks and is far more comfy in a pair of stretchy trousers.
I put her in a netted, poofy dress that mil brought for her renewel of vows and she could barely move. tom boy asside, they aren't practical.
im very, very nice to my mil, regardless of her ways.
fyi I'm not talking a normal little girls dresses. .. They're so fully lined and netted they stand up on their own! That's not the issue here anyway, I wouldn't be considering leaving my dp over his mothers need to dress my baby like a doll...its the emotional abuse that's the problem.
You need to be much more assertive. I wouldn't even put my kids in clothes I thought were uncomfortable or ridiculous just to please someone. She will only treat you badly if you let her, difficult when you your husband can't stand up to them.
as you can see, peoples opinions differ. one person feels i would be treating my mil unfairly by not appreciating her offers of clothed whilst you think I should not put her in them and be more assertive. ..which to be honest I agree with, but as I say I've been overly nice to my mil snd it's got me nowhere.
she often tells me she wished she had more kids but only had one Because they wanted to have money and that if she had a girl she would dress her up like a doll so instead she dresses MY daughter that way. Literally no boundaries.
If you try to,placate her and are nice to her she will just continue as she is and walk all over you. Luckily my MIL is lovely and is the opposite who would cut her arm off rather then be pushy and hurt if she thought she had offended someone.
My father is quite toxic though, you have to limit the time you spend with him.
Op your DD isnt a tom boy, she is just a normal girl learning about her environment around her and so on.
I think you should have kept your thread in aibu where it would get more traffic AND have another in relationships where you would get different opinions,
unfortunalty some parts of the boards do not get as much traffic.
anyway...the clothes do not matter...its easy to see why you do not like your mil and even if she was buying tom boy clothes you wouldnt neccasrily want to be reminded of your painful mil when you dont have to by by your dd wearing clothes she has brought.
its not confusing, its very simple.
you put your foot down say enough, i am not seeing them anymore and i am not comfy with them seeing dd, send partner to them as and when he wants....
as with drugs addicts sometimes hitting the lowest point is critical in the turning point....wow i have been driven this low, why...
at the moment you are bogged down in it....you need to get clean and detatch....
so he can see the calmer shores....
its a development process he hasnt gone through.
op i think most people have said they sound like nutters and you are not mad, one poster has mentioned hte clothes
okay...in a moment of frury I used the words "tom boy " when I should have stated the dresses are utterly ridiculous and my baby can not move in them, it's more the fact she buys her these clothes because she would dress her baby that way if she had a girl, I don't take to that sweetly because she's not her baby...and has no right to dress her up like a doll because if I had caved to my mil's bullying my dd wouldn't be here in the first place...anyway!
Yes I need to put my foot down, I will start...however before I remove myself and my dd from them I'm going to see how they react to the assertive protective me that calls the shots. chances are they'll turn into total nutters and behave irrationally and at that point I will tell them myself I am removing myself from them as they are emotionally unhinged and dp will either have to go it alone to see them or realise what they are and go nc too.
I dont know where I should have posted, I don't even know myself how to find these places on mumsnet, I literally posted here because I couldn't see anywhere else that suits, point me in the right direction with a link and i'll post there.
turns out im a total technophobe! x
It'll be the best thing you can do for your DD.
Keep us updated!
Partially follow heresnomewithoutyou's advice from Wednesday.
Give her tissues when she arrives but stay calm, do it in stages OP. Give her due warning. Something along the lines of:
You know they love being grandparents, you want DD to know her family. But the 3 of you need time to yourselves.
Being interested isn't about grabbing direct involvement.
She's had that time with DP, it's your turn now.
It's good for your DD to have a loving extended family but it's starting to grate on both of you now.
Suffocating you will have the opposite effect to what they hope.
From now on you two are asking them to step back because if they don't, you shall.
Why do I have a mental image of King Canute proving his followers even he couldn't command the waves to go back. But worth a go. Unless DP is able to bring himself to go nc at once.
I'm not going to meet them for lunch tomorrow and tell them theyre never seeing my dd again. but when she starts asking to take her to herself and not backing down or trying to organise us to stay with them for a week etc I'm just going to be firm and polite and say no.
if she starts being horrible to dp and belittling him I'll stand up for him and tell her I disagree with what shes saying etc. Basically she can see us but cut the bullsh*t.
im sure all this gentle rebellion from us will cause her to scream at us all a couple of months down the line and when that happens I'm simply going to ask her how she expects me to brong my dd round to hers when she behaves in such an unhealthy way.
I'll stand up for him and tell her I disagree with what shes saying
If you're going to do that, you might as well be very direct:
"That's a nasty comment. It's not even true. Why did you say it?"
the problem is she only gets nasty when shes throwing a massive strop. its more the constant digs and nagging about everything he does. I'd sound a bit odd if I stood up to her like that when she says "is that bloating or have you put on more weight, you used to be so fit" or " so you don't want to do well in your career now, you're happy just being an investment banker associate"
she's a devious lady.
If you stand up to her and confront her (doesn't have to be a full ut attack or warfare - you just don't sit there passively taking it) then she will probably end up throwing one almighty tantrum that will give you the perfect excuse to really distance yourself and your daughter from her. You almost need her to burst a gasket that there is no is no hiding from rather than all the little passive dig shit. Your husband is then welcome to see them as and when he pleases - but you don't.
If she's throwing a massive strop then it's not good for you to be there and certainly not good for any child to be there. In this case, although it's difficult, you must attempt to leave her presence and try your best to make your DH leave as well.
It sounds like a nightmare but if you don't resist she will blight your life for a very long time unless you divorce.
I know, just know any confrontation will eventually cause a tantrum but my thinking is the same as yours, when that happens its my time to say "that's exactly what I'm taking about and exactly why I no longer want to be in your company".
You can still pull her up on those comments that undermine your DP. Say something like "That's a strange thing to say, what do mean by that?" or "Why are you making critical comments when we are spending time together?" don't let the toxic stuff pass. Or leave when she starts saying things like that. It's the toxic drip, drip, drip that destroys your DP's onfidence.
My 1 year old daughter screamed the place down each time I put her in a dress. And I mean each time. It wasn't until she was 16 that she wore a dress (nobody recognised her). Just saying.
When she kicks off, leave. Don't talk to her or reason with her. Get up and go. When you have to talk to her (eg when she's at the door demanding to be let in), keep your sentences extremely short re statements: no you can't come in then don't say any more. Don't explain why she can't come in.
Make statements: we won't see you because you are rude and abusive to us. Don't add any more or get embroiled in even the tiniest discussion. She won't see it (EVER) and will drag you about hither and thither if you try to reason with her; you just have to learn to manage her. And that starts with recognising what she's about and not trying to appeal to her 'better side'. She doesn't have a better side. She will manipulate and [try to] wear you down until the end of her days.
re the Oz idea - if they're loaded they'll follow you so you won't be getting away. If you do get there, I wouldn't let them know where you live, not even the city. However, learning to manage her NOW will stand you in good stead for when you make the move.
Don't let her do to your daughter what she's done to your partner . The only way to stop that is to severely cut - if not entirely - all contact [with you all]. She is dressing your daughter as a doll because that's how she sees people in general: inanimate objects for her to play with.
Your partner isn't the only one to begin to wake up to the fact that he has a toxic parent (or parents if his dad is enabling her). It's a rocky road but many of us have trodden it. Keep going OP's partner, you'll get there.
I know, just know any confrontation will eventually cause a tantrum but my thinking is the same as yours, when that happens its my time to say "that's exactly what I'm taking about and exactly why I no longer want to be in your company".
You cannot apply the "normal" rules of familial interaction to disordered people like his mother, it simply does not work. You likely will not be able to do or say anything when she starts on at you again.
You cannot see what she is doing as simply a tantrum (she is emotionally stuck at 6); she will likely go into full on narcissistic rage. And that is truly a sight not forgotten in a hurry.
Springy makes an excellent point re inanimate objects. That's a very interesting way of looking at it.
How are you doing Beth? Are there any immediate plans to see her again?
With further reference to such inanimate objects:-
"Having a narcissist for a mother is a lot like living under the supervision of a six-year-old. Narcissists are always pretending, and with a narcissistic mother it's a lot like, "Let's play house. I'll pretend to be the mother and you pretend to be the baby," though, as the baby, you'll be expected to act like a doll (keep smiling, no matter what) and you'll be treated like a doll -- as an inanimate object, as a toy to be manipulated, dressed and undressed, walked around and have words put in your mouth; something that can be broken but not hurt, something that will be dropped and forgotten when when something more interesting comes along".
thanks gor everyones commemts and advise, it's good to feel like someone supports me in this! I am currently in the car to go for lunch with the in il's at a restaurant of their choice (happens to be round the corner from them...so she can try and force us back to hers I bet, not happening! )
it's their "present" to dp for his birthday that I'd already agreed to so I'm sucking it up and going.
op says if she flys into one of her rages again thats it and we won't be seeing her or his father (because she controls him too) but I do worry that when this happens he wont be able to make the cut. I asked why the need to wait for her to treat us badly again and he says it's because it's taken a toll on our rela5 (duhh has done for the entirety of our time together! ) he's desperately clutching at anything, he wants her to be a nice person and is desperate for her to change. poor man can't see that it's not happening.
it's dd's 1st birthday party tomorrow so will have to see them then too!
attila that is exactly what my mil is like! she loves having us all in the house amd catering, dressing dd up and forcing everyone to play board games and happy families. jp interest of coming to ours or meeting out, she has to be the one in total control or everthing. it makese cringe!
You handle this the way you're able to OP. The main things to get from this thread is to see their behaviour through others' eyes and to realise that it's well out of order, and to get tips on possible ways you can respond.
oh and springy that's what my dd's like with dresses. tom boy or not she hates them!and I totally agree with everything else youve mentioned, I find it difficult to stand up to her because she's such a narc but ive got to so I'm starting today. haha!
Beth, good luck - this may be the first day of the rest of your life. Stay strong, it will be difficult, but you know what you need to do.
Attila that is so, so accurate. Never thought about narcs like that but it's so true.
Good luck today! We're all rooting for you!
Hope you are okay Beth. There is loads of good advice on this thread. I wish I had this advice when I first met my mil. She was fine until my husband told her that he had proposed. She grabbed my hand, looked at the ring and said "I hope you're not pregnant!" And pushed my hand away. Things went from bad to worse over the years with her expecting us to always visit her, not the other way around. They wrote us a letter saying I had to "earn" my way into their family and that MIL is head of the family and what she says, goes! She would keep ringing while hubby was at work then hang up when I answered so we blocked her calls and she flipped. After several years of snide comments and treating my husband like dirt ( she once phoned him to tell him he must be f**ked in the head!) we decided enough was enough. We cut all ties with them and have had no contact for 10 years, but I still feel guilty as my children have no grandparents around as mine are overseas. They tried to take us to court as they felt they had grandparents rights but they were such toxic people, we just ignored the letters and nothing ever came of it. I wish that I been stronger mentally and sought advice from a professional but as some posters have pointed out, some people will never change, no matter how well you treat them.
Your MIL sounds like mine, manipulative, needy, cannot let go of her grown adult children and hates having to relinquish control over their lives. Despises the fact that their partners get more of a say and are more important than her now. A very bitter old cow it has to be said, I actually posted a huge ranting post about her on AIBU the other day. Like you, I hate her.
I just avoid and ignore her and let DP know that I cannot stand to be around her. I am aware this upsets him, but at the end of the day she isnt my mother, I am not bias towards her or have emotional attachment to her like her kids do. I see right through her.
She tried sticking her oar in when we found I was pregnant, coming invading my personal space and sitting down saying 'If your having this baby we need to get everything sorted out blah blah blah'. I was thinking 'WHAT? What the hell has it got to do with you and what on earth are YOU going to be sorting out that me and DP and other more mentally stable and respectful family members can't?'. She just wanted to be massively involved from the start so she can claim some sort of ownership of my DC and it is NOT happening, over my dead body. However my MIL is a very emotionally unstable, mentally immature alcoholic. Yours just sounds very overbearing and the type who cannot let her baby boy go. What a nightmare, I feel for you.
Axe2grind yes my MIL also tried to tell me at her mothers funeral that she was now the 'head' of the family (funnily enough GMIL had never given herself this title in the first place) now, in a way which was to say I have to pander to whatever she says now! I just laughed at the silly drunk old cow and humoured her, what does she think it is the 1900s?!
I just know MIL would love to run the lives of absolutely everyone in the family, like many MIL's on here she always has to be the one in control and the centre of attention or she sulks like a big baby. Honest to god, what is wrong with everyone's MIL? Why are so many of them such a god damn nightmare, particularly when it comes to their sons?
Most of these MIL's are totally oblivious to how much they are shooting themselves in the foot with their behaviour. Given my MIL's extensive back catalogue of manipulative, childish, unpredictable, bitchy and passive aggressive behaviour her DS and I cannot wait to get away from her and she will be having very little contact with my child.
Both predicaments are exactly what MIL didnt want and when DP told her we were moving out and away she threw the biggest hissy fit tantrum ever and gave DP the silent treatment for about a week. She was gutted her big plan of taking over the parenting of my child and belittling me and exercising control over everything wasnt going to happen (like hell it ever was anyway!).
Hope today goes well, or if it doesn't. You find the strength to stand up to her
I am just so grateful for the supportive, non demanding, non interfering PIL's I have. I'm sure they think I'm a bit nuts and controlling at times and I've sometimes rolled my eyes now and then but they have been fantastic over the years and as such, we have very much enjoyed actually spending time with them - taking them on family holidays etc.
22honey, your post reminded me of the early years of our marriage, when we told mil we were moving one mile down the road, yes only one mile and she had a massive tantrum and sulked for weeks. She said she would NEVER be able to see her grandchildren if we moved! (She doesn't drive but our new house was on her bus route)!! I should point out that we lived across the road from her at the time! She had talked my husband into buying the house opposite before we met. Speaks volumes really.
Brooncoo, I have a friend who ADORES her mil, even more than her own mum who is actually very nice. I met her mil and I have to say, she is lovely and I am very envious...
okay so I got myself really worked up over this lunch meeting and now I know why! I knew, just KNEW mil chose the pub around the corner from theirs for her own reasons! DP was driving and went to turn down into his parents road...as far as I knew we were meeting AT the pub...for LUNCH...they've only gone amd told him we are all walking down together...ie we go to theirs, park our car AT THEIRS and walk to the pub. ..and back to THEIRS to collect the car...talk about hidden agenda! I made him turn around and drive us to the pub and tell them we are meetinf them there..his dad on the end on the phone, oh can't you just come in, it's only 12.30 bit early for lunch, mums got all the toys out for our granddaughter (can imagine mil is sat next to him, tugging on his arm to get him to convince us to come round) but met them there...
surprise surprise she mentions how she had everything ready for dd and was looking forward to seeing her and thought we could come back for tea! This all being disguised as a "birthday lunch"! rant rant rant, waiting for dp to say something, which he didn't so I reminded her we organised to meet at the pub, which she didn't like at all
Dp made the fatal mistake of mentioning we need to pop to waitrose...oh we will take her whilst you go to the shop and we can go for a walk back to ours, said 3 times dp says NOTHING. until the 4th time towards the end up lunch whereby he remembers we have a tax return to do. finally an excuse* because he couldn't possibly say "thanks but mo thanks, we want to be at home this afternoon". I was fuming with him, I said and we had actually rehearsed various scenarios where he just says "thanks but no"! and he sat there awkwardly whilst she banged on about her grand plans to take dd until he came up with a good excuse to say no thanks mum!
seriously, he's totally under her thumb. its pathetic. he says next time when he hasn't got an excuse he'll just say no...he's totally brainwashed. I did point out how silly it was he cant say no thank you mum! and what that says about her personality but I think I'm fighting a losing battle.
Look, I'm all for you putting up with no crap and being assertive but TBH, regarding the parking your car and walking down to the pub together etc - I think you are blowing all that out of proportion. I don't think it's awful that she thought you might pop in to her house to to watch your little one play with toys. With what you said here alone, I don't really see the problem.
not to mention she sat there the whole meal commenting on what he shouldn't eat, dont order cheese...you shouldn't be eating cheese. oh and...
when you come to jersey...oh you HAVE to stay for a week a weekend isn't long enough.
theyve also got grand plans to buy an apartment just down the road from us! for when they come back home from jersey in 2 years and to stay when they visit because they've finally realised they don't need a 5 bed house especially when they don't live in it. f*ck my life.
Sorry broon I completely disagree - Beth needs to make it clear that mil is not the one making the decisions.
Beth - I think you did completely the right thing not meeting at theirs first.
Going back to read the rest of the update
Have you read the first post by the OP brooncoo? If you have, do you still think there's no problem?
because she wanted us there before lunch and after lunch and for tea! as in until tonight...she chose that pub to suit her secret fecking plans and i'm sick of her being devious. just say..."come to ours first and we'd like you over for tea too if you don't mind...we would like to see you all longer" instead she chooses a pub round the corner, says its booked for 12.30 when its not (she just wants us over at hers for that time) and then try and insist and force us to stay the whole day and when we say we cant look at dp and say "please...do it for me" we saw them TWICE last week and are seeing them tomorrow for gods sake. she needs to detatch.
But that all just sounds like mindless chit chat. Might be annoying but nothing to really take offence at apart from perhaps telling her to stop going on about his eating.
Ok, you do not have to go to jersey. Even for a weekend. It is your life, it is up to you where you go, not them.
Even if they do buy an apartment near you, you don't have to pick up the phone and you certainly don't have to answer the door.
Hopefully if you make enough of a stand now they will rethink the apartment thing
This isn't about eating. Or chit chat. This is about control - pure and simple, and it is certainly not mindless.
How do you feel now Beth?
Ok - cross post there a bit. It is fine for you to stick to your plans. You don't have to do as she wants. From her point of view - her asking you to come in for a little while isn't that outrageous. Of course you don't have to and can make excuses to go.
Hi Beth I've read all your thread.
My mother is like your mil btw so I totally understand what your DH is going through at the moment.
It's taken my DD to be born (10m old now) to see her for what she really is. Narc through & through. It's actually quite tough realising that about your own mother.
You both did great today. I disagree with the pp about the cars, you did the right thing to park at the restaurant.
I know you are frustrated at your DH for needing a real reason to say no, but take that as the first of many and say well done! It's really hard saying no when for x years you've always said yes. It will get easier for him. But it will always be painful for him to realise how awful his parents are.
FOG. Totally controlling your DH. Have a read up about it & show it to him. It will be most illuminating.
By the way to be a counsellor I think you have to do counselling yourself to work through your 'issues' so you may get help with this.
Good luck to you, DH & dd. It's not an easy road to go down once you have 'woken up' but you will all be happier for it.
Brooncoo you have said you have nice pil & you don't seem to have any understanding of the situation the op is facing. I don't think your comments are helpful to the op.
(I don't normally so clearly disagree with views on mn but sorry it sounds like you don't have a clue)
okay so if it was a NORMAL person suggesting to meet at theirs and asking us for dinner it would be mindless chit chat but she isn't NORMAL. She's a total control freak and it's all about her devious control. I've lived with it for 2 years now and sat back and watched it and know what she's doing. Unfortunately it's very tough to explain over the Internet but whenever we see them it's on their terms and she's never told no, when she is...she cries. simple. devious. manipulative. controlling.
I just feel angry now because I thought dp got it, but as mentioned these things take time and now I've calmed down a bit I see that although he tiptoed around her a bit and made excuses he at least said no and she didn't get her way.
I'm not a bad person, I want them to have a normal healthy relationship with us all but they are not normal and nothing about them is healthy, especially their behaviour and the way if affects my family.
I am actually really lookong forward to the counselling I will need to take myself to become a counsellor. ..I need it!
Small steps, Beth. I know it doesn't seem much, and progress feels cripplingly slow. But he stood up to her today. That is a small step, but even the longest journey starts with a single one.....
You said you have to see her tomorrow - how many people are going to be around tomorrow? I often find narcs easier to deal with if they are diluted, but I completely understand if this is not the case
It's my dd's birthday so there's loads lf my family there (dps family all live a 4 hr drive away so wlnt bw coming).
last time we had a gathering (dps christening) she went round trying to befriend my nearest and dearest. ..which I guess could be perfectly innocent but she has this obsession with meetinf up with my favourite aunty and uncle because they live down the road from them (their uk home) and my overly friendly uncle that invites the postman in said they could pop over if they wanted. nightmare.
Keep doing as your doing OP. Ignore the recent attempt on this thread to make you doubt yourself, who knows what motivated that.
As you can see everyone sensible on this thread is wishing you success in starting the removal of toxic control of your family.
Brooncoo, you don't have a clue (just to underline Just's sentiments). It's often in the minutiae that people like this weave a web around you so you can't move. Anyway, very happy for you that you have lovely ILs. You are so lucky. NOt everyone is. Please step back here.
FOG btw means Fear Obligation Guilt (don't know if that's been covered up-thread). OP I think you're going to have to somehow put a sock in it - or choose your battles - otherwise he'll be being nagged at both ends. It's a HUGE step, after a lifetime of being brainwashed (right from the year dot - particularly as he's the only child ), to start facing the truth. It will take him a long time and it won't be easy. I really think that with stuff like this he's going to need professional support ie he needs to be 'held' (not literally) while he faces these very, very difficult things. Getting un-brainwashed is not a piece of cake and doesn't happen overnight (t-shirt).
You too re professional support - at least so you have somewhere to offload and bounce off so you don't end up screeching at him (you'll seem like his mother if you do that ). Do get some literature, though, so you both know what you're dealing with and where you're headed. There's a lot of literature/books around these days re narcs.
Tomorrow should be fine and she will be lovely to everyone but I see her in a different light (because I know her) and whenever I see her talking to my family I get protective and angry because I just see her as toxic and her whole "we're one big family, heres my phone number, we have to meet up" attitude is so fake. But whilst they're in Jersey I doubt she'll be able to sink her venomous teeth Into my family.
Urgh. Leave them to it. I'm sure your family know what she's like, and if they don't, fuck it. Your priority is your dd, you and DP.
Do any of the other people going know what she is like? Could they divert her attention for the duration of the party?
I think when you are used to normal family and il's my comments would seem totally irrational...and because my family are normal (as far as normal goes) I've spent the last year and a half doubting myself and thinking im totally bonkers so I kinda get why someone would read my post an assume that...as I said, you dont know my mil...lucky lucky lady!
thanks for the advise, I do need to be a rock and not a nagger and really need to bite my tongue when frustrated with dp
getting him to get professional help ain't easy :/...I'm gently trying. maybe if I seek it first he will follow x
Agree that it was a big step for him to stand up to her today.
yeah, I'm not gonna stresd about my family...my immediate family and my aunty and uncle know what a crazy lady she can be and they're grown adults, sure they can look after themselves
Or could you tell a few close family members what she is like and just let the information trickle through? ( my family all see pils for what they are now)
I don't think 'normal' people get it tbh. I doubt your family see what she's really like. Narcs can charm the birds off the trees - the charm of a narc is something to behold, it is breathtaking. Most people are taken in by it (and you end up looking the spoilsport/unhinged one when you complain about them)
Springy is spot on- it is difficult for anyone who is "normal" to understand fully what it is to be around a narc/someone who is toxic. It is so alien, and so abnormal, and because you're likely to be brainwashed it can be so hard to accept that the person they have grown to accept and even love is actually self centered, heartless and dangerous
x-post again! we're fair galloping along here.
well...I guess she'll either start to control their lives and turn into a total nutcase infront of them or be as sweet as pie to them always...guess either way it's a win win, so lpng as I don't go to my aunts to escape amd fimd her sat there having a cup of tea...but thats a totally different nightmare all together!
sorry about the typos. my phone is a nightmare and I've drunk half a bottle of wine at lunch and am cracking my way through another bottle at home.
note to self : do not let her turn you into and alcoholic.
Sometimes is the best crutch of them all!
A wee tip here: do't let her know you don't want her getting thick with your family. (In fact, don't let her know anything that is important to you.) Let's hope she just turns on the sunbeam charm with anyone to hand and that, hopefully, she doesn't see that being thick with your family serves her too much in the end. Narcs are very specific about what they want - and are prepared to play the long-game to get - even though it's against a background hum of getting everyone under their general spell iyswim.
springy, once again is spot on (I'm not stalking you, honest)
My pils tried to "get in" with my gran (they knew very well that she was a bitch and that I disliked her a lot - various reasons, I was trying to be open and honest with them but it backfired).
My aunt (identified her as a narc last year) in turn tried to get in with my pils.
Shit this thread is an eye opener.
Sorry to derail your thread Beth
ha. Don't be sorry. I find it all very interesting and i'll probably be put in a similar situation with my mil sooner or later.
bitter experience, sadly, ohfour
If you hide your hand, beth, she won't have anything to exploit (to cause maximum damage )
(Sorry about all the s but it is so fucking sad eh)
certainly is sad. my family have always said choose your man wisely but nobody warned me about the in laws! something I will make sure I do for my dd. I cant believe how many people have the same sort of issue
Beth, give your oh a chance. He did really well saying no to her today. OK so it wasn't exactly how you had planned, but jumping in straight away with a "no thank you" is much harder than giving an excuse. Believe me, he did well. It's a hard path for him.
He may find it easier to be assertive if you do it first and he's backing you up. So next time, you do the "no thank you" bit, because it will be a lot easier for you to do. Let him walk before he runs, as it were.
Mind you, no contact will be a lot easier for all of you!
Oh, and dress your dd how you dress her. Stop pandering to MIL's desire to put her in My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding crap. It is quite easy to not accept completely inappropriate clothes too. You can say that dd simply doesn't wear things like that and you hate pink, and they're impossible to keep clean etc etc thank you very much, but could you get her a pair of jeans instead that would be fab.
Oh don't worry, I have plenty of experience of being round abusive toxic people - to all the snidey 'normal' and don't have a clue posts. Would have much preferred to have to deal with toxic inlaw rather than grow up with a toxic and abusive parent but as you were. And I only mentioned my inlaws as I appreciate I have it lucky there compared to some folk like the Op.
I have been supportive to the OP if you had seen my previous posts.
I reckon if I actually wouldn't take her big fat gypsy dress as you appropriately named them she would throw an almighty wobbly, I just take them, and put her in the ones she can move in when we visit and ditch the ones that are simply ridiculous. it saves some hassle and it's hilarious watching my mil trying to dress my dd in them? especially when she poops all up her back and ruins the dress completely (she tends to save that for mil's dresses!)
just to say I appreciate everyones opinions whether I agree or not and appreciate everyone will look at my situation differently.
but....I tend to air towards the "she's a total narc, run whilst you can" theory myself
My Grandmother was like this with my Mum. It made her mentally ill. she used to tie herself in knots to get her mothers approval which was not something that even existed. She suffered her entire life and...Grandmother lived longer than my DMum!! I utterly hated my grandmother for what she did to my Mum. I think you need to sit down and speak to your DH and ask him what the minimum amount of contact (right down to none) he would think appropriate as whilst you think your DD should have contact with MIL. I think you should re-think that. Would you want contact with this ghastly person if she wasn't a relation? No? then you have your answer! In your shoes I would go NC with a capital N and a capital C.
If we go nc it would have to be on dps terms. having llst a parent myself I could not bare tl be the person who got inbetween dp and his rents regardless of how much I hate them. he needs to see it himself and make that decision himself or else when they die it will all be my fault.
dd is not going to be left alone eith them, end of. amd contact afyer her birthday will be minimal and visits will be somewhere public where mil can't throw a paddy.
Apologies if it came across as snide, brooncoo. I think I was more concerned that OP wouldn't doubt herself. It is very, very easy to doubt yourself when you're dealing with a narc.
