Narcissistic Mother-in-Law

by Michelle Piper

What if you come to the realization you have a narcissistic mother-in-law? If you have a narcissistic mother, you already know dealing with her can be more taxing and harder than dealing with anyone else. But what happens when you marry into it?How are you supposed to deal with a narcissistic mother-in-law? You’re not even biologically programmed to love this woman, yet you may feel you have to put up with her because your spouse does.

When you first meet your narcissistic mother-in-law to be, she may act charming, witty, and like she’s genuinely interested in you and your life. In reality, it may be she only wants to deepen the relationship between the two of you in order to use your trust and confidence against you or your spouse later.

She’s a master manipulator and knows what to say and do to make you think she really cares and/or to plant the seed of doubt.

There’s nothing authentic about a narcissistic mother-in-law. They’ve been operators and controllers since childhood, perfecting their craft as they aged.

It may not be until the relationship between you and your partner gets serious, or even until marriage, that you start to feel her wrath. She may see you as competition, vying for control over her child’s love, loyalty and attention.

Narcissistic mother-in-laws are bragging, nagging, intruding, competitive, and defeating people. The boundary-less relationship she likely had with her child is now tarnished because you’ve come into the picture and taken her narcissistic supply away.

When I think about this topic, I think of the movie Monster-In-Law, starring Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez. Jane Fonda plays a successful TV host, a divorcee several times over, and the mother to a son who falls in love with Jennifer Lopez’s character.

When this happens, Fonda’s character is extremely nice and fake to the woman her son is dating. But as soon as she finds out they are getting married, BOOM, Fonda does everything in her power to try to get rid of her.

Her son was her golden child, the one who could do no wrong in her eyes and only deserved the best. Many times with a narcissistic mother, the golden child is a son. If this golden child grows up and ends up being the partner you fall in love with, this could be a serious problem. Unfortunately, no partner may ever be good enough for a golden child.

In the movie, her son never saw the evil and manipulative side of her, but it was there all right. The couple’s relationship almost got to the point of a break up right before the wedding until Fonda’s character has a sudden change of heart and agrees not to interfere with the relationship anymore.

That last part is, of course, the Hollywood happy ending the audience waits for. In the real world, not the one on the big screen, this is definitely not a typical case. The damage of a narcissistic mother-in-law opens wounds for years to come.

From the narcissistic mother-in-law’s perspective, “giving away” her child to be with an adult partner isn’t an option. If that child was her mirror or golden child, the perceived loss can be excruciating to the narcissistic mother-in-law and she’ll feel threatened.

In contrast, if her child was in the scapegoat role, you’re going to hear about it and she’ll try to enlist you against her adult child.

If your partner was in the lost child role, she may resent that you are “distracting the family” from her or her other, golden child, with your marriage ceremony, your children and so forth. How dare you steal the spotlight with your normal life?

Whatever the role your NMIL put your partner in, you and your spouse will need to show a united front in arguments and disagreements between you and your narcissistic mother-in-law. Your partner relationship will be only as strong as the values you mutually agree to maintain. Whoever affronts them, mother or not, simply cannot be trusted if you wish to protect your intimate bond.

If your spouse isn’t yet aware he or she has a narcissistic parent refrain from talking about her flaws without clear examples of the negative behavior. Initially, your spouse may have difficulty seeing the dysfunctional behavior because, to survive a narcissistic mother in the first place, your partner may have overused coping strategies like “minimizing” or “denying” his or her parent was abusive.

Set limits with her and make sure your spouse is aware and agrees to these limits. Remember, she is emotionally very young, and like a child will test your boundaries. Decide together what role your narcissistic mother-in-law is going to play in your new lives.

If she can, your narcissistic mother-in-law will nitpick at everything you do, from how you spend your resources like money and time, to how you keep your house to how you raise your kids. She wants a say in everything and is a master at getting into your personal space.

Even when limits are put into place, it may not stop her from overstepping your boundaries. If things do not change, you and your spouse may need to strictly limit interactions with her (low contact) or completely sever them (no contact).

In a normal family, tensions usually ease or are at least tolerated over time. You were probably not raised the same way as your spouse nor did you grow up with the same values, beliefs, and family issues and problems. Getting married means accepting differences and making each other better people. When it comes to a narcissistic mother-in-law, however, you and your spouse are expected to make unreasonable concessions.

In a narcissistic family system, issues are more difficult to overcome because the less functional a family, the more rigidly it holds onto old, unproductive patterns.

Be aware of your narcissistic mother-in-law’s history in order to better defend against her manipulations. Narcissists are toxic but predictable. If you observe her dysfunction with a studied eye, you and your spouse can effectively strategize against her repetitive boundary violations and unrealistic expectations.

The motivation for her narcissistic behavior may be the result of a myriad of causes which can hint at future inappropriate behavior. She may have been spoiled or overindulged when she was a child.

She may be the product of narcissistic parenting, perhaps the daughter of a narcissistic mother herself, and was only loved conditionally based on achievements and performance. Her toxic behavior could also be due to some form of abuse or neglect as a child and her narcissism resulted as a defense mechanism to it all.

Knowing her history doesn’t excuse her hurtful actions but can better equip you to protect you, your spouse and children from her.

Unlike her, you are capable of being empathetic. You can walk in another person’s shoes and take a look from their perspective.

Although there are ways of confronting your narcissistic mother-in-law in a fair way to set limits, normal limit setting may not be enough to curb the toxic behavior of a NMIL.

As a reasonable person, you’ll usually first attempt the gentle boundary setting which has worked with mentally healthy people throughout your life, but eventually be forced by the pathology of the NMIL to go to greater lengths like low or no contact to protect your relationship against the bizarre violation of the healthy boundaries you and your partner have established. Decide on the amount of phone calls, visits, and exposure to her that you and your family receive.

Don’t take what she says to heart as she can only reflect back a distorted view of others due to her own impairment and her perceptions of you will be flawed.

As a couple, discuss your limits and boundaries regarding your NMIL. Then, set them in order to decrease the likelihood your narcissistic mother-in-law will hurt your relationship or the ones you love.

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{ 155 comments… read them below or add one }

netbooster July 20, 2013 at 9:33 am

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Katrina August 13, 2013 at 8:04 am

I am SO glad to have found this site. I am going to apologize now for the INSANE length of this post. But I need some help. My MIL and I started off well. She was friendly and seemed to really care for her family. Over time I noticed that she is overly involved in all her children’s lives. My husband, Dan is the oldest of three. He has a young brother and sister. My biggest issue with my MIL is not her dislike of my personal style and taste (in clothing, house decor, jewelry etc), it’s not her strong, immovable opinions on social, political or cultural issues or how blatantly offensive they can be, it’s not even her annoying know-it-all attitude (apparently having access to google makes her an expert on all topics including the world of medicine, health, nutrition, finances, etc) what bothers me the most is her inability to allow ANYONE in her life to live their lives in a manner that is different from what she believes they should do. She criticizes everything I do from the way I pay my credit card bills, to the kind of milk I drink.

I am lucky though. My husband, Dan, realizes that she is insane. He frequently comments about how nuts she is and how he HATES it when she tries to tell him, a 33 year old MAN, what to do. I’m also lucky in that the rest of the family, my SILs and my FIL also recognize how nuts she is. Some of the extended family on his side has complained to me about her for years, telling me how much they can’t stand her. I used to feel bad for her but now I completely understand. So fortunately I have a support system within the family.

Since I realized recently that my MIL actually does fit the definition of NPD and is not simply an intrusive, cocky know-it-all that is overly involved in the lives of her children, I have been struggling with what to do with this information. My husband’s entire family, extended and all, is like mine, very large, very loud and very close. So when I read about people having to cut their MILs out of their lives, I know that is not an option for me, and I don’t want it to be as I enjoy my husband’s family very much. I just need to figure out how to deal with my MIL in the best way possible.

Recently, there was an incident. Not the first time she made me feel bad about myself or irritated with her, but the first time she yelled at me for a life choice that has nothing to do with her. My husband and I have been together for almost 7 years, married for only 6 months. I have been involved with the family for 6 years, so I’m not new to them. Neither is my position on having children. I don’t want them. Neither does my husband. We have not been shy about sharing this position as neither of us feel there is anything shameful or wrong about our choice. For YEARS, I have had people telling me I will change my mind and be popping out kids by the dozens by the time I’m 35. To be honest, it gets annoying that people are so willing to discard my plans for my own life. My MIL is the WORST when it comes to this. Dan and I have BOTH said MANY times TO HER FACE that we will not be procreating.

So back to the incident; Dan’s immediate family and his one aunt were over at his parents’ beach house and we were all enjoying dinner. SisterIL went inside to change, and aunt and MIL and were inside talking. I brought in the plates while the men cleaned up outside. MIL and aunt were discussing some cousins who recently had kids but whose parents were constantly watching the babies. MIL and aunt said they thought this was not appropriate, I figured I may gain some points by agreeing with my MIL and saying “yeah it seems to me that people have kids because they want to spend time with kids. That’s why I’m not having any, because I don’t want to spend time with them.” Aunt and I started talking about this and she asked if Dan felt the same way. I said that he did, because it is the truth. Then my MIL, who was at this point one drink away from drowning in her own martini, turns to me and yells “No, Dan would like a family. You manipulate him and because he loves you, he listens”. All this was said while she was pointing her finger at me as though I was a puppy who just peed on the floor. Knowing her level of intoxication as well as her inability to accept different lifestyles from her own, I decided it was better to refrain from engaging with her. I simply said “I am not commenting on that” and went to walk outside to join the men. She of COURSE sniped back “That’s right, don’t comment. I know my son”. I have never been so upset or hurt by her before, and unfortunately, the men saw the look on my face and probably heard her volume but not her words. They all asked if I had been “Jilled” (MIL’s name is Jill, and yes we all frequently refer to her personality, treatments and behaviors etc in this way). I said I had and that it was bad but I said I didn’t want to cause drama and so I did not go into detail, despite their many requests to tell them. I knew if I had told them, all three men would have ripped her apart and I didn’t want all that drama.

I did tell my husband later that evening when we were going out to meet up with some friends. He was LIVID. I have never heard him use such foul language to refer to his mother. While I was relieved to have him on my side, I don’t care for drama and I knew this would be a huge issue. He wanted to leave the beach immediately, despite the fact that we were planning to stay for another day. I convinced him to stay the night but we got up and left before anyone was up the next morning. He didn’t want to be around her and I wasn’t going to try and stop him from leaving. On our way home his dad texted him “why???” referring to his sudden departure, as the two had planned to go surfing. I also got a text from his mother. In true NPD form, she gave me this BS apology; “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings. I just know that family is very important to Dan and I feel he would like having one. I think you both would be great parents. I love you both”. I responded thanking her for the apology, even though it was kind of BS and said we would see her in two weeks, the next time we planned to be at the beach. I’m still irritated by this comment for the following reasons: 1. She did not apologize for saying what she said, merely my overly sensitive reaction, which is how I’m sure she phrased it to others. 2. Saying family is important to Dan, but mentioning nothing of my closeness with family leaves me feeling like she thinks that I do not feel that family is important. Family is very important to me, but as a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a niece and an aunt. My role in family is there just without a baby on my hip. 3. She STILL seems to be ignoring her son’s self-proclaimed desires to remain childless, which means she continues to blame me.

He has yet to speak to her. This LITERALLY just happened a few days ago. He has not yet spoken to her. But he HAS spoken with his father. I don’t know what was discussed and I don’t want to intrude so I haven’t asked. I do want for him to speak with her and tell her himself how upset he was by this. I KNOW she won’t believe it from anyone else; she may not even believe it from him and will probably think that I was the one who made us leave early and that I put words into his mouth.

I know cutting this woman out is not an option, and I am truly OK with that as I love the rest of his family and enjoy spending time with them. I have already decided that the best way for me to remain sane will be to abide by the following guidelines: 1. avoid being alone with her at all times and if that is not possible become overly engaged in an activity like a book (unfortunately, history has shown me that even when I’m reading she NEVER STOPS TALKING). 2. when with her and the other family members, try and be more engaged with them, but make a point not to ignore her as that will be an issue. 3. don’t comment on her insane opinions, rants, views. 4. when she tries to tell me or Dan what to do, instead of tell her to shove it like I desperately want, simply smile and say “that’s interesting, we’ll give that some thought”. 5. Avoid talking to her about ANY life decision, from what kind of art to put on the walls to what doctors to use. Obviously, I want to avoid the topic of our choice to remain childless, but I feel like it will come up again.

I am seeking advice as to how else I can navigate through this relationship with minimal desires to slit my own wrists or ring my MILs neck. Help please!!!!

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Anonymous November 11, 2013 at 11:13 am

I can relate to the “apology” from MIL that isn’t really a true apology for her behavior. She says “I’m sorry you took it that way. I’m not responsible for your perceptions.” Hahaha. Maddening.

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Anonymous March 9, 2014 at 8:16 am

Update, please! I’m in a very similar situation&am wondering how things are now??

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Sue December 17, 2013 at 6:16 am

You can restrict contact with this woman. You can set the rules and boundaries. If she decides to overstep them you can set sanctions.
You can’t expect a narcissist to see your viewpoint, we are all non persons to them. They can barely define themselves. No boundsries for them. They won’t respect your rules or life choices, but that doesn’t say you can’t draw the line and exclude them if they put their toe over it.
I can say I’ve witnessed the narcissistic Mother in Law in all their glory, moods, games, manipulations. You have an advantage here, your partner/husband is on your side. I promise you that is worth it’s weight in relationship gold.
It is very difficult not to get riled by the NMIL but if she keeps up the blah blah blah onbabies your home, your choices, you could try, a thanks for your opinion, but we have made our minds up, end of discussion. If shevtrues to bring it back around again,repeat, end of, or I’m out of here, ir I’ll have to ask you to leave if you keep this up. Sounds tough. I can only say tough was the only thjng that worked for me. Best to have a united front between you andyour husband. My husband is 60 years old and has only just admitted his mummy will always come first no matter what and he’s finally understood why I set tough boundaries.

