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Narcissist mother in law(19 Posts)
Hello. I've never posted on here before but am a frequent lurker. I really need some advice and support and don't know where else to turn.
My mother in law is a bit of a nightmare. I think she's always had a problem with me. I am married to her eldest son and in her eyes stole him from her. Before me he lived at home and they were a big happy family who lived together. Then I came along and stole him away. We had a child quite quickly and in all honesty I don't think I'm what she would ever have wanted for her son.
I am quite outspoken and have had a rough childhood. Their family is a bit like the Waltons and nothing bad has ever happend to any of them.
She has outright begged my husband to leave me in my very own home before. My husband has huge anxiety issues and is a bit immune to his mother's ways. He just glaze's over and nods along.
After 10 years together and a turbulent relationship with his parents we have been mostly getting along. However recently I feel like her behaviour is getting worse and worse.
She cuts me out of pictures. Will give everyone in the room a drink except me. The list goes on. Alot of these things my husband thinks I'm imagining but I'm not so sure.
We have 3 children one of which is in the process of being adopted. I feel as if she has no respect for me as their mother. Especially my adopted child. They currently have her 2 nights a week at social services request (that's another thread) it's supposed to be to ease the pressure in family life. I hate this and want my daughter with us.
I have multiple sclerosis and depression. It's been a hard few years as we tried for a baby for 5 years then began the adoption process and both sort of happened at once. We ended up with 2 babies in 5 months. Adoption has brought all sorts of challenges we weren't prepared for and we've had no support. (Again another story)
The problem I'm having is my mother in law treating me as if I'm not my adopted daughters mother and somehow she is. Whilst with her she provides me no updates how she is. My nephew bit her in the face recently and she didn't even tell me. Furious is an understatement.
I feel limited to exactly what I can do or say as the situation with my daughter staying there is currently out of my control and something I'm working on to get changed.
Apologies if this doesn't make sense. The whole situation is very complicated and it's difficult to share the whole story without making it hugely obvious who I am
Didn't want your thread to go unanswered
She sounds really rather horrible and extremely passive aggressive. But unfortunately, you have more of a dh problem than I think you realise. He needs to be supporting you and calling her out on the way she treats you.
Get and read a copy of toxic in laws - I promise it will help
I hate it when people say you have a DH problem. What do they expect u to do??
She sounds like a complete nightmare. Write down a diary of everything she does with dates. Log every incidents regarding your kids when in her care. Take it back to social services.
This is crazy! How can she has been granted custody of your kids? There must be some serious issues between you guys for her to go and take it that far?
Does ur husband even acknowledge there's an issue at all?
Stay strong! Sounds like ur going to need every ounce of power x
Your DH might have FOG (fear, obligation and guilt). If he gets out of the FOG he might be able to support you more.
Some links for him and you to read:
You need to protect yourself and your children.
Er, sorry that my offer of advice wasn't up to your standards Alpies
As someone who suffers hugely from arsehole in laws, I'm acutely aware that, like many, dh is part of the problem. Not sticking up for op? Problem. Thinking IL's behaviour is normal? Problem. Seeing op as the difficult one, not his parents? Problem.
Can anything be done? Absolutely. Just because dh has been conditioned into thinking that his family is normal and reasonable it doesn't mean that his eyes can't be opened and he can shake off the FOG.
You may like to read toxic in laws/ toxic parents yourself- it gives very clear strategies for coping with narcissistic people together, not single handedly as op has had to do so far
Yes, I agree, don't target MIL, target DH. Every single time she does something you point it out right then. You remind him later. You don't have to make a big song and dance about it. Just make it visible.
If I were you I'd stop going to her house. I'd tell social services you don't want your adopted daughter and stop taking her there.
I understand why people say it's a DH problem, because if my mother was horrible to my DH, I'd tackle it head on. My husband wouldn't need to.
I know one man who had a domineering mother. He didn't have the courage to tackle her over her behaviour, but he decided to keep his mother away from his wife. He visited mum by himself and took their DCs on occasion.
A bit cowardly, but at least he was trying to protect his wife from his dominant mother.
Thanks for the advice so far. I'm aware my husband is an issue regarding it too. We're quite sure he has aspergers and living with someone like her for 20 years hasn't done his self confidence any good. He was the scapegoat child in narcissist terms. I will look up the books recommended. Sounds like they will be helpful!