I was also going to say, upthread, that ime you can kind of forget what narcs are like. If you haven't been around them for a while - or even if you have iyswim - disbelief/normal takes over and you're shocked/disbelieving all over again. I was going to say that this thread is doing me 'good' because it's reminding me. All over again
And I meant it when I said you are lucky, brooncoo, to have lovely ILs! Honestly, I should think that is worth its weight. I can only imagine <resists another >
Baby steps. It'll happen soon enough.
Its really hard to explain a Toxic persons behaviour.
It makes you sound like you're making a big deal about a normal situation. But you're really not.
Its the way they go about things. How you have witnessed things and knowing this person it not normal.
I honestly know how you feel and you're doing so well. One step at a time!
Mmmmm..I agree with the others. Your DH will get there in his own good time. At least he can see from your relatives what normal is! You may have to keep illustrating to him how awful his mother is though or he will buckle and that is what the toxic cow wants.
The thought of you moving and them following makes me feel a bit panic stricken so it must be hell for you. Credit to you for having such a great relationship with your DH and not telling him 'It's her or me and DD'. Your situation is nightmarish and the only solution is for your DH to stand up to her which he is understandably reluctant to do. Just bloody awful!
I totally get what's been said about toxic people's behaviour beimg difficult to explain. sometimes when im having a moam to my family about mil they try and make excuses for her and say it probably isn't meant like that (my mum amd sisters get it but the rest dont seem to grasp it) and i'll sometimes hesr what im saying I think "god I sound so petty" but she has her ways and she knows what she's doing, she's more manipulative than me but I'm smarter than her
thanks for positive comments, I feel so much better and less unreasonable than I did before
Tbh I think the problem with toxic people is that they are so bad, and what they do is so unbelievable, that any "normal" person wouldn't (couldn't? ) believe that they do what they do.
Beth it may be that someone has suggested this already, but I think there is a book called toxic in laws, possibly by Susan forward. Might be worth a read?
I just don't get it. Why the fuck are these people compelled to act in the way they do?
certainly is sad. my family have always said choose your man wisely but nobody warned me about the in laws! something I will make sure I do for my dd. I cant believe how many people have the same sort of issue
Isnt it!!! Never mind the wicked step mothers in fairy tales, it should be the wicked mother in law.
Beth - I think you did completely the right thing not meeting at theirs first
This would seem like a small insignificant point to anyone who does not understand what we are dealing with here.
It is however a crucial step for you op, well done! YOU managed to put your foot down and keep to an original plan. Never mind what or how your DH has reacted to them, you have done this, and not cared about how they felt, you put your feelings first!
Good step in not being a people pleaser! A tiny step but a fantastic one.
You dh will realise when you put your foot down like this, that you his wife have needs too! That his mothers needs don't come first any more. Its easy to keep the peace and jump round the Narc when everyone is afraid of upsetting them.
Her telling him not to order cheese is classic sign of her trying to show ownership over him.
yes. Definitely going to give that book a read dp doesn't like the word "toxic" ( still isn't ready to see his parents like that) so I might have to try and download it or something. if not maybe buy the book and replace the cover with my own ha
Thanks. I felt like a total crazy lady at the time saying "no, we said we would meet them there. we are not going to theirs first, not a chance" dp looked at me like I'd lost it. I had to basically spell it out to him ln the way home and explain the thinking behind his parents agenda to meet round the corner. ..then at theirs etc and felt like I was the only sane person alive. ..then you start to wonder if your the mad one :L we got there in the end though! x
oh and DP ORDERED CHEESE ANYWAY! ! breakthrough in itself
if she starts being horrible to dp and belittling him I'll stand up for him and tell her I disagree with what shes saying etc
I had to stop going to my in laws before we have gone NC for about 6 months. I never ever heard them say a nice word to him, he was treated like the runt...we were even ushered out of a dinner party once, not invited too, whilst the guests were told " dont worry X ( DH Sister) will be home soon with her DH" rushing us out the door! We were an embarrassment to them! DH sister is Banker....
Anyway MIL would do something like read DH star sign...and it would say ..." very elegant" and she would laugh and say ...." goodness...thats not DH is it!"
This wouldn't sound much if she was putting down a confident successful man, but her son had confidence issues and other issues. It was relentless stream of put downs.
When I started in a really jolly way to say " Elegant! You don't think he is elegant? I think he is very elegant" ....after a while it sent her into a mad tail spin...she didnt react well...because putting someone down like that again show ownership.
Anway its a process you have to go through...but dont hold your breath that she will ever change. Hopefully you will change, and end up with fewer visits on your terms. And defend your dh, every single time she puts him down or tries to order him round.
You know she isnt going to like it, your in for a bumpy ride but when you get through it and you will! You will....you wil be living life on your terms...so much better than being at this womans beck and call.
but I think there is a book called toxic in laws, possibly by Susan forward. Might be worth a read?
I have been meaning to get this book for a long time, but mine seem under control and I keep forgetting. But I must get it.
I love my parents but there were lots of issues there. I can see most of them though but when someone else goes on about them...it can hurt.
The best approach is too look at the whole...see some positives...say your mum is a nice dresser, very funny they are obviously great business people....they do have positives BUT...BUT..I am not happy with x y and z..and I think its healthy to be able to say no to your parents...and you should be able to say no, you cant...please read this book!
You start 2nd guessing yourself cause you think..am i imaging that? Did that just happen?
You do sound so petty and sometimes, i used to feel like there was something wrong with ME.
It was only untill my mom was like...."is she allways like that?" I remember saying "You see it too!?"
She was abit to why eveything has to be HER way.
Toxic people have a way of twisting things and manipulating people. Your DH is brainwashed. To him she is normal because its all hes ever known.
MIL got intouch today.
To tell DH that hes had some mail. Its the 2nd time shes emailed now. I know why shes doing it to try and get him to go to her house.
I know this because (maybe Atilla?) mentioned it on another thread. Its called hoovering. Trying everything to get contact.
Toxic people have a way of twisting things and manipulating people
My MIL is the most spoilt princess who has every thing she wants materially a DH who enables and does anything for a quiet life....I have never known a woman do so little for people and yet expect soooo much in return.
And yet because she cries at the drop of a hat....people feel sorry for her.
mommy can you explain the hoovering more! We used to get this all the time.
I know I sound like a tolling bell... but please do be careful that you don't lock horns with her. I tell you, you will lose. It doesn't matter how smart you are, she will trump you and you will be aghast at how she does it. ('aghast' doesn't even sum it up tbh. It will tilt your world.) The depths they go to to 'win' just beggars belief - you couldn't even imagine it. Nothing is out of bounds.
Yes, you are smarter than her. But don't let her know, or show, it! All-out, full-on nuclear war will ensue (that has no end...) if you do. At all costs, keep it under your hat.
going to very prescriptive here: don't show any emotion, or show any reaction. I had something pasted up on my kitchen cupboard* for years: when they do their stuff, make bland statements like 'that's interesting', showing not a scrap of emotion one way or the other. Do what you want to do but don't let it show, don't trump her (don't know if that makes sense) - I suppose like dealing with a tantruming toddler: make statements - not nice, not nasty, but clear (but not in a bossy way - narcs will feel shamed by this which is THE red flag to a [nuclear] bull. Narcs have an extremely sensitive shame trigger).
So far she is relatively content because she has had you all moreorless in her power/control. If you make it clear that she doesn't have control... well, see above. Not being in total control is unthinkable to a narc - they literally haven't considered it.
As for 'she knows she's doing it' - erm I'm not sure she does. I don't mean that she can't help it so much, I mean that she is mad. Best not to disturb the beast imo.
*I tore it down with a flourish when my narc, who had tortured me for years (largely because I locked horns right at the beginning...), died. Little did I know that there are many more narcs that have crawled out of the woodwork since (had actually been there all along). I wish I'd kept that article!
Im sure it was Atilla who mentioned it a few weeks ago.
Basically. If you've cut contact, or have cut down visits.
They will try everything to get that attention/ contact back again..such things like:
"You have mail/things of yours/ here" "when will you be picking it up?"
"I need to talk to you about something very important"
and my MIL's number one..."i'm seriously ill" anything from depression to heart probelms
we've had them all.
Also the enabler will have a good go (in our case its FIL) we got texts, phone calls and voice mails. Letting us know how upset MIL is, how she is going through so much stress and we are making it worse, how she is in bits..blah blah blah.
Shes very textbook.
NB 'my' narc was my ex-husband. I had to keep seeing him because of the kids. The advice above is if you have little choice but to continue relating to a narc. The preferable solution would be to cut them off entirely if possible.
You poor thing .
How tragic that a mans own mother wants to bring such misery to the woman he has chosen to marry. I had to have a ELC second time round after the treatment of my MIL. They were not told about the birth of our second child, it was bliss...saldy they did find out a few weeks later.and received a stiff email to back off and not bring misery to the joy of the birth of our second, as they did with our first!
She contributed to my PND and honestly didnt care about anything or anyone aslong as she got her own way dreadful.
then you start to wonder if your the mad one
She honestly believes she has done nothing wrong and we are the ones who have been unsreaonable.
It's very odd.
She thinks the way she behaves is acceptable. She cannot comprehend that she is wrong in any way shape or form.
Im glad we cut contact. She is an absolute fruit loop.
Thanks for that Mommy and that's called Hoovering...
Yes we have had that too. There would be a family gathering, from over seas at their house, DH would say ...I am going on X and Y days...but that wasnt enough! He had to be there when they wanted him there! when he said NO, FIL would hound him with texts and phone calls....and come knocking on our door!
Mommy I am sure you didn't cut contact lightly, its a long road to go down and a hard one.
We have gone down same route and during that time she has turned his whole family against me. I used to be bothered by this. But I have since realised not many of my DH family actually care about him enough to talk to him directly and ask for his side of the story ...so I stopped caring what they think.
* It's often in the minutiae that people like this weave a web around you so you can't move What joy to hear such a statement, so very very true.
It wasnt easy no, we'd not long had dd2 (about 2 weeks?) and the way she treated us vile. We couldnt do it anymore.
We had alot of guilt trips via texts off her then when that didnt work, (step)fil stepped in and tried.
I used to realllly hate her.
I just feel sorry for her now.
"Her" side of the family dont talk to her. She slags off fils side of the family to us then is nice to their face. She reminds me very much of a teenager. The way she acts regarding relationships...'this is me and Im not changing'
Shes lost her only son and 2 grandchildren because of her behaviour, and she honestly doesnt know why.
I just pitty her now.
Apologies if it came across as snide, brooncoo. I think I was more concerned that OP wouldn't doubt herself. It is very, very easy to doubt yourself when you're dealing with a narc
yes agree it took me years of wishy washy doubting myself to come to terms with what I had married into.
She reminds me very much of a teenager I see mine as emotionally immature. yes it is sad.
Agree that continually locking horns and trying to 'win' never works. It just brings you down and wears you out. However with someone subtlety manipulative (where you might doubt yourself) - confronting and locking horns can result in your excuse to totally withdraw and ignore (NC as such) if they go into meltdown and really show their true colours.
The problem I had with the points you picked on OP, about walking to the pub together and popping in - is that they are too subtle for your husband to see the problems you are having with his mum. I think it will just leave him feeling conflicted and that he might be over reacting. Think you almost need the melt down to prove the point that you have had enough and want to leave them to it. Then you can just back out and disengage as you have your 'reason'. No ambiguity then.
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
I would say (re locking horns) it is not just exhausting and depressing, it is dangerous. You're not an even match - you're a soft object (human), they're a titan (inhuman). [I'm not saying that morally, intellectually, whatever, they are greater, but that they will stop at nothing; whereas someone 'human' will draw a line.]
Just to add another death knell ( ): she is rich. ime of a very rich ex (and ILs) he/they had the power and influence to indulge every possible revenge/control fantasy. Best not to underestimate a rich narc <shudder>. Know your enemy and all that.
Just caught up with the thread, nicely dodged a bullet with the planning-your-entire-day gambit by PILs.
If DH can't yet bring himself to turn MIL down flat he is at least finding a good excuse to avoid being bulldozed.
mmm I think just because she is used to being a certain way doesn't mean she doesn't know what she's doing. she knew what we had organised (always does) and she had a total another agenda planned. I'm not saying she recognises how crazy she is and all of her behaviour but she does some.
I didn't want to go into her house. ..not for 5 mins A) because it wasn't just a gentle suggestion it was a thought through plan to get us round for the day (which she actually said at lunch) and B) thats where she abuses dp most in the comfort of her own home. for him telling her no there is 10x harder than in public because she's hidden away from everyone and can act how she likes. he told me himself he makes excuses because he's afraid of a tantrum.
I always have my reasons.
as for locking horns, ive done that in the past and it's just resulted in her grovelling becsuse I'll leave the house with dd, but her apologies are never truly meant and she never changes. just because im smarter doesn't mean I'm going to provoke her verbally or enter an argument. ..now that would be stupid, as mentioned there's no reasoning with her and as far as she's concerned she's always right.
It really is like dealing with a toddler!
brooncoo just realised I didn't really acknowledge the point you made about dp understanding why we couldn't just simply go In...its a valid point and he DID think "what are you on about crazy lady we're just meeting there" so on the way home I did try and explain, but although he said he got it...im not sure he did
that's a worry for me, do I let mil get away with some of her maniuplitive tactics to avoid dp thinking im sh*t stirring? and just pulp her up on the things that are obvious to him too ? or do I go all out on put my foot down when she tries anything.
guess it's about choosing your battles. last thing I want is ME causing issues with me and dp.
It's very hard to have a simple, uncomplicated good time with a narcissist. Except for odd spells of heady euphoria unrelated to anything you can see, their affective range is mediocre-fake-normal to hell-on-Earth. They will sometimes lie low and be quiet, actually passive and dependent -- this is as good as it gets with narcissists. They are incapable of loving conduct towards anyone or anything, so they do not have the capacity for simple pleasure, beyond the satisfaction of bodily needs.
There is only one way to please a narcissist (and it won't please you): that is to indulge their every whim, cater to their tiniest impulses, bend to their views on every little thing. There's only one way to get decent treatment from narcissists: keep your distance. They can be pretty nice, even charming, flirtatious, and seductive, to strangers, and will flatter you shamelessly if they want something from you. When you attempt to get close to them in a normal way, they feel you are putting emotional pressure on them and they withdraw because you're too demanding. They can be positively fawning and solicitous as long as they're afraid of you, which is not most people's idea of a real fun relationship.
Run for cover when they start acting normal, maybe expressing a becoming self-doubt or even acknowledging some little fault of their own, such as saying they now realize that they haven't treated you right or that they took advantage of you before. They're just softening you up for something really nasty. These people are geniuses of "Come closer so I can slap you." Except that's not the way they think about it, if they think about it -- no, they're thinking, "Well, maybe you do really care about me, and, if you really care about me, then maybe you'll help me with this," only by "help" they mean do the whole thing, take total responsibility for it, including protecting and defending them and cleaning up the mess they've already made of it (which they will neglect to fill you in on because they haven't really been paying attention, have they, so how would they know??). They will not have considered for one second how much of your time it will take, how much trouble it may get you into in their behalf, that they will owe you BIG for this -- no, you're just going to do it all out of the goodness of your heart, which they are delighted to exploit yet again, and your virtue will be its own reward: it's supposed to just tickle you pink to be offered this generous opportunity of showing how much you love them and/or how lucky you are to be the servant of such a luminous personage. No lie -- they think other people do stuff for the same reason they do: to show off, to perform for an audience. That's one of the reasons they make outrageous demands, put you on the spot and create scenes in public: they're being generous -- they're trying to share the spotlight with you by giving you the chance to show off how absolutely stunningly devoted-to-them you are. It means that they love you; that's why they're hurt and bewildered when you angrily reject this invitation.
Narcissists have normal, even superior, intellectual development while remaining emotionally and morally immature. Dealing with them can give you the sense of trying to have a reasonable discussion with a very clever six-year-old -- this is an age when normal children are grandiose and exhibitionistic, when they are very resistant to taking the blame for their own misbehavior, when they understand what the rules are (e.g., that lying, cheating, and stealing are prohibited) but are still trying to wriggle out of accepting those rules for themselves. This is the year, by the way, when children were traditionally thought to reach the age of reason and when first communions (and first confessions) were made.
Having a narcissist for a mother is a lot like living under the supervision of a six-year-old. Narcissists are always pretending, and with a narcissistic mother it's a lot like, "Let's play house. I'll pretend to be the mother and you pretend to be the baby," though, as the baby, you'll be expected to act like a doll (keep smiling, no matter what) and you'll be treated like a doll -- as an inanimate object, as a toy to be manipulated, dressed and undressed, walked around and have words put in your mouth; something that can be broken but not hurt, something that will be dropped and forgotten when when something more interesting comes along.
Beth, you indeed have my sympathies.
Ultimately I feel you and by turn your child will have to cut all contact with his parents for your own sakes. It is truly not possible to have any sort of relationship with a narcissist.
I withdrew myself from and dd from MIL. (Dh is not 'H' yet. We're getting married in april and she isnt invited.) When she told people i had an eating disorder.
It was a lightbulb moment for me. After everything i had let her get away with, i was allways biting my tounge with her, i just felt like id given up. Why the hell should i try with her? She treats me like shit and she gets away with it. She has no bounderies. There is no point explaining because she doesnt listen.
Luckily by then DH had had enough of her.
We didnt even give a reason when we texted her. Just that we wasnt going to see her anymore.
She wanted to know what she had done. We told her. She didnt care. All herherher and how upset she is and how we dont care.
it was true. She we didnt anymore.
I allways left it upto him if he wanted to see her. I didnt. I didnt want dd too. What was she going to do? Cry? Throw a strop? Get FIL to text?
Alsong as you emotionaly withdraw yourself. Her actions wont hurt you.
Let Dp handle her on his own. He'll soon get sick of it and see why you went NC.
Beth, listen to the advice Attila gives.
She has been nothing but right when it came to my MIL.
im abit convinced she may actually know her.
She is the reason we are so happy now.
I just have this guilty feeling about going nc and I can't get rid of it. because she's so nice to dd I feel id be being selfish? why am I such a people pleaser I'd love to know
I have concerns about how she will be as dd grows up though, what if she doesn't fit into my mil's agenda etc? But I then feel I should at least give her a chance to be good to dd, she has so far. I need to realise she's just a self centered, manipulative and controlling woman and she will be the same with dd...I just feel like because it's me making the decision it will be MY fault if I've made the wrong one.
oh I don't know. I just wish I could not give a shit, but it's not in my nature.
I can be firm and defend my family but ive never thought id have to separate my child from their grandparents.
Yes it will be your fault. It cant be MILs fault for her behaviour can it? No. As she cannot accept any blame.
Maybe limit contact?
It was easy for me because MIL didnt really care about my dds. She liked to talk about how much she loves them but failed to do anything to prove that like actually see them or play with them.
I can see how hard it is for you as you feel your dd is missing out on grandparents.
Maybe have a word with dp and say what youve told us. Explain everything and limit contact.
In the grand scheme of things..do you want her round dd? Is the grandparent you wanted for her?
Attila much of what you said reminds me of my mil. other than that they are unable to show love etc...my mil bends over backwards when it "suits" her. ie; having us all over and catering massive 6 course meals, buying dd clothes, me clothes, dp clothes! filling her house with things for dp and stuff like that...but is that a control thing? the "doll house" theory maybe? she just LOVES to be the hostess and is used to everyone coming over and doing as we are told.
when I first met my il's we went round for dinner and they had invited the next door neighbours round (also dps godparents and long term friends) they traditionally play board games and cards...something I've never done with my family and it made me feel VERY uncomfortable playing a game with a group of new people that I knew I wouldn't be able to understand. I said I'll watch and she looked me squar in the eye and said "no beth, you will play"! talk about being an inanimate object to her. dp didn't pick up on this, so I'm guessing he's used tk hearing it.
I since found out that dps ex would never play the games and sit out and generally didn't want to play happy families. ..mil described her as a "nasty, horrible person who never appreciated all theh tried to do for her".now I know why, she wouldn't be controlled by mil.
also she spent at least 10 minutes yesterday boasting about how the lady she looks after loves her, is totally dependant on her and how well she's doing looking after her. it just went om and on this boasting session and even weirded my dp out
I dont mind her seeing dd with me present to monitor what is said and what mil does. she goes on aboht tsking her on holiday and stuff for a week when she's older and it just isn't gonna happen. but the issue is I dont want to be arouns her, she treats dd very well at the moment but she treats me and dp like crap. and perhaps she would do the same if my dd isn't exactly what she expects from her.
dp knows about this, ive shown him and it hit home. evidently not enough to really put his foot down with his mother...not yet anyway.
Beth have a look at this, i found it on Pinterest the other day.
Its amazing to read, its like someone has studied my MIL and wrote down all her traits.
If anything hits home, you need to get dd away or limit contact.
thanks mommybird. ..interesting lost and I ticked off a lot of those. will show to dp
Its great its written down as proof. Just incase of self doubt.
ie; having us all over and catering massive 6 course meals, buying dd clothes, me clothes, dp clothes! filling her house with things for dp and stuff like that...but is that a control thing? the "doll house" theory maybe? she just LOVES to be the hostess and is used to everyone coming over and doing as we are told
Its control. Esp buying you/dh clothes.
what is dolls house theory
Beth, more is at stake here than you being nice, you do realise she will want adulation from your DD and that will come no matter what,even at the expense of your relationship with your dd.and when you dd is older and understands granny wants to take her away and your dd wants to go and hates you for not letting her....what then?
and perhaps she would do the same if my dd isn't exactly what she expects from her
perhaps, and if they do get on and DD doesnt let her down you can bet your bottom dollar she will be turning your dd agaisnt you.
My older sis was very close to my paternal GM who didnt like my mother....they were always on phone and seeing each other...my sis was never close to my mum and always doubted her and never quite trusted her because my gm had put doubts there early on that the person looking after her - her mother wasn't quite right..led to massive insecurity and so on.
i was not affected I was too young to be brainwashed...
*Having a narcissist for a mother is a lot like living under the supervision of a six-year-old. Narcissists are always pretending, and with a narcissistic mother it's a lot like, "Let's play house. I'll pretend to be the mother and you pretend to be the baby," though, as the baby, you'll be expected to act like a doll (keep smiling, no matter what) and you'll be treated like a doll -- as an inanimate object, as a toy to be manipulated, dressed and undressed, walked around and have words put in your mouth; something that can be broken but not hurt, something that will be dropped and forgotten when when something more interesting comes along.
I was referring to this when I mentioned the "doll house".
re your comment that I have split up to make it easier for me to respond to:-
"I just have this guilty feeling about going nc and I can't get rid of it. because she's so nice to dd I feel id be being selfish? why am I such a people pleaser I'd love to know"
But she is NOT nice to your DD is she?. She is not nice to you, her mother or her dad for that matter, for a start. MILs actions are all about power and control; she wants absolute over you and your child. She sees you purely as inanimate objects to use, abuse and drop and she sees fit. She does not love any of you, infact she has made the terrible choice not to love.
Self preservation here from people as dysfunctional as your MIL is not a selfish action. Your job also is to protect your DD from such malign influences because she can and will use your child to get back at you.
You likely come from a family where thankfully this sort of dysfunction is unknown so it is hard for you as well. Perhaps part of you still thinks that if you tried harder, were nicer to her etc she would reciprocate. No, my friend. Narcs do not work like that - not at all.
People pleasers are often made; you've likely been conditioned by family members to be this way too.
"I have concerns about how she will be as dd grows up though, what if she doesn't fit into my mil's agenda etc? But I then feel I should at least give her a chance to be good to dd, she has so far. I need to realise she's just a self centered, manipulative and controlling woman and she will be the same with dd...I just feel like because it's me making the decision it will be MY fault if I've made the wrong one".
Narcissists in particular make for being deplorable grandparents and you certainly need to realise the sentence starting with, "I need to realise" asap!!!.
A percentage of the general population is dysfunctional and/or abusive. That percentage, like everyone else, has children. Then those children grow and have children of their own. The not-so-loving grandparents expect to have a relationship with their grandchildren. The only problem is, they’re not good grandparents.
Many adult children of toxic parents feel torn between their parents’ (and society’s) expectation that grandparents will have access to their grandkids, and their own unfortunate first hand knowledge that their parents are emotionally/physically/sexually abusive, or just plain too difficult to have any kind of healthy relationship with. Your DH certainly knows this already although he is mired still in FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) with regards to his mother.
The children’s parents may allow the grandparents to begin a relationship with their children, hoping that things will be different this time, that their parents have really changed, and that their children will be emotionally and physically safer than they themselves were.
Unfortunately, this is rarely the case, because most abusive people have mental disorders of one kind or another, and many of these disorders are lifelong and not highly treatable. (Others are lifelong and treatable; however, many people never seek the necessary help.)
The well-intentioned parent ends up feeling mortified for having done more harm than good by hoping things would somehow be different — instead of having a child who simply never knew their grandparents and who was never mistreated, they have an abused child who is now also being torn apart by the grief involved in having to sever a lifelong relationship with the unhealthy people they are very attached to.
Beth, I implore you not to be that above well intentioned parent!!!.
the NPD grandparent will use their grandchildren in the same way they would use an inanimate tool. Without regard for the humanity of your child, that child becomes a tool in the hand of your NPD parent to hurt you. This will always result in moral and/or emotional harm being done to your child as well.
The actual mechanics of how the NPD grandparent will misuse their relationship to their grandchildren will vary. Generally, they will either over-value or under-value the grandchild as a means to get to you.
Often, when they over-value, it is the objective of the narcissist grandparent to steal the child from you physically and emotionally. Ngrandparents are known for so much trash-talking against you behind your back to your own child or children that they want to go live with grandma or grandpa, or the Ngrandparents simply inspire rebellion of the child against you. They steal the hearts of the grandchildren. Sometimes, they will battle for physical custody of a grandchild after their slander campaign against you has won them powerful allies. Many times the Ngrandparent has a lot of extra cash to throw around since they are done raising a family. They may successfully exploit the natural selfishness of the child by using cash or toys to lure them. I have read heart-breaking stories of these kinds of situations often enough that I recognize the clear danger any narcissist grandparent represents. They can even steal your children's hearts from you when the children near adulthood with promises of money, houses, cars, college tuition, etc. as bait.
You must let yourself know for a fact that your MIL can not be trusted with your most precious responsibility, your children. If you allow contact between your children and this woman (and I would urge you not to at all now) it must never be out of sight. Never for a moment leave your child alone with this serial abuser. They only need a few moments of alone time to inflict damage. A whisper, an insinuation, a pinch, a look. If you consider yourself a responsible parent you will never, ever leave your child alone with your Narc grandparent.
You will ultimately need to go NC with this woman for your sake as well as your child's Beth. I am so sorry you have ILs like this.
Feel very humbled in that you have found my past responses so helpful.
No, I do not know your MIL personally! (but there again I have three narcissistic and generally dysfunctional rellies of my own to contend with so can unfortunately write from experience). They are all narcissistic but each one operates slightly differently to the other.
My DH is somewhat in FOG still (mainly the obligation bit) with regards to them but I see them for what they really are and avoid them as much as possible. I maintain clear and firm boundaries.
"I dont mind her seeing dd with me present to monitor what is said and what mil does. she goes on aboht tsking her on holiday and stuff for a week when she's older and it just isn't gonna happen. but the issue is I dont want to be arouns her, she treats dd very well at the moment but she treats me and dp like crap. and perhaps she would do the same if my dd isn't exactly what she expects from her."
And what if your DD wants to go on holiday with her grandmother because you have unwittingly exposed your precious child to such manipulation from her for so long?. The damage is already being done here.
You will not be able to stop your MIL spouting off in your presence and you will not be able to say anything because MIL will turn on you as quick as you like. She will use your child to get back at you as her parents.
Basic rule here is that if she cannot treat any of you decently, then she gets to see none of you. You would not tolerate any of this from a friend, why is MIL so different. Being with this woman at all in any context is a huge mistake.
what if [dd] doesn't fit into my mil's agenda etc?
Even worse, what if she does?
Atilla, you have described with minute detail my now (thankfully) dead GMother. My (D)Sis is very similar to her too. I have been NC with my sis for four years now and it's lovely here in the sun away from her!
Beth my G Mother used to try and turn us against our DMum who was her main target for her vitriol, right from an early age. DMum was in and out of institutions all her adult life in no small part because of her mothers influence I am sure. She used to buy us kids a huge amount of things but it wasn't out of love as it wasn't things we wanted it was things she thought we should want. She could never physically touch us either and that (compared with our other granny) was something that alerted us to her true nature early on in our lives. It wasn't until I was older that I saw the pattern of narc behaviour. I see it in my sis too almost to an equal degree, she is somewhat lazier though. She will try and lord it over everyone she comes into contact with and if she doesn't get the response she wants she will cut them out. She is bone idle and has literally no friends whatsoever. She can clear a room by entering it. GMother was anything but lazy and would pursue vendettas with enemies with an astonishing fervour (cutting down their washing lines full of pristine washing with garden shears, writing poison pen letters etc.)
Long term I advise you to gently keep up the pressure on DH until he 'sees' his mother for what she is in the hope that you can get away from her influence entirely. I wish I had never had my GMother in mine and my DMums life. Just after marriage Dad said he fancied being one of the 'Ten Pound Poms' and we could have been Australian. Even then granny would have been too close for my liking!
Many times the Ngrandparent has a lot of extra cash to throw around since they are done raising a family. They may successfully exploit the natural selfishness of the child by using cash or toys to lure them.
Thats what my MIL has tried to do with my dd.
Toys,money, sweets etc.
PIL are fairly well off, so she would allways bring
crap toys that are reall expensive down for dd, that dd had no interest in but bought them her to show us what fabulous grandparents they are.
In her mind. Money is love, thats why and how you're a great grandparent.
To hear her talk, she would do anything for her. She is her world, allways taking pictures of her blah blah blah.
In reality, she couldnt be bothered to see her. 8 weeks she didnt come down for, yet she liked telling us how shes kept her pocket money for her..
See. She couldnt be bothered to make an effort to see her but thats ok cause shes got some money for her.
Btw. She lives 15-20 mins away, they have a car and shes in her early 40s.
Money doesnt make you a good parent.
Also. Dd just saw toys and sweets. MIL then preseumed that it would make her favourite nan. It didnt as she didnt see her often or take the time to play with her.
If your MIL isn't as lazy as mine. She will buy presents for your dd and play with her with them. Your DD will just see this. Toys and a nice nanny.
Only you know the level of manipulation and narc personality. What if your mil hints that it would be nice if her and dd had a sleepover etc. Sweets and toys. Dd will want that.
You say no. Whos the bad one then?
Mil - 1
it was my daughters first birthday party today. I spent 10 minutes with her in total. they took her to the top pf the play area and regardless of my dp saying "we want her to play with the kids" and taking her back down they persisted. I wad desperately trying to talk to everyone and every time my back was turned they took her :'(
my people pleasing mother went snd told them "it wad their turn to play with her because they love abroad"! I reminded my mum they see her more often than she does most the time. she just had to say it, she's got to make people happy and didn't realise how it had made me feel.
devastated. what should I have done? not put her down at her own party and follow her about.
I can't believe this.
This is precisely why I have written the last two posts to you.
Your mistake here was to invite his parents to the party in the first instance. That must not happen again.
You cannot let her second birthday party be like this at all. These people will and did completely and utterly disregard any boundary you and/or your H cared to set. You do not matter at all to them and they do not care about your child either. All they care about is what they want regardless of the cost to you, your H and your child.
You learnt people pleasing from your own mother as well.
NC needs to happen as of now. You've been more than reasonable to these people at great emotional cost to yourself. Time to now draw that line in the sand.
You need to nip this in the bud now. Show DP this, that link i showed you, everything.
Its not on anymore.
She is your DD. Not MILs.
I would of gone and picked her up and said "Let her play with her the other kids, its her birthday, she doesnt want to play with boring adults do you dd?"
But of i would of been thinking "if you pick her up one more time and bring and her down here away from her friends, i promise you this is the last birthday party you will ever come too"
and i probley would of said it if i'd of had some wine.
dp has seen this thread and all the links attatched. he's never going to thinks it's damaging behaviour....at least not enough to never see them again. I just can't even think about it anymore. thank god we are having a family party at home on Thursday (her actual birthday) that they're not coming to because they're on another holiday. when suits they are grandparents when not they do what they like.
I know I shouldn't have invited them...but try telling dp that.
I dig my own graves by putting myself through total emotional torture to keep other people happy. thats my problem...I give a fu*k when I shouldn't.
But YOU know it is damaging. You do not need his permission to not see them again.
Also. Why not try acting like MIL for a day? Throw some strops, cry, be a cow. See what your dp does?.
If he says anything, just say well MIL gets away with acting like this?
but i can be really petty when i want to be.
This isnt going to get better. Its going to get alot worse.
Dp is putting his mother over you and dd.
That isnt how its supposed to be.
What mommybird says, how would he react when you strop?
it was my daughters first birthday party today. I spent 10 minutes with her in total.
Oh beth can't believe they were so pushy. Well, actually, I can. Every get-together your MIL has to push the boundaries. How will it benefit DD having her DF's family members in her life, when they are only interested in control and leader-of-the-herd mentality.
Snce you came on the scene MIL has been intent on stamping her authority. DH's ex wouldn't give in,
mil described her as a "nasty, horrible person who never appreciated all theh tried to do for her". now I know why, she wouldn't be controlled by mil.
Btw, I don't seriously think that that is how you should handle things but I try it couple of times and tell him what you're doing
tried that with the wholw strop thing...I throw one and he just sits back like he does with his mum and takes it. so its totally pointless.
Then I think you need to tell him no and keep repeating
Often, when they over-value, it is the objective of the narcissist grandparent to steal the child from you physically and emotionally. Ngrandparents are known for so much trash-talking against you behind your back to your own child or children that they want to go live with grandma or grandpa, or the Ngrandparents simply inspire rebellion of the child against you. They steal the hearts of the grandchildren. Sometimes, they will battle for physical custody of a grandchild after their slander campaign against you has won them powerful allies. Many times the Ngrandparent has a lot of extra cash to throw around since they are done raising a family. They may successfully exploit the natural selfishness of the child by using cash or toys to lure them. I have read heart-breaking stories of these kinds of situations often enough that I recognize the clear danger any narcissist grandparent represents. They can even steal your children's hearts from you when the children near adulthood with promises of money, houses, cars, college tuition, etc. as bait
What if your mil hints that it would be nice if her and dd had a sleepover etc.
My dd was at mils for three hours alone.she came back moody and horrible to me. Goodness knows what she said to her but I know she was working hard to try and get dd to sleep over in future...telling her if she slept at her house she could take her to school in the morning.
Its taken me months to get our relationship back on track...
I dont think i could stay with someone who allows his family to treat me like crap.
You're bottom of the pile. He cares about his mothers feelings above his soon to be wife.
He is disregarding your feelings
euughhhh I hate to think that is the case...but it's starting to look like it is that way
There is only so much one person can take.
Sometimes I wish I had picked my partner more wisely and realised sooner that not only has he got to backbone when it comes to his parents but they're overly demanding amd controlling. thats never a good combination.
I don't usually comment on these threads because they make my blood boil .
My own family are like this , and as is usually the case I married into a similar family . That marriage ended in divorce due to issues like you describe .
Guess what's happened again ? Yep , another toxic mil . This time I have zero tolerance and luckily my h is fully on board . They're so predictably abusive it's a joke .
You don't need your husbands permission to go no contact.
my dd is watching her favourite film and im sat on the sofa with twars4 rollong down my face. dp has sat with me and held my hand saying nothing for 5 minutes....then gone off and started washing clothes and cleaning....why just why would he ignore this, just because the truth makes him uncomfortable and if I don't bring it up nothing would ever get said.
I've got no advice I'm afraid, just wanted to offer and <tissues>
It would be worth googling narcissistic mothers and their sons . They often produce a particular type of emotionally wimpy man . Their people pleasing and lack of assertiveness usually affects all areas of their life .
In the end I simply stated I wouldn't be going anymore and it was up to him what he did .
Beth lots of women are in your situation and lots of times it seems when the DC come along that it becomes apparent as people gravitate back to family when they start their own, or GP want to be more involved...
usually it isnt a problem but when people are over bearing like this - suddenly you have a massive problem on your hands.
Beth look at the postives, your DD is still young and has no memory yet, you have about a year or two to sort this out...
as said you cant expect your conditioned since birth dh to suddenly stand up to them, but YOU can lead the way by saing = enough.
Beth do you think she's done this to "punish" you for yesterday? I'm sorry, I don't have a more tactful way of putting this, I'm sorry if this upsets you
I hope not...I dont think she has...but maybe. she seemed very pleasant but she would do...she was getting her way.
she didnt even give dd a chance to play with the other children she hogged her so much.
she sunk her claws into my aunty and uncle as expected. ..theyre totally oblivious and think she and her husband are lovely. they only ever focus on my aunty and uncle...nobody else and it's because they see dd and me and dp a lot...she knows I love them to pieces :'(
Would there be any mileage in telling your aunt and uncle what she is like?
I have tried, they don't see what I see though. they think she just is a little overbearing of dd because she just loves being a nanna.
which is silly becausd they've got a narc in their family so they should know it's not always what it seems.
I'm just not going to put them in the same room regularly enough for any of my il's grand plans or couple cyling, sailing and dinning t actually happen.
they live in Jersey and barely have time when they come back to see us, we cram into there agenda so doubt anything will come of it.
You need to go no contact with his family as of now. That may also have to include the aunt and uncle because they either cannot or equally will not see what is happening in front of them.
I would become very angry with your H now. He needs to realise that he is hurting the very people who he is supposed to love the most i.e your and your child. His primary loyalty is to you, not his mother or father now.
I imagine she's super charming to your aunt . She'll be trying to recruit them so she can triangulate with them . They love to effectively take people off you / intrude into your relationships . Usually later on they recruit your friends , family as flying monkeys when you won't comply .
I always feel sorry for people who are just starting to realise they are involved with a toxic person . The main character in these situations is usually just the tip of the iceberg .
I would be very frustrated with aunt and uncle . Of course they don't see her behaving badly , but they should believe you .
Oh Beth I'm so sorry to read what happened at the birthday party.
Actually I think she was punishing you for saying no at the pub dinner.
And I'm so sorry your OH is behaving in that way. I think he just doesn't know how to operate now. Your realisation may have just turned his world upside down.
I really urge you to seek counselling for him to help him through this.
And yes it does come down to his priorities & who is at the top of his list.
Atilla has given you a lot of info & advice about narcissists. I actually agree with her- no contact would be the safest option for your DD. And you don't need your OH permission to go no contact. I'm not saying it's going to be easy- expect a rage response from MIL- but it is better for your daughter not to be in contact with this awful woman.
And don't forget, that's what she is. She also happens to be your OH's mother. But in any other walk of life you would not tolerate anyone behaving in this way. So you do not have to play this game. Simply do not see them again.
Hugs, this is difficult
I think one can manage narcs (if there is no real choice). It's a helluva skill but if she were autistic would you feel the same way? ie that she jolly well ought to learn etc. It could be said that narcissism is not unlike a severe form of, say, autism - and to manage it one would have to introduce absolutely rigid and extremely tight boundaries [with DH fully onside]; and never waver. As I said, a helluva skill.
I know I'm going to be jumped on for saying this. One of my children is very probably a narc and I naturally look at it from a different angle now (I loathed her narc father but I can't loathe her). I also don't necessarily agree that 'you wouldn't put up with this from a stranger so cut contact'. I get the point, I really do; but cutting off a grandparent is a huge, huge step.
I have cut off my (narc) family but I can't cut off my (mildy narc?) parents. I severely limit the time I spend with them, I watch everything like a hawk, everything on full alert, the whole thing a military operation. I also wear my thickest possible skin when I see them (and if I'm feeling threadbare I call off any planned visit). My visits are often 5 minutes, sometimes 15, sometimes 30. If anything starts going awry I leave immediately - I lie, making up an excuse, eg taking a 'call' and exclaiming that I've missed an appointment. Etc.
And, apart from that, she is/they are rich. She could create an almighty stink - and I mean ALMIGHTY. Never-ending - she could NEVER give up (this has been my experience with a narc). I used the word 'dangerous' upthread and I do think these people can be very, very dangerous if you cross them by eg witholding from them something that is important to them.
You did, however, say upthread that when you have introduced a sharp boundary, she grovels. I have never known a full-blown narc grovel, so maybe she's somewhere on the narc 'spectrum'... (as I suspect my parents are)??
attila I am angry with my dp, and I have expressed my anger in small bursts but I feel more deflated by his parents actions, that and totally disappointed in their ability to realise it was a specail day for me, dp and dd and wasn't all about them (I know, narcassists=always about them)
However last night after I'd calmed myseld down dp started to open up about his mum and the way she controlled him throughout his life and he genuinely was expressing some emotion (anger, resentment and pain) about his mother and I genuinely believe he will start putting his familt first now, he said yesterday was "way to far" and an "eye opener" his mum actually described it as "their day" just like she did his graduation whereby she threw an almighty strop because dps partner at the time wouldn't give her the camera dp had brought with him *because dp told her not to! ha!
justgotosleepnow, thanks for your comment l, attila has given great advise etc and has been a real eye opener on here much alike many others and I really appreciate everyone's opinion. it's good to hear it from people who see things in different ways etc
springy I actually agree with you (putting myself up for a moaning at) but until my dp makes the decision to go nc, I just don't see how causing this rift in his family (dysfunctional maybe but still his family too) will ne any better for our relationship than trying and I mean at least trying a little bit with the information I've recently discovered to try and handle his mother.
he knows, the moment she go ballistic at us, especially infront of dd I will personally say...we can't be around this anymore but for me to suddenly cut contact when in her eyes she's done nothing wrong and her behaviour is as per usual on a day to day basis I will look completely irrational.
however when she begins to call names and scream the house down I can snap it up and say THIS is exactly what I am removing myself from, enough is enough and lay it to her and leave with my morals in tact that I as a parent and decent human being have done everything I can and they've made their own bed, leave them to get comfy in it.
I'm sure, to many people I'm putting my dd at risk, being a bad parent or what not but she's just not being left with her, end of and i'm going to have to get tough. I watched my dp remove our dd off them 5 times yesterday, I heard him say "no, it's not your day, it's her day and she has her friends here to play with"
so he's definitely getting there, he was very firm and i'm kinda proud.
yea. the rich thing worries me sick! either way contact or nc they will be manipulative with it.
We've put our foot down with their spending on dd and it's worked...for now
Just keep being consistent. If they get better for a bit, the very first time the revert back to their usual ways, pull them up on it
And I think your dp is doing very well considering, just keep supporting him and he'll get there
I wouldn't worry too much about the money issue, unless they are already heavily subsidising you. The worst they can do is threaten to stop buying your DD things or disinherit your DH, and even if they did is that really so bad? Wouldn't you rather be standing on your own two feet knowing you have achieved everything yourselves rather than relying on money with strings attached?
I dont think they would stop buying my dd things...they try to do the opposite a lot. we don't want dd spoilt, neither of us were and we remind them of thag frequently. ..but it's a constant battle with the words "but we're her grandparents its our job to spoil her". with love and memories not a saphire necklace at the age of 3 months for gods sake :L
I've already told dp I'd give back any money they tried to give us...which they never do, when dp has borrowed from them in the past his father wacks on a massive interest rate! and it comes with "we gave you this...so do this for us" not worth it. ever.
and totally disappointed in their ability to realise it was a specail day for me, dp and dd and wasn't all about them
Actually I think they did realise it was a special day for you, they either didn't care about your feelings or did it deliberately to upset you. Either way is unacceptable. Agree together how to handle your mother and keep a very, very close eye on her and her impact now that you are aware of it.
It sounds like your DH is starting to say no, I think he did really well over the two days. He has a lifetime of learned behaviour to turn around.
That's true! it gets to me because SHE was once the mum at her sons first birthday and she would have never allowed someone to do what they did.
I'm learning from them...I will never make these mistakes eith my daughter snd grandchildren.
yes dp has done very well, he was very sad yesterday afternoon but he I think he's just disappointed in them.
Just seen your update! Fab news about your DP! :D
Im so happy he was able to have a real chat with you about it. Maybe he just needed time and the realisation about yesterday was proof enough for him.
How is he (and you!) today?
we are better today. he is seeing what I see now, he was totally appalled at them and I had to stop him from kicking off royaly (only because it was dds first birthday and didnt want a screaming, hysterical mil!) he was very firm and they sent us a text thanking us for a lovely weekend with their lovely family. just like they hadn't really upset him. total idiots. oh well. didnt think they'd acknowledge the fact they'd made him angry.
hopefully things are on the up though
Or, if - when! - she kicks off, get your bod out the door, saying nothing. Nothing like stealing her thunder by ignoring her completely. Keep your face absolutely blank.
It's all about not providing narcissistic supply. She wants attention - at all costs - and ignoring and removing yourself gives her no attention at all. If you argue, shout, get angry etc ( any emotion) you will be giving her attention ie narcissistic supply.
She knew exactly what she was doing, she knew she was out of line which is why she sent the text to keep you sweet.
...we cant say anything cause she had a lovely time and sent that text..
Cut contact, just explain her behaviour is unacceptable and you dont want to put up with it anymore.
Do not text back or engage in any kind of contact. MIL has tried to speak to DH more since we cut contact than she has when she had it.
MIL hadnt seen the girls for 8 weeks which is her choice.. when we cut contact she was so upset she wasnt allowed to see them...yet went 8 weeks without seeing them..so there was no difference, just she wanted it to be on her terms.
They love attention, they want the last word in an argument. If you feed that, you're giving her what she wants.
Ignore her and you'll drive her mad!
yep! thats what I thought when they text that, almost an acknowledgement that they've upset him but they couldn't care less. She's such a cow and you're all right, it's probably best I just leave when she kicks off because if I say anything she'll have to have the last word and it will go on forever.
You don't have to tell her you're going nc, though. Just be busy, don't answer the phone, don't get in contact. Make your own life, your own family life without including them.
I wouldn't but I think they'd bully dp. his father sends nasty emails to my dps work email address! leaves messages and answer phone messages, I reckon theyd bang the door down if we ignored them long enough!
dp told me last night about a message his dad sent a while back about not putting them first/the same as me and dd! dp reminded them he doesn't anymore because his primary concern is us..and reminded them that he is no longer their primary concern, thst being their retirement plan.
I dont understand how people who choose to move away and travel and not be about for birthdays can be demanding of our time. They've chosen to leave it doesn't mean they get special treatment when theyre about.
his father of course does all this when my mil cries to him and wraps him round her little finger. since I've known them ive only seen him tell her she's wrong once! and that was when she threw her mlst recent paddy at the end of a weekend we had to spend with them. thought we had an ok time and were very polite but apparently it wasn't enough for the charming mil.
Delete the emails without reading them and same goes for the voice mails.
Dont answer the door if they know. Rip letters up etc.
They only have power over you if you let them.
Delete the emails without reading them and same goes for the voice mails.
Dont answer the door if they know. Rip letters up etc.
They only have power over you if you let them.
I wouldn't but I think they'd bully dp. his father sends nasty emails to my dps work email address! leaves messages and answer phone messages, I reckon theyd bang the door down if we ignored them long enough!
Yes we have had this and a good dollop of emotional blackmail including their recruitment of dh other family members.
the worst for me was the coming to the door.
Its an odd situation to be in, when two people who you know don't really love or respect your dh, certainly don't like you, keep on coming at you, to get at gc. If it wasnt for the GC they would have dumped us long ago.
we also never made big NC statements, just had to cut down visits and time, I have not been to mils for 6.5 years now! which is amazing.
Dh used to take DC their but he does not feel comfortable in their home...then DC used to go alone but came back withdrawn and strange and then recently they started to realise I think contact was slowing down, they have gone all out on visits to please DC...but at the moment she isn't that fussed.
I don't know what their next move will be, I have thought they might take legal action. But have taken comfort from these board that if they do its highly unlikely they would be granted access.
Its been a long hard road, but I feel after years of being the bendy willow to their rigid oak, I feel like I am in recovery and we as a family are. There have been many other pressures and stresses we have had to cope with, and the extra pressures from them have nearly sent me mad. But we got through it.
Beth ours are wealthy too and TBH would be very generous with us if we were on good terms with them, but I learned long ago its not worth it! They may be wealthy but they drain every single drop of joy out of life and they are always trying to get us to be like them.
You can set up filters or rules for email where they go straight into a junk folder or deleted folder or even a folder for looking at later when you can be bothered! You may even be able to divert emails to another adress?
I think we will have to gradually removw ourselves from them or else they will make life even harder than it is now. I'm sure mil will throw a wobbler as soon as we start insisting on meeting for a coffee out, or at a play area for no longer than an hour because we have "other plans". only problem is everytime we see her she pushes and pushes for more time with dd, wanting to take her etc and it's just akward because every normal person would back down when they realise we don't want to do that but she is very persistent. as soon as weve both got used to just saying "no, it's not convenient" we'll be fine
they try and control us with money but I spotted it very quickly that they are manipulators and use money as a tool and I have told dp never ever to accept anything from them, we don't need it and I don't want it.
as for blocking emails etc I will mention it to dp...im sure because it's his work email and he works for a private bank any harassment can be sorted pretty quick anyway, he has a good relationship with his boss so I'm sure he wouldn't mind asking tp get his fathers emails totally blocked haha.
the pair of them are off on holiday flr 2 weeks now...thank god. wouldn't it be a shame if they got stuck out in dubai?
good thanks. haven't heard much from them since her party, they just text on her birthday 3 times, but I ignored dp didn't though; he politely replied...but whatever.
enjoying my break because theyre on holiday as of tomorrow. ahhh
that sounds like heaven! How long are they away for?
not back in england for at least a month..
Almost enough time for you to have moved! Certainly enough time for new phones though.
Enjoy your month!
Looking back on this thread for reassurance. Mother in law has made it pretty clear she hasn't changed at all and never will. Cancelled my wedding yesterday because of these people and reading all this makes me feel I made the right choice.
I'm not spending thousands on a day they are bound to ruin.
Just read the whole thread, and am sorry to hear things are no better with your MIL. What is your relationship with your DP like? Do you still want to marry him? If so, would you consider having a small wedding with just a few close friends without telling your inlaws about it until afterwards? Would your DP accept that?
I must say, so much of your thread reminded me of my sister. Even down to the graduation (at my first one my sister, who I had to invite as she lived in the same city and I wasn't allowed not to invite her, had two tantrums - one because she wasn't in the centre of MY graduation photos, and the other because she hadn't chosen the restaurant we ate at!!!!!!). So I do understand what it's like. I, also, long ago realised I could never have the big wedding of my dreams as she'd spoil it, whether she was invited or not. My mother did once agree I needn't invite her, but there would be huge consequences if I did (and not just to my detriment). So I avoid relationships, and thus avoid the chance of a wedding.
I really hope you and DP sort something out.
What happened love? X
Crumbs, that's an update and a half.
i think it's a wise decision though. You need to resolve this and DP needs to start separating his life with parents from his life with you and his daughter. Once he no longer feels and acts like a 10 year old in their company, then he's a grown up and can get married.
Nooooo! Take control of your own wedding. Plan it all then tell her. Or elope and have a special dinner when you get back!
Did you try to implement any strategies that were discussed back in Feb? What happend?
What was your man's reaction to this?.
If you and this man marry his parents cannot play any part in this whatsoever. They must not be there under any circumstances.
Infact you need to both go NC with them as of now if this has not already happened.
We were some way through planning and paying for our wedding, picked out colour scheme, cakes, venue etc etc and last weekend my in laws came back from Jersey and basically messaged my dp asking to have our daughter for 2 days.
I have just returned to work and my daughter has just started spending 4 days a week with out me at a childminders. We explained this and said it's not a good time to take her but we will meet with them.
This obviously resulted in my mil sending a text to my partner which even to the most stupid of people is recognisable as emotional blackmail. Something alone the lines of "it's clear you never want to see me, all I have is fond memories of you, you don't love me anymore and we haven't done anything to deserve this, I hope it never happens to you" followed by a 45 minute phone call at 10.30pm crying down the phone.
She does this every time she gets told "no". She turned us not letting her have our daughter (of which she never sees because SHE chose to move away) for two days into an excuse to accuse my dp of being a neglectful son.
Which is ironic considering since they moved we went to see them and have seen them when they have come back.
I think I fell into the trap of thinking it would be easier now they're abroad to just put up with them enough to keep them off our backs, but this just isn't the case.
When they've been back we have made sure we spend time with them in company of others (mil rarely displays crazy behaviour in front of outsiders) and have limited visits to an hour, often outside of either of our homes ie; a coffee shop. We have tried being firm and saying "no" when we wish, and have tried making it clear we are adults with our own opinions and we will raise our daughter as we see suits. (This has been picked up on and mentioned during that phone call, apparently dp seemed "off" with them when we visited)
Dp is very near cutting them off, or at least was the other night but I know it's not what he wants, he wants normal parents, but he just hasn't go them. Whenever they act up he puts his foot down and he hasn't allowed his mums crying etc to work on him but he still and always will loves his mum.
We mentioned whilst we visited about us eloping and she assumed she was coming, so we said if we did it would just be us 3, she went ballistic in the middle of a fish market and refused to speak to us about it.
I cancelled the wedding because I have a big family, all of which I love and would want to share my day with, my dp also has about 30 relatives he would love to encore but we just wouldn't get away from inviting his parents, they would make our lives hell.
For now I'm not thinking about any wedding, it was fun dreaming about the day but it's clear that my in laws are never going to make life easy and I'm not sure whether it's right to commit to a man who is almost 30 and has mummy issues.
Please listen to Atilla love, she has had some similar issues of her own and managed (seemingly) to have found a way through it. It does however mean he has to be on board.
plan the wedding you want, have the day that you want and deal with the fallout in your own way. you will get through this and it will be OK.
Your DP will ultimately have to make the decision to cut his parents off himself. He seems very much still in FOG (Fear, obligation, guilt) with regards to them anyway.
His mother will continue to push and to disregard any boundary that you care to set. She will not change. You can only both change how you react to her and her enabler H from now on.
And do keep your DD completely away from these two; if you find them too difficult/toxic/abusive to deal with it will be the same for your both vulnerable and defenceless child. Some grandparents really should not be allowed access to their grandchildren; his parents are a case in point. There is also no automatic rights for them to see their grandchild anyway.
Its painful watching a narcissist interact with their grandchild mainly because there is no interaction. Its like watching a re-run of a tv show you've always hated.
You need to go NC ASAP
Where is DP standing on it all at the moment? Did you stick to your guns re her having your DD for 2 days?
I had a toxic grandmother - it was hell - Best thing you can do is go NC.
Because she will manipulate her grand children - my grandmother ruined our entire family life and made my parent's life hell. My brother and I still shudder whenever we mention Granny X - we are both in our 50's. That's how long a shadow that woman cast. She was a nightmare toxic bitch from hell - she also had pots of money - she made sure she spent every last penny and died with £100 in the bank.
I really wish my parents had gone NC, my mum wanted to but Dad felt too guilty.
My father, at 87, finally admitted that his mother was toxic - for years he would explain that locking 6 year old boys in a coal cellar for 3 days without food or water was a totally reasonable punishment. That's how much she warped him.
I do still want to marry him, yes. But I am so stressed by his parents I just can't bare the though of his mother face on our day, telling everyone how proud she is, pretending she is wonderful. Paying £2k for photographs with her face In? No thanks!
If I made dp choose between me and them he would choose me, but I don't want that. Unless it is 100% his decision he may blame me when they're dying etc. couldn't bare that. I always feel like although he sees that his mothers behaviour is manipulative and abusive he still thinks he can manage it somehow to avoid feeling guilty for disowning them.
It's also the fact that no matter what, when we do disown them they will think they've done absolutely nothing to deserve it, I have a mental list of horrible situations they've put us in that I wish I could write down and post through their door one by one for them to read when they get back from Jersey next :L
The issue is definitely that I feel that by picking up on his mother behaviour I have created this problem, which my logical mind knows isn't true but I need dp to make the decision by himself for this to work.
If I can't have the big family reunion I was hoping for on my wedding day I don't see the point, my family mean a lot to me and I'd want all 60 of them there and I know my dp would want his aunty's and uncles there, but how the hell are we meant to explain to them that their brothers wife is a narcissist and isn't going to be there because she's evil. They barely see the woman (because she makes sure she doesn't, her husband is HER husband and not to be shared with even his sister on her 50th birthday!) so they don't really know her well enough to see it.
Too complicated and just not worth the stress.
Ok so the woman is very over bearing but is she a risk to your dd? I would think hard about not letting them spend time together. It is good for children to forge loving relationships with other family members. You are saying four days per week with the childminder so why couldn't they have her for two of those days or maybe one of those days. Surely they haven't upset or hurt your dd?
I have not read all of your posts (first and last ones) but it seems like your dh wants to be involved in his parents life. I don't think it's wise for him to pick between you. He is with you and I suppose he could see his parents without you?
Why cancel the wedding? Just make and book your plans and send them an invite. Don't give them the chance to interfere or wear you down. Don't give them control. Also you do not have to put up with her nonsense. If she cries, you can go to the bathroom. If she brings expensive gifts for the dd, return or sell them. Don't invest all of your emotions in her. It's draining you. Sucking your emotional energy away.
I know you want to spend time with your dp on a weekend but if they are visiting make sure your getting your hair done that weekend etc
Book that wedding girl!
Miggsie, that's awful :| I couldn't ever see my in laws physical harming us or our daughter but they will manipulate with money and emotional blackmail whenever they can, which will just get worse as dd gets older.
I worry so much she will feel like you do about them, I hated my dad's parents because they were just nasty people and my mum made sure I didn't see them, for various reasons and I don't feel I was deprived of anything because of it.
I would feel completely awful if my dd suffered because of them, I really would.
It is apparent from your response you haven't read the full thread and even the full thread doesn't cover the half of my mils emotional, financial and mental abuse. I wish I had the energy to explain, if only people could see the affect my in laws have had on me, my dp and our relationship. It's damaging to us a couple, a family and my dp is scarred for life because of the way he has been treated by his parents, for not being an obedient son, if my daughter ever has her own opinion, beliefs or makes choices they do not agree with she will be treated in the same way.
This isn't a decision I've made lightly, it's been 2 years of suffering, for everyone. I don't know how I made it through my pregnancy crying everyday, the amount of stress I was put under everyday and being thrown out of the house at 1am because they are angry at us for not planning the pregnancy like they did theirs. Some would say she was a danger to my dd before she was even born.
I think you are so absorbed with your mil that its affecting you wayyyy too much. I'm not trying to downplay her behaviour but you need to try and let go of some of your angst towards the whole situation. I totally understand what you mean when you say you feel you have created a situation and that's exactly why you need to distance yourself from it. It's destructive, you can't fix them, you can't control them and you won't change them. And your dh wants to be involved with them in some ways.
Can't you just keep a distance? And you did say she behaves well in the company of others so I'm sure that she will be well behaved at your wedding. I personally would tolerate her for the sake of your dp.
Its a lot to plough through but all of this thread is worth reading.
And I would say that yes, the woman that OP writes of is a real risk to the long term wellbeing of her DD.
Beth and her man will never get peace from his parents and ultimately they need to go no contact. Even then that is a decision that is never made lightly or without much soul searching and heartache on the part of the people deciding to take such action. Such self preservation is therefore necessary.
Her partner's mother is not just simply overbearing; she is a narcissist in terms of personality and such disordered people will stop at NOTHING to get what they want and their own way. She has and will continue to completely disregard their wishes as parents and is not above using emotional blackmail either in terms of turning on the waterworks as and when necessary. A parent has to protect their child from such malign influences.
OP has already stated that her man would choose the OP over them; this is good because his primary loyalty should be to her and not his parents now. However, her man still has to make a decision re his parents as to whether he still wants them in his life or not. He not doing anything is not an option here.
Beth - would you want to instead have a family reunion with your own family at a later date rather than at your wedding?. I would still not send his parents an invite regardless of any future wedding plans that are drawn up.
Yikes! Ok I didn't know they put you out of the house!
And they can't take my dd 2 of the 4 days because they moved away! They moved away to make more money for their retirement because the 5 houses the own outright aren't enough. They chose to remove themselves from seeing her weekly! Not me. They chose to scream at us Infront of dd on regular occasions and they chose to be the nasty people they are.
Is just like to say my mil doesn't actually see her own dying mother, she leaves her to her siblings to look after! She has 5 siblings and is only in touch with 1, which pretty much points the finger at her considering they all get on fine! She stops her husband from seeing his family too, because she doesn't like where they live he gets to see them about 1 a year.
This excerpt may well also help you in the long run as well re your DD:-
"Not every person is safe to have around and this is a good time to teach that important life lesson. The more matter-of-fact you are, the more matter-of-fact your children will be. When we act hysterical, they will usually reflect our hysteria. If you act anxious, they will act anxious. If you appear unsure, they will push. Model the reaction and attitude you want your children to adopt.
If you have another set of grandparents in the picture then focus on them. It is rare that both sets of grandparents are nasty. Emphasize to your children how much we enjoy being around grandma and grandpa so-and-so (the decent and loving grandparents). Cultivate your children's relationship with the decent, loving grandparents. Teach your children to be grateful for the decent, loving grandparents. Gratitude is a highly effective antidote to loss. Focus them on what they have, not what they don't have. Model that attitude of gratitude.
You will find that the children will eventually stop mentioning the loss of the narcissist grandparent if you are not bringing it up. If you are talking about your Nparent in the hearing of your children then you are inviting them to keep talking about it, too. I can not over-emphasize the need for your explanation to a younger child to be calm, pragmatic, measured and short. Long explanations make you look defensive which will tend to peak the interest of the child and prompt him to push the issue. You can gauge what is appropriate information depending on the age of the child. If the child is older and has experienced or witnessed the Ngrandparent's nastiness in action then you can say more.
Young children are not known for their long attention spans. This works in your favour. With younger children you have the advantage of distraction. It is easy enough to get the child's mind off onto another track. Every parent has done the distraction routine at one time or another. "Mommy, I want to see NastyGran today!" "Honey, we aren't going to see NastyGran today because we get to go to the park and eat ice cream." (Make up fun time on the spot if necessary for this distraction.) "Yay!!" says the kid and off we go. Subject changed, kid distracted. In time, NastyGran will fade from memory. Any bonding that may have occurred will dissipate in the process of time.
Remember, you are the parent. You're older and therefore more experienced which is the point of being the parent. The child is dependent on your good sense and protective wisdom. You're smarter than your child; use that to your advantage (such as using the distraction method). You are the final authority. This is not a negotiable issue. Your child doesn't get to decide on this one because they lack the understanding, wisdom, experience and good sense that, hopefully, you have. So don't look like you're unsure or open to quibble. You'll undermine yourself if you look anything but firm and resolved on it. Use your advantages as parent to smooth the effects of the cut-off. Over time this will all quiet down. Kids tend to accept what is. It will happen more quickly if you follow the above advice.
Most of all, do not operate from a fearful mindset. Don't be afraid of your children's possible, or actual, reactions. Don't be afraid that you are depriving them of something important by cutting off a set of grandparents. You are only "depriving" them of bad things. Reassure yourself with that truth. Family is not everything. Blood is not binding. You are escaping the Mob Family. What should connect us is how we treat each other with love and respect. This is always a good lesson to teach our little ones. If any part of you is unsure of your decision then, for Pete's sake, don't show it. Your resoluteness will go a long way toward reassuring your children that you are acting in everyone's best interest. If your children know that you love them, they are going to feel reassured that this decision is also based in your love for them. They will find an added sense of security to know that you, as their parent, are willing to protect them even at the cost of your relationship with your own parent(s). Rather than being fearful, see the plentiful opportunities in this. You are protecting your children from someone whom you've experienced as being abusive; you are reassuring your children that you are in charge and are watchful for their best interests (creates deep sense of security); you can teach healthy family values which include that family doesn't get a pass for abusive behaviour; you can strengthen and reinforce the healthy relationships in your extended family. Kids are less likely to feel like there is a void in their life if you fill it with good things".
No I understood that they lived away I just meant let your dd take those two days off from the cm and go to them if you were at work.
But I suppose if you feel they are a risk to her then its a non starter. I'm not saying your in the wrong here but I have got some personal experience and I just know its all mostly a waste of upset. Distance is the solution. All forms of it!
Putting us out of the house is probably one of the smaller things. Maybe I am absorbed, but it's hard not to be when you're worried about your child's safety, (not physically but emotionally).
It's a complex situation, I have tried very hard to be civil, having to cut them out is the last thing i want, believe me I've exhausted every thee option.
We could have a family reunion, perhaps after coming back from eloping but do would want to encore everyone else apart from his parents, that would be incredibly difficult. As I said, nobody would understand.
They sound revolting, is dh an only child?
My nanny is my cousin, she had been expecting to have dd as she does every week. She had already been paid and had out her time aside to look after her. It was very short notice and the in laws are crazy people anyway, wouldn't trust them with my goldfish let alone my daughter :L have done in the past, plenty of times and have deeply regretted it.
Mil likes to go round the house replicating photos of her and her son with my dd. yes, she does this everytime we see them, takes photos of herself and my daughter using the same poses from photos of her and her son and frames them and puts them next to the original photos.
In fact photos of dp have been taken down and replaced with photos of dd, like the one next to her bed for example. Not creepy at all. Perfectly normal behaviour. Just like the "my baby's first years"book she is filling in, it's normal, obviously
They do not have to understand and most people do not really get this type of issue anyway unless they have prior understanding themselves. Also these people have not had to go through what you've both been through the last couple of years with regards to his parents.
You have likely yourself come from a family where this type of familial dysfunction is absolutely unknown so that makes this hard too.
I have narcissist ILs and the only way I can deal with any of them is to keep my distance both physical and emotional away from them. I also keep DS well away from them as well and always have done. We are low contact with these people and only see them anyway a couple of times a year at most.
Those that matter do not mind and those that mind do not matter.
Restandpeace of course he is :L love how that was picked up on. She's made it very clear she should have had more kids, luckily she didn't, more people to torture.
Don't focus on them so much. I can understand they have hurt you with their behaviour but you are burning yourself out here. What does your husband say re the emotional abuse risk to your child?
If you really don't want her at the wedding then your other option is to have it out with her. Everything. Get it out. Verbally or via email. See what she says??
She's a total narc, arguments don't work. I think she actually enjoys them. Emails, texts, messages don't work, she is perfect and can do no wrong. Remember she is innocent in all this, in her eyes the world would be a better place if everyone was like her so telling her she's done wrong is probably the most pointless act ever. I learnt this the hard way.
My dp doesn't want our dd subjected to them, he's hurt he feels that way but he knows how they make him feel as their son and doesn't want our daughter feeling the same way.
Having it out with a narcissist is simply asking for trouble; these people always but always want the last word and a narcissist in full rage mode is not something to be taken at all lightly. Their capacity for rage is not to be underestimated along with their lack of capacity for empathy (they have none). Trying to appeal to a narcissist's better nature (they do not have one) is about as effective as spitting in the ocean.
Narcissists react angrily to criticism and when rejected, the narcissist will often denounce the profession which has rejected them (usually for lack of competence or misdeed) but simultaneously and paradoxically represent themselves as belonging to the profession they are vilifying.
People with narcissistic personality disorder also have difficulty recognizing the needs and feelings of others, and are dismissive, contemptuous and impatient when others share or discuss their concerns or problems. They are also oblivious to the hurtfulness of their behaviour or remarks, show an emotional coldness and a lack of reciprocal interest, exhibit envy (especially when others are accorded recognition), have an arrogant, disdainful and patronizing attitude, and are quick to blame and criticise others when their needs and expectations are not met.
Beth - I would suggest your man reads "Children of the Self Absorbed" written by Nina W Brown.
Your MIL only knows how to be nasty and to manipulate people - she is incapable of giving or receiving love.
You need to go NC - this will be easier for you than your DP.
Good luck - and don't think EVER that any normal or acceptable behaviour will ever emanate from that woman. She will wreck everyone's lives just to prove a point - my Grandmother did. My mother was the only one who ever tried to stand up to her and she got effectively crucified as result - often the DIL gets the real shit.
I also have an aunt and uncle who won't hear a word said against my granny - oh she was so nice to them - because they worshiped her and were poor so she could give them presents and play Lady Bountiful and they would be so pathetically GRATEFUL.
Every political dictator/tyrant there has ever been is a narcissist. I often think that my gran missed her vocation as a prison guard, public hangman or torturer. Alas, she exercised her power domestically and we all suffered.
My MIL lives abroad and has just been to stay for a week. She bought my DD nothing and spent the whole time saying how spoilt and naughty she is (she's 18 months). I feel slightly jealous that your MIL is interested in your DD and wants to spoil her.
Agree that she sounds like a nightmare generally though. Hope you get it sorted.
On that note if anyone wishes to swap in laws, please feel free to PM me. I'll take anything that doesn't have an allergic reaction to the word "no"
Or we could start a support group
with gin readily available ?
Or that, that would work for me too
Well op my dh is an only child too, have/do have mil issues...
I'm sure its already been said but ultimately it is impossible for you or your DH to change them. What you can do is change how you react to them. Don't let her cry down the phone; switch them off. Don't feed her self obsession. Its hard but it can be done. And its what needs to be done for the sake of your family, that's you, your DH and your DD.
