Author Topic: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)  (Read 33469 times)

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Offline luise.volta

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Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
« Reply #60 on: July 29, 2010, 10:15:44 AM »
I never heard of the Brown Stamp Book but I remember an occasion when I was upset with my son about 25 years ago...and when I told him about it, I added several other things (imagined transgressions) to it for good measure. He told me he would address each issue with me that one time...but never again. If I had a gripe...I needed to say so or let it go. I never did it again. :-)) Kids can be great teachers!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

catchingup

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Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
« Reply #61 on: July 30, 2010, 12:16:00 PM »

So true "Our children are our teachers"
I was telling the pre-school teacher that when I am busy with something I never get done because the children always call me for something else.
She advised me to tell the kids that I would attend to them as soon as I was finished with what I was busy with.

So one evening when I told my youngest son it was time for bed. he said to me "I just want to finish what I am busy with,then I will go to bed" Ofcourse I thought this was really cute seeiing he had understood the original message.
So there you are we must take what we give.

GreatWhiteNorth

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Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
« Reply #62 on: August 13, 2010, 05:48:06 AM »
I am a DIL with severe MIL issues and in reading Miss_priss's messages I am truly taken back. Especially the accounts of your DH spending all his financial resources on his mother and having nothing left for a spouse.

My husband always paid MILs phone bill and her grocery bill too. She claimed maltreatment from FIL that did not exist and then manipulated her sons into "making it up to her". The way that the sons made it up to her was to literally build her a second home, all at their expense in terms of money and time. MIL had 2 grocery stores near by and to save her from having to grocery shop herself, she emailed her son her list of groceries that he would be required to buy for her, put in a cooler and then make the two hour journey to her to hand deliver her groceries.

MIL  is far from broke, she is actually an extremely wealthy woman who is so enmeshed that she believes that her sons resources are hers. He bought her so many large gifts in the form of new ovens, patio doors, he put and paid for a whole new bathroom, a sunroom and an extra bedroom. He had no money left either and I was left initially to pay all the bills when he moved in because all his resources went to support his mother, when she did not even need it. She has 20X more money in her bank account then we will ever dream of.

When I came around MIL saw me as a rival and what I call her "never ending sonny do list" got more intense. She was competing, ensuring that all her sons resources were only going to her.  I was bowing out at this point, we were not married yet and I told him that I could not marry him as he already had a wife in his mother, there was no room for me. I was not asking him to choose at all, I had decided at this point that I saw all I needed to see and was not interested in a life where everything goes to his mother.

My husband was the one that decided that he did not want that and wanted change.

MIL similarly got furious when her money train stopped, when she was being told "no" on her items on her never ending sonny do list. The last item on her sonny do list was for my husband to purchase for her an island breakfast nook for her kitchen complete with dishwasher that not only would my husband be required to pay for, but spend all his time installing it for her. She was very indignant about him saying no to her and was very offended and her threat was that if my husband did not hurry up and get this for her she would *gasp* have to go and do it herself (the research, she still expected him to fund it and install it), shame on him for making her do this! The entitlement and arrogance was incredible.

I was to blame at this point for her "never ending sonny do list" not getting completed, she claimed that I just woke up one day and out of the blue just decided that I don't like her, now SHE was the victim of me. SHE was furious. WW3 with me was about to begin. MIL claimed that the *real* issue is that I am simply jealous of her and her relationship to her son, which she did not see as inappropriate at all. She spousified her son, ousted her own husband and acted like she was married to her own son at times and other times it seemed that she parentified her sons, they acted like MIL was the child and they are the adults. We still get calls from BIL where he wants to talk to my DH about MIL as if she is their dependend child, and the two of them are her parents, it is a sick situation.

We married and our first child was viewed by MIL as not a person but another item on her neverending sonny do list that my husband was to provide for her. She acted like my daughter was no more then a large play doll created only for her to play with. She tried to take over as mother, even went as far as to answer "yes" when my daughter would call for me her mother. I caught her trying to breastfeed my infant at one point, it was so sick.

