Terrible in-law relationship. Long post, but advice TRULY needed!

posted 1 year ago in Relationships
Post # 2
8308 posts
Bumble Beekeeper


newlymarried2017 :  

“Realistically, I don’t think they care much about their relationship with me – only him.”


“I understand my husband will always want a relationship with his parents, but it feels as though he wants to go right back to weekly/monthly weekend trips and daily phone calls”

I think these two statement are key.  You are family with these  two awful people now, like it or not ,  but you simply  don’t have to hang out or have  as much contact as he seems to want . The pattern for him was set when he accepted her ministrations  in college  as if he were a child , probably earlier actually . I think you limit your contact   as much as is reasonable , just don’t go and visit every time he wants to and sicne I doubt she texts you like he does him, so  not much   to do much there . Just make sure you husband is not allowing criticism  of you, nor attempting to force you to spend more time than you want with them .  

Post # 3
2703 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

I think it sounds like they have destroyed any chance of a relationship with you, at least in the immediate future.  In your shoes, I’d be telling your husband that he can have whatever relationship he likes with them, but you will not be seeing them, talking to them, or listening to him talk about them (so if he starts complaining about something his mother did, you say “honey, I don’t want to hear about your mother.  What do you want for dinner, chicken or beef?”).  If, in six months time, you feel like you might be able to resume contact with her, then maybe meet them at a restaurant for dinner and see how you go – but if it takes five years before you can think about them without wanting to scream, then that’s how long it takes.  And if you and your husband are planning on having kids, it needs to be very clear that either his parents pull their heads in and respect you as adults (because to me it sounds like they still see you as children to be controlled by them), or they don’t see the kids.  No relationship with mom, no relationship with the kids.

You might also want to post this over at the DWIL board on the babycenter website, or if you’re on Reddit, go to the JUSTNOMIL sub.  Both those places are full of people who’ve been where you are and can help you a lot.

And keep going to therapy, whatever you do.

Post # 4
1869 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

So his father attempted to assault you and then they both verbally abused you? Bee, this is disgusting behaviour. I would absolutely cut them off completely. I’d let my husband choose what kind of relationship he wanted to have (within reason) but the relationship with me and any future children would be off the table. 

Im sorry that happened to you, I agree you should post on DWIL nation. This is absolutely unacceptable, I’m so angry for you. 

Post # 5
625 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

I mean….. you were assaulted. I’m not quite sure how much more your husband needs to happen before he will put them in their  place. 

Post # 6
386 posts
Helper bee

I don’t have too much advice as I think there will need to be updates to see what naturally happens without action taken.

However, I have been in a similar situation – long story short, DH’s family member yelling at me in my face for literally no reason, which turned out to be BPD like your counsellor advised your Future Mother-In-Law has, and I did not speak to her afterwards for 7 months, started to rebuild a friendship then it happened again 5 months later, then took 1 year with no contact to build a relationship which teeters. However, she still messages Darling Husband every day which irks me.

My only advice is for what I did, which is literally cut off all contact until you are comfortable to see them again, and if they do it again after that then cut off all contact. Some people will never change so only let yourself see them when YOU feel comfortable to. Your Fiance can talk to them whenever he pleases, but YOU are not their chew toy.

I’d say about the moving house, I live less than 5 minutes from my IL’s and yes, we see them when we choose to, but when I hated their guts I did not see them at all!

Just don’t let them have a key to your house!

Post # 7
41 posts

I have a similar issue with my Mother-In-Law and though my Fiance has witnessed it and knows how she is, he has a hard time putting his foot down. The relationship between mother and son is a difficult one, especially when they’re best friends (mine are too). It seems like anything she does he’ll acknowledge, then get over it like it never happened. 

Post # 8
10664 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

newlymarried2017 :  

Bee, this is your future.  Your fiancé’s parents will not change.  And your fiancé shows no real inclination to or understanding of setting firm boundaries.

I’m a little surprised that your therapist would tell you that Mother-In-Law sounds as if she has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). That’s quite a severe diagnosis.

If your Mother-In-Law does, indeed, have BPD, that’s all the more reason to stay clear of her and quit trying to inflict logic on her.  There are treatments, but the best you’ll get is symptom reduction rather than an actual cure.  The treatment of choice is talk therapy combined with meds. We used to think meds couldn’t help BPD, but, now we know that they can reduce some symptoms.  In use are SSRIs, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and anticonvulsants.

The take away for you is that BPD is not fixable, do not be expecting changes on her end.

The theme song of the BPD is:  I hate you!!!  Don’t leave me!!!

You should also be aware that BPDs are high suicide risks (70%). If you do start to separate, be prepared for a lot of drama, which may include suicidal threats or behaviors. Even though she is exceptionally manipulative, take any talk of suicide seriously.  Your responsibility is to call 911 and let experts handle it. Nothing more.

Quit trying to have discussions with her about your relationship.  She doesn’t get it and it lights her fuse.  She feels horribly threatened by the merest suggestion that you could be trying to pull away a little.  To her, it feels like certain death.

Your Mother-In-Law does not see anything the way you do.  She can’t.

It’s not likely that she will ever seek treatment.  If your Father-In-Law was sane, he would be the go to guy. We don’t really know what he’s about. Sometimes, when someone lives with an abusive person long enough, they start doing things that are completely out of character.

Living with his mother means your fiancé has been abused. He may even have some form of PTSD. Too many therapists miss this. You may want to ask your therapist to refer you to someone who specializes in trauma recovery so he can be evaluated for PTSD.

What does your therapist say about your fiancé’s cow-towing? He will need a lot of time to unlearn that.

I really wish I could post something more hopeful.  But, not telling the truth would be a disservice to you and to other people in similar situations.


Post # 10
232 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I’m curious to know what MIL’s reaction was when Anthony and Susan started setting boundaries and how they managed that?

Post # 10
1102 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

It would be a cold day in hell before I ever willingly saw those assholes again. 


Do you now now understand why Brother-In-Law & SIL don’t see them anymore?


Is your husband going to step up and protect you from this? And by protect, I mean cut off entirely. Because this is unacceptable. 


ETA- to all of the PP’s saying “this is your future now”, no it isn’t. You don’t have to let it be. You are under no obligation to see anyone who assaulted you, regardless of their relation to you. You wouldn’t accept this behavior from a friend, this is no different.

Post # 11
1145 posts
Bumble bee

Look out for your own safety and marriage. Keep going to counseling and maybe reach out to your Brother-In-Law and SIL. They may have advice for dealing with your mentally unwell and abusive ILs. 

Post # 12
4036 posts
Honey bee

This is awful. This can only stop if your fiance stops oversharing and stops the daily phone calls and enmeshment. Is he willing to do that? And if I were you, I’d never go back to their house again, their behavior was atrocious. Actions have consequences.


Post # 13
1556 posts
Bumble bee

sassy411 :  “Your Mother-In-Law does not see anything the way you do.  She can’t.” ^^ so much this. If she does have BPD, there’s really no point trying to instil logic in a situation. I’m in a similar situation in that my Mother-In-Law also has BPD and it’s really hard. She has a whole other reality built up in her head, so there’s really no discussing anything rationally.  


My husband sees a psych and she recommended the book “Stop Walking on Eggshells” and he said it really helped him understand her perspective. He decided he couldn’t maintain a relationship and more or less grey rocks her when she tries to reach out now. 


Based on what happened with Mother-In-Law and Father-In-Law I’d be done. Your husband can maintain a relationship if he wants, but I’d be no contact for at least 6 months. It’s not the sort of thing I could get over and they are not going to change. 

Post # 14
10664 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

pink.lemonade :  

I will second the Eggshell book, very good recommendation, Bee.

Post # 15
1607 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

undiagnosed and unaddressed mental illness? 

I would REFUSE to see them under ANY conditions until that is addressed. 

I’m glad husband is with you. I’m glad you two are going to counseling. Your husband needs to wtfu if he thinks you’re having any children with them and bringing them around those two nut jobs. 

Now I can see why your Brother-In-Law and SIL have limited relationship with them. 

They need to make some serious changes for themselves before I would be willing to have any sort of ‘relationship’ with them. Including counseling, behavioral therapy and evals, whatever is needed. Ask your counselor about ‘detachment’ if they haven’t already done that with you guys. Wow. I am just so taken aback, he threw an ice cream cone at you???? Lunatic!

No, you can’t ‘control’ them moving to FL with you, but that’s not the point. They are way WAY WAY overstepping boundaries here. Honestly, I would make sure your addresses and phone numbers are unlisted for this reason. This is so unhealthy. Jesus. And yeah, the mom has no life. Her life is her children which is really really unhealthy. Dayum. 

Absolutely unacceptable behavior Bee, I’m so sorry this happened to you. 

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