Post # 1
Normal bee going anon because it’s kind of a touchy subject… I’m also not sure if this should go in marriedlife or pregnancy…
To give some background: When I met my DH, his mother was stable, didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, and was happily married, but then about four years ago after she turned 50 she started drinking heavily and her (now ex) husband who is a recovering alcoholic left because he couldn’t deal with her. Now she has become a full blown heavy drinker / chain smoker who is really hard to be around (only wants to go out to bars and “party”), and to make matters worse, she has also become a complete narcissist… For example she left halfway through DH masters graduation to go “do her thing.” He is the ONLY person in his family to get a BS much less an MS! So after he walked across the stage he was all excited to come take pictures with his family, and none of them were there…
Everyone has tried to talk to her and she won’t listen. She’s actually cut off contact with most of her family because of it too… I also understand that alcoholism is a disease, but I don’t think she’s an alcoholic, I think she’s just a selfish self absorbed person going through a midlife crisis, who I can’t stand to be around!
We’ve been dealing by basically limiting contact but now that I’m pregnant (we haven’t told anyone yet), I’m worried she’s going to want to be involved with the baby’s life, and I just can’t imagine wanting her anywhere near my child… I wish I could think that this new baby would make her snap out of this stage, but I doubt it will… I’m more willing to bet that she’ll turn it into something about her getting old and how can we do this to her and blah blah blah…
Anyways what I’m wondering is: Has anyone been in a similar situation? And if so, what did you do?? I wish I could just never tell her about the baby, and just hide, but obviously that’s not a long term solution…
Post # 3
I have a narcissistic mother and mother-in-law. I would cut them off it didn’t mean that I would lose the rest of my family or result in a shitstorm from my MIL.
I understand why you wouldn’t want her around your baby. She is a hot mess.
Perhaps you can do supervised short visits? That way, your MIL won’t become even more abusive and hard to be around if she is cut off.
*hug* I am sorry that you have to deal with this mama. You can PM me if you like.
Post # 4
@anonabee136: I’m sorry you and your husband are going through this. Al-Anon is a wonderful resource for friends and family of problem drinkers, and I encourage you to check it out. They can help you and your husband figure out how to set healthy boundaries with his mother.
Post # 5
@anonabee136: You had me at “narcissistic,” though in my case, it’s my own mother. Like you, I’m pregnant and the news isn’t out yet. In my case, I think she will be happy, but I’m well-prepared for her to whisper behind my back about how I don’t keep my baby warm/clean/etc. enough.
I’d continue to deal as you’re dealing now: keep your distance. Talk to your DH ahead of time about how you’ll handle various things: does she get to babysit? Will she ever get to keep baby overnight (please, tell me no!)? How long will you stay/visit when you actually see her? Talk about some of your boundaries ahead of time — and make it clear he should speak up/cut the visit short if she does anything untoward. Though she’s an alcoholic, make it clear that visits will only occur if she is sober — if you get there and she’s drunk, you leave immediately and take some time off from visits. While I fully believe this woman may need help, it is not something you want to expose a baby — and a growing child — to. You shouldn’t have to walk away from visits explaining that sometimes grandma is “funny.”
Send limited amounts of pictures. Maybe keep contact sparse and brief. “Baby rolled over today,” etc. Negotiate now on what you will and won’t share: anything about finances, where you are giving birth, who will be in the room when you do, and any of baby’s medical needs may need to be tabled. Narcissists have a way of making it about them, judging your decisions, and trying to compel you to do things their way. Not engaging and keeping your silence is the best power you’ve got.