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Toxic MIL

(108 Posts)
MommyBird Sat 05-Oct-13 18:58:19

Im drainned.
i cant do it anymore and my husband feels the same. alot of things have happened and ive posted a few times looking for advice.

A family friend has had a word with my 82 year old nan as my mil had told this family friend im bulimic ( im not btw!) my poor nan and this friend was so worried, she rang my dad in a state who had a word with me..
Turns out my mil has been lying and making up things to everyone about me, her son and making out she is an amazing nan. she is not. she is awful. my husband is fuming.

I have told my husband i cannot do this anymore. ive had PND and anxiety, ive seen a counseller and been on anti d's. ive put with her for years. so much has happened and shes done so much. i dont really want to go into it.

She is supposed to be coming down next week. i cant be nice/calm to her face anymore. i dont want anything to do with her and i dont want my daughters (4+7 weeks) to be around her.
She brings nothing but stress and negativity into our lives.

I dont want to get this family friend into trouble and mil knowing she has told us what she's been saying.
We just want to tell her not to bother coming down.

Any advice on what to say would be really helpful. sorry if its so vauge or if it doesnt make much sense. im just drainned.
Thank you (:

sofurcough Thu 17-Oct-13 14:44:08

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Phalenopsis Fri 11-Oct-13 11:34:04

I know many think Christmas is a family time where all the irritations and jealousies of being part of the same family are put to one side, how you all should link arms with a glass of something (meths?) and stand around the tree singing with cherry cheeked children (who've no doubt been standing too close to the fire) and delight in every gift bought and received (not socks again?!?!) but it really doesn't work like that for many and the reason I say this is because we often make such an effort for nothing and feel stressed out and pissed off.

In your case MB, I'd concentrate on your husband and children this Christmas. It'll be hectic enough without Evil Edna and Yes Dear ruining your Christmas. Time to close ranks. She has brought this on herself.

Oh and I think putting fake snow down is a lovely idea.

MommyBird Fri 11-Oct-13 09:15:45

Fab! grin

My parents (well mom) cooks Christmas Day and me and my husband cook boxing day to give her a break. (theres me, my dh, mom, dad, my nan and dd 1 and now dd2!)

MIL has never invited us for christmas (not that we'd go, plus we have never invited her) she allways tells us how pointless it is and how she doesn't enjoy it anymore.-scrooge bascially--

Last year, she wanted to come down early, we said 8, she said 7, fair enough.
I was up early on Christmas morning. putting pretend snow down the hall way and making santa's footprints-
so dh said he'd get up at 6, put the Turkey in and boil the kettle and he'd wake dd1 at about 7.
Thank god he didnt. They turn up at 10:30am!
it wasnt their fault they was 3 hours late.
My husband was shattered and pissed off.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 11-Oct-13 09:06:51

I think you are doing the right thing, fil sounds like an enabler.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 11-Oct-13 08:37:53

As for Christmas I would make plans that do not involve them in any shape or form. Your children would get nothing positive from having these two in their lives anyway. These people do not respect you as parents and as such would likely start on you via the children in time (overtly favouring one child over another etc).

It is not your fault they are like this, their own birth families did that lot of damage to them.

Yes, still the same rules. Just keep ignoring and detaching from this toxic twosome. Any contact from you or DH on their part gives them a way in.

BTW if she is narcissistic in terms of personality, I would have to advise you that it is simply not possible to have any sort of relationship with a narcissist. Also they have NO empathy for others.

Jux Fri 11-Oct-13 08:22:09

I know Xmas feels imminent, but things can change pretty quickly. You may be completely no contact by then or you may have come to some sort of uneasy truce.

(Personally, if I were cooking and they were perpetually late I would simply tell them what time you will be eating and eat then. If they haven't got there in time they can have the left-overs cold.)

