How to deal with future mother-in-law that is manipulative and a narcissist.

posted 4 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
25 posts

Minimal contact, as much as possible. Dont open up to her about anything that could be turned around and used as ammo against you later. If she really is a narc, you have to be very careful. Good luck

Post # 3
538 posts
Busy bee

Smile and nod. Choose your battles wisely.

Post # 4
1167 posts
Bumble bee

Uhm, what? 

First of all, that’s his mother.  You’re his future wife.  You’re responsible for your half of the family and he is responsible for his.  Does he know you feel like this about his mother?  You better tell him fast.  Holding down your emotions will only create resentment.  Don’t be a ninny and say “oh well he should know!”  That’s a cop-out, tell him straight out how you feel about his mom.  In fact, just read him what you wrote here.

Second, both of you create the boundaries.  Not just you, but both of you.  Those are his parents, and like it or not, we feel differently about them than our better halves.  Once the boundary is in placed that both of you agreed on, and HIS moher violates it, he needs to discipline his own parent. 

Third, as for acting around her, constantly think of her as your SO’s mom.  Even when annoyed.  Just keep reciting that you’ll respect her out of respect for your SO.

Good luck OP!

Post # 5
2001 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

I am in a similar situation. My future Mother-In-Law and I once had a great relationship the 5 years prior to me being engaged to her son. Since we have gotten engaged things have changed drastically. She got upset I didn’t take her wedding dress shopping and just took my mom. She told all her sisters and now they all claim I am disrespectul, rude, high maintence, etc, etc. My mom is super excited about my fiance and I being together. We actually met through our moms. They once were close friends until we got engaged. Now my Future Mother-In-Law barely talks to my mom, who once again was a close friend. She has said to my fiance that my mom trapped him for me. alot of nonsense. any way in pre-marital counseling our counselor has said that we must develop boundaries and ignore toxic behavior. My fiance continues to stick up for me and will not let his mom talk bad about me which makes her more mad because she feels he is choosing me over her. She is having a complete melt down because she feels like she is loosing her son. I’d imagine your Future Mother-In-Law has similar feelings. I don’t try to understand or comprehend it. I smile and am always cordial but I keep my distance. Funny thing is that our counselor said these Mother-In-Law situations are more common than the happy go lucky in law family we would all like to have. It sucks for us but as long as you and your fiance are happy and honest everything will be ok. Just makes sure he understands how you feel and speaks up for you, that boundary has to be made clear! Best wishes! 

Post # 6
101 posts
Blushing bee

I second the smile and nod. I do the same. Just be polite and do your time and just keep small talk simple. You don’t want her to be able to turn anything around on you later.

Post # 7
1308 posts
Bumble bee

Your husband allowed his mother to come over crying on your anniversary over a computer, or did you say it was ok?  That is inexcusable behavior on behalf of your husband, if that is what he is doing.

Has he always been a mama’s boy/pushover?  This is more of an issue with your husband than your Mother-In-Law.  Your Mother-In-Law you can avoid, your husband you cannot.

I disagree time and time again with people who say you need to accept crappy family behavior.  I am all for respecting my elders, if they are respectful of me as an adult and my soon to be husbands decisions.  

If you married a man that will always need his mom around in this way though, I’m sorry, there might not be much you can do.

Post # 8
1274 posts
Bumble bee

Oh, fun. Limiting contact will help your sanity.

However, when she does start talking about her woes (which I’m sure are numerous), a useful tactic my mother uses on my sister is to simply reply, “That must have made you feel insert appropriate emotion.” In my sister’s case it worked becaus she was forced to acknowledge the feeling, “Yeah, it did!”. At that point, there is nothing else to be said on the matter because she’s expressed her feelings/situation and you have observed that you understand what she is going through. Then you are free to change the subject politely. If she continues to talk this way: wash, rinse, repeat.

She’ll be forced to drop the subject, because it will become painfully obvious that she is being redundant and losing your interest because of your one line replies. She can’t call you out as being rude, either, because you are acknowledging her feelings/problems.

Post # 9
151 posts
Blushing bee

deathbychocolate:  I know how you feel! I am currently experiencing a very sudden and very DRAMATIC change in behavior and attitude toward me from my own new Mother-In-Law, and am struggling with the weirdness it is causing in the family. The only advice that I can give you right now is DO NOT LET HER TAKE CONTROL OF THE SITUATION under any circumstances. The more control this woman sees that she is able to exert the more problems you will have when trying to establish boundaries with her after you are married.

   She sounds like an annoying amateur compared to my own apparently batshit crazy Mother-In-Law who is beginning to act like something off either a soap opera or a horror movie, so hang in there, set CLEAR and FIRM boundaries together with your Fiance, and see what happens then. With any luck she will realize how tacky, petty, and childish she is being and go back to being someone you can at least tolerate being around again without losing your own mind.

   Best wishes and good luck! 🙂 

Post # 10
143 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

My Mother-In-Law loved me until we got engaged. She didn’t even attend our wedding – and my husband is her only child!! She moved across the country by herself to get away from us. So ridiculous. Luckily, my husband has an aunt and grandma that we are much closer to. I tried and tried to have a relationship with my Mother-In-Law but I have given up. I try very hard to encourage my husband to have a relationship with her but I peaced out. So, my answer really is that I don’t deal with her at all. 

Post # 11
151 posts
Blushing bee

louiseza:  Lucky you!!! 🙂 I really wish my psychotic Mother-In-Law would decide to move across the country right about now. 

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors