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Inlaw from utter hell (they put The Adams fam to shame...)

(27 Posts)
Madonnaquintessential Tue 04-Feb-14 19:18:43

Just advice needed really!
I want best for my dd and i think extended family involvence is of paramount importance! BUT ! My inlaws are awful. My mil is the moat self centered hyprochondriac i have ever met. She is also obsessed with my dh and needs him to be the man in her life that she doesnt have. She is very manipulative and is insanely protective of my dh.. To the point of delusional. Seriously. He does no wrong. I am controlling, hot - headed and jelous (according to her). Her son (in her eyes) is alwaaaays the victem (like her). Lately it has gotten too much. Me and my dh rowed, he went to stay Mil's for the night (this is the second time it has happened it 2 years) not fab- but not awful either! My dh left saying he was off there or off to shag anoter woman (he feels awful now) so next day his mum phones me and lo and behold its my fault! I get the usual shit that i am this and that and that she thinks we ahould split and then asked i dh would get access!?! I mean come on!! It was a row that got out of hand. He shouldnt have gone there but ahe didnt have to get involved to that extent!! We made up the next day and she cried all day and cancelled her plans as she was so upset! Why!? She always makes everytging about her - i swear to god the past 6 times ahe has met my aunty ahe has cried- just to give u an example of how mich she cries and talks about her herself!!
Then my rough sil got involved cos id upset her mum and threatned to slap me!! So it all
Became my fault that my dh left me and my dd ad went to his mothers! The last time we rowed she phoned me and said she had wanted to end it all because of our row!?! She is so involved in our lives because she doesnt have one. I would feel sad for her but she has been so vindictive it is hard to sympathise. She is now telling people we should split up for dds sake! We barely argue anymore!? This is because she is no longer round her 3 times a week, sleepiing over etc! I finally saw sense and cut down the visits and now she wants us over. I am now in a dillema as i hate her ( as do my own family now- my mother is livid!!) but she is my dds gran and watches her on a sat for a couple of hours. So i need to make up as i drop dd there etc. but i am so hurt and angry- as is my dh. I am on ADs recently - and i feel infintily better, but all of this suffocation from his family was honestly partly to blame for my pnd i believe. Tonight his sister has been arsey again sayin i should phone her poor mum who is upset. I honestly wanna leave this town. I feel so low i have this to handle foerver! Dh is on my side and very guilty about it all, but i still feel bullied by them sad i am normally quite bolshy in these sotuations but deep down i am very upset and hurt.
What would you do?

Hissy Tue 04-Feb-14 19:27:04

Erm, Wtf are you doing leaving your dd with a woman as awful as this?

Would you hire a childminder this awful?

Well then, it stops now! If mil behaves, she has +supervised* access, if not, she doesn't.

If mil is too toxic for you, then imagine what chance your dd has against her manipulations?

The sil is another bit-player in her circus. Don't listen to her, don't answer her calls. If she wants to talk to her db, fine, but you owe her nothing.

And that's before her threats to slap are factored in.

I feel for you, you have found yourself in the midsts of a deeply dysfunctional and damaged family and have no self defences.

You say your h is on your side, then use this and support him to distance away from his family.

Your h has to understand that if he chooses to play mind games with you, it'll kill off your marriage, and you're sure he doesn't want that.

My guess is that with a shit family like his, he doesn't know how to argue and back down gracefully. It might be worth investing in some couples therapy to help him learn how normal people communicate.

Hissy Tue 04-Feb-14 19:28:37

I would suggest moving too actually. Get some proper distance and forget to tell her your new numbers

Cabrinha Tue 04-Feb-14 19:29:04

You need to set some ground rules with your husband for a start! If he wants to storm out like a child, he doesn't let his family know, or stay there - deal breaker.
Tbh I'd say if he wants to storm off he can stay where he likes because he isn't coming back. You have a child - who needs another?

You need to drop the idealised nonsense about extended family involvement being paramount. No - paramount is keeping your child safe - emotionally as well as physically. If she's that bad, you need to restrict contact.
And that means a serious think about Saturday childcare. Frankly, you can't have it both ways - no involvement, but use her for childcare?

If it doesn't need to be no contact, I would decide what you will allow. And then make her son the contact point for it. You've done well to stop her staying over. But you have to not care what she says, and tell your husband not to get involved in the talk about you.

What is she even doing, seeing your aunt? Stop the inter family get togethers!

But recognise that she will not change. There is no point trying to be subtle or nice about this, you know what she's like. Set your terms, and mentally turn down the volume on her.

Pimpf Tue 04-Feb-14 19:38:31

The phone is for your convenience, not theirs. If they phone and start being abusive, put the phone down on them. You do not have to accept this.

I personally wouldn't leave my child with them unsupervised, god only know what she says when you're not there.

Re sil, tell her to keep out of it and keep repeating

Your dh is the main problem, he's sending his family mixed messages, he really needs to grow up, but you know this. Unfortunately there isn't a magic wand to make it all better and I don't know how you could change it, but my god, you're a saint putting up with it!

Madonnaquintessential Tue 04-Feb-14 19:40:24

Thanks Hissy and Cabrinha for your prompt answers! She is very very good with my dd (shes 9 months) but i am well aware when dd grows up she cannot listen to her tripe! I have discussed this with dh too. Dh is a twit for storming off and threatening to shag a woman ... But it was a one off and he is genuinely mortified about it! Trust me.
I have begged dh to move but he doesnt want to. (Prob too co dependent on his mental mama) But i am going to keep pushing for this. Couples counsellig is something we are looking into. I think I have decided on no contact from me, by supervised visits for dd (dh can take her) i do trust his mil with my dd... She is very good with babies, just a nasty peice of work with me as i am a threat to her rlship with her son. I would never leave my dd with someone so mentally unstable they were a danger to her!!! Goes without saying. But when dd is older it could be more of a prob as she will be sble to pick up on her neurotic crap.

bigboobsbertha Tue 04-Feb-14 20:40:36

Why are you and your husband telling her all your business. Maybe all three of you need to change your ways, not just her

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 04-Feb-14 20:48:18

A good rule of thumb here is that if they are too toxic/difficult for you to deal with, then they are certainly too toxic and difficult for your both vulnerable and defenceless child. Your child does not need or warrant such a poisonous and negative person for a role model in their life, people need positive role models.

Your reason for maintaining any contact at all with such a person is shaky to say the least (societal convention) and is really no good reason at all to maintain any contact with. That only is viable if the grandparents are actually emotionally healthy which is clearly not so in this case. And no, she is not very very good with your DD either: how could she be if she is awful to both her mum and dad as people?.

Some grandparents really should not be allowed any access to their grandchildren. 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 firsthand 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.

Do not let yourself be that well intentioned parent.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 04-Feb-14 20:51:50

If MIL cannot or will not behave I would not see her at all. You need to protect your child from such malign influences.

Your DH can have a relationship with his mum if he wants to but you and DD do not have to be in any part of your MILs life. It seems too that your DH is unsurprisingly deep in a state of fear, obligation and guilt with regards to his mother which often happens to children now adults of such toxic parents.

Your H's primary loyalty should be to you and it does appear he is on your side. That is a good thing!.

I would suggest you read "Toxic Inlaws" written by Susan Forward so you can further understand the dynamics behind such a dysfunctional relationship.

Madonnaquintessential Tue 04-Feb-14 20:55:40

Thanks pimpf you are right re: phone. I dint want to speak to them again. Sod them. His mum has been great in mamy ways... My anger got carried away in initial post. She is -at times-funny and cheery but generally sad, low and tearful. A typical martyr basically... You think theyre lovely until it clicks they are actually very self centered and manipulative. 2 weeks ago she said i was like a daughter... 2 weeks later she is sayin i should split with dh (over a row!) and will i allow him access? Another time she said 'are you gojng to go back to your hometown and take my grandaughter and never see us again?' I was speechless how callous she can be at the drop of a hat.

Madonnaquintessential Tue 04-Feb-14 21:09:24

Bigboobbertha we do not tell her all our buisness! We learnt that agesago! She thinks she knows it , but clearly doesnt. Thanks to others for your helpful replies. I shall read the recommened book, i like a good read! I agree that toxix grandparents are not necessary. I never saw my own for that reason. Now, it seams I am trying to ensure my dd has what i didnt... But as you say... Being the well intentioned parent conforming to societal ideals isnt always a good way forward!! I just wish I wasnt in such a small town with them.

Hissy Tue 04-Feb-14 21:35:14

You can't give your dd what isn't there to begin with.

She doesn't have good gp (on her dad's side) so stop hoping they will fill the hole you have.

As soon as she's grown up a bit more, you can bet your mortgage on the fact that mil will start on your dd. Any show of kindness/love by your h for his dd will set mil off.

End it all now while dd is too young to see what's going on.

No unsupervised visits. Ever!

The nice mil/nasty mil is hoovering btw, all to gain power and control over you.

Madonnaquintessential Tue 04-Feb-14 22:11:48

You are right Hissy. Now I need to get my dh to see this? This is not going to be easy. He is obviousy totally co-dependent... It is all he has known; a massive shift in his psyche is needed ! ... And his heart!
I am afraid it will tear us apart too (me denying mil access to dd compleltely) ... It is his mother after all and he is under her grip ... Though far less now :/

Hissy Tue 04-Feb-14 23:32:30

I think if you can educate yourself about the dynamics and scripts of dysfunctional relationships, you will understand the pressure he will have to overcome, the fear, obligation and guilt at work on him.

Then you can help him understand.

Toxic Parents is the book for him, toxic inlaws for you.

But he has to be ready/receptive.

If you need support from us, you or your h, the Stately homes thread is where can find it.

There's lots of information and links there too.

Madonnaquintessential Wed 05-Feb-14 07:08:51

Thanks Hissy... I am think Al-Anon too (his sis has had probs with stuff before) I need some outer guidance, that is a cert! My dh needs the support smile

DizzyKipper Wed 05-Feb-14 08:26:14

God your inlaws sound very similar to mine! It's hell, isn't it? Right now I'm also on the brink of no contact with them, it isn't easy.
I completely agree with pretty much all the advice you've been given. First and foremost is the emotional, psychological, and physical welfare of your daughter - which are definitely at risk, at least the emotional and psychological even if your MIL would never physically harm her. Psychological wounds cut much deeper and it's much harder to realise they're even happening, and given the way your MIL behaves I'd almost guarantee they'll occur. I'm glad you've decided on no unsupervised access, I've the same with my DD (19 months) and regardless of whether we ever go no contact or not I know my MIL will never be left alone with her.
The Stately thread is definitely worth a visit, I'm on there myself and you get a lot of great advice and support.

CookieDoughKid Wed 05-Feb-14 09:52:48

Definitely do some reading into toxic personalities and how that plays into family dynamics. You need to detach, and use your energies more effectively on positive things in your life. You'll be so much happier and feel like you're leading a worthwhile life whilst enriching your daughters. Try to step back and you'll naturally deprioritise them.

Next time any of his family calls your house, don't engage. If they have nothing nice to say, don't say it and goes the same for you too. Let your dh talk to them.

I suffer the same from ideals and society expectations but what if the other family party doesn't have that mutual respect or consideration or even etiquette to talk to you how you think it should. It takes two to keep the seesaw in balance. If not, get off it and engage with more positive people.

Leave your DH ton organise his family socials, don't feel you are compelled to join in and attend them. Don't give into pressure just because of ideals.

Myself, I love a good row. I have a long list of things I'd like to say infront if my dh and his family. A list that really is not pettiness at all but to do with strong issues on child protection, and a bunch of others. But what's the point of even talking to them? They don't care. If my dh and I split up, would they keep in touch with me? No. So invest your time and effort to those that truly do care. And live your life richly.

CookieDoughKid Wed 05-Feb-14 09:54:42

Apologies for bad crammer, am on the train trying to type on mobile!

CookieDoughKid Wed 05-Feb-14 09:55:04

Grammar ah!!

msdiamant Wed 05-Feb-14 10:29:39

That is the fault of you DH that his mum behaves in such manner. He should not run to his mum after the rows.mThat is what children do but he is a mature man, a husband and a father. I understand if you have been abusing him. I wonder what he tells his mum and sister after your rows. I think he talks bad otherwise they would have respected you. Next time he stroms out, tell him to eaither stay at his mum's or with that misterious woman he wanted to shag. I would move. Is it possible?

Madonnaquintessential Wed 05-Feb-14 12:03:08

Thanks cookie! Thankfully i generally do enrich my life, I am a member of a wonderful self help group. My daughter is shielded frim it all. At 9 months she is young, but not too young to understand anger etc- so i dont shout etc around her about them. .. Obviously!
Today I feel calmer, I am having a nice time with dd and my cousin visiting soon.
I will let the day take its course and not fret any longer! 3 days wasted over being upset them is too much!
As for my dh he doesnt run to mil everytime ! Twice in two years is not an excessive amount.
It is still too much though... He goes there as he has nowhere else to go ( i chucked him out the first time!) Obviously I would never do it again, he wouldnt leave now either- but just because he went to his mothers it does not constitue his mum having a pop at me and telling his sis and making it all about her! He didnt realise this would happen... Though I did. Love is blind.

Madonnaquintessential Wed 05-Feb-14 15:12:48

Where is this stately thread? Searched to no avail ladies...!?

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 05-Feb-14 15:15:27

Its on these very Relationships pages - the full title of it is "Well we took you to Stately Homes - Survivors of Dysfunctional Families"

Pigsmummy Wed 05-Feb-14 15:18:56

My husband would never tell his parents about a row that we had, that is where your issues are.

DizzyKipper Wed 05-Feb-14 16:12:17

Stately thread here

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