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.

MILs Toxic Relationship

(10 Posts)
NannyOggsKnickers Mon 26-Dec-16 08:01:01

Hi all. Am a regular poster who has NC'd for this post. Christmas this year has brought up a whole host of sad issues and I really need some good advice.

MIL has been married to an abuser for the last six years. He has hit her a couple of times and the police have been called but no charges pressed. He is also very emotionally manipulative. She is pretty much a shadow of her former self. She is terrified to leave him and swings between planning to get out and defending him.

DHs has been that she needs to make the decision herself. We have talked to her before but she always goes back to him.

Things really came to a head this year as we invited her over( specifically her and not him) on Christmas afternoon to see DD. He followed her to the house and invited himself in. I don't want him anywhere near DD. MIL has a habit of handing her to him for cuddles. It makes me so anxious.

Really, what I'm asking is, what can we do to help her get away. She seems to want to when he is not around but then changes her mind when he is here. I don't want him in contact with my daughter so am unwilling to leave her with MIL ever. Are there are books/advice services etc we can use to help her?

Yesterday was awful and really brought home how ill and worn down she is. She is a loving grandma and a lovely person but it trapped by this man.

Heirhelp Mon 26-Dec-16 08:57:57

Women aid. They have a helpline and their website has links to local services.

NannyOggsKnickers Mon 26-Dec-16 09:37:04

Thanks will have a look. The issue is that it is difficult to broach the subject with her. I also don't want him around DD.

NannyOggsKnickers Mon 26-Dec-16 09:54:40

Essentially, how do we communicate that he isn't welcome here without upsetting her and breaking contact? She needs support.

Heirhelp Mon 26-Dec-16 10:19:17

I don't think that will be possible. Can your DD suddenly become unhappy around strange men.

NannyOggsKnickers Mon 26-Dec-16 14:46:39

That might be difficult. She's been ok with him so far and it might be a bit obvious. It's the same issue as banning him. Her judgement isn't great at the moment due to the emotional stress and she can be confrontational, especially under the influence of her DH.

We can't tell her to leave him because she'll cut off contact but she doesn't seem to be able to get there herself. Meanwhile, she expects us to treat him like a member of the family and let our DD call him grandpa. There seems to be no solution but to put up with him and I don't want to do that as it is essentially legitimising his abuse. Don't know what to do.

tallwivglasses Mon 26-Dec-16 15:28:42

Tell her you'll support her as much as you can but her bloke will never be welcome in your house. I think she needs a wake up call. Yes, she might withdraw from you for a while, but she'll know you're there for her.

EmeraldIsle100 Mon 26-Dec-16 16:17:01

Don't ever normalise the behaviour of an abusive person. That is what keeps people in abusive relationships. It needs to be spelled out to your MIL that she is being abused and that you are not going to normalise it.

Reassure her that she is always welcome in your home. Tell her partner that you know what is going on and he is not welcome in your home.

It sounds like a cosy arrangement for him playing granda in a happy family and quite frankly it is wrong.

I have been in your MIL's shoes and it was only when I finally told people what was going on they made it very clear to him that it wasn't going to continue. Bullies like him need to be outed. Without realising you are all condoning his behaviour. I am not criticising you, people aren't born with a guide on what to do.

OnTheRise Mon 26-Dec-16 18:41:07

You can't help your MIL if she doesn't want help yet.

What you can do is protect your child. She's too small to protect herself, so as her parent it's your job to do it for her.

It's perfectly reasonable to tell your MIL's partner he's not allowed contact with your child, he's not welcome at your house, and so on. And it's perfectly reasonable to enforce those boundaries.

If your MIL reacts by stomping off, that's up to her. She's an adult and can make her own choices. But try to have a conversation with her first about the resources which are available to her, and that she is always welcome without him.

NannyOggsKnickers Mon 26-Dec-16 22:39:52

Thanks for the support and advice. My gut was telling me that we need to be straight with her. I would never support what this man does- DH and I have only recently learned the extent of the abusive behaviour ( lots of gaslights and emotional blackmail). We both just froze yesterday and didn't know how to handle it. He just walked into the house like he'd been invited.

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: