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I've taken on a narc and now I'm wavering. WWYD?

(91 Posts)
needallthehelpicanget Thu 13-Apr-17 01:03:09

Basically, to cut the long story short, I've decided recently after suffering at the hands of possibly narc MIL, that I'm not putting up with her behaviour, so today is the second logger headed incident.

Recently, she has been complaining that she doesn't get to see GCs, it's the hols, we have relies visiting soon for a few weeks, and the DC are back at school next week etc. so I (selfishly) said do you fancy having the kids next week as I need a haircut and do a few things. She said yes.

Roll on today, I dropped them off at 10:00 am, stayed for 20 mins while we discussed what she was making them for lunch (I am happy with whatever she wants to do), how they have an appointment at 3:30 for their haircuts. I also mentioned that my elder child has brought a toy to play with while the younger,one has his nap after lunch. I can't remember if I had mentioned the time that I'd be back to collect DCs.

Anyway I go off, get my hair done, go home, get a few jobs done as there is no point me going to MILs any earlier as the younger child will be napping and I'd have to hang around being a nuisance while waiting for him to wake up (this has happened before).

So, at 3pm, when I get to MIL , she informs me that BIL has been and just left and taken DS1 swimming. I then say but you knew he had a haircut booked?
She says nothing. I ask to borrow her phone and try in vain to get hold of BIL who doesn't answer his phone. I am at this point, angry, because no one had rung me to ok the swimming trip (I would have been happy under planned circumstances), and that she'd let him go despite knowing that they'd had an appointment.
So I say to her calmly, in future, could you ring me before letting DS go or else I won't be sending them to hers.

I then take DS2 and leave. I didn't storm off but I was angry.

I then try to get hold of BIL again but he doesn't answer, as I thought there may be a chance that he could turn back or I could meet him to collect DS1. However, DS2 is giving me merry hell as he doesn't like having his hair cut and so I phone DH at work to try and get hold of his brother and try and get my elder son to the hairdressers. BIL doesn't call back until 4pm. This is after the embarrassment of turning up to a booked appointment without DS1 and the trauma of a haircut with snot and tears. I say please can you bring DS1 home in 10 mins. He says ok.

30 minutes later I send him a text saying DS1 has a swimming lesson at 5:30 please can u bring him home as I have to feed him and get him to swimming. I then phone MIL wondering if they'd turned up there and she informs me that they have not and she doesn't know where they are.

BIL eventually brings him home at 4:45pm, apologises half way down the drive. I call out after him, "next time , just ring me"

DH then comes home and gives me a right telling off for upsetting his mum over a haircut.
Then BIL texts DH saying sorry for taking DS1 swimming. I tell DH to text back that I really appreciate him taking DS1 and sorry it was a disaster.
He then comments that MIL is really upset, has been crying over the way I treated her.
Apparently the kids were only supposed to be there an hour.
So DH replies that I'd discussed lunch with her, he replied, lunch is not 5 hours, then DH had to defend me again by saying DS was left with toys to play with during DS's nap time, etc.

So this is the second time I have called her out on this type of behaviour and this is the second time she has started the waterworks.
What do I do? Do I cave and apologise. am I being petty as according to BIL and DH 'it's only a hair cut', or do I stand my ground against a woman who has downright bullied me for the last 14 years? My issue is not so much the haircut but lack of text/call to me which could have avoided the whole fiasco.

I feel that I've finally found the courage to quietly but firmly stand up to MIL but I am feeling a bit stupid. But it's her and BIL, who always panders to her that have blown it out of proportion?

Me and DH have had an argument over this, and we are so happy right now, and I don't want to spoil that, but at the same time i won't tolerate these hissy fits just because she can't accept she made a mistake.

pinkiepie1 Thu 13-Apr-17 01:39:18

I would be fuming. You told her about the appointment and she (Imo) just flat out ignored it.
Yes it was nice of Bil to take your dc swimming but couldn't he have done that after the hair cut and if I read it right, mil asked for more time with GC so why was she ok to let Bil take him after kicking off so much about spending time with them???
I wonder if good Mil's are like mythical creatures, you hear about them but don't see them in person...
Im half asleep but hope what I've said has made some sense. If not ignore ignore ignore lol

needallthehelpicanget Thu 13-Apr-17 02:05:23

Lol. I am learning the hard way to never ask anything that remotely resembles a favour from her. I didn't even need her for Pity's sake. She could have just rung me if she didn't know when I was picking them up. She's always on her iPhone whatsapping. But now I'm being punished? How do I deal with that?

PyongyangKipperbang Thu 13-Apr-17 02:17:36

Your mistake was handing over control to her. As soon as you left the kids with her then it was game on as far as she was concerned.

But, lesson learned and you wont do it again.

The only way you can win with narcs is to take their toys away and her toy is you. She uses the kids, DH, BIL etc to get to you and its working, so take them away.

The only time she sees the kids with you or DH there and the only time you see her is when DH is there. If he leaves the room then you leave too. She cant play her underhanded "But she did/said...I only meant.....I thought that....." games if there is always a witness.

citychick Thu 13-Apr-17 02:23:34

Hi OP!
Yes, you are learning the hard way!
She's not following your instructions and it's raising your blood pressure.

Don't make appointments you know they won't keep. Have very low expectations.
Narcs are a nightmare. She probably did all that just to rattle you and cause an argument between you and DH. It's very attention seeking.

Keep an emotional distance if u can. Don't deal with your "punishment". Don't apologise. They didn't keep the appointment.

As Pink said...ignore, ignore, ignore...

PyongyangKipperbang Thu 13-Apr-17 02:24:13

But now I'm being punished? How do I deal with that?

Never let her be in a situation that can be misunderstood so an arrangement made verbally is then confirmed by text or whatsapp so you can say "Well I did message you that dinner was at 5, not 6" or whatever..... so that if DH gets on you have evidence that you messaged her and she saw it.

Never leave her alone with you or the kids.

Never let an underhanded comment go unchallenged but only in company so her saying that the kids arent fed properly leads to a "That sounds like you are saying I dont care about them, but I am sure you dont mean that do you?" ....that kind of thing. If you challenge her when no one is around then it will become "Need was horrible, she was shouting at me and calling me names because..."

Basically never ever be alone or speak to her without a witness. If cutting her off altogether is not an option of course.

needallthehelpicanget Thu 13-Apr-17 02:27:23

I'm learning, yes. I've already as of last week adjusted my working hours so she doesn't get involved on my late night, which she wasn't asked to do but decided to step in to help DH, and she's now taken over. But that won't be until May. DH has told me off for destroying our support system, but I pointed out that she's just destroyed hers by lying. It was a horrible conversation. I don't like that she brings out this side to me that I didn't know existed until I met her.

The problem is that everybody else is pandering to her, and using her too. I think I'm going to let the dust settle, but I know BIL and SIL will hold a grudge but I guess I will have to suck it up and be the outcast for the indefinite future.

Out2pasture Thu 13-Apr-17 02:58:36

Why bring them over on a day with so many things happening?

buttfacedmiscreant Thu 13-Apr-17 03:27:36

You don't have a MIL problem, you have a problem with your husband. He is not on the same side as you.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 13-Apr-17 03:34:01

I don't allow narc FIL to look after DD alone. Fortunately, after years of gentle support, DH now sees that I am right about this. Very very gentle stuff. Like, "it must be hard for you when MIL cries about things like this". Gently pointing to the behaviour but not calling it out.

I pander to some stuff but other stuff is written in stone. FIL know not to mess with me about parenting and I let him get away with other silly stuff so he has his power. <sigh>

emmyrose2000 Thu 13-Apr-17 08:12:20

Do not apologise to her! That's just giving into her manipulations and toxicity.

LookAtTheFlowersKerry Thu 13-Apr-17 08:21:35

Sounds like miscommunication to me. She thought she was having them for an hour while you got your hair cut, you did your own thing until after ds2's nap. Did she know she was having them all day?

Did you contact her at all during the day? I imagine BIL turned up and she said something about not expecting to have two young children all day, and that's why he suggested taking one swimming.

I appreciate there is history here but on this occasion I don't really see the problem. If I was minding your kids and you dropped them off at ten and mentioned haircuts at 3.30, I'd expect you back just after lunch. By 3pm she most likely assumed you weren't taking them for haircuts.

If she's that awful then why use her for childcare at all?

BarbarianMum Thu 13-Apr-17 08:30:35

OP do you actually underderstand what a narc actually is? I don't think you do. If you did you'd know why it's pointless trying to take one on and also why only a totally feckless parent would voluntarily expose her child to one.

So are you feckless and willing to dump your kids on anyone with a personality disorder just to get a break? Or could it be that your MiL, however irritating, is not, fact, a narcissist?

Ladyvird135 Thu 13-Apr-17 08:32:02

I'm kind of with Kerry. Is it possible she just forgot? And she was embarrassed so she went quiet with the response? Then maybe you saying that you won't bring them round again sounded a bit harsh...

Crossed wires i think it sounds like, but perhaps i just try and see the best in people too much...

IsangforLadyArcher Thu 13-Apr-17 08:43:57

I think she didn't understand what was happening. Perhaps there were too many instructions for her to follow. Where they staying for lunch or the day. You dropped them off so you could have a haircut and she thought youd be back after lunch, but you've left toys for DS1 whilst DC2 naps - but they are having haircuts and swimming too.

They think they are helping you but they've pissed you off instead.

As Out2pasture said, why send them on a day when you had so much on?

FlyingElbows Thu 13-Apr-17 08:44:06

Barbarian has beaten me to it but I'll add anyway... is your Mil a "Narc" as diagnosed by a qualified mental health professional or just by you? Having grown up with a mother with a properly diagnosed actual real life full on personality disorder I cannot tell you how much mn osmo-diagnosis of personality disorders fucks me off. It'd be a cold day in hell before I exposed my children to my mother because she poses actual properly danger to their wellbeing. What you're describing is mis-communication not a fucking narcissist! It's clear you don't like her but if she's good enough for free childcare then, like Barbarian said, what's your problem?

Those of us who grew up with parents with actual personality disorders have suffered lasting damage. It is beyond insulting to read thread after thread on mumsnet where people self-diagnose their relatives (mostly their female in-laws) with not the first clue what the reality actually is.

Love51 Thu 13-Apr-17 08:46:37

DH then comes home and gives me a right telling off for upsetting his mum over a haircut.

I really like my in laws. They are nice, reasonable people. I can disagree with them about stuff if I want, without my husband airing an opinion / getting involved. I don't very often, but the option is there!

But if I didn't, and it made my life hard, or my husband to row with me, I'd only see mil on rare occasions it suited me, she could see the kids with their dad present.

The swimming thing is odd. How come they had his kit?

WinnieFosterTether Thu 13-Apr-17 08:52:13

As a PP said, your MIL isn't necessarily a narc just because you don't get on with her and she cries to get her own way.
Either way, you sound unnecessarily confrontational and that won't work with a narcissist or someone who is emotionally manipulative. The only way you can manage such a relationship is to disengage from the arguments and drama, not by ramping it up. There was too much potential for stuff to go wrong by asking her to babysit on a day which had numerous appointments. Don't do that again.

fzz33 Thu 13-Apr-17 08:53:10

FlyingElbows Narcissistic Personality Disorder is very rarely actually diagnosed, mostly because there's no treatment because the narc never accepts they're the problem. The only time it's really 'diagnosed' by professionals is during criminal trials.

GloriaGilbert Thu 13-Apr-17 08:53:48

I really don't think missing a haircut is a big deal. She should have checked with you, but my MIL might have done that same thing and she's OK.

happypoobum Thu 13-Apr-17 08:54:28

I agree with PP - it was a big mistake to make any arrangements with MIL. You need to withdraw massively from her.

If she kicks off about needing to see the DC, DH can make arrangements, and he can deal with any fall out - nothing will go wrong if it's not you being punished and then she appears all reasonable you see?

You have to distance yourself emotionally and physically from her. Taking her on is fun fun fun from her perspective - don't do it.

GloriaGilbert Thu 13-Apr-17 08:55:20

And, in my view, you brought out the big guns far too quickly.

GloriaGilbert Thu 13-Apr-17 08:56:13

For clarity, this is what I'd call a big gun:

So I say to her calmly, in future, could you ring me before letting DS go or else I won't be sending them to hers.

Platimum Thu 13-Apr-17 08:56:57

None of it would have happened if they had respected the schedule you arranged.
That would piss me off too.
When your h reprimands you for upsetting his mother, insist that he go back a bit and acknowledge that she upset you.

Grilledaubergines Thu 13-Apr-17 09:01:10

I knew it wouldn't be many posts in before it was declared a 'DH problem'.

It's not though is it.

She may be narcissistic

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