The one day MIL took my infant daughter out of her highchair, started to walk around with her unsafely and when I went to get my daughter MIL wanted to pay tug of war with her, yelled "mine" and refused to give her back. My husband heard a bunch of noise, came to us and MIL handed me back our daughter as if nothing happened and she was nothing but a sweet old lady. I also related to the words of "MIL is not a rational person"

Then MIL started to play the game of "lets pretend DIL does not exist" , I was in school at the time and was away every other weekend and MIL literally memorized my school schedule and would try to come over and play house with my husband and kids in my absense. My husband caught what she was doing and told her that it was inappropriate for her to specifically wait for me to be gone to come over, she was acting like I was not part of the family. MIL flew into a rage.....it has been a 3 year tantrum ever since.

She started with the nasty emails, calling me all kinds of names, blaming me for the fact that my husband said "no" to her, said things like it was a shame he married me, she wanted better, what a shame that I am so educated and yet act like this. She claimed that she was being victimized, I was keeping her from the children, ruining her life, she claimed that I was evil and that all she can suggest, as the most prayer experienced of all (she called herself this) is that I go to Sunday School and then she started to try and save me from my wickedness.

After that she started to interfere in my daughters daycare, that peaked with her trying to abduct her many times. That caused so much strife in our family, we finally sought a counsellor and that was the beginning of our distance from her. MIL and FIL claimed that the daycare lied when they called to tell us what she had just done and gave us the accounts of her interference. Who are we going to believe? our lying government licenced daycare or MIL?

Christmas that year she cancelled coming with FIL due to a snow storm and then turned around and blamed me for the fact that she did not see her grand daughter on Christmas eve, I answered the phone to FIL screaming at me that I am the problem, but wait...MIL and FIL are the ones that cancelled coming. It had nothing to do with me at all.

I essentially have become MILs scapegoat, MIL is unhappy she immediately blames me and bashes me for her discomfort, it is like a knee jerk reaction.

MIL too believes that she has no wrong, the only thing she admits to is the one email that she was confronted with. MIL and FIL have gaslight that one. Apparently it is all a misunderstanding, the meanings of the words in languages, change all the time so MIL is again the victim of a  misunderstanding. Thus her words as written did not really mean they way they read.

MIL will never ever admit to any wrongdoing.

Long post, and this does not even cover even a drop in the ocean of her horrendous behavior.

But I see in your post that essentially MIL expects to come first in her sons life, to come before the sanctity of marriage and when my husband started to leave her and cleave to his wife, MIL was furious and I have reacted much the same way as you have to the situation. I have been working on the anger part of it, how can a mother do this to her son, to her grandkids, how can a woman be so selfish? and now am at the stage of trying to deal with the part of me that got enmeshed in this.

I hit the point of the line drawn in the sand and even being near MIL was effecting my health and well being to the point that I just can't be near her anymore. It is not about not forgiving her, I am at the point where I pity her, to turn into who she is and be as desperate as she has been to gain attention, but I can't forget and I certainly can never ever let her into our lives ever again, she is just too toxic.

I have just never read another story so similar to my own. I usually just lurk here but I really wanted to respond.

Your post gave me alot of clarity somehow. Despite MILs claims of my apparent wickedness, I actually grew up in a church so I can really relate to the biblical side of things.

















cremebrulee

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Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
« Reply #63 on: August 13, 2010, 07:24:13 AM »
Hello Greatwhitenorth and welcome

Geeze, your MIL sounds like she is way out there somewhere never to be reached....I'm very sorry, and sad to hear you've had to go thru this...but glad that your hubby is able to stand up to her finally and see what is really going on...

yanno, in another post I explained how my real mother is...and I used to be so angry and hated her...don't let her do that to you...feel sorry for her, b/c she is a very lost soul....never to return....makes you wonder how she grew up or what she went thru to make her like that? 

Don't lurk anymore, please feel free to come in here and vent any old time...it helps...and in the meantime...keep the faith...there is nothing you could ever do to change it, and I realize a lot of your feelings are disgust, b/c you feel so badly for your husband....can you begin to imagine how frustrated, hurt and embarrassed he must feel....? 

