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end of my tether DH still won't stand up to inlaws or defend me

(24 Posts)
user1483300215 Sat 14-Jan-17 01:18:42

Hi, I would be grateful for any advice regarding my situation. I have avidly followed and learnt a lot from the stately homes thread and Atilla.

I have been married for twenty years pre children relationship with inlaws was ok. Since kids ours have been dropped and us in favour of one of the bils children. again and again painful situations arise where mil behaves atrociously and is enabled by fil. Most recently she told ds who is one of four sons that all he had ever done was use her, he was always difficult the only one that brought them problems, I was a wicked snake. Awful, painful things. For info we live six hours away see a few times a year whereas bil kids are more or less brought up by them. mil gleefully told me dg didn't like her mum and wanted to live with them. warped completely.

Following this there was little contact until a family event. Following this there was a phone call from fil with a six point list of complaints such as not paying her enough attention, not bringing the kids to the bar. She then stung us for £700 by denying she ever offered to pay. FYI we are lower end of comfortable, his pension alone is £90k.

Little phone contact since then but a family event is coming up and of course they'd love us there. I am not going I think the woman is a narcissist with munchausens no proxy. Dh spoken on phone to fil but allows still me and him to be scapegoated. Everything is my fault. I can't do it anymore he will never stand up to them or challenge them properly. Anytime we have challenged its met with "it's not all about you"

Sorry if this isn't very clear but I just feel defeated, disappointed. He knows I want him to challenge the wicked snake etc, mil doesn't speak on phone all conv via fil. He obv cares more about their reaction or fears their reaction. I'm at the end of the road we've been here before too many times.

ps I'm nc with inlaws

Offred Sat 14-Jan-17 02:02:08

What do you want to do? She taken out of the equation?

It is convoluted and hard to read tbh but I get the gist of things.

As Attila would say I think, you can't control him (or them), you can only control how much impact he (and they) has on you and the dc.

Offred Sat 14-Jan-17 02:04:24

*him, not she

AndTheBandPlayedOn Sat 14-Jan-17 03:13:20

You are right to not go, and to be nc with them.
It is your dh's family-let him go and deal with it. (Been there done that.)

Could you create a boundary with your dh that you do not want to hear about the ils anymore? You have supported him regarding them for twenty years now. Enough is enough. He won't change; that is on him and has nothing to with you.
It is not fair for him to expect to be able to carry on insulting you by proxy (which is what he is doing by relaying the conversation content to you). Does your dh insult you in other ways? Why would he share these conversations with you- does he like to see you wound up?

AndTheBandPlayedOn Sat 14-Jan-17 03:38:30

Also, imho, I think it is ok to stop caring what your ils think or say. They are using you as some sort of ego/narcissistic (as you suspect) supply. Their comments are not about you-you might as well be a cardboard cut out to them: an easy target. If it wasn't you, they'd find someone else to use as their emotional toilet.

Is your dh hanging on for the possibility of an inheritance? People this nasty would have a jolly time sticking the knife in one last time via an insult in the will-even from beyond the grave. With such a long standing campaign to degrade him (and you) he would be a fool to bank on any equal share-don't believe it until you see it.

fc301 Sat 14-Jan-17 23:21:09

In his defence confronting this is only likely to precipitate a very nasty relationship shattering episode. Can things be managed so that he is loyal to you. You are NC. He has boundaries with them and maintains some contact. BTW the less contact your DC have the better.

AddToBasket Sat 14-Jan-17 23:27:45

I'm afraid I didn't understand a lot of your post. What was the £700 about?

What is the event coming up? Is there a way of celebrating that means you won't have to be involved with PIL. It just seems best to stay out of their way.

BonnyScotland Sat 14-Jan-17 23:31:08

sounds like they love to attack and create drama.... do not give them an inch... stop complaining to your Husband about them.. become the calm rational person you know yourself to be... make kind pleasant excuses as to why you cannot attend events... laugh off everything they chuck at you... even if it makes you seethe... because at the moment your husband is caught in the middle... let him find peace at home and he will see his parents for what they truly are.... this will infuriate them...

PoshPenny Sun 15-Jan-17 00:00:20

My family are like this, it's all bloody drama and insults and someone flouncing off. You need to build a shell around you. If you couldn't care less (or appear that way) then "they" fail. That includes your husband who shouldn't be relaying these conversations to you. Easier said than done, I know, but it's a very helpful coping method. Re the £700, you should just have told them you didn't have it to Give them. you'd never have come if you'd known you were paying. Let them sue you for it if it's that important to them.

schlong Sun 15-Jan-17 07:31:02

I wouldn't fret about your dh having contact with them. But forbid him from relaying their insults. That's just weird. Dc must not be used in any way though and if they can't be civil to you they've no right to see your kids. Just bodyswerve the event and make your h go on his own.

happypoobum Sun 15-Jan-17 09:51:23

I am not sure what you want, although I totally understand the situation you describe.

You are NC, so that is fine. If DH sees them, so what? How old are your DC? Can they be safely kept away from ILS?

If Dh wants to stay in contact there is nothing you can do about that, but you can tell him you don't want to hear a single word about it.

Forgive me if I have this wrong, but it sounds like you want DH to wake up and see the light and say "User - you have been right all along, they are utter bastards"

He might get there one day, he might not, but you cannot control this. By taking yourself completely out of the equation you can protect yourself (and DC) If you really cannot continue in a relationship with DH because he is still enmeshed then that is a hard situation for you. flowers

Cricrichan Sun 15-Jan-17 10:04:35

He might one day see the light - my SIL has but DH and his brothers haven't (partly to do with Mil treating women even worse). I'm nc and he doesn't tell me the nasty stuff she says about me. It's really difficult because they have been programmed since tiny to try and please her.

user1484226561 Sun 15-Jan-17 10:07:15

just limit contact to once a year or so, and let it go over your head.

I don't understand why you want or expect money from them though?

sparechange Sun 15-Jan-17 10:08:09

Is the £700 that you attended a family event (hotels?) after they said they would pay, and then they reneged?

Gooseberryfools Sun 15-Jan-17 10:12:20

Just don't go. Let your DH take them.

If you have any contact with them or their relatives 'joke' about your family being the family's scapegoat.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 15-Jan-17 10:23:49


I hope that you keep your children well away from his parents. They should not see his parents at all. Every narcissistic parent is an emotional abuser. Narcissists teach you to beware their wrath even when they aren’t present. The only alternative is constant placation. If you give her everything she wants all the time, you might be spared. If you don’t, the punishments will come. Even adult children of narcissists still feel that carefully inculcated fear.

Unfortunately as you can see from the above, the conditioning that your H has had a lifetime of runs deep and he is mired in FOG as well. He was trained by her and to a lesser extent her enabler of a H; women like his mother always but always need a willing enabler to help them. Your FIL has been her hatchet man here.

Your DH may never be able to defend himself or his own family unit against his parents because of his total fear.

At the very least he now needs to stop relaying info from them to you and . Will he be at all willing to do that?. At the very least you need to create a boundary that tells him that you do not want to hear anything his parents say.

user1483300215 Sun 15-Jan-17 18:14:20

thankyou everyone who has read my garbled thread and kindly responded.The £700 referred to a wedding we attended. our kids are DD12 and DS14 MIL said she would book and pay for the hotel and that as the kids were older would book us two rooms. She left her card details at the hotel as you do when you check in ie they didn't ask for our details. When we checked out the receptionist said oh mrs MIL has paid for the rest of users family but not your bill. We would never have stayed or spent that amount we would have stayed in local travel lodge. When challenged via FIL she denied every saying she would pay for it and was outraged we would even suggest she was "bumping us". She then resumed her nine month sulk. Of note at this event she was reunited with her DSIS that she hadn't spoken to for 20 years.

You have all given me some food for thought, after phonecalls FIL phones once or twice a month. I make DH tell me everything and then overanalyse and argue. I know I am totally unrealistic they are not going to suddenly turn round and say they are wrong. I just think surely they can see we are decent people and not asking the unreasonable. MIL said to DH he was unrealistic to expect a monthly call to kids and an annual visit.

Any time we raise any issue they angrily say "its not all about us" as if we are being totally unreasonable by complaining about anything.

DH is damaged by his parents and upbringing and most recently being told he does nothing but use them and has always been difficult must hurt.

I need to step back and stop trying to have a relationship with them and stop trying to push them to give a toss about my children. They travel all over the world (DH is DS two out of four) seeing the other Gkids but cant travel by road to see hers due to DMIL munchausens without the proxy!

Their nasty comments about me drive deep, I have had CBT and counselling due to CSA by paternal grandparent. Her calling me a wicked snake pains me deeply. The fact that my DH wont defend me in the way I want him to hurts so much and a part of my love for him has died because of this.

So any practical ideas of how to get over this? move on. I would never have married him if id know his family was like this and the damaging thread they have managed to weave between us.

PS don't care about inheritance or money just using it as an example as she uses it as a weapon

thanks kxx

user1483300215 Sun 15-Jan-17 18:21:54

This is one example when wavering really reminds me that it is them not me. Following the wedding FIL phoned DH with a seven point list of complaints, bearing in mind she hadn't spoken to DH for a nine month sulk
1) DH did not pay her enough attention! classic isn't it
2)I did not bring the children to the bar - ten at night kids exhausted
3) DH sat beside uncle and spoke to him not DM
4) I killed her with a look ( I wish!)
5) we had "don't talk to us" vibes throughout
I cant remember the others put pure narcisstic nonsense, when wavering I just think of number one. I have been NC since last Aug.

Offred Sun 15-Jan-17 18:22:03

Think you need to separate the two issues; 1. PIL and 2. DH

I suggest you and the DC go NC with toxic PIL. Do not discuss them, do not speak to them, do not let DH discuss them with you.

Re DH you will have to decide how badly his need to still be in contact with his parents/avoid defending you has affected your feelings for him and whether you want to still be married to him.

Emmerdalefan Sun 15-Jan-17 18:26:15

I so understand how u feel. I am leaving marriage due to spineless dh who won't stand up to pil. I have posted today in relationships as my dh is blaming mumsnet for our split and refuses to take any responsibility xx

CMamaof4 Sun 15-Jan-17 18:55:31

I have awful in laws too, Everything is my fault that happens in their miserable lives, My husband doesn't speak to them anymore as they are so miserable and negative, He can't bare the negativity so prefers to act like they don't exist. They never contact him anyway. They are really weird. Not like "normal" parents at all there's no care for their own son, they are happy to not talk to him.
I will never understand their dreadful treatment of him and our children (to be honest I don't care what they have to say about me anymore its all a load of rubbish anyway)
Just act like they don't exist don't let their miserable views effect your life, This is THEIR problem not yours!
You will never remedy it as to be quite honest there is just something not right in their heads.
When my kids grow up and meet someone who makes them happy I will welcome them into the family and love all my grandchildren equally.
Take one thing away from this negative situation at least you will be more understanding and kind when you become a mother in law.

user1483300215 Sun 15-Jan-17 19:26:27

thankyou for all your replies, very good to hear of others in similar situation and how they have coped with it.

I feel for you @emmerdalefan how awful I will go and look for your thread

@offred you are right I should separate the issues. I am NC with inlaws so should not ask what they say about me, DH does not tell them anything about me so I rarely come up in conversation. I don't know what to do about the DH issue he says he does defend me but I think he is really afraid of them and toes the line, just awful isn't it.

@CMAMAof4 how did you get to the stage of acting like they don't exist? that's what I need to do as I still care and want them to like me, it feels pathetic but ive never had this before and I am made to feel unlikeable and difficult.

Plan: not ask DH about anything they say, don't bring them up in conversation - I have wasted too many hours analysing and trying to sort things and hope they will see the light. anything else I can do?

DH says he expects nothing from them and gets nothing but deep down he craves their approval I'm sure. Him not going to the upcoming family event will cause huge uproar from MIL as she wants to play happy families.

thanks xx

CMamaof4 Sun 15-Jan-17 20:36:52

Oh bless you user, I felt the same at first, I couldn't understand it at all, I wanted them to like me, I had trouble processing why? What had I done? Why would they make up so much crap about me?
When really I could ask all day but the problem is THEM not me.
My mil tried to cause friction between me and my husbands ex who he has a child to, Would put photos of them on Facebook having a "lovely time together" when really after having spoken to his ex after hearing the mil had been slagging me off to her she said she can't stand meeting up with her does it for stepsons sake, she said she try's to make visits as short as possible as she "talks alot of shit"
I can imagine the miserable time she has to have with her and I am so glad it isn't me! grin

I suppose what made me stop thinking like that is I looked at them both and I thought do I actually like these people regardless of their treatment of me are they pleasant to be around? No
Are they good grandparents? No (they have nothing to do with our children their choice, but see all other grandchildren including my stepson, My kids don't matter to them)

Two major put offs and so really I don't want to be around people like that so why bother?
They are both renown as miserable outspoken idiots so why waste my time caring?
And I am so glad that I don't now.
I am so much happier for it.

You have your little family look out for them, just because people are blood related doesn't mean you HAVE to spend your life putting up with their crap. Some people abuse the word "family" and think of it as "I can do whatever I want to you because we are related and you always have to put up with it and be there" WRONG
You wouldn't put up with a friend treating you like that so why your inlaws.

Life is too short to put up with miserable nasty people, Get away from them and stay away.
They aren't worthy of a relationship with you. xx

user1483300215 Tue 17-Jan-17 18:16:15

hi*@Cmamaof4*,thankyou very much for all your advice. Can I ask how long you have managed not to let inlaws annoy you? and if there was a final straw or incident that made you stop the contact?
that is very kind of you to say they aren't worthy of a relationship. Ive tried and tried to fathom their behaviour but they just don't follow any "normal" family or social rules if you know what I mean.
we both have let inlaws damage our relationship and all our major fights in our 20 years have been to do with them.

I went nc last august but I realise I have to now stop asking details of phonecalls, stop buying their presents for bday and stop caring as they bring nothing positive to my life or my kids life.

It just enrages me to be scapegoated and labelled the difficult one or difficult family but that is their opinion and I think it is easier to blame me than look at their own awful behaviour.

I am truly grateful for these threads for support even if not posting and for learning so much about NPD and families thanksxx

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