To finally see someone's true colours after 30 odd yrs?(10 Posts)
So finally the realisation has dawned that my aunt (and godmother) is actually an evil, manipulative piece of shit! This is probably going to be long and will not even scratch the surface tbh! Just to add my aunt is the youngest of 4 girls and nearly died as a baby, this I feel is significant in how her sisters excuse her behaviour.
My aunt has been married 4 times, every relationship has been the result of an affair and each one of her marriages has ended because her DH has left her for someone else. At this point my mum and her sisters are expected to drop everything and prioritise her above their families. My DM actually cancelled coming to see me and my baby DC1 to comfort her and on that same weekend my brother and his wife had a baby but my mum didn't see him until he was 4 days old as my aunt was too upset and needed her.
When we were growing up we were exposed to her affairs and her and the current man were quite open about ridiculing his former partner. Her 2nd husband and herself used to refer to his former wife being a "nut job banged up in loony asylum". I realise now that the poor woman probably had a nervous breakdown when her husband ran off with someone he worked with. With the benefit of hindsight and children of my own, I feel incredible anger that my DP's allowed this to be discussed in front of me and also joined in the laughing at this poor woman!
Her last husband came across as a rich successful business man. He wasn't, he was at best a conman who had failed businesses all over the place. He scammed an 80 yr man out of his savings and my aunt lost her house (that was hers outright with no mortgage from before they even met) as he secured so many loans to it. Her son was expected to buy her a house (which he did) to replace the one she lost.
Since her last marriage breakdown she has turned her attention to her son. She was always round at his house under the guise of helping with his 3 DC's. She is incredibly interfering and would undermine her DS and DIL at every turn. They felt they couldn't say anything because of the amount of help she gave them. Not surprisingly their marriage broke down and her DIL had an affair. My aunt is now out to ruin her and has done a fabulous job of turning the kids against her.
Here's where I come into it! I was arranging a a party for my DM's 70th. My aunt tried to interfere and make it all about her. I stood my ground but now obviously I am on her shit list. She makes sure she manipulates my parents into visiting her instead of myself and my DC whenever there is a weekend or school holiday spare. My parents are spineless and do this then moan they never see their GC and try to buy their love by sending presents and money to them.
My aunt refuses to meet my youngest DC ( who I was pregnant with at the time of the party) and leaves her name off any greeting cards
After another Halloween break seeing my parents playing happy families with her and her Family, I am just so bloody sad and feel foolish for ignoring her flaws for so long! I feel like disowning the whole bloody lot, especially my spineless, gullible bloody parents. I feel their judgement is so poor they are a danger to my children anyway!
That feels so cathartic! Thank you if you made it to the end!
Took me 25 years to realise my mil was a self absorbed selfish narcissist. When the penny finally dropped, that was it. We have been NC for some years now.
Sorry you're in the middle of this, OP. It's easy to sound pissed off and breezy about it when you're letting off steam, but I know how deeply hurtful it is when family dysfunction affects you and those you love.
No great insight to offer, other than this happened in my own (previously close, happy) family; everyone pandering to my DM's manipulative, pretty, totally self-absorbed youngest sister until she eventually drove a wedge through one generation, and wasn't satisfied until she managed to do the same with the rest of us. Hence we are NC with half our family, my close cousins included - deeply, deeply painful, but from a distance of 8 yrs now, I can say life is much happier and less stressful, and we, my parents and my DSis and her family are our own little unit and have formed new traditions and memories with our own children.
It sounds like this will be difficult for you if your parents are so invested in the relationship with your aunt and are bullied into running around after her; all I can suggest is that you distance yourself slightly from the wider family group. Are you close to your DB? Can you, for example, invite his family to spend xmas (or whatever you celebrate), with you and invite your parents - but don't get involved in any drama around doubled-up invites; it's their decision where they spend their time, just leave the door open for them and don't engage personally with your aunt's nonsense. Family politics are complicated and emotional, I know, but it's easier than you might think to step back from it all, and ultimately will be healthier and happier for you.
