Help with mother-in-law!

posted 2 years ago in Family
Post # 16
365 posts
Helper bee

OP, I’m so sorry. This is an extremely difficult position to be in. I was there myself for 20+ years. I know cutting ties with family is never the ideal solution, but for me, who has neither seen nor spoken to my ILs for almost a year now, it was the only way. Mother-In-Law has narcissistic personality disorder (not diagnosed but if you look up the symptoms and traits, she checks all the boxes) and Father-In-Law is an enabler. There truly was no other way for me; it was either cut them out of my life or watch my mental and physical health continue to decline until I would be no good to myself, let alone my husband and kids. I now have my husband’s full support (wasn’t always this way — it was a major uphill battle for decades) but the sooner you can come to a resolution, whatever it looks like, the better it will be for your marriage and for your overall health and well-being.

The saddest realization for me was that, no matter the efforts I put in, she would never change. Like a PP said, you can’t fix people who are emotionally abusive and manipulative (MIL is both, as is Father-In-Law to some degree). I know my opinion won’t be popular with everyone, but I recommend cutting ties with your Mother-In-Law as soon as possible and saving yourself a lifetime of misery. Just because she is your DH’s mother does not mean you have to tolerate her bad behavior. Like your Darling Husband, mine wanted to fix things and tried for years, but nothing ever improved. He is an only child and my family lives far away, so unfortunately, we didn’t have extended family as support. I think it would’ve helped to have some rational family members to balance the irrational, but with that variable out of the equation, we had to decide for ourselves enough was enough. The kids have full access to their grandparents, and because he is a good son, Darling Husband sees them on a semi-regular basis, but I have no contact with them whatsoever. I hate that it’s like this — I always wanted to be as close with my husband’s family as I am with my own, or if not close, at least cordial.

I’m just rambling now… I just feel so badly for you. I’m so, so sorry, bee. Sending virtual hugs and support.

Post # 17
1013 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

Go to DWIL; they will help you.

Post # 19
1469 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

ridgebacklover :  I’m so happy things are looking up for you guys!


I haven’t been to DWILs (and it seems like you’re being well cared for there, so that’s great!), but I also like r/JNMIL (Just no MOther-in-law) on Reddit. One thing they say a lot is, “don’t set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm.”

I also read a book last year cound Boundaries. It’s a little heavy-handed in the religious things, but it really helped me understand tha we have to have boundaries to have healthy relationships, but it doesn’t make me a bad family member or person to set them up. I’ve realized that I have to maintain strong, healthy boundaries with my ILs (they’re not nearly as bad as your Mother-In-Law sounds, but we have our problems) in order to protect my family (which is me and Darling Husband now) and our marriage.

Keep up the good work!

Post # 20
1252 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

ridgebacklover :  Glad to see your update! The ladies on DWIL can be brutal but their advice is solid.

I hope now that you’ve had this talk with your Darling Husband and he understands the score now that you can relax and focus on your health.

Good luck, bee! Sounds like you’re on the right track.

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