Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

9 year old DD wants NC MiL to come this evening for her birthday tea. I just have to suck it up dont I?

(53 Posts)
Lurgano Mon 18-May-15 13:32:38

My MiL has been v difficult with me over the years - she has NPD and also an alcoholic.

I have done the dutiful DiL for many years but at the beginning of the year my DH and I separated and MiL was especially difficult to me and about me during this time - so I decided to go NC when we split.

Children still continue to see her as organised by DH - and have not clicked yet that I am NC.

DH and I have recently (4 weeks) got back together to try again and it is very painful and emotional (there was an OW). DH has been v respectful to keep MiL out of my way at this time as I am feeling especially vulnerable.

She has not been to our house for 6 months - but my 9 year old DD wants MiL to come for tea this evening for DD birthday.

Do I just do this for DD? Should I be able to get over my own insecurities?
The marriage is struggling and I just dont think that I can cope with her sneers, jibes etc and I dont want to be hospitable and fawn all over her.

0x530x610x750x630x79 Mon 18-May-15 13:35:10

why doesn't your Oh take them both out for a meal?

fearandloathinginambridge Mon 18-May-15 13:37:04

I would have thought it would be better to gently say no to DD and maybe arrange for her to go see MiL for her birthday instead? What does your DH say?

0x530x610x750x630x79 Mon 18-May-15 13:37:36

is 9 old enough to understand that granny isn't very nice to mummy, so mummy is avoiding her, just like you do <insert name of school bully>

feetheart Mon 18-May-15 13:38:40

No you don't have to do it for DD.
In your current situation I would say that your marriage is more important than your DD's wish to have her granny there for her birthday. Get your DH to arrange a separate birthday outing for your DD and granny.

SunnySomer Mon 18-May-15 13:39:28

To be honest, I would tell a white lie and say that MIL can't come for some reason. It sounds like absolute torture, and given that your husband has so far been understanding, I would ask him to continue to support you.
Your DD would not realise this at her age, but it's really not in her best interests to witness your MIL treating you like this, is it?
(And I'm generally quite anti NC, but think you sound like you're in a horrible place right now).

Roseformeplease Mon 18-May-15 13:40:57

Just tell your DD that you can't manage that this time. You don't need to explain, just tell her, not on this occasion.

Be good to YOURSELF. You have had a horrible time and need to put your own mental health first, before your MiL. Yes, you need to see your DD's needs as important, but balanced against your own.

lougle Mon 18-May-15 13:42:01

"It's too late to arrange that now, but Daddy will take you to lunch with Nanny at the weekend."

MagentaVitus Mon 18-May-15 13:47:50

No way would I be inviting her. You can say no to your DD. White lie is a good idea.

IMurderedStampyLongnose Mon 18-May-15 13:58:49

Nope,9 is old enough to understand nanny was mean to mummy.Kids needs don't always have to come first.

Lurgano Mon 18-May-15 14:02:21

Wow - I am really touched by all of your responses. I had believed myself to be some evil unreasonable witch for not wanting to comply with this. Yes of course DH can take them both out somewhere - will think of an excuse. Feel very relieved. thx

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 18-May-15 14:03:12

I would say no to your 9 year old's demands, you are the parent here. She is also not at all old enough to realise that her nan actually manipulates her and would further do so given any opportunity.

Your 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. DD here 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.

You get to make these decisions without apology or excessive justification. You can assure your child that you are making a wise and loving decision for them as well as yourself. I am not going to script what you should say because you are the only one who knows your children, but you must convey that this isn't up for negotiation. This is not a decision that the child gets to make. Yes, children usually love their grandparents. Children are often quite indiscriminate in their love which is why they need parents to guide them. 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 the narcissistic grandparent 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.

If she is too difficult for you to deal with its the same deal for your both vulnerable and defenceless child.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 18-May-15 14:07:15

I would actually reconsider allowing this woman to have any access at all to your child. His mother is at the very least a poor role model for your DD to be at all around. She is still a narcissist and an alcoholic to boot.

Your DH can maintain a relationship with his mother if he wishes (it is not possible to have any sort of relationship with a narcissist) but it certainly does not mean that you or your child in turn should.

Lurgano Mon 18-May-15 14:20:23

Thank-you Attila - I need to remember what will happen when she is here and what will happen to me emotionally - I really am in a difficult and vulnerable place and dont need another kicking from MiL whilst I am so hurt and down.

DD has been speaking to MiL on the phone over the past few weeks and MiL has been filling DD head with sob stories that she is very ill -- she does the same to DH - where they are embellished further for effect "The Dr thinks I have cancer - so is doing blood tests" "I think I have cancer" etc.

No Dr says that - and there is never an update date on the "cancer blood tests" - when DH asks what her symtoms are - she is vague or they are the same that she has been experiencing for her alcohol related illnesses.

I was following a thread on here over the weekend about enabaler FiL - and how it is classic to use fake life threatening illnesses to seise back power and control - it was a real eye opener for me.

The whole cancer angle that MiL takes is especially painful for me as she watched me nurse my lovely young healthy mother to the end though very short and brutal ovarian cancer. Both of my parents are dead so MiL is the only GP - but I have other elders (my late DM sisters etc) that I should use to show DD how a proper family runs.

I will ask my DH to be direct with MiL about the illness stuff which is scaring and manipulating my DD.

They were only out with MiL a few nights ago for her birthday - I was unable to go as I was busy clipping my toesnails ;)

BitOutOfPractice Mon 18-May-15 14:24:52

Hello OP! What lovely toenails you have wink

Seriously, no you do not have to suck it up!

You can and should be able to say who is allowed in your home

You can and should be able to tell your DH what you want and expect him to help and support you

You can and should say no to your 9yo - becuase you are the parent and they are a child (you can say it nicely of course!)

So in short, say no, and as all good MNers know, that is a complete sentence

Good luck to you with rebuilding your life going forward thanks

Lurgano Mon 18-May-15 14:30:23

Atilla - my older 3 DCs (16, 14, 13) dont even mention her - never ask to see her. Before we separated it was always me trying to make their relationships work - DH was not even that interested.

I fell into almost a full time carer role with MiL over the years - but even that was not good enough for her - she still had to be abusive to me. In many ways the split gave me the opportunity of an 'out' - ie to go NC with NPD MiL - no ones knows I am NC - I just have avoided any contact since DH and I are trying again.

I know she would sneer especially about the OW - which she knew about well before I did...I just cant do it.

I have let the older ones find their own way - and it seems to have worked - but you are right I should manage the impact on youngest DD.

My SiL even wrote to DH to tell him to bring the kids over to MiL -- SiL does SFA - and it is her own mother.

Vivacia Mon 18-May-15 14:33:53

I need to remember what will happen when she is here and what will happen to me emotionally - I really am in a difficult and vulnerable place and dont need another kicking from MiL whilst I am so hurt and down.

Where is your DP in all of this?

Andro Mon 18-May-15 14:34:34

I do agree that not inviting this person is for the best.

With that said, be careful how you manage this with your dd. Telling her that granny will not be there because she's not been nice to mum may backfire on you, especially if you've made her invite people to parties/made her spend time with people she has stated she doesn't like or have been mean to her.

CatSwag Mon 18-May-15 14:38:34

surely by avoiding the toxic mil your protecting your dd

I would be saying no way
and I wouldn't be allowing dd to visit her either

9 is old enough to understand that granny is nasty to mummy

Lurgano Mon 18-May-15 14:43:20

I am not going to say that MiL was mean to me - I just dont want to open that can of worms right now as DD will not understand it. I dont want to talk about alcoholism - and as anyone who has been exposed to NPD it is v subtle and difficult to call - especially when MiL will appear to be all sweetness and light to DD.

I will just avoid and distract with smoke and mirrors.

Lurgano Mon 18-May-15 14:45:02

...and I will ask DH to deal with it - not my mother not my problem - I need his support and for him to take responsibility for sorting as it has me worried sick. I dont want my DD to think I dont like her GM.

Hissy Mon 18-May-15 14:49:41

age appropriate truth EVERY TIME.

9 is PLENTY old enough to be told the truth that there are good people and not so good people in life.

You are doing her NO favours at all in lying to her. she doesn't set the tone in your house and NO, you don't need to have this woman in your house for any reason at all. Delegate to your dH, but bear in mind that his mother WILL be dripping poison into your DD ear and you could very well lose her.

Lurgano Mon 18-May-15 15:01:03

Hissy - I know you are right -- that is why I am feeling massively under pressure - MiL has already clearly been doing this with significant impact / effect - as DD has been going on and on about it. All about coming to the house specifically - which I believe is MiL manipulation to get at me.

We had a picnic birthday party for DD yesterday at a park with her school friends - DD did nt even think that MiL should be invited to this which would have been much more appropriate - today is just a normal day - we did all the cake and presents yesterday....

But believe me I am in no emotional place currently to be exposed to my MiL - and I also dont want to talk it through with DD -- we ahve bigger fish to fry and the kids have been through enough this year already. I will deal with it as it will need saying some time soon.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 18-May-15 15:22:33

Your MIL is using your 9 year old to get back at both her and yourself; she is being manipulated here and you need to stop this manipulation of her (your most precious resource) now.

Age appropriate truth every time needs to be employed. You need to talk to your DD now.

I would also block her number from your landline; your DD is of no age to be exposed at all to such toxic and manipulative behaviour from her grandmother; she will steal her emotionally away from you completely over the coming years if you do not act both swiftly and decisively now. That has happened to others on MN and I would not want that to happen to you. This process infact is happening in front of your very eyes. I cannot emphasise enough how damaging narcissists do to all the people they come into contact with.

lougle Mon 18-May-15 18:48:55

Possibly naive question here, but is your MiL diagnosed NPD (I know this is vanishingly rare due to the complexity of the NPD characteristics preventing self-awareness), or have you come to the NPD conclusion via MN threads or for other reasons?

Do you think she's truly a 'narc' or is it possible that she's just a manipulative and not very nice individual who doesn't like you?

Does your H see her NPD traits?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now