MommyBird Thu 10-Oct-13 22:24:53

Just want to prepare as i know this will be on the script

They usually come down boxing day 3 hours late,.not like we're cooking boxing day dinner or anything

still the same rules? Im guessing they will guilt trip 'we dont get to see dd1 open her presents or be there for dd2 1st christmas'

MommyBird Thu 10-Oct-13 17:41:51

Oh fabulous, she's a Toxic Parent who has a Narcissistic personality disorder.
time to buy her a broomstick and a pointy black hat?
I guess going out for coffee and going on shopping trips is never going to happen!

MommyBird Thu 10-Oct-13 17:33:50

No contact has been made today. so far!
Feel alot more confident today, and less of a doormat.

I will have a look at that now smile thank you!

why is everything so complicated!?

Phalenopsis Thu 10-Oct-13 16:59:11

Don't know if it has been mentioned already but look up 'narcissistic personality disorder' Mommybird. You'll find that your MIL is a classic example or at least displays many of the traits of one. She won't change, she'll try to twist everything that has happened back on to you and your husband.

Don't engage with her. She'll get off on it.

Jux Thu 10-Oct-13 15:39:15

Ignore. This may sound harsh, but it's like splitting up with an abusive ex who will not leave you alone because that would mean he'd lost and his whole raison d'etre is to win. The only way is not to engage at all. As she is dh's mum, you may have to come up with something else long term, but for the moment you need to concentrate on yourselves and the people who enhance your life, rather than people who will always be troublesome.

Hope the book arrives soon and is helpful.

FiveExclamations Thu 10-Oct-13 15:13:49

I think Attila is right, the whole script thing can work on a rational person and even with an irrational can at least leaving you feeling more in control, but she's right, you're still getting sucked back in. Ignore, ignore, ignore is good.

Also agree with Meerka's one text warning that further will be deleted idea, it shuts down the whole manipulating you by text route.

MommyBird Thu 10-Oct-13 13:57:19

I think saying nothing is our best option, the more she texts the more upset and hurt we feel so we feel we need to keep defend ourselves and it's like talking to a brick wall.

Deleting the texts and ignoring is best. Nothing we say makes and difference anway.

Meerka Thu 10-Oct-13 13:46:26

Oh, another thought. If she does keep texting then maybe one option is to text back "we don't want to discuss it. Please respect that. Further texts on the subject will be deleted" and then keep it it. Literally delete anything more that comes. Other wiser people may disagree though and think its better to say nothing. They may well be right.

Meerka Thu 10-Oct-13 13:24:20

in practical terms, yeah, what Attilla says. The Meerkat is right! :D No further contact. If she requests it, then decide with DH whether you wish to or not. If you go ahead, then make sure it's in a place of your choosing, at your time of choosing (both time of day and how many weeks ahead), for the length of time that you decide. And be prepared for guilt tripping, tears and anger .. and spitefulness.

So pleased your mother is backing you so much.

Again, /respect for how you're handling this. so so hard to go against the grain and not be polite, not be conciliatory, not to attempt to discuss and sort things out like one would prefer to. It's unpleasant when you have to go against all your training and beliefs to be so firm with someone you'd rather get on with, just for their position in the family fellow feeling.

MommyBird Thu 10-Oct-13 12:45:05

What i dont understand is, i'd not long had my dd2 (she's now 8 weeks) and i was about 10 stone. that isnt bulimic.
I was a size 6 when i fell pregnant with i wasnt even a size 6 when MIL was telling people i was bulimic. i'd just had a baby confused

The bulimic thing was the last straw.

MommyBird Thu 10-Oct-13 12:29:11

I dont think the PND even came into her head as she never listens. ever. I dont even think she knew (even though we told her) no one else can be ill as it draws the attention away from her. shes ill, we all know it, anyone else..meh.

'she's bulimic, she's just too skinny'
is what was said..or along those lines.
Family friend deffended saying she had known me for years and there was no way i'd have an eating disorder. no comment was made.

MommyBird Thu 10-Oct-13 12:24:15

Also my parents know exactly what she is like. They have seen it. They have helped out a few times regarding her garden and dd1. Never any thank yous.
They have tolerated her for the same reason i have, she is my DH's mom.

They are very happy that we have cut contact my mother is over the moon as they saw how ill it was making me and dh.

Hopasholic Thu 10-Oct-13 12:21:08

I'd be very interested to know if your Sfil has attended these doctors appointments with her, she's lying to him too. Actually she's right she does have a chemical imbalance going on in her brain. It's called

Do you think that she's gone with 'Bulimia' rather than telling the truth about PND to explain your weightloss to the beautician? Not making excuses as its a very bizarre thing to say but maybe on this occasion she flapped when asked about it and gave it as reason?

I can't believe she's my age shock

MommyBird Thu 10-Oct-13 12:13:39

Ignore, Ignore, Ignore is something ive wanted to do for years. so glad i can do it now.
Husband has just sent a soppy text.
Feel alot more positive now. grin

Actually feel in control now.
In my counselling i was given tips on how to be assertive..i should of just posted on mumsnet grin
Thank you thanks

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 10-Oct-13 12:04:46

Any further response from you, even on the lines of, " we don't want to discuss it, just leave it" further sucks you back in. That is something you could possibly say to "normal emotionally healthy" familial relations but never these two. Toxic people do not and never do play by the "normal" rules governing familial relations. FIL will always side with his wife for the reasons I stated. He is also a weak man.

Your H is right re telling you to leave it and not to stress further.
Complete silence from you both is now necessary. You need space away from such toxic people.

MommyBird Thu 10-Oct-13 11:58:17

Winged Monkeys! grin haha!

I reallly didnt want to explain things over text, we just wanted to leave it at that...but her pushing and pushing just..argh! Its so stressful.
We will remember to not get sucked in. Will it be best to use 'we don't want to discuss it, just leave it' ?
As we really dont want to talk about it! We need space.

My husbsnd just keeps telling me to leave them too it and not to stress. we have explained a few points and there will still no consideration for us. just her.

Meerka Thu 10-Oct-13 11:20:00

I'm with Fiveexclamations, Walkacross and Attilla. Keep your distance. Expect nastiness from people she's hoodwinked. Expect no support from your FIL.

I'm afraid it's a shame that you let her bludgeon and pressure you into answering her "why do you hate me" (see how she's twisting no-contact into victimization?). Answering then was on -her- terms and she'll use it more because you were not able to hold your ground. If you can, I'd never let yourselves get drawn into that again. If you choose to meet her or talk to her again, it has to be at a time of your choosing and in your way. Having said that, its clear there is many years' background here, and also it's so difficult to stand firm against an insidious person like this, so overall I think you and your husband are doing really, really well.

Just keep talking to your husband and keep those limits drawn =) ... and plan how to deal with the lies she will put about. Because she will. She has before, she will again, more so now you've stood up to her. It is very very upsetting to hear lies and twisted things from neighbours / family when you have someone spreading sh*t like this. Prepare for it. Maybe speak to your own mother and father and warn them.

Just to say again, I do think you are doing very well to stand up to her.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 10-Oct-13 10:53:05

You will likely now receive comments from the "winged monkeys" i.e other relatives sent out by PILs to do their bidding. Ignore such people.

If these people are too toxic or difficult for you to deal with, then they are too toxic for your children to have any sort of contact with.

You have yourself likely come from a family unit where this type of familial dysfunction is completely unknown. Its hard to deal with, fortunately for yourself your DH is on board here.

They were and remain not good parents to your DH and they are not good grandparents to your children now. They do not need such poor role models in their lives.


"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.

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".

Walkacrossthesand Thu 10-Oct-13 10:44:49

Well done for you and DH making a stand, Mommybird. Brace yourselves for the fall-out mentioned above - hearing that you've been bad-mouthed, having well-meaning friends/relatives sent round come round to try to talk you round - have responses ready. Oh, and I doubt her non-response to your texts was because she 'knew you were right' - that simply isn't a concept in her mindset, it's more that she dismisses anything that doesn't fit with her world view, and comes at it from a different angle.

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