I hope you two hold onto each other for support...and understand, it's ok to be angry...anger comes from being hurt...and you have most certainly have had your share and more.....

Big hugs
Creme

Offline luise.volta

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Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
« Reply #64 on: August 13, 2010, 07:41:43 AM »
Welcome - Many of us have gone nuts trying to make sense of another person's pathology...when there is no sense to be made of it. Emancipation comes when we realize that reasonable solutions don't reach the unreasonable..

We have seen here many times that sons somehow become...to unstable women...possessions...or extensions of themselves. The mother thinks she owns her son. DILs and GC automatically come under their jurisdiction, as well.

Thank you for coming forth. I hope you decide to stay more visible. This is such a healing place and I honestly believe that sharing can have more to offer than lurking, at least for some of us. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

GreatWhiteNorth

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Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
« Reply #65 on: August 13, 2010, 03:31:44 PM »
Thank you both Louise and Creme for your warm welcomes and support as well.

I am reaching a point where I pity her more then anything else, I can't even begin to imagine what in her life could have formed her into this person that she is today. The stress she must have had to endure as a child and in her life must have been relentless and never ending. The fear she must live under on a daily basis is probably something I can never imagine.

I basically pray everynight not for anything bad to happen to her, but for peace from her.

In saying all this, I don't paint all MILs with the same brush at all as my MIL, infact meeting and talking to healthy ones is quite therapeutic. I do understand that MIL is simply the title that this particular person has in relation to me. She was also a dysfunctional parent, dysfunctional spouse, dysfunction grandparent, ect....

Just as the post said, we all have our parts in the dysfunction. MIL has her part by expecting to be placed first, I have my part in my reaction to it, which I believe comes from my childhood as well, and my husband as well for not leaving and cleaving the way he is suppose to. He is getting there and I too have realized that once he started to do that things did start to go more smoothly.

MIL and FIL will never change in their beliefs that they are the primary relationship for their sons, in that they are the permanent relatonship rather then the spouse, and there is nothing I can do about that except first of all accept that that is who they are and by learning from it so that I react appropriately.



« Last Edit: August 14, 2010, 06:19:46 AM by GreatWhiteNorth »

Offline Pooh

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Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
« Reply #66 on: August 16, 2010, 06:20:10 AM »
Welcome and I think you have a great attitude forming to deal with this.  Over and over you will read that "acceptance" of how someone is and to what extent you want to deal with it, is the answer.  I certainly hope you can find some mutual ground somewhere.  But, be prepared to have to cut ties with her if it becomes necessary for you and you DH's sanity and well being. 

I wish you all the luck in the world!
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

miss_priss

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Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
« Reply #67 on: August 16, 2010, 07:58:42 AM »
GreatWhiteNorth - its refreshing and encouraging to know that someone else is facing this, and that I am not alone.  Your MIL sounds inexplicably to mine (never admitting any fault, ownership and "enspousing" her son, demanding all of son's time, pretending I don't exist, etc.).  I could have written nearly every word you did.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for coming forward with your story. 

It's pretty obvious that we are dealing with "unreasonable" people.  I'd go as far as to say they need psychological help for those issues.  These people display so many defining characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Sadly, one of the biggest defining attributes of NPD is being unable to recognize their own bad behavior, and thus, the never seek therapy.  They "don't have a problem, its everyone else that's crazy."  What are those around them supposed to do, besides stay out of their destructive paths?  Confronting the problem makes it FAR worse (as you've seen already), and ignoring the problem only leads to the dissolution of the relationship with your husband.  So what else is there to do? 

My heart is with you GWN, and I hope you will post more often.  :) 

Offline Pen

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Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
« Reply #68 on: August 16, 2010, 08:51:04 AM »
When a DIL chooses to stay out of the way of an out-of-control, narcissistic MIL, all she loses is the out-of-control, narcissistic MIL who she wasn't fond of anyway and didn't have in her life before she signed on with DH. It may be difficult, it may at times be inconvenient, & it may be sad to realize that a positive extended family experience isn't likely to happen.

