Narcissistic Mother-in-Law

by Michelle Piper

What if you realize you have a narcissistic mother-in-law? For your spouse, the child of the narcissist, dealing with the parental narcissist can be more taxing and harder than dealing with anyone else.

But what happens when you marry into having a narcissistic relative? 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.

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.

She’s a master manipulator and knows what to say and do to make you think she really cares. She’s also skilled in planting the seed of doubt.

Narcissistic mother-in-laws have been operators and controllers since childhood, perfecting their craft as they age. They brag, nag, intrude, compete, and often defeat those who attempt to have healthy boundaries. The boundary violating relationship she likely created 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 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.

In the movie, 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 manipulative side of her, but it was there all along. The couple’s relationship almost breaks apart right before the wedding. Luckily, 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 in both spouse and the narcissistic mother’s grandchildren.

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. You will be targeted to join with the narcissistic mother or will be her enemy and these roles can flip flop over time.

If your partner was in the lost child role, the maternal narcissist may resent that you are “distracting the family” from her or her other children such as the golden child, with your marriage ceremony, your children and so forth. How dare you steal the spotlight from them 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 used coping strategies like “minimizing” or “denying” his or her parent was and is 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 good 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. Remember, 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 yourself, your spouse and children from a maternal narcissist.

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 that you and your family receive from any narcissist.

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.

{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

Vail September 22, 2017 at 1:00 pm

I have a NMIL and she is very toxic, I pretty much had her number from the beginning but apparently she had no idea. After my now husband and I got engaged, perhaps it was two months we got an email about her moving in with us and selling her house. She wanted us to get a house with granny quarters or enough space to have a small house on the property. My husband did nothing like a dumb ass and so another couple months and she had found us a house! Nope…this time I responded and let her know that she was never moving in ever. I have now dealt her crap for almost a year (married life) she walks in our house without knocking, power play I am sure. When we got married I asked her NOT to stay in the room as I dressed because for one my brides maid was also getting dressed and she did not give two sh@*ts and stayed anyway and had my son walk her down the aisle which was also not part of the ceremony. Anyway I have had enough and she was bring annoying as she had not heard from me in awhile. I blocked her from my cell and apparently she tried to text me or call me and of course blocked Oh well! So she emailes me and I finally let loose and tell her ALL of it, all her crap I will no longer put up with. Of course denial and more denial and no idea I felt that way and forget this and forgot that and blah blah blah. I pretty much told her she is full of it, I know her game and I am out. I don’t care if my husband wants to see her, thats fine but as for me, NEVER! I am done so now she is on a mission to get him on her side, wont happen he knows how she is and says he cant stand her not for 15 min but of course to her he acts ok. He can’t handle the conflict I guess, who knows. I will no longer be a part of her life, he can have her, all of her and figure it all himself. She has no boundaries ZERO!


Starr February 1, 2018 at 2:34 pm



pat February 12, 2018 at 6:52 pm

I understand your pain and frustration. Im living with a mama boy who keeps his balls in her pocketbook yet acts like im the problem. 37 years married. My MIL is 88yrs. Really good shape but her hubris is STILL overwhelming. When I got engaged she asked me if I knew how LUCKY I was that her son had chosen me!! A couple years ago she told me i would be her caregiver, if needed, as she couldnt do that to her daughters and by omission couldnt do it to her sons ( 2 dters and 4 sons). She didnt ask me – she told me. She is the most manipulative bitch I have ever met. And her narcissism is overwhelming, even at 88 yrs.. Stay away from your MIL, and try and focus on your
marriage. I am 59yrs and have too much to lose financially in a divorce. Weigh your options and if it hopeless, leave. I should of done just that YEARS ago. As Princess Diana once said, “there are 3 of us in my marriage”. I concur except there is no other lover- its his creepy mother.


Meg December 7, 2018 at 5:43 pm

This sounds so much like my situation. I am 42 and so too is my husband and his mother is in her 70’s. cannot recall her exact bday as I try not to think much about her at all. It would appear the unspeakable agreement between my husband his brother, brother’s wife and mother as well as other family members is that I have been elected to look live with his mother…without being asked…but the hints are being dropped. First my husband refuses to let us move out of the family-owned apartment into our own place only suggesting that we move in with his mother…oh and everyone else seems to think this is a fantastic idea…also the mother drops remarks to me that she prefers to live in her house as opposed to moving to a retiree apartment complex. Yet every time she is around me she keeps mouthing to me “it’s only my one…it’s only my one” with reference to her 3 bedroom house. But she is a mean one even to my child when she was younger but she is very pretentious and loves to gossip. My husband takes her side about everything so imagine living in the same house?!


Anonymous September 23, 2017 at 7:20 am

Where the F is your mother in laws husband!? Sorry, I just don’t get why these mother in laws don’t find intimacy and satisfaction in their husbands.


Vail September 25, 2017 at 12:25 pm



Anonymous September 30, 2017 at 8:54 am

They usually don’t have one


Cathy December 17, 2017 at 3:59 pm

The nasty miserable one I had has chases away 2 and number 3 hasn’t figured it out yet


Adrian October 9, 2017 at 1:25 pm

The narcissist needs to be the centre of everyone’s attention, all family members no-one is spared. They can’t get enough attention. Tell me, is copious attention from a single person enough for you or do you need several relationships to fulfill your needs?


Candace December 18, 2017 at 7:36 pm

My FIL has just become a sheep and follows along with commands. He understands that alot if what my MIL does is crazy and doesn’t know how to stop it…. So he just goes along with it


Anonymous June 12, 2018 at 7:04 am

My father in law is so scared of being on her path of wrath that he backs up everything she says or does.


Anonymous January 14, 2018 at 11:50 am

my father in law just sits there, and is totally passive, she is the boss and a horrible human…..if they have a husband they are always in the background.


Anonymous May 28, 2018 at 3:21 pm

I’m glad to hear we are not alone in this. My MIL is crazy like what all of you described and so funny they all act the same! My FIL is a doormat, passive can’t even stand up for himself and even apologize for the things he didn’t do to just kwwphe peace. My husband doesn’t want our son to grow up around my MiL thank God, my husband is determined to protect our family from the dysfunction and hurt that my MIL causes.


Cheryl September 25, 2017 at 9:56 am

After 22 years of watching my MIL play games against me, among her three children, and among other family members who don’t “pay enough attention to her”, we are done. The final straw was watching her give a birthday gift to our older daughter (who she currently doesn’t find threatening), and not giving a gift to our younger daughter (who “dared” to express her feelings to “Grandma”). Playing the “favorite game” with the next generation, the same way she does with her three adult children, is not going to be tolerated! None of her adult children speak to each other, because of her constant pitting one against the other. She still found time to talk about everyone, behind their backs, including her own sister, who supports her financially, while dealing with her “dying” husband (he’s presently alive, and fine)!! She can’t stop because she enjoys the sick power. She hates her other DIL who married her “Golden Son”, hates me who married the “scapegoat son”, and hates everybody that doesn’t worship at her feet, 24/7. She has become just like her own narcissistic mother, who she couldn’t stand. My children have experienced the “sick” love of this narcissist, and know that she is incapable of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. The lies are constant and we are done! Thank God!


Catherine White November 10, 2017 at 9:05 pm

22 years is a long time! I am glad you have finally distanced yourself from such a toxic environment. It is such a shame because family should be everything, and each generation should be supporting future generations by showing love and kindness.

I have a toxic MIL but I think you have a much worse one than me.

What type of person speaks nastily of a person who is looking after them financially knowing that that person is looking after their own sick loved-one?

Maybe someone needs to expose her? Tape her conversations and play them at the dinner table at Christmas.

All the best. x


PAULA N. December 25, 2017 at 4:33 pm

Catherine White, Hi! I am reading your comment and I think we are living the same life!


Sandra June 5, 2018 at 5:01 am

My MIL is EXACTLY the same. Exept that she had a light heart attack and now plays the victim role. All her family members keep away from her exept her 2 (of 4boys and 1girl) nice (or naive) sons which of one is my husband. Now she demands my BIL comes to sleep over every second day (leaving his wife and new born alone) and he does it. And since she made her 3 sons throw their elder brother out of her house because he told her what he thinks but in a rather hash way, she now sleeps every second day in my 3 room flat on my couch(we have 2 sons and i am 8 months pregnant). As if that is not enough she caused a big fight in the family a few days ago because she lied against me and her other DIL and we told each other. Now they don’t want her to sleep in their house anymore and thats why she is every 2 days here even when my husband works at night. I am so angry everytime she is here because of what she said about me and it is eating me up and i also unwillingly projekt my anger on my husband. I am afraid my unborn daughter feels it somehow. Im scared how the future looks like. And to top it all she behaves as if i wronged her because i asked other DIL if it was true what MIL told me and her sons she did. I am so full of anger and hatred it makes me mad. I don’t know what to do. I’m also scared of rejection.


Link October 3, 2017 at 9:10 am

Reading your piece, so many bells are chiming. The initial ‘welcome’ by my NMIL was short-lived, soon giving way to snippy remarks and very controlling language and behaviour – eg ‘If he wants to be part of this family, he’ll have to do X, Y and Z …’ – referring to me as ‘he’ as if I wasn’t there. For the sake of peace, I didn’t protest. After every visit, I was left with the strong impression I’d done something wrong – but never knew what.

For almost a decade, I felt like I was auditioning for her. Then her other child – not my partner – confronted me about some blatant lies my NMIL had told about me and I finally realised the extremity of what I was dealing with. It took me some time to believe someone could behave this way – I had to battle a lot of my own incredulity. But my years of bewilderment eventually solidified into some sober clarity. In the last few years, I have declined all visits and our ‘relationship’ consists of no more than bland birthday cards – no love, no kisses. That’s how I like it – and how it will stay.

Absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder. But it can gradually drain the poison, which used to be regularly topped up.


Connie October 4, 2017 at 8:14 pm

Thank you, Link. My story is so similar. You showed me what I have to do. I’ve been auditioning for 33 years. I’m so very sick of it.


Connie October 4, 2017 at 8:21 pm

Thank you, Link. My story is so similar. You showed me what I have to do. I’ve been auditioning for 33 years. I’m so very sick of it.


Heather October 15, 2017 at 1:49 pm

My mother in law is a narcissist and his sister has borderline personality disorder. Father passed away 7 years ago. The two of them live together and the 35 year old sister is completely dependent on her mother. They both don’t work and don’t have a single friend between them. They have alienated every family member they have and they have made my life a living hell. When I confronted it and them they cut me out of their lives and now they insist every holiday and most weekends my husband has is spent with them. They can continue to manipulate without me interfering. Gives him spiels about how his loyalty is to her as a son. I feel like giving up on the whole situation and walking away. Even though I love my husband to death. Someone help me figure this out.


mitzi January 14, 2019 at 11:43 pm

I have been living this for 4 years sister in law for 15 years. it wont stop ever if he keeps giving the MIL what she wants every time she wants or needs something. look up what is called a malignant narcissist it all stems back to unresolved childhood abuse. if a child is raised by a narcissist parent they are controlled by manipulation, that’s how she controls him as an adult. narcissists have no guilt, doubts,remorse and they are not capable of truly loving ANYONE. they are not capable of love because their sole purpose in life is to always take things from loved ones so they have everything they want and need and the loved one has nothing. children who are exposed to this lifestyle for long duration of years develop narcissist traits. they see it every day and it becomes their idea of normal…………LEAVE HIM ITS NOT FIXABLE…but the damage they have done to you mentally and emotionally is fixable


Dsmith October 20, 2017 at 8:09 pm

Dont let these evil women win.We are stronger than them and they are threatned by it. I am in the same situation as all of you women and before I knew about this narcisstic thing I thought something was wrong with me. I would argue ,cry and fight with my husband to get him to understand what was goin on with his mother. Well it took his father passing away for things to change for me at least where I no longer play this womens games I ignore and grey rock whenever I see her which is everyday because she lives upstairs from me. I also pray everyday and make sure i keep my self and my husband and my children happy because at the end of the day that is all that matters .Ladies listen stop trying to get ur husbands to see what they cant see they are used to this behavior and dont resent them .instead show them what a real woman wife and mother is supposed to be. Trust me it will be hard but you will feel so much better.


Jo Taylor March 22, 2019 at 8:20 am

Thank you for your strong advice. My life is identical to tour story and nmil lives with us also , he never sees we had huge arguments tonight after me saying I’m finding it hard so yes I have to be strong and be the beautiful woman we are all the best x


Charlotte Merritt October 23, 2017 at 8:11 am

So I’m still going through this with my NMIL to be, my partner is and only child. The first day we met she was all sweet and kind, a few months later when my partner’s ex got married, she was sat gushing to my partner about how fabulous the bride looked and that the bride could pull of anything she wore, all while I was in the room. I just finished an argument with NMIL and my closing line was “he’s picked me, he wants to spend the rest of his life with me, if you don’t like it then tough”. I’m so done with her BS and now hopefully I’ll never hear from her again.y partner knows exactly what’s she’s like and has agreed with everything I said in the argument.


Anonymous November 6, 2017 at 11:02 am

I have a NMIL and married her “golden child” son. I am at a loss for words. When they are fighting I tried to be mediator and let her know I would never put her in a stressful/awkward situation and if she needed anything to come to me. From the beginning of our relationship she seemed “OK” mostly because we were still doing everything with her and for her that she was use to… I was just the third wheel. Well from the time of our our short 6 month engagement she basically lost all respect from me. Blatantly telling lies, manipulating close friends and family member to basically “dislike” me… she called me names and bashed me and my family even after I had literally done all I could to show her how much I was trying to have a relationship with her. She secretly calls my husband and tells him things and he never tells me. I feel like he is hiding things from me but I try to say to myself maybe I just dont want to hear what she has to say. I am really stressed out, so much that I am letting it consume my time and energy. Its hard for me to accept how she acts out and treats me and my husband and everyone just sweeps it under the rug. I dont resent my husband yet, he says hes on OUR side but then when I find out the things she has said about me or done.. I am seriously hurt. I do not ever want to see her but I also have a hard time wanting my husband to see/talk to her. Im tired of no one really making her apologize for anything shes has said or done. I want to have a successful marriage but shes making it extremely impossible for me to even discuss with my husband. For now iv just left it alone. She even so much has told her son that she doesn’t want us to be around for the holidays because of MY deceitfulness…. and then when that is brought up to her she refuses and lies and says she never said it. I want to ask my husband what they talk about but others tell me to leave it alone. I am just very very lost and need any help I can get. I pray constantly for God to help me be supportive and there for my husband. I love him so much it hurts me to see him being manipulated and intentionally letting her treat him and ME this way. HELP SOS anyone!

She is also a divorced from his father now for 10+ years… her ex is remarried. My husband is the only son and he is successful and very intelligent. She has a daughter she cares for but does not boast about her like her son. I worry that the mother/son relationship is dysfunctional and that the dynamic between them is askew. I dont trust the daughter either mostly because I am constantly watching what I say and do around them because Im afraid of what they will “make up” about me. The NMIL has a problem with bringing others into arguments… that really bothers me. I dont think its fair for the daughter to be the mediator for the relationship that i have between her mother and I.

Please help.


Anonymous November 6, 2017 at 2:32 pm

I am reading this feed seeking help as well, but I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. Your situation sounds a lot like mine and it is increasingly hard to deal with. I do think that my husband tells me a lot of what his mom says about me but I know for a fact he doesn’t tell me everything and that is out of pure protection of my feelings. She has ZERO respect for me as a wife and especially a mother. She constantly voices her opinion about our decisions regarding parenting and when my husband tells her that we make decisions together her reply usually consists of, “Well you’re her (my daughter) dad right? Why can’t you be making decisions?” And it’s comments like this that degrade us both. That is literally the tiniest tip of the ice berg. I could spend days exchanging stories but any advice is definitely appreciated.


Anon November 20, 2017 at 11:07 am


I too came seeking help as I am about to spend holidays with my mil and my situation is very similar. My husband is her only living son and golden child but he is in complete denial about her. We tried a brief bit of therapy last year about this with our pastor but he told me privately that my husband wasn’t ready to accept the truth even though he could easily see how she manipulates him. She is very good at playing the victim and so far in every battle has made it look like it was someone else’s fault even placing blame on our young children at one point. All I can tell you is to pray, keep your own counsel as in as tempting as they can be when they are playing nice, never open up them them about anything they just use it against you , and record everything or at least make notes of what happens when.

Best wishes.


Cathy... Truth December 17, 2017 at 4:07 pm

The nasty miserable one I had has chases away 2 and number 3 hasn’t figured it out yet… Truth, tell them nothing because they are manipulative and they will throw what they know back in your face to get what they want. They like confrontation and your silence will annoy them more than anything. In my case, I broke my engagement to her scapegoat son and I am running like hell!


Jusme December 10, 2017 at 12:22 pm

I’m not big on advising people but maybe my story will help…I’ll make it quick. I’ve suffered from severe abuse since I was a child at the hands of my mother. By the grace of God, I turned out ok. 14 years ago I met the most wonderful woman. One year ago we decided to marry. Since then my mother has completely lost it. In that one year we have been low contact for about 6 months and no contact now for two months. The pain I feel is enormous. But I took a vow. Period. If it hurts my wife I must protect her. All love a side, my honor is my word and I took a vow in front of everyone and our Lord. With this type of personality, I feel we have to draw strict boundaries. No deviation. I don’t protect my wife and I know she will resent me. That is not an option. Playing back and forth with these types is stressful and most of the time a waste. I hate this so bad but I love my wife more. That is the decision men must make in the best interest of their families. When people make you feel they don’t care…that usually means THEY DON’T CARE. That’s when I just walk away and hope they find peace.


