Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Sadly another MIL cliche

(17 Posts)
confusedanddismayed Mon 12-Dec-16 21:49:41

I've NC. I truly never thought that my MIL was a bad person, she often upset people, including me, due to the fact that she tends to be quite self centred and speaks without thinking. But I thought she had a heart of gold and was just unfortunate that she tended to say things which were taken the wrong way. She has fallen out with many family members and always seems to have problems with work colleagues, to the extent that most people would start to wonder if they were the problem. Yet she is always the innocent one and the world is against her.

For the last decade or so I have done everything I can to support her despite the fact that I find her emotionally draining. She used to invite herself round, demand attention, and then complain that I wasn't hospitable enough. Plus money was an issue. She got in to a lot of debt. We have tried to help her but we recently got married and are finally getting on out feet and starting our family. We grew to dread any phone calls from her as we knew she would start demanding money and make us feel guilty.

It all blew up not long ago and I am now the enemy. My husband has been suffering from depression, partly due to the extreme pressure from her and the fact she only gets in touch when she wants something. It wasn't my finest hour but I did finally get angry and tell her to think about her son. The only time she has got in touch since was to say how upset and hurt she is that her son is depressed. She has not once asked how is feeling.

My husband is an amazing person and has supported me through some hard times. Because I stood up for him it appears that he has lost his mother. I worry that he might be better off without me as I just can't understand how she can cut him out of her life.

I have no idea what to do. He doesn't want to talk to her due to the way she spoke to me, but she is still his mum. Yet I can't forgive her for swearing at me and cutting her son out of her life. Any advice appreciated

WingsofNylon Mon 12-Dec-16 22:16:51

I'm not sure what you want advice on. Is it how to repair the relationship or is it about how to get over her descision to cut you both out?
I think it sounds like you are both better off without her in your life but I understand that he might one day regret not keeping a connection. She is an adult who has made a choice, you shouldn't feel bad about that nor should her son.

confusedanddismayed Mon 12-Dec-16 22:25:23

I'm not sure either to be honest. Just how to get over it I guess, whether that means ignoring the pain and begging forgiveness, leaving my husband, or sticking together and cutting her out. I just feel so incredibly guilty and wish I could make it better. I can't help but feel that she might forgive him if it wasn't for me. I don't think I did anything truly terrible but she clearly hates me and sees me as ruining her relationship with her son. That is a lot of blame to deal with

confusedanddismayed Mon 12-Dec-16 22:31:25

My parents adore my husband and have done everything they can to help us. Yet we can never do enough to please her. Finding out about his depression was enough to get her signed off work apparently but she didn't once contact him to ask how he was, just to say how hurt she was. I guess I just need a good rant

kerryob Mon 12-Dec-16 23:22:05

You are not responsible for her happiness she is a grown ass woman and needs to sort her own life out. She gets signed off because your DH has depression and she doesn't check how he is? His depression isn't about her or how it affects her, it's about him and him getting over it with love and support.

You need to focus on your immediate family, your DH and your dcs if you have any. The common denominator for her bad relationships is her not you, she can blame you all she likes but it doesn't change the fact she is being selfish and needs to grow up. Why should your end your marriage because of her? Put her in a time out for now till you and your DH can figure what you want. If you decide to cut off then do it, not everyone is cut out to be a parent some people are terrible at it but you don't need to have it in your life just because she gave birth to your DH.

Mariegoodfellow87 Tue 13-Dec-16 06:37:36

Maybe some time away from his mother will help your husband with his depression, You leaving him mostly likely will make it worst. I bet she will apologies at some point, so whilst you can just think about you and your husband future without any bother x

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 13-Dec-16 06:52:00

None of what you wrote unfortunately surprised me at all, I knew what was coming to you both even before I got to the end.

She gave birth to your DH I grant you, but unfortunately it was all downhill for your DH from that time. She made her life all about her, her own reaction to her son's depressed state (caused mainly by her) is not atypical of what a narcissist does.

Well done for finally getting angry with her; she deserved your wrath. Your boundaries re this lady have been way too low throughout and she has taken full advantage. She has taken your kindness as weakness and exploited it fully to her advantage. You treated her with kindness and she has thrown it all back at you.

A narcissist will simply discard people when he/she becomes convinced
that they can no longer provide him/her with sufficient Narcissistic Supply. Suddenly because of boredom, a disagreement, an act or a failure to act, the narcissist swings from total idealization to complete devaluation. This is likely what has happened to you re his mother.

You feel like this mainly because you are a kind and generous person and one who has also come from an emotionally healthy family. Your DH was not so fortunate. This kind of familial dysfunction to you was also clearly unknown to you till now. Its not your fault or your DHs that she is like this, you did not make her this way. His mother is highly dysfunctional and has acted appallingly throughout not just towards you and her son but towards other family members as well. This is precisely how emotionally unhealthy people behave and like many narcissists she has now chosen to cut you both off.