On the other hand, when a MIL finally decides to let go of a hurtful situation with a DIL, she and her family lose DS. There's a gigantic difference in what MILs go through vs. what DILs go through when choosing to remove themselves from painful interactions with ILs. DS can only do so much - he married his love and is honoring his vows. If life is easier for him w/o us, he's not going to push to communicate with us no matter how much he loves and misses us. It's behavior modification, I guess.

I'm having a bit of a rough day. Mostly I feel as if I'm moving on successfully, but every now and then it hits me. I really miss him. I wonder how DIL's parents would be feeling if the situation were reversed, if we were the pushy, hovering, demanding ILs and they were the ones who were expected to move on, like salmon who spawn and die?

Sorry, I've had a sad weekend. I'll be back to making forward progress in a day or two, just needed to voice it. Can't tell DH, he's had enough hurt and just wants to forget it all.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

GreatWhiteNorth

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Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
« Reply #69 on: August 16, 2010, 08:56:59 AM »
Thank you Pooh for your support as well, and yes we have pretty much cut ties with her, we had to. MIL when she stopped getting the positive attention of her son being her manservant she started to go for negative attention, thus times spent with her is just exhausting. She performs antic after antic after antic just to drum up negative reactions to her. When her antics started to not produce fruit she started with what I call fiasco's, emergency situations that she drums up (usually right on a grandchilds birthday- as she can not stand a child getting the attention so she must do something to put it back on her).

Miss-Priss- Thank you for posting your story, I had no idea that I was not alone and it was very therapeutic to get your take on it and how you have dealt with it.

The only thing to do is withdraw. If you have not read the book called "The People of the Lie" by Dr. Scott Peck, this book is an amazing resource for dealing with these people. The one thing that struck me the most actually was his suggestion on how we deal with these people in our lives and the answer is out of love, that just baffled me so much, how can I possibly show love towards someone like her?

The answer is to pity her, and she should be pitied, he described that not only are poeple like this diseased but they have the ultimate disease, he explained the fear they live in and why they should be pitied.

So then I was curious as to how to show love in this situation and I came across this book called "The Love Dare", it is meant for husbands and wives but what I liked about it is how it is a step by step guidebook as to how to be loving. I read it and reflect on it very seriously and react to MIL using those guides towards my husband.

In reading it, it points out on around page 112 (If you happen to have the book) that one thing that one must do is get rid of parasites. MILs like ours are infact parasites. They drain a marriage.

Then I had to figure out how I got so enmeshed with her to begin with, so I looked in my family and realized that I am the family scapegoat in my family of origin, and look at the pattern that is repeating with MIL, I am her scapegoat as well, so that is why I have been reacting so strongly to her, unable to detach. I noticed I was able to detach from some things and not others.

But the daycare abduction attempts was like the catch 22s my parents set me up in, get the person upset and then blame them for it. There is just no winning with a person like her so I stopped trying. I started to accept that even though she blames me for everything she is unhappy about it has virtually nothing to do with me.

At the end of the day way before I ever came around MIL and my husband were in an abusive mother-son relationship, where it effects me is like a ripple effect, her reaction to me is where her attitude towards her sons touches me and the kids.

She spousified her son, she is guilty of emotional incest, she is so selfish that she will not let her son go and has no problem with him giving up his life and becoming no more then a ghost just so that she can dance around in the shower of attention that it grants her, no care at all for how her lies about her husband and her lies of abuse that she was not even close to going through was effecting her children at all, not even an ounce of shame.

She would have been like this to anyone that he married and the real problem is that he dared to have a life of his own and stopped living for her.

I certainly don't believe that all MILs are like mine, my MIL was probably similar to some of the dysfunctional DILs that are posted about. It is therapeutic to talk to healthy MILs actually.

GreatWhiteNorth

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Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
« Reply #70 on: August 16, 2010, 09:13:33 AM »
Pen- I am sorry to hear that you are having a bad day.

