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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{ 210 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous March 8, 2015 at 7:56 pm

My FFIL’S girlfriend….not sure if she’s narcissistic but she isn’t all right in the head. She has been verbally abusive to my boyfriend and myself and I swear I’m ready to tell her to GTFO for good. She treats us like dumb kids and yells at minor infractions. I have toyed with the idea of telling her my boyfriend and I are autistic (which is the truth) and that she needs to be patient with us as we have our moments. We decided she probably wouldn’t care if we told her and it would get worse. We are planning on standing up to her and talking to his dad about her recent behavior and how if she keeps this up that she won’t be invited to things or even welcome in our house. We will also tell him that he can date her (we are not controlling his dad’s love life…that’s his call to make, not ours) but that we have been nothing but nice and that even if we get on her nerves she needs to act cordial. I’m terrified of this bitch being at our wedding. She’s on the “don’t invite list” because of her behavior towards us….my family would tear her apart because they will…she screams at my boyfriend and lectures me along with showing a complete disrespect for my job which

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Mishirudon June 19, 2015 at 12:58 pm

If you tell her you are autistic, she will just throw it in your face later and it will give her even more reason to butt into your business. I tried the “I’m pregnant and tired and moody” thing and I was told not to use my pregnancy as an excuse for me being a b*tch. :)

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roses2010 March 29, 2015 at 1:53 pm

Everything you are describing here is just like my NSIL!!! It’s been so hard and I’ve tried many times to forgive her and start over, but she’s so self-absorbed, possessive of my husband (her brother), lies, cheats, and steals her way through life, or acts sickly sweet if she’s not in one of her toxic foul moods! She hates me and my children, especially if we visit her Mum and other brother, and has no qualms showing it in front of everyone, and yet, none of her family pull her up for it. Instead, they run around doing things for her to cheer her up. If I ever treated another human being the way she does, I would EXPECT my own Mother to slap me and tell me to wake up to myself!!!
My husband and I have had to put down some pretty strong boundaries before, but now she’s not allowed in our home, to talk to my children, or to talk to me. It’s become that bad! I’ve helped my NSIL so many times, financially, physically & emotionally and I just can’t do it any longer. I am burnt out and my nerves are frazzled. She wants nothing more than for my marriage to fail so she can regain her position of control in her brother’s life. He’s had enough of her, but of course still loves her & that’s completely understandable; I don’t wish in any way for their relationship to end. We’re just at our wits end with the whole situation. I’ve never met anyone like her and she does cause a lot of grief in our marriage. She demmands to see her brother at any given time and will use any excuse. Our whole family has learnt that her ’emergencies’ really are nothing, but its always in the back of my mind that what if something bad does happen and we don’t believe her?
I’m bookmarking your blog so I can keep coming back to read them. They really are opening up my eyes and giving me & my husband coping strategies.Thank you so much.
~Frustrated SIL

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BeenThereDoneThat April 5, 2015 at 8:44 pm

They usually say, don’t give unsolicited advice, you don’t get credit if you give good advice, but you sure as hell are blamed if you give bad advice. But I’m going to give it advice anyway because I’ve lived it. Without much detail, I will say that my brother has been extremely abusive earlier in my life. So much so, I realized before meeting my husband that it would be unfair to him and my future children to have my brother closely involved in my life. At the same time, cutting him off completely would be unfair to my parents (who were amazing, they threw him out of the house when they realized that he was beating me) to make them suffer seeing their children get along. So what I did is I set a boundary. I only see my brother at my parents house. Making this decision was one of the best decisions I ever made and my brother seems to respect it. But then again, I was firm about those boundaries while I was single. Unfortunately, your sister in law has crossed boundaries and now you need to set some firm ones. No more of this drawing a line in sand…you draw it in stone. The survival of your marriage, therein the mental health of your children (divorce can be really hard as we all know) may be dependent on how you deal with this issue. I would cut contact from this woman for a determined amount of time (perhaps several months) to see how you feel with her gone. No phone calls, visits emails NOTHING. When I did this with my brother, it was 8 months. I’m not sure how serious your situation is, but take the time to adjust to life without her and see if you prefer things this way, or if you need low contact.
Whether you decide low contact or no contact is up to you. However, if you decide low contact, you MUST decide the following, don’t forget to write it down and agree on these terms as a couple.
1. If you see her, how often? Just family occasions and celebrations or once month or so? For people not growing up in such abuse, it is frightening to visit a narc. Usually it takes time to mentally prepare.
2. If you see her, what are the circumstances? Her home or yours? Or another place where it is neutral? I wouldn’t consider you parents in law neutral. Sounds like she rules the roost over there. Also decide on how often she sees the children.
3. What topics of discussions are NOT allowed? Narc’s are highly manipulative and giving too much information can be detrimental. She may try to pry into you lives to seek personal information and try to ‘split’ you. Immediately change the subject when she tries or bluntly tell her it’s not up for discussion.
4. Under what circumstances do you go No Contact? If she does something to jeopardize you marriage, jeopardize your relationship with your children? I once had an uncle that spoke unkindly of my father ALL the time. Having to listen to it was traumatizing because many things he said were lies. Don’t let this woman do that to your children.
5. If you do decide to go no contact, do no send her a long lengthy letter about why. Be short and terse. She will most likely use any long winded letter you give against you with other family members. There are examples online of what kind of letters to send other family members as well, if you ever decide to go this route.
6. ALWAYS discuss the signs of her narcissism after every visit. Doing this helps you feel like a united front as a couple. It also helps you understand and not feel guilty for the choices you make. You will notice that she will ‘behave’ when she feels that her power is being threatened. How do you make her feel as though her power is being threatened? Keep her in a state of confusion about your relationship by being kind, but slipping in unkind actions or snide/cryptic comments from time to time. It will give her a sense of powerlessness and fear. It will then become difficult for her to think of ways of manipulating you and your husband. You will find that if you EVER genuinely let her back in, she will quickly punish you. Take note of her patterns so you can anticipate her next move.

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crazymil April 12, 2015 at 4:52 pm

My mother in law comes round on daily basis tells me what my daughter will become in future and tells me what children should be doing at my daughter’s age which is 2. Said many things to me and tried deliberately rubbing my back up. She comes round when weve argued and tells me how her son can do no wrong, how he has always had problems like its the norm so I should just grin and bare it. anyway about a week ago she made a comment to her daughter my sister in law who I get on very well with. She said “your very loud” I was like jeez you can talk your just as loud. My partner her son said “what did you go and say that for” I said “well its true even you’ve said it” whilst his mum was there he denied it to please her. She then says to me dont worry I wont be coming round yours anymore! After that partner has been off with me you can tell he is not happy with me. After years of biting my tongue I thought why cant I say what I feel mil always says what she wants and gets away with it, she doesn’t care about anyone elses feelings.she came round other day went straight outside and started doing my fardening iI told my partner”she doesn’t need to do that we can do it” she didn’t even say hello as she walked in, im thinking how rude, my partner said its because what I said the other night. Please tell me if im wrong here? And what do I do my partner is so close to his mum its crazy and obviously hes not happy I spoke ip for what I believe so do I apologise and suck up just to keep peace with him? Or do I stick to my guns hoping e understands what I said? Advice please

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omgnmil April 29, 2015 at 11:34 am

Hi there, I completely understand you and your frustrations since my nmil is the same. I usually stand up for myself and my beliefs with nmil. She usually stays quiet when I do. I bet that she has a fit when I leave her presence, but I don’t care. I respect her because she’s my husband’s mother, but I will not let her walk all over me. If I allow her to walk over me she will feel she has more authority over my life and I DO NOT want that to happen. Stand up for your rights! Good luck!

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brexzsy April 30, 2015 at 12:16 am

Stand firm! Let your partner know where you should be in his life and where his mom should be! You are his family now. Therefore he should not let her mum treat you like that! I can relate to you with this since my husband is also not consistent with his actions wiether he is with me or mommy. So right now i have come to a decision that i will not let her break us! If that will satisfy her..sorry but i will not give in! I’m gonna fight for my husband. We are his family now, not her!

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Alisa August 14, 2015 at 8:35 am

I have been trying to deal with a narcissitic mother-in-law for over 32 years! It never gets easier. My husband has never stood up to her on my behalf. She demands my children always do things for her. When she says jump, my husband and children have to say How High in order to avoid her wrath and scathing comments. All of her grandchildren moved far away (except my poor son) to get away from her and she doesn’t get it! No one has ever been willing to tell her what she has done to her family. Unfortunately, my husband is also a narcissist…so my dilemma is two fold. I simply had to stop all contact with her. That was the only way to keep me from slapping her face. I still want to slap her face, but stay away from her to avoid the way she plays the victim! She has belittled me and our children from day one. My husband even told me recently that she has hated me from the day she met me. She has broken up many of her children’s marriages. The only reason mine is still intact is because I cannot afford to leave. I don’t make enough money to live on by myself. My husband uses that to keep me down and stuck in this marriage. He makes me pay for our cell phones (his included), my food (which he gets into and eats), my gasoline, my clothing, all household cleaning supplies (because it is MY responsibility to clean the house), I had to buy myself a car (luckily found a 1996 for $500 cash), all of the pet bills (even for his dog; I have two senior dachshunds), etc. Her makes almost 10 times what I make. I cannot leave until I win the lottery or Publisher’s Clearing House!

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Alisa August 14, 2015 at 8:38 am

Forgot to mention that he has a BMW Z3 ($16K) and recently sold his other BMW Z3 for $9K. He would not let me have the one he sold. He said it would not be a financially sound move for him. He also has a VStar motorcycle that he never rides and plays golf at least 3 times a week, entering competitions every weekend.

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brexzsy April 29, 2015 at 8:42 pm

I have been married for almost 5 years. My MIL sure is a narcissist! She’s someone who pretends to be very nice infront of people but is a back stabber. She pretends to be pittyful and that she’s the victim so the person on the other party is the Devil! Right now She’s  trying all posibilities and strategies to get  what she wants even if it would cause trouble to our marriage.. she is indirectly doing it so it wouldn’t look like she’s the Evil that’s gonna be the root cause of her son’s broken marriage. She wants to ruin us to win his Son back. When my husband and I got married she acted nicely as if she likes me. But instinct tells me that there’s really a tention between us… I don’t trust her beacuse she says so many bad things about her other children (hubby’s siblings) and her relatives behind their back but is very nice when they are around. So i know i can’t expect that she would say good stuff about me behind my back because she can’t even do that with her own kids and family. and I was right! When my husband went abroad to work..in less than a week after he left..my MIL already started attacking me by saying negative comments about me to my husband in his facebook messenger (good thing i have access) he would tell my husband that his gonna visit our house and she’s not informing me about it (what for? Pretty sure You guys know what she’s up to by doing this) . Then he tells my husband husband the she feels pitty for him because he’s smart but he is easy fooled by allowing himself to be our family’s financial source. Worst thing- she posted a quote on facebook about physical looks grow old but a good woman is a good woman..and then invited my husbands ex GF as a friend on facebook!(what is she trying to say? That im not a good woman..and the ex GF is who she discribed as such!) . I caught her asking my husband if there are women on the flat that he was living abroad or if he has collegues that are women(my hubby works in saudi arabia so its mostly men) it’s like she’s trying to think of posibilities that my hubby could cheat on me. She is such a poison!I hate her so much!Even if i already blocked her in facebook..she still does things to get my husbands attention back to her at my expense. I wish I can sue her for doing this. She’s really destroying our marriage. Her underground ways really gets into my nerve! and I hate my husband because he tries to let her mom know where she should stand and what I am to him and that our children and I are more important to him…but he cant seem to be consistent about his stand! Because every time MIL gets all mushy and shows him she’s sad or lonely or feels hurt about it..my husband says “sorry” right away.. so how can she ever understand that there’s something wrong with her if my husband can’t even stand firm. There’s nothing for him to say sorry about because it’s our marrige that she’s destroying and he should stick to his word and stand firm with where his loyalty should be! That’s it should be!

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New Beginning August 27, 2015 at 9:14 pm

I can relate to your story. I am dealing with the same NMIL. I truly believe this woman is pure EVIL, but my husband can’t see it for anything. She has broken boundaries, she’s lived with us and she follows us everywhere.

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Cheyenne Daniels May 10, 2015 at 9:16 am

I am 16 years old and have been with my boyfriend for a little over a year. His mother and I were once great friends going places and doing things together. At first she seemed very excited for the relationship between her son and I. She said small things like ” When you and Hunter get married you can have the house” or calling me her soon to be daughter in law. She was very charming and kind. Than Hunter and I started to talk more and more and our relationship became very serious. Now his mother blames all family issues on me and I can not do anything right. I ruined their family, and I’m the reason they no longer communicate. I have tried every thing to make this women like me. I’ve changed my friends, religious beliefs, clothes, and sadly even the way I treat my partner. I have cried because of the things she has said and I don’t know what to do in order to make her like her.

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wifesmomsucks May 29, 2015 at 11:21 am

My wife is the goldenchild of a narcissistic mother and she has hijacked every moment possible and has attacked every member of my immediate family to include brother, mom, step-mom, and myself. I’ve been buraded with negative comments and she completely discards any boundaries we set and concerns we voice. It’s always played down as a joke, that she didn’t mean it, or she lies about it- making you seem crazy for assuming or taking it that way or the bad person for even thinking of the idea- like I am out to get her, flipping the scrilt. It just continues to happen and is an increasingly constant pattern of behavior that is ultimately only affecting my marriage in the end. I try to talk to people about it and I’m told that sometimes for your marriage you just have to grin and bare it. It angers me when people say this because I cannot bring myself to have my family endure abuse for the sake of this horrible woman’s feelings and need to feel powerful in order for my marriage to work. I can’t begin to explain in all the ways she has insulted, undermined, and mistreated everyone she comes in contact with and I just can’t accept tollerating her invasive personality.

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Anonymous July 2, 2015 at 9:19 am

I feel for you deeply. Same issues in my home. Tried everything possible. They will never change. Ever. You will never have a normal life. I have had to go to therapy myself two times during the last fourteen years. Helps through the worst of it.
Heartbreaking to watch grandchildren become people they never should have become. I have recently decided to get very involved in helping others to become more educated about this horrible incurrable mental illness. It hurts everyone involved with this person. Best advise is, your going to hurt no way around it. Minimize the pain with more education about it. The more you know the more you can avoid the train wrecks.

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Anonymous June 8, 2015 at 10:56 am

This is dead-on as I have a Narcisstic Mother In Law who lives with me (if you can imagine!) Great article, well-written & informative. Thank you!

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Mishirudon June 19, 2015 at 2:59 pm

My MIL is manipulative, controlling and also plays the victim. She never listens to me, she disregards every opinion or feeling I have. She pretends like she is very nice all the time and then she has these little outbursts and blames her menopause. She used to blame having her periods on me until I got pregnant. Then she blamed me for her PMS and I told her to stop blaming me and start blaming her hormones.
She is supposedly an old school hippy, believing in naturalistic homeopathic things, organic food, home cooked meals, marijuana for medicine. She wants to use herbicides and pesticides to kill poison oak on the property. First of all, she has bought this property to accommodate a commune in which she has always wanted to do. I’m nervous about the idea but willing to see how it goes at first. My understanding of communal living is the group makes community decisions that would be best for the group as a whole. Now, I am 7 months pregnant. I am very supportive or organic farming and having grown up on a farm, very knowledgeable of farming its self. I know that the best way to get rid of poison oak is to pull it out and dispose of it. I relayed this information to her that I was concerned about the organic plants and also birth defects, we have dogs and I was concerned about the dogs getting into the spray area as well. It was discredited and ignored. She also ignored my pleas about grey water filtration and stagnation. She disregarded my concerns about vaccination for everyone who would be holding the baby in her commune, for pertussis per the CDC, she said that vaccines are over rated and they make too big of a deal out of it! She tells me what to do, how to do it, yelled at me about not doing her dishes and about running the dishwasher. She tells me I need therapy and I agree, but because of her controlling ways.
In the past she had the phone shut off when she said it was part of rent and my cell had just been shut off, she didn’t even give warning. She raised my rent 4 months after I got there even when she promised she wouldn’t. She told everyone that I was her “work horse” because I was “super employable”. (I have education and a great job.) She said she claimed her house as a boarding house and reported all the rent and extra money for groceries etc. I asked for receipts for rent so I could claim it on my taxes and she told her son she could not provide them because she wasn’t claiming it to the government because they would take away her social security or disability (not sure which).
She is not only in constant denial but she is very forgetful (probably because she smokes so much pot – mind you in moderation your memory will not be that affected). So now, she employs her sons best friend as a work hand on her property, although the guy spends most of his time in his room playing video games. He maybe takes out the garbage an he definitely does his own dishes, he’s supposed to cook at least once a week but he doesn’t have a job and lives there rent free so we know he can’t afford food or his own cigarettes.
One reason I quit confronting her was because she would always intimidate me by saying things like she was the Queen Bee and she was the head Bitch in charge and everything she said goes. I quit hanging out with her around this time because I was afraid to piss her off because she was a loose cannon and could kick me out. Her pit bull was a danger and I told my boyfriend all the time that it was going to kill me or my Yorkie and it finally did attack my Yorkie. The bill was supposed to be split 4 ways. (The dog was “actually” my boyfriends best friends dog, but she took care of it, including giving it little Yorkie sized stuff animals for it to pull the heads off.) I paid $1000. She paid $1600 or about that and someone kept stealing money out of the vet bill jar. I can go on and on about all the really disappointing messed up crap she has done or lied about or manipulated us about.
We have dinner every night. We were late one night because I had a OBGYN Dr appointment. She didn’t make us dinner because we were late and didn’t call. It’s a control thing with her. We don’t even have cell phones because we want to save for the baby.
She used to always tell me that she couldn’t wait for grandkids and she wanted us to get pregnant so very badly. It was always on her mind. Then I slipped up and complained about her calling me her “workhorse” to her sons best friend and he went back and told her God knows what but ever since then it hasn’t been the same. I blame the best friend for not just letting me vent. That’s all I wanted. But he had to be a bitch about it. Now look at the mess he made. If he would have just let me confront her on my own time in my own way….. Now, I feel like I am in High School again. She has everyone against me and I am totally being bullied. Needless to say we are moving out. She offered to give us the money for first months rent and deposit which as far as I am concerned, she owes us because she is kicking us out. We had a nursery for the baby, our own room and private bathroom. I am depressed. We have nothing for the baby. We had this wonderful idea of a huge beautiful organic farm. Spent our savings on farming materials. Now we are broke. I am convinced she has serious mental issues. She was so good at using her menopause as an excuse and now I can’t use my pregnancy as an excuse because she is sick and tired of hearing how miserable I have been with the gestational diabetes and scary high blood pressure. I have nothing more to say. I’m just emotionally drained from this woman.

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Susan June 29, 2015 at 6:48 am

my nml has tormented the whole family after 24 years of marriage I stay away from her she is toxic talks about her own kids has one friend and last week she made a comment that my nephew was not good looking! I screamed at her told her do not talk about my family she left my house! Now she tells every one I hate her! I do! My husband says oh well she is like that with every one that is true she is not my mother and I do not care about her feelings any more!

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Anonymous July 1, 2015 at 4:16 am

This is one of the most accurate articles about nmil. this is my nmil!

the competitiveNess. the snide comments. the insults. the public humiliations. and then when you call her on it she curls up like a little victim. she is poison ivy in my husband’s family and my bil does her bidding, I don’t know why as he knows he is being emotionally blackmailed and he doesn’t like to get involved in it. so I am the scapegoat for biting back after a few years of this.

we are no contact since my child, her first grandchild who she demanded I have, was 5 days old. we all only exist to serve her. when we stop doing that and that alone, boom! you’re out.

it’s really a blessing in disguise and my daughter is protected.

it was easy for me to spot as my father who didn’t raise me is npd sociopath. she’s a little the same but much dumber.

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logan July 16, 2015 at 7:11 pm

Thanks so much for this!!

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Jb July 22, 2015 at 11:57 am

I have been following this for a while and reading peoples stories as well as adding my own..

I feel at a loss.. My in laws!! Or out laws as I prefer to address them are completely insane and all powered by the narsasistic mother in law.. The father in law a pure puppet and moulded to her liking and doing after years of suppression to him!!!

I have read many articles on this kind of mother in law and all sum her up.. Even down to how they raise their children…

We are very much trapped and in a bad position that the outlaws live down the road from us… We have no means if moving as this will send us into financial ruin..

My husband dismissed them from his life 2 n a half years ago and from this she has made it her mission to bully and antagonise me looking for me to react so that if I did she could play victim and say ‘see this is who she is’ ‘this is what she does ‘ ‘she’s taken my poor son and grandson from me’

They have tipped us to breaking point… And yes we did split .. In the mist if this they put themselves forward to my husband!!!! But the min he came back they dismissed him again and felt the need to continue their mission to ‘punish’ me!!!

They have attacked me in very subtle ways.. They are relentless and if u tell people way she /they do it sounds trivial but the repetitiveness has made it hard to not want to crack…

They chose to go against me when my son was 6 months old.. My husband asked them to back off and be more understanding and stressed I was being monitored for post natal depression.. This made no difference to them.. It was asked to them why they hated me.. Their response was ‘well she hates us’????

Prior to having a baby my relationship was good with them and in fact is worked with them in there business for 2 years… I had been with my husband for 4 years before marrying and our 1st soon came a year later.. It was during the pregnancy she turned on me…

My husband again pointed out. ‘ do you think this is more to do with now I’m having a child and my own family that you feel insecure as to how this will impact on me being available to you?’ She responded with ‘maybe’ bit never once gave in or backed down on her tiraid against me??

So at my most vunrable with a new born they between them brought a lot of stress and angst to our door… This used to come every wk and then slowed to 6 wk cycles and then to 12….

My relationship with my husband ended and again I was the injured party but yet they showed no appreciation for such!!

When my husband came back and I chose to forgive him for the sake if our son they still did not retreat…. They would rather have seen a broken family thinking that such would possibly give them back their son and grandson…

I say son but to be fair they don’t even really give much thought care or respect to him as have never respected his wishes or listened to his reason.. For them it’s all about my son!!!! What they feel we have taken from them and what they feel is their right…. Even though they hate the mother and have made such very clear…..

We have had to make the best if a bad situation and instead of living in a home we feel trapped in we have done our best to invest in it and make it ours and to live in for the future.. As we intended this to be our family home… We have worked hard on our relationship and done good might I add.. We are out the other side and baby no 2 on the way,,

Everything is very positive … Except….. The outlaws…

I have done everything to not react to them… I give them no ammunition .. Yet even now pregnant and after fighting for my family and sanity.. They still proceed..

Might I add these people are strong Christians also!!!! He has in the past preached to services!!!! She again very passionate on her faith!!!!!

I honestly don’t understand why she turned or why they feel it appropriate to continually put themselves In front of us.. Trying to use my child as some sort of a weapon..
I don’t see what she has to gain as her son wants nothing to do with her and effectively they are watching their grandson from a distance as to him they are creepy strangers that try to talk to him n stare at him in the street !!!!!

I honestly don’t understand why anyone wod think it’s good to intimidate and knowingly mentally put on a person who they know has had a rough time of it and is now with child.. Yet another vulnerable time…

Some might say we are stupid to have gone ahead with child no 2 when living in such a situation where outlaws pose such a threat.. But my argument is why do I have to put my life on hold because of some crazy idiot who is do stupid you can not reason with..

This lady has made out to my husband and his brother that they feared what I would do and it was me who is aggressive and unpredictable and how awful it is!!!! But yet it was them who caused a situation that yes I reacted to badly once!! Post baby… And yet she is so scared she makes sure she is out on the street knowing it’s when I am walking to collect my son from the child minder.. On one occasion my husbands father even add muted to my husband that the times she/they walk past our house to the front of next doors garden and back again is to annoy.. And she has admitted to my brother in law that they send cards to my soon through our door cause she believes it’s me who doesn’t want her too!!!!

I am hormonal now and it’s been a few elks of their games picking pace back up.,

My brother and sister in law live in aus now and recently visited him staying at there’s !!! They spent time with us what back and from this the outlaws have begun to make themselves seen!!!!!

I honestly don’t know how to deal with this anymore as reacting makes no difference in fact just gives them fuel and ignoring!!! Well they don’t get board that’s for sure …

I’m worried as to what it will be like and what they will do once the new baby is here n how to cope with this all over again knowing I could be in a bad place!!!

Like I have said before how do u deal with stupid!!!!!!!

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TS July 23, 2015 at 4:52 am

I have been going through so many websites to find someone that is going through what I am going through. I have asked friends for advice (I do not have many, I am a loner) but no one can seem to help me. I am furious at my outlaws, they are inconsiderate narcissistic bastards (excuse my French) but I just cannot stand their faces. My SIL left her job when only my husband and her were working, she got loads of cash but as soon as her baby daddy found out she got money he was all of a sudden back in her life. This of course led her to use all her money on him, this money lasted a year and everything was cool (since when does money not make anyone happy). When her money was finished, she looked to my bf at the time. 2 months later of being broke she was blacklisted and blamed everyone but herself for not being supportive and everyone agreed with her that they were not supportive enough (LIKE WTF!!!) how do u not pay your bills monthly when u have the cash, in fact u could have closed all your accounts. Obviously by this time, the baby daddy was gone. In the end she has over 100 000GR in debt (and somehow the money she received was not enough). We all moved in together and when my bf at the time decided to move out together, they cried their hearts out because he was going to leave them on the streets, like really???. He decided to help them with their rent (but not forever) and with her accounts to get her out of being blacklisted which he did with his own bonus money (which in my mind, is totally unfair) . she then got her job and was temping, when they took her on permanent she said she got no increase but life seemed to be much better! Years later we are still paying the rent and helping out here and there, they will not use their money on things they feel is a waste, and that’s where my hubby comes in. they call for something as simple as the door is stuck or the light fuse and they make it out to be such an emergency!!!! Because of keeping quiet all this time I seem to get sooooooo upset when he mentions their name. I know MIL hates me, when we driving together she will ask am I going home, so they can be alone and everyone seems to smile about it. she wants to go out with us when we go out for date nights or even for a day out. she says we spend too much time with my family and they never see us. We see them 2 – 3 times a week and I see my mum once every 2 weeks. The difference is when we go and see my mum, we there to spend time together, when we see them it’s because she needs something done. Even if we have lunch together, she constantly speaks about all the things that are broken or not working. She says this ‘must’ be done with no please, and she wonders why we never wanna visit. They would ask for money and when my hubby says we do not have (this would be to fix lights on a car or something silly, once again their money is not good enough for such things), they would not speak to him for days and his mum would say that he does not love her. My hubby does not know how to say no and I know I can be unreasonable at times but he says I am trying to cut them out of our lives, and quite frankly I think I am. He has tried to speak to them so many times especially about cash and they just refuse to be considerate of what is going on in our household. I am suffering with a disease that they do not know about and I have lotsa medical bills that they do not know about either, we have taken out loans and soon I have will have to take out another one because we giving so much money away. I can take a bet with anyone that even if I told them what was going on, nothing would change. When I speak to my hubby about money, he asks me if I would do that to my mother, is that fair? I just do not know what to do anymore, I smile with them and am very respectful. we are now down in the pits in our marriage and we cannot seem to stop fighting. It’s so easy for him to go to bed without speaking to me, hear me crying and turn over like I am not there. I am broken and have no idea what to do. But this money story needs to come to an end. He has been decreasing for some time now and it’s close to becoming ‘nothing’ but it’s just seems to be taking forever and he wants to do more. His father passed on a long time ago and after so many years he feels like they are his responsibility. His sister is 35 years old, why the hell would she still need allowance? Let’s not forget the cash my mum gives us every month.

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Jb July 24, 2015 at 9:41 am

It’s hard…. Really hard…. You need to see though u have a upper hand… It never feels like it.. But u do.. Why cause you see the true situation and the problem…

I’d really recommend couples therapy. Your husband sounds on the verge of breaking trying to keep everyone happy.. He’ll have a lot of stress and weight on his shoulders and this is magnified cause of how he has been raised to feel responsible for the narsasist.. He’ll know your right but has had a life time of being trained to see her in a certain way and made to feel its his job and obligation. The nml fraining frailty without his shoulders to cry on. He’ll know in standing up to her causes a big drama. My husband knew if he really went to town and told her how it was and how she was being it could break her!!!! And he didn’t want that on his shoulders at that time…. He also knew that in confronting her would bring with it the child in the sweet shop that she isnot getting her way and the blows she would pull trying to get wat she felt was owed from him!!!!

I noticed changes in my husband and saw he was heading for a break down .. He denied it and become worse and worse…. He through away everything…

He had a break down .. I was the only one who knew it was coming I was the only one who cared… The outlaws denied their part in it… The pressure they created… They told him he was deluded and he needed help… (Nice)

Little did they care but he’d had help he did it with me and himself alone.. No brother not parents no aunts uncles grand parents few friends!!!! He did it alone and we fought through it together..

For him it was more the betrayal of how could they do this to him.. He lived his life by them being there for them pleasing them… Standing by them listening to her and her problems assisting her and being her rock.. Only to be dismissed when they effectively made him choose between his wife and son and them !!!

It’s a situation I wish on no one but sometimes someone has to lose everything in order to really see what true….

He’s list his anger and hatred towards what they have done to him and how they also turned his whole family against him.. And doesn’t care what picture they are trying to create about him and he’s focused on his own family he’s created. As he realized with out them/us it wasn’t worth it…

I had my part to play I admit on his stress.. I was so focused on the outlaws and being wronged and the huge injustice of it all I let it grind me down and them under my skin more than I should which in turn became a huge negative focus in our relationship .. At tines it was all that was talked about and at least everyday they had air time in my household!!!!

Ur inlaws are grossly inappropriate you know it… They know it… Difference is they don’t care and u do…..

I wish more could be done to these types of toxic people but sadly all we have is our own truths and beliefs. Don’t relie on anyone to defend you cause they don’t..

I learnt people just want a quiet life and standing up for yourself and your family to these kind of people doesn’t give that…. In fact it’s the complete opposite… Some may see it and may agree with u but if it doesn’t actually effect them they’d rather live a lie..

This prob doesn’t help u much but know ur not alone…

It’s all easy to give advise n sympathise but when your in it and being provoked u feel so alone and cornered… There is little light….

I hate living this way and constantly wish them off the face of the earth but it’s wasted energy.

I learnt today in a conversation with my mother that infact I do have a huge advantage and that is empathy… I can see their side and why they have done what they have done and how they have thought and think to create such issues.. They haven’t this!!!!! They only think they are right and have a right to be the way they are and fueled by anger and bitterness…

When the reality it.. A mother has a son who HATES her…. And a father who has a son who thinks he’s weak and spineless and has no respect for the only thing he now feels for his father is pitty.. Pitty that he let himself lose all he Eva wanted a grand child because he allowed himself to be engineered by the narc …..
They have a grand child they don’t know at all and have had no input in his life or personality… And another grand child on the way,..

And all because they decided to hate the mother and refuse to see reason and act nicely and rationally.. Thinking that they were being cleaver and they would divide and conquer …..

It’s hard for these factors to not impact on your relationship.. Seek help and do as much reading as you can to grow your understanding on this kind of person….

Knowledge is power…..

A old lady to me in my bleakest moment.. “Keep faith” “have faith”

I’m glad I had that encounter with her as that’s what I did… And love won..

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SL August 4, 2015 at 3:46 am

I’ve been married to my wonderful DH for over 15 years and we have 2 amazing girls. My MIL is a crazymaker for sure. She has no friends, she lies and embellishes all the time. She craves the attention of her son. She ALWAYS has some crisis or made-up drama that she wants their advice on – she then gets their attention while they discuss/give advice and then she ignores their advice. Next time we see her, a new crisis/drama/need for advice (and attention). She is so constantly full of shit I can barely be around her. When she blatantly lies to our faces (again she lies about every little thing to create a smokescreen) we don’t even bother to call her out anymore. We make our (infrequent) visits as short as possible because we never get a “real” person when we are around her.

All that being said, I feel bad because I think she is lonely and is getting desperate, so her lies and deception are becoming worse. We have had to maintain low or no contact and every now and then I will suggest to DH that we visit her or invite her over because she is alone, so we do, and then we see how she is again and have to stay away for awhile. It’s too bad that she can’t just be herself (I don’t know who she really is – don’t think I’ve ever seen a genuine person in her). She feigns kindness and concern but it’s not real.

Thanks for reading and letting me vent.

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Christopher August 19, 2015 at 5:47 am

I am fairly sure that I have a narcissistic mother in law, and am after advice on how to support my wife. My mother in law, for the most part, has always gotten on with myself okay, if only on a superficial level. But she has stopped talking to us on a number of occasions for no apparent reason. Some of the things that I have read about this disorder makes me think that my mother in law is a narcissist. For example, when we got engaged in 2006 and my wife showed her the ring, she went all quiet and moody. I wondered if it was because she didn’t like me, but the next time we visited she was happy and took great pleasure in showing us that her partner had bought her ten rings since our last visit. One for each finger. I realised that her change in mood had nothing to do with me as a person, but that she was jealous that her daughter had been given a ring and she hadn’t. This seems to be a long running theme.
My mother in law seems to take pleasure from very little, but one of the things she enjoys doing is standing outside of her house, talking to the neighbours. She will often ignore my wife completely when these neighbours are there.
My wife left home when she was a teenager and tells me about how her mother has stopped speaking to her for weeks at a time, and as she got older months, sometimes years. When we got married this woman stopped talking to us for almost five years, and missed the first four years of my daughter’s life. She came back into our life when her partner left her. He returned to her a few months later, but she continued to keep in touch with us. Things have gone reasonably okay for the last four years, and she seemed to like the children, especially my son who was born a month or so after she came back into our life. She has never been able to show outward affection as such, but overcompensated by buying gifts and helping us financially. The children liked her but developed more of a bound with her partner, who treated them as they were his own grandchildren. They always called him by his first name, but he would send them cards and gifts with Grandson or Granddaughter written on them.
As the kids got older, especially my daughter who has a mild learning disability, my mother in law seemed to have less patience for them. We had seen a change in her over the last year or so. Nothing major, she would still phone my wife every night and keep her talking for over an hour, but had less interest in the kids.
My mother in laws partner was in hospital recently after having a heart attack. She was phoned by his son in law, who told my mother in law that she would never see him again. My wife advised my mother in law to speak with the hospital direct. She also advised her not to speak with her partner’s family as they always ended up upsetting her. A week later he returned home to her. I must add that this is an elderly couple I am talking about. She is 70 and he is 84.
A month later they moved from their home into a warden controlled bungalow. My wife helped with this because my mother in law asked her to. She spoke with the council for them, sorted out housing benefit so they wouldn’t be paying two rents at once, arranged the removal van, people to come and help clean the old property and unpack the boxes in the new house. There was a bit of an argument between my mother in law and her partner, which ended up with him calling his daughter and son in law. They came to the house to help. They spoke with me and my wife. We do not know them that well, so only engaged in polite conversation as not to be rude. There was an also an incident later on when one of my mother in law’s cat scratched me and then later on my daughter (now 7) kicked its cat carrier when it was in there. The animal wasn’t hurt and I told my daughter off and took her out of the room. She said she did it because it had hurt her Dad. I said explained that you should never try and hurt an animal. My mother in law was party to this conversation.
They moved in on a Saturday and my wife bought them a MacDonald’s. She made a stew for them on the Sunday which would last them two days. On the Monday evening after work she went to visit them. She was let in by my mother in law who didn’t great her with a hello but told her that Jane a neighbour was there. No one acknowledged my wife at all, nobody said so much as a hello. Jane was trying to fix the SKY TV Box for them and Ken sat there quietly. There were moving in cards up, but not the one we had given her, or the ones the kids had made. My wife asked her mother what was wrong. She said that the stew had made her ill. She went on to say that she was upset with my wife and me because we had spoken to her partner’s family after telling her not to. She also said that we should have put the children in a child minders on the Saturday when we helped her move. My wife explained that we had only spoken to the other family to be polite, and that it wouldn’t have been fair on the children to go to a child minders on their weekend off from school. She said that my daughter is badly behaved and that my son isn’t much better. My wife came home feeling humiliated and hurt.
I went up there trying to sort things out but made them worse. I asked my mother in law to phone my wife and apologies, she refused. I told her that the children love her as do I and my wife. She said that she didn’t care and she doesn’t want any of us in her life any more. She said that she never wants to see any of us again, and that the children are horrible. I lost my temper at this, I didn’t shout (thank God), but I told her what a bad mother she has been over the years, and how she failed to protect her children from her abusive ex-husband when they were children. I left her property taking every picture I could find of my kids with me.
My wife is heartbroken and wants a relationship with her mother. She has sent a letter to her but has had no response. We can’t phone her because she has changed her number (something she has done each time she stops talking to my wife). I went up there on my son’s birthday with two slices of Birthday Cake, I swallowed my pride and said it was to say sorry and we miss her. She sneered and closed the door in my face. She has another son, and two more grandchildren, who she never speaks to, and hasn’t done for over ten years. My wife doesn’t want the same thing to happen to her and our family. She fears not making up with her mother before she dies.
What can we do to make things better if anything? My wife has always said that her mother doesn’t love her and it is eating her up inside. The children have said that they don’t miss their Nana but they do miss her partner a lot.

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Beverly August 21, 2015 at 6:52 pm

OMG. loved these post

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TCH August 24, 2015 at 1:54 pm

What do you do when your DH loves his parents and are unwilling to speak with them? How do I deal with that? We have a young daughter (9 months old) and they use inappropriate language all the time. An example is they constantly refer to DD as “sexy”. Who talks like that about an infant?! I’ve had it. My husband and his siblings will not speak to their parents about any of their faults. I understand why, but the conversations need to take place in order for our marriage to survive. I won’t lie. I have thought about leaving him just to get my daughter and I away from his crazy and toxic parents.

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