Another DIL February 20, 2018 at 1:36 pm

Hi there Anonymous! Don’t let your NMIL get the better of you or your marriage. Just tell your husband that your MIL misrepresents both you & the things that you say & you are done with that, that you love him, but you also have to protect yourself, him and your marriage from these disingenuous attacks on her part. My mother in law did, and does, the same sort of stuff, she constantly tries to pit us against one another, creates disharmony, looks for weakness and exploits it. She’s a vicious, conniving snake. I’m nice to her, as is my DH, but I wisely keep my emotional distance from her, snakes bite without provocation & can be deadly to one’s marriage.


Carol April 12, 2018 at 1:12 pm

I am impressed that you saw through and stood up to your nmil. I was an 18 year old bride and this woman has tried to control me for 49 years. I am sooo done. Our most recent interaction was at another son’s funeral. She had hung up on me four days before he died, so I didn’t answer the phone when she called. The more I tried to get away from her at the funeral and afterwards, the more she hovered. Even almost apologizing for “anything she had done to hurt me”. I am 67 and she is 86. My husband avoids her as much as possible, but with the death of his brother will be forced to jump through more of her hoops.

When we were moving into our first apartment, my husband was working and I went over to pick up his things. The first things she handed me were grocery bags of letters from old girlfriends. I always wondered why she would do that a few days before my wedding. After studying narcicism I understand.


Run October 20, 2018 at 8:01 am

Hi there,
Advice….run. It will never change,he will always side with his deceitful, lying, victim of a mother. He is probably a narcissist too or at least has traits of. Everything will be your fault…you’re to sensitive, you’re putting him in the middle. So much triangulation happens but you don’t see it until you’re out. I spent 19 years trying to “ help him see”. But they don’t want to see. The mother in law will shame him and use fear, obligation and guilt to control him and have since the day he was born. He has been brainwashed and good luck trying to undo all those years. Speaking from experience, run and don’t look back. It sounds like you don’t have kids yet, thank God…because she will do everything in her power to take the kids from you. Literally! I’m sorry, but you can’t fix him. Look at yourself and see what’s broken inside yourself as to why you’d accept this treatment. Your husband hasn’t gone through “leave and cleave” and never will. You’ll always be the “mistress” in your own marriage and it’s horrible…the ultimate betrayal. He will not ever choose you. I’m so sorry. Please take care of yourself and do not tolerate this treatment. You’ll have to leave and look into narcissistic abuse, enmeshed sons and mothers, triangulation, gaslighting, and all the other things that are severe manipulations that happened in this family. You don’t have to be a vitcim, but a survivor. Good luck.
PS. Find an attorney who deals with toxic, high conflict divorces and an excellent therapist who is familiar with narcissistic abuse. Look on YouTube for other survivors advice to help navigate this horrible betrayal.


Marina November 20, 2017 at 4:41 am

I know anyone reading this may have the most difficult time of their life. A narcissist mother in law can change the person you love. But you have to figure out yourself what she did wrong with your husband/boyfriend. And just lead him by example. I waited 8 years to get married, I am 24. But he had just realized he had been taught all sorts of wrong morals. I had to go through all of those stages. But it’s the fact you are next to him during those stages that makes him cherish you in the end. It’s very confusing for him as well and hard to accept he had a bad mom or parent. It will happen in stages of acceptance for years but if you are patient and kind, he will be the most appreciative man. He will have to unlearn what she taught him which means rediscovering himself. Don’t let any of his bad decisions hit you personally with your self esteem. It’s just the result of a broken family. Just be kind and straight with how you feel despite what they say and avoid what you can that has to do with her. Just love him at his worst, sometimes that’s something his mother may not have done. And stand up for him on days she tries to manipulate you into thinking he is a bad person. She may break his self esteem down so she is the “all loving mother”. Don’t let it happen and be the mother he should have had, and he will love you forever .


RoseRed December 11, 2017 at 7:51 pm

I relate to much of what you said here, Marina. Yet I struggle with the idea of being the mother to my husband his mother wasn’t. I married my husband to love him like a man, not like a son. I wonder if you’re speaking from experience, and how does that feel for you?


Run October 21, 2018 at 7:35 am

Rose red and marina,
You can not be his mother and his wife…I’ve tried that. If you are his mother then there will be deep resentment, hatred and no sex. He secretly hates his mother because of the things she didn’t do for him. If you are the wife, he secretly hates all women and will punish you. These sons with deep enmeshment are too messed up (for the most part). If they choose you, then you might have a chance…but if they don’t then there is not enough love, books, counselling, YouTube videos to make him chance his mind. The hurt goes too deep and he knows the punishment for crossing his mom. I like to think that my husband chose me as his wife originally because I am the opposite of his mother…I show love to our children, I don’t have a drinking or pill problem, I’m not a compulsive liar, I’m strong and caring…all the things his mother is not. I will also protect our children fiercely from the bullshit that comes from these narcissistic families. She has been trying to break us up since the beginning. If you are trying to “help” him (in essence change him) then I wish you luck. I think my husband hates women in general, and we are separating now. I’m done with the battle. Exhausted, sick and I’ve lost myself trying to help him find himself. Totally, not worth it!


RoseRed December 11, 2017 at 7:41 pm

I’ve been losing my mind for years over my NMIL, and my husband’s denial of her manipulations. She is the ultimate victim, and has suffered from mysterious “ailments” (as her own NM did) since my husband was a young boy. Many have questioned the validity of these claims over the years, and when I listen to her stories with the medical knowledge I have, it’s hard not to laugh at them sometimes. She can make a mosquito bite into a medical emergency. My husband has been her willing hero, understandably sad to see his mother in pain, wanting to make her feel better and running to her side at the slightest whimper for most of his life. His alarm is constantly on where she is concerned, and nothing that happens in his own life (including his own heart attack 3 years ago or any physical/emotional pain I or his adult children are in) compares. He was absolutely groomed, as she was by her own mother, that Mom is #1. Always. I only wish I had seen before I married him how pervasive this pattern is in his entire family. He has several male cousins who live with or very near their mothers, who don’t have wives or girlfriends because, as one of the men puts it, “whatever that woman (his mother) wants, I’ll give her…” I’m sad and sick hearing this. And that this is what normal is in this family. What about these men? What do they want and need? I like to imagine if I had an adult son, I would never be ok with him foregoing love and a life of his own for me. Then again, at least these guys have very clearly chosen their mothers. Unlike my husband, who wants a relationship with a woman and believes he is available for one. Sadly for both of us, he is more married to his mother. He admitted to me a few days ago that one of the reasons he wanted to marry me was that he saw I was strong emotionally and he thought that meant he wouldn’t have to be that kind of support for me. And he isn’t. When I show vulnerability, he either shuts down or gets angry. It’s clear to me he either doesn’t feel safe when I express weakness or doesn’t want to deal with it. Whether his reaction is due to trauma, burden or something else, I’m beginning not to care. I’ve moved into resentment and I feel my heart closing to him. I don’t want that to be so, but it is the truth.


Greta February 27, 2019 at 2:56 pm

Of all the comments on this page, yours hits particularly close to home. My MIL moved from out of state to live with us last year (side note: my husband moved her in while I was out of town for a business trip, even after I had made my objections very clear). She has a long history of learned helplessness, and my husband has an equally long history of needing to be her rescuer. In her time with us, she had every medical issue imaginable. If my husband or I had a cold, she suddenly had the flu. If either of us had a headache, she would have an excruciating migraine. After living with us for about a month, she said that she had lost her sense of taste. We repeatedly encouraged her to make an appointment with a doctor to see if it could be attributed to medications, etc. Never happened. Several months later we were able to get her into an apartment of her own (less than five minutes down the road)…but still no visit to the doctor. Almost a year after complaining about not being able to taste, I asked if she had ever seen a doctor about it. Her answer was that she was doing her own research because she knew it was a result of the “trauma” that I had inflicted on her by not being kinder to her when she moved in with me and my husband. If it wasn’t so utterly infuriating (only one of a long stream of her blaming me for literally everything that is wrong in her life), it would be hilarious because of its absurdity. Obviously she has not mentioned her theory to any doctor because they would not back her up, and of course it is easier to get pity from my husband and anyone else who will listen if she has ailments to lament about. I’ve read so many articles about dealing with toxic/manipulative/narcissistic MILs, but almost all of them assume that the husband sees the MIL’s issues and is willing to present a united front. I’ve given up on trying to get him to see my side of things…a pretty hopeless place to be.