The situation is so complicated. They don't have custody of our adopted daughter. It's supposed to be a respite type situation. Basically social services have done the last thing we need because I was finding life hard. They think I'm crazy I think. I think I've basically made their job difficult and they don't like it. My daughter has a lot of issues which they don't want to take responsibility for. So instead have insinuated I am imagining them all and said it would benefit everyone if my adopted daughter spent a few days there a week instead. She is a looked after child still. (Was removed from birth parents at birth)
My in laws are supposed to be helping us but instead seem to have ran away with the responsibility and now treat our daughter like their daughter and completely undermine us if we are all together.
I try so hard with my mother in law. I'm almost desperate for her approval and acceptance. I have a really complicated family and don't have contact with them anymore. I'd like to be close to my mother in law but she plays all these games. Makes digs. Etc. She upsets me on a daily basis.
I know she shouldn't have this control to be able affect me but I have issues with rejection because of my past. They are an important part of our life and my kids adore them but she is having a really negative affect on me.
She constantly belittles me by making out everything is wonderful. Refuses to acknowledge any problems. She is forever telling me all the things she did with her kids like she was Mary poppins and trying to make me feel like an idiot by finding life hard. The situation is so different and she doesn't have ms so the two don't compare imo. She's not exactly the sort of person you can rationalise with. It's her way or the high way I think. She won't even entertain listening to you and if she does you just get bitchy comments and made to feel terrible.
Haven't read your other threads but I think you need to get your daughter back. Is it a short term thing to 'support' you while both babies are very young? It sounds very unsupportive. Are SS aware of how you feel and how your mil has cut you out of pictures? She sounds horrible.
As a pp said, you need to point out what she does when it happens, not later. Later has no impact, your DH can gaslight you by saying it never happened etc.
Sandy why do you say I should tell ss I don't want my adopted daughter? This is not the case. I adore her and it rips my family apart every time she is not here.
I'm aware we need to get our daughter back. I am trying my hardest to do this. Then I will have control back and be able to dictate when she does and doesn't see my children. I feel as if I'm held over a barrel at the moment. I basically have to go along with it as I have no choice. Ss are considering placing my daughter with my in laws if it doesn't work out with her being here. This is not what we want. I feel quite vulnerable and taken advantage of to be honest. I feel as if everything I've said has been twisted and they are doing the worst thing possible for the situation. My daughter is 2 and so confused why she is constantly back and forward. As are my other children
U are entitled to speak to a new ss. Tell them the basis of your issues are caused by the woman who they claim needs to be helping u and the kids!! Surely stability is best for everyone and it hardly sounds stable.?!
I think I may seek advice tomorrow. This decision was made by the head social worker for the area. We live 500 miles from the authority the child was placed from so don't see them often. The whole situation is a complete mess. It almost doesn't seem real in a way. It's like a film in you couldn't make up how rediculous things have been.
It certainly sounds like everything that could possibly have gone wrong for you has happened
Hope your advice gathering goes well today
Thanks. It does feel a bit like that to me too. I've spoken to a lawyers assistant today and will speak to the lawyer on Monday. Had a visit from the sw today. Depressing to say the least
Mother in law messaged me tonight to say she's started trying to potty train my daughter. I have no words.
Screenshot and save everything- every text, email- write down everything significant from every conversation or interaction and keep it safe. You never know if or when you may need it
No more advice to add, but I think Sandy meant to say tell SS you don't want your daughter going there, not that you don't want her at all.
Have you thought about asking for a mothers assistant who can come and support you in the home. I had one when I had twins and they were an absolute godsend.
What a nightmare ... well you can't change you mil, so where else could you attack this problem? Sounds to me like you are an intelligent person who might get somewhere from reading up on your daughter's problems so you can argue your point more assertively. You say they are insinuating that the problems are in your head - here you could perhaps grasp the nettle and directly ask if that is what they are saying, in as non - blaming a way as you can, so that you can then find the flaws in that idea for them. And see if you can speak to another sw or other expert (and another, and another) until they tackle the actual problems.
Has you dh had counselling? A diagnosis? Perhaps it would help to realise that the problem is not just you (your MS, your not coping, your not getting on with mil). This Walton family thing can make people so certain that they have no problems thanks to their great upbringing.
In the meantime you will just have to put up with the situation. ... There are some things you can't change right now, can you learn to give up worrying about them for the moment if you know a) that you can't do anything for now but b) that the situation is temporary and you can sort it out by keeping your wits about you and playing the long game?
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