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Coming to terms with DHs dysfunctional family

(4 Posts)
FrancisdeSales Fri 20-May-16 18:58:34

We have been married almost 20 years and I am finally putting together all the pieces of crazy I have been exposed to from DH's family. His mother seems to have an undiagnosed (as far as I am aware) personality disorder and it has had long term effects on DH and his siblings. She is in a state of constant crisis, chaos and financial bankruptcy. She refuses to take the responsibilities of an adult, expecting her children to parent her and rescue her.

Recently I have understood that DH and his sister are very codependent with their mum and she can make them feel so guilty and worthless if they don't comply with her demands. We lived in a different country for years so we're not exposed to the worst of it.

I just don't want to be around DH's family any more, or as little as possible. I feel they are putting me and the kids under intense pressure to be part of the Rescue Squad and I refuse to engage.

How have you copied with the pressure of a dysfunctional family?

happypoobum Fri 20-May-16 19:13:53

I went NC, if they are really dysfunctional that's probably the only option.

First you need to try to establish boundaries, saying no, standing up for yourself. If they are only marginally toxic, they will complain but comply. If they are properly disordered then they will probably go NC with you (after a huge fuss).

What does DH say about your feelings?

Sgoinneal Fri 20-May-16 21:18:08

I went NC.

When we tried to establish boundaries all hell broke loose. We had to move house. They, and their limited number of supporters, have turned up at workplaces, written letters to mutual acquaintances, turned up at professional events... And we've continued to just ignore it. The initial hysteria has waned, with peaks around big life events.

FrancisdeSales Fri 20-May-16 22:04:34

Well I have always had well established boundaries but DH hasn't. Living on another continent helped alot! Now we are back massive energy was put in by MIL and SIL to make DH feel financially responsible for them and be over-involved in our lives. I just did not cooperate and I came to revise how truly toxic it all was.

They naturally never ask my opinion about anything I was just "told" what was happening. I just opted out and they couldn't handle it.

It's a new thing for me to realise how big and deep this goes and how a lot is generated by DH too. So we are really examining this in a major way for the first time and we are in our late 40s!!!!

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