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Family split - all my fault

(40 Posts)
JayoftheRed Wed 23-Nov-16 13:27:04

This could be long, feel free to go elsewhere...

My husband's mother is a massive narcissist. She ticks every box. She has invented a fee extra boxes. My FIL is the classic enabler, allows her to do and say whatever she likes for a peaceful life. I get that he has to live with her but I have no respect for him. He's nice enough but I never forget that he allows her to treat her children the way she does.

Things have been building for a while, since February 2015 when she stopped speaking to my husband for 6 weeks because he said something that offended her. Please note: he said nothing offensive but she still took offence.

Instead of speaking to him and telling him she was hurt, she just blanked him for 6 weeks. The only reason she started speaking to him again is because I threatened to take our son away. She didn't fix things for my husband or their relationship, but because she was worried she'd lose her grandson.

Fast forward 18 months, and things aren't much better. She speaks now, but it's quite clear she has no time for or interest in my husband, she is only interested in our children.

There is a lot of stuff that happened before last February, but he's always just put up with it. I've never really understood why as I am the sort if person who would just walk away from such a destructive person (and have done) but he's always been scared to stand up to her.

Over the last couple of months, things have got worse. He asked her to meet him for lunch but she refused saying she had no reason to go into town, meaning that she wouldn't make the effort to see him unless she was already there for something else. She all but stopped speaking when she found out from my mum instead of him that my brother and his wife were expecting and when he put his foot down and told her he would only be visiting once a fortnight. We think those are the reasons anyway - as usual she's just not talking to him, although she will say the bare minimum so he can't accuse her of it.

Finally today she came round to collect my eldest for the day and there was a misunderstanding between me and her about something that happened on Saturday, which resulted in her telling me my husband was a liar and I shouldn't believe anything he says. I wouldn't have this, I won't have her calling him names like that. I said how dare she speak about him like that and she said she knew him better than me (she doesn't, she knows nothing about him) and he's always been a liar. Well, he's never lied to me, and I won't have it.

I spoke to my husband afterwards and he has said this is the last straw, he's on the verge of going completely no contact with her. Despite wanting this for years, I now feel like I've pushed him into it before he's ready, it was my mistake that made her accuse him of lying. Although she should never have said it.

I don't know what I'm looking for

JayoftheRed Wed 23-Nov-16 13:27:35

Hit send too soon!

Anyway, I don't know what I'm looking for

justdontevenfuckingstart Wed 23-Nov-16 13:30:41

It wasn't you. It was the last straw for your husband. Just support each other. She sounds like she will pick any reason, don't put it upon yourself. It's all her. Best wishes.

JayoftheRed Wed 23-Nov-16 13:30:41

And again! Phone screen keeps jumping about.

I was trying to say that I'm not sure I'm even looking for advice, just that I'm feeling guilty that it was me who opened his eyes to her flaws and made him see how horrible she is, and now he's about to make this huge decision that perhaps I've forced him into... But it would be best. I don't want my children growing up to think it's OK to just blank people if they hurt you.

I don't know. This is all my fault.

mumonashoestring Wed 23-Nov-16 13:31:40

Honestly, can you see anything beneficial that's going to come from keeping her in your lives? If she's the kind of person who can cut her own child off without a word for 6 weeks and only relent under threat, will she not pull the same crap on your children in the future? If I had an opportunity to get someone that unpleasant and manipulative out of my life, I'd grab it with both hands.

JayoftheRed Wed 23-Nov-16 13:37:22

I know. I've been as low contact as I could be for years, but I just feel like I've stirred it all up. My eldest son will be heartbroken, he loves her, but he is only three and doesn't see how horrible she is to his daddy, or how she undermines me at every turn. I'm dreading the fall out, I promised to be the buffer between my husband and her... But she is poison. And when she was accusing him and f being a liar this morning, my FIL sat there saying nothing. I don't have time for that kind of apathy.

saintagur Wed 23-Nov-16 13:39:45

What did he say to offend her?

Happybunny19 Wed 23-Nov-16 13:42:09

This isn't down to anything you've done or said. I very much doubt he was unaware before you mentioned it, but it's difficult to acknowledge faults in your parents and you've freed him to express himself about her. You sound wonderfully supportive and well done for shutting down her disgusting tirade aimed at your dh.

I would not have her near my dcs. Presumably it's only a matter of time before they're subjected to her bile too.

Milklollies Wed 23-Nov-16 13:45:40

My advice is your husband isn't a toddler. As an adult he has decided to go no contact and I think you should support him and be on his side instead of patting yourself on the back. I feel as though although you feel partially guilty this feeling must also be a partial stealth boost. I know because I would feel the same way if I was in your situation. This has nothing to do with you and whatever you decide make sure you do as it a family. If the only reason you want your mil in your life is for your child(ren) to inherit the family fortunes then it's not a good thing. I think I covered any possible bases( as far fetched as some of them may be). Good luck and I'm out.

Corialanusburt Wed 23-Nov-16 13:49:45

In a way you're lucky as it's not usually the son but the daughter in law that gets it in the neck. The fact that it's him she's behaving so badly towards makes it easier for you all to go non contact. Don't feel guilty about the grandchildren losing her. She sounds to be a poisonous person who would be a bad influence on them.
Cut ties and move on.

Hoppinggreen Wed 23-Nov-16 13:50:05

Keep her away from your children. She loves them while they are little but as soon as they show any signs of being actual "people" rather then just an extension of her she will turn on them.
Detach them now before she causes them any hurt

JayoftheRed Wed 23-Nov-16 13:50:41

saintagur MIL announced that she was going to start potty training our then just two year old. My husband asked her not to, we were putting things in place to help him and that we'd be speaking to her about it when we felt he was ready. She likes to control things so I can only assume she didn't like being told no.

I don't like her being near my kids. I hate how much the eldest loves her, and I'm scared she will mistreat them like she did my husband. Some of the things he's told me is child abuse - beatings with a slipper, no dinner if he misbehaved, forcing him to eat food he hated etc. But she gaslights like a pro and has denied all these things and more, so I find it really hard to use them as ammo against her. I desperately want her out of our lives, but I'm worried I've forced him before he's ready. He's a mess, and been having counselling, but he's so frightened of doing it. Which is totally understandable.

EatsShitAndLeaves Wed 23-Nov-16 13:51:35

People behave badly because the recipients of their actions allow them to do so.

This situation is fully of her making, not yours.

She's effectively gone NC with her son, but still wants the benefits of being in contact with his family. You think that's acceptable?

By allowing contact with yourself and your DC'd your enabling her behaviour as much as FIL and exposing your kids to her toxicity.

Going NC is a big thing, but I think it's the only course of option SHE has left you and your DH with.

JayoftheRed Wed 23-Nov-16 14:02:08

milklollies where am I patting myself on the back? I don't deny I would love to get her out of our lives, but the decision needs to come from him. Not me, not even us as a couple, just him. I don't understand why I'm suddenly frightened of the idea. I am not stealth boasting, or if I am, it's completely unintentional. And no, he's not a toddler, but he's been so brainwashed and controlled by her that emotionally he is still a child, in a lot of ways.

Thank you to everyone, I do appreciate your comments. I think I just needed to hear that I wasn't wrong to stand up to her.

JayoftheRed Wed 23-Nov-16 14:04:20

Don't worry, if my husband goes NC, we all do. I've wanted to stop her seeing the kids for a while, but he's asked me to keep the norm while he made a decision.

It's such a mess but as it's his family I can't dictate, or I'd be as bad as her.

EatsShitAndLeaves Wed 23-Nov-16 14:06:38

You are not wrong and I didn't think you were stealth boasting.

I got the impression you realise it's a big thing for your DH and wanted some reassurance that you had behaved appropriately - especially in light of his FOG for which he has presumably been receiving counselling.

GloriaGaynor Wed 23-Nov-16 14:11:23

The whole idea that this is your fault is irrational frankly.

It's MIL's fault for using your mistake to slag off your husband, because she's a nasty piece of work.

I'm not surprised DH has had enough, I would have done a long time ago.
It's really nothing to do with you it's between him and her.

I wouldn't worret over your part in it, it's irrelevant.

JayoftheRed Wed 23-Nov-16 14:18:16

Thank you. I know it's her fault, I think I just needed to hear it. My husband himself said that if it wasn't for me he would He never have even considered going NC. He meant it in a good way (I think!) but it really stuck with me and I'm struggling to shake it off.

Cricrichan Wed 23-Nov-16 14:37:30

I think it's good that he's going NC. I wish mine would but it's a lot better since I and mil have been NC for 4 years (her choice originally but when she saw that it was fine by me, she's tried to restart again but no way would I ever soeak to her again - she's poisonous). One of her other children has finally gone almost NC and it took a new relationship for her to see that her mother is a narcissist.

FancyPantsDelacroixTheFirst Wed 23-Nov-16 14:49:56

"I don't want my children growing up to think it's OK to just blank people if they hurt you."

Well, it depends on the level of hurt we are talking about. I think it's a good thing to teach children that they don't have to put up with someone's bad behaviour just because they are related to them.

ohfourfoxache Wed 23-Nov-16 14:55:46

This is not your fault. At all. In no way, shape or form are you responsible for this.

This is MIL's doing, it is not a good idea to allow your dc contact with such a toxic person and in the long run this outcome really is the best one possible.

Oh, and did I mention that this isn't your fault? At all?

paddlenorapaddle Wed 23-Nov-16 15:44:32

I wonder if it wouldn't be better for you to say you're not happy about how mil speaks about him in front of you and therefore your children and so as a precaution you are going to decide NC for the children's sake. That way you release your DH from making the decision based on your DC loving her. What I would say is that this type of narc love children because they are so easily manipulated not to put to fine a point on it if this is how she is with her own son what makes you think she won't do the same to yours.

Please google out of the fog.net and the smart girls guide to self care

JayoftheRed Wed 23-Nov-16 16:31:30

Thanks. I will talk to him tonight about going NC with the children. When I say I don't want my children to grow up thinking they can just blank someone, I don't mean that they have to put up with being spoken to badly or anything, but if someone upsets them, they should be able to tell that person amd hopefully work it through. Obviously that can't always be done and relationships ens

JayoftheRed Wed 23-Nov-16 16:35:07

Really shouldn't do this on my phone.

Relationships end but quite often the offender doesn't know what they've done. When MIL went NC for those 6 weeks last year, it was only when they got back in touch that we found out what he had supposedly done. We're not completely sure this time but are guessing at a few things it might be.

He's asked me to deal with them tonight when they drop my son off as he really doesn't want to speak to her knowing what she's said about him. I can't say I want to much, but I will.

I think is going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better.e

mummyto2monkeys Wed 23-Nov-16 16:35:10

Op I have been where you are, although I took the decision for myself and our dc to go NC with my in-laws. They are very toxic people, poisonous and the psychological abuse they inflicted on my dh had spread to my four year old D's who was petrified of mil. I have social service involvement due to severe disability, I also have advocacy and other voluntary organisations involved. When I shared the distress of my D's with my then social worker, I was told that this was a child protection issue and that I needed to intervene and protect D's. My dh was told the same by his counsellor/ advocate who tried to help him mediate with his family. My in-laws couldn't help themselves, they were horrendously abusive and cruel to my dh, much of which abuse was directed at myself.

Please be very vigilant with your dh and make sure that both of your social media accounts are locked down to protect your dh and yourself. After I informed my in-laws of my decision to be no contact and the reasons why everything kicked off spectacularly. Flying monkeys came out the woodwork en force! The vitriol and abuse directed towards myself and my dh was psychologically draining and disturbing. My dh had his entire family disown him, (unless he left me and took custody of our children which funnily enough they had insisted upon at the meeting that triggered me to go NC) not just his family of origin, his grandmother, aunts, cousins, brother. My dh had poor privacy settings online at the time and he had his character annihilated in a very public and disdtressing way. In my experience narcissists will do everything they can to destroy the person who dares to stand up to them. My in-laws nearly succeeded, my dh had a breakdown and was having suicidal thoughts. I luckily realised and called my local g.p who spent an hour on the phone to him (amazingly our g.p had just gone through similar with his narcissist Mother)! He gave my dh some fantastic information on narcissism and arranged for my dh to see a counsellor the next day at our local g.p practice.

Please be prepared for the fallout! Protect your family as well as you can, blocking your in laws from calling your landline if they are abusive over the phone. If you can, filter any calls from his family, if they are abusive then block them too. Your dh is doing the right thing, if you don't stop her poison, it will spread and infect everything that is good in your lives.

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