I was hoping to have a positive family experience with my inlaws, the family I never had and it was sad for me to see that that was not going to happen. It is sad that my children essentially don't have grandparents. (MIL does the Munchausen by Proxy thing too- diagnoses my children with ailments that don't exist and then tries to sneak her medicine behind our backs- so we have more risk then just how MIL is towards me and her sabotage efforts on our family)

I have had to re-create a family, my DD was getting a very bad impression of elders thanks to MIL and how she was behaving. I worked very hard to show her that elders are wonderful people that MIL is simply one that is not well. Our neighbour is a very lovely elderly woman who has thankfully been a wonderful role model for our kids on how wonderful elderly people can be.

I for one don't stand in the way of my DH still having a relationship with his parents, so my MIL has not lost her son despite her horrendous behavior, all she has lost is me (who she apparently never *agreed* with or *approved of* anyhow) she still has access to the kids, just very very strictly supervised.

I think that having a dysfunctional MIL or a dysfunctional DIL hurts very much for those involved personally.

All you can do detach because otherwise it will just eat you  up inside.


Offline luise.volta

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Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
« Reply #71 on: August 16, 2010, 09:31:14 AM »
We are defining abuse here and self-love. Standing tall and moving on. Wise Women indeed! Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

cremebrulee

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Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
« Reply #72 on: August 16, 2010, 09:59:14 AM »
When a DIL chooses to stay out of the way of an out-of-control, narcissistic MIL, all she loses is the out-of-control, narcissistic MIL who she wasn't fond of anyway and didn't have in her life before she signed on with DH. It may be difficult, it may at times be inconvenient, & it may be sad to realize that a positive extended family experience isn't likely to happen.

On the other hand, when a MIL finally decides to let go of a hurtful situation with a DIL, she and her family lose DS. There's a gigantic difference in what MILs go through vs. what DILs go through when choosing to remove themselves from painful interactions with ILs. DS can only do so much - he married his love and is honoring his vows. If life is easier for him w/o us, he's not going to push to communicate with us no matter how much he loves and misses us. It's behavior modification, I guess.

I'm having a bit of a rough day. Mostly I feel as if I'm moving on successfully, but every now and then it hits me. I really miss him. I wonder how DIL's parents would be feeling if the situation were reversed, if we were the pushy, hovering, demanding ILs and they were the ones who were expected to move on, like salmon who spawn and die?

Sorry, I've had a sad weekend. I'll be back to making forward progress in a day or two, just needed to voice it. Can't tell DH, he's had enough hurt and just wants to forget it all.

sending you love and hugs.....

cremebrulee

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Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
« Reply #73 on: August 16, 2010, 10:01:02 AM »
Pen- I am sorry to hear that you are having a bad day.

I was hoping to have a positive family experience with my inlaws, the family I never had and it was sad for me to see that that was not going to happen. It is sad that my children essentially don't have grandparents. (MIL does the Munchausen by Proxy thing too- diagnoses my children with ailments that don't exist and then tries to sneak her medicine behind our backs- so we have more risk then just how MIL is towards me and her sabotage efforts on our family)

I have had to re-create a family, my DD was getting a very bad impression of elders thanks to MIL and how she was behaving. I worked very hard to show her that elders are wonderful people that MIL is simply one that is not well. Our neighbour is a very lovely elderly woman who has thankfully been a wonderful role model for our kids on how wonderful elderly people can be.

I for one don't stand in the way of my DH still having a relationship with his parents, so my MIL has not lost her son despite her horrendous behavior, all she has lost is me (who she apparently never *agreed* with or *approved of* anyhow) she still has access to the kids, just very very strictly supervised.

I think that having a dysfunctional MIL or a dysfunctional DIL hurts very much for those involved personally.

All you can do detach because otherwise it will just eat you  up inside.

your absolutely right....

Offline luise.volta

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Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
« Reply #74 on: August 16, 2010, 10:23:36 AM »
Sending love, Creme
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama