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Trying to be hopeful, it's getting harder every year.

Started by BlueLotus, July 08, 2015, 01:01:37 am

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BlueLotus

Quote from: Green Thumb on July 08, 2015, 05:46:49 pm
You say your fiance is in denial of how his mommy is. Is that correct? Does he stand up for you, speak up for you, when she is putting you down?

The advice I might give is to accept that this is how it will always be, between you, fiance, and his mother. She is never going to be nice or loving. You may want to google narcissistic family dynamics and see if any of the traits fit your situation. You have no power to change the  mother, you can only change how you act and react and think about this situation. It is not personal towards you. She would act this way with any other fiance her son brings home. It is not about you, it about what is inside of her. One can make peace with that notion and detach and accept it for what it is -- or one can fight reality and experience arguments, unhappiness and heartache in dealing with her.

It is possible that your finance has been trained since childhood not to rock the boat with mom and to cater to her every emotion and whim, simply because that is how it is and how she demands it. He may have low self esteem if she used the verbal "put down" technique to control him as a child. If he is enmeshed and his goal is to make mommy happy rather than face her wrath, this is what you have to expect from him. Every time mommy has an emotional fit to get her way, to control the family, to divide and conquer your marriage, this may bring huge stress into your marriage. Your power is inside yourself and how you react and how realistic your expectations are for your fiance.


  I have recently started to point out some of the things she has said. He minimizes it, gets angry and kind of defends her. He has stuck up for me once or twice. But most of the time its as if he doesn't hear her. He makes me feel crazy, or too sensitive. She has hated all of his past girlfriends, has even got into huge fights with a few. When we started dating my fiance moved out of his parents, and  got a great job, and we have been building a nice life together. She claims she likes me... I think it does have more to do with her than me. I think my FDH is a little brainwashed.  His entire family will repeat her words, as if its their own. She gets each family member to talk to the other, convince them to do this and that. She will ask my DFH talk to FBIL, and FFIL to talk to my DFH. When My fiances brother, or father talk to him about something, you almost always know its really her wants and wishes being expressed. She is very controlling. She told my mother that it was their job to guide us in life and with decisions we make, my mother said she will support us in the decisions we make. There is a difference. I know I can only focus on my reaction, but I just don't know how to react at this point.

luise.volta

I like the saying: "What you think of me is none of my business."
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Green Thumb

Again, everything you write shows a difficult, mean woman. It is not about you and you can't change it. You will find more examples of her competition and hateful comments as time goes by. This is how it is and there is nothing you can do but avoid her and protect yourself and accept her behavior as reality. It won't change and she will never be nice. It's not about you so don't take it personally.

Lillycache

Quote from: Green Thumb on July 09, 2015, 04:53:27 am
Again, everything you write shows a difficult, mean woman. It is not about you and you can't change it. You will find more examples of her competition and hateful comments as time goes by. This is how it is and there is nothing you can do but avoid her and protect yourself and accept her behavior as reality. It won't change and she will never be nice. It's not about you so don't take it personally.


How can you be so sure about this?  Do you know the other side of the story?  There usually are three sides..  The two parties involved....... and the truth.     Every single one of us filters the truth to fit our personal agenda to some degree.. I fully admit to that..  My truth certainly differs from my DILs truth..  It doesn't mean one or the other is lying... it simply means they experience the reality of the situation differently. 

Green Thumb

Some things are universal personality traits/ dysfunctions, unless you think OP is making this up or coloring things to her benefit?

To the original poster, you are describing classic narcissistic family dynamics. My inlaws are very similar to a what you write about, this is how I know and recognize the behavior. The enmeshment, the triangulation and the manipulation sounds very familiar. Get educated on this dysfunction and see if you still feel the way you do or if you are seeing it with fresh eyes. Then decide what you want to do as you still have choices.

Lillycache

QuoteSome things are universal personality traits/ dysfunctions, unless you think OP is making this up or coloring things to her benefit?


I'm not saying she is... but I'm not saying she isn't..  Don't most people color things to their benefit?..   And even on forums such as these... the responses are predictable..  depending on what side of the fence a person calls home.   

Pooh

Welcome BL.  I'm going to phrase a couple of questions back to you based on my own experience.  Let's take all the emotions out of this and deal with the facts as you presented.

1. MIL is not the most pleasant person and treats you badly, especially to family.  I can pretty much guarantee, this means that is her personality and you are not going to change it.  Once you marry him, unfortunately, it probably will get worse.  Because then you will be dealing with a wedding, possible children, which means more holiday things, etc.

2.  Future DH is not standing up for you.  Yes, you said he had a couple of times, but looks like the majority of the time he brushes off your complaints about his Mother.  I have always said, in my opinion, the DH plays a MAJOR role in the relationship or non-relationship between a DIL and MIL.  When your DH doesn't stand up for you to his Mother, he's basically telling her it is ok to treat you this way.  On the other side, if you said or did something to his Mother that was uncalled for, he should be speaking to you about it.  The problem is when a DH doesn't take a stand at all, and then later...after you bring it up to him, if he did then....then the MIL gets to put the blame back on you.  "He's only going along with her because she whined about it."  No win situation for you.

This is how it was with my Ex.  He never stood up to her when she was treating me badly and then would agree with me behind closed doors and make excuses for her.  I grew to resent him as much or more so than I did MIL.  Don't get me wrong, I also would have fully expected he should have called me out if I was mean to her.  By the time I finally was mean to her and he said something, it was too late.  I was mad at him for calling me out when in 15 years he had never called her out when I was being nice...so it fell on deaf ears and I could have cared less what he said at that point.

So the questions to you are, "Can you accept right now that MIL is probably going to continue this behavior and that he is never going to stand up for you and not resent him for it?"  "Can you deal with the fact that if you do choose to not deal with MIL that he might still want to have a relationship with her, including taking your possible children to see her without you and actually encourage it?"

I ask those questions, because you not only have an MIL problem, but a future DH problem as well.  Trust me, in the beginning of my dating and relationship with Ex, I knew how she was and that he didn't take up for me.  I brushed it off because "I luvvved him" and he was good to me so it was no big deal.  It ended up being a really big deal because I didn't realize how badly his behavior was going to affect my relationship with his family.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Pooh

P.S.  I'm not trying to say you shouldn't be in your relationship with DH, only that you need to know ahead of time what you will most likely be dealing with and can you handle that?
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

BlueLotus

Quote from: Pooh on July 09, 2015, 09:46:17 am
P.S.  I'm not trying to say you shouldn't be in your relationship with DH, only that you need to know ahead of time what you will most likely be dealing with and can you handle that?


No, you are spot on. Its hard for me to answer that question. I know I wont be happy if it continues. I feel like we need pre marriage counseling. There was one time, about 2 months ago. I was a little short with her and kept the kitchen island between us. I look back and I was subconsciously trying to protect myself from her. My fiance was upset that I was so "cold" to his mother. It upset me, because the last few years she had been that way to me and I got really good at keeping a smile on my face. This time was different, and I was the bad guy. I said nothing rude, I just wasn't giving her every little detail of our lives. My fiance already tells her everything, but some reason she likes to pretend she doesn't know about something and asks me about it.

And I agree with you Lilly, there are always 2 sides to a story. Im sure her reality is a little different than my own, because she raised my DH and feels she should still be the one he answers to first, and she feels its her job to mold and shape our lives. Pick out furniture, Still get FDH's mail sent her her, etc. I think she feels I keep him away, when im the one who reminds him to call her. I always bug him about doing something nice with/for his mom.. but it gets hard. I want a good relationship with her, but I think she is repeating drama she had with her own MIL. I hope it doesnt get worse after we marry.

luise.volta

July 09, 2015, 02:14:17 pm #24 Last Edit: July 10, 2015, 11:30:36 am by luise.volta
In my case I thought it wouldn't get worse after we married. I even hoped marriage would somehow make it better. Neither came to be...it got much worse! I wasn't able to take it continually and forever and I was sorry I walked into a card game with a loaded deck. There was no way I could win. I had a romantic dream I just couldn't maintain and it became a nightmare!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Green Thumb

I don't know if my story will have value for you but it is different from the first two in that my first husband disliked his mother but he was the scapegoat in the family and his two younger siblings were each the favorite of his mom or his dad. My ex husband's attitude was that no one told him what to do, he is just as narcissistic as her, so he would not take any crap from her if it disrupted his life. But still, the stress of dealing with someone who did not consider other people's feelings was always there. We'd have to make our battle plan which took emotional energy and see if when he would tell her no, she'd accept it or ramp up her crap.


