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Help - Dealing with depressive/suicidal MIL

(9 Posts)
Bunt Mon 10-Aug-15 16:39:10

Brief history.....

DH had a rough childhood. FIL was physically abusive, MIL left him when DH was 12 only to become very depressed and an alcoholic. DH and siblings were neglected. MIL even tried to commit suicide a couple of times, onece telling DH it was his fault, when he was 14... They looked after her and have since treated her with kid gloves.

DH now has a very good relationship with MIL, she hasn't drunk for a long time. She had a breakdown last year and has since been very depressed although seems to be on the mend and has recently gone back to work.

Last week she did something financially very irresponsible.
DH (who along with his DB have been supporting her financially) pulled her up on it, the kid gloves came off and he told her she needed to take some responsibility and that her idea was ridiculous. (she loaned a large amount of money to a friend who needed it, even though she very much needs it herself.)

She has since refused to talk to him, saying he's thrown her back into a breakdown. She is now not taking calls from anyone and DH is devastated as feels it's his fault.

cozietoesie Mon 10-Aug-15 16:56:26

Your poor DH. How is his brother reacting - have they talked?

cozietoesie Mon 10-Aug-15 16:58:56

PS - and is his mother drinking again?

Griphook Mon 10-Aug-15 17:04:29

Oh it's do manipulating isn't it. It's just distracting from the real
Issue, she's not taking responsibility for her actions let her deal with any consequences (just nod and smile when she says she has no money)

shovetheholly Mon 10-Aug-15 17:08:26

I think it's important to recognise that her behaviour or state of mind are not his fault and that it's really not on to suggest that they are. She clearly has MH problems that massively predate this incident, and if she is genuinely suffering a breakdown now over his well-intentioned and sensible advice (which had her wellbeing at heart), then that is not his responsibility.

She needs proper professional help from people who are qualified to deliver it. If she's having a breakdown, then psychiatric services and her GP need to be involved. I would suggest contacting the relevant people in your area and explaining the situation if you have genuine concerns about her wellbeing. They won't be able to discuss the particulars of her case with you, but they should be able to check up on her and to provide some idea of general options.

I think that a parent who makes a child (a 14 year old, ffs!) responsible for their mental health does a great deal of damage to that child. I wouldn't be surprised if your DH needs counselling to deal with all of this - it's an awful burden to place on him, and one he clearly has not fully escaped.

Bunt Mon 10-Aug-15 17:08:44

His DB said he was keeping out of it, although DH thinks DB may be annoyed at him for being too hard on their mother.

I feel it's manipulative, although I don't think she actually intends to be manipulative. She's very loyal, loving and kind but is incredibly over sensitive and fragile.

cozietoesie Mon 10-Aug-15 17:25:57

...MIL left him when DH was 12 only to become very depressed and an alcoholic. DH and siblings were neglected. MIL even tried to commit suicide a couple of times, onece telling DH it was his fault, when he was 14...

...She's very loyal, loving and kind but is incredibly over sensitive and fragile...

Do those descriptions tie up entirely do you think? (I'm sensing your DH and DBIL's 'party line' coming out here.)

Is she drinking again?

Bunt Mon 10-Aug-15 17:31:55

I don't think she's drinking again.

She's horrible when drunk, a complete character change. When sober she is all the things above (loving, loyal, kind).

She has apparently never been able to handle criticism and will act the hurt party.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 10-Aug-15 17:45:42

You do not know she is not drinking again. She has not changed at all over the years; she is still the same selfish person she ever was.

It goes without saying that your DH is only responsible for his own actions and his mother is again being extremely unfair and unreasonable here. Like many neglectful parents she cannot and will not take any responsibility for her actions here. Acting as always the hurt party further confirms a complete lack of responsibility for her own actions and poor choices.

I think your DH could well do with talking to Al-anon. Everyone in his family of origin has enabled his mother and your DH and brother have continued to do that by giving her money. That practice should cease immediately. I presume they did that because they still wanted her approval but it has not worked and what they have tried has not worked. Your H certainly needs to detach.

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