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How to cope when my parents and partner are at war.

(29 Posts)
DaniBubbles Wed 16-Sep-15 01:57:37

Hi all,

As the subject says, my parents and my partner are on the brink of a full-blown war and I'm not sure how to cope.

I should maybe start by saying that my mother is a narcissist. My childhood wasn't terrible - I wanted for nothing - but although the physical things were there, the toys, the sweets, the emotional support was not. My mother also has a problem with alcohol.. not in the sense of being an alcoholic but more in a sense of when she drinks, she becomes angry and will lash out at those closest to her (one particular unpleasant experience on my 23rd birthday when she called me drunk and told me she wished I had never been born and I was no daughter of hers).

Anyway, I digress.. I met my DP 5 years ago and we bought a house together 3 years later. I'll be the first to admit that my relationship with my parents now is terrible. Possibly as a consequence, my DP's relationship with my parents has been very rocky. I won't go into great detail as I'll be here all day but it has gotten to the stage now where my mother tries to be polite but you can tell she really dislikes my DP... while my dad totally ignores him in the street. My DP has understandably had enough and now wants nothing to do with either of them. I could probably cope with the situation if they were civil with each other for my sake but it has gone past that stage.

My DP is just so angry with them all the time. It is almost all he talks about. He doesn't want them round at our house anymore (not that they come round at all anyway unless they want something) and he keeps talking about how he wants me to "cut all ties with them completely". Before anyone jumps in with "Oh, that is a sign of him being controlling" I don't think he means never speak to them again, he means things like, for example, we are storing some of their furniture for them since they downsized in April.. DP now wants rid of everything of theirs and is willing to chuck it all out in the street if necessary. He is constantly dwelling on the way my mother treats me and how out of order my dad is being for ignoring him and I know DP probably has my best interests at heart but I just feel like telling him to back off because he is becoming just as overwhelming as my parents are. sad

I'm not sure what I'm expecting from this thread.. I just wonder if anyone has been through something similar? How did you work through it? Do you just accept your parents will never have a relationship with your DP?

goddessofsmallthings Wed 16-Sep-15 03:26:06

Where are you storing the furniture? Is it in a garage or has it encroached on your living space and become a permanent reminder of your dps?

It must be utterly humiliating for your dp to be cut dead by your df if they cross paths in the street and, given the history, it's unsurprising that the situation has made him fit to bust.

Nevertheless, tell your dp to back off for the reason you've given here and tell your parents that if they don't want the furniture you've been storing for the last 6 months, you'll give it away to a good cause or, if they want to hang on to it, arrange for it go into a storage facility that they can pay for as you need the space.

Once you''ve resolved the issue of the furniture, I suggest you follow through by telling your parents that unless they treat your dp with considerably more respect than they've shown to him hitherto, they can expect to see a lot less of you in future and they won't be welcome in your home when dp is there.

It's time to make your voice heard over the melee, otherwise you may find you're tempted to upsticks and start over miles away from the three of them.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Wed 16-Sep-15 03:37:10

You have this bit right: " I know DP probably has my best interests at heart"

I'm sure that he finds it very difficult to see how your parents treat the woman he loves - to say nothing of how they've treated him as well.

Seems like you're still in the appeasement phase of your relationship with your parents - still seeking their approval, still hoping that they'll love you, show you some crumb of affection if you do everything they want you to, be the good girl that you've learnt to be.

Your DP doesn't need to do any of this. And he doesn't see why you should either. And I totally see his point - they are taking advantage of you both, getting you to store their stuff for free, while still being bastards to him and not much better to you.

I agree their stuff should go. Tell your parents you need the space back, and they must make alternative arrangements otherwise you'll donate it all to a homeless charity or similar.

I understand you are torn, and overwhelmed by the opposing strong forces around you - time to find YOUR voice in all this and say that you can't cope with the constant fighting - but in the meantime, try and understand your DP's position too. He sees you being put upon, treated badly, and he wants you to stand up for yourself, but since you won't, he's trying to do it for you, not realising that it's putting too much pressure on you.

TALK to him. Tell your parents to sort the furniture or you will - and make sure that comes from you, not your DP, or it will only fuel the fire.

Joysmum Wed 16-Sep-15 07:47:15

I think you should facilitate his wish to be NC.

Don't store there stuff and only have prearranged meets when he's out or you meet them elsewhere.

He should not have to tolerate being disrespected in his own home.

hesterton Wed 16-Sep-15 07:53:08

I wouldn't store the furniture of someone who refused to speak to me. He has a point.

Difficult to say from your OP if he has you in mind when wanting to go nc or whether it is his own ego. I think you have to work that out really. Is he lovely, respectful, kind and considerate towards you? If you really do end up feeling like he's pulling you forcefully in one direction, then you might want.to question whether you have made a choice based on a low self esteem nurtured as a child by your parents.

fearandloathinginambridge Wed 16-Sep-15 08:04:57

I would guess that your parents are hostile to your OP because they can't control him, he can see them for what they are and he isn't scared to challenge them. They may also resent the fact that he can encourage you to question them and thus they will lose their power over you.

I also think that he might have a point about going no contact with them. If they are making your life harder and creating tension why should you entertain them.

fearandloathinginambridge Wed 16-Sep-15 08:08:53

Hestertonis spot on. Be sure that you aren't swapping two controlling parents for one controlling partner. You might have normalised a lot of bad treatment from your folks that it can be hard for you to spot red flags in your other relationships.

DoreenLethal Wed 16-Sep-15 08:09:29

I wouldnt store furniture for people who ignore me in the street either - nor would i want them round my house.

Fred after fred after fred on these boards, we hear "you don't have an IL problem, you have a DH problem". And that's what we'd be saying to your DH if he were writing in.

OP, please please get some proper therapy, from a counsellor who understands narcissistic parents. Read up about toxic parents (the Stately Homes fred has loads of good links). Go No Contact with them - they bring nothing positive to your life.

I'm not denying the possibility that DP might be controlling as well, but I didn't see anything in your post that convinced me he is. I think your higher pri is to get the toxicity out of your life, and get yourself on the road to healing.

OneDay103 Wed 16-Sep-15 08:54:35

I agree with your dh here. Imagine how he feels to know your mother wished you weren't bornsad and that means he wouldn't be with you today. He can see what you can't as yet.
You should give them an ultimatum about the furniture. You want your dp to Back down, but that is just facilitating you to keep accepting the toxic relationship. I think some therapy would benefit you to do this.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 16-Sep-15 09:00:47

Your mother has you well trained still and you have learnt an awful lot of damaging stuff from them. You perhaps still seek their approval on some level.

Your parents would have acted exactly the same regardless of whom you had a relationship with.

Do carefully consider all the suggestions that have been made because they are all good ones. I would also suggest you look at the website entitled "Daughters of Narcissistic mothers" as that may help you going forward as well. It is not possible to have a relationship with a narcissist and she is basically using you as her narcissistic supply. They have and continue to treat the two of you appallingly.

You would not put up with this from a friend, family is no different.

Her H is her hatchet man in all this and is likely narcissistic himself. He has certainly failed to protect you from her malign influence because he is himself weak (also perhaps acts out of self preservation and want of a quiet life) and also needs someone to idolise. Women like your mother cannot do relationships at all so the man in their life is either gone or is narcissistic himself.

I would certainly echo the suggestion made to see a therapist who has vast experience in dealing with both narcissistic parents and adult children of narcissists (as you are now).

Branleuse Wed 16-Sep-15 09:09:03

i think your dh is being reasonable here and you are being really unsupportive to him. Your parents are openly hostile to him and pretty vile to you, and you are enabling them

LurkingHusband Wed 16-Sep-15 10:04:00

A lot of chiming bells there sad.

Do you have DC ?

OliviaM91 Wed 16-Sep-15 10:16:17

My husband's parents are exactly the same way to me and I almost called off the wedding. It took thousands of pounds worth of couples counselling for us to get to a place where we weren't screaming at each other about his parents. They were openly disrespectful, succeeded in getting half our wedding party to drop out after we had paid for them and didn't have a kind word to say about me when I was supporting their unemployed son (whom, I might add, is 12 years older).

In the end the therapist asked him what he would do if it was my parents treating him like that, would I still expect him to want to maintain contact with them?

From my personal experience and being on the over side of the coin it does sound like you are being unsupportive.

TimeToMuskUp Wed 16-Sep-15 10:45:18

Would it be possible for your DP to go NC from now on with them, and for you to continue the relationship without him taking part? Your DP sounds as though he's hit his limit (understandably) and as though seeing them get on top of you has also taken it's toll (again, entirely understandably).

Your parents sound dreadful; openly ignoring the person you live with and love is ridiculously rude. Getting drunk and shouting vile stuff at you is also ridiculous. Would you tolerate that sort of thing from friends? I'm guessing not. If your parents are openly hostile to him, I think you owe it to him to support his wish to go NC with them. And you owe it to him not to expect him to ever do anything for them again.

LurkingHusband Wed 16-Sep-15 11:15:28

Would it be possible for your DP to go NC from now on with them, and for you to continue the relationship without him taking part?

I really can't see how that works. So every time the OP sees her parents they will just rubbish her DP to her (with shed-loads of lies) until she starts asking herself "yes, they are right. Why am I with this loser ?".

I know for a fact, that if MrsLH was still in contact with her DM, then we wouldn't be together now.

TimeToMuskUp Wed 16-Sep-15 11:21:53

Lurking I mean that the DP walks away and goes NC and the OP could state to them "from this point on we no longer discuss DP". And when they do begin to rubbish him, she steps in and says "We're not discussing this" repeatedly until they understand that she's willing to back him up.

The alternative is that OP goes NC (which is what I'd like to think I'd do in such a situation) but she seems pretty reluctant to do so. What else is there aside from leaving it until it reaches breaking point?

BeautifulBatman Wed 16-Sep-15 11:26:30

If I were the dp and was being ignored by the ILs, I wouldn't be storing their furniture in my house (which if they've downsized, why are they even keeping?).

Duckdeamon Wed 16-Sep-15 11:26:44

Sorry your parents are so difficult, and that DP is talking about them (and your handling of the situation) quite so much! He does need to back off with interfering, but you would be unreasonable not to address any legitimate concerns relating to them and him. agree with PPs that counselling might be a good thing.

It's obvious that the furniture and any other "ties" like that do need to go Asap. Give them a two week deadline before you get a charity to collect it.

Also obvious that your DP shouldn't have to spend any time with them when they are so rude to him. Your contact with them is your decision, but if they've treated him badly and he knows about their treatment of you his wish not to see them is understandable.

LurkingHusband Wed 16-Sep-15 11:28:21

All I know is that in our situation, the relationship would not have survived if MrsLH had still been in contact with her DM, who was controlling with NPD in spades.

Do you really think someone like that would stick to any "rules" about conversation ? And then the door is open for DM to play all sorts of games with the OPs partner and work on planting suspicion and mistrust in him. Easily done.

I asked if there were DC involved, because that raises the stakes and makes things much more complex.

Scobberlotcher Wed 16-Sep-15 11:37:36

So are you saying that your parents do and always have treated you like crap and your partner loves you and hates how they are with you and what they've done to you and you feel torn between the people who crap on you and the man who loves you?

I do understand how hard it is. It's your parents! There's conditioning, guilt, fear, and repressed rage, and theres, inexplicably, love, but really really there is not the conflict you think there is.

Joysmum Wed 16-Sep-15 11:46:25

Plenty of people on this forum do manage perfectly well with one partner being NC with parents (or others) when the other isn't.

It's perfectly possible as long as it's done with the NC partner accepting that history means their partner wants to maintain contact and can trust their partner not to be swayed by any manipulation towards them.

I'll put up with a lot more directed at me than I ever would towards my loved ones. That view U.S. What the NC partner needs to be confident in.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Wed 16-Sep-15 12:33:35

TBH, reading between the lines of the OP's post, I don't think she would be able to stand up for her DP if her parents started slagging him off. I don't think she would have the ability to go against her parents like that.

Because if she did, this thread would never have been posted.

RevsDeCub Wed 16-Sep-15 12:45:06

I echo other posters that say if my IL's were that awful to me I would not allow their stuff to be stored in my house or allow them to step foot in my house. It's just putting your DH in a really frustrating position as he is helping out people who don't give him the time of day. No wonder he always talks about them, he's rightly pissed off with the way he has been treated & the way your parents treat you.
Why do you want to be in contact with your parents? Do you get anything positive out of your relationship? Or are you just putting up with it because you don't see any other option?
I would get rid of the stuff & tell DH to stop talking about them so much as its understandably getting you down, but I really think you need to address the issue with your parents. You may find you are more peaceful in general going NC & you will definitely have a better relationship with DH because of it (you should only do it if you want to, not because DH wants you to, but obviously this would be a positive factor to NC).

amarmai Wed 16-Sep-15 13:08:32

i'm not getting why your h is obsessing over your ps. He has heard your grievances - and from the example you give, i have heard much worse . On the basis of what you write here, your h sounds more controlling than your ps. He does not get to tell you to go nc with your parents yet that is almost all he talks about . Something is wrong here and it is rarely 1 side at fault.Maybe a counsellor could help you sort things out. Do not capitulate to your h's demands.

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