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Manda February 26, 2014 at 2:39 am

I’m beginning to wonder if our MIL’s are related in some way? It’s weird, because my fiance’s family has a huge problem with his mother being a narcissist too. Her granddaughter and great granddaughter seem to think that she’s a wonderful, loving, and giving woman, but they don’t live with her, and they don’t know her like my fiance and I do. They “admire” that my fiance and I are “helping her and taking care of her” but little do they know, we’re not really willing participants in her demanding lifestyle. They’re the only two in the family that haven’t seen her true colors. All 3 know that I have my tubes tied, and I plan of getting a hysterectomy, and they know that my fiance DOES NOT want anymore children (I have 2 from another man, and he has a son from another woman……..lol, plus he believes he’s too old and ugly, so he doesn’t want an “ugly” baby…….he’s 41 and I’m 35……….not to brag, but he used to be a male model in his younger days, so he’s definitely NOT ugly), but they keep bugging us to have a child together. I would like to have one child with him, but since he’s dead set on NO MORE children, I respect his wishes. Plus with me needing a hysterectomy due to health issues I’m going through, I don’t need to have anymore children. She doesn’t make me feel like crap about our decision, but when she brings it up to my fiance, he has to leave the room before he flies off the handle on her. Seriously, don’t slit your wrist just because your NMIL is difficult and a nut case. She’s not worth it. I don’t know you, but I have the same violent urges towards my NMILTB. I’ve pictured myself grabbing a fistful of her hair and tug roughly from side to side and back and forth while my other free hand is slapping her face. When she bends over in front of me, I have an urge to push her forward. I’ll never act out my urges, because she’s not worth prison time and losing my fiance and daughters over. But I do have a strong feeling that a nose to nose scream fest is brewing and it’s going to happen soon, because she just can’t contain her narcissist behavior. She doesn’t want to and she admits that she “can’t help it”. She thrives on being a narcissist and a gold digger. One day, she said to me “I feel guilty spending my own money, because I get buyers remorse, but I don’t feel guilty for spending other peoples money” Her own son (my fiance) is sick of his mother, but knows she’s in her 70’s and doesn’t want either of us to be the reason why she has a heart attack by going off on her. I wish other members of her family would step in and help out, because my fiance and I can’t keep doing everything for her like she likes us to. I’m sorry you and your husband are having a hard time with his mother, but it all works out in the end that the rest of his family loves and adores you. I wish I had better advice than don’t cut yourself of strangle her…………….maybe you and I should try this one………..ignoring them and not giving them the satisfaction of more ammunition against us. If they want to act like children, then we should ignore them and not give in to their bad behavior. I know, easier said than done.

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anonymous September 15, 2014 at 10:32 am

I can relate I’m dealing with this same issue with mine and she has even manipulated my stepdaughter and her mother against me. She is controlling, nosey and a master manipulater. She will bribe my stepdaughter to not stay with me and her father by right buying her things and giving her whatever she wants. It makes me so irratated because i know and see right thru her now and shes not this nice loveable women i thouggt she was when i first met her. She is a homewreker and a troll and now her actions are are rubbing off on my stepdaughter and turning her against me for some reaso..

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Anonymous October 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm

I have similar issues but I didn’t even know my MIL was narcissistic until recently and her behavior didn’t show while me and DH were dating or even married but boom had DS and two weeks after he was born then the emotional abuse started. Unlike where you had full support of the rest of your in-laws, I did not. My only support from that side of the family has been my DH and that’s because they treat him just as bad. My DS was constantly used as a weapon against me in the emotional abuse. She’d tell me how she really felt about me subtlety when no one was around and if I confronted her openly she’d deny any wrong doing and tell me I made stuff up and FIL, SIL, and BIL all believed her or always gave her info about me to use against me. It ticks me off cause since that’s the family my husband has he just tries to deal with them and I would never want him not to be around his family but the lack of respect for both of us infuriates me. They are always hurting for money and in the past we’ve helped them with not so much as a thank you or a pay back. Since we’ve stopped helping or enabling them the emotional abuse has only gotten worse. They don’t call us or reply to messages most of the time not even to check on their only grandchild or their eldest son. My parents have even helped them and tried to be close to them but they treat my parents like crap and during my DS’s birthdays they segregate themselves from my family and try to have limited talk with my family. It’s so rude and disrespectful how they treat us and their own son. When I do have to be around them all they do is talk bad about other people and sometimes it’s their own kids and even people that have given them money. The toxic behavior just literally makes me get sick because I’ve never treated anyone like this and I hate being around them because it brings me down. For two years this women had me believe I was going crazy because people with NPD know how to manipulate you and abuse you through subtleties and usually you don’t realize what they did to you until after the fact. I have gotten to where I ignore her and the rest most of the time and give yes or no answers and I limit my visits to them too. That has helped some but every now and then she’ll just lash out at me or make some crazy assumption. The worst part is the SIL and BIL are both not even married or in any relationships so I’m a constant target whether I want to be or not. They have had relationships and they have both been engaged but those fell apart with credit to MIL and FIL. Anyway, it’s been good that DH has been on my side and has been very supportive but part of me wishes his family could just be a normal kind loving and respectful family because I personally hate drama and conflict. Sadly, people with NPD usually don’t want to change.

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Sheila August 14, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Hi Katrina,

Welcome. I understand where you are coming from as my own MIL also does not allow others to live their lives differently from her. Even if I did things exactly how she wants them done, I still don’t feel it would be enough to make things better between us. I could write a book on the stuff she has put me through & how I’ve struggled to establish my own identity (& family unit) separate from her (or how she did things). My DH also has a younger brother & sister. I married the oldest of MIL’s children. Sometimes I wish my MIL would learn to understand we are NOT robots or carbon copies of herself. We are HUMAN BEINGS with rights to our own lives, rights to make our own decisions, etc. I’ve been dealing with my own MIL for 20 plus years & do not have the option of cutting her out of my life. Over time, I’ve learned to “manage” her behaviour. Though at 40 something, I’m doing far better than I did at 20 something. I recently came across a book (downloaded to my Iphone) which I thought was an excellent book to read. You can also download a sample of the book to an electronic reader, or read a sample of the book online. It’s not about Narcissism, however, it focuses on the Mother In Law & Daughter In Law relationship. Though I often think “what relationship??!!”. The book is called “Reluctantly Related” by Deanna Brann. I couldn’t put the book down & did a lot of highlighting throughout this book. I downloaded it because it got excellent reviews online. My MIL will never end the war she started me. I’m stronger than that war as I know I’m a tough one to bring down & conquer. I will never give up because I know that’s what she possibly desires. My MIL probably desires for me to give up & walk away. I would also look up some other books Michelle Piper has posted in the “READING LIST” section of this website. I did look those up & purchased a few books for my Iphone. I was particularly interested in the book called, “Why Is It Always About You?: The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism” which deals specifically with narcissism. What an amazing book! Even after 20 some years, I’m still learning that we can heal from the havoc these kinds of people create in our lives. Naturally, these people can’t hurt us when we heal from the hurt they have caused us. Sometimes I don’t think we realize just how much power we actually hold. I find it most comforting to know there are others out there who have struggled along with me. It’s amazing how many personal stories are so much like my own. I do wish each & every one of you the best in your healing journey.

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Penelope August 23, 2013 at 7:13 pm

This article is spot on with my MIL, but I have to add my MIL is a hoarder, living in very filthy conditions. My husband wants to move close to his family but I am pregnant and I rather stay away from her. He does not believe me when I tell him the things she calls me or does to me so I gave up, I set limits with her and was able to not let her insult me as much as she used to. I was never rude, or even raised my voice but I set the limits.
The problem is that I am pregnant and I do not want to be close to her. I do not want her anywhere near my child. My husband says she can watch the baby but I would never leave my child in that filthy place. I thought I was in better control of this situation but moving there would be hell for me and I do not want to expose my child to that toxic environment. She has issues with everybody in the family but manipulates and control her husband and my husband in a way it is pretty disgusting.

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Anonymous March 9, 2014 at 8:13 am

Don’t move! And if you must…don’t leave your baby with her!

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Anonymous March 9, 2014 at 8:14 am

PS…seeing know this was months ago. How are things now??

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Liz August 31, 2013 at 8:44 am

My husband and I both have narcissistic mothers. The best thing you can do is have as little contact as possible. You can’t really have a relationship with a narcissist anyway. We are all players in their life dramas that they write and direct. Your job is to follow their script. Whether that is having a certain job, marrying a certain kind of person, going to a certain church, producing certain kinds (and the correct number) of grandchildren, or failing miserably at all of those, you’d better follow the script she wrote for you. I was supposed to be the failure of my mother’s 5 children but it didn’t work out that way. I moved 400 miles away to go to college (which was never part of her plan for me- I wasn’t “college material”), worked hard and now have a successful career and family, which confounds her to no end. I visit her and talk to her as little as possible, and the moment she acts out, I put her on notice that if she wants to see her granddaughter she’d better knock it off, and it usually works. My husband’s mother and I do not speak, and have not for 3 years despite the fact that she lives next door. She’s been married 8 times and is always looking for the next fool to pay her bills, and now that she’s over 60, it isn’t so easy. She accused me of trying to steal her house when my husband and I bailed her out of losing her home, due to her reckless spending and using her house as an ATM before the 2008 crash. After I went no contact she demanded to my husband that I speak to her, and he told her “sorry, you made your own bed.” She then suggested family therapy, which I laughed off as it would just provide her with a stage to act out another drama where she plays the starring role as a tragic victim. If you have a narcissistic mother the best thing you can do is get therapy for yourself so you can come to grips with who she is (and learn how to deconstruct the lies she’s probably led you to believe about yourself) and be in a place where you are financially and emotionally independent from her. At that point the game is up for her.

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Lilly September 1, 2013 at 11:31 am

“It may not be until the relationship between you and your partner gets serious, or even until marriage, that you start to feel her wrath.” My MIL didn’t start crap with me until I got engaged. I tried to be nice to her without giving in on every little thing, but she just got worse and worse.
“Even when limits are put into place, it may not stop her from overstepping your boundaries.” Oh boy, can I relate to that. My MIL acted like my wedding was all about her, as if she were the host. My husband and I are the ones who paid, I was the one who planned, she wasn’t helpful (except for the ways I let her think she was “helping”), and it was only through my graciousness that she had any part of it at all. Now I’m pregnant, and of course even though I’m older and this is my first (and possibly only) child, it’s all about her grandchild being born. Oh please. She expects to be in the delivery room!! Seriously, there is no way in hell that is happening. She expected to be seated at the same table with me at my baby shower…um, a shower thrown by my sisters and good friend, paid for by them (even though MIL is loaded – my sisters and friend earned their money working hard, standing up, btw), and MIL had not even offered to pay or help with anything, yet she expected to be treated like she was the most important person in the room? Bitch needs to get over herself.

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Jennifer September 10, 2014 at 8:05 am

OMG!!! Do we have the same MIL??? This is exactly the same as mine. We got engaged and she got pissed about it. Never said congrats, barely talked to us for about a month bc according to her I was cutting her out of the wedding planning…we have been talking wedding things the past few years so really there wasnt much planning needed…we knew exactly what we wanted. She then told us how much money we needed for this or that….and at one point asked how much money and gifts she would be getting out of our wedding….um none bitch, none. This our day not hers….ugh….so after deciding we didnt want to deal with her shit we eloped sorta…we made sure to give them enough time to show up for the wedding. At the ceremony the cunt’s cell rang and she answered it….seriously? your only child and you answer your cell phone and then get mad we kept going with vows and shit? She has been hounding us for the last 3-4 years to have several childern, i dont want them right now if at all and he’s not ready yet either. but she has the babys name picked out and it has to be a girl…she doesnt want a grandson…umm really? let me speak with the sperm when its time….litterally everything is always about her!!!

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Irene September 13, 2013 at 7:58 am

I would like to receive your free e-book, 7 Steps to Recovering from a Narcissistic Mother. Although, in my case it is my mother-in-law who thinks she has the need to know everything going on in our marriage and children’s lives. I have been married for 32+ yrs. and the worst was my in-laws paying my husband $7,000 to divorce me in 2006 without any of them ever talking to me about anything. We had a yr. of counseling and lots of other life challenges and now we are back to husband not talking to me and still talking to his Mother about everything that goes on in our “family”. I am tired. Husband will never understand the need for boundaries in marriage even though we addressed this with counselor. Mother-in-law wrote a letter when we were in counseling explaining their decision to end our marriage but never apologized or admitted any wrong doing. Our counselor noted this wasn’t right and tried to explain boundaries to my husband. Still don’t think he gets it and the permanent pain this causes. I don’t hate and try to forgive but I can’t forget and trust is very difficult. I don’t feel emotional intimacy with husband as he doesn’t talk to me with respect or concern. There is no private place for us to be a couple.

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Sally September 21, 2013 at 8:39 am

I have lived many years with a narcissitic MIL in the same town! In the beginning things seemed to go well. She seemed very nice and caring until I began to notice just how self absorbed she is. Bottom line….. it’s all about her and her own family. And anyone she can reel in to believe how very spiritual she is, and how wonderful, and yes, how all knowing. She also would like others to know how very wonderful her own family is. On the outside that is. She is a master at dividing from within. Always disparaging someone and playing people against each other. That’s her modus operandi if you will. My husband is the oldest of her large family. Since my father-in-law passed away, he has been a great caretaker of his mother. I feel he’s handled it within reason. But.. I don’t think he really understands why I don’t prefer to be around my MIL. He would rather avoid conflict or any conversations that might lead to discovering just what is bothering me. Since we raised our family in the same town as my in laws, it’s been even more challenging. My MIL prides herself in being this amazing grandmother. Well, she could be in some ways but what they never realized is that she played them too. My children are grown now and live away. They insist on inviting my MIL to their children’s events long distance and my husband and I then have to travel with her. I could understand if they lived in town and were inviting her. That would make sense to me. She wouldn’t dream of saying no or even think that maybe it was my husband’s and my turn to be the grandparents.(it isn’t possible for a narcissit to empathize) It is always about her. My husband wouldn’t think of it either as she’s always been center stage and expects to be “Grandma”. I feel she is very transparent and I’ve never subscribed to her religious babble particularly because she’ll turn right around and tear down someone she is supposed to love. She really is one of the most hypocritical people I have ever met and it’s hard to stand by and watch her perform. It took me a long time to put a finger on what might be wrong. I blamed myself and am still struggling with how to deal with my MIL sometimes. It isn’t an option just to cut her off but I do spend very little time with her even though we live in the same town. Being in a family with someone like this makes it that much harder. I advise all to stay busy with your own lives, seek counseling when necessary, and “detach” as much as possible for your sanity.

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Anonymous November 11, 2013 at 9:08 am

Wow, this sounds just like my situation with my mother in law…you are not alone.

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Rebecca June 20, 2014 at 1:15 pm

This sounds exactly like my life! I’ve been married 25 years and oh boy….the stories I could tell. My husband just turned 50 and he still hides like a little boy if he ever HAS to confront her. My NMIL has perfected the art of turning family members against each other and bond with her. She has perfected being the “victim” and spreading gossip around our town. The worst part is, she favors the other grand kids over my children, both emotionally and financially. It saddens me to see how this hurts my kids’ self esteem.

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Michelle July 20, 2014 at 7:05 pm

Wow. This sounds like it could be my story. My mother in-law is very religious and self-righteous.
We ended up leaving the country (to my home Australia) to get away from his Mom. The interference and guilt trips were awful. It took us 2 years to be freed of her emotionally. Unfortunately every checkbox is ticked in terms of narcissism.

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Tammy September 22, 2013 at 10:48 pm

I too deal with a narcissistic MIL. I find my biggest struggle is with my husband not being able to set boundaries. His father enables his mother’s behaviour and in their family mother’s behaviour is always excused. Like many of you, my MIL seemed ok for a while, then we got engaged (still ok). It was when we purchased our appartment that I started to see the truth of her.
11years later we are still dealing with her behaviour. My hubby has an inability to tell her no as she throws temper-tantrums to get her way. I have tried setting boundaries (ie-she can not call and tell us she is in the area and coming by) but when dealing with his mother he can not follow-through with anything.
We have 3 small children and I had told him before we had kids that I would NEVER allow his parents to babysit as there are major safety concerns (his mother believes that she should not have to move dangerous substances-medications, bleach, hydrogen peroxide-when the kids are around), and this is a frequent source of conflict for us as well. I have often considered divorce but, since I can’t/won’t keep the children from him and I can’t control where he takes them if we are divorced, I feel I have to stay with him until either his mother passes away (and we can figure out if there is a relationship left under the rubble) or the children are old enough to keep themselves physically safe around her.
I don’t know how to continue to deal with her and retain my sanity, I wish that I had a way to cut all ties with this woman, but unfortunately unless he suddenly realizes (yeah right) what kind of a person his mother is I am between a rock and a hard place.

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Anonymous October 31, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Wow, that’s seriously rough. My spouse has recently come to recognize and face-down my in-law’s narcissistic disorder, and already my life feels entirely changed. At last I feel set free to speak the truth, be angry about inappropriate behavior, and stop protecting/enabling. We are ratcheting down contact and becoming our own people, separate from them. But it all started with my spouse seeing things as they are–actually, it was about finally deciding that the hell which would follow setting boundaries was WORTH it compared to the cost of *not* setting them. Maybe your husband could benefit from a long hard look at what the consequences are of his non-action. Maybe he doesn’t fully understand that he is throwing away his marriage and a happy future as a father. Just a thought. Perhaps you’ve already thought about “showing him the bill” but in case not, I thought I’d mention it.

Best wishes!

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Sue December 17, 2013 at 5:54 am

Well done you for setting boundaries. It is the one thing daughter’s in law can do in the face of an nmil and their family. It is tough when you have fallen for a son or daughter of a narcissitic mother. You are 100% right to protect your own family from the narcissist. I only allowed contact with the grandparents as long as mil wasn’t left in charge. Although my father in law was dominated by her, he
Once I had realised what a tough time my husband had had growing up in an abusive household and he was so messed up I could better understand why he in turn abused me. His mother commanded it, he did as he was told in the vain hope she would say well done and love him. Sadly that will never happen as she is completely self absorbed and the rest if the world only exists to meet her needs. On loyalty he is the one between a rock and a hard place. He has his family, wife, chikdren to love and protect on one side and his mother who demands 100% loyalty and to prove it she demands he hurts the family he set up in marriage.
I have no contact with his mother. He objected to this st first because it might upset her. Then he tried to persuadd me to go to a family get together to celebrate her birthday. As she had never failed to use any contact to cause trouble, I stuck to my no contact plan. NMIL didn’t miss me one bit. It’s telling that most of her other family members have fallen out with her because she’s caused trouble over the years. The only ones who visit or speak to her are her daughter and son, the ones she abused the most. Sadly they are still trapped in the wdb, my husband hoping he will find favour and my sister in law because she is loyal to the memory of her dad and thjnks it’s what he’d want. But it hurts her that he didn’t protect her from thd physicsl and emotional abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother.
You have the measure of your mother in law and the safety of your family as priority. It’s not easy to make the stand and maintain it, but you have taken tge step, the hardest patt of the battle. No matter what mil ssys or pressure from others to back down, you know you made the right choice. It’s tough but you will come out stringer for it, all the best

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hazel fernandes November 17, 2013 at 11:52 am

I find this article very interesting. NMILs are very difficult. Speaking through experience!

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Sue December 16, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Hi
Having read the blog and many of the comments, my heart goes out to you as fellow daughters in law or partners who have a nmil in common.
It took me a long time to ake sense of the behaviour of my mother in law, but not before I’d experienced the awful dysfunctional effect of her and the family I married into. My father in law was a decent enough man who was in his work life a senior manager, at home he was her total slave. She commanded that he and my husband, her son to yell at Sometimes she did it for attentio, 0n, sometimes for fun. She even encouraged her son
to physically abuse me. It happened once but I threatened him with the police and it stopped. His mother physically abused her daughter, knocked her out cold on one occaision for being defiant. Both parents neglected to seek medical tretment for 3 days after their daughter broke her arm whilst they were on holiday. She was only 7 years old but was told off for spoiling the holiday.
On a family holiday that myself and young daughter went on with them, I witnessed their strange behaviour first hand. My daughter , their only grandchild became ill. I asked to be driven to the doctors, but they flstly refused saying I was making a fuss and upsetiing granny. Even my husband defended them and in the end I put my daughter in ger buggy and walked to the nearest medical centre. They gave ger antibiotucs for a throat infection and calpol for her temprature. Two days later motger in law demanded to go to a medical centre saying she felt ill, and she was rushed off, a fortune spent on her, nothing wrong with her. I was as good as told it was my fault for upsetting her by making a fuss of my daugher.
Mother in law has been behind many upsets, so I refuse to have any contact with her. If I haven’t been in her company or spoken on the phone it would be impossible for me to have been ‘nasty’ to her. I’ve had 3 years of no problems and fsr fewer upsets between my husband and I.

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Maggie December 17, 2013 at 1:55 pm

This is so common!!! The closet abusers, don’t tell, that was the three days!! Narcissists in general, don’t emphatize with the needs of others. Destructive!!!

If they were sick, they want the all the attention, but care nothing about another’s needs.

Your mother in law lacked nurturing as a child, so through your daughter she makes herself the center of attention with fake illness, aka drama..Wants what she has, its twisted!!!! No boundaries.

Very destructive to others as well themselves. Sue have you ever wondered what kind of parenting your MIL had herself with her parents. Wanna bet, none!! She appears to be a very bitter, self/centered person. I have stayed away from my NMIL for over five years.

Best think I have ever done. The least they know about you the better! If its good, they tear it all down, if its bad, they just kick the dog down more. Narcissists are predators that seek and love vulnerability. No compassion, and lie, lie lie. It gives them pleasure.

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Maggie December 30, 2013 at 2:25 pm

As the saga continues…With NMIL..This Christmas was another game played. My hubby stated that his Mother called him, asking if our son’s address was the same to send them Christmas presents. I sensed something. She does things with agendas and schemes.

Holidays are the perfect time for her, ESPECIALLY if her sons didn’t especially spend it with her personally as a whole. She lives 12 hours away. Needless to say, we spent it with our son and family.

Our son lives a distance from us also, about three to four hours away, maybe six hinging on traffic. Anyway, last year she sent all the gifts to our son to us to give to him. Our son left her gifts to them for last.

We were not even thinking of her gifts to us, since its a time of giving, we were not focused or keeping track of who we were receiving from, until we did. Our son passed something to his dad, my hubby, he was nervous about it?

I wasn’t paying attention until my hubby passed something to me. I just glanced at my son’s facial expressions, as to a bit of stress. My hubby passed a card to me, in it was a gift card to one of my hubbys favorite restaurants to both of us.

I looked at it and said, oh nice. Later I realized she had sent our gifts to our son’s house this time. I told my hubby our son looked nervous, he said, I caught that, what was that about?

I said, your mom putting him in the middle and attempting to play you and him against each other. I laughed because , I said, you called her immediately. lol I am laughing because my hubby was not in control or the head of the family or felt like so.

I said, of course he should call his family if there not there for good wishes and cheer. But I said, shes always playing a game to get the attention she seeks no matter what. My hubby said, its all about control. I said, exactly, but you give it to her.

I don’t care but everything that is sent or mailed, is some sort of bizarre attempt to cause discord between us. Shes failed with us, so now shes using our son and family.

I personally can’t stand the woman, and she writes in the card, love you to both of us? Narcississts LOVE to play the game and confuse everyone.

It doesn’t matter who she sends what to or how? But you would have to know her to know she can’t do it with good intentions. Shes taught everyone to compete with each other.

Our son ironically gave the card to my hubby as to say, this is from your mom, his grandmother. My son is adopted by my hubby, the reality of it all, she has never treated him like hes her grandson.

This is a first time her sending all gifts to him, including ours. It did get our attention, our son’s too. Do you see the picture? My hubby won’t visit her? I have nothing to do with his decisions. I told my hubby, I felt she was playing our son, cause our son has been attacking me lately.

I told my hubby, I got this feeling your mom is working on our son now to get to me. She blames everyone for her actions. Shes pushed people away.

Bottom line, they live to play the game. My brother made a statement when I told him, he said, there a family of games.

So who wins and looses here?

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Sue January 22, 2014 at 1:39 pm

thank G I’m not alone! i was seriously doubting my sanity! My NIL does her manipulations with sweetness & supposed love (which she claims is unconditional. HA!)
There is too many “little seeds” that she’s planted & fertilized with her particular form of BS to mention here (I’d need my own blog!)
I will however tell you all the latest: MILE brought my H an affair wrapped in a bow on a platter with her blessings & encouragement! MILE told my H that I was the cause of all his unhappiness, that it was for the greater good, that i’mabusive (deflecting from the abuse he suffered with her & his brother. aka The Golden Child ) & that sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. Now, to someone who doesn’t understand a NIL they wouldn’t believe a grown man would listen to & believe crap like that & let their mother tell them how to live their life but that’s what happened. He left me for a woman of his mothers choosing. Fast forward 5 months – he’s back, we’re healing & mummy is now playing the “confused little girl ” routine that is her fall back position. H now ‘sees’ mummy for what she is but he feels guilty for being angry with her. Totally messed up woman,now I’m expected to forgive & forget because she’s just had a hard time recently & she’s just a weak woman! OMG, please! I’msupposed to feel bad for HER!?! i’vegot to stop here. ..my blood pressure is rising! :-) Doing my best to not blow my top with her because I know there’s no point. Can’t cut her out & patrolling the boundaries is tiring. All I can pray for is that my H continues to stay united against her but I must admitt I’manxious, MIL is very very sneaky & gets under the radar. Wish me luck!

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Anne February 4, 2014 at 3:15 am

I have been married to a wonderful man for 17 years. He is his mother’s scapegoat child, and she constantly tries to get me to join her in criticizing him. My narcissistic MIL has been cruel to me from the beginning. She got my husband to change our wedding date 3 times, and my friends were so upset about changing travel arrangement for the first 2 times, that I didn’t ask anyone to attend the wedding. She had an off-white sack dress that she insisted that I wear for the wedding since I was “shamefully pregnant” before marriage. It was hideous and my husband and I laugh at our wedding pictures of him and his mom in the middle and me pushed to the side in the ugly oversized dress. She feels threatened and becomes furious anytime anyone compliments my accomplishments as a student, housekeeper, and mother. For my children’s birthday parties she has supplied UGLY unflattering clothing for me that I wear just to avoid her having a meltdown and ruining another family occasion. She paid for an expensive birthday party for my daughter intentionally during a time that I was bound by contract to work. She told my daughter that if I didn’t attend, that I didn’t love my daughter. I lost a great job because of it. I could go on and on about it, but it all indicates that my narcissistic MIL is threatened by me and is very competitive, manipulative, and even dangerous. She tells our beautiful healthy weight daughters that they need to lose weight, and she constantly belittles the accomplishments of all four of our brilliant children. She has promised money to my oldest 16 year old son and wants him to take care of her as she dies of cancer. Both of my in-laws urinate and poop on the toilet, floors, and their clothing and just leave it there trying to get me to clean it up. MIL drinks 3 liters of fortified wine a night, and I dread the thought of my son having to deal with all of it. My husband lost his job over a year ago, and although he is training hard for a new job, we have all 6 been living with the in-laws for over a year. I’ve already partially packed my suitcase just to cheer myself up. The year that we lived on the opposite west coast was our happiest year as a family. I can’t wait to get out of here!

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Cat February 19, 2014 at 10:20 am

Wow. Thank you all.
I have been told so many times that I am ‘oversensitive’ by my partners mother and his ‘Golden-child’ brother that I started to believe them, and am so relieved to find I am neither alone or imagining things.
I have been feeling for some time now that I am having some kind of breakdown or was suffering from depression. I have always known my MIL was totally enamoured with herself and have wasted too many hours listening to how beautiful she is/was and how I myself “would never understand the pressure of being beautiful” The many men that have been driven crazy with desire for her; including one student friend of my partner who apparently killed himself when he couldn’t have her…… It would be laughable if it weren’t so sick.
I have lost count of the barbed and loaded comments that always end in “but of course I’m joking” and the vile behaviour that she covers with her syrupy sweet mask. The main problem is that she covers her tracks so well that I no longer feel that I have my partners support or understanding….

I was a single Mom of two young boys when we met. My youngest was just over a year old. Our relationship was casual but grew into a very strong friendship and loving, trusting relationship but kept getting stuck before we could move in together or become a family.
I had my own home and was independent; he has a small-holding where (you guessed it) he had built a home for his mother and his brother had also built a home for himself and his wife and 2 kids… I used to jokingly call it the ‘Bermuda Triangle’, but it has turned out to be a prophetic joke as I have definitely become lost in the 8 years since we met.
She was overwhelmingly nice in the beginning, but I was no fool. I was a well travelled street wise 35. I played along with it for a long time, her over the top possessiveness of her sons sickened me, her metaphorical and physical stroking was cringeworthy and offensive, but was always just explained as ‘you know what she’s like’ just ignore her…
I could see the cracks showing in his brothers marriage and found his wife frozen in fear and very uncommunicative. Her self esteem so crushed that she was looking into a wine bottle for solace; this of course just fanned the flames of her MILs hatred for her, nothing could possibly be golden child fault, he was even driven into the arms of other women apparently and unbelievably MIL even befriended not one, but two of my partners brothers bits-on-the-side…. Shocking of course but still no one DARES say a thing…. My partner and I just used to observe all the mayhem and just hold each other tighter, happy that we were not affected by all the madness. Until we started planning a future together, and then it was my turn.
I’m sure she tolerated me because she thought he would never commit to me as I had two kids, she felt his relationship with me was a necessary inconvenience. I was always the concubine to her role as his ‘wife’ we live in a country with no welfare (South Africa) and no support. He is the sole provider for his mother and I see now how threatened she is by me. Everything he has ever given me in our 8 years together has had to be matched and bettered for her. I have never met anyone in my life that is so envious and greedy. It is truly terrifying.
Our relationship has been on ice this whole time, and is now on the verge of falling apart. He desperately wants us to move in together and make a home. He simply cannot understand my problem. She walks in whenever, helps herself to whatever, and just gives me a look of total defiance. I feel so sad that I will spend the rest of my life pining for my sole mate (which he is) because I can see no other way forward than to leave him. I cannot risk my sanity or my sons self esteem; which I have thus far protected by living separately, by continuing in this fractured life. I want and deserve a family of my own, and I am dog tired of playing second fiddle to this self proclaimed Medusa. The irony is: I have seen MANY pictures of her in her youth (including the ones she has had blown-up and framed) and I can tell you right now…. She REALLY wasn’t all that…..

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Anonymous July 22, 2014 at 11:48 am

I relate to you Cat,,the most, my MIL drove us to divorce and many years of thearpy for me.
reading this site, has helped me more then the thearpy. My husband and I were happly married, he work out of state, and she lived in another state,
one day i came home from work,, and my MIL was at our house,, (she had a key it’s her son’s house) she was taking all my stuff out of the master bed room, and throwing it into boxes, saying that her son is divorcing me,, and I have 30 days to get out .
I tried calling my husband,, and I could not reach him, for 2 weeks.
When I finally did see and talk to him,, he said my mother thinks it’s best for him to divorce me,
We got a divorce,,over 5years ago,, and reading this I see, that it was nothing i could do, to safe my marriage or him.
As the Theripist said,, you need to save yourself.. becasue they don’t give a

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Manda February 25, 2014 at 9:36 pm

I too am sorry for leaving a lengthy comment about my nmil, but I have to get it out of my
system. 5 years ago when I first met my mil, she refered to me as her angel, and that I was the daughter she’s never had. My fiance is her ‘golden child’ and her youngest child. As he and I’M got closer and more in love, his mother began to show her true colors towards me when he wasn’t around. She’d start making rude comments towards me, and just turned ugly towards me. She told my fiance countless times that I am difficult to be around. He asked her what she meant, and she told him it’s because I’m nothing like her. I don’t cook like her, I don’t clean house and org lije her, I don’t dress modestly like her, the list continues. He went off on her of course, and that pissed her off. I’ve expressed to my fiance how his mom is with me, and he’s noticed it and told me to put my foot down and stand up to her. Her and I have been several extremly heated arguments, and Itook my fiance’s advice and stood my ground, and then things would be fine for a while. Every argument my fiance and I have gotten into has been over his mother. The thing is, he knows clearly about his mother being a narcissist. He refers to her as a gold digger and has told me that she has lost several male friends because she loves to drain them financially. Oh her history with money is bad. She lives an expensive wine life style on her SS budget, and taking advantage of mine, her son’s and her boyfriend’s income. No one can tell her ‘no’, she ALWAYS gets her way. When my fiance and I try to plan alone time or date night, she bullies her way into our plans. I’ve grown to hate my miltb.

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Anonymous July 22, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Trust me, you will only go crazy yourself, I did, trying to get my husband to understand what his mother was sending me thru, I tried to comitt suicide because they made me feel like i was sooooooooo worthless,, reading all these testamonals, I relize I can’t help her or him.
MIL is mentally sick,, and husband/son is a *vitem of his mother’s sickness.
My husband and I are now divorce, he is 55+years old,, his mother is 75+ years old
My theaperist told me,, my mil is beon help, my husband loves,his mother to much to accept that she is mentally ill, all I can do is save myself,, over 5 years later,, I’m still twisted,, Now I see my theaprist was right,,

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Manda February 26, 2014 at 1:42 am

Okay, I need to get this out there, because I’m ready to explode. It’s good to see I’m not the only woman out there with a mother n law (to be) that is a narcissist. So, I’m engaged to be married, and my fiance and I live with his mother. It’s not our choice to be living with her, but we have nowhere else to go. First, I’d like to make note for you readers that my fiance (her son) is her “golden child” and her youngest child. He’s the only one with a career, he’s the only one helping her out when she “needs” help, and takes care of her, because she’s in her late 70’s. In the beginning of our relationship, things between her and I weren’t bad at all. In fact, the day my fiance introduced me to his mother, she told him that I was an angel, polite, and sweet. Then she started telling him that I was like the daughter she’s never had (her oldest daughter was killed in a car accident when she was 16, and her second daughter is a whole other story). After my fiance asked me to move in with him finally, things started changing with his mom and I. When my fiance was at work, she would make rude comments towards me, and nitpick at my cooking, cleaning, how I dressed, you name it, she’s said it. When I told my fiance how his mother was treating me and talking to me, he flew off the handle on her and told her if she can’t accept me, she doesn’t accept him either, because I am his wife to be. She ended up telling him that I was difficult to live with because I don’t “listen” to her. He asked her what she meant, and she told him “She doesn’t take my advice when I suggest how to cook, she doesn’t clean house like I do, she has her own way, and she doesn’t dress as moderate as she should.” (his mom is way old fashioned, and thought I dressed provocatively……..which I never have dressed that way……I just showed a little cleavage, so what?) Oh boy, did he ever fly off even more. Finally she decided to move out and move in with her boyfriend. With her being out of the picture, my fiance gave me a history lesson on his mother, and I wasn’t shocked at what I was told. After her first divorce, her second husband (my fiance’s father) spoiled her like a queen and she got a huge taste of being spoiled. After she divorced him, her third husband did the same thing, spoiled her like a queen, and was even a loving father figure in my fiance’s life. While they were married, she loved to go gambling. She’d blow all the money they had (including bill payments, house payments, food money, any responsibility they had to pay for, she’d gamble it) on gambling. According to my fiance, she likes to live like she’s on a fine wine lifestyle, but on everyone else’s money. After her third husband died, she got with his friend, and he somewhat spoiled her. Her careless gambling and fine wine lifestyle she demanded made him leave her after a few years of being together, because she was too expensive for him to be with. Even with her living with her boyfriend, she was still somewhat of a bitch to me, but that’s when my fiance told me to stand up to her and give her a taste of her own medicine. Finally after 2 years of living with her boyfriend, she had enough, and moved back in with us. She never asked us to do things for her, she’d tell us to do things for her. If we tried to protest against her demands, she’d quietly throw a tantrum, making it felt and know that she was pissed that we told her NO, so we’d give in just so she wouldn’t make it worse for us. If my fiance and I would try and spend time to ourselves, she’d accuse us of leaving her out and being secretive. When it came to us getting paid from work, we’d keep it from her because she’d make plans on how she’d like to spend our hard earned money. It’s sad that we have to hide things that we buy for ourselves, just so she doesn’t know we have money. One day when I came home from work, she was acting like she was pissed off, so I asked her if she was okay, and she just started going off on me. She told me that just because I worked, didn’t give me the right to “neglect” making dinner and cleaning the kitchen the night before. Her and I stood nose to nose (mind you, she’s in her 70’s and I’m in my early 30’s) screaming in each others faces. That’s when I finally gave her a piece of my mind, and gave her the worst taste of her own medicine. My fiance even jumped in and helped me, because his mom knows that I work my ass off and that she is depending on me a lot more than she needs to be, and that he and I need time to be together of just him and I WITHOUT her. I was heated and still screaming at her, because she was living in mine and her son’s home NOT her’s, and she was disrespecting us by the way she has been acting. She basically freeloads off us, and financially, it’s hard on my fiance and I. When she moved back in with us, she agreed to pay her share share of rent, utilities and groceries. Our home wasn’t even home to us, it was HER home. She redecorated our home to her liking and taste. She paid her half the rent, but “ran out” of money when it came to the utilities. Regardless of the utilities being in my name, she agreed to pay her share, but she never did, so I lost all my entire checks to rent, utilities, child support, groceries, and DirecTV. Another day I came home from work, and she was just sitting in her recliner watching her same bs rerun cop shows instead of making dinner. So I turned the TV off, and told her that the bill is in my name and that I was going to have the TV part turned off, because she was lazy and a TV hog. She got in my face and we had another scream fest. I finally unleashed every cuss word in the book at her, told her she that is the the biggest bully, narcissist, self centered, old bitch I’d ever met and that I wanted her out of my home. I reminded her of her agreement and her failing to keep up on her agreement, and that I had enough of her being lazy, dependent, and demanding. I told her that my home wasn’t home to me, I felt like a guest in my own home. I told her that she was most of the reason why her son and I argued, because he quit standing up to her and allowed her to become a monster n law to be, and a slave driver. She’s a wedge and a burden, and I wasn’t going to put up with it anymore. I know, you’re probably thinking I’m mean and wrong for cussing out a woman in her 70’s, but you don’t live with her, you don’t know her, and you don’t have to deal with her. Anyway, she finally moved out again and got her own place not to far from us. My fiance and I had the house to ourselves for another year, until we couldn’t afford to live there any longer, so now we’re here living with his mother again. It’s been 2 and a half months of living with her again, and things went back to the same like when she was living with us. I’m now working 2 jobs, and my fiance is working one. We’ve been trying to save to get our own place, but we’re stuck paying most of her bills, putting gas in her car and ours. When we try to have just one day alone doing things we like, she bullies her way into our plans, so we don’t get to go and do what we want to do, we end up taking her out and doing what she wants to do, and then she offers to take us out to eat, but we’re the ones paying for her. She knows what she’s doing, and she knows it’s pissing us off, but since we have nowhere else to go, she’s taking more advantage of us and trying our patience. Like tonight, I cooked dinner, I followed the recipe step by step, and she flippin’ complained and accused me of not following directions. I showed her the freaking recipe, proved to her that I did what the recipe called to do and she scoffed at me. F her, ungrateful old bitch. She’s been complaining about my cooking and how I do the kitchen, living room, bath room, and I just want to knock her on her ass and tell her to do it all on her own since my way isn’t to her standards. My fiance loves my cooking, and assures me that my cooking is way better than his mother’s, and that she needs to just shut her face and be happy that her home is being taken care of regardless of how it’s being cleaned. She even makes fun of me because I have to have my clothes hung up on white hangers only, and color coordinated, or folded military style. She says I’m too OCD when it comes to my clothes, doing the dishes, and how I have to alphabetize/numerical order my DVD’s, music and books, and then she makes a smart ass remark “that’s just not normal, I think you’re weird” When my fiance and I finally move out of this place, I will have NOTHING to do with his mother anymore. If he wants to visit her, he’s visiting alone, because I’m done. I’m done catering and waiting on a woman that is still capable of being independent. I’m done with the harsh criticism, and childish games she plays. I’ve had it with her royal highness the QUEEN!!!!

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anonymous March 7, 2014 at 3:36 am

I’m new here but just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has posted because I finally feel like I’m not alone in this situation. I too, have a future NMIL – but fortunately also have a fiance who now sees her for what she is and puts his foot down. She is currently in the process of boycotting our wedding and has threatened to throw a fit during the ceremony or reception if she doesn’t get her way on a variety of elements – primarily the guest list. She even stated that our wedding is the most important day in HER life and how dare we take that away from her. I honestly won’t be surprised if she shows up in white, but I think we’d both be relieved if she went through on her promise to boycott because it would mean less drama. Although, there is absolutely no way her ego would allow for that.
Right now I’m more nervous about when we have children and am trying my hardest to come up with any kind of toolkit or mechanism that he and I can use together to keep the boundaries. It’s at the stage now where I won’t spend time with her (she has a history of insulting me or saying incredibly inappropriate things about our sex life – for example she once saw me changing shirts (again, no boundaries) – and when she saw me in my bra stated: ‘wow, so that’s how you get that power over him. There are some things a mother just can’t do (with a huge sigh)). I’m just trying to not make the stress of on my fiance any higher than it needs to be at this point and I can’t imagine how hard it must be on his level to accept and set up boundaries against his own mother. If he hadn’t started doing that though, I wouldn’t have been able to continue down this path.
I’m thinking at this stage we are going to have to try the LC method, but depending on what happens on the wedding day, we may move to NC straight away. It’s a shame that a day that is supposed to be about family becomes all about one impossible person.

Anyway, thanks to everyone for posting, it helps knowing there are others out there. Trying to explain it to someone who doesn’t have this experience is impossible.

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michelle October 16, 2014 at 11:25 am

I am in the same boat, anonymous. I became engaged to my jewish but athiest fiance two weeks ago. my NMIL had previously been as sweet as sugar until she found at that we plan to marry on a Saturday. Whilst my fiance has been raised Jewish, he is an ardent athiest whereas I am a Christian. We accept each other for who we are and as the Sabbath is not important to him personally and no one else that we know, really, we have decided to marry on a Saturday as it is the most convenient time for us and for all our guests who are travelling from afar – we dont want them to have to take off work for our wedding and we want to get married on Saturday Well, this NMIL of mine who has NEVER observed the Sabbath since I have known her has created an absolute hive of drama for us. She has contacted every family member in his family to try and gather troops against us, has phoned us, harrassed us, and even had the audacity to state that this is supposed to be the happiest day in HER life. I was flabbergasted. She has accused me of ripping her family apart, has gone to the lengths of lying and telling us that everyone supports her view when EVERYONE in her family have said exactly the contrary to us and have encouraged us to stay away from her. We have now blocked her on our phones and my fiance has disinvited her to the wedding which is a whole year away. I am so lucky that he has stood by my side throughout these last weeks but we have gone through absolute hell with her manipulative and destructive behaviour. She has tried to create friction in every familial relationship we have. I wish you all luck in dealing with your NMILS. I am convinced she is pure evil and am keeping her the hell away from me and us for as long as possible.

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Sylvia March 12, 2014 at 6:32 am

Can’t help but notice no man has commented on this…

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Melanie April 26, 2014 at 8:47 am

I am a 56 year old woman married 28 years and have just recently figured out my MIL is a narcissist! My husband was a strong man when I dated him, he had goals in life, loved the family business, and I thought was strong against his parents. Throughout our marriage I look back now and see what she has been doing all along. My husband is weak, never stands up to his parents, allows them to yell and scream at our kids. Over 10 years ago I decided to break away from them completely. I wanted to protect my kids from them both. My husband has slowly but surely reestablished contact with them through his cell phone and his father comes to our business 3-4 times a week. Just the other day the grandfather told my son who is 24 years old that his other grandchildren treat him with respect and help their grandparents out, he should have never sold the business to my husband and I. He has screamed profanities at my kids, called me names, my mother in law even tried to enlist my own mother against me. I am so totally grateful to finally find out this wasn’t my problem. That I wasn’t a bad person for wanting them out of my life. I could go on – 28 years worth, but just wanted to say I won’t leave my husband because I want my children to inherit our business, not because I love him. We haven’t been intimate for over 14 years. I’ve lost all respect and lost for him because he has never once stopped his parents from destroying us. I will stay for my children, but I will have no partner in my life to defend me and love me like a true husband should. Just yesterday after the above comments to my son, my husband told my son we should all get the chips off our shoulder and try to get along. Again, blaming us and making us feel it is our fault. It won’t ever end and I have to accept that a little longer.

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Rebecca June 20, 2014 at 1:24 pm

I know just how you feel….

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Anonymous July 22, 2014 at 12:37 pm

WOW 28 years,, I’m gald I got out sooner,, reading this I see I was in a never ending battle,, I can now forgive my MIL,, and my husband.

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joan August 23, 2014 at 4:38 pm

I hear you loud and clear, took me 28 years to realize that mil is a narcossist! I must be a slow learner, my husband always said, do not make conversation with her.. today, when she made several comments about my skin/hair, personal remarks in front of other people, I realized I must protect myself, How do you get to be 60 years old and try to keep the peace? I feel like such a fool, thankyou all for your wonderfull comments and recommendations of how to deal with these type of narcistic people. It is very simple, as of now, she is out of my life,,, feels good that I have made that decision.

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martin June 30, 2014 at 8:48 am

You have just described my mother in-law perfectly and her every action perfectly. My wife has known for years that her mother was a Narcissistic mother, but just put up with her. After giving her 20 years of chances and her trying to split up our family,we have had to cut her of our lives all together. It is nearly two years since we have had any contact with her, she still tries sending cards with the usually narcissistic rubbish in them, but they go straight in the bin. It’s the best thing we ever did when we severed all ties with her. We have made this decision for the sake of our family, and we have vowed that we will never see the woman again in our life time. Our family relationship has gone from strength to strength since.

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Hana June 30, 2014 at 5:31 pm

If anyone can give me some advice I’d be so grateful.

I’ve had a great relationship with my ‘mother in law’ for lack of a better term, my partner and I are engaged not married, but in the last few months things went badly wrong.
We’ve got different beliefs and opinions on a lot of things, and at first I was reserved about disagreeing with her, but she claimed multiple times that she liked hearing my views on things, she enjoyed our debates and discussions. I thought that we we’re building a solid relationship where we could talk to each other, I was just sixteen when we were first introduced.
Let me explain a little bit about my mother in law to be so when I explain the situation it will might make more sense. Basically, she has three children, one of which doesn’t acknowledge her as his mother, a daughter and her youngest is my partner, both his siblings have children and long term partners. She has accused my partners brothers fiancé of turning him against his family and manipulating her, something which now seems all too familiar. My mother has worked in multiple jobs and professions and over the years, and has been ‘perfecting’ her answer to child abuse prevention, she claims to be a psychologist/therapist/teacher, the works, has no qualifications except as she’d say ‘experience’. I’ve always been very supportive of her training, despite not agreeing with all her techniques, going as far as to help her get into university when she asked me too. She lasted roughly 3 months on the course before dropping out of doing what it is she is apparently so passionate about. After all the effort I put into helping her, this was frustrating to say the least, but I didn’t let on.
My MIL recently sent my partner a Facebook message stating i’d upset the family with a comment i’d made twelve months prior, i’d commented that my new Nephew’s ‘head was big, for his little body’. Something i’d said without malice, or intent to upset anyone. It was something said whilst discussing how cute he was. And lets face it all babies do have big heads regardless. But this is the first mention of it we’d ever heard. I instantly apologised for any offence caused. But what stung is that the message telling my husband this, was full of accusations that I was a child abuser and how worried she was about me. I couldn’t believe it and my partner saw red! He was on the phone asking what the hell she was playing at. She claimed to be defending her grandson, from what my partner asked? Can I also add that the child’s mother, since this comment asked me to be his godmother, her bridesmaid and has trusted me to babysit her son. She has no concerns or worries about me, nor has she thought about that comment since it was made. After his argument with his mum, it came out that she felt that me and my family were treating him badly… Something which is ridiculous since my mother and partner get on so well. They didn’t initially get on well but when you get engaged to your teachers daughter it’s going to take time for both of them to see and accept one another outside of the teacher/student roles. Anyway, she wrote to my partner days later saying she was sorry for upsetting him, that she didn’t mean to upset me, followed by yet more reasons she is so right about what the said. Again this infuriated both myself and my partner and he didn’t respond to her mean messages.
Most recently He went to visit him family, as we live hours away when a family member fell ill, I didn’t go as we couldn’t afford both sets of train fair. While he was there they argued again, and she said and I was putting words in his mouth. I wasn’t there, and hadn’t spoke to him whilst he had been away, but regardless he is an adult and has his own thoughts. She also thought it was acceptable to bring up my family and speak negatively of them. When he told me this i felt compelled to write to her and explain/defend my family. Yes, i’ll admit a huge mistake. So I calmly explained to her why she didn’t need to worry about her son being treated badly by my family, how sorry I was for the comment but how upset I was about the accusations that came out of no where based no nothing. It was a calm email and it wasn’t confrontational but I got a torrid of abuse back, ultimately I didn’t reply. She felt it necessary to let me know how great her son is, like I didn’t know? I’m marrying him for goodness sake! How it’s not acceptable for him to be treated badly and how she will always be there for her family. That i’ve isolated myself from them, them from my family and isolated him. Also, that I lied to my partner, something which is completely not true. Both myself and my partner felt like there was something more to this than was being let on. It seems to be excuse after excuse of things I do wrong, and when thats explained not to be the case she brings up another example, and it continues like that until my partner gives up and stops engaging.
The most recent message she him began with her explaining how sorry she was for upsetting him. No mention of me. How she’d seen a look of hatred in his eyes. How he’d blamed himself for her relationship braking down with her boyfriend, something that he never did, or said. How bad there relationship had gotten since he moved to London with me. It finished with her saying that I was manipulating him to hate his family, to think what I think and to cut them off. This hurt me because I’ve always been very happy to and often instigated visiting them, sending presents, inviting them down to see us, all things which have been over looked apparently. But she also said that they were his family, people who had never hurt him and he needed to listen to her, she’s been there for him for 21 years and only she loves him absolutely. She continued by explaining how I always disagree with her, and is causing arguments that I talk about things ‘I have absolutely no understanding off’ and that ‘I act like I have all the answers’. I just want to explain that the time she is referring to is when she walked into mine and my partners living room and said, I want your advice… What do you think of this… As you know more than me in this area, do you think… I answered her questions, tried to help her, complimented her work in the process. Disagreed with some of it, but at this time I believed we had a relationship in which we could discuss things openly; she also asked her current partner and her son for there advice, and we three shared the same opinion. So her abuse all directed toward me was unbearable. It was so difficult to read. I felt utterly worthless.
I’m at a loss now, I can’t forget whats she’s said about me, my partner or my family and i don’t know how best to proceed. It’s so very upsetting being in this situation. I love my fiancé very much, but the idea of this for the rest of my life is filling me full of dread. I’m not sleeping well, and feeling physically sick with worry over the situation. I’m 21 years old, I’ve been victim to emotional abuse and negativity before and only in the last four years recovered and removed those people from my life, I absolutely don’t want to go back to that place again.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated right now, I’m struggling. My partners has been very supportive toward me regrading this whole situation and I appreciate that. But it’s difficult to know what to do and tonight he just told me not to read her latest awful message, which of course I did, and he just held me when I sobbed. But he wouldn’t discuss it, said don’t listen, she’s just writing upsetting comments again. I think that he just doesn’t want to keep talking about it, and I understand that. Each email/text/argument gets worse and worse though. I wish I could just detach myself from it.

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Sheila July 1, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Hana, you are a few years younger than my oldest child so I’m definitely older than you by a lot of years. I’ve dealt with abusive verbal crap from my MIL for my whole marriage (which is longer than I lived at home dealing with abusive crap from my own mother & stepfather). It use to upset me when MIL did things to me as I was often crying over her verbal abuse. I didn’t have the skills back then to handle people like her because I grew up being abused & learned abusive people were “normal people” & to just accept them as they were. I think underneath it all (when nobody is around & my MIL looks in the mirror at herself), my MIL is a very insecure & an unhappy old (she’s 70 now), wrinkly, much heavier boned (than myself) 70 year old woman who can’t control me like she’s controlled the rest of her family all these years. My DH often sides with her negative comments about me which causes even more problems (nobody is allowed to disagree with MIL or they endure her wrath & DH doesn’t want to endure her wrath. He wants to be the good little boy) but I’m tough, if she wants to put me down, whatever, she’s got far more wrinkles on me than maturity. If she had matured past that of a schoolyard bully, I know she would be much more respectful. My DH refuses to discuss anything about MIL so I’m on my own dealing with MIL as I can’t cut her out of my life. Your MIL’s goal is to upset you but don’t ever let your guard down around her. By upsetting you, it gives her power & control over you. Believe me, it pleases her to see you in emotional pain or having bad things happen to you. Maybe…she is hoping (since you are not married yet & only engaged) that you will leave her son. Do not fall for kind gestures or assume these people are trying to have a relationship with you. Often times, there are negative hidden motives attached to their kind gestures. I don’t trust my MIL when she is being kind. I have learned not to trust her around me in particular. My MIL rejected me the first time I met her & I was only young like yourself. I wanted a second chance to have a mom, I wanted to be accepted, especially after the rejection & horrible abuse my own mom bestowed upon me years earlier. I know it hurts deep inside your heart (especially if you felt you once got along with her). My MIL can be so kind & generous (a sweet old lady who has a lot of people fooled into thinking she IS ALWAYS a sweet old lady) & then I get fooled into thinking things are getting better. However, she always returns to taking stabs at me & I’m always the bad one. I can never please her so I gave up trying. I now keep my distance with minimal contact or have someone around me (preferably someone MIL doesn’t know very well) when I’m around MIL so MIL is less likely to mistreat me. If your MIL repeatedly hurts you, remove yourself from anything that has to do with her & heal yourself. Healing makes you stronger. Don’t be like me where it took close to 20 years to start healing. In my case, the pain of being angry at myself for putting up with abuse from people like this was far worse than any personal pain my MIL was trying to cause for me.

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HK July 5, 2014 at 2:16 pm

This is such a great site. I am reading about other dil’s experiences and although they are sad, I also find myself nodding my head. You guys understand exactly what it is like to have a NMIL. I have had a long and difficult relationship with my NMIL. DH and I just celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary a couple wks ago, but we have been together for 23 years. My relationship with my then fmil started out quite innocent. However, after dh and I had dated for a year, she changed her attitude toward me. She told my dh that b/c I wasn’t korean (dh’s family is korean, I’m asian, but of a different ethnicity), that he could not marry me, since he needed to marry a korean girl so that SHE (mil) would have someone to talk to! At that time, we were not even thinking about marriage, but my dh said he told his mother to butt out.

That was just the beginning. Then 7 yrs after we started dating and were finishing up our college degrees, we got engaged. That’s when mil let it all hang out. She ruined our engagement (called me and told me the ring had arrived and ordered me to come to her house for dinner to, “celebrate.”). DH was livid. He was going to surprise me with a proposal, and his mother ruined it. He asked her why she did it, and she simply replied, “I just HAD to be a part of it (engagement).” Yes, she HAD to ruin it and she is person who is very prone to jealousy and, “mean girl” type of behavior. I was shocked, but tried to move one. She continued to be difficult and a PITA throughout our wedding plans, acting as if she were entitled to basically have the wedding details HER way! She had a friend she recommended to do my gown alterations, who basically botched up my dress. Instead of apologizing for what her friend did, she chastized me when I went to a different seamstress, who fixed the issue (her friend was apparantly becoming senile, which she knew, and basically my bodice was about several inches too loose and no, I did not lose wt) and told me that other seamstress did not do a good job. I think that she was probably secretly happy when my dress was botched, she was very upset that I did not let her choose my wedding gown. Yup, we got into a quibble, b/c mil told me that she was the one who should have the right to choose my wedding gown and I told her it didn’t work that way! Not sure what planet she is from, but wow! So then she also insisted on buying a black gown for herself. I told her she shouldn’t do that, b/c it looked bad and she told me, “But *I* look best in black, so I am going to wear black, since I want to look the best.” Luckily, he co-workers talked her out of it, saying that it would make her look bad as the mother of the groom to wear black at her son’s wedding.

She also flat out told me that her friends thought that she was, “liberal” for, “letting” her son marry me, since I was not korean and not christian. Ok, this is another vent. My mil is korean catholic and she is one of the most hypocritical christians I have ever met. She is selfish, vain, mean, unkind and shallow and she loves to brag about what a devout christian she is! Then on top of this, she told my dh that fil was very disappointed that my dh was going to marry a non-korean, but that she (mil) was the bigger person and convinced fil that if this is who their son loved, then they should let him marry. She was still trying to guilt my dh about it. I find out from my sil (this is when sil was still a newlywed and I have a feeling my mil told her more than she should have, b/c at that time sil had figured out mil yet), that it was actually the opposite way around! MIL was having issues and fil talked to her and said that they should be happy for my dh for marrying me, even if I wasn’t korean! I was just beside myself when I realized that my lying, coniniving mil had switched the story around to make my fil look bad and for her to look good. I have had zero issues with my fil. He is a soft spoken and kind person, we’ve never had any issues before, so when I heard sil’s version, it made so much more sense, but it is also typical of mil to use fil as a scapegoat, she has done this many times before.

On the day of the wedding, she was a total brat. My sil told me a yr later about the morning of my wedding day. He said that mil had a house full of relatives staying at her place and my mil refused to get out of bed that morning, claiming that she was too sick to get out of bed. Sil said that EVERYONE in the house was up in her bedroom, basically feeding mil all of the attention that she was craving and trying to coax her out of bed. My sil (married to my dh’s older brother, she also dislikes my mil, so the same reasons I do) said she knew right away who the favorite son was, as soon as she saw the way my mil was behaving. My mil proceeded to harass me when we had our pictures taken (before the wedding), saying that I wasn’t wearing enough lipstick and she would NOT let up, even though I told her my liptick was fine. So, she took the liberty of pulling out HER lipstick (YUCK) and had full intentions of applying her lipstick to my lips, she was coming at me with the lipstick and I was backing away! I was horrified and luckily, my bridesmaids, who had heard stories of my mil, but had not seen her in action, quickly jumped in and said that they would help me put on more lipstick. So, they took out my lipstick and FAKE applied it. After they pretended to have applied it, my mil kept saying, “See, I was right it looks SOOOO much better, I was right.” So, everyone thought she was a psycho after that, esp since they all knew that they had not really applied any lipstick on me, and it was basically my mil trying to get attention, while putting me down in front of other ppl and then self congratulating herself, while everyone else knew the truth, yet she was so busy high fiving herself, she didn’t notice by the looks on everyone’s faces that they thought that she was mental.

At the wedding reception, my mil proceeded to cause two more scenes. The first one was when the wedding party was introduced and we did our customary dances. She very eagerly danced with my dh for the mother-groom dance, but when it was time for us to switch back to our spouses (my parents together, my in laws together and dh and I together, etc.), my mil made a sour face and sat down. My fil knew that they were supposed to dance and ended up chasing mil around the reception room, while she said nasty things to him about how she didn’t want to dance with him. By the time he was finally able to convince her to go to the dance floor, the song was over, but she had put on a show for all to see.

Fast forward to dinner time. Fil came up to me and told me not to eat too much, so I wouldn’t, “burst” out of my wedding gown. My fil is a very soft spoken, kind man, so I knew this was not coming from him. I asked him, “did mil send you to tell me this?” He just kind of nodded by didn’t say anything. Yes, that pyschob*tch, she just couldn’t leave me alone, and was so content in trying to ruin our wedding day. I found out a yr later from my sil (when she told me about mil not wanting to get out of bed), that my mil could NOT fit into her mother of the groom gown the day of the wedding. I have to laugh at this one, b/c I went shopping with her (she settled on a dark navy dress, but so did my mom, it wasn’t planned and then was rude and told me her dress looked nicer than my mom’s dress on the day of the wedding… like I said, she’s a bitch). She found a dress that looked nice and fit her well, BUUUUT due to her vanity, she insisted she wanted a dress one size smaller. Yup, you guessed it. That is why she could NOT fit into her own gown the day of the wedding. However, instead of realizing that it was due to her own vanity, she had to take it out on me. BTW, my gown was comfy and not too tight the day of the wedding, so that is really what made me upset. I did not look at all like I would, “bust” out of my dress and as typical of weddings, I barely got to eat anything at my own wedding reception, since I was so busy visiting each table of guests, anyway, her message to me was nothing but mean intentions.

Anyway, the list can go on and on. After we were married, she continued to push the limit and tried her best to drive a wedge in my marriage. The worst was when my father had to have open heart surgery and my mil insisted that I stop by her city (we lived 8 hrs from my parents at that time and mil’s city is two hrs from my parents’ city) and go to lunch with her. I told her I couldn’t do it, I was taking two wks off of work to be with my parents and basically I was not in the mood to socialize with mil. Well, the day I drove back to dh, my mil called my cell phone to ask when I would be stopping by (remember, I already told her I wasn’t going to stop by), and then when I told her I had already driven past her city, she started crying!?!?! Then in her typical, manipulative way, she turned around and called my dh, who then called me and berated me for making his poor mom cry!?!?! WTF? Yes ,that’s what I thought too! I was so angry, she was playing my dh like a violin and he didn’t even know it and meanwhile I am the one taking all the heat, when she is the one who started the fire to begin with and stirred the pot!

She continued this type of BS for five yrs, and then after we had our first child and I basically had completely lost all patience for her BS, my dh FINALLY woke up a little bit and had to set his mother straight. She was hurt, and gave us the cold shoulder for months, of course. She bad-mouthed us to other relatives, telling them that she wasn’t allowed to call us, etc., and I don’t know what other things she made up, but she is a chronic liar, so I never believe things that come out of her mouth. My sil and I discovered this by accident, when we compared notes and realized that mil had been feeding the two of us different information, in order to try to make one another hate each other!?!? We vowed at that time to never believe anything from mil’s mouth and my sil and I have always gotten along really well, since we figured out what mil was up to and we have bonded over our contempt of our mil.

Anyway, my biggest problem now is that my dh. While he acknowledges that his mother is a PITA, he still does not accept how toxic and manipulative his mother is. He invited his parents over for July 4th yesterday. It would have been a great day, with the exception of mil and her toxic words and behavior. While at my son’s baseball game, she proceeded to make a big deal in front of other ppl about the fact that I have some white hair. Yes, I am 41, and yes I have white hair. I don’t make a big deal about it, but EVERY.SINGLE.TIME my damn mil sees us, she HAS to comment about it! WTF? She also can’t stop commenting to my dh that he is balding and he has become very self conscious about it, due to her. I got irritated with her when she did that to him before and told her that the only thing it does is make him feel bad and then she of course, acted like I had picked on her and started playing the role of the victim and saying that she didn’t want my dh to feel bad. But seriously, then why say something cruel like that? I am so tempted next time she says something about my white hair and my dh’s baldness, to tell her that SHE is the reason for the white hair and balding! Then during the game, times when my son was not even up to bat, she would loudly cheer for him at inappropriate times, which made zero sense, and looked rude to the other players and parents who were there, for this weird woman to be yelling for her grandson, who wasn’t even up to bat yet. Then when my son WAS playing and playing well, my mil would be loudly talking to fil and missed the entire thing! She also proceeded to bug me throughout the entire game that it was too cold and my other two sons needed jackets, until I finally got jackets for them, to shut her up. I just felt like she can’t leave me the fuck alone! Like she is constantly picking at me and only happy if she is spewing her negativity on other ppl. Of course, she brags about herself, brags about how great her sons and grandchildren are, but she treats fil and both of us dils like garbage. Yes, these things are all very petty, but when someone is like this EVERY time you see them and has been like this for as long as she has been like this, you just want to strangle her!

She very loudly announced to everyone within listening distance at the baseball field that she was going to treat us to lunch after the game. At lunch, she started yelling at fil (typical, my sil and I actually both have a big issue with this and when mil found out, she started crying and said it was no fair that sil and I had sympathy for fil, but not for her, b/c she is the one who deserves our sympathy?!?!) for some mysterious reason. IDK, maybe he wasn’t chewing food the way she wanted him to chew food? We had to go back for a trophy ceremony for my son’s team after lunch and my mil kept standing up and getting in the way when ppl were trying to take pictures of their own kids, when it wasn’t even time for my son’s pictures, anyway. She just grates on my nerves, with eveything that she does, she is just extremely self-centered and inconsiderate of anyone else. It’s me, me, me. Then after that we went home and I had the kids take naps, so that they could stay up late to go see the fireworks. Mil and fil both fell asleep on the couch, but I was in such a bad mood, I told dh tha I needed to get away from the house, so I went out for two hrs. Came home, helped dh make dinner. Keep in mind, we have lived an hr away from mil (we moved closer, that was stupid of us) 11 yrs ago and my mil has NEVER helped me in the kitchen, around the house or after I had my 3 babies. She just sits there and expects to be waited on. She won’t even get herself a glass of water, claiming that she doesn’t know where we keep our glasses. Even my dh called bs on that and flat out told her that after coming over to our place for such a long time, she should be able to get herself a glass of water! Anyway, so I stewed while making dinner, b/c she doesn’t even ASK if we need help. We had dinner and then she didn’t even offer to help as I was cleaning up afterwards, either.

So, they finally leave (didn’t stay for fireworks, thank goodness) and I just let it all spill on my dh about how his mother is crazy, and annoying. He proceeds to tell me that his mom opened trusts for all of her grandchildren and how generous he is. She does this ALL of the time. She tries to manipulate with $ and it drives me nuts. My dad’s family operates this way and I saw through it, even as a young child, so I do not fall for it at all. She has even offered to help us, “upgrade” to a nicer house by paying the difference in mortgage and my dh got very excited, but I saw through it. This was after she had visited my bil and she realized that she would probably not be able to live with bil and sil (my sil is korean but she and my mil do NOT get along at all, even worse than my relationship with my mil, b/c my sil speaks korean and understands all of the cutting words that my mil says), and so she made this offer, b/c she hates our house, thinks it’s too small, complains that we don’t have cathedral ceilings (yeah, I know, I can’t figure out why this is so important either), etc.. My dh realized after I told him several times that if we did this, that his mother, who never does anything nice, w/o a string attached to it, would only agree to it if we bought a house that SHE liked and that she would probably say that it entitled her to move in with us. After some thought, my dh dropped it and never spoke of his mother’s offer again.

My husband thinks that he is going to get a big inheritance. He won’t, his parents did not save enough $, so this is a reason why I’m so irritated, b/c she NEEDS this money, BUT she is using $ to try to manipulate and making it look like she has money that she doesn’t have. Her other son is very well off, so he doesn’t fall for this, dh and I are doing ok, but my dh ALWAYS believes his mother (and then I am the one who always predicts what she is going to do, despite what my dh thinks, and I’m always right when it comes to knowing his mother’s intentions). For all that I know, she could be making this all up. He stupidly gave his mother our childrens’ SS#, which I was upset about, she said she needed it yrs ago, b/c she said she started 529 accts for them. The reality is that his mother has straight up cornered both my sil and I and told us that if she gives us $ now, then we (sil and I) HAVE to give her $ later. Later, as in, whenever she feels that she needs a personal ATM. Her sons have never been around for these very uncomfortable confrontations and both my sil and I are freaked out by it. Out of the blue, like yesterday in the car, my mil tried to force me to take a $50 bill from her, this is in front of everyone. I am not a child. I do not need to be given $ by my mil, I refused it. My dh happily took it instead, and of course, she does this sh*t in front of him, to make it look like she is being nice to me, and of course he then uses those instances to rationalize to me that his mother is this generous and caring woman who is nice to me. While *I* KNOW that that is not just kindness from the bottom of her heart, she is trying to manipulate us, but only one of us is stupid enough to believe it. I always refuse the $ when she offers it to me. It’s a big show she puts on when other ppl are around and it bothers me so much, b/c it is so cunning on her part, esp her timing, she will only try to give me $ in front of my dh’s presence. That’s not by accident.

So, I know that my post has been a long and convoluted one. However, do any of you have this issue? Where your dh can kind of see that his mother is a shrew, but she is trying to manipulate him with $ and that is his weakness? He acknowledges that his mother is a PITA, but refuses to believe that she’s more than justa PITA. He has even told me before, “My mother sucks the joy out of everything.” How can a son say something like that, yet still not be able to see his mother for who she is? I have figured out for the most part that the best way to cope with her is to just keep my distance and not to engage her at all. Cell phones are the best thing ever. I no longer have to field her calls, and the few times she calls me, I let it go to VM. HOWEVER, I’m finding myself very frustrated that my dh ALWAYS gives his mother the benefit of the doubt, even though she has proven through our past experiences that she is a toxic and not trustworthy. He has made some progress, so I give him that. However, he trusts his N mother way too much and it makes me uncomfortable that she can manipulate him so easily. I know that one of her main reasons for pretending to, “make nice” to me in front of him, is b/c she wants to make sure that he will take care of her as she gets older, financially. She has been bugging us for decades that she wants to move in with us when she is old and I told dh that if that gets to that point, and his mother moves in, we would get a divorce. So, he tells me, “My mom is scared to death that you are going to send her to a nursing home.” I was pretty mad at him, it makes me sound like a cruel person. I am not a cruel person, I am a RN for pete’s sake, I would not be in this profession if I were cruel. I am not a mean person, at ALL! His mother is a mega-bitch and if she were smarter, she would have thought that being mean to BOTH of your dils, is not smart when you are old and worried about going to a nursing home. I refuse to let her move in with us. She can live in a nursing home in our area if it comes to that, but she will not move in and I feel like she has her claws on my dh’s brain regarding this whole, “I want to move in with you and I want your $” thing. Has anyone else dealt with this specific issue? I’d love some advice on how to help my dh see that his mother is manipulating him, in a gentle way. The thing is, I would happily take in my fil if he needed it, but I don’t want my mil living with us. My sil and I laughed over this, b/c she feels the same way. Fil is ok, mil is not ok.

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Anonymous July 22, 2014 at 1:37 pm

I so relate, I guess the sad part is watching your man/husband no matter how old he is or how happy he is with you, He will do whatever it takes to please mom. My ex mil moved me out so she could move in with her son,, I know they are very happy now.
I belieive a NMIL see
her son as her man,, and you are the other woman, they were happy until you the wife came along.

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Rob July 17, 2014 at 11:52 am

hi,
My mother in-law sucks, examples an backstory as follows. We have been married for 4 years I love my wife dearly although I can’t stand her mum. We use to travel all over an write books on our adventurers. From a DIY budget jetsetter perspective, we stopped travelling for health reasons an getting our lives together. Were 10 years sober Oct 31st stoked !!! getting back to her mum we don’t devulge much about drugs an shenanigans for a reason. I have noticed a reacurring instances where she undermines my space my conversations a sick sense of entitlment case in point 3 cars have been wrecked engine wise during travels an when we get back she has a shocked look when i say no YOU’RE PAYING FOR IT. aneventually it’s me who does repairs replacement an I’m sick of the excuses of none compliance I can’t drive due to injury from falling off a freight train now i shake alot an have dizzy spells sometimes how do i deal with a 50+ year old teenager whose so selfish an won’t listen to reason?

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dee July 27, 2014 at 3:37 pm

I am the wife of a man who has a narcissistic mother. I am glad I found this sight and know that I am not the only one going through this madness with my MIL.
When I first met her she was nice but her behaviour started to get from bad to worse as time went on.
In the honey moon period of my marriage I was extremely shocked, confused, angry and frustrated at this woman’s behaviour as I had never met anyone who behaved this way, I have come across people with maybe a couple similar mild traits but nothing to this extent!
Lucky enough we do not live in the same country but she still seems to be influencing my husband and pulling the strings.
I have kept my distance from her and no longer speak to her for my own sanity and well being. Her family seem to be enabling her behaviour and are in denial especially my husband. If I dare point out her bad behaviour to him he tries to justify it, make excuses or even give me the cold shoulder!
I can not be a hypocrite and pretend that her behaviour is normal, I can not play along when some one who is trying to manipulate and control me.

She has caused a lot of arguments between my husband and I. I am quite concerned about my husband because he is like a puppet on a string and she knows which strings to pull to try and get her own way.
When my husband and I were on our honeymoon my MIL phoned us up and told us that she was sick in bed and had just fainted, she has her husband, and her 3 other adult children around but she took it upon herself to phone us up on honeymoon complaining that she was unwell expecting us to put our honeymoon to an end so that we could rush to her bedside and cater to her every need.
My husband and I knew that she had just made it up to get attention but he would not admit to it, we continued with our honeymoon and just ignored that she had even called.

Another time shortly after I gave birth to my first born she informed my husband that she was seriously ill and that she needed open heart surgery. As soon as I heard about this I knew it was a lie but I did not say anything I just went along with it. Within a couple of days she made a miraculous recovery and apparently after this diagnosis she only needed tablets!
It was really upsetting for my husband at the time because he believed her illness to be true and not living in the same country to see her on a regular basis was very difficult for him. Sadly my MIL has him wrapped around her little finger I fear she is going to end up making him unwell if he continues to enable her behaviour and allow her to manipulate him.

She feigns these serious illnesses a few times a year each time making a miraculous recovery. I noticed there is a pattern to these ‘illnesses’ as she claims to have these illnesses when something big is happening in my husbands life e.g getting married, the birth of his children etc. She can not stand to see her ‘golden boy’ getting on with his life and being happy and would like his attention focused on her instead.

She has an outburst when she does not get her own way or you disagree with her on anything, she is very materialistic and expects everyone even strangers to buy her expensive gifts, she has a strong sense of entitlement and feels everyone owes her something. When my MIL was introduced to my mum she behaved in a haughty way and was extremely rude for no reason. At the time I was very confused and upset and could not understand why she was behaving like this towards my mum, now looking back in hind sight I think she was jealous as my mum is attractive, slim (she is overweight), and looks much younger than her actual age.

She is very conniving, controlling, needy and forever plotting and scheming to get her way and the lies are just so outrageous that I wonder how she could expect people to actually believe her.
Whenever we use to visit her if my husband and I should ever go out and have fun without her she would give us the cold shoulder and just act in such an immature way. If I do not eat what she cooks and prefers to go out to eat she gets upset. If she gets into a conflict with anyone due to her behaviour she gets my husband involved playing the victim and expecting him to fight her battles.
The final straw for me was when she would phone me begging me to send her expensive gifts, pay for her to travel abroad and lying that she does not know how she was going to pay her bills and I need to send her money despite the fact that her husband is in a good job and pays for everything bills, food etc and anything she may need. She does not have to worry about going to work, she is a house wife and lives in a beautiful 6 bedroom house. When I said to her I could not give her money, gifts or pay for her to travel abroad she started getting nasty she was phoning up almost everyday begging for things, dooming and glooming how awful her life was and she is going to die soon etc etc.
I thought to myself enough is enough I am not going to allow this woman to try and manipulate me and I will not listen to the nonsense any longer I will end all contact with her as she is draining me to the point where I was starting to feel sick and have headaches.

I am trying to be understanding but I wish my husband would be more of a man when it comes to dealing with his mum and stick up for me and stop enabling her behaviour it is so frustrating and sickening to watch.
Some feedback would be great, thank you.
Dee

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HK August 25, 2014 at 3:55 am

Dee, we must have the same mil. I posted my story a few posts above, but the whole miraculous recoveries from xyz condition is one of my Mil’s signature tactics. Even my dh blows her off now, since she has cried wolf one too many times. When she really does become ill, nobody in the family is going to take her seriously. And yes, my dh is like your dh. Unwilling to bekeive that his mother is THAT bad, even though she’s proven time and again that she’s the real deal, evil witch.

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Kim Kelly July 29, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Run! Get away! You don’t owe anyone an explanation but you do owe yourself and your family a life!!!!!Bail out! My husband and mother were narcissists! Divorced the whole family after putting up with them for 21 years!!! Life is too short to be subjected to their sadistic and evilness!!! I’d rather be alone and at peace then ‘WANT’ to be alone. May you all find peace through DEPARTURE! Sincerely, Kim

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Kim July 29, 2014 at 7:54 pm

Run! Get away! You don’t owe anyone an explanation but you do owe yourself and your family a life!!!!!Bail out! My husband and mother were narcissists! Divorced the whole family after putting up with them for 21 years!!! Life is too short to be subjected to their sadistic and evilness!!! I’d rather be alone and at peace then ‘WANT’ to be alone. May you all find peace through DEPARTURE!

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Dan August 4, 2014 at 4:58 pm

I have lived with a woman since 1971 that had the most disfunctional mother I’ve ever seen. At ninteen I thought she was possessed by the devil, then later, she was crazy, and finally I realized she was mentally ill. Not unitl today when I read an article in the local papre about people with this menatl illness did I fully understand. I’ve read all day and see her, her husband and my wife in so many episodes. MAN! My wife though, who was the scape goat, has never wanted to dig into her mothers issues. Even today, when she saw me printing out stuff she asked why I was wanting to know any of this, and it wasn’t a friendly comment. I see this as liberating for me but perhpas not for her.

Our relationship has been bad from day one, way back to 72 or three.

I’m not sure whether to just continue enduring my wifes personality or to have a period of years of peace.

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susi August 25, 2014 at 11:10 am

i would “like” this post if it wouldn’t immediately go to my NMIL’s attention. had a huge blow-up with her this morning. new strategy will be not having her at our house, only meeting on neutral ground with very separate hotel rooms.

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Megan September 13, 2014 at 3:07 pm

What do you do when your husband ALWAYS sides with his mom? And she is the very definition of nmil!!!

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Alex September 26, 2014 at 10:43 am

I live in Australia and a married to a lovely person that is so caring, highly intelligent, amazing mother to our two children . She is a lawyer and succeeds in anything she puts her hands, or brain to. Under any other situation thrive as a wonderful successful strong woman.
I am a carpenter, I didn’t go to university and I’m not highly academic . But I run a successful company doing highly specialised creative Bespoke joinery. I am arts and picture based.

I met my wife whilst working on set in a touring music production. She had come to see the show and I was waiting to do my job. In hindsight our meeting wasn’t random, she was desperately seeking an experience that was not the complete control of her mother. I was pretty much the picture of ultimate freedom. Neither of us knew this at the time but after much couples therapy by a really great psychologist that was recommended, I began to form a clearer understanding of the effects a narcissistic mother on a poor childs life and then later an adults.
Our life was amazing together at first. We travelled the world and shared a house. But cracks were showing especially regarding trust and self confidence.
Again with hindsight I had entered into a relationship with a person that was so emotionally abused by her mother that she had built incredibly soficitated structures to control every outcome of every decision so as not expose herself to abuse.
My wife was living a life inside a thick castle of protective layers. Every piece of information was going through the 500point safety check before being analysised and scrutinised to make sure that it was the right answer, then delivered back out in a form that would offer the least chance of critics or fear of reprisal. Aka repression

This cause serious communication and interpersonal trust problems. Which left the door wide open for her mother to rip our lives to bits.

after we got married we made the (incredible bad in hindsight) decision to live with her parents to save money.

Her mothers had never accepted me. I was not good enough etc etc. I though maybe she would see me a bit better.

I built kitchens, renovate her house, built a house for us and the kids, build becks and gardens. She entered her gardens and house in competitions and won awards and got in magazines and interviews etc….. I didn’t rate a mention. I was just food for her narcissistic desires.

Then started the heavy stuff. As the years ground on she started to invade my every essence. Constantly critical of how I father, how much I work, how I school my kids, how I invest my money it just kept ramping up.

I shaped one day. I yelled at her and told year I don’t want to be controlled anyone. This is the only time Ive ever showed any aggression to her.

She has only ever spoken to me directly once since… Five years later… I realise this was part of the big manipulation plan. I can defend myself when I’m the outcast bad guy.
She set her entire energy at undermining me relentlessly to my wife and kids. She took all my roles away bit by bit, saying I wasn’t good enough to do them.

Minor at first, Change nappies, get shopping, look after kids in the afternoon.
Then a little more, take kids to school, pick kids up, take kids to events on weekends
Then more feed kids, bath kids, go to kids events all the time.
Then more organise our finances, buy a house on our behalf, buy a car on our behalf all without my knowledge with my wife and out money.

In five years I had no life, I left for work at 7 and vase home at 6. I saw my wife and kids for 20-40mins, my wife would then take them next door to eat, bath and bed. I was looked out of my own life. HOW COULD THIS BE???

Finally a major line was crossed. She took my sons,wife and her husband and other son out on his fifth birthday and cut me out. No note, letter of anything. I came home with a cake and everyone was gone.

I tried to work this out with my wife but she sided with her mother saying that we could go out any other day for his birthday.

My mother in law had taken everything I had away. I didn’t have anything left. My wife talked things through with her mother and decided to get separation from me. I couldn’t fight any more so I agreed.

Our saviour was our little boys. Our eldest boy was a lovely caring quite kid…. Until the news of mum and dad splitting. He flew into rages, smashed windows, punching and kicking people in rages. My wife became quite scared of what he had become.

We sort help for him… The finger was squarely pointed back at us. Our poor little boy was exploding with emotion. He just wanted love and we were tearing his heart out. All because of a twisted narcissistic mother in laws desire to rewrite our lives.

Now it’s a year later. We moved away, life is so much better. My wife can use the word “love” again. We are forming a family away from her mother. We are working as a husband and wife combination.

My wife hasn’t openly address her mothers narcissism but we are moving towards a better future.
I see this at 36years of abuse and programing
being undone, bit by bit.

I hope this can help someone

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rachelle September 27, 2014 at 6:43 am

My post will be long and I may not use proper grammar due to the utmost baffled probably I have.. The MIL where do I start? Well when the husband and I were first married she was pleasantly nice brought soup when sick. . So it gets good we lived only a block away from my in laws! So what’s so wrong with that she was doting towards us. One day as I was discovering our new home a nice 2 story town house. I decided to take a look at the full attic we had what potential for a painting room! As soon as I hit the last step of the top step here it was an ENORMOUS pile of stuff in OUR house. So I then asked my husband um who’s stuff is that up stairs? Wow honey the people who lived here before were dirty! His response was Rachelle it’s not the previous owners trash it’s my Mother’s trash! That’s right I just discovered my mil is a hoarder! The mess was never cleaned out and the only time I seen the full potential of my full attic was when we we moving not only our belongings but her hoard as well. So we were moving to the farm house oh finally! The big out doors deer hunting our children able to have room to play! So the news gets even better! We were moving right on my husband’s family farm. I’m thankful no doubt they allowed us to move in to a comfy double wide until we purchased the land. So for 3 months we lived there until we were able to obtain a loan so the mil gives me a paper with an amount and she further explains that we owe them over 1,200 because we owed rent! That’s when my wits were at battle so things were okay living there tearing down old putting up new! A fresh start well then my gather in law who I love just like a Dad was coming over unannounced without calling. . And I’m the type of person I don’t put a bra on until I’m going out okay? So my son was 4 and we were pregnant with our daughter what a blessing life can be I had our precious Naomi and we got home I was thankful for all the love and generosity my new church family and our families gave us! He meaning my father in law barges in unannounced while I was openly breastfeeding yeah like that wasn’t weird for me. A mother of 2 children a husband who is a truck driver gone 2 or 3 days out of the week. So then my father in law was discussing to my husband and I. how him and the MIL are having trouble they were fighting . We obviously could hear the screaming on our front porch! It was very unpleasant so the fil came over telling us she left the mil left and she moved in an old ex husband’s house that at the time was inhabited with her hoard.. trust me it gets more fun . So she left found out she had extramarital affair with an old high school fling.. now my fil is a very forgiving man who for some reason beside his love for God and my Mil was talking to my Mil . My full was very active in my kids life and my nieces and nephews lives. He let them stay over take them to the movies you name it.. it was the most happiest I’ve seen him. So he invited all the boys of the family to have a slumber party at Pappy’s house. I was soo excited until my son who comes home telling me what they did ate where they slept who All was there and the MIL names pops up I was baffled she wasn’t in the picture and I was told by my fil that it’s a boys night. . I was irate mad sooooooooo mad! So the fil and mil got back together and they had a family meeting with us and I told her I don’t love her I forgive her but any respect as a grandma or as my mil is gone.. and I will not call you”mom” the peace I felt when saying that was awesome! We also told the fil and mil the drama is NO longer welcomed in our home if you wanna talk let’s go to Mc Donalds and have coffee.. we still live on the farm right across the in laws my husband and I are happy. Al we have been here for almost 5 years and some tension has surfaced again. She the mil will say things to me when no one else is around. And it upsets me so I go and tell my husband he try to bring peace and he said they have their reasons to do this to me? Then last night my son who I’m praying and hoping this statement is Un true that his grandma my mil told my son that I’m a liar? My son told his grandma that he broke a floaty and then proceeded to tell him well your mom is a liar. We were in the pool a few nights ago and I seen Josiah have a floaty that was broke but I don’t know if he broke it I have a baby and a 3 year old to watch in the pool while in swimming! I did not physically see him intentionally break this $5 floaty

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JWB September 29, 2014 at 2:30 pm

It’s so nice to find this outlet for my experiences. My MIL is def a Narcissist, though my issues with her are tame compared to some of the other posts.

I suppose it’s because I recognized these qualities in my NMIL at an early stage.

My husband and I have been married for 9 months after only dating 8 months. We are 30 AND 32 and knew exactly what we were looking for in a partner. We are both very independent and weren’t into people pleasing for our wedding, so when the planning and guest list started to attract too many outside opinions, we decided to elope.

Prior to this, I’d noticed certain behavior from my soon-to-be MIL that I found irritating and unfamiliar. She has been married 5 times, has 5 children (from 3 different men), has started (and failed at) at least 10 different business ventures, believes (at age 53) still has a chance to be a country music star and records a self-produced music album once every few years, insists on singing at almost every family function and calls it a “concert” on Facebook, is financially incompetent, recently spent 30 days in jail for running from a court date- stemming from her last failed business and was almost extradited back to the state she ran from, and on and on and on…

She is rude to people that work for her and the waitstaff at restaurants. She simply has an air of self-importance that is embarrassing and hard to watch. We had dinner with my husband’s side of the family a few days after getting engaged and she’d gone out and bought herself an engagement ring and was showing it off to anyone who’d look. Then she started bombarding me with questions about wedding plans and actually made the suggestion I wear her wedding dress! No, not the one she’d worn when she married my husband’s father, but the one she wore at age 50 at her 5th wedding. NO, THANK YOU! She came on so strong, her own mother had to tell her to back off.

We told her we were eloping two days before we did. She was the ONLY member of our families not to congratulate us on the day of. My husband ended up reaching out to her and once he did, then she acted like it was the greatest thing ever. Though she did make the comment that she didn’t know we were going to “dress up and look like a bride and groom” and this being the reason for her pouting.

More than anything, she is wholly a victim. She never does anything to deserve what life and other people do to her. None of her businesses fail because of her, someone/something always takes them away from her. She is toxic and vampire-like. she takes and takes and expects you to give more. It’s like she wants/needs her children to be dependent on her.

She was the only parent not to give us a wedding gift, but asked my husband if we needed any money. He replied, no, but if you’d like to GIVE us a wedding gift, we’d surely appreciate it. 4 months after we were married, when she was drunk, she said she had a wedding gift for us (she didn’t tell me what this gift was, but told my husband, separately, it was $500.00), but she wanted to give it to us in our home, basically inviting herself to our home. She was pushing for an immediate invitation. My husband and I had plans for the following weekend, but extended her (and her husband) an invitation for dinner as soon as we had an available night. She responded to this by saying she couldn’t make it, but if I wanted to come to her house (that she shares with her husband, his 2 children, her daughter, her daughter’s child, an hour and a half drive from us!) and cook them dinner, that I knew my way around her kitchen!! My husband didn’t tell me she’d said this until the next day. He said he was shocked at her behavior. I was so offended. The invitation that she wanted, had asked for, was about coming into our marital home, not me being subservient, and cooking for her! My husband called her back and tried to let her save face, by asking her if she was kidding about me cooking for her, and she said she wasn’t. He then informed her that it was inappropriate and insulting. She played dumb and probably wondered why we were being so mean to her. GAG. 6 weeks later, a good 6 months after we were married, we finally got a card from her and $400.00. I guess she charged us $100.00 for postage.

A few weeks before she went to jail, she called my husband. She told him she wanted to speak to me and for the first time, my husband shoved the phone in my face, against my wishes and expressed feelings of NOT to speak with her. She is either so delusional, she believes her own crap or she is the most fake person I’ve ever encountered. We have no relationship, she has lied and manipulated to the point that I never want a relationship with her. And yet, she gets on the phone with me telling me that she loves and misses me and that she sees on Facebook how happy I make her son, which I KNOW are things we all want to hear from our MIL, but it’s not genuine! Or maybe it is genuine in that exact moment, but she’s so volatile. She’s never the same from one moment to the next. She is like a teenager, self-absorbed, thinking everyone loves her, and is SHOCKED if anything doesn’t go exactly like she sees in her crazy head.

My NMIL is all drama and never at fault. Everything has to be a production. My fear is one day, we will be with my husband’s family over the holidays and she will begin to tell tales from her own skewed point of view, that I will know to be lies, making herself out to be a martyr, “This one time I was thrown into jail no no reason and everybody was mean to me…” and I will have to sit there and listen to it. Not only me, but our future child. God forbid they believe anything that comes out of her. And I’ll have to tell my child that Granny (Whatever her last name is by then) isn’t always honest.

And the absolute WORST part is the way she throws around GOD. “If God put me in jail to minister to other women in jail, then I’m not mad at him…” WHAT?! God, didn’t put you in jail! You ran from the law! That’s why you’re in jail. “I posted bail! God is good!” What?! WHAT?!

I’ve got a lot of anger towards her that I don’t have an outlet for. I’m disgusted at what kind of mother she is and how it hurts my husband. And the fact that NO ONE calls her out of her bullshit. It’s hard to constantly hold my tongue when I want to tell her how rude she is or when I know she is lying.

I will try to ignore her and distance myself from her as much as possible.
I must try and let some of my anger go. I will not hate her for my own sake.
Hate is ugly and is a poison.

My husband sees her more clearly than the rest of his family. He supports me and has always been a buffer between us and HER.

She is toxic.

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sally October 1, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Hi,

my husband has left me heavily pregnant due to the MIL. Comforting to read I am not alone however it makes me feel more lonely when I read that peoples husbands have stood beside there wifes in holding the boundaries. Something my husband wasnt abke to do. I am pleased I have found out now before my son is here so I can be stronger for him and to not have such a wimp of a father around.

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Same here October 19, 2014 at 8:43 pm

Reading these I feel your pain although I actually am a mother in law to my newly married daughter. My daughter has the mother in law from hell. The MIL tried to hi jack the wedding. My daughter told her she didn’t want her to buy a one strap dress because that is what the bridesmaids were wearing. Well she bought a one strap dress anyway. And to boot the dress had a slit that went up so far up her thigh my husband almost offered her a pin to close it. The MIL is in her 50’s and has the body of a 5o yr old not a 25 yr old like all of the bridemaids. Plus she has a big butt and gut. My other DIL looked at her and said OMG she bought a prom dress! The only thing she did for the entire reception was she knew some guy who did lighting and drapes (an ex drug addict who now just drinks like a fish). He hung drapes and did lighting to cover the plaques on the one wall behind the head table. The MIL also went out and bought some discounted material which had what looked like yellowish stains on it for ceiling drapery. The drapery was to be done by a Tuesday before a Sat wedding. Well that didn’t happen and wasn’t completed until Friday! So although the hall that the wedding was out was to steam all of the linen table cloths I purchased they only had a tiny steamer which wouldn’t remove one wrinkle. So they were dumped on my lap on Thurs afternoon for me to iron. Yes 25 round table cloths and 7 rectangle ones. It took me most of the day on Thursday and part of Friday to get them all done cause I had to run them thru the washer and dryer which got rid of some of the wrinkles. I brought them into the reception hall and my daughter wasn’t there we were told by the future SIL that she had gone to Walmart with the future MIL. So hubby and I put on every table cloth and table runner on ever table. Put every center piece on the table (all of which I made which took hours and hours). My daughter came back and a few minutes later the MIL appeared. While we were putting out all of the napkins out which I had previously ironed and put on napkin rings that I also made by hand. My daughter, SIL and MIL sat down at a table ignored us and proceeded to eat food that they had brought back. My hubby said OMG I feel like we shouldn’t be here. Needless to say I was so disappointed in our daughter but the MIL took the prize. All she did was bark orders and not do a thing herself. My other daughter and her husband also showed up and helped also and the MIL ignored them too. We had those bead things that you add water to sitting in a bucket which were for the mason jars and LED lights. When me and my two daughters left to get our nails done the MIL gave all of my beads to her friend for the flowers. When I came back and asked where they were I was told by the friend that she used them for the flowers. I said well that is nice but now I have nothing to put in the jars for the LED lights to reflect . So we had to buy more of them and soak them in water. Which meant another trip back to the hall to finish decorating at 730 at night. In the mean time the MIL went thru the tables and moved around seats to her liking. Oh she also took over the entire reheresal from the minister. She jumped out of her chair to tell the bridesmaids how to hold their hands…she embarassed the heck out of them. I said I think the minister has done this before so let her do her thing but she just wouldn’t shut up. Then she made up a program for the wedding without us knowing and put the FIL name as the banquet hall which was named after his father. No one knows who this is and it wasn’t even on the invitation or the save the date there was just the name of the hall which isn’t called her FIL name. It got worse cause she proceeded to tell everyone at the reception that she did all of the decorating. All this woman did was get the drug addict friend to hang the drapes and put lights up and the SIL hung the ceiling stuff. She gave me no credit what so ever. She just went from table to table telling everyone that she did everything. Friends of our said I know the brides mother made everyone of the center pieces and when she was told that she simply walked away. Honestly it was an eye opener I didn’t know that people acted this way. Her husband ate like a pig. He didn’t like some of the veggies in his salad so he took it out of the bowl and threw it on the table! When the reception was over the MIL proceeded to grab the card box and put it in her car. We told my daughter and she made her husband get it. There was a photo display that I paid for all for all of the frames and after I had packed them up she keep assisting that she was taking them. I kept telling her no you are not and finally I said enough you are not taking them. She didn’t help clear one table. So my family ended up moving glasses from one side of the table to the other so we could remove the table cloths, runners and centerpieces. I just am shocked that the MIL thought she did everything and I did nothing. I spent hundreds of hours making the centerpieces etc and this woman spent a few hours dictating to everyone what they needed to do. She is luckly that I didn’t just go ape shit on her. I told my daughter that she better get her under control or she is going to ruin her marriage. I know my daughter told her husband that if they have children that the MIL will never watch their kids alone because she is such a scatter brain and not nuturing!

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Anonymous 2 October 23, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Thank you for this post. I thought I was alone. My MIL has literally tormented me for 25 years. And last week my husband (of almost 24 years – next month) went to visit her to come home and tell me he is leaving me and decided he no longer loves me. Every time he visits her he comes back meaner than ever. I predicted years ago that she’d break up a family (we have three kids in college) to get her way. Well, it finally happened & Iam too worn down to fight anymore.

I could write a novel about the evil things she pulled. I really could. Well, she won in this case. Please, the rest of you understand that her cruel fight to be queen will never end. My MIL is a narcissist among the best of the narcissists. And, she finally won because I give up…

Wish I had understood she was part of the package before because then I would never have married him. But, then again, she was so “fake-nice” in the beginning so it was hard to see.

I have always been too trusting. I take people for who they appear to be – that was my downfall. She once wrote him a secret letter (that I accidentally opened thinking we had no secrets) telling my husband of 5 years (and three children) that I was insecure (and much more) – not generous. I never understood how the two could be confused. I grew up believing in the golden rule with my whole heart. Treat others as you would want to be treated. I still believe. I forgave her, but she constantly waited till she thought i’d left the room to find a reason to criticize me (even when I heard and confronted him or them they twisted things).

On the day we brought our premie triplets home from the NICU on monitors, she told my husband that I was a slob and our laundry room was messy (and it was spotless). I could never win w her – he would never stand up for me – and my self-worth plummeted.

I gave up grad school to care for my family and a lucrative career (more so than my husband’s) to be thrown back to the wolves and entry level pay in my forties – bc she thought I should bring in more money than a part time job. He wrecked my (old, paid-off car) and she told him I shouldn’t get another (used) car till I was working full time. I had to borrow my kids’ cars for work till I found a full time job (with little work history). Which I did. Then she told him to cut me off and let me care for the kids on my salary alone. He did. Then she told him to leave me now that I have a full time job – he did.

This really is just a smidge of her over involvement & his willingness to please her – not me.

I tried (and failed) to kill mysekf in September. I wish it had worked bc- I gave everything I had to this family – including my health. Only to have her win again.

She fits the diagnosis of a psychopath. Really, I took several quizzes for her. She is definitely a mean-girl narcissist. And, my soon-to-be EX thinks she hung the moon…

I am just glad I was able to keep my children away from her influence. We lived far away and they were not her favorite grandchildren. The were smart enough to see how she favored one of their uncle’s children more. And those kids are not nice. Mine are kind, thoughtful, smart, likable, faithful, and good – everything she despises.

Sorry for rambling. I am just worn down. Wish I had listened to my friends and not married this guy – save for my amazing kids – but I could have done w/o the years pain and mental abuse.

Young people – don’t marry the first one that asks if you have any doubts – wait for a strong partner that has the capacity to love as deeply as you do … Please use my mistake as a guide. Believe me I was so confident, happy, and even charmed before I met him. He faked me out! My MIL controlled his every move. At first I thought it was sweet how much seemed to love her, but really he just feared making her unhappy because of her evil wrath. She could be so cruel to him and he always felt guilty.

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Absolutely October 27, 2014 at 5:06 pm

I love reading all of these comments, as it helps to pick me up when I feel down again. Both of my husbands’ parents are NPD! It doesn’t help that their both retired and have alot of time of their hands to create the next drama in the whole family’s lives. Every single day there is a new drama; either us, sisterinlaw and brotherinlaw, the postman, the lady at the shop, the mechanic, anyone and everyone. It’s a joke! We live in a fairly big country area and my husband and often come across people in town that we’ve just met that don’t like them because they have all been screwed over one way or another.
They like to spend their time trying to “help us”. We always “need” help, whether we know it or not. Often on a daily basis, I find things that they try to “help” us with, that they goes to great lengths to hide from us. It’s worse that they has to stay with us for the next few months. Cleaning the toilet, only to leave the bleach bottle open and out somewhere. Driving our car and then cleaning our car while we are out, pointing out when we are home what a good thing he did and how we can improve next time we “try” ourselves. This morning, I found that he had thrown out all the meals I made on the weekend and froze for easy meals during the week (he doesn’t think reheating meals is good enough). MIL’s favourite is to point out how good she is going on her diet by not eating, then picking out flaws in every single thing we eat, how we cook it, when we eat and what we should be eating instead so we avoid getting more fat (we are both very much healthy). The alltime classics are their desires to preach to both of us their opinions on their chosen current affairs “issue” for the day and to point out for our benefit all the things in our lives we can do to avoid it. This often is downright offensive, like for example we shouldn’t catch the train as their would be people from a different race/culture on it and we cannot avoid them, we cannot walk outside our home at night because we’ll get murdered from some paedafile, we cannot drive our car anywhere as some idiot will scratch it and then we’ll be up for thousands to repaint the entire car, our dog cannot come in the car with us because he’ll wreck the seats (in a 20 year old car!). Our dog even gets physically stressed when they come near because he doesn’t know what he’ll get yelled out for next!
Rant over. My questions are – Is there hope yet? How have others gone about setting boundaries? Has the behaviour improved or gotten worse when having kids? How do you enforce boundaries?
Thanks in advance.

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Sheila November 15, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Thank you so, so much for this article. I have also downloaded your book. I have gone to the brink of divorce with my husband and have also solicited therapy due to my MIL. I am on the upswing now, but our article pins all the issues my family has suffered over many, many years. I am thankful that I have some understanding of the issues now, but it has been a really rocky road to get there. I hope my MIL will see how destructive she is and will try to alter her behavior, but I have little trust and only time will tell. Maybe I need to read your book first to gain some confidence in the future:)

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Dionna December 2, 2014 at 2:11 am

Thank you all for sharing. I feel blessed knowing that there is an actual name for my NMIL and that I am not alone. She is the worst person on earth. I call her “The Magician”. I’ve been married to her Hero/scapegoat son for 6 years, and was dating him 9 yrs prior. His folks live 6 hours away, so this wasn’t a factor until he and I moved in together, then the visits started. Had I known this family was drowned in dysfunction, I would have ran like hell. I realized shortly after meeting this lady that she was delusional, however I did not know that my husband was her personal slave. My hubby proposed to me with a 3 carat ring and his mom made sure to tell me how much it cost. She kept saying how it was so expensive in front of everyone. By the time I found out that he was under a Narc-mom spell, I was already pregnant w/ our 1st child. I had a high-risk pregnancy and was resting on the couch w/ my hubby. We had not disclosed that we were expecting, but was so excited and ready to tell our loved-ones since I had made it to my 2nd trimester. The magician called my hubby while we were on the couch and he told her the news. She told him that it was nice and wanted to speak to me. I nicely said hello and then she said “hi, I heard the news. That’s great. I guess you must have needed a baby to go with that ring, Jason said he didn’t want kids so I’m surprised plus I thought you were on birth control”. It was amazing to hear this garbage, but not surprising to me. I barely responded, but hubby saw my face and grabbed the phone quickly. He asked her what she said and she did not repeat it, but instead said “uh-oh, I may have stuck my foot in my mouth”. Later I told him what happen and he said it was a lie. She began calling everyday. They would talk for hours and she would fill his head with gossip and lies about her leg pain, his brother always needing money from her, his sister is in a cult, his dad fell down the stairs… So much drama, anytime she’d call, I told him I was too weak from morning sickness to get on the phone for the rest of pregnancy. My family was throwing me baby shower at a fancy restaurant, also paying for it. She got the invitation, which said rsvp with your meal selection: chicken, fish, beef, also it stated no children-please. She calls me asking if she could bring my hubby’s brother’s 3 kids. I politely said it wouldn’t be fair to the other guests who have kids and the room is not big enough. She then said how much does it cost per plate, I pretended not to know-she got irritated. Then she said they “all” would be coming and not eating. I just let it go and said ok. I then told my aunt to call guests and let them know its now a kid-friendly event. We purchased additional plates as well. I told my hubby about it and he shook his head, but did nothing. Came time for the shower and The Magician never showed up. No call or anything. I never confronted her, because she always wanted to be able to blame something on me. I did not give her a chance to frame me. As time went on she would drive 6 hours to our house un-announced and when she was 45 minutes away, she would call my hubby and say they’re almost near us. He was always confused when this occured because he would have to go to work and could not be home with her anyway. Of course, that’s what she wanted! Time alone with me and my kids. I had always been too busy to get on the phone when she would call. So there came a time when I had to be alone (without hubby) with her. I hated this. She used to encourage me not to fall for his charm and if he upset me to leave him asap. She wanted us to fail. She would ask me about my job, why aren’t my kids in daycare, when are we going on vacation, and do we need money. When we took our annual vacation(just us and our kids) she called while we were at the beach and told my hubby to immediately look for flights because she wants to meet us at the beach. He stopped everyting and started searching for planes. Next day she arrived with his dad (who is always pre-occupied/acts clueless) and elderly grandma. We now have to drag them to the theme parks while listening to his Narc-mom talk about her leg pain. Narc-mom rented a handicapped scooter for grandma (who was skinny) and then sat her big behind on grandma’s lap so they were doubled-up while cruising around the theme park. Me and hubby got no alone time. Worst trip ever!! Thank God we never got money from her, but when we bought a bigger house, she told everyone she gave us a down payment for it. When word got back to my hubby, he exploded. This was his “ah-ha” moment. She clearly lied and we had proof (she had told his sister’s husband who was also being tortured by her). My hubby called her out and she denied saying it. He began to separate from her and all hell broke lose. She made his sister attack him and belittle him. His brother cursed him out. The Magician made everyone think my hubby did something to her. He received calls from 6 more family members that she had brainwashed-all claiming his Narc-mom was the greatest person on earth. Since we go to church, she told his family that he is rejecting her because God told him to. They were all confused, so they started texting him scriptures from the bible about obeying your “mother and father”. It was a damn circus. My hubby started to piece together everything that she was currently doing and uncovered the past things that she did to him (and me). He contacted her shortly after, to set up boundaries. He told her, no more drama and he just wants peace. She pretended not to understand. And then he repeated the terms. She then got so mad and asked him if “someone” is making him say this to her. He now knows that she’s a crazy Narc-mom. I found this website and it helped confirm what I had been saying a long time ago. He now reads his bible and this website for guidance, otherwise he would have still been her slave. He tried low contact, but she still caused fights. He is now NC, as of 3 months ago. He has not fully recovered, but he says he’s trying. Prior to him realizing he had a Narc-mom (which was 4 months ago), I had contacted a divorce attorney. I couldn’t take it anymore. We are getting better now that the Narc-mom aka The Magician is not allowed here. God bless those who are going through this. Just remember, the Narc will NEVER change.

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