She has really done you a huge service by cutting you both off so now you as a couple do not have to see her again. You cannot ever apply the "normal" rules of familial relations to someone who has and will never play by such "normal" rules.

I would suggest you read "Toxic Inlaws" by Susan Forward to further understand the dynamics.

confusedanddismayed Tue 13-Dec-16 17:14:30

Thank you for the responses, it really helps to try and understand the reasons behind her behaviour and actions. The last time she contacted DH was to say she couldn't talk to him anymore because it was too upsetting for her. No mention of his feelings. How on earth can she justify cutting her son off, especially when she has just found out about his depression?! I now understand why he couldn't tell her about it earlier, she would simply have been all 'woe is me'.

DH actually seems better since she has been out of our lives, almost relieved I think. I seem to be taking it harder, probably because I want to try and fix something that can't be fixed.

I have bought a copy of the book.

Alpies Tue 13-Dec-16 17:28:13

Just cut her out and pour yourself a glass of wine! You are better off without her in your life as she doesn't contribute anything positive to it. She drains ur energy as well as ur DH, best get rid of anything negative as u approach the new year.

Breathe a sign of relief and applaud yourself for standing up to her and being a strong woman who is protecting her own little unit.

confusedanddismayed Tue 13-Dec-16 17:34:15

It does feel like I am protecting my little unit, I just wish I had realised what she is like 10 years ago! I was hesitant about posting this but thank you for making me realise that I am not an evil person like she says I am

MeadowHay Tue 13-Dec-16 17:45:15

No advice but feel for you. MIL hates me too but it helps me to realise that it's not about me, it's about her. She was always a difficult and troubled mother for DH and is very unwell. We try to help her out of kindness because she is family but at the same time it's important to have clear boundaries and to bow out when it's getting too much because your health and happiness comes first. DH actually had a huge row with her in August whilst I was present which ended up with him storming out of her house so obviously I left with him and then once we got out the front door and realised he was done with her she started screaming and shouting at me down the street instead hmm! Haven't heard anything from her since, DH tried to call her a few times in September and October but she wouldn't answer and hasn't got back to us. He said he will probably give her a call soon just out of kindness but we are hoping she won't answer lol it's easier that way.


confusedanddismayed Tue 13-Dec-16 23:42:31

Oh my goodness, I've just started reading 'Toxic Inlaws' and I am amazed by the description of 'the masters of chaos'! It's quite uncanny

confusedandismayed Wed 21-Dec-16 20:47:39

So I got home from work today to find a pile of Christmas cards. I absentmindedly started opening them and then realised one was from the MIL. addressed only to DH. It seems so passive aggressive and like she is trying to ignore my existence. DH read the card, ripped it up and threw it in the bin. I'm glad we are 'on the same page' but it has sadly upset me just before Christmas. DH says we need to stick together and make our own little family. She is a fool not to realise how lovely her son is

Thinkingblonde Thu 22-Dec-16 06:35:18

Step back from her hystrionics and woe is me behaviour. She makes everything about her, how your husbands depression makes her so ill that she gets signed off sick!

Take your lead from DH and support each other.

confusedanddismayed Thu 22-Dec-16 22:35:35

I do agree, I really do, but at the same time I want to tell her to back off and tell her that BIL should apologise for his threatening and abusive messages to us and my parents. However I hate conflict and I know it won't make a difference anyway. I'm trying to breathe deeply and be the bigger person, wish me luck wink

ptumbi Fri 23-Dec-16 09:53:27

OP - she will never 'see' what she is doing; there never will be a falling of scales from the eyes. A controller will never be wrong, will never be even slightly in the wrong.

Step back from all off them - I have been NC with my disinterested, selfish father for 25 years, my toxic sister for about 8. I highly recommend it for your mental health and for your relationships.

DO NOT fall into the trap of thinking your children 'need' their grandmother, or uncles, or aunts - if they are toxic to and for you, they will be for them too, only more so.

SeaEagleFeather Fri 23-Dec-16 10:25:24

Firstly, give the situation -time-. It can help.

Secondly, I don't see any reason AT ALL why you should leave him. Either limit the amount of contact with her, or simply step away from her together, but I can't quite see why on earth you'd consider leaving him.

I also think that you need to support your husband in his decision if he chooses to keep away from her ... especially if you've noticed he's a great deal less stressed than when he was in contact.

but thank you for making me realise that I am not an evil person like she says I am ... she called you an evil person? Hmmmmmmm. Anyone called me that, I'd not be bothering to make any effort at all with them. What sort of character does a person have, who calls others that without extremely good reason?

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: