Future In-Law Drama

posted 1 week ago in Family
Post # 2
Member
553 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

She sounds terrible, I can’t believe she told you she wanted to slap and kill you, that is ridiculous.

With your wedding coming up so soon, I wouldn’t want to start more drama by having your family confront her although I totally understand why they would want to. I’d either let it go (as hard as that is) or have your FH talk to her about how inappropriate her behavior has been. 

Good luck.

Post # 3
Member
9377 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

Stop letting her interact with your family.

Obviously the wedding you won’t be able to stop her, but after that.. holidays, birthdays, etc.. keep them separate.  Minimize time you have to spend with her. If your husband wants to go over there to see her sometimes he can do it alone.

Honestly, imo anyone saying they want to kill me would be a pretty decent excuse for me to never interact with them again.  

Post # 4
Member
2233 posts
Buzzing bee

OK, you need to google “covert narcissist” and also “communal/martyr narcissist.”

This woman is acting out because you are taking up all the attention, and you are also taking her son away from her. So while you were fine BEFORE either of those things we happening, NOW this is a competition that she aims to win.

She will compete with you for attention by doing all the things she’s done – badmouthing you, pointing out how expensive dresses are (you’re SO high-maintenance, SHE would never think to spend so much on HERSELF!), redirecting focus to her granddaughter or herself or really anyone OTHER than you. 

And she will play the victim and/or the martyr whenever it suits her. You’re standing up to her? How dare you, she spends SO much money on you, and threw you this shower or that party, and  bought all these things for you. OR it’s “you clearly don’t like me, since you are standing up for yourself.”

This is a way of table-turning, to the get the focus OFF of her bad behavior. When you are standing up for yourself, it’s only natural that her bad behavior is the subject. She can’t abide admitting even to herself that she behaved badly, so she must switch the focus back onto you, and what you’ve done – or are doing – wrong. 

You will never ever get this woman to admit to herself that she did anything wrong.

If you catch her in the right moment, and keep your calm, and are focused and articulate, you MIGHT get her to admit to wrongdoing in word only. Then a week or a month will go by and her behavior will remain the same, and you’ll realize she didn’t actually think she did anything wrong and was just saying she did to get you off her case in that moment.

I went through this with my own Mother-In-Law. She was fine right up until Darling Husband and I got engaged. Then commence the very passive aggressive disapproval. 

“There’s really no need to rush” and “are you guys really SURE?” etc.

Honestly, if she IS narcissistic, you won’t get anywhere by confronting her. Or by having anyone in your family confront her. ALL that does is play into her hand. If you confront her and become angry and god forbid say anything outright mean to her, she now has PROOF that you are evil, stole her son away, and hate her. And she will tell everyone she knows what you said and did during the confrontation, with a terrible slant, of course.

What I have been doing with my Mother-In-Law is just the Grey Rock method. She WANTS attention, she WANTS to stir up drama. So instead I give her the opposite. I smile at her blandly and change the subject. I’m polite and kind to her when she is visiting, but I don’t confide in her, I don’t let my guard down, and I don’t talk to her about mine and DH’s relationship.

The other thing you’ll need to become good at is Boundaries. 

You’ll need to create boundaries and then, if she disregards them, enact consequences.

For my Mother-In-Law, during the wedding planning process we realized that every time we interacted with her, suddenly there was a lot of negativity, where there hadn’t been any before. And it was greatly upsetting Darling Husband. So we asked that she not be negative toward the planning or our relationship. And we politely reminded her of our boundary the next few times she became negative.

Then, she was negative again, and I simply got up and walked out in the middle of dinner.

No drama, I didn’t do anything she could call me “mean” over. I just enacted a silent protest of her disrespectful behavior. So the spotlight was on HER bad behavior, not anything *I* did in response. 

And this takes practise. Poor Darling Husband still has a hard time controlling his emotions when she acts out with him. But he has seen the wisdom of NOT reacting to her. He has seen how she uses his reaction against him if he gets angry by casting herself as the victim. 

Post # 5
Member
28 posts
Newbee

Your Future Mother-In-Law sounds like a narcissist. She wants her sons attention on her, and is jealous that the attention is on you now. However, I deal with a similar problem, and confronting her yourself, at least at this point, is not your job. Addressing her behavior and letting her know it is unacceptable is your fiance’s job. Period. If you go off on her, it only gives her more fuel to hate you and all the attention you are getting. Talk with your fiance, and have your fiance talk to her… and make sure that when he does, it is to the point and blunt, not feeding into her victim mentality. She is in the wrong, no ifs ands or buts and your fiance needs to be the one to say that. 

Post # 6
Member
39 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. The only thing I’ll say is, your FI’s approach to ignore her is NOT the answer. Ignoring her and not standing up for yourself is just setting the precedent that she will get away with what she’s doing … so why would she stop? 

However, it’s not your job to stand up to her. It’s his. He is the one who needs to confront her. But since your wedding is only one month away, I’d probably just placate her for the time being so she doesn’t throw a tantrum at your wedding. Then after the wedding, he should tell her “Mom, your behavior towards my wife has been hurtful and unacceptable. We aren’t goint to accept this any longer. We are asking you one final time to stop. If you cross our boundaries again, we will be taking an extended time out from you.”

It’d be nice if he could have a conversation with her now before the wedding, I’d just be afraid to chance it because she sounds like a loose cannon

Post # 7
Member
1376 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

sparklestarina :  DO NOT confront her. It will not help. All it will do is make you angrier and feel more like you’re not being heard. She is who she is which sounds like a complete train wreck. 

Best advice? Detach detach detach. ‘Oh that’s nice’. ‘Oh really, they said that?’ totally monotone, no interest at all. ‘I gotta go talk to X’. ‘I gotta go do this’. ‘Can’t talk now, busy’ * walk away *. 

She’ll get the message loud and clear. 

You guys did the right thing by not including her in any more wedding organization activities. And your FH is doing right by talking to her. 

Let him handle it. If she wants to go around acting like an ass? Let her. Everyone can see that she is the one who is the issue, not you. Just be cool, calm, and collected, and detach!

You love your FH, you want to marry him. Don’t let his crazy mom ruin it for you. 

And I feel bad for you too lol but please do not get on her level. She will never be on your side or get where you are coming from. It is all about ‘me me me’. So just ignore her like your FH and her ex-husband/FH father tell you 🙂 

*One edit* if she is DIRECT to you and rude, you have the option to say something to her, ‘Why would you say that?’ ‘why would you do this?’ ‘it hurts me when you say things like this” ‘I dont feel comfortable with that’ ‘I need you to leave’. But if it’s ‘heresay’, then don’t get involved. If she doesn’t say it to you, it didn’t happen. 

Good luck!

Post # 8
Member
741 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

I think you should gray rock until the wedding. Don’t involve her in anything but when you see her be the most uninteresting person possible and she’ll lose interest. Don’t talk about anything new in your life, your feelings on anything, the wedding, etc. Nothing personal. Talk about the weather, the new episode of Modern Family. If she starts shit, refuse to engage and change the subject. (i.e. “Why can’t niece be the flower girl? I don’t understand” “We’ve already explained this to you and our answer in final. Have you tried the bean dip?” If she keeps pushing it, just walk away.

After the wedding establish boundaries with clear consequnces. Whatever bothers you be it the guilt-tripping, definitely the talking shit about you. What pp said is perfect. If she crosses the boundary, you just get up and leave. You don’t even have to say anything. And in fact, if she needs to communicate with someone it should all go through your Darling Husband. She wants to know why you never talk to her anymore and why you blocked her on facebook? Darling Husband can tell her that he won’t tolerate the way she treats you.

Also, I have a feeling you’ll need to forbid her from gifting you anything or doing you any favors. It’s not a gift or a favor, it’s a weapon she gets to pull out whenever she feels like she’s not getting what she wants.

Post # 14
Member
426 posts
Helper bee

I think there’s a certain amount you need to forgive or look past for your SO and keeping the peace with his family, but all of this gets a huge NOPE from me. She will never change and there’s no amount of talking or reasoning that will work. My fil is a narcissist and dealing with him is a 24/7 nightmare. My husband and I have different boundaries (he has limited contact and interactions with him, I’m completely done) but we are fierce about them. 

We do not do light bulbs. I hate that shit. Sometimes I wonder if my fil had children with the sole purpose of turning them into indentured servants in adulthood. The guilt trips are real (“Don’t you know what I did for you when you were a kid?!”) but you get better at tuning them out over time. Meanwhile either of us would drive hours to help my mom in any way we could because she has never guilted us or made us feel indebted to her in any way. 

It sucks cutting out family and it will never feel good. But not having emotional chaos in your daily life is worth it. 

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