Broken December 27, 2017 at 4:56 am

I am dealing with a NMIL (to be, or not to be now, I really don’t know).

The family dynamic is my fiancé’s mother, his step father, his sister (always the bad seed in her family, but to be honest, she really is), her two adult children, my fiancé (always the golden child in his family), myself, my mother (who lives with us), my 3 adult children (2 of which have been physically out of the picture for 5 1/2 years since their father and I split, but both moved back home this past year).

Currently, there is a huge family brawl, that I am totally confused about. And it is all SEEMINGLY over a very minor miscommunication between my fiancé’s stepfather and myself.

This was the first year all my children (youngest just turned 20) have been home for the holidays since their father and I split up 5 1/2 years ago. The only thing I have wanted for the holidays is to spend them with all my children. For the past 5 years I have spent the holidays with my fiancé’s family, his mother has also insisted that I always bring my own mother along so that she is not alone during the holidays. My fiancé, his parents and I have been very close this entire time. Spending a lot of time together, going to the amusement park together every year, going out to dinner, weekly game night, etc.

About 2 years ago the complaints about my mother’s “attitude” and other things started. My reaction was that I simply wouldn’t bring my mother along (I never wanted to in the first place), my NMIL insisted that I continue to bring her.

Also about 2 years ago, 2 very significant things happened.

First, my NMIL and her daughter (who is one of those types that thinks the world owes her, sits on her butt and collects SSI since she was in her 30’s, treats her own children like they exist simply to cater to her and belittles them for trying to have lives of their own, always starts drama and is ALWAYS the victim in it) got into a huge blow up, I don’t know what it was about but apparently my NMIL who couldn’t stand her daughter prior to this bawled to me that she was “about to lose her daughter”. The step father called a family meeting where we all had to sit there for literally 8 hours while he and my NMIL (mostly my NMIL) bashed, belittled, and blamed their daughter for EVERYTHING and took zero responsibility for ANYTHING. Now, don’t get me wrong, they were not exactly wrong with what they had to say to their daughter (and there is no love lost between her and I) but I have an issue with this whole situation. First, both were to blame for a lot of the stuff. Second, they wouldn’t listen to anything their daughter had to say. Third, there was no point in anyone other than the three of them having this discussion, it had nothing to do with us, we barely said even 2 words the whole time, the daughter’s children didn’t need to see their mother treated that way (even though I think she deserved everything she got that day, it doesn’t make it right either).

Second significant thing that happened, the daughter got back together with a man that she used to date many years ago, even though this man threatened to kill the entire family. This was the “turning point”.

Suddenly, everything started to become about making the daughter happy, catering to her needs and wants (and she is a very demanding and selfish person). My fiancé did not like this man and did not want to be around him. My NMIL and her husband told my fiancé “get over it, your sister is happy and that is all that matters”. So, like a good son, my fiancé “got over it”, he dropped his issue of having to deal with a man that had abused his sister and threatened to kill him and his entire family. Insert here also when the complaints about my mother started.

Now, I have always been the type of person to go out of my way to help someone and try to keep a happy family, so I was running my fiancé’s sister to her appointments, grocery shopping, bill paying, etc. She wouldn’t even offer gas money and I had to listen to her snarky remarks about my mother and my children (who were starting to see why I left their dad and were starting to rebuild our relationship after a couple years of them resenting me for the divorce). I had asked her plenty of times to keep her opinion of my family to herself, to which I was told she would say whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted. Last January my youngest son moved home. He was 19 and needed his G.E.D., a job, medical attention, a driver’s license, life coaching (me teaching him how to be an adult), because his father made him drop out of school, wouldn’t let him get a job, didn’t get him follow up medical care for a serious spinal condition, never helped him get his license and didn’t teach him a darn thing about how to be an adult.

So, our time became more limited and we had to stop spending SO much of it with my NMIL and her husband. Which was ok, they were spending more time with the sister and her boyfriend and my fiancé simply didn’t want to spend that much time around his sister or this guy. No complaints were heard about us not spending every free moment with them, until this issue started.

I think the last straw for me with the sister was this past summer when she blatantly let me know she was intending to dupe her parents out of a couple hundred dollars and her downing me and my fiancé for us trying to improve our lives. I started my own business and he made a change in his career path with his company. I started to distance myself from her.

I know that all of this might not make sense, but the simple version is that my fiancé’s parents were given a lot of our time and attention over the past almost 6 years and this past year for a variety of reasons we simply didn’t have the time to devote to them nonstop anymore. Anyway, back to the current issue.

3 days before Thanksgiving no family plans had been set with his family. Normally it is on Thanksgiving and the whole family is expected to be there. But, this year his sister is boohooing because her son moved 1,000 miles away to get away from her and he wasn’t going to be here, so several different “plans” had been thrown out there, but nobody knew what was going on. I asked the step father what the plans were, he acted confused about me NOT knowing what was going on, even after admitting that 3 days to go and he and his wife hadn’t figured it out yet??? I am confused. I have a family too and I have my children here this year and with all the drama over my mom and the snarky comments about my kids that I have had to hear from the sister and my NMIL over the past year, I didn’t want to take my family over there. I just wanted to avoid the drama. I planned my family’s get together for the day after Thanksgiving to avoid conflict. He said he guessed plans were normal, I was to make scalloped corn and we were to be there around noon, I said “GREAT!!”, then he shifted the conversation to Christmas, I let him know I had a conflict. I wanted to spend Christmas Day with my kids and that my fiancé and I were trying to figure things out so that there were no conflicts. He seems fine with that. I also told him that we had planned to talk to him and the NMIL about it after Thanksgiving. He thought that was a good idea.

The next day I call my NMIL to see how she is doing and I get blasted by her. Accusing me of telling her husband that I told him that we weren’t going to be at her house for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. Her screaming at me, accusing me of coming between my fiancé and his family, tearing the families apart (which they were never together to begin with). His step father in the background yelling about how it is all my fault that they never see their son, that their son doesn’t get any sleep (which I worry about this too, he works and takes classes and he has insomnia which you would think his parents knew since he has had it since he was a teenager), complaining about him going to the doctor with me, etc. At this point, I am stunned, but I had also only had an hour of sleep the night before and was in a ton of pain (on verge of back surgery and refusing to let it keep me from doing what I needed to do, my stupidity on that btw.) so I did the unthinkable…. I yelled back at my NMIL. She hung up on me.

My fiancé in the meantime had awoken to this and was confused. So, he called his mom back to find out what was going on. He was treated like absolute crap. He stays on the phone until it is time for him to leave for work, he leaves. He is on a holiday schedule that week, so he is working longer hours than normal. The next night (night before Thanksgiving Day), he gets off work early…. WOOHOO. He is supposed to come straight home, so he and I could talk about what was going on, instead he goes over to his parents to try to work it out. This only makes things worse. We fight all night. I wake up early Thanksgiving Day (at this point I am not welcome at his parents’ house but he is expected to be there). He wakes up to me crying because of the nasty things his mother and step father posted on my Facebook, it was hurtful, and I was upset. I told him I didn’t want to talk about it to please just get ready and go to his parents and we would talk about it when he got home. He couldn’t let it go. He pushed until I told him what was wrong, he defended his parents. We got into another fight. I am sitting on the bed bawling and he goes to walk out the door. I said something to the effect of how cold can a man be to just walk out on his fiancé in that state without so much as an “I love you” or a peck on the head. He retorted with something rude. I then said something about it was obviously coming down to the point where he was going to be given a choice between me and his parents (them giving him that ultimatum, not me) he said it had already been said, I threw my ring and said “well then, maybe you should pack your stuff and take it with you”….the fight got bad then….he ended up NOT going to his parents that day (which is really NOT what I wanted despite what his mother believes. I wanted and needed to be alone to sort through what I was feeling). He gets in “trouble” with his mother for ME ruining their family Thanksgiving. The entire family hates me. How could he let me do this to them? etc.

The next day is MY family Thanksgiving get together. My fiancé and I are upset all day and the day is basically ruined. Later that night I find out that his sister had hacked my Facebook and blocked a lot of my friends, unblocked my ex-husband and his family, and basically made a lot of bad changes. My oldest daughter had posted a picture of the family that day also. His sister commented on it about me being a whore and my kids being worthless.

He and I spend a couple of weeks fighting nearly nonstop over this crap. He just wants a peaceful resolution to all of this, so I need to calm down and talk to his parents. I set it up to talk to his step father that weekend, I get a text the day prior from his step father telling me that his shrink doesn’t think it is a good idea if we talk yet, he needs more time. I say fine. I tell my fiancé about it when I get home, we agree that if they don’t want to talk yet that it will have to wait until after my recovery period because I don’t need the added stress.

I had already scheduled my surgery for before Christmas, so I can get back to normal life and my new business A.S.A.P. The weekend before my surgery his step father calls him and tells him that we either work it out that weekend or we can basically “F” off and Christmas is cancelled. Personally, I am fine with this (his mother thinks I intentionally started a fight with my fiancé on Thanksgiving, so he wouldn’t go over there just so I could hurt her…. I don’t know why she thinks that she is so important that when fighting with my fiancé that I ever think about her feelings…. but she thinks it is all about hurting her and me stealing her son. She had already told him that I had to PROVE to her that it wasn’t intentional or I had to admit it was and beg for her forgiveness…..I don’t know how to PROVE to someone else what my innermost feelings were 2 weeks prior, I also don’t feel that I should have to prove anything to anybody, but I figured I would at least try to explain to her what happened, but I will be damned if I am going to admit to something I didn’t do or beg anyone’s forgiveness for it….I don’t mind apologizing and admitting my mistakes and errors but that is as far as I will go……. my mistake for thinking she was at all going to be reasonable) But, I know how important of a holiday Christmas is for my fiancé and his family. So, even though we agreed not to do it until after recovery, I decided to try to take the high road and try to work it out. After all, in my mind it is nothing but a miscommunication and these are people I care deeply about, I don’t want a conflict and it being worked out means so much to the man I love….MY MISTAKE AGAIN!!

The entire thing was his mother shooting a barrage of questions at me but not letting me answer, or cutting me off and over talking me when I was trying to answer, then accusing me of not giving her an answer. It got so bad that my fiancé, who NEVER talks back to his mother, actually said “Mom, if you would shut up and let her talk, she is trying to answer you”……HIS MISTAKE…..things got so bad that at one point after I told her it was none of her business what her son and I were fighting about and she told me it damn sure was, I ended up telling her to go F herself, she threw me out (which I was relieve for at that point), but my fiancé wouldn’t let me leave and insisted the “talks” resume. There was a lot of her accusing me of lying, her own son and husband telling her that I wasn’t lying that she was the one lying. Her saying something, then when called out on it (by me) saying she never said that, even though she had just said it in front of both her son and husband and her telling me I was crazy. A lot of harsh things said. She doesn’t believe her daughter got into my Facebook (even though there is proof, she thinks her daughter was hacked and this hacker just happened to change my status to single, block certain friends but only the ones that had spoken out against them, and changed the email to his sister’s email address) and she had every right to post what she did on my daughter’s picture. Some things figured out (or at least that is what she said at the time). At the end of it all we all agreed that we would work on spending more time together and rebuilding our relationships.

Two weeks later which is one week and a day after my surgery. I had to go to the doctor, they had heard some wheezing in my lungs during surgery and they wanted to recheck it. His step dad called and wanted to know if he had the money for the cell phones (we are on their plan as it saves all of us money). We decided to take it to him since we were out and didn’t want to waste gas travelling back and forth. We meet his stepdad who seeing me out asks what is going on, we tell him about the appointment and that the doc said I could get out as I feel comfortable with. He asks if that means I can come to Christmas. I make a split-second decision to leave all the hard feelings behind and again try to take the high road, so I say yeah, I can come, but he should double check with his wife to make sure there is no issue. He says great, see you then!!

The next day, my fiancés birthday, he talks to his mother (he had talked to her a few times since, but I had also had surgery and he was working a lot and didn’t have much time to talk to her) anyway, it comes out that she was lying, nothing is better and basically, I am Satan. Oh, and that he had better work out his issues with his sister before Christmas. He tried to talk to his sister that night, but she wouldn’t talk to him.

The following day, Christmas Eve, his step father calls him, goes completely off on him because his sister had been over there talking crap about him trying to talk to her the night before, making it sound like she was trying to work it out and he wasn’t, and tells him Christmas is cancelled. BTW….Christmas Eve was our first family Christmas with all my kids…. the day I had been waiting on for over 5 years….and his family knew it. My fiancé is crushed, feels like his family has disowned him, cries for 3 hours during time with my kids. Then his step father texts him and wants him to get on the Xbox to talk privately in game chat so they can work it out. He spends the next 4 hours doing that. Boohoo he Christmas isn’t cancelled, and he is welcome to come, all is good. Thanks for ruining the past month of my life!!

He goes to his family’s on Christmas Day, I sit home alone in my bedroom crying all day. We agreed he would come home around 5, he gets home around 8 and didn’t even bother to shoot me a quick text about it.

After my family had the worst Christmas get together EVER. Through all the fighting and all the talking and all the thinking, trying to figure out WHY this is happening. My fiancé and I both agree that it is intentional to break us up. He doesn’t know why, I think it is because his parents are jealous. I point out to him all the things that added up to me coming to this conclusion (which is what made him think it was intentional), which is a whole lot more than I included here. But then he says to me “I can’t accept it because if I accept that my mom is that evil then my world shatters”……..While I understand this and it makes perfect sense as to why he never stands up to her or defends himself even though she is always putting him down and making him feel like he isn’t ever good enough, I also know that it means this is never going to get worked out and that I can’t talk to him about how I feel anymore because it will cause a fight with us and because it hurts him so badly…….so I am left with either giving up a wonderful man (except when it comes to his family and I having issues), or bottling up my feelings and catering to his mother……Over the past month his family has driven me to the point that I just want to go to sleep and never wake up. I am so lost with this. I have so many different emotions going through me at once. I love the man, but I want nothing to do with his family and he wants one big happy family. Maybe he is delusional or maybe I am. I am finding myself questioning my own sanity. I cry constantly. The stress of all of this is affecting my recovery. I am supposed to be in bed on my side (most of the time) for another month still, but I can’t lay still, I have the worst muscle cramps and spasms from constantly being tense. I just don’t know what to do………How can someone be so deceitful and conniving? Maybe I really am the one that is crazy, I just don’t know anymore.


Sandra SP January 2, 2018 at 5:53 am

I have one of these – the problem is my husband is the scapegoat of 6 children. Everything is his fault or mine since I married him. MIL is so toxic – our now adult children want very little to do with her. Two years ago things really came to a tipping point when Narc SIL created issues and started using social media as a weapon to spread lies and hate. Then Spring of 2016 she upped the anti and really did it. I turned the SIL into FB and they told her that I had the right to press charges for cyber bullying and defamation of character. MIL being her narc self decided it was her job to defend SIL along with the FIL. It was then my fault she did not have a relationship with our children. Hubs finally to his mother off and told her “If you wanted a relationship with them you should have started earlier instead of listening to they lying sacks of crap also known as the females in the family.” Mother’s day 2016 was not a happy time and they decided it was their job to talk about all of us behind our backs to other family members. That marked a turning point of no more holiday’s with them. Then two months later a niece decided to make a false accusation which we had to hire an attorney for both kids against the family. The attorney sat hubs and explained to him how toxic his family is and how it could ruin our own family. Everything turned out to be a huge lie and to date we still have the attorney on retainer. I went no contact with everyone in January 1, 2016 and it has been nearly 2 years since I have had contact with 90% of them. The kids are doing the same thing. My MIL decided to buy me a birthday gift so I would call her – she doesn’t use social media and will tell you what the Bible says about gossip and turn around and do it herself. She uses the phone as a weapon and the joke around our house is if you see her you know the next day you will be discussed. I sent her a handwritten thank you note – I am not going there so she can accuse me of saying something. They are so predictable. My MIL is the most toxic person and she pits her kids against one another. They all gossip, lie and create an environment that none of us want to be around. We don’t attend holiday’s, wedding’s, graduations, parties, BBQ’s, dinner’s, etc.


Anita January 10, 2018 at 11:23 am

There is only one way in dealing with a NMIL and that’s not dealing with her at all, but implying No Contact! If she is normal with narcissist traits, that’s another aspect, even if she finds difficult to let go of her now adult child, she’ll realize it’s for his/her own best and let it go. If you’re dealing with a narc, you’re not taking a child she loves from her, but her “power and property entitlement” over that child.
I gave mine countless chances to realize she was wrong, but I have my limits as I am emphatic, not stupid. Her and NSIL’s hypocrisy reached my limits. I was the only one at fault because my mother didn’t want anything to do with her. My mother knew my NMIL made my blood pressure go high when I was pregnant; if not for God’s will, I could have lost my child. No excuses received, of course it was my fault for wanting her “scapegoat” boy. My mother helped us with a small wedding and my NMIL was invited (complained afterwards she was “entitled” to more attention- she received it from his son, daughter and from the pair she brought to the wedding and were the only ones I didn’t know and only met them at our wedding; I said it was good for her and FIL to have good company, so I accepted, hoping she would be happy). No, she wasn’t happy, she wanted my spot I guess at my wedding, she couldn’t stand the attention I received, as I was the bride (after all, it’s normal receiving more attention at your own wedding, isn’t it?). Then, I gave birth: no intention to see her grandson, not even when baptised, until I took him to her… Knowing how important my son was to her (she could go on very well till his 18th without seeing him) I “dared” to take my mother to the hotel where some friends of my husband had their wedding. My mother watched after my 4 months old son while we were downstairs, at the wedding. The wedding was near the town my NMIL lives in, so, with my husband insisting, before arriving to the hotel, we tried to only pass by, for NMIL, FIL and NSIL…see their grandson/nephew. All good, less when, near their house, my husband called her, hoping she’ll be happy (as any normal grandmother). Instead, NMIL begun to scream in the phone (with both me and my mother hearing her): “they have nothing to do in my house!” Of course we felt very unwelcomed, as any normal human beings, but I tried to believe the excuses my husband found for her: her house was in a mess, so…she felt bad for that. I said ok: tell them they can come to the hotel’s restaurant if they wish to see their grandson. My FIL wanted to see his grandson, but he was told he was coming to meet my mother (imagine, NMIL was jealous of my mother, with her son and her Ndaughter assisting to that meeting in a neutral place). Believe me when I say: me and my mother never felt more insulted in all our lives! Still, I went to her house again and I regret it! I was way too good for her malicious personality. When I couldn’t stand her’s and NSIL’s lies/ hypocrisy and spoke it all out…she hit me (I had scars on my face from her nails for a month and a half!). I sweared I would never see her again, because she had no right to hit me. That was my limit.
Good luck to all of you dealing with narcs, they are really awful humans, only taking from you, draining you. They only give something expecting/ knowing they’ll receive more from you.
I had boyfriends and got along well with ALL of their mothers, I am very well behaved, apart from saying the truth as I see it, when repeatedly provoked. NMIL really stepped on my nerves, also putting my son in danger, sustaining his play with a little knife, in spite of me and my husband telling him to leave it as he could get hurt running with it in his little hands (6 y.o.). She only wanted to “buy” my son’s adoration, gave him artificial sweats until his stomach hurt (she was his “best friend”, teaching him how to lie to his parents, while she bitten to blood her son when little for doing the same thing, but then it was about her controlling, they had to do something because she said so and she ” gave birth to them, she was entitled to kill them!”). Parenting it’s not only about washing and feeding children, it is about raising them by explaining values and applying them yourself. You can’t teach your child to not smoke when he/she sees you doing it all day long. And those parents are also the ones beating and torturing children if they catch them smoking. That’s hypocrisy to me! You are not entitled to a bad behavior just because you can (you are older)! NMIL asked me to respect her for her age! Being old doesn’t require respect, as WE ALL GET OLD (it isn’t a virtue in itself), being WISE gets my respect, young or old!


Starr February 1, 2018 at 2:44 pm

My MIL is a narcissist and I am recently discovering this by doing my own research. She has moved into our home and refuses to leave. She has caused so much havoc in me and my husbands life that I feel like I’m about to lose it!! I have tried moving out twice..filed for an eviction and won..but she appealed the judge’s decision so she can stay until we go to Circuit Court which could be years from now. Omg..this is horrible


mamakate February 3, 2018 at 6:50 am


You can’t control her action or your husbands. GET OUT. Trust your instincts. It’s horrible where you are.

Your husband will make his own choices.


Run October 21, 2018 at 8:09 am

Dear Starr, my NMIL lived with us for 6 years, causing horrible issues and has been trying to break our marriage to the point that she wanted ME out of the house so she could live with him (her son) the 2 of them together, like some husband and wife. She called the police on me to have me arrested for elder abuse… HA! I’ve done everything to take care of her. She told them I was trying to kill her everyday for 4 years. The police could tell she was crazy and did not charge me and told her that she had to leave the house. Which she did, finally. But then, for the next 18 months, I heard how “I kicked his mother out of our house”. No, I’m not playing these narcissistic games, I’m leaving and he can continue to live with her and her new boyfriend and see how that works. Good luck, what a nightmare you are going through.


gelly March 28, 2018 at 8:56 am

Hi! To be honest, it’s my first time to write or share my emotion and experience online. Well, i am one of you guys. i am not yet married to my long time bf (we are together for 9 yrs already and never had any fight before) not after I met hos mother. At first she seems good and kind, but since we need to stay with her abroad then we stay in one house. Only on the latter, when I met her 1 and half yrs now that I realized something is wrong with her. I ignored it first as I don’t want to such problems and have negative judgments but I started to notice things that lead me on this website now. I bet she she is a NM. Here are things that ive noticed about her from the start and it hets worst as time goes by:

1. she is too observant of things and she wants everything perfect and organized and clean. Things should be the way she wanted or else she will nag and gets mad.
2. she wants me to do all she says without any disagreement like a real puppet or else she gets mad and shows that mad face with eyes of a killer when she looks while started to get quiet
3. she complains the moment she woke up and before she goes to sleep and criticize all her colleagues and friends at their back – she wants me just to listen to her and not talk wow!
4. she will order me to do something whenever she saw me happy or relax
5. she envies my family’s achievements and successes in life and later on divert the topic about her family and what/how she wanted her children to do their lives just to earn a lot of money and compete – nonsense!
6. she competes her daughter with me regarding achievements in life – weird!
7. she talks excessively – as in non stop even talks to her self – whenever i ignore her she started to murmur & talk to herself – creepy!
8. she is not shy of people and doesn’t care what they say whenever she cheer for her son’s basketball competition – she criticizes the opponents! – they bash her!
9. she gets mad when i told her once that she don’t need to shout at the opponents as they got feelings as well and shouldn’t be put down. – distespectful
10. she portrays a respectful and friendly behavior with other people especially colleagues – she even asked me once to stay on my place and drag his son all the way where she saw her friends to introduce him ONLY as her son (and me no one)
11. she even asked me why did her son chose me as his gf
12. she keeps quiet whenever she found out or heard that my family just bought a new house or got money or car etc.
13. she interupts whenever my bf and i talk but keep quiet when i keep quiet and ignore her (i alrady gave her her son’s attention) – as in many times already even when we are talking something serious or private!
14. she always talk about herself and life for the whole day (same stories and people everyday)
15. she once went to my work place and scolded me infront of many people and shout at me just because i wnated to sleep over with my friend (bullshit!!)
16. she uses pity (like she is very tired or got muscle pain etc.) to get son’s attention and make him follow her – manipulative! she always does this!
17. she was separated from her husband thrice making her single up to now. – single for many yearssssss!
18. she complains about money money money but prioritize material things over basic necessities or important things.
19. she wnated and tried to put me down alot of times by belittling me – she never won! haha that’s why she hates me now!
20. she darws her son’s attention and make him listen and talk to her whenever she saw us laugh and bond together
21. she sometime’s ask question about how my family was doing (but when i realized she is a NM i never say anything about my family anymore) – especially when there were couple of times she make inappropriate comments about my family which is very distrspectful — this one when she does i really answered back cause i won’t allow her say not a single word about my family – so she lose! haha
22. she decides where to go for vacation and what to eat hahaha – she even tell that the 3 of us should travel together! OMG! hahaha nope! i just booked for my bf and i . . let’s see her reaction later on!
23. she make negative comments related to my family’s works and country they stay at but praises her daughter’s achievement and children! actually she always praises her daughter only as she sees herself to her and sees her as a success! hahaha
24. she try to know where i spend my money especially her son’s and gets mad whenever her son but gifts for me – especially expensive ones!
25. she started to act weird and negative whenever she found out we still got money or savings that we can buy things whenever we want and not waiting for the salary like her.
26. she wants to manipulate how her son should spend the money and how much should be spent – which she did not win! it is all about money for her and material things!
27. she always says she is the best and ubeatable by any one not even her boss at workplace and she is very much needed at the office by all
28. she always make unnecessary noises when she is already awake and wants me to wake up too!
29. she even tried to pay a car loan together with her daughter even though she doesn’t have enough money (she do part time now) just to satisfy her eagerness to have this car deapite her mother very sick at home and needes medical assistance. – her mother not in good condition and suffered mild stroke recently! sad!!
30. she doesn’t want to have any wrinkles or grow old ugly and tries to prevent it! hahaha
31. she tella hee rulea at home and treat us like grade school students! as if we can’t decide on our own!
and many more!!!

to be honeat i alteady want to leave the house and transfer even just me and live the twi of them together because my bf can’t leave her alone and pity her. i just wanted to have a free and peaceful life away from her because she is toxic! i love my bf but if he can’t leave her (he actually wants us to stay together — hello?! we are not kids) which i discusses already to him frankly and many times! he still insist on letting the 3 of us stay together.

i need to make a wise decision here so i need your help please. thank you!