I have my own mother issues and father issues and I struggle to practise what I preach so believe me I know how hard it can be. But it is the only thing to be done.
It sounds really selfish but I literally can not be bothered with them anymore, they're incredibly disrespectful and manipulative and I've never been treated like this by an adult, it's incredibly childish and i think it's a good thing I don't know how to deal with it, I think it has something to do with me being a normal balanced human being and them being totally crazy. They're self involved idiots and they really don't have to be my problem. I think I need to just totally back off and leave dp to deal with it, when they're about I will be busy with my daughter doing nice things until they start to treat us both like adults who have a daughter and not children that have produced a child for their own entertainment. (Don't worry I know the chances of this happening are slim)
She's a little human, not a toy to be passed about when it suits them.
I'm sure within a few months my mil will figure I'm causing "issues" and start bitching about me to people and then trying the emotional blackmail on me, of which I'm going to leave to my dp to explain why I don't respond.
Perhaps if I make them his problem and not ours he will be more inclined to make a change.
They're not my parents (thank god) so he can deal with them, if he asks my opinion I will give it but ultimately what he does is upto him and he can tell them himself why I'm never about for more than 5 minutes because I have other plans.
Not sure how we are going to deal with her being constantly pushy and never giving in to a "no" though, the emotional blackmail that follows the word "no" we can just ignore but it's awkward when she is so incredibly pushy to take our dd on her own or asking us to stay at theirs.
Bloody hell just read all your posts !
It's not selfish it's self preservation. attila has offered some amazing advice.
I'm NC with my own mother- she is quite something. Have been for ten years.
Mil on the other hand is a narc but not even on the same scale as my mother so I can handle her a lot better.
She has done many things to me - which I've managed but the worst thing/s I see/seen was her emotional blackmAil to her dgs -12 years.
It's really fucking creepy to watch. She implies that she loves him more than his mother. For example SIL let him go somewhere on his on- it was near to home. Mil stopped him brought him to my home. Totally embarrassed him then was trying to stroke his back saying " nanna loves you xx that why I couldn't let you go on your own, I've got to make you safe".
She then left him with ME while she went to the fucking pub - rang him while she was pissed and had him crying out side saying " xxx you still love me don't you? Tell nana you love her"
It was fucking awful.
Hell will freeze over the day she tried that with my dd. I don't let her near her.
Think very carefully about your future with this woman in it. Don't forsake your happiness or your dc well being for the sake of dp not being able to do anything.
Dp is aware of her behavior he is just scared to act against it.
For me it would be ultimatum time. If he blamed you in the future- so be it.
Look at what your going through and feeling right now. Look at how long it's been going on. You can not fight this soley, your dp is keeping her in your life and he will keep his dc in their life's too- even though he admits they emotional abused him.
Life is too short for this.
Oh and on a lighter note - I have a picture of my deceased DGF on my shelf I commented that dd often looks up at. My mil then actually brought round a ''a nice one of her to go up too'
I said " oh no! You gotta be dead to go up there"
She was speechless for the first and only time I have ever had the misfortune of knowing her!
Your thread reminds me very much of my relationship with my mil. I don't say this lightly but I really hated her for a long time. The problem with this kind of hate is that it is exhausting and had serious consequences for my own well being. My DH idolised his mother and would not hear a word against her despite the fact that she said some really horrible things about me. This drove a huge wedge between us and nearly cost us our marriage. I say this as I believe the best way of dealing with you mil is to distance yourself as much as possible eg not going with your dp when he goes to see his dm and not engaging with your dp about his dm. I found that after a number of years I could tolerate minimal contact with mil without ending up really upset. Towards the end of her life I could only look on her with pity as she had become very isolated as many of her friends and family also distanced themselves from her because of her behaviour. I give you this advice to save you years of torment.
Sorry to hear you're still having to deal with this shit.
Some posters really do need to read the whole thread before wittering on about allowing your dd to have a relationship with her gp, or wishing that this mil was interested in their children like yours is. Really????????
I definitely need to distance myself. I just a know everytime I do it will be my partner that gets it in the ear but he is really going to have to deal with it. I don't want her influencing my daughter like she has her own son. I live with the man & see everyday in his behaviour (even when his mother isn't present) how much his mother has affected him.
A lot of people don't see why I have an issue, not only on this board but some of my own family, all I can say is I am usually a very accepting person. I have dealt with rude, difficult and stubborn people before it is the emotional blackmail, control and manipulation I can not hack. It's sickening. And those who know me don't bother questioning me in regards to my mil because they know I wouldn't cut someone out of my family and life with out trying everything else first. If only she could see what her behaviour does to us, but she is too self involved to even think about anyone but herself.
I feel sorry for her dh who will lose out because of her behaviour, like everyone he has his flaws but they are open and we all know what makes him tick and my dd loves him to bits. I guess enabling someone to treat your loved ones like sh*t is just as bad as anything else.
op I'm waiting for my big blow out, so I can go NC. After MILs behaviour while I was pregnant I should have insisted it then but I was vulnerable and let her bully me.
Dp is fully aware of her behaviour and I think he would support me if I choose to go NC if I had a good enough reason.
Mil knows this and has been flying under the radar for the past year, nothing big, just tiny slights, that no one else would noticed.
I missed my chance last time, but I can wait. Hence my user name
Why wait for a blow out before you go NC? Life is too short, do you really want to go through the stress of an argument?
<fully aware that I sound ridiculously unreasonable on a relationships thread>
So sorry you have been having problems...again.
I have been NC with my MIL for 9 months..and havn't heard from her in 2 months. Not a single peep. And its been fucking awesome.
Im a new person.
I recommend going NC.
You cannot argue with a Narc. They will allways defend themselves. For example. When i confronted my MIL about the bullshit going around that i have an eating disorder...which she had told people. She replied with 'Yes i did, because you're so skinny'
It got so bad, i told DH that i didnt want to see her anymore, i'd had enough. I honestly think we would of split if we had kept on with the 'normal' crap.
They are not normal. Everything is about them and how they feel. You will get flying monkeys who will tell you that you have upset MIL. She will also have depression or cancer. Or a Brain Tumour and Cancer like my MIL. She is perfectly fine now though obviously.
Fuck her. Life is way to short. You canceled your wedding because of her. Thats not ok! Thats the least normal thing!
Can relate to a lot of people who have similar issues, my mil treated me like a absolute disgrace to her and her husband when I first told them I was pregnant and spent the rest of the pregnancy like a baby making machine that was carrying her special present. It was just ridiculous! She likes to nag me about my weight too, but the opposite to eating disorder, telling me I need to lose weight, change my clothes and sort my hair out. Because obviously she is perfect. (And seemingly totally unaware of her huge nostrils)
I had plenty of opportunities to go NC but I was too vulnerable and naive. That and stupid, very stupid.
I'm just glad my family are normal (as normal as humans can be anyway) so my dd will see the comparison.
We are limiting contact and after her hissy for at the weekend they won't be seeing any of us whilst they're back this time. Perhaps she will see a correlation between her strops and our visits. Doubt it though.
And she's text again, this time asking to see us all. Like she's done absolutely nothing wrong, we shall just forget everything and meet up for coffee. Bleughhhh.
Sending dp on his own will not go down well, it will be a pretty clear message, she will kick off royaly.
"Morning we go back on Sunday we would like to see you we will meet or you can come over of course or we will pop over yours . Hope your feeling better and works ok for you both pls phone or text back what's happening love always mumxxxx"
Is it just me or is she request in we see her? Not even a slightest bit of remorse for the mega strop she has thrown a few days ago, regardless of the fact we have told her she has upset us.
Yeah, sounds familiar (my mild does the same )
Could you and DP stick together on this one and just say no, sorry, it's not convenient?
I've said to either say we can pop in for 20 minutes after we pick dd up from my cousins or to say we are busy working this week and away on Saturday. He battles between upsetting me or his mother
You need to ignore all text messages from this woman and yes you are indeed being summoned to see her. Her behaviour is very typical toxic/dysfunctional parent.
Infact you now need to block her incoming calls and texts; she will continue to make your lives a misery otherwise. You have to protect your own self and no it is not at all selfish to do that.
Did you tell your H the following:-
"I've said to either say we can pop in for 20 minutes after we pick dd up from my cousins or to say we are busy working this week and away on Saturday. He battles between upsetting me or his mother".
Re the above, you need to make a decision (the second option you cite is preferable) because your H will most likely cave. He due to his own FOG re his mother will likely back down.
Just let your dp go. Don't go. Tell dp to say you have an appointment.
Start retreating now.
Let her kick off if he does go on his own. He may well decide yet not to see his mother. You need to protect yourself and your child from her.
You cannot afford to keep going back for yet more tirades and/or abuse from her. End of. You would not tolerate any of this from a friend and his dysfunctional mother is no different. It is NOT his fault or yours that she is this way.
Yes, that's what I told him and I know he would want to opt for the 20 mins coffee because it would save her throwing a paddy.
I'm in a thought situation where he is torn between putting his foot down over her throwing a strop and not seeing her (knowing she will kick off all over again) and just popping infor 20 mins to keep the piece.
He keeps asking me what to say, this makes me feel like he isn't ready to decide for himself. He seems to think it's easier to tow the line than cut them off. It would be totally normal for us to be busy, we are both working today and Friday and have things planned for Saturday. To a normal person this would be fine but she will start everything up all over again.
She didn't text me, she text him. She knows he will be more likely to say yes I think.
I hate this, sometimes I feel like not popping in because she's thrown a paddy is me being pathetic and I should just get over it, but what does that say to her?
I need my dp to make this decision, I want him to make it because HE isn't going to put up with it anymore but he just asks me.
I can find an excuse not t go very easily, it's my dd not going that we struggle with. I don't want her on her own with them, with out me there mil will get away with what she wants because dp will struggle to stand up to her and she knows this so she will tests boundaries. If I don't go, neither does she but I'm struggling with how to put this. I feel like I'm causing a rift in the family but I want to protect my daughter from arguments and harmful behaviour.
This is such an awful situation, I wish dp didn't even tell me she text, I wish he text back saying we were busy...but of course he asks me, all down to me.
Well it is putting you in a difficult position and one you do not want to be in. Does your DH understand that you want him to make his own decisions?
If not then make it perfectly clear to him that is what you want, however, if he cannot do it, cannot decide, then you will decide for him and tell him to tell his mother you are both too busy.
What a nightmare situation. I would move house and not tell them.
They are leaving the country and I think your dh wants a relationship with them. He is showing this to you without actually wanting to cause you hurt by saying it iyswim. Is it really so bad if you let your dd go with him for coffee. Can they damage her in 20 mins, whilst your dp is there?
Let him see them without giving him the low down on their antics. He knows all of it but he wants to go or feels a duty to. You don't have to. If you want to improve things. Remove yourself from the equation.
I keep on telling him that he knows my opinion but they are his parents and he should make the decision (hoping he will make the decision whilst thinking about my own opinion) we have disgusted this a million times, he is torn between decisions. He knows it makes sense for us not to see them but is struggling letting his parents down. He is a people pleaser and is in a situation where he can't please everyone. He literally won't decide, he wants to be told what to do, because his parents have always had control of him he seems to find it tough making a decision against them. It's 27 years of conditioning.
This is the thing, part of me just wants to go and just get it out the way. I don't want him toe never see them because of me. No they're not going to damage her in 20 mins, unless she chooses to cry and scream at him whilst he is holdings dd (which she has done on serval occasions)
You can see the different advise I get here, some people say run for the hills and never see them again and some say just 20 mins won't hurt.
Sometimes 20 mins can turn into an hour long argument because he is a "failure". Sometimes it will be fine.
Sorry but I just found this so funny:
"And seemingly totally unaware of her huge nostrils"
I would imagine one of your biggest problems is not to stare at them now you have become aware of them.
NC is the only answer.
Why care that she throws a paddy?
She loves doing that - it's her thing. Let her have them and ignore them.
She spends her entire life trying to upset you and DH and make you feel bad. Is that the sign of a loving mother?
Can your DH remember a time when he felt good about seeing his mother? OR a time you left their company feeling good?
If you can't, then this is a good reason to stop seeing her, because she'll do the same to your DD and life is too short for you all to feel bad regularly.
Also, it is a reason for your DH to stop seeing them - suggest he finds a hobby or friends that he does regularly and it makes him feel happy. Children of emotional abusers often don't know how to be happy or put themselves first - it is a skill that was squashed out of them early - I saw this clearly with my dad and my aunt. They also had a feeling that they couldn't do anything to affect or improve their life - because their mother took away their self determination as she created their dependency.
Perhaps you can support your DH to be kind to himself and stop seeing his mother - because she specialises in making him feel like shit.
Your DH has a right not to feel like shit.
You have already reached this conclusion - well done, it's a massive step because once you don't care about the abuser, you can let them go.
Wow! I could have written this about my own ex MIL! (except change Jersey for Middle East). She too has demanded to have my son for a day. He is one yr old and has no clue who they are, or who his dad is as he has chosen no contact for now. Obviously I said no, cue hysteria from her and accusations that I'm being cruel/torturing her. Stick to your guns. If your DP wants to go then that's not an issue. If you or your daughter go after her strop then you're setting a precedent that she can behave as she wishes and still get her own way. Consider her a child who needs disciplining, as that is essentially what she sounds like. Do not let her walk all over you! If she wants to visit you all then great, but she must behave herself. Good luck! X
beth this sounds so awful and emotionally draining, you are also trying to please everyone and keep the peace. It won't work.
Could you just say to your dp that neither you nor your dd are going but you will respect and support his decision if he chooses to go without you, however you expect him to show equal respect for your decision and it is not up for discussion with his parents.
Could you also ask him if he would want his dd to be subjected to what he was by his mother and if he would like her to feel the way he does? Then reiterate that you won't stand by and let his mother's behaviour adversely affect your dd, so he needs to decide what he wants.
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?.
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.
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?.
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.
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.
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.
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.
His parents shouldn't need 'handling', does he not see that is not normal or how adult children/parent relationships work?
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!!!.
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.
Otherwise this merry go round will NEVER end.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
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