Surviving a Narcissistic Mother In Law (NMIL): A Reader Shares Her Story

by Tech Support

Following is a recent story shared by a reader with a narcissistic mother-in-law:

Initially, I wasn’t sure if this could be considered a survivor story since as I am still dealing with my narcissist, but I think we might be at a point of no return – meaning, things have come sharply to head like they never have before. This will be long, but I really need to get this story out for my sanity.

In 1998, both of my parents died unexpectedly within five months of each other, and both were fairly young. I happened to be living with them because I had recently ended a 9 year marriage.

Truly it was a year from hell. My mother passed first, then my divorce was final. Then, three weeks before my father passed away unexpectedly, I met the man who is now my husband. (I’ll call him Evin.) I was never luckier than finding him during such a sad time in my life. We’ve been together for almost 16 years. He did, however, come with one huge problem. His mother. Thankfully though she lived across the country.

One time when she came to visit (her first visit after we started dating) she spent all her time going through Evin’s things, telling him what to throw out, reorganizing his house and running him ragged. I thought it was very strange. After she left to go back home, Evin told to me that his mom said that she didn’t think it was fair of me to be in a relationship with him because I had too much emotional baggage. She said he should break up with me so I could heal. I was stunned. He said to her: I’m not going anywhere. Just because she’s going through a lot doesn’t mean she has to go through it alone.”

Shortly after that first visit by her, we went to her place in CA so I could attend the wedding of a friend. I had an awful time. The only ones communicating were Evin and his mom. I was rarely included in any discussion. Evin did a billion errands for her and she kept him very busy. It was as if he was there to everything she asked and to cater to her every demand. We went everywhere she wanted following her like little minions. One evening when Evin walked out of the room his mother told me the same thing she told him several months before. She said: “I believe that you have too much going on in your life right now and I don’t think you are being fair to MY SON. If you have any respect for him you will leave him and let him go.” I had no idea what to even say to that. I was shocked mute. Since we never made any plans because Evin was always at her beck and call, I decided to go out with my girlfriend and get out of the house. I used his mother’s home phone in the house to make the arrangements. My call lasted less than 10 minutes. Later, Evin’s mother told I wasn’t allowed to use her telephone unless I asked her permission. Her demand was so bizarre. I hadn’t asked permission to use a telephone since I was 10!

During the second year of our relationship she doubled down on the nasty behavior. She called him on the phone all the time. Sometimes it was five times a night, interrupting whatever we were doing. She asked him to do all sorts of tasks for her: purchase airline tickets online, make hotel reservations or help her sell things on ebay. He catered to her every whim whenever she had one. I thought it was strange and tried to tell him that I didn’t think all those calls were normal, but I let it go. After all, she was so very far away.

One day Evin told me that his mom fell down and broke her leg. She was drunk at midnight and fell down the steps. Suddenly Evin was the be-all-end-all of her life. He must go visit her immediately and drop everything to attend to her. However, he didn’t because we had vacation plans to fly out and see my sister. He did not alter his plans. We were about to find out just how much hell he was going to pay for being with me instead of her. Upon our return we learned that she needed surgery on her leg. Evin decided to surprise her and fly out at Thanksgiving near the date of her surgery. Before he could even tell her his plans, she called to speak to him at 7:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning, 4:00 am her time. When I answered the phone she used a phrase she uses all the time when referring to Evin: “Is MY SON there.” He walked out of the room and I could hear them arguing. She was rebuking him for not visiting her after her accident and that he instead went on a vacation with me. Worse, she was furious that Evin went and saw people he didn’t even know (never mind it was my family) rather than being with her. She shrieked about how horrible I was and that she hated me. I was keeping him away from her on purpose!! She said that she didn’t understand why Evin bothered to date a woman who wouldn’t insist that he go to his mother when she needed him. She barely even knew me, yet I was 18 kinds of horrible. She upset Evin so badly, he was in tears and very shaken up after the call.

A few weeks later on Thanksgiving Day, when he was with her, I called him to say hello. His mom answered the phone. Evin was out running an errand. I wished her a Happy Thanksgiving, asked about her leg, inquired her day and told her what I was doing. It was a normal conversation. When Evin got home he called me back and he asked why I wasn’t nice to his mom on the phone. Confused, I said “what do you mean?” He said that his mother was upset because I didn’t wish her a Happy Thanksgiving, didn’t ask how she was or anything, and that I simply hung up on her without saying goodbye when I found out Evin wasn’t there. I was astonished. I told him none of that was true. He said “well, that’s not her side of the story.” I realized right then that she was a colossal liar and wouldn’t stoop to lie so she could paint me in bad light.

After dating for about two and a half years, Evin proposed. His mother tried hard to get him to take the diamond his dad had given to her for their engagement 30 years before. His parents hated each other, and were only married for five years and three of those years they spent apart as he was stationed in Vietnam as a fighter pilot. They had nothing in common. There was nothing sentimental about the offer of the diamond and Evin didn’t even know he was supposed to have it. She’d never mentioned it before and it was already the setting in a necklace she designed for herself. She had no plans to give him that diamond and I’m pretty sure the idea struck her so she could have some say in my engagement ring and be involved where she had no place being. I said no thank you. During all of this, Evin did not understand why I was so upset when she did things like that. According to him, she was just being nice by offering the diamond. I got her number pretty quickly and saw every one of her manipulations for what they were. He couldn’t see it or didn’t want to see it. One night two weeks before the wedding she called me when Evin wasn’t home. She was drunk and carried on about how “you and I got off on the wrong foot” and “I want to make our relationship work and start again” or “I see how much MY SON loves you.” She used that word again. MY SON. Evin was never Evin – a person in his own right. He is always, and I mean always, referred to as HER SON. After that conversation I was very skeptical. Good thing too because she didn’t mean a word she said.

On the night before our wedding we had an elegant buffet dinner planned for family and out of town guests at a restaurant two blocks from the hotel where everyone, including me and my maid of honor were staying. It was not a kid friendly party and my nieces and nephews were all going to my sister’s house who had a sitter arranged for that purpose. Evin’s nieces and nephews were supposed to go there as well, and I had given Evin’s sister all the information she needed. She ignored me. (The sister is a whole other story). I was getting dressed with only 45 minutes to spare before dinner when his mother barged into my hotel room and said “we’ve got a problem!” She went on to explain that Evin’s niece and nephew didn’t have anywhere to go if they weren’t invited to the dinner and she wanted to know “what I was going to do about it.” I wasn’t about to deal with a babysitter problem! I had dealt with it, but they ignored it. As I was explaining that I had made arrangements, his mom spotted the adjoining room door that opened into another hotel room. It was where one of my out of town friends were staying. She walked right into my friend’s room, sat down on her bed, opened my friend’s purse, pulled out a pack of cigarettes and took one. I stood there astonished at her audacity. After words with my friend and me trying to get her out of my friend’s room, I just gave in and let them bring the niece and nephew to the dinner. I didn’t want them there, but grandma and sister apparently did, because both of them manipulated the situation by conveniently ignoring the previously made arrangements. At that moment, Evin called my room to tell me he was running late but on his way. I told him it was fine but that he should go directly to the restaurant or he was not going to make it time. I would meet him there. As soon as it was clear Evin and I were done with our conversation, his mother grabbed the phone from me and proceeded to counter exactly what I wanted Evin to do, by telling him to stop at the hotel to pick her up on his way to the restaurant. At this point, I was seething and trying not to let this woman get the better of me.

Evin ended up being 45 minutes late. I stood there at our own pre-wedding dinner greeting his family that I had never met before without. I was so angry because I knew she made him late on purpose. When he arrived to get her, instead of being ready to leave, she made him sit there and wait and wait and wait. He was miserable when he arrived. That night MIL-to-be proceeded to get rip roaring drunk. She tried open a locked patio door to get “into the bathroom,” stumbled around and said really rude things to everyone in my family. Worst was the conversation she had with my mother’s sister was a sweet 75 year old lady. My mother had died three years previous, so my aunt was the closest thing I had to a mother. She deserved every respect. This is the brief conversation between Evin’s mom and my aunt after introducing themselves:

Aunt: I am so happy my niece found someone she loves, and of course Evin is very lucky because he’s got our girl and she’s just a peach.. We’re so happy for them.

MIL-to-be: Yeah, well, he’s going to have to put up with her shit and she’s going to have to put up with his.

Clearly there was no end to the gloom and negativity his mother wanted to inflict on our night. The rest of the night Evin’s family ran around trying to keep her distracted and away from us so she wouldn’t ruin our night. During the wedding she was her typical annoying self, but again got super drunk and tried to hang all over me insisting we got off on the wrong foot and that she wanted to make it right between us. All I wanted to do was shove her off me and take a shower. She didn’t mean anything she said and I knew it.

A little over a year after we got married Evin and I built a house. Two months later I found out I was pregnant. I can’t remember much about the MIL during that time, but I do remember one conversation when I answered the phone and she said “are you fat yet?” She still called Evin all the time — five, six, seven times a day. In preparing for the baby to arrive, Evin and I agreed that we didn’t want any family around the first week after the baby was born. I specifically didn’t want the pressure of guests, even family, hanging and staying in our house while I healed and we bonded with the baby. Everyone in our family understood and respected that request — except her. After a couple of phone calls his mother totally-on-purpose mixed everything up we’d said and suddenly believe that we didn’t want her to visit at all after the baby was born. She was so furious at this imagined slight that she said to Evin: “If I am not wanted then I will have nothing to do with your baby and will walk out of your lives forever!” Evin was understandably upset and called his sister to get the scoop on what she told his mom. According to his sister, she never said anything like that. Again I could see that Evin’s mother lied to turn things into a huge fiasco.

I know this is getting long and I don’t even know how to get this all out but piece by piece. During her visit after the baby arrived, she noticed the lot across the street from our house was for sale. It was the last lot in the neighborhood that had yet to be sold. She bought it. She bought it, picked up her entire life from 2,000 miles away and plopped it 30 yards away. I could do nothing to stop it because she lied her way in. First she stated she was only purchasing the property for investment purposes, which could have been true. She had four other properties in CA, AZ and FL that she owned. A few months later she stated she was actually going to build a house on the property, but not live there. She was going to flip it. A few months later it was that she was going to live there, but only live there a few months out of the year because she hated snow, and by the time the house was finished she’d announced she was living there permanently! I was sick to my stomach about it. Worse I didn’t realize that all that planning and building would require her to fly back and forth numerous times, usually staying each time in our house no less than 10 days at a time. All together she probably lived with us for a total of four months over the span of a year. By the end, I was losing my mind with the constant interruptions. Whenever she came to visit, our life was turned upside down and she demanded all of Evin’s time and it drove me crazy. I tried to get Evin to see how intrusive it was and he never understood. He never set boundaries and he let interruptions upset the flow of our family life. I know some people will not understand why I didn’t stop her or tell her no. But I was kept out of the loop most of the time, and then excuses just kept pouring in and gradually getting worse until it was too late and she was moving here permanently. By this time I was pregnant with our second child.

One night during one of her many visits she had me sobbing after I got away from her because she had the audacity to use my mother’s memory in some bullshit ploy to make me accept her. MIL had never met my parents, never asked about them nor did she have the slightest interest in them. I doubt she even knows their names. But she spoke about my mom that night as if she and my mother had been fast friends. She said in a sickly sweet voice, “I wanted to tell you that your mom came to me in a dream last night and it was clear that she was happy that I was in your life and she wanted me to know that she was sharing you with me as a mother.” I wanted to vomit. My mother was a saint compared to her. This woman couldn’t keep a relationship longer than six months! When my mom died we had to have the funeral service in a ginormous chapel to accommodate everyone and even then, they had to add chairs to the back of the chapel and then the line went out the door into the parking lot where people stood the entire time. She was loved by everyone and everyone’s brother. There won’t even be one person to spit on that woman’s grave when she dies. She has alienated everyone in her life. To even contemplate putting my mother on the same plain as that dried up dishrag was disgusting to me.

For the next ten years I dealt with her crap. Even though she lived across the street, nothing would stop her from calling all hours of the day demanding my husband’s attention to replace a light bulb, or look at this new project she was doing, help her pick a paint color, mow her lawn, fix her printer, remind her for the 10th time how to upload a picture or just sit there and have a drink with her — the list is endless. And Evin did it. The minute she snapped her fingers. I felt like I was on an episode of Sister Wives and I had to share my husband with another woman. It felt sick. Worse, whenever she was with him it seemed she would complain to him about me over the stupidest stuff or things that were flat out lies.

Another particular manipulative, hurtful thing she did I can never forgot. His mother likes to garage sale and she purchased a used, plastic Fisher Price kitchen set one day and called me to ask if I wanted it for our almost three year old daughter. I told her no, because I wanted to buy a kitchen set myself for our daughter when she was a little older. This was something I was saving to do when our daughter was about five. I was really excited about it. As a kid I loved my kitchen set and wanted to be a part of the one we got our daughter. About a half hour after I told her “NO” to the garage sale kitchen set, I was coming upstairs with laundry to fold when Evin called me out to the garage. When I got out there, that wench had brought over the kitchen set, with plastic food and toy dishes, set them down, got my daughter and let her start playing with it. As I took in what she did, that evil hag gave me a huge smile and waved her hand at my daughter and the kitchen set and said: “See? See how much she’s loves it?!!” I was so upset. If I took it away now, I’d look like the bad guy to my three year old. Sneaky witch. She knew exactly what she was doing. Again, my husband didn’t understand any of it. It just looked like she was being an awesome grandma and if I were to say anything, I’d look like a complaining brat. A few minutes later she followed me into the house to gloat over how much my daughter liked the kitchen set. I was barely listening to her while cleaning up the kitchen. What I was really doing was trying super hard not to choke her. At one point while she was gloating and trying to convince me what she did was perfectly fine, she reached out and put her hand on my arm/wrist as if to grab me to stop me from walking away from her. Bad move. I was already trying not to rip her hair out, so her touching me was like acid. I stopped, looked at her hand and immediately jerked my hand away from her and my arm flailed in a big circle to get out of her grasp. However, she didn’t even bat an eye or acknowledge what I had just done. She finished her yapping about five minutes later and went home. A few hours later she called Evin to tell him that when she was in the kitchen talking to me I “physically attacked her.” She was twisting the story of HER grabbing ME and my yanking away as “attacking” her. It was absurd. Evin didn’t believe it, but he let his mom get away with behavior like that all the time. He questions me, gets my answer, realizes his mother was lying again, and blew it off.

One more memorable thing (among many) was the very frightening earring debacle. When my oldest daughter was about 3 years old, MIL had taken her to some garage sales with her. We would always send her with a $5 bill so daughter could purchase what she wanted. When they returned home, my daughter came into the house with a tiny package wrapped in tissue paper and was excited to give it to me. When I opened it, it was a pair of silver earrings with a little ruby stone in the center that she had bought me at the garage sale. It was so sweet and they were actually decent earrings that I could wear every day. I loved them. We were getting ready to go out dinner so I put them on the dining room table still wrapped in tissue. A day or so later I wanted to wear them, so I went to the dining room to get them, but they were not there. I looked everywhere, even concerned that maybe one of my cats had battered the tissue package to the floor, but I could not find them. I was bummed. L For weeks I looked, but never found them. About three years ago at Christmas I got a small wrapped package from MIL. I opened it up and there in a little box were those silver and ruby earrings from that I thought I had lost. I was so perplexed. I thought I was losing my mind. I stared in confusion and could not believe my eyes, but I am positive that those are the same earrings. All I can figure is that as soon as we left that night, she snuck into our house, stole them off the table and gave them back to me years later. Whether she knew I’d recognize them or not, I don’t know. I didn’t say anything but it was severely disturbing. I told Evin, and he just thought I was imagining things. He’s wrong. I know those earrings because that was the first gift my oldest daughter had ever given me that she’d picked out on her own. I know those were the same earrings.

Understand that I was complaining to Evin about her behavior as often as I could when she did something obvious and to some degree he did understand. But it didn’t matter. I could see that all that mattered to Evin was that nothing rock the boat with her, because if he did, there would be hell to pay. She would get angry with him or ignore him for a few days and it had the desired effect. His immediate capitulation.

For a long time she seemed to behave okay with our two daughters. She appeared to love them and want to be with them and I never withheld them from her so long as I thought they were safe.. But after a while when they got older, say 6 and 8, they started to whine about not wanting to go to see her, or my youngest would have a fit and not want to stay the night if she was watching them when Evin and I had a night out. Things got worse and worse. They are now 9 and 11 years old and old enough to understand when something isn’t right and old enough to tell me what happens when they are alone with her. Things like: if they spent the night, she wouldn’t get her butt out of bed until 11:00 to make them breakfast or engage with them, she’d make them clean and do things instead of spending time with them, she’d go shopping with them and then get mad at a sales clerk or waitress and be really mean to them or have an enormous fit in public and the girls would get really embarrassed, or she’d see some heavy person and snicker and tell the girls “look how fat she is, she can barely walk” or she’d pick on some handicapped person. My daughters are good hearted people and that upset them. She’d promise to take them to dinner, and then would take them to a fancy inappropriate restaurant they didn’t want to go to just so she could have the type of meal she wanted. She’d drag them to art and museum functions under the guise of giving them some culture. It bored them to tears. What was really happening is that she went to those adult places so she could have wine at dinner or wine during the function and dragged my kids along so she wouldn’t be alone. She didn’t give a hoot about their happiness or whether they had a good time with her. It was never about them.

The last straw was a super creepy thing she did that had me furious. One day when my youngest was sick, MIL offered to pick our youngest up from school and let her stay at her house until we got out of work. My daughter was only mildly sick and it was a warm, rainy summer day. My daughter wanted to go out on my MIL’s back deck and play in the rain. MIL allowed this and then our daughter came back in. When my daughter was taking off her clothes to put dry ones on, MIL told her to go outside naked and dance in the rain. My daughter did not want to. She was self-conscious, of course, and embarrassed and told her grandma no. She argued with my daughter about it for a while and finally ordered her go outside naked, which my daughter did because she always did what she was told by family. In world where I am trying to teach my daughters that their body is their own and that no one has a right to tell them what to do with it, that evil excuse for human made my daughter do something she didn’t want to do that was wholly inappropriate. I found this out months after she did this. God only knows what else she’s made them do. I also found out that she talks bad about me all time making snide comments by insinuating that I’m lazy or that I should be fired from my job because I call my kids during the day or rolling her eyes at my daughters when they talk about me. This had the opposite affect MIL intended. Instead of my daughters believing her tales and start disliking me, my daughters started to really dislike her for talking badly about me. My oldest who is 11, loathes her grandmother right now. MIL is beginning to understand that our oldest daughter is starting to figure her out for what she is. I think MIL knows that she has begun to lose her control of my daughter now that she’s older and MIL is angry with her. On Christmas Eve this year this we had a full house of people including my family members. Early in the evening MIL sat across the living room from my oldest staring at her. Just staring at her like … I don’t know … like a zombie. My daughter whispered to me: “momma, grandma is staring at me and it’s scaring me. Make her stop.” I told her to ignore her. I walked away, turned around and watched what she was doing with my own eyes. Without a doubt, she was drilling malevolent intent into my kid. It definitely was scary.

Within the last few months things have been getting worse with MIL. Probably because she broke her leg again in a car accident she caused. She couldn’t walk and couldn’t drive and she wanted everyone to pity her. She can’t seem to hide her nastiness anymore and it seems to be accelerating. Evin has seemed tired of it. She’s been demanding and horrible even with him and he was reaching his limit of patience with her — which is rare!! In addition, we’ve not encouraged the girls to be with her at all, and they don’t want to anyway. Every time they’d go over to her house to scoop her cats litter box or do a few things to help with her broken leg, they’d want to leave and come home when done. As soon as they’d start to leave, MIL would burst into tears and tell them they were being mean to her. She told them that’s she’s nice to them, but they aren’t nice to her and why won’t they stay and keep her company or “you don’t want me anymore and I’m just going to move away and everyone will be sorry.” It made our girls very uncomfortable and pissed me off because MIL’s emotional well-being is not the responsibility of my children. Screw her for trying to guilt them.

The latest fiasco with MIL and when things really began to change happened in early January when we took her out for her birthday dinner. I was determined to be as pleasant possible so my husband would not be stressed and that that the evening would go smoothly. MIL was seated in the passenger seat in our van. I sat in the back seat with our girls. Right away it seemed like something was off. She was way too friendly. We chatted all the way to the restaurant where we were meeting her friend Judy. This friend she’d had for the last year, but I had been seeing Judy’s car in her driveway less and less as time went on. It had been a year. MIL was past due for losing another friend. That night she was a horror. She started poking me verbally and talking about my alleged shortcomings, she confronted me all pissed off that I didn’t run to her side. She said she knew I didn’t like her and she wanted to know why. I just kept saying that we weren’t going to get into all the now and to stop it. She wasn’t hitting the mark with me, but my daughters were scared that she was jumping all over me verbally. My 11 year old tapped my leg and whimpered “mommy I want to go home.” My 9 year old sat in her chair like a deer in the headlights. MIL complained about me to my husband in voice I could barely make out, but I could hear my name occasionally and something like “fucking daughter-in-law” and once time I heard “I know she is pissed off I moved here, to too fucking bad.” I couldn’t hear most of what she said to Evin, but my nine year old heard every bit of it. She turned from me to pick on both of my daughters – about chapped lips, and bitten finger nails and the way my 11 year old held her fork – ONCE. She complained about her gifts, our parenting skills and carried on and on. My husband was getting angry and telling her to stop it. Her friend Judy was looking at me in horror like “what the hell is wrong with her?” Everyone was uncomfortable and she was starting to get loud. Then suddenly, about 10 minutes after we got our food MIL announced “I want to go home. Right now!” We all had to hurry and eat, which was fine because we wanted to get away from her. She used her four-point walker and moved as fast as her apparently drunk legs could get her. We got in the car and got lost right away because the highway on ramps had been moved during recent construction. When I tried to explain to Evin how to find the highway on ramp, MIL shouts at me from the front seat in a slurred voice “Shuuddup beeetch.” I was so angry at that moment I swear I saw stars. She blabbered nonsense all the way home and I could tell Evin had had it with her.

When we pulled into the driveway, she started to get out of the car while Evin got her walker. She suddenly and very purposefully turned in her seat pinning my 9 year old with stare and said “sweetie, would you like to help Grandma carry her things into the house?” My nine year old looked on at her grandmother wide eyed and frightened and shook her head no. She didn’t want to do anything for Grandma. Grandma got infuriated and shrieked “I beg your pardon!?” I directed her anger at me and said “no, MIL, she doesn’t want to help you, but I will help Evin carry your things.” She got out of the car in a huff and headed into the house while I grabbed the gift bags and her left over dinner containers and followed them into the garage. She had to go backwards up the steps using her walker as leverage and as she did so she stared at me over Evin’s head and was glaring at me with the most hate filled look I have ever seen. Once in the house I walked past her, set her things down on the counter and had to walk by her again on my way out. As I did, she continued glaring daggers at me and screamed as loud as she could:

“YOOOUUUU.AAAAREEEEEE.A.FUUCCCKKING BIIIITTTCH!” I smiled at her as I sailed past her in the doorway and said nothing.

Since that time we have had barely any contact with her. Evin is furious with her and realizes she’s way out of control. That night he told the girls they no longer had to go see her if they didn’t want to. It’s been six weeks and I have not heard her voice, nor has she called the house phone. Evin told her she isn’t allowed to see the girls or talk to them until she gets therapy. He does a few things for her if she needs them, but keeps a good distance. I don’t think it is going to go well, and she’s only going to get worse but at least Evin is on board — for now. I’ve introduced Evin and his sister to NPD and they have both agreed that that is their mother without a doubt. I’m worried that Evin isn’t going to be able to resist this and things will be let go again. She talks to him on the phone and texts, but it isn’t like before. However, I know her and I know him and I’m afraid that he won’t hold his ground. I guess we’ll see.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan Goode February 28, 2015 at 7:46 pm

My ex husband is a narcissist and unfortunately I have raised my 43yr old son to be just like him. My sons life with his ex wife has become to be a ditto of his fathers life with me. My sons father had an affair with his employ and I caught them in a sexual act at our home while my sons mistresses husband caught them in sexual acts at their home. So sad how the generation curse continues. I feel so guilty that my son lived his fathers infidelity in the same way his father did.

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Original Poster March 3, 2015 at 12:14 pm

I am the writer of the original story and have an update on the issue.

MIL finally came over this past weekend. This was her idea because allegedly she missed her grandchildren and was very concerned about how our girls were feeling about her because of her behavior at her birthday dinner. I would have thought, although frankly I should have known better, that she would have come over with a little bit of contrition or humility over the horrible behavior that night. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

She came into the house wearing the same smug “I’m-better-than-everyone” attitude that she always does. My daughters had many concerns that they wanted to share with her and actually had written a list on their own of the things that Grandma was doing that was hurting their relationship. Again, I was assuming that she’d have a human/rational reaction to this list and possibly even cry. Oh no. No. No. No. While my girls gathered their courage to tell her their feelings, she completely minimized everything that she could not deny outright (drinking and smoking) and then denied everything else. Anything that my daughters told her that she did or said to them that hurt them, she basically called them liars because she said those things never happened. I’ve read so much information that tells people that Narcissists are consummate liars, but I am still shocked to see it in my own family in front of my very own eyes. She lied, lied, lied, and lied on top of lied. She sat there and denied my children their own reality by saying that everything they witnessed wasn’t true. My daughters looked at me perplexed because she was lying and they had no idea how to handle an ADULT lying to them.

On top of that, I had told my husband and she was not allowed any continued relationship with the girls until she got therapy. The first thing this woman did before we talked about anything else is say to me: “I know that you had a stipulation that I get therapy, but I am not the sole cause of the downfall of this relationship and I am going to require you to get counseling as well.” WOW. That she actually had the impudence to assume the right to stipulate what I do is really telling. She’s pretty full of herself. She doesn’t have anything I want. I could care less if she dropped dead tomorrow. There is not one single thing she can do to me to make me do anything she wanted me to do. What is she going to do? Get mad at me? Stop talking to me? Move? Cut me out of her will? There is nothing that woman can do to hold any leverage on me whatsoever. What a joke. I actually bubbled up laughing when she said that and said “Oh, MIL, I am so NOT getting counseling because you think I’m the problem. This is all yours.” She truly believes that I am half the reason we have issues and wants me to take the blame as well. Not happening.

After a while I realized she didn’t have any intention of apologizing, taking responsibility for her actions or behaving in any way that she felt sorry for what she did to our daughters. I was slowly beginning to lose my cool and we began to argue. Jon left the room with girls and his mother showed every sign of wanting to go toe to toe with me. I realized how very pointless it was. There is no point in trying to reason with someone that will never take responsibility for themselves or even remotely tell the truth. I knew this, but my husband had to witness it too. Yeah, I’d say he witnessed it. And then some. I actually got up and asked her to leave my house.

My husband was totally on board with everything I said and was completely shell shocked that she sat there and lied and lied and we knew she was lying. It’s like my husband has taken the red pill and now he sees the truth. I’m so glad. She’s done with our family. I hope she packs back up and moves back to California like she is threatening to do. There is no more narcissist supply for her here.

She still has antics for us though. My daughter told me about an incident she had yesterday when she got home from school. MIL basically gave my oldest daughter a big “fuck you.” This was one day after our meeting-gone-bad. My daughter was walking the neighbor dog after she got home from school. As she walked by MIL’s house she heard MIL’s front door open. When my daughter looked up at the front door, my MIL glared at her for a second and then slammed the door. MIL saw her walking by and took the opportunity to send her a message in a shitty, passive aggressive way. Message received.

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Anonymous April 10, 2015 at 4:49 am

Oh my goodness. Reading your story made me feel physically sick. I, too have a Narcissistic MIL but a Narcissistic mother as well. My MIL has extreme similarities to yours but is much better at hiding her traits from others. She therefore recruited her brother and his partner, her younger son and his wife and family (the “Golden Child”) as her minions and “army” in her campaign against me. I completely, 100% understand your utter bewilderment (as a normal person) as you watch someone behave they way they do. You simply can’t get your head around it, can you? The gas lighting of their behaviour, the total refusal to accept any responsibility whatsoever for their actions. Due to her constant nastiness about me to extended family (I was not aware of the degree of it), our children were treated like second class citizens. My husband’s uncle announced to the entire table at a dinner party that our children were not “special” to him, only the other two grandchildren (offspring of the Golden child younger brother). I was astonished at how awful this was- why discriminate between the four kids? Why announce you felt that way in front of everyone? In front of us? No-one said anything and we left soon after. The next day I told my MIL that I thought the incident was extremely hurtful and awful. She attacked me- told me her brother had “every right” to say that if that was what he felt. That I was a “very jealous person” and had “emotional issues” since I had a problem with it. The uncle rang me a few days later to tell me how much he hated me- “since [husbands] 21st birthday” due to all the terrible things my MIL had told him about me. A few weeks later, my MIL rang me to tell me I needed to ring the uncle and apologise. FOR WHAT EXACTLY?! “Because he is older than you, and you need to have respect”. Can I say, I did not a thing to this toxic, sick woman except marry her son? Her outfit to my wedding cost more than my wedding dress. Prior to my wedding, she announced “If SHE’S going in a limousine, then so am I!!”. She stuck her boofy head in about 70% of the wedding photos, but complained bitterly when we got them back that she wasn’t in enough photos. As you say in your story, once you get started on this stuff you can go on and on, detailing horrible stories. How I fell pregnant after 4 years and 2 years of IVF and found out I was having a girl. Her response? “Oh no! Little girls are BITCHES”. How she abused me in the hospital the day after having the baby, as she marched into the hospital room at 7.00am after I had had a completely sleepless night. How she completely ignored my son from the moment her other grandson (Golden Child’s) was born-10 weeks after mine. How she told me to my face (when I confronted her about her horrendous and damaging favouritism with the grandchildren) that she couldn’t help it if the other grandson was “so special” and mine wasn’t. Must….stop…. The upshot and EXCELLENT NEWS is that after all these years of emotional abuse (and a period where this horrible woman and her enabling husband lived with us for 9 months while their new unit was being built), we have severed all contact with them. Well, actually, they made the decision. My husband emailed and said “You will NOT treat my wife like this any longer. She is not your punching bag. If you cannot apologise to her and have respect for her then we an no longer have contact with you”. She replied “Well, you are choosing to have no contact with your family then”. Getting away from this toxic woman and the entire toxic, dysfunctional family dynamics has been FANTASTIC. My biggest regret is that we put up with it for so long. Being conditioned by my own dysfunctional mother to put up with emotional blackmail and manipulation meant I soent this entire time trying to please this woman and gain her approval. Why??? Distance (and therapy) have helped me work through this. I am a fairly assertive and strong minded person in other areas of my life (and did stand up to this vile woman on many occasions- but as you acknowledged above- what a complete waste of time that is! They gaslight and lie and you get nowhere). I cannot encourage you enough to get this woman OUT of your lives. As you realised, what leverage has she got? So what if she is angry and vengeful? What have you lost? Only a whole heap of nastiness. They NEVER change- are completely incapable of it. Enough is enough. I wish you luck!

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Jess June 21, 2016 at 7:33 am

Oh OP. You are describing my mother, including the alcoholism and the creepy co-opting of the memory of my husband’s dead mother.

It’s very beneficial to hear this from a DIL perspective, because survivor stories are sometimes distorted by the warped perspective of growing up with narcissism. Honestly, the only way I can imagine my mother being worse is if I were a man and she had a DIL to treat as her enemy. That’s what she does with her stepdaughter.

I am so sorry. Your girls are lucky to have you as a moral and emotional compass.

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Sarah October 21, 2016 at 7:37 am

The only way is to go no- contact. Completely and utterly forever, no contact. Move away if you have to to preserve the sanity and wellbeing of your whole family. She will try to manipulate you back with her flying monkeys, emergency situations, many many crafty invented ploys to get you in contact again, these must all be ignored. THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT HUMAN. They will NEVER change, they will NEVER be sorry. Their aim is to destroy, they are PREDATORS. You can never reason with them like a normal person because they are NOT HUMAN. (You’ve seen the stare – that’s not a human stare). Please please keep your family away – she may try to dangle inheritance as a carrot but rest assured she will make sure you all get nothing – they like to torutre you after they’re dead too! I was raised by a malignant narcissist mum and went no contact at 34 I’m now 47 and just getting my own life back.

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DIL-of-a-Narc March 15, 2015 at 10:47 pm

although Mils arent our moms and are not bio related they hurt their DILs just as much as they do their own kids,and in some situations worse such as if you are the spouse of the golden child.
i know my MIL turned my life upside down,has caused me to not trust people,i never met someone like her,i couldnt belive someone who was a mother could treat their children and their spouse or even her own siblings and friends the way she did.

i was young when my husband and i got together,and my family was always so close inlaws and all so i thought thats how i would be with my inlaws,i bought my mil into my family more and more,i regret it because my husband was not close with her,i thought it would be nice if he got close to her.big mistake i regret.

i grew close to her and loved her.for years i noticed she was always having a falling out with one of her daughters a sibiling or a friend,i didnt no why but for years she treated me nice and i didnt think she would ever have a problem with me,i treated her good and loved her.
i wont say what she done or the things she said over the years,but im sure yous know it wasnt nice she was a toxic person who tried to ruin my relationship with her son.the first time she turned on me was a whooper,if she would have said the things today she said years ago,the lies she made up years ago were things that could have got my children taken from me.she had my husband beliving her until i was ready to walk away,he called her and asked her why did she say those things say i did those awful things,she cried and said she dont know why,she was sorry.i call bullcrap,she was only sorry her son called her out.
that hurt me bad what she did,i stop trusting her that day,i was so upset and angry at her.
it was all sweep under the rug and i was suppose to go on like it was just someone who did something minor that caused no hurt.
i went on but i didnt call her anymore,invite her over,i didnt want to be alone with her.anytime we saw her was when my husband invited her,it was as much as it use to be because i was the one that invited her,keep a relationship going,so we probly saw her every month or two,but it wasnt long visits and i mostly had others around.

a few years later we moved 45 minutes from her and the first year at our home she twisted another lie about me over the phone to my husband,my husband belived her and my birthday weekend with my parents was called off because of her.ill always regret not going to my parents and spending that birthday with my parents without my husband.ill never get they day back with my mom.

she never called me names or made up lies in front of anyone,it was behind closed doors,just to me.made up lies about me to my husband.

however our last blow up was over text a few months ago,and she said so many nasty names to me,told me to rot in hell,F u beeotch and im one ugly beecth ewww(i lol at that one)and she said she never liked me and never will.she just cussed me out and called me names,i finally i got to tell her how i feel about her and why for the past 21 years because it was over text,usually the other conversations were over the phone when i would confront her about a lie she told my DH to cause trouble in our marriage and she would call me beech and say mean things and i could never get out everything i wanted to say cause she would talk over me and cuss.

my husband cut her off for 3 years a few years ago,and she was back in our lives for a little over 3 years before our last blow up a few months ago.the first couple years we only seen her no more then like 3 times a year but this past year she has been asking to come more and i got uncomfortable with it because i was the only one that sat with her for about 4 hours everytime she came,my kids dont like her and only would say hi and go on their way,my DH has an injury and had a couple surgeries and cant be out of bed long so he would come out and visit her for 10 to 30 minutes before he had to go back to bed.and so i was stuck with her.

it got bad because she started to ask to come down every month since the summer which was way to much for me to be around someone i dont like,and dont trust.i was pleasent to her for my husband and i think he enjoyed seeing her sometimes,she was also fake nice to me but i know she didnt care for me like she was letting on,i could feel it just like i could feel a blow up comming because i couldnt mentally and emotionally keep dealing with her.

i knew when i told her she will have to cut back on visting so much that im only able to visit with her every 3 or 4 months she would try to cause trouble but i was ready because my husband and i relationship is different now then it was before we cut her off.he knows how she is.
i was the only one to visit with her so i think she liked comming to our house cause she knew she get a dinner and company out of it and sometimes money or a gift when it was a hoilday or whatever.she has always been a user.

thing was on her visits it was so superficial between us,i never shared anything about our lives with her,all we did was watch movies and i listend to her complain about her two daughters or her sister who done her wrong or was treating her bad.not every visit but most,i dreaded her visits and i felt relived when she left and tired.

anyway she started asking for visits every month,in her texts she would say to me when can i come down to see you all or can i come down on sunday or i hope to see you all soon.it got to much for me and i started to make excuses i was buzy or i ignore her for a couple days,i do not belive she couldnt get the hint i didnt want her for a visit,i would have took the hint after a couple times and backed off but she is so entiltied and demanding and sorry to say but stupid not to get my hints,i even gave her a couple word replies most of the time that any normal person would have relized they didnt want to talk to you or be bothered,but she was determend to get her way.

i got to keep her away for 2 months before I invited her for a visit.i felt somewhat relived to have had a break from her for 2 months,everyone knows distince is the only thing to save your sanity or to try to keep a relationship from gettinfg bad with a narc or toxic person,but she wouldnt let us invite her when we wanted company,she was always asking around every 3 weeks so she could visit evey month.i just couldnt keep taking the visits with her alone,but even if my kids or husbands were around i still would have felt smothered by her with visits so much.

after her visit we got real busy with a problem with the house and a sick pet that lasted a couple months and i wasnt able to do much such as visit my own family and it was a stressful time for our family.
she started hinting for a visit and holidays were comming up and we were going to be buzy so i told her she can come down on the sunday comming up(i thought i can get a visit over with and we would see her the next time about 6 or so weeks later on xmas but
she text me a while later and told me she forgot she had plans to go to her siblings for that weekend,i told her that was ok but we wouldnt beable to see her until after thanksgiving which was 3 weeks away because we had plans with to go to my Fil and SMIL for thanksgiving and the other weekend we had plans for our family,she was ok with this or so i thought.

anyway the weekend after thanksgiving(not thanksgiving weekend which i think she thought she would visit but i meant the following)she text me and said i havent heard from you when can i come to visit.i told her the next couple weekends i am going to be buzy cause their is only 2 weekends(2 saturdays and 2 sundays)that i can get what i needed to get done and i got stuff that i need to do along with things for my job that needed done before xmas that i dont have time to sit for a few hours to visit with her.
at the time texting her that i was buzy cooking and couldnt keep texting her so i called her (a mistake) to explain what i needed to do and invite her to go xmas shopping on sunday.(i figured i could get stuff done and get a visit over with her to be done with it)

but during the call she started in a nice fake way reprimanding me on why she hasnt been down to visit in 2 months that i should have squeesed her in,i told her i havent seen my own dad or my 86 year old grandpa because of what our family had to deal with with our house situation and our pet sick we had to put to sleep,she says well what does that have to do with me,i dont want to have to wait till xmas to come down.i was stunned i didnt know what to say,i just said ill see you sunday.
i was so frigging pissed at her entililment her demanding narristic voice that i told my husband what happend with his mother and that i didnt want to see her or go shopping with her and she will have to wait until xmas to come down(which i knew she didnt want but no way was i giving into her,she was going to wait,to dam bad,i dont like her and dont want to see her anyway)

my husband said ok we will tell her something came up,i said ok but after xmas i want her to know that she cant talk to me that way,but we will wait until xmas is over so it dont cause a fight.MIL blows up and says mean things and cusses you out if you confront her behavior and i didnt want to cause a fall out.

so i texted her that i got called into work the next couple weekends and i said yes because i need to buy my husband gifts and she will have to wait till xmas to come down,she was her fake sweet self and text back she understands,but not long after she texts my husband that she is mad,why cant she come down,she is his mother(notice how Narc moms say”i am your mother”when they feel they deserve something or special treatment)
and im ridiculious and how i dont want to sit with her so she can visit(lol at that cause i do not want to sit with her and i dont have to) and how i am trying to keep her from her son and grand kids(my kids never spend anytime with her when she visits,they dont like her much and her son only visits with her no more then 15 minutes so really she fighting to come down to have me waste my time and sit with her for hours,im sick of it and done

anyway husband ignored her text tattle tailing on me that i cancelled her visit,(this is the first time she didnt get her way and my husband knows she is a lier and a trouble maker and he relized that back when he cut her off a few years prior,(i wish i would have told my husband how i felt with the visits and it was uncomfortable to me,but i guess i wasnt sure how he would feel about it and i didnt want to hurt him,but now i know that he knows how she is and i dont have to worry about her lying about me because he knows not to belive her.)

so the next day she texts husband again and says she is getting phone calls hanging up on her like she use to and she thinks im prank dialing her,(lmao,i guess she thinks im 12 and im going to waste my time on her)i ask him if he is going to respond to her and he said no.anyway she texts me the next day asking me to tell my husband not to be mad at her and she is sorry if she caused him and i to argue(which is exackly what she wanted and has caused us to do in the past).so i took the chance to tell her how i felt about her and why and i told her she didnt cause any arguement and that i dont tell my husband how to feel or what to do.

i brought up the first thing she done to me years ago(it was awful)and how that was when i stop trusting her and liking her and how she never changed she is a lier and a trouble maker,how she treats her kids and siblings,she is a user,she is toxic and narcissistic and needs therpy(when i said those things i also brought up things she has done over the years.
i also told her she isnt my mom and i have no obligation to her in anyway and i didnt want to visit with her and didnt have to.dam did it feel so awsome getting all of it out,i mean it felt really good,i felt free of her,finally,boy does it feel good.

of course she said that i was the lier and trouble maker,ignored the awful things i reminded her she done to me over the years and all she keep bringing up was how i cancelled the visit to go shopping,she had nothing on me i ever done to her .

the next morning she text me it says
since today is a new day she dont want to hurt me and her son anymore and since today is a new day she is apologizing for all the hurtful things she said,with all the hurtful things said yesterday to hurt each other,please accept her apology and let the past be the past and leave it behind us,she is sorry for all the hurtful things she said to me and please find it in my heart to forgive her one day and she does love me.

i feel she said sorry that way because she learned to apoligise thatway to keep getting her family to forgive her.
also she hasnt changed,she still says and does stuff to hurt people,when you are sorry you stop doing the things your sorry for.
also xmas was comming and she wanted nice gifts.

i told her i was stepping out of any relationship with her,im not visiting with her.i was done,i will support whatever relationship my husbands wants with her but thats it,so far i nor my family had to deal with her for a few months and its been wonderful

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MIL is a narcissist August 17, 2015 at 7:34 pm

Ladies,

I actually get anxiety reading your stories. These women are sick and disgusting. What scares me the most is how alike they are. What school did they attend that teaches someone how to think like this???

I have not had contact with my MIL in four years, I’ve been married for 5. One year was too much for me. I am much happier this way. My husband has slowly been seeing the light and is getting better emotionally. His siblings all side with his ‘poor, sweet’ mother. I am the evil girl that cut him off from his family. Cry me a river losers! I live for my children and I will protect them 1000% from any kind of abuse.

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Ann August 9, 2016 at 8:21 pm

Good for you to cut off contact after only 1 year of marriage – I have had almost 20 years of hateful behavior – trying to trick us into bringing our young boys to spend the weekend with her, her daughter and her daughter’s accused pedophile boyfriend – constantly demeaning, blaming me for the lack of family unity bc we don’t want our kids around this boyfriend (now a Holocaust denier!) – It has been so helpful reading this – It has been so damaging – just wish I had known it earlier!

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S.l October 20, 2016 at 3:21 pm

They are not human – my “mother” ( narc monster ) proved that to me ☹

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Sarah October 21, 2016 at 8:14 am

That’s unfortunately very common when one goes no contact with the narc. Well done! I’ve been NC with my NM for 13 years and am much better off for it. They can’t change and aren’t human – to be human you need a conscience, empathy, love and compassion for others, they have none of this and seek only to satisfy their own wants regardless of who they hurt ( it’s all Narsissistic supply to them). Our only mistake is that because they look like humans, we assume there must be a human under there somewhere and we keep trying and making allowances for the predator to continue their destruction. Once we realise there is no hope, we can be free from them and their lies and manipulation. The guilt and all that goes with it lies with them. We are not at fault, we are human.

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evelyn September 25, 2015 at 2:19 pm

From what I can see of these posts and others, be very very careful of whom you marry and how your other interacts with their family. VERY careful.
Sometimes, relationships go on for so long that one feels like an idiot for backing out, breaking up, but many ignore ‘red flags’ and go on to be living in hells as described above. Sometimes, things will finally work out, but not after damage, some severe.
Some of these narcs are totally psycho and can deceive almost everyone, but many finally drop the mask after a certain amount of time and reveal themselves for what they are. This is the crucial turning point: leave or stay. Far too many stay, lie to themselves, others, or just feel ashamed about breaking up.
Life is just too short for this nonsense.

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Missy October 17, 2015 at 12:52 am

Sadly that’s the problem – that it sounds like nonsense but is a living nightmare. Most victims are grounded, rational, kind women who are simply naive to the fact there are pyschopaths wandering around in real life, not just on the TV. I have two children, have been advised not to have contact with the Narcissistic MIL but a can of worms has been opened – even when you think the truth is out and the problem is solved. If my husband is anything less than 100% straight with me on even the tiniest issue, I hear alarm bells ringing, rightly or wrongly I still don’t know. So I could leave – we have discussed it (though being the one to ‘walk out’ on a marriage seems unfair when I have stayed and tried to resolve this hell for 3 years and counting) – but how can I protect my children if I am not here? He is not a bad man – just even more naive than I was – having been brought up by my very controlling MIL. To the point, aside from his career, he has very little else and very little opinion of his own on anything else. My parents divorced so yes perhaps I wanted a ‘happy’ family of my own a little too much. I’m still willing to fight for that – but all this talk does something that disgusts me – sounds like nonsense and whingeing. I don’t want to think or talk about it anymore – it is NONSENSE. The desire to escape and start again somewhere else is compelling – I think I have had enough chats with psychologists to understand the good and the imperfections in people – and that not everyones faults and insecurities are anything to panic over – we all have them. However, I can’t abandon my children to deal with all these lessons themselves – I need to keep a closer eye on them than ever, and if that’s at the cost of a truly happy, loving relationship of my own then so be it. Gutting but true. Let’s hope it resolves and there’s a happy ever after. No contact is tough – the guilt it brings. It just feels like ‘bad manners’ at the best, or cruel at worst, to keep an old lady with MS that everyone thinks is delightful away from her grandchildren. So it’s not really nonsense but the ultimate Catch 22. More people need to know about this and understand it to help and give support to the unwitting victims that get caught up in it.

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AussieGirl December 3, 2015 at 11:39 pm

Oh wow… I want to cry and cringe as well as having a sense of relief that someone out there can relate. I have a narc MIL, at least, I think she is. Years of getting psychological treatment it’s come out that my in laws are more or less the central reason my own mental health disintegrated.

What is it with this compulsion for narcs to want their families living with them?! I spent hours in my psychologist’s office asking why people who clearly hate me would want me around. We used to live 160kms (100 miles) away and yet were expected to spend our very low student stipends on visiting MIL every single week.
Now I see it’s because I was a source of energy for them. My MIL and probably older brother in law have these characteristics. Younger brother in law is the golden child. Pretty sure my husband (and I) are the scapegoats. Lucky for us, really, as it’s like a buffer between us and MIL.
But oh it’s never MIL’s fault, she’s always the victim. Every Christmas she & narc brother in law (and his wife) sends my husband abusive eMail on how I’ve deliberately ruined the family (last year it was because I said I’d be having lunch with my own mum before visiting the in laws, not an unreasonable request but taken as proof of my hatred for MIL?!). I could go on. I’m sure most of us looking for advice on these sites could. The spiritual abuse, the financial abuse, the complete obliteration of who I am and everything I hoped for and dreamed of, all because I married my husband (who is wonderful by the way). I never asked to be sucked into such a dysfunctional family. Mental illness runs in my own immediate family but it is nothing like what I’ve experienced with the narc in laws.

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AussieGirl December 3, 2015 at 11:45 pm

I’ll also add that while I see the sensibility of leaving if the opportunity arises, especially where serious abuse occurs, in my case I do actually love & care about my husband, who is himself processing through his experiences with his mother, siblings, apathetic father, and their cultish religious beliefs. I support him in this journey and we are a united front, so to speak. It’s tough but we are getting through it together.

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Jonita October 13, 2016 at 4:59 pm

Hey AussieGirl!

I don’t know where you’re at (I’m in Sydney), but if you’re nearby and want to chat, I would love to meet up. I’m American and newly married to my Aussie husband. He is amazing and our marriage so far has been incredible…except for my narcissistic MIL. It is hard to deal with her when my own family and many of my friends are so far away or haven’t dealt with a personality like this. Anyway, just reaching out in case you’re nearby and would like some support, too.

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Mirrored Image April 6, 2016 at 9:36 am

Thank you for writing this. Thank you for taking the time. You have made me feel so less insane and so much less alone. We recently cut off my NMIL and, after reading this, it’s so clear to me that I not only made the right decision but am sticking with it. None of us should have to live with this. None of us.

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Frustrated May 3, 2016 at 7:49 am

The OP’s MIL is clearly a narcissist and a horrible person. I hope they have now, it not sooner, gone NC with this spawn of the devil. I have a lot of issues with elderly in-laws both of whom display narcissistic tendencies. My wife, unfortunately, is an enabler and does not believe her parents are Ns (even though she often argues with them, esp. where treatment of her child is concerned). I, on the other hand, am expected to put up with these horrible people to keep the peace. This has led to a short-lived attempt to separate myself from these people (as we live with NMIL, at my wife’s insistence, it led to separating myself from her enabling behavior, even though I still love her). My wife blames my own parents for that situation and cut herself & my stepdaughter off from them, and any expressions if anger or negativity towards her mother and father from me are met with hostility and defensiveness (of her NParents, NOT her husband). The response I usually get is ‘that’s just the way she I’d or more likely, shut down or ‘stop talking that way about my mommy and daddy’. My wife does not want to get our own home as NMIL has willed her house to my wife, and my wife is supporting her bankrupt brother by buying him a house. I would be expected to support our household in its entirety so she can support her brother. Her father, who also shows N tendencies, is 90+ and lives in his own home, and my wife panders to him by doing his housework, cooking for him, and cleaning up his messes. Even before he was 90, he expected to be pandered to, and my wife expects me to do the same. When I refused to I was subjected to the silent treatment and hateful comments for days, until my wife decided that ‘I don’t like not talking to my husband’, and the clouds finally lifted. My wife is also trying to isolate me from my own family (she does not want them coming to visit me or vice versa [they live in another state]); when I point out I am expected to see & take care of her soul-sucking parents every day she replies ‘but that’s different’, and expects compliance. Her NMom believes that no one has the right to stand up to an elder and also believes herself to be exempt from the law! She refused to register her vehicle to save money and then my wife got a $300 fine for driving an unregistered car; she then tried to fight the ticket on the grounds that ‘she had forgotten’. On another occasion she got a speeding ticket which she tried to fight on the grounds of ‘I’m elderly, on a fixed income and can’t afford it’! Of all the nerve!
My family & friends are urging me to leave before this family of Ns and enablers puts me in the ground. To do so would devastate my stepdaughter and my wife, but sometimes I think my wife believes her birth family comes first, ahead of her married one.

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Julie July 15, 2016 at 3:04 pm

OMG! At last I have found a place where people have been through the exact same as me! I met my husband when I was 18 and I am now 49 and this abuse has went on for all of this time from my MIL. Far too many things have gone on to try to explain this ugly vile toxic woman in my life. The final straw came when she said that my parents(who both died at 58 a year apart from each other) were evil and that’s why they died and she is good and still alive (she is now 88). This pushed me to breaking point, especially when my husband never sees anything she says or does is ever wrong! So much so, all of the pain she had caused me for 30 years has took its toll on me. I now have GAD and all as a result of this woman and not being supported by my husband. although I have severed all ties with this woman, my husband still sees her and when I try to tell him how much this has affected me, he just goes all sad looking and mumbles a feeble apology. Our relationship has suffered enormously, that both of us are going through counselling (separately). Now I have to convince him that she has narcissistic personality but how? I am a strong person and always asked the question ‘why’ what had I done to her? I knew I had done nothing to make her be this way with me, but between them both, they sort of convinced me that everthing was me! I only wish I had put a stop to this very early on in the relationship, but Iam too nice of a person and put up with it all. To my expense!

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Sam September 26, 2016 at 3:52 am

Dear Julie
I feel for u. If your husband couldn’t see it for nearly 30 yrs?…he can not see in 31st.
Reason being n families don’t have feelings for others. They can only feel if it hurts them. My wife cud see everything done by my NMIL, but do nothing, I was another number for her as she knew NM, does this to others too
, it is a normal thing for them, but she cud SEE..when it starts happening to her, because she cud feel.
So your husband can only see if it happens to him or he feels for u.

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Sue August 3, 2016 at 9:15 am

My heartfelt sympathy to the original poster and I wish you all good things for the future. I am on Day 2 of walking away after nearly 25 years of abuse – not as serious as the above by a long way, but I have suffered and need to stick it firmly in the past now and move on. Good wishes to all who are, like me, in need of support with their recovery.

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Nolonger w/narc September 17, 2016 at 6:06 pm

Unreal! I am not kidding my ex is an alcoholic, Narcissist sex addict. His mother is the matriarch narcissist and holy hell do I have stories that are right there with all you ladies. Wicked. Absolutely wicked people. My ex mil is very wealthy and literally that is what makes it worse as she is so vindictive and controls with money. My last 22yrs is all unfolding before my eyes and as many of you, their sickness literally makes me want to vomit also.. My mother had passed away after my marriage and my ex mil played on that also. Oh my gosh I want to throw up right now just thinking of all the awful things I have endured at the hands of this family. I’m in the process of legally keeping my children safe as I see what has been going on and why things are the way they are and how their roles made things this way. Absolutely awful.. My exact words as I believe someone else used. They are truly Satan’s spawn. The devils children among us.

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Paul September 19, 2016 at 1:12 am

My MIL is a narc, I found her odd even just after marriage, but couldn’t work out, what is it? Lot of bad things happened, kept away 10 yrs, got back again, before she use to attack me,but now my wife for 28 yrs. It’s affecting her health. Trying to give her full support, but like all of you, find it very exhausting…like this thing sucks life away from you. You are in constant battle, trying to protect your family. Salute you.

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Janet Neville October 7, 2016 at 10:49 am

My MIL is a narcissist, but what I would term a covert one. I married her golden boy son. We’ve been married for 18 years. I knew something was wrong the day we got engaged when my MIL was sobbing because she “lost her baby boy” to me. She has huge abandonment issues from early childhood, and due to a checked out husband, turned her son (my husband) into her “best friend” when he was little and objectified him so that he could feel her endless pit of needs. He managed to escape, but my sister in law did not. She still devotes her life to serving my MIL’s endless needs.

I sensed my MIL resented me from Day 1. I never trusted her. I never liked her. She really pushed hard to insert herself into my marriage and try to win her son back. She resented me for taking her son away. She recruited her daughter and her 2 sisters to do their dirty work, and be her minions in their campaign against me. What they hoped for was a divorce, so that my husband could return to his mom. It never happened or came close to happening. However, I can look back on my marriage and see that our biggest fights and problems always had one thing in common: my MIL. She really was so toxic to our marriage.

About 5 years ago, I began to go low contact with my MIL. I thought it would be enough, but it wasn’t. She still was such a negative energy in my life. So, I ended up cutting her off and out of my life about a year ago. It was the best decision I made. She is now terminally ill, and her terminal illness has triggered quite a bit of narcissist rage which I am so glad I am not apart of. My husband continues to see her. He is the golden boy after all, feeding her endless pit of needs.

I was so naïve going to this as I’ve never had a narcissist in my life, but I have learned so much from the experience. If I had to do it all over again, I would have gone very low contact with this person from Day 1 and detached from her such that she was a circus act I observed without emotion.

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S.l October 20, 2016 at 3:39 pm

NO CONTACT IS THE ONLY WAY,! 47 years I know this shit now. ( malevolent narcissistic mother) Preserve yourselves cut off the toxic people and live your OWN LIVES !!! Do not feel bad about your decision – they are predators feeding off you, starve them and save yourselves !

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Jonita October 13, 2016 at 4:46 pm

Dear OP,

THANK YOU for sharing your story. I’ve been married for 6 months and my MIL is a narcissist. Some elements of your story are eerily similar…like she got mad I didn’t wear some family pearls of hers for my wedding. But she never gave them to me. And was horrible to me the week before the wedding when I went above and beyond to be nice to her (it was also the week of her birthday–and I paid over $200 for a beautiful afternoon tea for her to meet my mom and sisters–while she sulked because she didn’t get to decide every element of our wedding). She also stole something from the reception. After our honeymoon, my husband and I asked my family about this decor item (a heart with our names and the date on it–I purposefully wanted to save it and include it in our home decor). We asked the venue staff. And couldn’t find it…only to discover it a few weeks later at her home. She admitted to taking it as a ‘souvenir’. No apologies. Just a smug smile. She tried to crash our second honeymoon and my husband’s first trip to the US to meet many of my friends and extended family members for the first time–she couldn’t understand why we wouldn’t want her to join. And of course she was eager to tell us about an open apartment in her building. We could ‘save money’ by moving there–HELL NO! Luckily, my husband sees her for who she is and has always stood up for me. But it’s very difficult to watch. He knows her flaws, but he loves her–despite how abusive and cruel she can be toward him and others (similar to your, MIL, she calls out strangers in the mall–she tells women in burkas “You must be ugly under there!” and smiles). Her behaviour is horrifying. I honestly have a bit of PTSD from dealing with her…it makes me anxious to call or visit. Sometimes she can be charming. But I know I can’t trust her. The optimist in me wants to believe she can change. I keep praying. But I will also keep my distance for now…

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S.l October 20, 2016 at 3:27 pm

The only way with malevolent narcissists is to go NO CONTACT, !!! they will NEVER change. I was raised by a narc, they know NO BOUNDARIES, they are PSYCHOPATHIC, they have NO EMPATHY, they are NOT HUMAN,,,,!!!!

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J November 23, 2016 at 12:00 pm

What is surviving, I got out with two or three severe mental disorders which i have resolved for about 20% with the utmost effort.

Yay I survived. 🙁

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Jen November 29, 2016 at 9:26 am

No kidding. What is the diagnosis for too many bad feelings and not enough good ones?

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Jenn December 7, 2016 at 4:29 pm

Reading these posts have terrified me. My (35 yo) boyfriend’s mother is displaying all of the tendencies here. We have been together nearly a year and I’ve always thought it was odd how close he was to his mother, the way his mother sends him pushy advice (that she expects him to follow). They live several states away and when she visits, she rearranges his apartment and polishes all his shoes, and then lectures him about it.

We have only met once, and everything went smoothly (or so we thought!) but a few days later she started calling and complaining about how rude and terrible I was. She was upset I didn’t dance around her (her words) and that I wasn’t the “daughter she never had” upon the very first meeting. She demanded a “response” from me, but I was always taught not to engage with people like this and I let my boyfriend handle it.

He went home at Thanksgiving, thinking he would invite me to Christmas and we could all meet again and start over. Big mistake. She said no way could I come, and then less than a week later sent me an email. This was the most cruel, hurtful thing I’ve ever read about myself or anyone else. It was all about how I didn’t fit her (overly high, boundary-less) expectations, and how if she had treated her MIL like that her husband never would have married her. She criticized my character, values and personality – based on ONE meeting. Then she ‘graciously’ offered to start over and I could come to their house for a ‘family reunion.’ I was so angry and hurt. She has been waiting for a response ever since, bugging my bf about it, and since I didn’t respond within 24 hours, she is now calling and emailing him multiple times daily to try and convince him to break up with me.

My boyfriend has a hard time standing up to her and setting boundaries, he says there has never been anyone important enough before now. So he has started stepping up, but the push-back from her is just overwhelming. We started seeing a therapist this week, and I think that is a good first step. He is writing her a response to the letter, stating that he is a grown up and this is his choice. He’s trying. But is there ever hope? I cannot seriously see him ever going no-contact, and I desperately don’t want to deal with this woman for the rest of my life. I’m seriously considering ending the relationship over this, which seems silly because there are zero issues between us.

Like I said, we just started therapy. I got him to go by offering that maybe a therapist can help us see solutions we don’t see on our own, because the way he has been handling it just makes her angrier. I am hoping as the issues come out, my bf will continue therapy on his own for these issues but I’m just worried that this will never be resolved.

Is there hope? Should I run?

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