The second husbands family are all narcissists and take it to huge extremes. The adult children are still fighting each other for the love they did not get in childhood and to be the golden child. My current husband is the scapegoat and they treat him so shabbily, really put him down. Sometimes I am also the scapegoat but I don't care so it affects me little. It has scarred him terrible and he is in counseling now to deal with it. They call names, triangulate information like you have described, and put each other down behind your back and to your face. The aunts and uncles and grandparents have all removed any consequences for the grandchildren -- not for their own children but the children of their sibling. We got drug and alcohol abuse throughout the family, adult children and grandchildren. 


So how this affects our marriage is the stress the family members put forth in how they treat everyone and the toxicity of these relationships. The learned behavior of my spouse in growing up like this == learned behavior that is toxic to our marriage. This is how I recognize much of what you write. You might want to read Raised by Narcissists on Reddit.com.




Monroe

Quote from: Pooh on July 09, 2015, 09:43:01 am

   I have always said, in my opinion, the DH plays a MAJOR role in the relationship or non-relationship between a DIL and MIL.  When your DH doesn't stand up for you to his Mother, he's basically telling her it is ok to treat you this way.  On the other side, if you said or did something to his Mother that was uncalled for, he should be speaking to you about it. 



Pooh - I agree that the DS/DH plays a major role.   In our situation, both my husband and I reached out and welcomed the then-GF, who later became our DIL, with open arms.  She gave us the cold shoulder from the beginning, even before the wedding, and after a few years of marriage, it was full-blown snub.  So now I ignore her.  On the rare occasions we even talk with DS, I don't bother even asking about her. 

I do feel that when they were dating and first married and she snubbed us, that by not standing up for us, DS was basically  telling her it was OK to treat us like that.  So we were disappointed in him not standing up for us. 

Only worse thought is that maybe he DID stand up for us, and she cares so little for what even HE thinks that she STILL treats us this way.  Either way, her cold treatment of us has damaged our relationship with him. 

Which is so sad, as he was the cutest, sweetest little boy in the world.  I miss him. 

love3

Blue Lotus , I am a dil also in your situation. Our stories actually sound identical ! My mil is ALOT like  yours , she wanted to pick out everything for our place when we moved to a new place. She is totally a want to be molder or trys to be . She would try so hard to get me to have her old furniture even after I told her I had everything picked out. She wanted to control still and kept asking same with bills . I NEVER let her pick out or give us furniture or buy us any. After we got our own , she gave up pestering about furniture . I think it funny how mil's actually think its ok to come in and redecorate to her liking which is the total opposite of mine that's where the molding comes in . Mil's need to understand they are not the women of the house anymore and need to respect the dil as an adult. The mil would not go into their own friends house , or even their own mil house to take over and re-decorate (that's where the respect comes in) . Sure they can suggest ideas and you can listen to them, but remember you are in charge and have no obligation to do what she says. It was hard for me at first to say no because she always talked really nice to me (even though she secretly hates me) and THAT was the guilt trip most mil are famous for. But I always stood my ground and stayed there , you have to if you want to be respected and protect yourself . Don't worry about what she thinks , because you will never be good enough in her eyes . Be the strong real person you know you are and don't let her tell you how to live your life. As for your dh ,... my dh was the same way at first he was scared and couldn't say no to his mom in order to not hurt her feelings and face the guilt trip... SO I then started tell her no myself ! And she would have to listen and accept it. Now my dh has no problem saying "no" to his mom since I started doing it myself he also got more comfortable to stand up to her. If your dh wont step up to the plate then you have to do it , its YOUR life , YOUR marriage .

gettingoldandcranky



Only worse thought is that maybe he DID stand up for us, and she cares so little for what even HE thinks that she STILL treats us this way.  Either way, her cold treatment of us has damaged our relationship with him. 

Which is so sad, as he was the cutest, sweetest little boy in the world.  I miss him.
[/quote]

Monroe - hope i quoted you correctly.  this is exactly how i feel.  after yrs of cold DIL, our DS just goes along and tells me I'm wrong when i call her out.  so i have just given up and now keep my mouth shut.  but i do, always, miss the sweet boy and adult and the love that he showed to us before DIL took over.  will never understand the why

Lillycache

Seems so much like a double standards.  When a woman loves her mom and dad and wants to spend time with them.. that's just fine... and normal.   When her husband does.. he's a mommas boy.. or immature  or brainwashed or any combination.  I have been reading different forums for years.  It appears that nearly all the husbands have had mean mothers and horrible upbringings.   Not to say that some don't, but ALL of them?  So it brings me to the question..  Just what happens to women when they give birth to males that turns them into manipulative shrews?  Maybe it's the influx of male fetal hormones?  Just a thought..  lol!!!