Sel April 2, 2018 at 2:32 am

I feel like this is about my mother in law. The problem here is that my husband is completely under her control and I do not know how to help him understand. He tells her everything including when we fight and if i ask him why his response is she is his mother and has a right to know. She is amazing infront of him but will make constant derogatory remarks compete over who knows him better etc.She has now made an issue over the way she was invited to my sister’s engagement by my mother and because we ignored it my husband is misbehaving because he assumes my parents are disrespecting her and being egoists. I had a fight and moved out over his misbehavior to my parents. I need help to deal with her and after to slowly help him understand. My husband is incapable of dealing with complications. He has an anger problem which she reinforces and perpetuates for her own needs. She plays the guilt card of being a widow. She is always the victim. Before we got married she would tell me how he was useless and angry and irrational.
I am going crazy here. Help please


PRob April 23, 2018 at 11:43 pm

My husband and I dated 12 years before getting married 6 months ago. My MIL did not have a very close relationship prev to engagement, due to my husband. Went to dinner 4x’s a year, never partied with in laws or no common recreational or mutual friends. Prev to Marriage she had opened and charged on credit cards without my husband’s knowledge. We applied for 2 Pre-approval letters as a 1st step into our commitment before wedding date, but were denied due to debt to ratio: she charged $16,000 under his name. I did not get involved because we were only engaged.

Throughout the wedding process she expressed concern to know my progress on wedding planning… (That solely my husband and I paid) she’d tell my fiance how behind I was on planning… ( My fiance and I agreed we were paying solely cash- no credit cards for wedding expenses). She pushed and persuaded my fiance on how my vision of our wedding was not up to standards, I’m assuming. My husband basically sided with her sabotaging my personal thank cards-changed font, all format and wording. She denied it, and claimed a possible mistake. I really tried so hard to please her. I took MIL wedding dress shopping instead of my own mother and sister to try to reassure her, she’d never lose her son.

2 weeks after being married, my husband and his dad had a fall out and kicked us out. (We didn’t buy a home because we were screwed with her $16k under my husband’s name and well now mine. She agreed and paid it 2 months before our wedding. So we lived with them for 6 days. My husband’s father insulted my husband on not being a provider, and that is when my husband spoke up and said why we we’re not home ow ers…. His wife’s debt. His dad had no idea of that. So his mother kicked us out and now living at my moms house.

1 month after being married, we applied again for a pre-approval letter for home loan and DENIED FOR THE #3. So betrayed. She lied and said to pay bills, once I requested new passwords, I saw the history of purchases… Blew my mind. My husband and I are very conservative, put ourselves through school with loans.

As his wife, I gave her a due date to respect to pay because we we’re going to take the necessary action to fulfill our hard work.

6 months into our marriage, she dismisses me if my husband and I have plans for a date she will propose, well you can meet us for dinner then go take her where else you promised her. He will decline the invitation letting her know he promised me, but we will go over tomorrow. Her response… Ya, I guess. Shes a 50 yr old mother behaving as a sibling. She was a young mom, had my husband at 16.

She bought us a mattress with our credit cards without our knowledge, because my husband was unaware of those accts. Bought us a TV, our acct. She celebrated a party for my bridal shower, on my husbands credit card that he and I are paying. I am a simple person and did not want to register for gifts, or no other celebration that would cost more money. Well now we have a balance of $1900. She’s also pinned my husbands bum on sending out Thank you Cards. She is no longer on any credit card accts. We have taken her off as an additional card user. But now she opens my husbands mail and takes action. She doesn’t not respect the way we chose to make purchases, we have been blessed with the opportunity to save pay off debt, and also buy the necessary appliances for our home. Her advice is to purchase necessary appliances on credit? I know better than thay. She recently lied on not paying a medical bill that my husband and I were not aware of and was going to be sent to collections…she couldn’t admit it was balance from previous payment in Jan 2018. Therefore needed immediate payment. She said it was interes that accrued plus late fee. I called billing dept to pay bill and was informed medical bills do not grow interest until in collections. My husband is okay with her lying to me. So I guess I should be too? We are meeting with Lender for Home Loan very soon to start escrow in the next upcoming weeks. I feel my husband and I have been blessed with great education, careers, and countless blessings daily. We purchased our 1st item for our new home, she verbalized how gray sofas would have complimented my look for kitchen? Please help. At this point my husband is in denial of who ahe is and what she does to sabotage our marriage.


Anonymous May 22, 2018 at 10:46 pm

I need help on advice about how to have a conversation with a narcissistic mother in law about boundaries on how they talk to your own family . On mother’s day my mother in law was so rude the way she talked to my mom . And now I have texted to my mother in law that I want to meet up to have a conversation with her on her behavior with my mom that I found to be rude . Please help ! Any advice would help . Thanks in advance


Sarah June 21, 2018 at 11:16 am

Hey there,

I will give you the advice I wish I had in retrospect. If you want to try to set boundaries, I recommend being very careful and casual with it, maybe even starting with some kind of generic praise to ease the blow. If a narcissist feels at all like they are being criticized in any way they will react in every way you don’t want: denial, turning the attention on you through blame and guilt, or perhaps being quiet and respectful (even creepily so) and then behind the scenes turning against you and your mom. Personally, I wish I hadn’t ever viewed her as a “normal” person and felt that I could have an honest discussion about her boundaries or an action she did that hurt me. No matter which way you put it, it’s war, either then or down the road. The best advice is to just warn your family of her and minimize contact as much as possible. For me, I luckily have a husband who is completely fine with me cutting all contact with her while he independently focuses on whatever “relationship” is left.


Sarah June 20, 2018 at 2:57 pm

I have been married for 20 years, my husbands Mother and sister are narcissistic and are almost clones of each other.
My husband is involved in a family business which is almost like a mini empire and everything revolves around this and his parents, they and the business come first, we separated last October and now he has been completely sucked back into this toxic environment.
My mother in law has said some very inappropriate things to our two boys ( 13 & 10 yrs) and my ex husband defends her and says “let’s move on, you know what she’s like”!.
I feel relief that I have moved away from this toxic family.


Run October 21, 2018 at 8:26 am

Do your children see you NMIL? You are NC, do you wish the kids could be NC too? That’s what I’m struggling with… my MIL hates me so much and would love to turn my kids against me and I’d rather they have minimal to NC with her. She is crazy. I am NC with my MIL but my recently separated x want to take the kids to see her and they all go on a vacation with her…that makes me sick, what should I do?


Tired of my MIL August 10, 2018 at 12:13 am

My MIL is driving such a large wedge between me and my husband recently. He defends her all the time and just the other day he tried setting boundaries where she ended up “crying because the relationship with my husband has been difficult because of me,” or so my husband screamed at my last night. I looked at him thinking, “Damn, she sure knows how to guilt you” along with complete shock that I don’t have a husband supporting me.

I’m disgusted and tired at this point. I’ve gone to personal therapy to deal with all of this, talked to my husband to get on the same page where I’m realizing he doesn’t see any of this as a problem, and I’m fearful i’m going to lose someone I love in my life because of her. I despise her and what she is doing to my marriage.


Mentally Exhausetd September 26, 2018 at 6:21 pm

I feel the same, love my husband so much and i know he loves me. If i lost this it would break me. MIL has been married 3 times and it all makes sense to me why now. Ive been married for 2 years and we have had some big fights all over her… My husband is in the middle doesnt know how to deal with it. Wants to keep me happy but i think needs to deal with her so he doesnt cop the grief… I am emotionally exhausted and my brain is taken up by her and this space should be taken up by more important things. I am going to therapy to deal with this.


Over It October 2, 2018 at 8:08 pm

After 25 years of narc abuse I’ve broken free. Lucky for me I have a supporting hubby that has witnessed and been part of the abuse and has supported me in no contact with his narc mother. Silly me put up with the abuse for so long because I thought family dynamics would improve over time if she could see what a good person I was. I’ve been bullied, defamed, ostracised, shamed, humiliated and blamed for everything and anything. My children also witnessed this behaviour on many occaisons and want nothing to do with her. I’ve gone two years NC now and I’m slowly starting to heal and see the joy in life again. I’m convinced her behaviour would’ve continued against me if I allowed it, until one of us died. I’m not prepared to let her take that off me. I feel like I had no choice but to estrange to protect my mental health and sanctity of marriage. I also feel empowered that I’ve finally found the courage to stand up for my self. I look forward to being a wonderful, respectful MIl one day.


Over It October 3, 2018 at 12:10 am

It took a therapist to make me understand that I was being emotionally abused for a very long time. I all but lost my self esteem and self worth. When I think of bullying, I think of the school yard not families but now I know that it can occur in many situations. I lost my parents when I was young so I believe MIL had the license to treat me however she liked. It’s taken me to get to middle age and therapy to realise what’s been happening all these years. I suppose better late than never. I’m so terrified of being a bad MIL one day. I want to love my DIls but respect my children’s relationships and right to their adult lives., I don’t want to be a horrible old crone., Take it from me, one day you will be forced to make a decision. It will be tough but necessary. You can either be a doormat or stand up for yourself. Sometimes, the longer the marriage, the worse their behaviour becomes. You will get sick if you don’t get help. These narcs will not give up. Beware girls.


Annoymous October 22, 2018 at 9:39 am

It breaks my heart to hear everyone’s stories about their MIL. Mine is the same. My husband is the golden child and so naturally I can never be good enough. Their family ruined our wedding, and I still can’t think about our wedding without crying. She’s also physically attacked the two of us before. My SIL is just as bad. What I hate is I know the stuff that they say behind my back are all lies and I know their opinions are not true but I hate the fact that I still care about what they think. I hate conflict and I desperately want the relationship to be tolerable, as I want my husband to be happy and I always loved the idea of having a positive relationship with my MIL but that sadly just isn’t possible. The worst thing with narcs is that when you describe the things that they do, unless you’ve been in contact with a narc before people can’t understand how dreadful they are. The whole situation almost destroyed our marriage, which is exactly what she wanted I’m sure, and I still have wobbles where I can’t stop thinking about the words that she’s said and it hurts my heart so bad. We’ve only been married a year. I love my husband with all my heart and he loves me to, but I’m worried her behavior will get worse. I had a nervous breakdown in our engagement after she attacked us and I feel on the verge of another now. I just wish they were somewhere far away so we could be happy and free. I wish that I didn’t want to please her, I guess it’s because I’m weak.


Over it October 24, 2018 at 6:04 pm

Sad thing is, people rarely change. Doesn’t waste your life being belittled and insulted by people who are supposed to treat you with kindness and respect. Make sure you take good care of yourself physically and mentally. Eat well, exercise and spend time with those that make you smile. Nobody has the right to abuse anyone. Just because you are a daughter in law, it doesn’t give your husbands mother a ticket to abuse you however she wants. No contact is a last resort but it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I didn’t want to kick myself later in life for not standing up for myself. She now gets to play the old lady victim that doesn’t get to see her family but she has brought it entirely onto herself. I will never let an abuser make me feel guilty. If I do, she is still abusing. Do not ever allow yourself to have a relationship with a narc abuser. Let them know their fun is over and go find another victim to terrorise.


Anonymous 2 November 27, 2018 at 9:47 am

Great advice.
She just wears me out.
And, when she acts up in front of my Mother (criticizes and is rude), my Mother wants to take her on! AAAHHHHH! Talk about limiting time and exposure between two people.
I am married to the golden boy. The sister moved away and has basically severed all ties. His sister and I were friends until I married her brother. Then, she dumped me as a friend. She also behaved weird towards the golden child. It was like he chose me over the sister and the mother. YUCK!
One minute she is nice and giving and the next she is just verbally offensive, imposing, nosy and critical. For a time, I felt like she had an unhealthy affection for her son and wanted to be the wife. It made me want to say “What the Hell” and “Did someone slip something into your drink?”
My husband ignores her (and his sister) and then we leave shortly thereafter. He also says out loud to her – how absolutely wonderful I am. Didn’t like that at first, thought it was weird, but, I did notice that she backed off when he started saying how great I was.
I have learned that anything you say can be twisted and used against you in the future.
I have adopted my husband’s behavior towards her finally – I just had a hard time at first – because I was raised to be respectful to my elders. But, now, I limit my time with her and I life is better. There is no other way. I have tried them all. GOOD LUCK! If you have a great husband, you will be fine!


Going insane December 12, 2018 at 9:09 pm

I love reading comments about this issue because it makes me feel like I am not going crazy. I’ve been married for 3 years. About a year and a half it took my husband to realize something was very off with his family once I started pointing things out that didn’t seem right. The first time I met his mom she was dismissive. That evening all hetand get family did minus my husband was talk terribly about a family in their church. This made me realize to be careful what I ever said because if she would talk like that to a stranger I was for sure next for discussion at family dinner. She made up lies about my family that weren’t true as well as things about me and wouldn’t listen to anything good about me. It went on to controlling our outings with the family. When we became engaged his dad said my husbands mom was upset about the wedding and didn’t know me very well. Probably a last attempt to break us apart. Hello? If you were nice and tried you would have known me so I knew she was crazy. The father tried to tell my husband we couldn’t get married in the state and place I choose and I almost lost it, my family had planned to pay for everything anyways it was a joke. At the wedding party the father called me by the ex girlfriends name and the mother never complimented me or welcomed me to the family. Shocker. I remember my husband would tell his mom how much we or really I liked to help pick their fruits and vegetables in their garden and she would never respond, especially if it was about me. They wouldn’t let my husband sell his car they bought him when it broke down because they bought it so they took it back! Never be financially dependent in anyway on family with this issue that is a huge blessing as much as it sucked at the time. Anyways now days his mother is blocked on all my social media. All the siblings are so far up her butt and around the corner kissing up to her it is legit crazy. Telling her how beautiful she is and that she has the best Instagram account in the family. His older sister unfollowed me because I wasn’t liking all of her pictures so she must have inherited the crazy. They are very controlling and nothing is ever enough with them. We were told to pick a day because we were expected to come see them once a week. We never did that either. When my husband tried to set boundaries and she almost flipped out it ended in her telling my husband she didn’t have to tell him she loved him. So creepy. I feel for anyone who deals with someone in their life this way that they struggle to be free of. If it wasn’t my husbands family I would be for sure done. I am almost 100% no contact with the family. The last I saw them was a wedding which was a few harmless hours. When bad things happen I become physically ill. I worry someday she will schedule a holiday at our home or boss me around with future kids. I recently got a small dog she is 8 months old. My husbands sister wanted to play with her and her kids as well. I said no I would rather wait until she is older and learns to not bite because I would hate for that to happen to her kids.(all said on Instagram messaging) the following day this lunatic monther in law txts my husband for a family photo for Christmas cards. She asks about the dog and if she has been socialized with kids yet. We say yes and no. She goes on to say well my cousin had a dog who bit a kid and if you have kids some day she will be very jealous of them. We say she is a smart poodle and is learning and when the time comes she will learn her new atmosphere with kids unlike playing with random kids. Anyways the mom says your sisters kids would love to play with her. So basically the sister told on me that I said no and the mom decided to control that and say my dog will bite my future kids. So silly and stupid but enough to infuriate me. That is controlling. If anything else is said I will loose my mind. Looking into a therapist because whatever I have done to cope isn’t fully working. Good luck to you all and try to stay sane you are not crazy.


Over it December 20, 2018 at 9:03 pm

Animals and children are a good indicator of human character. Wouldn’t be surprised if the dogs bites the MIL!!!! Take heart and see the black comedy of it all! My FIL came over the other day and shite picked my 19 year old son for not making his own bed. What he failed to realise, is the poor young man had only stripped off the bed and started the washing machine 45 mins before he got there. My son is doing a double degree at uni!! My family are done jumping through hoops for these people. If he comes on Xmas day, I’ll be pissed by the pool and of course the beds won’t be made!!!


daisy January 11, 2019 at 1:59 pm

my husband left me for his narcissistic mother. she was using her medical condition to get my ex- husband attention. it has gotten to the point when her presence just made my blood pressure shoot up. . . she left us to try to build a relationship with her youngest child from her second marriage but it did not work. hence, she did everything she can in her “power” to gain back the attention of my ex.
well, eventually we divorce and there was no regret getting out of a very toxic relationship. I just hope that the new wife my ex got from my home country is the perfect daughter in law for her!


Bearly breathing February 10, 2019 at 2:12 am

My future and past mil have been absolute narcissists.
But my potential future one has been playing games since day one. At the start of last year she even tried to encourage my fiance to hook up with other women, and get him to leave me. Now she’s trying to get him to go back to his ex wife.
She was good at hiding her two faces, but the facade broke the day she came to verbally attack me, and yell,and call me names and even threaten to kill me if I didn’t leave. All while my 1 year old was napping,and she didn’t even care when he woke up afraid and crying.
Sadly my fiancee, (for now) doesn’t understand why I can’t just move past it all. And gets angry when I remind him that I have the right to cut toxic people out of my life for sanity’s sake. Unfortunately last time I did remind him he threw a huge temper tantrum in the car , hitting the steering wheel saying he hated me,hated me,hated me etc…
I’ve come to terms that he and I will not end up together long ,yet am waiting for him to dump me as narcissists are dangerous to dump and can be scary.


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