Author Topic: Toxic mother-in-law becoming worse  (Read 2236 times)

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Offline Karina53

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Toxic mother-in-law becoming worse
« on: January 09, 2014, 12:46:54 PM »
I am looking for a new way to think about my MIL. I have been married to her DS for 34 years. DS and I have two grown ds and one gd. Over the years my MIL has been getting more and more angry and bitter about her life. She divorced DS's DF after 35 years of marriage. After a few years they both found new partners. Well, her new husband died after a few years. My husband's father died several years ago, as did his new love. My mil is now 91 and lives alone, but near one of her dd's and family. She has always been quite volatile, and spread much hurtful gossip about various family members, including me and my dd's . I also have reason to believe that she has NPD, which has become more extreme the older she has become. To make a long story shorter, I am one of the spouses she has not liked. What hurts the most is that my DH has not told his mother that her trash talk of me is not OK. He listens to her and tells her that I think she doesn't like me, and that I feel uncomfortable around her. He doesn't call her on any of her bad behavior. Her response to him was, "it's hard to like somebody who acted the way she did when I came to visit that time 22 years ago>" I could not believe her reason!!!! I was just stupefied. When our children were 4 and 11, she came for a 10 day visit, and complained the whole time to me about my DH's father, whom she had divorced years earlier. I sat and listened to her many times, finally told her enough!! She was a very bad guest, pitting my children against one another, and favoring the oldest. Did nothing to help. We took her out to a nice dinner, and she later complained about it, saying afterwards that she was angry that I hadn't found a sitter for our youngest. On and on. My husband worked days at that time, and I worked eves. and weekends. I also had a class during the day. She told my husband that she didn't like me because I was so busy and didn't include her in enough activities. She basically talked non-stop while she was here on that visit. It was a 10 day nightmare for me. I told DH to never ever do this to me again. He hasn't, but I have seen her many times through the years, she's been mean and spiteful to me, but careful not to do things right in front of DH. For the past year I've avoided being around her by not going to family functions. She lives 900 miles away. At times I feel quite angry that my H doesn't call her out on her bad behavior. He says, "it's not personal. She treats the other spouses badly too." But, I feel she's worse to me, and have told him. What to do? Anyone else have similar issues? Thanks for listening.

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: Toxic mother-in-law becoming worse
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2014, 03:01:24 PM »
Karina, if I were you I would do a dance because she is 900 miles away! Then I would contact my SIL who lives close to her and see if she needs any help.  Offer to visit and stay in her house for your SIL to get away for a break.  It sounds like she might really need one!  Do not waste your time, energy or happiness by letting your mind dwell on how horrible your MIL is.  Your MIL is creating what she wants but there is no reason for you to buy into it.  Your DH just knew that there was no changing her and saw no reason to stir the pot.  Turns out he is right.  Spend your energy being happy!!

Hugs!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline Karina53

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Re: Toxic mother-in-law becoming worse
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2014, 03:25:17 PM »
Still Learning, thanks for your input. You see it how he also sees it. After posting my situation, I took a nice walk in the hills, and sat on  my favorite rock overlooking a stream. I asked for guidance. What I got was very interesting. You see, I grew up with a depressed mother and a narcissist older sister, and an abusive SF. I felt abandoned by my mother, who married an abusive man. She and SF had four more kids together. Anyway, I have worked through some of my issues, ie narcissistic sister, etc. I've had to cut ties with her, as every time I've let her back into my life, she has been abusive. MIL pushes some of my buttons. She has personality similarities to my OS. So, I get to do some more work on me, and feelings of worthiness. When she does mean things, I am reminded of the helplessness I felt as a child. My mom did not protect or nurture me or other siblings. She didn't stand up for me. And now I am looking to  my husband to support/stand by me now. Is it too much to ask of him? He is a good man in many ways, but has never told his mother to stop. His older brother has, though. When his OB married, MIL says to her, "you look OK now, but don't put on anymore weight." BIL heard about this and told her that if she continued saying such things, he would cut her out of his life. She stopped. BIL let her know this, and it worked. I wish DH could do this, but just can't bring himself to do it.
We travel to the area she lives in often, as I also have a very dear aunt and uncle close by, within an hour's drive. I've thought that maybe I'll just stay with my own aunt and uncle, and let him stay with MIL.

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: Toxic mother-in-law becoming worse
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2014, 05:12:00 PM »
Karina it sounds to me like you have all the tools and strength you need to deal with your MIL.  Your problem is with your DH.  You certainly deserve for him to defend you.  He hasn't.  How important is that to you?  Does he know how important it is to you?  An open discussion might clarify things for him but you have to be certain that you state exactly what you need and exactly what the consequences might be.  Really big decisions to make.  Sorry life is not easier for you.

We support your decisions!!  Hugs!

Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline Stilllearning

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Re: Toxic mother-in-law becoming worse
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2014, 05:51:41 PM »
OK...so on re-reading your post I think your issues stem from the fact that your mother did not support you.  Is she still around? 
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline Pooh

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Re: Toxic mother-in-law becoming worse
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2014, 07:51:54 AM »
I personally would be upset at my DH for not standing up for me years ago to her, but I'm afraid now, with her being 91, it's too late.  Doesn't mean you have to listen to her or deal with her, let DH handle her. 
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Pen

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Re: Toxic mother-in-law becoming worse
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2014, 08:25:45 PM »
Yup, my thoughts too. Not your problem.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline confusedbyinlaws

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Re: Toxic mother-in-law becoming worse
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2014, 07:17:11 AM »
I agree with Pooh.