One other observation - I've been unlucky enough to have 3 women like this in my life. My aunt, who's now in her 60s, my MiL, 90, and an ex-friend, 40.
They are all the youngest in families of 3 or 4 girls and were spoilt, indulged and babied as children. They've each grown up, in different eras and circumstances, to be surprisingly similar - controlling, narcissistic, dramatic, self-absorbed, unable to see any POV other than their own, and prone to tantrumming like toddlers in various manipulative ways until they get what they want. They'll all die in a ditch before apologising or admitting they're in the wrong, are hyper-sensitive to any perceived (usually non-existent) personal slights, and all of them have compromised or destroyed many of the most important relationships in their live and caused a lot of hurt and upset to those around them. It's somehow as though their emotional development is stuck at about age 4.
Not that I'm blanketing all 'little sisters' in this way, obvs, as clearly a lot of families are able to raise any number of kids to be perfectly balanced adults - I just find it interesting that the 3 most toxic and difficult people I know all have this in common ...
Thanks for your replies. I feel a huge relief that the penny has dropped and I'm able to join the dots of her behaviour. Glad to know it's not just me.
I had a so-called ‘best friend’ who was like this. She persuaded DH and me to lend her £6000 to pay off arrears on her mortgage as she was on the point of being repossessed. (She had 2 homes as she and her then DH had relocated to Spain.) She convinced me that her flat in the UK was about to be sold and we would get our money back.
What she didn’t tell us was that her debts exceeded the value of the properties and that we would never get our money back.
Retaining any kind of contact with her was impossible. Any time a Christmas card arrived my DH would ask, ‘Is there a cheque inside?’ And she would send newsletters about foreign travel, very galling!
This friend also stayed in our house for 3 weeks, spent the whole time in her dressing gown and kept talking to my DH about her problems. She also called him to complain about me.
She was the youngest sister out of 3, and the youngest by a long way. I never saw it that way before. She had MH problems and had lost her dad, which was why I felt sorry for her.
mittens your ex friend sounds very like my aunt. It's always for someone else to bail them out financially whilst they fritter their money on other things. In my aunts case, designer clothes and fine dining.
I feel really sad that my parents are so conditioned by her that I'm the bad guy for seeing through her. I should have mentioned that their eldest sister saw through her years ago and has been pretty much excluded ever since. I can really see that happening to me but not sure if there's anything I can do .
I think a chat with your parents to tell them how you feel. Important to say that you don't expect them to brsdk contact with her, but you are going to. Then minimise any contact with her to zero. Your parents need to make the effort and if they don't it will cost them their relationships with their gc. This needs spelling out kindly. You don't need this in your life and she doesn't need to hurt you
littlebird I have done several times. Every time my mum parrots the failures of my aunts DIL I turn it back, like this (names changed btw!)-
Mum - fancy having an affair behind poor Darren's back, the nasty slapper.
Me - Oh really do you not see the irony of words there, Auntie Shirley is hardly a saint. Every man she's had, she's stolen off someone else!
Mum - That's not fair, it was a different situation for Shirley.
Me - No it wasn't, she still caused great pain to people but can't handle when karma bites her on the bum. People in glass houses and all that...
Mum - why are you saying all this about your Auntie Shirley, she's been good to you and you look out for your own. She's had a hard life and here you are kicking her whilst she's down. How can you be so disloyal, I can't believe you.
There is no talking to her when it comes to my aunt. If I bring up how she's treating me, all I get is "well that's just what Shirley's like, you did cross her, you were warned"! I feel like I'm bashing my head against the wall at times.
It does sound as though your aunt is very similar to my ex-friend, AwfulAuntie123, I agree with you. And one thing she was good at was playing the victim. She presented herself as a victim of DV, and that’s how she ended up staying in our house. She wasn’t a victim at all.
Basically, everything that went wrong was someone else’s fault.
I would guess that your aunt just knows how to play the victim and your DM can’t see through her, which is very sad. In my case, it’s different as cutting off friends is much easier, though sadly a very expensive business for me.
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